2012 favourites vol. I – skincare

It’s the most hotly anticipated awards since the Oscars – the ‘Best of 2012 by Obscure Beauty Blog’ awards. I thought to make it a bit interesting I’d also mention the products that I’m comparing the winner’s too, so that you know I’ve actively judged the two against one another, rather than that I just haven’t used a certain product. So, without further ado:

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1) Best moisturiser: La Roche-Posay Hydraphase UV Intense Legere
I’ve already spoken about this fantastic staple in this post, so I won’t bang on at length, but I truly couldn’t think of a better base for the rest of my skincare routine. Great for hydration and the SPF is a real bonus.
Competition: Alpha-H Daily Essential Moisturiser SPF50, Pai Geranium and Thistle Combination Skin Cream
2) Best toner: tie between Caudalie Beauty Elixir (summer) and Liz Earle Instant Boost Skin Tonic (winter)
Whilst the former is more refreshing and the latter is more nourishing, it would be a hair’s difference between how much I’ve enjoyed these two toners. I love the fact that they both have spritzing mechanisms so I’m not wasting a load of cotton wool, and they’re both brilliantly refreshing for morning and evening use. The Caudalie is particulary fantastic for waking me up when some of the more tedious literary heavyweights are lulling me into sleep. I’m on my fourth or fifth bottle of Caudalie, and the Liz Earle seems completely bottomless but I’ll definitely repurchase. It’s also at a great price point for such a lovely product.
Competition: N/A
3) Best cleanser: balanceMe cleanse and smooth face balm
Whilst I don’t live or die by the exfoliation action in this cleanser, the combination of organic/junk free ingredients and the way it offers me clear, glowing skin, I’ve proudly repurchased this and will continue to do so. If you don’t use a balm cleanser, by the way, I’d really suggest giving it a go.
Competition: Boots Botanics Face Smoothing Cleansing Balm, Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish, Bioderma micellar solution
4) Best mask: Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask
This is allegedly to be used once a week but in the winter I’ve upped it to two or three times. I’ve had it about four months now and I seem to have only made the slightest dent, so my one complaint would be that I’m anxious to use it up before it loses any of its potency. Leaves my skin smooth, and glowing, and it gives me some of that sweet sweet chemical exfoliation action. Plus it smells lovely. Great for a Sunday evening.
Competition: Alpha-H Liquid Gold, Korres Instant Brightening and Illuminating Mask
5) Best tool: the humble Primark flannel
Sod the Clarisonic Mia, this is where regular exfoliation is really at. I use a (clean) flannel to take off my cleanser morning and night and I love what it does for my skin. It gives me the feeling of a thorough cleanse without that horrible tight sensation which accompanies harsh, stripping cleansers. Frankly, I feel rather silly for purchasing a Clarisonic when my money would have been better spent on a humble flannel. Ten out of ten for price and performance.
Competition: Clarisonic Mia, Liz Earle muslin cloths
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