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Beauty: Sali Hughes’s greatest hits of 2014

As I look back on all the products I tried, loved, hated and dribbled over in 2014, it occurs to me that several of them not only made the grade, but have also taken up permanent residence in my everyday kit. The year got off to a flyer with L’Oréal Elvive Fibrology, a shampoo and conditioner (each £2.99) that absolutely kept their promise to make my hair bigger within one wash. I’ve learned to switch to something else every six weeks or so, to lose the buildup, but I always come back for more. My other hero of 2014 is Vichy Aqualia Thermal serum (£16.15), a mid-price treat for any dehydrated skin that instantly imparts moisture and healthy plumpness. I routinely choose it over serums that cost five times as much.

Clarins Instant Concealer (£21) blew the competition out of the water last year. It simply covers and brightens under-eye circles better than any other and, millilitre for millilitre (the tube is big, the formula concentrated), costs less than many budget brands. Please, Clarins, make it your new year’s resolution to introduce darker shades, so everyone can feel the love. Glow Maximizer (£28), meanwhile, was Dior’s least showy 2014 launch. It seemed almost unconfidently snuck out, when something this brilliant called for a great deal of showing off. This light-reflecting primer mimics a youthful skin glow to the point where all other light reflectors now seem woefully inadequate.

I rate all of these products so highly that I honestly can’t imagine what could trump them in 2015. But I promise to remain obsessed with finding out. Have a very happy new year.

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