Like most, I will be spending the early days - who am I kidding weeks - of 2017, ruthlessly decluttering all aspects of my life and no task is more mountainous than the tackling of my beauty stash. Simply put I am a hoarder, a person who lives in a constant state of "what if'" and as such cling onto beauty products (amongst other things) far longer than needs be. Yes there will be a huge cull in the coming days but seventeen products that will
Liquid lipsticks are two a penny at the moment and as such, you don't have to spend a fortune to embrace the matte pout trend; if anything I would say that this is one area in which the budget beauty sector truly does excel. Late last Summer (I can say that now we are officially into 2017 can't I?), I purchased a few shades of the NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick and was so impressed that I have since re-purchased and trialled new shades within the range. Not only are the NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick a snip at just £6.50 each but the shades are varied, long-wearing and extremely comfortable - the latter being a smidgen more important when wearing formulations of this kind, all but daily. As the NYX Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick settle to a full matte finish, they are extremely flattering (you need to try Soft-Spoken (photographed above) and Foiled again (a bright orange coral)) and do create the illusion of fuller lips, and with a steady hand and a little patience (and a lip brush) you can use the liquid texture to slightly overdraw the lips should you wish. If you try one new liquid lipstick in 2017 let it be this.
Risqué name and super sleek packaging aside, Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara is quite the revelation; yes you do have to wait a few weeks for it to somewhat dry out and grace you with its lash amplifying and building prowess but once it does, there is no looking back. If like myself you have what I "kindly" refer to as lacklustre eyelashes: devoid of any sort of curl, flimsy and generally non-impressive this mascara may just change your outlook. Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara (17% off with the code NY2017) is blacker-than-black, stretches even the smallest and most difficult to reach lashes (I'm looking at you inner corner eyelashes) to their maximum potential and does help create a slight, eye-opening curl - and all without flaking, smudging or clumping the lashes together regardless of my "three layers and you're done approach". Yes the name is a tad tacky but this is worthy of every word of internet hype and then some.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes have graced the pages and videos of monthly favourites ever since they were launched a few years ago, and rightly so too. After much trial and error, I can say with my hand on my heart that there is no blush more flattering and delicately illuminating than those within the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush collective. This is the lit-from-within glow, coupled with a delicate flush of colour that you have been waiting for; it is the wonder product that will sculpt, illuminate and generally inject a little life into your complexion on days where you feel like sleep is a long, lost friend, you've yet to become reacquainted with. If you are a person who feels less is more, the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush allows you to skip out on separate highlighting and blush products but offers you the combined quality of both. If I could only wear one blush for the rest of my life, I really do believe the honour would be bestowed upon Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Dim Infusion.
With downsizing firmly on my mind, I have began to make multi-tasking beauty products a priority. Typically I don't rate nor use powder foundations all that frequently, as I do find them to be a little more cumbersome to both apply and wear but one that shatters such mould is NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation. If you have yet to be convinced powder foundation is at all worthy or as much as dip a toe into such sub-category of bases, this is the formulation that will leave you equally impressed and bewildered. Yes this is a powder product and as such you'd be forgiven for assuming that sooner or later (especially if re-touches are required throughout the day) that this will feel heavy, smothering and generally uncomfortable on the skin. Wrong. NARS All Day Luminous Powder Foundation is surprisingly lightweight and yet it does the impossible, it offers up to medium coverage and with a luminous finish. On a good skin day I will wear this alone but in the midst of a balmy spell, I will use this in place of a setting powder to really lock my foundation into place.
If like myself your sleeping habits are less than desirable and as such you've become accustom to covering, deep purple circles that unwittingly frame your eyes, then there is a £3 concealer that you really have to try - Collection Illuminating Touch Under Eye Brightener. Rather impressively this brush on formula not only comes in a range of shades - all of which have a salmon undertone to combat the blue/purple tones of dark circles - but it also gently illuminates without the need for chunky shimmer or glitter particles. With a few simple clicks you can create the false illusion of being well rested - a post-festivities staple if ever there was one.
I think we will all be in agreement that 2016 was the year that highlighter shone oh-so brightly. From Becca Opal to the new MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinishes and all that is in-between, you can bet that I tried and on the most part adored the new launches but no product has quite won me over than the Maybelline Master Strobing Stick. It is highlighting simplicity at it's best, simply glide onto the high points of your skin and marvel and the easy to blend, trail of illumination it leaves behind. As an added bonus it doubles up as a cream eyeshadow or brightening primer should you wish.
One of the most difficult beauty decisions I faced within 2016 was settling on which Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips Lipstick to purchase. At £23 each they do not come cheap and as such I wanted my chosen shade to be both an investment and a smidgen special - a hue I didn't all but already own and yet one that I would wear day in, day out. After much deliberation I settled on Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips in Secret Salma which has proven to a sound decision; the deep, almost plum tinged, brown nude is beyond easy to wear, suits all skin tones and in my instance turned out to be the staple deeper-than-average nude that my make-up bag and stash was sorely missing. If you are a fan of MAC Velvet Teddy lipstick but crave something a little richer in tone, Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips in Secret Salma is the answer.
Over the last few months, I have realised that full and heavy coverage foundation simply isn't for me; I do not like the way it sits nor feels on my skin, regardless of how or when I apply it. As an adult acne sufferer, it took a masterclass with Charlotte Tilbury - yes the woman herself - to convince me, that I too could rely on lighter, softer coverage if using the correct product. The answer Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation - a make-up marvel, that beautifully prefects the skin with next to no work on the users part. Simply blend into the skin - a brush, sponge, your fingertips, it all works - and marvel at the illusion of shrunken pores, blurred fine lines and of course an illuminated, fresh yet even skin tone. Despite feeling, lighter than air on the skin, Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation does a stellar job of disguising my old acne scarring without the need for an additional concealer. I am truly converted to the power of light bases.
At a quick glance you can more than likely tell that the Charlotte Tilbury brand of cosmetics has me well and truly smitten, and for good reason too. Not only do the products look beautiful but they deliver and although not exactly budget friendly, I do believe in this instance it is a case of you get what you pay for. No product is a truer testament to such statement than the exquisite Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette which is back due to overwhelming demand but not for forever so you will have to be quick! Unlike many other all-in-one kits out there the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette pretty much offers all you will ever need and then some, to create an easy, polished look in a matter of minutes: from three defining, neutral and universal eyeshadows to two brightening blushes and even a built in highlight and contour kit, you have the everyday staples at your fingertips. Truly there is no better multi-functional nor travel palette out there, get it while you can! P.S there's also the new Charlotte Tilbury Seductive Beauty Instant Look in a Palette, to collect if you already have the original.
If you demand more from your primer than simply it's ability to lock make-up into place, may I suggest that you try GOSH Primer Plus Illuminating Skin Perfector. Not only does this primer keep foundation looking fresh and flawless throughout the course of wear, but it also injects a shimmer-free, illuminating shot of radiance - perfect for both nights on the tiles and when you have had less than a peaceful night of sleep.
What's your favourite Instagram filter? Whatever the answer may be, I can all but guarantee from the first use of Estée Lauder Revitalizing Supreme + Global Anti-Aging Wake Up Balm, your reply will change to just that. This wonder product not only soothes, hydrates and protects the skin from environmental damage and premature ageing but it perfects the skin in a way that the Photoshop blur tool is rendered useless.
We all have the best intentions of really taking care of our skin but life often gets in the way, rather than beating yourself up about broken skincare resolutions in the coming months, invest in a few sheet masks for instant on-the-go moisture. With sheet masks becoming less of a novelty product and more of a permanent fixture within skincare routines - and rightly so - I suggest that if you have yet to embrace the on-the-go quick fix, that 2017 is the year that you do so. As you may be aware sheet masks are of course a Korean beauty innovation, as such they have all but perfected the art of squishy, liquid drenched masks - an affordable, fun and varied option (the bumper pack of 11 offers a mask for all of your skin requirements and then some) is the Tony Moly I'm Real Sheet Masks.
Yes Kiehl's Tumeric & Cranberry Seed Energizing Radiance Masque is nothing short of messy but if instantly brightened, refined, deeply cleansed and exfoliated skin is what you crave, look no further. This Tumeric based mask is as close to a spa quality facial with real, visible results you will ever find or achieve in the comfort of your own home - my all time favourite face mask.
It has been a tough call to whittle down my ever growing and groaning stash of eye lotions and potions but if I was to recommend just one, an option that is all singing, dancing, affordable and suitable for all it would be Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream. This 99% natural eye cream pretty much does it all: it soothes, moisturises, helps to reduce both dark circles and fine lines as well as being suitable for extremely dry and on occasion broken skin.
Customisable skin care is going nowhere fast, if anything it is predicted to be one of the biggest trends of 2017. One of the earliest adopters has to be Clarins with their Clarins Booster Face Serums - three dinky little bottles of add on elixir to turbo boost your existing skincare. With three to choose from: Energy (to combat dullness), Repair (for uncomfortable skin) and Detox (for when you've lead a life of excess) there is something for every skin need; heck if you own all three, you might never need to switch your up moisturiser again as you can be your very own skin alchemist in the comfort of your bathroom.
I hate myself for loving a £150 face oil but the truth is once I tried, Vintner’s Daughter’s Active Botanical Serum everything else just paled in comparison. This nothing short of miraculous face serum contains no less than 22 of the world’s most active organic botanicals, all of which have been selected to combat a wide slew of complexion complaints from dullness, lack of elasticity, pigmentation, dryness, oily skin and of course general signs of ageing. It is one of the few skincare products I can truly testify that the results are both impressive and instantaneously and if it means tightening my belt to ensure that I forever own a bottle of Vintner’s Daughter’s Active Botanical Serum, so be it. Skin care magic in a little brown bottle.
Fragrance is subjective and as such rather than recommend one fragrance, that will equally divide us into two camps, I am going to bring to your attention a new and innovative collective of scents - MAC Shadescents Eau de Parfums. The concept is both simple and yet voyeuristic, using the inspiration of six of MAC's best selling - and cult - lipstick shades, MAC have created coordinating fragrances. From power player, bold, leather spiked scents to delicate, second-skin, musk based fragrances and even a bold, playful candy based concoction, I truly do believe that there is something for everyone. My personal favourite is MAC Velvet Teddy Shadescent Eau de Parfum, it has a soothing yet intoxicating honey and chocolate aroma that tinkers between being familiar and yet unexpected.
What products will you be taking into 2017 with you?