How weird is it that as I sit here typing it is almost 2013?! The year literally feels like it started yesterday and finished today. I find that time, or really the perception and passing of time, speeds up as I age! Aargh I sound like such an old granny! So, to today's post - the winners of 2012. I didn't really even know how to approach this - condensing a year into one post seems unfathomable, but let's give it a little try! Brace yourselves, it's probs gonna be a long one.
Let us begin at the place that I begin every day: skincare. As we know, I can be quite the fickle one when it comes to skincare - no matter how much I may love a product, and how well it may work for me, I seem to just love picking up more and more to try. No more I tell you, I must learn to be faithful! Anyways, I think this year has led to some a-may-zing discoveries in the skincare category. The Clarisonic is something I've had for a while - I use it religiously until the battery dies, then am so lazy to charge it. When I then remember to recharge it, I realise I've been an idiot to not use it: it really smooths and softens the skin, and I believe it really does help with tone and condition of the skin in general. As for cleansers, the standout has to be Soap and Glory Peaches and Clean. This stuff is just incredible - I wandered away from it for a month or two, then repurchased, and as with the Clarisonic I wondered what the hell I had been doing with my life to stop using it! Peaches and Clean back, life sorted! I don't want to laden this post with a million and one things, and as I flit between serums and masks like a hummingbird, I'm not going to choose any particular ones for this post, BUT I shall say highly commended goes to Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair and Superdrug Oil Balancing mask - cheap but effective. Alpha H Liquid Gold is the one constant in my life, I have used it since November last year, and continue to repurchase it for its ridiculous amount of benefits on all skin types. Last of all in skincare is a product I've only used for around a month - La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo. Brilliant product, treats the entire skin for breakouts without drying it out at all. An absolute must.
Now we have make up! I love make up for entirely different reasons to why I love skincare. I love to paint my face. I find it utterly relaxing, and love the ability to create a variety of looks. Concealer-wise the love of my life is the Vichy Dermablend Stick. Covers everything and allows me to skimp a little on foundation. Talking of foundation, this years brilliant buys come from Estee Lauder and Givenchy. Estee Lauder Invisible Fluid Make Up and Double Wear foundation are ones that I found myself trying many pots of samples for before deciding I should purchase. Both at opposite ends of the coverage scale, Invisible fluid provides radiance with medium coverage and an almost silky finish, and Double Wear of course can be sheered out, or provide intense coverage. Both have an amazing yellow undertone to them that sinks into my skin brilliantly. Givenchy Eclat Matissime is a very, very new purchase, but one that I purchased after having it applied. Brilliant medium coverage, matte, but not completely matte, oil controlling and very long lasting. And of course, Nars Sheer Glow is my fall back, love it to death! In terms of powder, two have been especially amazing - Rimmel Stay Matte, and for times when I want to look more healthy than matte, Kiko Soft Light Powder. Both are pressed, and both are brilliant for topping up and counteracting shine throughout the day. Lately, my contour, blush and highlight all come from the exact same palette - the ELF Quad, which I purchased in a blog sale, but don't seem to be able to find anywhere else?! What on earth am I going to do when it finishes? Containing a baby doll light pink, a slightly deeper and brighter pink, a yellow-based highlight, and a cool-toned contour, this has EVERYTHING one needs to finish a look off. Other honourable mentions go to NYX Taupe and The Balm Bahama Mama for contouring, and L'oreal Le Blush in Rose Nude for blush.
Let's have a little look at eyes - favourites this year are my Nars Night Series Mini Palette, HD Brows Palette in Vamp, MAC Greasepaint Stick in Slick Black. Very recent favourites come from Kiko - their Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadows in 04 and 05, and the Colour Sphere Eyeshadows, again in 04 and 05. Kiko is an amazing brand btw, I want to buy SO MUCH from there! In fact, mascara love of the year also comes from Kiko - the False Lashes Concentrate Volume Top Coat Mascara. Basically, shove on any old mascara, then use this on top and your lashes with be full and amazing! Brilliant innovation.
Lips have been a little bit of a revolution for me - I've been trying to branch out and away from my baby pinks and nudes, and have found a couple of amazing things this year. For an everyday, no-fuss lip, Mac's Angel is generally my lip of choice - easy to apply, creamy, and wears away evenly. Now, for colour, I have to say that Kate Moss Rimmel Matte collection has really impressed me, and my fave actually happens to be a (shock horror) deep red. It's actually the red I'm wearing in my blog banner and pic, and is the shade 107. Deliciously deep, pigmented, and hardly weighs anything on the lip - something I really look for in a shade that I'm not so comfortable with. Of course, no lips would be complete without a slathering of Burt's Bees Lip Balm - the original is the best.
Hair wise, I don't really use much - my hair takes care of itself. However, I have really enjoyed using the L'oreal Wild Ombre Kit on my hair recently, and am actually going to repurchase very soon. Alongside the ombre, my other top picks are the Enrapture Totem Styler, which I've had for around a year, and my battered, but still working Remington Shine Therapy Straighteners which, tbh, I use mostly for curling as opposed to straightening.
Model's Own is now my nail brand of choice, their polishes are incredibly creamy, pigmented and grab onto the nail really well, lasting for ages in conjunction with my Seche Vite top coat.
I thought now we've done the skin and face, we shall move onto a few other bits and pieces. I treated myself to a pair of Diamonique earrings around my birthday-time - just a simple pair that would stay classic forever: I also decided to purchase a little ring that reminds me that "life is always better with a smile."
And with that thought, I am truly looking forward to 2013. Really and truly!
Happy new year to all of you for midnight!
Lots and lots of love A.x