As vast as the beauty world has become, one of the pitfalls of having so many choices is it’s hard to distinguish the good from the great. So if you struggle to see through the hype, the general rule is to look for products with avid, devoted fanbases AKA those that have reached cult status.
For a product to outlast huge technological advancements, research and new ingredients is pretty impressive so it’s got to be good.
We have spoken to a range of beauty brands about what their hero product is and why editors need to know about. Click the product name for more information and to download hi-res images.
Jurlique Activating Water Essence is applied to the skin after cleansing to rejuvenate and provide long-lasting continuous hydration. High-performing botanical extracts attract and hold water, leaving the complexion smoother, softer and healthy-looking.
Carmex Classic Tube is one of the top selling lip balms in Australian pharmacies, and just recently has overtaken the Carmex Jar version in popularity (which is 30 years old!). The famous yellow and red tube is a favourite of men and women across the country – no mess, easy to apply and it works.
Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil is a luxurious face oil that visibly brightens, firms, and evens the look of skin tone and texture. It recently had a makeover with the limited-edition collaboration between Biossance and influencer, Aimee Song. "My love affair with Biossance started with the Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil. It's one of my favourite skincare rituals that puts me in a really great mood," Song told BD (read our full interview here).
Dr. LeWinn's Private Formula Day Cream Moisturiser is a rich emollient for the skin. It is beneficial to start using this product from the mid-20s, as this is when skin often starts to dehydrate. An excellent moisturiser for summer climates as it contains sunscreens and filters. Also ideal for men to relieve shaver's rash.
Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water is an all-in-one makeup remover that harnesses the active cleansing principles of micells to capture and remove excess sebum, impurities and makeup without the need for rubbing. Suitable for all skin types, the formula cleanses the face, eyes and lips while moisturising the skin, delivering a refreshed and nourished complexion.
Priori LCA fx160 2xFoliant Peel + Scrub is formulated with 16 per cent LCA Complex, including 15 per cent lactic acid to exfoliate and renew the skin, it also boosts the hyaluronic response in the skin. It contains physical exfoliation synthetic wax beads and anti-irritant complex to help soothe and calm the skin.
Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum is formulated with JAUM Balancing Complex™, a potent cocktail of five Korean herbs. This unique prepping serum designed to be the first step post-cleanse that hydrates, nourishes and visibly firms, while boosting absorption of subsequent products that are applied on top.
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask is a vitamin-rich, moisture-locking lip mask. While sleeping, the sweetly fragrant formula removes dead skin cells while infusing lips with berry extracts, antioxidants and hyaluronic acid. Lips are left supple and smooth by morning.
Glow Lab Brightening Exfoliator was named Best Exfoliant in both the 2019 Best in Beauty NZ Awards and the Glosscar Awards 2020 in Australia. It releases a beneficial blend of omega 3 and 6 oils to promote skin health. The exfoliator is naturally enriched with fruit acids, vitamin C and B complex, beta carotene and nourishing rosehip oil.
Minenssey Brightening Mask won Best Skin-tone Corrector in beautyheaven’s Best In Beauty Award 2018. It is formulated with moonstone extract, snow-flower, along with black and white clay mix to nourish, balance and brighten the skin. It is suitable for all skin types as a luxurious remedy for dull, uneven or tired complexions and as a restorative for radiant light-reflecting skin.
DMK Enbioment Collection, which includes cleanser, serum and spray, was released last year and is a specific formula designed to revise the microbiome to get that youthful fresh look and manage any skin condition.
La Prairie Skin Caviar is a lifting and firming caviar agent that provides the instant mini lift. Beautiful caviar-like beads containing rich caviar extract, energising vitamins, humectants and emollients give a boost to the skin, helping to renew skin's texture. The skin feels soft and smooth, appearing visibly firmer almost instantly, improving the skin's suppleness, brightness and texture.
Sisley Paris Express Flower Gel Mask is a cult skincare product and for good reason. Its refreshing cream-gel formulation works to leave skin fresher, smoother and hydrated in as little as three minutes. It features a high concentration of moisturising and replenishing active ingredients to eliminate visible signs of fatigue and stress, moisturise and tone the skin and leave it looking and feeling firmer.
Ella Baché Tomato Radiance Cream was created by Madame Ella Baché, who had a revolution with the use of tomatoes in her formulas in 1936. She was the first to use a fruit-acid based moisturiser. She watched young girls in Hungary apply sliced tomatoes to their cheeks and foreheads. The tomato extract purified their skin and gave them a healthy glow. Crème Tomate and Emulsion Tomate is found in Ella Baché’s Oily Skin solution in the Skin Strengthening Category of its recipes for beautiful skin.
Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm helps heal, soothe and moisturise dry or chapped lips. It features the healing properties of vitamin E and rosemary leaf oil that help to heal and repair the lips. Beeswax, coconut oil and lanolin form a protective coating on the lips which helps prevent them drying out whilst protecting and moisturising.
Arbonne Bio-Hydria Liquid Serum "is unlike any other serum I’ve tried," Dr Wesley from Arbonne's Scientific Advisory Board, told BD. "With proprietary sustainably sourced edulis cellular water (derived from a succulent plant) and sustainably sourced aloe vera, it leaves my skin with a healthy dewy glow and sustained hydration especially when followed with Bio-Hydria gel-cream.”
DU'IT Tough Hands is the brand's most iconic product. It works to seal cracks, replace lost oils, condition the skin and form a protective barrier to keep hands in top condition. It provides long-lasting protection from damage to hands caused by repeated washing, an ideal treatment for the state our hands are in at the moment.
Bio-Oil is the "number one selling product for scars and stretch marks in Australia. A specialist oil for scars and stretch marks formulated to improve the skin’s appearance. Combining plant extracts and vitamins in an oil base it easily absorbs to keep skin supple and moist," Bio-Oil brand manager, Andrew Tan shared with BD.
Aussie Bombshell Gradual Tan is the "fastest drying, super hydrating, stain-free, natural looking glow you can get in a tube. It’s vegan friendly and all Australian made," the brand to us.
Schick Hydro Silk has been designed with five curve sensing blades. It features a water-activated moisturising strip with marine extracts and a unique patented skin guard to reduce skin irritation. The razor has an ergonomic handle with a soft rubber grip, and a cartridge designed exclusively for women’s contours.
Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Lotion SPF50+ is a lotion that offers 12-hours of moisturisation, while also providing broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection. It leaves skin with a non-greasy, silky feel.
MOR Marshmallow range is the brand's best-selling and most iconic fragrance collection. MOR shared with us some facts about its most loved range: The Marshmallow collection was first launched in 2002, and continues to delight and intrigue with its nostalgic appeal and a touch of old-school glamour. It has undergone five design updates in this period, with countless products being added to or phased out of the collection as customer preferences change. MOR’s top 10 products last year (from a total portfolio of 270+) were all from the Marshmallow collection, and contributed to 18 per cent of total sales for 2019.
ghd platinum+ styler is a cult classic for the brand, with a lot of loyal followers - including us! The hair straightener responds to hair and the way it is styled by controlling heat more effectively and predicting personal hair needs for stronger, healthier locks. Developed by ghd scientists and engineers for five years, ultra-zone with predictive technology guarantees homogenous heat across the whole straightener plate. But be on the look out this month, as ghd has just released its latest innovation, the ghd Rise - sure to be a hit.
ELEVEN Australia Miracle Hair Treatment is already a favourite amongst beauty editors, including Leigh Campbell, who mentioned the treatment as one of her favourite products on the You Beauty podcast. The multi-tasking, leave-in treatment suits all hair types and includes Australian desert lime, wattle seed and desert peach to nourish hair. It’s a must-have hair prep product that delivers 11 nourishing benefits.
muk Deep muk - 1 Minute Ultra Soft Treatment is sold every 15 minutes, which makes this muk Haircare’s number one selling treatment product. "In just one minute, dry and dehydrated hair is strengthened internally and elasticity restored creating stronger, healthy, soft and manageable hair," the brand told us. Having won Best Treatment in the Best in Beauty Awards four years in a row, consumers can’t get enough of this wonder treatment.
John Frieda Frizz-Ease® Frizz Ease® Original 6 Effects™ Serum transforms moderate frizz into polished, smooth hair. Suitable for dry, frizz-prone hair and inspired by John Frieda salon experts, this exceptional hair serum instantly eliminates moderate frizz by smoothing and taming split ends, flyaways and puffy hair.
Daily Naturals Argan Oil Treatment is a leave-in hair treatment that is lightweight and non-greasy. It moisturises and nourishes hair, leaving behind a fantastic shine. It is formulated with Daily Naturals’ revitalising complex of grapeseed extract, sunflower ceramides and vitamin E.
Lycogel® Breathable Camouflage is the first breathable colour corrective foundation treatment that combines cosmetic and skincare technology to promote the healing of damaged or post-procedural skin, offering an immediate solution. Lycogel® products feature the revolutionary LYCO-Complex, a carefully balanced set of 12 active ingredients that work together to deliver oxygen, moisture, and nutrients to the skin including hyaluronic acid, antioxidants and peptides.
Mellow Cosmetics Sinopia Palette offers beautiful matte and shimmer pigments, with all the variety of amazing shades in one palette. "Our customers love this product because it offers warm toned and berry shades plus blue moon for a pop of colour. It’s a fun palette to work with and the nude shades are perfect for every day wear," brand founder, Ima Asali told BD.
jane iredale PurePressed Base Mineral Foundation is a four-in-one foundation, powder, concealer and broad spectrum SPF 20 sunscreen. Pine bark extract, vitamin E and algae extract hydrate skin and combat free radicals, while titanium dioxide and zinc oxide protect skin from the sun.
NYX Professional Makeup Setting Spray - Matte is a setting spray for that fresh makeup look that lasts. It is lightweight and comfortable, while working hard to make sure makeup stays put, providing a gorgeous matte, shine-free finish.
Real Techniques Everyday Essentials Set is a brush set that helps cover every look from start to finish, with best-sellers from the Real Techniques base, eyes and finish ranges combined.
1000 Hour Brush-In Lash & Brow Dye Kit is a lash and brow dye kit with a new brush-in gel formula. It delivers no smudge, waterproof colour for the eyelashes and eyebrows, with results that last up to six weeks (in line with the natural lash turnover). Quick and easy to use, it delivers beautiful, professional results with its natural looking shades.
Swisspers Cotton Makeup Pads are ideal for the removal and application of makeup, lotions, nail polish and cleansers. Made from premium 100 per cent cotton, they are highly absorbent, hygienic and feature a unique ‘stitching’ around the edge of the pad to hold them together even when very wet.
Models Prefer Liquid Light Brightening Primer is a lightweight primer formulated to brighten the complexion, even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is enriched with marine extracts to help increase the oxygen levels in the skin and protect from pollution damages.
Bioglan Marine Collagen Beauty Powder is a pure collagen powder that helps nourish and assist the appearance of skin. Made with Type 1 collagen, it helps keep skin firm and youthful looking. Collagen production starts to decline from the mid to late ‘20s, but Marine Collagen Beauty Powder can be added to water, juices, smoothies, cooking or DIY beauty masks.
Femfresh Soap Free Intimate Wash is enriched with aloe vera and camomile and has been specially formulated to gently cleanse and refresh the intimate area whilst helping to maintain a healthy pH-balance. The low pH of the intimate area helps to protect it against irritation and this can be upset by ordinary soaps.
Ultrafresh Breath Spray offers an alternative and convenient way to achieve clean, fresh breath whenever and wherever needed. These sugar free sprays help kill the bacteria that cause bad breath. Each bottle provides more than 100 sprays of lasting fresh breath. Available in three fresh flavours: Fresh Mint and Cool Mint and Pure Mint.
First Response Digital Pregnancy Test are sensitive enough to give results six days before missed period (five days before the day of expected period). First Response Digital Pregnancy Test also offers easy to read Yes+ / No- results, has a unique 'test is working' indicator that lets you know the test is ready for use, and is over 99 per cent accurate.
Pearl Drops Extra White Toothpaste contains a four-part cleaning system made up of three stain fighters and one cleanser. Its formulation not only helps to eliminate stains it also helps to remove plaque, strengthen tooth enamel and protect against tooth decay. It is gentle enough to use everyday to help brighten smiles.
Mavala Switzerland Mini Nail Polish is "revered globally with one bottle selling every three seconds and over 12 million bottles sold every year," the brand shared. Developed in 1964, Mavala’s mini colours were the first 5mL bottle on the market and today are available in over 350 shades. The iconic, art-deco gold cap design was inspired by the pleated skirt fashion trend of the time. Each polish is portable, travel-friendly, waste-efficient, vegan, 12-free and allows water and air to pass through to the nail plate, thereby not being occlusive to nail, allowing healthy nails to grow and develop underneath.
Revitanail 2-Step Revival System is a two step nail system which has been on the market for years. It includes Revitanail Nail Strengthener (14mL) which is formulated with calcium to strengthen soft/weak nails, and Revitanail Nourishing Oil (14mL) which is formulated with essential oils and vitamins A and E to hydrate dry and cracked nails.