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THE BEAUTY BEST 2018: BEAUTY OF THE YEAR

The very best products and brands of the year? From the brand championing diversity to the company you can expect to see everywhere in 2019, as 2018 draws to a close, it’s time to share the beauty products with you that have truly impressed us over the past year…

BEST NEW BRAND

As you’ll be aware, India Knight only needs to mention a beauty product in passing for it to sell out completely. So when she dedicated one of her October columns to a new Irish beauty brand, our interest was piqued. And Wild & Precious are a company you should definitely believe the hype about. Ethical, organic, and important, fairly priced – “you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy products made using the highest possible quality of ingredients,” explain their founders. And the products? A pleasure to use. The current collection includes everything from facial oil and lip balm to toothpowder and soap nuts, a natural detergent. Simple, ethical, effective. You don’t need to do crazy, complicated things to be brilliant – as Wild & Precious proves. SHOP HERE.

BEST HIGH STREET BEAUTY

And Other Stories‘ beauty line has never, ever felt like a token addition to its fashion collection. The brand’s beauty products actually seem to be getting better every year too. Their ‘luxury’ line is just beautifully designed and packaged – the gold-encased lipsticks are just lovely, and we can’t get enough of the scented candles, which are actually a bit of a bargain. The latest addition to the collection is a haircare line, created in partnership with LA-based hair stylist Kylee Heath. Excellent quality products that really work, and that sleek packaging’s definitely going to look delectable on your bathroom shelves. SHOP HERE

BEST BEAUTY CAMPAIGN

A body positive brand that feels genuine, looks sexy and makes bodies of all shapes and sizes seem like the norm? Meet Isle of Paradise. Founded by tan expert Jules von Hep, and launched just this year, Isle of Paradise offer ‘Colour Correcting Self Tan for everyBODY’. From the brand’s Insta to its campaign pics, the imagery never feels token – or like Isle of Paradise uses models of all sizes to gain praise. There’s a nonchalance about this – women ARE all these different shapes and sizes, so WHY would you only show one kind of girl? So, so refreshing. More of this in 2019, please. SHOP HERE.

BEST BEAUTY TECH

A high tech facial in 90 seconds? Foreo’s UFO device does just that – using hyper-infusion, LED light therapy and t-sonic pulsations – to deliver a salon quality experience in under two minutes. Don’t believe the hype? Read the reviews. Yep, it’s really that good. SHOP NOW.

BIG IN 2019

When Disciple Skincare launched on Cult Beauty back in June, it was basically an overnight sell-out. Proof that the CB team know their stuff, but also that the ethos behind Disciple really resonates for women today. Did you know that over 75% of skin issues are caused by stress? So its perhaps no surprise that the brand was actually founded by a psychotherapist. Disciple’s products employ adaptogen-rich formulas which help body and mind cope with stress, while tackling surface-level issues. The latest launch? A CBD-infused Miracle Oil, which helps improve sleep, tackle anxiety and relieve pain. We can’t wait to see what lies ahead for Disciple Skincare in 2019. SHOP HERE.

BEST LIMITED EDITION LAUNCH

This is the limited edition product you really should believe the hype about. Lisa Eldridge isn’t the first makeup artist – or YouTuber – to launch her own product line, but we’ve not been so impressed in quite some time. The True Velvet Lipstick collection includes just three colours – all hues of red – and they’re just lovely. Intense, creamy colour and a long-lasting formula that feels comfortable too – you can expect these to last through coffee, cocktails and kisses from AM to PM. The lipstick itself actually looks like velvet – it’s a little bit magical, really. They’re currently completely sold out, but we hear whispers of a restock very soon. SHOP HERE.

BEST IN DIVERSITY

“Some are finding their shade of foundation for the first time, getting emotional at the counter. That’s something I will never get over.” Can a single brand cause an industry-wide shake-up? Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty has proved it can. “Beauty for All” is the brand’s motto – and the ‘Fenty effect’ has been felt far and wide. Since Fenty Beauty launched, the industry has seen a far-reaching push for more diverse products. Of course, it should have happened decades ago, and the very idea that some brands would just not make products for your skin colour is quite frankly ridiculous and embarrassing. Although many brands may be offering a more diverse spectrum of products, their ads still need to follow suit and really represent true diversity. Fenty Beauty is still the ONLY big brand that truly, truly represents. SHOP HERE.

BEST BEAUTY BRAND

The best business ideas? The simplest concepts are always, always the best – and Beautypie really are just getting better and better. The company skips the spend on marketing/packaging/retailer costs to bring you the best products at the best price – it really makes every other beauty brand look a little silly. Of course, serial entrepreneur Marcia Kilgore was just the woman to launch such a seriously disruptive concept, and 2018 has proved another exciting year for the brand with new products popping up with a regularity to upset bank managers across the country. Luxury makeup and high performance skincare from world-leading suppliers at members-only prices have most recently been joined by perfume and scented candles, created by fragrance experts. Predictably, it’s all very, very good. Sign up, and expect to start eulogising about Beautypie to everyone you know. SHOP HERE.

BEST IN SUSTAINABILITY

Forget the love-it-or-hate-it aroma emanating from Lush shopfronts across the country, you need to go inside a store this year! The brand is best known for its sparkly bath bombs and perky shop assistants, but it’s the new makeup collection that’s marked Lush out as a gamechanger in the beauty industry, setting a new standard for sustainability. You might be picking up shopping in canvas bags and refusing throwaway drinks straws, but your makeup collection? Plastic packaging, right? Packaged in wax and cardboard, Lush’s new cosmetics products are 100% plastic-free. The wax holders and cardboard boxes do take a little getting used to, but this is a genuinely bold, exceptionally smart move from Lush. SHOP HERE.

BEST PACKAGING

Austin Austin‘s monochrome packaging has become iconic almost overnight. Founded by a father-daughter duo based in East Anglia, the brand launched just over a year ago. “We want every bottle of Austin Austin to be a canvas for artwork on the bathroom shelf,” they explain – and their current collection features the bold brushstrokes of artist Christian Newby. The illustrations seem to fuse movement and stillness, happiness and a little sadness. The products themselves are lovely too, of course, but it’s the particular idea of fusing art and beauty that we just love. The latest convert? The hallowed beauty halls of Liberty London, of course! SHOP HERE.

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