My Five Best Beauty Discoveries of 2021
I know, I’m calling it a smidge early this year, technically there’s still two weeks to go, but I’m so ready to see the tail-end of 2021. It’s been a dismal year in most regards for so many people, but there have been quite a few epic new launches (and a few old products that were fab new finds for me) that have found a home on my beauty shelves so let’s kick this post off and start talking about my best beauty discoveries of this year, and maybe… just maybe, 2022 will arrive that little bit sooner.
Murad Intense Recovery Cream
When I think ‘cream’ I think pillow-y, soft, pale, whipped textures. This is not that. Not even close. It’s thick… solid even. I’d call this a balm, a butter, even a salve before I called it a cream, but the name couldn’t matter less because this stuff is solid gold. There’s an in-depth review here, but in short, it melts almost instantly into an oil consistency, but it doesn’t feel oily or greasy at all. It contains indulgent Shea Butter and Macadamia Oil to hydrate and nourish the skin, Microalgae which helps to combat visible signs of stress in the skin and Mirabilis Jalapa Plant Extract to aid in the reduction of redness and irritation. If that wasn’t enough, it also includes a long list of botanicals such as Apple Fruit Extract, Basil Leaf Extract, Spearmint Leaf Oil, Lemon Peel Oil, Turmeric Root Extract and Aloe Vera Flower Extract – which as you can imagine results in one incredible smelling little pot of minty blue balm.
This can feel a little ‘stingy’ on initial application to broken and reactive skin, but after a minute it feels fine and definitely helped to take down redness and discomfort after too much Vitamin A. But for generally unhappy skin – this is actual heaven; hydration and plumpness occur shortly after applying.
Garnier Repair Hand Cream
If 2020 was the year of the face mask, then 2021 was the year of the hand sanitiser, and if you suffer from dry hands (or even if you don’t – these last couple of years have probably given you them) you’ll know that hand creams are a dime a dozen and yet finding a great one is a serious achievement. I’ve never been especially loyal to hand creams, bar a few exceptions (Neutrogena Norwegian Formula was a repeat purchase for years!), so I tend to swap in and out and try new ones all the time. But this year I found and fell hard for Garnier Repair Hand Cream. I also gave it to friends and family and got them addicted too, so it’s definitely not just me that loves it, it’s been among a few people’s best beauty discoveries of this year.
Dr Bronner Lip Balms
If you’re in the market for a quick and easy lip balm in a stick let me point you towards these. The Dr Bronner range comes in four variations; Naked (Unscented), Orange Ginger, Lemon Lime and Peppermint. I have the Naked and the Peppermint ones and I love them so much I’ve bought backups for my handbag, my car, basically everywhere – and at a grand total of $6.55 it doesn’t cost a fortune to stock up. I haven’t been this in love with an inexpensive lip balm since those ridiculous EOS lip balms balls that were an absolute nightmare to fit in pockets and clutches. Do you remember them? The Dr Bronners range are made with Organic Beeswax, Jojoba Oil, Avocado Oil and Hemp, they also don’t contain any synthetic ingredients if that’s something you look to avoid. This little stick of moisture isn’t just reserved for your lips, you can use it on chapped or chaffed skin anywhere, so if your mask straps are irritating your cheeks this can really help.
Bondi Sands Hydra UV Protect SPF50+ Face Fluid
I’m a bit of a fusspot when it comes to most things in life, I’ll admit it, but when it comes to my sunscreen – I have a full-on criteria sheet. I need SPF50+, I need a finish that looks like real skin (not shine or grease misrepresenting itself as ‘dewy’), it needs to be kind to sensitive eyes and it needs to not cost a fortune because it’s the one product I absolutely fly through all year round.
The Bondi Sands Hydra Fluid ticks off all of the above and more. It works well under makeup, it feels comfortable when worn alone and it reapplies over itself again and again without pilling. My only note is to shop around for it, between Priceline, Chemist Warehouse and the supermarkets it’s always on sale somewhere.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Freeze
People often say that eyebrows ‘frame the face’, and after almost two years of regular mask-wearing, I’d say I’m even more invested in my brows than before (didn’t think that was even possible?!). I’m still tinting and shaping them myself (#controlfreak), but for everyday neatening up this is what I reach for. Whether I’m wearing a full face of makeup (very rare) or just sunscreen, the one consistency is that I’ll always have this in my brows. Sometimes I also add some pencil if I’m overdue a tint, but this gel has a way of keeping my sparse hairs facing up which helps them to look full and bushy all day long, which is exactly what my skimpy, blonde brows need.
So there are my top five product finds of the year, what were your top beauty finds of this year? Any new launches you fell in love with?