Being a notorious complainer, like my mother before me, I’m not exactly known for giving positive feedback. I’m a critical person and I’m not afraid to stir the pot, which is not always popular, but usually pretty fun. A lot of my posts have a skeptical voice, especially on instagram – lately, I’ve been especially unimpressed with beauty releases, campaigns, and so on. A lot of releases are unimaginative, shallow money-grabs, lacking in vision. But I don’t hate everything. I don’t! And to prove this, here are some recent (ish) beauty releases that I actually really like. I like the concepts, the execution, the ideas. The important stuff.

Playlist Multi Painter
Playlist is a Shiseido-owned Japanese prestige beauty brand aimed at millennials – it’s an Asia-exclusive and very, very chic. I’ve mentioned it before, when it launched – it’s got a science fiction-y aesthetic which you know I love. This spring, the brand launched a series of multi-purpose cream pigments served up in little tubes that look just like liquid watercolours – you can even get them in a big set that comes with a little brush and painter’s palette for mixing. I love packaging that echoes art supplies, I love multipurpose products, and I love cream textures. If I’d have designed a beauty product, it would look like this.

Rodin Mermaid Collection
I love Linda Rodin. I love her brand. I love this collection. You may recall that I’ve done no small amount of complaining about the unicorns-and-mermaids trend, and finally someone does it right. It’s not twee, or juvenile, it’s just chic and artsy and fabulous. The packaging illustrations are charming. The actual product is focused on an understated glow, which is the only way to get me interested in highlighting right now. Plus, I like to tell myself this collection is proof that sea witch is a thing.

Glossier Cloud Paint in Dawn and Storm
Cloud paint is one of my favourite Glossier products, so imagine my glee when they dropped two new colours. It’s such a good move – the new colours are warmer and more intense than previous releases, so flatter more complexions and filling gaps in the original colour range. I’m in love with the shade Dawn, it’s definitely gonna be in my next order. Soooo smart.

Surratt Lid Lacquers
Oh, Surratt. I fantasize about you. So expensive, so luxurious, and strangely underhyped. Being a big fan of a glossy eye, the release of balmy eye products called lid lacquers has piqued my interest – that red in particular. Products like these make me happy because they’re not crowdpleasers, they’re editorial, they’re inconvenient, and therefore fabulous. You can expect creasing, eyes sticking together, hair getting stuck on your eyelids – probably. But that’s fine. It’s about the concept.

A very recent drop, Flesh is a new mid-range brand by Revlon that focuses entirely on complexion products. I love the name – flesh – it’s kind of gross, and kind of sexy. I described the brand as 1970s sexy meets brandon cronenberg and I stand by that. After all, the product names are all kind of creepy, but the packaging is mega chic and has that vintage typography I love. I’m intrigued.

Honourable mentions: The new NARS highlighters look gorgeous and modern, the new Stila jewel tone eyeshadows are fabulous, the Smashbox glitter cover shot palette shows promise, and Lime Crime’s Wet Cherry glosses have me quivering with desire. How about you?