Given that it’s our job to tell you about all the newbies in the beauty world, it’s rare we get to finish any products (hard life, we know) so if we do hit pan on a blusher or get to the bottom of a tub of moisturiser, you just know it’s good. With everything a bit strange this summer, we’ve all been seeking comfort in familiar things, be that a cleanser we know does the job with zero fuss or a serum that takes down redness brought on by stress. Here are team GTG’s beauty empties that have seen us through this most bizarre of summers.



Irene Forte Orange Blossom Body Oil, £99 for 100ml

“Without a shadow of a doubt, this is the nicest body care I have ever used. Sublimely scented with a mixture of orange blossom and pistachio, it’s designed to promote calm and made me look forward to bedtime every night when I could lavish my limbs with this easily absorbed oil. It left no stickiness, just supremely soft skin that was very dry after weeks of fake tan usage. I’ve replaced my empty with Aveeno Daily Moisturising After-Shower Mist, £4.99 for 200ml.”

Freck Cactus Water Cleansing Lactic Acid Toner, £22.50 for 210ml

“When we were in the midst of the heatwave (miss you, come back!) I loved using this fresh-feeling toner every morning post-shower. Lactic acid banishes dead skin cells for a more glowy complexion while cactus flower extract prevents moisture loss from the surface of the skin – ideal for a hit of hydration when I was working outside most of the time. This made my skin feel zingy and fresh even on the balmiest of days. I’ve replaced my empty with Fenty Skin Fat Water Toner Serum, £25 for 150ml.”


No. 1 Nourishing Face Serum, £88 for 30ml

“Despite doing less in my day-to-day life this summer, I still didn’t feel like performing a long and complicated nighttime skincare routine every evening, so after cleansing, I’d just apply three or four drops of this heavenly floral-scented serum to my face before hitting the pillow. Even though I was only using one product at night, my skin was clearer, plumper and more radiant than it was when I was following a multi-step evening regime. I’ve replaced my empty with Dermalogica Retinol Clearing Oil, £62.10 for 30ml.”

Starface Space Wash, £13 for 124ml

“I normally like an all-singing, all-dancing cleansing to use in the morning but this year I had a summer romance with this pared-back, fragrance-free foaming face wash. It’s soap-free and paraben-free and is made with white willow bark extract to exfoliate and help prevent clogged pores, sage leaf extract to reduce irritation and holy basil leaf extract to treat and prevent skin infections. Any spots that dared rear their head quickly retreated while I was using this. I’m now trying Cerave Hydrating Cleanser, £9.50 for 236ml.”

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Serum Crystal Elixir, £60 for 30ml

“My Vanderohe serum was reserved solely for night time, while in the morning I applied this to my face and I can honestly say when I reached the bottom of this bottle, it’s the first time I’ve ever finished a serum. Terrible admission for a beauty journalist. This was a pleasure to use, sinking in easily and I don’t know if it’s all the crystals in the formula or more likely the niacinamide, my skin looked fresher and brighter with a more even tone.”

Replaced with: Also Fenty Skin Fat Water, because it’s a toner / serum hybrid.



Coola Mineral Cucumber Face SPF 30, £36 for 50ml

“I’d been long under the assumption that SPF in foundation is enough protection for the face. But this is not the case. All the experts recommend dedicated sun protection, worn every day no matter the season. This is my favourite; it’s particularly good for oily skin because it’s mattifying, but really it’s perfect for everyone. It glides on like a primer, giving a soft matte finish and works perfectly under any foundation. I love that it’s a natural mineral sunscreen, using sustainably sourced ingredients including evening primrose, linseed, safflower and plankton extract, plus, omega-rich acai oil to strengthen and rejuvenate the skin. There’s even a tinted version which would be ideal if I was going on holiday this year.”

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, £18 for 75ml

“I was given a pot of this heaven scented body cream a few months ago and have been obsessed with its fragrance ever since. Think pina colada sundowners on a Brazilian beach bar, after a long sizzling ocean side day. This is a cult, award-winning product and for good reason. It’s infused with caffeine-rich guarana extract to help tighten the skin, plus cupuacu butter, acai oil, coconut oil and the addictive pistachio and salted caramel fragrance. If the staycation is not cutting it this summer, one whiff of this will transport you to holiday heaven.”


The Nue Co Magnesium Ease, £28 for 60ml

“I’m never been a great sleeper; I’m either too hot, too anxious, my brain is buzzing or I need the loo. However, I’ve found that the Nue Co Magnesium Ease spray does help. According to studies, most of us are deficient in magnesium which impacts on our sleep. Three sprays of this deliver 40mg of magnesium which is instantly absorbed through the skin. Plus, there’s lavender and arnica oil in it too to help aid relaxation and muscle tension. My evening magnesium spritz is such a tonic and it smells divine. It seems I’m not the only mega-fan, as this is currently sold out. Keep your eyes peeled for a restock!”

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