One of the things I love most about the beauty industry is its ability to react, adapt and innovate. There’s always a new texture, technique or format to enjoy (or a new way of doing things altogether,) and our desire never wanes for something unexpected; the joy is undoubtedly in the discovery and in the moment you wonder ‘why has nobody ever thought of this before?’ After the absolute sh*t show of a year in 2020, there’s already so much to get excited about and look forward to in 2021 – and the beauty world is delivering in spades. With so many brands opting to do things a little differently and try something new, if there’s one thing the global pandemic has driven it’s undoubtedly risk taking and thinking outside the box; the result is a plethora of exciting additions to my beauty regime, and these seven are the ones I think you most need to know about as we step forward into the next decade…
THE INDIVIDUAL DOSE SKINCARE: Beauty Cubes (From £9.50)
‘Plastic free’ is definitely a buzz phrase right now, as consumers become increasingly conscious about the amount of packaging they’re disposing of on the daily. Our beauty regimes have definitely become the focus over the last 18 months, and more and more solid products are finding their way onto our bathroom shelves; Beauty Cubes offers solid beauty solutions with a difference, as every box contains tiny individual doses of product that can be mixed with water to release their full potential. Choose from shampoo, conditioner, body wash, facial cleanser, exfoliator and even a face mask – all perfectly sized in doses to reduce waste without compromising on experience. I haven’t tried everything in the range, but I do really like the cleanser which leaves my skin feeling thoroughly cleansed and nourished (thanks to the inclusion of ingredients such as Oat, White Willow Bark, Apricot Kernel Oil, Coconut Oil, Vitamin E and Vitamin C) without any tightness or dryness. Vegan, sulphate-free, palm-free and containing upcycled ingredients too, this is a brand that’s not afraid to break the mould and try something new.
THE DEODORANT BALM: AKT (£18.00)
Seeing as the deodorant category is long overdue a makeover, there’s no surprise we’re finally seeing new formats and textures to replace the cans and sticks we’ve been putting up with for decades. AKT has a fascinating story that proves its efficacy, having been developed by two West End performers who were sick of their usual deodorants either not performing or leaving them smelling ‘like teenage boys’. AKT was developed from pure need (there’s nobody better to put a deodorant to the test than those spending all day in the studio or on stage!) and the result is a beautiful balm that’s applied from the tube with your fingers to wherever you need it. Completely plastic free, vegan, natural, cruelty-free, genderless and available in a trio of subtle and elegant scents, the formulas also contain Shea Butter and Calendula Oil to moisturise skin. I was truly surprised how much I loved this as soon as I tried it, the creamy balm drying down instantly to a velvety smooth finish that leaves skin feeling protected and fresh; it’s expensive, but as a natural alternative it’s far superior to the vast majority I’ve tried and absolutely worth the price point.
THE STACKABLE MAKEUP: Trinny London (From £16.00)
Although Trinny London has been knocking about since 2017, it’s only now that it’s gaining real traction and becoming a staple of makeup bags thanks to its paired back approach and effective formulas. The vast majority of the products come in little stackable pots that eliminate the clutter we all suffer when it comes to our beauty regimes, as well as offering up a simple daily routine; I love the fact you can even buy whole stacks if you’re after something like a smokey eye, simplifying the whole process and nodding to the fact the vast majority of beauty enthusiasts don’t have the time for 27 different products. Many are multifunctional too, while others (such as the Miracle Blur which immediately softens lines and pores to create a great base) just target a very specific issue or need. I really love the hard working concealer which doesn’t sit in my fine lines, as well as the Lip2Cheek colours which offer a beautiful flush when you want to look ready to face the day. And the added bonus is that because it’s been designed by a woman in her 50’s, everything has been created with older skin in mind – basically, I can’t fault it.
THE CUSTOM FOUNDATION: Dcypher (£40.00)
I’m sure we can all agree that finding our perfect foundation shade is up there on the holy grail list of beauty achievements we all wish to achieve by the time we die, but now more than ever it can be a struggle to find a base that works for you. How do you even begin when the only thing to go on is a computer generated swatch? Dcypher have nailed the solution by creating bespoke foundations not only work with your exact skin tone, but your desired texture and skin type too; all you have to do is take a photo via their website tool for a surprisingly accurate suggestion, order a sample to check it works and then if you like it take the plunge for the full size bottle. If you’ve been unable to find your perfect match, or are wary about buying anything without being able to test it at home first, this is the perfect solution – and a much more affordable one at that, seeing as other custom foundations can set you back three times the price. I’ve successfully found my perfect match and it’s one of the best foundations I’ve tried in a long time; the tone is absolutely spot on, a miracle considering it’s generated via a webcam, and the result is a flawless base that stays in place all day with ease.
THE SPRAY SANTIZER: Haze (£7.00)
Oh how the world has changed in the last twelve months, and how my collection of hand sanitizers has grown from a meagre one or two reserved for dog walks. It’s safe to say hand hygiene is going to be a big part of our lives for years to come, and Haze has managed to turn something rather practical and functional into something altogether more on-trend. Their super sleek packaging looks more like a perfume bottle than a hand sanitizer, spritzing a quick drying 75% alcohol formula to kill up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses – while smelling good at the same time. Available in watermelon, lemon, lavender and aloe vera, the sprays are super convenient for slipping in your pocket but also way more useful for sanitizing things like keys or your steering wheel; I’m all for practicality with a splash of fun, and Haze ticks all those boxes and more. Rather importantly, it leaves my hands feeling soft rather than parched too.
THE NEW HAIR WASH: Hairstory (From £44.00)
Do you remember the cleansing conditioners we all went mad for back in 2014? Even then we understood that traditional shampoos could strip the hair of its natural oils and leave our ‘dos looking parched, so a cleansing conditioner offered the best of the nourishing benefits without the negative impact of the shampoo. Hairstory’s New Wash is that reinvented for 2021, offering an effective solution to help cleanse and condition in one step without the traditional sulphates or silicones that can leave hair looking a bit meh. It cleans using essential oils and fatty alcohols, all of which are naturally derived and biodegradable, while imparting conditioning elements onto the hair’s surface. It does take some getting used to as it doesn’t foam, but when thoroughly massaged into both the scalp and lengths of hair the result is swishy and soft; I definitely need fewer styling products when using this, and my ‘do seems to last longer between washes too. Although it’s a pricey alternative if you’re currently riding the Pantene train, you don’t need a huge amount to get the results you want and your hair will look and feel so much better for it.
THE SUSTAINABLE EXFOLIATOR: Nett Exfoliator (£25.00)
Sometimes the simplest solutions are some of the most effective, and with the launch of Nett it proves that beauty doesn’t have to be complicated to make a difference. In Ghana the ‘exfoliation sheet’ has been an essential part of the bathing culture for a very long time, and now it’s launched in the UK so we can harness the unique benefits too. Perfect for helping to maintain soft and smooth skin, the open weave sheet helps to buff away dryness and stimulate the blood flow that’s essential for a healthy glow; you can also add your usual body wash for a cleansing experience with a difference, getting into all those hard to reach areas with ease. Unlike many body puffs that lose their shape and substance within a few months, the Nett lasts up to two years: it dries quickly to avoid any bacteria growth, and can be thrown in the washing machine whenever it needs a refresh.
Which of these seven are you most excited and intrigued by?
Have you discovered any other innovative brands trying to do things differently in 2021?
AD: featured press samples sent with no obligation to feature.