I hope you had the most wonderful Christmas (or any other holiday that you celebrate)!
The end of the year is closing in and I thought I’d take this opportunity to share a few of my favorite things with you. Let’s kick of the favorites series with skincare and hair products.
Just for reference I have dry/normal combination skin that’s mildly sensitive.
This year I found a skincare routine that just really worked for me. I live in a pretty warm climate so my summer skin care is what dominates most of the year. Currently I have a few extra things added to my recently posted routine but there were just some standout products I wanted to talk about.
Toner – Hadalabo Gokujyun Premium Lotion
Honestly the toner/lotion portion of my routine is probably the least important thing I do. But it’s also my favorite step in my routine. I’ve used different versions of the Hadalabo but this was my favorite. It’s thicker and just adds a bit more hydration than the other versions. It’s also relatively inexpensive at $14.00.
Serum – Andalou Naturals Turmeric + C Enlighten Serum
Vitamin C is one of the few skincare ingredients that makes a noticeable and instant difference to my skin when I use it. I’ve used the Drunk Elephant version and the Ole Henricksen version (both quite pricey!) but the Andalou Naturals is my favorite. It feels the best on my skin, it does more for the texture of my skin and it’s a bit more brightening. Plus it’s so much more affordable at $24.99 than the Drunk Elephant which is $80 for the same amount.
2016 – Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Super Antioxidant Concentrate Serum (with retinol)
Makeup Remover – Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm
If you’re a regular here you already know I love this stuff. It takes off EVERYTHING, it feels good on the skin, it doesn’t make my eyes blurry and a jar lasts for ages. It’s amazing. At $29.50 it sounds pricey but a jar of this lasts for months. I think I go through around two of these a year and I use it every day that I wear makeup. So, basically every day.
2016 – Clinique Take The Day Away Cleansing Balm
2015 – Clinique Take The Day Away Cleansing Balm
2014 – Sweet Almond Oil
Cleanser – Lush Aqua Marina Cleanser
I enjoy this product more than I thought I’d ever enjoy a cleanser. I mean, facial cleansing isn’t really all that exciting right? But I actually look forward to using this product in the mornings. This is a calamine based cleanser with chunks of seaweed in it and it’s the only cleanser that I’ve ever tried that makes my skin feel fresh and hydrated after I use it. It’s seriously wonderful. A jar of this is $12.95 and lasts me for around 3-4 months and I use this most mornings.
Moisturizer – Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
I purchased the gel version of this moisturizer on accident (meant to go for the lotion) but it’s surprisingly hydrating! This is a no frills basic moisturizer but damn if this doesn’t get the job done. In the winter it’s a little light on moisture for me but it’s perfection during the summer months. Also, this is the biggest bottle in the history of facial moisturizers. $27.00 for 4oz and it lasts forever. I bought this in November of last year and it’s only half way gone and still working perfectly.
2016 – CeraVe Skin Renewing Line
Face Mask – Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask
I really didn’t do many face masks this last year. In fact, I’m not sure if I did any at all. I did however use the overnight mask every couple of weeks. I feel like it’s cheating to add it to the face mask category but I’m going to do it anyway. It’s basically just a thicker moisturizer but it’s delightful. Also, I promise I’m not sponsored by Clinique. Although; Clinique, I’d totally entertain any offers you’re willing to throw my way! Because of course their PR department lives for my blog. This retails for $35.00 and again, lasts a good long time.
2016 – Now Moroccan Red Clay Powder
2015 – Now Moroccan Red Clay Powder
2014 – Now Moroccan Red Clay Powder
Sunscreen – Banana Boat Baby Sunscreen SPF 50
For which I forgot to take a photo so we’re going retro.
I have such an issue with sunscreen. I wear it most days (although I’ll occasionally go through I period where I just plain forget for a while) but I just don’t like it. It feels gross, it looks gross it’s just not fun. But it’s important. It’s why I keep putting it in my favorites. I actually had to have a pre-cancerous lesion removed from my face at the ripe old age of 28 so it’s serious business. All that being said, good old Baby Banana Boat is still the best sunscreen I’ve tried. Yes, it’s greasy. That’s what powder is for. Yes it gives a white cast under flash. I’m not cool enough to be the victim of flash photography so that doesn’t really bother me. What I do like about it is that it’s high SPF, it’s a purely physical barrier and it doesn’t irritate my skin. It dries it out a bit but no irritation. I think that’s the most one can hope for from a sunscreen. So there you have it, the least enthusiastic favorites endorsement ever. But on the other plus side, it’s only $10.79 and a bottle will last you all year.
2016 – Banana Boat Baby Sunscreen
2015 – Banana Boat Baby Sunscreen
2014 – Banana Boat Baby Sunscreen
Hand Cream – Tokyo Milk Dark
Again with the photo forgetfulness!
This is just a solid product. I always have this in my purse. The scents are pretty strong and quite a few of them are headache inducing but I love the La Vie La Mort scent. It’s sort of grassy and fresh. This is very moisturizing, it sinks into the skin and it keeps your skin feeling hydrated through at least one hand washing. At $22.00 per tube it’s a splurge but again, it lasts a long time. I generally buy two bottles at a time and it will last well over a year for me.
2016 – TokyoMilk Dark Shea Butter Hand Cream
Hair Product – Elizabeth and James Nirvana Bourbon Dry Shampoo
I know in past years I’ve always featured a hair treatment. Generally coconut oil. But this year I didn’t use so much as a deep conditioner even one time. In fact, there was about six months where I wasn’t using conditioner at all. I was basically washing my hair with bar soap and running out the door like a wild thing. So rather than give the coconut oil my accolades, I wanted to mention my new holy grail dry shampoo. To be fair, I’ve only been using this for a few months but it’s wonderful. Very minimal white cast, it actually soaks up oil, it doesn’t make my hair MORE greasy, it adds texture without drying out my hair and it smells delicious. Very boozy and smoky. There are other scents as well (I also have the rose scent which is nice but I kind of dig the boozy smoky thing). The downside is that it’s $28.00 per bottle which is way more than anyone should spend on dry shampoo. But I don’t even care. I use dry shampoo every other day and I’ve tried so many duds that I’m just happy to have something that works.
2016 – Coconut Oil
2015 – Coconut Oil
2014 – Coconut Oil
Categories that I didn’t have a favorite for this year:
- 2016 – Haus of Gloi Pumpkin Butter
- 2015 – Fortune Cookie Soaps Whipped Cream
- 2014 gud Body Butter