Following on from last week’s Iconic Beauty: Products that Stands the Test of Time, welcome to part 2 where I discuss three more products that have earned a place in the beauty hall of fame. Achieving iconic status in the beauty world is no mean feat, with countless product launches landing every week and battling to grab consumers’ attention. And whilst one person’s beauty must-have won’t necessarily be right for another, there are products that are universally recognised not only as high performers in their category, but also part of our cultural fabric, as beauty journalist Sali Hughes explores in her bestseller Pretty Iconic. So here is a small edit of beauty classics that have grabbed my attention since I started working in the beauty industry.
When I received this product in a goodie bag I thought it’s a bronzer, it’s an icon, it’s Benefit – what could go wrong? Described as ‘beach in a box!’, Hoola has won countless consumer and industry beauty awards and promises a sun-kissed glow and natural-looking tan all year round. Well that sounds just perfect. Full of hopes and already imagining my then pasty winter complexion lifted by this dreamboat of a bronzer, I applied Hoola on my cheekbones with a stroke of the soft flat brush provided… and gasped. Not with delight at the result but with dismay. The matt bronzer looked like a dull brown streak on my skin and it took a lot of blending to make it look just about passable. I put the product away in the box under my bed for nice-products-that-I-can’t-throw-away-but-don’t-want-to-use-right-now and decided Benefit’s Hoola just wasn’t for me. But fast forward to the summer when my skin has achieved a little healthy colour, swap the brush included in the box for my own kabuki brush and it’s a whole different ball game. The matt bronzer has red undertones to avoid the muddy brown look and to mimic a true tan more closely. The powder is incredibly fine and settles well onto skin for a natural result. I still have a personal preference for Bourjois’ Délice de Poudre with its lighter shade and subtle shimmer, but I’m now reconciled with Hoola and understand why it deserves its iconic status.
I’ve already mentioned Bourjois’ Little Round Pot Blush not once but twice, in Bourjois Je T’Aime and as a wedding beauty essential. Launched over 150 years ago, the powder blush was baked to provide a super fine soft texture for seamless blending, making it ideal for women off stage. Today Bourjois still uses the baked technology formula which features a lovely subtle rose scent. Every blush comes in a round pot with a built-in mirror and curved brush for easy application on your cheekbones. As with Benefit’s Hoola, the brush provided doesn’t have great blending capabilities, however with this blush I find the colour so buildable, the result is still great. Bourjois extended the little round pot format to its mono eyeshadow range, featuring a soft creamy powder formulation that’s easy to blend. For a more intense result you can apply to lids with a wet brush, which I’ve tried on a few nights out for a really dark smoky eye.
I deviate a little from the theme with this one, not technically a cosmetic product but definitely timeless. I discovered Eau d’Hadrien whilst working for the company who created Annick Goutal’s hotel toiletries (yes that is where my obsession for miniature toiletries comes from). As project manager for the product development I had the great pleasure of smelling and testing quite a few iterations of the shampoo and shower gel scented with Eau d’Hadrien (is the fragrance overpowering? Is the formulation viscosity right?), but when you’re working with a scent as refreshing and uplifting as this one it’s really no hardship. This niche Parisian perfume brand was created by Annick Goutal, a talented artist who started her professional life as a pianist, then transitioned to fashion model before re-training as a perfumer in Grasse. Created in 1981, Eau d’Hadrien is a light citrus scent inspired by Goutal’s love of Italy and featuring Sicilian lemon, mandarin and grapefruit in the top notes with the Tuscan cypress providing a woody base. This fragrance may not enjoy the celebrity status of Benefit’s Hoola, but in the world of perfumers it is recognised as a lesson in the perfect citrus scent and has aged beautifully, as modern and relevant now as it was when first launched. If you’re not keen on citrus perfumes you can explore other fragrance reviews here. Just a short note on the product photographed: this is a purse spray which unfortunately is no longer available. I love this format but purse sprays don’t tend to make it into a fragrance’s permanent line up, so if you see one you like, stock up!
Which iconic beauty products have you tried and loved? Do you believe that these three products discussed here deserve their iconic status? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this so please leave a comment to let me know!
Features PR samples.