Having only started my blog during the summer of 2012, it was really from then on and towards the end of the year that I opened myself up to trying lots of new things - through the recommendations of other bloggers of course! Out of all of the new things I have tried, these are my favourites, with a few all time favourites thrown in. You might want to grab a cup of tea - it's going to be a long one, but don't worry they wont always be this long!
Skincare Favourites: Aromatherapy Associates Bath Oils, absolute luxury for every bath time. I have the ultimate collection (christmas collection), so I have only had it since the very beginning of December, they're in my yearly favourites - that's how good they are, enough said!
Estee Lauder advanced night repair - I love how this makes my skin look and feel, I have ran out though so it's on my list to re-buy, but I might try a different serum that doesn't rob me of all my money (the price is my only issue with it!). If you don't have problem skin, it probably isn't a massive essential, though.
Clarins Exfoliator Brightening Toner, is fantastic at gently removing any dry flaky skin - which I do get from time to time, in the drier areas of my face due to all of the anti-blemish products I use. It's good on dry lips too!
Perfume Favourite: Miss Dior, it has been for years and I don't think that'll ever change!
Hair Favourites: Lee Stafford Matt Style Low Fat Cashmere Cushion, is the only hair product that genuinely gives me volume. I have the thinnest, flattest hair known to human kind, but this really saves the day! Not the cheapest product that claims to give volume, but it does actually work, so all is forgiven Lee Stafford. It lasts really long too, which is good.
Carino Miracle Oil (available at Aldi), basically a cheaper alternative to Moroccan Oil, and it works for me - so no complaints!
Batiste Dry Shampoo - I'm including this because I can't actually remember when I started using it, but it is the best dry shampoo that I've used and it's inexpensive.
Favourite foundation: Chanel Vita Lumiere Aqua. If you read my blog regularly, you'll know that I'm an acne sufferer - it's usually well managed, but I'm rarely without at least one spot. So liking a foundation that isn't full coverage may seem strange as that's what most acne sufferers tend to gravitate towards. But I much prefer the finish of a medium/buildable foundation - and I just use concealer. It stops my face looking cakey. Also because I have oily skin, this one doesn't move around or cake as the day wears on and my skin gets more oily like a lot of foundation does on me. It's perfect really! I don't use this everyday though, because it is expensive and I don't want to waste it, but it is absolutely my favourite.
Favourite Concealer-s!: I couldn't pick just one! I used to solely rely on my MAC studio finish concealer, which is still a favourite for me. It covers pigmentation really well, and because I'm an NW shade I can use it as a corrector when I'm having a bad dark circle day. What I was really pleased to discover this year, firstly was the Collection lasting perfection concealer. I don't really think I need to go into any great detail with this - every blogger and their granny knows about this concealer! One of my absolute live savers though is my Vichy Dermablend Corrective Foundation (that I use to conceal). I discovered this through watching Lisa Eldridge's Acne Covering video, and I knew I had to have it! It's been an absolute godsend when I have a horrible breakout. Nude is the perfect colour for me when I have fake tan on, but I'll need to invest in the paler shade for when I'm au natural.
Favourite Bronzer: Chanel Universal Bronzer. Some people think this is too orange, but maybe they're just over doing it? I love it, and because it's cream based I can mix it with lighter foundations when I'm tanned.
Favourite Setting Powder: It's a major toss up between Chanel Loose Powder and Rimmel Stay Matte. They are both under favourites for different reasons. Chanel is reliable it makes my makeup last SO long and the finish is just perfection. Rimmel Stay Matte, is cheap and compact. It does set my makeup but eventually will need touch-ups, which I don't mind for an everyday powder. So really Chanel is my favourite, but I like to have a cheaper alternative for everyday.
Favourite Blush: NYX has really impressed me with their powder blushes. They are fantastic value, with brilliant pigmentation. My favourite out of the 3 I bought it definitely Spice. It gives a gorgeous "bitten by the cold" cheek colour, which thankfully doesn't look unnatural when you live in Scotland!
Highlighter: Dior Amber Diamond. I really love this, I've wrote a full review on it here, but I really like the look it gives my cheeks. I have absolutely no cheekbones so I need all the help I can get!
Favourite Eyeshadows (Powders): My all time favourite palette that I reach for most, on days when I don't know what to do my eyes like, I choose this palette. It's my Chanel Kaska Beige quartet, it's beautiful neutral shades, and I bought it after watching a Lisa Eldridge tutorial (theme forming here). And, this probably wont come as a surprise either, but I love MAC eyeshadows. It might seem cliché but they do have the best pigmentation, they don't drop down too much, and they have a brilliant range of colours. My top four MAC shadows worth a mention and that are my go-to colours - Naked Lunch, Woodwinked, Patina and Satin Taupe. (Quite extensive, but these honestly are my favourites!). I also really love my Urban Decay Naked palette. I've quite clearly become eyeshadow obsessed this year.
Favourite Cream Eyeshadows: The Chanel Illusion D'Ombre's are to die for. I have two shades, and I absolutely love them. They have such an unusual texture, that I have difficulty describing (if you've read my review of my Emerveille you'll read me stumbling over my words and eventually telling you all to go and take a look at them yourself!).
Eyeliner: Maybelline Gel Liner. I love this gel eyeliner, and I mostly wear a gel liner if I bother to wear liner at all. I used to use MAC Black Track, but compared to the Maybelline Gel liner, the quality for such a pricey liner is shocking. So Maybelline, I salute you! I've had mine for months and it hasn't dried out at all, it applies smoothly and evenly. It stays a completely true black colour (it doesn't fade to a greyish-black) and it lasts ALL day and doesn't flake - I don't know if I could rave about this product any more!?
Mascara: I have found a few great mascaras in 2012, but none compare to my ultimate favourite I found a few years ago, which is Dior Show. I found that I like Revlon Grow Luscious for every-day (not the plumping kind), and that YSL Faux Cils is really great, but Dior Show just wins the race by the skin of it's teeth.
Brows: Benefit Brow Zings. I use it almost everyday, hands down the best eyebrow product I've tried. It looks more natural than pencils I've ever used, although I may venture down the pencil route at some point for speedy eyebrow application.
Lips: Oh dear, where do I start? Overall best is my Dior Nude lipsticks; they are gorgeous quality, moisturising, and great pigmentation. Chanel lipsticks are my number 1.5 (see what I did there? I really love those too!). I do really like MAC, but mostly for the range of colours, I think they're getting a little big for their boots with the forever increasing price.
Nails: This is a toughy - I generally go for colours over anything else when buying nail varnish, but my favourite discovery this year was Essie. I think they have a fantastic colour range and they last well on my nails. My favourite is Buy Me a Cameo.
Best Outstanding Product: La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo. This may seem a bit random as this post is mostly focussed on makeup, but this has transformed my skin. I haven't used this for very long, but it is already an absolute essential. It helps keep my skin clear really well, and it helps to clear my skin quicker.
Hope you enjoyed my overly long post! Since it's my first, I definitely think there's more in there than there will ever be again