Your moodboosting beauty heroes of 2022

Your moodboosting beauty heroes of 2022: Timeless classics. New arrivals that really work. And brilliant bargains. Our Beauty Awards reveal what readers really care about…

  • Hannah Betts outlines the 16 winners if this year’s Inspire Beauty Awards 
  • Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer and Huda Beauty’s eyeshadow are featured
  • Creams and cleansers from Dove and CeraVe are also included in the list 

Well, here they are, then: the 16 winners in this, Inspire’s sixth annual Beauty Awards.

The ultimate experts — British women — voted in their thousands, by post, email and online, to come up with 2022’s star buys. And, my goodness, this catalogue endorses how much I adore you, and the extent to which we are sisters under the (perfectly nourished) skin. For you, like me, are devoted high-low shoppers, or should I say low-high? Tough times may be all about, but you know this means embracing, not renouncing, the power of beauty and bringing your A-game when it comes to trusty budget and classic buys. Leonard Lauder (Estee’s offspring) coined the term the ‘lipstick index’ to describe increased sales of cosmetics during America’s 2000s recession.

Lauder made the argument that lipstick sales could serve as an economic indicator, since cosmetic purchases — and lipstick, in particular — tend to be inversely correlated to economic health.

His theory was that women swap costly joys, such as dresses and shoes, for put-your-best-face-forward lippie in times of economic distress.

The ultimate experts — British women — voted in their thousands, by post, email and online, to come up with 2022’s star buys

Later commentators proposed a ‘nail-polish index’, as lacquer took over from lip love as the cosmetic craze from around 2010; then it became a ‘mascara index’ during the (masked) pandemic.

Perfume sales may have plunged when shops shut in March 2020, but they rocketed later in lockdown, as we decided we needed scent to boost our morale and shopped online.

Whether or not one accepts these beauty indices as coincidences or relationships, behemoths such as L’Oreal (which owns Maybelline, Kiehl’s, Lancome and Armani Beauty, among others) and Coty (the giant that houses Rimmel, Bourjois, Gucci Beauty and more) are reporting double-digit sales growth in both their High Street and high-end divisions, despite today’s economic crisis.

And the festive season should prove no exception, for we will buy beauty this Christmas in the same way we have bought it throughout 2022 — saving a little here to spend there, safe in the knowledge that we’ve picked the best at every price.

Dove Deeply Nourishing Body Wash and CeraVe Moisturising Cream have all received high praise in Hannah Betts’ column over the past few months

Naturally, I am delighted you agree with me regarding all things eyeliner, with your choice of L’Oreal Le Khol Naturel by Paradise in Midnight Black (£3.99, boots.com). Somehow, whatever posh pencils I’ve fallen for, I’ve always come back to this budget 2022 innovation.

There’s a plush creaminess to it that looks velvety about the eye, softening and adding a certain luminosity to each shade (Midnight Black, Pure Espresso and Urban Grey) — the upshot being it’s ultra-flattering on the middle-aged face.

It doesn’t surprise me that you also welcomed Superdrug bringing back French veteran Bourjois this summer, in particular its immortal Little Round Pot Blusher (£8.99, superdrug.com), first sold in 1879.

Customers who had stockpiled their favourite of its highly pigmented, rose-scented shades when the brand left these shores in 2019 are clearly thrilled to be able to buy it in Blighty again.

As for your endorsement of my Best Bargain for £5 or under, Vaseline Lip Therapy Tin Rosy Lips (currently 97p, boots.com), I defy anyone to unearth a more brilliant multi-tasker at any price.

As a teenager, I used vast vats of Vaseline to remove my great excesses of eye make-up and alleviate my alligator-hide elbows (from slouching bolshily, cheek-on-elbow).

And, even if I do say so myself, said elbows continue to be magnificently spring-chickenish.

Four decades on, I use this non-sticky petroleum jelly plus rose and sweet almond oil salve to soothe my lips, condition my eyebrows and groom my cuticles.

The skin on our mouths is thinner than elsewhere and this pale pink tint is clinically proven to lock in moisture.

As for your love of Maybelline mascara and Nars concealer, these are also my favourites, albeit I favour a sister product from both brands: this year’s new Maybelline Colossal Curl Bounce Mascara (£10.99, boots.com) and Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer (£25, narscosmetics.co.uk). They’re well worth seeking out. In the same way, Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, Huda eyeshadow palettes, the Rimmel brow pencil, La Roche-Posay cleanser, Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum, Philip Kingsley Elasticizer, Dove Deeply Nourishing Body Wash and CeraVe Moisturising Cream have all received high praise in my column over the past few months.

All stand proud in my beauty wardrobe, as they do in yours.

You are strong on classics — not much in your list is brand new. I like this fact: it speaks of a moment when we need serious, impeccably trustworthy bang for our buck.

The beauty business is a multi-billion-pound industry designed to promote ‘newness’ — that horrific marketing coinage. ‘Here’s the newness!’ PRs trill. ‘Get a load of this newness!’ But I’m not looking solely for ‘new’ wares. I want the stuff that works.

Still, there are new products that are brilliant, and this will be my challenge in 2023: to find you the latest batch of contemporary classics to fall in love with.

Thank you for being by my side as we painted and powdered our way through 2022. Now, let’s look forward to a beautiful new year.

…AND THE PRODUCTS OUR EXPERT JUDGES SWEAR BY

Jo Malone CBE

Jo, 59, is the founder of fragrance lifestyle brand Jo Loves, which she launched after selling her eponymous brand to Estee Lauder

Jo, 59, is the founder of fragrance lifestyle brand Jo Loves, which she launched after selling her eponymous brand to Estee Lauder.

I think women want sparkle in their lives right now, so I was thrilled to see Huda’s eye palette win. Look at founder Huda Kattan’s Instagram and you’ll see how brilliantly she does proper Hollywood glamour.

Products that boost your spirits are so important. We have our staff Christmas party tonight and I’m going to spend a good half an hour doing my make-up — it’s all part of the fun.

There are some great low-cost winners on the list, which doesn’t surprise me at all. Every woman I know has things that cost just a couple of quid in her make-up bag. These products from Bourjois, Rimmel and Maybelline show that whatever your budget, you can still look your best.

Beauty clearly isn’t the most important thing in life, but it can make you smile, it can keep up morale and help us get through these tough times.

Sometimes you just have to push through — put on your big girl pants, a slick of lipstick, get out there and get on with it.

joloves.com

Ruby Hammer MBE

Make-up artist Ruby, 61, has been a mainstay of the beauty world since the 1980s and launched her beauty range, Ruby Hammer, in 2019

Make-up artist Ruby, 61, has been a mainstay of the beauty world since the 1980s and launched her beauty range, Ruby Hammer, in 2019.

Many of this year’s winners are tried and tested classics that deliver every time, so women are willing to invest in them.

I’ve had the Giorgio Armani foundation in my kit for many, many years. I use it myself and on every shoot, too. I consider every new foundation that comes onto the market, but always revert back to this one.

No one wants to take a chance when it comes to key products like foundation: you have to get it exactly right. It’s the same with the Nars concealer, which is equally reliable.

But women know where to economise. Mascara and eyeliner don’t have to cost a fortune — the winners in those categories are cheap and cheerful. This makes sense. You should replace eye make-up every three to six months for hygiene reasons, so why spend a fortune?

The Inspire reader is certainly a discerning customer. Her approach is no-nonsense, she wants products that are functional and insists that they tick all the boxes. And rightly so!

rubyhammer.com

Hannah Martin

Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice are among top make-up artist Hannah Martin’s celebrity clients

Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice are among top make-up artist Hannah Martin’s celebrity clients.

It’s a stellar list of winners and reflective of the way that women shop for beauty now. We all tend to have a high/low mix of products.

It shows how savvy women are today when shopping for beauty. They do their research and work out where they’re willing to prioritise spending.

A good example is Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream. It’s canny of readers to choose this. If you’re looking for a day cream to prep your skin before make-up, then absolutely go for one formulated by a top make-up artist. Make-up melts beautifully into it, and the finish is incredible.

The Tweezerman eyelash curlers are another case in point. The brand is the expert in its field and these are well worth spending £18 on.

You can pick up curlers for £1.99 at Superdrug but they just won’t work. A well-curled lash can completely transform your look — it makes your eyes look bigger and brighter.

I was so pleased to see my favourite Clarins lip product win. It’s one of those clever multi-taskers that nourishes lips, while adding colour and gloss. It’s an instant pick-me-up — and everyone’s in the market for one of those at the moment.

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Dr Sam Bunting

Dr Sam, a dermatologist and skincare specialist for two decades, runs a Harley Street clinic and in 2018 launched her award-winning skincare range, Dr Sam’s

Dr Sam, a dermatologist and skincare specialist for two decades, runs a Harley Street clinic and in 2018 launched her award-winning skincare range, Dr Sam’s.

It’s interesting to see dermatologist-approved brands such as CeraVe and La Roche-Posay coming fully into the mainstream. I use the La Roche-Posay cleanser in my clinic — it’s a good, fuss-free product at a decent price.

And the CeraVe body moisturiser is a great bathroom staple. It’s suitable for all skin types and contains ceramides, which help maintain a healthy skin barrier, which is essential at this time of year when our skin comes under attack from both the cold weather and central heating.

Right now, skin barrier science is at the forefront in the industry. We now know, for example, that the skin barrier becomes impaired as we approach menopause, due to the drop in oestrogen levels. It means your skin may well become more sensitive. It’s great that today we have so much more access to this kind of information.

This is because dermatologists have taken down the veil. There is so much chatter online around active ingredients, and what does and doesn’t work. It’s far easier to educate yourself.

Finally, I note some bona fide beauty icons on the list. I used the Bourjois little round pots of blusher when I was a teenager — they’re well-formulated and come in a good range of shades.

I’m all for smart investing with beauty — learn to cut corners where you can, but without compromising.

drsambunting.com

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