Best Of The Best: My Fave Beauty Products From 2016 All In One Place

Something ridiculous like 3000 different products landed on my desk last year, all vying for my attention and promising to be the revolution that I was craving. Suffice to say the majority of them didn’t live up to expectations or wow me enough to warrant a post, but many peaked my interest and seemed to offer a benefit I could get on board with. Whether that was a beautiful new eyeshadow palette, a hard working night treatment or a shampoo that left my hair full of bounce, there were a lot of great discoveries and purchases in 2016 that together made up over 300 individual posts. I’ve been looking back through all of them to see what products have stood the test of time, which ones I’m still using, how many I’ve re-purchased and what I would genuinely recommend a year on – the result of which is an edit of twelve seriously fabulous finds I couldn’t be without. They span all categories and were either new launches or new to me personally, so here is my ‘best of the best’ all in one place.

A brand that certainly changed the landscape of beauty in 2016, The Ordinary have made effective and bespoke skincare seriously affordable. With prices starting from only a fiver, there’s no barrier to anyone of any age or budget getting a little skincare boost on a daily basis; I personally favour their Retinol and Vitamin C treatments as must-haves for anyone over the age of 30 (they help to trick the skin into behaving more youthfully, as well as encouraging brightness and radiance,) but there are so many to choose from no matter your skin concern.
Read my original feature here.

How exciting can a body wash be eh? Well these have taken a rather boring, mundane and thoughtless category and turned it into something rather luxurious – while still only charging a couple of quid for the privilege. I adore the decadent bottles and scents, as well as the rich and luxurious creamy texture that lathers beautifully to leave my skin feeling soft. I’ve used them every day since I was first sent them and will be stocking up in Superdrug while they’re on offer for a pound!
Read my original feature here.

I’ve used this toothbrush for a few years and couldn’t be without it; the clean feeling it leaves is incomparable to any other manual or electric toothbrush I’ve ever used. Although it wasn’t a new discovery in 2016, they did launch a rose gold version which has made me fall in love with it all over again. It’s expensive, but it’s absolutely worth it – I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone.
Read my original feature here.

A new brand on my radar and a new regime to match, this rather strange looking beauty tool enables you to unlock your inner radiance with only a one minute ritual. I’ve used many different devices over the years that claim to revolutionise your skincare routine and provide incredible results, but few do; the beauty of Hay’ou’s approach is the simplicity and speed through which you can see a difference. A few strokes of this solid jade tool over the skin helps to stimulate blood flow and release pressure, helping to both wake you up and leave your skin ready for its usual skincare. I’ve been using this practically every morning since September and enjoy it completely. 
Read my original feature here.

MICHAEL BUBLE ‘BY INVITATION’ FRAGRANCEYou’re probably sick and tired of seeing this on my site, but I just have so much love for this scent! It’s elegant and timeless, while providing a notes that uplift and energise; it’s no usual celebrity scent and one that I’ve worn to death since the summer. I usually detest celebrity fragrances and am incredibly fussy about the juice I spritz on my skin, but with this I think I may have found my signature that I’ll never be without. What’s refreshing is that every single person I’ve spoken to (bar one) has said they’re in love with it too – providing it has a universal appeal without being generic. 
Read my original feature here.

I never really got the hype with beauty blenders and sponge applicators – until I tried Barely’s unique interpretation. Personally I find the chunky roundness of the Beauty Blender hard to manage, but these feature a much slimmer base with angled tips for precise application. They make foundation application a doddle and absolutely streak free, helping to buff in concealer and cover imperfections with ease; the angle of the tip means you can get into every contour of your face, while the different density of material helps to create either dewy or high coverage finishes. The reason they’re not in the pictures? I’ve used them so much they look a right old state!
Read my original feature here.

Undoubtedly 2015 was the year I fell out of love with dry shampoo. My usual brands just left my hair feeling heavy, chalky and unclean so it was easier to start from scratch rather skip a morning wash. Klorane has been around for decades, but I’d never heard of it until last year when they were celebrating their 50th birthday; their dry shampoo has apparently been an industry and beauty editor favourite for years, but finally I’m in on the act too. The lightweight texture helps to absorb excess oil without weighing hair down, brushing through to leave a freshly-washed feeling and no white marks. Hallelujah! I’m back on the dry shampoo bandwagon. 
Read my original feature here.

I think I’m on my third bottle of this already, mainly because it helps to perk up tired eyes and reduce puffiness in almost an instant. If you struggle with dark circles, fine lines, puffiness or general lethargy, then this little bottle could be just what you need: it tightens, lifts and helps reduce the appearance of tired eyes while providing a little tingling sensation that helps to perk you up. You can even use it over makeup, making it an on-the-go essential too – just be careful not to over apply, as more than a grain of rice size will leave your lower lids feeling a bit crusty. 
Read my original feature here.

We all jumped on board with the multi-masking trend last year, which erupted because of our need to treat different issues simultaneously (and brand’s need to sell us multiple products in one hit!) Even though it’s a trend I’m sure will waive in the coming months, the idea behind it is a genius one and has been adopted by some great brands with some fabulous products – including L’Oreal. Out of all the ‘multi masking’ products available, these were by far my faves. Affordable, effective, a pleasure to use and beautifully presented, they provide a way of buying into the trend or just treating yourself to a new mask. My most used is definitely the charcoal mask, which I’ve applied to help reduce congestion when I’m feeling run down. 
Read my original feature here.

It slightly pains me to admit how much I rate this hair care range, especially as I have as little interest in the Kardashians as a brussel sprout on Christmas Day, but it really is cracking. When I first put it to the test at the beginning of 2016 I did so because I was sure it was naff; however, a year later and I’m still reaching for the dry conditioner and dry oil over pretty much everything else. The products are beautifully sleek, smell amazing, are full of goodness and help to leave my hair nourished and sleek without losing all movement. I’m on the last dregs of each, but I’ll be tracking down new bottles as soon as possible so I’m never without.
Read my original feature here.

As a big advocate of daily SPF, it’s sometimes hard to convince people to reach for the sunscreen when it smells of coconuts and feels a bit foreign on a cold January day. Elizabeth Arden this year launched a groundbreaking product that I’m already on my second tube of; the Prevage City Smart SPF50 helps to not only protect against free radical and UV damage, but also helps to actually repair damage that’s already been done. The lightweight tinted lotion glides over skin to leave an invisible finish, proving that daily suncare doesn’t have to be heavy or tropical. Another expensive one at £55.00 a bottle, but it lasts an age and will really help prevent a certain level of damage control in the future. 
Read my original feature here.

During my younger years I was so obsessed with tanning that I practically looked like a different nationality; my boyfriend sees pictures of me from my 20’s and the first thing he says is ‘you’re brown!’ After a decade of being a tan worshipper during the summer, I hit my thirties and decided that I couldn’t really be bothered with the maintenance – preferring instead to embrace my inner pastiness. However, this bottle of gradual tanner changed all that for the better. The lightweight foam is a doddle to apply and glides over skin to leave behind no streaking or patchiness, only a super natural colour result that develops in a couple of hours. There’s no jiggling about until your limbs are dry enoguh to get dressed, just a long-lasting sunkissed colour that’s the easiest thing to maintain. 
Read my original feature here.

Although there are loads of other products I still rate, these are definitely the ones I’m still using pretty much daily and will continue to use throughout 2017. Have I picked out any of your faves?

 Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.  



  1. Philippa
    January 6, 2017 / 5:36 pm

    Heard so much about the ordinary but I'm yet to try anything from the brand! Really need to try some of their products this year!Philippa x

    • Hayley Carr
      January 7, 2017 / 3:06 pm

      Defo do some research and find the bits that will work for you – but then go crazy and see the benefit!

  2. Tori M
    January 7, 2017 / 6:29 pm

    I've never heard of The Ordinary but it sounds amazing.I also love those L'Oreal clay masks but haven't tried the charcoal one yet. Tori x

    • Hayley Carr
      January 10, 2017 / 2:01 pm

      It's defo the best one. The green one is pretty good, but the orange one is a bit of a strange texture!

  3. Abigail Alice x
    January 8, 2017 / 12:13 am

    Thanks for sharing all of these, I need new haircare and tbh I'm not huge on the Kardashians either but their hair always looks amazing!Abigail Alice x

    • Hayley Carr
      January 10, 2017 / 2:01 pm

      I'm not 100% sure if they actually use the stuff, but it's pretty darn good – especially for the price.

  4. Boots No7
    January 8, 2017 / 11:51 pm

    All I can say is that Palmolive Chocolate Passion looks epic, I need to try that asap!

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