Tad belated (apolz) – but, better late than never? I made some fantabulous discoveries this month and although predominantly face-related, there were one or two other things worthy of note. RODIN Olio Lusso’s Crema is not only the most minimalist-looking hand cream known to humanity, but its insides are as clever as its outside is chic. Rich but not greasy (the ultimate no-no for obsessive compulsives and smartphone users, of which I am both), this beautiful blend of shea butter and essential oils makes light work of eliminating dry patches, to keep hands (and legs and feet and whatever else needs nourished) feeling velvety. Its hydrating effects last for yonks (which makes the price a bit less ouch-some) and it makes me feel smug when it’s whipped from my bag on the underground. #myhandcream’sbetterthanyours Lipstick Queen Velvet Rope – is SUCH a thing of beauty that I own two – one to use and one for show (because I’m COOL like that). With its weighty gilded casing and sumptuous shade selection (‘Entourage’ is my favourite – a seductive rouge noir), this is lipstick as it should be; a decadent marriage of classical styling and modern-day staying power. Prep lips ahead of application using LQ’s Invisible Lip Liner – the waxy pencil helps create a smooth shape and stops bothersome bleeding, so you don’t end the evening looking, not unlike, a Twilight extra. I’ve got really into balm cleansers (having always sworn by super-scrubby, foaming flavours) and Oskia’s Perfect Cleanser is my latest go-to. With the brand’s signature scent (roses mixed with something honeysuckle-y, if you go by my olfactory receptors), it dissolves make-up and general urban grossness with next-to-no-effort. It’s an absolute joy to use and makes the arduous task of face-washing, considerably less arduous. EOS Lip Balms are *totez adorbz*. I did a full 180° when it came to these suckers – initially writing them off as impractical, before reluctantly cooing over their cuteness and then enthusiastically purchasing two. They’re just so satisfying, and their lip-hydrating impact is incredible. Long-wearing and not glossy (hoorah), they’re also purse friendly which means it’s perfectly acceptable to own them all… sort of? I’m working my way through the Women’s Prize shortlist and I know, I know – why should there even need to BE a ‘Women’s Prize’ but there is, so I’m supporting it with gusto. Americanah by Chimamandah Ngozi Adichie (also author of Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun) is remarkable. Funny yet moving, romantic and provocative, it raises important questions about attitudes towards race today – without any bitterness and a good dose of humour – and it really gave me pause for thought. The writing it so lyrical that I bookmarked innumerable pages, and was totally bewitched from beginning to end. It’s also, first and foremost, a love story, which spans time and continents and ultimately, brought me to tears on the train. Which is always a sure-fire sign of a winner.