LThis year might not be a year that many of us care to look back on, but from a beauty standpoint, it has been unexpectedly successful. While in containment, I discovered what I can safely call my all-time favorite cleansing balm. I have now bought three large jars of Green Clean by Farmacy (Â£ 24), and I doubt I will ever do without it. It’s not thick and gloopy, but its formulation is fine and sleek, instantly liquefying with the heat of your fingertips before removing even the tiniest bit of makeup (including the encrusted mascara, which swirls in seconds). A dash of lukewarm water makes it milky; a stroke of flannel removes it completely without removing residual moisture. It’s perfect.
Despite being primarily at home and with more free time, I have still streamlined my skin care routine over the past 12 months. Murad Vita-C Glycolic Brightening Serum (Â£ 72) does the job of an exfoliant and a one-pump antioxidant serum, applied right after cleansing. This time-saving innovation is suitable for all skin types and ages, adds instant plumping, visible glow and long-lasting hydration, and performs flawlessly under makeup. I look forward to a good fooled deal that I can share with you: don’t worry, I will report back when we do land.
It’s probably not fair to include a whole skincare brand in my picks, but, really, Versed seems incapable of duping. Reasonably priced and as consistent as it is prolific, Versed makes great moisturizers, serums, masks, and more. Last year his winning streak continued with Brightening solution for the weekend (Â£ 16.50), a liquid exfoliant for those who don’t want the 2-in-1 concept of Murad Serum. This tonic is applied to the face and neck after cleansing, to keep both dandruff-free, shiny and smooth. Its performance is comparable to others at three times the price.
Last year was also a vintage for sunscreens, and three superstars immediately spring to mind. La Roche Posay SPF30 Hyalu B5 Aquagel (Â£ 34.50) is a dehydrated person’s dream who finds most sunscreens oily. Garnier Ambre Solaire Over Makeup Super UV SPF50 (Â£ 6.50) is arguably the most useful and beneficial product of the decade, and solves the age-old problem of having to top up your sun protection without removing makeup. Finally, Medik8 Advanced Day Ultimate Protect SPF50 + (Â£ 59) is the best facial sunscreen for dry skin I can remember – regardless of the year.
Next week: the best makeup and hair care products of 2021