I loved putting together my skincare favourites so much that I decided to round up my top makeup picks too. I try new makeup all the time but these are the items that I kept reaching for and going back to time and time again, making them my makeup favourites of 2017.

Benefit Precisely My Brow Pencil 

This is the brow pencil that changed my brow routine – I was a loyal powder girl before. It’s an ultra fine pencil so it’s great for a natural yet defined brow. If you prefer creating hair-like strokes as opposed to a ‘block’ brow, then this is a product you have to try. Benefit are the brand for brow products and I wrote about their collection here, so have a read if you’re looking to upgrade your brow routine.

Wet n Wild Photofocus Foundation 

Every time I’m wearing this foundation, I get asked what it is. To me, that’s testament enough but if you want a full run through of my thoughts, I posted about it here. This is the only foundation I’ve ever found that’s full coverage, light on the skin, lasts all day and is less than a fiver! I wore this foundation for every night out and big event in 2017. It’s by far my favourite foundation of the year.

Tartelette Tease Palette

I went to Florida in March and picked this beauty up from the Sephora ‘aisle of doom’. I was hooked from the first use. The vanilla scent that hits you when you open the palette is beautiful and it really does feel like a treat to use. The shadows are so creamy for a powder that blending them is a joy. You get a good mix of mattes and shimmers, two light base shades as well as two darker shades (a chocolatey brown and a wine shade) which are perfect for lining the eyes or popping in the crease. This is a smaller version of the normal Tarte palettes which makes it perfect for travelling. It gets full marks from me.

The Body Shop Honey Bronze Bronzing Powder

I’ve recommended this bronzer to so many people. It’s the best matte bronzer for fair skin that I’ve ever tried. The compact is neat, well designed and comes with a handy mirror. The honeycomb press on the powder is super cute but more than that, the product is just epic. It’s only £14 and wears better than so many of the luxury alternatives. I’ve done a full review on it here, so if you’re unsure about needing this in your life, you’ll be convinced after a read of that.

Benefit They’re Real Mascara in Beyond Blue 

Blue mascara is one of my secret weapons of makeup. I’m all for making my eyes look as bright as possible, and my sleep pattern is shocking, so I take all the help I can get which means regularly reaching for this Benefit fave. It’s definitely the best one on the market. You get all the goodness of They’re Real mascara with the pros of using an intense blue colour around the eye. The colour works to whiten the whites of your eyes so if you’re tired and need a pick me up, blue mascara is well-worth trying.

L’Oreal Paris Color Riche Lipstick (Shades 630 and 645)

I’m really not sure what made me buy these lipsticks but it was a stroke of luck because they’re stunning! I didn’t wear any lipstick more than these all year. They’re beautiful nude shades and are so versatile. Whether I wanted a subtle lip with a smokey eye, something to balance out heavy liner or just fancied a lower-key look, I always found myself reaching for these. 645 is a pinky nude shade, whereas 630 has a slightly deeper mauve tone. The formula of them is my favourite type of lipstick; it’s creamy with a slight sheen but the pigmentation doesn’t suffer. I couldn’t recommend these shades and lipsticks enough, and they’re super affordable!

I’d love to know what you think of my makeup favourites of 2017. Were these any of your favourites too? Don’t forget to check out my skincare favourites from last year too – you can read it here.

Sincerely, Sarah xx

Skincare Favourites of 2017

2017 was the year I became meticulous about my skincare routine. I tried so many products but there were a core group that I just couldn’t better. They’re the ones I recommend to everyone who’ll listen and the products I have a backup stash for. Here are my best of the best, can’t be replaced, skincare favourites of 2017, and the reasons you need to give them a go this year too.

Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser 

I’m a big advocate of double cleansing and this is one of two cleansers I swore by as my second cleanse throughout 2017. For such a gentle cleanser, it packs a punch for your skin. This is a real glow-boosting, brightening product thanks to its 5% glycolic acid content – my skin loves it. I’m not a fan of actually scrubbing my skin so I love that this works chemically to exfoliate my skin whilst leaving it smoother, cleaner and brighter than it was before. I use this both in the morning and at night, especially around that time of the month as it’s great on my breakouts too. If you try it make sure you’re using a daily SPF because of the glycolic acid!

Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel

There isn’t a cleanser with more hype in the blogosphere than this. The hype actually put me off initially. However, you only need to try this a few times to understand that the buzz around this product is more than justified. Oskia describe this as an ‘illuminating vitamin melting cleanser’ – can you sense a theme? Yep, anything with ‘glow’, ‘brightening’ or ‘illuminating’ on it and I’m sold. It starts as a gel and turns into an oil as you work it into the skin, which makes it perfect for a bit of facial massage. That said, it’s far too good to be used for purely washing away makeup instead of actually cleaning your skin. Keep this as a second cleanser too. Packed full of Vitamins A, B2, C, E and pumpkin enzymes, this helps restore the skin and protect against pollution whilst detoxifing, smoothing and reducing puffiness. It’s a must-have.

Nip+Fab Dragon’s Blood Fix Plumping Serum

I’m prone to super dehydrated skin – thank you air-conditioned office – but luckily, Nip+Fab are pretty awesome when it comes to hydrating serums. Hyaluronic acid works to keep the skin hydrated and plumped which is the secret weapon when it comes to looking youthful. The serum feels uber refreshing and unlike some hydrating serums, this doesn’t feel heavy on the skin or at all greasy. My skin absorbs it at record speed! Nip+Fab are hugely underrated in my opinion so if you’re looking for affordable skincare packed with good ingredients, they’re well worth checking out, and without a doubt, this is the product to start with.

Skincare Favourites of 2017

Embryolisse Lait Creme-Concentre

If you’ve read my blog before, this choice will come as no surprise. I’ve been obsessed with Embryolisse for a while now and I can’t see that changing any time soon. I’ve done a full review here but in short, this product is the epitome of a multi-tasker. I use this as a moisturiser, a face mask and as a primer. Makeup glides on top of this perfectly and I notice an immediate difference if I don’t use it. If I had to pick one of my skincare favourites as my ‘standout’, it’d be this.

Pixi Rose Oil Blend

I’m a huge fan of facial oils and I’ve tried loads over the years but the Rose Oil Blend by Pixi is strides ahead of the crowd. Firstly it smells incredible but more importantly, it works wonders for my skin too. I often pop a layer of this on before I go to sleep knowing I’ll wake up with soft and well-nourished skin. This is lovely as prep for make up as you can count on it for giving you that ‘glow from within’ look. Pixi really are a go-to brand if you’re looking for brightening skincare on a budget. This oil absorbs quickly too, so if you’ve been put off face oils because you don’t want the greasiness, this is a safe bet.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is hardly new in the beauty world but I really saw it’s value in 2017. Every month like clockwork I get hormonal breakouts and they drive me bloody crazy. By introducing tea tree oil into my routine more regularly, my breakouts have definitely lessened. I know that when I do have spots, using a bit of this means they go away quicker as well. The oil works by disinfecting pores and effectively dries out the spot so it heals faster – smart, huh? The only word of warning I’ve got for this is be careful you don’t over do it – the only thing worse than a spot is a scabby spot! They’re painful, take longer to heal and near impossible to hide with concealer.

Right, there you have my skincare favourites of 2017. Have you used any of them? What were your skincare favourites from last year?

Sincerely, Sarah xx

Benefit Brows Debenhams

For me, the best brows are Benefit brows. They are THE brand for all things eyebrows, and I take my brows seriously. They just can’t be beaten – whether you want to go natural, super-defined or full and Cara-esque with your brows, Benefit will have a product to suit. I’ve had my trusted brow routine sorted for years but it is lovely to mix it up from time to time and try new products, so when Debenhams asked me to give more of the Benefit brow range a go, I jumped at the chance!

Precisely My Brow Pencil*

Before this product, I wasn’t a huge fan of brow pencils but Precisely My Brow is one of my stand out makeup items of 2017 – it’s that good! The ultra fine pencil means you can create hair-like strokes and get a full yet defined brow look. If you get a little heavy handed, brushing it out is super simple thanks to the built-in spoolie, and there are six shades to choose from. You get a lot of colour leeway depending on how much pressure you use, so don’t panic if you think you’re between shades. I’ve used all of the brow range now and if I had to pick an overall favourite, it’d be this.

Perfect for: FILLING IN SPARSE BROWS & DEFINITION. The best brow product for ‘gappy’ brows and creating a perfectly defined but not overdone brow.

KaBrow*

I’ve posted about KaBrow on here before and I still love it – it’s a staple in my makeup bag. If you’re looking for defined arches, sleek edges or want to give the ‘insta’ brow a go, this is the product for you. It’s a cream gel consistency that’s totally buildable. As with all brow pomades, a little goes a long way so a pot lasts a long time. The packaging is smart and practical too – there’s a hard angled brow brush in the lid! When this is on my brows, I have total confidence it’s going to last all day without any funny business.

Perfect for: VERSATILITY. If you want the option of natural and dramatic brow looks, you need this in your makeup bag.

Benefit Brows Debenhams

Foolproof Brow Powder*

As the newest product in the Benefit brow range, I was so keen to try this and it didn’t disappoint. I frequently reach for two shades when I do my brows because hair isn’t ever all one colour, so Benefit are on to a total winner with this product. This two-toned powder is designed to make life as easy as possible by showing you exactly where each shade goes – the lighter through the front of the brow towards the arch and the darker from the arch to the tail.

Perfect for: BROW BEGINNERS & NATURAL BROW LOVERS. The perfect kit for advancing your brow skills that’s totally buildable.

3D Browtones*

This is the brow product I didn’t know I needed but now wouldn’t be without. Who knew highlighting your brows could make such a difference? If you’ve got fair brows this will enhance the colour and for darker hair, it softens things up. It’s genius. The wand is well designed too, so it’s actually really hard to use too much product. You can wear 3D Browtones on it’s own or over pencils and powders, so you’ll definitely get good use out of it.

Perfect for: LIVENING UP DULL OR FLAT BROWS. Whatever your hair colour, this is the perfect finishing touch.

Your brows really do transform your face so finding the right product for you is key. If you’re yet to try out the Benefit brow range, you really must give them a go. The full collection is available at Debenhams, both in store and online here.

I’d love to know which Benefit brow items you love or want to try. If you have any brow related questions, please leave them below or message me on Instagram or twitter. I also want to say a big thank you to Debenhams for developing my Benefit brow love even further!

Sincerely, Sarah xx