A lot can happen in a year, especially in the past-faced world of beauty – innovation is the name of the game! In just 12 short months we’ve launched well over 1000 new products, plus a whole host of exciting brands including Bumble and bumble, Shiseido, Lancome fragrances, REN, Givenchy Beauté, DHC, Ojon, Michael Kors Beauty and Eucerin. And guess what? 2015 is set to be bigger still!
With all of this innovation, it’s hardly surprising that there been some real corkers this year. Here’s 2014’s Hall of Fame…
Winner: Givenchy Beauté
Straight in at number one is Givenchy Beauté, a masterclass of innovation and style. This collection is the stuff beauty lovers’ dreams are made of; it offers practical and efficient make-up prowess in the most luxurious way possible. Every product is sublimated with fine attention to detail, so even your everyday application of blusher becomes a moment of pure pleasure. My must-tries? Le Rouge Lipstick with its creamy formula and luxe leather case, the colour-correcting Prisme Libre Loose Powder, the seriously amplifying Noir Couture Volume Mascara and Teint Couture Foundation, also known as perfected skin in a bottle.
Runner-up: Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint Foundation
Joli Teint is the ideal healthy glow foundation. And I don’t mean glow in the shimmering sense; Joli Teint gives you a natural-looking, sun-kissed hue that recreates that elusive ‘bonne mine’ look, like Les Parisiennes in the summer. Each colourway corresponds with Guerlain’s iconic Terracotta Bronzing Powder shade selection, so your tan is truly tailor made and effortless.
Runner-up: Dior Fluid Stick
Is it a gloss or a lipstick? This super fun lip colour made a splash early in 2014 thanks to its sensational shine, pigment-rich kaleidoscope of shades and comfortable finish – not to mention that gorgeous packaging.
Winner: Clarins Radiance Plus Golden Glow Booster
This little vial is one of my favourite innovations of the past few years: a concentrate of tanning active ingredients that can be added to your existing facial skincare to ensure you have a tailor-made tan with all of the benefits of your favourite moisturiser. So brilliant is it in its simplicity that you wonder why customisable self-tan isn’t already a ‘thing’! Add 1-3 drops into a scoop of your moisturiser depending on how intense you’d like your tan, and you’re left with the most natural-looking, bronzed glow. Already love the Golden Glow Booster? Keep your eyes peeled for an addition to the range later in the year.
Runner-up: REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial
REN Flash Rinse 1 Minute Facial is a revelation for city dwellers and everyone with dull, congested skin. Packed with vitamin C, this unique wash-off treatment smooths, stimulates collagen production and boosts cell energy, resulting in a brighter and more youthful look. I love the gel-oil texture of this product; it feels amazing when you apply it to dry skin, and I particularly like the ritual of activating the vitamin C by massaging with dampened hands. After use, your skin feels so fresh.
Runner-up: La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Eyes
As someone who suffers from dark circles, La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Eyes immediately made its may into my skincare ‘keepers’ stash. It’s not just the fact that it’s doing a great job of instantly hiding dark circles whilst reducing their appearance long-term; Pigmentclar Eyes provides the perfect amount of moisturisation, and the metallic applicator is the best I’ve used.
Winner: Givenchy Dahlia Divin
The stand-out mainstream launch of 2014 was Givenchy’s highly anticipated Dahlia Divin, a scent crafted with modern-day goddesses in mind. Everything about Dahlia Divin lends itself to timeless luxury, from the sharp yet sensual lines of its glass flacon to the luminous floral juice held within, which unfurls in rays of golden mirabelle plum, jasmin sambac and sandalwood. This blockbuster launch was made all the more special by the appointment of superwoman Alicia Keys as its ambassadress, the first time she has ever given her face to a fragrance.
Runner-up: Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Couture
In a year of statuesque florals and ambery skin scents, Guerlain’s La Petite Robe Noire Couture made a splash with its bright and flirtatious macaron-like blend. Where the original La Petite Robe Noire is bold, gourmand and sweet, this interpretation is fresher and a little more refined, with chypre notes of patchouli and moss to add a touch of vintage charm. It’s most definitely a ‘joie de vivre’ sort of fragrance, and is utterly irresistible.
Runner-up: Dior Hypnotic Poison Eau de Parfum
Without a shadow of a doubt one of the sexiest fragrance launches, ever! Hypnotic Poison Eau de Parfum picks up where the original Eau de Toilette leaves off with an overdose of orange blossom, tonka bean, licorice and vanilla, and lasts for HOURS.
Winner: Bumble and bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Collection
Following on from the cult success of Bumble and bumble’s game-changing Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil is this expanded collection of moisturising and smoothing haircare, created to replicate the look of just-cut hair. At the heart of the range is a blend of 6 feather-light oils including coconut, argan, sweet almond, safflower, macadamia and grapeseed, a powerhouse combination that work a treat on hair that is frizzy, unmanageable and generally lacklustre. There are just 3 products in this expanded range: the Shampoo, Conditioner and the Heat/UV Protective Primer, which is a must for those who use heated tools (try all 3 in this kit).
Runner-up: Schwarzkopf OSiS+ Glamination
Volume or touchability? Texture or softness? With Schwarzkopf’s new styling range, you don’t have to choose – which is great news for those who dream of undone, glamorous looks! Key products in the range include the Prime Prep Spray (my favourite) which provides the perfect base for styling, the Light Glossy Holdspray, which holds your look in place without feeling stick or sticky, and the Smooth Polish Elixir, a beautifully textured serum.
Runner-up: Klorane Nettle Shampoo for Oily Hair
A strong runner-up for haircare product of the year is this French Pharmacy gem from Klorane, the Nettle Shampoo for Oily Hair. This bright green shampoo achieves the seemingly impossible: it clears excess oil, regulates its production and keeps your scalp feeling seriously fresh, all with a super gentle, pampering formula that doesn’t dry out your hair. Perfect! Check out these blogger reviews: That Grace Girl, Obsessed By Beauty and The Two Scoops.
Winner: Valentino Uomo
Valentino Uomo is of a rare breed; a fragrance that is classic yet contemporary, luxurious yet accessible, and discerning yet so versatile. It’s an impressive offering that is perfectly in sync with Valentino’s heritage and the sleek lines of his menswear collection, its influences found everywhere from the signature rockstud texture of the decanter-like bottle, to the distinctly Italian notes of coffee and crema di giandula. It’s a truly handsome fragrance with such intriguing twists and turns – you won’t be able to resist it.
Runner-up: Guerlain L’Homme Ideal
Just pipped to the post for men’s product of the year is Guerlain L’Homme Ideal, a cheeky yet refined fragrance for men that saw Guerlain’s Nose, Thierry Wasser stepping away from the staid and the serious to present something completely unexpected. Crafted around a distinctive amaratto accord (which gives a wink to another of Wasser’s recent creations, La Petite Robe Noire), L’Homme Ideal blends humour, seduction and a seriously addictive association of notes to create a compelling tour de force for stylish men of all ages.
Runner-up: Jack Black Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser
I’ve recommended the Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser to countless guys since its launch. It’s versatile, easy to use and it packs a real punch, so you see results almost instantly. Created for those with normal to combination skin, this cleanser contains a blend of volcanic ash and kaolin clay to tackle excess oil, oatmeal and vitamin E to soothe, and arnica to intensely heal the skin. The biggest lure, though, is it’s key ingredient: glycolic acid, which clears dead skin cells and renews the complexion. It’s the perfect one-step cleanser and exfoliator for those who don’t like exfoliating!
What were your products of 2014?