BEST OF BEAUTY 2018: Skincare

I feel like with every passing year, I always learn a different aspect of skincare. I found this year I focused a LOT on scientifically proven ingredients, as well as new, popular ingredients that are commonly talked about in the beautysphere. This was also the year I showed more interest in drugstore products! Out of everything I tried and used up this year, here are the skincare products that really stood out to me this year and deserve some praises.

Before we get into the individual products, I want to give a shout out to a few brands that have impressed me with almost every product I’ve tried from the line. If I didn’t, I feel like the list would be a lot longer! I also have product shoutouts along the list as well. They may not be my top pick for the year of 2018, but again, they deserve a mention since I did enjoy using them.


BRAND Shoutouts

DRUGSTORE: Cerave – If you need affordable, effective skincare with a simple ingredients list, this is the brand to turn to. Almost any skin type can turn to this brand! I’m looking forward to trying more from the brand and provide you all affordable alternatives in skincare.

MID-RANGE: Krave Beauty – I actually would have featured everything in this post, but since I only started using them near the end of the year a handful of times, I’ll leave the praises for a future post *hint hint*. A new skincare line created by acne-prone, sensitive-skinned beauty Youtuber Liah Yoo. The brand is all about respecting the skin’s natural function and makes sure to promote its helf rather than further sensitizing it.

HIGH-END: Dermalogica – She may be pricey, but she works, and a little goes a long way with every product I have tried! I love the combo of science-backed ingredients mixed with botanicals and essential oils in their formulas. This is one of the few skincare brands I’m willing to splurge money on because I’ve reaped nothing but benefits!


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Makeup Remover

Marcelle Eye Makeup Remover for Sensitive Eyes – Favourited by a handful of Canadian Beauty Bloggers, and I can see why. It is simple, it is gentle, it works really well at removing waterproof makeup, all the while never irritating my eyes or drying out my eye area!

Cleanser

Cerave Hydrating Cleanser – Jesus where was this when I had worse skin problems? Cerave has impressed me this year as a drugstore brand and this is one of their standout products to me. Preferably used for my morning cleanse, I find it softens my skin when massaging for a minute or so and does a decent job at removing overnight fluffs. If you need a very gentle cleanser, I don’t think you’d be disappointed with this one!

Shoutout:
Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel * – She’s expensive, but she also has a lovely texture, amazing second cleanse, and a little goes such a long way it took me forever to finish it!

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Hydrator

COSRX Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence – I seriously miss this from my routine! I’m currently using Secret Key FTE which is nice, but COSRX is pretty much the same but with my preferred consistency! It wasn’t until I started using this that the plateau I was experiencing in my skincare ended. Face felt more hydrated, looked even tone, and I actually started noticing improvements in my hyperpigmentation.

Shoutouts:
Klairs Supple Preparation Unscented Toner *
Some By Mi AHA/BHA/PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner *

I already threw out the COSRX Essence so I couldn’t take a new solo photo :3)

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Moisturizer

Hada Labo Koi-Gokujyun Perfect Gel – I pine for this. Has the different HA molecules, Urea, Ceramide, and Squalane! A seriously lovely humectant moisturizer that I’m highly considering repurchasing.

Cerave PM Facial Moisturizing Lotion – Surprise surprise! But seriously, I really am surprised that I liked a drugstore moisturizer so much. It worked with my dry skin and I see the workings of the 4% Niacinamide.

Klairs Vitamin E Mask * – Love it as my night time moisturizer in the colder months, and it’s also just a joy to use because of the texture and the instant brightening effects. The bonus is that it is a heavier mask that doesn’t aggravate my acne or enlarge my pores!

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Actives / Treatments

Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum * – I cringe that this is a favourite because of the price point, but it’s SO GOOD! It does everything you could want in a vitamin C serum – hydrate, brighten, create an even tone, lighten pigmentation. I felt like it just simplified my morning routine when I used it.

Differin OTC 0.1% Adapalene – My gateway drug into retinoids (lol). After years of experimenting with skincare outside of prescription, and learning so much this year about its benefits, I decided to go back to Vitamin A. It was definitely a turn for the better, because I’ve only noticed my skin improving since incorporating it into my routine. I now use prescription Differin with a higher percentage, but Americans are very lucky to have easy access to this in your local drugstores!

Benzagel 5 Acne Wash – Simplest, gentlest BP product I have ever tried. It was very affordable, I was surprisesd at how long it lasted, and yes, I found it very effective at killing any spots within a few days. I never thought I’d like a BP product as much as this!

Exfoliator

Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel – Gentle and easy to use, and I like that I can use it on wet skin!

Secret Key Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel * – Must be used on dry skin, but love how my skin is noticeably softer after using this. This one is particularly good for not just it’s quality but the low cost!

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid – Out of all the products I’m mentioning, this one is probably the gentlest. I always anticipate a stinging sensation when using this, but it’s always soothing and moisturizing! Like I’ve said before, it’s like an acid essence. My skin always looks bright and even, and pores look smaller.

Krave Beauty Kale-lalu-yAHA * – This year’s AHA favourite. Love that it’s gentle, especially now that I am using a retinoid, and still effective as an exfoliant for my skin. I especially like how both this and the PC product can be used under my eyes!

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Sunscreen

Elta Md UV Facial Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+ Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen – We hear time and time again from skin professionals, experts and enthusiasts how important sunscreen application is, and this is the one I used that really made me enjoy applying sunscreen. I also consider this a gateway drug into trying out many other sunscreens!

Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF50+ PA++++ * – How can I not include this? Seriously one of the best Klairs releases. Chemical sunscreen with photostable UV filters, doesn’t sting my eyes, is slightly moisturizing, doesn’t have a cast, and comes in a great size for a great price.


And there you have it! I’m impressed that I managed to keep the list * rather * short this time around. Hope you enjoyed this post and be sure to check out the related content below!

xo, M


RELATED CONTENT

BEST OF BEAUTY 2018: Makeup
BEST OF BEAUTY 2017: SKINCARE
The Best of Beauty 2016
My Morning (AM) Skincare Routine 2018
My Nighttime (PM) Skincare Routine 2018
SUNSCREEN WEEK [Day #2]: Elta Md UV Facial Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+ Moisturizing Facial Sunscreen
SUNSCREEN SUNDAY #1: Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF 50+ PA++++
BRAND REVIEW: Dear, Klairs
I tried Dermalogica’s Double Cleanse Routine ft. the PreCleanse Balm
Skin Update [#1] December 2018: Acne + Scars


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BEST OF BEAUTY 2018: Makeup

2018 flew by so freaking fast! It’s been a personal journey for me, but let’s reflect on the interesting stuff: MAKEUP! Below are the ones that hit me in the feels when I use it (I mean that in the best of ways). I understand the product, I look forward to using them, and I trust them.


BASE

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It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream (Medium) – One of the best Western CC Creams that I have tried to date. Provides great coverage, literally makes it look like my skin but better, lasts a long time. It’s no surprise that it’s one I favour, for it’s made in Korea, the place where BB Creams became heavily popularized! I do sometimees notice my face looking paler than usual when using this, but it’s in the off lighting that you’ll barely catch me under xP

MAC Cosmetics Studio Face & Body Foundation (C2) – A great reach for when you literally want just a tint. The base is on the glowier side, so I find this more suitable for the winter time when my skin is more susceptible to looking lack-luster. I also found the coverage of this tint buildable compared to other ones I’ve tried.

MUFE Matte Velvet Skin Full Coverage Foundation (Y305 Soft Beige) – She is found – a natural looking, buildable, matte-satin foundation for DRY skin. Here’s the catch – the matte look doesn’t last that long, but it wears the way I want it to for a night out, which is when I tend to reach for this. I’ve worn it for a whole day and it will get quite dewy, but heck, the finish is there when it matters most and it’s been a while since I’ve been so comfortable wearing a foundation. Since it is buildable, I can also use this to spot conceal as well. It’s not 100% non-transferrable, but definitely better than when I used to use Too Faced Born This Way Foundation!

Pixi Beauty H2O Skin Tint (No. 3 Warm) – One of the better drugstore complexion finds I have found to date. It’s not orange, it’s an actual undertone. It always gives me a lovely satin finish, with a slight blurring effect.

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Pixi Beauty Makeup Fixing Mist – At first the heavy fragrance in this turned me off, but it’s so damn good that I put up with it. Before makeup, it gives my skin a great healthy glow without looking oily, and really diffuses the texture I’m concerned with on my forehead. After makeup, gets rid of the dry, powdery look if I did overpowder.

I encourage you to check out my previous posts if any categories are missing. Like I said, I only include the ones that really hit me in thefeels the year I discovered it!


EYE AREA

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Heroine Make Volume & Curl Mascara (Super Waterproof, 01 Jet Black) – Black, waterproof, buildable. I can wear it for a natural look, and build it up when I do a more eyeshadow heavy look. Seriously, the Japanese know what to do with mascaras!

Anastasia Beverley Hills Soft Glam Palette – Hands down most used palette this year. I was really fond of using Orange Soda, Burnt Orange, and Sienna this year, all year long. Lately I’ve been loving a brown smokey eye!


CHEEK

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Clinique Cheek Pop (Melon Pop) – So glad to have given cheek pops a try, and I was lucky enough to first pick out my favourite daily blush! I’ve watched Korean MUAs use them for its water-colour type finish. And they were right! It adds a beautiful hue to the cheeks and lasts.

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Winky Lux Strobe Balm (Lit) – I actually like this better than RMS Beauty’s Living Luminizer! While that one is natural, the WL one is thinner, hence easier for me to use on top of any base. It’s also more dimensional and I find it works as a nice base for other highlighters.


LIPS

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Bubz Beauty Liquid Lipstick (Girl Next Door) – The best neutral pink lip product I have come across. I can make it work with a warm and cool look, and it doesn’t make my lips look pasty or buttholey.

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Left to right: Shu Uemura “S RD 150”, Bubz “Girl Next Door”

Shu Uemura Rouge Unlimited Sheer Shine Liptisck (S RD 150) – The perfect hot pink colour! Love that it leans warm, and you can wear it sheer or really build the colour. It really moisturizes my lips and I never have problems wearing it for the whole day. I’ve been searching for this colour for so long!


 

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And there you have it, my makeup faves from 2018!! If I didn’t mention a product in a specific category, check out my previous “Best of” posts, I’m most likely still using the same stuff! In the selfie above, I used all products I mentioned (except 3/4 foundations… Cause you know, I only have so much face). List of products used are already captioned in my Instagram post.

Hope you have had an amazing 2018, and 2019 has been treating you well so far! Stay tuned for the Best of Skincare!

xo, M


BEST OF BEAUTY 2017: MAKEUP
The Best of Beauty 2016


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December 2018 Roundup – I DID IT!

*clap clap clap* I have somehow managed to do a roundup for every month this year, and use up a ton of products along the way! Here are my favourites and empties for December, and stay tuned for the Beauty of Beauty posts!


Favourites

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Skincare

Cerave Baby Healing Ointment – The regular one isn’t available in Canada, but I swear these have similar ingredients! This is my current go-to occlusive for around my eyes, smile area and any dry spots (let’s be real – my entire face). It has 45% petroleum, mineral oil, as well as *drumroll* CERAMIDES! You guessed it lol. Basically this is less greasy to use compared to straight up Vaseline (although still greasy) and is easier to thin out or mix with my moisturizer.

Tools

Sephora Pro-Diffuser Brush #64 – Another solid recommendation from my friend. This brush is the best complexion brush I have ever used. MAC Face and Body, MUFE Matte Velvet, cream blush. powder blush, general blending… Bless this brush, for it does everything!


Empties

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Skincare

Benzagel 5 Acne Wash – One of the best BP products I’ve ever used. It was really gentle when I used it, lasted WAY longer than expected, and worked well with OTC Differin.
My Nighttime (PM) Skincare Routine 2018

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal + Tea Tree Scalp Treatment – Love it more than the Phytopolleine I had prior. It worked fairly quickly at balancing my scalp, and I actually found I didn’t have a need for it until I *unbalanced* it with other hair products I’ve been trying. Will probably repurchase this.

CNP Brightening Daily Fluid Sun Essential Fluid Formula SPF50+ PA++++ – Loved it when I first bought it because of how milky it was. However near it’s end it seemed to pill on my face a LOT! Also I can’t rely find a reliable link even if I wanted to repurchase.

Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum * – After much reflection on all the Vitamin C serums I have tried this year, I have concluded that this was the best one. Mainly because it benefitted my skin in a variety of ways, and the one major con is the price.
REVIEW: Dermalogica Biolumin-C Serum

Dermalogica Special Cleansing Gel * – Holy cow, this took so long to finish, I actually used it in the morning as well. I got this back in October 2017 And pretty much used it every night since (aside from testing other stuff). A little went a long way and despite the price you really do get the full value of this cleanser!

Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream 30ml – You all know I purchased the 60ml size, ’nuff said.
BRAND REVIEW: Dear, Klairs

Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream – This moisturizer will always have a special place in my heart. The only moisturizer I  could rely on when my skin was Going from oily to dry while still breaking out from getting off of BC.


HAPPY NEW YEAR, 60+ EMPTIES LATER.


TOTAL EMPTIES

January – 4
February – 4
March – 6
April – 5
May – 4
June – 5
July – 3
August – 7
September – 10
October & November – 7
December – 7

62 MO’FREAKIN’ PRODUCTS! I know my bf helped me with some, but majority of them were on my own damn face! Keep in mind I didn’t purchase all these products, some were gifts and PR.

For 2019, I’m really going to try being more diligent at using up products I have before purchasing another one. I thought I was doing pretty good, but receiving PR that I care to use after review makes it difficult.

Hope you enjoyed my Roundup series! This year I may just do current favourites and empties based on the season so the video is more focused on a topic. Stay tuned for my Best of Beauty 2018 posts, they are almost done!

xo, M


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