Beauty has seen some major viral successes this year largely down to Instagram and TikTok. Who’d have thought that Clinique Black Honey lipstick would see a comeback? But it did and sold out everywhere in early august. That’s a learning that brands will take to bring out more universal almost -shades that suit all tones and can be pared down or built up. The rise of tinted balms is no chance trend swing – brands are listening to the hype and hoping to create their own. Some brands never stop being recommended – Dyson is a good case in point – so I thought I’d run you through some of the products I’ve tried that have had a lot of attention this year to see if they’re worthy of it.
Sunday Riley Good Genes. I actually got influenced myself with this – I saw someone on Instagram raving about it so I looked out a bottle I’d been sent and put it to the test. It’s an exfoliating serum using glycolic (softened with prickly pear for efficient soothing) that keeps cells turning over to give a fresh skin look. Does it work? Absolutely, yes it does – it’s gentle and effective and brightened up my complexion quite quickly. It’s £85 HERE. 9/10. My original post is HERE.
The Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer got slightly outshone by the Air Wrap this year but it consistently gets incredible reviews. I would not be without mine which I’ve had since 2016. It’s still as good, as quick and as light in the hand as ever – it’s revolutionised my hair drying time and kept my locks in good condition. If anything happened to it, I’d replace it that very same day even at £299 HERE. A solid 10/10.
Elf Poreless Putty. In January last year, Elf brought out a pore refining blush on the back of the success of Elf Poreless Putty. Poreless Putty, if you haven’t used it, is a velvet textured balm infused with squalene that glides over the skin to give it a smoother appearance. If you are chasing the ultimate flawless finish it evens out any visible pores very effectively although manage your expectations if you have pronounced dips. It also holds your foundation to your skin for longer wear. For £7.20 (on offer HERE) it’s an easy 8/10.
Augustinus Bader The Cream. I tested this twice, convincing myself I had somehow not used it correctly but both times, while I saw some minor results in firming, I could not get along with it. I actually ended up with dry skin between my brows (a sure sign on me that hydration is lacking) and while it was softening and smoothing, I feel I could do better with a cream half the price. It’s £125 HERE. So, it’s 3/10 on this for a) being disappointing because I was dying to try it and b) not giving enough hydration for my skin. I also tried the oil and enjoyed the instant results but it didn’t perform longer term and I gave up.
The Revlon One Step Dryer & Volumiser has not stopped being a best seller – in fact, it’s often sold out. But, this year the hype went overboard and that’s for very good reason – it’s great. It’s lightweight, easy to use, will give you as near to a salon finish as you could hope to get at home. I really have no complaints. I’ve had it since 2017 and would replace it in a flash if needed. It’s various prices across the internet but the best I’ve found is £39.99 HERE. The original post is HERE.
The Drybar 3-Day Bender Digital 1.25-Inch Curling Iron. I did not get along with this at all – a beautiful, sleek machine let down by driver error. I burned my neck twice (so it scabbed) and felt that I was using a dangerous weapon rather than a curl maker. It’s almost impossible to tell whether it’s unusually unwieldy or whether I’m extremely incompetent so it’s an inconclusive result for this bright yellow styler that made all the magazine pages this year. It’s £129 HERE and I wouldn’t suggest that you tackle it unless you are experienced in curling irons – it’s not for a beginner and I offered to send it back to the PR.
Lashify Lash Extension Kit. I tried this out back in May, convinced that I would fail but it’s a very, very simple system that works extremely well. You apply a bond to the underside of your lashes and gently place the lashes (which come in small rows) to the bond with the tweezers. It’s genuinely easy, lashes look fulsome and dark and they lasted reasonably well. You need to take care if you want the last that no oil gets anywhere near your eyes which isn’t easy if you’re wearing shadow or crème shadow and you could expect to find a few on your pillow the next day. It’s simple to pop them back on but you need to be prepared to put the effort in. I’m giving it 7/10 for the dedication it requires for long term use for 9/10 for occasional one off use. The kit is £115 HERE. The full post is HERE.
Glow Recipe Skin Care. The lastest TikTok trend from this brand is the Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops which I tried in September. It lives up to the hype by giving an instant dew to the skin that doesn’t look like sweat or oil but more of a glow. It has a mild watermelon scent, is immediately skin softening and works well under make up although its strongest point is giving bare skin a rush of radiance. Definitely living up to expectation I feel so it gets 9/10. It’s £31 HERE.
Nuface Mini. I tested this a few months ago and honestly couldn’t get along with it. It promises lifted, toned facial skin. Despite using it according to instructions over a few weeks, I couldn’t, hand on heart, say I saw any difference at all in skin tone. I think I’m at the prime time to be tempted as (lack of) skin firmness becomes more apparent, but either it takes a very long time to give results (months and months) or the results are so small they’re not visible in which case, no point. It’s an easy enough gadget to use – you don’t need to stick to the Nuface brand priming gel but don’t use any oil based products while you’re massaging. I’ve seen several consumer comments about the gadget stopping working after a short while, although I’ve also seen several where people are very happy with results. It’s 5/10 because I’d like to see some data on how it performs on older skin that doesn’t spring back to shape quite as easily as younger skin. Nuface Mini is on offer for £110 instead of £170 HERE.
So, that’s my round up of this year’s hyped products – I’m planning to do a This Year’s Favourite Products post after the New Year Break.
All products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.
I bought the Nuface Trinity during the Black Friday offers in November and I started seeing results after 3 weeks of consistent use. I’m 53, nearly 54, and had been noticing a loss of firmness and, as I can neither afford nor want invasive cosmetic tweakments, thought this would be a good alternative. I have always looked after my skin so the overall condition was good for my age to begin with but I have definitely seen filming through using the device.
That’s very encouraging Jane – thanks for telling us your experience. xx
Thank you for your honest reviews Jane, I really appreciate them. It’s interesting how many experts and influencers are currently bigging up NuFace at the moment, and these are people that have talked about them before and said that they didn’t feel it worked or that it wasn’t worth the hype yet here they are now, giving it rave reviews. It really makes me wonder what deal has been struck behind the scenes.
I really think your experience and results with any gadget will be down to consistency of use – and of course the condition of your skin in the first place. I am wondering whether to give it another go because readers here have had a good experience with it but I haven’t seen any particular data on how it performs on skin by age and condition – it just can’t give the same results on a 50 year old that it would on a 30 year old. I can’t speak for specific influencers and experts but the coverage it’s getting is what made me put it on the hype list.
I must be one of the very few people that didn’t get on with that ELF putty – and I generally love they’d products – but perhaps my expectations were a tad high and my dips a bit pronounced!!
I’ve been looking for a new one tool does it’s all for my hair – yes I’m lazy – and often look but become utterly confused…I’m not looking for full n sleek etc my hair is extremely fine with mid length choppy layers so I need volume volume volume!! Must order!
Happy new year when it comes Jane!!
Yes, what I forget is that e.l.f. is predominantly aimed at younger women and in my experience, products like putty always perform better on bouncy, youthful skin :-))))
Thanks Jane really helpful. I’ve been havering for ages on the nu face thing but I can’t truly believe that it will have much effect and I know you have to be very consistent, which isn’t me at all!
Glad you’re feeling better, that tea sounds lovely.
Happy New Year!
I’m the first to admit consistency isn’t my strong point but I did give it a good go … I think to see any results you have to be in it for the very long haul and I’m just not 🙂
Thank you so much for your reviews. I’m seconding you on the Dyson dryer. I absolutely love mine and it’s a godsend for anyone with pain and mobility issues in hands, wrists, elbows and shoulders as the weight is all in the handle and doesn’t need a really firm grip to operate. I can now dry my short bob in one go rather than with ordinary dryers having to have a rest between sides from the pain of holding and moving a top-heavy dryer. Aside from that, the drying time is cut down and the cool jet for setting is really easy to use, in an intuitive place so you don’t have to stop and search for it.
I’m glad you agree – I’m always nervous about featuring really expensive gadgets but I wouldn’t be without mine ever! The Revlon Styler is also quite lightweight … weight is one of the things I look out for with any gadget because as you say, if you have mobility issues or hand/wrist problems it’s really important to know if something is too heavy.
I didn’t get anywhere with nu face. More money down the drain. I recently tried Acupunture facial rejuvenation and really liked it. Doesn’t look like a tweakment, you just look really well with healthy glowy skin. About ten sessions, and each session you can address other issues you have in the moment. So I also got great outcomes for insomnia – maybe that has more to do with looking better
Oh wow – that’s good to know. I’m looking at reviewing more things like that now that I have the actual issues concerned … I get the feeling that they’re probably tested on skin that would ping back no matter what. And what an absolute bonus re the sleep … better sleep has a knock on effect to so many things so that really is good news.
Hi Jane, thanks for all the useful info as usual. I’m 60 and I have been using a NuFace mini for just over 4 years now and I can really see a difference. My skin is in decent shape and I use it diligently using inexpensive medical grade conducter gel. Just before I started using it I had very expensive Botox and filler with an eminent cosmetic dermatologist to address a bit of sagging at the jawline and outer corners of the lips which did nothing, just as well because I couldn’t have afforded to keep it up! I saw much better results with the NuFace after a couple of months and I’ve kept it going. I also had a course of acupuncture facials and my therapist said she thought the NuFace was really enhancing the results. I do not like the way the NuFace company constantly pushes their own conductive gels and creams on Instagram etc, at one point they used to say if someone had a sensitivity to their products you could use aloe vera gel but they did a turn about on that , obviously they need to sell product , but I do think the gadget works , I recently dropped mine and cracked it and immediately bought another one as I wouldn’t like to be without it.
This is enough I think for me to want to give it another go – although I am going to test Morpheus 8 soon so maybe it’s too late..it’s a treatment I feel quite sceptical about because it’s SO expensive but we shall see! When I have my consultation I’ll ask if Nuface or similar helps to hold onto results from other treatments. I am really glad you have had such good results.. perhaps I just wasn’t persistent enough.
yes like all of these things you have to be in it for the long haul, but it’s only five minutes a day. I do mine in the morning watching the news. Have another go!
I am tempted…. I will see if I can dig it out!