As the year draws to a close, it’s time for a retrospective look back at my blog posts of the last 12 months.
Simply choosing 10 beauty products that have wowed me the most over the past year would be a challenge in itself – as last year’s ‘best of beauty’ list proved. But the task this year has been made doubly difficult.
Just before summer I launched Face Up Fitness, extending my blog’s editorial remit to include everything and anything fitness related. Now, it’s no longer just beauty products pulling at my heart strings and vying for a place in my end-of-year lists!
After much careful consideration and scratching of head, I’ve come up with a top 10 – a mix of beauty and fitness (mainly the former, it has to be said, though it’ll be interesting to see how that develops next year) that were either newly launched or that I discovered for the very first time this year. The list is in order of post publication.
1. Benefit’s Puff Off – February
An all-in one brightening, de-puffing and wrinkle-smoothing solution for the skin around the eyes. This is a wonder cream. I use it whenever my peepers need a perk-up. It works a treat and feels instantly refreshing. I don’t go anywhere without a tube of this handy.
2. Balance Me Rose Otto Body Oil – March
A truly affordable luxury. Rose is one of my all-time favourite skincare ingredients (it’s super hydrating as well as gloriously scented) and this body formula from Balance Me is rich in both texture and colour (honey gold), and it makes my skin feel satin smooth. It oozes quality and yet costs a snip (relatively) at £24.50 for 200ml.
3. Bagsy – June
A range of make-up that has been specifically designed to fit snuggly inside hangbags. Right-sized beauty products are such a clever idea that it’s surprising brands are only now picking up on it – Stowaway launched a similar concept in the US earlier this year. The Bagsy range, while a little limited in breadth of choice right now, is beautifully packaged, and the formulations soft and blendable. The Lip Cocoon lip balm is a particular favourite.
4. Urban Decay All Nighter Make-Up Setting Spray – July
The impulse buy that I’m so grateful for. This fixes make-up like no other product I’ve tried. It’s a mist that feels feather light as you spray it on and dries within seconds. It gives an almost airbrushed quality to the look of your make-up. Marvellous!
5. Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 – August
A scent with a pheromone effect. Truly a number of people (friends and casual acquaintances alike) have told me how lovely I smell when I’ve been wearing this. The weird thing is that you can’t smell it that much on yourself – it’s the effect it has on others that’s the big draw here. It’s a single scent, a woody base note often added to perfumes to add allure. I love it!
6. Hylamide SubQ Eyes – September
Hylamide SubQ has wowed the beauty blogging world since launching its potent yet very affordable skincare solutions earlier this year. This eye serum is my favourite of the products from the range that I’ve tried. I’ve seen measurable improvement in hydration, skin firmness and fine lines from using this.
7. Foreo IRIS Illuminating Eye Massager – October
Undoubtedly the beauty tool launch of the year for me. It’s an oval-shaped silicon gadget that fits the eye contour and vibrates (treatment takes just 30 seconds per eye, though I use for longer – it feels relaxing) to massage and tone the skin around the eyes. I use it twice daily, and have done that since first getting my hands on it a few months back.
8. Biologique Recherche Facial – December
The best facial I have had to date. It’s totally bespoke. A skin assessment at the start determines the flavour of facial you get, and the ingredients your skin needs are combined on the spot from various different BR solutions. Therapist-led massage techniques performed throughout complete this spectacular facial – if you ever get the chance to have one, take it!
9. Yoga – December
This second entry from December is my first in the fitness line! Yoga! Yep, hardly new (it’s centuries old of course) but a new fitness discipline for me (I’m a total gym rat). I’ve found yoga to be calming and stimulating (odd combination but there we go) and surprisingly difficult. It’s a keeper.
10. The bkr Water Bottle – December
I finish with another fitness entry, though it’s a water bottle so technically this has lots of different applications apart from to quench your thirst at the gym (take it on picnics, keep it on your work desk, pop it in your travel bag and so on). Hang on a minute, a water bottle? What, a top 10 discovery? Indeed it is. If you read my full review, you’ll understand why!
Happy New Year everyone!