Holy guacamole, where has 2014 gone?!
It’s been a ruddy amazing year – full of exciting activities, big life changes (hello New York!) and a whole heap of superb memories.
Beauty product-wise, I feel like I’ve really found my true sense of style as far as skincare and make-up goes and I’ve been loving finding all those brilliant bits and pieces that have now made their way into this collection.
Unlike last year, I haven’t split my favourites up into a ‘hall of fame’ style selection, just because I didn’t really feel that my most loved products necessarily fit those categories. So, instead, this is all about those awesome finds that I’ve discovered – and loved – throughout the past 12 months.
Thanks again 2014, it’s been a ball.
BODY AND NAILS
* Bath and Body Works Twisted Peppermint Shower Gel ($12.50) – this is a fairly recent addition to the line-up but I couldn’t resist throwing it in. The smell is just so good and it’s the first shower gel that I think I’ve ever actually been excited to use.
* Caress Evenly Gorgeous Burnt Brown Sugar and Karite Butter Exfoliating Body Wash ($5.49) – I actually bought a bottle of this when I was in New York back in June, and couldn’t wait to pick up another one as soon as I moved my way on over here. It’s so incredibly softening on the skin, but isn’t harsh in any way, making it so lovely to use. Plus, of course, the warm, sugary smell might have something to do with just how much I love it.
* Lush Bath Bombs (various) – as I mentioned earlier in the year, I wasn’t really a big fan of baths until 2014. And I don’t really know what it was that motivated me to give them another go, but without a doubt it was Lush’s incredible collection of bath products that kept me hooked.
* Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish in Game of Chromes ($9.99) – the ultimate gold nail polish in my opinion. It has the smoothest, shiniest finish – without being overly offensive and in-your-face – and the formula lasts on the nails for weeks! It’s just dreamy.
* Barry M Gelly Nail Paint in Sugar Apple (£3.99) – having worked my way through almost every mint coloured polish out there (seriously), my tastes slowly started to turn away from greeny shades and towards the blues. Enter this beautifully bright nail polish, which is just so ruddy amazing – so much so that I’m pretty sure it was all I wore on my nails for several months in 2014. I’m even wearing it now…!
* OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener ($16) – being a nail polish addict (had you noticed?!) can wreak havoc on your talons and earlier this year, a few too many DIY manicures had left mine in a pretty sorry state. Thankfully, a few generous layers of this strengthening nail treatment helped to give them a good ole boost and within a few days they were back in action and ready to roll.
* Zoya Anchor Nail Polish ($10) – another incredible polish when it comes to protecting my nails. Unlike a lot of base coats that I’ve used in the past, which help to prolong the life of my nail polish but do little to protect my nails against the lacquer. This one, however, does both. It’s the dream.
* Wet Brush ($14.95) – I honestly didn’t think I would ever find a detangling brush that I loved as much as the Tangle Teezer. But, shock horror, this beauty has well and truly captured my heart thanks to its awesome detangling capabilities and – they key – its handle. No more will my brush be accidentally flung across the room! Hurrah.
* L’Oreal Total Repair Damage Erasing Balm ($7) – I’ve spoken about the incredible hair product at length on this blog and, when putting together my list of favourite products for 2014, it was the first thing I jotted down. I cannot sing its praises enough to be completely honest. It has worked wonders on my once-dried and damaged hair, leaving me with a semi-acceptable barnet that I’m totally thrilled with.
* Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil Heat and UV Protective Primer ($26) – it’s difficult to explain what made me fall in love with this product, but I really do notice a big difference when I use this on my hair pre-straighten, or pre-sun. Less dryness, less frizz and all in all a healthier, happier barnet.
* Aveeno Ultra Calming Make-up Removing Wipes ($6.99) – I never ever thought that I would be including a packet of face wipes in my yearly favourites, but these really have blown me away. They don’t strip my skin, they don’t dry it out and, actually, my complexion looks and feels a whole lot nicer every time I use them. They’re like ruddy magic.
* Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser ($39) – given how many cleansers I work my way through every month – let alone every year! – I think it speaks volumes when one is as much of a success as this one has been. It’s just such a joy to use; the melting jelly to oil formula is nourishing, yet lightweight, on the skin, and it manages to clear every bit of make up from your face, while leaving it feeling soft and soothed at the same time.
* Cetaphil Foaming Cleanser ($8.50) – at the opposite end of the scale, we have this bad boy. Probably the most basic cleansing product in my collection, it does everything that it promises, and so much more. It cleanses and really clarifies without any drying, and it helps to zap spots like you wouldn’t believe.
* Lush Eau Roma Water ($21.95) – a misting of pure magic. This spray toner calms, soothes and generally works wonders on my acne-prone skin.
* Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair ($62) – yes I know I am late to the party (again), but I got there in the end. And thank goodness I did, because this skincare staple is now one of my ultimate must-have items. Every time I use this, I am so surprised at the difference to my skin come morning. It’s just super.
* Mario Badescu Drying Cream ($17) – at long last, a spot treatment that blends smoothly under my make up, without flaking or drying out, while actually dealing with the acne problem at hand. I’ve thus far managed to work through almost an entire pot and have already stocked up on a second back-up. Just in case.
Make sure you tune in tomorrow for the second half of my 2014 favourites!