THE SCIENCE OF BEAUTY: 8 innovative cosmetics you need right now

Oxford Fashion Society presents a curated selection of long awaited products to solve your every beauty woe, read on to find where problem meets solution. Sorted!

The days of the standard scrunchie are over. Long-haired lasses the world over have been united in their pleas to eradicate this endemic of hairband-induced kinks and tangles. Enter invisibobble. Popping one of these springy bands into your everyday pony tail or top knot is a joy and a revelation- not only does it exert great hold without any pulling, it will avoid hair breakages when eventually removed (without a trace). The idea was sparked by Sophie Tvede on a night out during her first term at university- the unexpected product of a fresher’s ‘bad taste’ party, a telephone cord and a desire to just get her hair outta her face! Of her discovery she reveals that “the secret of the traceless hair ring lies in the spiral form of the invisibobble, which distributes the pressure unevenly and in a way that a normal hair tie never could.” What’s more it’s suitable for all hair types and claims to be antiallergenic. Say goodbye to those marks and split ends!
The invisibobble is available in an array of different colours to suit your every mood from Topshop, Boots and Amazon at approximately £4 for a pack of three.

Dry shampoo was first introduced in the 70s but it has certainly witnessed a renaissance over the past five years, once featuring in Emma Watson’s “what’s in my makeup bag?” Plus Karl Lagerfeld has even extolled its virtues. But how can hair possibly look shower fresh even if you’ve “skipped the suds”? Well, the powder formula or fast-evaporating liquid that your spray into your tresses removes excess sebum and naturally occurring oils whilst freshening the scent of your hair. Sounds good but as any brunette will tell you- there are perils aplenty with this stuff as it takes a pro to keep hair turning from resplendent to retiree. By popular demand, cult beauty brand Moroccanoil has introduced its very first dry shampoo for dark tones because, as it professes, “hair colour is personal”.
For a cheaper alternative try Batiste Dry Shampoo Dark available from £1.98 at Superdrug.

Braids, or plaits to you and me, are never out of fashion. A simple twist and a primp can transform a bad hair day into a catwalk worthy look or simply brighten up a rainy day with a soupçon of cali style. However, often plaits do not exhibit much staying power and have unraveled even before you’ve left the house. Using hairspray isn’t always a option due to its tendency to require immediate washing, so this product is definitely a valuable investment, being “specifically designed to add both smoothness and grip to make braiding and twisting hair easier and last longer.” Now that we can count on.
Available online at Look Fantastic for £14.25

With the advent of Instagram the stakes have never been higher, but finding that perfect shade of foundation or skin coverage still presents the following issues… a) the bright lights of the beauty counter are no match for daylight, b) the lady at the beauty counter has other ideas about what constitutes to a “natural” look, c) beauty companies have decided not to accommodate for your skin tone, or d) all of the above. Cover FX has the answer in its new product called custom cover drops available in 24 different shades from alabaster to flawless ebony. They are described as “pure pigment drops that allow you to customize any product and adjust the level of coverage you desire. Mix them with anything liquid: moisturizers, serums, oils, primers, foundations and tinted moisturizers.”
Available at House of Fraser for £36 (only a tiny drop is required in each application so it should last for several months).

In this newest edition to their product range, the iconic tanning brand St Tropez has redefined everything we have previously known about fake tan application. Be prepared to throw out the rulebook as showering post application is no longer frowned upon; in fact the newly developed scientific formula relies upon water particles to activate the gradual tanning process. Already labeled as the industry “game changer”, this is no doubt the go-to product for a low maintenance, convenient way to achieve sun-kissed skin in three minutes flat.
Available online from St Tropez for £14.50 per 200ml tube.

Hands down charcoal is the new “It” ingredient, currently dominating the beauty industry in multiple guises. From facial cleansers and healthy juices to these great Bioré pore strips, it seems there is no end to its promotional status as a so-called wonder substance. Activated charcoal found in such products is simply carbon that has been altered to increase its absorbency, and works by attaching to toxins on our skin surface; it assumes the role of a magnet programmed to attract blackheads, dirt and grime. Cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson explains that “when dirt and oil in your pores come in contact with the carbon, they stick to it and then get washed away when you rinse”.
Available from Boots for £8.99 for a pack of six.

This summer the archive of legendary fashion photographer, Norman Parkinson, teamed up with revered make up artist Charlotte Tilbury to produce a limited edition collection of retro print cosmetic bags and compacts. Of the collaboration she reveals, “I wanted to capture Norman Parkinson’s vision of beauty. He was an alchemist of light, capturing the sun and the differing effects of light on the skin in a unique way… With this product range, you can literally paint your face in Parkinson’s youth-enhancing light every day. I want everyone to feel touched by the magic of his lens!” Highlights include its sculpt-and-highlighting palette printed with Parkinson’s tropical shot of Jerry Hall in Montego Bay, 1975. Equally covetable is the iconic 50s look from Carmen Dell’Orefice which graces Tilbury’s Dreamy Glow Highlighter compact. So add a touch of aesthetic charm to your everyday makeup and claim your slice of fashion history- and summer!
Available online from with prices starting at £23.

Many of the skin cleansing face masks available on the market today have earned a reputation of being a real pain when it comes to their removal. Simply rinse face with warm water… who are they kidding? An industrial grade scourer couldn’t remove all the remnants of your typical aloe-vera scented clay mask. If this sounds all too familiar, I urge you to try the growing phenomenon that is the peel off face mask. Much like Bioré charcoal pore strips, Avojo’s peel off mask is highly skilled in the removal of dirt, blackheads and other pore blocking cells on the skin’s surface. Just apply a thick layer onto nose, forehead and chin then wait 30 minutes to peel it off. No water required… or brillo pads!
Available online at Look Fantastic for £10 per pack of four. 

By Lottie Jackson

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