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From acid treatments to leave-in hair masks, get these treats on your Christmas list
Conversations with friends, colleagues and – well, you – suggest that after a pandemic-related hiatus from home regimes and salon treatments, beauty is back.
And you want to know the products that are not only worth your hard-earned cash, but also worthy of celebration.
To that end, a team of expert judges tested their way through endless products in the body care, make-up, active beauty, haircare, skincare and fragrance categories – to find the buys that deliver on results, as well as being value for money, for the 2021 Women’s Health Beauty Awards.
Here, we share the winners.
This is the team that swiped, smelt, patted, and tested 2021’s beauty launches.
A post shared by Claire Sanderson (@clairesanderson)
WH editor-in-chief forever hunting for products to transform her 40+ skin
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WH beauty editor and red-lipstick lover with over a decade of experience
A post shared by Dr Anjali Mahto BSc MBBCh FRCP (@anjalimahto)
Consultant dermatologist, WH columnist and author of The Skincare Bible
A post shared by Dr Ewoma 👋🏾 (@drewomaukeleghe)
Cosmetic doctor, WH columnist and founder of Skndoctor clinic
A post shared by Dr Ejikeme MD MBChB MSc (@dr_ifeoma_ejikeme)
Aesthetic medicine doctor and Adonia Medical Clinic founder
A post shared by James Harknett (@jamesharknett_tan)
‘The Tom Ford of tanning’, who has spent two decades bronzing the A-list
A post shared by Adam Reed (@adamreedhair)
Celebrity hair stylist and founder of Adam Reed London
A post shared by La Candy Floss (@winnieawa)
Afro hair expert and Antidote Street founder

A post shared by Adeola Gboyega | Skincare MUA (@adeolagboyega)

Celebrity make-up artist and beauty influencer
A post shared by A M A N D A 💅🏾 (@angonxo)
Athlete, sports scientist & WH columnist
A post shared by Veronique Gabai (@veroniquegabai)
Renowned ‘nose’ and founder of Veronique Gabai fragrances
From deodorants to tan, these are the best products for your body, as chosen by our experts.
‘This metallic dusty pink colour goes with absolutely everything in your wardrobe. I’m also a big fan of the 10-free formula, which preserves the condition of your nails.’ PN

‘This is one of the few natural deodorants that works; organic grape water and prebiotics fight against odour and bacteria.’ PN

‘The closest I’ve come to a sunshine holiday this year. Free of parabens and sulphates, Kopari uses organic coconuts in all its products, not to mention it’s cruelty-free and 100% vegan. The wash is so thick and creamy it makes the shortest shower feel indulgent – just pass me a pina colada, please.’ CS

‘The texture of the whipped-cream mousse is extremely smooth and rich, so it glides across skin easily. The guide colour is very deep, but washes off to a natural-looking glow, making it particularly good for fair skin.’ JH

‘After a year of using hand sanitiser, this is tonic for your nails. It’s infused with bakuchiol to rejuvenate, and biotin and vitamin E to repair and protect.’ PN
Foundations, eye shadows and lipsticks: these are the selection our experts rated.
‘This complexion- booster combines make-up with skincare benefits. You can wear it under or instead of foundation, or mix it with your favourite base products to enhance your glow or camouflage your skin.’ AG

‘The soft formula offers an intense wash of long-lasting colour in one sweep. Formulated with ultra-fine pigments, oils and fruit extracts, it doesn’t feather or fade. Plus, the shades will put a spring in your step.’ PN
‘A beauty first, this clever lippie features a vegan alternative to carmine, the go-to red pigment produced from crushed bugs. The result is a creamy, saturated red with a satin finish.’ PN

‘These incredible shadows are packed full of pearlescent pigments for a lovely high-shine, reflective look that’s easy to create in one swipe. The formula easily offers 12 hours of wear without fading.’ AG
‘These waterproof gel eyeliners glide across lids without smudging and, once on, they last all day and night. Everyone needs to add one of these to their make-up arsenal immediately.’ AG

‘Infused with peptides to help strengthen hairs, this product delivers naturally fuller- looking eyebrows in just eight weeks. The lightweight, buildable formula also has a flexible hold with no stiffness or flaking. Groomed brows that get stronger? It’s a win-win!’ AG

‘Benefit always deploys innovative technology; this is proof. The 36-hour lengthening formula fans lashes out to an extreme length.’ AG

‘The shades are gorgeous and I love that the formula is foolproof and impossible to overdo. The cream melts into cheeks and can be easily applied with your fingers while on the go.’ AG
For the woman who heads from spinning to socialising, these are the pick of the best.
‘This blends brilliantly. The finished result was subtle, but I managed to fill sparse gaps with ease. Plus, I didn’t feel it trickle down my face once I started sweating; my brows looked exactly the same post-workout.’ AN

‘This has become my go-to moisturiser after a workout. It cools and refreshes my face while the prebiotics help to rebalance my skin after sweating.’ PN
‘This gives full coverage on days when you need it and is totally budge-proof. After an intense outdoor training session, it left my skin feeling moisturised, fresh and glowing. Plus, it protects skin with SPF30. Time to ditch the foundation.’ AN

‘BareMinerals got this just right. The formula felt so light on my skin, yet it provided enough coverage to even out my skintone. It also stayed put so that I didn’t leave the gym looking like a sweaty tiger. Choose from 17 stunning shades.’ AN
‘Sometimes when I sweat, my lashes clump together, but this waterproof mascara actually helped to lengthen my lashes and keep them separate. Best of all, though, it was easy to remove and didn’t irritate my eyes or lids.’ AN
Masks, shampoos and everything in between.
‘This does more than mask odour and grease – the clever powder removal system cleans hair, while conditioning ingredients leave hair soft and shiny. Other dry shampoos don’t compare.’ PN
‘A sustainable hero, this bar is easy to hold in wet hands, lathers up quickly and spreads evenly through the hair, leaving it clean and soft. Easily transportable, it’s also ideal for throwing in your gym bag.’ PN
‘This is one of the best shampoos that I’ve ever used. The body-boosting blend is infused with wheat protein to encourage volume and hydration, yet it thoroughly cleanses hair – leaving it looking and feeling amazing.’ AR
‘This product delivers incredible results quickly. The hero ingredient is propylene glycol, a synthetic liquid that absorbs moisture. It does an unbeatable job at locking in hydration – perfect for perking up your parched locks.’ AR
‘I absolutely love this conditioning spray – it’s full of natural ingredients, such as green tea leaf extract. A few spritzes controls frizz, protects hair from heat damage and guarantees soft, glossy strands.’ AR
‘As someone who suffers from a dry scalp, I can say this product is a lifesaver. Thanks to rice beads and fruit enzymes, it gently removes product build-up and dead skin cells while conditioning your scalp, too.’ AR
‘This works on dry or wet hair and provides definition for twist-outs or individual curls. It’s nourishing, has great hold and didn’t leave my hair feeling weighed down at all.’ WA
‘This rich cream mask really does offer unrivalled results. It protects colour from metal deposits found in water, which can cause fading, and leaves your locks looking and feeling fresh and renewed. A true saviour.’ AR
‘This shampoo cleansed my scalp brilliantly and didn’t leave my hair feeling stripped. It has a light, velvety consistency, which coated my hair evenly and allowed it to feel thoroughly washed.’ WA
‘This formula left my strands feeling considerably softer and more defined after just one use. It also has great slip, which makes detangling curly or afro hair so much easier.’ WA
‘This is a truly wondrous product. It’s ultra lightweight yet offers a strong hold, adding lift and bounce with every spritz – and without adding frizz.’ AR
‘The time it takes to style, straighten or curl a thick, unruly mane is dramatically reduced thanks to this styler’s wide plates. It also comes complete with an automatic sleep mode, which switches it off after 30 minutes, making those heart-stopping “but did I leave my straighteners on” moments a thing of the past.’ PN
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‘So much more than somewhere to get a good cut, colour and style, This chic salon is situated over three floors in historic Winchester and operates with a ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ approach to minimise harm to the environment.
‘The hair stylists are all fantastic and I wouldn’t entrust my balayage to any other salon. Plus, it has an innovative membership scheme (starting from £43 a month), which includes monthly hair services, beauty treatment discounts and freebies, and the choice to have your appointments at home if you can’t make it to the salon.’ CS
‘A very worthy winner. I love the beautiful pastel results each shade offers along with the wonderfully conditioned finish, which is down to shea butter and pequi oil.’ AR
The expert chosen list of glow-getting products you need in your beauty bag.
‘This serum looks incredible in your shelfie, but more importantly, it boasts a combination of retinal and bakuchiol, both of which are powerhouses for any night-time skincare routine.’ AM
‘Supporting your skin from the inside out is vital and these pills contain the perfect blend of live cultures to improve and maintain skin firmness, texture and glow. I’ve definitely noticed a difference since taking them.’ CS
‘I’ll admit, I balked at the cost of these, but they’re akin to a facelift sans surgery. The serum alone gives an instant visible lift, then it’s all down to the contour-hugging face massager to up the results to another level. It works by stimulating the skin with four cooling, rotating tubes while a solar panel absorbs and converts available light into a low-level microcurrent, which I can hear faintly crackling as I move it over my face. It’s especially effective along the jaw and cheekbones.’ CS
‘Containing skincare wonder ingredients squalane and vitamin C, this oil feels luxurious and has such a beautiful, subtle scent. It promises to brighten and nourish – I felt it did both – and is so light you can apply it in the morning or overnight without it leaving your skin feeling greasy. My top tip is to add a drop to your foundation for peak dewiness.’ CS
‘Simple yet brilliant. The shades take different skin tones into consideration and the blending brush is the finishing touch that face tanning had been missing, making each application totally seamless.’ JH
‘Packed with microalgae and mirabilis jalapa plant extracts, this cream goes to town on strengthening your skin’s barrier to restore radiance and reduce fine lines.’ PN
‘Because this is extremely gentle, it’s suitable for cleansing sensitive skin types that are also using numerous other actives such as exfoliating toners, retinoids or prescription acne treatments.’ AM
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‘Celebrity facialist- acupuncturist Ada Ooi transforms your skin like no one else. She tells you more about your health and complexion by looking at your tongue than asking a hundred questions, before performing the most impressive skin-changing facial you’ll ever try.’ PN
‘Hello Sunday is a new brand worthy of your attention. Just like the rest of its range, this product is fantastic. It leaves no white cast, so it’s inclusive for all skintones, and it gives skin a lovely glow, too.’ EU
‘The potent blend of AHAs and BHAs creates an ethereal glow that’s akin to balmy IG filters or the good lighting that you get in the corner of your room at sunrise. Plus, the treatment is vegan and cruelty-free, too.’ PN
‘The mineral-rich formula leaves skin looking radiant without stripping it of moisture, which some clay masks do. It’s a special at-home treatment to enjoy.’ AM
‘Not only is this great value for money, but all skin types can benefit from using it. The formula has a beautifully smooth texture that doesn’t leave behind any sticky residue.’ EU
‘This product is great for calming down irritated, dry skin. It’s moisturising yet non-greasy, and a little goes a long way. I can highly recommend it for those who need to mitigate dryness caused by some active ingredients such as retinol or acids.’ EU
‘Good eye creams are hard to come by, especially those with actives such as encapsulated retinol and niacinamide. However, this has both and yet it’s suitable for sensitive skin types. It’s really impressive.’ AM
Time for a new signature scent? Try one of these expert-chosen perfumes.
‘This scent instantly transports you to Capri. It starts with a sparkling cocktail of citruses and then moves on to a sweet, gourmand note akin to lemon sherbet. Though very fresh, it lasts all day long.’ VG

‘The Body Shop has excelled at reworking a classic. Cruelty-free musk, clean aldehydes and comforting jasmine instantly calm your senses.’ PN

‘I think this is a brilliant idea and one that was long needed. This iconic scent is light and bright enough to permeate a small space and does a brilliant job at keeping the peace during long car journeys.’ VG
‘This starts like an ode to orange blossom before bringing a soft woody accord to skin. It smells like a walk along a Greek seashore at sunrise. Simply divine.’ VG
‘I love how the opposing notes in this fragrance fight it out to steal your attention. There’s cassis and a smoky core coming from birch woods going up against the scent of black tea – a blend you simply can’t get enough of.’ VG

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Women's Health Beauty Awards 2021 | The 50 Winners – Women's Health