#MarieClairePrix *Adds to shopping basket*
They’re the industry’s benchmark for celebrating the very best in skincare, make-up and hair. Plus this year we have two exciting new awards recognising the brands that do amazing work with charity partnerships and also in championing sustainability issues within the beauty industry. Add these Marie Claire Prix D’Excellence beauty winners to your shopping list now.
The international winners
International winner: Clinique Lash Power Flutter-to-Full Mascara, £20
Sometimes a product comes along that is so good, you wonder how on earth you ever got by without it. An adjustable mascara wand is precisely that. A simple twist of the barrel adjusts the wiper inside – the part that deposits just the right amount of mascara on to the brush – allowing you to dial up or dial down the look of your lashes to your heart’s content. “Clinique are leaders in the mascara category so a wand innovation like this, along with their most natural formula, is very exciting,” says Lisa Oxenham.
International winner: Sisley Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream, £134
Expensive-looking skin – the sort that makes you look like you have a professional lighting team following you all day – will always top our wishlist. And we’re one step closer to making that a reality with this deeply nourishing face cream. Like a bouquet of roses bottled, it takes the water and oils from the Black Rose and combines it with skin-softening May Rose and antioxidant Alpine rose. “This moisturiser is heavy on nutrients and light in texture – perfect for the warmer months,” says Lisa.
International winner: Giorgio Armani Power Fabric Foundation, £42
Ironically, the best foundation is the one that disappears the moment it’s worked into the skin. That’s why this has proved to be every beauty editor’s secret weapon. It provides a second-skin effect with a flattering matte finish that covers blemishes, redness and uneven skin tone so you can skip the concealer and powder. “My make-up philosophy is to enhance skin, not mask it but with so much stress these days skin needs a bit more help with coverage – this has the most natural finish on the market,” says Lisa.
International winner: Kerastase Aura Botanica range, from £22.10
When it launched, this range sent a ripple of excitement through the hair industry. Not only do the products contain 96 percent natural-origin ingredients – including Samoan coconut oil, Moroccan argan oil, and sweet orange essential oil—they are also free of silicones, parabens, and sulfates. Good news for your colouryou’re your cuticles. “One of the biggest and best hair care companies has stepped up in an environmentally and health-conscious way without affecting efficacy and we can’t celebrate that enough,” says Lisa.
International winner: Shiseido Waso range, from £24
Science in skincare normally comes with a hefty price tag. The Waso range has only one of these things going for it: science. All seven products contain natural Japanese ingredients proven to benefit the skin – think tofu in the Soft +Cushy Polisher or white jelly mushrooms in the Fresh Jelly Lotion, which hold onto water like a sponge for a shot of dewy hydration. The muted pastel tones of the packaging (chic) deserve a special mention, too. “Skin looses intercellular water when it ages and that leads to fine lines and a rough texture. Japanese science is the best in the world and is at the heart of Shiseido – expect to see more exciting things in the next year,” says Lisa.
now: WASO range from £24 from Shiseido
International winner: Victoria Beckham x Estee Lauder range, from £22
The former Spice-Girl–turned-fashion-designer’s first foray into make-up in 2016 was a global success. Her second didn’t disappoint either as Victoria re-introduced 10 of her hero products (remember the Morning Aura moisturiser/primer/illuminating crème that made your face look like you had eight hours sleep?) along with 18 newbies, including a gold-speckled gloss for cheekbones and lips and a crème blush that is like a caffeine jolt for dull skin, all wrapped in sleek black and gold-accented packaging. “The chicest makeup that has ever been created,” says Lisa.
International winner: Special Jury Winner Dior
Always ahead of the curve, Dior has long set the bar for innovative, lust-worthy skincare and make-up. These four products show why…
Dior Addict Lip Tattoo, £25
Dabbed onto lips it sheerly tints with a non-sticky Popsicle-like flush.
Rouge Dior Double Rouge, £27.50
Not content with delivering on just one make-up trend, this lipstick combines three: matte, metallic and ombre. A single swipe creates a matte lipliner-esque outline while the pearly centre gives lips just enough sheen to look plush.
Dior Hydra Life range, from £27
Sorbet-like moisturisers packed with natural, skin-loving ingredients and masks that give a radiant glow in less than three minutes – what’s not to love about a range rumoured to be used on models backstage as a pre-make-up treatment?
Diorshow Pump N’ Volume, £25.50
You know the deal: you swipe on your favourite mascara every day, and then after a few months, the formula turns lumpy and you have to throw it out, knowing there’s plenty left at the bottom of the tube. No more – thanks to this squeezable tube that uses your body heat to warm up the mascara and keep it glossy.
Dior Prestige La Micro-Huile de Rose, £153
Each bottle contains over 10,000 rose micro-pearls, containing the most potent form of nourishing rose molecules, suspended in a cooling gel. Even without foundation, skin looks bathed in a candlelit glow.
now: DIOR from £25 from Selfridges
The British winners
Between them, our panel of British beauty experts has over 100 years’ experience in the industry. Here’s their winning edit of the most visionary skincare, body care, make-up and haircare as well as our two new categories beauty gives back and the sustainability award…
Haircare winner: Charles Worthington Charles Worthington Everyday Gentle Micellar Shampoo, £5.99
This brand is no stranger to high street firsts (last year it launched a salon-strength toner to banish brassiness for blondes). And this micellar shampoo is no exception. It works in the same way as the micellar water you use to remove make-up, picking up pollution and impurities with magnet-like precision then gently rinsing them away to leave hair hydrated and happy. The uplifting scent of sweet fig and juicy mandarin, wrapped in musky notes, makes washing your hair feel less of a chore, too.
Highly commended: Maria Nila Head & Hair Heal Shampoo, £23.49
Body care winner: Ren Atlantic Kelp & Magnesium Body Range, from £16
Ren is probably best known for its problem-solving skincare but this body range, comprising everything from a shower gel and scrub to bath oil and cream, deserves special accolades. Spiked with Atlantic Kelp – a rich source of magnesium and other trace elements – it helps to flood cells with oxygen and encourage them to release toxins. After just a single application improved skin tone and energy levels are born.
Highly commended: Sanctuary Spa Wet Skin Moisture Miracle, £8
Make-up winner: Nars Powermatte Lip Pigment, £23
Liquid but opaque, long-lasting yet still seriously moisturising – this is every lipstick contradiction bottled (something we suspect creator and beauty disruptor Francois Nars is quietly smug about). A refreshing palate cleanser after all those chalky matte lipsticks where you struggled to smack your lips together after the dry down, we’re in no doubt why these 20-strong shades take the top spot.
Highly Commended: Givenchy Noir Interdit Mascara, £25.50
Skincare winner: Charlotte Tilbury Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask, £18 each
When a product makes its debut at the Golden Globes and on Nicole Kidman’s flawless alabaster skin, you immediately add your name to the waiting list. Unlike traditional sheet masks, this one is dry because the active ingredients – brightening vitamin B3, peptides, collagen-boosting crocus bulb extract – are imprinted on the material and slowly released. Prepare for plumper skin with fewer wrinkles – like real life Photoshop.
Highly Commended: Olay Eyes Ultimate Eye Cream, £24.99
Beauty Gives Back Winner: The Body Shop
Treating yourself to a new beauty product is always a thrill but it’s even nicer when you know that the brand is giving back to charity, too. And no one does it with quite as much gusto as The Body Shop. Its Community Trade Project has been running for over 30 years and remains the strongest fair trade programme in the beauty industry, helping to build schools and fund clean drinking projects. The protection of animals is another key focus, whether it is campaigning for a global ban on animal testing or its Bio-Bridges Mission, which regenerates corridors between rainforests, linking isolated endangered animals to allow them to breed again. A unanimous winner.
now: The Body Shop
Highly Commended: L’Occitane
Sustainability Winner: Neal’s Yard
The #BanTheBead campaign was one of the biggest stories of 2017 as we woke up the problem of plastic microbeads polluting our waters (and so our food chain) in their millions. One beauty brand fought tirelessly for the ban that comes into effect this year, campaigning alongside Green Peace, Fauna & Flora International and the Marine Conservation Society and giving evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee. Its stores and social media became hotbeds for intel about the detrimental effects of microbeads, while its scrubs, which use natural alternatives like ground peach seed, are testament that you don’t need them.
now: Neal’s Yard
Highly Commended: Guerlain
Words by Fiona Embleton