Those of you that have followed along the Rock My Journey or indeed my personal instagram feed, will know that I’m a self-confessed make-up junkie.
I love browsing beauty counters and trying new products and it makes me especially happy when I discover a beauty game changer (or two) that I can share with you stylish bunch. I’ve actually found it more difficult than usual to recommend non-luxe products for my best beauty buys of 2016. It’s not that I haven’t tried, tested and reviewed products from a wide variety of price points, just that my favourites from last year happen to fall into the spendy category rather than the purse friendly. When I furnish an item with the “best” title I expect it to excel in application, texture, longevity of wear and of course make you look and feel like a glossier version of yourself.
Where possible I will also link to budget alternatives that I think are good value.
Best Nail Polish 2016
This was without a doubt Chanel Le Vernis but the new longwear formulation – easy breezy application, smooth finish, reasonable drying times and chip resistant. I bought the entire team a bottle of Liquid Mirror for Christmas, a stunning metallic silver that was limited edition but you can still find at Boots.
Lisa said she will probably never buy another brand of nail varnish again. Yes, it’s that good. And if I was to be told I could only wear one shade on my fingertips for the rest of my life it would be Organdi as featured in the header image above. That is a bold statement to make but it’s the perfect blush/nude/beige “go with EVERYTHING” hue. This shade seems to have sold out everywhere I’ve checked except Feelunique if you fancy treating yourself.
Also deserving a mention is Rimmel 60 seconds Shine which really does dry at the speed of light. I’ve been applying Pamper me pink when I literally have to do my nails on the train (happens) as it’s foolproof and makes your nails look instantly cleaner and as though you have made an effort – two coats and you have a pretty pink iridescent sparkle.
Best Perfume 2016
Can’t say too much about this because the £135 price tag makes my eyes water. What I will say is that scents by Byredo are magical. And if you fall in love with one you will probably fall in love with another. And then another. Your MasterCard will suffer as a result.
I’ve also worn Jo Malone’s Wood Sage and Sea Salt since launch (sexy, slightly masculine) which is slightly less price prohibitive (£43 for 30ml and £86 for 100ml).
Best Lipstick 2016
I’m going to cheat here and choose two. I would have chosen three as Clinique Pop Lip Colour and Prime is EXCELLENT for those with dry lips but I am yet to find quite the right shade for my yellowish skin tone.
My current go-to is Charlotte Tilbury’s “Hot Lips” in the lush rosy pink shade Liv It Up, a delicious creamy pigmented finish that seems to “hug” your lips and enhance the size and shape. I don’t understand how this happens exactly but I can guarantee it does.
Rimmel’s Lasting Finish lipstick by Kate (Moss) in Rock N Roll nude has a similar consistency to the Tilbury and is a decent dupe for the shade “Bitch Perfect”. You can currently buy Rimmel on “Buy one buy one half price” at Boots.
Best Eyeliner 2016
I rate lots of liquid liner pens to be honest – they have come on leaps and bounds in recent years compared to the leaky smeary versions of old. For me YSL “shocking” is an all-rounder. Black BLACK (important!) easy to apply, doesn’t sting, super staying power, gets really close to the lashline thus making your lashes appear thicker and the brush can create a fine or thick line depending on your preference. The liner is normally £25.50 but you can currently save 10% with the code “Boost” at Feelunique.com.
Best Mascara 2016
I seem to have gone Rimmel mad but the Wonder’full mascara with Argan Oil just made it into my 2016 best beauty buys list. I’d heard rave reviews (not least in the comments section on this very blog) so whipped it out on New Year’s Eve for a thorough trial. I like the brush – it’s rubbery but soft and flexible, it doesn’t clump, it makes your lashes uber long AND it’s extraordinarily easy to remove.
For the princely sum of £7.99 it’s worth a whirl. And there is currently 15% off at Lookfantastic with the code “Detox” so essentially it’s almost free.
Best Make-Up Brushes 2016
I am huge fan of the Real Techniques range of tools, such great value and so many designs and sizes (as per above there is 15% off on Real Techniques at Lookfantastic.com). Mabel managed to steal several of mine from my handbag and lose them down the back of a non-moveable sofa in Costa (the joy of motherhood, thank goodness it wasn’t my car keys..) so unfortunately they had to be replaced.
What have been your best beauty buys of 2016? I haven’t listed foundation as I don’t wear it and my fave concealer remains to be Estee Lauder Double Wear BB Brush-on Glow as waffled on about on many occasions. I would love to hear about your recommendations, I’m sure I must need to try at least a few more things……