If you’re anything like me, you’re anticipating lovely new products to play with over Christmas and New Year; whether you’ve bought ’em yourself, or cheekily, ahem, thoughtfully, sent your loved ones a wish list you wrote on the interwebs

But before we get lost in the shiny and new, let’s reflect on our everyday heroes – the products that made our lives smoother, easier and just a little more glossy this year. 

C’mon, I’ll start, and you can join in in the comments. 


Twenty thirteen was the year that my fondness for creams turned into a full-blown cosmetic crush. From Chanel’s cream blushers, to the Bourjois Bronzing Primer, and Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Cream Shadow Stick in Bronze (a current obsession from the Christmas collection), these products require no artistry, or time, to look flawless.

I was equally smitten with crayons, loving Catrice and Bourjois on my lips, Max Factor Caramel Rage on my eyes and, my standout shade of the year, Smashbox Black Gold Shadow Liner (which I’ve worn to a nub, but still use).

And let’s not forget lipsticks, cosmetic candy of the gods (Venus and Aphrodite, anyway): for me, Urban Decay’s Revolution lippies, €19, were the best in show. The orangey Bang, true red F-Bomb and hot pink Anarchy are all sensations


Do you like big hair? (And also very big product names?) Then the L’Oreal Paris Studio Line #TXT Volume Supersizing Spray is a must. Launching right in time for the party season, this here is a backcomb in a bottle – but without that annoying stickiness. Hands down the best volumiser I’ve tried. Like, ever. It’s also just over a fiver. 

Base Products 

After much irritation at legions of substandard creams, April finally brought me The One. Clinique’s Moisture Surge SPF 30 CC Cream, €35, was on my face constantly throughout spring and summer, for its brightening, glow giving ways. 

In autumn, Chanel swooped in with their CC Cream Correction Complete SPF 30, €50: it’s less dewy, and offers more coverage. Great on its own, it’s also exceptionally pretty under a dusting of the brand’s featherlight powder foundation, Vitalumiere Compact Douceur.


What with all this dialling down in the coverage stakes, your skin needs to be in fairly good nick to cope with these new-gen bases. Which would strike dread into my uneven-toned and acne prone visage were it not for two things: fabulous treatments (which I will share with you anon), and equally fabulous skincare. 

Renew Clinic on Hatch Street, Dublin 2, turned me on to the Image MD range (which is only available from clinics). With retinol, glycolic acid and Vitamin C, the Reconstructive Repair Creme is a triple threat to aging, blemish prone skin. 

It’s excellent, but pricey at €69; lucky for me, so, that I’ve shaved a few quid off my skincare spend elsewhere, thanks to L’Oreal’s Skin Perfection Line. At €12.29 for the cleansing oil and €7.69 for the micellar water, these are gems of products that get the job done well at a very affordable price points. Love ’em lots. 

G’wan, tell us, what really did it for you?