Hello lovelies!

Can you believe 2015 is so last year! I still can’t. I’ve been meaning to do this post ever since the new year began, but I’ve been a bit busy. I am planning to travel to India in the coming week, hence I will be away from IMBB for a while, and I know I will miss you all dearly. As a makeup junkie, you know there is nothing better than trying out new products. I was fortunate enough to indulge in a lot of high-end products this past year. With so many products in my makeup collection, if I find myself going back to some particular items time and time again, it is the true testament of their awesomeness. I have compiled a list of mostly makeup, but also some amazing skincare, which has worked wonders for me. I personally vouch for and think these products are 100% worth the money. These are the crème de la crème of the beauty world for me as of now.


2015 has been a good year for foundations for me. The beauty industry has stepped up so much and it was so difficult to narrow this list down. Here I am listing some of my favorite foundations along with different quality which sets them apart, so you can decide which suits you best.

1. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation – Ultra creamy, super blendable, demi matte, satin finish

2. Diorskin Star Fluid Foundation – Medium to full coverage, skin like natural finish, blurs pores, smooths skin texture and makes skin look airbrushed

3. Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation – Sheer to medium coverage, virtually undetectable on the skin, lightweight and hydrating on skin, perfect for dry skinned beauties

4. Too Faced Born This Way Undetectable Foundation – Satin finish, medium to full coverage, best for dry skin

5. Dior Diorskin Nude Air Nude Healthy Glow Ultra-Fluid Serum Foundation – Light to medium coverage, soft matte glowy finish, serum foundation, long wearing and undetectable on the skin


6. Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer – Absolute full coverage, complete matte finish

7. bareMinerals Bareskin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer – medium to full coverage, satin-demi matte finish, serum concealer

Setting Powder:

8. Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Flawless Finish Powder – Lightweight, non drying, demi matte- glowy satin finish, best for setting full face

9. Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder – Best for setting under eye and baking, complete matte finish and controls oil, goes on translucent but brightens up the eye

10. Besame Cosmetics Brightening Vanilla Face Powder – Best for baking and setting under eye, matte finish, yellow tint cancels all darkness and brightens


11. Urban Decay Afterglow 8-Hour Powder Blush – Super pigmented, easy to blend and comes in variety of flattering shades in both matte and shimmery finishes


12. Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette – Multiple shades for more options to mix and match with your skin tone, pigmented and blendable


13. Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow Face Sculpt and Highlight – Super flattering bronzer shade, plus a beautiful golden highlight (all in 1)


14. Becca Opal Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed – Super duper glowy, very fine shimmer

Eyeshadow Palette:

15. Viseart 04 Dark Matte Eyeshadow Palette – These are hands down the best eyeshadows I have used ever

16. Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Contour Palette – All basic matte shades, pairs with every look you can ever create on your eyes

Eyeshadow Singles:

17. Kat Von D Metal Crush Eyeshadows – This whole line is amazing; every single shade was a hit for me


18. Charlotte Tilbury Bedroom Black Rock ‘n’ Kohl Iconic Liquid Eye Pencil – Blackest black, creamy and longwearing on the waterline, smudge proof

19. Ardency Inn ModsterSmooth Ride Supercharged Eyeliner – Comes in variety of colors, smooth and creamy even on the waterline, budge proof and long wearing


I’ve loved so many lippies in 2015. It was super duper difficult to narrow this down. So here are couple of my favorite shades from my favorite, most loved lipstick ranges.

20. Too Faced Melted Long Wear Lipsticks – Melted Fig and Melted Jelly Donut

21. Givenchy #104 Brun Cachemire Le Rouge Lipstick

22. Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks – Lolita II and Double Dare

23. Nars Audacious Lipsticks – Jane and Anna

24. Urban Decay Matte Revolution Lipstick – Matte 1993


Under Makeup Moisturizer/Primer:

25. Marc Jacobs Under Cover Perfecting Coconut Face Primer – Super lightweight and hydrating, sinks completely into the skin; non greasy, best to use under makeup for all skin types

Chemical Exfoliate:

26. Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum – This serum makes my face glow; it evens out my skin texture, smoothes my skin of fine lines and my skin is healthier with regular use


27. Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil – Non greasy, deeply nourishes my dry skin

Eye Cream:

28. Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum – Firming, smoothes fine lines and makes my eye area feel softer and nourished

Hope you liked this post and it helped you narrow down your pick for your next splurge. Do comment below if you have tried and loved any of these products, or what you like to see next on IMBB.

Till next time. Ciao Bella !!

Image Source

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In case you didn’t know, fall is THE time for beauty companies to bring out their most important—and most gorgeous—product launches of the year.

Talk about exciting!

Now that we’ve gushed over the best lipstick colours this season (which required an entire blog post, there are so many good ones), let me introduce you to all the other new makeup you need to know about:

The best new makeup products for fall and winter.

Drooling already? These new favourites are not only pretty to look at, but they also make total sense for the cooler months. Think: primer that hydrates your skin; shadows that smoulder for evening; and foundations and blushes in luscious, creamy textures.

Everything here is available at Sephora, and just a reminder that Canadians get:

  • FREE shipping on orders of C$50 and over
  • FREE returns
  • Faster shipping
  • No duties

Here are my best makeup suggestions for fall and winter:

Marc Jacobs Beauty Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer

Marc Jacobs Beauty Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer

I love that the Marc Jacobs Beauty Under(cover) Perfecting Coconut Face Primer feels like a lightweight moisturizer, instead of the weird synthetic slippery texture you get with most primers. Made with real coconut extracts that form a vitamin-rich barrier on the skin’s surface, it will help makeup to go on smoother and last longer. If you get dry skin when the temperature drops, then this would be a great hydrating step under your makeup, in addition to your regular skincare products.

Where to buy:Sephora

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation

Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation in 117 = Y225

I’m super-impressed with the new Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation, which is the brand’s recently revamped HD formula, available for the first time in a stick format. The convenience aspect is so great, and there are 15 shades, so you’re sure to find your perfect match (mine is 117 = Y225, a.k.a. Marble). But most of all, I can’t get over the texture. It’s SO seamless and just looks like your skin! This would be ideal for normal-to-dry skin, as it contains timed-release hyaluronic acid spheres for extra hydration.

Where to buy:Sephora

Dior Fix It 2-In-1 Prime & Conceal

Dior Fix It 2-In-1 Prime & Conceal in Light, Medium and Dark

Dior Fix It 2-In-1 Prime & Conceal is a fab concealer and primer in one! I like it best around the eyes, for both covering dark circles and priming the lids for shadow application. You can do the same over the lips to prep for lipstick, or use it to camouflage any area of darkness/redness. There are three shades; the texture is just right (not too dry, nor too greasy) and it blends out beautifully.

Where to buy:Sephora

NARS Velvet Shadow Stick

NARS Velvet Shadow Sticks in Hollywoodland, Goddess, Oaxaca, Aigle Noir, Sukhothai and Flibuste

I’m a huge fan of cream eyeshadows, especially when they come in portable sticks, so the NARS Velvet Shadow Sticks are right up my alley. They’re incredibly easy to swipe on and blend out as much or as little as you like, and will not crease, smear or fade throughout the day—hooray! I adore Goddess (pink champagne) for an easy daytime eye and Sukhothai (shimmering peacock) for a smoky autumn evening look.

Where to buy:Sephora

Make Up For Ever Artist Liner

Make Up For Ever Artist Liners in Matte Majorelle Blue M-24, Metallic Bronze ME-70 and Iridescent Pop Green I-32

A swipe of colourful eyeliner is such a fun way to update your makeup look, and I can’t think of a better product to use than the new Make Up For Ever Artist Liners. There are 15 bold shades, and they wear really well without smudging (in fact, they take a bit of dedication to get off!). These jewel tones are ideal for fall and holiday season, especially Metallic Bronze ME-70. Unlike most gold liners, it’s actually dark enough to nicely define your eyes.

Where to buy:Sephora

Yves Saint Laurent Couture Palette Metal Clash

Yves Saint Laurent Couture Palette Metal Clash

Now is the time to invest in a dramatic shimmering shadow palette, and the Yves Saint Laurent Couture Palette Metal Clash is this season’s top choice. The packaging is to die for, and the colours are actually more versatile than you’d think! Each shade could be worn on its own, or you could do any combination for a smokier look. My faves are the gold, which is absolutely stunning all over the lids for a dash of evening sparkle, and the burgundy, which is so unusual and very on trend right now.

Where to buy:Sephora

Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara

Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara

Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara offers pretty much everything you’d want in a mascara—if you like a thick fringe of lashes, that is! What I like about this formula is that it grabs and coats every single hair to bulk it up—hence the semi-chunky effect that we’ve seen all over the runways. However, it is not actually clumpy; I would describe it as both volumizing and defining. It’s also super-black, which I love.

Where to buy:Sephora

Clinique Just Browsing Brush-On Styling Mousse

Clinique Just Browsing Brush-On Styling Mousse in 02 Light Brown

Clinique Just Browsing Brush-On Styling Mousse is one of the latest brow-building mascaras, a new makeup category that I’m pretty much obsessed with. Why? Because they bulk up your brows and hold them in place, but look much more natural than pencils and powders. This particular formula gives your brows a great fuller look, without feeling crunchy. I’m wearing 02 Light Brown here, but there are three other shades (01 Blonde would probably be even better for me).

Where to buy:Sephora

Dior Diorblush Cheek Stick

Dior Diorblush Cheek Sticks in Cosmopolite Coral 675, Cosmpolite Rosewood 765 and Cosmpolite Pink 845

Attention, cream blush fans! The new Dior Diorblush Cheek Sticks are going to steal your heart. They describe the texture as “powdery cream,” but I honestly find the finish extremely seamless, like a flush from within, and not powdery at all. There are three richly pigmented shades, which I think can work for all skin tones depending on how bold or blended out you want to go. Cosmopolite Coral 675 is probably my favourite!

Where to buy:Sephora

Givenchy Poudre Bonne Mine Healthy Glow Powder

Givenchy Poudre Bonne Mine Healthy Glow Powder in 2 Douce Croisière

If you’re the kind of person who likes a little colour in the cooler months, then I present you Givenchy Poudre Bonne Mine Healthy Glow Powder. Unlike most bronzers, which I find way too muddy/dark/sparkly, this one gives you the most natural-looking, luminous dose of colour—in other words, a “healthy glow,” just like it promises. The baked gel formula is talc-free and comes in four soft shades.

Where to buy:Sephora

Tarte The Sculptor Contouring Face Slenderizer

Tarte The Sculptor Contouring Face Slenderizer in Park Ave Princess

Tarte The Sculptor Contouring Face Slenderizer is a goof-proof way to contour. I don’t think it’s necessary to invest in a multi-shade contouring palette, which can be too time-consuming to apply and leaves people looking too heavy and powdery. This creamy crayon just swipes on and blends out, and comes in three shades (Park Ave Princess is the lightest). Sometimes foundation leaves your face looking a bit flat, so this would be a great product to add back subtle definition.

Where to buy:Sephora

Guerlain Météorites Voyage Enchanté

Guerlain Météorites Voyage Enchanté

OMG, Guerlain Météorites Voyage Enchanté is too pretty! But actually, it’s also practical, because it is a translucent powder in a portable compact for touch-ups on the go. I really had to build it up to even get it to show up in the photo, so rest assured that it should work on all skin tones. The finish is “luminous matte”—so it gets rid of shine, but doesn’t leave your face looking powdery or dry.

Where to buy:Sephora

Hakuho-do + Sephora Pro Brush Collection

Hakuho-do + Sephora Pro Brush Collection

If your makeup brushes could use a fall update, look no further than the Hakuho-do + Sephora Pro Brush Collection. Hakuho-do brushes are hand-made in Japan using a 200-year-old manufacturing technique, so the quality here is outstanding. The synthetic bristles (atop cheery red handles!) are actually more hygienic than natural hair, but feel incredibly fluffy and soft. There are five types to choose from, including brushes for powder, highlighter, blush and concealer.

Where to buy:Sephora

Shop Editor’s Picks

1. Marc Jacobs Primer | 2. Make Up For Ever Stick Foundation | 3. Dior Concealer | 4. NARS Shadow Sticks | 5. Make Up For Ever Liners | 6. Yves Saint Laurent Palette | 7. Stila Mascara | 8. Clinique Brow Mousse | 9. Dior Cheek Sticks | 10. Givenchy Glow Powder | 11. Tarte Contouring Pencil | 12. Guerlain Powder | 13. Hakuho-do + Sephora Pro Brushes

Have you checked out any of these makeup launches yet?
Which ones are you most intrigued by?

Best Of The Best, Top Rated Products

Top 10 Best Makeup & Beauty Products & Launches of 2015 in India

Hey everyone,

The year is about to end and its the perfect time to look back at the hits and misses of the beauty world. Unlike the makeup launches of 2014, 2015 was a bit mediocre in comparison with more overpriced and less interesting products. However, there were still quite a few gems that we certainly cannot live without. So here are the best makeup & beauty products of 2015 that we loved!

Best Makeup & Beauty Products Of 2015: The Hits!

Best Makeup & Beauty Products + Launches of 2015 in India

Hits Of 2015: Makeup & Beauty Products

1) Maybelline The Colossal Liner: Price- Rs 425
Maybelline India is always on the forefront when it comes to new launches and the new Colossal Liner is the most kiss-ass launch of 2015. This pen form eyeliner makes lining your easy peasy! If you are a beginner or struggling to apply a liquid liner then you must give this a try!

Best Makeup & Beauty Products 2015 India: L’Oreal Collection Star Red Lipsticks

2) L’Oreal Collection Star Red Lipsticks: Price- Rs 995
Launched in early 2015, the L’Oreal Pure Red Lipsticks endorsed by 7 celebrities was an instant and one of the best makeup launches of 2015. The 7 flattering reds, a red for every skintone has a comfortable matte formula and a great wear time. A personal favorite has to be Pure Scarleto & Pure Garnet which look gorgeous on every skintone. If you love red then this range will spoil you for choice.

Best Makeup & Beauty Products 2015: Maybelline Colorshow Go Graffiti Nail Paints Review

3) Maybelline Color Show Go Graffiti Nail Paints: Price – Rs 145
Launched in 10 gorgeous variants, these top coats by Maybelline make nail art a breeze. Surprisingly, we did not review any on HBM but the fact that I own all 10 of these says something. 4 variants come in beautiful pastel shades while the other 6 come in stars, polka dots, flowers etc shaped top coats. They instantly jazz up boring nail paints and for the price, these are unbeatable.

Best Matte Lip Crayons 2015 India: Faces Ultime Matte Pro Lip Crayons

4) Faces Ultime Pro Matte Lip Crayons: Price – Rs 799
Move over Revlon Colorburst Matte Balms, the new Faces Ultime Matte Lip Crayons can easily become your new favorite. They have a super smooth texture which settles into a matte finish that does not feel drying. These also come in a Starry Matte variant however we prefer the matte formula with its rich pigmentation and great shade range.

Best Makeup Products 2015

5) L’Oreal Mat Magique All In One Transforming Powder: Price- 399
L’Oreal Paris is one brand that makes some amazing lipsticks and base products. This super affordable compact comes in 5 shades and controls sebum for a solid 4-5 hours. Finely milled, super smooth and decent coverage make it one of the best everyday compacts in India. A must try if you have normal-oily skin.

Top Makeup & Beauty Launches of 2015

Best Makeup Products 2015: Faces Glam On Prime Perfect Foundation Review

6) Faces Glam On Prime Perfect Foundation: Price- Rs 799
One of the best makeup launches of 2015, this affordable new foundation by Faces is a must try. It has a silky texture which applies evenly and does not settle into pores. The foundation provides medium to buildable coverage with a beautiful satin finish. Available in 5 shades, this foundation looks amazingly natural yet made up, blurring away pigmentation and makes the skin look so much better.

Best Makeup & Beauty Launches 2015 India

7) Colorbar Deep Matte Lip Creme: Price- Rs 675
Matte lips have been really popular in 2015 and this is one of our favorite matte products. Colorbar Deep Matte Lip Cremes are available in 10 shades ranging from wearable nudes to bright pinks and reds. It has a creamy lightweight formula with a deep matte finish. They somewhat remind us of the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams and if you like matte liquid lipsticks then this one is right up your alley. Definitely one of the best makeup & beauty products of 2015.

Best Brow Product India 2015: Maybelline Brow Duo Shaper Review

8) Maybelline Fashion Brow Duo Shaper: Price- Rs 245
It makes us so happy to see that brands are finally filling up the void of good brow products in India. The new Maybelline Brow shaper is one of the most affordable brow products which can be used for lining and filling in your brows. It comes in 2 shades- brown and grey. This 2 in 1 brow shaper is the ultimate product for having your brows on fleek, even in 2016.

Best Makeup Products 2015: Best Kajal India

9) Faces Magneteyes Kajal: Price- Rs 175
We Indians love our kajals and this new faces Magneteyes Kajal is definitely one of the best kajals in India. It is richly pigmented, shows up easily on the waterline and does not budge for a good 8-9 hours. With a pocket friendly price tag and great quality it has become a hot favorite.

Best Makeup Wipes India

10) Colorbar On the Go Makeup Remover Wipes: Price- Rs 400
Probably the only drugstore brand in India which manufactures makeup wipes. These Colorbar makeup wipes easily remove waterproof makeup including eyeliner and mascara. It does not leave any sticky residue and is a must have in everyone’s kitty. Perfect for use in the colder months, while travelling or whenever you feel too lazy to remove your makeup, which is like all the time, right? This one is an absolute life saver.

Some other notable mentions are the Lakme Satin Enrich Lipsticks, L’Oreal Paris Extraordinaire Liquid Lipsticks, Maybelline Baby Lip Candy Wow Lip Crayons, Maybelline The Nudes Palette. Both Revlon and Lakme were pretty disappointing this year with their new launches, especially with Revlon products being quite highly priced.

Anyhoo these were our top 10 picks as the best makeup & beauty products of 2015 in India. Let us know if you’d like to see a list of misses ie the duds of 2015!

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2015 K-Beauty Awards Skincare and Makeup Winners

CéCi magazine, one of Asia’s foremost magazines for females in their twenties, has recently released the results for their third annual K-Beauty Awards. Since we know many Soompiers are interested in Korean beauty products, we will be sharing their results from surveying their Korean, Chinese, and Thai readers concerning their favorite Korean makeup and skincare products. The photos incorporate famous Korean landmarks and historical sites as the backgrounds. How many locations can you guess? Product links are provided when possible. Check out the results and be sure to share your favorites in the comments below!

Moisturizing Skincare Products

Laneige’s Water skincare line is known for its moisturizing properties. Korean, Chinese, and Thai readers all selected the Laneige Water Bank Essence as their favorite moisturizing essence. Meanwhile, China and Thailand favorited the Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream. Also, Chinese readers loved the ever-popular Laneige Water Sleeping Mask.

Whitening Skincare Products

Korean whitening products are extremely popular globally. Despite its name, whitening products can more accurately be described as brightening products. Rather than whitening skin, they actually brighten your skin for an overall healthy glow. Chinese readers selected both Laneige White Plus Renew Skin Refiner and Laneige White Plus Renew Emulsion as their favorite basic skincare products. All three countries’ readers chose Laneige’s White Plus Renew Original Essence as their favorite whitening essence.

Anti-Aging Skincare Products

Moving on to the popular anti-aging products. Thailand readers favored Laneige’s Time Freeze Intensive Cream and Time Freeze Essence. Meanwhile, readers in China chose Laneige Time Freeze Eye Serum as their favorite anti-aging eye product.

Korean and Chinese readers agreed on Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Cream as the best anti-aging cream for them. Rich in nutrients and rare Korean Ginseng, this cream comes at a hefty price. However, there are many who believe the product is worth its cost according to the results.

Korean readers chose a different favorite anti-aging serum as well. Their winner was Sulwhasoo Capsulized Ginseng Fortifying Serum. Recently released, this innovative product promises to add elasticity and plump up deep set wrinkles and lines. The unique packaging allows individuals to see the capsulized spheres/beads of red ginseng extract while protecting the ingredients from potential UV ray harm.


Well-known amongst K-Beauty lovers, Skinfood’s Black Sugar Mask Wash Off proves to be loved by Thai readers. The effective sugar mask is great for weekly exfoliation and helps soften skin. U.S. readers can buy it here while non-U.S. residents can find it here.

Chinese and Korean beauty aficionados chose Innisfree’s Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask as their favorite mask product. The popular mask is known for targeting blackheads and minimizing large pores. The super version is notably stronger than their original version.

Body Products

Korean readers chose Happy Bath’s Rose Essence Brightening Body Wash as their favorite body product. Boasting 95 percent of its ingredients being natural, the gentle body wash smells like roses while brightening your body’s skin.

The best-selling Nature Republic Soothing & Moisture Aloe Vera 92% Soothing Gel was Chinese readers’ top pick amongst body products. The lightweight gel is great for moisturizing and soothing sunburned skin. It’s so gentle that some consumers even use it on their faces! Try refrigerating it for a maximum cooling effect!

Shampoo and Conditioner

Ryeo shampoo and conditioner has the highest number of purchases from Chinese consumers. The brand’s line of products focuses on preventing hair loss. Its herbal ingredients keeps hair healthy and reduces hair fall-out.


Korean females determined Mamonde’s Lotus Micro Mild Foam as their cleanser of choice. Heralded as a product perfect for removing traces of fine dust (a large concern in Korea especially during spring), this cleanser thoroughly eliminates unwanted impurities while being gentle. There is also a Sebum Control version of the cleanser for individuals with oily skin.

Lip Products

Espoir’s No Wear M Lipstick in Soho turned out to be the favorite lipstick for Korean women. The M lipsticks in the No Wear Collection are matte shades. This lipstick (in a different shade) previously received first place in the pink lipstick category on “Get It Beauty” in 2014.

Chinese ladies preferred a shinier finish and selected Etude House’s Dear My Blooming Lips Talk. The creamy lipsticks provide good pigmentation and moisture. Isn’t the princess packaging adorable?

Thai females selected a lip tint over lipsticks. Their selection was the international favorite Etude House Dear Darling Tint. The gel lip tint can be layered for a natural stain or a more intense shade.

Eye Products

All three countries chose Etude House’s Look At My Eyes Eyeshadows as their eyeshadow choice. The individually potted eyeshadows come in a variety of shades and finishes suitable for anyone’s eyeshadow needs. If you reside in the U.S. you can find them here. If you are located outside of the U.S. click here. Thai and Chinese readers both love Etude House’s Drawing Show Brush Eyeliner. Thai ladies apparently love Etude House Oh! My Eye Lash Mascara. For U.S. residents click here, and non-U.S. residents can find it here.

China’s mascara pick was Innisfree’s Skinny Waterproof Microcara. The thin mascara wand allows for clean and natural eyelash definition. U.S. residents can purchase it here. Non-U.S. residents can find it here.


You know a blush is worth checking out when ladies from three different countries unanimously love it! Etude House’s Lovely Cookie Blusher has adorable packaging and comes in a variety of gorgeous shades. It even comes with a cute ribbon-adorned puff that makes application easy. As further testament to the popularity of this product, the Peach Choux Wafers shade actually won the 2015 blind test on “Get It Beauty.”

Cushion Compacts

Etude House’s various Precious Mineral Any Cushions stole the hearts of Thai ladies. The Mint Cushion is used as a base to neutralize redness while the Peach Cushion is a brightening base. Then you use the Precious Mineral Any Cushion Foundation on top of the base of your choice for glowy coverage. If you live in the U.S. click here.

Korea’s favorite cushion proved to be the original cushion compact that started the cushion craze, IOPE’s Air Cushion XP. This cushion is popular for its great coverage and dewy finish. If you’re a U.S. resident you can find it here. For non-U.S. residents, they can be purchased here.

China’s cushion compact of choice turned out to be HERA’s UV Mist Cushion. This high-end cushion has buildable long-lasting coverage. Individuals with dry skin can try the Ultra Moisture version of the cushion.


The number one sunscreen for Korea ended up being HERA’s new Sun Mate Essence Gel. With a SPF of 40 PA++, the product will easily protect you from harmful rays. Be sure to reapply when exposed to sun for an extended period of time.

China’s sunscreen choice was Laneige Sun Block Supreme. This sunscreen boasts an SPF of 50 PA+++. If you’re serious about protecting yourself from sun damage, this is a great sunblock for you. It also won an award in Singapore.

BB & CC Cream

Laneige Water Base CC Cream is said to have received positive reviews from Chinese consumers. This CC Cream is great on its own or as a makeup base. Due to being water-based, it provides moisture for prolonged freshness. There is also a peach pink version available.

Korea’s CC Cream pick apparently sold out nationwide within five days of releasing the product. It’s none other than Banila Co It Radiant CC Cream. This CC cream gives great daily sun protection with SPF 30 PA++.

Did you agree with the results of the K-Beauty Awards? Which of the winners have you tried? Which products are you interested in? Don’t forget to share your comments below!

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The Power 25: WWD Beauty Inc’s First Annual Ranking of Beauty’s Strongest Brands

Appeared In Special Issue Beauty Inc issue 02/16/2016

When Procter & Gamble Co. paid $57 billion for Gillette back in 2005, no doubt company executives thought it was a sure bet. After all, P&G was the top consumer products giant in the realm of women’s products, Gillette the leader in men’s. It was a marriage made in mass-market heaven.

Then came the recession, followed by the digital revolution, and a whole new rise of competitor was born: The Disruptor.

This story first appeared in the February 16, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Gillette still commands a reported 60 percent of the retail market. But that market is contracting, replaced by digital-first brands like DollarShaveClub.com, which has been able to grab close to 16 percent of the $3 billion blades market. And though Gillette filed suit against Dollar Shave Club in December alleging patent violation, the rival upstart—and its estimated three million subscribers—shows no signs of going anywhere.

Of course, the razor category is not alone. Business models across all industries are being upended. “Over the last five years we have seen disruption in every industry and category you can imagine,” says Dana Cho, partner of Ideo. “The competitive landscape and ease with which a start-up can put something on the market are all contributing to companies asking what they should be doing next.”

Nowhere is this more true than in the beauty industry. After recovering from the Great Recession of 2008, many of the most esteemed brands in beauty have struggled to retain relevance as the traditional demographic and psychographic drivers of their business evolve at the speed of light, driven by the technological revolution. It begs the question—what does brand longevity look like today? Can a heritage brand, one that is 60, 70 or 80 years old, or even 100, maintain its relevance in a rapidly changing market?

“This is the question everyone is asking,” says Carol Hamilton, group president of L’Oréal Luxe USA, who oversees brands including Lancôme, Kiehl’s and Urban Decay. “But it’s not just heritage brands. In this fast-moving market, how do all brands maintain and retain their relevance?”

In this brave new world, where the Millennial is the new Boomer, big is no longer necessarily a benefit when it comes to brand relevance, and the way brands respond to change is key to future longevity. “There is a lot of emphasis, particularly with publicly traded companies, to have a short-termist approach to their brand image, their products and how they execute and adapt their language,” says Lucie Greene, worldwide director of the Innovation Group at J. Walter Thompson.

“That can be dangerous, because if you stick with the short term and what’s working, it’s working now,” continues Greene. “But successful brands are constantly reevaluating and pivoting. They aren’t afraid to pivot.”

In other words, as Darwin taught us, the key to evolution is adaptation. “A brand doesn’t have a life cycle,” says Hamilton, “but it is tougher for a heritage brand to reinvent itself. You have to know what to keep and what to evolve.”

The key to doing that lies, of course, in a deep knowledge of the consumer you are targeting. “When it feels like there is a lot of uncertainty,” says Cho, we always go back to the consumer, because that is our foundation. That anchors our strategic thinking. If you are serving the consumer, you add value and are able to understand emerging behaviors and insights.”

It sounds so easy, but of course how brands engage and interact with, understand and involve consumers is changing practically every day. For example, how many of you not only have a Snapchat account, but know how to post a message in under a minute? Such rapid-fire and ephemeral communication methods may seem counterintuitive to an industry built on emotion and human touch, but that’s just the point. “If you can be more adaptive while establishing a key brand behavior, you can future-proof yourself,” says Greene. “When you think about youth, they are constantly adapting. And if you look at a 50-plus consumer, they are loyal—but they are also increasingly behaving like Millennials. Millennial behavior is becoming mass behavior.”

So which brands are doing a good job of maintaining their relevance? To find out, we combed through sales data, brand equity analysis, digital market insights and our own reporting to compile a list of the 25 brands in beauty that are maintaining their mojo in increasingly complex times. Though their names are familiar, the landscape they are operating in is anything but.

1 L’Oréal Paris
L’Oréal Paris is a cross-category, cross-generational powerhouse. According to data from IRI, it has top 10 sellers in 13 categories; it is number one on Millward Brown’s 2015 list of top personal-care brands. Dominant in hair color and makeup, L’Oréal is increasing its presence in skin and hair care with innovative launches and a wide cast of celebrity spokesmodels. L’Oréal’s digital presence is also impressive (it pioneered try-on apps with Makeup Genius)and it ranks third on L2’s digital index. L’Oréal is a hit with editors, consumers and the industry, earning
85 awards (the most of any brand) in the last
five years.
In an era when makeup reigns supreme, is the undisputed emperor. It is the top-ranked prestige color brand in the U.S., according to the NPD Group, and the fourth-biggest brand overall when taking into account all categories—even though it’s in only a fraction of the doors of the big three. Digital dominance? Check. It rules the social media indexes of Tribe Dynamics and L2, and is the most mentioned brand in vlogger videos, according to L2. It has also set the gold standard for corporate social responsibility with the MAC AIDS fund, which has raised more than $400 million to date for research.

3 Chanel
If there was ever any question of whether a heritage brand can remain fresh with a broad cross section of consumers, has laid the argument to rest. It is the number-one fragrance player in the U.S. prestige market, number nine in makeup and number five overall, and has perfected the art (and science) of keeping a brand simultaneously hip and iconic. While it has yet to achieve a significant social media presence, L2 cites Chanel for successfully keeping gray market products at bay on Amazon.com. But its products are a clear winner with consumers, racking up 54 awards over the last five years.

4 Neutrogena
Neutrogena is winning the mass skin-care market-share skirmishes at the moment, with bestsellers in every key category, according to IRI. Be it acne, antiaging, cleansers or moisturizers, Neutrogena has been adroit at creating—rather than following—market momentum, as with the 2015 top-selling Hydro Boost Water Gel. Editors love the
brand—its award count over the last five years reached 60, and digitally it is upping its game. L2 reports that Neutrogena is the top skin-care brand in category search visibility.

5 Urban Decay
Be it product trends or the digital dominion, where Urban Decay goes, others follow. The brand has excelled at marrying innovation and execution. Its Naked series of palettes may have spawned countless imitators, but the original and its subsequent iterations continue to drive Urban Decay’s sales. Digitally, the brand is equally as dominant, ranking number one on L2’s Digital IQ Index Ranking, which singled out the brand not only for its social media performance, but for also having the top mobile experience in beauty bar none.

6 Maybelline New York
Maybelline’s strength lies in its modernity. The brand’s age—101 years old this year—belies its youth-oriented approach to marketing and product development. Maybelline has successfully capitalized on its historic strengths in mascara to dominate the overall eye category. While the brand isn’t the strongest social media performer, its strength in search engine optimization and its effective use of shoppable user-generated content on its own Web site propelled it to the number-two spot on L2’s digital ranking index.

7 Benefit Cosmetics
Benefit’s tag line is “Laughter is the best cosmetic!” and no doubt it is smiling all the way to the bank. Its problem-solution approach to product creation coupled with an emphasis on in-store brow services have made it a first-to-market player that other brands emulate. Benefit is a social media standout (it is the sixth-most mentioned brand on sephora.com and Roller Lash was the most popular product of 2015 on Birchbox), and it eagerly experiments across platforms. The strategy works: Benefit ranks seventh in prestige makeup.

8 Estée Lauder
The naysayers were many. Estée Lauder is one of the most venerable names in beauty, but could it find its mojo with Millennials? The answer seems to be a resounding yes. According to The NPD Group, Lauder is the third-largest prestige beauty brand in the U.S. It has also effectively leveraged its spokesmodel Kendall Jenner to drive awareness among younger consumers and ranks number nine in the “gifted” segment, in L2’s Digital IQ Index. Look for the brand to capitalize on the strength of all of this as it gears up for the launch of The Estée Edit collection of makeup and skin care in Sephora.

9 Dove
From bar soap to beauty: Dove has effectively transcended its roots as a moisturizing soap to become a multifaceted brand with one of the most resonant points of view in the industry. Dove was an early adopter in championing a higher purpose with its Campaign for Real Beauty, whose content—from curly-haired emojis to self-esteem-increasing videos—has helped the brand increase its value 10 percent in the last year according to Millward Brown, which ranks it number eight in its top 15 personal-care brands.

10 Lancôme
Lancôme has proven to be one of prestige beauty’s most consistent players. Ranked number two in sales in the U.S. according to The NPD Group, it is the highest-ranking prestige brand on Millward Brown’s top 15 list, coming in at number four for 2015, a 23 percent increase over 2014. Lancôme is also one of the most consistent winners of Marie Claire’s Prix d’Excellence, and it occupies the number-three spot on L2’s Digital IQ Index, thanks to “the strongest desktop site in the Index which excels at content and commerce integration.”

11 Nars
Whether naming a blush Orgasm or creating edgy collaborations, Nars has never believed in playing it safe. The approach resonates with both industry insiders and editors—Nars racked up 72 awards during the last five years, second only to L’Oréal—dominating the blush and eye shadow categories. It also has a significant presence digitally, and was one of the first to capitalize on its community of “Narsissists” with a plethora of launches. Nars is the third most-mentioned brand on sephora.com, according to L2, as well as the third most-mentioned in vlogger videos.

12 bareMinerals
Call it the first social media makeup brand. Under the auspices of then-ceo Leslie Blodgett, bareMinerals forged a new distribution path for the industry, as well as a new product category—mineral makeup. While it has since evolved considerably as a brand, adding skin care, liquid foundations and a full makeup line, bareMinerals is no longer an Indie outsider. It is the sixth-largest prestige beauty brand in the U.S., according to NPD, and “gifted” in the digital sphere, says L2, which notes the brand’s particular strength in rate and review on its recently revamped
Web site.

13 Dior
Dior staged a coup when it landed Johnny Depp to be the face of its 2015 hit men’s scent, Sauvage, but it is far from the brand’s only win recently. Dior has successfully honed its “cosmetics meets couture” strategy to drive both its fragrance business (J’Adore is a perennial bestseller) and its color cosmetics business, which is a standout at Sephora. Strong globally and ranked number nine overall in the U.S. prestige market, the brand also consistently garners numerous awards for its mascaras, eye shadows and fragrances.

14 Sally Hansen
An emphasis on creating first-to-market technology has propelled Sally Hansen to continued strength in an otherwise sluggish nail category. The brand consistently innovates in product development, quickly translating trends from the professional market to the mass market, as with its Miracle Gel. It is also best of class digitally in its category with the launch of its ManiMatch app last May, which enables users to test out over 200 nail colors and helped catapult Sally Hansen to the number 12 ranking on L2’s Digital IQ Index, a 24 percent increase in its standing compared to 2014.

15 Clinique
The leading prestige beauty brand, occupying the number-one spot in skin care and the number two in makeup, Clinique is a giant in the midst of a reinvention. It excels at creating categories—as with its Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector and the wildly popular Chubby Sticks, although the pace has slowed somewhat in the last couple of years. But that looks to be changing, as does the brand’s digital presence. While not a strong force on social media, Clinique’s Web site is among the best, with an L2 ranking of six, and its awards tally of 45 makes it a winning proposition with editors and industry insiders.

16 Cover Girl
Cover Girl’s ‘Girls Can’ campaign to help young women overcome boundaries and break through barriers is a successful metaphor for the brand, which despite stormy times with parent company Procter & Gamble has remained a strong mass market contender. It has best-selling items in the top 10 in every key makeup category, according to IRI data, and is collectively number one in foundation and number two in mascara. Its digital presence is equally strong, with an L2 ranking of six thanks to initiatives like an aggressive YouTube search strategy.

17 Giorgio Armani Beauty
Everyone knows foundation is a loyalty category, and that has certainly proven to be the case for Giorgio Armani Beauty. Though its color cosmetics line is in relatively limited distribution, it is a consistent award-winner with editors and a clear leader in the face category. Armani has adeptly launched of-the-moment limited-edition products that capitalize on the brand’s red carpet and runway strengths. That, combined with its number-two ranking in U.S. prestige fragrance sales, according to NPD, has made Armani a force in the specialty arena.

18 Jo Malone
There is only one niche player in NPD’s list of the top 10 fragrance brands, and it is Jo Malone, ringing in at number nine. One of the fastest-growing brands of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., according to industry analysis, it has reportedly sustained 30 percent average annual sales growth over 20 years. The brand isn’t a digital powerhouse, but its emphasis on creating memorable in-store experiences—be it through customization, fragrance combining or a robust gifting program—has enabled it to pull away from the pack despite being in a crowded category.

19 Philosophy
Philosophy has successfully recast itself from a bath and body business beloved at gift-giving time into a serious, well-rounded contender that is the fourth-largest prestige skin-care brand, the seventh-largest fragrance brand and the eighth-biggest prestige brand overall, according to The NPD Group. Philosophy is in the top third of digital performers, lauded for its efficacy across platforms. Look for its recently launched philanthropic platform benefiting mental illness to reinforce the brand’s relevance with Millennials.

20 TRESemmé
In 2013, TRESemmé became the official hair sponsor of New York Fashion Week, in a bid to establish the salon-inspired hair-care brand as a leader in styling. Mission accomplished. The brand is a leading player in myriad hair-care categories, according to data from IRI, and, along with sister brands Dove and Axe, is credited with helping to fuel the sales of Unilever’s personal care division. TRESemmé has a respectable social media presence for its category. Tribe Dynamics ranked it third in hair care, with an earned media value of $12.7 million, and the brand is known for its strength with how-to videos.

21 Tom Ford
Tom Ford has never shied away from controversy, and the unconventional route has served him well in beauty. First, he launched an ultraexclusive fragrance collection that spawned a category into itself. Next came color cosmetics, with stratospheric prices, supertight distribution and unabashedly sexy products. The approach has worked: Industry sources estimate the brand will reach retail sales of $500 million for fiscal 2016, making Tom Ford one of the most-watched—and fastest-growing­—brands in prestige beauty.

22 Revlon
Revlon’s owner, Ronald Perelman, may or may not be looking at selling, but one thing is certain: ceo Lorenzo Delpani is confidently moving forward. The brand’s recent campaign, “Love Is On,” appears to be garnering results, and the follow-up, “Choose Love,” is currently launching. According to IRI, Revlon occupies the top spots in foundation, lipstick, lip liner and eyeliner. The brand is a beauty editor favorite, with more than 35 awards, and it ranks 29 in L2, which cites its effective tablet-specific advertising strategy as among best in class. However, when it comes to social media, Revlon still lags.

23 Olay
Olay’s struggles have been well documented. But under Alex Keith, president of global skin care & personal care at Procter & Gamble Co., Olay is now firmly in turnaround mode and starting to capitalize on its historic market strengths. It ranks one, two and three in mass-market antiaging skin care, according to IRI, and is still strong in moisturizers and cleansers. Digitally, Olay has deployed an aggressive search strategy, according to L2, which says it owns 4.7 percent of total skin-care ads, behind only Amazon. And it has maintained its stature with editors, winning more than 35 awards.

24 OPI
Quick: What do Hello Kitty and Kerry Washington have in common? They’ve both been tapped by OPI as celebrity collaborators. It’s that kind of dichotomy that has helped OPI maintain a strong business in both the professional and retail sectors at a time when the nail business overall has been challenged. The brand’s consistently fresh approach is reflected in its digital engagement and award wins, where perennial bestsellers such as Lincoln Park After Dark are cited frequently, as are newer shades and treatments.

25 John Frieda
John Frieda has consistently launched innovation in the mass-market category since the debut of its Frizz Ease serum. It has maintained its strength in that category, while continuing to pursue a path to newness in others. For example, a recent standout launch was Root Blur, a first-to-mass market two-tone concealer for the hair to hide regrowth. The brand is also a consistent award winner, racking up the wins not just for its tried-and-true stockkeeping units, like Frizz Ease, but for many of the new products it launches annually.

How Makeup Geek CEO Marlena Stell Built a $10M Business on YouTube and Honesty

Related: Swap These Luxury Cosmetics with their Drugstore Equivalents from @MakeupGeek’s Marlena Stell

Marlena Stell, 35, was a high school music teacher who loved makeup. About seven years ago she started a YouTube channel called Makeup Geek where she taught cosmetics application. The videos quickly took over Stell’s time and passion, she quit teaching and today grosses $1 million monthly from her makeup enterprise, and was last year named to the Inc. 5000 fastest-growing companies list and is on track to hit Inc. 500 for 2015.

Here I spoke with Stell from her Sacramento, Calif., offices.

How do you go from being a music teacher to a makeup entrepreneur?

Ever since I was a little girl I was interested in makeup. While studying music education at Pensacola Christian College, I minored in stage makeup, doing makeup for special events as a side gig. I married soon after college, moved to Michigan and got a teaching job — but I was still passionate about educating women about makeup. Immediately after launching my YouTube channel in 2008, it took off. In addition to doing application tutorials, I have always reviewed products very candidly. I was frustrated because I mentioned cosmetic brands all the time and drove product sales, but I didn’t make any money from it. Today there are commission affiliate programs, but those didn’t exist back then.

I started to research launching my own cosmetics line, and in 2009 quit my teaching job and launched my website, MakeupGeek.com. Between the blog and YouTube channels I billed between $10,000 and $15,000 in advertising revenue for a few years. Then I partnered with other cosmetics brands, and did a revenue share for any products I sold from my site, and sales rose to $200,000 monthly.

Explain how you finally launched your own product line.

I get approached by girls all the time who ask me how to start their own makeup line, and I’m like, “It would take me two weeks to explain everything to you. There is so much to know behind the scenes.” I spent years researching labs, understanding what it took to make and market a product that I really believed in — high-pigment, custom colors that retails at an affordable price. I also spent years interacting with customers, understanding buyers and what products were missing from the market. I was shocked to learn that the same dinky tin of eyeshadow Mac sells for $14 costs them $1. Also, a lot of brands are really white-labeled products. That means that the lab creates the products, then the brand just puts their name and packaging on it. I wanted something that I created entirely.

I started with an eye color line because it is the easiest and least expensive to formulate. I finance my entire company — I don’t have investors. My line of 50 eye shadows retails for $6 per shade. I am able to keep prices low, in part, because I sell directly to my large following. Stores like Sephora mark up products by 30 to 40 percent — a savings I pass on to customers. I launched my own line in 2012, and that is when I started thinking big. Sales took off and I could see the potential. Today I gross $1 million each month in sales, and am on track to make the Inc. 500 list.

Talk to me about marketing. Makeup Geek is really built on grass-roots, social marketing.

The core of the business is makeup education. YouTube is still an enormous part of what we do — there are now 1.2 million very active subscribers. Now Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram also drive a lot of following, and we use Twitter to promote coupon codes. Any place where we can show girls using the product, or have picture tutorials, works really great for us.

My mission is to raise the bar in price and quality for makeup. The goal is to educate people about makeup — for example, how to chose the right foundation color — get them to buy the product, then teach them how to use it. Shopping at a place like Sephora is so overwhelming — there are so many products and no guidance on what to buy or how to apply it, and the prices are high.

I crowdsource products and ideas from my audience. For example, when we launch a new eye color, we hold a contest to name the shade — and the winner receives a gift from the product line. This really drives the sense of community, and also validates ideas before we produce them.

At the beginning, I injected my personality and image into everything, but now that I’m growing I’m trying to include other personalities and people. I’ve really tried to pull away from the core of the brand, even launching a separate site that is about me, SimplyMarlena.com, where I write more personally, including about my recent 125-pound weight-loss and struggles with health issues. It’s tough; people really want to see Marlena on it. And the more personally I write, the more it connects with people. I I am careful what I share on social media. I posted a picture of a Chanel purse I bought recently, and people thought I was bragging, and not as down-to-earth as they thought. It’s a tough balance.

I want customers to connect with other members of the staff, and the company — not just me. For example, all of our customer service representatives’ names and pictures are on their emails, and I increasingly post behind-the-scenes videos and pictures of our team.

I see how other cosmetics brands try and fail to connect with customers. No one wants to buy from corporations any more. They want to buy from personalities. That is why the Kardashian franchise is so powerful, while brands like Maybelline and Lancome spend thousands and thousands of dollars on personalities that no one connects with.

And what about operations? What does the business look like compared with seven years ago?

I started the company with my husband at the time — we met in college — and worked really well together. He is the COO and much more inclined towards book-keeping and the back-end, while I am obviously the forward-facing product person. My parents were the other first employees, and my mom continues to work with me to this day.

We have since divorced and I moved to my hometown of Sacramento, Calif. We still get along great and he loved working for the company, and to this day remains the COO. I have since hired a team of 40 people, including a couple of my old high school students who started in my warehouse back in the day, since married each other and continue to work for me. My warehouse and distribution is still in Michigan, and the media, creative and customer services are in Sacramento.

What about networking with and partnering other women in the industry?

I have found it really hard to find a mentor. Women in this industry can be really catty. There are a few amazing women who I have worked with, including Jaclyn Hill, who I have helped, and helped me in return. I really admire Bare Escentuals longtime CEO Leslie Blodgett, but despite many tries, I have not yet been able to connect with her.

How has your lifestyle changed now that you’re making great money?

Even though I travel all the time for work, travel is one of my passions. Every year I tell my mom to pick any destination she wants for a mother-daughter trip. Last year we hit Paris and London and this year we’re headed to Seattle for spa treatments.

I recently bought my first home: an Italian craftsman house that I love. It has four bedrooms, arched doorways and a courtyard in the middle, so you can open the doors of any room and sit outside and sip lemonade. I try to put as much money as I can towards my house — you never know what the future will bring. But I do try to have fun and occasionally enjoy a nice purse.

What’s next?

I’m growing out the product line to include everything from foundations to lipsticks. I’m also planning to open a brick-and-mortar store in either the San Francisco area or Sacramento. It will be focused, again, on education and community — there will be a whole area for women to try on product and take classes on things like how to pick the right red lipstick, or create a smoky eyeshadow look while socializing with other people passionate about makeup.

And in the fall I’m getting married! We met five years ago online, and were friends for the first couple of years. He is just a really solid guy, and we’re solid together. I don’t see children in our future. My company is my baby.

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