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Ok so let’s get this beauty round up DONE. This is all the beauty products that wow-ed me in 2020. The year that was pretty much lockdown. Products that were either new out or just new to me.
Grab a cup of something as I can tell you now….it’s a long one.
2020 was actually a year I tried out A LOT of new beauty. I was and am always SO very lucky to be sent lots to try from various brands and PR’s and I also felt a bit of that lockdown groundhog day / cabin fever and also ended up buying quite a few things online too…more than I EVER would normally. Perhaps it was the extra time scrolling and perusing the online world that spurred me on, or maybe the sheer boredom of the life that 2020 was….either way I definitely spent a fair whack on ‘treating maself’.
Alpha H Liquid Gold Midnight Reboot Serum. I was SO very excited to receive this a few months ago as it was just what m skin was yearning for. This is an intensive glycolic and retinol PM treatment. Brightening, retexturing, smoothing and anti-ageing. It is a thick serum texture, I wear it solo, but you can pop a cream over the top if you so wish. Further details and my full review is RIGHT HERE.
Hada Labo Lotion Anti-Aging Super Hydrator. I’ve just about finished up this giant 150ml size of liquid serum hydrator. This has been a game changer for me this year and I pretttty much use it every day as a first step after cleansing and before serum. It’s like an essence texture, so very watery and it reminds me actually of (bear with me this is quite specific and old school beauty crew may only remember)….the Shu Uemrua Depsea Essence. Anyone with me here?! No? Ok let’s move along. It’s a simply hyaluronic and collagen formula and is pretty inoffensive aka pretty much everyone will benefit from using this under your existing regime.
Emma Hardie Plump and Glow Hydrating Mist. You know I always recommend and talk about the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing balm ALL. THE. DAMN. TIME. It’s still one of the my top 3 skincare products of all time and I think one of the best cleansers that your hard-earned money can buy. A product that I have used for 10 years since it hit the shelves of Space NK (I worked there then, that’s why I know!). When it first launched it came in a box with a 100ml-size cleanser, 1 cloth and then a small tub of moringa seeds to add into the balm as a once-in-a-while exfoliating treatment. In terms of an oil-based cleansing balm, I don’t think this formula can be bettered.
O-M-G I’ve just gone off on a tangent about the cleanser when this isn’t even about the cleanser, this post is about NEW beauty I’ve tried for the first time this year….SO, let’s get to it : The Emma Hardie Plump & Glow Hydrating Mist. This is an ultra fine facial mist, containing hyaluronic acid, aloe ver, velvet flower and wild water mint. It’s GORGEOUS and when I use it (pre-skincare / before serum) it makes my skin feel really soothed, hydrated and pampered.
Kate Somerville Delikate Range. Restore the skin barrier, restore sensitised skin, calm reactions! Kate Somerville does a cleanser, serum and moisturiser in this range. I’m yet to try the serum but I REALLY rate the cleanser and moisturiser and it’s great for this time of year or simply when your skin is reactive, transitional and a bit all over the place and you just need some T.L.C, calming and soothing in your skincare regime. Read my full review HERE.
Aurelia is a brand I have used quite literally since they launched in Liberty’s and soon-after Space Nk way back in 2013-ish. The Miracle Cleanser was my first dip into the brand and since then I have tried and purchased probably half of the range. The deodorant I’ve talked about numerous times on here, I’ve used since it launched and have not used a roll-on or spray since! I was lucky enough to be sent a few of their newer launches this year and I really, really love the CBD Super Serum + Probiotics. It’s one of the best serums I have used and once I ran out I re-purchased it straight away. It is a super concentrated cocktail of skin-loving ingredients including crystallised CBD isolate, hyaluronic acid, a multitude of vitamins, omega 3 and 6 and lactic acid. A really great all-rounder.
They also launched their much-anticipated Brightening Eye Serum which I am currently using at the moment and I think it’s also incredible (as expected!). It’s lightweight, brightening and it rapidly absorbs into the delicate eye are leaving no residue and most importantly doesn’t break me out which a lot of eye creams can. Contains hyaluronic acid, arnica and probiotics.
Antipodes Baptise H20 Ultra-Hydrating Water Gel. This was my summertime skincare saviour! Remember when we spent all of lockdown 1.0 sweltering in our home and gardens?! This is the one of THE lightest moisturisers I have ever used and it’s almost like a watery serum in texture : the perfect gel moisturiser when you want weightless hydration and glow! It’s also an incredible primer before makeup. This delicate pink gel contains hyaluronic, Manuka honey, Harakeke Gel, Mamaku black fern and South Pacific Hibiscus Flower. A combination that will hydrate, soothe, balance the skin and brighten. An absolute must-have for combination and oilier skins.
Ole Henriksen C-rush Brightening Gel Creme. I had a little sample pot of this in one of my beauty boxes last year and it was divine! Ole Henriksen has become so very popular in recent years and I *did* try a peel/mask thing from him maybe 6/7 years ago way back when before it was such a popular brand and it was incredible! I have been super intrigued about all the newer products coming out and this definitely didn’t disappoint. Again, this is a lightweight kinda moisturiser ; heavier than the Antipodes for sure, but really lovely and lightweight and just melts into the skin. This is a hard-working moisturiser that is perfect for skin that is stressed , fatigued, dull and reaping the side effects of living in the city kinda thing.
REN Perfect Canvas Clean Jelly Oil Cleanser. This is an incredible cleansing balm and reminds me of (another throwback coming…..the NUDE cleansing jelly…who remembers that tube of JOY?!) It’s a perfect first cleanse, as it’s an oil-based cleanser so it breaks down makeup (yes waterproof), SPF and daily grime in a jiffy. Smells lush, does the job and I love a cleansing balm in a tube as not *many* of them come like this!
Marc Jacobs Makeup (everything) WOW WOW and wow. I hadn’t tried *anything* from Marc Jacobs beauty until earlier this year and I’ve been blown away by every single product I’ve tried. Stand out is probably the mascara(s) that I have used, both the Get Lash’d and the Velvet Noir. Maybe Get Lash’d *just* pips the post but they are both really incredible wands and formulas and would highly recommend investing this year and giving them a try.
The Highliners are as good as everybody says (long wear gel eyeliners of dreams!) AND the Eye-Conic Eyeshadow Palettes are some of the best I have ever, EVER used. I have the shade ‘Fantascene’ and it’s dreamy AF and made me fall back in love with pinks in 2020.m
PIXI +Vit C Priming Oil. Nursery run saviour. I was really intrigued by this as I’ve actually never tried an oil primer before (& I’m oily-combination) but it’s working for me. I particularly love it when I have an early start and need a lil’ more boost than my normal skincare regime. I use this over my skincare, under my base and actually, it works well when you’ve had your skincare on for an hour or so and then finalllllly get around to putting on a bit of makeup and your skin has drunk up everything you’ve already applied. It’s kind of re-hydrates and adds a bit of life and glow to your skin. I also love it to sheer down a foundation to a more natural finish. Shake it up so the three ‘bits’ all merge together and then slather it on. It doesn’t feel like a face oil it feels like an oily serum if that makes any sense what-so-everrrrrrrrrrrr.
Elemis Superfood Glow Priming Moisturiser. I used this a lot in the summer, mixed in with my favourite CC / tinted moisturiser to give that really gorgeous, glossy skin (need to dig it back up for now tbf). You can use this hydrating lotion under, in, over makeup to get that G L O W. It’s a moisturiser in it’s own right so a perfect little bottle of multi-tasking hydration. Silicone-free is anybody cares.
Pat McGrath Labs. I’ve been a fan of Pat’s work way before the makeup line landed. Every professional makeup artist knew her work, has references to her work (HULLO Dior runway 2004) and the dream was always to assist her and get on that lusted-after backstage team. (I nearly did, but didn’t *quite*…like all the men telling you they *nearly* became a professional footballer until that achilles injury in ’94).
ANYWAY….her makeup. It’s expensive AF, I’ve been lusting after it since it launched but have never made it to counter to actually try/swatch and match. I moved out of London quite soon after the launch and have only been back for day-trips to do London Fashion Week so simply haven’t had the chance!
I’m REAL funny about purchasing makeup before trying it on counter btw, but I broke with this when I saw the Pat McGrath Mthrshp Celestial Divine palette in the sale and quickly checked it out of my Selfridges cart. It’s INCREDIBLE. The colours, drool. The pigment, insane as all my makeup artist pals promised me. The finishes….a perfect blend of mattes, shimmers and duo chrome styles. The colour combination too….it’s exciting, it’s different AND it’s very workable and easy to get an absolute TON of makeup looks from. Spend the money, you’ll be as hooked as I am.
Stila Hide and Chic Fluid Foundation. This is a super lightweight, serum-like foundation that gives a beautiful second-skin glowing gorgeous finish. It allows your skin to breathe throughout the day without caking or flaking. Innovative silica-coated pigments create a cushioned, bouncy effect that helps to minimise the appearance of imperfections without clinging to texture. Your skin is left looking smooth and even with a blurred effect. YES PLEASE.
PIXI Glow-y highlighter. Super underated! I don’t see many people talking about this but I have been harping on about it for a while as I use pretty much every time I do my makeup. I use the shade ‘Wednesdays’ the most which is a pink-tone and can double up as a blush. It’s also super pretty and fresh-looking on the eyes.
Bareminerals Barepro Glow Bronzer. The best liquid bronzer fomrula I have EVEr tied hands down. I have been a bit adverse to liquid bronzer formulas as I often struggle with them and find they can just look a little patchy?! This Bareminerals formula is near-perfect and it’s a gorgeous, blend-able texture, it doesn’t go patchy at all and this shade is absolutely perfect for me. Gives a really subtle bot of warmth and glow to the skin. I wear shade ‘Faux Tan’. This will also be great to add a drop into foundations/bases when they are too pale for you / holidays etc.
Urban Decay Stoned Vibes Eyeshadow Palette. Possibly THE eyeshadow palette launch of 2020. It’s an absolute beauty. It’s not your usual naked run-of-the-mill line up of *wearable* shades : it’s different in many ways. The actual formula is insane which is tourmaline-infused so gives you a shape-shifting colour and finish. The colours within are slightly unexpected and interesting and PERFECT for a jewelled eye lewk. Full review and swatches head right here on my old post!
Urban Decay Stay Naked (Foundation & Concealer). When I want a little bit more of a fuller coverage I reach for these bad boys. LOVING Urban Decay atm, they are killing it with their latest launches and I’m super excited for what 2021 will bring. The Stay Naked Foundation : 50 shades, waterproof formula, real-skin matte finish. The Stay Naked Concealer : 24 shades, full coverage, demi-matte, long wear.
IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better Foundation. I seem to be loving a lot of foundations as there are 3 in my makeup top picks. This is another absolutely bloody gorgeous one and If their’s one thing that IT Cosmetics do incredible well….it’s their bases. I am yet to try a base product I don’t like! This foundation is lightweight, it is a lighter coverage I would say than their CC cream and it feels lighter on the skin and leaves you looking glowy AF, wonderful and lit from within. This is is skincare + makeup hybrid and they say it actually improves your skin as you wear it (huh?!) and it also has illuminating pearl pigments to give that G L O W. Shade range is great with 40 to choose from.
KISS Eyelashes. I have been a big advocate of KISS lashes since way before they even came to the UK and I’m so pleased they are much more readily available now. I love their triple individual lashes which I always have used in my professional makeup kit but I have been wearing and loving a lot of their styles lately including the ‘Ritzy’ and the ‘Chiffon’ which you’ll see me wearing a lot in my makeup videos. In 2020 I was introduced to Lash Couture Faux Extensions which are so very natural and gorgeous-looking and I really want to try their Falscara ones next as these looks really innovative. *adds to list for my next Superdrug trip*
Bobbi Brown Oil-Infused Crushed Lipgloss. The ultimate non-sticky lipgloss! Offering both hydrating and plumping benefits, the gloss will leave your pout looking irresistible with a glass-like finish. A blend of nutrient-rich botanical oils offers a cushioning sensation, while conditioning the lips to leave them feeling baby-soft and nourished. Honestly, the best way to see these and the FULL shades and lip swatches, head over to my YOU TUBE video right here (and hit that subscribe button whilst you are there!)
Too Faced Melted Matte Long-Wear Lipstick. An incredible long wear formula, some of the best liquid lipsticks thats money can buy and this red shade?! One of the most stunning! These apply really well, they feel super lightweight and dry totally matte. Mask-proof and one of the most long-wearing on the market! I love the new shades that they have added to the existing line and ‘Nasty Girl’ is THE red of all reds. See the swatches right here on my post!
Umberto Giannini Flowerology Hair Masks. I worked on the campaign for this launch and it was one of my favourites for the year! I love their haircare and have used it since I can remember and we all know I love switching up my hair colour so this was a match made in heaven! These are colour-infused hair treatment masks that give you a temporary but vivid (!) colour whilst leaving your hair super soft and nourished. I’m damaged, bleached and this is a perfect way to switch up hair colour every few weeks. TBH the colour in some of them are pretty strong (hey you Pink Delight) so act more like a normal semi-permanent hair colour than a wash-in-wash-out. Some of my colour has lasted up to 4 weeks with these! LOVE, hope they extend the range this year for sure.
Got 2 Be Farewell Flyaways. This unassuming little tube does great things and I didn’t know I needed it ’til I got it. I spoke a bit my post-partum hair loss a while ago and that has left with me with re-growth and small wispies all around my forehead which can be a pain to style and to conceal – this wand solves that exact problem. It’s a clear gel formula that holds and styles the hair down. Great if you have split ends too but would really recommend if you have those annoying wispies which won’t behave!
Olaplex No.3 Hair Perfector. I, probably like you, had heard SO much aboit Olaplex over the years. I only got round to trying it out during Lockdown.1 and I’m a convert. So much so I’m about to purchase some more products from them. The no.3 is probably their signature treatment and is great for anyone who is bleaching, colouring their hair. It’s a pre-shampoo treatment that you put on your hair for at least 10 minutes (the longer the better!) and then rinse out as you shampoo /condition your hair. It works at a molecular level to revitalise and regenerate dry, damaged strands that have been broken due to chemical, thermal and mechanical effects.
Verdant Alchemy. This is an INCREDIBLE brand and discovery : Luxurious bath oils and salts that send you into full relaxation and revive mode. Super potent, aromatic and have that real feel-good and reviving vibe to them.
The bath salts are a mixture of 22 minerals, including magnesium and 100% natural essential oils. My favourite I think may be the ‘Ascent’ which are Himalayan pink salts combined with Rose geranium and Lavender for that ultimate relaxing spa kinda vibe. The ‘Yoga Om’ recovery salts are great when you are feeling a little achey and tired as these revive and soothe the muscles. They do 6 different types of bath salts so pretty much one to suit all needs and tastes. They do small packs (100g) for £12 if you want to try them out and test the different scents which I would recommend and once you find one you love you can get a larger glass jar.