Being a beauty buyer puts you at the forefront of what’s new, hot and on the horizon in beauty. You’re the first to play with products, you need to forecast which trends will take off and spot future beauty classics, both from under your nose and around the world. From emerging technology in South Korea to organic, homegrown gems, the following buyers sort the wheat from the chaff in the beauty world on a daily basis, and if they’re loyal to a brand or product chances are it’s outstanding in its field. Here’s what the UK’s top beauty buyers will be buying, wearing and experimenting with this summer...
What should you be putting in your beauty basket this summer? We asked some very savvy beauty buyers what they’ll be stashing in theirs…
“I've always got a bright lip up my sleeve for summer. Right now I'm loving MDM Flow's V Dutch , £18. It's a gorgeous orangey red that especially suits darker skintones. London summers also require a cooling spritz courtesy of Caudalie Grape Water , £10, and a light makeup base. I'm such a fan of the new BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Gel , £23.50.
“It’s been years since I've booked a holiday but I've finally got one in the diary for August so you can bet I've already planned out my travel beauty edit. Heliocare SPF50 Gel Cream , £17.50, is top of the list. Mai Couture's Glowgeous Trio , £17, and a selection of Bryt Skincare serums for every skincare occasion. They are very lightweight and effective.
“In terms of summer trends I'm loving that "natural with a spark" look. Radiant skin, ethereal highlights, glossy muted lips and Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream , £27, through the brows all inspired by the Christopher Kane s/s15 look. I definitely overuse the hashtag #gettheglow…
“As for treatments I'm predominately a DIY beauty treatment kinda gal. You've got to get your scrub on (coconut oil + brown sugar usually does the trick for me) and Margaret Dabbs' Exfoliating Foot Mousse , £18, is amazing before you slip into your sandals. Recently, I had the Spiezia Head in Heaven treatment at Brown's Hotel, Mayfair . It was the ultimate de-stress massage followed by a facial. I'm already a huge fan of the Spiezia range and it had me skipping around London for the rest of the day sans makeup (a rarity).
“Being the beauty magpie that I am, I can't visit another country and not check out what their beauty scene has to offer. Working alongside Millie and Anna-Marie has given me a priceless insight into the inner workings of the beauty industry. When I browse for products now I think about them in so many different contexts apart from just "Do I like this?” and “Does it work?". They've taught me well how to spot a "BeautyMART product" and to look at things with an open mind. At the moment, Korea is definitely top of my list to keep an eye on. They have such a unique take on beauty from their packaging to the formulations and technology used and I'm hoping they make a big splash into the UK market soon.
“As for what flies of the shelves during the summer months, a large selection of the BeautyMART edit is timeless in a way and does well all year around. However, every summer we bring in a French suncare range, Soleil des Iles , which specialises in body oils, milks, sun sprays and balms with SPF. They’re always a hit. It's great to be able to sit niche brands next to well-known bestsellers like James Read and have them sell just as well.
“My biggest beauty challenge in the summertime is hayfever. It always gets me at the height of summer and more often than not ends up with me heading to work sans mascara. Being someone who would pick mascara over lipstick makes that my biggest challenge. I don't tend to go down the sweat/waterproof makeup route and just embrace a minimal, light coverage look.
“Keeping up with a healthier lifestyle always feels easier in the summer for me with the exception of getting enough sleep. However, the long days motivate me to exercise more and rise in the mornings ready for a spot of yoga and a fresh smoothie. It's also my favourite time to experiment with new dishes and seasonal fruits and veggies. This summer I'm planning to embark on the journey of growing some of my own.”
Sarah Meadows, Marks & Spencer
“The trend for oil is ever increasing and I am a huge fan of a couple of the oils we have in our collection. The Autograph Self Tan Oil , £12.50, is amazing, gives a great, glow, a great finish and is super easy to use.
“Summer beauty centres around sun protection and I always use a good quality SPF, followed up by the Ultrasun Overnight Repair Mask , £38, for hydration.
“I tend to switch to lighter products for summer make-up and am obsessed with the Filorga BB Cream , £35, as an alternative to foundation. It really gives a great radiant finish with enough coverage not to make you feel naked.
“One of the best things about summer is being able to exercise outside, soak up the vitamin D and get fit in the process. I am a relative newcomer to running but as part of our partnership to LGFB a group of us have signed up to do a London 10K in a few weeks and a run through Hyde Park in the sunshine is a definite incentive!
“As a fairly new mum, I am dedicated to finding the best hand cream and a great summer fragrance. A wonderful high performance hand cream is La Maison de Senteurs Huile d’Olive Hand Cream , £6. t’s packed with olive oil and shea butter and it smells amazing!”
Lisa Woods, Beauty Brand Manager at Feel Unique
“My holiday must-have is the fabulous REN Grab & Go Kit , £20. The brand’s skincare is incredible and very good for reactive skin, which I find can be aggravated when you’re travelling. This set has hair and body covered too.
“If I’m away for longer This Works In Transit Camera Close Up , £30, is great to save space on moisturiser and SPF but I also couldn’t be without another multitasker- ELEMIS Spa At Home Tea Tree SOS Spray , £24, for bugs, cuts or on the go re-fresh pedis!
“In terms of trends I love undone hair and beachy waves; I love Bumble and Bumble surf spray products for this as well as T3 Body Waver Professional Styling Iron , £112.50, before setting with Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Strong, £17.25.
“I’ve just moved onto a cleansing oil which seems odd for summer, but I’m using it after my micellar water, which I think has improved my skin’s moisture levels. Masks feel vital in summer too as I really like to deep cleanse to make sure the heat and London grime is gone. I also really love a little help in the bronzing department so I always have my gradual tans to hand. I love the Elemis Total Glow Face and Body Lotions - the scents are lovely and because you don’t smell like biscuits you can use in the morning on the way out the door.
“I tend to look to the States for trends and new brands and products, and we have two very exciting US brands launching onsite very soon. I can’t talk about as yet, however I also love the rituals from Japanese brands like Shiseido. Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate , £54, has become a staple in my routine now as I can really see and feel the difference!
“In terms of bestsellers for summer its usually sun protection, cleansers, facial sprays such as Caudalie Grape Water, £5.40, and haircare, whether for UV protection or quenching parched locks! Personally I love the Moroccanoil Hydration range- it’s incredible and I’ve actually been asked what perfume I’m wearing after using it as it smells divine.
“My biggest summer challenge is the great makeup slip. I get the dreaded sheen by late morning if it’s hot but I’ve recently been introduced to Shiseido Translucent Loose Powder , £32.85, and it’s brilliant. Then I set with Urban Decay De-slick Makeup Setting Spray , £21. I also I pop Shiseido Pureness Oil Blotting Sheets , £16.65, in my bag to help matters throughout a very hot day!
“During summer I try to walk everywhere, drink as much water as I can stand and eat bountiful amounts of seasonal fresh fruits, vegetables and salads. I feel it helps balance the increased levels of rosé and prosecco drinking in the sun!”
Sarah Coonan, Liberty
“I started using Rodin Body Oil , £80, last year when I was pregnant and completely fell in love! I used a whole bottle while on a two week holiday and my skin looked incredible. I’ll be doing the same this year when I go away. Another essential that I’ve used for years is Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist , £46, which is a must for a long flight and hot humid days.
“As for summer beauty trends I love really clean, pared back skin with a bold lip. Surratt Automatique Lip Crayons , from £22, are amazing and last forever so are quite low maintenance. My favourite is Bold Orange.
“I couldn’t live without my beauty treatments, especially in summer. An essential is a Medical Pedicure at The Margaret Dabbs Sole Spa . Once you have had one of these a regular pedicure becomes redundant forever! I love a great facial so that I can get away without much make up. My favourite is either the Decleor Ultimate Vitamin Glow or if I’m pressed for time (which I always am) a Dermalogica MicroZone treatment . They only take 20 minutes and are totally customised to your skin and the results you want to achieve – it is amazing the results you get from such a short treatment.
“I love finding new products when I’m travelling. I’ve just been on a buying trip to New York and I found loads of really cool new products. Watch this space as a few of them will be appearing in our beauty hall very soon!
“My biggest summer beauty challenge is frizzy hair. It is naturally very wavy (but not in a good way) so I either use a great hair oil like Davines Oi Oil , £18, or embrace the frizz and carry a bottle of Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray , £21.50, everywhere I go.
“I am really into running but when the sun is out- it’s one of my favourite things to do. I like to sign up for a couple of races throughout the summer so I have something to work towards and this year I’m attempting my first marathon.”
Imelda Burke,Content Beauty & Wellbeing
“I am personally excited about the growth of the trend towards locally sourced, small-batch skincare and summer is when many of our skincare 'growers' harvest their key ingredients for their products. I am a firm believer that the closer your product is to an actual maker the higher the quality; it is a much more beautiful thing to use a product that a person has literally had a hand in creating rather than just machine made.
“I think more recently Tata Harper is a great example of how this hand-made element of skincare can be woven into a premium range – with their Estate Grown Beauty Complex of herbs and flowers integrated into the range they are combining the latest developments in botanical results-driven ingredients with a blend of oils and extracts that is literally harvested outside the lab door on their Vermont farm. A UK brand that also captures this ‘seed to serum’ ethos is AS.AP , with many of the key ingredients grown, harvested and distilled by brand founder Amanda Saurin. You can see Amanda’s batch notes from the seasons harvest online alongside your pot of moisturiser – with each having its own unique number within the batch, i.e, 1/20 – for many of us knowing that your skincare comes from a run of 20 or even 2000 rather than 200,000 is a motivating purchasing factor.
“I'm neither a fan of baking in the sun nor covering myself in SPF (it's a personal thing - I'm not keen on the feeling on my skin) so I tend to avoid the sun, but I'm loving tinted body creams. My favourite and the best on the market is Prtty Peaushun , £33. Not only does it smell great but it gives the skin a hint of colour and a healthy glow for when you need to bare skin. It washes off at the end of the day, which is a perfect solution for me. I'm also really excited about the the new breed of small-batch skincare that is coming out of the UK. We launched a 'shop local' for your beauty initiative last year and it continues to be an exciting sector. A brand to watch is Haeckels , I love their sourcing of ingredients from the British seaside, with seaweeds and sea grasses distilled into serums and body products. The other is AS.AP . Amand Saurin grows, harvest and distills many of the key ingredients in her small batch skincare. Both brands have numbered batches and dated packaging (in the case of Haeckels, engraved on the perfume bottles)- luxury is knowing that your product comes from a batch of 20 rather than 200,000.
“For my wellbeing I've been a fan of medicinal mushrooms for years and their popularity is continuing to rise. Summer is a ideal time to try them - Reishi is great for hayfever sufferers and Chaga is a super immune booster so ideal for summer travels. For the uninitiated try integrating them via the Four Sigma Foods Xoco Hot Chocolate , £11.99."
Zahra Bishop, Harvey Nichols
“Anything with a bright pop of colour keeps me happy on my travels – I do love the new Nars X Christopher Kane collection, especially the lip gloss , £19, as it’s fun and something I wouldn’t usually wear back home; holidays are the perfect time to experiment with a new beauty look. I tend to pare back on my makeup but will always have a good waterproof mascara and light base with me – Eyeko do a lovely Sport Waterproof Mascara , £18, and the new Cover FX Custom Cover Drops , £36, are genius. SHOW Beauty’s Thermal Protect , £35, is a good summer styling product.
“If I am staying in London, I rely on a good spray tan to give me a summer glow– The Studio by James Read in our Knightsbridge store does a wonderful Destination Tan which uses a clever layering technique to achieve a customisable level of colour. Estée Lauder ’s new Bronze Goddess collection is also a godsend, which I will team with a splash of lip colour – I’m currently wearing Serge Lutens Water Lip Colour , £60. Once it starts to get humid, I will keep a bottle of Mario Badescu Facial Spray in my bag to cool me down and I wear a high SPF such as Crème de la Mer SPF 30 , £65, all year round, regardless of weather.
“A more natural, barely-there beauty seen at shows such as Thakoon, Marni and Victoria Beckham is perfect for the summer months. The focus on healthy, illuminated skin is modern, relaxed and conveys confident, whilst still being feminine and I think this is what appeals so much to the Harvey Nichols customer- they want to look like the best, healthiest version of themselves, not an unrealistic model of perfection. Our Beauty Concierge team are repeatedly asked by customers about the perfect base to enhance, rather than mask, skin for summer – Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream , £70, is a fantastic multi-tasking product that I would recommend as a base, then apply a beautifully sheer foundation such as Dior Diorskin Nude Natural Glow Radiant Foundation , £32.50, to finish.
“My beauty regime is quite low key in general but a good facial both in the lead up to a holiday and afterwards, when your skin is thirsty, is something that I always indulge in. Beyond Medispa ’s HydraFacial and a course of the Meder Myo-Fix are skin saviours. I’ll head to Daniel Hersheson in the Knightsbridge store for the new Salt of the Earth pedicure.
“Summer fragrances always sell well for us. We are currently championing an array of exclusive niche fragrances – we are finding that our customers are wanting a more individual, lesser-known scent that they feel is tailor-made for them. MIN New York’s Onsen and Memo Ilha Do Mel , £168, are both beautifully light, summer scents.
“As for beauty challenges, frizzy hair in humid weather is a constant battle! Mane N Tail and LaCoupe are both fantastic to keep my hair in check. I like the fact that I can let my skin breath whilst abroad and tend to wear less makeup than I would usually, so a good serum and mask are always in my makeup bag – Rodial and ESPA do a lovely range; perfect for applying post-flight too."
Emily Saunders, Selfridges
“I'm really loving the nod to all things that are more natural and beauty products that give back – it seems like the trend for healthy living and green juices is not going away, I'm really excited about the Super Elixir Nourishing Protein that is coming into Selfridges exclusively in the next few weeks – it helps balance blood sugar, is full of fibre and B Vitamins and more importantly, if it's good enough for Elle Macpherson then sign me up!
"I always keep a Bkr water bottle , £25, on my desk. My favourite colour is Dive. It really makes me keep up my water intake which is so key when you are in an air conditioned office all day. I also take it with me when I travel as I always like to drink plenty of water on the plane (and then I have a water bottle to keep in my beach bag). I book in for regular Cowshed pedicures when the weather gets warmer as sandals or flip flops really dry out the skin, in between I like to top up my colour using Nailberry Oxygenated Nail Polish , £14."
Stacia Prince, Buying Director at Cult Beauty
“My three summer essentials read as follows…
“ ABH Pro Series Cream Contour Contour Kit , £39, has become as popular as the powder version, and the customer’s ability to customise their own palette has also been very well received. All of our key colour brands are catering for this trend- ABH , Becca and Stila . I think that skincare brands are also starting to talk about contouring, as a new way of describing lifting and plumping.
“There is a lot of focus on water based, cooling cosmetic and skincare brands, for instance Stila have brought out an Aqua Glow range for summer, with very light, fluid textures that cool the skin. We are launching the Pixi H2O Skin Tint , £24, this week and Mizon have a new Vita Lemon Sparkling Powder- adding to the benefit of water in cleansing routine. These powders make the water bubbles act like small micro-brushes, cleaning pores and removing dead skin cells. Bio Essences best selling item is the Aqua Droplet Sleeping Beauty Mask , £29, which quenches the skin with hydration overnight. And Skyn Iceland have pulled off makeup wipes , £13, that are effective, and non drying. Infused with glacial water, these do not strip the skin, or leave it feeling tight after use. A great one for travelling!
A glow from within
“Although everyone lusts after a golden glow, many are achieving it with more natural products that offer radiance and a natural shimmer to the face and body. Shimmering Skin Perfector , £33, from Becca achieves this beautifully, and simply. Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint , £30, also gives a little coverage but leaves the skin looking dewy and fresh. If you cannot help but crave an element of self tan, then Trystal Minerals from Vita Liberata , £35, is for you. A loose powder bronzer, it tans the skin like a DHA product does at the same time as offering topical colour. You wash it off at end of day, but still go to bed bronzed.”
What products do you particularly love using in summer? Are you excited for any upcoming launches? Let us know below or tweet us @GetTheGloss