As the days lengthen, it's time to slough off dull and tired skin and take care to cultivate a brighter, more radiant complexion for summer. Here are some recommended products to ensure that face and body are looking their best for the sunny days that we hope will be forthcoming.
Purity Organic's Cleansing Lotion provides a good start to the day's regime: a mild cleanser containing coconut, avocado oil, aloe vera, euphrasia and rose water that leaves skin clean but not dry. Follow it with the same brand's very gentle Exfoliator, with fragments of coconut shell in coconut oil, sweet almond oil and aloe vera (again, good because it does not dry the skin out too much). Or try Lush's Love Lettuce, an exfoliating face mask with almond shells, almond oil, lavender oil and honey: leave this on as a mask for five minutes to purify the skin, and then rub off with gentle circular movements, allowing the almond shells to smooth, soften and invigorate skin as the mask is removed. To deal respectively with black bags around the eyes or tired-looking skin, apply Anatomical's No Old Bags Allowed soothing eye gel with orange flower water and witch hazel, or Planet Skincare's Instant Firming Serum. Containing pepha-tight (an algae-based skin tightener), the latter instantly makes skin feel and look firmer and tighter. Two night-time application products that have impressed me are Oskia's Before Bedtime Beauty Boost, a rich cream which nourishes and moisturises the skin (although it can sting a little if skin has recently been exfoliated), and Purity Organic's Overnight Moisturiser. The latter is an intensive cream with ceramide 3 and vitamin E. Sweet almond oil and shea butter give it a pleasing aroma, and it is easily absorbed and leaves skin healthy-looking and hydrated in the morning.
Moving on to bodycare, one of my favourite scrubs at the moment is the entirely organic Sugar Body Scrub from Pinks Boutique - a superb product. The shea butter makes the product feel at first like a thick and luscious body butter yet the scrub element comes to the fore on massaging it in, leaving skin beautifully smooth and wonderfully soft, while the lemongrass and mandarin impart a refreshing scent. Lush, meanwhile, have produced Ro's Argan, a body conditioner to be used like a hair conditioner --smooth it over the skin in the shower, and then wash off. It feels very sticky as soon as you start rinsing, but persevere; when dry, the skin feels silky-smooth and also toned.
There are some other wonderful body lotions, creams and oils around which I'd like to recommend. If you prefer a thick, creamy product, try Eternal Skincare Aloe Super Hydrating Moisturiser, a rich skin cream containing organic aloe leaf juice, chamomile, shea butter, rosehip oil and calendula extract, all of which deeply hydrate and soften the skin. Although the company states that the product is fragrance-free, it actually has a light, appealing, sweet scent. An excellent body lotion option, meanwhile, comes from Dorset-based company Oleo: a handmade, soothing cream comprising chamomile, lavender, calendula, almond oil and jojoba, this is a really lovely product that both moisturises well and smells divine. If, on the other hand, you have a battle with cellulite, I strongly advocate trying Fushi's Really Good Cellulite Oil. Its ingredients include gotu kola (known for its circulatory benefits), detoxifying sweet birch, wheatgerm and grapefruit oils, and stimulating green coffee beans. With a pleasant, slightly medicinal aroma, it is thick, rich and warming when you rub it in, and leaves skin soft and glowing. Finally, for light but nevertheless effective moisturising, spray on NHR Organic Oil's Rose Floral Water to tone, delicately scent and hydrate both face and body. Made with organically grown roses, water, and no other ingredients, this is a pure and natural, beautifully aromatic and calming spray.--Em Marshall-Luck
The famously fiery Steve Marriott had perhaps the finest rock 'n' roll voice in England, capable of yowling, crooning, and effortlessly bending notes. He was also one of rock's most engaging performers, as an abundance of YouTube footage makes clear. See, for example, his mesmerisingly intense rendition of For Your Love with Humble Pie.
It is his early material with the Small Faces that is most endearing to watch, however. Unfairly overshadowed by the Kinks in the music press--as if there could only be one Cockney rock group--and often dismissed as music-hall clowns despite Ray Davies' own penchant for such material, the Small Faces were in fact one of the most various of sixties acts, mixing harrowing love songs with wild light-heartedness. The delightfully archaic music video for the witty Dylan pastiche The Universal features Steve, Ronnie Lane, and the dog whose excited barking features on the track, while the promo for Lazy Sunday Afternoon provides some insight into the trials of having Small Faces for neighbours (in some very interesting coats and headwear). In total contrast, there is the heart-stopping beauty of All or Nothing, busked to an initially uncertain Swedish crowd. However, the winner has to be the jubilant BBC footage of Happydaystoytown, with an appearance by Professor Stanley Unwin ("stay cool, man, stay cool, won't you?") and an ill-timed intervention by a marbles-in-mouth presenter. You never saw such good humour. As the Professor would say, deep joy. O yes. --Isabel Taylor