Pick of the bunch

TRACEY STRANGE
Last updated 05:00 06/04/2014

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Here are some of the beauty counter's most current and coveted offerings.

Extreme skincare

High-performance botanicals - those that mix nature and science - aren't exactly new but they are certainly growing in popularity. The latest is La Prairie's Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal collection, a two-product range (cream and dry oil, both $442) designed to counteract the effects of stress, travel, seasonal climate changes and pollution.

The hero ingredients are extracts harnessed from three alpine 'survivalist' plants - purple saxifrage, soldanella alpine and red snow algae - all of which thrive in the mountains in extreme conditions. Essentially intensive moisturisers, they can be used solo or mixed with your existing skincare, and promise better hydration and younger-looking skin.

You should take note if: You're interested in the very latest advances.

Line 'em up

We love the shades in YSL's Spicy La Laque Couture Nail Collection, $47 each.

Our favourite? Safran Sultan, a warm, sophisticated and - yes - spicy yellow. Other colours are Opulente Cannelle, Ambre Gingembre and Piment d'Ailleurs. The topcoat is Feuille d'Or.

Nature's skin-savers

Looking for a natural insurance policy to help your skin look great as it ages? These are some of the key vitamins and minerals associated with a better-looking complexion.

B1 and B2: promote healthy skin and hair.

B12: helps cells function properly.

Vitamin A: essential for healthy skin and teeth.

Folate: helps skin cells regenerate.

Vitamin C (found in Clinique's new Repairwear Laser Focus, $160), iron and copper: all aid in the development of collagen. 

PRODUCT OF THE WEEK

Color Wow Root Cover Up, $49.90.

The news: The hunt for a natural-looking, temporary root-touch-up product is over. This mineral powder, which you apply with a brush, convincingly covers regrowth - from dark brown to white - and stays put until you wash it out. It's also safe to use while you're pregnant.

The deal: Stroke the powder into your grey roots and tiny positively charged zinc particles in the powder attach themselves to the negative charge of your hair. The result is a flawless looking cover-up job that looks like you've just walked out of salon.

Why we like it: It's a beauty breakthrough, and the recipient of many international beauty awards. Whereas previous products were like 'mascara' for the hair - they looked unnatural, felt stiff and ran in the rain - this looks authentic, comes in six shades and can even restore highlights. Great for travel and on-the-go, last-minute fixes.

Take note

As you might imagine, fashion designer and artist Karl Largerfeld's new perfumes are causing something of a stir. But surprisingly - for such a polarising and outlandish man (he wants to marry his cat, for a start) - his eponymous his and hers fragrances are actually quite tame.

Karl Largerfeld for Her, $136 for 85ml EDT, combines fresh citrus with peach, magnolia, rose and frangipani, all held  together with a base of musk and amber wood.

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Karl Largerfeld for Him, $110 for 100ml EDT, is a mix of mandarin, lavender, green apple and violet softened by sandalwood and amber.

STAR PRODUCT

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream Intense Hydration, $54

What is it: An ultra-moisturising face cream for dry skin.

What it does: Protects your skin against the elements with enriched hyaluronic  acid (a highly effective humectant) and refined apricot oil, a good source of omegas 3, 6 and 9 and other essential fatty acids.

How it feels: Surprisingly light and airy. The skin-quenching benefits last for 24 hours.

More on why we would buy it: Despite its uber-moisturising capabilities, it doesn't contain any waxes or butters and therefore doesn't feel heavy on the skin. This is almost weightless. A great barrier cream for the winter months.

We love

The push to develop new products is never so marked as in the beauty industry. New cosmetics hit the counter with such speed it can leave you whiplashed. But nothing has been so dominant in recent years as the growth in natural and organic products.

Jurlique, however, has a heritage of more than 25 years, developing quality, natural products at its South Australian farm. We particularly love its Calendula Redness Rescue Calming Mist, $62, a misting skin-soother that makes a great pick-me-up.

- Sunday Star Times

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