My Beauty Heroes of 2017

I’ve had alot of beauty heroes this year – but unfortunately I won’t be repurchasing some of them!

Although I’m a total make up junkie and always getting tempted into buying something new, there are some absolute staples I couldn’t do without that I’ve used religiously throughout the year – some of them were new to me in 2017 and others have been staples for a long time.

Unfortunately there are a number of those things that, once they run out, I won’t be repurchasing because I’ve made the decision to go completely cruelty free – I’ve tried to shop consciously in recent years anyway, but am almost embarrassed to admit there have been times where I’ve bought something without stopping to consider whether they are cruelty free and its something I really do care about.

I’m vegetarian, in fact I’m pretty much plant-based and I don’t know whether I would go vegan because that is a whole lifestyle with much wider implications, but I certainly admire and support people who are.

In my view although it’s great to have new technology for products, and obviously I like my make-up and skin to look good, choosing to test new formulations on animals – or even worse, to retest ingredients that were already tested and deemed suitable for use on humans in the past, just so you can sell to China and make more money – is absolutely disgraceful!

So I’ve decided to just say that’s it, I’m not buying anything from a company that tests on animals anymore and if I make that blanket rule, I will have it at the forefront of my mind when making beauty choices in the future.

This means I’m going to have to find some new/alternative hero products in 2018, which is fine but there are a couple of products in particular that I absolutely swear by and use every day which I think are going to be a real challenge to replace!


I’ve done a roundup of my hero products of the year and I’m going to mark them with an * if they are not cruelty free – so if any of you can suggest some alternatives that would be amazing!

*Bobbi Brown Moisture Rich Foundation – this is one of the products I’m talking about struggling to replace! I try pretty much every new foundation that comes along and I always go back to this one. It’s light, but layers up beautifully if you have areas where you need extra coverage and always makes my skin look incredibly smooth and soft. I’ve never found anything that beats it and this is the thing I think I’m going to really struggle to find an alternative for.

Anyone have any suggestions?

Sleek Make Up Blush in Rose Gold – My trusty dupe for NARS orgasm (Nars have recently announced they are going to start testing just so they can sell in China which was met with a huge amount of criticism from the beauty community and it’s a real shame because their products are brilliant –  I will never be giving them my money again).

This blusher gives a gorgeous peachy/pinky/coral, iridescent glow to the skin and I absolutely love it. It suits loads of skin types, lasts for ages and costs only £4.99. It’s virtually identical to the cult NARS blusher that I wore for years.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow in Fair-Medium – I think this is my best discovery of the year! It’s so beautiful both in terms of packaging and product.

The slightly cool toned sculpting shade is the perfect colour to give a light contour without looking too strong or muddy and the highlight gives such a beautiful, natural sheen without looking glittery.

It’s one of those highlights that you aren’t sure is showing up much until the light catches you at the right angle and you realise you are shimmering away! This is product is so good I literally want everyone I know to buy it.

Urban Decay Naked 3 Eyeshadow Palette – Of all the different palettes I have and the new ones which constantly come along to tempt me, I still think this is the best of them all!

It has lovely rich toned neutrals, a few rose gold glittery/shimmery shades, the perfect vanilla shade as a base plus several deep and sultry shades meaning you can create the simplest, neutral day look or the most full on sexy, smoky eye and not need to go dipping into any other palettes! The shadows go on so easily, blend beautifully and last all day or night. I really think you would be hard pushed to beat this palette.

*Avene Eau Thermale Skin Recovery Cream – I just discovered these again test purely to sell in China and this is going to be an absolute bitch to replace!

I reviewed some natural skin care months ago now and it caused the most terrible allergic reaction – my skin had never been sensitive before, it took me weeks and £££ trying to find things to fix it and this was the product I finally discovered which did it immediately, along with a water spray toner they also do.

Since then I’ve tried to reintroduce my beloved Elemis products and my skin just will not tolerate anything other than this range – even now, roughly 6 months later.

I’m going to have a good look around and see if I can find something else which is meant to calm sensitive skin and is cruelty free as this is a really important product for me. It’s going to be a lot more expensive but I believe there is a product by REN that does something similar. Again, any suggestions?!

Emma Hardie Moringa Balm – This award-winning product is my absolute favourite cleanser but it does far more than that!

The balm melts onto your skin like a dream, smells incredible and cleanses very effectively – but you can also use it as a rescue balm for drier areas on your body, re-apply it after cleansing and leave it on as a moisturiser when your skin needs something a little extra or use it weekly as a face mask.

I cannot praise this product enough and I’m so glad it’s cruelty free!

Bare Minerals Prime Time BB Primer Cream – This little bottle of wonder stuff makes such a difference to the skin!

It’s designed to be used either alone if you want just a little bit of coverage and it also has an incredible smoothing effect, but then works fantastically as a primer under any foundation.

I absolutely always use this if I want my foundation to last longer or if I’m going out and want to look extra nice! It’s not the cheapest so I rarely use it just as a BB cream because that seems a little excessive, but you can sometimes buy it in twin packs from QVC which makes it more affordable.

Kat Von D … pretty much anything! Her eyeshadows, liquid lipsticks, face powders – everything is fantastic apart from her foundation (just because I’m not fond of high coverage matte formulas – but if you are then I’m sure you would love it also).

I didn’t think I liked liquid lipsticks until I tried her Everlasting Lip range but they really are great, you don’t get that dry, pinched lips feeling and there are so many beautiful shades.

Her eyeshadows are buttery soft and blend beautifully and her Shade and Light palettes for both the face and eyes have become cult products and more of them are definitely on my list for next year.

Real Techniques Brushes – I don’t think I’ve ever used a brush from this range which isn’t great and they are always coming out with new ones.

Affordable, cruelty free and high performing – if you want to invest in some good quality brushes I highly recommend these.

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer – An old one but a great one!

I use this specifically for covering spots, rather than under the eyes because it is fairly thick…  and it does such a good job. I just put a tiny dot on my face, wait a minute or so for it to start to dry and then pat to blend in, pop some powder on the top and it goes nowhere all day. And it’s only £3.99!

Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion – I never used to think it was worth buying a primer specifically for your eyes, until I tried this product! I was quite happy putting a little bit of foundation on my eyelids before I put my eyeshadow on, but this stuff is a game changer.

It makes the skin on your eyes so smooth and your eyeshadows so much more intense, plus it means whatever shadow you put on is going nowhere until you want to take it off.

They do a range of them and some are colour correcting as well as priming, but I like the original which is just ivory toned.


There are other items to be replaced too, but writing this blog post has made me realise that at least the majority of products I really love are cruelty free, so that’s a relief – however 2 really important ones, my moisturiser and foundation aren’t and it’s going to take a bit of trial and error to replace those I guess.

That’s the tricky thing with beauty products – particularly skincare – no matter how many good reviews a product has, that doesn’t guarantee it’s going to work for you and you can waste quite a lot of money trying to find the right ones.

If anybody has recommendations for foundations and moisturisers for sensitive skin please let me know!

Now things are calming back down after Christmas, I hope you are able to take some time out for yourself to relax and also reflect on your year.

Mine has had a lot of challenges and it’s been pretty damn tough at times, but there are still plenty of positive things I will carry with me into next year.


Fancy clearing your wardrobe out for the New Year? 5 tips on how to do it super easily and effectively:


Much Love,



  1. January 2, 2018 / 4:55 pm

    That’s quite a list up there! I’m not too big on makeup and the only product I’ve tried is the concealer which I don’t really use as like you said, it’s quite thick. I’m quite intrigued by that Bobbi Brown foundation though, is the shade right for you? I always struggle to find the right one. I like the one by Kat von D but it’s far too thick to use it on its own (just like you said) so i mix it with MAC Matchmaster (which, on the other hand has a fairly light coverage) and I’m quite alright 🙂 By the way, your blog looks lovely! <3

  2. January 4, 2018 / 5:43 pm

    Hi Mal, yes I find it really easy to get the right shade with the Bobbi Brown foundation they have quite a few and it’s quite forgiving on the skin so I’m definitely going to struggle to replace it… Such a shame they aren’t cruelty free as their products are great! I haven’t tried the mac matchmaster but again that’s another brand I’m not going to be able to use anymore! I have visions of spending a fortune finding replacement products are my staples but at least I will have a clear conscience I guess! Really glad you like the look of the blog thank you!

  3. January 7, 2018 / 4:49 pm

    I really struggle to find blush I like – maybe I’ll give yours a try! I also really, really love the Urban Decay eye shadow primer. It’s a daily staple for me now.

    • January 8, 2018 / 10:46 am

      I really do rate those sleek blushers, also the Tarte ones oh really nice, but you have to use them with a light hand as they are quite pigmented!

  4. January 7, 2018 / 7:04 pm

    I LOVE that you shared your favorites whether they were cruelty-free or not but also made it clear which was which. Keep me posted on your journey – I’m pretty minimalist in my makeup routine, but I’d like to make better choices with what I use. Thanks girl!!

    • January 8, 2018 / 10:45 am

      Ah thank you – yes I will keep you all updated with how I get on!

  5. January 7, 2018 / 8:31 pm

    Would love to find out if any of these are non toxic? Do you know if any of them are?

    • January 8, 2018 / 10:44 am

      Hi, yes actually Charlotte Tilbury is non-toxic and her products are totally wonderful! They aren’t the cheapest but they perform so well and you do get decent amount of product too 💗

  6. January 11, 2018 / 2:49 pm

    I am adamant on cruelty free and also adding in vegan products as well. Love Bobbi Brown’s philosophy from day one!

    • January 16, 2018 / 9:36 pm

      I was shocked to find Bobbi Brown isn’t actually cruelty free Kim!

  7. January 11, 2018 / 6:16 pm

    I have that exact Urban Decay set that you have featured. I love that the colors are neutral. This is an eyeshadow set that I know how to use. 🙂

  8. January 11, 2018 / 9:35 pm

    I love Urban Decay too, especially there eye shadows! Bare Minerals and Bobbi Brown are amazing for foundations and powder too. Love everything you mentioned! 🙂

    • January 16, 2018 / 9:34 pm

      Thanks! I have so many products I love although some of them I will have to replace to go cruelty free but at least it will be fun trying some new stuff out!

  9. January 13, 2018 / 1:57 am

    I love rose gold. That blush looks so pretty. And I agree with anything Kat Von D!

    • January 16, 2018 / 9:33 pm

      Kat Von D’s products are just fab aren’t they!

  10. January 13, 2018 / 4:30 pm

    Well done, that sounds like a great resolution to make for the year. I might have to give that eyeshadow primer a go, it sounds intriguing.

    • January 16, 2018 / 9:32 pm

      That primer is amazing it makes your eyelids so smooth!

  11. January 13, 2018 / 11:07 pm

    This is a well put together list! Unfortunately, I can’t use anything that contains chemicals because they’re so harmful to our health. I love the makeup I use that doesn’t contain chemicals but still works as well as conventional makeup.

    • January 16, 2018 / 9:31 pm

      I would love to know which brands you are using Bri?

  12. January 14, 2018 / 7:58 pm

    good for you on going cruelty free! i’m one to hate seeing animals suffering.

    • January 16, 2018 / 9:30 pm

      Thanks! Yes I absolutely hate the thought of it…. it’s so easy to just see a pretty lipstick and not even think about it so I’m hoping I can gradually replace everything I already have that isn’t cruelty free!

  13. Rachael Burow
    January 16, 2018 / 8:52 pm

    Whenever I hear “cruelty free” i’m in. I still can’t believe there are products out there that still get tested on animals. Makes me cringe. Loved this post, I”ll have to check these awesome products out!

    • January 16, 2018 / 9:24 pm

      Yes isn’t it shocking how many brands are still testing and it makes me so cross when a lot of it is just so they can sell in China!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

“Love Me, Love My Plants” …

“Love Me, Love My Plants” …

I’m a big fan of the Urban Jungle Bloggers Blog where thousands of people who love interior styling with plants come together. Each month they set a specific topic you can write about and I’ve decided to…

View Post
Getting Naked to Feel Good!

Getting Naked to Feel Good!

Walking up to the glossy door of Montpellier House in the always chic and stylish, Regency area of Cheltenham I can feel my heart pounding away just a little bit. Today I am going to…

View Post
Drowning in Emotion #mentalhealth

Drowning in Emotion #mentalhealth

I’m not embarrassed to admit I was struggling emotionally earlier this year…. after some soul searching (and help) I realised I’ve basically been running on adrenaline, dealing with repeated family illness, stress and loss over…

View Post
The Luna 2 Review – I Was Sceptical!

The Luna 2 Review – I Was Sceptical!

It’s been raved about by Vogue, Glamour and Grazia Magazine, won an award in the Teen Vogue Acne Awards  last year and has hundreds upon hundreds of positive reviews online…..  but at first glance I…

View Post
Meeting Designer Alice Temperley

Meeting Designer Alice Temperley

Hi Lovelies,  I hope you’re having a great weekend! I recently had the opportunity to meet Fashion Designer Alice Temperley, MBE – the founder and Creative Director of Temperley London – who was promoting her…

View Post
Are We Pin Friends?

Follow on Pinterest

Fave Tunes!