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Best of 2022: New beauty products of the year

By Megan Bedford

Best of 2022: New beauty products of the year
Our beauty editor reveals her picks for the new products of the year.

The end of the year is a time to reflect and make changes for the new year to come.

Except, when it comes to revamping beauty routines, right now I’m choosing to focus on what will stay the same. That’s because there have been some exceptional new product arrivals this year.

As a beauty editor I’ve tried a lot of things over the months, but these are the products that were standouts. They’re items that offer ease of use and results superior to anything that came before, and as such I’ll be continuing to embracing them in the months to come.

From makeup loaded with skincare benefits to skincare that offers the best of formulation and innovation, these are my picks for the best products of 2022.

Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Radiant Concealer

Concealers are an area that seems to be seeing a number of new launches, something that has been overdue. The form they take generally depends on where you want to use them, but for undereyes we like this brightening version with decent coverage that isn’t too matte so wont exacerbate dry skin.

Cerave Hydrating Cleanser

Okay yes, this isn’t technically a new product, but it was new to us, when the hit affordable skincare range finally landed in New Zealand this year. We rate most of Cerave’s products, with its commitment to barrier nourishment with three types of ceramides included in every product. This was a star player however, a simple, gentle cleanser that gives a clean feeling without leaving skin tight or dry. It suits most in the family, including those with sensitive skin and younger members just starting out with a skin care routine.

NARS Light Reflecting Foundation

The pendulum swung in a big way these past couple of years from matte full-coverage foundations to hydrating medium coverage options that leave skin looking dewy and radiant. The end of 2022 saw even more extremes, with brands and consumers embracing sheer skin tint/serum hybrids. However if you want skin to look healthy, fresh and natural while still embracing a bit of coverage, this is a superior performer. NARS in general makes consistently great products but the way this foundation blurs imperfections and gives skin a glow while caring for the long-term health of skin can’t be beat.

Dermalogica Awaken Peptide Eye Gel

Peptides were one of the biggest ingredient focuses of this year. Made up of chains of amino acids, the building blocks of certain proteins such as collagen and elastin, they are essential for healthy, resilient skin. We loved the ease of use of Dermalogica’s eye gel that feels refreshing and soothes and depuffs the under eyes while delivering key ingredients. You also don’t have to wait an age before applying makeup over the top. 

Medik8 Press & Clear

Still leading the way with advanced skincare science, we love Medik8’s straightforward ingredient-first approach to skin. The brand’s brilliant Press & Glow toner has long been a favourite for a gentle regular exfoliation that leaves skin bright, but now there’s a more targeted option for blemish and acne-prone skin. With 2% BHA it helps balance oily skin, clears breakouts and minimises pores and even helps diminish the dark marks left behind after a breakout.

YSL Lash Clash Mascara

Everything you want in a mascara, wrapped up in a sexy and sleek tube. L’Oreal’s stable of brands all produce superior mascaras (shout out to Maybelline) and YSL is no exception. This modern new arrival delivers volume, separation and intensely black pigment that doesn’t flake or smudge. It can be layered up too, so you can build for a more dramatic evening look.

Elizabeth Arden Advanced Ceramide Lift and Firm Day Cream

Elizabeth Arden has been pioneering the use of ceramides for decades, it seems like the rest of the industry only caught on in the past couple of years. It’s why the brands ceramide line can’t be overlooked. This year it put out a pair of beautiful day and night creams that are user friendly and have a modern texture that sinks in well. They also help take care of the effects aging and gravity have on our complexions.

Morphe Blush Balm Soft-Focus Cream Blush

Cream blushes re-entered our repertoire – along with blush in general – this year and this one was a stand-out. Great colours, a decent price and easy to use, the cream gently melts into skin, leaving a natural flush of colour.

REN Clean Skincare Evercalm Barrier Support Elixir

When you have sensitive skin, or if yours is just acting up, a face oil can help lock in hydration and offer comforting care. Ones with high concentration of actives or some botanical extracts can make skin flares worse. This light as a feather face oil has been a Godsend however. It sinks in quickly, leaves skin comfortable, soft and calmed and is rich in omega 3 and 6 to help skin recover and prevent moisture loss.

Dior J’adore Parfum D’eau

There is an increasing trend in beauty to update classics, rather than get rid of them in search of something new. It makes sense in skincare, where innovation and approach is speeding ahead, but the same is increasingly true in perfumery. Dior’s update of it’s iconic J’adore mixes old and new, removing traditional alcohol (something that can occasionally irritate skin) but also going back to basics with what is essentially a concentration of flowers in water. The pretty blend is a soft, clean and fresh mix of jasmine and magnolia. Given the absence of alcohol it can also be used in your hair which is a nice touch.

Tarte Maracuja Juicy Lip

Don’t get me wrong, I’m obsessed with the impact of a number of new matte lipstick arrivals right now. But this shiny lip colour was really indicative of where lip trends are (and are headed) right now. With nourishing oils and brilliant shine this product is comfortable and flattering to wear, day or night.

Sisley Exfoliating Enzyme Mask

Luxury brand Sisley has a lot of great products, but it is most lauded for its masks. This year saw the arrival of the Sisley Exfoliating Enzyme Mask, designed to gently exfoliate and improve skin’s radiance. It comes in the form of a powder you add a little water to and apply, massaging over skin. Crucially it works in less that one minute, isn’t too aggressive, and preps skin for other hydrating products or treatment serums. There are similar products about but we do love the results this product delivers and a little goes a long way.

L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Laser Retinol + Niacinamide Pressed Night Cream 

Making skincare more user-friendly was a theme that infused many products and this is a good example. A night cream with retinol and niacinamide, usually delivered to skin in serums, but formulated into a night cream so there’s less to do before bed! The flat-top, airless pump is also a welcome arrival for protecting the potency of the ingredients inside.

Aesop Eidesis EDP

We are including two perfumes because their personalities are so different. Aesop’s perfumer Barnabé Fillion always draws from a rich pool of inspiration for its perfumes – here in part it is “imaginary worlds beyond the surface of a mirror”.  It translates to a gender-neutral scent that is woody, spicy and ambery. Gentle and appealing to many.

Tom Ford Eye Color Quad Crème Eyeshadow

A luxury buy to be sure, but at least if you splash out you know it wont be a complete waste as sometimes happens with very expensive picks. This formula is new to the brand and is quite unique, offering eyeshadow with the texture of a powder but performing like a cream. Each colour picks up and applies well with a brush  and blends beautifully and seamlessly into skin meaning its easier to get a professional-looking result. I do hope the brand launches more of this formula in 2023!

Emma Lewisham Supernatural Sleeping Mask

In general I prioritise a consistent skincare routine over quick-fix masks, but there are times in your life when that consistency wanes because of life circumstance. I have found this mask to be a great way to boost my skin back to good hydration levels and health after periods of stress or fatigue. It can be left on skin and washed off in the morning for ease of use which is a real plus.

La Prairie Skin Caviar Harmony L’Extrait

Its price puts it out of reach of most, but this innovative product is something special. It’s texture, sort of a cross between a gel and a fluid serum, means it is a dream to apply to skin, flooding it with cooling moisture. The formula delivers the brand’s exclusive and advanced blend of of caviar components, said to help support the underlying structure of skin for a more youthful looking result.

Kosas Plump + Juicy Collagen Lip Boost

I’m well known to be a fan of lip balm. It mush be smooth, not-sticky have pleasant but not overwhelming scent/taste and last well. This is all that and more, containing hyaluronic acid, peptides and plumping botanicals that leave skin soft and smooth over lip lines to give the appearance of more youthful looking lips.

Sunday Riley 5 Stars Retinoid + Niacinamide Eye Serum

Retinol around the eyes has generally been a no-go, given the potential to irritate thin skin in the area. This formula has been developed for that exact reason, and I had no problems at all using on my sometimes-finicky skin. It’s nice to feel like you’re offering your eyes a bit more heavy-lifting than just simple hydration, with retinol famed for its line-fighting abilities.



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