Spring fresh: 12 lust-worthy products to give yourself a beauty overhaul

With the clocks going forward, we’re relishing a lovely little spell of sunshine and cheer. How, then, to prep the face for balmy days ahead that bring with them the promise of budding flowers, bare shoulders, linen dresses and barely-there sandals? From preventive skincare, high-powered serums, golden highlighters and luxuriously creamy eyeshadows to a born-again lip colour as warm and bright as a weekend escape and a dry shampoo that captures the freshness of a favourite bloom, the sweet season’s best beauty arrivals will put a spring in your step. Here are the 12 products you’ll want for the months ahead. Hello, sunshine! 

Editor’s pick: Westman Atelier Eye Pods – Les Jours 

Although we’re partial to our particular favourite liners, lipsticks and the like, our heart rates spike with every exciting makeup release. Makeup artist to the stars and queen of ‘second skin’ looks, Gucci Westman’s brand, Westman Atelier, is now exclusively available at Skins Cosmetics – and the no-makeup makeup line’s luxuriously creamy and dewy products truly tick every box of our criteria. This spring is evidently all about easy-to-apply formulas: Westman Atelier’s first-ever, consciously formulated eyeshadows strike the perfect balance between a cream and powder formula (thanks to coconut oil), so you’ll get nothing but full pigment and zero fallout. You can purchase one of two eyeshadow trios – the subtle and glowing Les Jours (rich chocolate, warm bronze and iridescent ivory) or the deep and radiant Les Nuits (rich black, burgundy and iridescent pink). A whole lot of luxury sits in the three super-compact, stackable magnetic pods – these plush shadows are ultra-pigmented, long-wearing and as elegant and tasteful as we’ve ever seen. There’s a special place in our hearts for the group of lighter neutral shades. A worthy investment for a glam smoky eye or subtle hint of warmth, they offer it all. The buttery metallic finishes make it intensely easy to create dimension in any eye looks – you won’t want to blend that away … but blend you must. One swipe of mascara and you’re complete! We also love that the brand is dedicated to clean beauty – many of the products include potent skincare ingredients, such as caper extract and camellia seed oil, and do away with harmful ones. This approach extends to recycled packaging, recyclable materials and – coming soon – refillable containers. *Adds to basket* 

R1,905 from Skins Cosmetics 

Elizabeth Arden FourEver Bronze Bronzing Powder – Medium 

Our skin is just emerging from winter hibernation, which is why this four-in-one cheek palette has become a VIP in our makeup bags. Face-sculpting just got a whole lot easier with this do-it-all kit that features a rosy blush, pearlescent highlighter and two contour shades. Made from hyaluronic acid as well as vitamins C and E, it doesn’t just impart a candlelit glow at all hours of the day, it also promotes healthy skin. The gold-flecked warm rose blush applies much softer than it looks – it flatters all skin tones and gives an amazing flush of colour to the skin. But why stop there? The stunning champagne highlighter melts into the skin, leaving you with the perfect soft-gold shimmer you might not expect from a powder. Our go-to for a believable sunny-day glow, it’s easy to layer, looks luminous for hours on end and works just as well for eyes as it does for highlighting cheekbones. If you’re looking for a sun-kissed look, the multitasking palette replicates the way the sun hits your face when swirled together. The possibilities are endless. We like to dust the bronzer all over – the buildable formula is mistake-proof and easy to sweep over skin – and then add shimmer with the highlighter. Also nice: You don’t have to haul around a huge bronzer compact while you’re travelling. Elizabeth Arden’s got you covered. 

R570 from Woolworths, Edgars and Foschini 

Chanel Hydra Beauty Essence Mist 

There’s nothing like achieving that perfect dewy glow without even using highlighter. As you begin to indulge in spring by enjoying the fresh air, don’t forget to pack this luxe facial spray that’s light on the skin in your go-to tote bag. We totally get that it’s a splurge, but the way its ultra-fine mist and pleasantly potent formula softens and soothes makes it worth every penny. Infused with plenty of skin-perfecting ingredients – white camellia extract, blue ginger, hyaluronic acid plus vitamins C and E – on a bare, just-cleansed face, it’s so hydrating that it will replenish and moisturise even the driest of complexions. So, not only does it smell divine and come in a slim, sleek bottle, it also gently relaxes dry lines to restore skin’s appearance. Use this luxury face mist right after cleansing to leave skin feeling reinvigorated and looking healthy, or make it the last step in your makeup routine to immediately lock in foundation and take the powdery edge off your final look. Whether you’re using it to beat the heat or envelop yourself in a soothing light floral aroma, it offers both comfort and pleasure. Fabulous for a midday pick-me-up – and just as great for soothing skin overnight – it’s definitely worth the buy. We recommend keeping it in your handbag and using it anytime instant hydration and radiance is desired. 

R1,150 from Chanel fragrance and beauty boutiques as well as select Woolworths and Edgars stores

RVB LAB The Make Up Hydra Booster Foundation 

Have you found the one yet? Finding your complexion soulmate can be a lengthy task, but once you do, you’ll likely never look back. This outstanding new foundation made with clean ingredients has earned a permanent place in our makeup bag. It adds comfort without weight, covers flawlessly without settling into pores or fine lines and is radiant without veering into dewy territory, so you can apply powder bronzers or blush on top. What more could one ask for? We like that the line-blurring liquid formula is smooth with a satiny finish and that it blends into the skin seamlessly. The skin-first formula leaves a luminous veil of coverage that lasts all day – you can trust it to go the distance on the longest of days … and nights. Almost every new foundation launch promises natural-looking light reflection, but RVB LAB’s skincare-inspired offering is one of few that truly succeed. Consider it your one-and-done multitasker. 

R620 from www.orleanscosmetics.co.za as well as select spas and salons 

Mavala Prolip Lipstick – Apricot 

It’s time to switch out those vampy lip shades like oxblood and deep berries and brighten things up a bit. Soft lavender can be hit and miss, and vibrant fuchsia is even more difficult to get right. But orange – whether it’s warm and wearable terracotta, cheerful and creamy coral or bright and bold pumpkin – has the ability to take the simplest of beauty looks to the next level. This striking burnt orange shade is bright with a capital B. It isn’t for the low-key, but it adds vibrancy to every complexion any time of year. The satin bullet deposits an apricot hue and a cushiony texture that looks truly beautiful on the lips with an ultra-nourishing formula rich in shea butter, aloe vera and vitamin E. This lipstick is a breath of fresh air for warmer weather and one slick lasts for hours, even through your morning (and afternoon) coffee. Though you may not need it, considering how much this unapologetic dash of colour can perk you up. 

R295 from www.mavala.co.za 

NIVEA Rose Care Hydrating Sheet Mask 

When you’re after a quick fix – or a pre-party, pre-makeup or Friday night treat – this new selfie-ready sheet mask will quickly deliver dewy baby skin and a heavy hit of hydration. Brilliantly good value and remarkably effective, it’s steeped in a blend of antioxidants and Hyaluron, all in a cooling base of the brand’s signature Rose Care organic rosewater. Ripping open the admittedly ‘grammable package, you find an absolutely heavenly mask soaked in a serum that smells just like a freshly cut bouquet of sweet pink roses. It sits tightly over the face for all 10 minutes it’s meant to stay on (so you won’t get serum dripping down your neck), leaves skin noticeably fresh and instantly brings down any redness. This is our go-to for serious moisture and breathing life right back into our skin for the days it feels just … meh. Consider it a rehydration sachet for your skin. Oh, and did we mention that it’s an absolute bargain? 

R49.99 from Clicks and Dis-Chem 

COLAB Dry Shampoo Boho Rose 

Once the warmer weather arrives, a quick spritz of perfume applied to your wrist or neck will do the trick for sunny spring days. But this hair-reviving hopeful for budding bohemians sends fragrant waves a little further north and lets your locks do the talking. COLAB’s dry shampoos have quickly become a hit in our office as a soft, subtle and alluring way to wear fragrance. Inspired by whimsical flower crowns, this vegan, cruelty-free dry shampoo in picture-perfect packaging features delicate scents of rose and peony to beckon the scent of a fresh blowout. It transforms hair into bouncy, shiny perfection without adding too much weight or grit, which makes it ideal for fine hair. We love the soft-force sprayer so it applies in an even mist without white residue that works wonders on sweaty post-workout hair. This is the essential you and your beauty bag can’t live without! Mist it over your hair and be on your way. 

R88.95 from Clicks 

Lamelle Skin Essence Rejuvenate 

Have you heard of ‘glass’, ‘honey’ or ‘cloudless’ skin? If you crave that bouncy Instagram skin aesthetic, a facial essence is the ultimate skincare essential to get you the coveted complexion. Our favourite for a model-worthy glow, this one contains impressively high doses of probiotic ingredient bifida ferment lysate, probiotic lysate and amino acids to intensely nourish the skin post-cleanse. Sure, it’s another step, but it’s the heart of our seven-step routine because its water-light texture feels relaxing as it’s patted and quickly absorbed into the skin. The best part? This well-rounded essence does more than just hydrate – it also reinforces the skin’s protective barrier against external pollutants. It’s a one-stop product that offers long-lasting hydration in a lightweight formula you barely notice once it’s applied. Now that’s something to celebrate! Follow up with a serum, cream or oil to seal in all of the goodness. 

R410 from www.dermastore.co.za 

NUXE Super Serum [10] 

There are few things that can make you feel like you have your life together more than a boujee skincare product. Naturally, we were obsessed with this universal anti-ageing treatment – a golden liquid with encapsulated botanical oils that melt into the skin upon application – as soon as it landed. From plumping and firming to sealing in essential moisture and unlocking a luminous complexion, this crossover between an oil and a serum delivers. Not only does it benefit from a luxurious spa-like scent, its lightweight gel texture also contains hyaluronic acid and niacinamide encased in micro-spheres to leave skin feeling soft, smooth and less prone to irritation. We love that this product absorbs well, is super-versatile and can be seamlessly integrated into any existing skincare routine. What’s more, used alone, it makes a flawless base for makeup, adding glow without an excess or filmy residue on the skin. 

R1,260 from from www.orleanscosmetics.co.za as well as select Woolworths, Foschini and Truworths stores 

Gatineau Hydra Aura Éclat de Soie Water Cream 

This featherlight hydrator is like a breath of fresh, cool air – that, and it settles into the skin so quickly it practically feels like nothing. You’d never be able to tell that this water-based gel moisturiser is doing the actual most. Its super-powered, carefully concocted ingredient list – featuring barbary fig, alpine skullcap, Dead Sea salt and seaweed actives – perks skin right up, leaving it looking bright, awake and youthful sans any sticky residue or unwanted sheen. Even more addicting is how it targets fine lines and wrinkles. Basically, if you want all-day hydration and more radiant looking skin then this formula is for you. It feels cool upon application, slips across skin like a bouncy gel, calms thirsty patches immediately and lays comfortably underneath makeup … you can’t go wrong. Whenever we use this cushiony cream regularly, we get more compliments on our refreshed complexion than we know what to do with. 

R895 from www.orleanscosmetics.co.za as well as select Woolworths, Truworths and Dis-Chem stores 

Diego dalla Palma Professional Oxygenating Jelly Scrub 

We love a good face scrub in a heavy gold jar with minimal packaging as much as the next girl. However, this fun, playful dandelion and orange blossom-emblazoned scrub is one of the best we’ve tried so far. Not to mention, the packaging was just asking for a spot on our shelf. We’re all about glycolic acids and peel pads to give our face a glow, but sometimes we just want a little grit. Made from fresh organic dandelion juice and orange flower extract, as well as oxygen flow and supremely gentle sugar crystals, this super-fine exfoliator feels like the two-minute tropical vacation your skin deserves. Slough away dead, dry and dull skin whilst the formula simultaneously aims to soften and detoxify without any harsh stripping effect. We use a light layer, about the size of a penny, and rub gently in circular motions all across our face. Wave goodbye to blemishes and clogged pores, and hello to baby-bottom softness. 

R560 from www.orleanscosmetics.co.za as well as select spas and salons 

REN Moroccan Rose Otto Bath Oil 

Is there anything better than a hot soak for 30 much-needed minutes of me-time? Don’t answer that … of course there isn’t. But there’s an art to bathing – adding a luxury spa-scented bath product is the beauty of the bath, which makes it a very worthwhile indulgence. This bath oil is as sumptuous as it sounds: Submerge yourself in lashings of Moroccan rose, geranium and sesame oils, and you’ll feel relaxed in no time. The blend of 100% pure plant oils and vitamin E (that becomes light and milky once dropped into water) releases a room-filling fragrance that will slow a racing mind in minutes as well as leaves skin velvety soft and remarkably supple. Extra points for how lovely the glass bottle will look perched next to your tub! This bath elixir scented with thousands of rose petals makes a very chic present, but you’ll be hard-pressed to actually give it away. We dare you not to keep it for yourself. 

R750 from www.rencleanskincare.co.za and select Woolworths stores 

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