A BEAUTIFUL YEAR
We preened, plucked and polished; here are some of our favourite products of 2012
We had the Jubilee. We had the Olympics. It’s been quite a year, and not least on the beauty front. With wintry shopping mayhem on the streets outside, what better time to curl up and reflect on some of the things that have made us happy, and red-hot gorgeous, in 2012.
PERRICONE MD NO CONCEALER CONCEALER (£37, at liberty.co.uk) has SPF 35, works for everyone, and covers anything. Elsewhere, BARE MINERALS SPF 20 CORRECTING CONCEALER (£21, at selfridges.com) hides blemishes while brightening skin. The primer we fell for was BY TERRY HYALURONIC-HYDRA PRIMER (£41, at uk.spacenk.com), which moisturises at the same time as filling creases and reflecting light. And BOBBI BROWN BB SPF 35 CREAM (£28; bobbibrown.co.uk) diminishes wrinkles while providing flattering coverage. When it comes to foundation, there are three undisputed heroes: the wildly light GIORGIO ARMANI MAESTRO FUSION (£36, at selfridges.com), YVES SAINT LAURENT ’s illuminating and lovely TOUCHE ÉCLAT (£25.20, at houseoffraser.co.uk), and DIORSKIN NUDE (£27.90, at johnlewis. com), which is hydrating and invisible.
Three new brands, only just becoming widely known in the UK, impressed: SUNDAY RILEY (at cultbeauty.co.uk), HOURGLASS (especially its ILLUME CRÈME-TO-POWDER BRONZER DUO , £40, at uk.spacenk.com), and KEVYN AUCOIN VOLUME MASCARA (£20, at uk.spacenk. com). The most exciting new range came from Aerin Lauder, granddaughter of Estée, who launched AERIN , a range of beautifully packaged, often multipurpose items designed to form a capsule collection; our pick was her HOLIDAY STYLE PALETTE (£45, at esteelauder.co.uk), with its foolproof eyeshadows and highlighter. Our high street favourite is MAYBELLINE EXPRESSION COLOR TATTOO 24HR CREAM GEL EYESHADOW (£4.99, at boots.com), which stayed in place come rain, shine or party. A special commendation must go to MAC , whose EXTENDED PLAY LASH MASCARA (£14; maccosmetics.co.uk) curled, lifted and defined, and the fantastic line of ROUGE ALLURE LIPSTICKS from CHANEL (£25, at houseoffraser.co.uk): possibly the most flattering of intensely coloured lipsticks. And connoisseurs finished almost any look with the finely milled, stick-it-in-place-withoutleaving-a-trace SMASHBOX PHOTO SET FINISHING POWDER (£18; smashbox.co.uk).
The hits of the year were the hydrating and toning CLARINS BLUE ORCHID FACE TREATMENT OIL (£29; clarins.co.uk) and SISLEY ’s SISLEŸA ANTI-AGEING CONCENTRATE FIRMING BODY CARE (£238.50, at johnlewis.com), which more than fulfilled its promises. The best new creams were the YSL FOREVER YOUTH LIBERATOR range (at johnlewis.com) and cult Hungarian brand O M O R O V I C Z A ’s INTENSIVE HYDRA-LIFTING CREAM (£130; omorovicza.com). Underneath the creams, of course, come serums. No7 LIFT & LUMINATE (£23, at boots.com) targeted age spots, and EPICUREN launched its ULTIMA PEPTIDE MAXIMUM PEPTIDE COMPLEX , which Anne Hathaway credits for her youthful looks (epicuren.com). L’ORÉAL REVITALIFT LASER RENEW SUPER SERUM (£14.99, at superdrug.com) was the best in terms of performance per pound spent. For the eyes, CLINIQUE EVEN BETTER EYES
Anne Hathaway credits Epicuren Ultimate Peptide Complex for her youthful looks
(£28; clinique.co.uk) rubbed away dark circles, and OLAY REGENERIST EYE LIFTING SERUM (£14.63, at boots.com) held its crown as the value choice.
The CLARISONIC MIA 2 (£109.99, at amazon.co.uk) is the vibrating brush that for the first time brings gentle, salon-quality cleansing to your home. For hair, the PHILIP KINGSLEY RADIAL BRUSH (£23.20; philipkingsley.co.uk) smoothed gently, while the TANGLE TEEZER AQUA SPLASH BRUSH (£11.25, at beautybay.com) wins the prize for detangling wet locks.
Notting Hill-based super-facialist UNA BRENNAN continues to hold top spot for a facial that holds back time and clears the complexion (020 7313 9835). Elsewhere, CLARE PETERS at NEVILLE HAIR & BEAUTY wields tools such as radio frequency and magnetic pulse fields for hi-tech facial magic (nevillehairandbeauty.net). The most recent, most exciting opening was GRACE BELGRAVIA , a women’s-only members’ club, health club, spa and place to lay down your troubles and restore your soul (while enjoying London’s best pedicure and a glass of champagne). The body treatment that stood head and shoulders above the others was GRACE’S BLISSFUL DEEP RELAXATION MASSAGE , a top-to-toe experience that more than lived up to its name ( gracebelgravia.com).
This year we found escapism in the summery scent of TOM FORD ’s NEROLI PORTOFINO EAU FRAICHE BODY SPLASH (£85, at debenhams.com). We also love the citrus day fragrance TERRE D’IRIS by MILLER HARRIS (from £62; millerharris.com), and the funky, uplifting florals of DOT by MARC JACOBS (from £37, at boots.com). In the evenings, we reached either for the jasmine and sandalwood of HUGO BOSS NUIT (£47, at harrods.com), or the sensual scent of CHANEL COCO NOIR (from £75, at selfridges.com). A few lesser-known brands also caught our noses: the smoky and seductive PRECIOUS ONE (from £55; precious-london.com), and the vetiver and cassia blend in CASTAÑA by CLOON KEEN ATELIER (£65, at lessenteurs.com). What’s more, everyone fell for us while we wore them.
Clockwise from below left: YSL Forever Youth Liberator Serum; Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil; Tom Ford Neroli Portofino Eau Fraiche Body Splash; Clinique Even Better Eyes; Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick