The Pool Beauty Awards 2017

Team beauty had to pick the one product that impressed them most this year. Here's what they said...

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By Elle Turner on

From the foundation with a 50,000 waiting listthe £6 instant manicure and the first new Chanel perfume in 15 years, 2017 has truly been an excellent year for beauty, but I asked our team for the one product (two in the case of our ed, Sam Baker, who simply couldn't choose) that they loved, repurchased and couldn't live without in their beauty stash this year. After much deliberation, here's what they chose.

Sam Baker's pick: Frances Prescott Tri-balm and Your Good Skin

Two products this year landed on my desk and found their way straight into my bathroom cabinet. Make-up artist Frances Prescott's absolutely brilliant new 3-in-1 cleansing product, Tri-Balm, is a handy balm stick that not only promises to cleanse, exfoliate and moisturise, it takes up absolutely none of your hand-luggage liquid allowance.


A very close second was Boots' new skincare range, YourGoodSkin. Reasonably priced – from about £7 upwards – the collection is a no-faff range based around your skin's specific needs. I've tried and really rate the day and night cream, but top of the heap has to be the Balancing Skin Concentrate (£16.66).


Hannah Banks-Walker's Pick: BouclÈme Curl Gel

Bouclème's Curl Defining Gel has honestly transformed my do. A hairdresser recommended it to me when, during a haircut, he informed me that I was actually completely mistreating my curls. I'd been doing a wash-and-go for as long as I could remember but, just by applying a bit of this to wet hair, my curls are instantly more defined and bouncier. Also, as you only need a little bit at a time, one bottle lasts for ages. I've spoken to lots of people with different types of curls and they've all told me that they use this, too, which confirms the claim that it does, in fact, work on all types of curls – from afro hair to loose waves. A beauty product that's as inclusive as it is effective? My hero. 



There have been so many great beauty moments this year it's pretty impossible to pick a favourite. From new brand launches, such as Glossier’s UK arrival (I’m hooked on the Cloud Paint cheek colour) and the highly anticipated Fenty launch to fabulous new products from well-loved names (Clinique’s Even Better Glow Foundation and Bobbi Brown’s Cheek Glow), it’s been a bumper year. But if I had to pick just one, I’d choose LixirSkin skincare range – particularly the Electrogel cleanser (£25) and Universal Emulsion (£29). A new brand developed by skincare expert Colette Haydon, this entire range is all about multi-tasking and ease. The creamy cleanser budges make-up, provides a thorough face clean and leaves it soft and supple. Massage on, wash off, done. The emulsion is a hydrating but light moisturiser that goes on in the morning and also at night. It’s non-greasy and good under make-up. Simple, easy and effective – plus the packaging is pure bathroom-selfie porn.



Elle Turner's Pick: Bobbi Brown Crushed Lip Color

My favourite type of make-up is the stuff that can be swiped on easily and trusted to look good all day. Bobbi Brown’s Crushed Lip Colors do exactly that. They feel like applying a balm – soft, comfortable and moisturising – but with the colour pay-off of a lipstick. They stay put for a really decent amount of time (five hours plus) and, when they do eventually fade (lip products always do on my dry lips), they wear away evenly without leaving a rim of product round the edge of your lips. There are 20 shades in all different colours and undertones to suit everyone, but I especially like Cranberry, a universal red and Bitten (a your-lips-but-better shade that adds a bit of colour), because it works patted into my cheeks when I’m in a pinch, too. 



This is no ordinary shower oil, my friends. Oh, no, no, no. Let me talk you through the golden elixir that is L'Occitane Shea Butter Body Shower Oil. As you anoint your wet skin with the thick oil, it emulsifies into a soft, creamy lather that at once cleanses skin and floods it with moisture. It’s baffling, frankly, because it doesn’t leave a horrid residue, nor does it leave skin thirsty for body lotion afterwards. And it’s designed by people who take showers, because the nifty flip-top cap is attached to the bottle, thus no flying lids and slippery scrabbles in the plughole. This is my repeat buy of the year, because it’s so darn delicious, practical and efficient, and it has genuinely softened my mosaic-dry skin.


Sam Silver's Pick: BEcca Under Eye Brightening COrrector

I didn't know the meaning of dark circles until I entered working-mum territory. Those late nights clubbing before stumbling into work in my twenties had nothing on these bad boys. I owe the fact that no one seems to have noticed how high-pressure this year has been for me to this heavy-duty pot of salmon-coloured wonder. Never before had I believed in colour-correcting, but this tacky substance brightens those shadows and helps my concealer last longer without creasing. In fact, concealer on its own looks half-hearted these days. Tiny but mighty.


Tory Frost's Pick: Glossier You

I’ve always wanted to smell good. You know those people who walk past you and give a waft of pure high class? It’s cleanness, plus a spike of personality. Glossier's You perfume is the first fragrance in 20 years of trying (and expensive experimentation) that makes me feel I’m getting close. Scents are always hard to describe, but to me this smells like the head of a baby that’s wearing cleanly washed pyjamas and has also recently been hugged by its dad (who is wearing expensive aftershave). Best thing is, the few notes (chosen specifically to complement your natural scent) just subtly mix with your own good skin vibes, so I can’t imagine a person it won’t suit. Buy now and wait for the compliments. 


Lizzie Ostrom's pick: Aromatherapy Associates Clear Mind Bath AND SHOWER oil

This year, I moved from being a shower girl to a bath wallower. It was one easy, obvious way I could treat stress. I now have at least four baths a week complete with a book, a cup of tea and, often, Gregorian chants. Our home sounds like the set for an episode of Cadfael. I don't think monks would use Aromatherapy Associates, but I do, particularly the recent launch in partnership with Liberty, Clear Mind. Eek, it's not cheap, but, boy, do I think each bath is worth £2.50 of oil! It's much cheaper than a spa and I am deeply into the soothing, soulful scent of frankincense, bergamot and lavender.


Hannah Betts' pick:

Bronzer in no way suits everyone, which is why Kevyn Aucoin’s The Neo-Limelight in Ibiza is such a stupendous pale/cool-toned girl find. A lavender, rather than bronze, glow, it sets off cheekbones exquisitely. Its three shades can be deployed separately, to create differing highlighting effects, or swooshed all together for the most sublime iridescent blush. Either way, the compliments won’t stop coming. It’s one find of 2017 that I won’t be giving up.



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