The hottest story in skincare circles really does live up to the hype. StriVectin-SD was originally formulated as an anti-stretch mark cream, and could have remained the best kept secret in beauty had testers not mistook the unlabelled pots for face cream! Mixed with skin-savvy pentapeptides and antioxidants, this genius cream is tough on wrinkles and your skin's best defence against signs of ageing. And now, with the welcome addition of an Eye Cream and Neck Cream, there's no excuse not to get in on the secret. From £47, available at Space NK, Harvey Nichols and Harrods
Ultra feminine and dreamy, yet at times sparkling and playful, the new Parisienne scent from YSL is the perfect fragrance for fashionistas the world over (did we mention Kate Moss is the face?). With a beautiful pink, cut-glass bottle and delicious notes of cranberry, blackberry, rose and violet, this whimsical, totally-individual scent begs the question 'what are you wearing...?' From £34, available nationwide
In the new issue, I've put together a beauty feature focusing on great brands that don't cost the earth, such as Vichy, Sonia Kashuk and Champneys - rather than cheapo rubbish that (while it costs next to nothing) looks unprofessional and doesn't perform.
Personally, I can't live without Neutrogena's new Norwegian Formula Deep Moisture Comfort Balm, £4.99 (0845 601 5789). For years I've had those annoying red bumps and dry, flaky skin on my upper arms and within a week of using this they completely disappeared. And, amazingly, even if I forget to use it for a couple of days, my skin is still super soft - I've never experienced a body product that works as well short-term as it does long-term.
I also really love Alpha-H and Dermalogica skincare: most of the products are under £30. They're unfragranced and uncoloured, which make a big difference to how my skin looks. If I stop using them and try out a luxury designer £200+ supercream, my skin is back to it's naughty old self within a week: dehydrated, tight, bumpy and ruddy.
For make-up, I have a soft spot for Revlon as the products perform well and are brilliant for micro-trends like coral lips or electric blue eyes, plus their foundations, mascaras and nail polishes never let you down. In fact, I'm road-testing their new PhotoReady foundation today (in store soon) and I've had loads of 'wow-your-skin-looks-great' comments!
I'd love to hear about your own genius low-cost beauty buys. Either use the comment box below or check out our brilliant 'THE essential item' discussion in the BRIDESMAGAZINE.CO.UK Chat Room and spread the beauty love! xxx
Good skin is a must for any bride, so keep yours protected and happy with Clinique's wonder cream. The most complete defence against aging and the onslaught of skin-nasties, such as pollution and UVA/UVB, this rich, intensely hydrating cream comes highly recommended. Wear every day in the lead up to your wedding - and everyday thereafter! £34, www.clinique.co.uk