Selecting my favourite products of the year was a simple process, all I needed to do was empty out my makeup bag and gather everything by my bathroom sink in my arms and dump it all on my bed. These are the products that I don’t just break out on special occasions, but use on a nearly daily basis; they’re my current holy grail/’ride or die’ products of 2016 if you will.
My ‘hate its’ pile was banished underneath my bed and, rather surprisingly, contained products from brands I absolutely love such as Soap & Glory, Rimmel London and *gasp* NYX, but that’s for another day – let’s start 2017 on a positive note…
First up, skincare. The Neal’s Yard Remedies Wild Rose Beauty Balm is an expensive but wonderful multipurpose product that my skin adores. Suitable for all skin types, this rose-garden-scented balm can be used as a rich cleanser, gentle exfoliant, deeply nourishing moisturiser or mask. At £38 for only 50g this, for me, is skincare as it’s most luxurious. The size of the jar may have you questioning your sanity, however, as it’s a highly concentrated balm only a small amount is needed so this little jar may last you longer than you first anticipate.
But don’t despair, I recently picked up The Body Shop Camomile Sumptuous Cleansing Butter and it turns out, it’s an amazing dupe for my beloved NYR beauty balm. At only £10/76g this cleansing butter may not be as indulgent or as moisturising as the NYR balm, but it’s even more effective at removing my makeup, it simply melts it away in a matter of minutes!
La Roche-Posay’s biggest launch of 2016 was a new take on the original bestselling Effaclar Duo [+]. The Effaclar Duo [+] Unifiant Light targets the key signs of oily, blemish-prone skin and also refines the skin’s texture, controls the appearance of shine and unclogs pores. It has the same slight tint and runny consistency of a BB cream. It works alone or acts like a primer to give a smooth base with minimised pores under foundation. However, pale skinned beauties beware, you need a touch of foundation lightener to get this to work for you as their version of ‘light’ is a little on the darker side.
When I first received the Caudalie Deep Cleansing Exfoliating Cream I initially thought it would be a too harsh on my skin as it’s absolutely packed with fine micro-particles, but it’s actually surprisingly gentle. This is a must-have product for anyone with combination to oily skin as just a tiny amount of this powerful exfoliator twice a week really helps to clear pores and remove any excess oil, without making the skin feel tight or stripping it of any moisture.
Two products that I reach for daily are my Original Beauty Blender and my Naked Smoky Palette from Urban Decay. Nothing applies my foundation as beautifully as my Beauty Blender. The Real Techniques Miracle Sponge is very similar and a more affordable dupe and if you’re looking for a budget-friendly alternative I highly recommend this, but I do prefer the original Beauty Blender. There’s something about the texture of the material that’s softer and blends out product more flawlessly. Naked Smoky is basically the highest quality, most wearable, long lasting, buttery soft eyeshadow palette I have ever owned and I couldn’t write this post without giving it a shoutout.
I won’t say much about the iconic Urban Decay Naked Concealer as I’m hoping to finally get round to writing an individual review sometime next month, but I will say this – the hype is real! If you have dark circles you really do need this in your life. I’ve also spoken about the Nails Inc Nail Kale Basecoat (here), which is a must-have for anyone with brittle nails and Soap and Glory Love at First Blush (here) in separate reviews which I’ve included links for.
Finally, my three most used and most loved products of 2016. First up, the Soap & Glory One Heck of a Blot Primer. I’ve not had a lot of luck with drugstore primers, but I love how mattifying and hydrating this cream primer is. If I skip this product my skin is visibly shinier, especially on my chin, forehead and nose, plus my makeup doesn’t last anywhere near as long. I’ve yet to purchase the full-sized Kat Von D Tattoo Liner as the two miniature versions I received (one from a friend and one from the London Calling Fearless Favourites collection) are so damn long lasting! A high quality, easy to use liquid liner is something I don’t mind investing in as my hands are so shaky that I need as much help as I can get. The tip on this one is so easy to navigate and create clean lines with plus, it’s so highly pigmented you don’t need to retrace your flicks which. in my case, always leads to wonky and uneven lines.
So what is my favourite product of 2016? It has to be The Body Shop Lightening Shade Adjusting Drops. These are a pale girl’s best friend. As the owner of a ridiculous amount of foundations (many of which are high-end) too orangey and dark, this little bottle contains a concentration of white and pink pigments help to neutralise yellowness while lightening. Although the glass pipet applicator inside is disappointing, the product itself has been a lifesaver as is lightens up any foundation without dramatically changing the formulation.
What do think of my 2016 favourites? Honourable mentions also go to; the Rimmel London The Only 1 Matte Collection (here), Urban Decay Vice Cream Lipstick in Weirdo (here) and the Primark PS… Lip Pencil Collection (here).0