Each month, the Stylist beauty team champion the latest product launches that have captured our attention and earned a solid place in our desk drawers and bathrooms.
Dozens of exciting, innovative and long-awaited products are sent to our office daily. It’s one of the best things about our jobs: getting key insights into what’s coming out before everyone else, but mostly we like to take a minute and just play with it all.
These are the hero products that have stood out to us among everything else, been trialled and tested, and become staples in our beauty routines. From high-tech hair products, to the latest buzzworthy skincare ingredient or even just a really cool new nail colour, scroll on for our newly discovered beauty gems.
L’Oreal Botanicals Arnica Repairing Conditioner
“A recent holiday involving saltwater and intense heat (dreamy) left my hair feeling slightly worse for wear (not so dreamy),” says beauty writer, Hanna Ibraheem. “But L’Oreal Botanicals Arnica Repairing Conditioner has come to my rescue. Its star ingredient, arnica flower extract, leaves my hair feeling softer and nourishes my dry split ends. Plus, all of the packaging – minus the caps – is 100% recyclable.”
Indeed Labs noAcid Pads
“I love an acid-soaked pad, but can’t help feeling a little sorry for my skin after swiping for seven days straight. So I’ve started alternating my heavy-duty AHA ones with Indeed Labs’ noAcid Pads,” explains beauty director Shannon Peter. “They come drenched in gentle ingredients such as probiotics and neurobiox, which works a bit like glycolic acid to soften rough skin – just without any of the potential irritation. The dream.”
Maybelline The City Mini Palette in Rooftop Bronzes
“One of my favourite beauty looks? An easy bronze eye,” says beauty editor Lucy Partington. “Maybelline’s The City Mini Palette in Rooftop Bronzes contains shimmery and matte shades that can be worn alone over the lid, or combined for effortless drama. The pigment payoff is impressive (I apply a Nars eyeshadow primer to help the colour last all day) and every shade shows up on darker skin tones. It’s my new go-to palette.”
Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara
“I generally avoid waterproof mascaras, which tend to make my fine lashes shrink up and harden (I prefer them feather-light and long),” explains Ava Welsing-Kitcher, Stylist’s junior beauty writer. “But the waterproof version of Essence’s cult Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara has changed my mind. The formula lengthens and fans lashes from the roots, and doesn’t transfer onto lids throughout the day. And I’m sorry, but £3?!”
LastSwab Beauty Krill Peach Re-Usable Cotton Bud
“I see your bamboo-stemmed cotton buds and raise you the brilliantly-named LastSwab,” says beauty director Shannon Peter. “I first spotted it in make-up artist Katie Jane Hughes’ kit, and it mopped up eyeshadow fallout so brilliantly, I pre-ordered one myself.
“Use it at least 1,000 times – it’s easy to clean in soapy water – to release 1,000 fewer cotton buds into the world. Then just recycle it with other plastics. Genius.”
Victoria Beckham Beauty Satin Kajal Liner
“I’ve spent years looking for the perfect eyeliner – and by some miracle, Victoria Beckham has created it,” says beauty editor Lucy Partington.
“Her Satin Kajal Liner is a true revelation: blacker than black with a nib soft and precise enough to get close to my lash line without tearing at skin. And it blends out into an effortless smoky eye. As if I couldn’t love VB more than I already did. "
Kalmar Calm Soothing Body Cream
“I can be rubbish about taking the time to moisturise my body (I’m only human, guys),” admits beauty writer Hanna Ibraheem. “But ever since Kalmar’s Calm Soothing Body Cream landed on my desk, I’ve been making an effort to use it after showering.
“It boasts 10 comforting scents, including bergamot, amber and musk, and using it has become an act of self-care for me. I love it.”
Herbivore Botanicals Amethyst Roller
“Crystal rollers are everywhere, but a lot of us are unsure whether they actually do anything,” says junior beauty writer Ava Welsing-Kitcher. “Herbivore Botanicals’ Amethyst edition is the sturdiest I’ve found (trust me, dropping a lump of rock on your foot isn’t fun) and it truly irons out my puffiness and tension.
“I can hear the gentle crunch as it massages my jawline, and it really pushes my serum into my skin. Plus amethysts are known for their ability to bring peace and reduce anxiety, making it perfect for my stressed-out skin and mind.”
Darphin Intral Redness Relief Soothing Serum
In honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Darphin is donating 20% of all sales of its Intral Redness Relief Soothing Serum to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Developed for sensitive skin, it quickly works to soothe any signs of redness or irritation. Plus, a blend of hawthorn, peony and chamomile help protect skin against environmental damage. Stockpile it.
May Lindstrom Jasmine Garden Botanical Face Mist
“While not exactly a new launch, I’ve just been introduced to the wonderful world of May Lindstrom and I’m intoxicated,” says junior beauty writer Ava Welsing-Kitcher. “The Jasmine Garden Botanical Face Mist combines colloidal silver (antibacterial and heals skin) and witch hazel with the most uplifting blend of rose and ylang ylang, and my morning routine wouldn’t be complete without a couple of spritzes.
“It works exceptionally before masks and serums to increase absorption – trust me, it makes such a difference.”
& Other Stories Avant-Garde Air Hand Soap
“Call me basic, but there’s something insanely satisfying about plonking a fancy bottle of hand wash and lotion next to your sink,” says beauty director Shannon Peter.
“Right now, I’m using & Other Stories new Avant-Garde Air collection. It’s the colour of orange squash, so already pretty joy-inducing, but it also smells heavenly – like peaches sprinkled with brown sugar and drenched in vanilla cream. Dreamy.”
Jo Malone Poppy and Barley Cologne
We’ve been passing a bottle of Jo Malone’s new Poppy and Barley Cologne back and forth across the Stylist beauty desk for weeks now. It’s one of those rare breed fragrances that satiates everyone’s fragrance tastes. Yes it’s got the light, velvetiness of a floral (there’s poppy, rose and violet in there) but the inclusion of barley gives it a hefty creaminess that we just can’t. Stop. Sniffing.
Pat McGrath Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation
It’s been a long time since I felt this way about a foundation. I’ve been using the same one for about two years now (L’Oreal Paris Infallible Pro Glow, £11.99) but Pat McGrath’s long awaited Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation immediately knocked it off the top spit. I know it’s six times the price, but its dewy finish combined with the blendable, buildable, seriously lightweight formula that feels like silk on skin, along with the fact it lasts all day make it worth the hefty price tag – I promise. Available in 36 shades across five different shade levels, this little bottle of magic is genuinely the real deal.
BaByliss 9000 Cordless Straightener
Ever found yourself frantically searching for a spare plug adaptor in your hotel room, or pining for a plug point in a festival tent? BaByliss’s latest innovation is the answer. The BaByliss 9000 is a full-sized cordless straightener – and, unlike most wireless products we’ve seen in the past, it doesn’t compromise on performance. When I tried it, it heated up in seconds (there are three temperatures to choose from) and the ‘floating’ ceramic plates glided across my hair, leaving it with a silky, glossy sheen. I don’t think I can go back to tangled wires now.
Sleek Flash Foil Eye Paint in IDGAF
“The discussion about inclusive beauty tends to revolve around base products like foundations – but eyeshadows can be a problem, too,” says beauty writer Hanna Ibraheem. “All too often, I’ve excitedly opened a new eyeshadow palette, only to find more than half the shades don’t show up against my skin. But that’s something I’ve never encountered with Sleek MakeUp.
“Since it launched, the brand has built a reputation for creating products that consider everyone – and its Flash Foil Eye Paints are no different. The deceptively small tubes pack a mighty punch; one tiny dot blends into a striking metal finish that covers the entire eyelid. There are five shades to choose from – my favourite is IDGAF, an orange copper – and every shade looks great against all skin tones.”
Fenty Beauty Pro Kiss'r Luscious Lip Balm
“I was beginning to think that good (i.e. non-sticky, nice-tasting and legitimately moisturising) lip balm was merely the stuff of legends when I came across this, by Fenty Beauty,” says beauty director Shannon Peter.
“A mixture of shea and mango butters, it does an excellent job of softening the lips without making them feel like they’re welded together with peanut butter, my biggest lip balm bugbear. Plus, it tastes a little like tinned peaches and cream. It’s the real deal.”
NYX Professional Makeup Bare With Me Hydrating Jelly Primer
“A good primer is, surprisingly, hard to find – especially when you’re as fussy as I am,” admits Lucy Partington, beauty editor. “I like something without silicones, that absorbs into my skin – instead of just sitting on top of it – and that actually works to prolong the life of make-up.”
“NYX’s (slightly weird) jelly formula ticks all those boxes while cooling (perfect in this weather) and soothing my skin, thanks to the inclusion of aloe vera. The water-based formula genuinely hydrates and makes my skin glow while smoothing it out. I wholeheartedly approve.”
Olaplex No. 6 Bond Smoother
“My fine curly hair doesn’t cope with bleach very well, but since using Olaplex’s entire line (shampoo, conditioner, mask), it’s been completely transformed,” says Ava Welsing-Kitcher, junior beauty writer. “The No 6. concentrated leave-in cream is my hero, seeking out and repairing broken bonds in the hair and sealing them to avoid breakage and dryness.
“It’s been two weeks, and I’ve received so many compliments on the condition and length of my hair; it seems as though my ends have stopped breaking off thanks to the extra protection. Used best with the complete Olaplex range but also alone, this miracle cream has completely saved my strands and has earned a permanent place in my bathroom.”
Team pick: Medik8 CSA Philosophy Kit
Last year, we wrote about the three ingredients that have been scientifically proven to make a genuine difference in how skin looks and ages. That trio has long been championed dermatologists and experts, and skincare brand Medik8 (a beauty team favourite), have made getting great skin easier than ever with these clever kits. With four to choose from, including one for the eye area, each comes with Vitamin C, SPF, Vitamin A and a cleanser to boot. The strengths of Vitamin C and Vitamin A varies in each kit, meaning there’s something to suit everybody no matter whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner. We highly recommend.
Max Factor Lash Revival Mascara
“For me, a mascara tube is the most transformative product in my make-up bag – in fact, I look a bit like an egg wihthout one,” says beauty writer Hanna Ibraheem. “After working my way through many variations over the years, budget mascaras will always be my favourite – which is why I was excited to come across Max Factor’s latest lash innovation.
“As well as a clever curvy brush that combs smoothly through lashes (goodbye, clumps), the formula has been infused with bamboo extract to make lashes stronger. Win, win.”
Physicians Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer in Sunkissed
“I have a confession to make: I’ve been a beauty journalist for seven years and, until now, have avoided bronzer because I assumed it wouldn’t suit me,” admits Lucy Partington, beauty editor. “However, I’d heard good things about Physicians Formula – a US drugstore brand that’s just launched here – and its bestselling butter bronzer, and I wanted in (mostly because it has the most tropical coconut scent).”
“Fast forward three weeks and I’ve used it every day. I lightly dust the creamy powder formula along my cheekbones, down my jaw and across my forehead with this tapered powder brush and it adds the slightest bit of warmth to my otherwise pale face. I’m a total convert.”
These tips originally appeared in Stylist’s weekly Stylist Loves Beauty email. Subscribe for more insider beauty recommendations direct to your inbox
Main image: Courtesy of brands