All the winners from the MECCA Beauty Election 2018

More than 100,000 beauty junkies cast votes for their favourite products in this year’s MECCA Beauty Election. The 12 categories included mascara, foundation, cleanser and even the best in masks, and the competition was fierce. Here we salute the victors, and explain why they’re worthy of the acclaim.


Foundation that ensures filter-defying skin for Instagram and IRL.

THE WINNER: bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream

TOP LINE: A tinted hydrating gel cream that nourishes the skin while providing sheer to medium, dewy coverage.

FULL STORY: This year, a tinted moisturiser scooped the foundation category. Is it the Meghan Markle effect? As a foundation-free bride, she inspired numerous think pieces on whether foundation was dead. While it’s unlikely we’ll ever relinquish our full-coverage favourites, this gel formula is an astounding alternative. The sheer, dewy coverage is substantial enough to cover blemishes and diffuse redness, but without any dryness, dullness or skin irritation. Instead, it heals skin with ingredients like marine botanicals and electrolytes. A good-for-skin formula with the same assurance as a full-coverage foundation? Give that product a crown! Oh wait, we did.


The mascara that delivers more drama than a Real Housewives reunion.

THE WINNER: TOO FACED Better Than Sex Mascara

TOP LINE: This collagen-infused wonder curls, thickens and dramatises lashes in just two coats.

FULL STORY: Is it really better than sex? Some women believe so. It gives lashes extra length, volume and curl in just two coats. This mascara was repinned over 61,000 times on Pinterest last year, while it also boasts 1,218 five-star MECCA customer reviews. The intensely black and defining formula has inspired many (lacklustre) dupes, but nothing comes close to the original. You can’t fake this.


The clean-slate cleanser that’s like a ctrl+alt+delete for your face.

THE WINNER: Tatcha One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil

TOP LINE: A botanical cleansing oil that effectively dissolve all traces of makeup, debris and impurities.

FULL STORY: When we say this cleanser gently removes all traces of makeup, we mean it, including waterproof mascara. Considered the first step in Tatcha’s Kyoto Cleanse, the oil leaves skin feeling soft and comfortably clean (read: zero tightness). It features a moisturising combo of Japanese camellia oil and rice bran oil, as well as the brand’s antioxidant-rich Hadasei-3 complex. Whether you’re an oil cleanser convert or not, this is one to try.


A high-tech hydrator good to the very last drop.

THE WINNER: Drunk Elephant Lala Retro™ Whipped Cream

TOP LINE: This restorative wonder does it all: improved firmness, elevated elasticity and a generous hit of hydration.

FULL STORY: People are going wild for Drunk Elephant’s take on clean beauty, and this product explains why. It’s free of any potentially aggravating ingredients, such as essential oils, silicones, and drying alcohol. Instead, it’s enriched with Marula Oil, as well as five other African oils and hyaluronic acid. You’d be forgiven for thinking this whipped moisturiser was heavy, but it’s really not. It’s ultra-light, plays well with makeup, and keeps skin feeling hydrated throughout the day. The dispenser is also delightful, issuing the perfect amount in one pump.


The pigment-packed eyeshadows we just can’t keep a lid on.

THE WINNER: Urban Decay Naked Heat Eyeshadow Palette

TOP LINE: An amber-hued, on-trend collection of complementary shades that blend like a dream.

FULL STORY: The warm-hued shadow trend is still on fire, and this palette is fanning the flames. The sizzling shades are universally flattering—they bring out that warmth in all skin tones—which explains its crowd-pleasing appeal. It’s also one of those rare palettes designed with everything you need for day-to-day swipe-and-go looks and I’m-going-out glam looks for Saturday night. The warm browns, burnt oranges and rich siennas come in both mega matte and glitter-injected finishes, offering you even more play time.


The concealer more powerful than a triple-shot macchiato.

THE WINNER: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer

TOP LINE: This iconic concealer, a favourite among makeup artists, has a luminous and lightweight finish.

FULL STORY: Part of the appeal of this concealer is that an impressively little amount goes a long way. Honestly, you’ll be wondering if it’s ever going to run out. Another factor is that it comes in 22 decidedly wearable shades, which means you can find a shade for covering blemishes as well as one for brightening under eyes, and both will be ideally matched to your skin tones (yes, you need different concealers for each area). The final part is the creamy, full-but-not-flat coverage it provides and the handbag-perfect tube it comes in. Little wonder it has a global fan base.


Your go-to lip colour with more wear than your LBD.

THE WINNER: Frank Body Lip & Cheek Tint

TOP LINE: This tint provides a subtle wash of colour while it hydrates and plumps.

FULL STORY: Known for their delicious smelling coffee scrubs, Frank’s lip tints are slowly stealing the limelight. Created to be worn on cheeks, lips and lids—it makes a great glossy eye—it really does get more wear than your Scanlan and Theodore midi. The luxe formula includes cruelty-free lanolin, ethically-sourced beeswax, coconut and grapeseed oil, raw sugar and, of course, coffee. It’s the super shiny, lip-plumping equivalent of your morning espresso.


Arches so high-brow they belong in The Louvre.

THE WINNER: Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil

TOP LINE: An innovative brow pencil that combines the benefits of powder, pencil and wax all in one.

FULL STORY: In our minds, Hourglass can do no wrong. Its leading-edge products always seem to be plucked from our makeup dreams, and this brow multitasker is no exception. There are brow powders, pencils and waxes, and then there’s this scene-stealer which takes the best parts of all three to create the soft, buildable formula in a convenient design. The effect is naturally fuller, more groomed brows. The shades are designed to match your natural hair colour, so you can fill or build as you like and it appears undetectable.


A high-beam highlighter for glow that outshines even Beyoncé.

THE WINNER: MECCA Cosmetica Enlightened Lit From Within Powder

TOP LINE: This highlighter is a popular choice among beauty junkies for a reason: it offers non-stop glow.

FULL STORY: This glow-bestowing, light-diffusing powder hit cult status the moment it launched. Designed to make you look like you’re gleaming from the inside, this highlighter evokes a month-long stay at Golden Door Health Retreat. The warm, face-flattering, golden-neutral shade suits every complexion, while the ultra-fine pigments instantly revive lacklustre skin. It creates a visibly radiant complexion, with or without a wheatgrass shot.


Exquisite scents that inspire conversations faster than Bumble.

THE WINNER: Byredo Velvet Haze EDP

TOP LINE: With a heady blend of patchouli and musk, this hypnotic scent transports wearers to the free love era.

FULL STORY: Like its sister Byredo Gypsy Water, a Hall of Famer, Velvet Haze has a bohemian spirit. Evoking ’60s vibes and Californian style, this fragrance settles to a warm, intoxicating blend of ambrette, cacao absolute, coconut water and patchouli leaves steeped in wild musk. It has an intimate, almost soapy quality, but it’s cut with freshness. A single spritz will put you under its spell, which partly explains how it claimed the crown.


A miracle mask so good it’s worth scaring your dog for.

THE WINNER: GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment

TOP LINE: Developed to remedy troubled complexions, this miracle worker makes pores appear smaller and clears congested skin.

FULL STORY: Taking the title for the second year in a row, this charcoal treatment is unmatched in its vacuum-like pore extraction. Many reach for it in the event of a skin emergency. Unlike other charcoal masks, Supermud has a thin, silky texture, which makes it less messy to remove. Watching how it clings to blackheads during the drying process is strangely satisfying. It’s packed with patented technologies, but the most important thing is that it works. Skin is left clearer, softer, and far less congested in less than 20 minutes. Mask magic.


Transformative treatments and tools for hair like a Disney princess.

THE WINNER: Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Shampoo

TOP LINE: A silicone-free formula that promotes healthier looking hair instantly and over time.

FULL STORY: Newly returned to MECCA, this sulfate- and silicone-free shampoo is quickly developing a cult following. It seems to have that magic ability to balance hair (especially great if you have oily roots but dry ends), and keep it feeling fresh and clean for more than 24 hours. With prolonged use, it offers long-term hair benefits too, including a healthier scalp, and more time between washes. Paired with the PHD Conditioner, this is the path to better, healthier hair.

Words by Alexandra Whiting
Design by Matthew Angel
Creative Direction by Emma Byrne
Photography Nick Dale
July 2018


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