For the final Fresh Beauty Fix blog post of 2018, there’s nothing like a top 5 ranking of beauty discoveries to round up the year in style. Having worked in the beauty industry for over 10 years it can feel like you’ve seen it all, but brands continue to innovate and launch products that surprise and – sometimes – delight. From blogger must-haves to niche discoveries and established products that I’ve only just got my hands on, here is a round up of the beauty trends and treats that have seriously impressed me.
1. The Instagram Sensation
I know I’m late to the party on this one, especially for someone who is so meticulous about eyebrows, but at the very beginning of 2018 I had never even heard of Anastasia Beverly Hills, let alone tried the products. An extensive search for a new eyebrow pencil led to numerous recommendations pointing me in the direction of the brand’s Dip Brow Pomade. After many reassurances that the creamy formula was as easy to use as a pencil, I took the plunge and can now confirm that not only is it pretty fool-proof, it also delivers a precise yet natural result. Anastasia’s Beverly Hills salon may have launched back in 1997 but it was only in 2014 that the makeup range launched on Instagram and became the kind of self-made star seen on every beauty feed and snapped up by the likes of Cult Beauty.
2. French Pharmacy Skincare
When it comes to French beauty I could write post after post about its history, its principles, its iconic products and the Parisienne beauty myth. Having worked for Givenchy, Bourjois and Lanvin to name a few and having grown up as a Parisienne, I’ve worked my way through a fair few Gallic beauty items, but the skincare category that I’ve re-discovered in 2018 is French pharmacy skincare. Although Avène was a firm favourite growing up for its fantastic acne-busting range, this year it’s La Roche-Posay that’s really delivered for me. The Hydreane BB cream in particular became my summer beauty staple, and even into the colder months can be blended with foundation for additional coverage whilst keeping a sheer glow.
3. Facial Oils
Probably the most niche product in the line up, Lucky Cloud’s Balancing Face Oil to me is more about what it represents than the product itself. With facial oil a growing beauty category and natural oils in ever growing demand by consumers looking for alternatives to chemical-heavy formulas, this facial oil is well placed to becoming the brand’s bestselling product (if not already the case). Packed with nourishing botanical oils such as jojoba, rosehip and squalane, and of course vegan friendly and cruelty-free, it’s every natural beauty buff’s dream concoction and a product that exemplifies the growing trend for plant-based, handmade, local beauty. I labelled Lucky Cloud founder Lucy Cardwell’s niche offering as an emerging natural brand and hope to see this brand continue to grow in the years to come.
4. The Certified Skincare
Having launched the first mass market certified natural cosmetic brand in the UK (UNE Natural Beauty in 2009 if that rings any bells) I felt pretty well informed about what a natural or organic formulation entailed. Of course things have moved on in nearly a decade and beauty consumers are demanding ever cleaner products that are clearly labelled. Pai provides a great example of this rising demand, offering formulas that are certified organic by The Soil Association, vegan by The Vegan Society and cruelty-free by the Leaping Bunny. Featured in my very first natural beauty post, Pai’s Rosehip BioRegenerate Rapid Radiance Mask may be a bit of a mouthful to pronounce but it delivers beautifully hydrated and plumped skin. I never tire of singing this product’s praises: the mask’s rich texture feels soothing and nourishing and never irritates my skin. And with three top accreditations to boot I simply can’t fault this product.
5. The Beauty Blogger Favourite
The count down would not be complete without The Ordinary, this blogger favourite that has attracted as much attention for its high performance low cost products as it has for its very atypical (and now ex-) CEO and his antics. Over sharing aside, The Ordinary offers fantastic products at even more fantastic prices, making good quality skincare truly accessible. One formula that has garnered quite a lot of social media air time (and generated one of the highest engagement rates on my Instagram feed) is the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution, that slightly scary crimson liquid that deeply exfoliates skin for improved radiance and smooth texture. The brand may choose some of the most basic packaging available – same bottle across several products, black and white printed labels – but they don’t scrimp on formulas and this one certainly delivers impressive results for the grand total sum of £6.30.
Will I be ostracised from the beauty blogger community for not featuring Glossier throughout the whole of 2018, let alone in the top 5? This beauty selection in no way reflects 2018 product launches – in fact I think all of these were available quite some time before – but they represent the trends that I’ve picked up on this year and that I hope to continue discovering in 2019. What beauty products have made it on your 2018 top rated list? Leave a comment below to let me know.
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