The trees are turning from green to gold, plump blackberries dot the hedgerows and night time descends earlier each day: autumn has definitely arrived in all its spectacular glory here in south Wales. The heady days of summer might be over, but autumn is perfect for cosying up with a steaming mug of hot chocolate and treating your body, soul and mind to some serious pampering, so spoil yourself with some indulgent beauty treats to see you through the colder months ahead…
The easiest way to embrace autumnal beauty is with a manicure and a slick of polish in a glossy berry shade. Slathering on a daily application of velvety hand cream might feel like a boring beauty task, but it soothes wind chapped skin and nourishes nails, so purchase one that you will delight in using.
The Almond & Milk Hand Cream from Burts Bees (M&S £10) is buttery and brilliant at smoothing rough skin and it smells divine too, or keep a tube of the outstanding Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream (Boots £21) in your bag for on the go applications.
For an added moisture boost, rub in your chosen hand cream and pull on a pair of cotton treatment gloves. These gloves help to seal in the cream and you will have silky smooth hands in just a few hours – a good option are the ‘Thirsty Hands Moisture Gloves’ (Body Shop £7).
Nails always benefit from a basecoat to prevent staining from dark nail colours and to prolong the wear of any polish you put on top. Seche Vite Ridge Filling Base Coat (£6 Amazon) provides a smooth finish and is loved by top manicurists across the world.
For a shot of seasonal glam, experiment with nail colours in autumnal hues: this is the season to go for deeper, dramatic colours.
A great budget buy is Rimmel Nude Collection By Kate in ‘Sensual Spice’ (Boots £ 4.50); a very pretty nut brown, or try a deep, plummy shade called ‘In the Lobby’ by Essie (Amazon £9) for a decadent look.
But the ultimate seasonal shade for nails has to be ‘Red Black’ by Nailberry (Selfridges £14). The colour of crushed berries, this polish oozes sophistication and will turn your talons a talking point.
Autumn sees us return to the luxury of long baths after months of quick, summer showers.
Ensure your skin doesn’t dry out in the tub by keeping the water warm, not hot, and by splashing in a generous glug of aromatic and hydrating bath oil. Jo Malone’s ‘English Pear & Freesia Bath Oil’ (John Lewis, from £17) smells like the very essence of autumn – all ripe fruit and mellow woods – or for a more affordable option, Tisserand ‘Detox Luxury Bath Oil’ (Amazon £9) stimulates the circulation and boosts your immune system thanks to essential oils of lemon and juniper.
Complete your bath time ritual with a creamy face mask to lock in moisture and give you a glow. The Montagne Jeunesse Nut Oil Masque (Boots £1) smells delicious and leaves skin beautifully hydrated, or for a special treat, pat on a thin layer of Origins Mega-Mushroom Skin Relief Face Mask (Feel Unique £37) which contains soothing ingredients to reduce redness and restore luminosity.
After your bath, light a gorgeous scented candle with a blissful fragrance to get the real ‘spa at home’ experience. For a gorgeous aroma, try the ‘Pure Love’ candle by The Quinell Candle Company (see website for local stockists) which offers a comforting combination of sweet vanilla and warm amber with a hint of musk and jasmine.
Made locally in Usk, these candles are paraben free and made with natural soya wax, so you can breathe in the heady scent, drift away and totally relax this autumn.