Happy New Year!
In keeping with tradition, January 1st marks the annual Skin Deep Beauty Awards. It's hard to believe that the awards are now in their 6th year and once again, there are new categories making the 2015 awards the biggest ever! The awards honour my favourite beauty products, whether they be longstanding must-haves or new discoveries. As always, those winners which have been recognised for three years or more gain a well deserved place in the Skin Deep Hall of Fame.
Help yourself to a flute of virtual Champagne and a virtual canapé (they're calorie free!) and let's raise a toast to the winners.
BEST SHAMPOO... KIEHL'S AMINO ACID SHAMPOO
Being recognised for the first year, this coconut scented shampoo cleanses hair effectively yet gently, without irritating my sensitive scalp & simply leaves hair looking & feeling healthy. Read my original review here.
BEST CLARIFYING SHAMPOO... CLYNOL HAIR EXPERT CLEAR CLEANSING SHAMPOO
A new category for 2015 which represents the fact that I've incorporated a clarifying shampoo into my hair care routine this year & it's all thanks to Clynol Hair Expert Clear Cleansing Shampoo, which has completely reversed the way I perceived clarifying shampoos. This fresh scented shampoo doesn't irritate my sensitive scalp but simply leaves hair feeling clean & free of build up. Read my original review here.
BEST DRY SHAMPOO... PHILIP KINGSLEY ONE MORE DAY DRY SHAMPOO
Another new category for 2015 which reflects the popularity of dry shampoos. Admittedly, the Philip Kingsley version isn't the best for volumising but it absorbs grease whilst also soothing the scalp, helping to refresh.
BEST CONDITIONER... AVEDA SMOOTH INFUSION CONDITIONER
Winning for the second year in a row, Aveda's Smooth Infusion Conditioner delivers on the claims by helping to smooth & diminish frizz, without weighing down fine hair. Read my original review here.
BEST HAIR MASK... MACADAMIA DEEP REPAIR MASQUE
I treat my tresses to a pampering hair mask every Sunday and hands down, the best I've tried this year is the Macadamia Deep Repair Masque. It's easy to see why this intensive conditioner is so popular. The fruity fragranced mask gets to work in under 10 minutes to leave hair shiny, soft & smooth but not weighed down. Read my original review here.
BEST HAIR OIL... L'OREAL ELVIVE EXTRAORDINARY OIL
This affordable hair oil beats pricier versions & wins for the second year running not only because it offers unbeatable value for money but also because it leaves hair nourished & smoothed with a healthy shine but never weighed down or with a sticky or greasy residue.
BEST STYLING PRODUCT... ALTERNA BAMBOO SMOOTH KENDI DRY OIL MICROMIST
I've reached for this lightweight finishing mist countless times over 2015. It leaves hair shiny & smooth, with frizz & flyaways diminished, whilst also caring for tresses.
BEST TOOL... GHD HAIR STRAIGHTENER
These bestselling straightening irons have returned to the top spot in 2015 because they're quick & easy to use, leaving hair sleek & smooth.
BEST WASH OFF CLEANSER/ CLEANSING OIL... DHC DEEP CLEANSING OIL
I use a cleansing oil every morning and have tried numerous versions but the bestselling DHC Deep Cleansing Oil continues to outshine all others. I credit this wonder oil with transforming my acne-prone skin. It's gentle yet effective and has a balancing effect on combination & oily skin types. I can't recommend it highly enough. What's more, the price tag is wallet friendly. Click here to read my original review.
BEST CLEANSING BALM/ HOT CLOTH CLEANSER... CLINIQUE TAKE THE DAY OFF CLEANSING BALM
This richly textured, unscented balm glides onto skin, gently yet effortlessly removing all traces of makeup without causing my acne-prone skin to break out.
BEST CLEANSING WATER... GARNIER MICELLAR CLEANSING WATER
This gentle yet effective micellar water is one of the best buys around, outperforming many pricier rivals.
BEST CLEANSING WIPES... DERMALOGICA PRECLEANSE WIPES
I took these wipes travelling with me earlier 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 signature look so it's important that I have an effective eye makeup remover on hand. This bi-phase eye makeup remover makes light work of removing even the heaviest & most dramatic looks.
BEST SERUM... ELEMENTAL HERBOLOGY CELL FOOD
It's easy to see why this lightweight, milky serum is one of the most popular products from the natural brand. It's impressively results driven & I can notice a difference in my skin when I'm not using this.
BEST FACIAL OIL... AROMATHERAPY ASSOCIATES MATTIFYING REFINING FACE OIL
This luxurious face oil wins for the second year running because it feels indulgent to use whilst also leaving skin nourished & balanced.
BEST FACIAL SPRITZER... NEAL'S YARD REMEDIES WHITE TEA FACIAL MIST
This 92% organic facial mist wins for the second time because it hydrates skin whilst also calming the senses thanks to the inclusion of Bach Flower Remedies essences in the formula. Read my original review here.
BEST FACE CREAM... LA ROCHE POSAY ROSALIAC UV LEGERE
If you watch the "Empties" videos on my YouTube channel, then the winner of the Best Face Cream category will come as no surprise. La Roche Posay Rosaliac UV Legere is one of my most repurchased items. This gel cream moisturiser hydrates & protects skin without clogging pores and works well under makeup, making it an ideal option for everyday use.
BEST FACIAL SUNSCREEN... KIEHL'S ULTRA LIGHT DAILY DEFENSE SPF50
Even though this facial sunscreen offers high SPF & broad spectrum protection, it lives up to the lightweight name and doesn't break out my acne prone skin. What's more, it works well under makeup.
BEST NIGHT CREAM... VICHY IDEALIA SKIN SLEEP
A winner for the first year, this relatively affordable night cream contains caffeine, hyaluronic and salicylic acids in a nourishing yet easily absorbed formula.
BEST EYE CREAM...ARK REVERSE GRAVITY EYE CREAM
A winner for the first year, this results-driven eye cream leaves the delicate eye area brightened, rejuvenated & hydrated. What's more, I love the cooling rollerball applicator which massages the eye area as part of the application process.
BEST DECONGESTING MASK... OMOROVICZA DEEP CLEANSING MASK
This gentle yet deep cleansing mask may be pricey but nonetheless, it's a must have within my skincare kit & once again, scoops the award for Best Decongesting Mask. Click here to read my original review.
BEST HYDRATING MASK... HEAVEN BY DEBORAH MITCHELL HYDRATING & FIRMING MASK
This natural mask with rose oil, lavender & marshmallow is a morning after saviour, helping to rehydrate tired skin.
BEST REJUVENATING MASK... OSKIA RENAISSANCE MASK
A winner for the second year running, this indulgent gel mask contains AHAs and fruit enzymes to leave skin glowing & revitalised.
BEST EXFOLIATOR... ALPHA H LIQUID GOLD
Winning for the second year in a row, this cult product is deserving of the hype thanks to the results driven formula which leaves skin revitalised and glowing.
BEST SPOT/ ACNE TREATMENT... LA ROCHE POSAY EFFACLAR DUO +
Winning for the second year running, this cult product is a must have which I'd highly recommend to anyone with acne prone skin because it reduces breakouts, promotes healing & diminishes scarring.
BEST LIP BALM... LANOLIPS 101 OINTMENT STRAWBERRY
This rich balm with tempting strawberry helps to soothe, protect & heal even the driest lips, leaving them conditioned.
BEST SALON TREATMENT... ULTIMATE AROMATHERAPY ASSOCIATES FACIAL
This indulgent facial from one of my favourite brands is both pampering & results driven.
BEST PRIMER... SMASHBOX PHOTO FINISH PRIMER WATER
When I heard that Smashbox were introducing a primer water, I thought that it was gimmicky. That is, until I tried it. This effective primer which is oil, alcohol & silicone free, helps makeup stay in place all day without clogging pores. What's more, I love how quick & easy the application process is.
BEST EYESHADOW PRIMER... URBAN DECAY EYESHADOW PRIMER POTION
I've tried numerous eyeshadow primers but the cult Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion remains a favourite. It helps to prolong the wear of eyeshadows, prevents creasing & enhances their colour. I also love that the packaging has been updated to incorporate a doe foot applicator for ease of use. Read my original review here.
BEST SETTING SPRAY... SKINDINAVIA THE MAKEUP FINISHING SPRAY
This finishing spray helps to take down any cakey or powdery finish and boosts the longevity of makeup.
BEST FOUNDATION... MAKEUP FOR EVER HD FOUNDATION
The formula of my "holy grail" foundation was updated in 2015 but it remains a favourite because the buildable base feels lightweight on the skin yet delivers a flawless finish. The formula is free from SPF making it a good choice for photography & furthermore, it's available in a variety of shades.
BEST BB CREAM... DR JART + REGENERATING BEAUTY BALM
Winning for the third year in a row & therefore, earning a place in the Skin Deep Hall of Fame, this BB cream combines impressive, buildable coverage with SPF30 protection and is an essential within my summer makeup kit.
BEST UNDEREYE CONCEALER... BOURJOIS123 PERFECT CC EYE CREAM CONCEALER
A winner for the first time, this affordable, lightweight concealer has a brightening effect under the eyes & helps to disguise dark shadows.
BEST BLEMISH CONCEALER... LAURA MERCIER SECRET CAMOUFLAGE
This compact concealer wins for the first time after becoming a must-have within my makeup kit. It lives up to the name & is particularly effective at covering "textured" blemishes whilst the two-tone format means that it can be customised for the perfect shade match.
BEST PRESSED POWDER... RIMMEL STAY MATTE PRESSED POWDER
Winning for the second year running, this wallet friendly pressed powder delivers on its claims by helping to set makeup & leave a longwearing matte finish whilst also helping to control oil.
BEST LOOSE POWDER... BENEFIT THE POREFESSIONAL AGENT ZERO SHINE
Winning for the second year running, Benefit The Porefessional Agent Zero Shine is the ideal choice for travel or on-the-go touch-ups thanks to the handy packaging which incorporates a precision brush. It delivers on claims by leaving a matte finish, helping to set makeup & going some way to controlling oil.
BEST BRONZER... NARS LAGUNA
This cult bronzer remains the unbeaten favourite thanks to the smooth formula and believable sun-kissed glow which it imparts to skin.
BEST CONTOUR... KEVYN AUCOIN THE SCULPTING POWDER
Winning for the second year running, this highly pigmented, cooled toned powder is a favourite for creating a believable chiselled look and what's more, the finely milled formula means that blending is a breeze.
BEST POWDER BLUSH... MILANI BAKED BLUSH
Winning for the first year, this pigmented yet blendable long-wearing blush has become a favourite. I was initially concerned that the popular shade Luminoso would look glittery & fake on skin but this vegan-friendly, luminous peach shade has been one of my most worn in 2015 thanks to the flattering, wearable colour which complements most makeup looks.
BEST CREAM BLUSH... BOURJOIS LITTLE ROUND POT CREAM BLUSH
Winning for the first year, this wallet friendly cream blush has a smooth texture and is impressively long-wearing.
BEST POWDER HIGHLIGHTER... MAC MINERALISE SKIN FINISH IN SOFT & GENTLE
The best highlighter category has been split into two this year, to recognise the different formulas available. Winning for the first year, MAC's popular powder adds a natural, flattering glow to skin.
BEST CREAM/ LIQUID HIGHLIGHTER... BENEFIT GIRL MEETS PEARL
This natural highlighter has an easily blendable, cream formula which gives a "lit from within" appearance to skin, making it a worthy winner for the third year & scooping a place in the Skin Deep Hall of Fame.
BEST BROW PRODUCT... TOM FORD BROW SCULPTOR
My "holy grail" brow product wins for the third year in a row and therefore, earns a place in the Skin Deep Hall of Fame. I love the attention to detail which is evident in the packaging that features a spooly brush and sharpener. 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 a favourite thanks to the wide variety of colours and finishes available. On the whole, I find them easy to work with, blendable & pigmented. I'm a big fan of the customisable palettes but my most reached for shades in 2015 have been the popular All that Glitters paired with Brown Down.
BEST CREAM EYESHADOW... BOBBI BROWN LONG-WEAR CREAM SHADOW
This pigmented, blendable cream applies smoothly to lids and works equally well as a base or worn alone. Furthermore, it stays in place for hours without creasing. I love the gunmetal shade Galaxy for creating a simple smokey eye.
BEST EYESHADOW CRAYON... NO7 STAY PERFECT SHADE AND DEFINE
Winning for the second year, this wallet friendly eyeshadow crayon is easy to use, applies smoothly without dragging skin and the pigmented colour is long-wearing, without creasing. My favourite is the shade "Cool Mink" which I use to create a wearable, soft smokey look that's flattering on my brown eyes.
BEST EYESHADOW PALETTE... URBAN DECAY GWEN STEFANI
Celebrity collaborations rarely appeal to me but it was difficult to avoid the Gwen Stefani for Urban Decay eyeshadow palette which launched towards the end of 2015. The weighty gold, white & black palette with satisfying magnetic closure features 15 pigmented, smooth & blendable eyeshadows each with names synonymous with the singer. I love the selection of colours, which ranges from wearable neutrals to unexpected pops of colour, as well as the variety of finishes including mattes, satins & shimmers.
BEST PENCIL EYELINER... TOO FACED PERFECT EYES WATERPROOF EYELINER
This pigmented liner combines the intensity of a gel with the functionality of a pencil in a formula which is incredibly long-wearing, making it a worthy winner for the third year in a row. It has also gained a place in the Skin Deep Hall of Fame.
BEST LIQUID/ GEL EYELINER... BOBBI BROWN LONG-WEAR GEL EYELINER
This popular product scoops the award for the Best Liquid/ Gel Eyeliner for the first time this year. The smooth formula is easy to work with and it delivers on the long-wearing claims.
BEST MASCARA... MAYBELLINE THE FALSIES FLARED VOLUME EXPRESS MASCARA
This affordable mascara wins for the third year in a row and therefore, earns a place in the Skin Deep Hall of Fame. It adds a feminine, fluttery & volumised effect to lashes and holds a curl without crispiness, clumps, smudges or flakes.
BEST LIPSTICK... NARS AUDACIOUS LIPSTICK
Winning for the first year, NARS Audacious Lipsticks are hands down, the best I've tried. The packaging is sleek with a satisfying magnetic closure and the lipsticks inside are pigmented, smooth & creamy and wear well. I particularly love the shades Lana & Raquel.
BEST LIQUID LIPSTICK... RIMMEL PROVOCALIPS
I've never previously been wowed by the liquid lipsticks I've tried hence the category never having been included in the Skin Deep Beauty Awards before now. That is, until I came to try Rimmel Provocalips earlier this year. These impressively long-wearing, pigmented lipsticks feel comfortable on the lips and offer everything I've been seeking in a liquid lipstick format. What's more, they're affordably priced. Read my review of the shade Kiss Me You Fool by clicking here.
BEST LIP CRAYON... REVLON COLORBURST JUST BITTEN KISSABLE BALM STAIN
A new category for 2015 which recognises the popularity of this format, which most brands now offer. Revlon Colorburst Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stains may not be the most recent launch but they scoop the award thanks to the wearable colours, longwearing formula and minty fresh fragrance. Crush and Honey are amongst my favourite shades.
BEST LIP TINT... CLARINS INSTANT LIGHT LIP BALM PERFECTOR
Winning for the first year, these smooth lip butters add a wearable hint of colour to lips in a nourishing formula which boasts a tempting toffee fragrance. The neutral shade Rosewood is a favourite.
BEST LIP LINER... NO7 PRECISION LIPS PENCIL
This affordable lip liner wins for the third year & therefore, earns a place in the Skin Deep Hall of Fame. The smooth formula and twist up functionality make it a worthy winner. The shade Nude is the ideal neutral for light & medium skin tones.
BEST LIP GLOSS... NYX BUTTER GLOSS
These affordable, much hyped lip glosses boast a tempting bakery scent, feel smooth but not sticky on the lips & feature a doe foot applicator for controlled, precision application of the wearable colour. Read my review of the Angel Food Cake shade here.
BEST NAIL POLISH... SOIGNE
Winning for the first time, this French line of 5-free formula polishes brings a new luxury to nail polishes. Beautifully presented, the formulas are impressive and the colour selection includes classics and unusual, colourful shades.
BEST TOOL... REAL TECHNIQUES BRUSHES
Real Techniques brushes scoop the award for best tool once again. This Youtuber created line of affordable, synthetic brushes is unparalleled when it comes to offering value for money. The brushes feel super soft, wash well, dry quickly & don't shed even though I use them almost daily. Favourites include the Buffing Brush and Silicone Liner Brush.
BEST SHOWER WASH... RUBY RED REVIVING BODY CLEANSER
This natural body wash contains an uplifting blend of lime, mandarin & cedarwood, making it ideal for morning use.
BEST BATH SOAK... AROMATHERAPY ASSOCIATES BATH & SHOWER OILS
Aromatherapy Associates Bath & Shower Oils are one of my all time favourite, can't-live-without products so it's perhaps unsurprising that they've once again scooped the award for Best Bath Soak, having been recognised every single year in the Skin Deep Beauty Awards.
BEST SCRUB... SOAP & GLORY THE BREAKFAST SCRUB
This wallet friendly scrub wins once again thanks to the satisfyingly abrasive formula and good-enough-to-eat scent. Read my original review here.
BEST BODY OIL... ELEMIS FRANGIPANI MONOI BODY OIL
This indulgent body oil which boasts an incredible scent is one of my must-have products so it's perhaps unsurprising that it's once again recognised in the Skin Deep Beauty Awards, having scooped the award every year.
BEST BODY MOISTURISER... THE SANCTUARY RELAX COCOONING BODY BUTTER
This affordable body butter is easily absorbed & doesn't leave a greasy residue on skin, however, a comforting, warm & sensual scent lingers, making it the ideal choice for evening use. Read my original review here.
BEST SUNCARE... LANCASTER
I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time in the sun in 2015 and Lancaster is my trusted brand when it comes to protecting my skin.
BEST AFTERSUN... HAWAIIAN TROPIC SILK HYDRATION AFTER SUN
This affordable gel-cream wins for the third year and earns a place in the Skin Deep Hall of Fame. The easily absorbed formula soothes & moisturises sun parched skin, leaving a fresh scent.
BEST FAKE TAN... XEN-TAN MOROCCAN TAN
Winning for the third year and earning a place in the Skin Deep Hall of Fame, Xen-Tan's Moroccan Tan adds a deep yet believable colour to skin.
BEST GRADUAL TAN... PALMER'S NATURAL BRONZE GRADUAL TANNING MOISTURISER
This affordable gradual tan wins for the third year and earns a place in the Skin Deep Hall of Fame thanks to the natural colour it adds to skin.
BEST INSTANT COLOUR... THIS WORKS PERFECT LEGS SKIN MIRACLE
The hint of natural colour which adds an instant tint to pasty limbs, together with skin caring ingredients including arnica & vitamins C & E make this a worthy winner.
BEST FOOT CREAM.. THE BODY SHOP HEMP FOOT PROTECTOR
This rich foot cream wins once again thanks to its ability to instantly get to work, leaving feet pedi perfect.
BEST HAND CREAM... THE BODY SHOP HEMP HAND PROTECTOR
I come back to this winter essential year after year because it quickly & effectively tackles even the driest & chapped skin. The botanical scent may not be to everyone's liking but I recommend it time & time again nonetheless because the results are so impressive.
BEST TOOL/ ACCESSORY... CRABTREE & EVELYN NAIL POLISH REMOVER WIPES
These individually wrapped wipes are ideal for travel or simply keeping in a desk drawer or handbag for "emergencies". One wipe is sufficiently saturated to be able to remove polish from all ten fingers and the effectiveness gives no hint to the gentle, soy-based formula.
BEST SALON TREATMENT... STRIP WAXING
This celebrity favourite offers the best Brazilians in London so it's perhaps unsurprising that it has once again scooped the Best Salon Treatment award. The efficient & professional staff, along with themed rooms & distracting TVs manage to make this beauty chore somewhat bearable.
BEST FRAGRANCE (WOMEN'S)... GUERLAIN SHALIMAR PARFUM INITIAL
Guerlain's sophisticated blend of bergamot, rose, jasmine, patchouli, vetiver, tonka bean and vanilla make this sensual floral chypre a worthy winner once again.
BEST FRAGRANCE (MEN'S)... ACQUA DI PARMA
This iconic, unisex fragrance is a must-try classic. Sicilian citrus fruits blend with lavender, verbena, rose and rosemary in a refreshing scent that's particularly well suited to the summer months.
BEST NEW LAUNCH... GUCCI BAMBOO
Exotic florals are blended with woody notes in this new launch from the Italian design house.
BEST HOME FRAGRANCE... NEOM ORGANICS CANDLES
NEOM's luxury candles have been recognised every year in the Skin Deep Beauty Awards and once again scoop the award thanks to their indulgent, room- filling, therapeutic fragrance blends.
Finally, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank each & every one of you who has supported Skin Deep over 2015 & beyond.