It was well-timed, because I always find it quite therapeutic to have a big clear-out of my old cosmetics at the start of a new year - that bottle that has been sitting stagnant and unused on the shelf for far too long; the mascara that's been over-loved and has started to dry up; the numerous empties.
Now, after one month of trialling and testing (where on earth has January gone?!), I am ready to give you my verdict on the best of my 2015 beauty buys.
1. Mac Lipsticks
I went a bit make-up haul crazy at the Mac counter on our way home and purchased not one, not two but three new Mac lipsticks (I'm laying the blame entirely on Milly for this new obsession). Being a fairly unadventurous (boring) kinda girl when it comes to my lips, I usually plump for a glossy pinkish-nude. However, after perusing Mac's extensive selection of textures, finishes and shades for a good ten minutes, I bravely decided to try something new. To the left of the picture is a 'Frost' lipstick in shade Fabby. It has a thick-ish coverage and a pearlescent sheen to it, which looks great on a night out. Centre is a 'Lustre' lipstick in shade Lovelorn. This bright and shiny lipstick feels light on the lips, yet lasts for hours. To the right is my favourite: 'Cremesheen' lipstick in Creme Cup. More matte than the Lustre, yet somehow just as moisturising, it glides on like butter and smells of vanilla. Dreamy.
Find out where to purchase Mac products in Doha here.
2. Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy Nail Polish
It's no secret that I don't really get on with gel nail polish. Don't get me wrong, it's great that a manicure can, in theory, last for two weeks. It's just not so great that at the end of those two weeks, my nails have started to break and split, and when the gel is taken off, they are so brittle that I have to cut them right back to the quick. Imagine my delight then, at discovering a nail polish which looks and feels like gel, but has none of the horrible side effects! It's quick to apply, lasts forever (N.B. for me, forever = any time over a week), and at less than seven pounds a pop, you can't really go wrong. The shade pictured above is my favourite: All Or Nothing which is an almost-white pale pink.
Pick up Revlon products in Doha here.
3. Benefit "They're Real!" Mascara
I'm yet to find a place where you can purchase Benefit products in Doha. If anybody knows of somewhere, I'd love it if you could drop me a comment at the end of this post to fill me in!
4. Falah Aly Mascara and Eyeliner
This mascara is much lighter than my usual choices, as the brush doesn't seem to pick up as much product. However, it is perfect for a more subtle daytime look and I enjoy the fact that you can slowly build up your lashes with extra coats. The eyeliner has an almost needle-thin brush, and while I'm usually a fan of a nib or a pen for more control and precision, it glides on fairly easily and leaves an even and bold finish. I think this might be the product for me to use in an attempt to finally master that perfect feline flick.
Falah Aly is a relatively new brand, which is making inroads into the Middle Eastern market. To keep up to date with news on launches and stockists, follow Falah Aly here and here.
5. L'Occitane Vanille & Narcisse Lait Parfume Body Milk
This sumptuous bottle of almost-edible body lotion is liquidy-light, makes my skin glow and smells absolutely divine. I love it so much that I've been hunting around for more L'Occitane products to play with ever since my first application. I adore anything vanilla-scented, and this one smells especially summery, evoking memories of sunshiney walks through flowery meadows. Yup, I love this product so much that it makes me turn all poetic.
Shop for L'Occitane En Provence products in Doha here.
6. Kerastase Forme Fatale Voluptuous Blow Dry Gel
When your hair is as fine as mine, giving it any kind of 'oomph' requires product and lots of it...the result of which is usually heavy, sticky locks and me looking like I've walked through a hedge backwards. This lovely smelling blow dry cream, however, builds volume subtly from the roots, protects your hair against heat damage as you style it and lasts all day. Crucially, your bouffant even looks pretty natural.
Find Kerastase products in Doha here or at most good hair salons.
What are your top beauty finds for 2015?
Disclaimer: some of these products were given to me for review purposes, however as this is a 'top six' list, I have only included the products which I would personally recommend.