Monday 15 January 2018

2017 Beauty Favourites

Now that we are well into 2018, I thought it was a good time to reflect on all the amazing products I was loving over the past year. I have so many favourites, but I have whittled it down to a small(ish) collection of both new and old finds that I was so impressed by.

I know by the time I publish this I'll probably have thought of even more that I should have included, but in all honesty, who wants to read a post longer than the Bible? I've tried to keep it relatively short but also included some details on each product, and why I love them. Enjoy!

Firstly, it's The Ordinary "Buffet" Serum. You would have had to have been living under a rock during the last year not to have heard of this brand. This serum is among their slightly more expensive products (£13), and features peptides such as Matrixyl 3000 (sounds like a powerful, petrol leaf blower) to stimulate collagen, and hyaluronic acid to boost hydration. It's like a drink for your skin, and I am currently on my second bottle with another waiting in the wings.

Another product from The Ordinary that has become a staple in my skincare routine, is the Glycolic Acid. It's a 7% toner, so slightly stronger than the Pixi Glow Tonic which is 5%, and I use it every evening after cleansing. It's also cheaper than Pixi at £6.80. Basically, it dissolves the gunk that holds onto dead skin cells, so the result is a brand new, beaming, smooth complexion. This is my third bottle, and when I stopped using it for a while my skin came out in small congested bumps on my chin, so I really cannot be without it. 

I have also been really enjoying using the Caudalie Instant Detox Mask. It contains pink clay that shows tiny dots of everything that has been extracted from your pores when it dries, so satisfying! This is a little on the expensive side (£22), so I am trying to make the tube last as long as possible. It is however probably one of the most effective masks I have ever used.

Origins Night-A-Mins is a night cream that I have really grown to love.  It's mineral-enriched formula helps to slough away dead skin cells while you sleep so you look lovely and refreshed in the morning. It also has a relaxing aroma that apparently helps you to relax and because it's so thick you only use the smallest amount, meaning this rather expensive pot (£36.50) will last you a long time. I bought this around October time in a set that worked out such good value, and I am so glad I did.

I received a tube of Dr Paw Paw Original Balm in one of my many beauty boxes, and it's been my best friend ever since. You can use it anywhere but I mostly use it on my lips because it really works at soothing and helping to regain moisture. It contains aloe leaf juice and olive fruit oil, and even works on a little sore, imflamed area I get on my eyelid sometimes. You can also buy tinted versions for your lips and it certainly doesn't break the bank at only £6.95.

Anyone who knows me knows my Too Faced Born This Way foundation obsession. Well, my holy grail foundation became a bit too moisturising for my skin, and me being on the oily side I noticed it wasn't sitting as well as it used to around my chin area. Don't get me wrong, I still wear it on nights out as there's no SPF, so no flashback, and with the right primer it stays where it's meant to be. However, I did come across the Maybelline Superstay 24HR Foundation, and it's actually brilliant for the price. I got two shades, Warm Sun & True Ivory, and mix them as Warm Sun is quite dark, but the tone is great for fake tan. It stays put and I don't end up super shiny. It's only £9.99 too so it's a perfect everyday foundation.

Another foundation that impressed me last year was the Sleek Lifeproof. I have a full review right here so I won't go into too much detail but it's cheap (£8.99), has an extensive shade range, and looks gorgeous on.

Since my beloved Cornsilk loose powder (ask your Granny) was discontinued, I struggled to find a setting powder that didn't go dry, cakey, or oxidise. I bought the Kat Von D Lock-It Setting Powder on a whim, and haven't looked back since. It's translucent so doesn't affect the colour of your foundation, sets without looking heavy, and ensures my blusher and bronzer blend seamlessly. At £22 it's not the cheapest powder on the market, but the pot lasts a decent length of time and it leaves my face really silky smooth. You can't put a price on great looking skin!

Another absolute favourite product from 2017 are the Bare Minerals Buttercream Lipglosses from the Gen Nude Collection. If you love lipgloss, or even if you don't, definitely check these out. They give you a glossy lip with absolutely no stickiness, high pigment, and they won't make your lips peel either. Forbidden is my favourite shade, a gorgeous pinky nude, but Groovy is also high up on my list as it's a proper nude, perfect to pair with a smokey eye. They have such a wide range of nude shades and retail for £17. 

2017 for me was the year of colour shifting nail polish. I discovered a brand called ILNP, at the end of 2016, but my collection grew quite substantially over last year. Life's too short for boring nails, and I like to paint my talons in eye-catching colours. My favourite has been a shade called Cygnus Loop; a purple that also shifts between blue and green. Everytime I wear any of the polishes from the range, the compliments roll in. Although they aren't cheap at £11, they certainly don't chip as easily as other polishes and are easy to remove with normal nail polish remover.

ColourPop is another brand that has become a slight obsession for me. Their Flexitarian highlighter was one of the first of their products that I tried, and although it arrived smashed to pieces after its long haul flight from America, I still love it. Luckily, because of it's slightly damp texture, it was easily pressed back into the pan, and it has become my go-to inner corner highlight. It is so reflective and bright, I get asked what it is basically every time I wear it. You can use it on cheekbones too of course, but I mean it is one of those beaming from high Heaven highlights. It's also only $8, and is pretty big so it's well worth the money.

The LA Girl Pro. Prep H.D Primer was one of those products I bought, used once, then flung into a drawer never to be seen again. It was only when I came across someone talking about it on Snapchat that I thought I would give it another go. It works perfectly with the Maybelline Superstay Foundation at smoothing my skin, and I've been using it as my every day primer. It's only £6 too which is quite reasonable considering the tube is quite small.

Maybelline became my favoured mascara brand in 2017. I've lost count of how many tubes of Colossal Big Shot Waterproof Mascara I've brushed my way through. It holds the curl in my naturally straight lashes all day, and being waterproof, it doesn't budge or smudge. The Falsies Push Up Angel Mascara is another winner for me, but only on my bottom lashes. After finding it didn't do much for my top lashes, I started using it to define the lower lashline and because the wand is like a comb, it's very precise and does a great job at lengthening, without a clump in sight. Maybelline really give other cosmetic brands a run for their money, and at £7.99 each, these mascaras will definitely remain on my repurchase list in 2018.

A product that I purchased in 2017 and grew to be absolutely in love with, is the Iconic London Illuminator drops. It's basically the tin man in a bottle. Dab this wonder product on cheekbones or mix a tiny bit in with foundation for an absolutely gorgeous glow. I love liquid products like this as they tend to melt into the skin better than any powder ever could, so it looks more like a lit-from-within glow. They are £30, but I managed to get a bottle for £20 as they sometimes do offers so keep an eye out!

I am useless at moisturising my body, I pay more attention to my face and ensuring it looks hydrated and smooth, and less to my shrivelled up arms. I wear fake tan a lot, and coupled with the current cold air, my skin is feeling a bit neglected. I don't like moisturisers that take ages to dry or that leave me feeling sticky, so when I tried the Body Shop's Almond Milk & Honey Body Lotion, I knew I was onto a winner. Being a lotion, it's a lot lighter than regular moisturiser and absorbs into the skin reasonably quickly. I also sometimes mix a bit in with my fake tan when I'm tanning my hands to ensure an even application, and did I mention it smells absolutely delicious? At only £8.50 it's also a complete bargain.

This next favourite probably doesn't come as a big surprise to anyone, because this palette became the must-have palette of 2017. Of course it's the Jaclyn Hill X Morphe palette. I remember setting my alarm on my day off (dedication) to get up early and order this off Beauty Bay, and I am so glad I did. There is every colour you could ever need, and I am sure the quality and pigment is even better than other Morphe palettes I have tried. From watching Jaclyn's snaps when she was creating the shades, she basically tailored the formula to ensure maximum colour payoff. The only thing I don't like is how easily the cardboard packaging becomes dirty and it is extremely hard to clean, as you can see (sorry!). However, at £37 for 35 shadows that works out at just over a pound per shadow, which is absolutely fine by me.

ColourPop make amazing powder shadows, and I felt like I went a bit mad with them in 2017. I branched out and purchased shades I had never even dreamt of wearing, like bright pink, and tomato red. Love a good tomato. The blendability and colour payoff from these shadows is up there with the likes of Anastasia Beverly Hills, and they are a fraction of the price. I am not joking when I say you need to try these shadows, you will be hooked and you'll only have me to blame. They are $4...Yes, $4. Go! Go! Go!

I had been on an eyeshadow roll throughout 2017, and the Urban Decay Heavy Metals Palette was the last one I bought before Christmas rolled in. I have only used this a handful of times, because honestly, I have that much I forgot I had it at one stage. However, I am back in full swing and using away at it. It's a palette full of metallic shimmers and while this may not be to everyone's taste, it is certainly to mine. One side is packed with gorgeous brights, while the other features more neutral and warm tones. It retails for £43 usually, so I would only recommend buying it if you love intense, shimmery, gorgeousness.

Also in the Heavy Metals Collection are the Glitter Liners, and in 2017 I bought two. One in the shade Pyro (glittery white), and the other is called Punk Rock (purple with multi coloured sparkle). I love these for adding a bit of glam to any ordinary eye look and unlike the similar liner from Collection, these don't feel at all grainy or rough when they dry, there's no fall out and they really stay put. They are £15 each and are perfect for brightening up boring, old January.

Okay, we are nearly there! If you have gotten this far I really appreciate your patience. Philosophy's Purity Face Wash became my favourite cleanser of 2017. It doesn't create a moisture-removing, oil-stripping foam but it cleanses away leftover makeup that didn't quite get removed by my Micellar water, and leaves my skin soft and fresh. It's also super gentle around the eye area too so no stinging or irritation, phew! It is £8.50 for this 90ml bottle, and while the bottle looks ridiculous in size, it actually goes a long way as only a small amount is needed.

The Argan Oil Conditioner became my absolute saviour in 2017, as my dry ends were beginning to drive me mad. I have a full review here on why I love it so much so go over and have a gander. Did I mention it's a pound?

On to shower gel, and this Korres Water Lily Blossom is utterly divine. It has such a soft, clean scent and it isn't at all overpowering. There's no parabens, silicones, alcohol or mineral oil in sight, and it leaves skin feeling soft, refreshed and smelling delicious all for £8.

I love fake tan, and have tried so many over the years however 2017 saw me predominantly sticking to my beloved bBold, although I did discover another fantastic tan in November. However, bBold has been my number one for quite some time simply because it doesn't dry out my skin. At £12.95 it's actually a bit of a bargain and you can read more about it right here in my in-depth review.

BPerfect was my most recent tanning discovery and it gave me legs like a perfectly basted, golden skinned turkey. It was my tan of choice on my Christmas night's out, all one of them. But seriously, the Dark Watermelon shade gives the most amazing, deep tan and it dries really quickly. It is a tad drying on my skin though, but because of the tone and depth of the colour, I really do not mind. It costs £24.99 so it's on the more expensive end of the tanning spectrum, however you don't need to apply multiple coats to get a gorgeous glow. Have more of a read right here.

2017 was also the year that Bondi Sands changed our lives forever. Their Tan Eraser breaks down old tan, leaving you with a fresh canvas to start all over again. Yes it does work, I love it, and although it may be expensive (£14.99), you can't put a price on convenience. I wrote a full piece on it not too long ago which you can delve into here.

Lastly, is the Juvia's Place Mini Masquerade Palette. As you all know by now I love colour and this palette is brimming with just that. Between green, blue, purple and pink this palette certainly covers every colour craving, and it even offers intensely pigmented deep browns that don't turn ashy on the lid. It gets a massive thumbs up from me! There are swatches and photots galore in my review from last year. It's £30 and would be great for any of you who love neutral shades but enjoy switchng it up with some colour from time to time.

Okay, that's it done! I tried not to write too much but it's currently nearly 9pm and I still haven't got round to putting my face mask on. If you read right through to the end I really appreciate it and I hope you got something from it. If you have any favourites you found last year or more recently, feel free to share them in the comments below, I love recommendations. For now, I am away to uncover more favourites to tell you about this time next year!


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