I am sure you have heard it time and time again, but damn this year flew by fast! The time has come to reflect on the year 2016 of the best beauty products I have come across and coveted. Everything I list is in consideration to my skin type: Acne-prone, dry and dehydrated.
Makeup Remover: Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm & Elisha Coy Moist Up Hyalurone Mild Cleansing Water
I scored Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm for $15 while at a warehouse sale in the GTA. It really is the best for sensitive skin. When I use it, I get no reaction from the product, and I really like that it washes off with just water and there’s no need for a hot towel. (Upcoming comparison review Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm vs. Banila Co. Clean it Zero)
The Elisha Coy Cleansing Water was just a whim pick while I was purchasing Korean skincare products. After much back and forth between this and the coveted Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Water, the Elisha Coy Cleansing water is my favourite. I find it way more gentle around my eyes (the Bioderma stung mine like crazy), natural ingredients, and the price point wasn’t too shabby either.
Cleanser: African Black Soap
I honestly don’t think I’ll be able to find a cleanser that can compare to African Black Soap. It is the most natural, most affordable, and most effective product I have ever used. It can clean the makeup off my face while tackling my skin problems with such minimal use. I find 2 minutes max with this cleanser on my face every other night keeps me breakout free!
Toner: Thayer’s Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel Toner with Rose Water and Aloe
This toner is a constant, and I mean CONSTANT repurchase. It’s great at balancing the pH level of my skin, contributes to a clear face, and smells divine. I’m sure I have mentioned it in the past, but it’s super affordable, especially for the 12oz you get.
Moisturizer: Zincnol & CV Skin Labs Calming Moisture
Zincnol was an amazing find on my trip to South Korea. I loved that it moisturized my skin nicely in summer weather and helped with any inflammation going on with my skin.
CV Skin Labs Calming Moisture has been the best moisturizer I have used in the colder months. I really felt it moisturizing my skin while hydrating it underneath. It never felt like it just sat on the surface of my skin. Despite how thick it is it never contributed to breakouts. Although it’s expensive, it is a repurchase worth making because you don’t need a lot of the product and it actually gets the job done.
Facial Oil: Emu Oil
Emu oil was suggested to me by Nick when we first started dating; that’s when I started experiencing dehydrated skin, and my face was perpetually red. Using emu oil tackled both those problems very quickly, and is a great carrier oil for tea tree when a breakout occurs. If I ever find my skin looking and feeling chapped, I use just a pump of this over night and wake up the next day with healthy, clearer skin. (Upcoming Review: Favourite Facial Oils)
Foundation: Cover FX Cream Foundation G30
I have found myself reaching for this foundation the most last year. Although this is usually my go-to in the colder months when my skin tone is lighter, I find it’s still great at blending in as much as possible to my current skin colour. It has great coverage without looking caky on the skin, and the finish makes my skin look like a porcelain doll. I used to hate how glowy I would look after applying it, but since I have drier skin I don’t mind it at all!
Concealer: RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-Up 22 & 33
Although they are expensive little pots, they are the bomb(dot)com at providing coverage with little amount needed. I love 22 as my winter months concealer or under-eye concealer for a little pick me up; 33 is great once the warmer weather comes around and my skin shade is all over the place! Both are great for blending and providing needed coverage. Although it is coconut-oil based they have never broken me out. I’d say careful around the nose area in the warmer months because I definitely noticed clogged pores.
Eyes and Around
Brow: Ecobrow in Liz
Ecobrow is the first brow pomade I have ever used and I’m glad it turned out to be a win! Very little amount is needed and when used with a good brow brush, your eyebrows will always look on point. The colour Liz looks very natural on my brows, and still goes well with my blonde hair. I’d say the one downside is that it’s not waterproof, but c’est la vie for makeup that falls under “green.” (Upcoming Review: How I Fill in and Shape my Brows)
The. Best. And I mean BEST. Mascara. EVER. First off the wand – the wand!! I love the shape of it – even from beginning to end with a hefty amount of bristles to get into the lashes well for a nice full look. I’ve already been brought more from a friend in Tokyo. I will hunt endlessly online to always have this mascara.
Eyeshadow: Tartelette in Bloom
I haven’t been able to use my UD Naked palettes since I was gifted this for my birthday last year. I use all the colours, and my favourite look is a brown-burgundy smokey eye with the bronze shimmer as a spotlight (rebel, leader, firecracker).
Blush: Tarte Exposed, Hour Glass Dim Infusion
Exposed is just one of those blushes you have to have. It’s a perfect neutral colour that can complete any look (imo), and sculpts I’m your face well without a bronzer.
I originally bought Dim Insfusion because I really wanted an Hourglass blush. I particularly love coral on my skin, for I find it goes well in both the warm and cold months. It brightens up my face and it lasts a long time.I have been using both blushes on and off for the past year and haven’t purchased any blush since!
Bronzer: Cover FX Suntan
This bronzer was a pain in the a** to get a hold of because it was perpetually sold out on the Cover FX and Sephora website. Thank the make up gods because it is now available IN STORE. It’s an awesome bronzer that’s not too muddy or orange, making it great for sculpting or bronzing up the face.
Essence Give Me Matte Powder
I am impressed with this powder. It is very affordable, and very good at controlling oil and setting concealer under the eyes. I’d say it covers large pores fairly well too! It’s also a great go-to powder for travelling because of it’s sleek compact. Despite the white powder, it does not transfer that way on the skin and does its job without worry.
I am a firm believer that everyone needs to have this in their makeup collection; this spray really does make the look come together. If you feel your final product is a bit too cakey, Mac Fix+; Need some dew to your skin, Mac Fix+. I’m not sure how well it does with holding your makeup in place, but my goodness it really does make your makeup and skin become one.
UD All Night Spray
I find this is the best setting spray out of the whole UD line because it locks your makeup look in place for literally the whole night without the feeling of it drying out your skin after spritzing it. Combining this with the Mac Fix+ and you got a solid look.
As for serum, primer, liner, and highlighter, lipstick… I definitely use these items, but there hasn’t been anything I can think of that’s super special. They’re all items I go through so much it’s hard to pick something.
And that’s that! Have a great 2017, may your eyeliner wings always take you higher.