There are some beauty brands and products that need no introduction. Brands that have been around for decades and, very often, have small armies of PR professionals employed with the precise goal of securing coverage in the pages of glossy magazines. You know the ones.
And then there are the lesser-known brands and products that never quite achieve the recognition they deserve.
When my fellow beauty editors and I get together, we often find ourselves swapping notes on the gems we’ve discovered. When someone’s skin is extra glowing, hair is like gloss or make-up is on point, we pay attention.
So, this week, I asked five fellow beauty eds about the under-the-radar products they love.
Sherine Youssef, beauty editor, gloss etc.
I don’t know if you can truly consider this under the radar; it’s Miranda Kerr, after all, and she doesn’t exactly need my help to bring attention to her or her beauty brand.
However, this is kind of a stealth buy for me because I never expect much from a moisturiser. But this is, frankly, exceptional. The custard-y, creamy formula is magically not too heavy for my combo skin — it glides on, sinks in and leaves no greasy after-feel. And it’s not just me. I’ve been singing its praises over on gloss etc for close to a year, and the number of DMs we’ve received from followers and readers who have purchased and are as obsessed as I am makes me so smug. Need another reason? I also converted PRIMER’s beauty editor, Lucy and she’s a tough cookie when it comes to skincare.
Lucy Adams, beauty editor, PRIMER
This nifty little number really is radiance in a tube – and it recently became steadfast summer fave. It was so good in fact, that I streamlined my summer make-up to wear just this solo (over SPF of course) with just a lick of mascara. Packed to the brim with skin-loving ingredients like Kakadu plum, hemp and jojoba oils, vitamin E plus it works from the inside out. But for me the real X-factor for the primer (which btw I am normally not a huge fan of) came from the subtle, luminous tint that left my skin looking lit from within.
With a background in nutrition, I’m as picky about what I choose to put in my body as on my skin. I met Par Olive founder and director Olivia Boyd-Smith last year and we hit it off. When she mentioned that her collagen range had just been picked up by Sephora, my curiosity was piqued. After four weeks of adding her sustainable marine-based Norwegian collagen powder to my morning smoothie the benefits were noticeable; my nails were stronger, and my hair was thinker and shinier than it had been in months. And it tastes nice too. I’m officially hooked!
Iantha Yu, freelance beauty writer
This season I’m going back to basics and have rediscovered my absolute love for nude shades, which is why this quadruple-decker stack of wearable tones for eyes, cheeks and lips has stolen my heart. I love the multi-tasking powers of each product, and I frequently blend the powder onto my cheeks and lids for a hit of bronze, or tap the illuminator onto the bridge of my nose and layer it over lipstick for a glossy touch.
Amy Clark, beauty editor and content manager
I first heard about this cult underground brand like every other beauty editor did – after experiencing the magic of Sydney facialist Carina Gross, owner and head skin specialist at Belameres Clinic in Double Bay.
Carina recommended I try the Beauté Pacifique Defy Damage Serum during my first appointment around four years ago, and I’ve been using it ever since.
It was my best-kept secret. Or it was, until we published this review on Beauty IQ, it sold out within days.
The light textured serum-in-lotion does and contains a bit of everything: addresses the look of hyperpigmentation, sun damage, fine lines and wrinkles, and redness.
It contains retinyl palmitate, a very gentle form of vitamin A, encapsulated in an olive oil squalane to strengthen the skin barrier and minimise any risk of irritation. Plus, hydrating hyaluronic acid and squalane, antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E, and ursolic acid. It genuinely changed my skin, and I swear my face just looks a little bit sh*tter whenever I stop using it.
Erin Docherty, beauty and health writer, Mamamia
Excuse the loud caps lock, but HAVE WE TRIED THIS? In case you missed me bangin’ on about it the first eleventy million times, here we go again. This JVN hair mask is bloody incredible – and wildly underrated.
While hair masking is usually just another haircare step that I don’t have time for (read: does have time, just too lazy), this product actually makes me *want* to use it. And I do! Weekly, in fact.
You’re meant to leave it on for around three to five minutes after shampooing, but I like to let it marinate for a little longer and rinse it out 30 minutes or so post-shower.
Afterwards, I feel like I have a new head of hair. It gives it a big ol’ slurp of hydration, and makes it feel so incredibly soft. Shiny. Non-frizzy. You have to try it.
Sadaf Razi, beauty editor at Adore Beauty
Ever since my interview with Joanna Czech [celebrity esthetician and brand owner and founder], I started using a toner in my routine. The Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol-Free Toner has since been the unsung hero of my nightly routine. I know it’s a cult classic but I feel like it’s been off people’s radar!
For those who don’t know, calendula is something of a super plant – famous for its healing properties and used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Kiehl’s first started using the ingredient in the 1960s. It promotes a calm, balanced skin tone – exactly what you want from a good toner!
Run. Don’t walk. You won’t be disappointed.