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 product not just because it makes my skin feel good, but because it makes me feel good.
- No restriction on categories or price. Rather than trying to pick one product from each category, I’m just going to list what I loved, period. Price is also irrelevant here, because you can’t put a price point on products you love.
- No repeats from previous favorites. Because that would be boring. But I will have my forever-favorites at the end of this post :)
My top 9 picks
- Josie Maran Argan Exfoliating Cleansing Powder – A big shoutout to @theskincarewitch for recommending this on Instagram! I love the rose gold + white bottle, the super fine powder (comparable to the expensive Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Skin Exfoliant which I used to love), and how versatile it is. You can mix it with water, cleanser, or sometimes I’ll use it to help wash off a cream mask.
- Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask – Are you sick of seeing this on my Instagram yet? I can’t help it – it’s so nourishing without being heavy, plus my skin always looks and feels much better the next day after I use this. If you want to try out Sulwhasoo, this is an excellent entry level product at a great value!
- La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Ultra Light Fluid SPF50+ – With a PPD of 48 (PA++++ is only PPD16+), this has the strongest UVA protection of all my sunscreens, and it’s still light and hydrating. I used this during my 2 week trip to Japan/Taiwan/Korea in June and tanned minimally. Plus it makes a great makeup primer!
- Dr. Wu Intensive Renewal Serum with Mandelic Acid 18% – Another frequent product in my Instagram posts and my forever favorite AHA chemical exfoliant. It’s so gentle and makes my skin really smooth. Plus mandelic acid has the unique property of being able to clean out our pores as well.
- Curology – Thanks to this prescription product, I’m able to incorporate tretinoin and azelaic acid, 2 awesome dark-spot fighting ingredient, in my routine. Plus I love being able to chat with a certified professional about any skincare issues I have. Read my 1-month review and 2nd-prescription review for more details.
- Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream – I found myself missing this as soon as I finished it, and the only reason I haven’t repurchased it yet is because I’m trying to finish my stash first. But I love how calming this is and it’s the perfect weight for combination skin. Full review here.
- Sofina Primavista Long Keep Base UV – Hands down my favorite primer. It somehow manages to mattify my t-zone while hydrating my dryer areas, resulting in longer lasting makeup that doesn’t crease or slide off, it’s magical. Plus I love that it shows you right on the bottle the suggested usage amount!
- Smith & Cult Lip Lacquer & Lip Stain – The more I use these the more I love them – from the chic packaging to the beautiful colors to the hydrating texture – it’s everything I want in my lip products. I will definitely be adding more colors to my collection this year! Full review here.
My Forever Favorites
Favorites from previous years that I will always love, so they deserve a shoutout here :)
- Cure Natural Aqua Gel – I have a backup ready to go as soon as I finish my current (awful) exfoliating gel. Full review here.
- Dior Creme de Rose lip balm – I have yet to find a lip balm as hydrating + nourishing as this one, but the Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm is on my to-try list!
- Beautyblender – The only way I’ll apply foundation now, because it makes the finished result so natural.
- YSL Volupte Tint-in-Oil – I still love these, especially if I want a shinier + more natural look.
- Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kohl Liner – The easiest and most smudge-proof eyeliner I’ve tried to date. I always get 2 of these – 1 in black and another in brown.
It’s always hard picking favorites, because like I said, there have been a lot of great products, but for one reason or another, they just didn’t quite make the cut
Andalou Natural 1000 Roses Moroccan Beauty Oil,
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream (removed and updated review), Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, Naruko La Creme Face Renewal Miracle Essence, Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist, Dior 5-Color Eyeshadow (Cuir Cannage), Skin Actives Every Lipid Serum
Just because these products didn’t make it this year, it doesn’t mean they won’t make it next year. Our skin is always changing, so you never know when you can start falling in love with a product!
Hope you enjoyed this post, and let me know if you’ve tried any of these before, or if you’d like a review on a specific product!