Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentré (£17.95) // Real Techniques Brushes // Nourish Golden Glow Illuminating Face Shimmer* (£14.95 full size) // Tangle Teezer (£10.99) // Dr LeWinn's Renunail Nail Strengthener* (£17.50) // Inglot Blush in no. 52 (£10) // Essie Nail Polishes (£7.99) // Joico K-Pak Colour Therapy Restorative Styling Oil (£13.39) // Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation (£8.99) // Revlon Lip Butter (£7.99) // My Little Star New Mum Nipple Cream (£0.99)
Christmas is over, which means that soon the New Year will be upon us. Since this has been my first full year of blogging, I thought that it would be the perfect time to show you some of the best products of the year. I've been really excited about doing this for a while, so I had a little trouble in picking my top ten products and I've ended up with eleven. I use all of these products on a regular basis, or would have real trouble without them, and I think that I mainly have blogging to thank (or blame?) for that! I bought some of these upon recommendation from other bloggers, or have been inspired to venture into some less popular products. Of course my holiday to America and trip to IMATS certainly have a lot to answer for, too. Enough of my waffle, though. Let's have a look at the products!
Hair, nails & skincare
One of my best discoveries has to be Essie Nail Polishes. Although I actually picked up my first last year, this year I got my second... and my third... and worked my way up to quite a collection. I love how the brush disperses just the right amount of product which gives a lovely finish. This also means that the polishes tend to last a little longer, not to mention their colour range in amazing. I couldn't talk about my nails without giving the Dr LeWinn's Renunail Nail Strengthener* a mention. It's thanks to this that I could really enjoy wearing nail colours after I weakened my nails with acrylics in January. Luckily, this fixed them in just three weeks by not only strengthening my nails, but making them grow quickly as well. The proof really is in the pictures in my full review so I would urge you to check it out. I also use this as a base coat as it's a lovely clear nail polish as well as effective treatment.
This year was also the year of the Tangle Teezer. I bought this early in the year for £11 in Boots when my hair was giving me trouble with frizz, and I could immediately see the benefits. Getting rid of tangles left my hair smooth and relaxed rather than aggravated and frizzy, not to mention it took half the time and wasn’t nearly as painful! My Joico K-Pak Colour Therapy Restorative Styling Oil also worked wonders on my frizz, and I wouldn't be without a hair oil in my routine, now.
I've been particularly partial to a good prep and prime this year, so I was delighted when I found the wonder of lip priming with nipple cream. It contains an ingredient called lanolin which acts as an intense burst of moisture to rid your lips of those dry patches. I currently use the My Little Star New Mum Nipple Cream from Superdrug, but am keen to try some pure lanolin in 2014 to see how that fares. Another prepping product that I discovered fairly recently is the Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentré which has also found its way into my skin routine. I use this morning and night as a moisturiser, as well as a hydrating makeup remover when I want to take off my makeup in the shower. I also love using it as a primer before foundation because it leaves my skin super smooth without any parabens or alcohol in it. I wrote a full review of this fairly recently, too.
My makeup obsession has worsened over the past twelve months. Finally jumping on the bandwagon, I got hold of my first Real Techniques brushes this year, a few of which I now use on a daily basis. In particular I love the Buffing Brush for working in my foundation or blending large amounts of concealer, but for precise concealing I like the Deluxe Crease Brush. The Pointed Foundation Brush is brilliant for applying cream contour or highlight to smaller areas of the face. Speaking of highlighter, a new product has recently found its way into my permanent makeup bag. The Nourish Golden Glow Illuminating Face Shimmer* is a liquid product which makes it really easy to apply, plus it is free of parabens and made with all organic ingredients! What’s even better is that it’s an icy gold colour, which makes a nice change for me and adds a warm, golden sheen to the tops of my cheeks. I’m still to try adding this to my foundation, but it’s safe to say that it’s love.
The Inglot Blush in no. 52 is another cheek product that I picked up this year. The pigmentation of this stuff is incredible. I’ve barely made a dent in the pan in the six months I've owned it, and it has a gorgeous, silky texture which makes it a dream to blend in. I particularly like this colour because it’s perfect to perk up my complexion when my skin is looking a little dull. Another product that I’m trying to build a steady collection of are the Revlon Lip Butters. They’re perfect for applying on-the-go or for a lazy, everyday lip. The best thing about these little guys is the way that they act like a lip balm whilst providing a burst of colour; I currently own 'Sugar Plum' and 'Sorbet'. My final discovery of 2013 that has made it onto the list is Rimmel’s Wake Me Up foundation. You’ve probably heard about this already, but if you like dewy, fresh looking skin then this may be for you. It’s a nice substitute for my favourite foundation (Nars Sheer Glow) for everyday use. It provides light-medium coverage but can be built up and doesn’t feel too heavy on the skin. I’ve used this year round and am already on my second bottle! Definitely worth a look at if you don’t want to break the bank.
It's been a pretty productive year for my cosmetic cravings. I just hope that 2014 will bring as many exciting new discoveries however damaging that may be for my bank balance... This is also going to be the year that I move to France for my degree, so I hope to have lots of European makeup to show off this time next year. Here's to 2014!