beauty spot: best of 2018

It’s officially 2019 which means we’re only one year away from “the future” (remember all those “vision 2020” campaigns back in the day?)

But for now, let’s cast our minds back to the distant past that was 2018. For me, it was a pretty amazing year, both personally and professionally. And, as per the topic of this post, I finally settled on a beauty routine that really worked for me! Let’s break it down, starting with skincare.

Ok, I know this looks like an insane amount of products, but I did make a few changes season to season.

Best Cleanser: I’m still loyal as always to my micellar waters and this year, I decided that La Roche Posay’s Sensitive Skin Micellar Water was my absolute fave. It’s effective but gentle, and I could use it to remove make-up even when my eczema was flaring up. I used it every morning. In the evening, my favourite was another oldie but a goodie – the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish. While I left the smog of London behind in early 2018, being back in Australia meant I really needed to step up my SPF, and Liz managed to take it all off at the end of the day without stripping my skin.

Best Serum: I don’t know what kind of magic Elizabeth Arden has bottled, but since I started using the Superstart Serum, my skin has never looked better! Maybe it’s the probiotics, maybe it’s the fact that it moisturises the top layer of skin so treatments can penetrate to deeper layers, but I’m obsessed with it! When it was super dry in the depths of winter, I added a bit of Avene’s Hydrance Intense Rehydrating Serum, which was basically like throwing a giant glass of water at my face.

Best Treatment: Here’s where I start to look high maintenance. I wanted to introduce a Vitamin C to my routine and fell in love with the Drunk Elephant C Firma Day Serum (which I mix with the Drunk Elephant B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel for ease of application). In the evening, I was all about my long term loves from Sunday Riley, the Good Genes serum (for lactic acid exfoliation) and Luna Sleeping Night Oil (for that retinoid fountain of youth). This combo of day and night treatments helped combat my sun damage pigmentation and kept spots and redness at bay. Living the dream!

Best Eye Cream: Again, La Roche Posay is a gem, with their Toleriane Ultra Eye Cream my go-to for day (so smooth under make-up) and when I have pesky eye eczema (no stinging whatsoever). At night, I loved the super rich, super luxe Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado.

Best SPF: For every day, I was obsessed with Thank You Farmer’s Sun Project Water Sun Cream SPF50+. It goes on like a moisturiser yet acts like sun armour for your face. I almost cried when Cult Beauty stopped stocking it, but did a happy dance with I discovered it in Anthropologie’s underrated beauty section.

Best Moisturiser: For a real throwback, I rediscovered my love for Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion+, which I wore every single day. At night in winter, I wanted something a litle richer so I opted for MV Organics Rose Plus Booster – another long term love (and an Aussie brand to boot!)

Best Mask: I can’t remember how long I’ve been using Origin’s Original Skin Retexturising Mask with Rose Clay for, but it’s still as good as when I first discovered it! I also added the Dr Jart+ Dermoclear Micro Milk Peel (not an actual peel, more like a glycolic mask you wash off after a couple of minutes) to my routine this year and loved the results!

Perhaps it was all the effort I was putting into skincare, or perhaps it was being back in Australia away from the painted faces of London, but I actually lightened up on the make up front this year. My focus was on light, easy to use products.

Best Primer: Canberra is dry all year round, so any extra moisture is always welcome. The Smashbox Photo Finish Primerizer is the only primer that has ever made it into my daily routine, and it’s probably because it straddles the skincare/make up divide so well. I’m officially obsessed!

Best Foundation: I’m not a heavy foundation girl but the combo of a half pump of It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream (in Fair) coupled with a dot of Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue (in 1.5 Birch) stayed put all day, every day, without going cakey (my personal pet peeve for foundation).

Best Concealer: I’ve been using the Charlotte Tilbury Retoucher (in 2 Fair) for years but there was a global shortage this year! The lovely assistant at the Selfridges counter suggested I try the Mini Miracle Eye Wand instead – I’d always thought the eye cream on one end was a gimmick, but I find the concealer on the other end (which seems to be the same formula as the Retoucher) applies so smoothly over it and lasts really well. I didn’t want to love it… but I do!

Best Mascara: For every day, I continue my multi-year love affair with the increasingly difficult to find DJV Miaray Fiberwig for long, separated lashes. For special occasions, Lancome’s Mr Big Waterproof has to be one of my favourite launches of 2018! It’s volumising without being clumpy and lengthens beautifully too.

Best Eyeshadow: I don’t wear it every day but when I do, the only palette I reached for was the Dior Backstage Eye Palette in Warm Neutrals – the centre copper shimmer shade is a particular favourite for an all-over wash of colour.

Best Lipstick: Three entries, depending on the occasion. For day, I’m still all about the Dior Backstage Lip Glows (pictured is 5 Lilac). For winter evenings, Lipstick Queen’s Medieval is still going strong for an easy red lip. And for summer evenings, Lipstick Queen is at it again with the colour-changing, yellow-to-coral wizardry of Morning Sunshine.

And that’s a wrap! What were your favourite products of the year? And did you make any new discoveries?

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