Best beauty product of 2018 –‘It makes skin look airbrushed and candlelit’
Charlotte Tilbury takes the lead with her Hollywood Flawless Filter, followed by Dyson's styler and a Penneys colab
Lisa Eldridge True Velvet Lipstick Collection (from £26 at lisaeldridge.com)
Each year, I comb back through 12 months of beauty releases, and talk to readers, make-up artists and editors to choose the twenty best products of the year. It seems that each time, 20 excellent products or new ranges get easier to find. Advances in cosmetic science and increasing numbers of new, high-quality brands make it difficult to narrow the list down to just 20; there are so many to choose from. However, some have stood above the rest, due to massive popularity and high sales, representing something different, or simply keeping all of their promises. Here are The Irish Times 20 best beauty releases of 2018:
Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter
€40 at Brown Thomas
Flawless Filter crashed onto the market with such success this year that it sold out and the brand couldn’t keep it in stock. Not quite a foundation and not quite just a highlighter, Flawless Filter gives the skin a glowing veil of colour and very slight coverage. Apply it under make up, or mix it in with your foundation, but the effect is somehow both airbrushed and candlelit.
Nars Radiant Longwear Foundation
€45 at Brown Thomas
This year saw several excellent foundation releases, but this one, released early in the year, is still one of the best. NARS have taken the glowing radiance, long-wear, impressive shade range and impeccable coverage of their bestselling favourite Radiant Creamy Concealer, and created a foundation that is difficult to top.
Dyson Airwrap Styler
From €449.99 at stockists nationwide
The Airwrap Styler is undoubtedly one of the most exciting releases of 2018. With never-before-seen technology in a hair tool, it offers something completely new, and is an invaluable device for anyone who enjoys varying their style without the necessity for particular skill.
Lisa Eldridge True Velvet Lipstick Collection
From £26 at lisaeldridge.com
This year saw the much-anticipated release of celebrity make-up artist and Youtube sensation Lisa Eldridge’s debut collection. Her three beautiful matte red lipsticks, the perimeter of which feature an unprecedented velvet-like finish, sold out unbelievably quickly, but keep an eye out for a restock and additional shades in 2019.
GHD Oracle Styler
€199 from Peter Mark Salons
The Oracle is another hair tool that does something previously unseen. So many of us can credit GHD straighteners with giving us control over our hair back in the day. The Oracle offers frizz-free, perfect curls or waves without any unintuitive manipulation of the device. Just put the hair through, exactly as you would with a straightener, tilt the Oracle a little, and pull it straight through the hair as with a straightener. It is incredibly easy and gives brilliant results.
Alex Steinherr x Primark Skincare Range
At selected Penneys stores nationwide
This range has been partially or fully sold out since its release for a reason. With prices starting at around €4, and quality that delivers much more expensive-looking and feeling results, it is a must. There is nothing from this range you can pick up that will disappoint, provided it is for your skin type.
Isle of Paradise Light Product Range
€22.45 each at Boots
Celebrity tanner Jules Von Hep’s range of home tan revolutionised the tanning market this year. All of the products are genuinely effective and excellent quality, but the light range – spray, drops and mousse – are the most innovative. Finally, a tan for paler people that gives a convincing, realistic golden hue that looks radiant and healthy. It is infinitely more flattering, wearable and forgiving than deep tan hues which are designed for naturally darker and more olive skin tones.
Laura Mercier Matte Velour Extreme Lipstick
€26 at Brown Thomas
The extensive matte lipstick range from Laura Mercier arrived on the beauty scene to huge anticipation, and did not disappoint. Fire, a bellowing orange red shade, sold out almost immediately. These slender lipsticks made wearing matte comfortable. They are certainly one of the most beloved and exciting releases of 2018.
Bobbi Brown Skin Longwear Weightless Foundation
€38 at Arnotts
Matte foundation is usually difficult to wear, often unflattering, and has a tendency to sit in pores and lines. Not this one. Skin Longwear Weightless Foundation features the usual excellent and inclusive shade range we have come to expect from Bobbi Brown – making it an ideal product for those with deeper and paler skins – but it also offers something different. The foundation is matte, but not flat. Long lasting, but not unflattering. It does not sit awkwardly on the skin, and it looks great for hours.
Jo Malone London Honeysuckle and Davana Cologne
€109 for 100mls at Brown Thomas
Honeysuckle is especially challenging to capture in fragrance, but this offering from Jo Malone London manages it. Honeysuckle and Davana is genuinely unusual – a combination of youthful levity and freshness with a decidedly sensual and womanly base. There is nothing else like it.
YSL The Curler Mascara
€32.50 at stockists nationwide
Expensive mascaras really have to deliver to be worth the price tag, and this one truly does. For black as a priest’s socks, sweeping and voluminous lashes, there is nothing else on the market that can challenge The Curler. Don’t be put off by the slightly futuristic brush – it works.
Trinny London Makeup Range
Trinny Woodall arrived in Dublin last April to launch her ingenious, stackable pot-based makeup brand online at Brown Thomas. Pragmatism orients the textures and packaging of Trinny London products, and they really do work. Trinny herself is proof enough of that – you can watch her on Instagram doing her makeup without brushes in the back of cabs, in her bathroom, and everywhere in between. The brand’s lip colours are a particular triumph.
Trish McEvoy Correct and Even Full Face Perfector
€46.17 at Harvey Nichols Dundrum
I am ever in search of something to minimise the darkness under my eyes, which only worsens with hormonal changes or lack of sleep. This year, Trish McEvoy released what can really only be described as a storm-force corrector. Yes, it is expensive, but a very little goes a long way, and it could cover insurance fraud. The texture is extremely thick, and best tapped in with fingers only where needed, but this product is the real deal.
Skinceuticals Glycolic Renew Overnight
€85 at skinceuticals.com
A good glycolic acid product retexturises the skin, improves its tone and quality, and provides a better base for makeup. This overnight treatment from Skinceuticals is highly effective and less irritating to the skin than a standard glycolic acid product. It delivers softer, clearer, smoother skin.
Vichy Slow âge Nuit
€32 at Boots
Slow âge can be used as a quick mask before an event or a special occasion, or as an overnight treatment. It is one of few skincare products I used this year which caused an overnight difference in my skin. The first morning I awoke after using it, my skin looked more even, plumper, and just generally healthy and radiant. The consistency and aroma are a little odd, but if you can get over that, it is a lovely product.
Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer
€30 at Brown Thomas
Charlotte Tilbury already offers several very good foundations, but until this year, the brand was a little lacking in the concealer department. Enter Magic Away Concealer, which is obscenely good. I like it best tapped in with fingers, but it covers what needs covering without looking either wet or chalky, and that is precisely what you want in a good concealer.
Chanel Rouge Coco Lip Blush
€31 at Arnotts
This lip and blush product is probably the most Chanel product release of the year. Incredibly understated and with a light, comfortable barely-there texture, it deposits the most delicious, glowing veil of soft colour onto lips and cheeks. It is not drying on the lips, as competing products of this type always seem to be. It is a quietly transformative, portable product, and certainly one of the best releases of the year.
MAC Prep + Prime Fix Plus Shimmer
€22 at Brown Thomas
Fix Plus is an industry hero, and if you aren’t converted to setting sprays, you won’t be interested in it. However, a make-up artist knows their value for setting make up, freshening day-old make up, converting powder products into liquid, slackening products, or enhancing skincare. Fix Plus Shimmer simply added tiny shimmer particles to the product devotees love, and the result is delightfully sheeny makeup. Simple, but irresistible.
Huda Beauty Power Bullet Lipsticks
€21 at Brown Thomas Beauty Lounge
A late release in December 2018, these lipstick bullets from Huda Beauty are precisely the right amount of far too much. They are immensely fun to wear and to look at, and easier to get away with than you might think. They are different to any other lipstick on the market right now.
Kennedy & Co for Men
At Dunnes Stores and kennedycogrooming.com
Darren Kennedy’s affordable grooming range for men, consisting of five practical products, is one of the most sensible beauty releases of the year. With reasonable pricing, a classically masculine aesthetic and home grown ingredients, this Irish brand is one to watch for next year. However, it is also one of the nicest releases of 2018.