The Pre-Covid Days
Can you remember the months pre-lockdown when social distancing didn’t exist, and face masks weren’t mandatory? Over the course of 2020, we have launched over 16 new brands, including Instagram favourites Augustinus Bader and Summer Fridays and the much-loved classics Elemis and Shiseido. The year kicked off with Allies of Skin back in January and the skincare brand has continued to sell-out since. Our top tip: if Allies of Skin Peptides & Antioxidants Firming Daily Treatment, £121 is in stock when you buy one, buy two.
It wasn’t just the new kids on the block setting the bar high. Hourglass knocked the ball out of the park in January with its Airbrush Vanish Concealer. The brand scored again in July with Hourglass Unlocked Instant Extensions Mascara, £31, which has become our ninth bestselling product (pushing the brand’s iconic Caution Mascara out of the top 10). Charlotte Tilbury also cemented our love for Pillow Talk by launching two new lipsticks, an eyeliner and a palette in the universally flattering shade in January.
The Lockdown Months
It might not have been out of choice, but when lockdown came into play at the end of March a lot of us spent the time sharpening our DIY beauty skills (alongside baking banana bread, TikToking and watching Below Deck). From adding face masks and gadgets into our skincare routines to perfecting our at-home manicures with the help of Nailberry’s long-lasting lacquers, these small beauty rituals helped to lift our mood. As our socialising and work meetings moved onto Zoom, so did Space NK’s events with Space Live.
One of the biggest shifts in lockdown was slightly less obvious, but potentially more long-lasting. Rather than looking to our trusted makeup must-haves to achieve a fresh-faced glow, we focused on skincare. While lightweight bases, such as Kevyn Aucoin Stripped Nude Skin Tint, £36 and proved popular, most of us incorporated acid toners, hydrating essences and exfoliating masks into our routines in a bid to make our radiant complexion translate through a camera lens. The likes of Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, £12 and Sunday Riley Good Genes Glycolic Acid Treatment, £70 became at-home heroes, alongside Tan-Luxe Super Glow Hyaluronic Self-Tan Serum, £15.
The Summer Reprieve
By the time summer arrived most of the country was out of lockdown for a brief but welcomed moment. Hand creams and sanitisers were back in stock and we were finally able to release our grip on our and visit the salon in July.
With face masks becoming essential accessories, maskne became one of the most searched for skincare issues. Unsurprisingly, sales of skin-friendly spiked, with black being the colour of choice. Rather timely, Charlotte Tilbury launched its first setting spray in July, which mask-proofs your makeup by keeping it in place for 12 hours (we can vouch for this). If you find remnants of your base or blusher on your face mask, this is one to have in your beauty arsenal.
A flurry of new mascara launches throughout July, August and early September made accentuating our eyes effortless. As we mentioned, Hourglass’ offering went down very well, but Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes Mascara, £14 and Nars Climax Extreme Mascara, £27 also deserve a mention. The launch with makeup artist Jamie Genevieve for the latter was our most attended event to date.
The Tiered Period
Autumn came and went in a blur of tiers one, two and three. Our pursuit for radiance continued and when we launched Medik8 at the end of the September, the Medik8 Press & Glow Daily Exfoliating PHA Tonic with Enzyme Activator, £9 sold out within 24 hours.
We kept our spirits high with the help of Diptyque and Boy Smells scented candles and liberal mists of fragrance. Fortunately, the buying team kept it interesting with a trio of blockbuster perfume launches and Atelier Cologne, Maison Margiela and Tom Ford Private Blends joined the Space NK family.
The crowning moment came in October though when we released the annual Space NK Advent Calendar. Not only did it sell out in record time, but it kickstarted the festive feels and gave us all some much-needed joy. Fortunately, there are still plenty of gift sets up for grabs for anyone looking for some guilt-free self-gifting or last-minute gift ideas, including the set that contains over £220 worth of beauty buys.