I never would have thought of doing this post myself if it weren't for every beauty blogger and their dog doing this, but I knew it would be a lot of fun and if there's any way of finding out what products work and what's worth spending your money on, it's through a collective roundup of the year's best.
Urban Decay Naked Palette: I bought the highly coveted Naked Palette during the winter and I have been using it religiously since then. Having a wide array of neutral eyeshadows in one slim palette is so handy and also makes for a great travel companion. If there's one beauty product you should splurge on, it's this. I ummed and ahhed a lot over buying this, but now I don't understand why I didn't buy it sooner. With a variety of light and dark colours, it's versatile for both day and night too.
Liz Earle Hot Cloth Polish Cleanser: where would my skin be without you wonderful, wonderful UK beauty bloggers? This super moisturising cleanser removes every trace of make up and I honestly don't think I could ever use another cleanser again. My skin is so soft and silky and has improved so much since using Hot Cloth Polish Cleanser and it has been neither dry or oily - just right! Liz Earle, you are God.
Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum: I was stunned to read such positive reviews for this product on MakeupAlley and I just I had to try it as I was on the hunt for a good serum to improve my skin. I don't break out so much anymore (thank you, Liz Earle and the pill!), but I have a lot of scarring from when I did. I didn't think this product was really doing anything for me, until just a few days ago, I looked at a horrible old picture of me with no make up on (must've forgotten to delete it!) and noticed such a difference! My skin is definitely a lot clearer, brighter and my scars are slowly fading thanks to this amazing serum.
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser in Nude: I used to wear MAC Studio Fix Fluid everyday, but after my skin cleared up, I wanted to start wearing something lighter to work. It's a medium coverage, slightly buildable tinted moisturiser and I use this with Clarin's Beauty Flash Balm underneath, then MAC Studio Finish Conclear and Studo Fix Powder on top to help cover uneven skintone and set it. With that, it lasts a solid day at work. It's so nice to be able to wear light make up and still feel confident.
Peter Thomas Roth Acne Spot and Area Treatment: I've tried a million spot treatments in the past and this is by far the best. The smell is pretty vile, but you get used to it and I'm willing to put up with that for clear skin, anyway. It dries up blemishes faster than any other spot treatment I've used, but it doesn't dry up the skin around it or leave it flakey. I don't have to use this product too much anymore, thankfully, but I still like to keep it on me for when I do break out occasionally.
MAC Blushbaby blush: the first product I've ever hit pan on! I absolutely adore this blush for everyday wear. It's a beige/pink colour, which looks very natural on my medium dark complexion. I always change up the blushes I wear everyday, but I definitely gave this a lot of love when I bought it early last year.
MAC Peaches blush: I can't remember how I discovered this blush, but as soon as I did, I knew it was for me. Being discontinued, I bought this blush from eBay, which I know most people don't recommend, but you just have to be smart when it comes to eBay. I have quite yellow toned skin, so I find coral/peachy shades look the best on me, which is why I'm so in love with this blush. I mostly save this blush for nights out if I know there will be photos taken.
MAC lipstick in Ruby Woo: in 2011, I was on the hunt for my perfect classic 1950s retro red lipstick, which I found in Ruby Woo by MAC. This shade of red is absolutely gorgeous! MAC describes it on the website as a "vivid bright coral-red", which really suits my skintone because as I said earlier, it's quite yellow toned, but coral colours really balance it out, I think. I thought it would be hard to find a red lipstick that didn't have pink undertones in it, but I can always put my faith in MAC to have the perfect shade of everything.
Chanel Illusion d'Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow in #83 Illusoire: I impulsively bought this eyeshadow on a shopping trip with one of my work friends who told me to buy it because it matched my Christmas decorations. Having no will power when it comes to shopping, she convinced me to buy it, but I definitely do not regret it! I apply this just using a finger (though it comes with a brush) and I am so in awe of the sparkly prettiness! I'd love to buy more of these, but I really need to lay low on the make up buying.
Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm: I own a million and one lip balms, but after hearing Temptalia and xSparkage rave on about this, I couldn't not try it out. For only $8 on StrawberryNet, why not? This lip balm can cure some seriously dry lips! I have never used anything that has moisturised them this much. This combined with Lush's Bubblegum Lip Scrub makes the perfect lip exfoliant treatment.
MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack and 209 Eye Liner Brush: I never used to understand when beauty bloggers said that gel eyeliner was easier to apply than liquid eyeliner until I actually went ahead and bought a gel eyeliner myself. I'm by no means perfect - sometimes I can get the perfect winged eye, sometimes I can't - but practise makes perfect! If you want to master the art of the winged eyeliner, definitely start with gel and a brush not liquid like I did.
MAC Reflects Pearl Pigment: I've seen Nic, one of the amazing Pixiwoo sisters, use this MAC pigment in past tutorials and after watching this particular one, I really wanted this pigment for myself to do a similar look. Last year, I used this on special occasions such as my birthday, my work Christmas party and New Years Eve and I loved it! It's not too over the top for me and even without some sort of glue, it doesn't transfer or create fallout. Very pretty!
VO5 Hot Oils: I never really expect anything from drugstore brands (I'm such a snob, I know!), but one day when I was shopping at Woolies and saw them on special, I decided to give them a shot. After one use, I was definitely impressed! You wouldn't think that a small tube of product left on for a mere minute could do much to your hair, but these really work! I suffer from majorly dry hair and I felt such a difference after using these. If I don't use a hair mask when I'm washing my hair, I'll always use one of these. These aren't pictured because I've run out.