Monday, 18 January 2016

Happy New Year | Favourites of 2015

2015 was definitely a year with major ups and downs for me but after a little social media detox I'm so excited to be back here and blogging again for 2016! As far as beauty products are concerned it was a year of so many amazing discoveries. My obsession with bareMinerals products reached new heights, I rediscovered Lush and I'm completely in love with the store again and I finally found a few holy grail skincare items that I honestly can't imagine living without. So, before I start to ramble on like I always tend to do (some things will never change!) let's get started with my makeup favourites of 2015.

BareMinerals completely owned it this when it came to face products and I've been wearing their products consistently throughout 2015. Before I start, I wanted to take a moment to thank the girls at bareMinerals for kindly sending over so many of their products to me this year and I've been incredibly lucky to try all of their new releases and even luckier that I genuinely loved them all so much I've repurchased the majority I'm featuring! So, even though this is a very bareMinerals heavy post it's just a true reflection of what I've been reaching for this year. BareMinerals simply nailed it, so there's no way I couldn't include them! 

For foundation, my go-to product for the summer was Complexion Rescue* (full review here) as it's the perfect lightweight base for summer and brightens the complexion wonderfully without being detectable on the skin. For a heavier coverage I returned to my long time favourite, the bareMinerals Original foundation, for the start of the year until a new release knocked it off the top spot. Their Blemish Remedy Foundation*(review here) blew me away as my skin has been getting rather oily in my twenties and, unlike the Original, Blemish Remedy managed to control the oil throughout the day. A special mention goes out to Bourgois's Healthy Mix Foundation and my Beauty Blender, which I've been reaching for whenever I have a little more time to get ready and fancy a liquid base. Out of all the liquid foundations I've tried so far, including high end, I haven't found anything I love quite as much as this. 

Moving on to concealer, nothing new really blew me away until the later half of the year. For dark circles I still adore the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer but for the face a new discovery that I've literally fallen in love with for its silky and creamy consistency is bareMinerals's SPF 20 Correcting Concealer*. It's everything I hoped the Bobbi Brown concealer would be and even though it's not one I would use under my eyes it covers the redness around my nose amazingly. For brushes I'm still a huge fan of Real Techniques, in particular the Buffing Brush from the Core Collection, the Sculpting Brush and the Fan Brush (which was sadly limited edition).  

2015 was the year of contouring and highlighting and even though I'm yet to find my holy grail contouring powder I discovered so many beautiful highlighting products. It was so hard to narrow down a favourite, I adored Mac's Soft and Gentle and Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector's in Opal and Pearl from the Spotlight Kit, but the product I ended up reaching for the most was The Balm's Mary Lou-Manizer (and I've been loving Cindy Lou-Manizer recently too!) For blush I've fallen in love with Golden Gate, a warm pink shade from my bareMinerals The Royal Court palette, especially when it's mixed with the highlighting shade Clear Radiance. I've also been really into Lush Face Masks this year and Lush in general has probably been my most visited store. Since moving back home after graduating, pamper nights have finally returned and my bath bomb haul from the Boxing Day sale has left me well and truly stocked up for at least the first half of 2016! 

For eyeshadow, nothing can beat my love for Stila's In the Light Palette, especially the beautiful champagne shade that is Kitten which I'm devastated to have hit pan on. I've also been reaching for Kiko's Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadows constantly this year. They're so easy to sweep across the lid whenever I'm in a rush and No.5, a beautiful deep chocolate brown, has to be my most worn shade. And, like the rest of the beauty blogging world, I've fallen in love with Maybelline's Lash Sensational Mascara. For the price, I don't think I've found anything that can beat it!
Lip products are, by far, my favourite things to buy so picking only 1 favourite for the entire year was an impossible task. For higher end lipstick, I adore the Clinique Lip Pop Colour + Primer's and Beige Pop has been my go-to nude shade. I was delighted when Glamour partnered with Clinique and released mini versions in their magazine (even though they were so difficult to get hold of up North), but I think I may have found my perfect red lipstick in the form of Cherry Pop. For a more affordable option, I adore the formulation of Rimmel's Kate Lasting Finish Lipsticks and I don't feel too guilty buying almost every shade when they're only £5.49 each. My most used shade is No. 3, a pretty pink/brown shade, which reminds me of a lighter and glossier Velvet Teddy. During the summer I was obsessed with the bareMinerals Pop of Passion Lip Oil Balms (review here) and Peach Passion was definitely my most loved shade for summer but the balm that really stood out for me was Plumberry Pop*: it's the perfect berry shade that's constantly in my handbag and it looks beautiful anytime of the year. My final favourite is rather unlike me as it's a lipgloss: a product I hardly ever buy. But when bareMinerals sent over their Marvellous Moxie Lipgloss in Trial Blazer*(the most stunning nude shade ever) I fell in love. Not only is it highly pigmented with gorgeous, tiny speckles of gold running through it, it's also not ridiculously sticky either. I love the formula so much I now own 3 shades: Trial Blazer, Hot Shot and A-Lister.
When it comes to skincare I think it's really rare to find those wonder products that truly improve the condition of your skin. I've discovered a lot of products I like and enjoy using this year but only 2 have really stood out to me. The first is Liz Earle's Cleanse and Polish which, funnily enough, I haven't bought the full sized version of yet as I've collected so many samples from beauty boxes! It's a cult product for a reason and my skin is always much cleaner and more radiant after using this. My next holy grail skincare product is Kiehls Midnight Recovery Concentrate. Any dark marks or redness on my skin begins to fade whenever I use this, my skin feels smoother and brighter and I love the soothing lavender smell.

I'm still completely in love with Jo Malone's Wood Sage & Sea Salt but I discovered a new fragrance I adore from America when the lovely Julie-Ann came back with a present for me from her New York trip a few months ago. I've had my eye on NEST fragrances for a while now and I'm so happy I finally have their Midnight Fleur scent in my possession. It's so beautiful and unique and the scent I automatically reach for whenever I go out in the evenings. I wish we had access to NEST in the UK as I'm so curious to smell the rest of their fragrances! 
I'll finish up with a couple of random, non-beauty favourites for 2015. First up is my iPhone which I finally bought last January after years and years of wanting one. Even though I'm probably on it way too often it's definitely been one of my favourite purchases of 2015 and has help me with blogging so much. I also adore my Rifle Paper Co. Paris phone case which is not only the prettiest case I've ever seen but it also provides some serious protection. Jewellery wise, I've fallen in love with Alex & Ani this year and I'm hoping to expand my collection of bangles throughout 2016. And finally, True Blood and Once Upon a Time have been my favourite TV shows this year and they're quite possibly my favourite shows of all time. If you haven't watched either of them then I can't recommend them enough! I'm just struggling to find something new to watch now I'm all caught up.

So that's it, my ridiculously long post all about my 2015 Favourites. I can only hope 2016 will be just as wonderful as the majority of 2015 has been for me and I'm so happy to be back here, blogging, on my little space on the internet. 
Happy (very belated) New Year everybody! 

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