After a long career in magazines, I have developed a deep distrust of that particular industry’s beauty awards, top 10 lists and best-of-the-best new launch announcements. Why? Because the unwritten rule in literally every magazine that I have ever worked for is simple: The position and number of products on any of these lists is directly proportional to the number of advertising pages bought in the magazine by the beauty brand. That ‘world’s best lipstick’ tag doesn’t sound half as authentic after that, right? Even if it comes from your favourite publication?
Here, instead, I’ve put together a list of the top beauty launches for this month that come sans payment or inducement of any kind. Hopefully, they will catch your fancy for all the right reasons – as they did mine!
KFC at your fingertips? Now, you can have that literally, with the fried chicken chain’s limited edition nail polishes that comes in two “flavours”: “original recipe” and “hot and spicy”. Paint them on and lick your nails for a KFC kick, sans the calories. That’s what I call “finger lickin’ good”!
If you’re the kind who can’t resist cool, edgy looking makeup but don’t ever end up actually wearing it (ME!), Lipstick Queen’s Frog Prince Cream Blush is made for you. Just like the Frog Prince and Hello Sailor lipsticks, this mood-ring-for-makeup blush starts off as a deep, shimmering green in the tube (like a lily pad) but turns into a soft, rosy pink on the cheeks for a natural flush. The magic is conducted by pH-reacting, color-changing technology that is both fun and functional (it also comes with natural oils, Shea butter and vitamin E for a natural, super-hydrating sheen). Call me kitschy but I, for one, never fail to be fascinated!
Another mood-ring-inspired, colour chameleon product (What is this? The ’90s?), MAC’s new Tendertalk Lip Balms change colour upon application, based on your body chemistry. There are five shades, ranging from rosy pink to deep berry, and they are also chockfull with hydrators to keep your pout plump and perfect.
Just how much can you rewrite the script when it comes to mascara wands? Quite a lot, believes MAC. After all, it’s not regarded as the gold standard for makeup innovation for nothing. The new Pro Beyond Twisted Lash mascara can literally bend in all directions – up to a mind boggling 90-degree angle – to catch even the tiniest or most wayward of lashes. Count me in!
Love face masks, hate the mess? Nuxe’s Nuxuriance Ultra Re-Plumping Roll-On mask literally rolls on via the built-in metal applicator. And the metal roller also helps boost skin circulation with a mini-massage. Result: hydration and brightening sans any additional effort. That’s what I call luxury!
Honestly speaking, I fell in love first with the super-cute milk jug container and only later with the actual contents. But now I am totally sold on the latter as well – after all, what’s not to like about a rinse-off body lotion that’s non-gloopy and yet balmy enough for even the driest, itchiest of skins?
It’s the Holy Grail of highlighting: glowing skin sans the shimmer or metallics. Makeup maestro Pat McGrath has created what is being referred to as “pure light in a tube” and I have to agree. The kit (with a clear balm, cream highlighter, pressed gel pigment and Japanese brush) comes in two shades: Nude and Golden. Both are lightweight, buildable and will create the most realistic glow you could have ever dreamt of… like your skin but better. Literally.
I live off Essie nail polishes and those signature square bottles have been a fixture on my vanity ever since my mother actually allowed me to paint my nails for the first time ever (Ballet Slippers!). Now these tiny pots are getting a sleek twist – both in form and function. The brand’s new Gel Couture bottles have been inspired by dressed twirling and swirling across the runway, while the brush is wider and comes with tapered bristles to hug the nail more efficiently. Also new: A gel-like formula that lasts up to 14 days, without the need for a base coat or UV lamp. And comes in 42 new shades.
It’s the Holy Grail of foundations: full coverage, long stay, hydrating and super-easily blendable, while being packed with natural ingredients that soothe even the most sensitive skin. Not surprisingly, it’s Josie Maran who checks all the boxes, with this super fluid that literally seems to melt into the skin.
The best makeup products and application techniques in the world are useless if you don’t have a proper mirror and light source on hand. Simplehuman mirrors tackle both things at once, and the latest Wide-View Sensor version pushes the envelope even further with FIVE lighting modes, including natural, sunny, cloudy and candlelight. And that’s not even all: You can take a selfie in any kind of light or location and the app will automatically program that ambience into the mirror as well. Plus, it’s wireless, turns on automatically when you approach and even has a ion-built timer counting down the minutes you have left to finish the job. Way cool, right?
From vacuums to… hair dryers? Seriously? That was my first thought when I heard about Dyson’s new Supersonic hair dryer. It looks absolutely nothing like any hairdryer I have met till date. And that’s because this cool new hair tool is built nothing like any hairdryer I have met till date.
Firstly, instead of the traditional vent-and-hot-coils drying technology, it has a V9 digital motor whose 13 impeller blades are capable of 110,000 revolutions per minute. This blows out air at least twice as fast as the average blow dryer, along with a very precise width of just over an inch.
Then there is a special thermostat-microprocessor duo that measures air temperature 20 times a second to keep it consistent, thereby drastically cutting down on hair damage.
It also has a built-in ionizer to deionize hair, which effectively cuts down on static electricity. And, as an added bonus, it’s almost soundless. Dyson engineers also moved their motor mechanism into the handle, resulting in a compact and lightweight hair dryer easier to handle and orbit around the head while in use.
Dyson even tackled blow-dryer attachments. Instead of forcing them onto a plastic nozzle, each one attaches via a magnetic ring. They attachments don’t even get hot thanks to air channels built into each one of them that sucks in cool air as the hot air blows through the center.
As expected, a product this coolly innovative doesn’t come easy: Dyson spent four years and $43 million developing this ‘dryer in a special laboratory dedicated to studying the science of hair. of this, $60,000 was spent just on 1,010 miles (MILES!) of real human hair for the testing process, which created a global shortage.
What’s your favourite beauty find?