If you already sort your makeup and skincare by performance and price, then here are suggestions for your topshelf. If was quite a year in beauty, with phenomenal, industry-shaping launches from Fenty Beauty, the continuing rise of green and eco-friendly brands, whilst heritage beauty companies continue to make tweaks in an attempt to keep pace with the rapid-fire changes the beauty industry will continue undergoing. We as consumers are understanding ingredients at a higher level and challenging companies to do better so that they deliver the healthiest formulas whilst adhering to the best practices. While I cover products from all sides of the beauty industry, these changes are intriguing and I think, will hopefully force companies to strive to deliver the best.
To bring it back now, I put together this post to re-cap the topshelf products that stood out to me this year in terms of performance, longevity, formulation and ease of use. While all of the products are not new to the market, they were new to me or only made their way into my collection this year. It was not the easiest task to narrow it down but once I did, I was satisfied and I do hope that the choices either include products you’ve used or plan to in the future.
So in order of how you or I would approach our grooming for the day, let’s begin with skincare.
Romilly Wilde Light+Energy Serum Cleanser
British and eco-friendly, Romilly Wilde’s cleanser is a hybrid of sorts that satisfies if you need a mask as well. An oily emulsion that takes care of every scrap of makeup, sunscreen or other skin care product on your face, this leaves a clean, hydrated canvas in its wake. Using a second cleanser after this is optional while using it at the start of the day is also a delight. For ingredients and more details on its performance, see my full post about it here.
Clé de Peau Beauté Protective Fortifying Emulsion
A silky, slightly illuminating moisturiser with SPF 22 that does not interfere with makeup or any other skin care you put on. On dry skin, it hits the right hydration note and also acts as an excellent base for makeup. This emulsion gives skin such a lovely, measured glow that is appropriate for work or a bigger occasion. We all know the sunscreen rules but for the holdouts who can’t bear to use a separate sunscreen, this at least puts you on the path to a topshelf product that hydrates and offers sun protection.
Guerlain Abeille Royale Face Treatment Oil
Initially, I went to the Guerlain counter to purchase the Abeille Royale Youth Watery Oil but it was not in stock. Nonetheless, I was able to at least test it and found it to be thinner than I anticipated, so I opted for the Guerlain Abeille Royale Face Treatment Oil. With a heavier texture, something my dry skin needs, I finally found a product that could stand in place of a conventional primer. This is an excellent base over which to layer foundation, powder and any other makeup. It enhances the appearance of skin, the way foundation adheres to your skin and the length of time your foundation stays true. I also noticed that powder blushers, powder bronzers and cream illuminators went on so much better and looked better on the skin. This topshelf facial oil can also be worn as a daily moisturiser or as your overnight product.
Now that topshelf worthy skincare is covered, here’s my top pick for a foundation that was new to me this year, exceeds expectations and leaves skin looking better, smoother and livelier.
Givenchy Teint Couture Long-Wearing Fluid Foundation with Sunscreen
Even if a foundation is not your cup of tea, it’s likely you’re familiar with the effort required to find the right one for your skin tone. As I get older, I rely on a foundation more than ever before, even if I’m just doing errands. Ideally, an everyday foundation is easy to apply and does not require too much in the way of precision. And so, this foundation from Givenchy is exactly that. It’s easy to apply and an absolute pleasure to use, as it does not dry instantly upon contact with skin, allowing you time to blend. Plus, it can be applied with clean fingers, a sponge or a brush. Exceedingly light-weight, this delivers an even finish to your skin and gives some illumination that is in no way overly dewy. Once it meshes with your skin and ‘blooms’, the effect is lovely, polished and clean. I wish I’d met this foundation much sooner, otherwise, I’ve written more about it here.
On Fragrance- Chanel No 19 Poudré
It never ceases to amaze me the differences between American best of fragrance lists and British ones. Yet, I can only share with you what has intrigued me, and this year Chanel No.19 Poudré is the fragrance that stole my heart. I wrote about it earlier this year in honour of The Fragrance Foundation’s Scent Memories, an exercise designed to get the public to think of a fragrance that conjures deeply held memories. You may read the post here, otherwise, this fragrance is sophisticated, bright, a bit musky while being feminine yet not overly sweet or floral. Chanel No. 19 Poudré, created by perfumer Jacques Polge, is an updated version of the original Chanel No. 19. Gabrielle Chanel collaborated with perfumer Henri Robert on the original No. 19, as the number commemorates her birthday in August. If you were to read my original post about this fragrance, you’d understand why I am so intrigued by it and why it is a fragrance I will repurchase once this one is finished.
Standout Eyeshadow-Chanel Ombre Première Longwear Cream Eyeshadow
Chanel Ombre Première Longwear Cream Eyeshadow is to me, one for the hall of fame. This cream eyeshadow does not go anywhere for hours and can be applied thinly or with a heavier hand for a more vampy eye. It can also work as an eyeliner if you prefer, to bring nuance and a touch of drama to the eyes. I’d suggest tight lining for a very clean look that would open up the eyes beautifully. At first glance, it looks like a cross between gun-metal grey and black but when swatched something entirely different happens, yet the black and grey are still there. Complete thoughts are here.
If Eyeliner Were Velvet-Tom Ford Eye Defining Pen 01 Deeper
Ideally, if you’re into eyeliner it should be easy to use, should never smudge, flake or disappear. I think Tom Ford has completely nailed the ultimate liner that offers two ends with which to work. The perfect combination of a true black with a precisely designed pen, anyone from a novice to a pro can achieve the perfect line with this. Use it to create a killer flick line or simply dot between your eyelashes for definition. Weighty in the hand and admittedly, quite beautiful to look at, this is eyeliner at it’s carefully formulated and designed best. So, if you’re ever in the mood to splash out on one cult favourite makeup item, let it be this ever popular eyeliner from the legend, Tom Ford.
And there it is, the clear standouts this year from makeup and skincare. But there’s one more category that I’d be remiss to leave out and that’s lipstick. The lipsticks will be in a separate post, so I hope you’ll look out for it as well. Thanks for sticking with me and do let me know if any of these are already in your collection, or if you’ll make room for one or two of these topshelf items eventually.