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We debunk the best beauty and skin care products no bathroom shelf should be without
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We debunk the best beauty and skin care products no bathroom shelf should be without We debunk the best beauty and skin care products no bathroom shelf should be without
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Beauty Heroes: Decoded

We debunk the best beauty and skin care products no bathroom shelf should be without
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Decoded
Beauty Heroes

Decoded

We debunk the best beauty and skin care products no bathroom shelf should be without

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With so many ‘cult’ products promising to deliver, it can be hard to know which lauded heroes will really work their magic on you. To shed some light, we’re stripping the best beauty products right down to the base. No complicated jargon - just real ingredients, real usage and real results. Prepare to be enlightened…

Chill Pills

IN A NUTSHELL

Hold the glitter: OUAI’s lauded bath bombs are the self-care throwback’s older and more mature sister, incorporating body care by way of plant-based oils and a divine rose and jasmine aroma – no prescription needed.

WHAT MAKES IT

Effervescent bubbles release skin-soothing botanical oils of jojoba, safflower and hemp alongside a romantic, highly fragrant floral bouquet.

THE TIP

Take one – or half – with a tub of hot water and watch it fizz up before winding you down.

Santal 33 Eau de Parfum

IN A NUTSHELL

The olfactory manifestation of a vintage Marlboro advert, Le Labo’s focal fragrance has become so cult, it quite literally stands out in a crowd. Its spicy, leathery and musky character is incomparably distinctive, depicting a defining image of the American West.

WHAT MAKES IT

An unmistakable configuration of violet accord, cardamom, iris, papyrus, ambrox, leather and white woods, often caught wafting through city streets the world over.

THE TIP

Before you spritz, prepare to be stopped in the street – this scent invites cascades of comments from strangers.

Soap Brows

IN A NUTSHELL

A fully fledged rendition of the DIY soap brow hack, WBCo.’s pro-approved pomade is inspired by the strong-hold technique used by drag queens and Hollywood makeup artists of yesteryear – with a vegan, brow-nourishing formula and purpose-built spoolie brush.

WHAT MAKES IT

Glycerin, coconut butter and sorbitol perform a nourishing action, bestowing hydration, strength, softness and health on brows of all shapes and sizes.

THE TIP

Use downward strokes first to fully coat each hair, then brush upwards for perfectly styled, fluffy brows that stay put.

Spacemasks

IN A NUTSHELL

A vehicle for stealing fifteen minutes of calm, these self-heating, jasmine-scented, single-use eye masks ease stress and tension in the eyes, whilst inciting the tranquility of a starry night sky for a transportive effect on the senses.

WHAT MAKES IT

A thin layer of iron filings react with oxygen molecules in the air for an ingenious, entirely safe self-heating effect.

THE TIP

Make them a staple in your self-care ritual, or use them as an antidote to excess screen time – encouraging circulation slowed by eye strain, they’ll alleviate dark circles, puffiness and other signs of tiredness.

Comforting Tea Bags

IN A NUTSHELL

Expertly blended to calm the mind and promote a sense of wellbeing, this caffeine- and sugar-free blend from Aveda is the holy grail of herbal teas, packing a powerful flavour punch.

WHAT MAKES IT

The perfect balance of liquorice root, peppermint leaf, fennel and basil offer a warm and sweet embrace.

THE TIP

Steep the teabag in a mug of hot water for 3-5 minutes, then sip to your heart’s content.

Ultra Facial Cream

IN A NUTSHELL

A time-honoured staple for all genders, ages and skin types, this cult moisturiser from Kiehl’s is just as much a favourite today as it was when it launched in the ‘70s. Its immense hydrating powers are tried and tested to the max – the climbers’ face cream of choice as they summitted Mount Everest in 1988.

WHAT MAKES IT

Super-hydrator squalane, Kiehl’s signature ingredient, teams up with glacial glycoprotein and desert plant extracts for heroic moisture retention.

THE TIP

Daily skin maintenance made easy – massage onto clean facial skin morning, night and as needed for perfectly balanced moisture.

The Original Mighty Patch

IN A NUTSHELL

Coined acne’s arch nemesis, Hero Cosmetics’ ingenious drug-free, non-drying patches stop spots in their tracks by zapping bacteria, accelerating healing and protecting from further infection.

WHAT MAKES IT

The highest grade of hydrocolloid visibly absorbs pus from pimples, shrinking whiteheads while you sleep.

THE TIP

Apply to freshly developed whiteheads to extract the badness, pronto. Though most effective overnight, the matte finish acts as a soft-focus filter that’s near-invisible in daylight.

Pure Hyaluronic Serum

IN A NUTSHELL

Launched in 2014, this universal serum from Pestle & Mortar came ahead of the hyaluronic acid hype – and remains the go-to for transformative plumping, soothing, hydrating and anti-ageing.

WHAT MAKES IT

Multi-molecular weight hyaluronic acid to penetrate skin’s layers from outermost to innermost, and panthenol for a soft, smooth finish.

THE TIP

It doubles as a makeup primer, granting skin the optimum texture for receiving and maintaining a flawless, even base.

Jade Facial Roller

IN A NUTSHELL

The myriad powers of the cult gemstone facial roller should not be underestimated. Not only does Herbivore’s nifty tool yield a wrinkle-fighting, puffiness-reducing facial message (discovered in the 7th century by the Ancient Chinese), it’s also the beauty pro’s preferred way of applying creams, serums and oils.

WHAT MAKES IT

Its benefits go beyond the physical; jade is linked to emotional healing, said to incite peace and harmony whilst helping ease mental stress.

THE TIP

Applying skin care with this tool is a two-way street – facial product gives the gemstone wheel a smooth and easy glide, while the roller helps the product to absorb more evenly and effectively, increasing its benefits.

Silk Hair Wrap

IN A NUTSHELL

Hairstylist Maria Sotiriou’s ingenious accessory is inspired by traditional Caribbean hair wrapping methods to promote growth, shine and moisture. It creates a cocoon for straight strands and curls, eliminating friction, therefore amplifying silk-like softness while reducing frizz.

WHAT MAKES IT

22 momme mulberry silk – the optimum density for its purpose.

THE TIP

Tuck dry hair inside the elasticated wrap before drifting off to sleep.

Eucalyptus Deodorant

IN A NUTSHELL

Ineffective natural deodorants, step aside; not only does this highly acclaimed roll-on from (MALIN+GOETZ) reject dreaded alcohol and aluminium, it’s also a delight for the senses. A clear balm combines essential performance with fresh fragrance, courtesy of eucalyptus and its myriad benefits.

WHAT MAKES IT

Antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic eucalyptus – a quadruple threat to discomfort – and citronellyl for 24-hour odour neutralisation.

THE TIP

Ensure skin is as dry as can be before applying deodorant – moisture will only dilute it. A formula so gentle, it actively soothes skin after shaving.

Queen of Hungary Mist

IN A NUTSHELL

The beauty insider’s number one travel essential, Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist is the pick-me-up you never knew you needed. Crystal clear Hungarian waters, botanicals and patented science maintain a hydrated, toned and invigorated complexion.

WHAT MAKES IT

Signature Hungarian mineral water is infused with a clean, vegan blend of nourishing botanicals – and super-powered by a patented Hydro Mineral Transference™ delivery system to reach skin’s innermost layers.

THE TIP

Experience game-changing benefits, threefold – use AM and PM as a toner, throughout the day to refresh skin, and as needed to lift the spirits.

Original Makeup Remover

IN A NUTSHELL

A game-changer for your beauty budget – and your carbon footprint – FACE HALO’s innovation in makeup removal is a machine-washable mitt which, as if by magic, removes makeup with water alone. To be precise, it substitutes up to 500 makeup wipes – you’ll need to see it to believe it.

WHAT MAKES IT

Super-fine, non-toxic HaloTech fibres that reach deep into pores, removing all traces of makeup and dirt with a gentle buffing action – no need to rub.

THE TIP

To remove eye makeup (yes – even eye makeup), hold the halo over the eye for 5-10 seconds to loosen mascara and remove in a single stroke. Skin care devotees may wish to cleanse immediately after, but it isn’t essential.

Relevée Lash Curler

IN A NUTSHELL

With a string of beauty awards in tow, Surratt’s Japanese-made beauty tool has earned its place as the industry’s favourite eyelash curler. Why? Because it really does perform what other lash curlers only claim to deliver: no pinching, no plucking, no breakage, no creasing – just lasting length and an eye-widening curl.

WHAT MAKES IT

Surratt's commitment to the Japanese philosophy of Monozukuri (or craftsmanship) means all its tools are considered down to the final detail. This one is ergonomically designed and hand-calibrated in Japan for flawless functionality.

THE TIP

Create the perfect curl with a series of gentle pinches, starting as close to the root as possible, and repeating every millimetre along the lash.

Drying Lotion

IN A NUTSHELL

Mario Badescu’s acne-banishing pink potion is famous not only for its creamy, medicinal hue, but also for its ability to zap whiteheads overnight. Applied topically, it saps impurities and excess oil from unwelcome visitors to shrink, calm and counteract redness.

WHAT MAKES IT

A surprisingly sparse ingredient list: calamine gives it that unmistakable hue, and salicylic acid is the powerhouse ingredient renowned for taking blemishes down.

THE TIP

Dip a clean cotton bud right down into the sediment to get the good stuff – then apply a dab directly onto the spot and allow to dry overnight.

Lait-Crème Concentré

IN A NUTSHELL

The cult classic moisturiser from Embryolisse is a makeup artist’s best-kept secret. A rare beauty all-rounder, it’s not only hailed as a harmonising body lotion – but also works wonders as a primer, face mask and makeup remover.

WHAT MAKES IT

Naturally active French beauty familiars such as shea butter, beeswax, soy and aloe vera, along with essential fatty acids and vitamins to leave skin nourished, hydrated and protected from pollution.

THE TIP

Never leave the house without it – it’s guaranteed to come in handy as impromptu baby care, an on-the-go after-shave remedy… (you get the idea).

Baies Scented Candle

IN A NUTSHELL

This iconic scented candle needs no introduction – the perfectly balanced sweet-fresh aroma of Diptyque’s Baies can be detected in the home of every fragrance connoisseur, guaranteed not to go undetected. For a bath, special occasion or cosy night in, its distinctively rich berry notes will never fail to please.

WHAT MAKES IT

Based on various facets of blackcurrant, borrowing notes from its leaves and buds, the sophisticated fruity bouquet is boosted by Bulgarian rose and ambergris.

THE TIP

Consider this candle care 101: burn it for a few hours the first time you light it, until the wax has pooled right to the edge. Along with a meticulously-trimmed wick, this will allow for a clean and even burn in future.

Oi All-in-One Milk

IN A NUTSHELL

Famous for its unparalleled ability to control flyaways without weighing hair down, this cult leave-in conditioner from Davines imparts volume, shine and silk-like softness in a single, feather-light spritz. Packed full of natural ingredients that carry science on their side, this spray-in solution is the beauty industry’s most iconic mane-tamer for all hair types, from fine and static to coarse and frizzy.

WHAT MAKES IT

Packed full of fibre- and follicle-loving extracts, it contains a secret weapon for sun and environmental protection: roucou oil from the Lipstick Tree. A favourite among the inhabitants of the Amazonian rainforest, it’s also 100-times richer in beta-carotene than carrots, which maintains hair’s colour and vibrancy – the only thing it can’t do better is improve your eyesight in the dark!

THE TIP

Mist 10-15 spritzes onto toweled or dry hair, focusing on roots as well as ends.

Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

IN A NUTSHELL

Sol de Janeiro’s Vogue award-winning moisturiser was sent from the home of the ultimate beach body to deliver hydration, firmness and a sun-lit shimmer all at once. Its cult status comes courtesy of natural brightening and tightening properties, which work magic on dry and dull skin – plus a delicious pistachio caramel fragrance that leaves that lingering fresh-from-the-spa scent. While it may not quite be a Brazilian beach body in a tub, it’s a satisfyingly close second.

WHAT MAKES IT

An all-Brazilian line-up of capacu butter, açaí, and coconut oil is blended with the shimmer of natural mica and a secret Amazonian extract, guarana, which is rich in caffeine to firm and tighten minor lumps, bumps and wobbles.

THE TIP

Treat yourself to a gentle massage on application, not only because you deserve it, but also to increase circulation for a smoother finish with a healthy colour. Concentrate on less firm areas such as the legs, stomach, arms and buttocks to reap the full benefits of this miracle moisturiser.

Original Coffee Scrub

IN A NUTSHELL

Prizing our favourite morning pick-me-up as its main ingredient, Frank Body’s Australian-made formula is the coffee scrub that started it all. This supremely softening, purifying, glow-revealing treatment stimulates the body on the outside only, using all-natural, vegan-friendly, cruelty-free ingredients – in other words, it ticks all the boxes modern skin care should.

WHAT MAKES IT

A delicious, plant-based line-up that smells good enough to eat: premium Robusta coffee, sweet almond oil and essential vitamins with a sprinkling of sea salt.

THE TIP

Buff your entire body twice a week, or up the dosage to three times to tackle particular lumps, bumps or scarring.

Deep Conditioner

IN A NUTSHELL

Giving coarse, frizzy and textured hair the intense hydration and nourishment it deserves, Dizziak’s revolutionary deep conditioner is the ultimate shine enhancer. Rich and buttery, its silicone-free formulation provides long-lasting moisture without weighting hair down. The best part? It gets to work in just five minutes.

WHAT MAKES IT

Dizziak’s punchy monochrome tube hosts a hard-hitting assortment of naturally nourishing powerhouses, including inca inchi oil, babassu oil, argan oil, shea, quinoa protein and aloe vera.

THE TIP

Massage in to clean, damp hair from root to tip. Leave on for five minutes for a quick fix, or 30 for a more intense moisture boots, before rinsing well with cool water. Best used once or twice a week.

Veil Mineral Primer

IN A NUTSHELL

A lightweight, silky, water-resistant primer from Hourglass that reduces pores, redness and fine lines - smoothing over rough skin to create a flawless finish. Post application, makeup glides on and stays put for hours. What’s more, it offers a broad SPF 15 protection. Did we mention its vegan-friendly?

WHAT MAKES IT

Free of oil, fragrance, parabens, gluten, sulphates and phthalates, this complexion enhancer is enriched with titanium, zinc oxide and broad spectrum SPF15.

THE TIP

Apply half to one pump of primer to clean, moisturised skin prior to concealer, foundation and powder. We recommend starting with areas you tend to lose makeup fastest, such as the nose and chin.

Active Botanical Serum

IN A NUTSHELL

Formulated to combat all manner of skin gripes, from loss of elasticity to decreased density, fine lines and wrinkles to hyperpigmentation, this botanic facial oil from Vintner’s Daughter repairs and replenishes to leave skin glowy, even-toned and breakout free.

WHAT MAKES IT

A powerful blend of over 22 nutrient-rich botanicals and essential oils, strategically formulated to restore skin's balance, texture and natural radiance.

THE TIP

Forget complicated routines; after cleansing, rub the oil between the palms to activate and distribute the product, before applying to the face with a simple push-press technique.

Molecule 01

IN A NUTSHELL

Molecule 01 is made from just one aroma-molecule, the Iso E Super – and it has an incredible effect when worn on the skin. This bestselling perfume has a subtle, velvety-woody note which vanishes and resurfaces throughout the day, creating a deep sense of enticing allure without seeming overt or obvious. There really is nothing quite like it.

WHAT MAKES IT

Escentric Molecules fragrances are created in pairs: first is the Molecule Fragrance, containing nothing but one exceptional aroma-molecule; and second is the Escentric Fragrance, which contains an overdose of the same molecule, underscored by a blend of other perfume notes.

THE TIP

Created to blend with your natural pheromones, this is more of an effect than a scent. Experiment with how many spritzes work for you.

Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm

IN A NUTSHELL

Dry hands rejoice; Aesop’s aromatic hand balm hydrates even the thirstiest skin without leaving greasy residue. Created to nourish hard-working hands and cuticles, aromas of lavender and cedarwood work to revive the senses.

WHAT MAKES IT

A fragrant blend of botanicals and skin-softening emollients: sweet almond, coconut oil, mandarin rind, lavender oil and shea butter.

THE TIP

Just a small pump of this readily absorbed formula softens rough skin, cuticles and nails. Suitable for use all over the body, it also works wonders for a foot massage.

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