Honest reviews, regular hauls and all things beauty.

Tuesday 19 January 2021

My 20 favourite purchases of 2020


My 20 favourite purchases of 2020
I bought all of these products myself.

I did several favourites posts at the end of 2020, but I didn't do one solely dedicated to products that I purchased myself - all of the others contained a mixture of products received in PR and products I purchased. Today,  it's all about products I bought myself and it's not just beauty product because I want to incorporate some of my other loves into the blog this year. I could have chosen any number, but thought I'd do 20, given the year was 2020!

This is in no particular order, as I absolutely love everything mentioned here and I'm now kinda kicking myself for not including gifts from my husband and family because there are definitely some favourites there! Anyway, let's get into it....

1. Kérastase Genesis Bain Nutri-Fortifiant Shampoo: Regular readers will know that I had a very bad case of Covid last year, which lead to hair loss - literally clumps falling out daily and hair all over my pillow, all over the floor - there was no getting away from it. As luck would have it, one of my favourite hair brands, which I have used for over 20 years, brought out an anti-breakage range last year, so I had to buy the shampoo and out it to the test. I love this shampoo! My hair loss has slowed down to what is probably an average amount of loss (I am using other products too, but have seen a huge difference since I started using this shampoo), it nourishes my hair without leaving it feeling heavy. My hair feels stronger, so when I comb it, there is less hair falling out and it feels more elasticized overall. I'll definitely repurchase!

2. Kérastase Genesis Masque Reconsistuant Hair Mask: Given how much I love the shampoo, I had to try the mask. I tend to use masks more than regular conditioners, as my hair is naturally frizzy, knotty and dry. This mask also helps to strengthen weak and damaged hair. I don't normally apply masks to the root, but in this case, I do - I apply from root to tip on towel dried hair and leave for at least five minutes (longer if I have the time), before rinsing. My hair feels so soft, yet strong, frizz-free and is so easy to comb through. It also looks glossy when dried. Both products have helped to stop my hair loss, now I'm focusing on re-growth.

3. Olaplex No 0 Bond Builder: Another hair product! I love the original Olaplex No 3 pre-wash hair treatment, so when this was released, I had to buy it. Anything that would help to strengthen my hair and, therefore, prevent it from falling out,  had to be tried! I absolutely love this (apart from the dispenser, which I think should be a spray, rather than a nozzle). Using Olaples has made a HUGE difference to my hair over the past 2 years, but this really does help to strengthen and smooth my hair even more. If you have normal hair, you won't need this, but anyone with dry, frizzy, damaged or broken hair would benefit greatly from this. Full review here. Save 20% with my LYMIN code at the checkout.

4. Kérastase K Water: I know, I know - another hair product! I simply had to include this because it gives my hair a mirror shine. It's an unusual product, in that it literally feels like a water, which is applied to hair, after shampooing and conditioning (although you can skip conditioner, if you have greasy hair), massaged into the hair and then rinsed. I dispensed mine into a spray bottle, as I found that there was a lot of waste with the original bottle as the nozzle dispensed more than I needed. It doesn't feel heavy in the hair and it gives a mirror-shine, salon finish. It's not cheap, but lasts a long time and I'll definitely repurchase.

5. Jo Malone Midnight Musk & Amber: I'm always intrigued by the Christmas releases from Jo Malone, but sometimes, they are too rich for my taste. I do love Orange Bitters, which is a yearly release now, and there were two additional scents released. I couldn't get into the stores, so I took a chance on this one and I LOVE IT! I like that it has different packaging from the permanent line  - the bottle is ribbed and the lid is shaped like diamonds. The scent itself is powdery, musky and warm, due to the notes of amber, juniper and musk. In ways, it's quite deep and masculine, yet I also feel very feminine wearing it. I just wish that it was part of the permanent collection!

6. Veja Trainers: From beauty to footwear. I just had to mention these because I love them so much! They are like walking on air, I haven't found that they need breaking in at all, just put them on and its like floating on air! There are so many colour ways and they are unisex. I bought my husband a pair for Christmas and he loves them.

7. Celine Sunglasses: The pair I've linked to are not the exact pair that I have, but they are very close to it. I love these sunglasses because they are a classic style that will never go out of fashion. I prefer to buy classic than trend pieces, if I'm spending quite a bit of money on something. For years, I wore high street sunglasses and would go through maybe three pairs a year - they'd fall apart, get scratched etc, so I decided last year that I'd invest in a pair and these ticked all of the boxes for me - black, simple style and they suit my face shape (to be honest, I think they'd suit all face shapes). Well worth the splurge for me.

8. Saint Laurent Lou Quilted Shoulder Bag: I can sneak this into my 2020 purchases as I bought it at the very end of 2020. I just adore crossbody bags and I know this pink might not be to everyone's taste, but I love it and that's all that matters. I adore hot pink, but actually in the flesh, it's more or a pink/purple mix, which is hard to catch on camera. I am so looking forward to wearing this out when lockdown is over! I've linked to a pre-owned site, where the bag looks pristine and is 200 euros less than the RRP, if you're interested.

9. Shiseido Synchro Skin Self Refreshing Foundation: Back to beauty! This is one of two foundations that I am including today. There's something magical about this foundation because the longer it's on your skin, the fresher it looks. I've never known a foundation to be quite like this before. It's oil-free, contains SPF 30, is waterproof and claims to last for 24 hours (although I haven't tested the 24 hour part!). It has a semi-matte, natural finish, with medium coverage. It doesn't feel heavy on the skin and doesn't highlight pores or fine lines, so it ticks every box for me! Use LYMIN at the checkout to save 20%.

10. Scott Barnes Makeup Brushes: I've basically abandoned all of my other brushes since these came into my life! They make the job of applying makeup so easy because they blend everything with ease and just do the work for you. The brushes don't shed - almost a year after buying them, they are still like new. They are shaped to make the application a doddle - the perfect brushes for newbies or those who just don't think they are great at applying makeup! Save 20% by using LYMIN at the checkout. Full review here.

11. Kate Somerville Kx Active Concentrates + Omegas Serum: Because my skin is dry and easily inflamed (plus I love using acids), my barrier can sometimes be compromised. I love Zelens Power D, but this serum is another option, which I bought last year and have found brilliant for replenishing my skin, repairing and strengthening my skin's barrier function and soothing my skin. It is especially good for times when I've overdone the retinol, or tried a new product that makes my skin react. I know that I can depend on this serum to restore balance.

12.  Pat McGrath Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Blurring Under Eye Powder: Because my skin is so dry, and I have fine lines in that area, I never set my under eye concealer. I know this might seem like sacrilege to some people, but my concealer stays in place, due to my dry skin. Louise O'Connell (follow her if you don't because she has every beauty product know to man and gives honest reviews!) has raved about this powder for months, but it's pricey, so I held off until Black Friday (week!), and got it at a good price. Louise was totally right - this powder doesn't look like powder, yet it does set concealer and it also blurs the area, so you don't need to worry about fine lines being made to look worse - in fact, I'd go as far as saying that it makes the areas look better. I bought the shade medium but it you like a very bright under eye, or have fair skin, light would be the one to go for. 100% worth the money.

13. Summer Fridays Soft Reset Exfoliating Solution: I know that I have raved about this a lot recently, but it's totally worth the hype! It's quite expensive at £49 for 100ml, but it has made my skin the softest it has ever been. It contains 16% AHAs - glycolic and lactic acids, as well as niacinamide, sodium hyaluronate and other ingredients, which balance the skin. I prefer to use this as part of my night time routine and because I am so accustomed to using acids, I haven't experienced any tingling or redness. However, if you are new to acids, I would recommend with starting once weekly and then building up. It leaves pores refined, gets rid of those annoying under the skin bumps that can appear along the jawline or on the forehead. On top of this, it leaves skin feeling super soft!

14. Diptyque En Fleur candle: This is a limited edition candle that I got on sale in the summer, I think - there seemed to be sales all year round, so I can't be sure! If you are a fan of rose scents, you will love this. It' a soft rose, that fills the room but isn't at all overwhelming, it's a delicate scent if anything. Plus the jar is so pretty - I don't generally keep candle jars, as my mother loves them, but this is one that I think I will actually keep for myself!

15. Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Push Up Lashes: I don't really get the Pillow Talk connection, but I do adore this mascara! It's very black, doesn't make my lashes crispy, I can get to the root of every lash, I can get length and curl with this mascara and it doesn't smudge or flake - it pretty much ticks all of the boxes! I also love that it's available in a mini size, so you can try it without spending too much! Full review here.

16. Natasha Denona Bronze Palette: It should come as no surprise to regular readers that a Natasha Denona palette would be included in this post, because she does eyeshadows so well (a lot of her other products I could easily bypass, apart from her highlighters, but her eyeshadows are sublime!). Given that I wrote a negative post about one of her products, then was added to her PR list and promptly dropped once I wrote a positive review about the palettes that she sent to me, I should be a bit bitter about the brand (I probably am a little sore about it, but given all that, the fact that I still spend my money on her eyeshadows speaks volumes as to how much I love them). They are so pigmented, easy to blend and they are budge proof once applied. This palette, in particular, really spoke to me as I adore bronze toned shadows on my green eyes, so I snapped it up as soon as it was released (actually I bought it before it was even released on this side of the Atlantic!). Full review & swatches here.

17: By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Foundation: A foundation infused with hyaluronic acid? Of course I'm going to buy it! It has a very watery formula, which feels weightless on the skin, and the coverage is buildable - it's not one for full coverage lovers though! The finish is demi-matte - it just looks like your skin, but better. It applies equally as well with your fingers, a brush or a sponge and lasts around 9 hours, before needing a touch up - even just a mist and a dab with a beauty sponge and it looks good again. It's the perfect foundation for dry skin. Use the code LYMIN at checkout to save 20%.

18. Too Faced Natural Nude Lipstick: I'm so disappointed that this lipstick is discontinued, because it is the perfect peachy-pink nude, that suits my skin tone perfectly. It's pigmented, feels balmy and lasts around 3/4 hours on the lips, before needing a top up.

19. Hollywood Brow Perfector: I bought this little gadget during the first lockdown and have been using it ever since. On one end, is a spoolie and on the other end, is what is like a razor, but not quite as sharp as an actual razor. I hold my skin taut and then just run it  along my brows, to eliminate any stray hairs. It is so easy to use and less painful than waxing - in fact , it doesn't hurt at all, and it only takes a few minutes.

20. Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Bronzer: Could this be my favourite bronzer? It is so finely milled that there is no chance of any patchiness or muddy cheeks. It's matte, which means that it looks natural on the skin, plus it gives the skin an airbrushed look. It's huge, plus it's refillable, so it's a total 10/10 from me!

Did you buy any of these? I'd love to hear some of your favourite purchases from last year?

Thanks for reading!

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All products are bought by me, unless otherwise stated. Anything marked with a * has been kindly gifted, without obligation. I don't do sponsored posts. Opinion is always my own. Affiliate links may be used.


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