We all have our beauty favourites. The go-tos, the desert island luxuries, the ones we can rely on to add that extra layer of polish on the mornings when we wake up feeling distinctly unpolished.
They’re the products we tell our friends about; the ones we buy over and over again.
And, this year, for our third annual Inspire Beauty Awards, we’re seeking your anti-ageing heroes: lipsticks that can be relied upon not to feather into the fine lines around the mouth; concealers that really do conceal — without caking; night treatments that mean you wake up looking and feeling a decade younger.
Inspire has gathered together a stellar judging panel to find the nation’s favourite products for defying ageing (stock image)
Last year, almost 12,000 votes were cast, and this time, we’re hoping that — with your help — we can put together a definitive list of the nation’s top anti-ageing miracles.
To get things started, we’ve asked four of the most impressive and knowledgeable women in the beauty industry — top dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting, make-up artist and beauty entrepreneur Ruby Hammer, beauty expert and broadcaster Alison Young, and Inspire’s own beauty columnist, Elsa McAlonan — to pick their favourites.
Together, they’ve created a shortlist of products, from old faithfuls to the latest innovations, from which you can choose in 16 categories.
Or, if you have your own must-have that’s not listed, simply write it in by the words ‘Other choice’. Voting is simple: cut out and post the form to Inspire Beauty Awards, Daily Mail, Northcliffe House, 2 Derry Street, W8 5TT, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, you can visit daily mail.co.uk/femail to enter online. The results will be revealed in Inspire next month.
Meet the judging panel
Judge Ruby Hammer is a doyenne of make-up artistry
A doyenne of make-up artistry, Ruby Hammer MBE recently launched her own highly acclaimed line of beauty must-haves.
Good skin makes good make-up look better, and, with fine lines, hydration is the priority. CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser (£11.25, boots.com) is gentle, but effective, with hyaluronic acid to increase hydration while cleansing the skin.
I love Curel Intensive Moisture Facial Cream (£19.50, boots.com), which moisturises without a greasy film. For body, La Roche-Posay Iso-Urea Body Milk (£20, boots.com) has a melt-in texture that’s great for menopausal skin. As for lipsticks, Trish McEvoy Sheer Lip Colour (£22, harveynichols.com) can’t be beaten — though richly pigmented, it doesn’t bleed.
Palettes are also in vogue. Revolution Beauty’s collaboration with make-up artist Lan Nguyen-Grealis (£15, revolutionbeauty.com) is affordable and has lip, blush and powder in a huge range of shades.
Judge Elsa McAlonan is the Mail’s beauty columnist
Elsa Mcalonan is the Mail’s beauty columnist.
Of all the products I’ve tried, these are my favourites. Clarins Super Restorative Rose Radiance Cream (£62.90, johnlewis.com) is pricey, but it’s designed for skin experiencing age-related hormonal changes, and, used as a primer, gives a great make-up base.
Then you want a concealer — the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye (£25, cultbeauty.co.uk), combines anti-ageing ingredients with a non-drying formula. Laura Mercier Caviar Volume Panoramic Mascara (£18.70, johnlewis.com) has a caviar care complex to nourish lashes — and it doesn’t dry out or go hard.
Vichy Neovadiol Rose Platinum Night Cream (£24, boots.com) minimises sleep creases and leaves you glowing. A high-tech treat is M&S’s Face Roller (£9.50, marksandspencer.com) — while watching TV, roll it under eyes and along the jawline to perk up the skin.
Judge Alison Young has years of experience as a facialist, trainer and consultant
Beauty expert Alison Young is best known for her QVC shows, and has years of experience as a facialist, trainer and consultant.
The best anti-ageing products give you pleasure, too. BareMinerals Endless Glow in the shade Joy (£26, bareminerals.co.uk) really is a joy. Sold as a highlighter, it’s also a peach-gold blusher.
If you’ve tried the Prai range, you’ll know why I’ve picked its Gold Concentrate Retinol (£38, marksand spencer.com). It firms and rejuvenates skin over time.
I’m not a hair product fan, but Percy & Reed Wonder Balm (£18, percyandreed.com) fills in the gaps in each strand with no stickiness. Even nail polish can be anti-ageing: Nails Inc’s formulation gives a plumping gel finish that covers any unevenness. I like Victoria, a dark cherry (£15, nailsinc.com).
And if you’re a woman of a certain age, a Beautyblender (£17, boots.com), for applying make-up, is also invaluable when a hot flush strikes.
DR SAM BUNTING
Judge Dr Sam Bunting is a leading dermatologist and founded a skincare range
Dr Sam Bunting is a leading dermatologist and founder of the award-winning skincare range Dr Sam’s.
The majority of patients I see are concerned about anti-ageing, but they are also prone to blemishes. I often recommend Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (£42, debenhams.com), as it gives decent coverage and a lasting, no-make-up look.
Similarly, the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer (£20.40, johnlewis.com) is a great, blendable product that doesn’t clog pores, comes in a range of shades and works under the eyes and on any blemishes.
When I’m recommending a mask to my patients, it’s mostly for boosting hydration. The Avene Soothing Moisture Mask (£13, lookfantastic.com) does that without any irritation and is calming for those with sensitive skin or rosacea.