New Finds and Old Favourites 2018

End of Year

2018 was a good year for me beautywise. I completely revamped and updated my eye make up; I found a mascara I actually liked (and liked me back) and bought by chance, a setting powder that delivered on its promise.

I also threw everything I could at my hair and grew it a little longer – hair can be long at any age as long as the condition is good. I have a pact with my hairdresser called mutton watch, he knows when to cut it before it veers into lamb territory.

I love reading ‘end of year’ beauty lists (and scribbling down recommendations), so I thought this would be a nice note to end the blog year on.

The list has been narrowed down to 28 products, lots of new items, listed first, and old favourites I will continue to repurchase (in multiples, in case they’re discontinued).


Elemis Pro-Collagen Collection – I rate everything from this range, but Overnight Matrix needs a special mention, magic (or at least, a visibly rested face) in a jar.

Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish for eyes, NSPA Hot Cloth Polish for rest of face – I’ve got about 8 cleansers on the go, but nothing beats the Liz Earle one for removing eye make up, even if they did mess with the formula. It never stings no matter how much you work it into lashes.

Alpha H Liquid Gold – A reliable liquid exfoliator for flakey, dull skin. If you feel it’s too strong for sensitive skin, dampen the cotton wool pad first.

I know some may disagree, but any product that stings or tingles upon application, doesn’t say It’s working, to me, it says, Get this sh*t off my face now! 

Clinique 7 Day Scrub – A reliable, and extremely gentle grainy exfoliator that’s safe to use everyday.

New finds, old favourites


Clarins Radiance Plus Golden Glow, both Face and the Body – Customised tanning drops, much imitated, never beaten.

Guerlain Terracotta Bronzer – The queen of all natural looking bronzers, the compact is gorgeous too.


Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray – Trying to wean myself off this strange, hard to explain, expensive hair texturiser, it adds body without leaving any residue.

Kerastase Styling Lacque Noir – Sets hair in a subtle, non stiff way – horribly expensive. As above, trying to kick the habit.

Time Bomb, Mass Appeal – At last, a hair thickener that’s non sticky and volumises without stiffness, or that feeling of product in your hair. Two pumps to the crown is all that’s needed.

Herbal Essences Silk ‘n’ Shine – Never fails to silken straw like hair.

Sebastian Trilliant – Heat protection, subtle shine and smoothness in 2/3 sprays. Shake to activate, smells of melon.

Philip Kingsley Elasticizer – This pre shampoo conditioning treatment works even if you only apply it for 60 seconds.

Charles Worthington Moisture Seal – Overnight treatment for parched hair.

New finds, old favourites


No 7 Exceptional Mascara – My top new buy this year, I now have 6 tubes. Catches spindly lashes and defines them, plus holds their shape ALL day, easy to remove as well.

Too Faced, Born This Way Concealer – I’ve never had a concealer that melts into skin like this one does. I have shade Light Nude, but when it comes to repurchasing, I’ll dial it down and chose a lighter shade to brighten the under eye area.

Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow in shade Undress 647 – I still think the two pale colours are utterly useless, but the other 3 more than make up for it, strong, long stay pigment, easy to blend.

Barry M, In the Buff eyeshadow palette – I stand corrected here with regards to my previous review, because the four darkest shades (which are my favourites) will create fallout if you don’t treat them gently ie pat them on with a light hand. But the palette is still great value and those four shades in a particular, are stunning and deliver a strong punch of colour.

e.l.f. Blush and Bronzer – A surprise discovery, use sparingly and blend like a mofo for a pop of healthy colour.

Legendary Brows, shade Brigitte – Perfect for less than perfect eyebrows.

Bobbi Brown Corrector – Stamps out dark, inner corner shadows.

Kat Von D ‘Lock-It’ Translucent Setting Powder – What an unexpected find. Sets make up for the day and never looks powdery or cakey.

Mac Satin Eyeshadow, shade Haux – A gorgeous flattering browny, mauve crease colour. I use this everyday day now and the shades from the Barry M palette compliment it perfectly.

Bobbi Brown Face Base – A moisture drink for skin pre make up.

Charlotte Tilbury Rock n Kohl, Eye Cheat nude toned eyeliner – The soft liquidy formula messes up the pencil, but it’s just the right bright, pale nude shade to open up eyes. Careful to apply only to your waterline, it’s murder to pick off lower lashes.

Mac Powerpoint Eyeliner in shade Stubborn Brown – I’ve tried many others, but this NEVER smudges.

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil, shade Milk – I pat this on my lower lid, it provides a long-lasting, non creasing base, but it also brightens eyeshadow to make it look more vibrant.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eye Liner – Again, never smudges and stays put all day. A good alternative, not cheaper, but in case the Stila one’s out of stock, is Clinique’s Pretty Easy™ Liquid Eyelining Pen.

New finds, old favourites


ESPA Explorers Collection (now down to £58.50) – I’m still working my way through this bundle, although I’ve finished and will repurchase, the Pink Hair & Scalp Mud mask (overnight silky hair). My mum has very dry skin and nabbed the Pro-Serum which she says gives any oil from Elemis a run for its money – high praise indeed.

I was also going to repurchase Energising Shower Gel, the zingyist, most uplifting, spa like, wake up call, but I’ve just spotted the Bergamot and Jasmine Body Wash and I love all things Bergamot. Hopefully, the scent will linger as much as the shower gel.

Like most retailers, they have a sale on at the moment (30/12/18) which includes a lot of sets and (be still my beating heart) some very lovely sounding candles. I’ve had the travel ones before and the scent fills the house very quickly.

ESPA Beauty Explorer Collection

ESPA Sale *
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You can find reviews of all of the above on the website.


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