Rightyho. After having a little mini-break from blogging for the past 4 days (yet again, blame the uni coursework!), I'm back with another instalment of my 'Best of 2013' series. This time around, I'm focusing on an array of hair, skin and body products which I've been loving the past 12 months. If you still haven't read my 'Best of 2013 Makeup' post, you can find that here. I could have easily added to this post - after all, combining skin, hair and body into one post consisting of just 13 products is pretty tough going (at least, it is for me!) but in order to avoid a post as long as my arm, I thought I'd restrain myself and stick to the whole '13' rule! One has to be consistent after all! Without further jibber-jabbering - I shall kick off the second instalment of the 'Best of 2013' series...
1. The Facewash | Arran Aromatics - Lavender Tea Tree Reviving Toning Facial Gel Wash
(oo what a mouthful!?) I know what you're thinking - 'you're kicking off a Best of 2013 post with a bloomin' FACE WASH?!'. Well, yes - I am indeed. I don't often get excited about cleansers and facial washes - I never see a dramatic enough difference for me to get overly chipper about a certain brand if I'm honest - but 2013 has become the year that I discovered Arran Aromatics. I received this earlier in the year in one of my Love Me Beauty boxes, and I've been addicted ever since. It's lasted me a good while as I find I only need a little blob, but I'm just about to order myself another - definitely a sign of a good discovery! I've written about this little skincare gem here and in a monthly favourites post here if you fancy a read up! I have sensitive skin which breaks out if I use anything overly fragranced or heavy - so this little gel wash is perfect for me as it's really gentle. It has the most beautiful scent and I find it really relaxes me before I go to bed of an evening (I've mentioned before that it reminds me somewhat of these spa-products you find in posh hotels!) - and my skin is always left feeling smooth, soft and completely clean afterwards. The texture is unlike any other facial wash I've used and I find it really soothing to massage into the skin. It also contains small exfoliating beads which help to remove any dull, dead skin and keep your complexion looking fresh, healthy and blemish free (thank the Tea Tree in it for that!). I LOVE it. My only bug-bear so far is that it isn't the easiest to get hold of - but well worth having a search around for! It retails for £12.95 - which in my opinion, isn't half bad for a luxurious little face wash that does wonders for the skin.
2. The Face Mask | Organic Surge First Class Mask
Again, I was sent this little beauty for review purposes but it is without a doubt a product I will be purchasing again in future. Organic Surge as a brand have fast become a favourite of mine this year - and I use a select few of their products on a daily basis now. This face mask really did impress me. It's really gentle - so you can use it more than once a week, and the fact that it doesn't create a lot of mess is a massive plus point for me. I find it so simple to use and I reach for it one heck of a lot when my skin is feeling dry, congested or just in general need of a spruce up! I have a full review of it here if you fancy reading more! It retails for £8.49 which is a fabulous price for a face mask bottle which will last you absolutely ages!
3. The Blemish Treatment | Harley Street Skincare Spot Buster
If I didn't include this in my 2013 favourites post then it would be a complete travesty - a TRAVESTY I tells ya! I was sent this to review waaay back in July (you can read my thoughts and review here) and since, I have repurchased another 2 times. Its always a good sign when a blogger repurchases a PR sent product and I can honestly say I will be buying this little bottle again and again and again. It's an amazing spot treatment that you can use day or night - even under makeup as it doesn't leave any crusty residue (there's no way of saying that without it sounding a bit disgusting...sorry). I'm lucky that I actually do have pretty clear skin the majority of the time - I don't suffer with acne but now and again, I do get the odd breakout! I suffered over the summer with a tonne of breakouts when I came off a certain contraceptive pill - and i kid you not - this little gem saved my life! I can't sing it's praises enough - it heals breakouts quick, prevents more from forming and really does work. It's a little pricey at £25 (it used to be £20) - but even the extra fiver doesn't put me off. If you're at your wits end with spot treatments - it's worth making an order on one of these (you can find them here). Harley Street are amazing with their deliveries too - you do pay a fee but it arrives within 1-2 days without fail and I cannot wait to try more of their 'Spot Less' range.
4. The Moisturiser | Superdrug Tea Tree
Well, I could have lied and made it sound like I use a posh, expensive moisturiser on a daily basis but sometimes - you don't always get what you pay for and there are plenty of drugstore cheapies that do the job just as well! Don't underestimate budget friendly skincare! I've been using this moisturiser all year round without fail. Don't get me wrong, it's not the only one I use - and I alternate between Nivea, Organic Surge and Balance Me depending on the time of year, but one I always go back to is Superdrug's Tea Tree! It's like my little skincare secret. It's a really good little all-round moisturiser - I used it on holiday to soothe my skin when I'd accidentally sat on the sunbed for one too many hours, I used it when my skin had a bit of a 'tantrum' earlier in the year and I still use it now as part of my daily regime. It seems to really help keep my skin clear, soothes any redness and isn't greasy in the slightest. Obviously, if you're not a fan of Tea Tree I wouldn't recommend this - but it isn't overly strong at all and is the perfect little skin soother - and the best bit? It only costs a couple of quid!
5. The Shampoo | John Frieda Frizz Ease Hydrating Shampoo
I love John Frieda. I use their products year in, year out and I always have a bottle somewhere on my shower shelf! My hair drawer is full of back-ups! They just seem to really work for my hair and I'm a massive fan of both the 'Volume' range and the 'Blonde' range. This year, I discovered the Smooth Start Hydrating Shampoo. I'd used the Conditioner before but after my hair started to feel a little dry half-way through this year, I thought I'd better give the shampoo a whirl. It completely revives my hair when it's feeling dull, lack-lustre and straw-like and transforms it into swishy, Rapunzel-like locks in just one wash.
6. The Conditioner | Neal & Wolf Intensive Care Treatment
Ok - so firstly, I do have to give a little mention to my other 2013 favourite - Loreal's Ever Riche Nourishing Conditioner - but since I didn't have a bottle handy, I thought I'd use my equal top-spot favourite - Neal & Wolf's Intensive Care. I received this in my Love Me Beauty box way back in the summer, and instantly fell in love with it. Full on-head-over-heels in love! So much so, I have since ordered another bottle (along with their heat protection spray which has fast become another favourite!) What makes Neal & Wolf for me is the scent. It's not to everybody's taste and I know a few bloggers that have mentioned their dislike for it - but I personally find it really lovely. Once I've used this, my hair smells like a salon for hours afterwards and often into the next day. I find it really softening on the hair and think it works really well at putting some much needed moisture back into my ends! I featured it in my monthly favourites here a while back if you fancy a more in-depth read!
7. The Oil | Shu Uemura Art of Hair Essence Absolue
Easily my BEST hair care find of 2013. I've tried my fair share of oils, that's for sure. And although there's a select few on the market that I love, this one seems to top the mark for me. Just 1-2 pumps massaged through the ends of damp hair before blow-drying and my hair is transformed into silky soft, easily manageable locks! I can easily apply more without it weighing my hair down or looking greasy, and it really does moisturise the hair. I also use this when my hair is already dry and styled to help combat any frizz or dry-looking bits, and it instantly revives my style without adding grease or heaviness. It also smells amazing! I could go on all day about my love for this bottle, but in case you fancy reading up more on it - I have a full review of it here.
8. The Body Butter | Soap & Glory Righteous Butter
What's a favourites post without a bit of Soap & Glory in there?! I've been loving their Righteous Butter this year and have been using it all year round when I get out of the bath to help keep my skin feeling silky smooth and soft. As well as the big tubs of the stuff, I also purchase the mini versions (seen in the photograph above) to keep in my handbag as I actually use it as a hand cream throughout the day - I also take the mini versions on holiday with me because I can't bare to be without it. People at uni are always asking me what I smell of - and to be honest, if it isn't my perfume - it's probably this! It's easily my most favourite Soap & Glory scent ever - I often find myself just opening the tub a little purely so I can grab a whiff (...strange much?) My love for this product will without a doubt continue well into 2014 and if you're in the market for a really moisturising body butter for dry skin - I recommend this Soap & Glory blogger fave! I have an ancient review here.
9. The Perfume | Hugo Boss 'Jour'
Me and Hugo Boss fragrance get on like a house on fire. Seriously - I always seem to adore their scents! My signature scent has to be their 'Orange' perfume - but this year, I discovered a new favourite - 'Jour'. I'm not the best at describing scents but if you like that whole fresh, clean and classy sort of scent - I'd give this a spray next time you're walking past a tester! It's stunning! It just smells of sophistication and luxury and I'm so glad to have it sitting in my perfume drawer. I have a more descriptive, 'adjective-overload' sort of review here.
10. The Bath-Time Treat | Elemis Spa Home Quiet Mind Relaxing Bath Elixir
This is easily one of my best finds of 2013. Ever since I started going for massages at a local spa/salon, I've really gotten into luxury spa products and oils. This bath elixir by Elemis is the most relaxing scent that's ever passed my nostrils and if ever I've had a stressful day, I pop some of this into a running hot bath and I'm sorted. It lingers on the skin afterwards and leaves your skin feeling soft, smooth and pampered. I have a full review of it in my 'Top 5 Relaxation Products' post which you can find here.
11. The Hand Product | Soap & Glory Hand Maid
I'm known to carry a bottle of this stuff everywhere with me. I used to work with children and found I picked up ridiculous amounts of colds and coughs so it's been part of my daily routine for a good few years now - it's actually ingrained into my routine! I used to have one in every locker, cupboard and bag - no word of a lie. Soap & Glory's Hand Maid is by far my favourite hand sanitiser. I find that a lot of sanitisers have that 'medical chemically alcohol-y' sort of scent that totally overpowers any perfume you have on, but this one is lovely and sweet and gentle. If you like Soap & Glory scents - I'd recommend this little bottle. It lasts ages, costs around £2.50 and works a treat. No more coughs and splutters and your hands smell yummy at the same time! Perfect.
12. The Nail Polish | Barry M Gelly Hi-Shine PolishMy nails aren't in tip top condition at the moment as I've started nibbling them through stress at uni (New Years Resolution is to get my killer talons back!) - but throughout summer, these polishes really were the Bee's Knees and I think the entire collection sums up my nail polish preferences of 2013. Barry M don't half know how to make a smashing nail polish! Their Gelly Hi-Shines are amazing to apply, give a super-shiny salon perfected finish and come in an array of beautiful shades. I did a post on my entire collection of them in the summer, so if you're interested in having a nosey and a further read-up on them, you can find it here.
13. The Lip Balm | Maybelline Baby Lips in 'Peach Kiss' & Carmex Moisture Plus in 'Pink'
Ok ok ok. So I cheated *slap wrist* - just think of the extra product a fruity little bonus? I've been loving 2 lip balms this year for different reasons. The first is the ever-famous Maybelline Baby Lips which finally hit the UK this year - causing a complete frenzy amongst us British Bloggers. They became a 'hit and miss' product for most but I'm personally in the love it camp. Not necessarily for the moisturising properties - because truth be told, there are much better balms on the market - but more for the sheer wash of colour complete with ease of use and snazzy packaging. 'Peach Kiss' is perfect for throwing in my bag at uni as it provides a very faint wash of colour which smooths out my lips and it adds a little bit of gloss and moisture. Perfect for everyday. I have a full review here. Carmex Moisture Plus is my go-to winter treat and I have a lot to owe to this little beauty. I actually have a post coming up on my blog about it as it's been a favourite of mine since summer now, but it provides amazing moisture. When it comes to lip balms, I think Carmex has to be 'up there' with the best, doesn't it? If your lips are in need of some thirst quenching, then Carmex comes to the rescue! I personally love the 'Pink' sheer tint version (it also comes in other shades as well as a clear version) - it looks like I've applied a lip gloss or lipstick and provides instant relief from dry, thirst-deprived lips. The shade also looks beautiful against my winter skin - it instantly seems to brighten my complexion. Look out for my full review post coming soon!
So there we have it - my top 13 skin, hair and body care products of 2013! I think it just goes to show how highly I rate these products as almost every single one of them has it's own post or review - a great number of them also have appeared in my monthly favourites throughout the course of the year. If you missed my 'Best of 2013 Makeup' post, then you can find it here. I do hope you've enjoyed having a read up on my ultimate favourites and have atleast found yourself one product to try for 2014!
What were your top skin/hair/body products of 2013? Do we share any of the same favourites?