Hello Glossholics and makeup lovers! I’m confessing to having been a bit busy this year and last, what with this ‘n that, so instead of giving you a boring best-of makeup read at the END of the year like everyone else does, here’s an Easter reminder of what was great and beautiful about 2018! Ha! No-one said blogging was easy…or that I had enough time to do it.

2018 was another great year for beauty addicts. As always, the counters offered up loads of launches, as the big names and beauty start-ups competed for our attention and our cash. Here’s my pick of the best to ramp up your makeup and beauty game for a stunning 2019. Not all of these were brand new in 2018, but if they starred in my beauty world last year I’m happy to share their spotlights.

Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum  – the all-natural skincare heavyweight from Californian April Gargiulo, who grew up in a Napa Valley winemaking family and wanted to bring that “finest ingredients” philosophy to the skincare world when she became pregnant with her first child. The serum, was born in ’14, with a whole botanicals ingredient list and has since claimed the natural beauty market crown. 2018 saw it winning Glamour’s Best Natural Beauty Product of All Time, a hefty award indeed! Into The Gloss calls the serum “the face oil to end all face oils”. The brand now benefits hugely from celebrity endorsements, with Gwyneth and Karen Elson giving it the big nod, and for good reason. I bought my first one last year and absolutely love it, but then I’ve always been a face oil fan. This one smells especially wondrous, and my parched skin comes to life with this formula, which contains 60+ skin-beautifying vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, antioxidants, phytoceramides, aminos, and omega fatty acids for full-spectrum, skin-beautifying nutrition. I use it morning and night. The serum’s actives are best delivered with their Push/Press method, (borrowed from the K Beauty world and outlined on the Vintner’s Daughter website: https://vintnersdaughter.com.

Here it is in the vineyards of my childhood stomping ground, the Okanagan Valley in beautiful British Columbia and the perfect backdrop for a serum full of nature’s goodness.

Note to self: be sure to screw the pipette thingy on tightly after use, or you could end up with your sofa receiving some top class, expensive skin treatment. My sofa has never looked so good.

Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadow launched last year and are gorgeous, high impact shadows in a high impact colour range. This one is Reflect and certainly worthy of the name, dancing with light and bringing lots of attention to your eyes. Go easy with it and take care cos it’s delicate. Best applied with a compact brush and blended out with a fluffy one. I love a shadow like this paired with a matte lipstick for balance and drama: “Glastonbury” burgundy Matte Revolution from Charlotte Tilbury is an absolute stunner.

Continuing on with natural ways to serve your skin, Chan Beaute’s Yin-Yang Roller, one of a series of their multi-reflex beauty tools, has become my new best friend during telly time. This line has been developed for use before the applications of creams/serums, so having one at your side on box-set evenings is a grand idea. The roller treats fine lines, acne scars and resurfacing issues: roll first with the yang end, to heat, tone and increase micro-circulation for revitalised looking skin, followed by a round of the yin end to firm and tone while enhancing the hydration process. I find using the tool a satisfying pursuit and better for me than eating a stack of toast and marmalade whilst catching up on BBC iPlayeralthough that is also immensely satisfying.

photo of yin yang facial roller from Chan Beaute - a two needed facial roller on a metal table
Yin/Yang your way to revitalised skin

I bloody love these! The MAC – Shape & Shade Brow Tint  brow pen thingy was a discovery made via my lovely friends and former colleagues at MAC in VancouverThe pen is so easy to use and it’s very fine tip means you can simply draw on individual brow hairs as if nature has put them there, which is what I am all about. Use it to fill in your brows where needed and/or to extend brows to their best length if they’re disappearing, as mine seem to be.

Hand holding 6 shades of MAC Shape and Shade Brow Tint which is in pen form. the sign behind reads "Brows"
The paper-cut on my finger is all my own
drawing on individual eyebrow hairs with the MAC Shape+Shade brow Tint felt tip applicator for a natural eyebrow.
Filling in brows has never been easier!

I especially love the range of shades – the taupe-based colours will give you brows au naturel – and of course by now you know to stay away from anything warm-toned, – even if you’re a redhead, so don’t put the “Cork” shade in your shopping basket please.

The Shape and Shade Brow Tint will give you the best brows of your life!

PRO TIP:  the best shade for eyebrows is always an ash-based colour, even if your brows are almost black. Look in nature if you don’t believe me. Another pro-tip: using two shades closest to you own colour will give you a fab effect without looking fake. PLEASE do not use a shade too dark, which may be all the rage in the UK right now, but is not flattering to anyone over thirty, or anyone at all IMO. To illustrate my point, draw yourself a really dark brow with whatever product you have (but not a Sharpie, I’ve seen that done, not kidding: what happens on set stays on set, unless you have a blog, haha!) and do the other one in your natural shade, and see what happens. One will age you, the other will flatter. Your choice.

The Body Shop “Drops of Light” Pure Resurfacing Liquid Peel – an interesting and effective exfoliating liquid peel and very easy to use. The pump-action dispenser delivers clear liquid gel, which, when applied to clean dry skin, will begin to eat away at dead surface cells and slough them away. Within approx 20 seconds you’ll see the exfoliation in process in the form of weird rolly bits of skin pilling up on your face. Enjoyable in a weird way! Take it the tits, as they say, and use a warm facecloth to gently remove all the dead skin that accumulates. Softer, cleaner skin is revealed within minutes. Use at bedtime, to aid better absorption of face serums and eye creams or before a big day to reveal your best skin. Use 2-3 times a week for optimal results. 3

hand holding The Body Shop's Drops of Light Pure Resurfacing Liquid Peel , backdrop is a shower

Spacemask Heated Eye Masks – these heated eyemasks are so good they got their own post in December, when tis the season left many of us in need of forty winks. I love them so much they are in my permanent arsenal of tired-face beauty products because, remember, feeling good helps you look good and beauty sleep is your best friend. Check in with December’s post for the full review and thank me later. Happy napping xo

Spacemask self-heating eye mask. Box of 5 Spacemasks.
With these in your shopping cart, you’re halfway there to spacing out

Having gown my hair long(ish) in recent years, I’m always on lookout for great hair stuff but it takes a stand-out to make it to my best of beauty list. Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream makes the list because it’s my go-to for shiny, silky hair during English winters and hotter days on the west coast. This moisturising cream from hair god Oribe (who sadly passed away in 2018) is a godsend for the frizzy haired and if you’re a naturally curly haired kind of girl or partial to a blow-dry, this is da bomb. A generous dollop, depending on how much hair you have, run through dry hair with your fingertips adds softness and shine. It is a tad pricey, so if my money’s running out I’ll cut it with Bumble and bumble – Brilliantine which is half the price, and also rather amazing. The Bumble and Bumble delivers more of a piecey texture and the two products work well together if your hair’s really thick. Otherwise one’s enough.

It’s always a good hair day. If I stay indoors!

I eagerly await any new Kiehl’s product and the 2018 arrival of Kiehl’s Youth Dose Eye Treatment was no different. This treatment made beauty headlines which meant another fast sell-out but I eventually got my hands on one and like most things Kiehl’s it doesn’t disappoint. The peach-toned silky texture makes it a great treatment for under-eye brightening, with added benefits of retinol and Vit C to fight pesky lines. Use morning and night to smooth and hydrate. Not a concealer per se (not thick or pigmented enough) so I layer it under more powerful concealers for people with baggage, myself included. A lovely eye product, which is only to be expected of the US skincare giant.

A dewy cream for the eye area that treats as you wear it with a load of actives. Hellloooo to that xo
swatch of Kielh's Youth Dose Eye treatment on caucasian hand - showing peachy, dewy texture of the eye Kiehl's eye treatment
Peachy perfect on most skintones

Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette of Pops “Starlight” Eyeshadow Palette

Perhaps I shouldn’t really mention it: an almost immediate sell out, but with this in your makeup bag, you can expect to go from daytime to date-time in a matter of seconds. A makeup bag essential as well as makeup artist must-have, the Luxury Palette of Pops (bit wordy, non?) launched in 2018 as a special edition so if you got one pat yourself on the back and know that you’ll use it for years. You could probably even rent it out! Air BNB for eyeshadows, now there’s an idea. The “Starlight” version of the palette holds four sultry hues which are incredibly wearable and fantastic on every skintone so if you manage to find one out there in internet ether, grab it. It’s up to you to decide how much you want to smoulder. Use them all at once for full wattage glamour, or, my preferred look – add just one to your eyelid for a beautiful, soft sparkle. Best applied with your fingertips; the warmth of your finger will make the shadow molten, which is an amazing look in candlelight, just saying.

Charlotte Tilbury makeup Palette of Pops eyeshadow palette. opened and showing the four sparkly eyeshadow colours - pewter, dark green, silver and dark grey
4 swatches of Charlotte Tilbury's Luxury Pop of Palettes eyeshadows on an arm - 
grey, peachy, brown and dark green sparkly shadows
All that glitters….gorgeous in candlelight for date nights x

Remember the fanfare when NARS‘ “Feel the RushOrgasm” collection arrived?! Remember when it sold out REALLY QUICKLY?! I literally got the last Afterglow Lip Balm in the Covent Garden Space NK – the makeup gods were with me that day – and the annoying thing was the stock took eons to show up again. The good news is it’s back so check it out. I really like the lip balm, a pretty pink/peach sheer and more wearable than the lipstick of the same name, which was way too frosted for my makeup kit. The Liquid Blush is beautiful, well pigmented, and available in the NARS regular collection. Go back a few posts for the whole review xo

photo of NARS Afterglow lip balm
For the Afterglow effect (really, Francois?)
Photo of My Life In Makeup's author Wendy Snowdon trying on Afterglow lip balm by Nars and doing a pouty face selfie
Very wearable so stock up if you find them at Sephora x

Vegan glitter!!! At last! Our festival makeup woes are over. Eco friendly, vegan glitters started to show up as we learnt how damaging our love of party sparkles are to aquatic life. The new generation of cosmetic grade glitter comes from biodegradable cellulose and is available in every colour so there is NO EXCUSE not to buy this instead of old school ones. Drag queens and glam girls and boys can now glitter without guilt!

festival eye makeup, gold glitter eye make, close up of woman with brown eyes wearing gold vegan glitter eyemakep, on lid and under her yes

As a design nut I’m more than slightly obsessed with Pantone and always have to take part on their Colour of the Year collabs. I got to play with purple in 2018, which was a lot of fun, and I still wear this one a lot.

Butter London and Pantone Nail Lacquer – Ultra Violet for 2018

Hyaluronic Acid – anything! HA is the ingredient that’s taken over the skincare world and I know you’ve heard of it, right?! Here’s why you should know about it: hyaluronic acid (or HA for short) is a sugary molecule that occurs naturally in skin’s structure and connective tissue throughout the body. It helps lubricate your joints and keep things full of moisture so they stay in the right shape in the right place. It’s important for skin because it has the greatest ability to retain moisture out of just about anything: close to 1000 times its weight in water, to be specific. And if moisture is the essence of wetness and wetness is the essence of beauty, then you want to make sure your hyaluronic acid is holding on to as much wetness as it possibly can. As our skin ages, it loses its natural ability to retain moisture so adding HA to your skincare routine can combat the general sag that afflicts us all. Bloody sag.

I can recommend Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 for a great and very economical way to introduce essential HA into your skincare routine. Apply to your clean but slighty damp face, to hold onto that moisture, then layer your usual moisturiser and makeup.

The Ordinary make some fab products at extraordinary prices and this is one of them.
Hyaluronic Acid adds juice to your routine and works on all skin types

2018 saw the return of colour (hurray!) and Delilah Colour Intense eyeshadows played their part with bravado. In 2018, a makeup battle between green and purple played out for me; an unwinnable war, so I went with both of course! These silky, smooth textured and very blendable shadows are sure to please and their sturdy magnetic compacts get extra points for durability. I’m liking Brit brand Delilah more and more; if there’s a product of theirs you especially like, let me know and I’ll check it out.

Mulberry” and “Forest” to get your glam on

The Offline Brush Set is all you need for your holiday makeup bag and if you caught my @glossaholics HolidayMakeupBagEssentials on Insta last summer you’ll know how to pare down your holiday makeup for maximum impact with minimal product. These lovely acrylic brushes will get you holiday-beautiful and still do the trick when you get back to reality. Acrylic brushes travel well, are easy to clean and are animal friendly. Go back a few posts to read my ultimate makeup brush cleaning guide.

Finding the perfect mascara remains a challenge – one that I’ll love best on someone with good lashes or on film is not the one that’s gonna work best for me. I try a lot, at many different price points and always have 10-ish brands of mascara in my kit at any on time. In that mix there are two I always go back to: the classic drugstore L’oreal Voluminous and Benefit’s They’re Real! Lengthening Mascara – Black which is gorgeous if your lashes don’t need much help.

Last but not at all least, is a lipgloss that takes me right back to “you’re not allowed to wear makeup” days, to idolising Debbie Harry days, and also to a shoplifting day. Another confession. It was just the once, I got caught, but I kept the gloss, as far as I can remember. An old school super shiny gloss that’s way too fun to ignore, Lime Crime’s Wet Cherry Lip Gloss glistening glosses imparts the ultimate wet-look, light-reflecting shine in 12 spectacular shades, from opalescent ‘Disco Cherry’ to vampy berry-hued ‘Black Cherry’. If you can resist, you’re a stronger woman than I. Vegan and animal friendly, but does contain mineral oil, just like the good old days. I’m doing them anyway, cos I’m a glossaholic xo

PRODUCT REVIEWS Mylifeinmakeup.com does not receive any monetary compensation to review products. Most reviews are based on products purchased personally, and preferred, or not. Occasionally I will receive products from makeup companies and will choose whether or not to review them here. Receiving products has no bearing on the opinion of the review, nor whether I choose to review it or not. All opinions are just that, and are honest and unbiased. Recommendations are based on the knowledge I have gained during almost twenty years as a professional Make-Up Artist. Mylifeinmakeup.com is not to be held responsible if you decide to purchase an item and are dissatisfied with it.

I'm a British / Canadian Pro MakeUp Artist with a colourful career: have kit, will travel, have info, will share! This blog is all about My Life In MakeUp. I hope you enjoy your time here and learn a little something along the way xo

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