BEAUTY brands love to launch new products around this time of year.
It’s a smart strategy. They know we’re all going to be running around Westfield with our extended credit card limits buying Christmas presents for other people, but we’ll probably cave and buy gifts for ourselves too.
Trying a new beauty product for the first time is such a quiet thrill. Will it work? Will it be worth the price tag? It’s especially exciting when an overhyped product actually lives up to its name. Trying new stuff is fun, but trying new stuff that works is even better.
So if you’re looking for the perfect excuse to treat yourself, here are 10 new products, including the cult $70 face mask that’s got everyone on Instagram obsessed.
SUMMER FRIDAYS MASK
Available from: All Mecca stores
Who knew a face mask could generate so much hype?
Summer Fridays is a brand by American bloggers and Instagram influencers Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Gores.
They make two thick face masks called Jet Lag and Overtime, but only Jet Lag is available in Australia at the moment.
Jet Lag contains chestnut seed extract, shea butter, niacinimde, hyaluronic acid and three different ceramides. It acts like a super thick moisturiser.
It’s super lovely to use and smells a little bit like peppermint. $70 for a mask is a lot, but it will probably last for several months.
Slather it on at night and wake up with hydrating, bouncy skin, or you can use it in the morning on those lazy hangover days when you’re not leaving the house but need extra hydration.
KRISTIN ESS THE ONE SIGNATURE SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER
Price: Both $19
Available from: Priceline
Kristin Ess is a celebrity hairstylist who counts Lauren Conrad and Jenna Dewan as clients. She wanted to launch a salon-quality, sulfate-free haircare line but at a low price point.
The whole range sells out at Target in the US every time it’s restocked and is already selling out quickly in Priceline. All the products smell amazing and make hair feel clean without stripping it completely.
But the best part is the chic, beautiful packaging. These bottles will take pride of place in your shower and your hairdresser won’t yell at you ever again for using dodgy supermarket shampoos.
READ MORE: The ultimate Christmas gift guide
INNISFREE ANTI-AGEING UNDEREYE MASK
Available from: Innisfree stores and online
Eye masks are great for using in the morning before an event to hydrate the area under the eyes.
I like to pop these onto clean skin and do my eyeshadow before my foundation, so they catch any fallout from the shadow.
FRANK BODY GREEN TEASE SCRUB
Available from: Frank Body online, Mecca Maxima
Frank Body is famous for its exfoliating body scrubs made from ground coffee. Now they’ve brought out a new scrub made from sugar and green tea leaves.
The idea behind this is that it will make less of a mess in your bathroom.
That certainly wasn’t the case for me, but I loved the smell and my body felt smooth and supple afterwards.
MARIO BADESCU VITAMIN C SERUM
Available from: Mecca Maxima
OK, so this serum is not a new release product, but it’s the first time I’ve finally got around to trying it.
It only contains 7.5 per cent vitamin C, so I initially palmed it off as a waste of time and money. I wanted to hate it but for some reason I can’t stop using it. I really enjoy the experience and it makes my skin feel less freckly and more glowy.
There are loads of serums on the market that contain 10, 20 and even 30 per cent vitamin C. We’ve always been taught that a higher percentage is always better, but for some reason I really like this serum and it worked for me.
It’s also supposed to be used at night, which is unusual for vitamin C. Normally you wear vitamin C serums during the day to aid in sun protection and prevent free radical damage. It’s quite oily so applying at night does make sense.
As well as containing ascorbic acid – the fancy term for the highest concentration and most stable form of vitamin C – this serum also contains hyaluronic acid and collagen.
SKINVITALS SHEET MASKS
Price: $12 each of 4 for $36
Available from: skinvitalsmasks.com
You can get loads of sheet masks for a lot cheaper than $12, but these ones are really good.
Each mask has two components – a little serum sachet that you slather onto clean skin, then the actual sheet mask you pop on top.
There are loads of different types and they’re all good. Just pick depending on your skin’s needs, but a hydrating mask is always a safe bet.
ALPHA-H PROTECTION PLUS DAILY SPF 50
Available from: Sephora, Adore Beauty
This product is great for people who hate most sunscreens. Yes, $62 for a sunscreen is pretty pricey, but my theory is if you properly protect your skin from the sun you’re saving money elsewhere on fixing sun-induced pigmentation and wrinkles.
Although it is tinted, the coverage is so sheer that once blended out you don’t actually cover anything up. The colour is simply there to avoid that white cast that many sunscreens have.
It’s not oily and contains SPF 50 – the gold standard we should all be wearing everyday.
READ MORE: We review all the expensive serums and tell you which ones are worth the price tag
SHISEIDO AURA DEW
Available from: Myer, David Jones
This is technically a highlighter but I’ve been using it as an eyeshadow and I’m obsessed.
It’s super sparkly and pigmented, yet easy to blend. Can be used on its own or over the top of darker shadow to create a nice shimmer effect.
MURAD RAPID SPOT CORRECTING SERUM
Available from: Sephora
Glycolic acid is the third ingredient in this serum after water and alcohol, which is fantastic because AHAs are proven to reduce pigmentation, sun spots and pimples.
The serum also contains peptides and a bit of vitamin C. It feels hydrating and doesn’t tingle as much as some glycolic products. So if you want to start with something gentle, this is a good first stop.
SPORTSGIRL SPOT STOP DRYING LOTION
Available from: Sportsgirl stores and online
This is a cheap dupe of Mario Badescu’s famous $24 drying lotion.
Don’t shake the bottle – the pink sediment is supposed to sit at the bottom. Dip a cotton bud into the solution and dab onto breakouts. The salcylic acid will dry them out and in the morning they will have calmed down a little.
I find this is best to use on pimples you’ve just popped. It prevents the breakout from refilling with oil and creates a flat surface.
In the morning you’ll still have a red mark but it will be a lot easier to cover up with makeup.
LANIEGE WATER MASK
Available from: Sephora, Style Story
This is a great lazy person product because all you need to do is slather a tiny bit on before bed and you’ll wake up looking glowy thanks to all that hyaluronic acid. A little goes a long way so the tub lasts for ages.
It’s also good if you have inflamed or oily skin because it’s gentle and cooling.