It's time to share what's usually one of my favourite posts to put together: my top beauty products of the year! 2018 has been a year where I've cut right back in terms of my spending on beauty and I've curated my collection a little more and focused on what really works for me. These are the absolute highlights of the products I discovered during 2018...
Primer: Touch in Sol No Poreblem Primer | £15 | full review
I think this is my holy grail primer! I'm nearly done with my second bottle of it and I only discovered it in February; in fact I don't think I've used much else all year. I find this primer to be a nice, smoothing base for makeup without being something that's going to pill up and make a mess. I find it gives my skin a satin finish, eliminating shine but not matting things down too much. It helps my base go on smoothly and evenly, as well as making it last. I think this is my perfect primer!
Primer Honourable Mention: REN Perfect Canvas* | £50 | full review
This is an all-round great skincare-makeup hybrid product. It has an amazing smoothing effect on the skin but also replenishes my complexion to make my skin look its best. It stops my pores and fine lines looking so obvious and ensures I have a 'good makeup day'.
Foundation: Nars Radiant Longwear Foundation (Barcelona) | £35 | full review
I've definitely been into a lighter coverage this year and this Nars foundation fits the bill for me. It has a natural-to-satin finish that's not overly dewy but definitely isn't matte or anything like that. It gives a breathable medium coverage that can be sheer-ed out or built up. It's also really nice and long-lasting, as the name promises!
Foundation Honourable Mention: English Mineral Makeup Company Foundation* (Beige Deep) | £37 | full review
This isn't a brand that seems to get much buzz on the internet but their powder foundation kind of knocked my socks off! It looks so radiant and natural on the skin and is really long-wearing. You can definitely build up the coverage but I also enjoy that you can just put on a light dusting when you don't want to wear much makeup just to perfect your complexion.
Concealer: Tarte Shape Tape Concealer (Medium) | £22 | full review
This is my all-time favourite concealer because it ticks all the boxes in terms of what I'm looking for. It's amazing coverage without feeling thick and cakey on the skin and blends out like a dream. It's very long-wearing and doesn't crease under my eyes. What more could you want?
Concealer Honourable Mention: Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Liquid Concealer* (Shade 7) | £24 | full review
This is my concealer on those more 'off duty' days when I want something hydrating that's going to look fresh and radiant under my eyes. It's more of a medium coverage and does need setting, but once I do so; it lasts well on my skin.
Powder: Too Faced Peach Perfect Mattifying Setting Powder | £20 | full review
This is another product that I think has gone straight to 'holy grail status' in my makeup routine! It only comes in one shade, which is a shame, and it's translucent with a slightly peachy tone. The consistency is sooooo fine that it's pretty much traceless on the skin, so you really can't over-apply this one. It mattes down any shine and just ensures my makeup is fixed in place all day or night.
Powder Honourable Mention: Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder* | £42
I've not even had a chance to review this yet! However I'll post something on it in the new year. It's a new addition to my collection but actually a great one for the daytime during the winter months and one I'd recommend if you have drier skin. It definitely sets my makeup and has a fine texture but is less matte and gives the skin a healthy, radiant look. It also has a soft-focus effect, blurring fine lines and pores.
Highlighter: Ofra Highlighter in Bali | £25 | full review & swatch
This is seriously the most blinding highlighter formula ever! I use a fan brush and still have to tap off quite a bit of the excess before it's safe to go in with it... I love this colour; it's a really beautiful sort of peachy tone with a golden sheen running through it. It really suits my skin tone and I think it looks perfect with any kind of summer makeup look.
Highlighter Honourable Mention: Jouer Powder Highlighter in Skinny Dip | £19 | full review & swatch
This is also a gorgeous highlighter with a stunning finish. It's a little less dramatic than the Ofra and slightly more natural but still has amazing impact. I love the champagne tone with a hint of peach and get so many compliments when I wear this.
Blusher: Milani Baked Blush in Bellissimo Bronze* | £10 | full review & swatch
Ok, so I technically got this towards the end of last year, but it's easily been my most-worn cheek shade of 2018 so I had to include it here! This formula has the perfect level of pigmentation, blends easily, wears well and is impossible to overdo. I love this warm golden-bronze shade because it works with all of my favourite warm makeup lip and eye colours.
Blusher Honourable Mention: Glossier Cloud Paint in Dawn | £15 | full review & swatch
I absolutely love the Glossier Cloud Paints - cream and liquid blushers rarely work for me, but these do for, whatever reason! They aren't thin and shiny on my skin and don't disappear or go patchy throughout the day. This year some new shades were launched and this warm coral-red was my most-worn during the summer months.
Bronzer: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Radiant Bronze Light | £45 | full review & swatch
I never thought I'd be that into a sheeny bronzer but if anyone was going to convert me, it was going to be Hourglass! This is a gorgeous, subtle bronzer that gives warmth and glow to my skin. It's pretty foolproof as the formula isn't overly pigmented and it blends out so evenly.
Bronzer Honourable Mention: Anastasia Beverly Hills Powder Bronzer in Saddle* | £29 | full review & swatch
I do still love a matte bronzer and this year I tried the new one from Anastasia. I really like the tone of this, because although it's warm, it isn't anything orange so can still sculpt and give dimension. This is a little more pigmented, so I try not to go in with too much product on my brush, but it still blends really well.
Brow: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz (Ebony) | £22 | full review
This is another product that's more of a rediscovery than a first discovery during this year. I got this in a Cult Beauty goodie bag earlier this year and remembered how great it is! The only annoying thing is how quickly I get through it and how the spooly always breaks eventually... However I love the consistency of this pencil; it gives a really natural look and the shades are realistic. The fine twist-up pencil means you can draw on each individual brow hair.
Brow Honourable Mention: BB London Conceal & Brow Lift Matte* (Medium) | £19 | full review
I tend to use a product to highlight my brow bone and get a sharper, cleaner look. This is a pretty genius invention; instead of faffing around with a potted concealer and angled brush, it does it all for me with an angled matte highlighting shade on one end and a little flat brush on the other.
Eyeshadow Palette: Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette* | £43 | full review & swatches
There was only ever going to be one winner of this award! This eyeshadow palette is by far my most used this year and is definitely a classic for me, joining the ranks of my absolute favourites. I love the range of matte tones and these metallics are just stunning. What I love about this shade selection is that it contains everything I need to create a daytime look or something more glam and evening-appropriate. I think think if you like warm tones and only want to invest in one eyeshadow palette that will do it all for you; this is the one, in my opinion.
Eyeshadow Palette Honourable Mention: OPV Oshun Eyeshadow Palette | £29 | full review & swatches
My runner-up for 'best eyeshadow palette' has to be OPV's Oshun. I love all of the textures and finishes in this palette and it's a product I'm excited to use every single time. It's a selection of really warm coppery and gold tones with pressed glitters, foiled shades, shimmers and mattes. These shades are so pigmented and stunning - I just love this palette!
Eyeliner: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Intense Smoky Quartz | £16 | full review & swatch
If you come here often, you'll probably know that the Stila liquid liner pen is my all-time favourite with it's precise tip and long-wearing, smudge-proof formula that doesn't bleed. This year they launched it in some new colours, including Smoky Quartz, which is a deep, rich, soft, smoky brown. I actually now prefer this to black!
Eyeliner Honourable Mention: Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Vivid Quartz | £16 | full review & swatch
I've also been loving this product for a softer, smokier look in the waterline. The shade is the same as the liquid version and this is a twist-up pencil liner that doesn't smudge or transfer on my eyes. It gives definition without being too harsh. I originally got both of these liners in PR earlier this year but have been using them every single day so had to repurchase them and I see myself continuing to do so in 2019!
Mascara: Glossier Lash Slick Mascara | £14 | full review
I've done a bit of a u-turn on this product; I must admit! I was kind of lukewarm on it when I first tried it, as it's definitely a product to lengthen and separate as opposed to one that's going to give loads of volume. However what I have been loving this for is the formula; it's a tubing mascara so doesn't smudge, smear or get in my eyes. I'm not a huge fan of waterproof mascara so this was my go-to throughout summer for a natural, everyday look. I will definitely repurchase this next year.
Mascara Honourable Mention: Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara* | £25 | full review
This is my favourite mascara for that 'full glam' look with lots of volume. It doesn't clump but does deliver on that drama. It's one of the only super-volumising mascaras with a fibre wand that I actually like!
Lipstick: MAC Matte Lipstick in Strip Me Down (discontinued) | £17.50 | full review & swatch
This is another product that I did actually own before this year but it'd be weird to mention anything else in this category given that I've worn it so much! Sadly this is discontinued and I don't know what I'll do when it's all gone... This has a creamy, comfortable, long-wearing formula and I love this mid-toned beige-brown nude on my colouring.
Lipstick Honourable Mention: Huda Liquid Matte in Iconic* | £18 | full review & swatch
I also loved wearing something a little different for me this year: a gorgeous rich plummy tone from Huda Beauty's range of liquid lipsticks. This is personally my favourite matte liquid lip formula as it's long-lasting, doesn't flake and won't emphasise dryness. This is also perfect if you want to dip your toe into the world of berry lips but don't want anything too dramatic.
Makeup Tool: Zoeva Luxe Powder Fusion Brush* | £10 | full review & swatch
This seems to be becoming my highlighter brush of choice. When I first started using it I still kind of preferred my fan brush but over time this seems to have edged ahead. I love the small tapered brush shape, which makes it easy to pick up product, even when you're dealing with a small pan size. It doesn't pick up too much product and it just applies my highlighter perfectly.
Makeup Tool Honourable Mention: Ecotools Sculpt Brush* | £10.49 (as part of a set) | full review
This tapered, synthetic brush has been my favourite for applying bronzer - it's just so easy to blend the product out using this! Ecotools is also a great brand for affordable brushes if you need something vegan and cruelty-free.
- SKINCARE -Cleanser: Fresh Soy Face Cleanser* | £30 | full review
This cleanser is hands-down my favourite of this year - I'm glad I've got a backup already waiting in my cupboard because I don't want to be without it! It's a non-foaming, natural, gentle gel cleanser. You can use this in the morning or to remove makeup and it leaves my skin soft, smooth and clean.
Cleanser Honourable Mention: Omorovicza Moor Mud Thermal Cleansing Balm* | £17 (travel size) | full review
This is my favourite luxury cleanser when I'm really wanting to give my skin a treat! It's a gorgeous product that melts onto the skin and leaves it soooo soft, smooth and hydrated. I absolutely love this stuff! I definitely want to pick up the full-size, though it comes in at a hefty price-point...
Mask / Treatment: Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask* | £55.50 | full review
When my skin is looking dry and dull; this is the product I reach for. It both physically and chemically exfoliates the skin to give me the smoothest complexion ever! It also revives my skin so it look fresh and radiant.
Mask / Treatment Honourable Mention: Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Oil | £34 | full review
This is one of my go-to face oils because it's intensely hydrating but absorbs really quickly. I love how non-greasy this product is and how it doesn't overwhelm my skin but gives a really nice smoothing effect. Exactly what my winter skin needs!
Moisturiser: Dr Roebucks No Worries Hydrating Face Moisturiser* | £30 | full review
This was my go-to moisturiser throughout summer because it's hydrating, smoothing and softening whilst having a really light lotion-like texture. It dries down to a satin finish and doesn't make my face shiny but still gives my skin the moisture it needs. I can't recommend this enough!
Moisturiser Honourable Mention: Dr Jart Ceramidin Cream | £35.50 | full review
Hot on its heels is my go-to for the winter months. I love that this has a dry-touch finish but the formula is super nourishing. It's great to have a product that really retains that moisture in your skin without leaving any excess on the surface. No matter what your skin type is; I think this is a great option for when your skin needs something a bit more.
Serum: Caudalie Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst-Quenching Serum* | £29 | full review
This serum formulated with grape water and hyaluronic acid has been my go-to during the second half of the year. The almost water-light texture means my skin drinks it right up and it just gives that boost of healthy glow and hydration needed when my skin is looking a bit tired.
Serum Honourable Mention: The Inkey List Hyaluronic Acid* | £4.99 | full review
I know it's a bold claim but I enjoyed this serum more than the Ordinary's, as the formula is just easier to apply and less tacky on the skin but still packs a punch and comes in under a fiver! I love how hydrating and lightweight this is - it's one of my favourite serums and also one of the cheapest in my collection...
Lip Care: Fresh Coconut Hydrating Lip Balm* | £15 | full review
It's hard to get that excited about this sort of product so I'll keep it brief! This smells amazing and leaves my lips soft, smooth and hydrated. Now to collect the rest of this dessert-inspired range...
Lip Care Honourable Mention: Primark x Alex Steinherr Sleep Mask | £4
My review of this range will be up in the new year, but spoiler alert: this one's a winner! This is a gel-based lip mask I use before bed and it does an amazing job of clearing up any dry patches and leaves my lips super-soft.
- EVERYTHING ELSE -Fragrance: Molton Brown Rosa Absolute Eau de Toilette* | £69 | full review
I absolutely love this deep, heady scent - it's particularly perfect for this time of year! It's a strong and long-lasting blend of rose, blackcurrant, raspberry, vanilla and more. Not many new fragrances have joined the ranks of my favourites this year but this is one of them!
Fragrance Honourable Mention: Clean Reserve Sel Santal* | £82 ( for full size) | full review
For something lighter and fresher, particularly during the spring and summer months; this is what I've been loving. This is a fig, amber, sandalwood and cedarwood based scent. This brand's entire range has this gorgeous 'clean' quality to their fragrances.
Hair Product: Hask Keratin Protein Smoothing Conditioner | £6.99 | full review
I actually got this product as PR way back in January and instantly fell for it. I'm now on my 4th bottle and haven't really used anything else in terms of conditioner all year. It just leaves dry or damaged hair smoother, silkier and softer. I still can't believe how cheap it is but I'm very grateful for that, given it's a 'can't live without' product in my books.
Hair Product Honourable Mention: Umberto Giannini No Wash Conditioner | £7 | full review
Again, I was gifted this one initially and am now on my 3rd bottle! It's an oil in a spray mist container that's great for just giving my hair a shiny finish. It's never overly greasy and doesn't overload the hair but gives it that healthy look.
Body Product: Caudalie Divine Oil | £28 | full review
I love using a body oil because my skin is so dry - especially during winter! This oil smells amazing and gives intense nourishment without leaving a slippery excess on the surface. I also love that this comes in a spray bottle - it's far easier to apply and stops any wastage.
Body Product Honourable Mention: Rituals Ritual of Yalda Body Cream* | £19
Although I do tend to prefer an oil - this body cream is also lovely. It has a light texture and absorbs nicely into my skin. The watermelon and pomegranate smell is fresh, creamy and fruity all at once!
If you stayed to the end of this bumper post: congratulations! What have been some of your favourite products this year?