Beauty Highlights 2013

Beauty Highlights 2013

1- Una Brennan Super Facialist Skin Cleansing Oil

I picked this up on a recommendation after finishing the brilliant but sometimes heavy REN cleansing balm. The bottle needs a redesign (ideally with a pump) but the oil itself is excellent in melting even the thickest of make up. It’s lasted far longer than I expected it to, considering I use it every day, and at only £10.99 I’ll definitely be picking it up again.

2- NARS Eye Paint

I was gifted a couple of these eye paints by the good people at Liberty’s and I’m so impressed I’ll definitely be wanting to get some more once some of my other similar products run or dry out. They can be used as a gel liner or a cream shadow, depending on your preference, and once set they don’t shift. Ubangi is the most beautiful metallic navy blue, which I’ve been using to line the upper lashes and to tightline. Iskandar is an antique gold I’ve been using as a cream shadow. It would make a fantastic base for Urban Decay’s Half Baked.

3- Sebastian Colour Ignite Multi Conditioner 

It’s often difficult to find a conditioner that leaves fine but coloured hair feeling moisturised and nourished, but the Sebastian Colour Ignite range gets it just right. The conditioner has a foam texture, making it easy to distribute through the ends of the hair without weighing it down. After rinsing the hair feels softer without any heavy residue. The only conditioner I’ve used for most of the year.

4- The White Company Noir Body Creme 

Is this the very best body moisturiser you can buy? No. Is it expensive? Yes. Does it smell heavenly? Absolutely. I first tried this stuff thanks to a very generous hotel bathroom and I’ve coveted it ever since. The candle of the same amber and mandarin scent has been the only thing I’ve wanted to burn in my bedroom. It is the smell of comfort for me, and the body creme leaves the scent on your skin all day. It was the first thing on my Christmas wishlist.

5- Lancôme Dreamtone Dark Spot Correcting Serum

Hyperpigmentation has never been top of my list of skin concerns. Not that I don’t have any, but my targets tend to be stop the oil, boost the water, attack those first signs of ageing. I was between night serums when I was given a sample of Dreamtone (1) to try and within a week I could see a significant difference in my skin. Old and new acne scarring was reduced, blemishes were disappearing quicker, some of the finer wrinkles had become smoother and without make up my skin just looked brighter. It’s pricey, but it worked for me. And I’m a real cynic when it comes to skincare claims.

6- Rimmel Salon Pro Nail Polish – Peppermint 

Peppermint was my nail shade of the summer. Every time I went to repaint my nails I just kept going back to this. The Salon Pro formula is one of the better high street options. It’s opaque and lasts longer than some more expensive polishes. The packaging redesign makes it feel a little cooler too.

7- Ouidad Climate Control Heat & Humidity Gel  

I have fine, relatively straight hair, so when I was sent this leave-in gel I wasn’t expecting to get much from a range dedicated to tackling problems associated with thick or curly hair. It actually became my summer hair saviour. The gel, which I used as a blowdrying solution, acts as a barrier between your hair and moisture. A surprisingly warm and humid summer would usually leave my hair flat and lifeless. This stuff meant my hair kept its blowdried fullness throughout the day, which is nothing short of a miracle.

8- Revlon Nearly Naked Pressed Powder

The Nearly Naked foundation launch was met with mixed reviews, but the powder is the only thing I’ve used for months. I’ve hardly touched my beloved Clinique loose powder. It’s light and sets foundation without it caking. I rarely find high street skin make up that’s worth mentioning but I keep going back to this.

9- Laura Mercier Luxe Colour Wardrobe Dual Decker for Eyes and Cheeks (Limited Edition)

I realise I’m cheating a little in including a multi-product palette, but I simply couldn’t write this post without it. Laura Mercier’s Luxe Colour Wardrobe palette is the epitome of investment make up. It definitely dents the wallet, but every product in there is not only of the incredible standard you’d expect of Laura Mercier, but wonderfully wearable. In fact, I’ve had to persuade myself to use other things since buying it so I don’t hit pan too quickly. I’ve long been a fan of LM shadows and these are just as buttery;  the kind of adaptable shades that can either be simple or full and dramatic. The blushes feel like silk, the golden highlighter adds glow without looking frosty and the pan eyeliners are perfect for when you want to smoke out the hard line of gel liner. The brushes are, of course, brilliant. All this might go some way to explain how devastated I was when I accidentally dropped it and smashed the mirror. Nah. Not even close.

10- & Other Stories Sugar Crush Body Scrub

I love this scrub so much I’ve already reviewed it here. In a nutshell: Thick, works on both wet and dry skin, inexpensive.

11- Rimmel Apocalips Lip Lacquer 

It’s not often make up products live up to their hype but I’ve been in love with the Apocalips since they launched. I’ve ended the year with five of them and keep wanting to buy more. Considering the price they leave the most opaque slick of lacquer on the lips and last longer than any high street lip product I’ve found, especially when coupled with liner. The three standout shades for me are Big Bang – a bright sucker punch of a red, Eclipse – a deep berry colour perfect for this time of year, and Stellar – an unapologetic and vibrant warm pink.

12- OPI Nail Colour – Tickle My France-y

I first received this colour as part of a capsule OPI minis collection I was given for Christmas last year. I then accidentally left it behind in a hotel and immediately had to buy the full-sized version to replace it. For my skintone it’s the most perfect nude and my go-to colour when I just want to look neatly pulled together and polished. I hope it’s never discontinued.

All links to products accurate at time of posting. 


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