Sunday, January 14, 2018

My Favourite And Most Used Products Of 2017

I hadn't planned on writing any round ups of the year but after reading everyones favourites posts over the past few weeks I started to think about my own favourites and realised there were so many products I discovered and loved last year so I thought I'd share my favourite and most used products of 2017 with you all.

I had to put some sort of limit on it so I've made a list of twenty makeup, skincare, body care and fragrance favourites both new last year and new to me. Once I started writing the list I realised there were some products that I immediately knew I had to include as I'd repurchased them or had solely used that product over any other in my collection for most of the year. This is going to be a long one so let's just get straight into it with makeup favourites.


L'Oréal Miss Baby Roll

I've only really used a few mascaras this year, most of which I have loved. MAC Upward Lash was given to me by my sister for my birthday and it is probably the best mascara I've used in a long time. However it falls down and smudges on me which is the only reason it hasn't made it onto the list. It's so frustrating because it makes my lashes look incredible but it's just so annoying having to clean it up throughout the day. I know a lot of people love this and it doesn't fall down on them so I'd be inclined to purchase it again just to see if it was a bad tube I got. The mascara I'm currently using is Lancôme Monsieur Big which is amazing too and doesn't fall down on me so I highly recommend that if you don't mind spending a bit more on your mascaras. The ones I wasn't all that impressed by were Benefit Roller Lash which was a sample I got in a goody bag at an event (not blog related) and Urban Decay Troublemaker* which just didn't blow me away although again, I know a lot of people loved it. The most inexpensive of all the ones I've tried this year and the only one I repurchased was the L'Oréal Miss Baby Roll. It's just such a great mascara especially at only €10.49, I'd gladly pay more for it but I just think because of the price it's the best option of all the ones I've tried this year. I wrote a full review of it which you can read here.


Glossier Boy Brow (Cruelty Free)

I've written a blog post dedicated to Boy Brow so I won't go into too much detail except to say there's a reason everyone raves about this, it's just such a great product. It's a thick pomade textured formula and a small brush so it really grabs each hair and holds it in place but without getting any product on the skin around the brows. I've tried lots of these kinds of products and apart from the Lancôme one which I wrote about here, this is the only other one I've tried that has worked as well but Boy Brow is less expensive at $16/£14. It's the only brow product I use most days when I'm getting ready for work and I'm on my second tube and definitely not my last. This is one I'm going to be repurchasing for a long time.


Glossier Cloud Paint  (Cruelty Free)

The second of three Glossier products that made my list. Again I've just recently written about these here, so I won't repeat myself but all you really need to know is that these are the only blush products I've used since April. My tube of Puff is running dangerously low so I'll have to repurchase that soon and I've been loving Dusk since I bought it in October. They are just such easy to use, natural and effortless blushes, I don't even want to use powder blush anymore. I'll definitely be completing my collection and picking up Beam and Haze at some point. At only $18/£15 you really get value for money.


Glossier Haloscope (Cruelty Free)

I've written in more depth about Haloscope in this post but once again, like with all other Glossier products this is one for those who want a natural, effortless look. I wasn't too impressed by these when I quickly swatched them in the showroom but after seeing them in action on other people I was converted. They are not the most pigmented of highlighting products but it's more about the texture and sheen. I've found the best way to use it is to rub my middle and forefinger on the bullet (easy now) and then tap it onto my cheeks etc. It's quite a stiff product so once you warm it up it's much easier to apply. If you apply directly from the tube onto your skin it could move your base underneath. I just adore the glow I get from this, I will 100% be buying a back up of this and trying out the shade Moonstone too.

NYX Professional Makeup Epic Ink Liner (Cruelty Free)

I saw a few people recommend this throughout the year and so once my Kat Von D Tattoo Liner ran out I decided to give it a try as at €12 it's almost half the price of the KVD one. I loved the Tattoo Liner but I find this better. It's smoother, easier to use and it's waterproof too but not difficult to remove. I don't wear liquid liner as much as I used to so this has lasted me quite a while without drying out. I'll definitely be repurchasing it once it's used up.


NYX Professional Makeup Dark Circle Concealer (Cruelty Free)

I've used this every day since I bought it earlier this year. It's the same idea as any colour correcting/brightening product. It's a peachy shade so it works really well at cancelling out my purple dark circles. I use this as a corrector by applying a light layer with my finger and patting it on and then using a concealer on top. I would make sure under your eyes is sufficiently hydrated before using this, however it does contain coconut oil to prevent it from looking cakey. If you only need a little colour correcting you might be able yo get away with using this on its own. Definitely one to try if you're self conscious about your dark circles like I am as it's only €9 so it's a lot more inexpensive than the likes of the Urban Decay or Bobbi Brown products that are similar.

Collection Precision Contouring Stick (Cruelty Free)

Another cheap and cheerful product from Boots. At only €5.49 (currently €3.99) this is one of the best value for money products I've bought all year. I've been using this every day since I got it and there's still so much of it left in the tube. It's the perfect lazy girls contouring product as it's a twist up cream contour stick that you just sweep on and blend in in seconds. I use the shade Light which is perfect for my fair skin, it's just pigmented enough that it gives a nice shaded effect without being too much. I think the fact that it's a cream products makes it easier to use as there's no way to really overdo it and if you apply too much you can always fix it  by blending it out with your foundation brush. I wanted to try the new Charlotte Tilbury Contour Wand but at more than eight times the price of this one I don't think I could justify it when I'm so happy with how this works.


YSL All Hours Foundation*/ IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream (Cruelty Free)

I'm counting these as one because they're two different base products I use depending on what I'm doing. I use the CC Cream during the day when I know I'll be outside as it contains SPF50, the All Hours has SPF20 but I like to wear at least 30 during the day so I tend to save this for evenings or when I'm going out. I've written a full review of the IT Cosmetics CC Cream here so you can read about it in more detail. I bought it in New York in May and I've been trying to use it sparingly since because it's a bit more difficult to get hold of in Ireland, although you can buy it from Selfridges or QVC. It's such a great base that offers coverage, sun protection and skincare ingredients all in one. This is one I'll be repurchasing soon so I don't run out. The YSL is a more recent favourite. It's long wearing, matte finish, medium to full coverage, waterproof, transfer proof and oil free. I love this for when my skin is acting up and I want more coverage, but what I really love is that it doesn't look or feel heavy on my skin and it gives more of a glowing matte finish than a dry looking matte finish. Perhaps if you had dry skin it could look more matte. It's so easy to blend in and if you need or want to, you can apply a light layer and blend it out and then build it up for extra coverage. It's quite pricey at €42, but  like with most YSL products you get what you pay for. If you have more oily/combination skin and like a more medium to full coverage foundation that won't budge, this is definitely worth trying out. The shade range is also great for anyone who finds it difficult to find a foundation to suit their skin tone.


Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette (Cruelty Free)

This is a product I had very little interest in buying even though I'd seen it mentioned a lot by bloggers and YouTubers and it always seemed to get great reviews. To be honest I have so many palettes now and although they still excite me, I know I don't need any more so I tend to avoid any hype over new releases. My sister asked me to get it for her when I was in New York and I of course obliged, any excuse to buy makeup, even if it's not for me! After a couple of months I asked her if I could borrow it to play around with and see what I thought as I'd never tried anything from ABH before. The next day I tried it for the first time and I was so impressed. Yes, there is a lot of fallout, but if you're careful you can minimise it. The quality of the eyeshadows is up there with my favourites from Urban Decay. I love the selection of shades, I've used every colour which is rare for me with most palettes. It's one of those palettes that every time I open it I feel spoiled for choice and I'm always torn over what to choose because I love all of the shades so much. Every time I wear it I get so many people asking me what it is because the shades are so beautiful and unusual. I think I would have bought the Urban Decay Naked Heat if it wasn't for this but for now this is the only warm palette I need. See me wearing it in this post (and lots more on my Instagram!)


Lancôme L'Absolu Rouge Lipstick*

I was given two shades of these lipsticks at a press event last November and have worn both countless times over the past year. They are definitely my most worn lipsticks of the year. I was given Idôle (a coral red) and Rose Lancôme (a vibrant pink) and although I adore both shades, I am almost finished my tube of Idôle which is another rarity for me because I have so many lipsticks. I think the only other lipsticks I've finished are MAC Ruby Woo and Russian Red. I've written a full review of both lipsticks here if you want to know more about what I think but the reason I loved these so much is not only the gorgeous shades but the formula which is the most comfortable creamy matte that lasts incredibly well without feeling drying. I wear both of these constantly in work and I never have to worry about topping up or feathering. I think both shades would compliment any complexion. Lancôme's Creative Director Lisa Eldridge is responsible for these shades which is why they're so beautiful on, she knows her colours! I will without a doubt be repurchasing Idôle once it runs out which will be very soon, definitely my lipstick of the year and one of my favourites of all time. If you find true reds too intimidating I highly recommend trying Idôle as it's a coral red so it's a lot easier to wear which is helped by the formula. My other most used lip products of last year are the Lancôme Matte Shakers in the shades Energy Peach and Beige Vintage. You can read more about them here.

Molecule 02 by Eccentric Molecules (Cruelty Free)

I think 2017 was the year I rediscovered my love of perfumes. I discovered several amazing scents that have become absolute favourites already. The one I loved the most was Molecule 02. I am already a huge fan of Molecule 01 which I've worn for years now and I had actually never tried any of their other scents. One of the girls I work with wears Molecule 02 and every time she walked past me I loved the scent and had to find out what it was. Coincidentally she also wears 01 but has switched to 02 and I can see why. I definitely prefer it now, it's a scent that's almost impossible to describe because it's completely unique. All I can do is urge you to try it out for yourself. This is one that has quickly made it to my list of favourite perfumes of all time. It's also not too expensive at €38 for the 30ml size.


Estée Lauder Modern Muse Nuit

This is my evening fragrance of the year. Although I definitely don't save it just for evenings, in fact I wore it a lot last Spring. I'm a big fan of Estée Lauder scents, Sensuous Nude is probably my favourite perfume ever. I'm always curious to try their new fragrances so when I noticed this at a counter one day early last year, or late the year before I had to try it out it. I wasn't expecting to love it as much as I did as I normally don't go for these kinds of scents but I bought it a couple of weeks later because I loved it so much. It's got notes of Jasmine, Musk and Amber so it's quite warm, rich and sexy, like my ideal man. Another fragrance I've loved this year is Burberry My Burberry Black which I first tried after getting a sample of it in Sephora New York. It was a gift with purchase kind of thing that I opted for on the recommendation of the sales assistant and I'm so glad I did. I ended up getting it in the airport on the way to Paris back in November and I've been alternating it with Molecule 02 since then. It's similar to Modern Muse Nuit in that it's more of a warm nighttime scent that also has notes of jasmine and amber but also rose and peach nectar so it's a bit sweeter.

Rituals Soothing Night Balm (Cruelty Free)

When I flew to New York in April I wanted to stay hydrated during the flight so I drank a lot of water and therefore needed to pee and subsequently wash my hands A LOT. The soap on airplanes is basically scented foam and dries your skin so much that the next day my hands were so red and  cracked. I brought a hand cream with me but I can't remember which one, all I know is it didn't do much for my hands so when I happened upon a Rituals store in the Oculus on one of our first days there I went straight in to buy my beloved The Ritual of Dao Soothing Night Balm. It completely restored my hands overnight and although I have used it for years I hadn't bought it in a while. Since April I've repurchased it several times as it's one of the only hand creams I've used that does such a good just of keeping my hands hydrated and soft. If you're like me and you suffer with dry hands, especially at this time of year, I can't recommend this enough. It's a thick balm so it's best used at night but you can of course use it during the day too. It smells incredible, as with all Rituals products and it's only €10 for a 70ml tube. While I'm mentioning Rituals I might as well add that I have used so many of their products over the past few years and this year was no different. I tried out more products than ever this year and each one was sublime. If you've never tried anything from Rituals, you absolutely must, the scents of their products are the most invigorating and uplifting of any skincare product I've ever tried. They're so good that my boyfriend, my brother, my sister, my mam and several of my friends are now fans too.

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil in Honey

My sister and I bought a set of three of the Clarins Lip Oils last Christmas in the sales and took one each (I chose Honey which is clear), giving the third to my mam. I didn't open it for a while as I was using the last of a pot of NUXE Rêve de Miel (still one of my favourites) but after beginning to use it in February, it stayed on my bedside table and I used it every night until I used it up completely in November. I will 100% be repurchasing it once I've used all of my Emile Cordon Cashmere-On Lip Pot (another favourite of last year). There are seven shades or flavours, each with its own star ingredient. Hazelnut is the star ingredient of the Honey shade and it prevents dehydration and provides protection against free radicals. It feels comforting and smooth on my lips and makes them feel super hydrated. This is another product I kept on my bedside table, I preferred using it overnight but I'd love to try some of the tinted shades for wearing during the day. At €21, it's worth every cent.

Kiehls Creamy Eye Treatment / Super Multi-Corrective Eye-Opening Serum

Both of these products have saved my eye area over the past year. I went through a period of suffering with dry patches around my eyes and I couldn't figure out why (probably because my skin wasn't being adequately hydrated). I was recommended both of these products and have bought, used and loved them throughout the year. I have even repurchased the Creamy Eye Treatment and the serum will be repurchased very soon too. The serum contains Sodium Hyaluronate which is one of the ingredients you need to look out for if you need hydration. The Creamy Eye Treatment contains avocado oil and shea butter to hydrate the skin and beta-carotene, an anti-oxidant. I haven't had any dryness around my eyes since using these, I love how hydrated my eye area feels since I started to use them and you only need the smallest amount so they lasted a long time which means you get your money's worth. 


Pixi Nourishing Cleansing Balm (Cruelty Free/ Vegan)

I tried the Pixi and Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse earlier this year and although I loved it, I prefer removing my makeup with a micellar water or bi-phase remover first and follow with a cream/balm/oil cleanser. I saw the Nourishing Cleansing Balm when I was stocking up on Glow Tonic and decided to give it a go as it sounded very similar to the solid cleansing oil of the Double Cleanse. NCB is a balm to oil cleanser that removes makeup and deep cleanses the skin but leaves it feeling plump and nourished. I take a small amount and rub it together on my fingers to melt it slightly before massaging it all over my face. I then take a warm face cloth and remove it. I love how comfortable and hydrated my face feels after using this. I don't think I've ever used a cleanser that makes my skin feel so good afterwards. It contains sweet almond oil, cocoa seed butter, shea butter and vitamin E. It lasted me for so long because you only need a small amount to cleanse your entire face and neck. This is another definite repurchase for me an at only €23.50 it won't break the bank. 

Skyn Iceland Nordic Peel Pads (Cruelty Free/ Vegan)

I bought these from the recommendation of glowing skin expert Katie Jane Hughes. I'd seen her use them in her Instagram live videos countless times and she alway raved about what they do for her skin. Obviously I'm not going to go and blindly buy a €52 skincare product so I did my research and read up on the ingredients first. This product has a stellar list of ingredients including Witch Hazel, Lactic Acid, Jojoba Seed Extract, Papaya Fruit Extract and White Willow Bark (a natural form of Salicylic Acid). These ingredients gently exfoliate, improve tone and texture, diminish fine lines, reduce pore size, help prevent breakouts and congestion and the natural antibacterials clear pores of dirt and oil leaving the skin looking fresh, bright and clear. These work in the same way as the likes of the Pixi Glow Tonic. You sweep over your face daily or 3-5 times per week if you have sensitive skin. I tend to only use them every second or third say even though I don't have sensitive skin, or when my skin is looking dull or I'm breaking out. This is one of those products that immediately makes a difference to my skin, it looks fresh and glowing and feels smother after using one of these. I'm completely hooked and will definitely be buying another tub before this one runs out.

The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution (Cruelty Free/ Vegan)

I think anyone who has any interest in skincare has noticed the hype over The Ordinary throughout the past year. I think the main reason is the low price point and the ingredients list of the products. Of course I couldn't help but order a few things. At such affordable prices I figured it wouldn't be much of a loss if the products didn't work for me. I really liked the first few products I tried (Advanced Retinoid 2%, Natural Moisturizing Factors +HA, Salicylic Acid 2% Solution and the Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5) so I bought a couple more when Arnott started stocking them. I got the Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG and the aforementioned Peeling Solution which has definitely been my favourite product so far, in fact it seems to be a favourite for a lot of people. It contains both AHAs (
Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid etc.) and Salicylic Acid so it exfoliates while helping to clear pore congestion. It fights visible blemishes, improves the skins texture and reduces the look of fine lines with continued use. I love this product and the noticeable difference it makes to my skin straight away. You just have to be very careful when using a product like this with acids in it, the directions are to use it no more than twice per week and leave it on for no monger than ten minutes. You also need to be vigilant with sun protection after using a product like this and don't use it if you have sensitive or peeling skin. I tend to use it once a week or every two weeks as I already use acids in my skincare and I don't want to damage my skin. I always wear an SPF of at least 30 if I'm going out during the daytime after using acids. If you're thinking about trying this, I highly recommend reading more on The Ordinary website just to make sure it will suit your skin.

Too Cool for School Egg Mellow Cream

This is another KJH recommendation and I can see why. I bought this cream in Paris in November and it has quickly become my favourite daytime moisturiser of the year as it works particularly well as a base before makeup. If you haven't heard of Too Cool For School, they are a Korean brand and Egg Mellow Cream is a part of their range of products that contain egg extracts. The egg yolk and egg white extracts help to purify, tighten and nourish the skin. It also has niacinamide to brighten and collagen fiber to firm the skin. I love the scent and texture of this, although it feels rich it absorbs into  my skin quickly and easily. I love the instant tightening and brightening feel it gives my skin too. It's got easy to use plastic pump packaging and at €31.50 it isn't extortionate. The only thing I don't like is that you can't see how much product is left but it's something I can overlook because I love the product so much.
 Obviously we don't have Sephora here but if you're in Ireland or the UK you can get it from Selfridges and Beauty Bay. I'm already planning on buying a backup of this so I don't run out.

If you managed to read this far I'd love to know what your favourite and most used products of last year are and if you've tried nay of the ones I mentioned.

As you can see I decided to add whether a product was cruelty free or vegan too as I feel like it's such an important factor for so many people, if there are any changes to any of these please do let me know. The information can be quite vague in the case of some brands.

A belated Happy New Year to you all, thank you for reading my little blog, it means so much to me!

Emma x

Disclaimer- These are just some of the products I tried and loved last year, there are a lot more I tried, some I loved but couldn't include because I was already writng so much and there was some that I didn't like that much. Just because something worked for me, doesn't mean it will for someone else. I'd encourage anyone looking to spend their hard earned money on any product to read about it and do their research first, especially when it comes to skincare. I'm just an average person who happens to love beauty and skincare products and writes a blog and I get sent some products but most of these I have bought with my own money or they were gifts from family and friends. My thoughts and opinions are as always 100% my own.

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