the new beauty icons
the new beauty icons

The Guardian’s
beauty editor
Sali Hughes

The word ‘classic’ is often bandied about but, for me, it takes an awful lot for a beauty product to be considered an icon. Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream is one such deserving product. This reassuringly scented balm soothes burns, eases dryness, adds a rose-tinted, healthy sheen to lips, tames brows, treats cuticles and performs many other heroic feats. It’s a testament to its continued relevance that I have never been backstage at a fashion show and not spied it in the make-up artists’ kit. Ditto a classic Chanel lipstick in one of their many wonderfully chic shades of red, the Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat highlighting pen, and Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Radiance, a pearlescent balm that can be mixed with foundation or moisturiser to mimic a healthy glow, or stroked along cheekbones for a flattering, highlighted effect.

One of my personal beauty favourites is the inimitable Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronised Recovery Complex II – a multipurpose, hydrating, anti-ageing serum. I use it both day and night on the backs of my hands, and on my face before applying moisturiser (for which I might choose the equally iconic Crème de la Mer Moisturizing Cream, or perhaps Clinique’s enduring classic Dramatically Different Moisture Lotion+).

The joy of beauty is that, while some products never go out of style and may forever retain their standing as icons, rapidly developing technology means that there’s always space for new classics in the field. I categorise these as products that are so good, so effective, so indispensable that one struggles to imagine anything that could better them. I feel this way about Lipstick Queen’s new Velvet Rope collection. These lip colours are incredibly dense, comfortable, vivid and long-lasting, and come in the sort of packaging – gold, heavy, luxuriously stylish – that simply demands icon status.

Even existing beauty classics can benefit from a little revamp. For this summer, Bobbi Brown’s legendary foundation stick has been updated, for the first time since 1992. The new Skin Foundation Stick is still travel- friendly, convenient and available in every conceivable skintone, but now it imparts a more natural, lightweight look and feel, and can be built up for great coverage. See right for more of my tips for future greatness.

Dior Glow Maximizer Light Boosting Primer
Dr.Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Bright Dark Circle Minimizer
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

1. ‘Instantly brightens lacklustre skin.’ Glow Maximizer Light Boosting Primer, Dior | 2. ‘It really does work.’ Mega-Bright Dark Circle Minimizer, Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins | 3. ‘Dense coverage, but light-textured and moist.’ Radiant Creamy
Concealer, Nars