Knockout

Some overlooked brands–though they shouldn’t be

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YVES Saint Laurent’s latest scent, Parisienne

I realize that when it comes to buying beauty products, most of us are loyal to a brand or two. I do see the logic in this; trusted brands do make the process of buying less risky.

The downside to this is, we limit ourselves to other wonderful brands that have amazing products. Here are some brands that have been here for quite some time, but which I feel have been overlooked. Next time you need to shop around, be a little more adventurous and do check out these brands. You may be in for amazing beauty discoveries!

Malin + Goetz

MALIN+ Goetz, available at Adora

Malin + Goetz is a family-owned apothecary in New York, with a philosophy of providing gentle, natural-based treatments for sensitive skin. Matthew Malin, one of the founders, suffered from rosacea, eczema and various fragrance allergies. Along with Andrew Goetz, he worked to produce products that are effective but not irritating to the skin. This range of products can be found in salons, gyms, spas and hotels around the world, including the Soho Grand Hotel in New York, the Mondrian in LA and the St. Martins Lane in London.

1. 1oz Essential Kit

2. Detox Face Mask

3. Peppermint Shampoo

Becca

BECCA, available at Adora

Becca is about creating a natural, flawless look for all women, regardless of age or ethnicity. While most cosmetic lines offer about three to seven concealer colors, Becca has 34 shades for concealer and 30 shades for foundation. Follow its Skin Perfecting Makeup System for perfect-looking skin: (1) Prepare by applying primers to create a more refined surface; (2) Perfect by correcting dark spots and under-eye circles; and (3) Set by applying loose powder for a light, matte finish.

1. Beach Tint

2. Dual-Coverage Compact Concealer

3. Bronzing Skin Perfector

Philosophy

We know Philosophy for its fun, young packaging with trademark lowercase letters. Created in 1996 by Cristina Carlino, Philosophy’s beauty mission is not only self-acceptance but “self-love,” manifested in the words of wisdom printed on its bottles. Philosophy has seen great success over the years after Oprah’s recurrent promotion of its products as part of her “favorite things.”

1. Hope in a Jar–award-winning moisturizer

2. Purity–3-in-1 cleanser, toner and makeup remover

3. The Present–evens out skin tone for flawless-looking skin

Aesop

PHILOSOPHY, available at Beauty Bar

Aesop’s beauty advocacy extends to its consumers’ lifestyles, including “a healthy diet, sensible exercise, a moderate intake of red wine and a regular dose of stimulating literature.” This Australian-based beauty line is committed to providing skin, hair and body products, both plant-based and laboratory-made, with antioxidant properties. Aesop maintains an independent approach to product development; it has its own team of skilled chemists working in a custom-built laboratory in Melbourne.

1. Rejuvenate Intensive Body Balm

2. Resurrection Aromatique Hand Wash

3. A Rose By Any Other Name Body Cleanser

Sta. Maria Novella

Sta. Maria Novella is for traditionalists. One of the world’s oldest pharmacies, it was founded in Florence by Dominican friars who started making herbal remedies and potions for use in their monastery. The world-famous Pot Pourri is still manually handcrafted in terra cotta vats, using a centuries-old recipe of local essences and plants.

1. Pot Pourri Pillar Candle

2. Relax Candle, Set of 3

3. Rose Room Fragrance Extract

Voluspa

Founders Troy and Traci Arntsen are experts in botany and engineering, and are known for crafting clean-burning and potently fragrant candles. Their striking packaging and unique scents are reason enough to like this brand, but Voluspa owes its cultlike status to elite consumers such as Katherine Heigl and Jessica Simpson.

1. Voluspa Maison D’Or Classic 12oz Maison Candle

2. Voluspa Japonica Home Ambience Diffuser

3. Voluspa Maison Rogue Pomegranate Patchouli Fragrance

Choice scents

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and here are two scents you may want to consider giving your wives or girlfriends. They’re tried and tested by my trusted intern Mara Miano, who is brutally frank and extremely picky!

Yves Saint Laurent’s Parisienne

EMPORIO Armani Diamonds

Yves Saint Laurent’s latest scent, Parisienne, is designed to be a scent older than Elle but younger than Paris—probably for those in their 30s. Its notes of peony, violet, blackberry, damask rose, patchouli, sandalwood and musk make up a fragrance that is sexy yet subdued, with a unique floral tone that is like a younger, edgier and more modern version of its big sister.

Emporio Armani Diamonds

This is a fusion of rose with a hint of litchi and raspberry that dries down with wood and amber. Emporio Armani Diamonds’ bottle is a sculpted block of sparkling glass. It’s almost like having an actual gigantic diamond in your palm. It’s for the 21st-century Emporio Armani woman—someone who is strong and self-confident, yet still sexy and feminine.

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