Happy New Year!
The start of January can only mean one thing here on Skin Deep- it's time for the annual Skin Deep Beauty Awards. Somewhat unbelievably, the awards are now in their 5th year and bigger than ever with a host of new categories. As always, the awards honour my favourite beauty products whether they be long-standing must-haves or new discoveries. Once again, those winners which have been recognised for three or more years gain a well deserved place in the Skin Deep Hall of Fame. Help yourself to a glass of virtual Champagne & raise a glass to this year's winners.
BEST SHAMPOO... CLYNOL CLEAR CLEANSING SHAMPOO
I'd previously veered away from clarifying shampoos, fearing that they'd be too harsh for my sensitive scalp. Don't dismiss Clynol Clear Cleansing Shampoo based on the unassuming packaging-this gentle yet effective option instantly became part of my weekly routine after trying it for the first time this year.
BEST CONDITIONER... AVEDA SMOOTH INFUSION CONDITIONER
Aveda Smooth Infusion Conditioner delivers on its claims, leaving hair smooth with frizz noticeably diminished and what's more, it boasts the incredible signature Aveda botanical fragrance. Click here to read my original review.
BEST HAIR MASK... TREVOR SORBIE FRIZZ FREE REPAIR MASK
I was pleasantly surprised by this affordable mask which gets to work in less than 5 minutes, leaving hair soft, smooth and shiny but not weighed down. Click here to read my original review.
BEST HAIR OIL... L'OREAL ELVIVE EXTRAORDINARY OIL
This wallet friendly oil leaves hair nourished & smoothed, with a healthy shine but not weighed down.
BEST STYLING PRODUCT... BOUFFE DRY SPRAY FOR BIGGER, THICKER HAIR
Bouffe Dry Spray delivers on its claims to add volume and texture to fine hair. Whilst it does leave a residue, this creates hold and the spray has been a welcome addition to my hair styling kit this year.
BEST TOOL... LEE STAFFORD JUMBO TONG & NOURISH
I wore my hair in loose curls & waves a lot during 2014 and Lee Stafford's Jumbo Tong & Nourish was my go-to tool for creating them with ease.
BEST WASH-OFF CLEANSER/ CLEANSING OIL... DHC DEEP CLEANSING OIL
This year, the Best Cleanser category has been split out to reflect the variety of different formulas available.
A winner for the third year running, DHC Deep Cleansing Oil is an affordable, affordable yet effective cleanser which has earned a place in the Skin Deep Hall of Fame. Click here to read my original review.
BEST CLEANSING BALM/ HOT CLOTH CLEANSER... CLINIQUE TAKE THE DAY OFF CLEANSING BALM
Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm has a rich texture (akin to lard!) that effortlessly melts into skin, promoting massage & effectively removing makeup without clogging pores. The unscented formula means that this gentle cleansing balm is a good choice even for those with sensitive skin.
BEST CLEANSING WATER... THIS WORKS CLEAN SKIN 5-IN-1 WATER
This Works Clean Skin 5-In-1 Water works effectively to remove makeup, including eye makeup. It's a gentle choice which feels soothing on the skin thanks to the inclusion of rosewater and hydrating glycerin. Click here to read my original review.
BEST CLEANSING WIPES... DERMALOGICA PRECLEANSE WIPES
Dermalogica PreCleanse Wipes aren't the most economical but they've taken the winning spot this year because the oil base means that they offer a more effective cleanse than most wipes. Click here to read my original review.
BEST EYE MAKEUP REMOVER... CLARINS INSTANT EYE MAKEUP REMOVER
A smokey eye is my go-to for nights out and this bi-phase eye makeup remover makes light work of removing even the heaviest & most dramatic looks.
BEST SERUM... DARPHIN HYDRASKIN INTENSIVE MOISTURISING SERUM
Darphin Hydraskin Intensive Moisturising Serum keeps skin hydrated all day long and what's more, it works well under makeup.
BEST FACIAL OIL... AROMATHERAPY ASSOCIATES MATTIFYING REFINING FACE OIL
This luxurious facial oil, which contains lavender, ylang ylang and jojoba oils, nourishes whilst having a balancing effect on oily & combination skin.
BEST FACIAL SPRITZER... JURLIQUE ROSEWATER BALANCING MIST
Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist boasts a delicate rose scent, hydrates skin and is delivered in a fine & even mist.
BEST FACE CREAM... LA ROCHE POSAY ROSALIAC UV LEGERE
A winner for the third year running, La Roche Posay Rosaliac UV Legere has earned a place in the Skin Deep Hall of Fame. I've lost count of the amount of times that I've repurchased this lightweight moisturiser, which protects skin without clogging pores. It's my go-to for daily use.
BEST FACIAL SUNSCREEN... THIS WORKS IN TRANSIT SKIN DEFENCE SPF30
Combining broad spectrum UVA & UVB protection and SPF30 with hydrating Hyaluronic Acid, this lightweight facial sunscreen protects skin from the sun's harmful rays without clogging pores.
BEST NIGHT CREAM... RODIAL GLAMTOX NIGHT
This results driven gel-cream once again takes the prize for Best Night Cream.
BEST EYE CREAM... KIEHL'S SUPER MULTI-CORRECTIVE EYE-OPENING SERUM
Kiehl's Super Multi-Corrective Eye-Opening Serum launched in Autumn 2014 and I was quickly impressed with the results driven formula. Dismissing the ridiculously long name, the eye serum is lightweight so that it's easily absorbed into the delicate eye area to hydrate without causing puffiness.
BEST DECONGESTING MASK... OMOROVICZA DEEP CLEANSING MASK
Despite the high price point, this gentle yet deep cleansing mask remains a must-have within my skincare kit and after winning for three years in a row, has gained a place in the Skin Deep Hall of Fame. Click here to read my original review.
BEST HYDRATING MASK... CLARINS HYDRAQUENCH CREAM MASK
Clarins HydraQuench Cream Mask is recognised in this category for the second time. The creamy mask is my go-to when I want to soothe and hydrate skin and it also helps to improve skin's tone. Click here to read my original review.
BEST REJUVENATING MASK... OSKIA RENAISSANCE MASK
This indulgent gel mask contains AHAs & fruit enzymes to leave skin glowing and revitalised.
BEST EXFOLIATOR... ALPHA H LIQUID GOLD
Alpha H Liquid Gold is a cult product and after just one use, it's easy to see why. It should be dubbed "New Skin in a Bottle" thanks to its dramatic revitalising effects. My skin looks glowing and more youthful since incorporating this into my skincare routine.
BEST SPOT/ ACNE TREATMENT... LA ROCHE POSAY EFFACLAR DUO+
This cult product is a must-have for anyone that suffers from blemishes or acne prone skin. It's the single product that has made the greatest difference to my beauty regime in 2014, dramatically improving my skin both in terms of reducing active breakouts and diminishing scarring.
BEST LIP BALM... LANOLIPS 101 OINTMENT
Lanolips 101 Ointment is a rich balm which helps to protect lips and soothe even the driest skin.
BEST SALON TREATMENT... ULTIMATE AROMATHERAPY ASSOCIATES FACIAL
This indulgent facial from one of my favourite brands wins once again thanks to the enjoyable treatment and impressive results.
BEST PRIMER... RIMMEL FIX & PERFECT PRIMER
This affordable primer is a winner for the second year running. It prolongs the longevity of makeup without breaking out my acne prone skin.
BEST EYESHADOW PRIMER... URBAN DECAY EYESHADOW PRIMER POTION
This must-have, cult product has earned its place in the Skin Deep Hall of Fame after winning for three years running. It prolongs the wear of eyeshadows, prevents creasing and enhances their colour. Click here to read my original review.
BEST SETTING SPRAY... URBAN DECAY ALL NIGHTER SETTING SPRAY
Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray lives up to its name, helping to keep makeup in place. It's also handy for reducing any cakey or powdery finish.
BEST FOUNDATION... MAKE UP FOR EVER HD FOUNDATION
My "holy grail" foundation wins for the third year running and earns a place in the Skin Deep Hall of Fame. Make Up For Ever HD Foundation is available in a wide range of shades, feels lightweight on the skin and gives an incredible flawless finish. It's the product that has turned me into a foundation hoarder as I can't bear to be without back-ups of this so I'm thrilled by the news that the brand is launching into Debenhams in 2015.
BEST BB CREAM... DR JART+ REGENERATING BEAUTY BALM
Dr Jart+ Regenerating Beauty Balm wins for the second year running thanks to the impressive coverage which is paired with skincare benefits including SPF30. It's an essential within my travel or summer bag.
BEST UNDEREYE CONCEALER... RIMMEL WAKE ME UP CONCEALER
Rimmel's affordable concealer wins for the second year in a row. It's difficult to think of a day in 2014 when this hasn't featured within my makeup routine. The combination of the brightening formula and opaque coverage means that it's the perfect choice for disguising dark under eye circles.
BEST BLEMISH CONCEALER... KAT VON D LOCK-IT TATTOO CONCEALER
This full coverage concealer effectively covers blemishes and scaring and has earned a well deserved place in the Skin Deep Hall of Fame after scooping the prize for three years.
BEST PRESSED POWDER... RIMMEL STAY MATTE PRESSED POWDER
At less than £5, Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder delivers on its claims by helping to set makeup and leave a longwearing matte finish, whilst also going some way to controlling oil.
BEST LOOSE POWDER... BENEFIT THE POREFESSIONAL AGENT ZERO SHINE
Benefit The Porefessional Agent Zero Shine has been my powder of choice whenever I'm travelling thanks to the handy packaging which incorporates a precision brush. It's a pricey product but it delivers on its claims by giving a matte finish and goes some way to controlling oil.
BEST BRONZER... NARS LAGUNA
This beauty blogger favourite gives skin a believable sun kissed glow and as such, has earned its place in the Skin Deep Hall of Fame after winning for three years.
BEST CONTOUR... KEVYN AUCOIN THE SCULPTING POWDER
This is a new category for 2014 which reflects the popularity of contouring. Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder is a highly pigmented, cool toned powder which is sufficiently finely milled so as to make blending a breeze... a worthy winner.
BEST POWDER BLUSH... CLINIQUE CHEEK POPS
When Clinique Cheek Pops launched early in 2014, they immediately caught my attention thanks to the pretty daisy design. When I came to try them, I was blown away by the highly pigmented, long wearing formula which left a beautiful finish on the cheeks. The shade "Ginger Pop" was my favourite of the year.
BEST CREAM/ LIQUID BLUSH... NYX STICK BLUSH
This wallet friendly cream blush is available in a variety of wearable shades, with "Tea Rose" and "Hibiscus" featuring as favourites this year. The highly pigmented formula means that a little goes a long way. What's more, the stick presentation means they're ideal for travel as they can be applied directly to skin and blended with fingers, negating the need for brushes.
BEST HIGHLIGHTER... BENEFIT GIRL MEETS PEARL
A winner for the second time, Benefit Girl Meets Pearl gives a natural highlight and the creamy formula means that it is easily blendable for a skin-like finish.
BEST BROW PRODUCT... TOM FORD BROW SCULPTOR
Tom Ford Brow Sculptor is my "holy grail" brow product and wins for the second year running. It's undeniably expensive so I'm pleased to note the attention to detail that's gone into the design, which incorporates a sharpener and spooly brush. The angle of the pencil means that it's practically foolproof to use and I adore the cool-toned shade "taupe" for filling in brows naturally.
BEST POWDER EYESHADOW... MAC
MAC eyeshadows are favourites thanks to the variety of colours and finishes available. On the whole, I find them to be easy to work with, with good colour pay off, blendable formulas and longevity on the eye.
BEST CREAM EYESHADOW... MAYBELLINE COLOR TATTOO 24HR CREAM GEL EYESHADOW
Maybelline Color Tattoos once again scoop the prize for Best Cream Eyeshadow thanks to the longwearing, crease proof formula and pigmented shades. It's hard to believe that these are less than £5.
BEST EYESHADOW CRAYON... NO7 STAY PERFECT SHADE AND DEFINE
A new category for 2014 which is being introduced in recognition of the popularity of this format. Eyeshadow crayons are quick & easy to use and ideal for beginners or travel as they can be applied directly to lids before being blended with fingers, negating the need for brushes. No7 Stay Perfect Shade and Define scoops the prize thanks to the smooth, longwearing & crease proof formula, wearable shades and affordable price tag.
BEST EYESHADOW PALETTE... TOO FACED CHOCOLATE BAR PALETTE
Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette launched in 2014 and gained instant popularity. The Chocolate Bar design of the packaging and the palette itself is well thought out and executed, even down to incorporating the scent of chocolate. The mix of matte & shimmer finish shadows, which have confectionary themed names, are smooth to apply, easily blendable and wearable. Click here to read my original review & see swatches.
BEST PENCIL EYELINER... TOO FACED PERFECT EYES WATERPROOF EYELINER
When Too Faced Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner was recognised in last year's Skin Deep Awards, I stated, "It's one of the best eyeliners I've ever used... It's certainly the most long-wearing" and I still stand by that. The eyeliner gives the intensity of a gel-like effect but with the convenience of a pencil application.
BEST LIQUID/ GEL EYELINER... NYX THE CURVE
This felt tip liquid liner is presented in an unusual curved applicator, making it a breeze to use even for beginners.
BEST MASCARA... MAYBELLINE THE FALSIES FLARED VOLUME EXPRESS MASCARA
This affordable mascara is recognised for the second year running. The curved brush helps to create volumised, feminine fluttery lashes without crispiness, clumps, smudges or flaking. What's more, it holds a curl impressively well.
BEST LIPSTICK... MAC
A winner for the third year running, MAC lipsticks have earned their place in the Skin Deep Hall of Fame thanks to the comfortable formulas and extensive colour range. My favourite shades this year have included "Lady Danger" and "Peach Blossom".
BEST LIP TINT... REVLON LIP BUTTER
Revlon Lip Butters have earned their place in the Skin Deep Hall of Fame after winning for three years in a row. These wallet friendly lip tints, which are available in a wide variety of colours, are comfortable to wear thanks to the hydrating formula. Many of the shades are sufficiently sheer that they can be applied without a mirror, making them an effortless everyday choice, although they can also be built up for a more intense effect.
BEST LIP LINER... NO7 PRECISION LIPS PENCIL
This affordable lip pencil has a creamy texture allowing for a smooth application along with a twist up functionality, making it a worthy winner for the second year running. My favourite is the versatile "nude" shade which No7 Creative Director, Lisa Eldridge created as the perfect colour for light and medium skin tones.
BEST LIPGLOSS... CLARINS INSTANT LIGHT NATURAL LIP PERFECTOR
Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfectors are a balm and gloss hybrid that feels nourishing on the lips whilst adding a natural hint of colour and shiny finish. I love that they can be applied without a mirror, feel smooth but not sticky and boast a tempting toffee fragrance.
BEST NAIL POLISH... ESSIE
From the sleek design of the bottles to the extensive shade selection and long wearing, smooth formula, Essie polishes are amongst my favourites so it's unsurprisingly that they're being recognised for the second time.
BEST TOOL... REAL TECHNIQUES BRUSHES
Winning for the third year and earning a place in the Skin Deep Hall of Fame, Real Techniques brushes represent fantastic value for money. For the price, the quality is unparalleled. The synthetic bristles feel super soft on the skin, dry quickly after washing and I'm yet to have a brush shed even a single hair despite the fact that I use them almost daily.
BEST SHOWER WASH... JURLIQUE MOISTURE REVIVE SHOWER GEL
This natural shower wash is the softest I've ever used. It gently cleanses the body without leaving skin feeling tight or dry.
BEST BATH SOAK... AROMATHERAPY ASSOCIATES BATH & SHOWER OILS
Aromatherapy Associates Bath & Shower Oils are one of my all time favourite, can't-live-without beauty products so it's unsurprising that they're once again scooping the Best Bath Soak award, having been recognised every single year in the Skin Deep Beauty Awards.
BEST SCRUB... SOAP & GLORY THE BREAKFAST SCRUB
Taking the prize for the third year running, Soap & Glory The Breakfast Scrub has earned a place in the Skin Deep Hall of Fame. This wallet friendly scrub is satisfyingly abrasive without being harsh and what's more, it smells good enough to eat!
BEST BODY OIL... ELEMIS FRANGIPANI MONOI BODY OIL
This indulgent body oil, which is solid at room temperature and needs to be melted prior to use, has been recognised every year in the Skin Deep Beauty Awards. I love the ritual of applying the warmed oil to my skin and the incredible scent is a noted favourite amongst beauty writers.
BEST BODY MOISTURISER... VASELINE SPRAY & GO
Vaseline Spray & Go does exactly what the name suggests. The lightweight body moisturiser is easily absorbed, leaving skin hydrated but without a greasy residue.
BEST SUNCARE... LANCASTER
Lancaster is once again recognised in the Best Suncare category as I know I can trust the brand to protect my skin against the sun's harmful rays.
BEST AFTERSUN... HAWAIIAN TROPIC SILK HYDRATION AFTER SUN
This affordable gel-cream aftersun wins for the second year running. It moisturises & soothes sun parched skin and leaves a fresh scent.
BEST FAKE TAN... XEN-TAN MOROCCAN TAN
Celebrity favourite, Xen- Tan wins for the second year running. The deep Moroccan Tan is easy to use thanks to a guide colour and leaves skin with a rich yet believable tan.
BEST GRADUAL TAN... PALMER'S NATURAL BRONZE GRADUAL TANNING MOISTURISER
Palmer's Natural Bronze Gradual Tanning Moisturiser is one of the best gradual tanners I've come across, imparting a natural colour at an wallet friendly price. It's unsurprising that it's a beauty blogger favourite and winner for the second year running.
BEST INSTANT COLOUR... THIS WORKS PERFECT LEGS SKIN MIRACLE
This Works Perfect Legs Skin Miracle contains Vitamins C & E along with Arnica to work to improve legs' appearance whilst a hint of colour adds an instant tint to pasty limbs.
BEST FOOT CREAM... THE BODY SHOP HEMP FOOT PROTECTOR
This rich foot cream instantly gets to work, leaving feet appearing pedi perfect.
BEST HAND CREAM... THE BODY SHOP HEMP HAND PROTECTOR
I come back to this winter essential year after year and have recommended it to countless people. Whilst the strong scent may not be to everyone's liking, there's no denying the effectiveness of this rich cream at quickly treating the even driest and chapped hands.
BEST TOOL/ ACCESSORY... MAYBELLINE EXPRESS NAIL VARNISH REMOVER
Maybelline Express Nail Varnish Remover is presented as a tub containing a sponge soaked with nail polish remover. It's a handy format and whilst the concept isn't new or unique, I like the Maybelline version because it works quickly & effectively to remove polish without leaving a residue on the skin.
BEST SALON TREATMENT... STRIP WAXING
This celebrity favourite offers the best Brazilians in London and thanks to efficient and professional staff and themed rooms, manages to make this beauty chore bearable.
BEST FRAGRANCE (WOMEN'S)... GUERLAIN SHALIMAR PARFUM INITIAL
Guerlain's updated version of the classic Shalimar is a winner once again. The sophisticated blend of bergamot, rose, jasmine, patchouli, vetiver, tonka bean and Guerlain's signature vanilla makes this sensual floral chypre ideal for evening use.
BEST NEW LAUNCH... JIMMY CHOO STARS
The Best New Launch award this year goes to Jimmy Choo Stars, a chypre fragrance with notes of orange, candied orange, orchid, toffee, sandalwood and patchouli. From the intoxicating scent to the glamorous bottle, everything about this fragrance is unashamedly sexy.
BEST HOME FRAGRANCE... NEOM ORGANICS CANDLES
NEOM's luxury candles have been recognised every year in the Skin Deep Beauty Awards and this year is no exception, despite having undergone a rebrand in 2014. The three wick candles look chic and boast high quality ingredients to give a room filling fragrance and a truly therapeutic experience.
Finally, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported Skin Deep this year and over the last five years.