So, with it being the end of the year, there is no better time for me to share with you some of my top brands/finds/experiences from 2015. So, I decided to do my own little awards ceremony...well, blog post - same thing!
This year has been one of discovering lots of new brands, products and things to love. I've tried a lot of new beauty products and experimented with things I wouldn't usually dare to change (I'm talking foundation, nothing else!) So I wanted to take the time to celebrate in some of these findings and hopefully introduce some of you to some amazing new products and brands for 2016...
Best Make-Up Brand
It absolutely has to be Tarte Cosmetics. I've not experimented with my foundation and base make-up for years, as I've always been to scared of wasting money on a product that wouldn't work as well as my old trusty. However, I decided to give Tarte a go this year after much researching. I now use their make-up primer, foundation and concealer on an everyday basis and it's THE best foundation and make-up base I've EVER had. I also haven't ever used a mascara better than theirs, and what's more - all of their products are infused with Amazonian clay, which means their products are actually good for your skin and body. It's not the easiest brand to get hold of here in the UK, but when you do manage to get it - you won't look back. I haven't!
Best Make-Up Product
A blogger secret that's now common knowledge - Champagne pop by brand Becca is my favourite make-up find of the year. It's a highlighter with amazing pigmentation and although it looks slightly gold in the compact, when you blend it in to your cheek and brow bones, it matches your colour tone and looks amazing. It catches the light at every angle and highlights all the right places. It's a collaboration with YouTube sensation Jaclyn Hill and it's my single beauty product award for the year!
Best Body Products
It's got to be Lush. Having only recently started using their products, I can't fault them with anything. Although costing nearly a fiver for a single use bath bomb can seem a bit steep, the quality of their products is fantastic. The scent levels within their products are amazing and I have yet to use one of their bath products that doesn't leave me smelling sweet and scented for hours afterwards. Made with no nasties, the Lush products are great for your hair and skin and since I've been using their products I've noticed a lovely difference - I'm less dry and more soft and moisturised. I'm a full Lush convert now.
Cocoa Brown sent me some of their products to try this year and I was blown away with the results. I now use their Night & Day Tan every day without fail and it's my go-to tanning product. The coverage is excellent and it goes on so easily that it's a five minute job, drying within minutes and tanning instantly. It also has the added bonus of being a gradual tan builder too, so when you use it regularly (like me) you build up a great colour base. At only £5.99 it's also excellent value for money.
Best Skin Care
I'm now 28 and until recently I hadn't ever used a moisturiser before. When I started using the Tarte foundation and primer (above) I noticed that it did dry my skin out a little bit at first - probably due to the amazing Amazonian clay. So I took the plunge and purchased my first facial cleanser - Clarins Daily Energiser Cream. I apply this once or twice a day to my face and my skin hasn't ever looked so good! It's moisturised and healthy with a real natural glow to it. I didn't realise how tired the skin on my face looked until I saw the difference once I started using this.
Fearless clothing are my website of choice for clothes shopping nowadays. Their range features amazing fashion dupes for high end designers - I got a pair of shoes from them this year that were the best shoe dupe for Valentino Rockstud's that I had ever seen. They take inspiration from the catwalk while only selling things at affordable prices. Postage is super speedy and their range is constantly updating. It's all very wearable and my wardrobe is ever expanding with their clothing.
It has to be Dune. I can not award any other shoe brand a Lady Writes 2015 award - it can only be Dune. Their shoes provide me with all the staples for my wardrobe. In fact, I have my staple nude, black, grey... points from Dune and they are incredible in both quality and price. They last well, look great with any outfit and they also have ranges of unique and quirky shoes that just love to call my name. If I had to buy shoes from only one place for the rest of my life - it would be Dune.
As an all rounder, it has to be Fraser Hart. Their range of watches and jewellery is fantastic and they offer brilliant in-store service. I got a stunning Michael Kors watch from them this Christmas and I can't fault the product or service. Their range is amazing and features brands like Thomas sago right up to Rolex. They have something for everyone and the quality surpasses other High Street jewellers.
Food & Drink
My all-time favourite cocktail is a Porn Star Martini, but to be fair, cocktails of any variation are likely to make me happy! However, I've never been able to make bar quality cocktails at home and whenever I've tried, I have always been really disappointed - and ended up wasting a small fortune on the ingredients. Funkin Cocktails make it easy to have those top quality cocktails at home with their ready mixed drinks - you just add the spirits. Me and my girlfriends have absolutely loved indulging in their variations recently and because their products are sold in bars - the quality truly is excellent. I've finally found my perfect at-home Porn Star Martini!
My food award for this year goes to Aldi. After having refused to believe the hype about their product quality, I hadn't even thought about shopping at Aldi until a brand new store opened near my home. I decided to give it a go and I haven't looked back since. I do my weekly shopping at Aldi now and the price is the main reason for this - I save at least £20 a week just by doing my shopping there. The food quality is excellent and exceeded every expectation I had. Their meat - something I had been dubious about is better value and more tasty than other supermarkets and I can't fault their food at all. My favourite being their read to cook gammon joint, which is nearly half the price of the Tesco version and tastes better.
As a serious insomnia sufferer, I try anything and everything to help with my inability to sleep properly. The only thing that's helped me this year is an app that a friend of mine told me about after she found it for her baby daughter who refused to nap during the day! The app is called Sleepy Sounds and basically it plays different sounds for a set amount of time, which is supposed to help lull you to sleep. After trying a few options, I found the section for making it sound like rain - which actually started to help me fall asleep! Now if I wake up during the night then I just switch the app back on and find that the length of time needed to fall asleep was less than before. Now when I'm having a bad night, I just use my Sleepy Sounds app.
What a year it's been for music hey? Who would have thought that I would have been coming out of 2015 as a Justin Beiber fan? No, me either. And yet, it's happened! In fact, so many of my friends are the same that i feel a little less awkward about this but still! However the album of the year has to be from Adele, who else comes close? Highly anticipated and worth the wait 101%. The best album track has to be 'Water Under The Bridge' it's now on constant repeat!
So those are my Lady Writes 2015 Awards! Who will you be giving an award to this year for great products and brands?