Where do we start with 2020. It wasn’t the year any of us had planned. But, for many, it was a year that we learnt to lead simpler lives, and appreciate, both what we have, and the people around us. Small things became big things, including deliveries. Yes, retail therapy provided a much-needed pick-me-up for countless people this year, and team Escentual were no different. But what was they’re favourite? In this edit, the team are sharing their number one product of 2020; this year may have disappointed, but these beauty launches did not!
1. The Perfect Everyday Base
I lost and found my favourite foundation this year. Givenchy discontinued the Teint Couture Balm, my go-to everyday base, and re-released it as the City Balm. A scary moment for anyone! Luckily, I liked the formula and packaging (it switched from a squeezy tube to a pump) of the newer version more than the balm – massive sigh of relief! I’ve had more makeup-free days than ever in 2020, but when I did choose to doll up a little, I reached for this. It’s natural-looking but still provides decent coverage, has added SPF25 protection (essential), shea butter for nourishment, and gives the skin a gorgeous glowy finish on the skin. If you want your skin to look like your skin on a great day, I couldn’t recommend this more – I have another tube in waiting already!
2. The Versatile Brow Definer
My stand-out product of 2020 has to be the Benefit Brow Microfilling Pen – it’s my dream brow product! What I love most is how versatile and buildable it is; my makeup routine (like many others’) has changed drastically this year and I’ve found myself shunning my makeup bag in favour of an extra 20 minutes in bed. However, I still like to look half-presentable on those Zoom calls and virtual meetings, and my go-to look: brows & lashes. That’s where this has come into its own. The Microfilling Pen creates natural hair-like strokes that define and fills out my brows without them looking over-done, boxy or fake – just naturally enhanced. This is especially good now that I’m choosing a more bare-faced, natural look, but it’s also incredibly buildable for days I do decide to go more glam. The three-pronged pen makes application a dream; the trick is to brush upwards to fake micro-bladed brows without the commitment.
3. The Spicy Signature Scent
As a big fan of the Issey Miyake darker Nuit d’Issey range, I was very excited when they launched Polaris – I knew this would be right up my street; and upon first smell, it was everything I hoped for and more!
If you’re a fan of any of the Nuit d’Issey or Issey Miyake in general, I encourage you to check it out. From the peppery opening to the leathery but creamy base; this is the perfect addition to anyone’s collection (and it should be in yours). It’s the perfect treat for yourself or a loved one.
4. The Good Skin Days Concealer
In a recent blog post, I talked about being able to brave no foundation, and the short of it is that this concealer makes it possible!
After the fatal loss of my Diorskin Forever Undercover concealer, I didn’t think I would be able to find a new concealer that I could fill that space. Let down time after time, buying formulas to replace it that I found that were either too heavy or didn’t offer enough coverage for my dark under-eye, the search continued. That was until I discovered the Diorskin Forever Skin Correct, which now, I love more than the Undercover edition. The creamy concealer’s lightweight and the hydrating texture feels like it was made for the under the eye and works just as well as correcting imperfections all-over. It’s fresh, glow finish gives that ‘this my real skin’ look, so that my good skin days and bright eyes are, always!
5. The Triple Threat Fragrance
So, by now, people who enjoy our Monthly Favourites will know it’s no secret how much I adore Acqua di Parma. I get super excited about new fragrances in general, but whenever there’s a new Acqua di Parma, I get extra-super excited! I had high expectations for this year’s highly anticipated Colonia Futura launch. And I can honestly say it far exceeded any preconceived ideas I had. It’s fresh, clean and crisp, but comes together in the dry-down to offer something sophisticated. It has such a universal appeal whilst retaining AdP’s luxury-edge. I’m equally as impressed with the messaging behind the fragrance. Futura is also an initiative created to showcase Acqua di Parma’s commitment to doing better for the planet, and thus creating a sustainable ‘futura’ – see what they did there – for generations to come, which is something I’m sure we can all get behind! Futura: a luxury fragrance which smells divine, good for the environment; a triple win!
6. The Skin Saviour
Comedomed was one of the few highlights of 2020 for me. My self-esteem has been up and down, but this product saved my skin, and my shyness so many times; and I don’t think I’m alone after reading all of our reviews. I get terrible breakouts around my cycle, but after being tactical with Comedomed, I’ve been able control my spots and enjoy more clearer, results – thanks Avene for saving my skin!
7. The Mood-Boosting Perfume
The winning perfume for me this year is Delina from Parfums de Marly. It didn’t take much for me to fall in love with it, just a spritz of this unique woody-floral fragrance is perfect for every woman that wants to be both sophisticated and feminine. The aromas of the perfume create a sensual bouquet, with Turkish rose, peony, lily and sensual vanilla as heart notes and woody cashmeran, musk and vetiver as base notes. The delicate pink bottle adds to the romantic experience of this perfume and plus it looks great on your dressing table. An added bonus is that it lasts for hours. On me, it lasts for at least 6 hours, and I feel like I always have a floral bouquet near me. Delina is my go-to perfume when I need something to cheer me up, which is something that I really needed this year.
8. The Easy Peasy Cleansing Oil
Although I’m sure many of us will be glad to leave 2020 behind us, I’ve made some changes to my skincare routine this year that I’ll be taking into 2021. This year, I spent more time on my skincare routine than ever, and it’s something I’ll be sticking with – including using more luxurious formulas to really treat myself and my skin.
My favourite product of the year is the DHC Olive Concentrated Cleansing Oil; I love how deeply cleansing it is, helping to melt away everything from makeup to impurities without any effort. But I love the nourishing silky oil texture just as much.
If you think oil-based cleansers sound unappealing, then you need to try this one; it’s incredibly hard-working but still luxurious – and trust me, your skin won’t feel greasy after. And of course, the eye-catching emerald green bottle adds an extra touch of elegance!
9. The Pigmentation Corrector
2020 wasn’t all doom and gloom – it was the year that I discovered a product that made a huge difference to the overall look of my complexion – including fading some of the pigmentation on my face caused by sun damage. The whole Bioderma Pigmentbio range is a must-have if you’re looking to brighten and give a more uniformed look to your skin, but the product that made a difference to me was the Pigmentbio C-Concentrate. I use it every night after cleansing and before applying my moisturiser, and it has helped to fade dark spots and melasma caused by sun damage, as well as acne scarring (take a look at the results here). My skin looks brighter thanks to the fresh vitamin C used in the formula that you have to activate when you first open the bottle. I continue to rave about this product to anyone that will listen and have stocked up for 2021!
10. The Intriguing Intense Perfume
When deciding on our favourite launches from 2020, there was a clear winner for me – it just had to be Givenchy L’Interdit Intense. It was a no-brainer. I’m a huge fan of the original Eau de Toilette and wear the Eau de Parfum (Couture version, of course!) every day, but there’s a mysteriousness about the Intense version that’s compelling; it really draws you in. There are familiar notes, such as the creamy Vanilla and Tuberose of its predecessors, but there are stark and unexpected new notes that make this even more dreamy every time I spritz it on. It’s quickly overtaken the others as my favourite!