Today I present to you 2017's best beauty discoveries. Last year was a great year for beauty, mainly due to the fact more brands and products that have been making serious waves across the pond have become readily available here in the UK - mainly thanks to the likes of sites such as Cult Beauty, Beauty Bay and not forgetting Glossier. So throughout the year I wasn't short of new enticing beauty products to try, but there are some skincare, makeup, tools and fragrances that are now firm favourites and really worth splashing out on.

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24HR Foundation £31.50

Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24HR Foundation is the base of 2017 that I relied on to last all day. Teint Idole Ultra 24HR provides a medium to full coverage finish and has a non greasy formula, that doesn't look cakey, transfer or leave you feeling like you're wearing a mask. My daily routine is pretty non-stop with an early start and late finish, so having a foundation in my arsenal that I don't have to worry about reapplying is a must. And this bottle of liquid goodness even makes it through to post-work drinks. [Full review]

Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation £31.00 

For lazy Sundays and those days when I don't want to wear makeup (but also don't want to look like utter rubbish) the lesser known Make Up For Ever Water Blend Foundation is my top pick. The ultra-light, super hydrating formula, has the most beautiful glowy skin-like finish. And despite its sheer coverage, it evens tone, minimises the appearance of pores and smooths uneven texture. Plus you can cover your skin from top to bottom with the stuff, which has been ideal for disguising my eczema prone skin on the rare occasion I uncover limbs on a night out. [Full review]

BECCA Under Eye Brightening Corrector £24.00

I tried and tested many concealers last year, but the hero under eye product has to be the BECCA Under Eye Brightening Corrector. The tried-and-true corrector is creamy, lightweight and has magical light reflecting properties that help to eradicate dark circles while adding a subtle, flattering luminescence to my skin. I apply the pink toned corrector before concealer and together they get the job done. It's now a firm staple in my daily makeup routine - I couldn't imagine being without it.

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream £18.00 - £44.00 

Yes, this body cream is expensive and I'm aware there's really no compelling *need* to spend £44.00 on body lotion. But it's totally worth it. Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream is hands down one of the best smelling body lotions in the beauty business. It's infused with Guarana to stimulate circulation, lift and tighten and has an edible tropical scent due to its blend of pistachio, caramel and coconut that will leave you smelling heavenly all day long. [Full review]

Glossier You Eau de Parfum £45.00 

I'm seduced by fragrance, so naturally I have bottles of the stuff. But a handful of my all-time favorites such as Chanel Chance are much harder to style day-to-day. Enter Glossier You Perfume, the day-appropriate scent dubbed to 'smell like you'. Glossier You falls on the softer side and is the perfect addition to my perfume collection. It doesn't veer too far sweet, floral, or powdery and has the perfect amount of musk. Think warm, light, comforting, luxurious liquid detergent, yet it's still incredibly alluring. In the words of Goldilocks this porridge perfume is just right. 

Huda Beauty Warm Brown Obsessions Palette £25.00

Last year saw the release of several palettes but in my opinion Huda Beauty Warm Brown Obsessions Palette is the best eyeshadow palette of 2017. It has a top notch shade selection with eight warm-toned mattes and one pressed glitter. The mini-palette is bang on trend and I actually use every single shade, especially the warm brown on the bottom row which I like to sweep over my lids on the regular - the proof is in the pan (quite literally). It's an absolute gem. If you've been itching to add a new palette to your arsenal, this is a must-have. And best of all, it costs £25.00 - so you can save that mullah. [Full review & swatches]

It Cosmetics Heavenly Skin CC+ Skin-Perfecting Brush #702 £34.00

It Cosmetics Heavenly Skin CC+ Skin-Perfecting Brush #702 is the best foundation brush I've had the pleasure of using to date. I have literally gotten rid of all of my previous foundation brushes. It's soft, densely packed, and the balance of the handle and the brush head is perfect. But its ability to apply a variety of different products be it face cream, liquid or cream foundations and tinted moisturisers so smoothly and evenly is what sets it apart from the rest. 

Estée Lauder The Illuminator Radiant Perfecting Primer + Finisher £25.00

The Estée Lauder Estée Lauder The Illuminator Radiant Perfecting Primer + Finisher reignited my love for makeup primers in 2017. The nourishing gel-meets-lotion contains special hydrators and skin-smoothing Vitamin E, Rice Bran Extract and Shea Butter. It leaves my skin plumped, smoothed, baby-soft and brightened with just enough dew. It prolongs whatever is worn on top, but unlike other primers it keeps my base looking fresh. 

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% £5.00

2017 was a groundbreaking year for stripped back skincare formulas with The Ordinary leading the pack. And boy did I buy near enough every product from the Ordinary range. But there was one product in particular that's wowed me and my skin The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%. I leave the product on overnight and come morning my skin is visibly brighter and far smoother thanks to its high concentration of vitamin C. Two words, game-changer. 

Too Faced Love Lights Prismatic Highlighter Blinded by the Light £25.00 

YSL Touche éclat Glow Shot Highlighter in Daylight and MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Double-Gleam are also deserving of a shout out for the best highlighter discovery of 2017, but when it comes to my most worn highlighter Too Faced Love Lights Prismatic Highlighter Blinded by the Light has no contenders. This highlighter despite its name is for a more subtle approach to glowly skin. It has a beautiful pearlescent finish, that isn't too strong, nor shimmery and lasts all day. The shade is an ideal middle-of-the-road hue that would look natural on just about everyone. It's pretty, pearly and one of the most Instagram-worthy highlighters ever. [Full review & swatches]
What were your best beauty discoveries of 2017?
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New to My Skincare Routine
Ever since I got a job in London my skin and I have had a somewhat turbulent relationship. Congested pores, redness, blackheads, uneven texture and (yes) even minor signs of ageing have all graced my face at some point in the last two years. So during 2017 I cut back on buying, got to know my skin a bit better and adjusted my existing product routine. Unsurprisingly many of the products I’ve tried and tested in the last 12 months haven’t worked for me. But a handful have had their chance to shine and have seamlessly slipped into my daily skincare routine without a hiccup.

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% £5.00

I love hunting for game changing skincare products and The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% has won me and my skin over. It's an antioxidant-rich vitamin C serum - one of the most powerful antioxidants available to treat the skin, which has been shown to minimise sun damage, help boost collagen production, even skin tone, reduce red and brown spots and fine lines. Plus, it can repair the damage that occurs throughout the day from UV and environmental stress. The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% has a slightly gritty texture and it does itch when applied, but my skin has become more tolerable to the high dosage of vitamin C with continual use. Not only has it helped restore my skin to its glowy, angelic potential, it's made a huge difference in smoothing and softening the texture of my skin. 

Clinique Pep-Start™Pout Perfecting Balm £16.00

When my lips are feeling dry I've been reaching for Clinique Pep-Start™Pout Perfecting Balm. And it really works. It visibly softens and instantaneously hydrates my lips while leaving them a lil' glossy. It's surpassed my liking for Glossier's Original Balm Dotcom which separated and started to smell odd after just a months use. In comparison, Clinique Pep-Start™Pout Perfecting Balm is odourless, has zero colour and there's no need to use your finger, which is a major plus. 

Glossier Super Bounce Serum £24.00

This winter my skin has been thirsty AF. Enter Glossier Super Bounce the supercharged serum that's serving up nicely as an extra dose of moisture. Super Bounce is formulated with a high concentration of hyaluronic acid an incredibly hydrating ingredient, which holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water. It also has a pleasing texture so I thoroughly enjoy smothering it all over my skin in the evening post-cleanse. Versus The Ordinary's hyaluronic offerings? For me, Glossier Super Bounce pips the post with its silky-smooth formulation - the only drawback is the price that you pay for just 15ml. 

Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm £37.00

After trialling a travel-sized Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm during my weekend break to Edinburgh I returned home and bought the full size. It's essentially a luxurious illuminating primer that can be worn alone, or paired with your moisturiser for optimum luminosity. It glides onto the skin, is moisturising without being too greasy and instantly brightens my complexion without being sparkly, glittery or shimmery. Which is exactly what my skin needs in this cold weather. 

Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser £15.00

My first impression of Glossier's cult Milky Jelly Cleasner wasn’t all that. In short I felt it was too basic. I much prefer something a little more hardworking to cleanse in the evening, such as DHC Deep Cleansing Oil, which removes a full coverage makeup in a flash. But don't disregard Glossier's Milky Jelly Cleanser. It's a good choice for an AM cleanse as it removes dirt and light make-up without leaving your skin feeling dry or tight. And it's a great product for those with sensitive seeking a gentle cleanser.
What products have you recently introduced to your skincare routine?
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Party Season Skincare Prep
- This post is in collaboration with The Body Shop -
Party season has arrived (hooray!), so it's time to up my skincare game. During December my usual pre-sleep cleanse doesn't cut the mustard. The late nights, back-to-back parties, cold weather and weekday boozing leave my complexion dull, blotchy and spotty. So I've put together a whole host of effective skincare products from The Body Shop, to help prep and preen my skin for the party season. 

CLEANSE

It probably is no surprise that you’ve got to start by cleansing the skin. I tend to double cleanse every evening as I work in the city and wear makeup regularly. For the initial cleanse I will use a basic no-fuss cleanser such as The Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil £12.00 to remove makeup and surface grime. And then I'll use a targeted cleanser (i.e. for dry or congested skin) for a deeper clean.

EXFOLIATE

Next I'll scrub-a-dub-dub. Exfoliation is key for glowing skin, as when old skin cells start to pile up, your complexion can become rough, dull and clogged. My polish pick is The Body Shop Tea Tree 3-in-1 Wash Scrub Mask £8.50, the grainy scrub contains tea tree oil (an ol' faithful of mine that treats without over-drying) and tiny exfoliating particles that gently unclog blocked pores, smooth the top layer of the skin and reduce the appearance of those unsightly blackheads. I recommend exfoliating 1-2 times a week, applying the scrub to damp skin in circular motions and tailoring the pressure to your skin. 

DETOX

My favourite skin-boosting treatment pre-party is a mask. If you suffer from blemish prone skin, or have spots that like to linger, I recommend using a clay based purifying mask to help lift out impurities and speed up the healing process. I love The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask £17.00, formulated without any nasties it helps clear congested skin. I apply generously ideally using a Facial Mask Brush £8.00, let it set and then use a warm flannel to remove every last morsel. And for those mornings of a party when I wake up with a throbbing spot (typical), I use the clay mask directly onto the spot with a cotton bud and leave it to work as long as possible. 

REHYDRATE 

Whenever I use a purifying mask I always like to follow up with some facial oil to rehydrate the skin. The Body Shop Drops Of Youth™ Concentrate £26.00 is packed with several do-good ingredients that help to soften the skin and prevent moisture loss. It sinks in nicely with a little facial massage and by morning (as I prefer to apply oil in the PM) it's soothed away red patches and left my skin plump and glowy. And if my complexion is freaking out I'll use The Body Shop Tea Tree Anti-Imperfection Daily Solution £13.00, pre-serum/oil concentrate that combats blemishes.

If you're looking for a mask to hydrate, plump and soothe The Body Shop British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask £17.00 is a great pick. It's infused with real rose petals, rosehip oil and aloe vera and is perfect for dry and sensitive skin. As a last-minute quick fix, apply the mask 30-60 minutes before you apply your makeup for gorgeous dewy skin.

PREP

Skincare is truly the first step in applying makeup. So for the perfect canvas I always moisturise, as dehydrated skin shows all the lines, can aggravate blemishes and leave it looking dull and flaky - not desirable. I'm currently enjoying The Body Shop Drops Of Youth™ Cream £22.00 (which fyi smells heavenly) and leaves my skin smoother, more luminous and awake - very desirable. Just make you wait five minutes before you apply your foundation to prevent a messy make-up slip 'n' slide.
What products do you reach for to prep your skin for the party season?
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Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Foundation | Review

Huda Kattan’s new beauty launches this autumn have left me wanting to buy and try more from her award-winning makeup line. Not only have the Obsession palettes bowled me over, the #FauxFilter Foundation* has pleasantly surprised me. #FauxFilter may sound like a load of nonsense marketing but never has a matte foundation been more flawless without sucking the life outta my skin. It’s as close as I’ve got to an Instagram filter IRL and I’m digging it. 

However, there’s one caveat; the coverage is heavy (but note: not mask like, think MAC Studio Fix Fluid) so application requires a little work and extra help from a hydrating primer, especially if your complexion is on the drier side, so in short it’s not a chuck on job done kinda foundation. 

But when my skin doesn’t resemble the Sahara Desert, boy does it deliver. It’s the most highly pigmented foundation I’ve ever tried, trust me a single pump will do the trick at concealing redness, blemishes and everything else in-between. It has a healthy satin finish, that doesn’t go chalky after a few hours wear like Estée Lauder Double Wear and loose powder isn’t a necessity when wearing #FauxFilter, because it wears pretty well and still looks good by 6pm. The liquid foundation does have a floral scent, but it doesn’t bother my nose, or my skin, so I can look past that. But it does have an admirably wide shade range, with 30 to choose from, but be warned the formulation oxidises, so opt for a shade lighter.

All in all, it’s no surprise Cult Beauty has found it difficult keeping Huda’s first foundation in stock. So if you like full coverage radiant makeup, this could be your pick for the party season and the best part? I’ve just checked and Cult Beauty now has every.single.shade available. 

Have you tried the Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Foundation?
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