2020, what a stinker it’s been. Searching for a glimpse of a silver lining, we all spent much more time indoors and had time to focus on ourselves, our families and what’s priority. Self-care is more important than ever, taking the time to nurture our mind, body, soul…and faces!
The choice in products can be overwhelming and there’s new ones released all the time, as I hope you’ve seen over on my daily instagram stories ;-)
In this blog post, I’ll take you through my top 20 beauty favourites of 2020; a compilation of my most used, favourite, top performing and many new releases of the year, some with a special discount too!
1. Slip Silk Pillowcase
I love my White Company egyptian cotton sheets, but this year decided to switch all my pillowcases to silk. The best on the market comes from Slip. Made using the highest grade mulberry silk and available in a range of colours, these have made a real difference to my skin and hair. Silk is antimicrobial and less absorbent than other fibres so your fancy skincare stays on your face. Anti-sleep creasing so you’ll be catching more z’s and less wrinkles with this luxury casing. I’ve noticed a significant difference in my hair too, especially when it comes to styling and longevity between washes, significantly less frizz as silk doesn’t cause any friction as you sleep. Oh, and they’re visually a rather glamorous addition to your boudoir.
Slip are currently doing a discount on their website of 15% off when you spend under £200 (‘newyear15’), 20% off when you spend over £200 (‘newyear20’) and 25% off when you spend over £300 (‘newyear25)
Sustainability; one of 2020’s buzzwords. Are we doing our bit personally? Are the brands we choose to buy from participating too? Whether it’s at home, at work, how we travel (when we travel!) to the clothes we wear and each consumable product we purchase. Also key to consider; plastic.
Take cotton pads. I go through them like billy-oh. Granted I’m in the beauty world so use them daily on myself as well as my clients…but can I do better? I’ve switched up my cotton buds; plastic for bamboo, I go through them like you wouldn’t believe. Then along came FaceHalo. A double-sided, microfibre circular fluffy pad that is effectively a cotton pad that you can wash and re-use, many times over. They even say that to remove makeup, all you need is a FaceHalo and some water. Huh? Game - changed. I’m hooked. The only element I didn’t like was how grubby they became, especially with my black waterproof mascara leaving their sooty residue behind on these lovely white magic discs. Then joy of joys, they brought out a black version.
FaceHalo has 21% off everything for a limited time!
3. Romilly Wilde ‘Light & Energy Serum Cleanser’
A new discovery for me and by far my favourite cleanser I’ve tried this year. Balmy but not sticky, hydrating yet doesn’t leave a residue, cleansed but not squeaky, this ticks all my cleansing requirement boxes. It’s a ‘clean’ product too which means the ingredients are all of natural origin. Then there’s the scent, which had me before I even applied it to my skin…intoxicating jasmine flower will transform your daily cleansing ritual into a spa-like dream. It comes with a cloth that you use to remove it, with added exfoliation benefits from the polishing magic of muslin. I'm going to try more from Romilly Wilde as this cleanser has really impressed me.
4. Victoria Beckham x Augustinus Bader ‘Cell Rejuvinating Priming Moisturiser’
I’m a fan of Bader’s ‘The Cream’ and love the sleek aesthetic of VB’s makeup line. Put them together and you have a dream-team of a product. After moisturiser and before makeup, this primer will enhance your glow as well as treat your skin. Your foundation will sit better and last longer…or skip the base altogether and simply slather this complexion boosting elixir on alone. A true skincare/makeup hybrid.
An oldie but a goodie. Not new to me but one I cannot be without. I’ve tried many others but this brand is by far the best. I favour the slanted tweezers for their ease of use, precision of grabbing even the teeniest of hairs and they last so long, it’s a purchase worth every penny. Different designs and colours available, there’s nothing like a new pair of tweezers…much like their stainless steel styling shears too, which saw a 465% increase in sales this year due to people’s DIY haircuts at home!
From 4th January 2021, Tweezerman will be offering 30% off many of their ltd edition collections.
6. Edy London
In between the multiple lockdown and tier scenarios we all found ourselves muddling through this year, I managed to bag myself some lash extensions. What a treat. I’ve had them done by Edy before and she really is the best, I recommend her to all my clients. It’s got to the point now where I can tell if someone has had their lashes done with her, as they’re almost undetectable…except to the trained eye ;-) The finest, wispiest, flirtiest lashes you could wish for. For every one of your lashes, Edy will apply one of her delicate individual lashes and superglue it to perfection. Highly skilled work and it takes a little bit of time but it’s strangely relaxing and you emerge from a somewhat sleepy daze looking totally fabulous. They last a few weeks and then you can simply re-book for ‘infills’. In an age where we are clutching at anything to make us feel a bit of glamour still exists, Edy’s lashes will give you your va-va-voom back in no time.
Make a booking with Edy for a full set of lashes, mention my name and you'll get 20% off!
7. Déesse Pro LED mask
This year saw the rise in interest for beauty gadgets and LED treatments. Whether utilising them in a clinic or having a go at home, they inject some added interest into our beauty routine whilst giving great results. My first to mention in this category is the very fancy LED mask from Déesse Pro. The most powerful one available on the market and therefore the most effective, this is a mask that I became rather hooked on. Not only because the results are instant and cumulative but also because it has many settings to achieve different results or target specific concerns. Skin brightening, collogen stimulating, breakout preventing, pigmentation fader and of course wrinkle fighter, the list goes on. In addition, it’s a very relaxing sensation (great if you suffer with S.A.D. too) that I would sit under daily. I can’t rave about it enough…then I see they’ve brought out an ‘express’ version, sign me up!
I’ve managed to wangle you a 10% off (the brand never partakes in sales or discounts) anything on the Déesse Pro site with code: TILLEY10, add to basket!
8. Heliocare SPF
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, spf is the most important part of your skincare routine. The most anti-ageing product you can apply to your face is spf, hands down. Don’t think of spf as suncream, it’s protecting your skin from various harmful rays; UVA (which causes skin ageing) & UVB (those that burn the skin) and in recent years, blue light (from our various and many devices; phones, computers, tablets etc). You should be applying spf to your face every single day, spring, summer, autumn or winter. Think of it like this; if you can see your hand in front of your face, you should be wearing spf. My ultimate favourite is by Heliocare, I wear their spf50 daily, applied at the end of my skincare and before any makeup I might be wearing. They have a huge variety of products available, both for daily use and indeed for holidays in the hot sunshine etc. Make it a New Year’s resolution for your skin health.
You can enjoy 10% off anything on the Heliocare site (including bundles!) using this link
9. Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Bronzer
A new release from Charlotte Tilbury this year was a beautiful and very generously sized bronzing powder. Available in 4 sun-kissing shades with the perfect amount of buildability, you can’t go wrong with this unique formula. As well as adding a glowing tan to your complexion, the finely milled powder will blur any imperfections, adding a flawless finishing touch to your makeup look. Sweep on to the high points of the face; top of forehead, cheekbones, bridge of the nose then a little on the chin and don’t forget your neck. Bonus points to Charlotte for creating a bronzer where the packaging is totally refillable too.
10. Ameliorate Body Lotion
One of my beauty resolutions for 2020 was to apply body lotion more regularly. Such a faff and not a job I can often be bothered with, ditto body scrub. Then I discovered Ameliorate. A reasonably priced body lotion that has AHA’s (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) in the formula so it lightly exfoliates the skin as it moisturises. Two birds, one stone, boom! It sounded too good to be true but honestly, even after the first use, I noticed my skin was much smoother. It’s great for those who suffer with dry, sensitive skin and even Keratosis Pilaris too, the AHA’s ‘eat’ away any rough patches. I pay particular attention to the knees, elbows and feet. There’s lots of other amazing products in their range too, from richer creams and body washes through to face products and haircare (I’m loving the scalp exfoliant too).
There's currently up to 25% off on their website
Early on in 2020 I was lucky enough to have a facetime call with the founder of a brand that I’d been intrigued with for a long time. A brand that had introduced a groundbreaking device to the market, the first and best of it’s kind. Her name was Tera Peterson and we were talking about a microcurrent facial contouring device called NuFace. An electrically charged manipulator of the muscles that will re-train your face to defy gravity. We spoke at length about her background, how the device came to be and how to use it to achieve the best results. Now like anything, you need to be consistent. If you take the plunge, I’d say go for the ‘Trinity’ version as you then get 3 different attachments to play with (one of which is LED, see me below!). When you stick with it, at just 5 minutes a day, you’ll notice the subtle lifting effects the NuFace can do for your facial framework. It’s like magic, in the palm of your hand.
Sometimes there are those products or brands that pass you by. For me, QMS was one of those. I saw it around but never invested the time to properly try it. Shame on me. The packaging is luxe yet understated, the collection is capsule yet targeted. Then I discovered they perform facials out of Liberty London. After researching a bit more about the brand, I took the plunge and went for a treatment. It was a thorough facial with a really knowledgable therapist who explained everything in a relatable way and it was totally personalised to my skin type. I came away with glowing skin and excited to use more products at home. Everything I’ve tried from QMS has performed incredibly well and it’s slotted into my skincare life perfectly…I’m just sorry it took me so long.
13. Honest Lip Balm
One of those items us ladies have multiples of, scattered around our homes and makeup bags, a holy grail of beauty products; the lip balm. With masks becoming part of our #newnormal and lipstick sales taking a nosedive, the humble lip balm has taken up a new importance in our routine. A new offering from Jessica Alba’s clean, plant derived and cruelty free cosmetic company Honest are these conditioning sticks for lips available in an array of shades. Simple yet effective…take your pick.
14. Foreo Luna 3
Not a new addition to my routine but an upgrade from my previous, the Luna 3 facial cleansing device is one I use every morning with my face wash. A single piece of silicone (totally hygenic, the touchpoint are now 30% longer and 25% softer) with 16 varying speeds of t-sonic pulsations, it will make your cleanser work that little bit more efficiently. There's a choice of shades catering for every skin type (there's even a black one for the boys) and one charge will last you a whopping 650 uses. Buzzing it around your face and neck, it dislodges any bits of stubborn dirt and grease from your skin and pores to reveal a perfectly polished complexion.
15. Dr Dennis Gross Peel Pads
Glass skin, that’s what I noticed after using these clever little pre-soaked towelettes. Individually packaged the two-step concept to rid your face of impurities and dead skin contains varying amounts of high concentration alpha and beta hydroxy acids. Varying because there’s a choice in ‘strength’ of the pads you go for. Even sensitive skin types can enjoy the benefits, with no irritation thanks to the glycolic and mandelic acids to ease redness and irritation. Great to use every day, a few times a week or as you see fit…and ideal to pack for your travels. They effectively reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, pigmentation, enlarged pores as new, fresh skin is revealed. Or should I say ‘dolphin’ skin?! Keep your eyes peeled (haha) for a new addition launching in the new year.
Shop these at SpaceNK & when you spend £40 or more, you get £10 off & free delivery with this link
16. The ultimate nude nail
This year a lot of us said goodbye to gel or acrylic nails. Lockdown meant no visits to our local nail salon, let alone hairdresser. DIY at home tasks were on the up. I went back to basics and didn’t wear any nail polish at all, I let mine grow out until I achieved totally ‘virgin’ talons. In the search for the ultimate natural shade of nail colour, many I tried were too pink, too brown, too orange or too ‘nothing’. Then Essie came to my rescue. The perfect tone of pale pink, just the right amount of opacity with a very subtle sheen in the form of teeny tiny shimmering particles. They call it ‘Vanity Fairest’; a couple of coats and your nails look like your own, but better, with even the white parts appearing whiter. Sold.
17. Magnetic lashes
Aah the false lash, perhaps another casualty of us not going out out this year. Either way, they’re often tricky to apply and it takes a steady hand to place correctly. Let alone the glue getting all over the place and once you’re stuck on, that’s it, playtime over. Then Eylure invented a new way to lash. I appreciate innovation when I tried these out this year as there’s nothing quite like it out there. These new lashes come with an eyeliner in the box. No ordinary eyeliner but one that doubles up as a magnet. Swipe a couple of generous layers to your upper lash line, once dry it's ready to attract the falsies. Much easier and you could even take them off and reposition if necessary. Credit where credit is due.
Another tool from the professional clinics and aesthetician’s office that has migrated into our beauty kits this year. It might sound daunting but it doesn’t hurt, won’t take long and will supercharge your lotions and potions to penetrate into your skin much more efficiently. There are different lengths of needle so please, start small and work your way up very gradually. Once cleansed, run the barrel over your face in feathery-soft criss-crossing motions. The tiny needles loaded around the barrel will ‘puncture’ the skin which in turn creates micro-channels into the dermis. Anything you apply afterwards can travel down those channels and get to work much harder. My favoured one comes from Teresa Tarmey, an incredible facialist who now sells products of her own. Other good ones are Swiss Clinic and GloPro. Any pro worth their salt (and every one I’ve met) is an advocate of this simple practice you can now do at home.
Looking after your face, body and health from the inside out is integral. You can slather on all the luscious lotions, marvel at the latest gadgets, get your daily exercise…but if you’re not feeding your skin from what goes into it, you’re missing a trick. Then again, if you’re not eating your greens or perhaps you need a boost in one area or another…or perhaps you’re intolerant to certain foods, there’s always supplements. As part of the Organic Pharmacy visit I did this year (where they do fabulous treatments, products and customer service) I had a session with their in-house homeopath, Felicity Gray. My mum used to take us kids to one when we were younger (I suffered with headaches apparently) and she swears by homeopathy as a natural alternative remedy. Mother knows best. It was a real eye opener. Not only did I find out what I was intolerant to but also what I might be lacking. I won’t tell you what’s best as it’s a personal journey but there are elements that can apply to us all; like boosting our immune system (this year more than ever), upping our vitamin levels or even promoting healthy hair and nails (I trust Biotin for this). Worth a thought, or an appointment.
20. Beauty hack of 2020
A cleansing supplement you never thought you needed. Something annoying that happens to us all that we didn’t think could be remedied. A sports item repurposed to aid our face washing woes. I’m talking wrist bands, or sweat bands, those little bracelets of towelling that now have a new cherished part in my bathroom. Washing my face daily, I roll up my sleeves and allow the water to run down my forearms, occasionally even soaking my sleeves. A pet peeve if ever there was one for such an occasion. Problem solved. Slide on a couple of wristbands and they’ll absorb the pesky dribbling water stopping it in it's tracks. Game, set and match.