I never do ‘best of’ lists because I’m indecisive but this year I’ve been super consistent and here I present you my favourite 2020 products!
I’m sure I’ve missed some favourites but there’s a good amount of products from all categories so dig in! Any questions for specific products let me know, most of these products have specific mentions on my Instagram. I’ve focused on products discovered this year (or late late last year) but also included some all-time faves!
2020 has been a hard year for everyone but I know I’m not the only one that enjoyed skincare and makeup as a welcome break from reality and a dose of fun and happiness. For the best part of this year I didn’t wear much makeup, but some days I felt like being creative and experiment with fun makeup looks. I want to keep pushing myself and creating even more fun things next year. This year I have also been very open with my acne and accutane journey. I never thought I’d post my full-on acne face online for the world to see but I’m so glad I did that, because it was not only positive for me — but also helped others and that’s all I want to do with my platform.
I want to be a source of help and inspiration. But this isn’t ‘brave’, showing my real skin isn’t something I feel ‘brave’ doing. It’s honest yes, it’s authentic and raw. But being brave in this situation has some negative connotations and I don’t think showing your real skin should feel like a negative action!
Skincare favourites 2020
Deviant Skincare Cleansing Concentrate (£46 for 100ml) Why didn’t I try this in the past!! Honestly the first time I tried this I knew I’d love it. It’s fragrance-free and essential oil free so will suit people that have issues with these (I don’t personally). It’s a nice texture and removes every bit of makeup. Deviant is a small British brand and they do a lot of research before launching each product. There’s a lot more I want to try from them in future!
The Inkey List Salicylic Acid Cleanser (£10.99)* I’ve talked about Inkey a lot in the past and this is a fantastic cleanser for acne-prone skin. I use it once a week for a deeper cleanse and would recommend it to everyone.
Clinisept Aftercare spray (£14.99) This is an aftercare spray for facialists but it’s also a fantastic microbial and antiseptic spray that will help with maskne and anyone acne-prone. This isn’t drying and it can be used morning and night after cleansing. You can also spray your reusable face mask with this if you don’t have time to wash it!
Alpha-H Liquid Gold (£33.50)* A product I’ve been using for years, and a fantastic liquid AHA exfoliant (5% glycolic acid). Also the perfect lazy girl product, as on the nights you use this, you don’t need to use anything else. Cleanse, apply this directly on dry skin and done! You can apply other products on top if you wish, but it’s stronger when you don’t.
Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Pads (£19 for pack of 5)* Another awesome and cult exfoliant, this contains both AHA and BHA and it is INTENSE! I wouldn’t use this more than once a week if that, I actually use it less sparingly as I don’t want to compromise my barrier. I wish they were biodegradable! You use the 1 pad first that’s the exfoliant and the 2 that’s the neutraliser.
Avène Hydrance Rich (£15.50) was my fave winter cream especially while on accutane. It’s thick and works well! I used it most of this year. I also love the Indeed Labs Hydraluron Intense Moisture Lotion (£24) which is comparable, but Avène is a little easier to get hold of depending on your location.
REN Skincare Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream (£36)* I was using this one as an AM or PM cream actually and it contains some oils so was good when I felt particularly dry, or on retinoid nights. It’s comforting and targets redness. The packaging is infinitely recyclable which is so great!
Murad Nutrient-Charged Water Gel (£50)* A super lightweight and smooth moisturiser. Loved this in the summer! Would work well for all skin types especially the oily ones.
Frezyderm Velvet Sunscreen SPF50 (£15.99) A summer discovery this is an elegant sunscreen that’s velvet and a little mattifying. I wish it was slightly more dewy/glowy but it’s good for the summer as I’m usually hot and sweaty then! The texture and finish is just like the Supergoop Unseen Screen but this is SPF50 which I much prefer. I’ve compared them both here. I really like the colour version too that’s adaptable. The reason I don’t recommend the tinted one, is because I’m not sure HOW adaptable it is.
Faace Period Mask (£22.50)* Is a brilliant mask with green tea and lavender and other calming, antioxidant and cleansing properties. As the name reveals, it’s the perfect mask when you’re on your period!
Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask (£42)* You either love or hate that one and initially I wasn’t a huge fan but it worked wonders for my (now) dry skin. I prefer using it at nighttime as an overnight mask instead of under makeup. Under makeup it really doesn’t work for me, which is how I tried it initially and wasn’t a fan.
SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Masque (£60)* So smoothing/does it all and one I’d recommend for everyone. This is good if you have a break-out but also great if you experience irritation for whatever reason. My derm loves this too and she’s said you can leave it on for a few hours, no need to wash off right away. It’s a very runny gel and you only need a small amount so will last your a while!
Makeup favourites 2020
Kjaer Weis Cream Foundation (£51)* Luminous finish, refillable packaging and a sustainable brand! Love the finish of this, it’s quite natural, your skin but better!
UOMA Beauty Stay Woke Concealer (£21) A replacement for the Tarte Shape Tape, it works very well for under eyes and it’s a Black-owned brand with ALL the shades you could need!
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer (£30) I bought this after a makeup artist’s recommendation when it comes to covering spots and was she right! It’s an awesome product even though I was always ‘scared’ of concealer palettes. I use with a (clean) finger or a small brush on spots or under eyes. I have SC-3 but next time I’ll get SC-4 as I use the darker shade more often than the lighter.
Róen Beauty 11:11 palette (£37) The glittering palette by Róen beauty, one I had my eye on well before it launched in the UK, has been my most used this year. This is me in a palette – so glittery and love the 11:11 name too. Can be worn many different ways, the only way it doesn’t work is with liquid liner on top, as I discovered here.
Makeup by Mario Master Metallics Eyeshadow Palette (£47) If you don’t know Mario (Kim K’s makeup artist) you’re missing out! He’s created Kim’s most ICONIC looks and collaborated with Kim on two palettes in the past and one with Anastasia Beverly Hills. I have all of his palettes so HAD to have one from his namesake brand. I had to go for the metallics! I haven’t tried all the shadows yet (see swatches here) but love the ones I have. Also, this is a lot smaller than I thought it would be, but the individual shades are quite big.
Nars Climax Mascara (£22) I didn’t think much of this when I first saw the launch as I know I love a plastic wand. I know, I generally hate plastic, but mascara wands are damaging anyway so I don’t think it makes much of a difference. I digress! This separates, volumises and doesn’t flake (at least not on me!)
Chanel Healthy Glow Bronzing Cream (£42) So actually I love the previous version of this but for the sake of this list to make sense, I am featuring the new and supposedly improved version. This contains coconut oil but I imagine it’s a very small quantity so it would be fine for all skin types. But Chanel being Chanel this is clearly not inclusive as it wouldn’t suit all skin types!!
Nudestix Nudies Matte (£28)* I tried these last December (see here) and they are the perfect no makeup makeup look, you blend them out with the little brush in the back or fingers. It works as eye shadow and on lips too. Love it!
Dior Backstage Glow Face Palette 001 (£32.40) I’ve been trying to stay away from this ‘trendy’ palette but couldn’t resist. Can be used all-over the face and it’s glowy and shimmery? Sign me up!!
Chanel Baume Essentiel Transparent (£33) I looked high and low for this one this summer, the perfect ‘glow from within’ in a luxe stick! Yes there are cheaper versions from other brands but I wanted this specific one!! I called 3 shops every week for 3 weeks in Athens and ended up finding the last one at the airport. Love. IT.
Lisa Eldridge Velvet Fawn Lipstick (£26) Thanks to Lisa for making the PERFECT nude. Seriously this is my favourite nude, not too matte not too drying and the perfect colour for me. End of story! Unfortunately, it’s out of stock but sign up to the list if you want to get it!
Fenty Gloss Bomb Lip Luminiser Diamond Milk (£17) Why didn’t I try this sooner! This made me think that lip glosses aren’t sticky and horrible any more.
Bodycare favourites 2020
Rabot 1745 Salt and Lemongrass Scrub (£16)* this is soo uplifting and works well! Also the empty cup is a reusable coffee cup!! It’s your typical thick sugar scrub. I apply it all over and then get in the bath, I find it works better this way!
Nécessaire The Body Exfoliator ($30) I got the sandalwood scent and I’m obsessed! It’s a super fine scrub and the packaging is also very nice. It works really well and leaves my skin super soft.
CeraVe Moisturising Cream (£9)* Gets the job done, leaves my skin super soft and replenishes any lost moisture overtime. We love ceramides! I so wish this was scented but we can’t have it all!
Korres Cucumber Hyaluronic Splash Sunscreen SPF50 (£20) This was a great discovery as it’s similar to the Vichy water SPF but I wanted to support Korres as it’s a Greek brand! I wish the spray was different as it may look fun but it didn’t work super well. But the cucumber scent is uplifting and it also cools the skin down. Beware though this isn’t for very sunny places (like a boat) and also, of course, stay away from the sun as much as possible.
Haircare favourites 2020
Grow Gorgeous Intense Serum (£60)* I’ve posted a review and before/after of this on my Instagram earlier this year and it’s AMAZING how much it helped my hair growth. I wasn’t too sure it would, but the results speak for themselves. The 30ml bottle lasted me around 2 months with daily use, but the 90ml (linked) will last a lot longer so it’s a better price.
Hairstory New Wash (£44)* is a sulphate-free hair wash that leaves hair clean but not stripped. I only use sulphate-free hair products but this particular one works super well every time and it’s been a delightful discovery this year. When combined with the SA treatment, it’s a dream resulting in super soft hair and frizz-free too.
Inkey List Salicylic Acid Treatment (£11.99)* is a must-have for a deeper scalp cleanse! I’ve spoken about scalp health in the past and mentioned this hair treatment line (here). This is great as a once a week treatment to cleanse your scalp and remove any product build-up. Salicylic helps with sebum, so it’s suitable even if you have oily hair.
Coco & Eve Super Nourishing Coconut & Fig Hair Masque (£34.90)* is a cult brand that I hadn’t tried before and I’m so glad I did!! To be honest I didn’t think it would be any different than my beloved Philip Kingsley Elasticizer or cheaper drugstore options BUT I was pleasantly surprised. Combined with the shampoo and scalp treatment mentioned above, this is *chefs kiss*.
Living Proof Perfect hair Day weightless Mask (£33)* is another favourite from this year as it helps massively with my hair’s frizz and also defines my waves more which I love. I use this or the above.
Misc favourites 2020
Atelier Cologne Santal Carmin Cologne Absolue (£95 for 30ml)* Okay this is soo so nice!! I don’t generally like heavier scents but this has a perfect balance of notes and it’s perfect for winter, warm and woody, bergamot and it’s quite sexy. It’s unisex btw!
Oskia Safe Hands Hand Gel sanitiser (£8)* What would this year be without a favourite hand sanitiser right?! This is a light gel and it doesn’t dry my hands out!
CeraVe Reparative Hand Cream (£6)* Again, hand creams are a 2020 essential right! This in combination with the Weleda are my top choices. This is lightweight enough to use during the day and it’s super reparative, thanks to ceramides! It saved my hands from dermatitis while on accutane.
Weleda Skin Food (£12.95)* is a fantastic product for face, body and hands. I use this as a hand cream and occasionally as a body cream for dry patches (though they now have a body cream in the line). I don’t use this for my face as it’s a bit too thick for my acne-prone skin but it’s amazing as a hand cream!! It’s quite thick so I apply it at night only.
CBVIT CBD oil 16% 1500mg (£59.99)* I’ve tried 3 or 4 CBD tincture oils this year and this is the only one that worked for me. I took it before bed and it helped me relax. I didn’t take it every night but the nights I felt more stressed/anxious. If you choose to try CBD make sure it’s broad-spectrum and it contains terpenes as these are actually gonna help, see some tips here. Anything else won’t.
Hayo’u Beauty Restorer Gua Sha set (£63) I’ve sang gua sha’s praises MANY times and this is by far my favourite brand to use. I’ve tried a few others but I like the quality and ethos of Hayo’u the most.