Were you to tell me at any stage during the year that I'd whittle down every purchase, pr sample and press release down to ten of my very favourites then I'd have laughed in your face so haughtily that the breeze would have ruffled your mane - but I've only gone and done it.
These Top Ten of 2013 are not only products that knocked my beauty socks off but that I have purchased again, purchased for gifts and seriously believe your life could be enriched by purchasing too. They're great like.
Choosing a mascara of the year is much akin to Sophie's Choice, that's how highly I rate the lash coaters ability to change your entire visage. Benefit's They're Real has been a stalwart of mine with YSL's BabyDoll elbowing it's way to the front and Maybelline's The Rocket holding it's own but once I'd given False Lash Flutter a... well flutter, they were all forgotten.
This is all of those mascaras combined and then some. Perfect formulation, unusually effective brush and ne'er a clump nor flake to be seen. If you haven't tried these puppies yet - do it.
Again the competition was stiff in 2013 for one foundation to rule them all. Smashbox's Liquid Halo revolutionised gel effect coverage, Clarins Extra Comfort quenched the skins of the nation and Max Factor's Whipped Cream foundation changed the minds of thousands but Bourjois, my sneaky little petite pois, you did it again with Healthy Mix Serum.
I have recommended no other foundation as often as I have this and that's across the board to friends, family, colleagues and even once or twice to undecided browsers in Boots. Healthy Mix Serum glides over your skin, and sits weightlessly in place affording me to look a hell of a lot better than I have any right to do and it has never, not once let me down. For a Healthy Mix, I have an unhealthy obsesh.
If ever I were to be run over by a bus the thing I'd most dread people finding is not my shady internet search history but my vast and I mean VAST nail polish stash. We're talking thousands so when it comes to choosing a standout for an entire year that's damn near impossible.
Were I to choose the line that I repeatedly cleaned off and reapplied time after time though? The Rimmel Salon Pro line win, hands down. With a huge range of brights, nudes and pastels, these lycra infused polishes dry to a higher shine than any other I've worn sans top coat. They've also garnered the most compliments from random strangers. At just €6.45 (or 2 for €8) these polishes should be a staple in every girls stash.
I've always been a big fan of Benefit's Box o' Powders collection, not so much the exorbitant prices they charge their Irish fans but as a product, I've loved each and every one. When the word broke that not only would their newest box, Rockateur be smaller but that it'd be the same price as the rest I swore I wouldn't cave. SWORE.
That was until I was giftef a FeelUnique.com voucher and realised that I could nab it for £23 with free delivery. From the first swish it was lust. Rockateur gives me that subtle rose gold glow that even I have to do a double take to appreciate time and again. It's creamy soft, it's stupidly flattering and it's easily the prettiest blush product I've ever owned. (I even bought a second one and I NEVER buy a second one)
While Stila, Essence and even Sigma have all had my heart this year as far as liners go, the Smashbox Always Sharp Pencils just can't be beaten for me. In a range of six colours, that have been extended with 3D shimmering versions, these point tipped pencils give me a perfect line every single time. You get in and around a minute to smudge it up or leave it as is and Hey Presto, it's stuck.
The innovative lid means you never have to find a sharpener again as with two twists the pencil is magically sharpened again to a perfect point. There are cheaper pencils but when it's a result you want every single time, without fail I'd go with this pencil again and again.
I truly couldn't count the amount of ablutions, creams and concoctions that I was lucky enough to try this year. La Roche-Posay's Hydraphase Intense has to get an honorable mention, Shiseido's Ibuki moisturiser for luxury pampering and L'Oreal's Revitalift Laser Renew blowing both the Mother and me away, the top spot still has to go to Loccitane's Divine Cream.
Relaunched in 2013, I have genuinely never used a face cream that made such a dramatic difference to the appearance and feel of my visage in such a short space of time. It's not chump change at €82 for 50ml but the tiniest amount goes a very long way. Having used my press sample sparingly, lovingly but religiously, I parted with my hard earned eurobux in December and re bought this elixir - not only that but I'll do it again.
You're right you know, as far as I'm concerned there's nothing the LRP team can't do when it comes to healing, treating and enhancing our skin. I have yet to try a product that I didn't love, even if the blue and white packaging baffles even me sometimes.
The launch of Cicaplast lips in 2013, however, was a revelation. I use Cicaplast Baume B5 for anything and everything and recommend it until I'm as blue in the face but this paraben free, fragrance free lip version of the balm has literally saved my kisser several times. During a hellish few days in A&E over Christmas this was the only thing to save my dry and aching lips - giving me instant relief and comfort and healing my dry, sore lips in the space of a day.
To be used as a cracking base for brightly coloured lippies, a salve for red sore schnozzes or just as a lip saviour for all the family, this little white tube is a handbag/pocket/purse/glovebox/desk essential.
Though a little hesitant about this concealer at first glance, I think it was the spnge applicator that gave me the heebie jeebies, Maybelline's Instant Age Rewind won me 'round and how.
Bright enough to use under eye, it instantly vamooses my dark circles. I press the concealer onto my finger to cover up blemishes and I insist on having this in my bag when I get my brows threaded as it instantly calms and covers the tell tale redness associated. I've found it tough to find this one in stores but as soon as I do? STOCKPILE.
I can only imagine that Trish from Love/Hate was going through cans of this stuff in Season 4 to achieve her majestic disco lion's mane. L'Oreal's #TXT works better than any other volumising spray I've ever used and at half the price too.
No stickiness, no shine, no mahoosive knottage as a result just larrrrge voluminous grúaig in just a couple of sprays. This stuff does EXACTLY what it says on the tin. Awesome.
The amount of shadows and palettes I possess is not natural, I know this. I have recognised it as an illness and accepted it about myself (whilst buying more palettes) but if I were to pick one of the stacks of 'em that stood out in 2013 it would have to be the Stila In the Light wonder.
Easily the most beautiful and versatile neutral palette I own, there's rarely a day goes by that I don't reach for this. Basically any eye look can be achieved with zero fall out and incredible staying power. Every single time I travel, this is the one palette that comes with and that's not for nothing. If you're a neutral fan, I'd urge you to add this to your collection sooner rather than later. I guarantee you won't regret it.
And that's them, the Top Ten standouts for me of 2013 - what do you reckon? Agree? Disagree?
Have you made a similar list? I'd love to check it out or is there some product that you're certain I'd love for 2014? Lemme know!