The Best Beauty Products We Bought in 2021

Instagram @basics_byb / @peaceoutskincare

With the year winding down and many a ‘best of’ story being written, we couldn’t let 2021 end without doing our very own round-up of the best beauty products we’ve purchased this year. With lockdown measures plaguing the last two years, and more time spent at home than ever before, beauty products have played a huge role in our day-to-day lives.

With this in mind, we picked the brain of some of our POPSUGAR Australia team members to find out which beauty products they discovered this year and why these products are worthy of a ‘best of’ story. Here are the products they loved in 2021.

Alexandra, Beauty & Wellness Editor:

The best beauty discovery I made this year is without a doubt pimple stickers. I’m lucky enough to only really have to deal with breakouts around my period, but it’s never fun. I’ve found pimple stickers to be life-changing as it speeds up the healing process while also acting as a barrier so I can’t pick at the zit (which is a bad habit of mine).

I’ve purchased and tried quite a few pimple stickers and have had varying degrees of success with their efficacy. My favourite of all is the Peace Out Skincare Acne Healing Dots ($33). A pack of 20 stickers works out to cost $1.65 per sticker, which is a little steep but I love these stickers as they draw all of the gunk out of the pimple, while also minimising the appearance of the zit as well as soothing the redness.

Another happy discovery of the year was the skincare brand Dr Naomi. Launched earlier this year by cosmetic physician Dr Naomi McCullum, who is known for her pioneering work in the field of non-surgical cosmetic medicine, all of the products in the range are infused with brightening ingredients to target pigmentation and dark spots.

Of all the products I’ve tried, my favourites are the Lift Off Firming Super Oil ($139), which nourishes and tightens the skin, the Plump Fiction Anti-Ageing Moisturiser ($139), which is the most lovely plumping and hydrating cream and the Catfish Blurring Eye Cream (89), which blurs all of the fine lines around your eyes, while also tightening the skin. It’s rare to love a skincare line as a whole, but my skincare routine has been very Dr Naomi heavy over the last few months.

Sangeeta, Lifestyle Editor:

I recently got the Naked Sundays SPF50+ Collagen Glow Crème ($34.95) and I’m obsessed! I was using a facial sunscreen by the Cancer Council before, which I did trust to do the job of protecting my face, but I found that after several months of use, it’s gotten a bit runny and has been stinging my eyes when I go in the water. This Naked Sundays one, though, I LOVE! It has a bit of tint so covers my blemishes and it makes my face so glowy.

Another recent addition is the Neutriderm KS Cream ($69.95) that I’ve been slathering on when I’m not going outside for a while as I was told by a skin specialist that the skin around my eyes looked dehydrated. I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to be using retinol around your eyes — oops!

And then makeup-wise, I use Basics By B Face Palette ($60). I love the eyeshadow colours and the highlighter — it stays on my face all day.

Angela, Commerical Content and Shopping Editor:

This is (quite literally) a bland product to recommend, but the QV Face Ultra Calming Moisturiser ($14) has been my skin’s soothing saviour this year while I’ve been having some intense acne treatment. It has a lightweight gel consistency, is oil-free and therefore non-greasy, and I love that it has added niacinamide to make what is a very un-sexy product feel a little more luxe. 

The L’Occitane Almond Shower Scrub ($31) makes a mundane daily ritual into a bit of a self-care moment and that’s exactly what I needed in 2021. Just like the L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil ($39), which I’ve loved for years, this product leaves your skin lightly scented and moisturised, and the added scrub also makes it as smooth as a baby’s bum. It also feels like a shower gel so doesn’t leave any sticky residue on your body afterwards. 

I’ve never been a huge lover of eyeshadow palettes — until I started using the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette in Pillow Talk ($120). This one comes with 12 shades in varying depths of pink and brown and I can say, hand on heart, that I use it most days of the week. My concealer creases terribly on my eyes within minutes of application and even a subtle swipe of one of these eyeshadows keeps me relatively crease-free through the day. I’m yet to dive into the darker end of the palette, but maybe 2022 will be the year.

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