For me, 2016 was not only a year of discovering new products, but also a year of daring to venture outside of my comfort zone a little & stop being so afraid of using stuff that I had but was rarely using, like curling wands & eyeshadows for example.
Rather than featuring products that came onto the market this year & doing a standard end-of-year beauty round-up (which, let's be honest, would feature about 5000 nail polishes & nothing else), this post is all about the discoveries I made in the beauty realm in 2016. Let's see what made the cut:
I'll be honest here & say that I really didn't get the hype surrounding micellar water when it began appearing on Australian beauty shelves several years ago. As someone who generally steers clear of using a multitude of chemicals on her skin, finding a micellar water that didn't contain a whole bunch of unrecognisable and/or questionable ingredients appeared to be an impossible task...until I discovered Kiwi brand Essano and their Gentle Facial Cleansing Micellar Water. Thanks to a couple of blogger reviews, I picked up a small bottle, quickly fell in love with it & purchased the big bottle. Now I refuse to live without it...or the next item in my list...
I never realised how beneficial a cleansing balm would be for me until I purchased & tried Pixi's Nourishing Cleansing Balm whilst in San Francisco back in September. Despite consuming enough fruit & veg & drinking a fair amount of water, my skin is still dehydrated & this balm does my skin a world of good in terms of nourishment each time I use it. I'm trying to conserve my use since I've now hit pan on it, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I'll be re-purchasing as soon as I run out. I can't sing its praises enough!
Busting out the eyeliner & wearing it more often
As I mentioned back in my "confessions of a beauty novice" post, I've never felt like a boss when it comes to applying eyeliner. I guess I've been afraid of ending up like a raccoon or something. Granted, that thought still terrifies me; but at least I can say now that I'm not afraid of lining my top lash line. I think taking the 2 Eye of Horus eyeliners I own away with me overseas finally convinced me to stop being a scaredy-cat & start learning how to use them properly. Now if someone could teach me how to use it on my lower lash line without feeling like a total nong, that'd be great!
Like any number of beauty trends coming out of South Korea, the sheet mask trend has exploded in 2016, with many Western skincare brands now jumping on the bandwagon. Beauty lovers like myself have been getting onboard, although for me I'm still not entirely convinced of its greatness....or maybe I just haven't found the right one yet? Still, I reckon they're a bit of fun, especially if you feel like scaring the people you live with...or yourself (see left).
As I get older, I'm really beginning to think about the effects of ageing, as well as seeing all the sun damage I accrued in my 20's showing up in the form of pigmentation, dehydration & a less than youthful glow. Whilst I still pass for a 20-something (apparently), I'm conscious of the fact that it won't last forever & that if I want to keep appearing young, then I've got to do something about it. I became obsessed with the idea of serums this year & whilst my first foray into that world (with Grown Alchemist's Detox+3 Antioxidant Serum) didn't quite work out as well as I may have wanted it to, it hasn't stopped me from wanting to explore them even more. I've got a few on my wishlist & I'm keen to try them for myself in 2017.
Coffee body scrubs
For some reason I became mad about coffee body scrubs in 2016 & bought a few of them at the last Priceline 40% off skincare sale. Whilst the Sukin coffee scrub wasn't for me, I quite enjoyed the CLab & Co + SugarBaby ones & would happily re-purchase them; however, I want to give the DIY thing a go again & save myself some dosh by making my own coffee scrub.
Up until this year, primer was one of those things that I knew I needed, but I still felt was overrated. Like really Napoleon Perdis, is it truly a crime not to prime? Well, I can say now that unless you want your makeup disappearing within an hour or so, then yes, perhaps it is a crime not to prime! I'm currently using the Too Faced Hangover Primer for my face, which I'm a bit so-so about. Whilst it holds onto my makeup, it can break me out. I've also found that if I use it with mineral foundation, then I end up getting flaky around my nostrils.
As for eye primer, I'm glad I've finally invested in it because now my newly acquired oily eyelids can do one! I'm currently using Bare Minerals' Prime Time (the standard, skin-coloured version) & it's not too bad. It seems to hold onto eyeshadow fairly well, provided they're a pressed shadow & not a loose pigment like all the Alima Pure ones I own. Then again, I've yet to find anything that'll work well with those...*sigh*
THE WET BRUSH!!!!
Apologies for the caps, but I 💙 this brush so damn much. Who would've thought that such a simple item could become a well-loved tool in my beauty arsenal? I know there's heaps of detangling brushes out there & if I'm honest, I still have my eye on the much-hyped Dessata Detangling Brush in rose gold, but for now I'm quite happy with this as it does the job very well. I'm quite rough with my hair when combing (those of you with easily knotty hair will be feeling this) & this tool combined with some detangling spray (damn you balayage!) allows me to not be so tough on my poor mane.
A great hairdresser is worth their weight in G-O-L-D
You know when change is in the air & you can feel it coming, yet you feel a sense of trepidation about it? This is how I felt about switching hairdressers.
After finding out my (now ex) hairdresser was pregnant for the first time early last year & with the knowledge that she'd be spending time away from the salon with her bub, I started thinking that maybe it was time to go to someone else. It wasn't that I was unhappy with her (far from it); I got itchy feet & wanted to switch things up, not only with who tended to my mane but my mane itself. The only thing standing in my way was my terrible procrastination habit. I sat on this idea for months on end until change was forced upon me around late January/early February when I called up the salon, only to discover a completely unrecognisable voice on the other end, to whom I didn't feel comfortable visiting.
Cut a long story short, I now go to one close to my house where the girls are not only friendly, but actually know their shit and are passionate about delivering a great service overall. My new hairdresser is the bomb.com & although I didn't quite know how to take her at first (she's got a strong personality & can come across as a bitch), we get along quite well & from the get go she's always listened to what I want, as well as explaining what she's going to do with my hair because as she's told me several times, it's not much point being in the business if you're not passionate about what you do - it's just as important to her that I get a great colour & cut as it is to me. I've never had that with a hairdresser before & I appreciate it muchly. I even referred my Mum to her after she busted up with her ex-hairdresser & she loved her first visit so much she immediately booked her next one!
OMG, totally forgot to do this, I'm so sorry & embarrassed...call it holiday brain if you will...but I did link this with the special extended holiday edition of Monday Makeup Madness.
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What were your biggest beauty discoveries of 2016?