I struggle no end when it comes to narrowing things down. Decision making is most certainly not my strong point. Choosing a select few monthly favourites is a struggle for me so as you can imagine, picking just 13 products I've enjoyed using the past 12 months was a task and a half, that's for sure. Nevertheless, I managed to get it down to a selection of my most used products of the year - ones that will probably remain part of my daily routine for quite some time and some even topping the mark as 'holy grail' status. I really have discovered so many new products this year - so choosing just 13 really was a tough call to make. I could easily include a few more - but that would be cheating wouldn't it? Hopefully, I've managed to choose the bunch that sum up my 2013 cosmetic preferences pretty well. Without further ado...Let's skip to the good bit, shall we?
1. The Concealer | Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer
This was an extremely easy choice for me as Estee Lauder's Double Wear Concealer has been my firm favourite for a good couple of years or so now. I really don't know why it isn't more popular on the blogging scene as it really is the most amazing concealer I've ever used. It lasts all day, doesn't dry or settle in fine lines, remains creamy and dewy looking all day and instantly brightens dark circles with just a few dabs. Its slight peachy undertone helps to disguise any shadows. It's pretty pricey at £21 (eek) but it just goes to show how much I really do adore it as I'm more than happy to part with the cash to have it in my makeup bag. No concealer comes close. And don't be fooled by it's appearance - this little tube lasts me ages and the saying 'a little goes a long way' is extremely true for this little beauty. Did someone say 'holy grail'?!
2. The Foundation | Nars Sheer Glow
2013 will always be remembered as the year that I discovered the power of 'Sheer Glow'. It's everything my foundation dreams are made of and I adore its very existence. It buffs into the skin like a dream, covers blemishes and redness with ease and lasts all day without fail. Sheer Glow's medium to full coverage and satin finish create that perfect 'second skin' look and adds a certain inner radiance to the skin that no other foundation I've ever tried has managed to offer. It's £30.50 price tag does make the eyes water somewhat, but I think if you're going to splurge on anything - it's got to be foundation. If your base looks perfected and polished - then anything else you apply will more than likely look lovely too! I have a full review of the foundation here if you're interested in weighing it up for yourself.
3. The Powder | Mac Mineralise Skinfinish Natural
I bloomin' love this powder - clear to see really considering it's been used within an inch of it's life and I've hit pan on it. I've actually just ordered myself a new one! I'm extremely fussy with powder, and up until I discovered this one I never really used it as I don't really think my skin needs it an awful lot aside from helping to keep my foundation in place. I don't like looking overly matte or 'powdered' and I don't have particularly oily skin - so Mac's MSF is the perfect product for me as it allows some of the 'dewiness' of my foundation to show through whilst combating any oilyness I do have around my t-zone area. It sets my foundation perfectly and I can really tell if I haven't used it on a certain day - it really does help to keep everything in place and looking smooth and freshly applied. Again, at £22 it isn't the cheapest, but completely worth it in my eyes - this pot actually lasted me just over a year! I have an ancient review of it here.
4. The Primer | Loreal Professional 'Smoothing Resurfacing Primer
Ohhh do I have a lot to owe to this little pot of miracle-ness. A lot of people tend to skip primer, but I use it every day - it's amazing how much difference it makes to your base makeup and this one by Loreal really is my holy grail favourite. No other comes close - and I've tried my fair share! If I pop this on before my foundation, it applies a lot more smoothly and evenly and stays in place all day without fail. I have a lot to owe to this little pot - it kept my foundation going strong throughout summer and through long days at work with ease. I have previously written a full review of it earlier in the year here.
5. The Contour | Sleek's Face Form Palette
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that I'm a huge fan of contouring and I never feel quite 'complete' without a quick dusting of bronze on my cheekbones! Sleek's Face Form palette has been, without a doubt, my most used contour product of the year (and I've been using their Contour Kits for a couple of years previous so Sleek really do deserve the medal with this one!). It's easy to use, perfect for taking away on holiday and has everything you need for creating perfectly sculpted cheekbones for the price of just £10. Plus, the blush shade is a greate dupe for Nars infamous 'Orgasm' blush. Kim Kardashian? Eat your heart out! I have a full review here and also a little 'step by step' on how I use some of my contouring products here.
6. The Bronzing Product | Chanel 'Bronze Universal'
Oo this was a toughie - it was a complete toss up between this, Nars 'Laguna' and Bourjois' Bronzing Primer, but overall, the Chanel has to be my most used - and the most versatile bronzing product of the bunch. It's definitely a 'hit or miss' product for some, but I really do love it and have used it all year round for subtle bronzing, an all over makeup base buffed in before foundation and even as a soft contour (seen in this tutorial here). Again, it's an expensive treat to own and its not exactly a 'universal' shade as the name might suggest - darker skintones might find it doesn't show up and it could look a tad orange on paler skins, but I really have got a great deal of use out of this little beauty and for me, it works a treat. It looks scary in the tub, but once buffed into the skin it gives a lovely flush of bronze that looks beautifully natural - and because it's a cream product, it doesn't look powdery or false on the skin. The lack of shimmer is also a big plus point for me.
7. The Blush | Deborah Milano Natural Powder Blush in 'Spicy'*Again, another tough category for me as I'm partial to a new blush or several. Overall, I much prefer peachy tones and soft oranges for blushes and this one has been the perfect all-rounder for me. It suits me both in summer and throughout the winter months - with or without a tan. I was actually sent this to review earlier in the year but I'd repurchase it in a heartbeat and will be doing as soon as it runs out! It blends like a dream, is picked up easily by a blush brush and looks lovely and smooth on the skin. It instantly awakens my complexion and makes me look a little bit brighter in one swish of a blush brush (try saying that one fast...) Perfect. I have a full review of this beauty here.
8. The Mascara | Benefit's 'They're Real'
Firstly, I just have to drop a little mention to my ultimate drugstore favourite 'Maybelline's The Falsies' - I can't justify purchasing a higher end mascara every time I need a new one, however, this year saw me discover a slightly more expensive favourite that I tend to reach for when I really fancy something special! Benefit's 'They're Real' changed my opinion on plastic brushes and blew me away with it's lengthening and volumising properties - I've discovered eyelashes I never even knew I had with this little beauty! The little 'ball' at the tip of the wand really does help to get into the corners of your eyes. It's amazingly black - and makes lashes look dark and lustrous all in one swipe. It also lasts all day - in fact, it's sometimes a bit hard to get off but I really do love it all the same. I have a full review of They're Real here.
9. The Eyeliner | Loreal Super Liner Perfect Slim
I love my kohl liners, but when I need to line my eyes quick, this Loreal liquid/felt tip liner wins hands down. I prefer it to their ever famous 'Super Liner' because I find it much easier to control and get that much desired 'perfect line'. It's easy to achieve a range of weights of line with the tip as it's easy to adjust the pressure - plus it lasts all day. For a liquid/felt tip liner - it also lasts a good few months or so before I need to replace - I really was blown away and have loved it ever since I first tried it. I featured and reviewed it in my April favourites a while back here - so it's been going strong as a go to liner for a while now!
10. The Brow Product | Mac Brow Set in 'Beguiled'
Ok. So I use a variety of brow products and never use just one to create my perfect brow shape - but this little brow mascara has to be my perfect finishing touch. After applying my brow powder or wax (HD Brows or Benefit's Brow Zings if you're wondering!), I simply comb through a little bit of Mac's Brow Set and I'm sorted. I have really light eyebrows - even if I have them tinted they still remain incredibly light - so I need something to really pick up the hairs, give that perfect 'HD' finish and give my brows some definition. This product is perfect for me - it took a while to get used to - but once you've got the 'knack' - you're sorted. Well worth the money. One tube has lasted me an entire year!
11. The Eyeshadow Base/Cream Shadow | Mac Paint Pot in 'Rubenesque'
I love a good cream shadow base, me. Again, this was a toss up between Maybelline's Colour Tattoos and Benefit's Creaseless Cream Shadows but this little Mac offering was my summer favourite for a good few months and deserved a little space in my top 13! It's a beautiful shade of copper-y gold - with a certain multi-dimension to it that is just simply stunning - it looks different depending on the lighting. I used this when on holiday to act as a base for further shadows and it really did make the colours pop as well as making them last longer. It also looks stunning on its own. I find it works well with my green eyes - and when I have a tan it really does bring them out no end! I have a full review here if you're interested.
12. The Eyeshadow Palette | Urban Decay Naked 2
Eyeshadow palettes have to be my weakness. This year, the clear winner has to be my trusty Naked 2. It's seen me through all 4 seasons as well as a holiday and a trip to London and is still going strong! My favourite shades have to be 'Half Baked', 'Bootycall' and 'Chopper'. I'm quite upset that 'Bootycall' is exclusive to the palette and I'm running out extremely fast (i haven't even swatched it for the purpose of the post because I can't bare to see it wear down any more!) - I use it everyday in the inner corners of my eyes without fail! I'm also a fan of 'Tease', 'Snakebite' and 'Busted' for a darker look. Everything I need is in the one palette and I adore it so much. I recently purchased the Naked 3 so only time will tell if it will manage to top the mark for my favourite palette in 2014 - it certainly has a lot to live up to though!
13. The Lipstick | Mac 'Freckletone'
Ok. It's no secret that I am the biggest lipstick junkie ever. I actually considered including lipsticks in their own post as I have far too many favourites of 2013 to only pick one. I could pick out a couple of my statement reds and berrys that I've been harping on about over the past few months (Collection's Prohibiton anyone? ;)) but all in all - I had to think about the 'everyday' shades. The type of shade that almost goes unnoticed in your makeup bag because you use it so much. I narrowed it down to the one shade that really summed up my 2013 as a whole and it's this one - Mac's 'Freckletone'. Not a shade I tend to see regularly pop up on blogs - but one that is without a doubt one of my most used ever. I can safely say that this lipstick is the one that I 'wore down' quicker than any other - ever. I actually had to stop myself from using it at one point because I was afraid I'd use it all up within the space of a couple of months. It's actually said to be one of Beyonce's faves - and although I clearly haven't got the same golden skintone as her, this shade still looks amazing. Think 'Shy Girl' but less creamy - it's more of a true peach with a caramel-like tone to it. I included it in a favourites post about here if you fancy trying it for yourself!
And so there we have it - my top 13 of 2013! I really have discovered some amazing products this year, and I have no doubt that most of these products will be carried well into 2014 with me. I could have included so many more - but sometimes one has to be ruthless. The majority of the products featured in the post have their own reviews on my blog and have been featured in monthly favourites posts (i have linked all of these within this post) - so it just goes to show how much I really have loved them over the course of the year!
What were your top products of 2013? Any the same as mine?!