17 Beauty Loves and Launches From August (Because Spring is Finally Here)
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For beauty journalists, the end of a month is always time to reflect on the launches we loved and the products we discovered. August was full of fragrances, palettes and innovative humidity-beating buys that pointed to one thing: summer. Scattered into this list you’ll also find some of my favourite drugstore discoveries I’ll be taking with me into spring.
Maybelline, Lash Sensational Mascara, Waterproof
August was the month I fell head over heels for my first ever drugstore mascara. Sure, I’ve had and enjoyed a few before, but nothing has challenged my steady relationship with Lancôme, Hypnôse Mascara ($59). Happily for my bank account, a new challenger has arrived.
I discovered Maybelline, Lash Sensational ($21) when I was in need of extremely waterproof mascara, and fell in love with its full, fluttery, fanned effect. The curved brush catches every lash, and allows you to customise your application. For doe eyes, brush up and out, for a “siren-eye” effect hook the brush under your outer lashes and pull outwards.
This is the most intense waterproof mascara I’ve tried: Lash Sensational Waterproof withstood scientific testing under a full-blast hot shower (sorry face). It should be your go-to for a day at the beach, a day your allergies are popping off, or any day you’re definitely going to cry, TBH.
Sally Hansen, Xtreme Wear Glitter Nailpolish
I sang the praises of these glossy little polish-toppers when I successfully cocktailed Hailey Bieber’s glazed doughnut nails, and I remain enchanted. X-Treme Wear is a range of thick and glossy gel polishes that will give a Bieber-esque lift to any at-home manicure. I’ve been adding “Glitter Glam,” ($4) an opalescent gloss shot through duochrome blue glitter, or “On Cloud Shine” ($4) a pearly luminescent pink, to any home manicure and their mesmerising reflection keeps me entertained as I tap away at my laptop.
Sulwhasoo First Care, Activating Serum
I struggled with insomnia throughout the month and my skin felt it first, but Sulwhasoo’s First Care, Activating Serum ($119) was my bedside saviour — a reliable solution for underslept, dehydrated skin.
Not totally a serum, not simply a toner, this is a pre-skincare skincare prep-step. Designed to increase the penetration of all your other skincare steps, this deeply hydrating fluid contains JAUM Balancing Complex™, a cocktail blend of five Korean herbs that replenish and protect. Cooling, refreshing, lightweight and potent, this is a skincare amplifier perfectly suited to humid weather.
Westman Atelier, Vital Pressed Skincare Powder
For touch-ups on the go, pressed powders are preferable to loose powders, but I often find them a little cakey. Not so with Westman Atelier, Vital Pressed Skincare Powder, ($113) a silky, skincare infusion in pressed powder form.
Infused with vitamin C , this is an antioxidant mineral shield to provide pollution protection while setting your makeup. Worried about long days in an air-conditioned office? Quinoa seed extract and jojoba seed oil are there to provide long-term nourishment, a smooth, cushioning finish and sebum regulating benefits. Micro-milled, skin veil combines everything I want in a powder in one luxuriously weighted, convenient silver compact.
Natasha Denona, Pastel Eyeshadow Palette
Natasha Denona is an MUA-founded brand best known for its on-trend, meticulously curated and masterfully formulated eyeshadow palettes. Pastel Eyeshadow Palette ($106) is their latest newbie and perfect for Spring.
The palette features the brand’s beloved cream-powder mattes and intense shimmers, with the addition of their first multi-chrome, which can be worn as a glistening top coat. We predict green will be the colour of Spring/Summer with stars like Sydney Sweeney and Lil Nas X currently championing emerald, lime and olive hues, so “Zest” — an electric lime green — has our attention.
Flourish Frizz Block, Smoothing Spray
VIRTUE, Frizz Block Smoothing Spray ($63) is timely launch with a humid, wetter-than-we’d-like-it-to-be summer on its way. The smoothing spray provides 72-hour protection from frizziness while providing heat protection and conditioning benefits. The treatment also smooths ragged cuticles with polymers, lipids and its proprietary Alpha Keratin 60ku® complex. I apply post-shower and pre-blowdry to lock in a frizz-free blow wave.
Mango Skin, Vilhelm Parfumerie
Mango Skin reminds me of the hot, sticky days of my childhood, with a Weiss bar always in reach.
Sure, Weiss bars may have been replaced by Aperol-spritzes, but mangos for summer have gone nowhere, and now the succulent, sweet green scent is blowing up on perfume-Tok, with Vilhelm Parfumerie’s Mango Skin ($348) leading the charge.
@perfumehead Reply to @thatonehoed Top tier mango perfumes🥭#greenscreenvideo #perfume #mango #smelllikeasnack #yum #perfumehead ♬ Under the influence audio by jagi.bts – Yasmin
This parfum is a complex cocktail of cool green floral notes like black lotus and wild orris, for the tart green skin of the mango, with heady jasmine and patchouli for its airy sweetness. The parfums addictive qualities (because you never have just one Weiss bar) reside in its caramelised base notes of pink sugar and vanilla.
When I asked a Mecca fragrance specialist about Mango Skin, she told me it was so buzzy it easily become the next Gypsy Water, Santal 33 or Baccarat Rouge 540 . Straddling the gap between idiosyncratic, instantly recognisable and close to universally crowd-pleasing, lay claim to it as your signature scent before somebody else does.
Burts Bees, Overnight Intensive Lip Treatment
I have chronically dry, chapped lips and am therefore always on the lookout for a new lip balm. Burt’s Bees, Overnight Intensive Lip Treatment ($11) was my August favourite. The 100% natural ceramide-packed formula creates a hydrating seal that prevents overnight moisture loss while hydrating and conditioning with jojoba oil, glycerine and castor oil. With peppermint and caramel thrown in for good measure, it gives you lips that taste as delicious as they look. I am never without it.
Natasha Denona, Hy-Gen Skin Glass, Energizing & Hydrating Primer Serum
We’ve seen a lot of serum complexion products in 2022 and there’s much to love about these glassy, lightweight formulas. I have been instantly seduced by Natasha Denona’s Hy-Gen Skin Glass, Energizing & Hydrating Primer Serum ($75). Hy-Gen captures reflecting crystalline pigments suspended in an intensely hydrating, nourishing cream-essence fluid, for a versatile glow product. Applied all over, Hy-Gen gives a glass glow will give you a super-natural shine, tapped on cheekbones post-powder (how I like to use this) it gives a fully made-up face a raw skin, ethereal dewiness.
Eau D’Italie, Mystic Sunset
Another enchanting summer fragrance from MECCA! This saffron-heavy summer scent is sweet and sexy and considered a dupe for Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Baccarat Rouge 540, but it is a fragrance that stands on its own in my opinion.
Like Mango Skin, Eau D’Italie, Mystic Sunset ($248) has an underlying sweetness that draws you in, but where Mango Skin is a fresh, tart green, Mystic Sunset is all dry warmth. Thanks to cassis, saffron, cedarwood and osmanthus, you can feel the lingering heat of a summer evening in Positano with every addictive spritz.
Is it a dupe for Baccarat? If you think of Baccarat as the triple-layer red velvet and Mystic Sunset as a soft sweet macaroon, you won’t be disappointed. Perfect for those who like the idea of Baccarat Rouge 540 but find it a little heavy going (me), or those who love Baccarat but want a lighter, summer-friendly scent.
Alpha H, Golden Haze Oil
As a previous Roaccutane user and subsequently dry-skinned makeup wearer, I love using face oils as face primers as much as I love them as nighttime treatments. However, not all face oils are appropriate for both. The new Alpha H, Golden Haze Oil, ($70) is my most recent day and night favourite.
Golden Haze contains nine molecularly weighted oils that penetrate the skin at different levels, rather than forming a simple barrier. Watermelon seed oil, seabuckthorn berry oil, and camelia seed oil achieve greater penetration for deep antioxidant revitalisation.
Meanwhile, classic humectants like squalene and jojoba form a “seal” that locks in your other products and provides a smooth base for makeup. Whether it’s sitting by my bedside table or in my makeup bag, I’m never without it.
Nudestix Blot & Blur Matte Stick
Want Barbie-doll skin to go with your Barbie-core outfit and beauty beat? Nudestix Blot & Blur Matte Stick ($48) is coming to your rescue this spring. I’ve tried a few blurring, dimethicone-based powder replacements and while I love the idea, they often pill makeup or feel heavy.
Not only does Blot & Blur smooth over pores without lifting your freshly applied makeup – it also absorbs oil throughout the day with an innovative ingredient list high on silica and volcanic ash. It can double up as an under-makeup primer and will matte down any glossy product. A high-humidity must-have.
Stila, Stay All Day Dual Dual-Ended Liner in Intense Black
Despite my reservations, in August I did cave to TikTok and try the siren eye trend. Pending my comprehensive tutorial, I can say this liner was central to solid execution. The Stay All Day formula is jet black, but it’s the tiny tip of the double-ended Stila, Stay All Day Dual-Ended Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner ($45) double end that makes all the difference, allowing for super precise detail on the inner-corner upper waterline required to create the Maddy Perez feline eye of your (and everybody else’s, according to TikTok)’s dreams.
Charlotte Tilbury, Beautiful Skin Radiant Concealer
Just like the foundation it is inspired by, Charlotte Tilbury, Beautiful Skin Radiant Concealer ($49) provides medium-to-full coverage and intense, ‘chugging green juices while on vacation in Europe’ luminosity. And, just like green juice, it’s packed with beneficial ingredients. Protective actives like golden vitamin C, niacinamide, peptides and hyaluronic acid make up 10% of the formula, providing brightening and strengthening benefits over time. The answer to my underslept prayers, this concealer makes me feel put together and ready to face the world in seconds.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian, 724 Eau de Parfum
Spring always brings big fragrance launches, and 2022 was no different. Maison Francis Kurkdjian, the brains behind Baccarat Rouge, launched this airy, transparent scent just last week. Described as an ode to New York, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, 724 ($298) will make a great gifting option for the men in your life, or unisex fragrance lovers, this holiday season. It combines all the charm of clean fresh linen, with a sensual undercurrent provided by a blend of musks, intense seringate and bergamot that intensify on the dry-down.
Sol de Janeiro, Beija Flor Elasti-Cream
Sol de Janeiro’s Brazilian Bum Bum Cream is as beloved for its salted caramel, vanilla and pistachio scent as it is for its smoothing and firming properties. The brand new floral addition, Beija Flor Elasti-Cream ($72) offers something to those who want to retinol-mimicking skin benefits of Cacay oil with a less caramelised option.
I’ve never tried the original Sol de Janeiro, possibly because I was perplexed by a $72 product with “bum bum” in the name, but I was a fool. Firstly, the butter absorbs impressively fast, leaving velvety, soft limbs rather than a greasy slick that will leave oil stains on your pilates tights. Secondly, the fragrance is addictive. A fruity floral, Beija Flor contains Brazilian Jasmin and pink dragonfruit and lychee and a familiar, musky vanilla base. It’s an edible smell and sometimes “edible” just how you want to feel.