Our Beauty Year In Review: The Top 12 Products of 2012!

By Emma | December 30 2012 | 20 Comments

New year, new beauty products…but not before we pay our respects to the old ones. Not everything here was launched in the past year, but they were all much loved. Drumroll, please, for our top 12 of 2012.

ONE 2012 was the undisputed year of the BB cream. We must have put hundreds of them through their paces (check out our top 10 here) but our money’s on Estée Lauder’s DayWear BB Beauty Benefit Creme as the pick of the bunch. Dior’s Hydra Life was also in the running, but the higher SPF in the Lauder product (35 vs 30) just gave it the edge.

TWO Two types of lipstick reigned supreme in 2012: sheer, balmy types like L’Oreal Rouge Caresse and Revlon Lip Butters, and the new mattes. Both are fabulous, but the creamy, non-drying finish of modern mattes like Lancome’s lip cream and the YSL Rouge Pur Couture The Mats was a revelation. Matte of the year? Kate Moss for Rimmel in 107 – check it out here.

top 12 beauty products of 2012



THREE 2012 was also the year we all went mental for oils. We used ‘em everywhere but they probably had the most significant impact on our gruaig. There are loads of brilliant hair oils on the market but taking everything into account, including price, performance and availability, L’Oreal Elvive Extraordinary Oil just takes the crown.

FOUR Also in haircare, one of the best shampoo releases of the last year came from Lush. Their Blousey shampoo is rich and creamy and coaxes dry, overprocessed hair back to the fullness of health.

top 12  beauty products of 2012

FIVE We’ve seen so many brilliant bases in the past 12 months with the budget brands in particular really upping their game. We love Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum, Rimmel Match Perfection and Max Factor’s Facefinity to name but a few…but when it came right down to it, none of them could topple our fave high-end offering from its perch. YSL Le Teinte Touche Eclat, we salute you.

SIX With concealers though, it was a different story. Here, the high street leads the way, as Collection (they’ve dropped the 2000) Lasting Perfection Ultimate Wear Concealer continued to mop the floor with higher end brands. Snap it up quick!

SEVEN In skincare, we were spoiled for choice but one new line stood out. The Nuxe Rose Petal range launched last spring, is suitable for all skin types and is an absolute pleasure to use, with textures and fragrances that feel far more luxe than their mid market prices. Divine.

top 12 beauty products of 2012


EIGHT It hasn’t even launched yet but has sneaked onto the list anyway, by virtue of being the best damn serum I used all year. Clarins Double Serum targets every single sign of aging and in the month I’ve been using it, has already delivered noticeable results.

Of the many powders, gels and pencils I put through my eyebrows last year, Soap & Glory Archery is hands down the best. It combines a felt tip pen type marker on one end to fill in any gaps, and a natural toned pencil at the other, to shape and define. It’s genius!

TEN What would a beauty list be without a nail polish, eh? And surprisingly, thinking back over all of this year’s candy colours and glitters and brights and wintery darks, the standout for me is an understated putty coloured nude.

ELEVEN L’Oreal Préférence Wild Ombré kit is an all round excellent product and definitely one of the best new launches of last year. It’s simple to use, cost effective and delivers exceptional results – we can’t wait to see what’s headed our way in 2013! (Hint: think pastels and you wouldn’t be far wrong! Squeee!)

TWELVE  When it comes to exceptional eyeshadows, this one’s a draw – it’s just impossible for me to choose between the two. Armani Eyes To Kill and  L’Oreal Colour Riche Quad shadows are stunning and lustworthy and I am entirely under their spell. I want ‘em all.

What do you make of our choices – any glaring omissions from the list?


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20 Replies to "Our Beauty Year In Review: The Top 12 Products of 2012!"

  • Louise says:

    Great post. I want everything!

  • Chris says:

    I wish they sold Collection in the States! *puts on the grumpy face*

  • fififinx says:

    I’ve already got about half of these. Feeling all smug ;)

  • Aoife says:

    Geisha Ink, the Naked palettes and Nars eyeshadow primer have been rocking my world this year-they have completely changed how I view eye makeup! I’ve also started wearing lipsticks this year thanks to the Revlon Lip Butters.

  • flowerpower says:

    anyone else think the collection concealer is fairly useless? and will never beat MAC pro long wear concealer!

  • Edelmc says:

    Flower power- I love prolong wear concealer too! Products I have been loving are bobbi brown bb cream, clarins hydraquench serum & beauty flash balm, mac lightscapade msf, face and body foundation and moisture cover concealer, real techniques stippling brush, nars multiples and eyeshadow base. Recently I discovered macs loose iridescent powder in silver dusk and I think it will become a new staple too.

  • ladyelvis says:

    Great list Emma. Looking forward to trying that Clarins serum. My best new discoveries the past year have been L’oreal Nude Magique BB cream, Armani Maestro Eraser undereye concealer and Blushing Fabric. And Artistic Colour Gloss 2 week manicures. Addicted.

  • Miss Y. says:

    I am just realising that I wasn’t particularly faithful to any brand or product this year except for skin cream (Louis Widmer!) and argan oil. I liked the chubby stick in violet and the estée lauder sumptuous extreme mascara,oh and the l’oreal color riche nail polish are great too!And the fit me from maybelline concealer is a good one. I think that sums it up for me :-)

  • Freckles says:

    I have half of these :) Smug so I am. I do have an embarrassing addiction to eyes to kill. I have three and now I want 2 more. This post totally justifies my future purchases..

  • Frizzyfozzy says:

    Delighted to see Extraordinary Oil here, literally just discovered it! Had to get my hair stripped after a home dye disaster this summer (ironically using a l’oreal dye…) and my hair has been in really bad shape since, dry damaged and HORRIBLY knotty. Bought this as a cheaper alternative to moroccan oil yesterday, but a load in my hair overnight and washed it out. IT LOOKS/FEELS SO MUCH BETTER. Literally am dancing with joy, delira! :D

  • Rosamaria says:

    I have the Lip Butters, the Elvive Oil & the Teint Touché éclat ( very excited, I wouldn’t usually have three from the list). This year, essence nail polishes and the Bourjois remover thingy have meant a lot more action on my nails :) so the Naked nail polish palette I just got as a Christmas gift was specially welcome.

    Also, since I got the Estée Lauder blockbuster, 2013 will see a lot more EL on my lips, eyes, face…..

  • EvieM says:

    I’ve just got the Rimmel Kate 107 lipstick and I adore it. Am in desperate need of some hair oil so will check out that elvive one. I must say though I tried out the ombre kit on my sil last week, she has dark brown hair but it’s not exceptionally dark or anything and it made sod all difference to her hair, in normal light it looks no different and if you stick her under a fluorescent bulb she gets a slight reddish tinge to the ends, we left it on the full 45 minutes and coated every strand but it just didn’t take, very disappointing considering I’d recommended it to her as she’s a student and couldn’t afford to get it done in a salon.

  • Shygirl says:

    I don’t like the Elvive oil at all. Can’t wait til the bottle is all gone. Great post though!

  • Shygirl says:

    I take back what I said about the Elvive oil. I put in my hair last night before I washed it, and left it in for about an hour. My hair was really soft after. I had used the GHD the night before, which I never use, so I had to say sorry to my hair.

  • Mary says:

    I am thankful for the tip about the Collection concealer. Bought the ‘light’ one from Boots yesterday, and tried a bit now on my fluey/bluey undereye area and am already delighted with the coverage. Will give it a real trial with full makeup when this nitemare of a flu passes, but it seems to be a winner already!

  • KK says:

    The Collection concealer is OK (gets cakey on me) but the Bourjois Healthy Mix one is amazing and easily the best one on the high street. It rocked my world in 2012 and will continue to do so. I also loved Korres lip butters, D.J.V. Beautenizer mascara and Anastasia Brow Wiz.

  • I agree the healthy mix concealer is only deadly!

  • flowerpower says:

    big shout out for Organix weightless healing oil in moroccan argan oil!! i see they have appeared in boots, got mine in the states in july and still have more than half the bottle. Havent got a hair cut since august and my hair is in fantastic condition. Great if your letting your hair grown out.

  • Jenny says:

    Anyone else loving Clarins instant light blushers and Clarins lipstick rouge prodige in rosy coral. Two favourites I discovered in 2012.

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