Monday, 6 January 2014

Best of 2013

photo credit: Stuart Miles
Happy New Year! I've been reading a ton of 'best of,' features based on the last year or so and I find them so interesting; it's intriguing to see what buys have really stood out for, not just beauty bloggers but fashion, cinema and homes bloggers too (I'm a sucker for a pretty interiors blog). So I thought I'd go with the general flow and tell you what beauty buys I've loved and would genuinely buy again once I've squeezed out every ounce. And here they are. They're not all new but some are just so, well, amazing, (I literally use them every day) so I couldn't not include them.

1. Pantene Pro-V Expert Collection AgeDefy Shampoo, £5.99 (boots.com)
As you've probably read in previous posts, I've had a mainly hate relationship with my hair these last few months; it's been falling out, getting greasy quickly and generally just felt awful. This shampoo promises to sort all of that out with a whole host of anti-aging ingredients and I have to say, it works! My hair has definitely looked thicker and glossier of late and even got me a few compliments - which never happens.

2. L'Oreal Paris Super Liner Brow Artist, £5.49 (boots.com)
I love the way a good brow pencil can give shape, structure and an all-round groomed effect in just a few seconds. And this one is brilliant. The texture of the pencil is just right and I use the little brush and wax at the other end of the wand to hold them in place. It's amazing value for how great it is.

3. Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner, £10 (for full size) (eyeko.com) 
To be honest, I haven't been spending a whole lot of time on my eye make-up since Elsie, my now five month old arrived in July but I do love a little liquid eyeliner when I can be bothered to make the effort. This goes on easy and stays put all day. Yes, really.

4. Tangle Teezer, £10.20 (tangleteezer.com)
I've gone on about Tangle Teezer before but I can't help it, it's genuinely fab. I use this every time I wash my hair (before and after) to ease out tangles and when I had my hair cut recently, my hairdresser used one too. Mine is a little worse for wear now but I'll be buying another.

5. Kiehl's Creme de Corps, £27 for 250ml (kiehls.co.uk)
Okay so this isn't new but oh I love this SO much. I used it every single day when I was pregnant because I loved the very subtle fragrance (which comes from cocoa butter) and how easy it was to apply - this never leaves your skin greasy. It's not cheap, in fact, I think the bigger size I have here may be £48 but it's worth it.

6. Weleda Baby Calendula Face Cream, £7.95 (weleda.co.uk)
When I was pregnant with Elsie and working at Zest magazine, I stockpiled everything Weleda sent my way, I love it so. At the moment, Elsie's teeny cheeks are taking a bit of a battering from the weather so I've been using this to keep them soft and the lotion and oil on her body. I love that it's so natural and it genuinely seems to work in soothing dry patches.

7. Creme de la Mer The Moisturising Soft Cream, £105 (cremedelamer.co.uk)
I have to confess, I hadn't really been a Creme de la Mer fan before; I thought the moisturiser was much too rich for me. However, I was very luckily given a few Creme products to try last summer and now, I'm a convert. I love this lighter version of the original, I love the SPF18 Fluid Tint and I love their cleanser. My skin has really never looked better. In all honesty, I probably won't be able to afford to buy it once it's gone but my birthday is coming up so....

8. Clarins Wonder Perfect Mascara, £21 (clarins.co.uk)
This little mini sized mascara, I think, was a gift in a magazine and, when I went into hospital with baby no2 I packed it in my bag along with some other mini sized stuff. What a revelation. This is quite possibly the best mascara I have ever used (and, as a beauty editor, you get to try a lot). It lengthens so brilliantly well, I was kind of gobsmacked. I'll definitely buy this when my mini runs out.

9. Vichy Liftactiv Serum 10 Eyes & Lashes, £24.50 (boots.com)
Eye creams are so clever now. Forget your bog standard moisturising cream. This one has a serum formula (so it feels much lighter), ceramides for plumping out fine lines, instant illuminators to brighten dark circles and lash strengthening ingredients. Why would you buy anything else?

10. Benefit Hydra-Smooth Lip Colour, £15 (benefitcosmetics.co.uk)
I had a little venture into a Benefit store to spend a voucher I had been given last Christmas and, on top of a few gorgeous gift sets I bought for family, I picked up this little lipstick - for myself. It's super hydrating (thanks to the shea butter) and comes in a sheer, balm-like finish. I went for 'Air Kiss' - a kind of soft, rose pink - and wear it pretty much every day. It's so easy, you don't even need to look in a mirror to put it on. Bonus. Love the 1920's style packaging too.