It’s been an exciting year for me with regards to all things beauty as, due to the amazing blogs I’ve come across and the wonderful brands and PRs who have got in touch with me, I’ve found some incredible new beauty finds that have become firm favourites. Here’s a rundown of all the beauty goodies I’ve loved this year:
1. Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
It seems like ages ago I bought this but in reality it was only a few months. However, whilst I’ve tried some truly fantastic variants on foundations this year, this one is the one I always fall back on as regardless of what my skin is doing, it’ll always make it look much better than it is underneath. There are foundations I need when I’m breaking out, ones I need when I’m having good skin days and ones I need when my skin is a little on the dry side from ReAuraing, but this one is multi-purpose, gives skin a great glow, covers just enough without looking heavy and doesn’t exacerbate any skin issues making it my favourite foundation of 2011.
I think I’ve mentioned previously that I’m so happy that there are brands who are realising that just because someone’s spot prone, doesn’t mean they’re a teenager with young skin. I’ve got all 3 products in the range and they’re great as a maintenance routine if you’re a little spot prone but no longer a spring chicken. I wouldn’t say these will dramatically or drastically reduce heavy acne, but they will improve skin, tone down spots, put the breaks on any cystic spots coming through and achieve all this without drying you out; in fact, quite the opposite as when I use the serum paired with a good moisturiser, I wake up with refined and glowing skin. Joyfully, there are more brands cottoning on to this ‘dual-issue’ tackling skincare, so hopefully 2012 will be the year where more affordable brands get involved.
You don’t even need to be a particularly regular follower of my blog to know that I am completely in love with this amazing device. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to use this for a few weeks due to some persistent, hormonal breakouts, but I am obsessing about the day I get to start up with it again as during the short time I was using this, my skin was *amazing*. I’m not talking just less spot-prone or oily (although it was that too) I’m talking clear, dewy, glowy, firm, youthful and the kind of skin that gets compliments from strangers (that was a surreal experience for me) so I wouldn’t be in the least bit surprised if this makes an appearance on next year’s list too.
This is a perfect example of a brand that I would probably never have come across if it weren’t for my beloved blog. Jamela makes (among other things) a range of masks aimed at treating all sorts of skin complaints, but where they’re a bit different is that the majority of their masks are either sheet masks (ones that you apply to the whole face as a sheet rather than a liquid that you spread over your face) or my current favourite which is their Lavender Sleeping Gel Face Mask. This is a mask you apply before bed and leave on overnight. It dries fairly quickly but you’re still aware you’re wearing a mask (if that makes sense) and it has made a big difference at calming down my spots and refining my skin without drying it out. It’s so gentle and easy to work with and if you can’t be bothered to go through a whole skincare regime before bed, then this works as both a treatment and a moisturiser making it a definite worthy member of my 2011 list. Expect a full review very soon.
I’m not going to bore you with yet another rave about this mascara, so I’ll just suggest that if you’re interested in my thoughts, have a look at the full review here and the updated pictures here. I’ve been using this everyday since I got it which is a very unusual occurrence for a beauty addict like me!
This year was my first introduction to Illamasqua and I think the reason that I’m so late on the bandwagon is due to the fact that I don’t have an Illamsaqua counter near me and I’m usually too lazy to travel into central London with any real regularity. I attended the Look Good, Feel Better event at Selfridges (review can be found here) and whilst I was between appointments with Beauty Editors, I found myself seated at the Illamasqua counter. I had previously heard of the Katie blusher which is possibly the palest, matte pink I’ve come across and I’d tried to find it online, but it was always out of stock, so I managed to bag myself the last one in the entire store which I was thrilled about. It lived up to my expectations and is still a regular feature in my daily make-up sessions. I also got a few more Illamasqua goodies for Christmas including one of their cream blushers which has the most amazing texture and finish, so it’s safe to say that my new love affair with Illamasqua has well and truly begun.
This is one of those products that you never think you’ll need but as soon as it arrives it becomes an essential product. This is kind of like a toner, but it’s focus is less about toning and more about softening and preparing skin for the next step, be that serum or moisturiser. What I love about this is that it really does soften my skin, but also makes it feel purified, yet it’s still gentle enough for use on my eyes. It’s fantastic for finishing off your cleansing routine, but also great if you’re in a hurry in the mornings and need to prep your skin for make-up without doing a full cleanse and tone. I easily use this daily, if not twice a day, making it a firm favourite of mine for 2011. Full review of the Shiseido Pureness Cleansing Fluid and Softener can be found here.
This only just made the 2011 list due to the fact that I’ve only become familiar with the process of nail wrapping in the past few days, but as someone who is absolutely rubbish at applying any kind of nail varnish, these things are a total godsend. I’ve only tried a couple of brands so far, with mixed thoughts, but I am a total convert. I’m really happy that I’ve found a way to have funky nails without having to visit the nail salon on a regular basis, so nail wraps are one of my new essentials.
9. Neutrogena Hydrating Cleansing Wipes
I’ve mentioned these quite a few times in previous posts, and whilst not particularly exciting to write about, the amount I miss them when I run out proves how important they are to my skincare routine. I’m not a fan of quick skincare; I don’t think using wipes can or will ever replace a proper cleansing routine, but I do think that wipes can be used to remove the bulk of make-up and daily build-up on the skin which will allow cleansers to work on actually cleansing the skin rather than just removing surface grime. The other thing that I think are noteworthy about cleansing wipes is the fact that you can remove mascara without rubbing the delicate and consequently wrinkle prone eye area. With wipes you can rub the lashes themselves which I struggle to do with eye make-up remover on a cotton pad. I’ve tried loads of different wipes, but these are the absolute best as they’re well soaked, gentle, softening and don’t irritate and I’m currently on my fifth pack.
10. Eucerin Q10 Active Anti-Wrinkle Cream Night Cream for Sensitive Skin
As I mentioned above when discussing the Skinceuticals range, it’s tricky to tackle both spots and ageing. This is an incredibly rich cream that’s almost butter like in texture, but it doesn’t break me out at all. This means that it’s ideal for people suffering from problem skin, especially those who are trying to tackle said skin issues with overly drying products as this negates all dryness, plumps skin and makes a huge difference to the overall moisture of my skin. I’m yet to find anything that comes close to this, so of course it deserves a place on my 2011 list.
This isn’t technically a beauty product, but it made a huge difference to my spot prone skin earlier this year and I’ve just started using it for the past couple of days to deal with my hormonal breakout with the exact same outcome. Used as a toner at night on spot prone areas, this radically shrinks the size and angriness of spots and is an essential for me when I feel my skin is getting a bit out of control. I follow it up with lots of my Eucerin Q10 and of course I’m very careful with any other products I use as this is pretty hardcore stuff to be applying neat to your skin, but it’s an amazing spot zapper and I’m really pleased I took the plunge and tried it out. More info on my thoughts on how you can use this for spots can be found here.
*An asterisk denotes that the product was a PR sample. This has not influenced my inclusion of the product in this review.