As a beauty-obsessed teen, the yearly drop of the InStyle Best Beauty Buys supplement was momentous - both for me and for my fledgling bank balance. Looking through it, I’d be determined to buy up every single last product because, let’s face it, there’s nobody better placed to choose a great product than the Best Beauty Buys judges.
They read like a who's who of the global beauty industry, with make-up artists to the A-list, skincare formulators and facialists at the top of their game, and hair and nail experts who know precisely how to leave you feeling and looking stellar all on our panel. It's pretty safe to say if these guys say it’s worth your hard-earned pounds, then it really, really is.
Scroll down to learn all about the judges of our inaugural digital Best Beauty Buys, and then hop right over to the galleries to get shopping...
The Skincare Experts
Famed for developing her own ‘Skin Coach’ method, Abigail is one of London’s most respected aestheticians. Her ethos of 360 wellness in treating the skin makes her approach unique - and her expertise invaluable.
Top beauty tip: “Don’t use heavy night creams, they inhibit skin renewal. Go heavy in the day then layer up on serums and oils at night which your skin can use more easily to rejuvenate itself.”
Amanda’s a total legend on the British beauty scene, with a loyal A-list clientele (think Gwneth, Emily Blunt etc.) and skincare range that beauty editors clamour to buy.
Top beauty tip: “Keep up with the beauty Zeitgeist by using lighter moisturisers and serums, and layer properly by leaving enough time inbetween each application.”
Anastasia’s been cited as having ‘magic hands’ for a reason. A total maverick, she’s famed for the firm facial massage she developed that makes skin glow and transforms facial contours.
Co-founder of the stellar skincare line REN, Antony discovered the world of skincare when his pregnant wife reacted badly to synthetic products. Years later, his brand is continues to pioneer in the world of natural beauty.
Arezoo is THE person to go to for facials, waxing and threading, and is said to be responsible for bringing the Brazilian wax to the UK. Reese Witherspoon, Cameron Diaz and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley are some of many famous faces who she treats.
Debbie really puts the science into skincare with her bespoke DNA treatments. Her method is quick, effective, and reaps results. It speaks for itself that many of the judges cite her clinic as their go-to in London.
Dr Frances Prenna Jones
Having trained as a doctor of medicine, Dr Frances knows the science behind anti-ageing. Her esteemed line of signature products reflect her simplistic yet effective attitude.
Top beauty tip: “Clean your face twice a day, no matter where you are in the world, no matter how tired, drunk, or hungover you are.”
Dr Marko Lens
Dr Marko is internationally renowned for being a master of plastic and reconstructive surgery. His brand Zelens is a result of over 20 years of research in skin ageing and the power of botanicals.
Top beauty tip: “Wash your face and use SPF on a daily basis. So far, science confirmed that only SPF prevents sun aging!”
Dr Philippa Lowe
After her childhood in Santa Monica showed her firsthand how damaging the sun can be, Dr Philippa ploughed her energy into learning about skin, and emerged as one of the top dermatologists. Now, she works closely with her father at his esteemed Cranley Clinic, and also with Simple skincare.
Top beauty tip: “Wear Sunscreen on hands daily and on the tops of feet if wearing sandals.”
He’s your guy for anti-ageing and reversing sun damage, and is touted as the secret weapon behind some of the world’s most celebrated faces - from celebrities, to politicians, to royalty.
Dr Sam Bunting
Dr Sam’s Harley St practice rectifies skin woes using a combo of medical-grade products, needling and injectables, and her wisdom is sought after by pretty much everyone.
With over 30 years of experience, Dr Sebagh is the master of non-invasive results, transforming faces without a single needle or scalpel – and all during your lunchbreak, too.
Top beauty tip: ‘Restore your skin’s natural barrier daily from external aggressors like UV, pollution, irritants and infections. Our skin barrier weakens with age, so the more we can do now to strengthen it, the better our skin will look in the long term. Simplify your skin care routine, use SPF, antioxidants and environmental protective films (EPFs), and avoid harsh products and tools.’
Dr Stefanie Williams
After making a name for herself in the German medical world, consultant dermatologist Dr Stefanie settled in London to open her Skin Clinic, where she uses her in-depth knowledge of skin biology and prescription cosmeceuticals to treat and restore skin. You can find her expert advice on her site, EudeloBoutique.com.
Top beauty tip: “Keep your skincare routine consistent – don’t follow every new fad that comes around, just ask your dermatologist to tailor a science-based regime and stick to it. Also, ask them to cherry-pick the star products from different ranges to get the best regime ever!”
Dr Susan Mayou
With an impressive list of titles under her belt, including a trusteeship of the British Skin Foundation, ff you suffer from skin troubles like eczema, psoriasis and moles, Dr Susan is the woman to see.
Dr Terry Loong
Surgeon turned aesthetic doctor, Dr Terry Loong specialises in building women’s confidence through a holistic approach that focusses on the importance of hormonal balance and nutritional health in her work.
Top beauty tip: “Make sure you take a digestive enzyme before every meal as part of your skin routine. This will help break down the food easier so the nutrients will be easily absorbed to nourish and repair the skin.
Not in the business of a ‘one size fits all’ approach to tanning, James Harknett’s bespoke tans offer anything from a natural, bronzed glow, to expertly contoured coverage.
Top beauty tip: “Don’t moisturise all over the body before a self-tan application. It thins and streaks the colour. Instead, just apply to wrists, elbows, ankles & feet.”
Each of James Read’s products are created as a hybrid between self-tanner and skincare - and he now has over 30 awards to attest to their efficacy.
You’ve got to go to Nataliya if you want that perfect balance of science and homeopathic remedies. One visit will leave you with impossibly perfected skin - and a wealth of valuable beauty tips catered to you and your needs.
Nichola Joss is as sought out for her advice as she is for her lymphatic drainage massage facials, which detoxifies the body, improves skin tissue regeneration, and boosts the body’s immune system.
As a registered nurse and global clinical skincare expert, Jamie Sherill has amassed a loyal A-list clientele, and is known for her extensive knowledge of the latest skincare developments.
Ole Henriksen's focus is on improving the skin’s health over time, with each of his products including a blend of active ingredient and calming botanicals to fight a array of skin ailments.
Top beauty tip: “For smooth, firm and bright skin, fill a sink 1/3 with milk and a tray full of ice cubes. Drench a thin cotton facecloth in the icy milk potion and press it firmly against the entire face with both palms for 30 seconds. Repeat 6 times back to back. It feels heavenly, truly invigorating and you will be very impressed with the results when you look in the mirror. Milk is high in cell proliferating lactic acid.’
Excelling in the field of cosmetic acupuncture, Ross’s anti-ageing acupressure facials employ Japanese Seitai Therapy and are highly sought after far and wide.
Shavata Singh is the ‘go-to’ brow expert best known for her ability to sculpt the perfect arch, with A-list clients such as Victoria Beckham and Elle Macpherson trusting her to transform their brows.
Sarah Chapman’s philosophy is rooted in a combination of cutting-edge technology and luxury, and both her facials and products draw on her knowledge of the two.
A leading celebrity facialist who draws on her experience as a dancer and shiatsu masseuse to deliver a facial that encourages lymphatic drainage and boosts glow, Su-Man’s hands are behind the preternaturally luminous complexions of Frieda Pinto and Juliette Binoche.
Top beauty tip: “Have a banana instead of a sweet - sweets age you faster and destroy your skin.”
Nobody ever cancels an appointment with Teresa Tarmey - they’re too hard to get. Once in her hallowed hands, expect laser action, extractions galore and some of the best skin advice you’ll ever be given.
Superfacialist Vaishaly Patel’s ‘less is more’ approach means she treats the skin as gently and naturally as possible with a view to boosting its health - and she’s a gifted threader, understanding how to tweak a brow to make eyes look wider and cheekbones higher.
Thomas de Kluyver
Thomas masters avant-garde beauty that still manages to be wearable. He made-up Emma Watson’s face for THAT Vanity Fair cover, stealing all the attention away from elsewhere…
Yvonne Martin’s boudoir-inspired clinic is the secret spot for those in the know (that’s Sienna Miller and the beauty editor circuit) looking for a deep skin massage that focusses on pressure points and lymphatic drainage to cleanse and refresh the skin.
The Nail Experts
The spokesperson for Rimmel London and the man who celebs hit up for a perfect mani, Adam’s on the speed dial of Rita Ora and the Victoria Secrets Angels.
One of the most influential manicurists in the fashion world, Anatole’s star-studded clientele includes the likes of Keira Knightley and Gisele Bundchen, who know him as a king of nail art as well as a man with an uncanny ability to stay calm under pressure.
Dabbs is globally recognised as an expert in manicure and pedicure treatments, with her signature Medical Pedicure cementing her reputation in the beauty world.
Arguably one of the biggest influencers in the nail world who is revered for her original designs and technical nous, Marian Newman has designed nails for star-studded fashion campaigns, magazine covers, photoshoots and catwalks shows.
Michelle Humphrey is a leading celebrity nail artist and Maybelline New York nail expert who regularly treats the nails of A-listers including Lily Allen and Lana Del Rey.
Sophie Harris-Greenslade is a creative manicurist who has worked on multiple editorials and has a rising A-list following who love her kooky nail art.
Trish Lomax is best known for her ability to create picture-perfect nails. Trusted designers, journalists and celebrities alike, Trish’s handiwork has graced the hands of Karlie Kloss and the fashion pack.
Mega-manicurist Lorraine has worked with A-listers such as Scarlett Johansson and Kate Moss as well as working her magic on Gucci and Tom Ford campaigns.
The Hair Experts
Adam Reed tousles and tames the hair of the fashion and beauty elite. He believes that no detail is too small and no style is too big, which clients like Diane Kruger seek him out for.
Hair-hero, brand ambassador for Herbal Essences and owner of Chelsea salon Lockonego, Ben Cooke has worked his magic on David Beckham and Cheryl Cole to name but a few.
Donald has a knack of building enormous loyalty among his tribe of clients - especially for his skill at creating perfect heads of blonde hair.
The Global Editorial and Session Ambassador for Vidal Sassoon, Duffy’s original eye has made him one of the most sought after experts in the industry.
One of the most influential hair stylists around, Eugene Souleiman is a true visionary whose unique perspective informs his work, resulting in works of art rendered in hair.
He’s the master of ‘cool girl’ hair and the one to go to for that hair cut you can maintain at home with little effort.
Guido Palau is famous for his rebellious twists and bold hair designs that see him booked out for every fashion week - and on every stylist’s list of favourite hairdressers.
The king of balayage, Jack paints in a freehand highlight like no other, with his focus being on illuminating features and lighting up a face.
The family-owned Daniel Galvin empire is run by two generations of expert hairstylists, each offering unique approaches to hair that’s inspired by the ever-evolving street and art scene.
Jame Pecis is known for emphasising natural texture and shape. During his career, James has worked with industry leaders backstage, wielding his brush for the likes of Bumble & Bumble.
Celeb hairstylist Jen Atkin is a trusted favourite when it comes to high-profile editorial shoots. The woman behind Kim Kardashian’s hair on that Forbes front cover, Jen Atkins is hugely sought after - with an Instagram following of 1.5 million to show for it.
Oft referred to as the ‘the best tinter on the planet,’ Jo has worked her magic on everyone from The Duchess of Corwnall to Elizabeth Hurley.
Long strives to create ‘artistic but wearable’ hair on his clients, injecting his personal flair to every cut and creating something unique as a result.
As Redken’s Global Director, Josh is a true influencer in the industry who has worked with A-listers including Kylie Minogue and David Bowie.
Kenna is a highly sought after hair stylist, and Gigi Hadid’s top mane man thanks to his devotion to making the experience of hairdressing pleasant - not a chore.
As the ambassador of Charles Worthington, Ken O’Rourke is a favourite amongst celebrity circles and has worked with the likes of Kristen Stewart and Amy Adams.
The Global Creative Director for premium hair tool brand Cloud Nine, Leigh Keates is the man hair fans seek out at Josh Wood Atelier in Notting Hill and at Liberty.
Hair Guru Lisa Laudat is the woman behind the hair of Girl’s Aloud, Ella Henderson and Michelle Keegan.
Luke Hersheson, Co-founder and Creative Director for the Hersheson brand regularly styles Victoria Beckham, Sienna Miller and Keira Knightley and is the man celebrities hit up for ‘cool girl’ hair.
Lyndell Mansfield is considered to be a hair game-changer, coming up with new ‘dos for Kate Moss and Liberty Ross - as well as creating Jessie J’s signature super-sleek black bob.
Super stylist Neil Moodie is hugely in demand thanks to his ability to fuse classic with contemporary, playing with texture and rendering drab ‘dos fresh through clever tweaks.
Having taken on the role of lead stylist at more than 60 fashion shows within the space of five years, Nick has proven himself as an unstoppable force in the hair-styling industry.
The guru behind Cheryl’s enviable tresses, Paul Percival is one half of the power duo behind London’s Percy & Reed empire.
Kingsley is an expert in the field of hair and scalp health and has a specialist interest in nutrition, making her the go-to expert when it comes to healthy and beautiful hair.
Sam McKnight is an industry legend and the man behind some of the most iconic photographs in popular culture, including Madonna’s ‘Bedtime Stories’ album cover to Princess Diana’s short, slicked back hair.
Within over 20 years experience in the industry, Sibi has built up a loyal clientele of celebrities, influencers and beauty directors who love her free hand approach to colour.
Your locks are definitely safe in Stephen’s superstar hands. If you want fresh and sophisticated hair a la Olivia Palermo, then run over to Neville’s to book in with him.
Syd Hayes takes his inspiration from youth culture, and has worked with some of the most respected photographers in the industry, including Tim Walker and Juergen Teller.
Wendy Iles is a woman who is as well-versed in creating red-carpet hair as she is in working on campaigns for luxury brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton.
Zoe Irwin is the Creative Director for GHD and is well-respected for her knack for creating avant-garde styles, precision cutting and editorial styling.
Ken Paves is an expert hairpiece designer who has worked with a number of high profile celebrities including Victoria Beckham and Jessica Simpson.
The Make-Up Experts
Thomas de Kluyver
Known for creating make-up looks that are at once bold and yet startlingly simple, Thomas de Kluyyer plays with contrasts of simple, sharp designs.
Self-taught make-up artist and UK Make-Up Artist Ambassador for Lancome Babsky is highly sought after in the industry for his attention to detail and preternatural calm on set.
Nars UK Makeup Artist Ambassador Andrew Gallimore is the celebrity makeup artist behind many a runway show and fashion campaigns thanks to his ability to create fresh, innovative make-up looks.
Make-up master Preston is in constant demand amongst the industry insiders, with Votary, her line of natural facial oils, proving equally as popular amongst beauty editors.
With over 20 years of industry experience, celebrated makeup artist Barnes has an uncanny knack of using make-up to reveal her clients’ unique, natural beauty.
Diane Kendal is a highly sought after make-up artist who has previously developed lines for Calvin Klein cosmetics as well as a collection for MAC.
Renowned make-up artist and consultant, Eli Wakematsu has headed luxury fashion week campaigns for the likes of Fendi and Gucci.
Florrie White’s whirlwind career has seen her travel all over the world to paint the faces of stars like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Make-up maverick and beauty director Georgina Graham has worked with a number of indie publications and brands, and describes her aesthetic as a ‘modern version of the golden age Hollywood.’
Make-up supremo Hannah is the queen of ‘you but better’, which is apparently why some of the royals asked her to help with their make-up on their wedding days. As Hannah is ultra-discrete, she won’t confirm the rumours, but we’ll say that were we walking down the aisle, we’d TOTALLY call Hannah up.
Hannah Murray is Topshop’s Beauty Consultant, as well as a globe-trotting make-up artist for the likes of Estee Lauder and Calvin Klein, who finds her inspiration of the streets of London and New York.
If you’ve ever hit up beauty on Instagram, you’ve most likely heard of Huda. A total social media maven, she’s gone from makeup tutorials to owning her own cosmetic company that’s almost always sold out.
From designing high fashion and glamorous red carpet looks, James has wielded his brush for Stella McCartney and Dita Von Teese.
Kate has built a reputation over the last 20 years as the leading hair and makeup artist for celebrity weddings, also running a pop-up make-up academy where she shares her specialist knowledge.
Kenneth Soh is renowned for his Asian and European make-up style that has appeared in many glossy publications and in ad campaigns for leading brands.
Kristin Piggott is the woman behind many iconic cover stories and has, as International make-up artist for Rimmel, worked closely with Kate Moss and others to create iconic looks.
As National Brow Artist for Benefit, Lisa knows just how to frame a face. She’s pretty fantastic at everything to do with makeup, in fact, and her bubbly personality makes any job with her a load of fun.
Make-up legend Lisa loves to make complexions look glowing, with skin-illuminating being her special forte, hence the army of celebrities who seek out her hands.
Mary is a British make-up artist with a global reputation who focusses on creating fresh, natural looks for her clients.
Meg’s 75k YouTube subscribers adore her reliable verdict on the latest beauty products, and her beauty tutorials that are made from the comfort of her bedroom won her one of our Project 13 awards last year.
The brand ambassador for Max Factor, Mary Wile is a regularly spotted backstage at international fashion weeks where she’ll often be found creating bold and bright designs.
After over twenty years in the beauty industry, Millie set up BeautyMart with journalist Anna-Marie Solowij, homing in on the growing appetite for expertly curated beauty products.
Neil is known for his ability to create effortless glamour, with an extensive number of magazine covers under his belt.
As Artistic Director of Make-Up and Colours at Parfums Givenchy, Nicolas knows everything there is to know about cosmetics, with a keen eye for accentuating features.
Top beauty tip: “Focus on enhancing your look rather than changing it. Use non - invasive treatments that target your specific needs. What might work for others may not work for you.”
Sam and Nic Chapman were among the first beauty YouTubers, going on to found the cult favourite brush brand Real Techniques.
A total ingénue, Polly gets her makeup inspiration from anything, even citing a wet winter NY street as the inspiration for some of her looks at NYFW.
Ruby’s devotion to using make-up to emphasise a face has seen her recognised as an industry legend, with the Queen awarding her an MBE in recognition of her career.
You can find Sam’s work on the pages of almost every major magazine, with her love for the dramatic shining through her wrk.
From runways to advertising to editorial, Sharon’s work has appeared across a huge number of publications, with celebrities including Thandi Newton, Cheryl Cole and Claudia Schiffer seeking her out to make them up for red carpet appearances.
Sonia is someone you really want on a shoot - the softly-spoken Aussie keeps everyone calm, while serving up some impressive make-up looks on some of the most famous faces around.
One of the world’s most celebrated makeup artists, Val is a must-have for any fashion house looking to push the boundaries of make-up at their shows.
Zoe’s the go-to make-up artist for flawless and ultra-feminine looks. She’s racked up many a Vogue front cover, and has made up the likes of Rihanna, Alessandra Ambrosio and Bella Hadid.