An obsession with skincare, makeup and all things beauty. Honest reviews and opinions.

Wednesday 1 January 2020

Favourite Beauty Products of 2019

*This post contains PR products and affiliate links.
Space NK UK
Of course I had to end the year with a round up of my favourite beauty products. There'll also be some repeats from last year's faves, which I think speaks volumes!


Cleanser - Now I'm terrible at narrowing things down so there's actually three of these. First is A.Florence Balm to Milk cleanser (available HERE for £35) which was also my favourite last year. This balm instantly lifts my mood thanks to it's gorgeous orange scent. It obliterates make-up & leaves skin soft & clean. It's a perfect first cleanse. You can read my original review of it HERE.
Next is also from A.Florence - the Hydrating Gel Cleanser (available HERE for £23). This for me is a perfect AM cleanser. You apply it to dry skin & massage in. It's the most wonderful consistency & leaves skin so hydrated & plump. Exactly what you want in a morning.
My final cleanser is Deviant Cleansing Concentrate (available HERE for £29-45). This balm is so different to the one from A.Florence but I love it equally as much. It's nutty, fresh cut grass scent is so unusual but so, so good! This also removes makeup in a flash (marginally better than A.Florence). It melts down in such a way, it's perfect to give your face a good massage. Just wonderful! All of these are repeat purchases for me.

Masks - This was an easy choice - REN Evercalm mask (available from REN Skincare, Space NK, Cult Beauty, Look Fantastic and Feel Unique for £32). I'm on my second bottle of the year, with a third waiting in my stash. It's that good. It's a thick cream that instantly hydrates, nourishes and calms skin. It leaves skin soft and plump every time. It's a perfect choice for me to use a day or two after having a peel. You can read my original review of it HERE.

Mists - A.Florence Hydrating mist. This mist is packed with hyaluronic acid and Ceramides to deeply nourish and hydrate skin. Perfect to use either side of a hydrating serum to really lock moisture in. It looks like this product is no longer on the website - I'm gutted!

Exfoliants - Another easy decision! Paula's Choice Daily Pore Refining Treatment 2% BHA toner (available from Paula's Choice, Look Fantastic, Skin City for £30) is a fantastic exfoliating toner containing salicylic acid. It's great for me to use in my morning routine. Other favourites are Drunk Elephant Framboos serum (available from Space NK & Cult Beauty for £76-113) and Babyfacial mask (not on sale in the UK). Nothing gives me smooth skin like these two! Babyfacial is a weekly treatment whereas Framboos can be used daily. Love them! You can read my full reviews of Paula's Choice BHA HERE and Drunk Elephant HERE.

Retinol - Has to be Paula's Choice Clinical 1% Retinol serum (available from Paula's Choice, Cult Beauty, Look Fantastic, Skin City for £53). Without a doubt this is my favourite Retinol serum. It's potent but has never caused me any irritation, even when used alongside acids. I get amazing results from this. You can read my original review of this HERE.

Serum - No hesitation for these! Paula's Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster (available from Paula's Choice, Cult Beauty, Skin City and Feel Unique for £41), Medik8 Hydr8 B5 Intense (available from Medik8 and Skin City for £54-55) and Algenist AA Barrier Serum (available from Space NK, Cult Beauty, Look Fantastic for £80). All three of these have had a massive effect on my skin. The Niacinamide booster has really helped improve the look of my pores as well as reducing oil production. It's also helped improve my tolerance to Retinol. The Medik8 serum is the best hydrating serum I've ever used. Since using it daily my skin has been massively less oily as it's keeping my skin so well hydrated. The Algenist serum has really strengthen by skin barrier. My skin is all round in better condition because of it. My reviews of these can be found here - PC, Algenist & Medik8.

Eye product - Again an easy choice! Drunk Elephant C-Tango for AM (available from Space NK and Cult Beauty for £54) and Verso Super Eye Serum for PM (available from Space NK, Cult Beauty, Skin City, Feel Unique and Look Fantastic for £80). These two are the only products to have ever made a difference to my dark circles. C-Tango is a beautiful, rich cream that is so smooth to apply. It just seems to erase any signs of tiredness. The Verso serum is thin, easily absorbed and very hydrating. It's potent stuff! I've had to be careful using it alongside Drunk Elephant A-Passioni as I find A-Pash can easily cause sensitivity.  My full review of these can be found HERE.

Moisturiser - There was one cream that really stood out for me this year and that was A.Florence Skin Rehab Light (available HERE for £31). This moisturiser has been a god send whilst I've been having chemical peels. It's packed full of amazing nourishing ingredients like ceramides, beta-glucan and squalene. It's a lotion consistency so it's nice and light which is perfect for acne-prone skin like mine. My original review of this is HERE.

Oil - The first product is really a hybrid moisturiser / oil but I'll put it in this category anyway. I'm of course talking about REN Evercalm Overnight Recovery balm (available from REN, Space NK, Cult Beauty, Look Fantastic and Feel Unique for £40). This stuff is amazing! It's a balm that melts down to an oil. It's the most beautiful consistency - light, silky and intensely nourishing. It's been perfect during the cold weather. You only need the smallest amount too. Next is the infamous Drunk Elephant Marula Oil (available from Space NK and Cult Beauty for £34-61 depending on size). This oil is heavenly! It's super light, absorbs instantly without leaving skin greasy. It's moisturising too. (My original reviews of these have already been linked above with the Drunk Elephant and REN Evercalm review.)

Acne treatment - This was an easy choice and the same as last year - Kate Somerville Eradikate Blemish Treatment (available from Kate Somerville, Space NK & Cult Beauty for £22) - This treatment is a lifesaver! Nothing shrinks spots as well. It's a combination of salicylic acid and sulphur to treat the spot, then calamine lotion to protect the area. It'll flatten a spot overnight. It's potent stuff though, I won't use it more than 2 days in a row else it'll dry my skin out too much. My original review of this is HERE.

SPF - Another repeat from last year, my favourite SPF without question is Evy Technology Daily UV Face Mousse SPF 30 (available from Space NK and Evy Technology for £ 25. You can save 15% on Evy's website using my affiliate code TORIA15. I've actually given up trying other SPF's now because I really don't think anything will beat this! It's super light and absorbs quickly, without leaving a white cast. It gives 6 hours of protection too which is much better than most SPF's. One of the main things that I love about this is that it works brilliantly under makeup. It's never pilled, no matter what makeup I've used over it. It really is the best! Check out my original review HERE.

Body Care 

I'm definitely prefer body oils to creams. There's two that have really stood out for me this year and that's Freshly Cosmetics Golden Radiance Body Oil (available HERE for £23) and Nuxe Prodigieuse Florale (available from Nuxe, Cult Beauty, Look Fantastic and Feel Unique for £29.50. Freshly Cosmetics oil is perfect to use straight from the shower on still damp skin to help lock moisture in. It smells of passion fruit! The Nuxe oil is more of a dry oil but I still like to apply it on damp skin. It has the most beautiful floral scent. I actually love this version more than the original! Both oils keep my skin moisturised and soft.

Another favourite body product has been Beauty Pie's Super Health Skin Nourishing Body Polish (available HERE for £10.02 for members). This is the nicest body scrub I've ever used! It's a sugar scrub but it's really gentle and smooth but still effective. It really nourishes skin as it contains oils. Plus is smells amazing - really fresh and citrusy. I'm eagerly awaiting it to come back in stock as I've run out. 

Hair Care

My favourite shampoo, conditioner, leave in conditioner, mask and serum are from Function of Beauty (available HERE). I have a subscription set up to deliver them every 6 months (they're big bottles). My hair is in the best condition it's ever been in thanks to these bespoke products. They're fantastic! My main reviews of Function of Beauty can be found here - shampoo & conditioner and leave in conditioner.  

Other products that I've fallen for this year are The Ouai Wave Spray (available from Space NK and Cult Beauty for £22) and Hair Oil (available from Space NK and Cult Beauty for £24). Both of these smell heavenly! The wave spray is perfect to spritz on when I leave my hair to air dry. It helps hold waves without being crispy or heavy. The oil is a brilliant multi-use product. It can be used on damp or dry hair to tame frizz and nourish.

Lashes - An obvious choice of NYK1 Lash Force eyelash serum (available HERE for £35.99 but you can save 10% using my affiliate code TORIA10). What can I say, this stuff works! The before and after photos on my original blog post HERE speak for themselves. 


Primer - Primer has to be Touch in Sol No Poreblem (available from MMCL and Boots for £16, however you can save 25% off at MMCL using my affiliate code TTBSOL25) and Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter (available from Space NK, Cult Beauty & Feel Unique for £32-34). No Pore Blem is a brilliant all rounder - it blurs imperfections, creates a smooth base for makeup and makes makeup last longer. Plus it's amazing value! My original review can be found HERE.
CT Flawless Filter is more of an illuminating primer. If you like glowy skin, you'll love it! It also multi use - it can be used over makeup as a highlighter. I'm obsessed with how it makes my skin look. It comes in a variety of shades too, depending on you skin tone (I'm the lightest one). My main review of this can be found HERE.

Foundation - There's three that have really stood out for me this year. Beauty Pie Everyday Great Skin Foundation (available HERE for £7.82 for Beauty Pie members) - this is a dupe for Armani Luminous Silk. It's a natural finish, medium coverage and is long wearing too.I'm shade 100. Love it! Next is Nars Sheer Glow (available from Space NK, Cult Beauty, Feel Unique, Look Fantastic for £33-33.50) - Although this wasn't what I expected, it's a fantastic foundation. I expected it to have a dewy finish and be lighter coverage. It's medium coverage, with a luminous finish. It dries down which I didn't expect. This is better for me though as I'm oily skinned. It's long wearing too. I'm shade Oslo. Lastly is Flower Beauty's Light Illusion foundation (available HERE for £12.99). This was a pleasant surprise for me. I'm a self confessed makeup snob and have a distinct lack of drugstore makeup in my collection. Flower Beauty changed that! This foundation is beautiful. It's a really dewy finish, it blends like a dream and it lasts well too, even on my oily skin. It's amazing.

Concealer - Now as I have acne, concealer gets a really good test with me! I actually use a different concealer for my under eyes than for the rest of my face. For my under eyes, I use Trinny London BFF Eye (available HERE for £26) - this stuff is magic in a pot! It's a serum / concealer hybrid. It's so light and hydrating yet still gives great coverage, enough to cover my dark circles. It doesn't settle in fine lines like other concealers. I'm shade Izzy. For the rest of my face, two concealers have really stood out to me - IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye (available HERE for £25) and Flower Beauty Light Illusion Concealer (available HERE for £8.99). IT Cosmetics is my go to when my acne is playing up. It is heavy duty stuff! You need the tiniest amount. It's super thick and very high coverage. It dries down to a matte finish. It completely covers acne. I'm shade fair / light. My full review of it is HERE. Flower Beauty Light Illusion Concealer is almost the opposite really! It's incredibly light, really easy to blend and is a dewy finish, like the foundation. It's still good coverage though.

Powder - Nothing beats Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders for me! (Available from Space NK, Skin City, Cult Beauty & Feel Unique for £42) They are the lightest powder I've ever tried and they give such a gorgeous luminous finish, without being glittery or over the top. They don't go cakey either. My full review of them is HERE.

Bronzer - Two stand out products this year. Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel cream bronzer (available HERE for £40). This is an Instagram favourite for a reason! It's a cream bronzer that gives skin a lovely, natural healthy colour. I'm very pale and it still works well for me. Although it's expensive, it'll last for ages as it's huge! I used mine loads and barely made a dent in it. Next is Nars powder bronzer in shade Laguna (available from Space NK, Cult Beauty, Feel Unique, Look Fantastic for £31). Another cult classic! Again it's a huge pan so will last ages. It's a matte powder that blends easily and gives a healthy glow.

Blusher - Trinny London Lip2Cheek without a doubt! (Available HERE for £25) These cream blushers, that also double as a lipstick, are the best blusher formula I've come across. They're quite a stiff cream which means they're longwearing, but they still blend easily. They're matte finish and very pigmented so you don't need much. They give the most gorgeous flush to cheeks. My original review of these is HERE. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes are fantastic too. (Available from Space NK, Skin City, Cult Beauty and Feel Unique for £35) They're the same gorgeous fine milled powder as the finishing powders. They blend beautifully and give a glowy, radiant finish.

Highlighter - Trinny London The Right Light highlighter in shade Starlight (available HERE for £25) has been my most used this year. It such a perfect shade - a pale gold that gives a natural lit from within glow. It's not too in your face or unnatural. It blends easily and is long wearing.

Eyeshadow - Charlotte Tilbury's eyeshadow formula has to be one of my favourites this year. (Available from Space NK, Cult Beauty, Feel Unique prices vary on palette size). I've got a number of her palettes and they all get a lot of use. The Starry Eyes to Hypnotise has been a particular favourite of mine. They blend beautifully, are long wearing and are very pigmented. Her shimmer shades in particular are outstanding! Another favourite is Trinny London Eye2Eye eyeshadows (available HERE for £18). They're a lovely cream formula. Pigmented, blends well and are long wearing as far as cream eyeshadows can be. They're my go to if I want a quick eye look. Mystery has to be my most used shade - it's a shimmery cool toned taupe. Perfect for everyday.
My favourite eyeshadow primer has to be P.Louise's Base (available HERE for £10). It's a super thick consistency and you only need the tiniest amount. It self sets and dries down as you pat it on. It creates a perfect base for eyeshadow. It helps them last longer and also intensifies any colours. It comes in a variety of shades to match your skin tone. I'm shade 0.5.

Mascara - No hesitation with this! Touch in Sol Stretchex (available from MMCL for £18 or cheaper using my affiliate code as above). For some reason pretty much every other mascara gives me panda eyes now, except this one. It does it all - lengthens, lifts, curls and adds volume. Brilliant stuff! I've just stocked up with 3 in the sale.

Eyeliner - Liquid eyeliner is Touch in Sol Non-Stop Swift Black Liner (available from MMCL and Boots for £9.50 or cheaper using my discount code). This is a perfect eyeliner. It's pigmented super black, matte finish. It has a fine tip and is super smooth to apply. It's very long wearing too, it doesn't budge! My most used pencil eyeliner this year is Charlotte Tilbury's Rock n Kohl in shade Barbarella Brown (available from Space NK, Cult Beauty, Feel Unique for £19). I mostly prefer a brown liner for everyday wear as it's softer. This is a gorgeous formula - smooth and soft to apply but long wearing. It can be smudged with a brush too.

Brows - I always used to love Benefit's Precisely My Brow pencil but I'm pleased to say I've found a much cheaper dupe! NYX Professional Makeup Micro Brow Pencil (available HERE for £10) is half the price and works just as well. It's a super fine twist up pencil making it perfect for hair stokes. It comes with a spoolie on the end to comb the product through your brows. I use shade Ash Brown. 

Setting spray - I've got two that have had plenty of use this year. First is Touch in Sol Pretty Filter Mattifying Oil Control Spray (available HERE for £18 or less with my code). Now this is a pretty clever spray as it helps control oil without giving skin a flat matte finish. Perfect if you like the dewy look but get oily, like me. It definitely helps keep makeup in place longer. The other is Beauty Pie's Fresh Glow Breathable Setting Spray (available HERE for £5.18 for members). This is a lovely setting spray. Really light and hydrating and keeps makeup in place well. The only downside is that it's a small bottle but it's that cheap, you can buy two!

Lipstick / lip balm - My most use lipsticks have been from Charlotte Tilbury, in particular the Matte Revolution range (available from Space NK, Cult Beauty and Feel Unique for £25). The formula is pigmented, creamy and long wearing. They're very comfortable to wear as well. Lip balm is Indeed Labs Hydraluron+ Volumising Lip Treatment (available HERE for £14.99). This is a brilliant product - it's hydrating and creates a protective barrier for your lips.

And that's it for my favourite products of 2019! Thanks for reading.


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