This week I’ve been testing… Algenist, Botanicals and more

I’ve been hoarding new beauty products to test together, so that I can bring you my favourites in one post. A few didn’t make the cut – in fact they have ended up in goodie bags for friends.

Here are my heroes of the week.

This week I've been testing Algenist, Botanicals, Nars and Benefit

Algenist invited me to the launch of their Reveal Collection, a suite of colour correcting products and foundations which also treat the skin.

The main patented ingredient in Algenist’s products is the result of a happy accident. While researching microalgae for renewable energy solutions, biotechnology scientists in San Francisco unexpectedly discovered Alguronic Acid, a powerful compound which led to the development of Microalgae Oil. The oil contains essential nutrients for healthy looking skin. Algenist products have anti-aging properties, are paraben free, hypoallergenic and suitable for all skin types.

This week I've been testing Reveal by Algenist

The Color Correcting Radiant Primer (excuse the American spelling) has a tinted pigment which blends into your skin, whatever your natural colour. It creates a radiant base for makeup.

Glow-y is the new matt, but this primer doesn’t give you a shine – more like a healthy glow. I applied it with a dense bristle, flat top foundation brush (see photo above).

This week I've been testing Reveal Primer by Algenist

I’ve tried two shades of the Algenist Color Correcting Drops .

This week I've been testing Reveal Green and Apricot by Algenist

As the name suggests, the products are very runny so you only need a couple of droplets, which can be applied directly underneath makeup, or can be mixed in with your favourite foundation before application.  The Apricot contains golden algae from the Atlantic Ocean, and helps colour correct and neutralise the appearance of dark, discoloured skin. Great for dark circles under the eyes or the occasional spotty patch.

This week I've been testing Reveal Apricot by Algenist

On the day of the launch the resident makeup artist covered up my red patches expertly with the green one. I liked it so much I ordered it into my local SpaceNK – it was out of stock in all the stores I tried. The green one contains microalgae to neutralise and cover redness.

This week I've been testing Reveal Green by Algenist

I’ve been using this every day to cover up a patch of redness on my forehead and cheeks – probably the result of too much alcohol! I have had to apply this fairly liberally to cover up all the redness, but I prefer this consistency to the Pixi Redness Reducing Primer, which has a thick and powdery consistency and I found difficult to blend.

My favourite product in the range is the Algenist Elevate Firming & Lifting Eye Cream, which will be available from in July 2016.

This week I've been testing Elevate by Algenist

It’s going to be a huge seller. The cream is nourishing and tightening, but best of all, it’s a perfect eye primer with a gorgeous shimmer. I’ve used it on my eyelids as well as around my eyes twice a day.

This week I've been testing Elevate by Algenist

The Algenist Reveal Collection is available from SpaceNK, QVC and

Botanicals sent me a couple of their products to try: Softening Body Balm with Orange Blossom and Soothing Salve with Lavender and Chamomile. Their products are made entirely with active plant-derived ingredients, which support the skin’s ability to heal and regenerate new skin cells.

This week I've been testing Botanicals Body Balm and Soothing Salve

The Soothing Salve, containing shea butter, jojoba and soothing marigold, has been a very effective balm for the eczema on M’s skin (he’s seven), which flares up on his wrists every now and then. Most products, even the natural ones, irritate and sting before having any beneficial effect. This Salve stopped him from scratching and over a period of a few days, moisturised his skin sufficiently that the eczema calmed down.

I’ve been using the Body Balm on my dry legs. Containing patchouli and neroli, the smell is light and natural. As with most balms, there is an oiliness to this, so it takes some rubbing in to absorb, but my skin is instantly softer.

While running between meetings on an unusually hot day last week, I needed to buy a compact makeup powder to cover up some of the shine I’d accumulated on my travels. There’s a large Boots in Waterloo station with a Benefit counter. I usually avoid Benefit, being more of a fan of clinical-looking and anti-aging products, but the pretty orange sales assistant lured me in.

This week I've been testing Hello Flawless by Benefit

The Benefit Hello Flawless compact in a shade called I’m Cute as a Bunny, Honey (yup, that’s another reason I don’t usually buy Benefit) is a silky powder foundation, which can be built up into a thick coverage, or just dusted lightly over the face to hold makeup in place. I sweep it over my makeup with a large powder brush. The colour is perfect, and despite my better judgement, I do rather like the packaging which includes a decent sized mirror, a small brush and a sponge for thicker application.

Green eyes… how to make the best of my dull green eyes. I’m bored with eye makeup in bronzes and browns, and most green shades make me look washed out. This Snake Eyes Eye Paint by Nars is the answer. With the right brush – angled and thin – the gel glides on effortlessly and the very dark, slightly shimmery ivy colour is dramatic, but not as stark as black.

This week I've been testing Snake Eyes eyeliner by Nars

A few readers have asked for an update on the LightStim, the hand-held anti-ageing device, which uses LED light therapy for a ‘radiant complexion’, which I started trialling in January. 

This week I've been testing the LightStim

Well, I’m really disappointed to reveal that it hasn’t made a noticeable difference to my skin. I gave it quite a challenge, targeting the deep laughter lines around my mouth, rather than allowing it to do its usual job of targeting fine lines and wrinkles. The trouble is, the only wrinkles I have are around my eyes and I wasn’t comfortable using the very bright light there – it felt blinding, even with my eyes tightly shut. I am now five months older than I was when I started and I can’t say that the device has exactly turned back the clock. I’m as disappointed as you are.

Before I go, I have an honourable mention for M&S who gave me these gorgeous earrings at their recent AW16 press day.

This week I've been testing Marks and Spencer earings

Let me know if you’ve tried any of these, or what your current product heroes are and don’t forget to sign up to the newsletter so you never miss a thing.

[Disclosure: My thanks to products for review from Botanicals, Algenist, M&S and Lightstim, without whom this post would have been very short] I've been hoarding new anti-aging beauty products to test together, so that I can bring you my favourites in one post. Algenist, Botanicals and more

This week I've been testing Algenist, Botanicals, Benefit and Nars