Last year I did a roundup of my favourite products in 2018, for each category within skincare and makeup. I still stand by most of those picks if you want to check that out, so this year I want to do it a little differently by narrowing my options to my top 10 favourite products I used/loved the most in 2019.
1.Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Wear Foundation – Shade 025 Beige Lin
I tried a sample of this a couple years ago and absolutely loved it but it was the wrong shade and I also still had my Estee Lauder Double Wear at the time (which made my 2018 favourites list) so I held off purchasing this until my Double Wear ran out. In my opinion, Lancome’s Teint Idole is the next best foundation to Double Wear when I want something medium- high buildable coverage, long lasting but doesn’t feel or look heavy/cakey on the skin. I’m always surprised how lightweight, comfortable and non-drying it feels on my (sometimes dehydrated) skin and it looks so natural while covering up dark pigmentation, pores and any blemishes really well.
I always gravitate to this if I’m going out somewhere nice or need my makeup to last the whole day and it’s such a reliable staple to have in my foundation collection. If I was to nitpick a small negative, its that compared to the Double Wear, the Teint idole doesn’t control the oil on my t-zone for the same length of time and isnt as long lasting (although you can still get a good 8 hours of it looking amazing and it never breaks down horribly). It is still miles above most other foundations though but the Double Wear is really unbeatable and in another level in terms of sticking to your face like glue!
If you’ve got dry skin and maybe struggled with the Double Wear feeling too dry or heavy, then I really recommend giving Lancome’s Teint Idole a try as I have rarely heard any negative reviews about it. Be careful with the shade range though, I find Lancome’s (European) numbering of their shades to be quite confusing. A lot of them lean too pinkish for me and the yellow based ones do slightly oxidise so I would maybe go half a shade lighter than what you think you are.
Available at Lancome
2. Dior Diorskin Nude Luminizer – Shade 001 Nude Glow
My favourite go to highlighter in 2019 was the one from Mamonde (Bloom Harmony) but as that is now discontinued I wanted to mention my 2nd most used one which is still available. I got the Diorskin Nude Luminizer in 2018 (which has the older style, heavier packaging before they revamped it), but it really grew on me in 2019 where I reached for it more consistently.
If you are after a blinding highlight then you might not like this. It is more of a natural, everyday highlight which you can build up but it never reaches that bright intensity. Once I got used to this, I really appreciated it. I do like to go in 2-3x as I like my highlight more visible, but it does have a beautiful sheen without chunky glitters. As its shade name states, its a nude glow which is suitable for most skin tones and is a very smooth, buttery formula. Nice packaging doesn’t necessarily make a good product, but in the case of Dior, its luxe case does also make the experience of applying this highlighter more enjoyable.
Available at Dior
3. Becca Mineral Blush – Shade Flowerchild
I’ve always been intrigued to try Becca for its overall brand aesthetic, concept and positive reviews but stayed away because it is expensive and I don’t need another brand like Hourglass in my collection where I want EVERY SINGLE PRODUCT THEY MAKE because they are awesome. However I was gifted this by a friend last year and loved it straight away, and now ultimately I do have a ‘2nd Hourglass’ on my hands!
Becca powder products all have that finely milled formula that isn’t dry, blends beautifully, gives your skin a healthy soft glow and best of all, this blusher is really pigmented and long-lasting. You need a light hand with this which means the product will last a long time. It looks peachy pink in the pan (with hints of golden shimmer) but applied on my cheeks, its a nice rosy pink flush which is the shade I tend to gravitate towards for blushers. It doesn’t emphasise skin texture or pores and leaves a lovely silky matte finish.
I was so impressed with this blusher that I’m keen to try more Becca products in 2020 and definitely want to get a couple of their raved about highlighters.
4. Tatcha The Pearl Tinted Eye Illuminating Treatment – Shade Moonlight
I got this in the later half of 2019 when Tatcha had a 20% sale and I jumped on the offer as I’d been wanting this for ages. Tatcha is expensive and luxurious but is definitely not all about the brand image and packaging. I’ve used a lot of their skincare products and they all genuinely work really well for my skin and contain great ingredients.
The Pearl is no different. This is a skincare/makeup hybrid (touted as a ‘tinted treatment’) – it works like a concealer to conceal your dark circles and it also hydrates and reduces appearance of wrinkles over time, when you use it consistently.
It contains light-refracting pearl pigments and niacinamide so it’s also effective at brightening and firming the area under your eyes. The silk powder also smooths the appearance of pores and fine lines. You can immediately notice a difference after application.
The reason why I love this a lot is that I’ve never liked putting concealer under my eyes. It’s such a delicate and thin area of skin and concealer does not have skincare benefits, is usually quite thick, prone to caking, settling in fine lines and drying out the skin. I think adding concealer under the eyes gradually speeds up the ageing process and therefore The Pearl is such a unique product in the industry because it is also a skincare treatment that benefits and improves the eye area over time.
It is also a very weird sensation when you first apply because its starts off creamy but then as you rub it in the formula breaks and releases a burst of moisture and becomes a thinner hydrating consistency. A little dot is all you need so this pot will last ages, and it plays well with any makeup I’ve laid over it and I’ve never had to worry about it creasing, cracking and drying the under eye. Highly recommend this.
Available at Tatcha
5. Pixi Glow Tonic
Pixi Glow Tonic has such cult status and is universally loved that when it launched in Boots at the end of 2018, I was super eager to try it. I’m not keen on a lot of Pixi products which I think are quite redundant but this isn’t one of them. I’ve tried all their tonics they currently have, and while I also really enjoy the Vitamin C tonic, the Glow Tonic just pips it to the post because of how big a difference it makes to my skin.
It is an exfoliating toner that contains 5% glycolic acid and when I use this regularly I hardly ever experience any breakouts. My skin loves the Glow Tonic. It gently removes dead skin cells, helps keep my pores unclogged and clean and leaves my face radiant and healthy as opposed to dull and lifeless. This will definitely be a repurchase in 2020.
Available at Boots (also comes in smaller 100ml version)
6. The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%
This treatment serum is brilliant. I love most products from The Ordinary but this one in particular is a standout for me because it is so effective while being so damn cheap at just £5 for 30ml that I can constantly repurchase. It is basically a staple in my skincare routine now and keeps my skin clear of breakouts, helps hyperpigmentation fade quicker and just overall keeps my skin looking healthy and bright. I certainly notice the difference between when I use it and when I don’t.
Available at Boots
7. Sleeping Mask – Laneige Cica Sleeping Mask
I was excited when Laneige first announced this as they were the first in the industry to launch the sleeping mask concept and their Water Sleeping Mask is a bestseller (I have reviewed this here).
Surprisingly this is almost the opposite of their cult product, yet I’m still a big fan of it. It’s so ideal to use in the colder seasons and for anyone who has dry/dehydrated, sensitive or irritated skin. This contains a form a cica (‘Forest Yeast’ which has been patented by Laneige), and acts to strengthen your skin barrier, calm, heal and soothe the skin.
Initially when I applied the sleeping mask I thought it was really heavy as I could feel it sitting on my face, but literally give it a minute and it absorbs beautifully into the skin and locks in the hydration. A little bit goes a long way with this as it is very moisturising but I found it does everything that Laneige claims. I wake up with very hydrated and moisturised skin and also found it to be super calming when I used it when my skin was irritated or going through a breakout. It is also perfect for sensitive skin as it is not fragranced like their Water Sleeping Mask. If you have oily skin I would avoid this, especially in the warmer months as you may find it too heavy and moisturising.
Available at Yesstyle
8. Elizabeth Arden White Tea Eau De Toilette Fragrance
I am terrible at trying to describe scents so I’m just going to take the description from the Elizabeth Arden website.
A crisp and vibrant floral fragrance with a lingering warmth that takes you to a moment of blissful escape.
A musky-woody floral, it preludes with sparkling Italian Mandarin and sensual Sea Breeze Accord. Its Zen-like heart of White Tea Extract and Mate Absolute Paraguay steeps in graceful femininity while Madras Wood, Ambrette Seed Absolute and a Trio of Tranquility Musks lead to a harmonious finale.
I absolutely fell in love with the White Tea fragrance in 2019 (which I discovered at the end of 2018 in Singapore Duty Free which was being promoted by Reese Witherspoon), and just wanted to douse myself in this scent all day every day. I think it’s a perfect all year round fragrance. I have older perfumes that I’m trying to use up but it was so hard to actively force myself to switch when I just wanted to wear this all the time.
Sometimes with fragrances, I start out liking it but then gradually I get bored of it or end up disliking it because I smell it so much it becomes too overpowering. However, the White Tea is my absolute perfect scent. It’s clean, fresh and seems to be the type of smell that everyone likes as I get the most compliments and comments/questions when I wear it.
The only downside about this scent is that it’s too amazing to only be Eau De Toilette and really wish they would come out with a stronger, longer lasting Eau De Parfum. As the scent is so fresh and light, I have to spritz a lot more of this compared to other perfumes so I go through the bottle quicker. It also wears off during the day so you will definitely need to top up in the middle of the day.
However, its such an affordable fragrance which you can often find on sale so I love to stock up on this and it will always be in my fragrance collection even if I discover new scents. Elizabeth Arden also have 2 other variations of the White Tea which include Wild Rose and Vanilla Orchid. Not too fond of the latter but I have also bought this in the Wild Rose and it’s just as beautiful. Since discovering how amazing Elizabeth Arden White Tea is, I also want to venture out and try some of their other fragrances and I have my eye on My Fifth Avenue next.
Available at Elizabeth Arden
9. L’Oreal Elseve Extraordinary Oil – French Rose Oil Infusion
I recently did a Nano Keratin treatment on my hair so I don’t really need to use this any longer but prior to this, my hair in 2019 was almost down to my waist, very curly, frizzy, thick and unmanageable. I bought this in Singapore and have used up over 2/3rds of it since. I would apply 2-3 pumps of this after a shower when my hair was damp and run it through. Not only did it make my hair smells beautiful and look glossy, it was non-greasy (which is super important to me), and it helped manage the frizz and dryness of my thick hair. The occasional time when I didn’t used this after I washed my hair, I could notice the difference so it definitely had an impact on my hair.
It isn’t however a miracle worker, and does not eliminate frizz, flyaways, volume etc., it simply tames it slightly. I haven’t found any product that could do that without weighing down the hair with product and becoming greasy easily which is why I eventually opted for a Nano Keratin treatment and it has made such a difference.
I dont believe the rose oil option is available in the UK market, (which has a real rose stem contained in the bottle), but we do have a similar product from L’Oreal which I believe is the European equivalent, linked below.
Available at Boots (Original version)
10. Dashing Diva Nail Sticker Strips
These were a late discovery in 2019 but wow were these a revelation and game changer for me. I can achieve the same gel nail/manicure look you can get in a salon without the price tag all from the comfort of my own home and it literally takes minutes. No dry time necessary.
These are definitely an Asian trend as I have to source them from Korea. I checked in Boots and Superdrug (UK pharmacy/drugstores) and they have the typical false nails that you attach with nail glue but no nail stickers.
They are basically nail strips (that come in hundreds of varieties) and you literally just peel off the sticker that matches the size of your nail, stick it on (self-adhesive, no extra glue required), and then buff down to the actual length of your nail. It is really easy to get the hang of and they look so real and professional. No-one can even tell they are stickers until I mention it; they are just so realistic. Mine have typically lasted beyond the 2 weeks they promise on the packaging which is so great.
As I get them from South Korea they’re aren’t the most inexpensive (typically £6-8 per strip), and of course it is much cheaper to buy a bottle of nail polish that you can use multiple times. But then again, you don’t get the fun, exciting variety of looks you can achieve with nail stickers and you also have to deal with the dry time, chipping and the fact they don’t usually last beyond a week. Nail stickers are also healthier and better for your nails in the long run compared to using nail polish and salon gel manicures.
My favourite brand which also has the most variety to choose from is Dashing Diva. If you’re based in the USA, you can order them directly from the Dashing Diva website here, but if like me, you’re in the UK then I usually use a personal shopping service such as KoreanBuddy which I have previously reviewed here to order directly from South Korea.
Those are my Top 10 Favourite Beauty Products of 2019. Looking forward to more great discoveries in 2020!