Sali Hughes Shares Her Favourite Beauty Launches Of 2023
Sali Hughes Shares Her Favourite Beauty Launches Of 2023

Sali Hughes Shares Her Favourite Beauty Launches Of 2023

It’s been a busy year in beauty, with a stream of new and covetable products hitting the market – but which ones have truly stood out? As always, journalist, author and brand founder Sali Hughes has kept her finger on the pulse and chosen which ones have made the biggest impression…
By Rebecca Hull

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

Fragrance Favourites

“My favourite launches have been those by Bibbi – a gorgeous new line of luxury fragrances from the creative brains behind perfumes at Vilhelm, Victoria Beckham, Byredo and more. There are no duds here, but Radio Child (a melancholic, musky, skin scent) and Swimming Pool (a bright, summery basil, mint and fresh grass concoction) are particularly addictive. They are pricey at £225, but the bottles contain over three times the fragrance of most designer brands. This year I’ve also loved Frédéric Malle’s new Heaven Can Wait, which is Christmas in a bottle (think mulled wine and spiced rum) but soon softens into something much more versatile. Spicy, warm and powdery, it’s glam, elegant and right up my street. There’s a corker coming from Dior in early 2024, too. It’s called New Look and it’s my favourite of theirs in a long time.”

Radio Child Eau de Parfum, £225 | Bibbi
Heaven Can Wait Eau De Parfum, £185 | Frédéric Malle

The Budget Buy

“My Revolution x Sali Hughes Ringlight Creamy Illuminating Eye Balm, which is only £10, is one of my favourite budget products of 2023. I didn’t initially want to make an eye cream because I’ve never much used them myself. So, when women kept asking for one, I knew mine had to bring something more to the table to justify its existence. Ringlight launched this year, and it has converted me – I honestly never leave home without it. Use it in your daily skincare routine for rich, soothing moisture and instant golden brightness. Then, keep it in your bag for patting on in the afternoon to plump up dry skin, smooth out any cakey concealer and brighten tired-looking eyes. It can go straight over make-up without removing it and it contains caffeine, so it’s perfect for reviving your face without starting over. It is suitable for all skin types.”

Ringlight Creamy Illuminating Eye Balm, £10 | Revolution x Sali Hughes

A Must-Try Mascara

“I am very, very specific about mascara. I only really use tubing varieties, because the classic sort smudges so badly on me (I use very rich skincare, which doesn’t help). Luckily, the rest of the world has caught on, and tubing mascaras are easier than ever to buy. My all-time most used are Estée Lauder DoubleWear and Clinique Lash Power, but this summer I bought Caliray’s Come Rain Or Shine in Sephora New York and loved it so much that I’ve since had friends bring it home for me from their own trips. It needs to launch here, stat. It’s my favourite mascara of 2023 by far.”

Come Hell Or High Water Volumizing Tubing Mascara, $24 | Caliray

Haircare Heroes

“Living Proof Triple Bond Complex has been a game-changer for me this year. I had used bonding products before, but this is so easy to use. Once a week, I apply a couple of pumps to just washed hair, leave it on for at least 10 minutes, then apply styling products and heat protectant (always JVN Complete Instant Recovery Serum) and blow dry. It makes my bleached lengths feel so, so much better and my hairdresser (Jordan Garrett at Hershesons) and my colourist (Georgina Hopkins at Hadley Yates Salon) always comment on how little breakage I suffer. I truly feel that’s down to Living Proof. At least once a week, I use Kerastase’s Blond Absolu Masque Ultra-Violet Treatment to get rid of any brassiness, and I de-fluff and smooth the ends after drying with Sam McKnight’s Happy Endings – another brilliant 2023 launch.”

Triple Bond Complex, £42 | Living Proof
Complete Instant Recovery Serum, £25 | JVN Hair
Blond Absolu Masque Ultra Violet Treatment, £41.22 (was £45.80) | Kérastase
Happy Endings Nourishing Balm, £36 | Hair By Sam McKnight

Tools To Invest In

“This was the year I switched to Hershesons The Great Hairdryer, which my arm appreciates as much as my hair, since the dryer is as light as an iPhone. It dries incredibly quickly. If I want a big, pouffy blow-dry, I use DryBar The Double Shot. I only discovered it about a year ago and, although it looks like something my mum would have used in the 1970s, it’s easy to use and works better than anything else I’ve found.”

The Great Hairdryer, £245 (was £295) | Hershesons
The Double Shot Round Blow-Dryer Brush, £129 | Drybar

The Celebrity Brand Worth Its Hype

“I think Victoria Beckham Beauty took us all by surprise and, in 2023, the brand’s gone from strength to strength. I’m sent so many lovely lipsticks that I thought I’d never again get through one, but Victoria Beckham Beauty’s Posh Lipstick in Twist (a pinky brown) has barely been off my face since it launched this summer. It’s perfect. Other great launches from Beckham this year include the Satin Kajal in Cinnamon, a super blendable, wearable soft-metallic brown liner, and the Reflect Highlighter in Amber, which is every bit as good as the original Pearl shade, but looks fresher and sunnier. I imagine that 2024 will see her launch a base, which will be super interesting.”

Posh Lipstick, £37 | Victoria Beckham Beauty
Satin Kajal Liner, £30 | Victoria Beckham Beauty
Reflect Highlighter Stick, £40 | Victoria Beckham Beauty

Mega Make-Up

“There have been some outstanding make-up launches over the past 12 months. Makeup By Mario’s SurrealSkin™ Foundation is the perfect medium coverage base for weddings, nights out and other special occasions – anywhere you’d like skin to look flawless but alive and glowing, not matte and masked. It’s terrific. Shiseido’s new Revitalessence Foundation has less coverage, so works for the daytime and gives the most gorgeous ethereal glow. I’ve also fallen hard for Natasha Denona HY-Glam Concealer and the Kosas Brow Pop Nano, an eyebrow pencil that’s as thin as a pin for micro-fine brow strokes, but somehow so strong it never snaps and lasts months. It’s genius. Vieve’s Modern Radiance Cream Bronzer was another great ’23 launch that I’ve reached for all winter. Finally, Clé de Peau Beauté’s Cream Rouge Matte Lipstick in Chocolate Cosmos came out this year and is officially my favourite brown lipstick ever. It’s constantly out of stock, but comes back in regularly, so it’s worth setting up a notification and getting in quick.”

SurrealSkin™ Foundation, £42  | Makeup By Mario
Revitalessence Skin Glow Foundation SPF 30 PA+++, £49 | Shiseido
HY-Glam Concealer, £32 | Natasha Denona
Brow Pop Nano, £20 | Kosas
Modern Radiance Cream Bronzer, £31 | Vieve
Cream Rouge Matte Lipstick, £44 | Clé de Peau Beauté

The Worthy Investment

“The price of the new Hourglass Veil Skin Tint is certainly up there for a tinted moisturiser, but for me it’s worth every penny. I favour a lighter coverage for the day and this is perfect – it’s moisturising, glowy and extremely natural looking.”

Veil Hydrating Skin Tint, £49 | Hourglass

2023’s Top Empties

“I have genuinely emptied my own Face Blanket Facial Oil and Ringlight Creamy Illuminating Eye Balm this year – Face Blanket is for moisturising face, nails, cuticles, hair, body and for sheering out foundation, so it’s easy to guzzle through. I suppose my other most emptied this year is REN Perfect Canvas Smooth, Prep & Plump Essence, which has been a godsend in the cold weather. I used it every single day of autumn and winter, at both ends of the year. It gives lasting hydration and an instantly juicy look to the face. If you’re doing skincare right, you should be emptying sunscreens regularly. I’ve emptied Clé de Peau’s SPF50 twice, as well as a sneak preview of Ultra Violette’s new Queen Screen SPF50 Glow Drops, which have just hit shelves. Mix them into your regular sunscreen for added glow and coverage without diluting your sun protection. Genius.”

Face Blanket Facial Oil, £15 | Revolution Skincare x Sali Hughes
Perfect Canvas Smooth, Prep & Plump Essence, £43 | Renskincare
UV Protective Cream SPF 50+, £91 | Clé De Peau Beauté
Queen Screen SPF 50 Super Glow Drops, £33 | Ultra Violette

Best In Body

“Glossier’s refillable deodorant launched at the start of the year, and I’ve used it pretty much every day since. It works brilliantly, keeps skin soft and has the same scent as my beloved Glossier You perfume. I use body lotion by the gallon, and I’ve emptied several bottles of Dove’s newly reformulated Pro-Age Niacinamide Body Lotion, which simultaneously moisturises and exfoliates to keep my dry skin flake-free. When my upper arms are bumpy in cold weather, I use Ameliorate Transforming Body Lotion, and if my skin is ever irritated (usually when I’m unwell or the Brighton seaside weather is particularly brutal), I use REN’s new Evercalm Body Balm. I no longer bother with in-salon spray tans (unless I can get an appointment with James Harknett, who’s a genius) because the St Tropez Express Bronzing Mousse is so fast and looks just as good. It blends seamlessly and is the perfect colour. It’s the best.”

Deodorant, £22 | Glossier
Pro Age Body Lotion Nourishing Body Care, £7 | Dove
Transforming Body Lotion, £26 (was £40) | Ameliorate
Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse, £19.20 (was £24) | St. Tropez

Finally, What 2023 Can’t Replace

“There’s been so many good launches in 2023, but I still have old faithfuls that I recommend everyone try. That includes M·A·C’s ‘Subculture’ lip liner – a sort of dirty, nude pink that suits every complexion and almost every lipstick. I flirt with others, but there’s nothing else quite as versatile. I have one in literally every handbag. Medik8’s Advanced Day Ultimate Protect is another old favourite that’s seen plenty of wear this year – it’s a terrific moisturising sunscreen that sits beautifully under make-up. This year I also rediscovered Chanel’s Coromandel fragrance and it’s easily been in my top three most worn. Classic brand wise, I would urge anyone to take a fresh look at Elizabeth Arden. Its new Retinol + HPR Ceramide Rapid Skin Renewing Water Cream is fabulous, and one of only a couple of retinoids I can use neat on my neck without it freaking out. They’re launching matching serum capsules early in 2024, so watch this space.”

Lip Pencil, £20 | M·A·C
Advanced Day Ultimate Protect SPF50+, £59 | Medik8
Coromandel Les Exclusifs De Chanel – Eau De Parfum, £200 | Chanel
Retinol + HPR Ceramide Rapid Skin-Renewing Water Cream, £75 | Elizabeth Arden

For more beauty tips & advice, follow @SaliHughes on Instagram & discover her Revolution range here.

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