Beauty favorites from 2016

Eek, can you believe it’s already the second week of 2017? So before I forget, let me share my skincare + makeup favorites from 2016!  The selection criteria is simple: Used between 12/01/2015 – 11/30/2016. December 2016 productions aren’t included because I don’t have enough time to thoroughly review them, but December 2015 ones are because it was probably 2016 by the time I finished testing them out. Effective and enjoyable to use. I’ve used a lot of great products this year, but the key to an amazing product? The user experience. Whether it’s scent, packaging, texture, or novelty, I want to love using this …

Author: Jenny Wu
Jenny Wu

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  1. Rebecca says:

    Great list! I’m interested in getting an eye cream so I might look into the keihls one!

  2. Sakura says:

    I like Sulwhasoo products but never tried the overnight mask before. Do you use other Sulwhasoo products?

  3. Beautyblender didn’t work on my skin at all, I find it leaves my base looking very cakey and just couldn’t make it work. Currently I am using another sponge (can’t remember the brand) and the finish is so beautiful on my skin. I have been eyeing that La Roche Posay sunscreen, wasn’t sure if it’s light and hydrating (I’m dry-normal skin) and frankly this is the first time I’m reading about it so thank you. I’ll pick it up soon!

    • Jenny says:

      Aww, sorry to hear that, I guess it’s YMMV for makeup tools as well :( It’s funny because I tried a no-brand sponge once, and that gave me a cakey finish! The La Roche Posay sunscreen is amazing, just make sure it’s Anthelios XL – which is the version sold everywhere else except in the US. I haven’t tried the US formulation myself, so I’m not sure how they compare.

  4. These are all great faves! I tried a sample size of the YSL Volupte Tint-in-Oil and felt in love with the formula. It is super moisturizing on the lips and I plan to pick up one of the full size shades very soon. The Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask sounds quite lovely. Not such of I’ve ever heard of it before but I will check it out. Happy New Year! x

    Ann-Marie |

    • Jenny says:

      Happy belated New Year Ann-Marie! I didn’t think I would love the YSL Volute Tint-in-Oil as much as I did, but like you said the formula is fantastic! The Sulwhasoo Overnight Mask is a dear favorite, though I heard they may be discontinuing it soon D: Definitely recommend taking a look if you’re interested!

  5. Great selections and thanks for the feedback!

  6. Tara says:

    Ooooh! I am intrigued by the Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask. Is it like a sleeping pack? I also recently read about how hyaluronic is really good for the skin, so that’s a plus, too :) I am also interested in trying that sunscreen :D Thanks for sharing what your favourites are for 2016 :)

    And you visited Korea? You should totes hit me up if you’re ever in my neck of the woods again! :D

    • Jenny says:

      Yep! It’s a sleeping pack, but it absorbs very quickly so you don’t have to worry about it getting all over your pillow :P

      I did visit Seoul on a layover, but 24 hours isn’t nearly enough to explore the city! Will definitely let you know if I ever visit again :D

  7. Elisa says:

    i’ve always enjoyed seeing your list even though i won’t be able to afford them. your list features some products that i have never heard anyone using before; for instance, dr.wu and sofina primavista and smith & cult… i’ve never heard any of my favorite beauty blogger(s) mentioned them. i like that your blog makes me discover products and brands i wasn’t aware of even though some of them like klairs and la roche-posay are not uncommon. also, i feel like eveeeryone looooves the tatcha dewy skin mist. i do know one beauty youtuber who dislike it though because she said it leaves her face looking oily and greasy. i do have to say, the packaging is really pretty though haha

    • Jenny says:

      Thank you Elisa! Some of the products are on the pricier side, and if I were still a student I’d be hesitant to purchase as well. But now that I’m working and almost 30 (I’m still in denial about this), spending more for quality skincare is worth every penny :)

      Glad to hear you’re able to discover new brands through my blog! I think that’s my favorite part of being a part of this community, is that I’m always learning from other people! I’ve discovered some great products and brands as a result as well!

      The Tatcha mist does contain oil, and it’s the primary reason I like it, because that actually helps your skin retain the moisture. Otherwise the water just evaporates, making your skin even drier, defeating the purpose of a hydrating mist ;)

  8. Im sooo curious about the Sulwhasoo Overnight Mask! I see everybody using this mask, and how gfgreat when you can sleep with it! I hate the feeling of a heavy mask when you go to sleep, so this item will be added to my wishlist! Also the Tatcha Mist is still something I’m really hestitating about, I’ve read amazing review but I’m just not sure if I want to spend that much on a facial mist ;p Amazing picks for 2016 hon!

    X, An |

    • Jenny says:

      Thank you so much An! The Sulwhasoo Overnight Mask isn’t heavy at all and my skin absorbs it almost instantly, yet it’s still very moisturizing! It might be my #1 favorite from 2016, haha

      I totally agree with you on the Tatcha mist price…it’s sooo expensive! That was the main reason why it didn’t make the cut, but darn it feels good on the skin!

  9. Gloria says:

    All of these products sound wonderful! And yes, I’m so glad I tried out Curology. Even though it’s pricey I can’t imagine my routine without it, it’s been a game changer!

    As for everything else on your list, I’m super tempted to try all of them! Especially the Josie Maran Cleansing Powder and La Roche Posay sunscreen. I want to start branching out and try some Western skincare this year, so I might start with those two! I’ve been hearing a lot about mandelic acid lately, would you say it’s even better than an AHA/BHA product?

    • Jenny says:

      I definitely recommend the La Roche Posay sunscreen, just make sure you get the Anthelios XL and not the US version, which has different ingredients and a lower PPD.

      Mandelic acid is interesting because it almost acts as an AHA/BHA in one, but it’s also not as potent as traditional AHAs due to its bigger molecule size (though that’s also what makes it gentler). Better really depends on what you’re looking for, but if you have dry/sensitive skin that’s easily irritated by traditional AHA, mandelic acid would be a better option. I like it for that reason, plus my skin just feels so much smoother with it than any other AHAs I’ve used.
      Not really sure about BHA vs mandelic acid though, as the only BHA I’ve used so far is one by Paula’s Choice which I hated. Maybe if I get to try a well formulated BHA product I can do a comparison then :)

  10. I am so so intrigued by the La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Ultra Light Fluid SPF50+!! For whatever reason, I kept thinking of this as an after-sun lotion because of the texture! Didn’t realize that it’s a sunscreen! I have to second your opinion on the beautyblender – it’s been such a great investment!!

    Did you find the YSL Lip Tint to be sticky? I have a sample of it but I don’t think I liked it as much as the Clarins lip oil!

    • Jenny says:

      It does have a really light texture, which is so rare in non-Asian sunscreens! It’s a shame that this particular formula isn’t sold in the US due to certain ingredients not being FDA approved yet, so I have to buy mine on eBay or when I go to Europe. I believe it’s sold in Canada though!

      I didn’t find the YSL tint-in-oil sticky at all, it was more of a wet slippery feel, just like oil! I know they have other lip stains/tints (the one in the black and gold tube) but I’m not sure about those. I still need to try the Clarins lip oil!!

  11. Cat L. says:

    Love your favorites, Jenny and spotted some of my own such as the S+C lip products, the YSL tint-in-oil, the beauty blender, Dior Crème de Roses, just to name a few. I’ve also added some of your favorites to my own list of products I need to try such as the Sulwhasso overnight mask, the Josie Maran cleansing powder and the Andalou oil. Great selection overall, you are becoming one of my number 1 enablers! :) :) :)

    ~ Cat L.

    • Jenny says:

      Thank you so much Cat! I’ve discovered so many amazing products thanks to lovely instagrammers/bloggers such as yourself, and I still have so many more I want to try, so I’m sure this list will look very different next year :P

  12. Elaine says:

    …Sofina, not Sofia’s, thank you Autocorrect…!

  13. Elaine says:

    Thanks for the recommendations! I’m thinking of trying the Sofia’s Primavista primer, does it work okay with your sunscreen, or does it ‘pill’?

    • Jenny says:

      You’re welcome and thank you for reading Elaine! The Sofina doesn’t pill at all and dries to a matte powdery finish. I forgot to mention in the post but it has SPF28 PA+++, so it can replace your sunscreen! :)