Top 15 products of 2015

Posted on December 20, 2015 under Favourites

You guys are probably bracing yourselves for a flood of these posts, so let’s skip the lengthy introduction and get right into it. These products were not necessarily launched in 2015, but I discovered each of them this year.

favourites-eye-makeup

LORAC Pro palette

I may just be the last person on earth to discover this palette – but timing notwithstanding, I’m glad I did. From the moment it came into my possession this summer, I’ve scarcely put it down. I firmly believe that it’s the perfect neutral palette – every shade is pigmented and blendable, there’s an even mixture of mattes and shimmers, and there are the standard neutral colours and a few interesting ones. Without a doubt if I could only have one palette it would be this one. My only complaint is that LORAC is so hard to get ahold of in Canada!

MAC 217 brush

I know there are people who don’t think this brush lives up to its hype, but clearly I’m not one of them. I didn’t realize how inadequate the blending brush I had was until this one came into my life this summer. I feel like a good blending brush is one of the most important makeup tools a person can have in their arsenal, and this is the best one I’ve used so far.

Lancôme Hypnôse mascara

I hate when absurdly-priced products are actually good, don’t you? I’m viscerally opposed to paying Sephora prices for mascara; there are good options at the drugstore, samples are aplenty, and I cannot make myself pay $30+ for something that’s supposed to be thrown out after three months. I got this as a gift from my wonderful friend Kristin, and it really is as good as everyone says. You may know from previous mascara reviews that mascara does not excite me; I rarely hate them and I rarely love them. So for this to wow me really means something. It builds volume and length effortlessly and is not the least bit clumpy. It also doesn’t flake or smudge under my eyes at all. Basically, it’s totally worth the hype. Would I pay full price for it? No. Would I spend Shoppers Optimum points to get it again? Yes. Definitely.

Clarins Waterproof Eye Pencil

Black eye pencils are obviously a staple in most people’s makeup routines, but it can be difficult to find the right one. I’ve struggled to find one that was opaque, soft, smooth, and that actually stayed put. This one is perfect for tightlining as it absolutely does not transfer onto my lower waterline at all, and it takes forever to fade. The texture is perfect – it glides on comfortably and doesn’t scratch my delicate eyes. And it is truly a rich, opaque black. All in all, this is seriously the perfect black pencil.

favourites-other-makeup

NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Cruella

Have you ever tried an oft-talked-about beauty product and thought, “Yep, I get it now”? That was my experience with this lip product. Obviously, most of us North American beauty lovers are now in possession of a mini of it thanks to the Sephora birthday gift – and can I just say, what a great birthday gift it is! 2013 and 2014’s offerings didn’t do much for me, but this one was legitimately great. There is nothing I don’t love about Cruella. The colour is dramatic and beautiful; it glides on so smoothly (and accurately, thanks to the shape of the pencil); it lasts forever. The moment I put it on my lips I thought Where have you been all my life?

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes

I was not a fan of the much-hyped Ambient Lighting Powders, but the blushes are worth every penny of their $41 CAD price tag. Never have I encountered such soft, blendable, long-lasting blushes with the perfect level of pigmentation and the slightly glow-y effect afforded by the swirls of ALPs throughout the pan. I just wish they’d bring out more shades! (Since taking this picture I’ve added another one to my collection, which means there’s only one colour left that I really want. Please expand the line, Hourglass!!!)

Topshop Glow Highlighter in Polished

This is the most-loved highlighter in my collection; it works so well with my fair, cool skin and is simply gorgeous on its own. It’s pearlescent and ethereal and I will never stop loving it. A makeup product hasn’t excited me this much in ages.

favourites-skincare

Boots Botanics Replenishing Night Cream

I purchased this night cream for only £4 – bargain! However, even at its full price of £8, it’s hardly prohibitively expensive. I reviewed it positively about six weeks into using it, and having finished the tub I can say that I would absolutely repurchase it if I could get it here in Canada! My face always felt soft, smooth, supple, and healthy in the mornings when I was using this, which is no small feat considering I’m chronically dry. The smell was also divine. If I make it back to the UK I will be popping into Boots posthaste to get another tub of this!

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum

This serum made such a huge difference when used under my night cream. Whereas most people seem to suffer from oiliness in their T-zone, my nose is absolutely parched and flaky year-round. This serum has been extremely effective at combatting this particular problem, but it’s still a lightweight texture that sinks in instantly. I absolutely adore it and will most likely repurchase it when I run out.

Marina Miracle Sweet & Creamy Oil Cleanser*

I adore this cleanser. I adore that although it contains oils it’s a creamy texture, meaning it’s not as messy to use as a regular oil. I adore how well it gets my makeup off. I adore that it washes off easily without leaving an oily film on my skin. I adore how supple and hydrated it makes my skin. I adore the smell. It’s the best cleanser I’ve ever used, and I do not say that lightly!

Arbonne Intelligence Lip Treatment*

This is another product that I did not want to like on the basis of its price ($46 CAD), but I really do love it. For such a lightweight, unobtrusive texture, it does a great job at keeping my perpetually chapped lips looking and feeling reasonable. It’s effective on its own during the day, and at night I like to seal it in with a layer of Vaseline to trap all that moisture. I always wake up with the softest lips!

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Baume AP+*

I was sceptical about this product’s ability to perform well enough to do something about my KP-ravaged arms and legs considering its thin texture. And while it does sink in quickly and doesn’t leave a greasy or sticky cast, somehow it manages to do to my legs what almost no other body product has.

favourites-etc

Avène High Protection Spray SPF 50+

This sunscreen is the perfect product for a) lazy people who hate spending more than 20 seconds applying sunscreen to their bodies, b) people who hate the greasy feeling most sunscreens leave, or c) all of the above. This sunscreen is singlehandedly responsible for my skin getting not a lick of sun this summer.

L’Occitane Almond Oil

If it looks like I haven’t touched this bottle, it’s because I haven’t! I’ve already used up a mini, and I finally treated myself to a full size bottle the other day. I feel a bit silly dropping $24 on almond oil, but it is that good. I use it to shave my legs, and despite it being on my skin for only a fleeting moment before being washed off, I swear my legs feel amazing straight out of the shower. And you only need the tiniest bit, so $24 CAD goes a long, long way. This is one of those products that is undeniably an indulgence – but it’s one of my favourite indulgences ever.

Ice Cream Dry-T hair mask

You guys are probably sick of me talking about how damaged my hair is. I’m stubborn and continue bleaching my roots every few months, and one day my hair will all fall out of my head at once, but that day is being delayed by this hair mask. My hair actually, miraculously, feels smooth, soft, and alive when I use this (which is every time I wash my hair, because otherwise I can’t run a brush through it). It’s nothing short of a miracle. And at only $10 for a 500mL tub, I don’t even feel bad buying it.

2015 was a great year in terms of beauty discoveries – I found some fun things as well as some things that have become can’t-live-without-it, would-follow-it-into-hell staples in my beauty stash. Not too bad!

I’m working non-stop this month (ah, retail in December), so I’m not sure if I’ll have another post for you guys before 2016. In the event that this is my last post of 2015, I hope your holidays are relaxing and fun and your new year brings you only good things!

There are 5 responses to “Top 15 products of 2015”

  • OMG I HAVE THAT HOURLGASS BLUSH TOO! I feel like I’m a real beauty person now! :D One of the other blogs I read reviewed it and I decided to give it a go and loved it!

    I would love for you to write an article specifically on brushes as they confuse me to all hell. I acquired a Too Faced starter brush set when I was in California earlier this year, but so far their uses have been lost on me and I’ve not touched them. Halp? :D

    I’m also working throughout Christmas, although I fear that I am lucky in having Christmas Day and Boxing Day off – I think I would have necked myself if I had been unable to partake in my annual indulgence of consumerism that is the boxing day sales.

    Merry Christmas, Clem! :)

    • Haha yay! I honestly love the Hourglass blushes so much – and since this post went live I’ve acquired another. (Christmas present, I promise I’ve been good.)

      Is the brush set you got the Teddy Bear Hair one? I can try to give you a jumping off place with those, looking at pictures. The big one looks like it’d be best for powder products – like an all over face powder or maybe less precise bronzer or blush application. The small pointy brush looks like it’d be good for applying eyeshadow precisely, most specifically in the crease. I have an eyeshadow brush that looks quite a bit like the angled one – I like it for the crease too, but for more blown out, less precise looks. It’s really good just for popping a lot of a taupe-y colour in for a bit of quick definition to the eyes. The other two seem like pretty standard eyeshadow brushes – the taller one might be good for blending out eyeshadow if the brushes aren’t too dense. I can’t tell from the picture on the Sephora website! Brushes can be tricky; I think it’s helpful to watch videos and see what people use different shaped brushes for. But whatever works for you works for you, I know I definitely don’t use all my brushes for their intended purposes!

      Hope you had a good Christmas and scored some good deals on Boxing Day! ;)

  • You know… and I must be the only person that thinks this… I’m not 100% in love with the LORAC palette?! I mean, yes, I LIKE it and it’s a good palette. But… it’s not my fave? I’m not sure. I’ve hit pan on one (almost two) of the shadows so clearly I get use out of it, but I just don’t find myself reaching for it unless I make an effort too. It’s weird!

    • I have heard that from a few people! I think it’s one of those things that has to do with shade selection more than anything else. They can be the best eyeshadows in the world but if the shades don’t speak to you or if you have similar shades elsewhere in your collection it’s not necessary the palette of your dreams. Makeup is so personal!

  • You’ve got some stellar favourites here, I’ve been without my L’Occitane Almond Oil for far too long I miss that thing, delicious and makes me actually enjoy shaving my legs! I have that Lorac palette but like Amanda above it’s definitely not my favourite – I think some of the colours aren’t my ideal ones and maybe I just need to play around to get it all to work for me.

    I definitely want to try one of those Nars lip crayons, I’ve been meaning to for the longest time but red scares me sometimes, I just need to bite the bullet and try a bunch of the shades on in store I think.

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