We round up the best December skincare, make-up and wellbeing product launches that are worth buying.
We know: we’ve only just passed the threshold of 2021 and we’re already looking back at last year. However, among the countless beauty advent calendars and gift sets, the month of December saw impressive innovations in skincare, make-up, perfume and body care.
In between festive Zoom calls and eating mince pies (seems like a distant memory now, doesn’t it?), the Stylist beauty team took it upon themselves to test out the latest beauty launches to see what was worth spending your Christmas vouchers on.
Here, we round up our favourite new products that have become permanent fixtures in our current beauty routines.
Shannon Peter, beauty director
The highlighting serum hybrid
“I love the look of highlighter, but so many traditional formulas rely on mica or pearlescent pigments, which can often leave a silvery or greyish tint. That’s why I’m obsessed with Glow Recipe’s new serum. It highlights the skin as it hydrates, using hyaluronic acid (of course) and brightening vitamin C extracted from watermelons. It manages to strobe the skin without looking like anything other than genuine skin shine. I use mine on its own, below make-up and on top of it.”
The joy-inducing fragrance
“Byredo is known for its minimal monochromatic aesthetic, but in a colourful departure from the norm it’s added a splash of neon to its limited edition versions of Lil Fleur. I first discovered this vibrant, comforting scent back in June when searching for a perfume fit for this new normal and its joy-inducing powers seem to know no bounds. And as for this bright orange cap: mark my words, this will be a future collector’s item.”
The time-saving face mask
“The shower has been my sanctuary this year, which is why my tub is lined with hardworking products to maximise the time I spend in there. For the body, I can’t get enough of Glossier’s exfoliating bar, but for the face? Well, Heath’s new Shower Mask has made a fair few shower cameos this month. Designed to work in less than five minutes (just long enough to wash your hair), it contains five fruit-based AHAs that dissolve dead skin cells, allowing the brighter, fresher cells a bit of air time. It’s actually designed for men, but there’s no reason women can’t use it too.”
Shop Heath Shower Mask at Selfridges, £16
Lucy Partington, beauty editor
The quick-absorbing body cream
“Confession time: despite paying very good attention to the skincare I use on my face, I rarely pay the same attention to the skin on my body – but occasionally a new product comes along that I want to use. The latest thing to do that? Dr Sam’s Flawless Body Cream. I’m a huge fan of her existing skincare line so I knew I’d love her first foray into body products. Formulated with bakuchiol and lactic acid as well as shea butter and squalene, it’s intensely moisturising. It works to smooth and hydrate dry, neglected skin. It absorbs really quickly, and it doesn’t leave a sticky or greasy residue either. Instead my skin just feels the softest and happiest it has been for a long time.”
The beginners vitamin C serum
“Vitamin C is my go-to antioxidant. I love it for its brightening and protective properties and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t use it. And while I have my favourites, I’m always on the lookout for new, affordable ones to try. I’ve been using Beauty Pie’s Superdose C C-Suite Rapid Action Power Brightener for a few weeks now and it’s fast become a firm favourite. It has one of the most water-like textures that I’ve ever tried in a serum like this, and alongside vitamin C it has tranexamic acid which helps to reduce the appearance of pigmentation and ferulic acid, which boosts the power of antioxidants. Worth signing up to Beauty Pie just for this product alone if you ask me.”
Shop Beauty Pie Superdose C C-Suite Rapid Action Power Brightener at Beauty Pie, £12.48 for members or £80 for non-members
The prebiotic face mist
“I’m sure we’re all well aware that I love a face mist; they’ve become an integral part of my daily routine now and I genuinely think I’d feel lost without using one. Sunday Riley’s Pink Drink is the one I’m currently making my way through. It’s just launched here in the UK and I’m so glad it has. Packed with peptides to help firm the skin, it’s also formulated with prebiotics to help balance the skin’s natural microbiome. It also has a satisfyingly fine spritz (I’m easily pleased, I know) but I just wish the bottle was slightly bigger so I didn’t use it up quite so quickly.”
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Hanna Ibraheem, senior beauty writer
The blemish-busting spot patches
“I know, the name sounds a bit… gross but these spot patches are incredible. I normally have quite clear skin but between staying indoors a lot more and wearing masks (hello, maskne), I’ve gotten a lot of breakouts this year. While its original cult spot stickers are made to tackle blemishes in their early stages, this new iteration is for those spots that are a bit more developed. Just like the rest of ZitSticka’s offering, it’s still a hydrocolloid patch but these ones are also infused with niacinamide, salicylic acid, vitamin C and tea tree oil to draw out the, well, ‘goo’ and heal your skin faster. Also, these handy spot stickers are great at stopping you from picking at them.”
Shop ZitSticka Goo Getter at ZitSticka, £18
The glow-inducing miracle bottle
“Charlotte Tilbury has finally extended the shade offering of its iconic Hollywood Flawless Filter and I couldn’t be happier about it. This bottle can be worn in three ways: on its own for glowing skin, mixed with foundation for a touch of radiance or as a highlighter. While working from home, I’ve been using it on its own for a healthier-looking complexion on Zoom calls. It also has a subtle tint, which I find helps to even out my hyperpigmentation without feeling heavy on my face. I’m a big fan of this.”
The lipstick that helps you look and do good
“Not only does HIGHR Collective offer a range of gorgeous lipsticks suited to all skintones, this brand takes huge steps for sustainability, too. Its metal packaging is 100% recycled, it uses vegetable ink on its boxes, the lipsticks are formulated using 100% solar energy and it’s free of microplastics and silicones. Plus, it works hard to negate carbon emissions. By purchasing a lipstick, you’re actually saving 5.8lbs of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. My favourite shade is Mercy (pictured above), a pretty everyday rosebud pink that leaves my complexion looking warmer.”
Main image: courtesy of brands