Sorry that this post is coming a bit late, but it's been a busy start to 2013 for me. Hopefully you enjoy this post anyway. I tried to narrow it down to brands and specific items where possible, although this was really difficult. Sorry that there is a caption on the hair picture and none of the others - this is a photo editing oversight I only noticed when I was uploading the photographs!
I hope everyone had a good New Year! Let me know your favourites below.
For the face, I've been consistently using No7 Beautiful Skin BB Cream for Dry/Very Dry Skin in Fair (£12.95). You can read my original review, part of my BB Cream Series, here. It's got light coverage, evens my skin and makes it look fresh and hydrated. I've finally hit pan on one product - my Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit in Ivory (£24). It's my favourite concealer for under the eyes and I'd say it gets rid of my dark circles pretty well without caking or creasing. My original review is here.
In terms of bronzing, the only bronzer I've ever really gotten on with, and one that I find very flattering on my pale, yellow-toned skin, is the Sephora Poudre de Soleil in Clair 1 (13,50€). My original thoughts are here - I will say it looks darker in the pan than it is on.
For highlighter, the limited edition No7 Vital Enlightening Highlighter has been a firm favourite, despite the top breaking off and it getting a little dented. As I said here, it imparts a subtle sheen without being glittery and overwhelming.
You may have guessed my favourite high-end blush is the Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Colour in Rose Petal (£20.50), a beautifully natural soft pink. I also love Sleek Suede Blush (£4.49), a natural tawny shade that can be amped up for bronzer or used as a defining, natural sculptor. I wrote about it in more detail here.
Fashionista Brow Palette (£7)* - review here - which has a great selection of shades for mixing your colour, and a semi decent wax. I also like using my favourite eyeliner, the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Eyeliner Pencil in Perversion (£13) - a fairly recent find, but a great one none the less.
If I'm doing a winged cat eye, I love the L'Oreal Super Liner Gel Intenza (£9.99) - long-lasting, black and creamy, as I said here. I also loved, for cream shadows, the Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner in Birthday Suit (£14), which I reviewed here and enjoyed for it's subtle, non-grainy colour and lasting power. I also really got on with the Maybelline Color Tattoos (£4.99), in particular the shade On and On Bronze (here's what I said ). They are truly great, especially for the price!
Lancome Cuban Brown Eyeshadow (£8.50) - reviewed here - and MUA Shade 12 (£1) - and here - were my surprise eyeshadow loves of the year. Although I loved lots of shadows, including the MUA Undressed Palette, MAC Brown Down and so on, these were surprisingly high-quality and complex colours.
But my most surprising find of the year was the ELF Studio Lash Extending Mascara (£3.75)*. I reviewed it here and raved - that hasn't changed. My most used and loved mascara of the year.
For the lips, this year the only lipgloss I've ever loved came into my life in the form on NARS Wonder Lipgloss (£17.50). I reviewed it here - glossy, bright colour without any of the associated stickiness. I was also genuinely enamoured of the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains (£7.99), particularly the shade Crush, as I said at the time. They provide a glossy stain that fades nicely, applies evenly and lasts for a good while.
My lipstick brands of the year (I could hardly bring myself to pick shades) were Revlon (currently £5!) for a budget, and Illamasqua (£16) for high end. I've been wearing Illamasqua Encounter as my go to red for months.
In terms of fragrance, I've been rationing my Stella Sheer perfume, to get the limited edition fragrance I reviewed here to last the year. I also adore my Dolce & Gabbana The One (£38) perfume, which I reviewed here. I found myself loving the Illamasqua Freak sample I got too, for a more unisex fragrance.
As with lipsticks, I couldn't pick specific colours for favourite nail polishes. For high end, I cannot recommend Illamasqua (£13.50) enough - the best formula ever, many different finishes and unusual colours. For a budget, I've not come across a better option than Models Own (£5), who have lots of innovative shades. Some of my favourites of theirs include the Mirrorball collection (review soon), Juicy Jules and Red n' Black.
For a topcoat, nothing beats Seche Vite (currently £8.76).Bioderma Crealine H20 all year. I reviewed it here and haven't found a better alternative since. I also love Soap and Glory Sugar Crush Body Scrub (£8), reviewed in the early days of the blog, as much as ever. The La Roche Posay Lipikar Baume AP (
currently £9.20) - reviewed here - leaves my skin soft and hydrated without greasiness, and I've yet to find a more instant working and non-greasy eye cream than Renu Lip and Eye Active Lift (£29.95)* - thoughts here.
If you've read this blog for a while, you'll know I'm in love with Percy & Reed as a hair brand. I've never met a mousse like their Abundantly Bouncy Volumising Mousse (£12)* which makes my hair big and full without feeling crispy. Rave here. Their Smoothed, Sealed and Sensational No Oil Oil for Thick Hair (£14)* is equally as impressive. I loved it at first use but after weeks and weeks I still love it and see a definite smooth and shiny improvement to my hair.
And I am still using my beloved Phyto Phytoneutre Clarifying Shampoo (£10.50) - reviewed here - which leaves my hair clog free, smooth and clean.
For brushes, I narrowed it down to my indispensable Shu Uemura Eyelashes Curlers (£20) which add a curl to my poker straight lashes (review here). I could not make up without my Real Techniques Buffing Brush (£21.99 for core collection), which leaves me with an smooth, natural looking finish. I loved it at first sight.
I also like blending with my MAC 226, review here, couldn't do my eyebrows without my MAC 208 Angled Brow Brush (£16), which does what it says on the tin.
By far the biggest tool revelation of my year has been the NARS Yachiyo Kabuki (£37.50) which as I said at the time, is well worth the price for the smooth, soft application, the dispensation of pigmented brushes and the beauty of the thing.
Well, I hope you were able to read to the end! Happy New Year everyone.