Whether you’re partnered up, in love with yourself, dating around, or happily spending Valentine’s Day with your friends, there’s nothing like new makeup, skincare, or else to make the holiday special. Sure, you could give someone a new face cream and call it a day. But instead of that, why not fully embrace the love fest and get something timely and, preferably, themed? Whether you want a perfume that smells like a floral arrangement, or some bath salts that guarantee a relaxing time, here are 24 beauty gifts you can get that special someone in your life.
Cheeky Rose Cream Blush
What’s the source of that rosy glow on your cheeks? Is it a late-night tryst, a few extra endorphins? Or maybe it’s this super creamy blush that gives you a flush straight out of a Disney movie?
Rose Eye Makeup Brush Set
Combine two great gifts into one: Roses and makeup brushes. The five-piece set is giving Beauty and the Beast vibes, but with more emphasis on beauty.
Am I flushed from your sweet-talking or is it just my subtle blush? This fan-favorite lip and cheek stain is the only product you need on your face. Plus, it’ll last through all of your night’s festivities so you don’t need to worry about re-applying.
This travel-sized blush kit is the definition of aspirational. Whether you prefer a cream finish or a classic powder (Is this a euphemism? I’m honestly not sure), you can rock NARS’s favorite blush any way that you like.
It might not be prom night, but a spritz of Lost Cherry is never a bad addition to an evening. Far from innocent, notes of black cherry, liqueur, almond, and hints of Turkish rose, make for a super sensual and deep combination that adds an air of mystery to whoever wears it.
Whether it’s Victoria Beckham, Aaliyah, Princess Diana or Britney Spears, our favourite ’90s icons continue to inform the way we look. Thirty years on from the era that gave us the Supers, Friends and the Spice Girls – oh, what a decade it was – the beauty trends these women spearheaded are back, adopted by today’s hottest starlets, and therefore by us. Here,are the top ten.
Dark – often brown – lip liner was the thing back in the ’90s, with everyone from Naomi Campbell to Pamela Anderson sporting the look. Set against otherwise bare lips, adoptees of the trend often wore a slick of gloss over the top for a multidimensional effect. More recently, Kim Kardashian, Megan Thee Stallion and Lizzo have all tried the look.
2. Frosted eyeshadow
For old-school inspiration for the current frosted eyeshadow trend, see Christina Aguilera and Jennifer Lopez, both of whom wore glimmering pastel hues up to their eyebrows way back in the ’90s. Now, it’s all over TikTok, and according to retailers, sales of frosted blue eyeshadow have surged.
3. A cropped ’90s bob
The bob has been all the rage over the past year, with many snipping off years of hard-won hair growth in order to embrace the trend. While there are myriad iterations, the ’90s bob takes its cues from Cameron Diaz in her There’s Something About Mary days – think jaw-skimming, boyish and low-maintenance.
4. Antennae hair
One person leading the charge when it comes to ’90s trends is Bella Hadid, who has almost single-handedly brought back the “antennae” or two pieces of face-framing hair. A big trend in the ’90s, Hadid wears hers with a slicked-back up do – the more gel, the better.
5. Skinny brows
Making its (in some cases, unwanted) return to Gen-Z faces everywhere, the skinny brow is having a renaissance. While those born in – or before – the ’90s have spent the decades since growing back their over-plucked tadpoles, the younger generations are channelling early Drew Barrymore, Gwen Stefani and Tyra Banks.
6. Blue eyeliner
From Princess Diana to Britney and Reese Witherspoon – plus, of course, schoolgirls the nation over – vivid blue eyeliner was practically a requirement in the ’90s. Now we’re wearing deeper hues, such as navy: Nicola Coughlan served up stellar cobalt shadow at the BAFTA TV Awards, and Iris Law went for a metallic winged look at the Fashion East X Browns party during London Fashion Week.
7. French manicure
The French manicure has been on a rollercoaster since its glory days in the ’90s, when it was the nail look to have, before its popularity faded. After overcoming its once passé reputation, it’s the mani of the moment again. The most flattering way to look is with a thin (rather than chunky) tip. Whether you wear it minimally or play with colours and nail art, it’s truly the trend to try now.
8. Obvious hair colour
Hair colour doesn’t have to look ultra-natural, you know. Obvious and overt hair colour has become de rigueur, with colour blocking a big trend favoured by Dua Lipa and Bella Hadid. Meanwhile, Billie Eilish’s acid green roots (R.I.P.) inspired a generation of fans to experiment with their own colour.
9. Lip gloss
Remember Lancôme’s Juicy Tubes? Everyone had one of those high-shine, scented formulas to top up plump, glossy pouts. They were discontinued, but made a return in 2020 to the delight of the millennials who loved them the first time round. Consider them the easy way to inject some luminosity into your look.
10. Poker-straight hair
Hair straighteners were deployed almost daily back in the day, given that poker-straight stands were very much in vogue. Now straighter-than-straight hair is back again – just see Lila Moss in British Vogue’s June issue – and you get extra ’90s points for throwing it up in a claw clip.
Last October, four years since she left her namesake brand, and 25 years since her non-compete with Estee Lauder expired, Bobbi Brown launched her new beauty venture in the US. This week, after much anticipation, Jones Road, named after a street in East Hampton, launches in the UK.
“I am a total Anglophile,” the legendary make-up artist tells Vogue over zoom. “I have a not-so-secret obsession with the UK. I love it. It’s my favourite place. And I’m just so excited because I know that this range is going to do really well, because it’s so timely.”
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #71 series on my blog.
Jones Road is exactly what you’d expect from the woman who invented the “no-make-up make-up” look back in the ’90s: a collection of clean, high-grade formulations designed with ease of use in mind. Only this time around, Brown wants us to wear even less.
“In the last four or five years, I realized how much less make-up I was wearing and how much better I looked,” she says. “My vision of make-up has changed, and I want to teach and inspire women how you don’t have to look like you’re wearing make-up.”
Three decades ago, no make-up make-up meant natural make-up. Now in 2021, Brown’s signature look has been distilled into just nine core products, including an inky black mascara, a face pencil that can blend away blemishes, an ultra lightweight lipgloss, and a light reflecting Miracle Balm that can be worn, well, anywhere you like.
“It’s a new way of empowerment,” Brown says of her minimalist edit. “I’m someone that thinks a lot. And, of course, I was like, oh my god, what if people say, ‘Oh, there’s hardly any make-up there.’ But it’s what I believed in, it’s what I wanted to stand for. And it’s what I really wanted to bring to the world.”
Earlier this year, the brand expanded to include five skincare products, a small collection of make-up brushes and some merch.
“Nothing is out of the question,” Brown says with a wry smile of the future of her new brand. “If something is interesting and cool, we’ll try it.” Until then, here are some fan favourites.
Aptly named Miracle Balm, this light-reflecting super balm provides a wash of soft-focus moisture. Incredibly easy to use and endlessly versatile, glide it over your cheeks, lips, or eyelids for a dewy glow or light tint. In fact, you can use it all over.
“The Miracle Balm is whatignited me to say, ‘Oh my god, this is different.’” Brown says. “I started giving my friends little pots of it and they would come back saying, ‘Please, sir, can I have some more?’ And I just knew I had something. It’s for people that don’t like a lot of make-up. Some days I only use the balm.”
Made with jojoba seed oil, argan oil and vitamin E, the Miracle Balm comes in four alluring shades: Au Naturel, Dusty Rose, Brown and Tawny. A must for summer.
The Face Pencil
“I can’t live without the Face Pencils,” Brown deadpans. “You know when you get that tired look under your eyes? As soon as I put on the Face Pencil I look better. And it doesn’t look like make-up. I could use it all over my face if I wanted to and I still wouldn’t look like I’m wearing make-up.”
Made with shea butter and castor seed oil, and available in 25 shades, this ultra blendable Face Pencil covers everything from redness to dark spots, corrects discoloration, and lightens the darkest of circles – all the while remaining imperceptible on the skin. Just spot it on and blend it down with your fingers.
It’s rare to find a lip gloss that delivers the perfect shine without becoming tacky. But Brown’s Cool Gloss does exactly that. Lightweight and moisturising, this plumping gloss practically melts on the mouth.
“I don’t like running around promoting that it’s clean, but it is,” Brown says. “I am a crazy health nut, I am a certified health coach. I am someone that really believes that good ingredients make the biggest difference in health, wellness, and just everything, from how it smells to how it feels.”
Made with shea butter, vitamin E, and peppermint oil – which gives it its cooling sensation – the gloss comes in a variety of shades and can even be dabbed over the cheeks for an extra shine.
When Brown talks about the Hippie Stick, she lights up. “The packaging is my favourite. The lab sent it to me and I just fell in love with it.” A universal balm that can be used all over the body (Brown flags the heels and elbows as being the most important), the face and even your hair, Hippie Stick is the moisturizer to end all moisturizers. Made from shea butter, sunflower seed oil and coconut oil, it’s lightweight, buttery and smells irresistible. What’s not to love?
The world of beauty can be overwhelming, as much for our cabinets as our wallets. But rest assured: a high-powered cosmetics arsenal need not break the bank. Take it from the stars of Vogue’s Beauty Secrets, who have revealed that some of their most prized products are in fact some of the best priced.
See La Roche-Posay’s $14 Serozinc Toner, a mattifying mist that has earned Naomi Campbell’s seal of approval. What’s more? The Kendall Jenner–beloved Mario Badescu Facial Spray—laced with soothing green tea, cucumber, and aloe—rings in at just $12; spritz it on before applying a layer of Sydney Sweeney’s go-to $16 Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre or a $19 hyaluronic-acid-infused primer that’s a mainstay in Jessica Alba’s Dopp kit. Gigi Hadid, meanwhile, swears by Maybelline’s Lifter Gloss. Delivering an ultra-moisturizing, ultra-shiny finish for only $7, it’s one makeup must-have that will leave you anything but high and dry.
Below, shop the best beauty products under $20 on Amazon, as chosen by Vogue’s Beauty Secrets stars Gigi Hadid, Emma Chamberlain, and more.
“Dark brown – nearly black – slightly downturned, and defined by the shape of their lids,” journalist Monica Kim wrote in a piece for Vogue back in June. “There is no wrinkle, no crease, no skin that falls back into the socket. Just a wide, flat plane that sits unmoving below my brows.” Kim was talking about her monolids, an eye shape possessed by many of East Asian descent, and one she shares with British Vogue’s luminous September cover star, Gemma Chan.
The web is awash with how-to videos and instructional articles on how to create the “ultimate” eye look, but unfortunately the techniques often ignore monolids. Here, Hiromi Ueda, the makeup artist behind Chan’s look, shares her top tips for achieving show-stopping eyes for monolids.
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #61 series on my blog.
“I think the order you apply your makeup in is very important,” says Ueda. “It’s better to apply eyeshadow before you attempt a feline flick. And it’s wise to keep your eyes shut while the eyeliner is drying, to avoid reprinting the liner on top of your eyelid.”
Go bold and bright
With the onus being on accentuating the shape of the eye along the lash line, eyeshadow is a monolid’s best friend. Seek out bold and bright colours, and know that you can easily wear just one shade (instead of three, as those with double lids often do) across your lids. “I recommend choosing colour that’s impactful and which contrasts against a feline flick,” Ueda says. “I always check what my client is going to wear (and its key colours), so I can complement them in the makeup.”
Ueda is a fan of Mac’s Pigment Pots for the extensive shade range. Monolids can also pull off some colour below the eye, so if that takes your fancy, experiment with blending your chosen shade underneath, too.
How to create a feline flick
When drawing a feline flick, seek to extend the line outwards, rather than up towards the end tip of the brow – it will help to enhance the shape of your eyes. “Ensure the line looks straight when you open your eyes, so mark some points on the eye with an eye pencil or pen and then draw the defined line,” advises Ueda. You can further define and make eyes look wider by using a tightlining technique on the upper lash line – work your eyeliner into the waterline and areas between your eyelashes, for a subtle but impactful effect. Long-wear and waterproof eyeliners are best to ensure there’s less transfer onto surrounding skin.
For fluttery lashes
The trick to making eyelashes stand out if you have monolids is to curl them beforehand, says Ueda. “My biggest advice is also to replace your mascara regularly to avoid any clumpy bits, as they won’t create a perfect finish.” False eyelashes can also work really well.
Go for gloss
Many eye shapes struggle with eye gloss because it tends to crease and slide all over the face, impacting the overall eye makeup finish. Monolids, on the other hand, don’t have that problem, up the ante on your eye look with a little shine. “Apply alone or add some gloss on top of eyeshadow, as it can make colours stand out more,” says Ueda.
A co-founder of Le Jolie Medi Spa, Brian Nourian, was asked why someone might want to use a lip plumper, and what benefits they can provide. Here’s what he had to say:
“Whether your lips are au natural or have been cosmetically enhanced, lip plumpers can add an instant boost of plumping and shine. They’re great for red carpet or special events as there is no downtime after using them, and they offer instant results. If you’re thinking about going under the knife, they’re also a nice, non-committal way to enhance your natural lip shape and see what your lips look like slightly enhanced if you’ve never gotten fillers or injections.”
What should you look for when shopping for lip plumpers?
According to Nourian, “For that coveted bee stung look, seek out plumpers that utilize hyaluronic acid and collagen, as both ingredients help draw hydration to the top level of the skin to naturally plump and define lips. Avoid harsh ingredients like peppermint oil and cinnamon, as these ingredients work to boost lip shape by irritating the skin to increase blood flow to the surface. These irritants are doing more harm than good.”
With Nourian’s insights in mind, here are the best lip plumpers on the market.
Best Overall: Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme Lip Plumper
Working with thin, lifeless lips? With the Too Faced Lip Injection lip gloss, there’s no need to pout. Beauty sleuths swear by the patented formula’s plumping superpowers that are “based on medically-proven blood vessel-dilating technology,” according to the brand. The gloss is packed with hydrating ingredients, as well as pepper extract that enhances your lips with heat and tingle. Just a thin layer is fast-acting and long-lasting for Kylie Jenner-level results.
We can’t talk about lip plumpers without giving Buxom a shoutout. The volume-focused brand is big on big lips, offering an entire line of plumping products, including a balm, liner, serum, two lipstick formulas, and of course, its best-selling plumping gloss polish that flawlessly fakes a filler-like pout.
With a selection of more than 100 pigmented shades in three lustrous finishes, its glamorous glossy effect is certainly one of our favorites. Equally as impressive, the Buxom lip plumper features a peptide-infused formula and a refreshingly tingly feel that provides the potent plumping power you’d expect from the brand, while vitamins A and E offer lasting moisture.
Best Drugstore Option: Maybelline Lip Lifter Gloss Hydrating Lip Gloss with Hyaluronic Acid
At only $7 a tube, this drugstore lip plumper is bringing full lips to the masses, with benefits that rival those of more expensive options. Maybelline’s top-rated Lip Lifter Gloss literally does it all — volume, high-shine, and hydration — at an unbeatable price. And unlike many glosses priced at three times the cost, its moisturizing formula is boosted by hyaluronic acid for a smoother and fuller effect. Nearly 7,500 Amazon reviewers love it for creating an ultra-glossy pouty look, and with a gorgeous 10-shade color selection, you’re guaranteed to find one you’ll love, too.
Not to forget, beauty enthusiasts continually mention this gloss formula to the infamous Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb.
Best Affordable Option: NYX Filler Instinct Plumping Lip Polish
Sure, every lip plumper on this list is far more affordable than fillers, but if you’re looking for a pout-enhancing option that’ll really save some pennies, this under-$6 gloss from NYX provides big payoff at a reasonable price. Its tingly, plumping formula is packed with light-reflecting emollients that make your lips look fuller with a single glossy swipe, while its feather-proof coverage minimizes the appearance of fine lines for a super smooth finish. The gloss is available in six sheer shades, but the same formula is also available in a long-wearing lipstick form if you’d rather pack on the pigment.
Best Splurge: Dior Addict Lip Maximizer Plumping Lip Gloss
You (yes, you) are an icon, and therefore deserve Dior’s iconic celeb-loved lip gloss — Bella Hadid is also a fan. At $30, it doesn’t disappoint on the plumping front, and its price point fully pays off with results you’ll notice literally seconds after applying. Its vegan formula features one standout skincare ingredient: hyaluronic acid for long-lasting hydration and fuller lip volume. In fact, the brand claims your lips will be significantly smoother in just four weeks with prolonged use, so start lacquering up. It comes in six lustrous shades, plus two shimmery options that’ll make your lips look even more voluminous in the light.
Best Sting-Free Formula: Charlotte Tilbury Collagen Lip Bath Gloss
Not to totally shade other lip plumpers, but many contain mild irritants like cinnamon, capsicum, and even bee venom that cause your lips to swell and sting in the process. Instead, Charlotte Tilbury’s high-shine Lip Bath Gloss promotes a pain-free payoff with gentle mustard sprout extract. And because hydration is key to achieving that ultra-plush pouty effect, nourishing marine collagen and coconut oil will give your lips some much-needed moisture.
It’s available in five colors — including universally flattering favorites like Pillowtalk and Walk of No Shame — that are each formulated with shimmery pearlescent pigments, reflecting light to create an illusion of larger lips.
Best for Hydrating: PCA SKIN Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Lip Booster
PSA for anyone who applies lip plumpers a little too often (you know who you are): Excessive use can lead to dry or chapped skin, especially if your treatment of choice intentionally uses an irritating ingredient to plump up that pout. What’s worse, dry, flaky skin can actually minimize the appearance of lip volume, so you feel the need to keep reaching for the same product that caused your skin to crack in the first place.
This super hydrating option from PCA Skin turns the tables on moisture-sucking lip plumpers with a nourishing and gentle formula you’ll never regret using. Plumping peptides make your lips look full and supple, but its moisturizing power is equally impressive with hyaluronic acid and vitamin E included in the lineup of soothing ingredients for long-term results.
For ultra-thin lips, the Tiktok-famous Derol Lip Plumper delivers needle-free results without a visit to the derm. The set includes two lip plumpers: one with ginger essence for daytime use as a volumizing lip gloss and another with mint for nighttime use as a leave-on mask. Both contain vitamin E and collagen for a fuller, more moisturized look and feel, and feature a lightweight, non-sticky formula for hours of comfortable wear. Reviewers say both plumpers burn pretty intensely upon application, but the feeling is, of course, far less painful than nip tuck.
Best for Lasting Results: GrandeLIPS Hydrating Lip Plumper
If you’re looking for more than just a fling with your lip plumper, lock down a longterm commitment with a volumizing treatment that’s luckily pretty easy to fall for. The brand recommends applying the gloss twice daily for 30 days to ensure a long-lasting volumizing effect. Best of all: Its high-gloss formula will love your lips right back with nourishing ingredients like Volulip and hyaluronic acid that’ll moisturize your skin while promoting collagen production for natural fullness.
And if you’re merely looking for instant gratification, no judgement — the fast-acting formula noticeably improves volume in less than five minutes. Purchase it in 10 sheer, high-gloss colors, including rosy-hued dusty taro and peachy toasted apricot.
Best Long-Term Plumper: Fillerina Lip Plump Grade 1
The first thing you’ll notice when applying this product is the intense but not unpleasant numbing sensation that overtakes your lips. Unlike other products, this plumper is designed for longterm use and lasting effects. Users should apply the formula from this medical-looking applicator every couple of hours each day for optimal results. If you re-apply lip balm throughout the day, this habit-friendly device is your friend for gaining an attractively swollen-looking smile.
Best Serum: BeautyBio The Pout: Volumizing Lip Serum
Go beyond the gloss with a balm-like serum that’ll serve you far beyond your done-up days. Collagen, squalane, and hyaluronic acid — a dream team of powerhouse ingredients — plump and nourish lips to put fine lines and wrinkles to bed. Two clear, glossy shades can be applied throughout the day to help achieve perfectly volumized and supple lips without the distraction of tints and glitter. But if you do prefer a surge of color, the brand’s shimmery sparking rosé option might make you feel a little more put-together.
Best Treatment: Clinique Moisture Surge Lip Hydro-Plump Treatment
Plumping and hydration go hand-in-hand, so it’s no wonder why this volumizing moisture treatment works so well. Its gentle fragrance-free formula is ideal for sensitive skin types thanks to an ingredient list rich in lipids, shea butter, and ceramides that work together to plump, moisturize, and soothe. And not only is it multitasking, but it can also be used multiple ways: as a balm for an instant boost of hydration, a five-minute treatment to condition lips before applying makeup, or even as an overnight mask to maximize its nourishing benefits. No matter how you use it, the feather-light consistency is ultra comfortable to wear, so you can apply it day or night without that dreaded sticky, weighed down feel.
The secret to maximizing the results of your lip-plumping gloss is starting with a great foundation. Give your pucker an extra punch of volume and hydration with a mask that’ll prep your pout for the next step in the process. Unlike your favorite face mask, Tatcha’s leave-on treatment doesn’t need to be rinsed off or removed after applying. In fact, its jelly-like formula absorbs into the skin to fully utilize nourishing ingredients like squalane and Japanese peach that lock in moisture, plump fine lines, and improve fullness. The brand recommends using this mask before bed so it can work its magic while you sleep, but its lightweight, non-sticky feel is comfortable enough to lacquer on during the day, too.
Best Lip Plumper Patches: skyn ICELAND Plumping Lip Gels
The result of these patches is not as dramatic as with other, more aggressive formulas, but these gels make a significant difference. In just ten minutes, your lips will be hydrated in places lip balm can’t reach, more uniform in shade, and turned up ever so slightly at the bow. For your date night ritual, just stick on a gel patch for ten, then swipe on a gloss and healthy, inviting lips are yours.
Best Tool: Fullips Lip Plumping Enhancer
This unexpectedly simple device has over 800 five-star reviews on Amazon, more than virtually all other products in its category. The silicon device relies on suction from your own mouth in order to plump your lips. Just apply the round or oval shape over the part of your mouth you’d like to enhance, and create a vacuum by inhaling the excess air within. Don’t hold for too long, otherwise you risk bruising your skin, but you’ll be sure to see results after about 30 seconds.
It’s time to take your go-to look to the next level — slightly.
In case you’ve been living under a rock or on a remote island for the past year and a half: we’re just now easing out of a pandemic.
During our time quarantined at home, many of us embraced our natural skin and focused on skincare rather than slathering on makeup. But now that outside is officially opening back up (at least in some places), beauty lovers are using this as a chance to be as extra as possible when it comes to makeup application – especially for the eyes.
So it makes sense that this summer’s hottest makeup trend meets us right in the middle – and Dior’s Cruise 2022 show, which took place at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, Greece, is a clear indication of just that.
“It’s a very natural, glowy base for everybody, then each girl has [pearls],” Dior Makeup’s creative and image director Peter Philips told a group of journalists backstage. “Some girls just have two pearls, some have four, some have the whole eye, some have the under-eye – it’s my take on the Greek eye.”
Welcome to Artist Spotlight #55 series on my blog.
But what really made the look so show-stopping were the pearls used to frame the eyes. And ironically enough, these little details matched perfectly with the palette Philips began working on at the top of the year – long before he had decided on the final runway look.
“It’s a bit of a coincidence, because palettes you can’t do overnight, it takes a little bit of time,” he shared. “But I knew where we were going to shoot, I knew it was going to be in Greece. So I said ‘I’ll make a relaxed palette that’s something you want to have with you on a cruise.’ [I wanted] something that’s beautiful and flattering, which is not too intimidating and easy to wear.”