11 January 2016

Best of 2015 | My Beauty Picks

2015 was a massive year in beauty for me. From discovering the importance of organic skincare. to finally getting my hands on some decent brushes, to learning how to contour(ish - I'm still a beginner!), I developed so much in my understanding of the beauty world. So, I thought I'd share with you my favourite skincare, hair care and makeup goodies that helped transform my style in 2015. and that I'm looking forward to continue using in 2016.


1.) LUSH H'Suan Wen Hua Hair Treatment. This is my go-to deep treatment for my long and rather unruly hair. It keeps my hair soft and glossy for weeks after I use it and it's my favourite little hair treat.
2.) V05 Plump It Up Amplifying Blow Dry Lotion. This works miracles with my thick but flat hair. Pre-brush I look a little cavewoman-esque, but after I've run a comb through it it gives my hair that extra bit of life it's missing.
3.)John Frieda Frizz Ease Moisture Barrier Intense Hold Hairspray. This saved me during a humid trip to Tenerife this year. I have that problem that seems to come with Irish genes (thanks Mum) where baby hairs stick out at the front of your head at any sign of potential moisture. This generally means goodbye Blake Lively aka Serena Van Der Woodsen high pony tails and hello being the 'before' Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries. But, this actually keeps my hair under control in a way that no other hair sprays have don.
4.) John Frieda Extra Strength 6 Effects Serum. This combined with the hairspray above is what dreams are made of. You basically whack a tiny bit onto your hands (which means it lasts forever, unless you accidentally spill half a bottle all over your bed, ffs) and comb it through wet hair from root to tip and voila you have hair that is actually manageable and protected when it comes to drying it!


1.) Benefit's Foamingly Clean Facial Wash. This was probably my all time favourite beauty product of the entire year, so much so that I've dedicated a whole post to reviewing it here. This product smells so good and is something that I always reach for, especially when I'm breaking out. It seems to hold the perfect middle balance between being light enough for every day use, and strong enough to clear up and avoid any breakouts.
2.) Simple Kind to Skin Hydrating Light Moisturiser. This has a firm spot in the heart of a lot of bloggers. My combination skin often breaks out if I moisturise, but when it's a little on the dry side a dab of this before bed time balances my skin out perfectly and leaves me feeling refreshed.
3.) LUSH Brazened Honey Face Mask. Usually I only buy LUSH face masks once. i get the opportunity to head in there so rarely that I like to try out different things, but Brazened Honey had me bowled over so much that I repurchased it (madness!)
4.) LUSH Snow Fairy Shower gel. Now this is something that pretty much every blogger and her mother picks up at Christmas time. A limited edition LUSH product, it's only released in the couple of months preceding Christmas, and sells out uber-quickly. This basically makes me smell like a fairy and is one of the few super pink and shimmery girly things you'll catch me indulging myself in.
5.) The Body Shop Frosted Cranberry Body Butter. This is one of The Body Shop's three key Christmas scents and I always make sure I grab a tub in the sales. I love using it all year round for a sent that's not overly sweet or too musky. Plus it keeps my skin super soft.
6.) The Body Shop Spa of the World African Ximenia Scrub. This entire range was incredible - a spa at home is something (my) dreams are made of, and this scrub was my favourite of the lot. I have very sensitive skin, so often scrubs are simply too harsh and painful for me, but the particles in this were fine enough to soften my skin without marring it. 

Makeup (face):

1.)  Real Techniques Expert Face Brush. This brush was my first foray into the world of proper beauty brushes. Don't get me wrong, I owned them, but they were incredibly cheap and simply incomparable to this. Now my foundation could be spread evenly and blended into my skin effortlessly. If you're a beginner in the world of decent makeup brushes this is definitely the first step I'd advise taking.
2.) Ecotools Mattifying Finish Brush. Not only does this look SO pretty, but it's also the perfect highlighter brush. It allows me to sweep a cheeky bit of shimmer across my cheeks, allowing me to feel confident enough to face everything that the day throws at me.
3.) Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. This is massively popular with a lot of beauty bloggers out there and I can definitely see why. My contour game was upped massively due to the incredible blending abilities it offers (no more streaky bronzing!).
4.) Makeup Revolution Pressed Powder in porcelain soft pink. This goes on post foundation and pre contour and effectively smooths and mattifies my foundation. For £2 it's definitely a must buy in my books.
5.) MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighting Powder - Iridescent Gold. Even the name of this makes my beauty blogger senses tingle. It was the perfect highlighter for the Christmas period and is great for adding a little subtle shimmer to an evening party.
6.) Barry M Chisel Cheeks Contour Kit. As I've mentioned before, I'm hardly the queen of contour, and I was advised that this was a fab product for beginners, and I have to say my advisers weren't lying. There are three shades in the product, a white powder, a light brown and a deep brown. i only tend to use the latter two as I prefer my MUA highlighter, but the two products combined have a crazy effect - I mean, it actually looks as though I have cheekbones underneath my hamster cheeks!

Makeup (eyes):

7.) Rimmel Wonder'full Mascara with Argan Oil. This both softens and lengthens my eyelashes, making sure that they stay in good condition.
8.) Max Factor False Lash Effect Mascara. I'm pretty much too much of a wimp/inaccurate with my hands to put fake lashes on, so this is the second best thing. I've been a big fan of Benefit's They're Real mascara, but I'd say the benefits (get it?) of this one almost equal it for under half the price tag.
9.) Maybelline Eye Studio Master Precise Ink Pen Eyeliner in Black. I think everybody goes through a transition of eyeliners, usually starting with a pencil and ending up at either liquid or gel. I've been a massive fan of gel eyeliner for the past couple of years, but a slightly shaky hand, a laziness for washing my brush frequently and a small variance in my eye shape meant that 90% of the time my eyeliner didn't match on both eyes. At all. However, Maybelline stepped in with a miracle product - thank god for over browsing in Superdrug. This pen is almost effortless and allows you to create the tiniest of cat flicks and the most dramatic wings.
10.) Makeup Revolution Ultra Flawless Eyeshadow Palette. This has allowed me to be more adventurous with my makeup than ever before. A combination of day and night shades means you've pretty much got all of your go-to looks in one simple palette!

Makeup (lips):

1.) Rimmel Kate Lasting Finish Timeless All (08). I'm not usually the greatest lippy fan, preferring to go for bold eyes over bold lips, but this is the perfect shade for everyday use for me. This lets me get the confidence boosting kick from wearing some sass on my lips without it being too obvious and blatantly smearing everywhere when I decide to chow down.
2.) LUSH Mint Julips Lip Scrub. We all know that a lot of 'saviours' for our lips actually contain drying ingredients, making us feel the need to wear more lip balm and therefore buy more product. Most people bite their nails, but I chew my lips (disgusting but true), meaning I'm always in need of a saviour for my lips. LUSH have here provided an answer to my prayers. their mint julips lip scrub not only tastes exactly like a sugary mint chocolate chip ice cream, but also contains natural softening, but not drying ingredients.
3.) KORRES Jasmine Lip Butter. This is a bit of a 2 in 1. Not only does it keep your lips softened with natural organic ingredients, but it also provides a subtle feminine lip tint to your smackers.
What were your favourites last year?


  1. Great favourites :) I especially love your Lush pics ;) There are some bits I know and love for a while now ;)

    Love D x


    1. LUSH are my absolute favourite!

      Steph x

  2. Hey! I´m from Brazil and I love your blog! I love make up and I loved your tools!


I read each and every one of your comments, and really appreciate the time you've taken to add them! If you want or need a more immediate response then contact me through my twitter @stephhartley4. Thank you!