Lipstick Lover
Lipstick Lover
Best Beauty Buys 2016 including Byredo perfume Charlotte Tlbury hot lips in Live It Up and Chanel long wear nail polish in Organdi
Best Beauty Buys
Best Beauty Buys
Best Make-up for 2016 including Zoeva brushes and Rimmel Wonderfull mascara with organ oil

Best Beauty Buys 2016

Author: Charlotte O'Shea

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 plus, learn more about clear nails plus – dailywellnesspro here!. 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.

Clear Bactefort is an anti-fungal composition. It works actively to curtail the problems caused by fungus on one’s nails. The underlying aim is to prevent the harmful foreign agent from causing further damage in the body. Left untreated, fungus can grow to cause lots of problems. For instance, it can pollute the bloodstream and weaken the immune system.

Therefore, battling it in the early stages is vital. Fungus-affected nails are often characterized as yellow, weak, and brittle. It is here that the problem needs to be tackled. To this end, this supplement is a valuable one. It is based on a natural ingredient list.

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 wear Rose Of No Man’s Land for day and Rose Noir if I fancy something more intense. The fragrance lasts all day and then some and the bottles look lovely on your dressing table. Just saying.

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  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” 

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 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.

On a whim I decided to try out Zoeva brushes and the quality is immense. The Soft Paint Liner brush in particular is sublime and only £7.99. You can buy Zoeva at Cult Beauty 


Purveyor of short shorts. Make-up junkie. Hopes to grow old disgracefully.
Follow Charlotte on instagram @charlotte.oshea
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27 thoughts on “Best Beauty Buys 2016

  1. Oh I do love a good RMS beauty post! My wallet not so much 🙂 some really different things to try which is nice – thanks Charlotte.

    1. Hi Nicola! Lots of things to try – definitely check out the Rimmel recommendations, not too spendy and a lot of offers on at the moment x

  2. Starting again with makeup recently after having my 2 girls (and never having toe to wear it) so I’ve made a few purchases (may leave – who cares?) I asked for some specific thing for Christmas and I was super lucky! Laura Mercier caviar stick in sugar frost and the urban decay nude basic palette is all I wear for daytime. I also use soap and glory highlighter/shimmer stick on my cheeks occasionally on days where I’m so tired that pink blusher gives me the rage (happens). I also spent my Boots points on ester lauder modern muse nuit – nothing special on a tester stick but when it develops on my skin it’s delicious! Finding my mojo after having kids is expensive!

    1. Donna what lovely treats! The nude palette by Urban Decay is a winner – their eyeshadow formulation is my favourite. I am the opposite to you and put pink blusher on to make me feel less tired (!) xx

  3. Your make up posts are always my favourite Charlotte. Tempted to try that Rimmel mascara now. I’ve yet to find anything that compares to the Max Factor Clump Defy, but who can blame a girl for trying? 😉

    I bought a bottle of Byredo Gypsy Water about 5 years ago and loved it, but for some reason I didn’t replace it when it was finished. From memory I think it was around £85 then – if it really has increased in price at a rate of about £10 a year, maybe it’s not a bad thing that there isn’t a counter near me!

    You haven’t mentioned the Chanel blush Charlotte – I purchased on your recommendation and love it. At the same time I bought an NYX Ombre Blush for the princely sum of £8 and although it’s not quite as nice, it does compare pretty favourably imho.

    Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks are definitely on my wish list – not sure why I haven’t got around to purchasing yet…

    1. Hi Tracy! I wasn’t sure what to say about the Chanel blush as it’s now sold out (I was bought two back-ups for Christmas!!!) but the formulation is lush so I’m sure there are other colours out there that would work well for everyone.

      Charlotte Tilbury lipstick is gorgeous, and I love the shape of the bullet too!

      Gypsy Water is also on my wish list. I’m just not sure I can justify a third bottle of Byredo, at the moment all my spends are going on things like furniture……*sigh* x

  4. Yes to the rimmel argan oil mascara! I love it! And I got it for a fiver at morrissons! I also purchased a new max factor mascara for £11.99 which is super glam and gives amazing lash! I’m loving the MAC strobe in gold light and Iv read about an amazing Mac highlighter I prob need. I’m loving CT lipsticks and the special cheat lip liner that goes with every nude lip shade! I do want to try pillow talk liner too. I have the liv it up Kim k and now kidmans kiss and love the feel of them on. Hyperfresh and Kevin Aucoin pravella are my new fave pink blushes but I’m leaning more on peaches at the mo cos my skin seems really pink MAC in romance has a soft shimmer to it and peachy. Iv not deviated from Chanel les beiges foundation as it’s so light but also covers my skin in a my skin but better way. And the urban decay smoky eye pallette and the naked 3 are my fave eyeshadows at the mo with nars in Dionne for a night out shimmer gold metallic shade. Also the urban decay setting spray! Love! I just want to try their primer now.
    Sorry about the length but I do love make up talk!! I need some new brushes ASAP. I need a good blush/highlighter brush and one for concealer. X

    1. Oh I love your make-up chat Alex! Ha ha I have EXACTLY the same three CT shades as you, I mix Liv IT Up with Kim K for the perfect beige/pink. My sister bought me Pillow Talk for Christmas – I’ve only tried it once but it gives a lovely effect x

  5. I have Jo Malone’s Blackberry and Bay perfume and I love it. £85 for the bigger bottle but it has lasted me two years despite wearing it pretty much every day and it stays on all day so cost per use is brilliant I think..

    I also put the Urban Decay Naked 2 eyeshadow palette on my Christmas list after reading the blog and it’s great – the colours all work really well together and it’s great for day or evening. And I bought my sister the Clinique pop laquer thingy for Christmas following your recommendation on here but didn’t get it for myself because I didn’t love any of the shades!

    I’ve just gone back to a cheaper mascara – I’ve put myself on a strict weekly budget due to Christmas splurging and some upcoming city breaks and I couldn’t bring myself to spend £20 on a mascara! So I have gone for a Maybelline curling one which cost £5.99. I’m really impressed with it on but it’s not that easy to remove even with my new Emma Hardie cleansing balm (also a Christmas gift) so I am interested to try this Rimmel one..

    Also, one final ramble, how does not wearing a foundation work? Do you use a powder at all? I flit between two foundations and they are ok but one is too heavy and the other doesn’t stay on long enough so tomorrow (a non working day for me so better to experiment!) I’m going to try not wearing any foundation!

    1. Jennifer, have you tried mixing the two foundations together, i.e. a little drop the lighter stuff mixed in with the heavier foundation? I do this quite regularly and gives me an almost “perfect” foundation! Sometimes mix a tinted moisturiser with a little foundation to give a bit more coverage!

    2. Hi Jennifer, I wear concealer and then buff it a powder (always one with a dewy/sheeny finish not matt). Much like you would with a mineral powder foundations but those don’t work for me either (The Elizabeth Arden one is actually really good but I have a colour match issue because I’m so yellow). Believe me there are days I think I should have more coverage but I just feel that every foundation I try either disappears (pointless) or ends up patchy. I rate the Chanel pressed powder and the nude one by Bobbi Brown x

    1. Claire I’m going to experiment with some on my face – I’ve heard such good things and I have a big bottle just sitting in my bathroom cabinet! x

  6. I had the Naked (think number 1?) pallet from Urban Decay for Christmas and I love it! Want to try some of the Rimmel recommendations now. 😉

    1. Abi you won’t be disappointed! I mentioned above Urban Decay is my favourite eyeshadow formulation, MAC and the singular Estee Lauder ones come a close second x

  7. Oh dear, I’ve just promised my husband I’m going to cut down on buying makeup this year!
    Love a good beauty post. I’m interested to hear Charlotte that you think liquid liners have improved recently, I think the YSL one might be a bit spendy for me to justify right now, but does anyone have any other recommendations for smudge-proof eyeliner?? I have used Bobbi Brown gel liner for years as I love the depth of colour & ease of application but am fed up of it falling halfway down my face by the end of the day…

    1. Hi Becs, I would recommend the Rimmel exaggerate one in a pot – very black and doesn’t smudge. For a budget pen option Supercat by Soap and Glory is very good. Mid-price I’d say the Stila waterproof liner pen is hard to beat. x

    2. For a budget liquid eyeliner that’s properly black and stays put try the Supercat eyeliner pen from Soap & Glory.

      My absolute all time fav eyeliner is Tom Ford’s Eye Defining Pen. It’s super speedy though but as the name suggests there are two ends so you get two different looks. Which means you are essentially getting two pens for the price of one. Queen of justification here!


  8. Hi Becs
    I just started using Clinique’s Pretty Easy eyeliner and love it! I was always rubbish at eyeliner before as I didn’t have the patience or steady hand to make it neat enough but this goes on really easily and stays put all day.

  9. True to form, I bought a lot of beauty gumpf in 216 but when I think about it, I found myself reaching for my old faithfuls the majority of the time. There were only a handful of standouts for me:

    A konjac sponge. This is a little squishy plant based sponge thing (um, you might want to google it) that I use to cleanse my face. It starts off dry and hard but it expands when you hold it under water. There are lots of different types for dry / sensitive / dull skin etc. Less than £10 and last about 2 months. I get mines from The Konjac Sponge Company but I’ve seen them in Whole Foods and on Amazon.

    Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone. This gives good glow that isn’t glittery, I use it almost every day.

    IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream. I get this from Sephora. It’s a kind of medium coverage tinted moisturiser which means you can still see your skin but it has a decent amount of staying power. I wear this when I need to look polished.

    In the summer I was a big fan of Dr Hauschka’s Translucent Bronzing Tint. I add this to my moisturise or CC cream to give a bit of colour to my otherwise corpse like face.

    For lips, I’ve been reaching for Revlon’s Ultra HD Matte Lipcolour. So this is matte but not too matte. It doesn’t look cakey or dry your lips. I have it in an everyday pink colour called ‘devotion’ and in a berry colour called ‘addiction’. Both have decent staying power. This was a random add-to-basket during a Boots dash and I didn’t expect to like it as much as I do!

    1. I REALLY want to try the It Cosmetics CC cream -have heard such good things about it and currently have two shades sitting in my basket, but yet to take the plunge as don’t want to get it wrong with shipping costs etc!

    2. Becca Moonstone is brilliant – it’s the only highlighter I use these days. The IT CC cream sounds excellent, I’ve never tried anything from this range before, clearly I need to! x

  10. I hear you! Did you know QVC do it? It’s on offer at £23 just. Ow and postage is £2.95. That’s where I’ll be buying my replacement tube!

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