WHICH STANDOUT PRODUCTS DID OUR EXPERT JUDGES DEEM TO BE WINNERS IN 2020?
After rigorous testing, our panel narrowed down hundreds of entries to the following worthy winners, a list which reflects the changing role that beauty and wellness has had in our lives in 2020.
AGE WELL HERO
This category recognises skincare products formulated to tackle the first signs of ageing or support mature skin – serums, intensive treatments, boosters, anti-ageing creams, masks, moisturisers and eye creams.
Gold: Dr. Levy Eye Booster Concentrate, £165
"With masses of clinical data behind it, this delivers rapid and long term improvements to the eye area, the part of the face that is often people's first concern in the age well category," says judge Dr Sophie Shotter.
Silver: Bioeffect 30 Day Treatment, £210
Bronze: Votary Intense Overnight Mask, £85
"I noticed immediate benefits, my skin looks radiant and feels smooth. It makes a great base for makeup as well as having skin-enhancing ingredients such as lactic acid," says judge Dr Sophie Shotter.
Silver: Scientia Peach & Glow Hydra Tonic, £24
Bronze: Chantecaille Radiance Elixir, £198
“Such a good all-rounder, especially if your skin is misbehaving. When your skin is inflamed and cross there’s nothing in this that will irritate and it feels like a second skin," says judge Madeleine Spencer.
Silver: Medik8 Crystal Retinal, £39
Bronze: Cetraben Cream, from £12.99
BATH AND SHOWER HERO
Gold: Olverum Bath Oil, £36.50
"The scent of this bath oil transformed my bathroom and I slept incredibly well after using it. It looks nice in your bathroom too. ” says judge Adrienne LDN.
Silver: Dr. Hauschka Shower Cream, £12
Bronze: Goldfaden MD Doctor's Body Scrub, £75
"Luxe, rich and hydrating with a fresh unisex scent and sustainability in mind, this rich formula is uplifting and sinks in beautifully," says judge Cher Webb.
Silver: Oskia Renaissance Body Scrub, £48
Bronze: Amanda Harrington Illuminating Bronzing Body Mousse, £36
"I used this all summer. It’s mineral and completely invisible whatever your skin tone. It’s so lightweight I often forget I’m wearing it," says judge George Northwood.
Silver: Skingredients Skin Shield SPF 50 PA+++, £39.99
Bronze: Boots Soltan Once Advanced 8hr Protect Lotion SPF50+, £10
AT HOME HERO
Gold: Sensica Sensilift, £279
"The science behind this FDA cleared device is real for stimulating collagen and achieving firmer tighter skin. It feels like a treat to use," says judge Dr Sophie Shotter
Silver: CurrentBody The Neck and Dec Protector, £260
Bronze: Hayo’u Beauty Restorer Rose Precision, £30
"The texture and smell of this cleanser are beautiful and my skin feels clean and balanced. This new diverse brand is full of integrity too," says Ateh Jewel.
Silver: Seoulista Beauty Magic Cleanse, £14.99
Bronze: Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel, £35
"This organic oil has wonderful texture – it’s not at all heavy and unusually for a face oil, you can you can apply makeup over it quickly. It preps the skin up beautifully, a clear winner," says judge Sarah Vine.
Silver: D'Alchemy Intense Skin Repair Oil, £50.80
Bronze: Lumity Skin Nutrients Facial Oil, £60
BASE OR CHEEK HERO
Gold: Code8 Radiate Beauty Balm, £41
"This tinted moisturiser goes on really easily and smoothly. It doesn’t change the texture of your skin much but just lifts a little bit so your skin looks perfect. I absolutely adore it, the colours are great, I highly recommend it," says judge Mary Greenwell
Silver: Morphe 2 Hint Hint Skin Tint, £16
Bronze: Glossier Cloud Paint, £15
"Arch Rival genuinely speeds up makeup time if you already fill in your brows. The three prongs make it three times as quick. It distributes just the right amount of colour and looks very natural," says judge Madeleine Spencer.
Silver: Glossier Boy Brow, £14
Bronze: Eylure Dybrow, £6
Gold: Ardell Wispies, £5.49
"This is the right lash for every occasion, by night you can coat it with mascara and it completely changes the game. The most comfortable set of lashes I've ever worn, I forget I've got them on," says judge Keshia East.
Silver: Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes Mascara, £23
Bronze: RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum, £39.99
Gold: Eylure Line & Lash, £9.95
"There is nothing else like it, even if it weren't a lash glue I really rate it as an eye liner. Lash glues can be such a pet peeve but this ticks all the boxes as well as being a really good eyeliner," says judge Keshia East.
Silver: Elf Cosmetics Liquid Glitter Eyeshadow, £5
Bronze: KVD Vegan Beauty Tattoo Liner, £14.40
"12 incredible shades that work with every skin tone. The quality is amazing for the price. The sturdy double ended brush alone is a winner," says judge Cher Webb.
Silver: Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette Pillow Talk, £60
Bronze: Code8 Iconoclast Eyeshadow Palette, £45
Gold: Decorté AQ Lipstick, £50
"The magnetic case is great and the lipstick has staying power as well as a light texture and feels very comfortable to wear,” says judge Mary Greenwell.
Silver: Dr Paw Paw Original Balm, £6.95
Bronze: Code8 AM/PM Tinted Lip Balm, £24
TEXTURED AND CURLY HAIR HERO
Gold: Bouclème Super Hold Styler, £18
"If I was stuck on a desert island and could only have one product this would be it. For someone who uses ten hair products a day that's a big statement! I love that it's plant-powered and it's proof that you don't have to sacrifice quality when being kind to the planet," says judge Keshia East
Silver: Imbue Curl Restoring Intensive Mask, £12.99
Bronze: Maui Moisture Curl Quench + Coconut Oil Curl Smoothie, £5.99
"With two styling brush attachments, this is very of the moment to give that expensive blown-out look, which is where hair is going right now," says judge George Northwood.
Silver: Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast, £25
Bronze: Trepadora Papaya Slip Taming Potion, £18
HAIR COLOUR HERO
Gold: Rahua Color Full Shampoo, £36
"I love the ethos of this sustainable brand. Its sulfate-free, which is important for protecting colour and vegan, which I look for when choosing products," says judge George Northwood.
Silver: Fudge Professional Clean Blonde Damage Rewind Violet Toning Shampoo, £15
Bronze: Maria Nila Colour Refresh, £20.99
"This is a beautiful mask that goes one step further as a self-care destress ritual. It smells beautiful and makes hair feel soft, silky and hydrated and as a bonus it supports tiger conservation," says judge Dr Tara Swart.
Silver: Nereus London Australian Buddha Wood & Bergamot Shampoo, £25
Bronze: Centred. En Root Scalp Treatment, £36
SELF-CARE SUPER HERO
Gold: Hayo'u Body Tapper Bamboo, £25
“This is something you can do for yourself on any part of the body that is tense, puffy or sluggish. It leaves you feeling energised, improves your mood, and knocks you right back into your body - it's easy to become disconnected especially when you are on a screen all day. If you have a sore back or shoulders and can't get a massage this is the next best thing. I would give this to anyone I loved and tell them ‘you need this!'” says judge Madeleine Spencer.
Silver: Crabtree & Evelyn Sundown Candle, £49
Bronze: Olverum Restful Sleep Pillow Mist, £25
Gold: OPI Big Apple Red, £12.50
"During lockdown, I really leaned in to colour and turning up the volume. I love a red nail and this polish is one of my favourites," says judge Ateh Jewel.
Silver: Olay Regenerist 3 Point Firming Anti-Ageing Cream Moisturiser, £15.74
Bronze: Malin + Goetz Eucalyptus Deodorant, £19
"The pigments in these velvety lip shades are really rich, especially the pencils, as pencils can often look wishy washy on darker skin. Seychelles is a lovely raspberry which pops on dark skin," says judge Ateh Jewel.
Silver: Bea Skincare Brightening Serum, from £54
Bronze: Tropic Sun Day Facial UV Defence, £24
BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK
Gold: Elf Cosmetics Bite-size Eyeshadows, £3
"The perfect pocket-sized palette that fits in your handbag with shades to take you from day to night," says judge Cher Webb.
Silver: Nuddy Ultra Volume Blow Dry Shampoo Bar, £8.95
Bronze: WooWoo Tame it!, £6.75
Gold: Foreo UFO 2, £249
"This is like nothing I’ve ever seen, a futuristic and fun piece of technology that gives you an entire spa facial experience at home," says judge Susannah Taylor.
Silver: War Paint for Men, The Ultimate Set, £143
Bronze: Legology Cellu-Lite Plan, £99.50
Gold: Olverum Bath Oil, £36.50
"It smells divine, blends well into the water, is relaxing and invigorating depending on the time of day. Bath oils are totally luxurious and this ticks all the boxes," says judge Mary Greenwell.
Silver: Dr Levy Booster Serum, £280
Bronze: Deborah Mitchell Black Bee Venom Mask, £163
"A real 360-degree approach to sustainable beauty that’s affordable, innovative and modern," says judge Susannah Taylor
Silver: REN Clean Skincare Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream, £36
Bronze: Cloud Nine hair straighteners free Recycling Scheme
BEST FOR WELLNESS FROM WITHIN
Gold: Zenii Immune Defence, £45
"The ingredients cover the entire range of what’s needed for immunity such as vitamin C, Vitamin D , B vitamins and zinc: not just the basics but well-chosen specifics such as turmeric, adaptogenic mushrooms and probiotics too. It's doctor-formulated and an intelligent response to what's going on in the world,” says judge Dr Tara Swart.
Silver: Healthspan Opti-CBD, £26.95
Bronze: Equi Original Formula, £50
BEST BREAKTHROUGH BRAND
Gold: Bio Scents
"Uplifting, highly customisable, very ethical and affordable, great for all ages. A modern take on aromatherapy that also looks great in your bathroom,” says judge Sarah Vine.
Bronze: Spots & Stripes
MUM AND BABY HERO
Gold: R&R Luxury Shea Oil Unscented, £15
"My baby has very dry skin and I use this on her face, hair and all over her skin after a bath. It is the first oil I have found that's not sticky or greasy. I use it on myself too. I love that it’s natural, just a single ingredient, and benefits communities in Ghana where it's made,” says judge Pooja Patel.
Silver: Burt's Bees Baby Diaper Ointment, £8.99
Bronze: Pura Baby Pura Eco Wipes, from £18.24 for 10 packs of 70 wipes
"Caroline’s incredible NHS morale boost was a huge feat of organisation. She corralled all the beauty experts she knew to give 1000 hours of their time for beauty consultations to the NHS workers who were putting their lives at risk for us. Caroline, you are our hero," says judge Susannah Taylor.
Silver: Joe Wicks, PE with Joe
Bronze: Millie Kendall MBE, CEO of the British Beauty Council