What. A. Year!


2017 I’d say was the year of a lot of skincare discoveries. Not just my own curiosity and purchases, but some awesome opportunities to try products to review from PR samples. It also helped having a significant other use products as well so I can go through them faster!

From the past year, the skincare products I am mentioning in this post are the standouts. Like when I think about them and use them, it gives me the happy feels and I never want them to run out.

I tried my best to find a product under every possible category of skincare, but a girl can only mention so much until the happy feels disappear, and I don’t want to mention a product for the sake of filling in the category of a possible skincare item. And also, some of the categories may have more than one product mentioned teehehehee.

For those curious of my skin type:

  • Dry
  • Dehydrated
  • Can get oily by end of the daily
  • Acne-prone
  • Used to be super oily-skinned

Skin concerns:

  • Prevent & Prolong (preventative aging)
  • Acne
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Indented post-acne markers (lighter than deeply pitted marks)

Links marked with a * indicates an affiliate link. By using these links to purchase a product I make a small commission. Using the link is very much appreciated! Products with (PR) indicates that the product is a PR sample or a gift I received. All opinions are my own.

Makeup Remover


Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser (PR)

I can’t believe I never picked this up in the past! It is such a good simple and affordable makeup remover from the drugstore. It takes off makeup very easily and honestly had sometimes made me a little lazy in completing my full night time routine. Despite it having mineral oil in it, I’ve never experienced a breakout from this product and my face actually feels very soft after every time I use it.

Dermalogica PreCleanse Balm (PR)

I did get this product near the end of the year, however I’m addicted to using it. Using it with the cleansing mitt it comes with made my skin not only soft but extremely smooth and moisturized. I don’t need a lot of this product for it to do the job and I love the fact that it emulsifies and you don’t need to ruin your face towel to use it.
I tried Dermalogica’s Double Cleanse Routine ft. the PreCleanse Balm



2017 was definitely the year I took cleansers more seriously. After seeing some beauty gurus rave about cleansers, I thought I’d give it a try and see if something that I wash off my face in seconds really is worth a price higher than $10.

Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Cleanser

This is the first “expensive” cleanser I have used and by George, did it impress me. It has the perfect pH balance of 5.5 and always conditioned the rough areas of skin and never left a tight feeling after I dried my face. I wouldn’t say this contributed a whole lot to healing any current acne I would have, but it was just an overall good gentle cleanser to use.

Boscia Charcoal Deep-Pore Cleansing Stick Treatment

Although stick cleansers seem gimmicky, they are actually a great travel companion full of potent ingredients. I love using the Boscia Cleansing stick during my travels; it not only doesn’t count as a liquid in your carry-on, this cleansing stick is pH balanced and it helped minimize my pores and control my breakouts after flying and adjusting to the current city’s climate. A little goes a long way with these kinds of products and it lasts a long time even if you use it on the daily!



Long ago I have abandoned the idea that toners were just used for antiseptic purposes and were meant to dry out your skin in order to work. I definitely took a hard turn into different formulated toners because of how great my skin has been looking since I started using them!

Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner *

I am deeply in love with this toner. It is the first hydrating toner I have tried, and it’s the one I keep going back to. I always apply dime-nickel size drops 3 times and my face always feels comfortably hydrated. I always notice my skin “perk up”; it looks even toned and healthy. If you’re looking to try a hydrating toner instead of the standard antiseptic ones, the Klairs one is a great start. I love love LOVE this toner!



I was very close to abandoning serums because I felt they were a waste of money and not really doing much for my skin. Turns out I just needed to use ones with high-grade pure chemical formulations instead of oil serums.

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

This one is the first niacinamide product I have ever used and I was very impressed with its performance. This extremely inexpensive and pure-formulated product improved my skin barrier and gave my skin an overall healthy appearance. Added bonus, it did somewhat shrink my large pores. I repurchased this a few times for the sole purpose of healthy skin appearance, however I did not find it worked at acne prevention at all. It’s no longer in rotation in my skincare routine at the moment, but I had to give it a mention.
[REVIEW] One Month (and more) of the Ordinary: Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinimide + Zinc, Lactic/Azelaic Acids (plus last minute buys)

Klairs Midnight Blue Youth Activating Drop *

This bottle is so damn tiny, and the consistency was so watery and clear, I started questioning whether this product would even do anything. Obvious it amazed me that it’s being listed in my best of skincare! I only need 3 drops for my entire face and neck (provided your face is nicely prepped from a hydrating toner), and it was so surprising how smooth and healthy my face looked after use. I use it in my current nighttime routine and I find it essential to my prevent & prolong skin concerns and overall skin health. What impresses me the most about this product is how it’s only formulated with 10 ingredients, highly concentrated with polypeptides, and is very gentle on the skin. Klairs really nailed the hammer on the head with this product. Their Midnight Blue Youth Activating Drop is definitely a good starter for those that want to get into anti-aging skincare!



Now that I am a dry-skinned gal, a good moisturizer is of the utmost importance in my skincare routine, especially finding one that is both rich and does not break me out in all the seasons!

Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream *

This was the first “heavier” moisturizer I used once my skin started to become drier. After trying both the old and new formulation, I am still in love! It’s a very gentle product that moisturizes my skin well, without congesting my acne-prone skin. I find the Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream satisfies my skin most in the Spring and Fall. The other moisturizers I will mention may be too weak or rich, which is why I have quite the rotation of moisurizeres during the year. I’ve already repurchased this when it was on sale on Wishtrend and picked up another one for my friend who fell in love with it too!

Pyunkang Yul Nutrition Cream *

This is the designated Summertime moisturizer. It’s very simple in its formulation but every time I used it, my face looked super smooth and skin like a baby. This is also another really good product for those that need to up their moisture levels, but want a simple and effective product!

Belif The True Cream – Moisture Bomb

Designated Wintertime moisturizer! Not to say the Klairs or Pyunkang Yul one won’t do the trick, but I would definitely need to use more of it. A little goes a long way with the Belif Moisture Bomb, and I always find my skin nicely conditioned in the colder months.
[REVIEW] Belif | Witch Hazel Herbal Extract Toner, Hungarian Water Essence, the True Cream – Moisturizing Bomb

Facial Oil


After having a good run with a ton of facial oils, I have to say I have become rather picky when it comes to using a facial oil as a bonus step to my skincare routine. There’s only so much a facial oil can impress me and make my best of skincare list!

Acure Aromatherapeutic Moroccan Argan Oil (rose) (PR)

This oil smells so damn good. I’m not one that’s too finnicky about packaging, but I find myself appreciating that this is a pump bottle rather than a dropper. I’ve never been a fan of argan oil, but this one is exceptional. Aside from its extremely pleasant scent, it made my skin extremely smooth in texture, brighter, and actually well moisturized. Will always repurchase this product, I just don’t want the good times to end.
January &February Favourites 2017



I wouldn’t be an acne-prone gal if I didn’t have special products to help with current breakouts on my skin, now would I?

Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream *

Whenever I get a mean af breakout, the Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream is there to cool down the heat coming from my inflamed skin. This is also my go-to treatment when I travel, because I almost always get a breakout be it from the plane or adjusting to whatever climate I’m in. Sometimes I feel extra and put a thin layer of this all over my face to get that nice calming sensation all around.
Summer Essentials 2017 : Skincare, Makeup, Misc., and Many Mists!

Consonant DHE Mask

Best pimple treatment ever! It actually reduces the size of whatever cystic acne spot I have on my face. I always wake up the next morning to a smaller, less hurtful pimple, without dry patches from the product!
REVIEW: Consonant “One For All” Kit

Sheet Mask


Etude House 0.2mm Therapy Air Masks

After trying it once, I purchased around 40 of these masks (there was a foreigner’s sale going on in Seoul, and Nick uses them too). I like this type of sheet mask in particular because it feels very comfortable and light, and actually fits my face decently. Despite how thin the sheet is, it is drenched in serum and I always notice how good my skin looks after I use them.
First Impressions | Etude House 0.2mm Therapy Air Masks (Lotus, Hyaluronic Acid & Snail)

Boo Bamboo Bamboo Fiber Charcoal Sheet Mask (PR)

After giving most of the range a go, Boo Bamboo’s sheet masks easily bumped up to the top of my favourites. The sheet has more slits and fits even better than the Etude House ones, and works just as well. It is a personal plus for me that it is a Canadian brand that gets their sheet masks made in Korea!
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Boo Bamboo Bamboo Fiber Charcoal Sheet Mask (Hydrating)



I love me a good exfoliation, and these products definitely fit the bill for what I like in my skincare routine these days: effective and gentle!

ByWishtrend Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water (PR) *

This is my favourite acid toner to date. I have been using it every night since it was sent to me, and I noticed the quality of my skin looking better despite it being an AHA product. Not only does my face look smoother in general, it has been helping a lot with my indented post-acne marks, and it does not dry out my skin at all, it actually leaves it feeling soft. If you’re in the market for a gentle, effective, non-drying AHA toner, this is definitely the one!
REVIEW [ByWishtrend] Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water

Charmzone Control Cream Self Massage

This peeling product is so satisfying, and I really like how it performs differently from the conventional peeling gel. And by that I mean the product itself isn’t pilling. When you lightly massage your face, you feel the little specs of dirt building up.  I am positive that this product is the reason I no longer get a ton of blackheads and pimples on my jawline.
REVIEW: Charmzone Control Cream Self Massage

Lip Product


Weleda Everon Lip Balm

I didn’t think I could like a lip balm so much that I would repurchase it multiple times. This one not only smells good, it actually gives my lips a proper coating of product. It moisturizes my lips and doesn’t sink in the skin too fast, it actually maintains a moisturized barrier on my lips. I’ve tried other lip balms that have been sent to me in PR boxes (Raspberrymint, Green Beaver, Surita Brazil), but this one definitely is at the top of my list.

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

I kinda hate how much I like this product considering how pricey it is. You may think it is glorified Vaseline, but I assure you, it is much more than that. The moment I apply this mask, my lip looks very luscious and plump for bed. This is my special nighttime treat and I suggest it become yours as well.

Face Mist


Divine Essence Organic Labrador Tea Floral Water (PR)

I hate using the word, but obsessed really is the right way to describe how I felt about this product. It actually hydrates my face and makes my skin feel better in whatever climate, and it doesn’t ruin my makeup. As a perk, the floral water, Labrador Tea, is good for acne-prone skin because it’s anti-inflammatory. That’s pretty much everything you’d want in a mist!

If you haven’t picked up by now, the recurring theme of result in most of the products is “Smoothing”. It pretty much sums up my skin’s end result after using all these different products!

Thanks for sticking to the end of this post, and for the past year! I’m so grateful for the opportunities I got in 2017, I hope they keep coming onwards.

Make the most of your 2018!

xo, M


If you’re interested in comparing this list to 2016… The Best of Beauty 2016

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