As we wrap up the end of the 2010s – does this decade have an official name yet? – I feel that beauty has gone through some radical changes: from finally being more inclusive to prioritising sustainable packaging and continuously cleaning up its formulations (many driven by EU legislation), beauty products continue to innovate, surprise and send social media into a frenzy (hello #unicornmakeup). This year I’ve discovered natural indie brands paving the way in terms of packaging innovation, trialled skincare with surprising ingredients and went back to basics with my favourite facial oil. Here is a roundup of my best beauty discoveries of the last 12 months.

Top skincare products on a white shelf with red background

1. For the most innovative sustainable packaging

I was truly bowled over when I received Happi Body Co’s Cleansing Melt, not just by its presentation – a pretty jar nestled in a bed of straw with a wooden spoon and organic cotton cloth decorated with a sprig of lavender – but by its innovative packaging. Made from wood sourced from Finnish eco specialists Sulapac, the microplastic-free material is made from FSC-certified sustainable Nordic wood. The 100% biodegradable container can be added to your compost once emptied, or even better it just begs to be re-purposed as a sleek trinket box. Proof that this is the beauty packaging material of the future? Chanel have invested in Sulapac. To top it off this ultra-nourishing cleansing melt contains just 14 natural ingredients ranging from plant oils to butters, so what’s inside is as good as the outside. To me Happi Body Co truly represents clean beauty, where the environmental impact of the product has been considered in every aspect, from the formulation to the packaging. 30g RRP £23.00

Happi Body Co Cleansing Melt open pot with wooden spoon and cloth

2. For the best results

This was a tough category but in the end it came down to the product that delivers great instant results in a gentle natural way. And the winner is… Evolve Radiant Glow Mask! This deliciously smelling chocolate mask (thanks to raw cocoa powder) contains upcycled blueberry particles – waste from the juicing industry – to gently buff the skin smooth. Every time I apply this mask my skin feels baby smooth and super polished afterwards, but in the gentlest way possible. And with organic vanilla oil and natural sugar extracts, it seems like you’re applying cake mix to your face – which makes me love this product even more. 30ml RRP £12.00

Wearing natural face mask

3. For the most delicious scent

No it’s not a fragrance… I was initially going to talk about Evolve’s Radiant Glow Mask and its moreish chocolate scent, but what I love most about that product is the incredible smoothing effect it has on my skin. And I recently discovered another skincare product with a scent that trumps even chocolate. Enter Bee Fayre’s Honey Lily hand cream, a rich thick white cream boasting the natural sweet scent of honey. Somehow it stays on the right side of sweet without tipping over the edge to sickly, so I’m currently applying this generously every evening before bedtime, the beautiful scent lingering in my sub conscious as I drift to sleep. 60ml RRP £9.95

Beefayre hand cream in a tube on rattan mat

4. For the best performing Instagram post

Engagement on my Instagram account has taken a bit of a nosedive these last few months (because I’m not on it so much? Interacting less? those infamous algorithms?) however before that I was looking at an engagement rate of 9%. Compared to the average rate of around 3% this is not bad at all. I calculated my engagement rate by adding up the number of likes and comments for my last 9 posts, dividing by the number of posts (9) to get an average, then dividing that number by how many followers I had, finally timing by 100 to get the percentage. And the single best performing post? A Caudalie flatlay to share my blogpost GET YOUR SKIN DRUNK ON CAUDALIE’S NATURAL FORMULAS which garnered 143 likes and 15 comments. What made that post stand out from the rest? No doubt a lot of it is down to algorithms, but I also think the image is aspirational and aesthetically pleasing yet pretty and cosy, on a personal level it’s one of my favourite photos.

Caudalie natural skincare products

5. For the fun factor!

Gimmicks are plentiful within beauty, from caviar facials to fish pedicures, there’s always a weird new trend to discover. I had a lot of fun applying this Unicorn Glitter Dust mask, taking inspiration from the ubiquitous unicorn obsession that has infiltrated pretty much all lifestyle areas, from fashion to makeup and party themes. The liquid that comes out of the pouch is this beautifully glitter-flecked gel-like texture, which when applied onto a cleansed face dries and hardens in minutes to be peeled off after 20 minutes.  I looked like a pale extra from Avatar which definitely delivered on the fun factor, but my skin actually benefited from it too, feeling decongested with tightened pores. 30g RRP £4.99

6. For rediscovering a classic

If there is one product that is always part of my skincare routine it’s a facial oil. I love the instant nourishing cocooning feeling I get from massaging it into freshly cleansed skin, regardless of the potentially slight oily sheen I’m left with. Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, this multi-benefit omega-rich oil helps to regenerate skin, therefore improving the appearance of acne scars, fine lines and sun damage. My journey with rosehip started years ago when I received Trilogy’s iconic Organic Rosehip Oil in a goodie bag, but it was only last year that I really got into it again and since then it has remained a staple in my bathroom cabinet, from Fushi’s cold-pressed version to Pai’s Rosehip Bioregenerate Oil. My top tip? Mix 3 drops of this oil with your moisturiser and massage into slightly damp skin for a glowing complexion.

7. For the most unexpected ingredient

I’ve tried my fair share of unusual skincare ingredients, from snail mucus to broccoli, so a kale-enriched cleanser doesn’t faze me – well not too much. Still I’d say it’s the most unexpected ingredient I’ve come across recently thanks to Nourish Kale 3D Cleanse. Praised as a superfood, it was only a matter of time before this leafy cabbage made it into a skincare product. Kale is rich in antioxidants, fighting off free radicals that suck oxygen out of healthy skin cells and improving skin’s elasticity. Nourish’s certified vegan Kale 3D Cleanse gives off a surprisingly pleasant veggie scent and gently washes off the day’s grime, the white formula turning into a light green when lathered up to add a little fun factor. 100ml RRP £25.00

What beauty products have you discovered this year that you’ll be taking into 2020? Leave a comment below to let me know.

Features gifted products.

3 thoughts on “BEST BEAUTY DISCOVERIES OF 2019

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