Beauty products that surprised me this year

Beauty products that surprised me this year

The pandemic has obviously been rough on all of us, but working from home has given me the opportunity to focus more on my self-care routine (as it was also more necessary). Therefore, I got to experiment a lot and I have found plenty of new beauty products that I loved! A lot of items came from my Holland and Barrett advent calendar from last year, which unfortunately cannot be shipped to The Netherlands this year. So, if you’re curious to try some new beauty products, I’d recommend these!

Holland and Barrett honey face wash

I actually bought 2 of these face washes in the winter last year, because my skin had been very dry. Normally, I prefer face washes that are a bit more aggressive, but this one actually stole my heart. The smell is great and afterwards, my skin feels very clean, but not dehydrated at all. I have even forgotten to put my day cream on a few times afterwards, because my skin felt so comfortable. I don’t love the packaging from an aesthetic viewpoint to be honest, but when the product is this good, I don’t really care. The packaging is recyclable though. It’s also very affordable and a little goes a long way. On top of this all, it’s paraben, SLS and cruelty-free.

Q+A liquorice lip oil

Especially in the winter months, I love wearing lipstick. However, with the cold weather, my lips easily get cracked and dry. So, when I opened my advent calendar for this day, I was excited and curious. I’d never used the brand or lip oil before. I am not a huge fan of liquorice, so I was happy to find out that the smell wasn’t too overwhelming. I don’t mind the subtle sweetness of the scent and it fades quickly, so it’s fine. The applicator is this little roller, which is a very easy and clean way to apply the oil. I’ve found that the oil gets through the skin very quickly, which is very important to me when it’s on the lips. I usually use it before going to bed and my lips are genuinely more hydrated when I wake up. I also have the feeling that this effect lasts really long, so I don’t have to apply every night.

Urban Decay perversion mascara

I never tried a more high-end mascara before this one. I’d always use the normal drugstore ones, because I thought it didn’t make that much of a difference… Boy, was I wrong! I’ve now repurchased it and I’m so happy about it. It’s given my lashes way more length and volume than other mascara’s I’ve tried combined and the colour is a very deep black, which makes it perfect for more heavy eye looks. The only downside is that it takes a while to dry, so you need to have a lot of patience, but it’s absolutely worth it in my opinion!

The Body Shop charcoal line

As far as beauty products can be scary, this one was at first for me. When I first tried the charcoal line from The Body Shop, I was hesitant. I have very sensitive skin and I was scared this would set it off, because it’s pretty intensely cleansing. However, it was perfect for my skin! After I first tried the face wash a few years ago, I tried the soap bar and the night serum this year and again fell in love with both. The face wash and bar of soap both leave the skin very clean and refreshed, but it doesn’t strip the skin of natural oils, so it doesn’t dehydrate too much. The serum is a night peel and you wake up with such a clean face, it’s amazing! I actually can’t find any downsides at all.

TRUE Skincare certified organic rehydrating rosehip and rosemary facial oil

Well, that’s a mouth full… but it’s a lot of perfectness packed into a small bottle as well! This was also one of the calendar gifts and I was hesitant at first. Although I like facial oils in the night, some tend to make my skin feel very oily and when I dripped this on my fingers, I thought that was going to be the case here as well. However, this oil gets into the skin pretty quickly, it smells amazing and it soothes my skin very well. If I put this on the evening before, I wake up with glowing and hydrated skin immediately. I’d definitely recommend this if you wanted to try a nice, but not too expensive facial oil. And for this one I should also say: one or two drops will be plenty!

Ayumi body wash turmeric and argan oil

I was so scared when I opened this door in my beauty products advent calendar, because I couldn’t imagine that turmeric would be a good scent for a body wash. Also, the logo had a bit of a ‘boho’ vibe, which made me scared this would smell very strong and herbal, like incense. However, I’ve never been this in love with a body wash before! It’s actually not available for shipping to The Netherlands, so I’m still trying to find a way to get a new bottle and I’m using it very sparsely now. The scent is slightly citrus like because of the mandarin in the scent and a little herbal. However, it’s not a super strong scent, so it’s also good for people that don’t like strong or sweet smells.

The Ordinary hyaluronic acid 2% + B5 serum

I’ve found many hyaluronic serums that I like, but this one honestly topped it off for me. I love the somewhat thicker consistency of this serum, because I can also use it in the morning. I find that many serums are way too only for that, but this one is perfect. Hyaluronic serum is on my opinion one of the best serums to use anyways, since it adds so much hydration the skin. Since hydration is something almost all of us are lacking, this is a great boost, but especially in the winter! Another honourable mention goes to the Evolve hyaluronic serum, which I also loved. However, it’s quite a bit more expensive, so first place goes to The Ordinary.

Morphe 35I Icy Fantasy palette

I tried this palette in-store in London before corona was even a thing (can you imagine?!) and then it was sold out for the longest time. However, when I got the chance to buy this year, I immediately went for it. This is not an every day palette, but it’s great for light, girly, but colourful looks. Although I’m not a pastel kinda girl with my clothing, I love the softness they provide when put on the face. However, I have to admit that my skin is very, very fair, so I can imagine these light colours not working for people with darker skin, or you’d have to use a very light base to make them pop. The consistency is very easy to use though and the colours are gorgeous, especially the shimmers. I can’t decide which colours to go for every time I open this beauty!

Ecodenta organic anti-Plaque toothpaste

This might be a strange one to include in a list of beauty products, but I kinda had to. This was a calendar find and I was a little hesitant because it was coconut-based and I personally HATE the flavour of coconuts. However, I didn’t find the flavour too overwhelming, it was actually a very subtle taste in general. The texture was also nice, it didn’t feel like a mousse, more like a gel. On top, it was very soothing for my gums and my mouth felt very clean afterwards. I love that it’s eco- and animal-friendly, so it was an overall win. Therefore, it definitely deserved a spot on this list. Here you can learn more about dental health.

Ethique bliss bar

As you might’ve noticed, I love a clean face and this face bar is perfect for me. I use it in the shower, since I don’t mind the splashing water there as much. My skin feels super, super clean afterwards and it doesn’t pull too much. However, afterwards I do need to put on more hydrating products in about 30 minutes. That almost always happens after taking a shower though, so I can’t completely blame it on this bar. I also love that this is a soap bar, so that it doesn’t contain unnecessary plastic packaging and it’s vegan. It also goes a long way, so you don’t have to repurchase this product often. You can also remove make-up with it, so it’s very friendly for the earth and your skin and eyes!

I hope you liked this overview of my most loved beauty products over the last year. I’ve tried a lot horrible products and amazing products and these definitely stood out to me. What are your favourite finds from the past year? Let me know in the comments below so that me and some other readers can try them as well! If you’d like to see more, please follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter or subscribe and get a free e-book on saving money.

Lots of love,


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Hi there! My name is Lisa and I am the author of Mind and Body Intertwined. I have a bachelor's and a master's degree in psychology. During my study, I found out how much the mind and the body are connected and it fascinated me, which is why I started my blog. Would you like to join me on this little corner of the world?

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Her Digital Coffee
2 years ago

Great list of products! I’m always looking for a new mascara and I’d love to try the Urban Decay one! I’m happy to hear that it’s worth it. I also love The Ordinary B5 serum I can’t even count how many bottles I’ve gone through! Thanks for sharing!

2 years ago

All of these products sounds amazing. I have always wanted to try the Body Shop Charcoal collection. I will definitely check it out. Also the Holland and Barret honey face wash. Thank you for sharing these products.

2 years ago

These all sound great! I haven’t tried any of the products, but The Body Shop charcoal line sounds very interesting and heard plenty of good things about Q+A

Molly Transatlantic Notes

The Ayumi body wash sounds lovely — I like turmeric in various things but have never tried it in beauty products before; such a great idea!

2 years ago

thanks for sharing these products! i’ve tried the urban decay mascara before and it’s really good! i really want to try the ordinary products as well.

Jenny in Neverland
2 years ago

Thanks for sharing all these fab sounding products! I’ve not actually used ANY of these brands – can you believe it? But I’m always after new recommendations so I’ll have to keep these in mind xxx


Sounds like a lot of great products. I love mascara, liquorish lip oil sounds like something I want to try. Thanks for sharing!

2 years ago

Love to see so many products I know and use! Quite intrigued to try the lip oil from Q+A, not a fan of liquorice either but it sounds too great to pass! I love The Ordinary and their Niacinamide is one of my favourites, need to try out The Body Shop charcoal line asap!