It’s that time of year again, when Savoir Flair scours beauty counters and cult e-tailers, tries every lotion and potion, and rigorously tests must-have makeup to determine which products deserve a place on the Best of Beauty list. From finding the mightiest mascara to the ultimate hair booster, we made it our mission to find 2019’s best beautifiers from the worlds of hair, body, skincare, and makeup. Meet the winners.
The Time Machine
The Ordinary ‘Buffet Multi-Technology Peptide Serum’
This serum by The Ordinary is far from, well, ordinary. Puns aside, it’s one of the best anti-agers on the market – just think of it as a buffet of essential ingredients for your skin. Each bottle is brimming with a unique formulation made from 11 amino acids, hyaluronic acid, peptides, and Matrixyl 3000 to plump, firm, and tackle signs of aging. It also stimulates collagen synthesis and deeply hydrates to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Can you say time machine?
The Glow Getter
Charlotte Tilbury ‘Hollywood Flawless Filter’
Radiant skin reigned supreme both on and off the runways this year, but when it comes to the queen of the strobe, no one does it better than Charlotte Tilbury. The legendary makeup artist is known for her glow-getting products and love of natural glamour, which is why this illuminating liquid is our glow-boosting pick. It has the versatility of a primer, the mega-watt glow of a highlighter, and the perfecting properties of your favorite Insta filter – essentially a red carpet-ready face in real time. A slick of this across your cheekbones or mixed into your foundation, and you’ll glow all night long.
The Luxe Cleanse
Chanel ‘Sublimage’ Cleansing Collection
Could you think of anything more decadent than cleansing your skin with Chanel? Nope? Thought not. With sumptuous textures, luxe ingredients, and decadent formulas, the four-strong ‘Sublimage’ cleansing collection consists of a gel-to-oil cleanser, soothing scented water, a beautiful embossed soap bar, and a softening scrub. Infused with detoxifying harungana extract and vanilla planifolia water, each product is packed with active molecules to protect and regulate the skin’s natural exfoliation process while leaving it squeaky clean, super soft, and lightly scented of vanilla. You’ll actually enjoy washing your face with this one.
The Magic Wand
Givenchy ‘Volume Disturbia’ Mascara
A subtle rosy scent, rich in vitamin E, and loaded with hydrating acacia and algae extracts – no, we’re not talking about a new wonder cream. We’re talking about Givenchy’s must-have mascara, which guarantees luscious lashes from the inside out and offers 24-hour hold. Its glide-on texture creates breathtaking curl and increases volume with just one sweep – all sans clumps thanks to its silicone hollow brush coated in micro bristles. It’s also intensely pigmented, easily buildable, and comes in two shades: intense black and provocative red. Magic wand is an understatement.
The Must-Have Mask
111Skin ‘Celestial Black Diamond Lifting and Firming Treatment Mask’
If you haven’t heard of 111Skin, it’s time to get out from under that rock. The go-to brand for pretty much every A-lister and supermodel in existence (Margot Robbie and Bella Hadid included), it’s the backstage secret to glowing skin. Taking sheet masks to a whole new level, this jet-black hydrogel mask is saturated in dullness-diminishing ingredients to transform your complexion in just 20 minutes. Split into three sections – one for the often-neglected décolletage area – it targets fine lines and wrinkles and boosts collagen production to leave you looking like you’ve just stepped out of creator Dr. Yannis Alexandrides’ clinic in London. All other face masks are officially canceled.
The Pout Perfecter
Dior ‘Rouge Dior Ultra Care’ Lipsticks
While we love a statement smile, we don’t love flaky color and tight, dry lips. So, when Dior launched its ‘Rouge Dior Ultra Care’ lipsticks – which boast incredible pigments, last for 12 hours, and look after lips – we were very excited. The secret behind these matte lip lovers lies in a unique white “CD” core, which contains a nourishing blend of plant oils to hydrate, strengthen, and protect your pout. Gliding on super smoothly, they’re available in a garden of petal-soft shades ranging from bright peony pinks to rich rose reds. We know what we’ll be rocking under the mistletoe this year.
The Ingenious Gadget
Foreo ‘Luna 3’
Although Foreo offers a range of nifty devices, it was the launch of the ‘Luna 3’ that changed the game. Bringing smartphone technology straight to your skincare routine, this ingenious little cleanser boasts a whopping 36 types of pulsations and settings that tailor to each user’s needs. Using soft, silicone touchpoints that work on a one-minute cycle, it removes oil, dirt, and excess sebum from even the hardest-to-reach areas. And if that wasn’t smart enough, it also memorizes and stores patterns and preferences, saving them on your smartphone via the bluetooth-operated Foreo for You app. Like we said, clever.
The Sun Kiss
Tan-Luxe ‘The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops’
The next best thing to a weekend in the Maldives? These bronze-boosting drops. A fake-tan phobe’s dream, they allow you to entirely tailor your tan depending on your preference, thanks to patented ‘Transparent Tanning’ technology, while also loading skin with beauty-boosting ingredients such as vitamin E and raspberry seed oil to tone and smooth. Plus, there’s no telltale tan smell or heavily pigmented chemicals. Whether you want to maintain a holiday glow or create a bespoke bronze tan, simply add a few drops to your body lotion or face cream of choice, and you’re good to go.
The Top-Notch Toners
If you still haven’t tried Pixi’s tonics, then prepare to have your skincare routine turned upside down forever – but in a good way. The ultimate post-cleanse, pre-skincare treatments, these top tonics boast phenomenal formulas and impressive results without the hefty price tag, which is why you’ll spot them on every beauty influencer and editor’s bathroom shelf (ours included). Crammed full of cell-loving nutrients, each tonic tackles a different skin concern. There’s the soothing ‘Rose Tonic’ to calm skin and reduce redness, the brightening ‘Glow Tonic’ to gently exfoliate and enhance your glow, the antioxidant-boosting ‘Vitamin-C Tonic’, and even a time-stopping ‘Retinol Tonic’. We’ll take one of each, please.
The Pollution Protector
SkinCeuticals ‘C E Ferulic’ Serum
You may not be able to see pollution particles, but that doesn’t mean they’re not causing serious damage to your skin. Lurking inside the air we breathe are toxic gases and elements that create free radicals on our skin, in turn damaging healthy cells, speeding up the aging process, and causing everything from pigmentation to dull complexions. But don’t panic, because this SkinCeuticals super serum negates the harmful effects of pollution (UV rays, free radicals, and even the blue light emitted from screens) thanks to a potent blend of protecting powerhouse ingredients – vitamin C, ferulic acid, and vitamin E included. The result of 40 years of research, it boosts skin defenses all day long, no matter what life throws your way.
The Bestest Base
beautyblender ‘Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation’
This year, beautyblender’s foundation finally launched in the region, and we can safely say it was well worth the wait. Available in 40 shades ranging from the purest porcelain to the deepest cocoa, it’s enriched with hyaluronic acid and antioxidant-rich birch extract to perfect and protect. Developed with an exclusive high-speed ‘HyperWhip’ process, its silky-smooth formula is whisked into a light-as-air texture to deliver full coverage without the weight. It’s also vegan, cruelty-free, and formulated without parabens, phthalates, and sulfates. Oh, and it stays put for 24 hours without going cakey. Need we go on?
The Superstar Smile
If you thought the words “luxurious” and “oral hygiene” didn’t belong in the same sentence, then you clearly haven’t tried Dr. Apa’s offerings. The go-to guy for just about everyone (even Huda Kattan is a fan), it’s safe to say that he knows a thing or two about achieving perfect pearly whites, and you too can get a superstar smile thanks to his chic range of dental products. Bringing groundbreaking technology and powerful ingredients together with uber-luxe packaging and fancy formulas, there’s everything from a whitening toothpaste to a nourishing gum gel and shine-enhancing tooth gloss (yes, really) to give you a gorgeous grin.
The Body Booster
Augustinus Bader ‘The Body Cream’
Just when you thought the beauty industry couldn’t get any more scientific, it did. Enter: Augustinus Bader, a specialist in regenerative medicine whose stem-cell skincare is a firm A-lister favorite. Bader rose to fame after developing a breakthrough hydrogel that eliminated the need for skin grafts in burn patients. A complex of vitamins, amino acids, and compounds that mimic those found naturally in the skin, his products boost skin’s health and natural defenses whilst stimulating stem cell renewal and regeneration. Tackling both stretch marks and cellulite, this body cream promises firmer, plumper, and more toned skin in just four weeks, with studies proving it does just that – and then some.
The Smooth Operator
Origins ‘Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience’ Lotion
Not quite a serum, not quite a toner, essences are bursting with beautifying ingredients to load skin with goodness while enhancing the effectiveness of what you apply right after. Add mushrooms to the mix, and you’ve got yourself the perfect product. Packed with antioxidants, mushrooms help protect skin against environmental aggressors and free radicals, which in turn helps with signs of aging and visible damage. A natural anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, they can help heal and calm stressed skin while boosting blood circulation to restore your gorgeous, natural glow. Harnessing the magical powers of mushrooms, this soothing and watery lotion from Origins is, hands down, our essential essence.
The Treasure Chest
Urban Decay ‘Naked Honey Eyeshadow Palette’
When it comes to eyeshadow palettes, no one does it better than Urban Decay. Fans (and we) were devastated when the vegan-friendly brand announced it was discontinuing its original ‘Naked’ palette last year. However, a new 70s-inspired palette was released, and we knew it was love as soon as we laid eyes on it. With 12 stunning golden, amber, and brown shades to choose from – along with a mix of matte and shimmery shadows – it’s your one-stop shop to the ultimate honey-hued stare. Whether you opt to wear one color or blend a few to create a more striking look, your eyes will never go naked again.
The Mane Event
Miriam Quevedo ‘Platinum & Diamonds’ Hair Care
They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and that certainly rings true when it comes to these luxurious hair heroes from Miriam Quevedo. Containing actual diamond dust and platinum powder, as well as marine collagen and keratin peptides, it’s the only hair care range in the world that uses cutting-edge technology and ingredients to combat hair aging while simultaneously delivering volume and smoothness. Free from parabens, sulfates, and all the other usual nasties, they’re cruelty-free and made from clean, non-toxic ingredients. Cue the slow-motion hair flip.
The Effortless Eraser
Benefit ‘Boi-ing Cakeless Concealer’
A full-coverage concealer that covers dark circles, hides blemishes, and smooths skin with no cakiness? It might sound too good to be true, but thanks to Benefit’s clever concealer, you won’t need to worry about your makeup settling into fine lines, creasing, or cracking ever again. And thanks to its full-coverage yet lightweight formula, a little of the ‘Boi-ing Cakeless Concealer’ goes a long, long way.
The Helping Hand
Aesop ‘Reverence Aromatique Hand Balm’
You don’t need to head to the land down under to reap the beauty benefits of “the bush”. Teaming plant-based ingredients with laboratory-made formulas, Aesop brings together the powers of nature and science to make skin-loving products, including this non-greasy yet seriously hydrating hand balm. Inside each tube is a blend of deeply hydrating emollients and addictive aromatic notes to give your hands a hefty dose of TLC. You’ll find one in our desk drawers, our bags, our glove compartments, our travel kits…
The Wow Brow
Hourglass ‘Unrestricted Brows Collection’
When it comes to beautiful eyebrows, the rule is: the bigger, the better. With that in mind and to help you on your way to super browdom, Hourglass launched the ‘Unrestricted Brows’ collection, which promises to transform even the sparsest and patchiest of pairs. There’s a ‘Shaping Gel’ to keep hairs in place, a ‘Volumizing Fiber Gel’ to build volume, and a sculpting pencil that combines the benefits of a powder, pencil, and wax to effortlessly fill brows. Not to mention a super skinny ‘Micro Pencil’ that creates precise, hair-like strokes so there’s no risk of that colored-in look – no, thanks. Whether used together or individually, they’ll create a natural, full brow effect that gives Cara Delevingne a run for her money.
REN is one of the most pioneering beauty brands when it comes to doing good for your skin and the planet, and is about so much more than clean, pH-balanced skin. All of REN’s products are cruelty-free, formulated without harsh chemicals and synthetic ingredients, and packaged in a way that doesn’t pollute our planet. We’re talking shower gels made from post-consumer recycled plastic, and body cream bottles made with collected marine plastic. The brand has also partnered up with global initiatives that help clean up plastic waste around the world, and it has pledged to be 100 percent zero waste by 2021 – meaning all of its packaging will be recycled, recyclable, and reusable. This is beauty that gives back at its best.
The Super Scrub
La Mer ‘The Replenishing Oil Exfoliator’
La Mer brand founder and aerospace physicist Max Huber discovered the healing powers of the ocean whilst trying to heal burns he suffered after an accident. After hand-harvesting sea kelp – an extraordinary organism that can continuously regenerate itself – and fermenting it gently, he created the magical ‘Miracle Broth’ that lies at the heart of every La Mer product – this beautifying buffer included. Sea kelp fibers draw out impurities from pores, sugar crystals and sea salt gently slough away dead skin, and ‘Miracle Broth’ oils soften, smooth, and replenish. Sorry TLC, we do want scrubs, but only if it’s this one.
The Perfect Flush
NARS ‘The Multiple’
Nothing says youthful skin better than a flush of blush, which is why this cream-to-powder blush stick is one of our ultimate makeup must-haves. NARS nails it with this light-reflecting formula, which gives all skin tones a natural-looking pop of color for a sheer or high-impact look. One slick delivers the perfect hint of color, along with vitamin E and açai oil to ensure a second-skin finish and a soft, healthy glow. Even better? You can use it on your eyes and lips, too. Très cheek.
The Overnight Success
MZ Skin ‘Replenish & Restore Placenta & Stem Cell Night Recovery Mask’
High-tech beauty at its best, this rich night mask from MZ Skin combines groundbreaking science and innovative ingredients to boost skin whilst you sleep. Packed full of nutrient-rich placenta and photo stem cells, hyaluronic acid, and amino acids as well as vitamins A, E, and F, it boosts the production of collagen and elastin, protects against free radicals, and hydrates and firms. Not to mention the addition of white asparagus extract to detoxify and rejuvenate. Sleeping Beauty, eat your heart out.
The Styling Secret
What do all the best heads of hair in Hollywood have in common? Jen Atkin. She’s on the speed dial of almost every celebrity, including Chrissy Teigen, Hailey Bieber, and the Kardashian-Jenner klan. Needless to say, her Ouai hair care line is constantly selling out, and with good reason. Free from parabens, sulfates, and harsh chemicals, the collection consists of everything you need to get healthy, cool-girl hair. There’s a ‘Wave Spray’, ‘Treatment Masque’, ‘Soft Mousse’, and ‘Hair Oil’, along with a revolutionary dry shampoo foam and scalp scrub. There’s no fear of your hair smelling of sickly-sweet bubblegum, either – Atkin has used floral notes like jasmine and gardenia to scent her range.
The Sun Shield
Sun protection that prevents and treats dark spots, is packed full of anti-aging actives, protects against harmful UVA and UVB rays, and boosts collagen production? Sign us up. Sisley’s chic suncare collection features a broad-spectrum SPF50 and tinted sun-stick that imparts a natural, sun-kissed glow – all while delivering a big dose of good-for-you ingredients and antioxidants that you’d expect to find in a top-notch anti-aging cream. There. Now you know the contents of our beach bags.
The Budge-Proof Twofer
Huda Beauty ‘Life Liner’
If there’s one makeup product Huda Kattan can’t go without, it’s liquid liner. Not a day goes by when the queen of the cat-eye flick isn’t rocking her signature winged-liner look, so it only made sense that she created her own. But, in true Huda Beauty style, her revolutionary ‘Life Liner’ is far from the usual. A two-in-one liquid and pencil liner, it boasts a budge-proof formula high in molecular weight silicones and silicone resins that won’t budge for up to 48 hours. Whether you’re after the perfect feline flick or a smoky stare, this one’s a winner.
The Scent Shake-Up
Diptyque ‘‘Prêts-à-Parfumer’ Collection
Are you an all-over spritzer, a pulse-point sprayer, or a walk-through-a-cloud-of-perfume kind of person? Well, whichever one you are, it’s time to rethink how you apply your fragrance, thanks to luxury perfumery Diptyque. Offering three unique and innovative ways to wear scent, the ‘Prêts-à-Parfumer’ collection features a scent-infused bracelet, perfumed tattoo stickers, and a bird-shaped brooch that holds refillable perfumed discs. Fragrance has never been this fun.
The Thirst Quencher
Sunday Riley ‘Tidal’ Cream
The next best thing to giving skin a big glass of water, this thirst-quenching formula floods cells with moisture to plump and hydrate skin from within. So much more than your regular moisturizer, it’s brimming with not one, but two forms of hydrating hyaluronic acid (which holds 1,000x its weight in water) to lock in moisture for an impressive 24 hours. There are also papaya extracts and alpha-arbutin to gently slough away dead cells, retexturize, and resurface the skin while brightening dark spots and pigmentation. It’s not hard to see why ‘Tidal’ is making waves in the industry – pun intended.
The Lip Lover
Laneige ‘Lip Sleeping Mask’
Lip masks promise to do everything from soothing your lips to diminishing dryness and giving you a plumper pout. They also help your lipstick go on smoother, making them the perfect way to prime your mouth before makeup application. Our favorite? This lip lover from Laneige. A SoKo beauty staple, it’s loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, berry extracts, and exclusive ‘Moisture Wrap’ technology to load lips with moisture and active ingredients. So, skip the fillers, because this is the secret to a perfect pout.
The Diversity Champion
There’s no denying that the beauty world is more diverse than ever, with a growing number of brands catching on to the fact that 40 shades of beige no longer cuts it. And although Fenty Beauty wasn’t the first brand to launch with 40+ shades of foundation, it’s the one that put diversity on the map and started a conversation, redefining the term ‘inclusivity’ as we know it. Founder Rihanna wanted to cater to a wide variety of skin tones, and it’s clear she was onto something as the darkest shade of her foundation was the first to sell out. Aptly named the “Fenty Effect”, beauty brands are now either adding more shades to existing lines or launching with a wider variety of shades. And it’s about time.
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