With only a few more days left of 2014, it's time to reflect upon the year's best beauty buys. It's become an annual thing for me since I first started blogging and I always look forward to putting together these posts. With each year, I feel like they get progressively bigger and bigger, which is slightly worrying, but one of my resolutions for next year is to curb my spending... we'll see how that goes! Without further ado, here are my favourite skincare and haircare products of 2014.
As much as I love my Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser, I was eager to try out the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel. Living up to the hype, this effortlessly removes the day's face and as the gel turns to oil on the skin, it feels absolutely luxurious. It's a little on the pricey side, but if you're after a high end cleanser, I definitely recommend this and I think I even prefer it over the Emma Hardie Cleansing Balm. I became somewhat toner-mad this year having bought three new ones - Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist, Origins Make A Difference+ Rejuvenating Treatment Lotion (not pictured as I had no room for it in my suitcase when I moved to Melbourne!) and La Roche-Posay Serozinc Zinc Sulphate Solution Spray. The Omorovicza and Origins offerings both help to hydrate the skin, while La Roche-Posay purifies and soothes skin irritations. Did I need three new toners this year? Absolutely not, but ugh, I'm a sucker for blogger hype sometimes! Nevertheless, these three are really wonderful. For lazy summer days, the Queen of Hungary Mist is the perfect pick-me-up to feel revitalised and as with all Origins products, Make A Difference+ has a lovely fruity scent and feels really refreshing on the skin. Make A Difference+ is unfortunately not available in Australia at Kit Comsetics (I bought this while on holiday in Hong Kong), but I've linked you to where you can buy it online. I've only been using Serozinc for about a month, but I just had to include it in my favourites as I've already noticed such a difference. With a couple of breakouts on my skin, this really helped to soothe them and reduce redness. Whenever I break out, they love to overstay their welcome on my skin, but Serozinc has really helped to heal my blemishes faster than ever.
This year, I decided to try out two different moisturisers - one for the day and another for nighttime use. I won't go into detail about the Origins GinZing Moisturiser and Aesop Primrose Facial Hydrating Cream as I did a full review on them both here, but I've really been loving these all throughout the year and will continue to be a part of my skincare routine in 2015. In skincare treatments, there were some real standouts this year. Aimed at drawing out the skin's impurities, I've been loving using the REN Invisible Pores Detox Mask during times my skin has been breaking out or to simply pamper myself. Once applied, it does feel tight on the skin, but when washed off, the skin is left smooth, supple and the pores looking less visible. A lovely friend of mine working at Kit Cosmetics gave me a sample of the Origins Never A Dull Moment Skin-Brightening Face Polisher and it was love at first use! When I raved on about how much I loved it to her, she gave me a million more samples, so while this full tube is reserved for when I run out of those, trust me when I say it's still been a well-loved product! Not only does this work wonderfully to exfoliate the skin, but the smell alone. Oh. My. Gawd. If only it were edible! (Friends references, by the way, are always relevant). Another Origins product I loved this year is the Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel. I don't tend to use spot treatments all that much as my breakouts aren't that bad anymore, but I was on holiday and just couldn't resist that cute and tiny blue bottle at the counter. This has worked a treat, however, and all the more, it doesn't dry out the skin like a lot of spot treatments can do. I'm not someone who's super paranoid of germs, but it's always good to carry around a hand sanitiser while out and about. After becoming bored of the Soap & Glory Hand Maid Antibacterial Hand Gel scent, I decided to try out the Aesop Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Wash and this became an essential during my travels to Hong Kong and China earlier in the year. It has that natural, earthy fragrance known to the brand and is an absolute handbag staple.
While splurging overseas and with various loyalty vouchers and gift cards from Myer, I decided to treat myself and purchase the Chanel Resynchronising Skincare range this year. Within the range, there are three products, and while using these separately without my other skincare treatments, the results were fantastic. I'm not going to go into detail as I'm planning on doing a full review soon, but let's just say they're so much more than pretty packaging and my skin was literally blemish-free the entire time while testing these products out. Lastly in skincare is body products. After falling head over heels in love with the Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash last year, I naturally had to get the accompanying Body Buttercream. Thick, creamy and rich, my skin is left feeling like silk after applying this and is another product I wish were edible. It's fresh, fruity and so uplifting, making it perfect for this time of year. Not being able to resist the gorgeous scent of this product too, I bought the Antipodes Joyful Hand and Body Cream after hearing Hannah mention it. Super moisturising, this smells exactly like the Diptyque Baies Candle, making it oh, so luxurious.
After suffering from an absolutely traumatic experience of receiving the worst haircut of my life back in February (which I'm still growing out), I experimented with new haircare products this year. Having had my hair thinned out too much, I needed something that was going to give back the volume it usually has, so I took to Bumble and Bumble's Thickening Hairspray as I know this is popular amongst the blogging community. I also tried out the Phyto PhytoPhanere Dietary Supplement for Hair & Nails Capsules (not pictured as I used these up) and both of these worked really well to add fullness back into my hair. I didn't repurchase the Phyto Capsules as they're a bit pricey (I did buy them on sale though), but I definitely recommend them nevertheless. My final two products are the Ojon Rare Blend Protecting Treatment and Bumble and Bumble Colour Minded UV Protective Polish. I've been using the Ojon Protecting Treatment as my heat protectant this year and with a sweet honey-like scent, this is by far the best one I've used. Bumble and Bumble is one of my favourite haircare brands and as I have colour-treated hair, the Protective Polish really locks in the colour to help it last longer. With less visits to the hairdresser to maintain my colour, this means spending less money. It's a win-win for me!
Phew! That was a lengthy one. I apologise for that, but I had a lot to cover! I don't think my makeup, nails and fragrance post is going to be any shorter, but I just really loved everything I bought this year! Be sure to let me know what your favourite skincare and haircare products have been!