I love trying new products but, deep down, I don’t want to be one of those people who has 15 cleansers, several foundations or mascaras for different occasions. I ain’t got the space, sadly. When it comes to most categories of beauty, I want to find the holy grail product that works for me all the time. 2016 was a year when I found a few new favourites, and stayed faithful to the ones that have served me well in previous eras. I could wax lyrical about every single thing I loved in 2016, but for the sake of our attention spans, I’m just gonna talk new(ish) discoveries:

soap and glory garnier oil micellar cleanser

I rediscovered Soap & Glory Face Soap and Clarity 3-in-1 Vitamin C Facial Wash £8 as my morning in-shower refresher. It lasts so long and is such good value for money. Garnier SkinActive Micellar Oil-Infused Cleansing Water £5.99 was love at first use. I’d used the other Garnier Micellar waters and liked them, but found they lacked the nourishment of a bi-phasic make-up remover such as the Lancôme £21.50 or No7 £8 ones. This one is next level, and the Micellar Oil-Infused Cleansing Wipes £3.49 from the same range are almost as good. I took them to London with me a couple weeks ago, and didn’t feel like my nightly routine was lacking any.

sleek cleopatras kiss benefit hoola brush spectrum b06

One life-changing discovery of 2016 was the range of Sleek Highlighting Palettes. I’ve used Solstice £9.99 almost constantly since I got it back in February; it’s not shy at all so you really don’t need much to get a noticeable gleam. The limited edition Cleopatra’s Kiss £9.99 was a birthday gift which I have swatched but not properly used yet. It looks so special.

benefit hoola brush sleep cleopatras kiss highlighter spectrum b06

Benefit’s Hoola Bronzing & Contouring Brush £17.50 is more objet-d’art than utilitarian in appearance, but it definitely gets the job done. It’s a little too big and fluffy for precision contouring, but it’s my new favourite for applying illuminating powders such as Soap & Glory Glow All Out £11. You don’t need to break the bank to get an Instagram-worthy crease with the B06 Tall Tapered Blender £4.99 from Spectrum. It’s a desert island tool for me now: I pack on MAC Mineralize Eyeshadow in Love Connection £18 (obvz!) with a fingertip and use B06 to soften the edges.

nyx liquid suede soft spoken jouer tan lines lip topper

I’m totally promiscuous when I comes to lips; there is no brand loyalty whatsoever. In 2016 I fell hard for metallic lips in rose gold and bronze hues. Nothing too loud but with lots of depth, such as MAC “O” £15.50 or the NYX Cosmic Metals Speed of Light £7. But then the Jouer Long-Wear Lip Topper in Tan Lines £13.50 entered my life and with a swipe that smells like vanilla ice cream, any liquid lipstick can be transformed. I wear it over NYX Liquid Suede in Soft-Spoken £6.50, a velvety terracotta. I also wear that on its own of course. The whole Liquid Suede range is worth a look; its shade selection ranges from accessible to impenetrable pitch black and they’re the most comfortable liquid lipstick I’ve tried.

Musically, there were 3 albums that I really felt in 2016.

Lemonade by Beyoncé made me feel righteous and powerful.

Everything You’ve Come To Expect by The Last Shadow Puppets initially turned me on but I came to associate it with betrayal and resentment.

Joanne by Lady Gaga made me feel everything. But most of all it made me feel understood.

I’ve tried not to let the bad memories become the moments that made 2016. I saw Marina and Beyoncé, I had my favourite holiday, my daughter went into primary 3 which is the age I started forming long-term memories, and I got a job that I like. 2016 was a year that I think will shape me because if I learned nothing else, I learned what not to do.

Born this way,





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