Most Used Products of 2011

Sunday 8 January 2012

Now that 2012 is here, I figured I might as well start the year off as many others have with a ‘Most used/favourite products of 2011’ blogpost!

I’ll try to hold myself back from listing several products in each category! Here we go…

Moisturiser – my most used moisturiser of 2011 was Garnier’s Soft Essentials Replenishing Day Care Cream with Rose water and Vitamin E. Since I have insanely combination skin – an oily forehead and nose, normal chin and cheeks and dry skin between my eyebrows (convenient!) – I could very well end up using three different moisturisers, but I find that this one works well on all three areas, so I’m sticking with it! It smells lovely without being too strongly perfumed, and retails for around £3, so it’s nice and affordable. Also, it’s sold everywhere from Boots and Superdrug, to most supermarkets, and online, so it isn’t hard to get hold of. I think I’ve used this for about a year now, probably more, and I don’t plan to change it up any time soon!

Primer – For about eighteen months I’ve used the Gosh Velvet Touch Foundation Primer, and I still absolutely LOVE it. I recently bought the Illamasqua Matt and Satin Primers for my kit and they are both gorgeous too! However, since I only discovered them in October, my old faithful Gosh Velvet Touch still wins out! I love the feel of this product, it seriously feels velvety when you apply it, and I always notice how well it keeps my makeup in place, or rather, how much more my makeup tends to fade/slide on days I don’t bother putting it on!

Foundation – for my birthday this year I got the lovely Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation in B10 Beige Pastel (since I’m a wee bit on the pale side!) and I really do love it. I don’t usually splash out on such expensive products for myself (hence the fact this was a birthday gift!) but since everyone on YouTube raved about it I had to see for myself! It is notably lighter coverage than I usually go for, but that’s not such a bad thing, I’m terrible for sticking to medium to full coverage, and this is definitely on the light side of light to medium. Saying that, it evens out your skin perfectly, and leaves it with a really healthy, fresh glow, so I’d definitely recommend giving it a try if you decide to splurge on a pricier foundation this year. On a side note, I still love my MaxFactor Colour Adapt, which I have been using since I was about sixteen, and my Bourjois Healthy Mix, for days I’m feeling a little bit less fancy!

Concealer – undoubtedly, my most used concealer of 2011 was (drumroll please…) Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection 16hour Concealer in Shade 2, Light. For £4, this is an incredible product. I’ve been using it for well over a year now and it never lets me down, the coverage is fantastic, and while I couldn’t tell you if it lasts sixteen hours, there are plenty of days I have my makeup on for at least twelve and it certainly lasts that long! Another product I have YouTube to thank for helping me discover! The only downside to this product (which isn’t massively unusual for a drugstore/high street brand) is the colour range. With only four shades (fair, light, medium and dark) it’s hardly going to cater to everyone’s skin tone. But since this is most used products of the year and not ‘problematic products of the year’, it still gets the thumbs up from me!

Powder – I’m going to cheat a wee bit and list two products here, because I love and have used them both equally. It’s an oldie but a goodie, and I still use it regularly, and that’s Corn Silk Translucent Loose Powder. Since it’s been my mum’s favourite for years, I’ve been using this powder to set my foundation since I started wearing makeup, and I still really love it. It keeps you from looking shiny, and leaves your makeup looking matt, but not dry or cakey. It’s lovely and light, and you can buy it online, or from most Boots stores. However, I have totally fallen in love with the Illamasqua Translucent Loose Powder this year. It not only sets your makeup beautifully, but it smells like icing sugar – don’t ask me why! I absolutely adore this product, and would totally recommend it if you’re looking to find a new loose power this year!

Bronzer – my most used bronzer this year is definitely the Bourjois Chocolate Bronzer! As is the case for a lot of people, I suspect! I really want to splurge at some point in 2012 and get the Chanel: Soleil Tan de Chanel, because I don’t actually own such a thing as a cream bronzer, and it just looks so beautiful on the skin. But for 2011, the lovely Bourjois bronzer has been my go to on a pretty much daily basis. It is pretty matt, which is hard to find unless you’re happy enough to spend £24 a pop on something like NARS Laguna, so for about £6.99 this is a great buy! The packaging (though lacking a mirror) is really cute, and the product lasts for ages too! The Bourjois Delice de Bronze, their second bronzer, does include a mirror, though I haven’t tried it yet to know how I like it compared to the original!

Contour/Highlighter – The lovely Sleek Contour Kit in 001 Light was my most used contour powder of 2011! It’s such a handy little kit, and the product works really well. I literally use the tiniest amount because even the lightest shade shows up fairly dark on my skin, so I make sure I’ve got just enough on my brush to give a nice bit of shape to my face – bonus, this means it has lasted me for ages! There’s barely a dent in the product. The highlighter is lovely too, quite shimmery and glowy, and doesn’t lie heavy on the skin like some powder products. My most used cream highlighter is probably High Beam from Benefit! Again, you don’t need a lot of this product to get a nice dewy highlighted effect.

Powder Blusher – I split blusher into two, slightly cheeky (pardon the pun) but they are two entirely different products! My most used powder blusher of 2011, I was about to say, was Bourjois Rose (No. 16 in the Little Pot of Blush range). But now that I actually think about it that would, in fact, be a lie! My most used blusher of 2011 was my Topshop Powder Blush in Pop. It looks a bit scary in the pan, it’s a sort of neon coral/peach, but it looks beautiful on! I used this virtually every day this summer and into autumn, and I never tired of it. It’s fairly matt, and lasts really well on the skin, and as long as you don’t overdo it on pale skin (as I know only too well!) it’s definitely one to look out for!

Cream Blusher – as a Tesco employee, I do often peruse the Barbara Daly Cosmetics shelf when I finish work, and one day this year I randomly picked up their Velvet Blush in English Rose. What a serendipitous event that was! This is a really lovely cream blusher, and with the exception of how little product actually comes in the tiny little container, it is absolutely amazing. It gives such a natural flush of colour to the face, and blends in beautifully, although I would say don’t dawdle when applying it as it sets fairly quickly! I think the English Rose shade might have been limited edition (sad face :() but I’m not 100% certain, so if you happen to find it, do give it a try, it’s such a lovely natural colour that I can’t imagine would go wrong on any skin tone.

Eyeshadow – I haven’t a clue! Quite honestly, I couldn’t pick. Some people will say a particular palette, like the Urban Decay Naked Palette, or a Book of Shadows, and that makes it a little bit easier, but I’ll perhaps pick three individual eyeshadows that I used on a regular basis instead! I got a lot of use out of two eyeshadows from Accessorize, much to my surprise. The Accessorize Merged Eyeshadow in 07 Golden Caramel is gorgeous. It’s similar to the MAC baked eyeshadows, and is seriously frosted, so if you’re not a fan of shimmer, avoid this like the plague, but I love it! It’s a really warm nudish peach colour, with gorgeous gold tones running through it, so it instantly warms up your eyes – side note, this is also a lovely cheek highlighter! I rarely used this on its own though, it was usually a base for my second shadow in the list, which was Accessorize Icon Single Eyeshadow in Truffle. Problematically, this eyeshadow has recently broken up into a million pieces, which is sad, and the texture of the product is probably to blame – it is a smidgen on the crumbly side! But the colour is gorgeous! This was the combination I wore to my Graduation Ceremony at Uni, and on numerous other occasions throughout the year. A third favourite, if I had to pick would either be Number 12 from MUA, which at £1 is amazing and pretty much an exact dupe for Club from MAC, a duo-chrome style brown with both reddish and green tones running through it depending on how the light hits it, or the Avon True Colour Eyeshadow in Retro Glamour, a lovely warm plum and frosted lilac duo - I wore many a purple smokey eye on nights out this year!

Pencil Eyeliner – for the past year, my ‘Holy Grail’ black eyeliner pencil has still been the Avon Super Shock Gel Pencil – it is fantastic. No other eyeliner I have ever tried has stayed so well in my waterline, and it is definitely the blackest eyeliner I have ever used. I think that the Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil in Zero is fairly similar, but I’m sticking with what I know, and what I’ve used constantly for the past year! It is an amazing texture, and doesn’t feel like it drags your waterline, and blends really nicely on your upper lash line if used instead of an eyeshadow, or a gel or liquid liner. 10/10, can’t rave enough about this. As I said, it is ultra-black, so might be a tad on the intense side for some every day looks, but I can’t get enough of it. Mine is currently like a tiny stub, will have to get ordering a new one! My other most used, since I use brown eyeliner more in the day time and black more for evening is Gosh’s Velvet Touch Eyeliner in Truely Brown, a lovely warm brown liner which lasts really well all day. This range of eyeliner pencils is amazing, I’ve got a few of them and in addition to Truely Brown, Blue Moon, Pink Darling and Banana are some of my favourites!

Gel/Liquid Liner – I’ve been addicted to the L’Oreal Super Liner in Black Crystals for a very long time now, and 2011 was no different! I still probably prefer it to a gel for lining my upper lash line, even though I’d be more likely to use gel on someone else. The little sponge tip is easy to use, and fine enough that you can create everything from a really delicate liquid line, and narrow flick, to a massively winged out cat eye using just the one product. I also find that it sets really well by itself and doesn’t smudge all day/night. I will occasionally set it with a black eyeshadow if I’m going on a night out, but generally speaking I find that it lasts perfectly well on its own! It isn’t for everyone, I know a lot of people have a bit of a love/hate relationship with liquid liner, but I would definitely recommend it for anyone who tends to avoid liquid liner – it’s a lot easier to work with than a lot of others I’ve tried! Black Crystals does contain a hint of a sparkle through it, and while the plain Black sets very matt, I find that this one keeps a slightly glossier look when it dries, which I like!

Mascara – Here we go. My makeup weakness is mascara. I am terrible for wanting to try them all. So I don’t actually know what my most used mascara of 2011 was! I will say though that I used the amazing MaxFactor False Lash Effect A LOT during the first few months of the year, and Bourjois Volumizer constantly towards the end of the year, thanks to Tanya Burr (Pixi2woo) raving about it in so many of her videos! And it really is amazing! It can be a little clumpy if you don’t scrape a little excess off the wand at the top of the tube before you use it, but it really does give the most amazingly thick look to your lashes. For bottom lashes (although a lot of the time I just use the same one I’ve used for my top lashes), I’m addicted to Eyeko Big Eyes Mascara, which has been renamed (and I hope not changed in any other way) Eyeko Skinny Brush Mascara – got to say, not loving the new name, but oh well! This is the mascara I always go to if I want to really lengthen and wing out my outer corner lashes on my upper lash line, or to really amp up my bottom lashes. It is amazing, and definitely one that I use regularly compared to many of the others I tried in 2011!

Lip Balm – although I recently bought and fell head over heels for Blistex Lip Brilliance, an amazingly moisturising strawberry flavour lip balm, I used Nivea Essential Care Lip Balm constantly in 2011. It is a totally basic part of my routine, but it is lovely and moisturising, and I used it every morning and night for months on end this year!

Lipgloss – my absolute favourite lipgloss, and most used of 2011, I happened upon by accident. There was an offer for a while (which is still going I think in select Superdrug branches, but don’t quote me on that!) where Impulse body sprays were selling along with a Barry M lipgloss for £3 – since the body spray itself is normally £1.99 and the lipgloss around £4, this was a pretty great offer. I picked up my favourite Impulse (Into Glamour) which had a clear lipgloss attached (weirdly it doesn’t have a name or number on the tube, but if I remember correctly it’s called Clear Sparkle), and it became my most used lipgloss all year! It’s a beautiful clear gloss with a silvery, almost slightly bluish toned iridescent sparkle through it, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. I normally go straight for peach or pink, warm toned colours for my lips, so this was something a bit different, and it’s brilliant. It doesn’t overpower any other makeup, but gives a lovely, slightly cool shine to the lips, and it tastes AMAZING! Most of the Barry M lipglosses do, but this one has a particularly nice, vanilla-ish taste. Sadly, this was limited edition with the Impulse sets, so if you do happen to come across one of them, buy it immediately! I ran out the day after I bought my first set and bought another one (you can never have too many body sprays!) just so I could have another of the lipgloss! MAC brought out a Dazzleglass in their Christmas collection this year called She-zam which I haven’t seen in real life, but from swatches online, it looks quite similar, so that might be a more expensive dupe!

Lipstick – I’m not a frequent lipstick wearer but if I had to pick one, it would probably be a really old one which I found again to my delight on Ebay! Maybelline’s Forever Metallic collection hasn’t been sold in the UK for a couple of years now, but I used to love the Gold n Roses shade from that range. I don’t know what made me think of it, but a few months ago I looked it up on Ebay and found loads of it! So I repurchased it and it’s probably my most used lipstick this year! It’s a really subtle pinkish colour, with a lot of shine, and nine times out of ten I’ll put a lipgloss over the top. Lipstick isn’t one of my most used products!

Lipliner – Again, I don’t use a lot of lipliner on myself, but my go to if I am wearing a lipstick rather than gloss is Maybelline Long Lasting Lipliner in Rosewood. Since I mostly wear a nude rather than bright lip, this is a fairly subtle colour, and blends well with a good range of nude shades, so that is probably my most used in 2011!

Brows - I have crazily thick and dark eyebrows as it is so 2011 saw me fill in any tiny gaps and define the ends of my brows with any slightly ashy/greyish brown eyeshadow - eyebrow pencils tend to make my already full eyebrows look too heavy!

Perfume – my most used perfume of 2011 was Davidoff Echo, a fragrance I got for Christmas a couple of years ago and still absolutely love. It reminds me of Uni, I used to spray it on every morning before going for the train and the smell stayed on my scarf all day, so it’s one of those really lovely nostalgic scents. It isn’t too overpowering, I’m not a big fan of really strong, intense perfumes, and this one is perfect. Sadly you can only get it online now (my mum likes the smell of it so much she got it for her Christmas this year!), but I’ll definitely buy a new one in future, as long as it’s available.

Hand Cream – I cannot get enough of Soap & Glory’s Endless Glove Dry Hand Cream. I know the S&G Hand Food hand cream is really popular, but I got this one about a year ago, and I still love it, even though I’m not entirely sure they still make it! It smells incredible, and I can’t put my finger on what it is that it reminds me of, but it’s fruity and creamy, and lovely. It’s a brilliant moisturiser and another triumph from the amazing Soap & Glory range.

Body Cream/Moisturiser – over the course of 2011, I suspect that my most used body cream was the lovely Garnier Body Tonic Firming and Hydrating Lotion. Let me just say how much I love this. It is FANTASTIC. It’s a really nice gel-crème formula, which sinks into the skin really quickly and leaves your skin feeling lovely and soft, but also (dare I say it) slightly firmer when used over the course of a week or so? I don’t know, that might just be my imagination, but I always think it does! What I love most about it, other than the smashing citrus smell (I’m a sucker for fruity scented products) is how quickly it sinks in – there’s none of that faffing about waiting for a really rich creamy moisturiser to dry in before getting dressed!

Shower Gel – still with the fruit scented theme, my most used shower gel of 2011 was the gorgeous Original Source Raspberry and Vanilla Milk. Sometimes I wonder how I had the will power not to eat this. Go and buy a bottle, and you’ll know exactly what I mean!

So there we have it, a run-down of my most used products 2011! Feels like I took about four years to write this, so congratulations if you made it through!!!

Lynsey xxx

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