Once a year, we get a first look sneak peek at emerging trends (from September, when the Awards open to 1 February, when judging is completed) and it’s always fascinating. A look into the future before the future’s arrived.

This year more NEW launches are coming in than in any previous year, so here’s a glimpse of what’s big, what’s coming soon, and what’s worth a look/buying right now. (Some innovations and launches are so new they’re still embargoed, but we’ll feature the best of them early next year).

We heard yesterday that 2018 has turned out to be a record-breaker for the Awards, and there are 5 working days left till we wrap things up (if you’re entering, please don’t leave it too late to get your samples in because yesterday was just mad and next week could turn into a last minute dot com frenzy).




(Left the biggest one till last)

No. 1 – Wildrafted v. Organic (there’s a difference)

No. 2 – It’s a Glitter Fest (still)…eyes, lips, cheekbones, between your brows, in your hair parting…everything

No. 3 – Hand Serums

Hand creams are upping their game – evolving into intensive balms, spa-style overnight treatments, etc., with more intensive, therapeutic (usually plant-powered, nut butter or bee-driven) ingredients labels (by the same token, not much on the nail nourishment/strengthening front which is new – gap in the market?)




No. 4 – Mood, Healing, & Emotion-centric Beauty. We’re seeing even more product names coming in, based around nourish yourself and your soul concepts like Calm Down, Wake Up, Sleep Well, Peace of Mind, Joy, etc. as beauty continues to evolve into a more feel-better, feel safer comforting ritual in an uncertain world – and in some cases fuses completely with wellbeing. The beauty-and-wellbeing lines are blurring further.



No. 5: Black. And White.  Modern Apothecary or Clean Zen?  (And chakras!)

Dark  glass pump bottles and white-as-snow boxes are everywhere although there’s far, far more black and amber than white (along with some one block colour packaging too but not much colour around…the polar opposite to these, however is a return to Liberty-print style/floral design labels…pretty…like the box with facial serum by Vanderohe No. 1 for example) Emerald green glass and chakra colours are notable, too.

LOVE!! One of the first brands to do “all white”, Eve Lom’s holiday boxes could hardly be prettier


Another packaging and design “win” by beautiful New York-Morocco brand Kahina Giving Beauty


Vanderohe No.1’s swirly floral illustration #love

No. 6 – LIPS (have never been more interesting). Gloss is making a (welcome) comeback after losing its lustre after the matte invasion. And colour goes more extreme – think Lipstick Queen’s Frog Prince greens or Glitter Lips’ golds, fuschias and blues.

Lipstick Queen

 Glitter Lips 


No. 7 – High Altitude, Rare and Survivalist Flowers, Plants and Berries  – survival of the fittest skincare explodes fuelled by wildcrafted, all-weather, extreme altitude resilient ingredients like edelweiss, saxifraga, snow algae (an algae capable of living on glaciers and snow), soldanella alpina, and a few more.

Willow Organics’ Collagen & Red Snow Algae Body Balm

No. 8 – Arctic Berries like Cloudberry, Blueberry, Bearberry (eg. Scandinavian cloudberry which stars in Scandi brand Eleni & Chris’s range)



No. 9 – 10-FREE NAIL FORMULAS (yes please!)

Because first there was 3-Free, then 5-Free, then 8-Free, so kudos to brands like Kure Bazaar, Zoya and Soigne whose innovative formulas are based on natural ingredients (Kure’s are made from wood pulp, cotton, potato and wheat, unbelievably and if I remember correctly both Kure’s and Soigne’s formulas are around 85% natural).

No. 10 – SLEEPING BEAUTY.  Last year it was stress-less, this year it’s sleep. With brands like NEOM calling on us to treat sleep as seriously as what we eat, sleeping beauty is looking big for 2018. Beauty rituals, sleep brands (think – Kiss The Moon), and pillow sprays to spritz pre-sweet dreams (REN and Therapie have just launched new ones).  It’s the one thing a lot of millionaires aren’t getting enough of and it’s free – so stock up and charge your batteries, ’tis the season to sleep!


…& Now To Sleep (the ultimate luxury)

Finally….a “Reverse Trend” which is disappointing and reflects how quick brands are to move on things like nails, eyebrow products, lips, but slow to openly embrace and service women who are no longer 20 – or 30!! What is happening here?

I Tweeted this yesterday:

From TWITTER: “This is a “reverse trend” if anything – older age-specific products, eg 50+ are still minimal. Instead, lots of advanced science-meets-nature formulas but not much actual age-targeting (at all)  “

Big mistake. Kudos to Ark Skincare one of the first to target different ranges to women in different age groups. I cannot believe how reticent brands are in coming forward. Yes, we’re up to our eyelids in advanced formulas, high tech meets plant powered skincare, etc, stem cells, etc. etc. which is good but WHERE is the message celebrating older women?

Come on. Yes, brands are doing it with their mature beauty icons like Jane Fonda, Charlotte Rampling, Susan Sarandon (thumbs up) but how many people could reel off 5 skincare brands developed especially for women over 50, for example?

And it’s almost time for our annual predictions. I can’t believe how 2017 is already folding up as we skate into snow season soon.

Keep an eye open for THE BEAUTY SHORTLIST’S 2018 BEAUTY PREDICTIONS (January)…single oils like rose, rosehip, jojoba are already making a comeback amid the potent multi-oil cocktails, argan is getting a much-needed more creative/innovative makeover, less is a lot more (6 ingredients or less, simple is beautiful) and highlighters will be a highlight as “perfect, luminous skin” continues to dominate. (And YES – we’re still drenching ourselves in Hyaluronic Acid, nobody can get enough of this moisture-booster – and HA content % in formulas continues to rise).

As for the shortcut to luminosity (the translucent, could not be more perfect “Glass Skin”, Korean beauty trend springs to mind but frankly it’s pretty unrealistic unless you’re 16 so we’re bypassing that one, ain’t nobody got time for that)…so is there a shortcut to luminosity?

No. Unless you haven’t accumulated that many birthdays yet.  But if you’re over what the French call un certain age, then good nutrition, exercise, high performance supplements, lessening stress, getting more sleep, intelligent sun exposure, ditching smoking, keeping hydrated, eating more greens and way less sugar and a really good tinted moisturiser/illuminating foundation/primer) are as good a foundation as we can give ourselves, proving once again that good health shows up as great skin.

And if you are un certain age, luminosity is, categorically, the name of the game.

Because today, tomorrow, next month, next year…always, is a good time to #RockYourAge!


We’re wrapping things up soon! Entries for the 2018 Beauty Shortlist Awards close NEXT FRIDAY at 5pm local time on 17 November.  Samples can be sent to London, New York or Sydney, and all products will automatically be entered into every relevant category this year and there’s more info and an ENTRY FORM HERE.

Next up: NEW+NOTEWORTHY: NOVEMBER (There’s a lot!)



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