Beauty, Fashion, Travel, Fitness, Wellness and Lifestyle Blog | Emtalks

Sunday, 3 January 2021

The Best Beauty Products Of 2020

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Every year I do a huge round up of the best beauty products of the year (read my top beauty products of 2019 if you missed it), today, I want to challenge myself and I am only choosing 10-12 of the top, creme de la creme: I-have-used-these-most-days products! I mix and match my beauty products a lot, depending on my mood and my skin/body needs but here I am, plucking out the ones that have been used and loved the most. I promise you, these items have been daily saviours, they're my 2020 holy grail beauty items and I am so excited to talk you through them! 

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The holy grail, most used products of 2020, in no particular order: 

1. Redken Extreme - The Redken Extreme range is one of the best haircare ranges out there, particularly for damaged hair. The Redken Extreme shampoo is a holy grail in my household and is developed specifically for damaged hair that needs some love (me). It's designed to strengthen and repair the strands from root to tip, I then pop the Redken PlaySafe cream through my hair before blowdrying, it's a 3-in-1 hair treatment that protects your hair from heat and also minimises further breakage as it's a powerful blend of proteins to seal the hair fibres. My hair has been so much better since using it these products. Towards the end of the year I switched to using Redken Extreme Length range as I really want to grow my hair (I've been trying for years!), it's enriched with biotin to help with growth. 

2. If you're looking for something specifically for blondes, I've also mixed and matched and used the Elvive Anti-Brassiness mask which unlike many purple hair products, doesn't damage my hair, hooray! It's really helped to keep my colour strong through a year where I haven't really been able to get it coloured much... aka, I have had it coloured twice this whole year *sobs*.  I miss my Sassoon Leeds hair dressers but at least I've been able to look after my hair at home this year! 

3. Olaplex - In one respect, not having my hair coloured much this year has been great for it as it's give it a break from bleach, but on the flip side,  I haven't been able to have my hair cut (usually I get my hair cut every 7-8 weeks!) so I am aware it's probably very damaged from lack of cutting, even though I haven't been using colour much - it's a double edged sword! Another hair saviour of mine has been Olaplex  I literally wish I had endless supplies so I could use their hair mask every single week. I first discovered Olaplex at Space NK and have been hooked ever since. There's a reason everyone you speak to says it saved their hair, basically a not-so-secret hair restorer/ultimate hair range for damaged hair. Olaplex No.3 is a really good, strong treatment, I leave it on for 10-20 minutes before washing it. I feel like I'm being so kind to my hair when I use this. The downside? I go through this so quickly. 

4. Dyson Airwrap - I don’t know how I ever lived without the Dyson Airwrap, it has fully revolutionised my life. I'm sure most of you know about my hair troubles, particularly troubles with growing my hair. I had really bad, damaged hair for years and finding the Dyson Airwrap has meant I can dry it and style it so quickly - just like a bouncy blow dry, without compromising the health of my hair as it is blowing air out onto my hair so it doesn't damage it. My boyfriend uses it too on his hair as there are interchangeable heads so you can dry your hair, curl it or, go for a smooth look. I still think the Dyson Hairdryer packs more power but I use this more often now because I can literally dry and style it in one go, I love the bouncy curls you get with the Dyson Airwrap. You can get it online here and here 

5. Neutrogena Hydroboost body - If you read my top body moisturisers blog post you'll know all about this hero range, face level skincare but for the body, a light-weight, quick absorbing body moisturiser and it keeps your skin glowing and hydrated even the next morning. I love it because it soaks into my skin quickly but it's a moisturiser for your body, powered with hyaluronic acid, meaning it is super hydrating - great for hot summers and cold winters too when your skin is dehydrated. You can step straight into clothes and as we know this is a major bonus because many body products are super sticky! 

6. Of course, I cannot mention body moisturisers and ignore Kiehl's Creme De Corps, if you're after a premium body moisturiser, this gives you cloud like hydration and is more of a whipped cream than a gel. It is probably one of the most opulent body creams and the smell just takes me back to holidays. I want to eat it, it really is a winter skin saviour. 

7. SkinCeuticals Retinol - 2020, the year I fell head over heels in love with SkinCeuticals, I use their products daily. They are the creme de la creme of scientific skincare. I could talk about their epic products all day long (you may like my 5 of the best face serums blog post). SkinCeuticals Retinol is a godsend, in the first week my skin was red and a bit like 'woah what is this?!' but after a week off and back to it every other night, my skin loves this retinol. It's a good 'starter' retinol as it isn't too high % wise and it definitely works for me. I was told to start retinol in my mid-20's to help with anti-ageing (anti-ageing should be apparently preventative rather than whacking wrinkle cream on when you're 95, aka, apply it before you get the ageing), whilst it apparently doesn't show you the effects immediately, retinol will apparently help in the future but honestly, my skin feels softer, smoother and happier applying this already. I was also told to couple it with a daily vitamin C, that's where SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF comes in. This is a miracle serum and so many people have said this has totally changed their skin. I can confirm, my skin feels so glowy. I use the gel version and would layer with anything else my skin needs, eg, SPF or moisturiser. This little bottle does a lot: helps prevent free radical damage, diminishes the appearance of discolouration and improves skin tone and texture. It has 2% phloretin and 10% pure vitamin c so it's pretty powerful. It's topical to provide advanced protection against environmental damage... amazing if you live in a crazy busy city. To conclude? It makes my skin feel bright and vitamin C is basically a hero brightening product so it's going to give you that brighter complexion.  

8. Elizabeth Arden CapsulesI can't talk about beauty and not talk about Elizabeth Arden. I have been using products from Elizabeth Arden for over 10 years, one of my holy grail brands. It really is hard for me to choose a favourite but a product that comes everywhere with me, whether it's a staycation or a trip around the world? Elizabeth Arden Capsules... one small but mighty capsule (the perfect amount for your face) and it means you can take these little beauties wherever with you, whether it's popping one open on a flight for hydration or before bed in a hotel. You have a few choices and I honestly love them all so it depends on your skins needs...you have Elizabeth Arden Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules  - a radiance renewal serum, Vitamin C is the answer for me on a daily basis as I want bright, even-toned skin... Arden basically combined two powerhouse ingredients here to give us Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules, Vitamin C for it's brightening superpowers and Ceramides to prolong the skins youthful glow - them you have Elizabeth Arden's Retinol capsules - perfect before bed for anti-ageing and one of my favourites since it launched - and lastly, the newbie, Elizabeth Arden Hyaluronic Acid Ceramide Capsules Hydra-Plumping Serum - intense hydration for the skin, with ceramide too for plumping, a double whammy. Also, these capsules are biodegradable too and SO handy for travels. I've been a life long fan of Arden capsules and they just keep getting better! 

9. Vita Liberata Fabulous Mist Tan - I love fake tan far too much and in 2020 I discovered the holy grail tan, Vita Liberata Fabulous Mist Tan. Why do I love it? The colour is so beautiful, deep and bronzed, without being orange. It comes out SO easy, a nice, light mist that dries so quickly. It doesn't smell and it doesn't ruin my bed sheets either as it's basically like a clear water. This is definitely one of the best all rounder tans I have come across, seamless, easy application, no mess and the most perfect colour. 

10. Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream - The best selling moisturiser for a reason! This product is a total holy grail moisturiser and works SO well with all the serums I have mentioned on this blog post. This is basically designed for sensitive skin and for harsh weather conditions so it's perfect when your skin is unhappy and dry during the winter months, but light-weight and not at all heavy feeling so works throughout the year too. I have been using this on and off for years and years. It's designed to provide 24 hour lasting hydration in extreme cold and seriously, it works. My brother takes this on all his ski trips! I haven't really had dry facial skin this year because I've been using this! Add in a drop or two of their famous Midnight Recovery Oil too and you really are onto a hydration and glowy skin winner. Your skin will drink it right up. 

On the topic of Kiehls, whilst it's on sale, don't forget Kiehls Ultra Light Daily UV Defense SPF50, I have to talk about their SPF because it has been a godsend, SPF should be worn daily under make up, even on winter days / make up free days when you are going outside. This is one of the best facial SPFs as it's non-greasy, doesn't break me out plus protects my skin against the harsh city pollution too and of course, is SPF 50... it actually looks great with no make up over too. It's hard to find an SPF that doesn't ruin your make up! I think this enhances it. It's currently in the sale online here.

11. Elemis Cleansing balm - This cleanser makes my best beauty products of the year, every single year without fail. I can name at least 30 of my friends who all swear by this too! I mix and match my cleansers a lot - there are so many good ones out there but I always have this one on hand, stocked up and ready to grab. Elemis Cleansing balm is the perfect lazy cleanser, you pop it all over your face and it literally melts everything away! It usually retails at £44 but right now there's a set on offer including the full sized cleanser, plus a candle and more for £47 - grab the bargain online here. Amazing savings! This cleanser deeply cleanses the skin but feels so soft, it's also natural too so no nasties inside this - perfectly gentle but really does remove even harsh eye make up. 

12. Ren Skincare Seakelp Range - Ren very quickly became a hero brand of mine when they launched their Seakelp Range - it takes me back to the ocean, my happy place. This is just the dreamiest range and utterly perfect for my sore muscles too, their anti-fatigue body wash is my favourite plus the bottles are made from ocean plastic and recycled plastic. 

13. I am a sucker for body products so couldn't end this post without mentioning another eco-friendly favourite brand of the year, L'Occitane. Their Almond range in particular is divine, my whole family adore it. Their shower oil is a particular favourite for nourishing my body, the scent is just out of this world and I love how much L'Occitane continue to do for the planet - check out their charity and recycling initiatives. I struggle to find a favourite when it comes to L'Occitane as everything they produce is dreamy, from their (now eco) packaging, to their beautiful, luxurious yet calming body ranges. A whole house of L'Occitane is a dream come true, take me back to a French chateau please! 

14. Last but certainly not least on the body, Molton Brown Milk Musk range, it gives me such happy memories of pre-spring, a time before covid - the scent kind of makes me feel like a cosy, clean baby, wrapped up by a fire with fresh bed linen and a cosy dressing gown. I love Molton Brown hand products too but this scent is just out of this world. 

Lots of love, Em x

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