There is something to suit all budgets and considering my budget is tight at the best of times, these are all products I would honestly recommend, products I have used and in some cases repurchased (more than once).
Let's kick off with what has been on my nails for the large majority of the past year. I'm pretty set in my ways when it comes to colour preferences regarding painted nails, I like reds and I like black. I alternate frequently between the two and rarely venture outside of those two colours. During a dry spell, where I couldn't locate a bottle of Sleek Raven in stock anywhere I found myself looking for another black nail polish that wouldn't chip within a day or two. Good black nail colours can be tricky, they can appear streaky when applied and tend to not wear long at all in a lot of cases so imagine my surprise when I picked this Primark nail polish up (for 70p!) and managed to get a week's worth of wear out of my first application!
Coupled with my new favourite top coat, the Maybelline Dr Rescue Gel Effect Top Coat, the nail polish appeared plump, glossy and there was no shrinkage nor chipping for a whole week. Since that point the black nail polish has become staple and I've used no other top coat. The Maybelline top coat comes in at a budget friendly £2.99. Seriously! It doesn't take long to dry and has a tendency to make your nail polish of choice look miles more expensive than it really is. Because the top coat impressed me so much I thought I'd try some of the Maybelline Super Stay 7 Days nail colours as well and I was just as blown away by them as I was the top coat. These come in at just under a fiver and are available in a range of colours with my favourites being the reds though there is a gorgeous pink nude as well that I've become quite attached to. Finally, I couldn't move on from nails without including my all time favourite shade of red nail, Barry M Red Wine. It's been my staple red nail polish for a couple of years now and I can't see that changing any time soon.
2015 was the year I was very late to the Rimmel Provocalips party. Seriously late. I'd picked up the shade Not Guilty (a gorgeous berry red) just before Christmas and already it's one of my most reached for lip colours. I'm seriously loving these and have already picked up two more shades. Usually around the £6.99 mark, I managed to get them on offer in Superdrug (2 for £10) and they last so well. Seriously well. I'm talking tea, coffee, lunch and it's still on your lips kind of well. Definitely worth the investment. I love the matte effect sealing balm. In fact, I think I would buy that on it's own!
Always on the hunt for the perfect mascara, the one every mascara brand tells us they offer yet my lashes STILL don't look like false lashes (seriously, quit with the false promises!), 2015 was the year of the Me Me Me Dark & Divine mascara. I'm a two mascara type of gal and I apply this as standard over every other mascara for a seriously dramatic lash look and it's the best I've found so far. Costing around the £9 mark this isn't as budget friendly as a lot of other mascaras in my collection but it is, by far one of the best.
My most reached for palettes in 2015 were the original Urban Decay Naked palette and the Black Velvet palette from Makeup Revolution. The Naked palette was a gift and if I'm being completely honest though it is used frequently it's only really two shades that I tend to use. The Black Velvet palette from Makeup Revolution comes in at a budget friendly £7.99 and I use it so much more. The shades are perfect for my skin tone and I love a good matte shadow! If you happen to follow me on snapchat you'll know that this is my most reached for palette of choice!
Let's talk about this surprise inclusion, shall we? I had won this Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder ages ago in a giveaway and it had lay in a box for the best part of a year before I felt brave enough to pick it up. I'd opened it and judged it far too harsh a tone for my pale complexion. The naivety!
I do believe it's been repackaged now in a smaller box without the sponge (which was for nothing anyway to be honest!) and today was the day I finally bit the bullet and looked up the price... Only because I would definitely want to repurchase this. To say it is the PERFECT shade for contouring for me would be a huge understatement. It's light, buildable, easy to work with and applies like a dream. Easily buffed into the perfect shadow to build structure on the face. I didn't think I'd be here telling you that it is categorically worth it's £32 price tag and meaning it.... Because it's such a pigmented powder, you don't need much on your brush to work with so I envision this pan lasting me the best part of a year. Bigger spends are easier justified when they don't need to be frequent spends, right!? Available at Beauty Bay now.
2015 was the year I discovered Primark Candles and subsequently stopped buying as many other branded scented candles, because this £2 Blackcurrant & Forest Plum candle is everything. If I burn this candle in my bedroom I can smell the fragrance downstairs. It's still a soft scent though and not overpowering. Just the right level of sweet as well. Cannot get enough! On the flip side though, 2015 was the year I fell in love with Marc Jacobs Decadence perfume. Oh. My. Fragrance. Gods. This perfume. Ok so the packaging, you can SEE the phenomenal job that was done with the packaging. Designed with gold hard wear and a python patterned top, the bottle itself exudes Marc Jacobs. The scent is everything you'd expect (and more). With one spritz you're presented with a fragrance that is dripping in woodiness, fruits, amber, flowers and powders. It is by far the most impressive scent I came across in 2015. It smells exactly as it is named. Decadent. This is not a girly perfume, it's an impressive feminine statement. It's sensual with hints of romance and flirtation. With top notes of plum, saffron and iris, followed by a deep heart of Bulgarian rose, jasmine and orris, rounded off beautifully with notes of liquid amber, vetiver and papyrus wood, this fragrance is hands down one of my all time favourites. This is a far cry from the Marc Jacobs perfumes you might already know, such as Daisy and Lola. Those are distinctively girly, young and frivolous whereas Decadence is mature, sexy, seductive and sophisticated and it's scent lingers hours after application. I can still smell this going to bed at night after applying it earlier in the day. It is pricey though with the 30ml usually coming in around the £50 mark though Escentual have a great offer running at the moment and have it priced at £44.10. Definitely one I'd recommend asking for as a birthday or anniversary gift. It's just stunning.
A few other bits I feel I must mention before finishing off my 2015 beauty favourites! The L'Oreal Studio Hot & Big volumising spray, discovered via Lovely Girlie Bits, has been my favourite hair product of 2015. It's so easy to use, you spritz it on damp roots and work through to the roots, blow dry your hair upside down and then style however you usually do. THE VOLUME! Well hello lads! I paid £3.79 for a bottle of this quite a few months back, I've used it every other hair wash and it's still half full so it's a great product to have on your shelf. I love this so much I've chatted about it on snapchat right and often also!
The Garnier Micellar Water has been my makeup remover of choice throughout 2015 and it does it's job well, especially considering it's budget friendly price tag of in and around £3.00. I'm a firm believer of 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' and so this has been my go to for over a year now, repurchased many times!
My setting powder of choice this year has been the very budget friendly NYC Smooth Skin Powder though I've just about finished this one up and cannot find it in stock anywhere so I'll be making a change to that sitch. I did love it though and it did the job it needed to.
I've saved the best for last. The one product that ensured no breakouts during 2015 and, if a pesky hormonal spot or nasty blemish did try and crop up on my skin, the product that killed it dead within a couple of days. All hail the wonder product of 2015 (for me), La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo. Coming in at around £15, this is on offer at the moment over at Escentual for just £13.15 and I'm personally availing of this offer. Honestly, nothing has ever ever worked so well for killing spots for me. I don't get them often but when I do they're usually humdingers. The type that seem to have a heartbeat of their own. This is by far the best remedy, the only remedy, I have ever tried that works. It does have a tendency to dry out the skin surrounding the blemish but that's nothing a good moisturiser can't fix. 2015 was the year I repurchased this twice and I'll be buying it again and praying to the gods of beauty that they never discontinue it....
And those were my 2015 beauty favourites (well, and a scented candle for reasons of scented candles at just £2!). Did you spot any of your own faves in there? Everything I've mentioned here has been either used frequently, repurchased and definitely much loved and I've already recommended the large majority of these products to friends, family and snapchat buddies alike. I guarantee they'll continue to be much loved going into 2016 though I can't wait to find some new beauty favourites.