THE SELFRIDGES BEAUTY AWARDS 2021

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Words: Grace Gargini. Images: Maria + Louise Thornfeldt. Make-up: Vassilis Theotokis. Hair: Sarah Jo Palmer.

The Selfridges Beauty Awards are back! And what a year it’s been for beauty – from celebrating the return of ‘going out’ make-up to the products that gave us moments of sanctuary and joy in uncertain times and, of course, launching exciting new brands, including more planet-friendly finds to our Project Earth edit!

THE SELFRIDGES BEAUTY AWARDS 2021

Words: Grace Gargini. Images: Maria + Louise Thornfeldt. Make-up: Vassilis Theotokis. Hair: Sarah Jo Palmer.

The Selfridges Beauty Awards are back! And what a year it’s been for beauty – from celebrating the return of ‘going out’ make-up to the products that gave us moments of sanctuary and joy in uncertain times and, of course, launching exciting new brands, including more planet-friendly finds to our Project Earth edit!

On our quest to find the most epic products of 2021, we brought together our buyers, experts, and passionate beauty fans from across Selfridges to vote for their standout products of the year. From our Head of Beauty’s favourite make-up launch to our Beauty Editor’s go-to gadget – these are the best of the best! Plus, scroll down to cast your vote for this year’s People’s Choice Award. Cue drumroll, we hereby announce the winners… 

On our quest to find the most epic products of 2021, we brought together our buyers, experts, and passionate beauty fans from across Selfridges to vote for their standout products of the year. From our Head of Beauty’s favourite make-up launch to our Beauty Editor’s go-to gadget – these are the best of the best! Plus, scroll down to cast your vote for this year’s People’s Choice Award. Cue drumroll, we hereby announce the winners…

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

CHANEL – N°5 Eau de Parfum

What better way to kick things off than with the iconic Chanel N°5? The beloved bottle has graced bathroom cabinets for decades, but this year was particularly special as CHANEL celebrated 100 years of N°5 with the CHANEL Factory 5 collection and its pop-up at Selfridges Corner Shop in London. The chic, instantly recognisable fragrance is more than a fragrance; it’s a cultural icon. Long may N°5 reign.

ACE OF BASE

Giorgio Armani – Luminous Silk Foundation

A favourite in make-up artist kits, and a popular choice for brides (famously worn by Meghan Markle on her wedding day), Luminous Silk Foundation has garnered a cult following over years thanks to its beautiful, natural finish on the skin. As our Beauty Buyer Jade Mainprize says, “It’s my go-to medium coverage foundation that gives a ‘my skin but better’ radiant glow.”

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SKIN SAVIOUR

Paula’s Choice – Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

If, like many of us, your skin has flared up after wearing face coverings this past year, this brilliant exfoliator from Paula’s Choice is about to become your new best friend. Alongside the magic ingredient salicylic acid (renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties), soothing oat and green tea extract decongests and protects the skin from future breakouts.

BEST BEAUTY GADGET

Dyson – Airwrap™ Styler Complete

Regularly topping our bestseller list, Dyson’s Airwrap™ has changed the hair tool game. Using innovative Coanda technology, it dries and styles simultaneously to create voluminous curls, waves or smooth styles without extreme heat. “I was pretty sceptical at first, I must admit,” says our Beauty Editor Grace Gargini, “but after using the Airwrap for a week (and receiving lots of lovely comments), I can’t imagine my life without it. I can get salon-worthy blow-dries at home in less than 15 minutes. It’s so worth the hype!”

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THE RIDE-OR-DIE LIPSTICK

Hermès – Rouge Hermès Satin Lipstick

From its chic packaging to inclusive shade range and long-wear formulas, we’ve crowned Hermès our lipstick winner for 2021. “This is my number-one lipstick of all time,” says Beauty Buyer Laurie Field. “The formulation is so creamy, and all 24 shades pack a massive punch – oh, and it’s housed in the most luxurious refillable packaging that’s such a treat for us beauty fans.”

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Champions of sustainability

PROJECT EARTH: FOR NATURE

REN – Brightening Dark Circle Eye Cream

Following the launch of our Project Earth initiative in 2020, championing brands that find sustainable solutions to our everyday routine is high on the agenda. REN is at the forefront of creating planet-friendly products – from its vegan, cruelty-free formulas to the 100% post-consumer recycled plastic used in its packaging. A new favourite for 2021 is its brightening, plumping eye cream – perfect for disguising those long-awaited late nights.

PROJECT EARTH: FOR ANIMALS

Sunday Riley – C.E.O. 15% Vitamin C Brightening Serum

‘Vitamin C’ continues to be one of our most searched for (and purchased) ingredients within our skincare offering thanks to its brightening effect on the skin. Sunday Riley’s brilliant vitamin C serum is a firm favourite here at Selfridges with a cruelty-free formula that Divisional Manager Victoria Heywood describes as “lightweight and fast-absorbing; it’s the serum I reach for every morning. It brightens like no other!”

PROJECT EARTH: BETTER WAYS TO SHOP

Charlotte Tilbury – Charlotte’s Magic Cream

Some of the most encouraging changes within beauty are the number of high-profile brands switching up the way they produce and package their products. Case in point: Charlotte Tilbury, who moved its beloved Magic Cream into refillable packaging this year. A firm favourite with our beauty team, Beauty Buyer Jade Mainprize explains: “I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Charlotte’s Magic Cream – it’s so hydrating and gives instant, plump-looking skin.”

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LAUNCH OF THE YEAR

Valentino Beauty

“There’s no denying Valentino Beauty was one of our most exciting launches of 2021,” says Head of Buying Melissa McGinnis, “thanks to everything from their high-impact formulas and refillable packaging to their bold and inclusive approach to make-up.” Some of our favourites include the Rosso Matte Lipstick and light-reflecting powders – it really is the perfect line-up to get you excited about make-up again!

BEST CULT CLASSIC

Byredo – Bal d’Afrique Eau de Parfum

Byredo’s Bal d’Afrique is one of those street-stopping scents that naturally became a cult classic. The chic, unisex fragrance perfectly balances green bergamot and neroli with jasmine and violet alongside creamy musk, amber and cedarwood. Our Beauty Buyer Laurie Field says, “It smells like a late-night visit to a confessional; heady incense mixed with lilies on the altar.”

THE SUNDAY RITUAL

Susanne Kaufmann – Oil Bath For The Senses

For those days (or weeks) when it all just gets a bit much, there’s no denying the deeply relaxing and restorative benefits of a long soak in the bath. “This heavenly blend from Susanne Kaufmann became my best friend after the last year – it’s the ultimate ‘unwind in a bottle’,” says Social Media Coordinator, Nicole Dyson. Bliss!

BEST IN BROWS

Anastasia Beverly Hills – Brow Freeze Styling Wax

Anastasia Beverly Hills regularly tops brow bestseller lists, and this year’s Brow Freeze launch is no exception. To get that ‘brushed-up brows’ look, our Online Copywriter, Crystal Rose is a big fan: “Forget lamination or endless brow treatments – Brow Freeze lifts each strand and holds brows in place all day long. It’s a game changer!”

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HOME FRAGRANCE HERO

Jo Malone London – Fresh Fig & Cassis Diffuser and Refill

A new award entry for 2021, we simply had to mention our home fragrance obsession this past year – from a cosy candle in the deepest, darkest winter to a chic, restorative diffuser. We had so many favourites this year, but Jo Malone London took first prize. “I love the timeless ceramic packaging of the Townhouse range,” says Fragrance Buyer Laurie Field “and as they’re refillable, this gorgeous fig fragrance is now a staple in my home.”

BEST MASCARA

DIOR – Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara

Some would argue finding the perfect mascara is a life-long quest that can take lots of trials and tribulations. This year’s top vote went to Dior’s Iconic Overcurl Mascara, which ticks a lot of boxes thanks to its brilliant jet-black formula that can be easily built up depending on your preferred effect – the smallest amount gives a natural feathered lash that can be layered for major impact.

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THE ICONIC PALETTE

Hourglass – Curator Eyeshadow Palette

2021 may go down in the make-up world as ‘the year of the eye’, which, thankfully means lots of new eyeshadow palettes to play with. Winning top spot is Hourglass’s brilliant Curator collection – a totally customisable and refillable range of creamy, pigmented eye shadows that you can mix and match to create your very own personal creation. Or you can pick from a selection of pre-made five-pan palettes (as seen here by make-up artist, Vassilis Theotokis, who used both Iced Steel and Desert Earth).

HAIR HERO

Gisou – Honey Infused Hair Oil

One of our most exciting launches of the year was brought to you by founder (and glossy hair goddess) Negin Mirsalehi with Gisou. Championing the nourishing benefits of honey, Gisou’s products protect, style, and hydrate the hair using sustainable methods of harnessing honey. Its first, and beloved, Honey Infused Hair Oil is a multitasking marvel that leaves strands silky smooth.

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BEST BLOCKBUSTER SCENT

Le Labo – AnOther 13 Eau de Parfum

With an abundance of big blockbuster scents to pick from this year, Le Labo’s AnOther 13 came out on top. In collaboration with AnOther Magazine, the hypnotising fragrance blends ambroxan (a synthetic animalistic musk) with 12 other ingredients including jasmine, moss and ambrette seeds absolute for this addictive creation that keeps you going back for more.

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD

AND THE WINNER IS:

LOEWE – Home Scents

We asked you – our brilliant beauty community – to vote for your favourite launch of 2021 and the results are in… The winner is: LOEWE with its gorgeous candle range that launched earlier this year. Inspired by a luscious botanical garden, the Home Scents collection is the brainchild of Creative Director Jonathan Anderson and taps into our renewed appreciation of the great outdoors. Handmade in Spain, the candles use 100% vegetable wax housed in glazed terracotta pots that look like pieces of art. Oh, and the smell. From Honeysuckle and Oregano to Liquorice and Marihuana, the botanical-inspired scents transport you to a heavenly greenhouse.

Need a recap? Shop all the award winners below

Meet Our Beauty & Wellness Experts

You can now book an in-store appointment (including hair, nails and skincare appointments) with some of our beauty brands, or access inspirational beauty advice from home via video call with one of our experts. 

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