This year I've discovered so many new brands, fab products and amazing concoctions to share with you that it's time to stop and take a breath. I wanted to whittle down the hundreds (or is it thousands) of beautifying beauties in to my top ten of 2010 - geddit? So here are the first LBQ awards. Sit back, relax and enjoy. (Then spend.)
Top Cleanser - Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish
I'd heard lots about both this brand and product but had never had the chance to try it myself. When C&P first touched my face I knew it would be a life-long partnership as no other cleanser had ever made me feel the way it did... clean, fresh, smooth and supple. This lead me to discover the rest of the amazing Liz Earle range and I've never looked back. This should be on every woman's bathroom shelf.
Top Bath Product - Aromatherapy Associates bath oil
If you follow me on twitter you inevitably know about Bath Tuesdays - the days when I come home, kick off my kecks and chillax in a long, hot bath. Bath Tuesdays should really be re-named AA Tuesdays because I rarely use another product. The bath oils from this brand not only look fabulous in their little frosted bottles, but they smell amazing and really ignite the senses. Baths just aren't the same without them.
Top Mascara - Revlon, Grow Luscious
My lashes have been pulled and pinched every which way this year, under the excuse that I'm hunting for the perfect mascara. The closest I think I have ever come is Revlon's Grow Luscious, purely because every mascara I've used since just hasn't lived up to its wonder. The large brush makes my lashes thick, voluminous, long and separated... you usually have to pick one or the other, but with Grow Luscious you can be as greedy as you like.
Top Perfume - Balenciaga
I'm a massive perfume fiend (at the moment I have around 20 on the go) but ever since I sniffed this fragrance I knew it was for me. The musky, slightly masculine but beautiful, notes take you right through from a Monday morning to a Saturday night - it's the one scent I use when I want to impress, but it's not too much for the day. The brand is classic and the bottle reflects that... a very understated look and a launch in 2010 which was somewhat under the radar.
Top Shampoo/Conditioner - Tommy Guns
The amount of shampoops I've tried this year could sink a battle ship, but the one that I seem to have the most pleasure in using is Tommy Guns. A new addition to my bathroom, I love the angular bottles, the scents, the ingredients and that fact that that they're still affordable. They leave my hair soft and shiny without build-up, plus they smell delicious and make washing my hair a pleasurable experience rather than a chore.
Top Styling Product - Phyto, Phytodefrisant relaxing balm
This was my 'eureka' product of the year without a doubt. I spend so much time straightening and styling my hair from the frizzy mess I was born with into the sleek bob I fashion every day. This relaxing balm has not only cut my styling time in half, but it also saves my hair from needing to be re-styled throughout the day or when it's cold/rainy/humid. Even my housemate had an 'o' for a mouth when she ran into my room saying "I need some de-frizzing stuff". You need such a small amount that the £12.50 price point is an absolute bargain.
Top Foundation - Bare Minerals
This isn't a vaguely new brand or product, but it's a new addition to my make-up routine. I was very sceptical about mineral make-up having seen some truly appalling copies in high street chemists, but this revolutionised how I do my make-up. I'm lucky enough to have pretty good skin that doesn't require a heavy foundation, but this gives me a flawless finish which looks invisible while staying put all day. It makes you look really healthy, while actually helping your skin too.
Top Cheapo Brand - Elf
The day I found Elf is the best day in my make-up history. Cheap means not-so-cheerful in my book because you normally get what you pay for, but in this case cheap gets you fab products in fab colours that work wonders. You can do a haul on their website and not even spend twenty quid. Their eyeliners are to die for, their lipglosses worth their weight in gold and their colours right on-trend. There's no better way to spend a fiver than on Elf make-up.
Top Make-up Range - MeMeMe
There are so many make-up brands to choose from this was the most difficult category. The reason MeMeMe have won in my eyes is because they have continually surprised me throughout 2010. In my mind they were a bit cheap, a bit rubbish and not very good quality - in reality they're now a brand I covet, that has amazingly designed packaging which could compete with brands five times their price, and they make amazing quality products for their price point. Their nail varnishes are my most used and loved, their eyeshadows have graced my eyes more times over the festive period than any other and their blush hasn't been replaced by another brand in six months. If you're in need of a 2011 makeover, then MeMeMe could be the brand to help you on your way.
Top Must-Have - Batiste dry shampoo
Ahhh, last but by no means least, one of my all-time favourites. Batiste have seen me through the good times (Reading Festival 2006) and the bad times (Big Chill 2010) as well as the day-to-day times (too late getting out of bed to wash hair.) There is no other product that I make sure I have to hand at all times, because it does the job I want it to. Add this to the fact that in 2010 they've launched fab new variants including the shimmer cans, Batiste Nude and the British version which is now my personal fave. All bow to Batiste.
So there you have it, my top ten products of 2010. Here's hoping 2011 will be as fun-filled and beautiful. What are your fave products of the year?