The Best Of 2015: Face Value Beauty Highlights

HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Hello to 2016, a brand new year ahead. But before we step into a whole haze of “looking to the future” and “how I’m going to improve myself” blah blah blah, let’s take a little reminisce about the most beautiful bits of 2015.

As a beauty blogger (aka massively obsessed), I’ve tried hundreds of products this year so here’s a little blogpost about the best makeup, skincare, haircare and any other special mentions I feel like throwing in.

Ready to take one more jump back in the past before we crack on with all the inescapable “beauty resolutions” and “how to wash your makeup brushes” chat? Let’s doooo this.

Best Cleanser

2015 was the beginning of my love affair with all things Liz Earle. I’m about 5 years late to this party but I’m newly committed to Cleanse & Polish, followed by the new Superskin range (perfect for skin nearing thirty that’s still not mature enough for the full anti ageing arsenal just yet!)

Seriously, I’ve never been a fan of cleansing oils or creams but this has really opened my eyes to the world of cream cleansers – even for oily skin like mine! It gets rid of makeup, whilst also leaving skin feeling balanced and refreshed.

Check out this video I did for Yahoo Style, backstage at Fashion Week getting Liz Earle advice on how to get good skin! There’s a Superskin serum review there too, multitasking post!

(this Liz Earle Classics set from Boots is a really good deal at £25 for a bit of everything)

Best Cream

Another revelation for me this year was discovering that the occasional red bumps on my skin weren’t actually acne related, but allergy related. Yup, after a full skin examination with celebrated facialist Abigail James, we discovered that my breakouts were actually due to a reaction to something I’m using. 

As a result, I went on an instant skin detox, using only pure base ingredients on my face and started using La Roche Posay Toleriane Cream – which is a soothing moisturising cream for sensitive skin or skin that’s in the middle of an itchy breakout. I also fell in love with the Hydraphase hydrating serum too (see my review and tips to fix dehydrated skin here)

Moving onto makeup and instant pretty-ers.

Best Lipgloss

It’s gotta be the Lancome Lip Lover. Cheating slightly as I discovered this in 2014 but only bought my first proper one in 2015. I’m not a huge lipgloss fan – partly because it’s a sticky mess that just gets everywhere and mainly because it just reminds me of school and first experimenting (badly) with makeup.

The Lip Lover is different though (honest!) – it feels moisturising and balmy but it has plenty of pigment, like a lipstick. It never feels sticky or heavy and it’s genuinely great for applying straight onto naked lips for a hit of moisture and colour. You don’t even need to prep your lips, I’ve plastered it onto awful hungover crispy lips before and it worked so well that I now have 4 more, from my own hard-earned cash.

I really recommend this little giftset of three mini Lip Lovers – such a bargain, you get to try THREE colours and it’s on sale for £13 now! (one fullsize is worth £18.50)

Best Mascara

Thanks to several Duty-Free opportunities this year, I’ve bought and tried a lot of fancy mascaras, including Diorshow Overcurl and Lancome Hypnose Drama. However 2015 belongs to Benefit Rollerlash

I thought They’re Real was alright but RollerLash is better (for me) as I’m more about curl and lift rather than straight up volume. (I like to think of it as a choice between massive boobs, or perky boobs.) The RollerLash brush is absolutely THE ONE for lift and separation and this has become my new day-to-day mascara. Check out the full Benefit RollerLash review & pictures here.

Best Blush

A couple o contenders for this – but it’s safe to say that 2015 was alllll about cream blush for me. I am a huge Stila Convertible Colour fan and I managed to track down the Field Of Florals palette which holds 12 of the shades (SUCH a dream).

I also picked up some great value sticks from Kiko Cosmetics. However, my favourite blush product this year, has to go to the A La Carte Bare Cheek which is so translucent, yet pigmented – it really gave a transparent glow to my cheeks whilst still depositing a healthy hit of colour. I have it in Blackberry.

It’s very, very similar to Burberry Fresh Glow Blush, or a cream version of Benefit Posietint. It’s pricey at £28 but I would 100% spend my own money to buy more – I’m going to go to the store so I can swatch them all!

Best Foundation

The big find for me this year was Chanel Perfection Lumiere Mat Foundation – glowy and light, without being shiny or transparent, the texture is an absolute dream. It really is illuminating, with an airbrush effect. Wanna see it in action? Check it out in my video below…

Best Salon Treatment

I’ve had a few treatments this year, including several colouring sessions and a keratin blowdry but my favourite has to be my Olaplex treatment. Designed to fix the broken bonds within the hair shaft, it’s quick and easy and resulted in lovely, healthier looking hair. 

Would definitely purchase this again for myself, as it’s only about £50 for a full course of treatment. I think it’s really worth it if you’ve got damaged hair. I had mine done at The Chapel in Islington. Read about my long to short hair transformation with Olaplex here!

Favourite Blog Moment

So last year it was the L’Oreal advert and this year’s “WTF am I doing here?” moment goes to channeling my inner Hugh Grant as the Notting Hill Horse & Hounds reporter, at my first movie junket to interview Emily Ratajkowski!

Check out the full Emily interview and subsequent beauty tutorial video here! And here’s a big blurry selfie so it’s not so obvious how I fail massively next to her pixel perfect beauty.

Special Mentions

Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipstick – I adore these lipsticks, I wish they were cheaper! See my review and swatches of Bitch Perfect lipstick here. These and the Estee Lauder Pure Envy Sculpting lipsticks are my absolute favourite.

HotHair Uplift hair piece These are perfect for adding the extra volume you need at the crown, without looking like a bump-it (which looks like a piece of sponge under your head in comparison) Unfortunately there isn’t quite one to match my purple hair yet but check out how the clip in hairpiece looks in my natural hair.

Ciate Bloom Boost Nail Illuminator The BEST thing to apply to naked nails if you want a “your nails but better” colour. They make my stubbly tips look healthy and manicured, it’s like foundation for your nails.

Burt’s Bees Natural Lip Crayon – 100% natural yet highly pigmented AND moisturising. Absolute genius product, I love them. For all the colours, see my Burt’s Bees crayon swatches here.

got2B Mind Blowing Fast Dry Hairspray – It genuinely does dry in an instant, so I can curl hair around my finger, spray it and then it will set as a curl – ideal if you want just a bit of movement without having to resort to heat styling.

And that was 2015! Here’s to a great 2016, for you, your loved ones and of course your beauty addiction too!!

Finally, a huge thank you for reading, watching (hopefully liking) and generally being good eggs all round. I really appreciate every single click. Hope YOU have a fantastic new year. 

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Zoe Bayliss Wong
Zoe Bayliss Wong

Zoe is a Forbes ’30 under 30′ finance pro, style writer, presenter and panellist, working for a fashion startup and trying to live that best life in the most IRL way possible.

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