Each year, beauty companies launch over 700 scents and more than 5,000 new products. A handful stand out either by their technology or creativity. Here is my top 10 list of the year’s most interesting beauty products. Definitely worth a second look if you missed any of them
1. Diorskin Star Foundation: To say that Dior has been innovating with makeup technology lately is an understatement. Month after month in 2014, the French luxury house unveiled one exciting launch after another. Some came and went so fast we didn’t get to truly appreciate the science and artistry behind them. Diorskin Star Foundation was one such launch. It didn’t get the proper attention it deserved.
Dubbed the first “brightening” foundation, promised instant illuminating and perfecting effects of a studio makeover; the lasting radiance of a brightening skincare treatment. And it delivered on these claims. The radiance it delivers on skin is remarkable. Pro makeup artist Nina Westbury swears by it. She literally glows with this foundation. It’s a weightless fluid that is long-wear, comfortable and illuminating. Definitely worth trying.
2. Dior Addict Fluid Sticks: Finally a high impact glossy lip colour that was literally weightless. This product was a true hybrid combining the bold colour of a long wear classic lipstick, the shine of a gloss and the comfort of a balm – all in a thin film. What was unique about this product is that the colour spheres were carried in water that evaporated when applied on lips. Most traditional lip products use waxes or oils. By using water, Dior’s scientists could create a truly weightless lip colour. Brilliant.
3. YSL Baby Doll Kiss and Blush: Cheek and blush hybrids are nothing new. Bobbi Brown and other artists have had them for years. But what YSL did that was special was create a whipped mousse texture the was ultra-comfortable to apply and blend. It left a soft matte finish with beautiful colour. Lloyd Simmonds, the brand’s creative director of makeup made the launch particularly fun by combining different shades for lips and cheeks. He created these edgy looks and encouraged beauty enthusiasts to play at home.
4. Shiseido Ultimune: This was a game changer in skincare and the very first product of many to come from Asia. The Japanese beauty brand delivered years of research in how a formula can help boost the skin’s own immunity level. Instead of trying to work directly on specific cells and layers in skin, Shiseido scientists found greater results by working with the skin’s natural defenses and repair mechanisms. It isn’t easy to understand. But give this product some time and you’ll see great results.
5. Calvin Klein REVEAL: New York Perfumer Bruno Jovanovic is a rising star in the world of master perfumers. After creating the beautiful Endless Euphoria this past spring and the delicious ck one red for her with watermelon and violet notes, Jovanovic set about creating a modern, minimal fragrance for a new generation of Calvin Klein fashion customers. He didn’t play it safe and that is what is exciting about this launch. In a world where so many fragrances smell the same, Bruno blended a sophisticated scent for her with an alluring raw salt accord. The scent becomes better and better over time. A modern classic. And very Calvin Klein.
6. Clinique Smart: American skincare brand Clinique took a big step forward in anti-aging products this year with SMART that boasted “lock and key” technology. What this means is that Clinique scientists discovered that damaged cells send out messages to the body. By identifying these messages, SMART is able to turn on only the ingredients your skin needs. It’s called customized skincare technology and it is the start of intelligent beauty formulas.
7. Givenchy Dahlia Divin: It was a little risky for a French luxury house to enlist an American singer-songwriter for a fragrance launch. But it turned out to be a global smash. Alicia Keys charmed journalists in New York and appealed to women around the world. This elegant floral really focused on quality ingredients and classic fragrance composition. No expenses were spared and you can smell it. Very well done.
8. Clarins Super Restorative Day (new formula): What I love about French brand Clarins is the company is constantly working to improve its formulas. When they make a big discovery, they find a way to incorporate it into you favourite products without changing the texture. It was research into 50+ menopausal skin that led to a new plant active, harungana, that works on hormones in the skin. Hormonal changes that occur after the age of 50 are a major cause of the acceleration of this skin aging process. This plant ingredient actually boosts collagen synthesis. A good product just got even better.
9. Lancome Grandiose Mascara: Sure, it took a little practice to get the hang of using this new mascara. But once you mastered the technique, the results were striking. This mascara actually creates dramatically winged lashes. This in turn opens up the eye and makes you look more alert. It’s a nice addition to a great lineup of Lancome mascara.
10. Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss: It’s a given that Chanel would create a gloss with beautiful colour and good staying power. But we loved the “click” sound you get when popping the gloss open or closed. The sleek black packaging and gold base make it a chic beauty accessory. A status gloss for sure.