Best of Beauty 2018

February 8, 2019


Ok so this post is a little bit late but here are mybest of beauty for 2018. My favourite skincare and makeup products that I will continue to use into 2019.

Best of Beauty - The Products that WOWed me in 2018! Why Cerave Hydrating Cleanser made the cut.

CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

I’ve never been the biggest fan of facial washes as my skin is so dry, too the point I have to do my teeth first as if I wash my face first my skin become unbearably tight and uncomfortable. Because of this, I’ve always prefered milk cleansers even though they don’t get your skin fully clean and you go through so many cotton pads! But earlier this year when I spotted CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser in Boots I decided to give it ago.

Why I love it!

For the first time, I don’t have to rush to apply moisturiser or oil after washing my face! I find it works well on its own, with my Clarisonic and my cleanse off mitt. It’s also pretty decent at taking off my eye make up when I’m feeling lazy.

Why it works!

The reason CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser works without leaving my skin dry is the ceramides and hyaluronic acid ingredients that continually work to deliver moisture long after using the cleanser.

I use it most evenings usually as my first or second cleanse, or I’ll use it twice with my cleanse off mitt, depending on how much makeup I have on. Then a couple of times a week I’ll use it with the Clarisonic.

Available at Look Fantastic, Feel Uniqueand Boots

Best of Beauty - The Products that WOWed me in 2018! Why NIOD Sanskrit Saponins made the cut.

After being on my wishlist for far too long I finally picked up some products from the NIOD range. NIOD is Deciem’s (the guys behind my beloved The Ordinary) original skincare range.

NIOD  Sanskrit Saponins Cleanser

This cult cleanser has powerful detoxifying abilities, gives your skin a deep clean and leaves it glowing.

Why I love it!

It gives your skin a deep cleanse without being aggressive. Since I started using I’ve noticed I haven’t been suffering from hard painful cysts around my chin and nose, that I would occasionally get.

Why it works!

Because it is PH balanced and contains something called Plant Saponins, which are unlike any other ingredient. In order to effectively cleanse the skin, a lot of products use acids and exfoliants, which can cause irritation. Plant Saponins on the other hand, cleanse away impurities, dirt and oil without stripping the skin.

Because of its strength, you should only use it every second day to prevent over stimulating the skin. Always use it as your second cleanse to make sure you’re really cleaning out your skin.  I use it a few times a week and sometimes leave it on for a few minutes as a cleansing mask.

Available Deciem, Cult Beauty , Look Fantastic, and Feel Unique

Best of Beauty - The Products that WOWed me in 2018! Why Kinvara Exfoliating Powder made the cut.

Kinvara Elemental Exfoliating Powder


I LOVE a physical exfoliator! I know chemical ones work better but there’s something that’s very enjoyable about working that grainy cream into your skin. Unfortunately, a lot of physical exfoliators can be too harsh and scratch the skin or contain microbeads. Both a big no no! So I’ve had a hard time finding a good physical exfoliator.


Why I love it!

Mixed with water it forms paste that feels lovely on the skin as you work it in. You can almost see the dead skin cells being removed. My skin looks fresh and glowy after. Also, it doesn’t leave any annoying bits stuck in your hair!


Why it works!

The powder is made from rice powder which has long been loved by the Japanese as a natural exfoliating ingredient. Enriched with vitamins and marine minerals, including seaweed, the superfine powder activates with water.



Available at Kinvara Online

Best of Beauty - The Products that WOWed me in 2018! Why NIOD Mastic Must made the cut.

My two other purchases from NIOD were masks which thankfully lived up to the hype.


NIOD Mastic Must

Mastic Mud (also known as MM) helps to clean out and refine your pores. The name comes from its main ingredient Mastic Gum – sap from the Mastic Tree.


Why I love it!

My pores literally shrink in front of my eyes. I also find my skin looks more even and makeup stays put for longer.


Why it works!

It has antiseptic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and healing properties and sort of sticks to the impurities and removes them when you rinse it off.


You can use it all over the face but I tend to use it on my t zone and part of my cheeks where I’m conscious of my pores. I use it as a mask in the morning or before doing my make up for a night out. Weirdly it’s recommended to use a blowdryer on a medium heat setting on the area the mask was on for about 15 seconds as it helps enhance the results. And it does work. My pores are definitely less noticeable.


Available at Deciem, Look Fantastic, Feel Unique,,


While it does have an immediate visible reduction in the size of your pores, it can’t reducing the number of pores, that’s physically impossible (unfortunately)

Best of Beauty - The Products that WOWed me in 2018! Why NIOD Voicemail Masque made the cut.

NIOD Voicemail Masque

Voicemail Masque is a nighttime leave-on masque treatment that fights many of the signs associated with impaired cellular communication.


Why I love it!

My skin just looks really good the next day. I also love the idea of it helping my skin cells communicate, like its a relationship counsellor. I also think it helps my other products work better.


Why it works!

So NIOD tells us that our cells talk to one another and as we grow older the efficiency of our cellular communication decreases which results in the appearance of skin ageing, loss of radiance and less even skin tone. This mask works on treating this communication rather than specific skin cells so it gets the skin working for itself.


Use it at night time once or twice a week, apply it over your usual serum once it has soaked it then leave it on for the night and wash off in the morning. I’d recommend giving it time to “set” don’t worry it doesn’t get hard, but you want it to be dry enough that it doesn’t go all over your pillow!

ps, it’s not recommended for very oily skin types and should not be applied on peeling or irritated skin.


Available at Deciem,  Feel Unique, and

Best of Beauty - The Products that WOWed me in 2018! Why The Ordinary Buffet + Copper Peptides made the cut.


As you know I’m slightly obsessed with The Ordinary….. Two products that I used this year that really stood out was the Buffet and Copper Peptides 1% and Organic Cold Pressed Borage Seed Oil.

The Ordinary Buffet and Copper Peptides 1%

I’ve been wanting to try Niod Copper Amino Isolate Serum 2:1 ( known as CAIS2 – A copper peptide serum that for some is the holy grail) for ages! So I was delighted when The Ordinary brought out Buffet + copper peptides. I hadn’t been that bothered about the original buffet as I was having too much fun picking out other peptide formulas to try. But the copper peptides was released at the right time when I was nearly finished my Matrixyl 10% + HA and was looking for a new product to play with.  It’s a good bit more expensive than the usual  Ordinary products (€28.90 compared to the average price of  €10/12) but still less than the CAIS2 (€45.60) so it was purchased straight away!


Why I love it!

It helps blemishes heal faster, which is a saviour for someone who picks at their skin ( I know I’m a terrible person) . I’ve also recently moved up to 1% retinol without any problems and I’m sure the reason my skin has taken to it so well is the because of the copper peptides. Also, it’s blue! Which for some reason I think is really cool…

Why it works!

I won’t get all scientific but basically, Copper peptides are meant to keep the skin in a constant state of repair, they’re like supervisors who make sure every skin cell works as it should. This combined with the other wonderful peptides in the Buffet formula help to keep your skin top shape. Think of it as a personal trainer for your skin cells..

You should use the serum first on clean skin and allow to soak in before applying the rest of your serums. Don’t use it with strong Vitamin C products, as Vitamin C can make it ineffective. I tend to use it in the evening time with my retinol and save my Vit C for the morning.

Available Deciem, Cult Beauty,, Look Fantastic and Feel Unique

Best of Beauty - The Products that WOWed me in 2018! Why The Ordinary Borage Seed Oil made the cut.

Image credit to brand

The Ordinary Borage Seed Oil


Rosehip oil is my usual go to for my regular facial oil but The Ordinary Borage Seed oil caught my attention as it has a high concentration of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which is an important essential fatty acid (EFAs).


Why I love it!

It has been a big help in stopping my naturally dry skin becoming even dryer in the winter months. Plus my skin is also less irritated.


Why it works!

Healthy skin depends on adequate amounts of EFAs, for moisture, suppleness and smoothness as well as preventing skin disorders. A deficiency of fatty acids results among other things, in dry skin. Something I always have, especially in winter. The GLA in Borage Seed Oil also has an anti-inflammatory effect. (Sciencey part) It helps to control the release of molecules that are responsible for the body’s inflammatory responses. It has been shown to help treat and prevent skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. There is also a whole range of other health benefits that GLA has like helping with arthritis and respiratory issues.


The main downside to it is the smell. Now I don’t notice it that much but others have reported that it smells horrible. So if you have a rubbish sense of smell like me and are struggling with dry skin, this could be the oil for you. But at €4.80 let’s be honest this oil is for everyone!

Available Deciem,,

Best of Beauty - The Products that WOWed me in 2018! Why The Inkey List Retinol 1% made the cut.

The Inkey Retinol 1%

I’ve been mainly using The Ordinary retinol products for the last year or so and have been building up to a higher percentage. My latest one was 0.5% in Squalane and I just didn’t like it. For some reason it didn’t sit well on my skin, I much preferred when they did it in an emulsion. Because of this, I decided to try out The Inkey Retinol. They only have it in 1%, which is pretty strong but I decided to go for it and would just use it a few times a week.

Why I love it!

It’s a light serum which soaks into the skin really quickly. I didn’t have any side effects and very quickly I’ve been able to use it every night. Using retinol for me is more about preventative skincare, than reducing fine lines but I did find it has helped with areas on my forehead.

Why it works!

The Inkey Retinol uses TWO forms of vitamin A: 1% stable, slow-release retinol + 0.5% hydroxypinacolone retinoate (a.k.a. granactive retinoid). To go into why Retinol works you’ll need to read this post


Available Feel Unique and Cult Beauty

Best of Beauty - The Products that WOWed me in 2018! Why Kinvara Hyaluronic Youth Boost made the cut.

Kinvara Hyaluronic Youth Boost 

I drown my skin in Hyaluronic Acid so I am always on the lookout for a good serum. I picked up this Irish brand having already fallen in love with its exfoliating powder.


Why I love it!

Hyaluronic acid helps to hydrate and plump the skin – I must do a post on why everyone needs to be using this! I find I can see a bigger plumping in the skin with this serum. It soaks into my skin really quickly and doesn’t pill. I originally thought I would go through it really quickly as it’s quite a small tube but a little goes a long way and it’s lasted a lot longer than I expected!


Why it works!

Well, the main ingredient is hyaluronic acid, which I’ve already proclaimed my love for but the other ingredient is Turmeric – which is anti-inflammatory and is an antioxidant ie great for the skin!! Also, the slight yellow tint from the Tumeric gives your skin a glow!


Available at Kinvara online

Best of Beauty - The Products that WOWed me in 2018! Why The Inkey List Turmeric made the cut.

The Inkey Tumeric


Tumeric has been making its way into skincare products recently and for good reason! It has amazing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. My uber sensitive skin gets irritated at everything and occasionally I get flare-ups of Seborrheic Dermatitis and I find home made mask with pink clay and turmeric really helps to bring down the redness. So I was sold already when I saw this advertised.


Why I love it!

Touch wood, so far my skin hasn’t been that dry or irritable this winter and I put that down to this moisturiser, the Hemp oil and the borage oil I have been using.  Its soft creamy texture melts into my skin really easily and for about €10 you can’t go wrong. Although it is quite a small bottle a little goes a long way. I’ve been using it for about 4 months now, mainly in the morning and it’s still going strong.


Why it works!

As well as turmeric, it also contains oats (great for irritated itchy skin), coconut and squalane keeps the skin soft and prevents dehydration. As with all of their formulas, The Inkey List kept out any potential irritants like denatured alcohol and fragrant plant oils used to scent a product to make it more appealing. That must have been particularly tempting with this one as has a bit of a spicy odour but it doesn’t linger long.

This is great for sensitive and dry skin types but because of the coconut oil base, I’d avoid it if you have oily/acne skin.

Available Feel Unique and Cult Beauty.

Best of Beauty - The Products that WOWed me in 2018! Why The Inkey List Hemp Oil made the cut.

The Inkey Hemp Oil

The other moisturiser that piqued my interest from the Inkey is Hemp Oil. Like Tumeric, you are going to be seeing a lot more of hemp and CBD as skin care ingredients.  Already there are a lot of products launching this year proclaiming hemp and CBD to be the new saviour of our skin!

Why I love it!

Like the Tumeric cream, I credit this with helping to stop my skin getting dry and irritated this winter. It’s very lightweight oil/cream that soaks into my skin really quickly.

Why it works

Hemp oil contains high levels of fatty acids, which are great at really feeding the skin and keeping cells nourished and energised. Hemp oil targets stressed skin and help calm irritation by moisturising and plumping the surface of the skin.

This is great at stopping your skin from getting dry but if your skin is already very dry you would need something with a bit more punch. Again it has a coconut oil base so I would avoid it if you have oily and acne prone skin.


Available Feel Unique and Cult Beauty


If I have time, I’ll try and do my Makeup picks from 2018 but the one that really stood out to me was IT Cosmetics CC cream. I love this! I’d marry it if I could.


What were your favourite beauty products of 2018? Are you interested in trying any of these products? Let me know in the comments below!






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