I really look forward to these beauty round ups, it’s so much fun to look back and see what I’ve been using the most. It’s also interesting for me to see the same products crop up year after year – I think it really shows that, although I have access to a LOT of products and new releases, I’m still loyal to truly great products. I hope you enjoy this edit of my best beauty of 2019, please do let me know what bits and pieces you loved this year in the comments!
if you’re interested you can see last year’s picks HERE.
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Anything with a * next to it was a press sample but – as always – my thoughts are my own.
- WINNER: The Ordinary High-Adherence Silicone Primer
- HIGHLY COMMENDED: L’Oreal Paris Glow Cherie Natural Glow Enhancer Lotion
This primer from The Ordinary ticks so many boxes for me, hence why this is its third inclusion in as many years. It’s lightweight, smoothes the skin, extends the life of my make up, and – cherry on the cake – it’s so affordable.
The L’Oreal Paris lotion isn’t a primer per se, but it’s a lovely base product to add some glow to the skin either with or without foundation on top. It’s not glittery or greasy, just subtly glowy and pretty. Like most LP products, it has a strong scent (from the watermelon fruit extract) so if you’re sensitive to smell then maybe give this one a swerve.
I’ve been using and recommending True Match for years, so I was excited but nervous to see that they were reformulating it this year. It now contains Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate, as well as a slight shimmer which isn’t glittery but gives a soft glow to the skin. Thankfully I can say I am even more in love with it than I was before! It comes in 40 shades, which is impressive for the high street and for the price point.
The Ordinary Serum foundation is my go to when I want something natural and light, without compromising on coverage. It’s stupidly affordable, gentle on the skin, and a great medium coverage foundation that layers very well to cover my rosacea redness.
- WINNER: IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye*
- HIGHLY COMMENDED: Glossier Stretch concealer (if you use my affiliate link you’ll get 10% off your first order. Bargain!)
Last year’s Highly Commended concealer has taken the top spot! This concealer is so pigmented that it will cover anything: redness, scarring, pigmentation… you need the tiniest amount (1/3 of a grain of rice, if that!) for both eyes, so a tube will last you for ages.
The hype around the Glossier concealer was hard to resist! Like most Glossier products, this is a natural-coverage, subtle product. It’s hydrating, kind to my sensitive eyes and gives a soft focus finish to my under-eyes without looking cakey or ‘done’. Think ‘no make up make up’.
Another Highly Commended product getting bumped up to the top spot in the best beauty of 2019- the Vichy powder is everything I look for: finely milled, translucent, kind to my sensitive skin, and mattifying without looking flat.
I love the IT Cosmetics powder for many of the same reasons, if you are looking for something in a smaller, more handbag-friendly pot this is the one for you.
If I have the choice I will always pick a brow pen over any other format: it gives a much more natural finish as the fine tip can replicate individual hairs, resulting in a softer look. The Glossier pen is wonderful, especially because their ‘Blonde’ shade is a lovely ashy colour (rather than the common brassy or green-toned blonde offerings). As the name would suggest, a gentle flick with your wrist will help you to achievable soft hair-like strokes.
The IT Cosmetics pencil has made it into this year’s list mainly due to it’s brilliant colour. It is a very good brow pencil (thin nib, long-lasting, neither waxy nor powdery) but my shade – ‘Universal Auburn’ – is the holy grail of copper brow products.
Cream eyeshadows were my go-to this year: quick, easy to apply and long-lasting. The Pixi Liquid Fairy Lights range has some incredible colours but my most-used shades were ‘Crystalline’ (a holographic white/silver that is the perfect subtle sparkle topper to any eye look) and ‘PassionLight’ (a coppery-bronze that really enhances my blue-green eyes).
If you’re into more sheer, easy-to-wear eyeshadows Glossier Lid Stars will be right up your street. You can leave it at a sheer wash of colour or build it into something more intense. My favourite colour is ‘Cub’, a rose-gold-copper shade.
My love for cream products continues! Glossier Cloud Paints were my 2018 winners and I am still just as enamoured with them in 2019 – in fact I’ve expanded my collection! Incredibly pigmented, great colours, easy to blend, dewy finish… just gorgeous.
The MUA Blushed range is very similar to the Cloud Paints – I’m not going to call them a dupe because their pay-off is very different, but they fill an affordable high street gap. The pigmentation isn’t as strong and they are not as long-lasting, but at £2.50 each they are a great option if you can’t stretch to the Glossier ones.
- WINNER: Glossier Haloscope
- HIGHLY COMMENDED: N/A
It may seem dramatic to say that there is no Highly Commended highlighter in my best beauty of 2019 list, but it’s the honest truth. Every single time I have done my make up, the Glossier Haloscope stick is the product I’ve picked. It’s give the most incredible glow to the skin without looking or feeling sticky or greasy or glittery. It just looks like great skin.
- WINNER: Maybelline Lash Sensational
- HIGHLY COMMENDED: N/A
Another section where a runner up is not needed. I have used Lash Sensational every single time I’ve done my make up this year (with perhaps a small break for super-fun brightly-coloured mascara in the summer, but I soon came running back to LS!) It was the only mascara I loved in 2018 *and* 2017… shall we take bets on its inclusion in 2020’s round up?
It looks as though this specific GOSH eyeliner has been discontinued, but I think they’ve just repackaged it as the ‘Velvet Touch’ eyeliner so no need to panic (I’m talking to myself here!) Due to ocular rosacea, I have very watery and sensitive eyes and this eyeliner sticks around through the whole day. What more could you want?
If you’ve never tried a nude eyeliner before, it’s a revelation. When applied to the waterline of your eyes, it makes your eyes look bigger and more awake – great for the bleary mornings-after-the-night-before! This Pixi one is lovely.
I know it’s a bit annoying to recommend a product that we can’t buy order to the UK, but if you aren’t planning a European city break or a US jaunt try to bribe friends or colleagues to bring you back a few of the Sephora Cream Lip Stains. The name is nonsense – they don’t stain and they have a matte finish – but they are easily the best liquid lipsticks I’ve ever tried. The colour range is bonkers and they are really affordable. I have lost count of the number I have any I already have my eye on more. If you’re looking for recommendations: #01 is a classic blue-toned red, and #13 is my perfect rose-nude.
The YSL product *is* a stain. And a bloody good one. It goes on like a thick lip gloss but quickly dries to a semi-matte opaque lipstick, but as it slowly wears off a beautiful, vibrant stain is left on the lips. This is perfect for people who forget to top up a lipstick throughout the evening (or just can’t be bothered!) or those who love the idea of a bright lipstick but are put off by the potential for it going patchy throughout the day.
I only use a setting spray if I really need my make up to last, as I find that they can be quite drying to my skin over time. The Pixi mists are lovely – I use the Rose Water & Green Tea one the most, but if you have dry skin you will love the Rose Glow mist – it gives a lovely dewy finish to the skin.
The Too Faced setting spray is another great option if you’re looking for something to prolong make up. As with the above, if you have sensitive skin like me I wouldn’t recommend using these every day but for a special occasion they are great.
In last year’s round up I described Tobacco Nuit as ‘the sexiest perfume I own’ and I stand by it. It’s so unusual – I always get comments whenever I wear it – and it instantly perks me up.
I bought this Jo Malone perfume on the first day of my honeymoon, so it holds a lot of wonderful memories for me. But it was sadly discontinued which meant I stopped wearing it except on very special occasions… so imagine my delight when I heard that it was coming back in 2019 as a limited edition. I have a feeling that (after lots of not-at-all-subtle hint-dropping to my husband) I will be opening a bottle of this dreamy perfume on Christmas Day.
Essie nail varnish is always my go-to brand for nail varnish as it has never steered me wrong. But picking a favourite shade is always tricky. This year I’ve been drawn to darker, more vampy shades (even in the summer) so the classics have been heavily featured: Fishnet Stockings, After School Boy Blazer, and Chinchilly.
Morgan Taylor polishes are wonderful and not very well known which always surprises me. Their collections are clever, interesting, and unexpected (for example, the Elton John collection which I loved!)
MAKE UP TOOLS
I can’t even remember how long I’ve been using Beauty Blender sponges but they are a staple in my make up bag. A damp sponge is my favourite way to apply foundation, not just because it gives an unrivalled natural finish, but also because it is gentle on my skin. Buffing brushes are too aggravating and my fingers are too warm, so sponges are my saviour.
For a long time I thought nothing could come close to the Beauty Blender, but I was happy to be proved wrong by the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. It’s not quite as soft as the BB, but it is pretty damn close – and a fraction of the price.
And that’s it! The best beauty of 2019 in a nutshell. It’s been a year of repeat entries and, if you follow me on Instagram, nothing on here should be a shock to you. But it’s filled with the products I use on a weekly basis. It may not be as sexy and exciting as a post filled with brand new products and innovative launches, but these are the staples that I keep in my make up bag and reach for over (and over… and over!) again. What have you been using and loving in 2019?
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