Ta-dahh! It’s almost a whole year since I last did the first ever BBB Awards, so high time there were some more. There are a couple of products still working overtime to go above and beyond anything else I’ve tried in their category so you might see a familiar face or two. There are also a couple of tied places; I just couldn’t choose, so used the ‘it’s my blog’ rule to issue joint first.
Other than that, I’ve been on the lookout all year for products that have really, truly wowed me and that I’d buy at the drop of hat, no questions asked. They’re genuinely what I love and what I want to continue using for nearly ever.
Last year, I served canapés and champagne, but this year I’m feeling for burny snacks. So, help yourself to a wasabi martini and a wasabi pea before you settle down to the gongs.
Garnier BB Cream
I loved this for many reasons and am still using it now. Firstly, it just does that special something to your skin that is all things glowy and dewy. Those who like their skin matte didn’t get it at all, but after testing it on various skin types and age-groups, I didn’t see one complexion that wasn’t visually improved by it. It is also the UK’s first foray into BB creams and set at an affordable price point. £7.99.
I’ve seen my skin texture improve considerably from using this once-a-day shot of anti-ageing. You don’t need eye cream, serum, night cream or anything else at all, and I haven’t had a single moment of skin woe since using it. It really has wowed me for all the right reasons and I’d recommend in a heart-beat. £125.
OroFluido Argan Mask
Very impressed with this hair mask that gives super soft and shiny hair; a little goes a very long way and it isn’t nearly as expensive as competitors, but is easily as good, if not better. It’s not for those with oily hair but great for normal to dry. £10.99.
Clinique Chubby Sticks
Who didn’t love these little fatties? The colours are great – easy to apply, with good colour saturation with just the right amount of sheen. Beautiful make-up worth shouting about. £15.
John Frieda Salon Shine Hair Dryer
This is easily the fastest hair dryer I’ve ever owned and for someone who cannot bear the tedium of hair drying it is an absolute godsend. It is super-hot, super-quick and gets the job done perfectly. £59.99.
Benefit Instant Eyebrow Pencil
I have been known to go out with Hilary-From-Dragon’s-Den eyebrows by mistake: this pencil is super-creamy and soft which makes mistake proof brow darkening a much easier beast to tame. I love the fact it has a little brush at one end so you can colour and groom in one go. £13.
Revlon Grow Luscious Eye Liners
These are so creamy and soft that I have used them as kohl and they do a great job of lasting; something that I really struggle with. There is no drag whatsoever when you draw with them and they’re truly the ultimate comfort liners. I know they have some extras to help with lash conditioning; no use on the inner rim I shouldn’t think, but any help I can get with lashes is a bonus. £6.29.
Bourjois Smoky Effect Eye Pencils
There isn’t one single shade that I haven’t worn and I especially love the navy with shimmer; they’re soft, so easy to apply and the brush at the end of the crayon is perfect for smudging and smoothing. In fact, these are my go-to when I can’t be bothered to do ‘proper’ eye make-up and they serve as a quick and easy smoke-up that looks like I have bothered! £5.49.
Aromatherapy Associates Home Fragrancer
I was having a lot of trouble sleeping earlier in the year, and, combined with some deliciously relaxing oils, this little gadget really did help. I’ll never know if was psychological or whether it ‘really’ did, but either way I was glad of it then and am still glad of it now. It’s an electric diffuser than ensures your room is filled with beautiful aromas. I switch it on about an hour before I go to bed and when I’m ready to hit the sack, my bedroom smells blissful. £30.
Suti Peppermint Facial Toner
This sneaks in for being a life-saver over the summer… it gives a proper blast of peppermint that is both reviving and refreshing. I used it on my face, my legs and anywhere that was feeling too hot for an immediate cooling fix, and I used it til the bottle was empty. Lovely. £18.
Organic Pharmacy Organic Glam Orange Blossom
This is a power-packed punch of orange blossom – if you know the Jo Malone one, it’s ten times as intense and it is also very, very beautiful. The kind of fragrance that literally makes you smile when you smell it. Perfect. £119.95 (yes, I know.. but!).
This is the fragrance that people have stopped me in the street three times to ask what I’m wearing and whenever I wear it, others comment that they love it. I do love it; it’s sweet, floral and totally feminine and fits day or evening. All my scarves smell of it so it’s become ‘my’ scent for now. £34.50
Jo Loves Pomelo
A last minute entry because I can’t stop spraying this stuff! A citrus kick from the beginning that dries down to a skin scent that is sensual and emotive. £95.
Jonathan Ward London Edina’s Locket Candle
I adored this candle made in homage to Edina Sackville; a key (but naughty) member of the Happy Valley set – it’s a sweet and powdery smell that reminded me of both my grandmothers and their elegant powder compacts. Ladies of a certain age back then liberally powdered their noses and it is a key scent from my childhood. There is enough fragrance that the candle properly scents a room; it isn’t just a question of a waft here and there: it is full-on, true home fragrancing. It was a limited edition and I don’t think there are any left.
Violent Lips & Dior Velvet Eyes
Violent Lips lip tattoos are a really extreme look but so innovative; and that’s what it’s all about – doing things that haven’t been done before. Box ticked. The same has to be said for the limited edition Dior Velvet Eyes; dramatic strips of ‘velvet’ to give a very strong eye look that hasn’t been seen before. Violent Lips £12 each, Dior Velvet Eyes, £47.
Dior Mitzah Pallette
Every collectible palette that comes out of Dior is a masterpiece and this is really no exception. I didn’t even want to swatch mine because that’s how reverential I was feeling about it. But I did in the end. The back story and the execution are immaculate and it’s this kind of thing that turns mere make-up into a valued collector’s item. £61.50 (still a few available at Selfridges).
Milkshake Glistening Argan Oil
I discovered this product at CosmoProf in Bologna and was so thrilled with way it smoothed and softened my hair. It’s a divine product that truly works on dryish, straight-but-wants-to-be-curly hair like mine. £23.50.
Daniel Sandler Watercolour Crème Rouge Blusher Soft Peach
Much as I love a DS Watercolour bottle, I have to go with the product that has been my absolute staple all summer long, the Crème Rouge version. I’ve used it literally every day since I’ve had it and it’s nearly finished. That’s the ultimate accolade! £15.50.
Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum Foundation
Feather-light, a perfect match and beautifully smoothing, this foundation behaves like one twice the price. £7.
Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Gel Mask
This isn’t a new product but it is the fail-safe mask I go for when my skin needs a quick brightening pep. It really works to leave the complexion much smoother and revitalized. £46.
Thalgo Thalasso Bath With Algae
This product is one of the few that I felt a bit panicky about when I saw it was running out. A blend of algae put into salted crystals, it is the perfect antidote to knackeredness. Any signs of aches and pains vanish immediately and while I don’t recommend a pirouette on point, I could probably do one if pushed after a good soak in these. £23.25.
Lanolip Lemonaid Lip Aid
These got an award last year too, but they are still my daily staples in a variety of shades, so it would be all wrong not to include them again. My lips have never been in such good condition and as a lip biter (when I’m concentrating), this exfoliating and smoothing balm is worth its weight in gold. £8.99.
Once again, these are daily staples…I used to get a lot of lower back pain and can hand on heart say that I have never had it since I started to wear Fitflops. They are the most comfortable shoes in the world in my opinion and I wouldn’t be without them.. they’re not exactly a beauty product but I wanted to include them for making me happy. Prices vary.
Nailtiques Formula 2
I am hard on my nails. Not only do I love changing my nail colours, but I also spend a good proportion of the day typing. I was having dreadful problems with peeling nails until I started using this formula. All but one nail has no peeling problems at all now and it is like I have been given a new set of nails! £17.25.