It's not often a new beauty product stops us in our tracks but these 8 are in a class of their own

The crème de la crème

Best New Beauty Products May 2024 including: Oribe Styling Lotion, James Read Self Glow, Chanel Comete, Dior Bronzer, Sarah Chapman Serums and Cerriere Freres Candle
(Image credit: Future)

The new beauty products of May 2024 have, frankly, been standout. Myself and fellow Marie Claire UK beauty editor, Katie, have both been very impressed with the calibre of product that has come our way over the past four weeks. From perfume and body lotion to cream blusher and luxury candles, there have been some truly stellar launches.

And that, our dear reader, has made selecting this month's Beauty Desk Drop products quite difficult. You see (and I hate to admit this), but the majority of beauty launches that come our way aren't all they're marketed to be. More often than not, we're let down with the results of any given product—and this is never truer than it is at this time of year in the run up to summer. When the industry is wanting to capitalise on our every beauty insecurity, it's all too common that we feel that products underdeliver. But these launches? These products are destined for longterm greatness.

1. Chanel Comète Les Exclusifs de Chanel

Chanel Comète

(Image credit: Chanel)

Chanel Comète Les Exclusifs de Chanel Eau de Parfum

Best new perfume


Key notes: Cherry blossom, heliotrope, iris

"I understand that most people consider Chanel perfumes to be great. But something I don't think everyone knows is that Chanel perfumes are widely accepted as the best within the perfume community. Yes, even the biggest and most esteemed experts in the industry will agree that Chanel perfumes are in a league of their own. So, when the house launches a new fragrance, I'm chomping at the bit to try it. Comète is, hands down, one of my favourite Chanel fragrances yet. I have been wearing it for the entire month and I can't even begin to tell you how amazing it makes me feel. It hugs the skin with its powdery, comforting, warming magic—like being swaddled in a soft cashmere shawl. Having said that, it's not a skin scent either—it possesses a punchy sort of subtlety that makes it obvious and noteworthy but delightfully soft on the nose. In short, I need to stock up on the 200ml, because I'm getting through the 75ml at a very impressive rate." Shannon Lawlor, Executive Beauty Editor

2. Self Glow by James Read Break of Dawn Nourishing Glow Mask


(Image credit: Self Glow by James Read)

Self Glow by James Read Break of Dawn Nourishing Glow Mask

Best new face tan


Key ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, squalane, Kakadu plum, fermented mushrooms, vitamin E, aloe vera

"As someone who loves to add a bronze glow to my skin, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the new Self Glow by James Read range. I remember using Read's first product line religiously when I started out in my beauty career - it was the tanning brand to have in your kit. The new line is innovative - thanks in part to the plant-based DHA and the world's first natural cocoa colour guide - and the packaging is right up my street. This is my favourite product from the lineup - a nourishing mask that adds a subtle wash of warmth to the complexion in just 20 minutes. It feels quite thick at first when applying, but sinks in by the time I've washed my hands. I pop it on as soon as I wake up, then I feed the kids their breakfast, make myself a coffee and then it's time to remove it with warm water. Quick note: it does say to follow with your make-up or SPF, but I've found that my skin prefers it before my daily skincare, so I'll go in with my serum straight after." Katie Thomas, Senior Beauty Editor

3. Reeson Beauty Blush

Reeson Beauty Blush

(Image credit: Reeson Beauty)

Reeson Beauty Blush in Burnt Peach

Best new blusher


Shades: Fresh rose, burnt peach

"I am, potentially, the biggest blusher fan in the entire world. I don’t wear make-up daily, and even when I do wear make-up I wear very little of it. But a blusher? It’s a daily must for me. I find that a little wash of blush over the cheeks and the bridge of my nose is all that’s needed to make me look alive and a bit more pulled together. This tiny but powerful pot is one of the most impressive cream blushers I have ever come across. The pigment is punchy, the texture is whipped, the finish is skin-like and the blendability is second-to-none. A quick swipe over the apples of my cheeks with my fingers makes it appear as though I have spent the day at the beach under the sun, living my best life." Shannon Lawlor, Executive Beauty Editor

4. Oribe Hair Alchemy Heatless Styling Balm

Oribe Hair Alchemy Heatless Styling Balm

(Image credit: Oribe)

Oribe Hair Alchemy Heatless Styling Balm

Best new hair styling product


Key ingredients: Complex of watermelon, lychee and edelweiss flower, chia seed, bio-fermented bamboo leaf, tomato fruit ferment, chickpea extract

"Okay, I'm going to try and remain calm when talking about this product, but I think it's so wonderful that I need you all to know about it. If, like me, you prefer to air dry your hair in the summer, you are going to want to add this to your next beauty shopping list. It's designed to be used on fine to medium hair to define natural hair texture, but I honestly think that wavy hair is where its talents truly lie. I apply this through my damp lengths and either let my hair dry naturally or pop my hair into a low bun at the nape of my neck. What unfolds once it's dry? Beautiful, soft and tousled waves that wouldn't look out of place on a beach or a catwalk (boho waves were back in a big way at the Met Gala). Honestly, this is my must-have product of the season." Katie Thomas, Senior Beauty Editor

5. Dior Forever Natural Bronze Glow - Limited Edition

Dior Forever Natural Bronze Glow - Limited Edition

(Image credit: Dior)

Dior Forever Natural Bronze Glow - Limited Edition

Best new bronzer


Shades: Coral Bronze, Peachy Bronze, Rosy Bronze

"If I find a bronzer I like, I stick with it until it's all gone. I wouldn't say I'm fussy with my bronzers, mind you. It is, along with blusher, one of the very few make-up products I wear most days. I like to look as though I have just stepped off a plane after a tropical holiday every single day. After a year of using up my Jones Road bronzer, this dropped on my desk. The compact itself is absolutely stunning, and frankly, even if the product inside was subpar I'd probably still use it for the aesthetic alone. Luckily, what's inside is every bit as beautiful as what's on the outside. It delivers a glowing sort of bronze that breathes life into my skin on its drabbest of days. I'm a girl obsessed." Shannon Lawlor, Executive Beauty Editor

6. Escentric Molecule E01 Body Wash & Body Lotion

Escentric Molecules E01 Body Wash & Lotion

(Image credit: Escentric Molecules)

Escentric Molecules E01 Body Wash & Lotion

Best new body range


Key notes: Iso E Super, pink pepper, lime, balsamic notes

"I consider Escentric Molecules M01 to be the best perfume on the market. It is, in theory, a simple fragrance because it contains just one note: ISO E Super—a synthetic woody amber scent. To me, it is anything but simple; it smells completely different on everyone and I find it tricky to decipher exactly what I'm smelling—it's complex. I love it, but I am forgetful with my fragrance and often leave the house without applying it. The launch of the brand's body care range means by the time I've jumped out of the shower and moisturised my body I'm already beautifully scented. The body wash and lotion come in M01's sister fragrance E01, which alongside ISO E Super has citrus notes running through it, which makes the morning that little bit brighter." Katie Thomas, Senior Beauty Editor

7. Carrière Frères Frangipani Candle

Carrière Frères Frangipani Candle

(Image credit: Carrière Frères)

Carrière Frères Frangipani Candle

Best new candles


Key notes: Bergamot, white flowers, vanilla

"I am often left feeling let down by luxury candles. I burn them all day, every day, and there are only a select few I'd actually recommend people fork out for. This new one from one of my go-to brands, Carrière Frères, is one of them. It smells like exotic flowers hanging off the most luscious beach-side greenery. It is, at its core, a white floral fragrance that packs a real punch, but it possesses a sweet, warming, sun-soaked element that oozes summer. It's the sort of candle that fills a room, even on a hot summer's day when every single window is wide open." Shannon Lawlor, Executive Beauty Editor

8. Sarah Chapman A1 Vitamin A Power 1 Serum

Sarah Chapman A1 Vitamin A Power 1 Serum

(Image credit: Sarah Chapman)

Sarah Chapman A1 Vitamin A Power 1 Serum

Best new vitamin A serum


Key ingredients: Retinol, retinal, EGF peptide growth factor

"The overuse of skincare actives has been a widely discussed topic in recent months, especially surrounding teenage skin issues. However, compromised skin barriers are nothing new and back-to-back lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 saw a steep rise in the number of people experiencing adverse effects to the misuse of strong actives. Sarah Chapman has found that this issue is only getting worse. In response, she has launched three products - two serums and a moisturiser - that she hopes will help "deliver clinical active ingredients in effective formulas that are easy to use, safe, well-tolerated and results-driven." Take for example this vitamin A serum, which I have been using since it launched and have found my skin to be brighter and smoother, the focus on its efficacy comes from its performance and delivery rather than increased percentages. That's all down to the brand's new TTS3 technology, which combines clever textures, biomimetic encapsulation and cooperative ingredients." Katie Thomas, Senior Beauty Editor

Shannon Lawlor
Executive Beauty Editor

Shannon Lawlor is the Executive Beauty Editor at Marie Claire. With nearly a decade of experience working for some of the beauty industry’s most esteemed titles, including Who What Wear, Glamour UK, Stylist and Refinery29, Shannon’s aim is to make the conversation around beauty as open, relatable and honest as possible. As a self-confessed lazy girl, Shannon has an affinity for hard-working perfumes, fool-proof make-up products and does-it-all skincare.

With contributions from