2018: the best of beauty...
Does anyone else find it really hard to remember their favourite products throughout the year? There's so many! I originally wanted this post up last month but it's taken me ages to round up the best bits. Some were no-brainers, but others took a bit more thought. I've focused this post on beauty products, as I was originally going to include some lifestyle faves but there's so many beauty products I loved that this post ended up with way more content than I thought it would! Some of my current faves were only recently purchased, but regardless, they are loved enough to be included in this 2018 round-up. I think I've managed to pin down my top picks so I hope you enjoy!
Redken Color Extend Blondage Shampoo
Whilst this wouldn't usually come under the 'skincare' category, it's the only haircare product I have for this post so I'll give it a quick mention and then move on. I recently picked up the Redken Color Extend Blondage Shampoo after seeing Jodie talking about it on her stories. Like her, my hair *annoyingly* clings to brassy tones, no matter how many times I pay for it to be toned at the hairdressers. I'm constantly on the lookout for a toner or shampoo to try and keep it under as much control as I can. This purple shampoo is honestly incredible. Take it from someone who's hair goes brassy after one wash post hairdresser appointment. It. Works. Magic. I used it twice in the space of two days, leaving it on for 5-10 minutes each time and my balayage came out blonder than ever. The blonde is actually grey toned it's that amazing. If you struggle with brassy tones or keeping your blonde under control, you NEED this asap.
Frank Coffee Scrub
I participated in a strangers secret santa this year, and a lovely gal called Lucy sent me over the sweetest parcel. I'd stated in my bio how much I loved coffee and one of her SS gifts was a couple of body scrubs from Frank Body. This is a brand I've seen about a bit and always fancied trying out, but never have - until now. I got the original coffee scrub as well as the coconut scented one and within a couple of weeks, they have both made it into my 2018 faves. I can hands down, tell you that this is the best body scrub I have ever used in my entire life. I will admit, that it's also the messiest and coffee grounds fly absolutely everywhere whilst making my bath look like a complete mud bath - but it's so worth it. It leaves my skin feeling the softest it has ever felt, I actually feel like a whole new me after exfoliating my entire body with these dreamy bags of coffee goodness. Also, if you are a bit of a coffee addict like me, then the smell is pretty darn good too. Any dry skin sufferers will be on their knees thanking me when they purchase this!
Origins GinZing Gel Moisturiser
Another skincare gem that is semi-new to my stash, is the Origins GinZing Moisturiser. I picked up an Origins gift set in November time (I think?) and I put off using it until I had photographed it for my beauty Christmas gift guide. Boy, did I regret waiting... that gift set was me wanting to finally try out some Origins skincare after years of meaning to, and I was introduced to the moisturiser of gods. This pot of sorcery is never leaving my skincare collection. Ever. We'll start off with the fact that it smells completely like oranges, it's like a fresh zesty scent that makes it a dream to apply on a morning. It leaves me feeling so fresh faced and ready to tackle the day ahead, whilst combatting all of my dry areas - and the best part, no oiliness!!! How can a moisturiser be so hydrating yet drying at the same time? It's genuinely magical. I have worn this moisturiser under my makeup with no primer, I repeat, no primer, and gone hours with no shine. I will never be without you ever again GinZing, my absolute hero.
Bioderma Sensitive Micellar Water
I've mentioned this bad boy a few times, so there isn't a whole lot to say apart from it's by far the best Micellar water I've come across. The Bioderma Sensitive Micellar Water cleanses off makeup like a dream, including stubborn eye makeup and doesn't sting my incredibly sensitive eyes one little bit. If you're browsing the market for a new micellar water, look no further. They do 100ml versions for around a fiver if you just fancy trying it out too!
Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel Cleanser/Toner
I've loved the Boots Tea Tree & Witch Hazel range for years, but sort of lost touch with it a bit until I did a campaign with them last year. It re-introduced me to the TT&WH Toner which I haven't put down since. If you can see in my photo it's clearly well loved, I use this at least once everyday, twice when wearing makeup. I usually have a quick cleanse with my micellar water and then go in with this afterwards, sometimes just using this on its own as it's actually both a cleansing and toning lotion. I love it because I have combination skin and I find I get a lot of breakouts due to the oiliness on my forehead and chin. The antibacterial properties in the tea tree oil calm my skin down and help cleanse dirt and oil away meaning it reduces the amount of breakouts I have. You can smell how strong it is when applying the tiniest bit onto a cotton pad, and priced at £3.99 it's one of the best and most affordable cleansers/toners on the market so I really recommend adding one to your skincare collection!
Fresh Soy Cleanser
Lastly, for cleansers, I couldn't write this post without including one of my faves - the Fresh Soy Cleanser. I use this when bathing/showering and cleansing my face, I usually go in with a double cleanse and this is 99% always one of the cleansers I go for as part of my routine. It just leaves my skin feeling so cleansed - which seems the obvious purpose of a cleanser, but most cleansers don't leave my face feeling as clean and fresh as this little number. The only downside is that I go through the little tubes way too quickly, I just love it so much!
Fresh Rose Face Mask
Another Fresh favourite of mine throughout 2018 was the Rose Mask which has been mentioned around here a couple of times. Throughout winter it's one of my staples as I cover my face in it and just leave it to soak into my skin all evening and all night. I just sleep in it without rinsing, it soaks into the skin so quickly that you don't have to worry about getting it all over your pillow or sheets. Every time I use this, I wake up with supple, hydrated and glowing skin. When my skin is really dehydrated and in need of a boost, this leaves me with the perfect base for makeup on a morning which is perfect! Definitely couldn't be without it now.
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion
The Mario Badescu Drying Lotion is an award winner for me, anyone else who tried this during 2018 has to agree. I've never known anything quite like it for battling breakouts, it quite literally clears them up overnight. This is one of my best discoveries of all time, never mind solely for 2018! I think I'm on my third bottle as I went through a pretty bad acne breakout last year and this was my little saviour. I don't use it as much these days so a little bottle tends to last me absolutely ages, all you do is dab a cotton bud in it and one tiny dip usually does your whole face so it goes a long way.
I actually discovered Revitalash in 2017, but it is still a product that I absolutely swear by. I only apply this maybe once a month now and my lashes have not once gone back to the short stubs that they once were. I have spent the entire of 2018 with #lashgoals after spending almost my entire life with the shittest lashes ever, almost non-existent. It's a lash serum that I can honestly tell you, is worth investing in. I didn't get sent mine, I bought it myself on eBay for about £60 for a 2.5ml tube which has only JUST ran out, a year and a half on. How crazy is that? Not only is it well worth the money (even though it seems expensive at first, trust me, I know!) but it actually works magic on short lashes. I sometimes feel like binning it off since it feels like I don't need it anymore, but I think applying it every couple of weeks or so just keeps my lashes topped up and at the length that they are.
Urban Decay De-Slick Primer
On to the makeup picks... firstly, I have to give it to the UD De-Slick Primer for primer of the year during 2018. I really struggle to find good primers to control my oily t-zone and this one has easily had it in the bag. I only go without it when I can't be bothered, otherwise it's always on my face!
NARS Sheer Glow Foundation
NARS Sheer Glow was a rediscovery for me during 2018, I used to be in love with it as a base but hadn't repurchased it in ages. I'm so, so glad I did because it's become a firm favourite of mine again very quickly. It doesn't accentuate my oiliness but still leaves my skin with a glow and it just blends flawlessly. Plus everyone knows that NARS is the queen of foundation shades and I'm always matched perfectly with any foundation I buy from them!
Hourglass Vanish Foundation Stick
Another foundation favourite is a 2018 discover, the Hourglass Vanish Foundation Stick. I had never tried any Hourglass products out until last year, but this foundation stick is one of the best I have come across! Granted, it's one of the pricier options on the market but it's incredible. A teeny tiny bit does almost half of your face in one go and it blends in with a beauty blender flawlessly. It's incredibly pigmented so it covers up every flaw and blemish, counteracting all of my redness. I try and save this for special occasions when I want super flawless skin, or for times when I really need that extra bit of coverage - I absolutely love it and the finish always looks so natural!
NARS Soft Matte Concealer
I lusted after the NARS Soft Matte Concealer for the longest time and when I eventually picked it up a few months ago, I had the biggest regrets. It's probably my most used concealer now as it's the creamiest formula that just blends flawlessly into my skin, covering up every little bit of redness, dark circle, and blemish. It goes perfectly under my base or on top for some extra coverage, it's the dream.
Too Faced Shadow Insurance
If you read my blog a lot, then you will know how I never ever go without an eyeshadow primer. Even when I'm wearing no eyeshadow, I still use one to cover up my veiny lids! I have super oily lids, so I can't even put concealer on them without it creasing, they're that bad. Anyway my shadow primer of 2018 goes to the Too Faced Shadow Insurance as it's not let me down once and has quickly become my holy grail. There isn't much else to say about it other than eyeshadow never ever creases and firmly stays put all day long with this bad boy.
Benefit Gold Rush
During 2018, I became quite partial to a good blush and deciding on the "best" one was v, v hard. In the end, I had to go for the most worn and that's the Benefit Gold Rush. This is the most stunning blush when first opened as it's covered in a beautiful iridescent gold dusting, but the actual blush shade itself is a gorgeous peachy pink. It's not overly pigmented which is why I've reached for it so much throughout the year, it goes perfectly with every single look from just wanting to chuck some colour on a bare face to a super natural no makeup, makeup look, to a full blown contoured face. I've almost hit pan I've worn it so much, it's the most flattering shade!
Smashbox Step By Step Contour Palette
I had to include this little number in here, I haven't put this down since WDF sent it over. The bronzer in the Smashbox Step By Step Contour Palette is just so incredibly flattering, it's really warm toned and just compliments my skin tone so well. This is another gem that I've nearly hit pan on and I need to find a single bronzer in this shade ASAP.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz
The ABH Brow Wiz wins best brow product of 2018 easily for me. Another holy grail discovery. It just created the most natural looking brows whilst still leaving them looking super full and defined in shape. Sometimes I go heavy and have a more defined brow, and other times I go for something super duper natural looking, I love that you can just work it to your own tastes and the fact that it has a spoolie on one end is so handy! The formula is so creamy, you can draw on tiny realistic hair strokes, and it's just the dream brow product.
Benefit 24 Hour Brow Setter
I bought the Benefit 24 Hour Brow Setter on a complete whim last year and it turned out to be one of my best brow purchases yet. There's so many fab brow gels on the market that it can be hard to decide what to go for, but if you want a clear gel that will keep every brow hair in place all day, then this is one to invest in.
Bobbi Brown Sparkle Stick in Molten Bronze
I mention the Bobbi Brown Sparkle Stick in Molten Bronze quite a bit and I'm SO sorry that it was limited edition. It's so annoying as a blogger to love a product and want to talk about it constantly when your readers can't go out and purchase it. Pls bring it back BB. But I couldn't not include it in my best of 2018, it's been my most used bronze eyeshadow in probably my entire life. It's just so gorgeous and sparkly and bronzey and it compliments my eyes so well. But I am working on finding a just-as-gorgeous dupe so bare with.
Charlotte Tilbury Rock 'n' Kohl
I have quite large eyes and find that lining my upper waterline brings a look together, as well as making my lashes look fuller so I rarely go without applying it. I struggled for so long with finding an eye pencil that would actually stay in place on my waterline without just coming off. I wear contact lenses so my eyes tend to get quite watery and every single liner just washed off within a few hours - until I came across the Rock 'n' Kohl from Charlotte Tilbury. My two favourite shades are Bedroom Black and Barbarella Brown. It's by far the best eye pencil I've ever used and stays put all day long without coming off, I'm already on my third. A must-have!
What beauty products did you love last year?