New year, new beauty products...but not before we pay our respects to the old ones. Not everything here was launched in the past year, but they were all much loved. Drumroll, please, for our top 12 of 2012.
ONE 2012 was the undisputed year of the BB cream. We must have put hundreds of them through their paces (check out our top 10 here) but our money's on Estée Lauder's DayWear BB Beauty Benefit Creme as the pick of the bunch. Dior's Hydra Life was also in the running, but the higher SPF in the Lauder product (35 vs 30) just gave it the edge.
TWO Two types of lipstick reigned supreme in 2012: sheer, balmy types like L'Oreal Rouge Caresse and Revlon Lip Butters, and the new mattes. Both are fabulous, but the creamy, non-drying finish of modern mattes like Lancome's lip cream and the YSL Rouge Pur Couture The Mats was a revelation. Matte of the year? Kate Moss for Rimmel in 107 - check it out here.
THREE 2012 was also the year we all went mental for oils. We used 'em everywhere but they probably had the most significant impact on our gruaig. There are loads of brilliant hair oils on the market but taking everything into account, including price, performance and availability, L'Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil just takes the crown.
FOUR Also in haircare, one of the best shampoo releases of the last year came from Lush. Their Blousey shampoo is rich and creamy and coaxes dry, overprocessed hair back to the fullness of health.
FIVE We've seen so many brilliant bases in the past 12 months with the budget brands in particular really upping their game. We love Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum, Rimmel Match Perfection and Max Factor's Facefinity to name but a few...but when it came right down to it, none of them could topple our fave high-end offering from its perch. YSL Le Teinte Touche Eclat, we salute you.
SIX With concealers though, it was a different story. Here, the high street leads the way, as Collection (they’ve dropped the 2000) Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Concealer continued to mop the floor with higher end brands. Snap it up quick!
SEVEN In skincare, we were spoiled for choice but one new line stood out. The Nuxe Rose Petal range launched last spring, is suitable for all skin types and is an absolute pleasure to use, with textures and fragrances that feel far more luxe than their mid market prices. Divine.
EIGHT It hasn't even launched yet but has sneaked onto the list anyway, by virtue of being the best damn serum I used all year. Clarins Double Serum targets every single sign of aging and in the month I've been using it, has already delivered noticeable results.
NINE Of the many powders, gels and pencils I put through my eyebrows last year, Soap & Glory Archery is hands down the best. It combines a felt tip pen type marker on one end to fill in any gaps, and a natural toned pencil at the other, to shape and define. It's genius!
TEN What would a beauty list be without a nail polish, eh? And surprisingly, thinking back over all of this year's candy colours and glitters and brights and wintery darks, the standout for me is an understated putty coloured nude.
ELEVEN L’Oreal Préférence Wild Ombré kit is an all round excellent product and definitely one of the best new launches of last year. It's simple to use, cost effective and delivers exceptional results - we can't wait to see what's headed our way in 2013! (Hint: think pastels and you wouldn't be far wrong! Squeee!)
TWELVE When it comes to exceptional eyeshadows, this one's a draw - it's just impossible for me to choose between the two. Armani Eyes To Kill and L'Oreal Colour Riche Quad shadows are stunning and lustworthy and I am entirely under their spell. I want 'em all.
What do you make of our choices - any glaring omissions from the list?
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