New year, new beauty products!
After a little hiatus, I'm resurrecting my monthly beauty picks—where I bring you the best new product launches worth checking out each month.
Literally dozens of products cross my desk on a weekly basis, but these are the only ones you REALLY need to know about. They're what impressed me the most, whether because of colour, texture, performance, innovation or packaging.
Without further ado, here are my January favourites:
1. Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Noir Moderne
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Noir Moderne is from the brand's spring 2017 "Coco Code" collection, and I could not be more in love. It's like a hybrid blackberry lip stain and moisturizing balm, with a semi-glossy finish. The texture reminds me a lot of my beloved Dior Lip Glow, but the slightly blackened hue gives it that signature Chanel chicness. This is a great way to wear a deeper berry tone without it looking harsh or heavy!
2. CoverGirl Easy Breezy Brow Mascara
CoverGirl Easy Breezy Brow Shape & Define Eyebrow Mascara is a tinted brow mascara that adds colour, definition and control to your brows. I am seriously impressed with this product—and you know how attached I am to my Brow Drama, so I don't praise other brow mascaras lightly! It comes in five shades. I'm pretty sure Soft Blonde (which I haven't tried yet) is my ideal match, but I can totally get away with Soft Brown for a darker look. Golden Blonde and Honey Brown are a bit too light/warm for me, and I haven't seen Rich Brown yet; hopefully that one is ashier. These are quite "wet" and deposit a lot of pigment, but they dry down in seconds, leaving your brows soft and smudge-proof.
3. Charlotte Tilbury Quick 'N' Easy Makeup Kit
Charlotte Tilbury has come out with four Quick 'N' Easy Makeup Kits that contain the key products you need to achieve a makeup look in five minutes or less. As each kit includes five products and a lip-print makeup bag, the value here is incredible! There are four to choose from: Daytime Chic, Natural Glowing, Smokey Eye and Red Carpet Party. I tried the latter, which is all about a bold red mouth. It includes full sizes of the gorgeous Matte Revolution Lipstick in Red Carpet Red, a matching Lip Cheat in Kiss 'N' Tell and Rock 'N' Kohl Eye Pencil in Barbarella Brown, plus a mini Wonderglow. If you haven't had the chance to try Charlotte's products yet, these are an amazing way to get started.
4. Jurlique Activating Water Essence
Ingredients: Water, Propanediol, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Saccharide Isomerate, Glycerin, Caprylyl/Capryl Glucoside, Prunus Persica (Peach) Leaf Extract, Althaea Offlicinalis Root Extract, Xanthan Gum,Polyglyceryl-5 Oleate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Glyceryl Caprylate, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Equisetum Arvense Extract, Calendula Offlicinalis Flower Extract, Rosmarinus Offlicinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Extract, Melissa Offlicinalis Leaf Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract, Origanum Majorana Leaf Extract, Salvia Offlicinalis (Sage) Leaf Extract, Mentha Piperita (Peppermint) Leaf Extract, Melia Azadirachta Extract, Fragrance/Parfum*, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Ethylhexlglycerin, *Limonene, *Linalool, *Citronellol, *Geraniol, *Farnesol. *From Natural Essential Oil.
Jurlique is boarding the K-beauty train with their first essence product, the Activating Water Essence. I am so thrilled that they used natural ingredients here—no PEGs, silicones, artificial fragrances or colours, unlike the majority of essences on the market. Think of it like a refreshing, moisturizing toner. You'd splash it on after cleansing and exfoliating, and before you apply your serum or moisturizer, to pack an extra dose of hydration into your routine.
5. Urban Decay B6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep Spray
Ingredients: Aqua, Alcohol Denat, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Phenoxyethanol, Propanediol, Xylitol Phosphate Esters, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Salix Nigra (Willow) Bark Extract, Menthyl Ethylamido Oxalate, Glycereth-5 Lactate, Xylitol, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Pyridoxine Cyclic Phosphate, Panthenol, Silica, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Fructan, Sodium Hydroxide, Methyl Diisopropyl Propionamide, Butylene Glycol, Fragrance, Coconut Acid.
I can't get enough of face mists, and Urban Decay's B6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep Spray is one that is specifically designed to prep your skin for makeup. It calms redness, evens out your skin tone, reduces shine and minimizes pores—all without any oils or silicones. Also amazing: it contains the first patented, stabilized form of topical vitamin B6, an ingredient that helps control sebum production. This spray can also be used before masks and other skin treatments to boost absorption, and as a mid-day refresher.
6. Lipstick Queen Lipstick Chess Lipstick
There's a new Lipstick Queen collection out, and it's inspired by the game of chess! There are six Lipstick Chess Lipsticks, all full-coverage and comfortably semi-matte. The shades are a modern, almost '90s-inspired take on classic colours. Think: red, berry, plum, mocha, mauve and nude. I tried three and my favourite is Pawn—it's such a unique, warm, peachy-pink nude.
7. Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Cleanser
Ingredients: Active Ingredients: Salicylic Acid (1.0 %) Inactive Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Coco-Sulfate, Propanediol, Glycerin, Xanthan Gum, Glyceryl Caprylate, Polylactic Acid, Charcoal Powder, Solanum Lycopersicum (Tomato) Fruit/Leaf/Stem Extract*, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract*, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin)*, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract*, Aspalathus Linearis (Rooibos Tea) Extract*, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Iron Oxides (CI 77499), Alcohol, Fragrance (Parfum). *Certified Organic
I'm always on the lookout for sulfate-free cleansers, and Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Cleanser, a gel cleanser made with 97 percent natural ingredients, is my newest find. This one is best for oily and acne-prone skin types, as it contains salicylic acid, charcoal and kaolin clay to fight blemishes. It also offers a super-gentle exfoliation thanks to eco-friendly jojoba spheres. Although the charcoal imparts a black colour, it rinses clean and is not messy.
8. Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant
Ingredients: Microcrystalline Cellulose, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate, Sodium Myristoyl Glutamate, Malic Acid, Sodium Methyl Cocoyl Taurate, Charcoal Powder, Vinyl Dimethicone/Methicone Silsesquioxane Crosspolymer, Maltodextrin, Silica, Magnesium Oxide, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, Sapindus Trifoliatus Fruit Extract, Niacinamide, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Peel Oil, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Lavandula Hybrida Oil, Camellia Sinensis Leaf, Kappaphycus Alvarezii Extract, Caesalpinia Spinosa Fruit, Pod Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Salvia Officinalis, (Sage) Oil, Subtilisin, Lipase, Papain, Lactic Acid, Avena Sativa (Oat) Starch, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Xanthan Gum, Water/Aqua/Eau, Coconut Acid, Calcium Lactate, Capryloyl Glycine, Undecylenoyl Glycine, Cetrimonium Chloride, Limonene, Linalool.
Daily Superfoliant is the next-generation version of Dermalogica's beloved Daily Microfoliant skin resurfacer. Both are powders that you activate with water to release exfoliating enzymes and hydroxy acids. But while the original formula is geared to brightening, this one is all about preventing pollution-induced skin aging. It features alpha- instead of beta-hydroxy acids, and neutralizes the effects of cigarette smoke, smog and particulate matter with activated charcoal, niacinamide and algae extract. Okay, I don't love that it contains silicones... but it does leave your skin feeling incredibly soft and smooth, and is gentle enough to use every day.
9. Essie Treat, Love & Colour Nail Polish
Ingredients (Treat Me Bright): Ethyl Acetate, Butyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Isopropyl Alcohol, Adipic Acid / Neopentyl Glycol / Trimellitic Anhydride Copolymer, Ethyl Tosylamide, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Dimethyl Sulfone, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Acrylates Copolymer, Octocrylene, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Propyl Acetate, Tributyl Citrate, Tosylamide / Epoxy Resin, Dimethicone, Citric Acid, Hydrogenated Acetophenone / Oxymethylene Copolymer, Silica, Magnesium Silicate, Aqua / Water, Oxidized Polyethylene, Benzophenone-1, Alumina, Colophonium / Rosin, Tin Oxide, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Soluble Collagen, CI 77002 / Aluminum Hydroxide, Trisodium EDTA, Potassium Sorbate, Aluminum Hydroxide. May Contain: CI 77891 / Titanium Dioxide, Mica, CI 77491, CI 77499 / Iron Oxides, CI 15850 / Red 7 Lake, CI 15850 / Red 6 Lake, CI 15880 / Red 34 Lake, CI 77120 / Barium Sulfate, CI 19140 / Yellow 5 Lake, CI 75470 / Carmine, CI 77163 / Bismuth Oxychloride, CI 77510 / Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide, CI 77266 / Black 2, CI 42090 / Blue 1 Lake.
Now that Sephora has discontinued its Formula X Sheer Strength line, I'll be moving right along to Essie Treat, Love & Colour Nail Polish. This four-shade range of sheers incorporates brightening and strengthening ingredients—the claim is that you'll get 60 percent less peeling and 35 percent less breakage in just one week! I adore this type of product, because not only do I have weak nails, I also lack the patience for a perfect polish job. The pastel hues are super-quick to apply (no top or base coat required) and are very forgiving! My favourite is Treat Me Bright, a pearly sheer white.
10. Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner
Ingredients (Incognito): Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Ozokerite, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Triethylhexanoin, Synthetic Candelilla Wax, Sucrose Tetrastearate Triacetate, Beeswax (Cera Alba/Cire D’abeille), Phenyl Trimethicone, Microcrystalline Wax (Cera Microcristallina/Cire Microcristalline), Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate, Tribehenin, Squalane, Lecithin, Sorbitan Isostearate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Palmitoyl Tripeptide-1, Bht. May Contain (+/-): Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Ci 77499), Blue 1 Lake (Ci 42090), Red 6 (Ci 15850), Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850), Red 28 Lake (Ci 45410), Red 30 Lake (Ci 73360), Yellow 5 Lake (Ci 19140).
These Buxom Plumpline Lip Liners are among the best lip pencils I've ever tried. They're full-coverage, with a creamy, non-drying, matte finish, and they come in a whopping 20 shades. You can pair them lipstick or wear them alone—there's even a lip brush on one end to help you blend. I tried nine of the shades; my favourite (and the closest to a "your lips, only better" colour) is Incognito, a warm nude.
11. NARS Narsissist Unfiltered Cheek Palette
If you love NARS blush—or blush in general!—you'll be excited about these two Narsissist Unfiltered Cheek Palettes. Each compact contains six matte and shimmer powder blushes; five shades are limited-edition and one shade is an existing NARS classic. Unfiltered I is my favourite, with bright and bronze shades that would suit medium to deep skin tones. Unfiltered II is for lighter skin tones and features cool pinks and warm light golds. They're almost too pretty to use!
12. Sally Hansen Moisture Rehab
You wear overnight serums for your skin, so why not your nails, too? That's the concept behind Sally Hansen Moisture Rehab, a clear treatment polish that helps hydrate and repair severely dry and weak nails while you sleep. You can apply it to bare fingernails and toenails, or even on top of a dried manicure. I was skeptical, but I could definitely see the difference the next day. My nails should be in much better shape if I keep up with it!
13. Origins RitualiTea Matcha Madness Revitalizing Powder Face Mask
Ingredients: Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Meal , Sodium Bicarbonate , Solanum Tuberosum (Potato) Starch , Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Powder , Citric Acid , Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf , Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil*, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil*, Cymbopogon Martini (Palmarosa) Oil*, Pogostemon Cablin (Patchouli) Oil*, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Oil*Salvia Sclarea (Clary) Oil*, Cupressus Sempervirens Leaf/Nut/ Stem Oil*, Myristica Fragrans (Nutmeg) Kernel Oil*, Vetiveria Zizanoides Root Oil*, Farnesol, Linalool, Citral, Limonene, Geraniol , Cellulose , Hyaluronic Acid , Aminopropyl Ascorbyl Phosphate , Panthenol , Caffeine , Sucrose , Gellidiela Acerosa (Algae) Extract , Sargassum Filipendula (Algae) Extract , Hypnea Musciformis (Algae) Extract , Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate , Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer , Magnesium Aluminum Silicate , Bht , Potassium Sorbate , Chromium Oxide Greens (Ci 77288) , Iron Oxides (Ci 77492) *Essential Oil / *Huile Essentielle
For those who love the ritual of applying face masks, Origins' RitualiTea Matcha Madness Revitalizing Powder Face Mask is such a cool concept. It comes as a fine green powder that looks and smells like matcha tea. You simply blend two teaspoons in a bowl with equal parts water until you get a creamy consistency, and apply for 10 minutes. Although the tea leaves are high in antioxidants, this is more of a sensorial experience for all skin types.
Hopefully you're as impressed by these new launches as I was. I know I'm going to be getting a ton of wear out of all the lippies, particularly the Chanel, and I cannot wait for the brow mascara in my shade.
I would love to hear your thoughts!
1. Chanel Noir Moderne | 2. CoverGirl Brow Mascara | 3. Charlotte Tilbury Quick 'N' Easy Kit | 4. Jurlique Essence | 5. Urban Decay B6 Spray | 6. Lipstick Queen Lipstick Chess | 7. Yes To Tomatoes Charcoal Cleanser | 8. Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant | 9. Essie Treat, Love & Colour Nail Polish | 10. Buxom Lip Liner | 11. NARS Cheek Palette | 12. Sally Hansen Moisture Rehab | 13. Origins Powder Face Mask
What's your favourite new beauty product this month?