It’s here. The results of six months of trialling, testing, spritzing and smearing. More new beauty products are launched now on a daily basis than ever before. Over the past year, we’ve seen a 9.75% increase in the number of new formulas launched, which means it’s increasingly hard to really find out the best products in the market. This is why we have created our brand new awards – Best Beauty by Stylist – our pick of the 112 best beauty products in the world.
We wanted to provide you with the ultimate list of the most effective skincare, must-have make-up, ideal hair beautifying products, and finest fragrances that are worth your precious time and hard-earned money. So, in what was the most efficient, caffeine-fuelled, spreadsheet-driven operation, we locked ourselves away in a room at Stylist Towers and started the process of picking between 3,751 products to find the best in each category. The Stylist team created the first shortlist, and then sent 582 products to 50 of the industry’s most esteemed experts and 500 members of Stylist’s new Beauty Council to be put through a series of rigorous trials. Then we waited.
When the results came back on 18 July, we were able to see the clear winners. The full 112 winners can be found at stylist.co.uk/best-beauty. But that wasn’t enough. From our 112 winners we also wanted to identify the crème de la crème of the beauty world. The 10 products that should be in every woman’s bathroom cabinet. So from those 112 winners the Stylist team selected 10 Beauty Heroes. If you only splurge on one beauty buy, make it one of these.
Think of this as your ultimate beauty shopping list...
Joanna McGarry, Stylist’s associate editor (beauty) says: “I first discovered this iconic fragrance as a giddy schoolgirl 20 years ago and it still has a special place on my dressing table. Light and floral, but never cloying, L’Eau D’Issey leaves behind a crisp, woody trail that takes me irresistibly back to the first feelings of young love. And yet, it also never seems to feel dated – it has that rare knack of managing to smell every bit as fresh and modern today as it did then.”
Issey Miyake L’eau D’Issey, £70, stylist.co.uk/best-beauty
Best body product
Shannon Peter, Stylist’s beauty writer, chose this as her winner: “I never waste time with flimsy body lotions – for longlasting hydration absolutely nothing can surpass the effect of this decadent body oil. The potent blend of almond and frankincense oils suddenly transports me to a luxurious Moroccan hamman, all while seeping into my skin and draping it all over with an expensive-looking sheen. I never go bare-legged without it.”
Decleor Nourishing Rich Body Oil, £43, stylist.co.uk/best-beauty
Samantha Silver, Stylist’s beauty editor, is hooked on this formula. “So many beauty products land on my desk that, in truth, I don’t really need to buy any. Yet, when my first bottle of this was down to the dregs, I instantly dropped £30 on another. Then another. I found my foundation life partner and nothing else would do when it came to turning my grey, sleep-deprived pallor into supermodel skin. It does what it says on the tin; magic.”
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation, £29.50, stylist.co.uk/best-beauty
Best blushGiselle La Pompe-Moore, Stylist’s beauty coordinator says: “When the 3pm office slump makes me look drained, I turn to this multitasking balmy cream blush. The formula feels feathery light but when patted on my lips and cheeks, the pop of colour brightens my face, and mood. And so universally flattering is the shade, it suits the rest of the team too.”Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge for Lips & Cheeks in Rose, £20, stylist.co.uk/best-beauty
Best nail product
Giselle La Pompe-Moore has found her perfect polish. “Tired of spending hours painting my nails for them to chip in a day, I’d lost faith in polishes entirely. Then I discovered this keratinrich polish – I’ve since thrown out all my other polishes. With smoothing silk fibres, two coats create the shiniest, most longlasting mani I’ve ever done.”
Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Polish, £18, stylist.co.uk/best-beauty
Best lip product
Joanna McGarry is sold on Stila’s liquid lipstick. “Call off the search. This liquid lipstick is the be all and end all of budge-proof, high-impact colour. Red lipstick is part of my uniform – I have a drawer stashed with around 70 – and this is easily the most vivid colour I’ve ever encountered. It’s the Ferrari of red lipstick; I bring it out when I want to dial the glamour up to level 10.”
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Bacca, £16, stylist.co.uk/best-beauty
Samantha Silver says: “When people learn what I do for a living, their first question is, ‘What’s the best mascara?’ Well, here it is. One swipe of the fine comb wand leaves lashes coated in the inkiest black to rival false lashes. No clumping. No smudging. Proof you don’t need to spend a lot of money on mascara.”
Max Factor Masterpiece Glamour Extensions Mascara, £10.99, stylist.co.uk/best-beauty
Joanna McGarry can’t do without this serum. “I am so wedded to the complexion-brightening, pore-refining power of this ground-breaking serum, I have actual nightmares about its discontinuation. Its botanical blend is so hydrating, I’ve done away with moisturiser. My skin has never looked more alive.”
Elizabeth Arden Superstart Skin Renewal Booster, £45, stylist.co.uk/best-beauty
Best hair product
Shannon Peter says: “Forget crispy ringlets, this life-changing mousse contains malleable proteins that strengthen every curl, so no matter how much I use, it never stiffens or tangles. It goes everywhere with me.”
Kérastase Mousse Curl Ideal, £20.90, stylist.co.uk/best-beauty
Best hair tool
Samantha Silver swears by ghds: “When my student loan first hit my bank account, I didn’t buy textbooks or food: I bought ghds. The Bose of the hair world, ghd’s Platinum Styler is untouchable for smoothing out curls or adding full-bodied waves. Plus, the updated ceramic irons leave a shine like no other. Nothing comes close.”
ghd Platinum Styler, £165, stylist.co.uk/best-beauty