Tons of New Products Landed on My Desk This Month, But These 10 Were the Best

May 20, 2021 at 06:00AM

There’s no doubt that the very best part of being a beauty editor is getting all of the latest beauty products sent to your front door for you to try. From bronzers and eye shadows to super serums and cleansers, virtually no new launch goes untested. But with so many new launches every single day, each with claims as groundbreaking as the next, how is anyone actually supposed to know what’s any good? 

Well, my friends, that’s exactly what I’m here for. I put my face, body and hair through it all so that I can report back to let you know which of this month’s beauty launches are actually worth having on your radar. 

Yes, I’ve spent the majority of the month testing, trialling and monitoring every single launch that came my way so that I could put all of the best new products into one convenient space. (What can I say? It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.) So if you want to find out which products were good enough to make a lasting impression on this tough-to-please editor this month, then look no further.

Ahead, keep scrolling for the 10 best new beauty products of the month.

I’m a huge fan of Elemis for their luxurious skincare products and spa-like aromas but this new product has really taken the at-home facial experience up a notch. The two-phase treatment is a tonic for dull, lockdown skin and actually works to accelerate cell renewal for effects that last way beyond the day you’ve used it. Phase 1 is a potent peel that resurfaces the skin for instant luminosity while phase 2 deeply hydrates and soothes your complexion. Yes, it’s a little pricey but my skin genuinely looks dewier and more even having used this.

This month I was introduced to Hoohaa, a new fragrance subscription service aiming to make it easy to discover new, unique perfumes on a monthly basis. Simply choose your subscription plan—based on how experimental you’d like your scents—and you receive a generous 10ml vial of perfume through the post. My first bottle was Captured By Candlelight by 4160Tuesdays—a West London micro-perfumery that I doubt I’d have stumbled across otherwise. It’s a mouthwateringly fruity scent with hints of smoke that I adore, and I’ll be heading back to Hoohaa to purchase a full-size bottle as soon as I’ve spritzed my way through it. I can’t wait to see what next month has in store.

This is a brilliantly, fast-working hair treatment—it takes just 60 seconds in fact—that restores and repairs damaged hair. Using a nourishing formula of fatty acids and plant butters, it targets the most abundant bonds in your hair (those which break most frequently through wear and tear) and strengthens them for healthier strands. My hair feels softer, bouncier and looks shinier every time I use it.

Liquid highlighters are one of my most-used makeup products and this one from Vieve is fast replacing all of my other favourites. It’s like a golden gloss that adds just the right amount of sheen to skin for a beautifully dewy finish. In fact, I’d say it’s basically healthy-looking skin in a tube. I like it best applied with fingertips to the tops of my cheekbones for a subtle luminosity.

I love Sol de Janiero’s original Bum Bum Cream (£44) so I couldn’t wait to try the brand’s new skin-brightening formula. Luckily, it didn’t disappoint. Enriched with fruit AHAs and vitamin C, it leaves skin looking smooth and glowy. But its the scent that really makes me want to write home about this: its lightly floral, slightly fruity and warm with (possibly) vanilla. Honestly, it’s impossible to describe but its beautiful and subtly lingers for hours.

FaceGym are renowned for their face-sculpting workout facials and have recently launched their own range of skincare to help you mimic the same rejuvenating skin benefits at home. I’ve tried the lot but its this combination of the Supreme Restructure face cream and the Multi-Sculpt facial tool that I’m head-over-heels for. The moisturiser is wonderfully smoothing and hydrating while the tool de-puffs and energises the most tired of morning faces.

As a bit of a skin picker, I’m a big fan of spot stickers purely for the fact that they prevent my touching any blemishes and making them worse. These ones, however, actually seem to do a pretty good job of minimising spots while they’re on. Infused with salicylic acid and vitamin A, they gently exfoliate pores and even skin tone meaning once you’ve removed it your spot looks less angry and red. They aren’t miracle workers but they definitely help to speed up the healing process for me. 

I think I could genuinely have a new favourite sunscreen every month at the moment because so many brilliant SPF formulations have launched recently. This month, it’s Hello Sunday—a range of affordable, vegan sun protection with cute packaging (not essential but it definitely helps). This non-sticky serum protects skin from UVA and UVB rays as well as blue light and pollution and I love it because it leaves skin looking bright and healthy. Plus, it layers well beneath makeup. 

I’ll admit that Jo Malone’s limited edition Marmalade Collection had me at its cottagecore packaging but the scents really live up to the outer shells. This one is a fresh, floral scent mixed with sharp gooseberries for a fruity twist. I predict I’ll be wearing it all summer long.

Yes, this product might look like something from a 7-year-olds dream—and a 7-year-old from the ’90s at that—but it is in actual fact the lip product that my 32-year-old self has been reaching for most this month. While it looks like a gloss, it’s actually a lip-nourishing oil that delivers hydration and nourishment with no stickiness at all. I love the sheeny finish that it leaves on lips, how comfortable it is to wear and how easy it is to apply. Well done, Lottie London.

I am incredibly lazy when it comes to eye makeup but these clever eyeshadow sticks really make it look like I’ve made some semblance of an effort when, in reality, it’s taken me 2 minutes. Just twist up the creamy sticks of colour, scribble over your eyelid and blend out with your fingertips. This shade—Camel—is my favourite: a warm, matte brown that is perfect for slicking on to look a bit more polished before a day of zoom meetings.

A clear brow gel might not seem like the most exciting of new beauty launches, but—coming from someone who has tried a lot of brow gels—this one is a game changer. It has a thick bristly brush that combs even the unruliest of brow hairs into place and keeps them there all day. Plus, it coats them in a kind of sheeny gel that makes your brows look healthy and fluffy without feeling sticky or stiff. Basically, I love it.

This latest foundation launch from Dior is so good. It contains floral skincare benefits yet doesn’t compromise on coverage like many of the skincare-foundation hybrid products that I’ve used recently and has a brightening, luminous finish. Whenever I’ve found myself looking particularly tired, I’ve reached for this as a base, and I can’t rave enough about how dewy it is. I also delivered a bottle to my mum to test, and she’s equally in love with it thanks to its hydrating formula. 

Other than lipstick, matte formulations are few and far between in my makeup bag. That is until I discovered these new cream blushes from Nars, which deliver a soft, shine-free wash of colour to cheeks without feeling dry or looking chalky. The texture is an unusual mousse-gel hybrid, but it applies evenly and really lasts. In fact, I found that the colour stuck around all day, which never ever happens with dewier cream blushes thanks to my oily skin. My favourite shade has to be Rush, a warm peachy-pink that I can’t wait to wear this spring.

As mentioned previously, when it comes to lipsticks, I still love a good matte formulation, but I think that even those who aren’t big fans would be enthralled with these new lip colours from MAC. Similar to the Nars cream blush, these have a mousse-like consistency—that throwback texture seems to be having a moment right now—that feels comfortable and moisturising on the lips. I love that the sponge applicator creates a slightly blurred effect at the edges of your lips for a modern, low-maintenance way to wear matte colour.


Anyone who knows me knows that my incessant dark circles are my biggest beauty bugbear, and trying to find a concealer good enough to take them on is quite a challenge. This revolutionary new launch from L’Oréal Paris doesn’t just deliver enough coverage to disguise my under-eye rings; it also contains a bunch of hydrating hyaluronic acid to moisturise, puff out fine lines and leave skin glowing.

I am not a powder girl at all. I like my skin to glow and have a bit of life in it. I find most powders simply mattify and flatten my complexion, but this new formula from Laura Mercier really took me by surprise. The original is a big celebrity favourite, but I wasn’t a huge fan. However, this new shade adds a colour-correcting, glowing depth to the skin that I am here for.

I am a huge fan of It Cosmetics’ Your Skin But Better CC+, however, I must admit that the coverage is on the heavy side of things. I like my face to look radiant and perfected, but not cakey, and that’s why this new foundation launch is one of my favourite of the year. It’s lightweight and second skin–like but still delivers just enough coverage.

I genuinely lost count of all the great mascaras that launched this month, but this one really stood out. It has an almost whipped texture that makes it feel really light when it’s on. But the results are intense. Think jet-black, volumised lashes that don’t falter at all throughout the day.

These lip stains are far from the heavy liquid lip products I’m used to. They’re lightweight, sheer and seriously long-lasting. Plus, the shade selection is totally dreamy.

Glitter eye shadows are not my thing. In fact, eye shadow isn’t really my thing, but this new palette from Urban Decay has totally unleashed my inner makeup artist. I have been playing around with the beautifully creamy, heavily pigmented shimmering shades like I’m Picasso.

Another mascara launch that took me by surprise was this one from Nars. Usually, volume isn’t something I long for in a mascara as my lashes are naturally thick and stumpy. This stuff is just wonderful. It delivers a super-black, intense finish that is perfect for heavier eye looks.

While it might be vital for good skin health, SPF isn’t exactly the most exciting of beauty products—but that’s all changed with the arrival of Australian skinscreen brand Ultra Violette. This radiance-boosting serum provides SPF 50+ alongside vitamin C and kakadu plum to leave skin protected, bright and glowy. I’ve been recommending it to everyone.

I rarely get excited about hyaluronic acid but this one from dermatologist-favourite skincare brand CeraVe has really impressed me. Not only does it contain moisture-boosting hyaluronic acid but its formulated with essential ceramides to help protect the skin’s barrier and keep hydration levels in check. After a slight reaction to a product I was testing, this creamy serum has been key at bringing my skin back into balance.

I am always a bit nervous when it comes to retinol but there’s no doubt that it’s a major player when it comes to getting visible results with your skincare. So I was intrigued to discover that BareMinerals’s new skincare range contains a new, plant-based retinol alternative that they’ve coined phyto-retinol. It promotes cell turnover, plumps the skin and minimises fine lines—just like traditional retinol—but minus the irritation. This nourishing eye cream is my pick of the range thanks to the way it reduces puffiness and helps my eye area to look brighter even when I’m feeling totally shattered.

I have tried a whole lot of reusable makeup pads and these ones from Garnier have to be up there with the best of them. They’re made from reusable micro-fibre that can be washed and reused up to 1000 times and I just love how soft they are. I use them basically every day with a micellar water and they get the job done.

Despite instantly thinking of nans when I hear the words cold cream, I was instantly intrigued by how chic this jar looked. Launched in February last year, The Seated Queen aims to simplify skincare for busy people. This nourishing cream can be used as a cleanser, moisturiser or overnight mask. I’ve been using it to remove makeup in place of my usual micellar water, and I’ve been amazed at how well it works. I massage it into dry skin and then remove it with a warm, damp cloth. I love how it’s transformed a somewhat boring part of my nightly skincare routine into more of a luxurious ritual. 

Bakuchiol is everywhere right now, and my skin definitely seems to love this trending ingredient. This liquid booster uses it to even skin tone alongside exfoliating BHAs and skin-brightening licorice root extracts to tackle post-breakout scars. I’ve used it alone on areas that have been marked from breakouts as well as mixed with moisturisers and serums and think that my skin is already looking more even and refined.

For those that suffer from spot-prone skin as I do, you need to know about this new serum from La Roche-Posay. The Effaclar cleansers and skin treatments are dermatologist-favourites thanks to their ability to clear up the skin without upsetting it. This lightweight serum has kept my breakouts in check all month long, and I’m just about to start my second bottle.

Herbivore is one of my favourite skincare brands, which is surprising seeing as I’m not a huge fan of natural skincare. This new cleanser is calming, hydrating and the jelly texture is generally a pleasure to use. It’s the sort of product that makes cleansing exciting.

My sensitive skin couldn’t love this CBD-infused serum any more if it tried. It’s hydrating, soothing, calming and has managed to keep my sensitivity flare-ups in check for the last few weeks. It’s been a total game-changer.

Speaking of calming skincare, this serum has also worked wonders. It contains ceramides and sea aster to strengthen the skin barrier and soothe irritation. On top of that, Pai’s new eco-credentials are seriously impressive. I’m a particular fan of the way the website explains how each product is best recycled.

When you have oily skin that’s prone to congestion like I do, finding a suitable moisturiser can be tricky. This new product from Murad is formulated with salicylic acid to gently exfoliate and is totally free of pore-clogging oils. It’s a real winner.

Not only does this cleanser melt away the day’s dirt and makeup, but it also soothes skin and delivers serious hydration while it works. It leaves skin feeling and looking plumped and healthy.

If you like your skincare to pack a seriously hydrating punch and ooze luxury, here’s one for you. Housed in little capsules to keep the contents as potent as possible, this serum is full of skin-loving ceramides and plumping hyaluronic acid to give seriously hydrating results. If rich products that deliver lit-from-within glow are your thing, look no further.

The price makes me weep, but this serum means business. It contains three different types of vitamin C to target ageing, pigmentation and dullness all at once. It’s powerful, and like only a few others I have tried in the past, it actually seems to work. It’s a high price to pay, but it delivers genuinely healthy skin.

Believe it or not, this stuff was formulated with Harvard Medical School. It utilises the powerful antioxidant resveratrol to target signs of ageing without any nasty side effects. I’ve been applying it every single night, and I’m in love.

CeraVe is responsible for some of my favourite cleansers of all time, and this new launch is equally as good as the others. With barrier-protecting ceramides, hyaluronic acid, amino acids and niacinamide, if you’re looking for a no-fuss cleanser that does it all, look no further.

Until this arrived at my door last month, I don’t think I’d used anything from Aussie for about 15 years. What a mistake. Honestly, this hair mask is brilliant—it’s rich, hydrating and softening and it smells incredible. Made from sustainably sourced macadamia nut oil and avocado, it really did a great job of making my somewhat frazzled hair look a whole lot healthier. And it’s under £10 for a huge tub.

I’m already loyal to my classic GHD IV Styler, so I wasn’t sure that I’d have much use for this supersized one when it landed on my doorstep. Oh, how wrong I was. I have wavy hair that I usually curl to add a more uniform shape, but I’ve been wearing my strands straight nonstop since this arrived. It has 70% larger plates than the original, so it has cut down the time it takes to straighten my thick hair significantly, and the result is so much smoother and sleeker.

I find super-rich hair masks a bit too much for my fine hair, however, Aveda does this strengthening mask in a light and rich version to cover all hair types. It only takes a couple of minutes to work and leaves my hair next-level shiny and bouncy.

I love a scalp scrub, and this new one from Oribe is up there with my faves ever. Not only does it really target scalp irritation and totally eradicate my dandruff, it also smells divine and looks incredible on my bathroom shelf.

Everything I’ve tried from Korean skincare brand Glow Recipe has been brilliant, so I had high hopes for its foray into bodycare. Luckily, it didn’t disappoint. This creamy lotion is packed with skin-quenching hyaluronic acid and gently exfoliating hibiscus AHA to both hydrate and smooth skin. It’s the perfect antidote for rejuvenating tired limbs that are ready to emerge from jeans and joggers and into sunshine season.

While I was lucky enough to receive a sample of this in a delivery for my little one—and I hasten to add that it does make a lovely bubble bath for babies—I have actually been reaching for this bubble bath more regularly myself. Founded by Rochelle Humes, My Little Coco is a range of child-friendly formulas for skin and hair and this bubble bath is enriched with coconut oil, lavender, chamomile and vanilla for a really relaxing soak.

The Body Shop’s iconic body butters have always been one of my favourite moisturisers of choice so I was over the moon to discover that they now come in recyclable packaging and are made with ingredients of 95% natural origin. I’ll be honest, they all smell incredible and do an incredible job at leaving your limbs soft, but almond milk is my scent of choice.

I am somewhat obsessed with body scrubs, so whenever I receive a new one I immediately put it in the shower for testing. This one from Sunday Riley has now taken up permanent residence there, as it’s that good. Honestly, my skin felt the softest it had in a long time after using this. It has just the right amount of grittiness without feeling too harsh, but its real strength lies in the use of salicylic and lactic acids for added chemical exfoliation. If you have rough, bumpy skin that you’d like to smooth, then I urge you to try this. The cute iridescent packaging is a bit of a mood booster too.

I’m a big fan of patchouli perfumes anyway so this new launch from the brand behind cult beauty editor favourite perfume Molecule 01 (£72) went straight to the top of my to-try pile when it landed on my desk a few weeks back. I have since spritzed my way happily through an entire test tube and have been totally charmed by the velvety, warm and woodsy aroma. The full-size bottle is definitely on my wish list.

Spring might have arrived but I always have a candle on the go in my house and my latest love has to be this beautiful townhouse candle from Jo Malone, which was new to me last month. Not only does the candle smell incredible—this one is fresh and fruity without veering into sickly-sweet territory—but the ceramic pot that it’s housed in looks so chic in the living room.

I love perfume and am a big fan of the Maison Margiela Replica scents, but it can take a while for a new fragrance to work its way into my regular rotation. However, I’ve been wearing this one every day since it arrived. As the name would suggest, it definitely smells like matcha, but it’s also slightly sweet, woody and floral—unlike any perfume that I’ve smelt before. Honestly, I can’t really describe it, but it’s lightweight and manages to feel both refreshingly springy and cosy and comforting all at once. 

I am not usually one for ultra-feminine, heady scents, but this juice can’t be disliked. With musky ambrette seed, jasmine, vanilla bourbon and cedarwood, it leaves an intoxicating, heady aroma that isn’t overpowering in the slightest.  Up next: from makeup to nails, these are the beauty trends you need to know about..

Author Mica Ricketts | Whowhatwear
Selected by CWC

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