The Best Beauty Discoveries of 2016: Part 1


beauty, 2016 best, favourites, products, too faced sweet peach, beauty blender, sweethearts bronzer, becca champagne pop, highlighter, jaclyn hill, mac, kat von d, make up for everThe final fortnight of 2016 is upon us! So what better way to end the year than to discuss all of my favourite new beauty discoveries from the year. As of course there is many products to discuss, I have split this post into two so a lip product favourites will also follow this blog post on Friday!

Firstly, starting with face products I’ve been loving this year. The Mac Prep + Prime Highlighter in Light Boost has been my go-to for under eye concealing for its brightening properties. The twist pen style pen highlighter is super easy and convenient. In terms of bronzing and highlighting, I’ve found two products that I know will be long term favourites of mine! The first is the Too Faced Sweethearts bronzer which is only a fairly new addition to my stash but I am already obsessed with its glowy effect and pigmentation. Of course I also had to mention a Becca highlighter as they truly are incredible products. I love all the shades I’ve tried but in particular I am obsessed with Champagne Pop, the ultimate pigmented gold-y peachy glow.

In terms of tools, I had to mention the beauty blender. By far one of the best discoveries for me this year! I have became such a convert to the beauty blender and it is now my go-to for applying my base products. It creates the most flawless fresh base and makes even some of my poorer foundations sit better.

Moving on to eyes, for the brows there have been two products that I’ve been loving. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Pomade has been a long year favourite of mine, it is super easy to use whilst creating defined and long lasting brows. More recently, I’ve been enjoying the newer release of the Goof Proof Brow Pencil from Benefit. The twist up pencil is super easy to use and creates a minimal soft brow.

Other eye product shout-outs go to the Make Up For Ever Smoky Extravagant Mascara which has became a big favourite of mine this year. It has been my go-to mascara for creating voluminous and lengthened lashes. I’ve also got back into rocking eyeliner recently since I discovered the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner which is worth all the praise and hype it gets! It is incredibly pigmented and the fine nib makes it super easy to use. Lastly, the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette (which is back in stock!!) also deserves a lot of love. The Too Faced shadows are amazing quality but this palette also offers a dreamy and unique shade range!

What are your top products from 2016?

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January Favourites


January Beauty FavouritesThe first month of the 2016 is finally over! January always seems to be a slow one and a month most of us want to see the back of! Nevertheless this month brought some new beauty bits my way and some rediscoveries that made January go a little smoother! Before I get started on sharing my most loved pieces from the month, I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who shared the love on my 6 blogging anniversary post, it really meant a lot 🙂

Starting off with two palette favourites! First one up is an exciting new addition to my eyeshadow collection, the Tartelette in Bloom palette. I have the original palette which I am still needing more wear out of but as soon as I seen this I knew I needed it in my life! The outer packaging firstly is just so beautiful and the gold with pink/purple floral design is just so pretty! The inside contents obviously matters most and it doesn’t disappoint! The warm shade range is perfect and there is some real stand outs amongst the bunch especially the bronze shimmer shade which is so pigmented! All of the shadows are super buttery and most have great pigmentation! Look out for a more detailed look at this palette later 🙂 The other one is no surprise seeing as it was mentioned in my Charlotte Tilbury post. The gorgeous Filmstar Bronze and Glow palette is so beautiful for faking the most perfect cheekbones! The powders are super fine and blend like a dream! The shades are also such a perfect match for my skin! Love, love love!

I also mentioned picking up a few new bits from Illamasqua this month so it wasn’t surprising to see one of those included in my favourites. I have been constantly reaching for the Katie/Ambition Blush Duo this month to help add a little colour to my cheeks. The two shades are highly pigmented and so require a light hand but add a gorgeous flush of colour and sit nicely on the skin!

I may be the biggest idiot ever having photographed two lipsticks in this post which look pretty damn similar and I have no idea what they are! I basically jumped on the nude lips thing (not that I didn’t dig it before cause I did!) and got a little spendy at Mac. One of which I know for sure is Mac Faux which is a satin finish. The satin formula is my favourite and is super creamy but has a near matte look. The shade is a perfect mauve colour and great for everyday wear. Now the other shade in question, I really am not sure! It is either Mac Mehr or Mac Velvet Teddy! I am edging on the Velvet Teddy side of things since it is new in for me this month. Again this is a cult shade and in a matte formula but still remains comfortable to wear without feeling drying. The shade is more brown toned than pink which is a little different for me but I do really like this one!

Lastly, I have two skincare picks! I can’t be the only one suffering from the winter weather causing havoc with my skin. It’s cold outside but too warm inside that I need to constantly give my skin some hydration! The first pick has been something I’ve reached for a lot over the month to really refresh my skin. It is The Body Shop Vitamin E Face Mist, essentially what it says on the tube. It has a rose scent which I am not particular a big fan of but I can overlook it for the hydration it provides. Another hydrating product which has came in handy is the Aesop Hand cream which has been the perfect pick me up to treat my hands at night. The citrus scent is lovely and really makes my hands feel refreshed and super soft!

What have you been loving this month?

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2015 Beauty Favourites: Eye & Lip Products


2015 Beauty FavouritesNow that you’ve seen my base and cheek favourites from the year of 2015, it is time to move on to the second and final half of my yearly beauty favourites. This time around I am talking about my favourite eye and lip products from 2015 and again a lot of these will be no surprise to you! So I am going to quit rambling and get on with it!

Eyeshadow

2015 was the year of eyeshadow for me. It was always the one product I neglected because I never really understood the difference it made and I never had much of an idea on how to apply it either. Although last year saw me finally pick up a few blending brushes and get blending to something that actually looked half decent. Now we have reached the end of 2015, I can’t even go without eyeshadow, it is my favourite thing to apply and I am truly obsessed with buying more eyeshadows.  After hearing so many rave reviews I just had to try out the By Terry Ombre Blackstars and I am so glad I did. These are just incredible. It took me a while to truly appreciate how good these are but they are seriously one of the best eyeshadow products I’ve ever used and the best eyeshadow sticks. I have the shades Misty Rock (which I spoke about here) and Bronze Moon which are two truly gorgeous and unique shades. The formula though makes these even more amazing, they are seriously creamy and glide on super smoothly and are super easy to blend. If that’s not enough, they last for ages too. So yeah, I quite like them!

In terms of palettes, 2015 was definitely the year I became a real life eyeshadow palette hoarder. I just love a good palette! Whilst there was a few I could have mentioned, there was two that really stole my heart this year and two I know will become long term favourites. First up, the Zoeva Cocoa Blend palette which I raved about here. This was such a surprise love for me as it was so super affordable yet such great quality. The colour range is just perfect and right up my street. I am still so impressed with this and it is definitely one that everyone needs to pick up.

The Urban Decay Naked palettes will always be mine and everyone else’s one true love. I am lucky enough to own all of them including the newbie Smoky palette although I truly fell for the second edition (review here) to the Naked lineup and I think I can call it my favourite of the four. The taupe shades are just so beautiful and are so versatile for everyday wear or an evening look. Of course the quality of Urban Decay eyeshadows are also just truly incredible!

Mascara and Brows

These next two products are probably quite obvious mentions if you are a regular reader of SBL. First up, my mascara pick has to be the Benefit They’re Real. I truly realised why this is such a cult product half way through the year after trying it out and then switching my choices up. I eventually came back to this and I just love it. It just adds oomph to my lashes and adds length and volume and paired with my Shu Uemura eyelash curlers it is dream come true lashes!

Another Benefit product came to the rescue in saving my brows. I picked up Benefit Gimme Brow (review here) during the year and it has just became my go-to for brows. It is so easy and convenient to simply swipe through your brows but it is still pretty buildable and really defines them. I’ve actually pretty much finished my tube of this which lasted so long (considering the size and cost is off putting!) so I will definitely be repurchasing this!

Lip Liner and Lipstick

Lip products will always be my one real love when it comes to beauty so I did have a little difficulty narrowing this down. 2015 was the year for lip liner and Mac’s liner options will always remain top for me. Their Soar lipliner became a staple in my collection and a cult product for many beauty enthusiasts. The gorgeous mauve plum-y nude shade is just the perfect undercoat to so many of my favourite lipsticks so is a no brainer really. The formula is great too and glides on smoothly to create a good base for lipstick.

Speaking of Mac, I will always have a love for a good Mac lipstick. I’ve enlarged my collection quite a bit over the year and grown a few favourites. I have a love for the mauve My lips but better kinda shades and Mac Mehr is the perfect fit. It is a little more intense than just a basic nude especially when combined with Soar but it is such a gorgeous and unique shade. The matte formula is also long wearing as you would expect but still comfortable without being drying. Another Mac fave was Mac Plumful which I picked up at the start of the Autumn season. This is my first in the Lustre finish but it is super comfortable and moisturising on the lips. The plum-y pink shade is also so gorgeous and different to anything I own.

Nars are one of my favourite makeup brands so it was no surprise I was going to love their matte lip pencils. I honestly think these are one of the best lip products around. They are so long lasting it is unreal but still feel comfortable to wear as well as coming in a collection of pretty shades. I have quite a few but I thought I would just mention two of my ultimate faves from the year. Whenever I need a red lip, I always go for Nars Cruella, probably my favourite ever red. It is quite a deep red but one you can rely on to stay put whilst you eat! The other shade was my Summer love, the unfortunately limited edition Iberico which is a gorgeous orange-y red. A shade that is totally unique to my collection and one I can’t wait to wear again come Summer time!

Last but not least, 2015 saw the discovery of Charlotte Tilbury. I finally took the plunge this year and picked up a couple of her gorgeously packaged products that soon developed into an addiction! I now have four of the Matte Revolution lipsticks and I can say they are truly worth the splurge! The matte formula is not what you would expect, they are seriously creamy and so comfortable to wear. As I said I have four shades from the line up but a couple of my faves are the truly gorgeous Lost Cherry; a beautiful bright coral red perfect for Summer (review here)and Miss Kensington; my perfect nude.

What was your favourite eye/lip products from 2015?

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2015 Beauty Favourites: Base & Cheek Products


2015 Beauty FavouritesIt’s that time for a mammoth of a favourites post! With 2015 over and done with, it’s time to look back at some of my top beauty products from the year. If you are a regular reader around these parts then most of the products may not be a big surprise to you! This is actually the first time I have ever done a whole yearly favourites so as I have so many products and didn’t want to bore you all with an essay of a blog post I have split this in to two parts. Today’s post will look into my favourite base/cheek products so foundation, concealer, blush etc. Then on Wednesday I will be rounding up my favourite eye/lip products. So I will stop blabbing on now and get on with my 2015 favourites…

Primer

There is only one primer that has ever really done it for me. That is without a doubt the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer. I mentioned this already just last week in my December Favourites but this is holy grail level for me. I tried out a sample of this at either the end of 2014/start of 2015 and in one try I was completely blown away! I was of course also super happy to pick it up during a flight this summer were I got it for a pretty bargain! This primer creates such a velvety soft finish to my skin which lets my foundation slip on top super easily. It makes my makeup last super long like crazy and it still manages to keep my base looking fresh and flawless. Couldn’t recommend it enough!

Foundation/ Base products 

There is three base products that I truly fell for this year. All of which will be no surprise to you! Weirdly enough each one has a completely different finish from one another but it means I’ve got something good to cover all bases. First up, the tinted moisturiser lightweight base. BareMinerals Complexion Rescue stole my heart during the year with its flawless skin in a bottle formula. This is one for a good skin day as it does have a much lighter coverage. Although it basically gives you better skin, it is super glowy and fresh and makes you feel like a VS Angel, pretty much! Check my review for that one here.

For a more fuller coverage, night out option and just overall incredible foundation, Nars Sheer Glow wins hands down! I had been desperate to try this foundation for far too long and finally took the plunge earlier in 2015 and I am ever so glad I did! The shade Mont Blanc is the perfect fit for my skin and coverage is super buildable. It also doesn’t include SPF so is perfect for nights out! Just a perfect foundation in my books, check my full review here.

Lastly, a surprise new favourite came my way from the drugstore not too long ago. I don’t usually get on well with drugstore foundations although this seemed to work a dream with my skin. The L’Oreal Infallible 24h-Matte is the foundation in question. I never ever swayed towards matte foundations, with glowy and satin finishes more up my street but this formula is just great, it’s not too matte and has a nice natural look whilst still providing good coverage. At an affordable price, it’s such a great everyday option, check my review here.

Conceal & Correct

Concealer is always something I had been on the hunt for, something that provided good long lasting coverage without caking. The Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer seemed to fit the bill. This is just the perfect concealer for me when covering blemishes, it offers great coverage and is super blendable with a thick consistency. The fact I am now running out makes me feel pretty darn sad! I don’t know how to deal without my Nars concealer! Check my full review here.

At the start of the year, corrector is something I would never have considered. Not just because I wouldn’t have needed it but also because I probably never knew what it was. That was until the Bobbi Brown corrector made its way into my life. I get discoloration under my eyes and I turned to trying the cult BB corrector in a bid to fix up my blue under eyes. This product works wonders on me, the creamy formula is super easy to work with and blends in nicely on the skin without caking or creasing. It offers really great coverage too and hides any noticeable discoloration.

Cheek Products

At the start of the year I never cared so much for bronzer. I never really seen the need for it although that was until I tried The Body Shop Honey Bronzer. This is hands down one of my best makeup discoveries ever. The shade is just so perfect for my fair skin and isn’t too warm at all. As well as giving my skin a bit of warmth, it also adds shape and definition which I just love. It is also a complete bargain!

This year also saw my love for blush grow. I don’t know why I love it so much but I have always been forever looking for more blush to add to my collection. In 2015, I finally tried out the well hyped Hourglass brand. After getting my hands on the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit, I got to try out a couple more blushes and other products in their powder range. The one that I truly fell for though was Mood Exposure, a gorgeous mauve plum shade which looks super natural on the skin. The formula for these are also unbeatable! Check my review of the palette here.

What was your favourite base products from 2015?

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December Favourites


December FavouritesIt’s favourites time again and also the final favourites post of the year! How scary! Although keep your eyes peeled for a special favourites post coming next week! Back to the festive month of December though, I picked up quite a few new exciting bits and pieces over the month which I am truly loving and also fell for some products that I already had in my stash! So without further ado, here is my December favourites…

If you read Monday’s monthly roundup post, you would remember my mention of starting a Makeup Geek palette. Not too long ago Beauty Bay started stocking Makeup Geek eyeshadows much to my excitement. These single eyeshadows have been so raved about from the likes of Jaclyn Hill who even stated that they were her all time favourite eyeshadows (even better than Mac!). Obviously for that reason I had to pick up a few! The shadows are super affordable and there is such an incredible range to choose from. I have five shadows so far and I also picked up a large Z Palette to put them in. Jaclyn is so right, the quality of these are so amazing and they last so long on my oily eyelids! If anyone has any shade recommendations, fire away! A few of my favourites have to be Peach Smoothie, Prom Night and Homecoming! I now can’t wait to start filling up my palette!

Speaking of Jaclyn Hill and exciting UK launches, Becca Champagne Pop finally made its way over to the UK! Yay! I don’t think I’ve ever gotten so excited about a makeup product before and I even pre-ordered it as soon as I seen it on the Space NK website, sad I know! It is so easy to see why this is such a raved about highlighter. The peachy champagne-y shade looks gorgeous on so many skin-tones and the formula is a complete dream to work with, super buttery smooth. It is pretty intense but I just love it so much that I’ve basically been wearing it everyday,but I mean its Christmas so why not!

A more surprising favourite this month is the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. I say surprising as I really didn’t get this product when I first tried it. Although I’ve found myself using this everyday over the month and it just seems so perfect for blending out concealer and ensuring my base is flawless. I do really want to try the Beauty Blender though now as I hear that one is far superior…

One thing I just have to have at Christmas time is a bottle of Lush Snow Fairy! I just can’t go without my precious amazingly scented Snow Fairy at this time of year. It just makes me feel so Christmassy and I couldn’t help but stock up during the Lush sales!

Another product that I’ve came back to is my holy grail primer! Nothing will ever beat the Smashbox Photo Finish primer. With nights out and parties during the month, this primer came to the rescue by helping my makeup last that bit longer and still look fresh by the end of the night! It creates such a smooth base to the skin which allows makeup to glide on beautifully and basically is the key to a flawless base!

I also finally discovered Anastasia Beverly Hills this month. After spotting a 20% off deal online I just had to get that contour palette! I picked up the original contour kit in the lighter shade and I have been using it constantly over the month. The powders are super blendable and last so well too. After I got my eyebrows done not too long ago and my beloved Benefit Gimme Brow is on its last legs I wanted to try out something new. I picked up the Dipbrow Pomade in Soft Brown and it’s became my new go-to. I don’t want to go into too much detail with these products as I will be having a separate review post coming soon but both are well loved new additions to my makeup routine.

What have you been loving this month?

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October Favourites


October FavouritesIt’s favourites time once again! I have been doing quite a lot of beauty spending in the last couple of months so I have been spending my time trying out a bunch of new products. This month I definitely was swayed by a lot of the newbies in my collection and have found some that I know I will love for a long time to come. As October settled in, I definitely got back into the whole Autumnal makeup look. I have been loving wearing darker lips and bold eye makeup, it’s without a doubt my favourite time of year. So without anymore rambling, here is my beauty favourites for the month of October, enjoy…

Blush is one of my favourite makeup products. I just love collecting different tones of blusher. In fact I’ve bought quite a few additions in the last month but my new addition from Nars has been proving to be a strong favourite. Nars Dolce Vita is the perfect blush for the Autumnal months. A gorgeous rosy pink shade that adds a bit of warmth and life to my pale skin. The formula of these are fab too, a little goes a long way and they last for ages.

As the month has went on I have actually been abandoning highlighter which is a little strange for me although my skin has been quite glowy recently and I am struggling for time in the morning for extra steps in my routine. Although when highlighter has been on the need list I have been reaching for the Seventeen Skin Wow Highlighter*, a gorgeous liquid pearl toned highlighter that adds a beautiful glow to the cheekbones. This actually reminds me of the Nars Illuminator in Copacobana but for a fraction of the price. Definitely a drugstore pick to check out!

Alongside the autumnal inspired makeup I also love dark nails. Those gorgeous berries and deep purples are my kinda shades and I would happily take them over a bright coral any day of the week. I have been loving Essie Bahama Mama, a gorgeous plum colour perfect for this time of year. Of course the formula of Essie is unbeatable and definitely worth the extra few pennies.

This month, I also finally picked up something from Bobbi Brown. Whilst I own one of their brushes I never properly tried anything from their makeup range but I finally changed that this month when I picked up the Bobbi Brown Corrector. I have been suffering from a bit of discolouration under the eyes and thought that this cult product would do the job. After popping to a counter I picked up the shade Extra Light Bisque which works wonders at hiding the blue tones from under my eyes. The formula is super creamy and blends beautifully, a product I know I will rely on for a long time to come!

Finally, what’s Autumn without a berry toned lip. My seasonal pick this year comes from Mac in the form of their Plumful lipstick. A gorgeous plum berry shade in Mac’s lustre finish which offers a sheer but buildable colour. This colour is quite different for me, it fits more into the pink/purple category rather than red so is pretty unique in my collection and it just looks super gorgeous. Love, love, love!

*pr sample

What have you been loving during October?

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September Favourites


September FavouritesAnother month gone by, another time to round up my monthly beauty favourites. I feel like September is the last month to really say goodbye to the tinted moisturisers and coral shades in order to prepare for the darks shades and matte complexions ready for Autumn. Looking at my favourites this month I really have went for more Summery and natural picks perfect for an everyday minimal makeup look. I have found some great products this month that worked a treat during the Summer months and hopefully will work well into Autumn and I won’t have to push them to the back of my drawers.

Starting with base, there was two base products that worked perfectly in giving me a flawless complexion over the month. Firstly, I pulled out my Topshop BB cream again to start getting a little more use out of it. I reviewed this a while back now here and at that time I was a little in the middle with this one. I liked the coverage but the shade and application didn’t always go down well with me. Since I started using this again I have just been loving it. It seems so different from when I started using it. The shade seems to be a little better suited especially when I’ve piled on the bronzer and with my skin improving lately it blends in really well and sits perfectly on my skin. It’s also so great for during the day whilst I’m working as it is super lightweight but also has a beautiful glow to it and lasts really well too! Hopefully if the shade still works well with me, this will be one I will keep using into the new season!

The next base related product is from Clarins and a product I mentioned in my recent Clarins Haul post here. It is of course the Clarins Instant Concealer. This is just the perfect under-eye concealer I’ve ever used. It is so incredibly lightweight but still offers a good whack of coverage. As it is a really thin consistency a little goes a long way and it blends in like a dream. A concealer that I think will get a lot of loving from me for a long time to come.

To add a little colour to the cheeks, I’ve been loving the Clinique Cheek Pop in Melon Pop. I mentioned this here alongside it’s matching lipstick. This is such a gorgeous blush and so summer appropriate. The coral-y peachy pink shade is super natural and soft looking on the cheeks and the formula is super fine so doesn’t feel overly powdery or too much. As Autumn swings around I may have to turn back to my dusky rose shaded blushes but I definitely need to pick another one up from the range as they are so lovely!

Finally, there is probably no surprise here when I mention this well loved lip combo. I talked about these two in my Nude Lip post here and it’s been the one lip look I’ve worn for the majority of the month. Charlotte Tilbury Miss Kensington lipstick and Pillow Talk lip liner really are the perfect nude lip and as I’ve been in need for something work appropriate during the month this combo has worked perfectly for the natural makeup look. For those light makeup days, this is two that I can always rely on.

What has been your favourite products this month?

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May Favourites


May Beauty FavouritesIt’s monthly favourites time again! As my Summer holidays begin I haven’t been wearing makeup on a daily basis but I did find some new gems this month that I have just fell in love with! Without further ado here are some of my much loved beauty bits from the month of May.

Nars Sheer Glow Foundation – Nars has finally answered my foundation prayers. When it came to foundation I always struggled to find ‘the one’ but since this beauty came along my hunt may be over. I lusted over this for so long since its well and truly hyped and worth the hype it is! It blends like a dream, gives flawless coverage and has pretty good staying power too. The perfect foundation, more of my raves later though!

Essie Maximillian Strasse Her – This nail polish may come at no surprise after seeing my blog post in which I shared my love for it.  This minty-blue-grey hued shade is what I have had on my nails constantly over the month and I am obsessed. Like other Essie shades, its a great formula with pretty decent lasting power too. Love it!

Bobbi Brown Full Coverage Face Brush – Again this may have been another predictable option after I raved about it here. This brush also had a lot of hype surrounding it and I really wanted to pick it up for so long. It is just the perfect size for applying foundation and helps create such a flawless finish. As much as I loved my Real Techniques Buffing brush for foundation there is no going back now!

MAC Creme Cup – I’m so predictable. This month I really got drawn into the look of nude pink lips and this lipstick made a great addition to my collection. The cremesheen formula is smooth and creamy on the lips while the shade is the perfect soft pink great for everyday wear. Keep an eye on my blog next week, another nude lip is coming you way… surprising, not really! (Check my Creme Cup review here)

Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish – This month I have really started to have a proper skincare routine after fumbling around with different products ever so often. One product I really wanted to try and pretty much needed was the ever so popular Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. As you will hear more about my love on this later this month I won’t go into too much detail but I do really like this. It makes my skin feel super soft and my skin hasn’t been this clear in ages!

What have you been loving this month?

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