Thursday, 17 December 2009

Annual round-up

So guys. Christmas is coming. Snow is falling. The intensive lip balms have come out at LBR.

And as the year draws to a close, the blogosphere erupts with "the best [insert product/phenomenon here] of 2009" posts (plus the additional rash of "best of a decade" posts from the more ambitious blogger types who haven't been too distracted by urgent last-minute online Christmas shopping.)

2009 has been a year of greater-than-ever-before beauty focus for me (as if such a thing were possible). Slap Happy was my major writing outlet during the spring after I lost my job as a copywriter in April, leading to features on Kiss and Makeup and finally to the conception of the London Beauty Review itself in the summer, in partnership with the fire-haired and eloquent programming-and-beauty obsessive Gemma, who is a truly fantastic co-writer and amazingly prolific to boot.

2009 has been the year I became aware of the drying effects of SLS in bathing products, had my waterline attacked during one scary counter makeover and experienced the fantastic ministrations of Illamasqua's Mika during another. It was the year I started cutting my boyfriend's hair (less to do with the recession than his dislike of hairdressers). It was also the year I took a good hard look at myself and decided firmly that buying products sold by companies who test cosmetics on animals can never be OK. However nice they look.

A top ten of things I discovered in 2009 is due here - but actually I have pretty much the same old favourites as before, with just a few extra honours to confer.

My 2009 heroes:

Origins "A Perfect World" face wash, which does its job superbly and is a pleasure to use, and has a beautiful white tea and orange blossom scent

The Sanctuary Spa Warming MicrodermabrasionPolish
, a self-heating marvel that manages sand-blaster efficacy with a gentle touch

GOSH Velvet Touch eyeliner (this stuff has serious GRIP!)

Lush The Olive Branch shower gel - it's like a hug in shower form

A new arrival is NYX Doll Eye mascara (Volume version), which I already raved at length about here

I am yet again wearing Philosophy's Pure Grace pretty much every day, and see no reason to change from its divine comforting clean-ness

I have also stocked up on B Never Too Busy To be Beautiful's "Dirty", a minty-fresh scent for guys that I took a fancy to after getting hold of a tester. (Typical that they close for business just after I discover it)

Illamasqua's "Motto" eyebrow colour is the perfect cool taupe shade for filling in my weird sparse brows, and I was glad to find it this year after my supply of Asia-only Skin Food stuff dwindled

Collection 2000 scored a surprise hit with me when they released Lasting Perfection concealer, now my daily staple and costs less than £4: V GOOD

Finally, I have to give a massive dollop of kudos to Naked Bodycare for all their SLS-free paraben-free cruelty-free products, which also just happen to smell divine and work wonderfully. (It's a new day in Baltimore, people.) Check them out here

So there you have it - my 2009-in-beauty. Here's to another year of awesome adventures in 2010!

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