2016 – A year that was categorised by so many as one of the worst. For me, I wouldn’t say that 2016 was a particularly bad year, it was year with ups and downs, laughter and tears. I have an attitude of upwards and onwards every damn day, and to not get dragged down by trivial concerns. I like to roll the the punches and just sit back and enjoy the ride.
As we start the yearly cycle all over again, I wanted to highlight some of my favourite beauty discoveries in 2016 – This encompasses cosmetics, skincare and health & well being. While it is not a definitive it does touch on many favourites. There is a very good chance I have already mentioned most of these products at one stage or another, but I will link any specific blog posts, and please let me know if you would like more in-depth writing about anything at all.
So strap yourself in, it is going to be a doozy of a post – I probably should have broken it down into 2 different posts, but what’s the fun in that.
Soleil Tan De Chanel has to be one of my absolute favourite makeup items this year. For so long I read rave reviews, however I always struggled with the price point. I mean, how good could a cream bronzer possibly be? I can add depth to my face without spending over $50. I blame a combination of late night YouTube binging, a bad day and having many hours to kill in a shopping centre for this little purchase. But I think she was always meant to be mine. It may not work miracles, but it does so much more than just contour. Soleil Tan De Chanel adds warmth, depth, a natural looking sunkissed complexion and an overall look of healthy glowy goodness. A little goes a long way, and after 6 months of almost daily use, I have hardly made a dint in its bronzed swirly magic. I like to blend it out with a damp Beauty Blender underneath my cheekbones, along my hairline and if I am feeling particularly feisty, along the sides of my nose to contour. I cannot stress to you enough how natural this looks and how beautifully it blends.
As a total palette hoarder, how could I possibly only pick one to mention? Of course ABH Modern Renaissance has to be mentioned. The formula of this palette is unlike any other. It blends together so perfectly and gives off this stunning satin sheen. The pink and red colour palette is spot on for me, what an absolute winner. But, my palette collection increased significantly this year and I just HAVE to show some love to a few others. I actually bought the Violet Voss Holy Grail palette well before ABH MR, and it really allowed me to dive into the world of red and burgundy. The shade selection is insane, along with the pigment and quality. This little baby needs to be included in any warm toned collection.
I also have to mention Juvia’s Palace Nubian palette. What a little gem. The formula is buttery and soft, and applies so well to the lid. There is little to no fall out and the colour pay-off just makes my heart sing. An honourable mention has to go to Zoeva Blanc Fushion and Caramel Melange. Zoeva create the most stunning palettes and these newbies are no exception. I have only had these guys for just over a month, but they have gotten so much use already.
I have absolutely fallen head over heels in love with anything Stevie K Cosmetics. Stevie K is gaining traction in the beauty world, and for good reason. This incredible Australian indie makeup brand is just kicking goal after goal. I also have to mention that the Brand Manger, Kate is an absolute babe and I sort of want to be her. Their lipsticks are just perfection. They are pigmented, creamy, non-drying and long lasting. The packing is so sleek and sexy, plus the artwork on the box has been inspired by Melbourne Street Art. My personal favourites are ‘BEE‘ and ‘GIRLBOSS‘. They recently released a range of Colour Shot* single eyeshadows that are unlike anything I have every tried. The shades are so so so bright. I generally find that matte colours can be quite chalky and not overly pigmented, but Stevie K have completely changed that. The pigment and colour pay-off of these little babies seriously blows my mind-hole. I just adore ‘Faster Pussycat‘. I think everyone needs to jump onto the Stevie K bandwagon, there is nothing out there quite like the brand. I am so excited to see what the new releases are for the year.
Speaking of Aussie brands, I have used the Eye Of Horus Mascara for a few years now and it is one of my favourite everyday mascaras. However, I recently discovered their dual brow* product and I know I have found a winner. The pencil is so easy to use, applies perfectly and is such a good colour (Mine is in the shade husk). But the brow gel is everything. It hold my brows in place like nothing else. Those bad boys are not moving. I love that my brows still look natural and not caked in product while being bullet-proof…well, not really. But you get what I mean.
Lastly in makeup I have to include a few items from my new favourite brand, IT Cosmetics. Their Your Skin But Better CC+ Liquid Foundation and Pressed Powder has changed my daily makeup routine. The foundation is light, but full of coverage. It is long-lasting , controls my oil production and contains 50+ SPF. I simply adore it and really encourage everyone to try it. The CC+ pressed powder isn’t nearly as highly raved about, and I don’t know why. In my opinion, I like it better than it’s liquid counterpart – and that is saying something. It isn’t heavy or cakey, it just provides the most gorgeous sheen. I find that it really controls my greasy T-zone while making my complexion look bright, healthy and quite natural. I like to use this baby by itself, or to set foundations. See-you-later-bye Austrlis Fresh and Flawless, Your Skin But Better CC+ Airbrush Perfecting Powder is my new number one.
2016 was a year full of skincare. I really devoted much more time and energy into looking after my skin. So, needless to say that I discovered a whole heap of favourites. My absolute, above all, holy grail discovery was more of a concept or ingredient than a specific product. I really dig deep into the world of Chemical Exfoliation, and I know for a fact that this is what has really lifted my skincare game. It is what has made the most improvement to my skin’s texture, congestion and overall health. As a quick break down, physical scrubs buff away the dead skin cells on the surface, whereas chemical exfoliants (AHA’s and BHA’s) go deeper and penetrate more layers of skin. They dissolve dead skin cells and actually promote skin rejuvenation. I mostly stuck to using AHA’s like Glycolic Acid and Lactic acids, but I think I am going to look more into BHA’s this year.
The first of three AHA based product I discovered this year was the Skinstitut Glycolic Scrub** – This product has the best of both worlds with it being both a chemical and physical exfoliator. I use this in the shower a couple of times a week and like most AHA’s you can actually feel it getting to work. It leaves my skin super smooth, refined and even a little glowy. I am on my fourth tube, that is how much I adore it.
The Beauty Chef Probiotic Skin Refiner is another really special product. Firstly, I love the whole concept behind the brand – Nourishing your skin from the outside in. This Toner is actually a by-product of another, but it has turned out to be an absolute winner. Not only does it rid the skin of pesky dead skin cells and congestion, but it also hydrates and boosts the skins collagen production. Need I say more? My skin is always left super soft and smooth, and I think that it allows my serums and moisturiser absorb easier.
The next discovery I just have to mention is the Dr Dennis Gross Alpha-Beta Universal Daily Peel** – What a mouthful! As the name suggests, these little swipeys contain both Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids. This is a two-step system that exfoliates, treats and hydrates the skin all in one. I utterly adore not only the Dr Dennis Gross brand, but this product. While they are a little pricey, for as long as I can afford to, I will continue to purchase these. After only a few days use my skin looked so healthy and glowy. As a long time sufferer of texture and blackheads, these particular peels made the biggest difference.
I have mentioned my Clarisonic* numerous times on all my social media channels and that’s because I now can’t live without it. The Mia Fit is so compact and easy to use. I was utterly shocked at seeing the amount of product it removed from my face, even after washing prior with my old method. I have this device to thank for my clean skin. Coming from someone who pretty much always had a fiery red whitehead somewhere on my face, and now I only get the very occasional one. The combination of my Clarisonic and AHA’s has done my skin a world of good and I actually feel confident showing my bare face – I would never ever of guessed that!
CINCH Face Cheat* has been a really surprising discovery. This little one-step wonder provides 5 different benefits in one. I like using it as a primer, an added boost of hydration and even a little added glow during the day. The product itself is light enough to work with my greaseball face but really gives me a good dose of moisture. Face Cheat is innovative, practical and a whole heap of fun.
My absolute favourite moisturiser of the year has been Clinique Moisiture Surge*. This gel-cream hybrid just works so damn well with my skin. It is light and refreshing but really packs a punch in the hydration department. It leaves my skin soft and plump without leaving behind any sticky residue or oil. It is perfect to use in the morning before makeup and moisturising enough to use at night before bed. I love this little pink jar of goodness.
I am a bit of a creature of habit when it comes to haircare. I know what works for me and I generally stick with it.But, with that being said, I fell in love with a hydrating Mask. That mask would be the Tigi Catwalk Oatmeal & Honey Intense Nourishing Mask**. This mask smells so so so good and leaves my hair so silky soft. It isn’t too heavy and really hydrates my dry, fine strands. I like to use it a few times a week to maintain the health of my hair. I have gone through 4(!) of these tubs and I am just about onto my fifth. My new haircare love.
This is a bit of a strange inclusion, but I really wanted to mention it. The Juju cup is a menstrual cup that cuts down on waste and costs while being a more natural and safer alternative to tampons. It is super practical and once you get the hang of it, it is really easy to use. I won’t go into too much detail, for those who aren’t interested. But I am happy to chat to anyone who is slightly curious.
Laser Clinic Australia has been a frequently visited place this year. After taking the plunge and getting laser hair removal. I have also had semi regular peels and microdermabrasions**. These treatments really give my skin a boost, and is just a little more heavy-duty than my at-home skincare and my skin has really been reaping the benefits. LCA always have incredible deals going, I got my laser for only $19 a session which is cheaper than buying razors! It has been so amazing not to worry about any hair when going to the beach or wearing a summer dress. All the treatments that I have had done were pain-free, fuss-free and positive experiences. I already have a few session booked in for January and February.
You’re still here? Well done! Thank you for reading my meaningless dribble. What have your favourites been in the last year? Did we have anything similar?
*DISCLAIMER – Although this product was sent for my consideration, all views and opinions are 100% honest. All opinions are based purely from my own experiences. I try my hardest to provide my readers with accurate information, but I am not by any means a professional, nor am I an expert. Please do not confuse my opinions with professional advice.
** This product while initially was sent for my consideration, I have re-purchased due to my positive experiences.