Spring is finally here! It's time for your update on the season's best new launches in beauty.
Below, I've picked the nine most exciting makeup products you need to know about, from lip shades to a silicone-free primer to safe alternatives to self-tanner. (Yes... self-tanner is aging. More on that in a second.)
1. NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil (New Shades)
NARS has just added 10 shades to its beloved Velvet Matte Lip Pencil range, bringing the selection to 28 in total. If you haven't tried 'em yet, they're high-pigment pencils with a non-drying, velvety matte finish. My favourite is Intriguing, a "your lips, only better" warm rose pink that is going straight into my lip colour rotation. (I'm so glad it doesn't have a terrible name like some of the others... give it a rest, NARS!)
Note: I don't know if it's just my press samples, but if you caught my Instagram story today, the head of one of them lopped right off when I went to use it! Total fail. I also had some trouble keeping the caps on, so hopefully they're fixing these problems.
2. Smashbox Photo Finish Radiance Primer
Finally, there's a Smashbox primer I can get behind. I never understood the hype for their original primer, which was way too slippery and siliconey for me. But the new Photo Finish Radiance Primer is silicone-free and infused with hydrating shea butter and hyaluronic acid! It also has micronized amber and bronze pearls to recreate a "golden hour" glow. It's subtle, not glittery, and dries down with no residue. I would still reserve this for evening wear, but overall, I'm impressed.
Ingredients: Water\Aqua\Eau, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, C-12-15 Alkyl Bezonate, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Acrylates Copolymer, Sodium Potassium Aluminum Silicate, Nylon-12, Lethicin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Silica, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Tin Oxide, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, (+/- Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI77891), Iron Oxides (CI77491)).
3. Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow
If you're like me and can't get enough of sparkly metallic shades on your lids, you'll like Stila's Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow. This is a long-wearing liquid eyeshadow that can be worn sheered out or more concentrated, depending on how much impact you want to make. It only takes a few moments to dry down, and then it's locked in place for hours. There are 12 shades and I tried Rose Gold Retro, a pinky metallic with tiny flecks of silver. I love it because it doesn't require any special skill to apply, and the hue is close to my skin tone, so it's not super-dark or dramatic. There is a bit of glitter fallout, but I don't mind!
4. Guerlain Terracotta Jolies Jambes Flawless Legs Smoothing & Perfecting Lotion
Did you know that there is no such thing as a safe faux tan? It's true—the active ingredient, DHA, generates damaging free radicals if you get any UV exposure, even with sunscreen on. The better way to get a sunless tan is with wash-off tints, such as Guerlain Terracotta Jolies Jambes Flawless Legs Smoothing & Perfecting Lotion. This is a transfer-free lotion that comes in two shades, Light and Medium. I tried Light, and it gives the perfect sheer hint of colour as we head into leg-baring season.
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Alcohol, Silica, Butylene Glycol, Styrene/Acrylates/Ammonium Methacrylate Copolymer, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Phenoxyethanol, PPG-26-Buteth-26, Parfum (Fragrance), PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Laureth-12 Sulfate, Inositol, Alumina, Benzyl Salicylate, Linalool, Ammonium Hydroxide, BHT, Benzyl Benzoate, Tocopherol, (+/- CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 (Iron Oxides)).
5. Rodial Suede Lips
Another lip crayon option this month is Rodial's Suede Lips, which gives an even more on-trend matte look than the NARS. It, too, is non-drying, and glides on smoothly with full-coverage pigment. The newest shade is Calabasas (home of the Kardashians, of course), and it's just the sort of terracotta I'm always drawn to.
6. Yves Saint Laurent Volupté Tint-in-Balm
Why yes, that is a pair of lips on top of Yves Saint Laurent's Volupté Tint-in-Balm! Obviously, I can't bring myself to mess it up, so it's going straight into the beauty archives. (I really need TWO samples when products are this cute... one to keep and admire, and one to actually use. You understand, right YSL?) Anyway, it's more than just a pretty product—the lips in the core are actually a conditioning balm that runs through the entire bullet. The rest of it is a sheer, shiny lipstick, and you can choose from 12 shades, each with different colour-blocked lips. This one is Dream Me Nude, which goes on neutral mauve. (Not that I would know, heheh.)
7. St. Tropez One Night Only Finishing Gloss
So now the strobing trend has moved south... to our bodies! St. Tropez One Night Only Finishing Gloss is a bronze-tinted body gloss that gives a high-shine effect to enhance your tan. Unlike lip gloss, it's softer and more spreadable; it does dry down a bit but not completely, like the Guerlain body tint. For that reason, it makes the most sense to wear this with non-white clothing that leaves your décolletage, legs and shoulders bare. As much as I find the idea of a body gloss a bit silly, I will reluctantly admit that it looks really pretty on the skin!
Ingredients: Octyldodecanol, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylcellulose, Parfum (Fragrance), Linalool, Hexyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Limonene, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Jojoba Esters, Anise Alcohol, Coumarin, Trihydroxystearin, Mica, CI 77491 (Iron Oxides), CI 77492 (Iron Oxides), CI 77499 (Iron Oxides), CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide).
8. Ardell Faux Mink Lashes
I know, can you believe I'm talking about false lashes in a positive way?! Normally, I have strong feelings against this particular beauty enhancement, but I was pleasantly surprised by the fluffy texture of Ardell's Faux Mink Lashes. Not only are they crazy-affordable, but they have a soft, lightweight look that doesn't scream "fake!"
9. Avon True Color Lip Crayon
I know, you probably don't shop at Avon, but these True Color Lip Crayons are really good value! They pack a lot of pigment, with sheer to medium coverage, subtle shine and a buttery, shea-infused formula. There are seven cream shades and five shimmers (although I'm not a fan of the shimmers). Of the ones I tried, my favourites are Fairest Nude and Just Rosy.
So there's your taste of the best new makeup... skincare is over here!
What's your favourite new beauty product this month?
1. NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil | 2. Smashbox Photo Finish Radiance Primer | 3. Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow | 4. Guerlain Terracotta Jolies Jambes Flawless Legs Smoothing & Perfecting Lotion | 5. Rodial Suede Lips | 6. Yves Saint Laurent Volupté Tint-in-Balm | 7. St. Tropez One Night Only Finishing Gloss | 8. Ardell Faux Mink Lashes | 9. Avon True Color Lip Crayon