To kick start my '2013 //' series where I share with you my favourites in the categories of beauty, nails, fashion, music and life highlights I have beauty and the bunch of products I discovered/loved/used religiously last year.
Coming under the section of 'face' are four products: the powder, concealer, foundation and primer. Rimmel's Stay Matte powder in the shade 004 Sandstorm accompanied by acne-prone skin throughout many months of 2013 and was successful at keeping oil at bay when my skin was at its worst. Admittedly, the packaging isn't great...it's been dropped a fair few times and unfortunately the state of the lid is representative of that. However, broken plastic aside, the price point of this is fabulous at £3.99 and has lasted an absolute age with no signs of hitting pan any time soon.
Next up is Collection's Illuminating Touch Concealer in the shade 2 Natural, which worked hard in 2013 to cover redness, blemishes and I'm-tired-as-it's-7am under eye circles. I feel that this concealer is often forgotten about, hidden by the limelight that its sibling, the Lasting Perfection Concealer, falls into. I've tried both and I personally prefer Illuminating Touch - the coverage isn't as heavy which makes it easier to blend in, the colour is less orange-tinged and the applicator (inspired by the likes of Touche Éclat, I assume) is very easy to use and applies just the right amount of product. I like how there is a section at the bottom of the product that you twist to get the concealer out, it means that you're in control of the product a bit more, less is wasted and you can grab every inch of it once it reaches its end. It's another £3.99 wonder that I can see myself repurchasing over and over again.
Rimmel's Match Perfection Foundation in the shade 100 Ivory is probably my favourite foundation of all time, I wouldn't be able to sing it enough praises if I tried. To make this relatively quick - the colour is great, it smells nice, the medium coverage is easily buildable and I think it looks really nice on the skin. It has SPF18, giving that little bit of sun protection without being excessive and it's £6.99 price point makes it seriously affordable.
The Pür Minerals Correcting Primer* in the neutral prep & perfect variation has been a staple item in my makeup collection since discovering it after the M&S Beauty Showcase last September. The neutral tone blends into the skin seamlessly, filling in any lines and making your skin a little bit tacky (in a good way, of course), enabling your foundation to grip onto it with ease and increase its longevity. It's quite a bit pricier at £22.50, but when you calculate that into price-per-wear the number isn't nearly as overwhelming. I've used this pretty much every time I've worn foundation in the past four months and not much of it so far has been used up. It's available for purchase at M&S beauty section or online here.
Following the face products are my two favourite cheek companions - Sleek's Face Contour Kit in Light and Sleek's Blush in Rose Gold. I've owned the contour duo for two years now and after using it on a regular basis I still haven't hit pan. That in itself is rather impressive! It's a well known rule with Sleek that when it comes to their cheek products you have to be careful, they're so pigmented that overloading your brush could end up with you looking slightly more...animated than you would have hoped. I find that the pale brown contour shade found within the Light kit suits my skin tone well, and the highlighter always adds an edge of radiance when needed. I only really got into the Rose Gold blush in late 2013, despite owning it for over a year by that point. I discovered the art of blush, one that I had shied away from previously, and found out that this one filled the blush-shaped hole in my regular makeup routine perfectly. It's an acquired taste due to being so shimmery, but applying it carefully gives a beautiful peachy finish that would suit a range of skin tones.
When it comes to eye makeup I'm a bit of a mixed bag - I adore eyeshadow, am slightly afraid of eyebrows, I love a good eye pencil but I'm not great at applying it and I'm yet to find 'the one' of mascaras. I was introduced to the HD Brows Brow Pencil* in the shade Black back in September and that marked the point when my tendency to ignore my eyebrows completely fizzled away. The concept of it is great, with the end of the pencil being a tapered shape in order to replicate real hairs when you fill in your brows. Using a light hand with it really is the way to go, although I've explored many eyebrow densities since getting my hands on it (a true scientific experiment, of course). It's slightly pricier than most drugstore eyebrow pencils at £11.99 but I think it is completely worth the money - the design of it means you peel back layers of the outer to reveal the product, thus reducing any wastage and removing the need to use a dreaded eye pencil sharpener. Ooh, and it's currently on offer for £10.75 online here if you're ready to give it a go. I reviewed Maybelline's 24 Hour Colour Tattoo Cream Eyeshadow in the shade 35 - On and On Bronze in a post here, so I won't bore you for too long about this one. All I'm going to say is that it is the most versatile eye product I know as well as being one of the most wearable ones....and affordable too at £4.99. A true winner. If I had to crown a product with the title 'Best drugstore black eyeliner pencil in existence' it would definitely go to Rimmel's Scandaleyes Kohl Kajal in the shade 001 Black. Its perfection lies in the combination of it being super soft, incredibly pigmented, a great size and a brilliant price point of £3.99. I'm seriously impressed with it, and the shades Bronze, Nude and Taupe all hold firm spots on my beauty wishlist.
I don't really see myself as a 'lips' girl; I often forget to wear lipstick completely and rely on my trusty Nivea lipbalm. However, one lip product really impressed me in 2013, and that was Collection's Deluxe Lipstick in the shade 02 Talullah. I'd describe it as a medium rosy pink with its highlights being how damn soft and creamy it is, a real treat. The packaging is a step up from the rest of what Collection has to offer, yet the price isn't. Fabulous. It's one of those products I'd recommend to both someone who wants to start their makeup collection and someone with 36926949 lipsticks who is hunting for more. I'd even go as far as saying it is the best £3.99 I spent on beauty all year.
August saw me succumb to the hype surrounding Real Techniques Brushes and fall in love with the Real Techniques Expert Brush like many other bloggers and beauty fanatics had done so before me. I used up about 2 years worth of Boots points when I was in Cardiff, purchasing this and a nail polish and since doing so I fully understand why people love the RT brushes as much as they do. The bristles are incredibly soft yet are fully capable of holding product, distributing it onto the skin evenly and doing a great job at blending too. It's undoubtedly an all-rounder. Next on my list is the group of six brushes found in Sam's Picks, a fab-looking bunch if you ask me!
Onto skincare - 2013 was the year that my skin was both at its best and its worst. Pre-July my skin was horrific...I often found myself editing out blemishes using PicMonkey as I felt too embarrassed to show them on the internet, yet in school I went a whole year without wearing makeup in order to stay natural and prevent things worsening. (And also to not give people the impression that I was willing to wear makeup to school every single day, but that's another story completely...) In early July I went to my GP and she prescribed me the Duac Once Daily Gel which contains benzoyl peroxide, a well-known ingredient for fighting acne. I'm thinking of reviewing this later so I won't babble on for too long - all I'm going to say is that this was my miracle product of 2013. I received Origins' High-Potency Night-A-Mins Cream* after attending the Company and Origins event in September with Perdi and really fell for the way it made my skin feel so soft at night without being suffocated. It works well to make the skin look and feel radiant and smells like oranges, something I usually detest but in this case it is in moderation. Although it is a 2013 favourite of mine I wouldn't classify it as an essential - at £34 I wouldn't be able to consider purchasing it myself, despite its good price-per-use breakdown. As for my day moisturiser - Garnier's Moisture Match Illuminating Light Lotion (Protect & Glow) for Normal Skin worked a treat. It usually retails for £5.99 but I got mine on offer for £3 from Wilkinson's and many other places have them on offers too. The scent is really refreshing and it works well into the skin, leaving it as radiant as the name promises. Next on my list from this range is the Shine Be Gone lotion for combination to oily skin; I'd like to do a comparison and see how 'normal' skin types compare with 'combination/oily', as my skin felt like a mix of those three in 2013. Next up is the L'oréal Skin Perfection 3 in 1 Micellar Solution, an absolute saviour when it comes to make up removal for under a fiver. Need I say more? It's just fab.
Although you would think that I collect hand creams for fun, a body butter took the top spot for me in 2013. Soap and Glory's Butter Yourself Body Butter is the perfect texture for me - thick enough that rough spots like my elbows and knees get the treatment they need, but not so dense that it is a physical struggle to rub it in. It smells incredible - a great combination of orange, shea butter, peppermint and fig. It does the whole 'moisturising without being greasy' drill excellently, and a little bit of the £10.50 container goes an impressively long way. Definitely my favourite body butter ever, and one that I will repurchase in 27492 years when it is fully used up.
Lastly (phew! this post is getting rather long) is Yuki's Leave-In Conditioner. As mentioned with other products earlier in the post, I'm planning to review this so my thoughts will be kept a secret for now. Considering I ignore my hair way too much / forget it exists / fail to do anything with it, this has really stood out for me this year, and I look forward to sharing with you why that is.
So there you go! If you reached the end of this post - good on you, I apologise for its excessive length. If you were just here for the pictures, quite frankly, I do not blame you in the slightest. I don't write about about beauty as much as I would like (and I'm hoping that will change) so when I do I blurt out every thought of mine, attempting to place them in well-produced sentences. I'm just praying you made it to the end okay.
Next in the series: NAILS.
p.s - all of the products mentioned are available at Boots, Superdrug and their online stores unless mentioned otherwise.