Perfume or powder? Serum or soap? With 2018 drawing to a close, we asked ten of our favourite women in books, beauty, fashion and business to share the products they’ve been in love with this past year…
I can’t live without the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser.. It’s so completely different to anything I’ve ever used before, and glides on with a luxurious silky feel. I don’t really care if it cleanses properly, but it does! It smells nice and fresh too.
A bit of a no-brainer but all things PIE! Some of my PIE must haves definitely have to be the One Powder Wonder (because who doesn’t need a super light, finely milled powder that combats shine AND works on all skin tones/types). Another set I am currently obsessed with is our Retinol Serum and Night Cream combo. There’s nothing like it for gentle, hydrating, well-balanced skin renewal, and encapsulated retinol is gentle, but works deep in the skin to help build your collagen and elastin back. After the age of 30, stimulating renewal is key to keeping skin looking young, but keeping your skin’s barrier in tact is essential!
For me the best beauty of 2018 came from Jillian Dempsey. Her Lid Tints, Cheek Tints and Kohl Liners have all made me wear more makeup again. When makeup turned to silicone and became about covering up and rebuilding your face (and not enhancing it), I seemed to opt out. I am not an Instagram generation makeup wearer, so I struggled to find product that was comfortable and fun to wear. JD has reinvigorated my makeup wardrobe. I can wear eye makeup now and lots of it and I don’t feel like it sits there looking too heavy and obvious.
I’m the biggest oil-lover going, with a ridiculous collection of facial oils. Surprisingly my favourite this year was the Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil, an unscented blend of cold pressed marula oil, vitamins and flavinoids with the perfect not-too-thin-or-thick consistency. The surprising part is that I usually LOVE scented face oils but this one is so good, I’m prepared to forgo that crucial sensorial component. But my next favourite oil is the Votary Antidote Night Oil, which doubles as a bath oil (you squirt it straight in) and then a delicious body oil for afterwards. The deeply relaxing blend of lavender, rose and chamomile oils sends me instantly into a spa coma as soon as my head hits my pillow.
This year, the highlight of my beauty buys has been, erm, a highlighter. I’ve been a huge fan of Charlotte Tilbury’s products ever since she launched her brand, but her Hollywood Flawless Filter has turned me from fan girl to cult evangelist. It makes me feel like Rita Hayworth, even when my ‘before’ face is pure Oscar the Grouch. It doesn’t just make you glow – it makes you look as though you’ve swallowed an entire church worth of lit candles, but without the horrific burns, scars and wax indigestion. On more than one occasion I’ve caught sight of my reflection and thought ‘Wow, who’s she?’ and realised it’s me! It’s not cheap, but given it’s a product with magical powers I think it’s a bit of a bargain.
2018 has been my hair year – at the end of 2017 a hairdresser fried my already thinning hair and my long locks went, as my darling husband termed it, ‘the full Wurzel’. I had to cut a bob and set about finding the product solutions to my candyfloss problem. After much trial and error I found four heroes to help rescue my inner Rapunzel. Firstly, I’ve been diligently downing the Ouai Thinning Hair Supplement to fortify from the ‘ground up’, then cleansing my sensitive scalp with the Philip Kingsley Flaky Itchy Scalp Shampoo and strengthening my hair gradually wash by wash with the Virtue Restore Conditioner and Deep Conditioner, which binds to the damaged sections strengthening your strands over time (a first!). It’s working and I’m now in a position to ‘go long’ for 2019, whoop!
I’m currently obsessed with Aldi’s Lacura Broadway Shape & Glow, which is a £6.99 dupe for a certain swanky brand I can’t afford… (naming no names but let’s call it ‘Harlot Bilbury’). I was sceptical, but the bronzer and highlighter are both finely-milled, beautifully soft and blendable. Instant, expensive-looking glow.
LAUREN BRAVO, WRITER AND SPICE GIRLS FAN.
This year, I’ve been fanning over… bars of soap. At a time when we’re all worrying about sustainability they have no plastic bottles and minimal packaging, no detergent, they’re lighter to transport so a lower carbon footprint, and come with reassuringly simple, old-fashioned plant-based formulas. And they look so good too, either on the sink or scenting your underwear drawer. My favourite soaps of 2018 are from Scrubd. The product that has fundamentally changed my body care game this year is Aveeno’s Daily Moisturising After Shower Mist. It’s a light, non-greasy, quick-drying spray that takes the faff out of body moisturising.
The beauty highlight of my year has definitely been Jo Malone’s Myrrh and Tonka. It’s a revelation because I don’t usually warm to gourmand notes like vanilla, but paired with myrrh, it’s insanely sexy. It’s not new, but I wore it all year and now there are a lot of memories floating out of the bottle. I’m also loving the combination of two new cleansers: Disciple NIGHT SHIFT AHA Cleansing Oil at night, and every few days, It’s Skin Power 10 VC Cleansing Foam for a brightening blast.
GRACE TIMOTHY, WRITER, BEAUTY EDITOR AND SUPERMUM.
I recently discovered Votary Super Seed Nutrient Cream which is a total winter skin saver – as is the Anti Ageing Facial Oil from Lumity Life which smells so lovely and feels totally luxurious. I also love Aveda’s haircare range – 85% of their bottles and jars are made from recycled materials. Their Pure Abundance products are excellent volume-boosters.
ALICE-AZANIA JARVIS, ELLE EDITOR AND FOUNDER OF THE SUNDAY SALON.