With 2012 drawing to a close, a plethora of Best Of round-ups and awards is appearing in glossy magazines and Sunday supplements. Not to be outdone, Beauty Insider is launching its own awards ceremony, with all my personal beauty hits of the past year. See you in 2013.
Best Collaboration with an Artist Now Deceased: Silver Factory
Make-up artist François Nars for his Andy Warhol Silver Factory collection (see Gift Guide). No, the eyeshadow palette with the embossed Warhol portrait won’t make you look like the man himself (although I expect they will become collectors’ items), but the names are smart – Candy Darling, Chelsea Girls – and the colours highly wearable, ranging from pop-art pinks to silvers and greens, tempered with the more practical long-wear eyeliner in black. Buy it before it sells out. From £26.
Best Empty Pot Award: Nude skincare
It’s not just because I sat next to the co-founder Ali Hewson at breakfast and found her both charming and possessed of an enviable complexion. Nude skincare was relaunched this year with backing from LVMH and is the only range in years I have used from start to finish. I always hesitate to recommend skincare for all because it’s such a subjective thing – but there’s nothing not to like about this if (like me) you’re middle-aged, with a tendency to have breakouts, and you’d rather keep it as close to natural as possible without looking like an old hag. Cellular Renewal Serum from £64.
Most Annoying New Product I’m Going to Have to Write About in 2013: CC Creams
As if BB creams weren’t bad enough – is it a cream, is it a tinted moisturiser? No it’s a marketing gimmick – we’re now destined for an onslaught of CC creams. Olay’s CC cream is already out in the US and set to arrive in the UK soon. The main difference between BBs (beauty or blemish balms) and CCs (colour control creams) is that the latter tend to have higher sun protection factors, lighter textures, and come with complexion-brightening ingredients to even out skin tone. Expect offerings from Chanel, Clinique et al – and, who knows, maybe DD and EE creams in the near future. From $16.38.
The Perfume I Am Least Likely to Regift: Christian Dior’s Grand Bal
From its La Collection Privée fragrance line, this arrived midsummer and is a veritable symphony of jasmine, orange blossom and ylang-ylang, with plenty of musk and sandalwood to back it up. Some say it’s not powerful enough but who wants to leave a trail of wilting passers-by in their wake? If you like a good classic romantic jasmine, they don’t get any better. From £125.
Best New Hair-Colour Hyperbole: the Power Blonde
No, I’m not referring to Javier Bardem in Skyfall, I’m talking about shades of oyster, chinchilla and mink painted on to your hair layer after layer to form one opaque shade of blonde, as created by colourist Josh Wood. Very beautiful and bound to be popular with anyone who’s averse to dip-dyeing. Prices on consultation.
Most Ridiculous Email Request by a Beauty Publicist
Asking me to tweet or blog about a national beauty queen pageant. I mean, I’ve seen Little Miss Sunshine. Those kids must have grown up by now.
Most Beautiful Packaging by a Mile: ReVive’s Art Box
ReVive’s 10th Anniversary Art Box is a set of ReVive skincare housed in a large keepsake box based on a painting by American artist Pat Steir. Eminently collectable. From £345.
The Bane of My Life Beauty Brand: Kim Kardashian
Is there anything she won’t put her name to? I’m bombarded on what feels like a daily basis with samples of things she endorses (everything from hair removal to perfume) and now there’s a make-up line coming too. Enough already.
Best Cheer-Up-It’s-Only-Winter Treatment: Seasonal Attunement by Annee de Mamiel
If you struggle with summer to winter transitions, you should get on the waiting list for Annee de Mamiel or one of her associated practitioners in New York and London. Her distinctive blend of aromatherapy oils, gentle massage, herbal compresses and acupuncture will get you up and running again. £195 for 90 minutes.