Beauty Highlights 2012

Beauty featured pretty largely for me in 2012. I say that like it’s something new, but I don’t actually remember a time when beauty launches didn’t make me giddy as a kid in a sweet shop. I tested and sampled a lot this past year and I’ve discovered some real hero products that I’m carrying into the new year.

Actually making the final cut was almost impossible, but here are my top twelve beauty gems from 2012.

Beauty Highlights 2012

1- OPI Goldeneye Nail Polish. (Skyfall Collection)

I’m a sucker for OPI, but some of their 2012 launches were a little below par. The James Bond Skyfall collection, however, was brimming with gorgeous gem shades. For me, Goldeneye is the standout colour. It makes your nails looks like they’ve been wrapped in gold leaf. I’ll be surprised if they don’t move it into the permanent line.

2- No7 Beautiful Skin Hot Cloth Cleanser 

Eve Lom started it, others have followed and now it seems every skincare brand on the market has its own hot cloth cleanser. Some haven’t quite hit the mark, but this one takes the day away just as well as the legendary Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish. It struggles a little with waterproof mascara, but that’s its only weakness. Being No7, it’s almost always included in some kind of discount offer, so you could easily pick it up for £5 if timed well.

3- Redken Nature’s Rescue Cooling Deep Conditioner 

It can be difficult to find a deep conditioner that doesn’t leave fine hair weighed down, but this one really works. It’s light, fresh and leaves the hair feeling nourished without giving it that ‘coated’ feeling. This Redken range is paraben and silicone free, which makes it ideal if you prefer less chemical heavy hair products.

4- Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream

I was given a few sample tubes of this early in the year and fell in love with it. Over time it genuinely seemed to improve the overall brightness of the eye area. Its real genius is that it has a fine shimmer to it, which gives instant results along with more long term skincare benefits. I’m making myself try some of the other eye cream samples I’ve acquired recently, but I don’t know how long I’ll last before going back to Origins.

5- Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup 

It seems ridiculous that a foundation addict with oily skin such as myself would wait this long to try Estée Lauder’s Double Wear foundation. I was pretty happy with the lighter version and was apprehensive about Double Wear’s reputation for being mask-like. I took the plunge this year and adored it. As long as you use a hard working moisturiser and a light touch, it lasts the day. I’m not sure how I managed without it

6- Percy & Reed Volumising No Oil Oil for Fine Hair 

I’m not overly keen on the Percy & Reed scent and wasn’t convinced an oil could be volumising, so I bypassed the hype around this product for a while before giving it a try. Whether I’m going for smooth volume or a looser, more tousled look, this stuff is my base before adding styling products most days. It gives my hair some much needed texture without making it stiff and it isn’t at all oily. I’ve come to accept the scent. It doesn’t last.

7- Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat

This top coat has become something of a cult classic. It dries in amazingly quick time and if you’re in a massive rush you can seal in not-quite-dry polish with it too. The finish is super glossy and gives the nails an almost gel-like feel. The only downside is its tendency to peel if applied too thickly. But repainting my nails every couple of days is hardly a chore to me.

8- L’Occitane Almond Milk Concentrate 

Body butters are all well and good on your legs in the winter, but what I want most of the time is an easily absorbed body lotion. The Garnier 7 Days Daily Body Lotions are fantastic and a complete bargain. But when I want a treat I slather myself in the L’Occitane Almond Milk Concentrate. It sinks into the skin quickly without leaving any greasiness.  The heavenly, gentle almond scent stays with you all day without interfering with your perfume or making you smell like a Bakewell Tart. It’s delicious!

9- Aveeno Bath and Shower Oil 

I came across this product while hunting for a dupe for the L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil. It made the most wonderful leg shaving oil, but at £16.50 I was sure there had to be a cheaper alternative. The Aveeno shower oil is much thicker, which can lead you into using too much. But once mixed with water it creates an emollient, comforting milk on the skin. Twice the comfort, half the price.

10- elf Eyelid Primer (Sheer)

I originally bought this primer when I was trying the £20 Make-Up Challenge, fully expecting never to use it again. However, when I’d finally used the last of my Urban Decay Primer Potion, I switched to the elf primer and used it for a couple of months. It doesn’t have quite the same staying power as more high end primers, but it does a pretty good job considering the price. At £1.50 it’s an absolute steal.

11- Revlon PhotoReady Concealer

I’ve got quite a few concealers floating around my make-up drawers but they’ve all become redundant since finding this one. Revlon’s PhotoReady range has been praised all round, but I’ve really been impressed with the concealer. It doesn’t crease or cake under my eyes and it isn’t reflective. It corrects rather than trying brighten, so it makes an even base for highlighter. Over blemishes and set with powder it stays in place better than some more expensive concealers. I’m already heading towards my third tube.

12- Burberry Beauty Lip Glow Natural Lip Gloss (Cameo Pink) 

I resisted the much coveted Burberry Beauty range for some time before relenting when I fancied treating myself. I’m forever searching for perfect rosy pinks to match my skintone and in Cameo Pink I definitely found one. The formula is thick without being sticky and there’s enough pigment to add colour without totally wiping out your own lip colour. And yes, they really do taste like Parma Violets.

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