Well now I’m terribly embarrassed: there I was going on about what a pedant I was when I’d miscounted the above pile (all titles now read 26 and not 31 as I had originally written – I really hope I’m right this time and the above pile consists of 25 products). Clearly 2015 has been a little taxing on the old brain. If you’re happy to take advice from a woman who can’t count, read on…
18. Korres Japanese Rose Shower Gel / Whatever bright new shower gel has turned my head, you can count on me returning to Korres once my dalliance is over. Their shower gels lather satisfyingly, all smell dreamy (this is my latest obsession) and never strip skin. The £8 price tag puts them into the ‘treat’ bracket, but is nowhere near as spendy as some similarly-formulated ones on the market.
19. SASS Cleanse Me / SASS are on a mission to destigmatise intimate skincare, and even went as far as to ask Boots to change their signs from ‘intimate hygiene’ to ‘intimate skincare’. I’m behind them – caring and cleaning a hoo-ha should absolutely be discussed and recommendations made. So here’s mine.
20. African Botanics Shimmering Gold Oil / The oil thing is divisive, with those opting out having often had an experience with a gooey, sticky, occlusive oil that needed to be scraped off. If that sounds like you, this is the oil to change your mind – it’s moisturising, but it doesn’t sit there on the surface of the skin. Instead, it’s absorbed in a couple of minutes, leaving a subtle glow and soft skin in its wake.
21. HealGel Body / Always the moisturiser I hit up when things are getting a little scaly or sensitive, HealGel is unique in its soothing, smoothing abilities. It’s a little deceptive texturally – the lightweight gel conceals an extremely potent mix of moisturising and healing (hence the name) agents. Ideal if you slap on a moisturiser and want to dress instantly.
22. The Organic Pharmacy Supplements / I’ve not forgotten my beloved Udo’s Choice or Advanced Nutrition Programme, but this year these supplements have really earned their place on my shelf. Pictured are the two I take daily to look after my skin, but I’ve dabbled with the whole range – and grilled their formulators – this year and am hugely impressed.
23. Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic Defence Hand Spray / Hand sanitisers don’t usually inspire excitement but I’m asked what this is every single time I fish this herbal-scented spray out of my handbag (which, trust me, is often – I’ve more than a touch of the Howard Hughes about me). Also, it doesn’t dry hands out, which is often the trouble with those gels you can pick up at petrol stations/supermarkets…
24. Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath Oil / You knew this would make my list, didn’t you? AA is up there with Elvis and Victorian literature in my estimation. I wonder if meting out all three in tandem would be too much pleasure to handle… Hmm…
25. Tata Harper Aromatic Stress Treatment / Lots of pulse point aromatherapy is painfully puny, doing little more than smelling vaguely pleasant for a couple of seconds. Not so this one, which I make a point of not leaving the house without. It smells so very potent but also clean. Like a lungful of alpine woods all at once.
… And here’s 26: Tan Luxe Illuminating Serum Self Tan Facial Drops / This is it: the fly in my ointment of order. This pesky and brilliant serum has been my favourite way to keep north of my boobs honeyed this year. A few drops in a moisturiser/oil/SPF before smoothing on and done. No mitts, no faff, no excuses not to use.
That’s it! PHEW. If you’ve made it here, I salute you – what a marathon this has been. Now, I’ve got to go and glitter my eyes up and find something to wear to see in the New Year (which, of course, I’ll be doing here). Enjoy, stay safe and see you next year!