Mishal Cazmi
Mishal Cazmi

Three Underrated Beauty Products You Need to Revisit

This fall, Sali Hughes, an incredibly well-respected and whip-smart beauty journalist, released her book, Pretty Iconic, which takes a look at some of the most iconic beauty products of our time. Declaring a beauty product iconic is obviously very subjective, not to mention a potentially touchy subject (women are very passionate about their beauty products). But Hughes manages to take both a personal and an objective approach. The book covers everything from past icons like the one and only Chanel No. 5, current game-changers like Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Serum and future classics like eos lip balm.

If you’re a beauty lover like I am, the book will make you feel many things: nostalgic about the products of your childhood, inspired to revisit old favourites and excited to try new things. Another thing it’ll do is make a strong case for some products that aren’t so pretty on the surface, like a tin of Guerlain Metéorites, or fancy, like the Eve Lom Cleanser, but are true workhorses and very underrated. When I interviewed Hughes on a stop in Toronto, I polled her on three products she writes about in Pretty Iconic. Here’s why you might want to get reacquainted with them.


Dove The Original Bar Soap
“I get nostalgic and slightly romantic about the solid bar, because that’s the soap I grew up with. I think Dove has really good value and I like their consideration of women and self-confidence. They were the first and pretty much the only beauty advertiser that decreed that beauty came in lots of colours and sizes. That didn’t exist in the market. I think that’s a very important initiative.”


Palmer’s Cocoa Butter
“Cocoa butter is the only emollient that has exactly the same melting point as human body temperature. It glides on so beautifully for that reason, and it’s very cheap. It’s a naturally derived product and it smells amazing—it smells like chocolate. I think Cocoa Butter was a real turning point; it was the first body moisturizer that wasn’t either urea or a paraffin derivative. It became a household product.”


 Vaseline Original Petroleum Jelly
“When I go, ‘Hey, you got any lip balm?’ lots of my girlfriends will pull out Vaseline. It’s not my favourite product but it’s absolutely one of the all-time great beauty icons. It’s like Campbell’s soup and Coca Cola—every house has some Vaseline in some form, whether it’s Lip Therapy or the classic Petroleum Jelly, unless you’re like Gwyneth Paltrow.”