Skincare favourites of 2018

There were plenty of great skincare finds in 2018 making it hard to be selective. I don’t use all of these products everyday but they were (and still are) my absolute go-to products in the last year.

Cleanser – Muji Oil Cleanser

Muji Oil Cleanser

I’ve only tried two products from their skin care line and would definitely want to try more. I love the simple aesthetics and the effectiveness of their products. One stand out was their Oil Cleanser. There are two types, sensitive and normal. I have the normal one. It’s texture isn’t too runny and because I keep buying the travel size, it comes in a flip cap bottle and is relatively mess free to use. It is rich but emollient enough to easily rub on my face and rinses off completely clean. It even removes mascara and eyeliner really well. I always follow with a second cleanse anyway. It’s pretty affordable and the full size comes in a pump so will definitely buy that when I’ve run out.

Purchased from Muji.

Exfoliant – Neogen Dermalogy Bio Peel Gauze Peeling

Neogen Dermalogy Bio Peel Gauze Peeling – Green Tea

I’m currently on my second jar as I can’t get enough of it. I have the green tea version and have also tried the lemon which is a better option for brightening. I like both but prefer the lemon because of it’s fresh scent.

This is a great option for a lazy person like me. Each gauze pad is already soaked in a cocktail of ingredients such as green tea, glycerin, glycolic and lactic acid. It’s a chemical and physical exfoliant in the one little pad. All you need to do to use it is, rub the more textured side all over the face and then repeat with the smoother quilted side to fully sloth of all remnants of dead skin. Then you rinse it all off with warm water and you’re left with smooth, clear skin. Each pad is single use only so remember to toss it out after each use.

I use this around 1-2 times a week.

Purchased from ebay*

Toner – Hanskin Real Complexion Hyaluron Skin Essence

Hanskin – Real Complexion Hyaluron Skin Essence

This toner is filled with sodium hyaluronate and is hydrating without leaving any residue. The absorption rate is phenomenal which is great for a person like me who doesn’t like to wait between layers.

The texture is viscose without being too thick. It’s a good one for layering because it has a little body to it. After cleansing I pour a few drops into my palm and press it onto my skin. I have dehydrated skin so it’s like I’m giving my skin a big drink of water each time. It is marketed as an essence but you can use it in whatever step feels right for you. I rarely use essence every morning so if it’s a two in one, then it’s a nice bonus 🙂

Purchased from yesstyle.com*

Serum – The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2%

The Ordinary Advanced Retinoid 2%

This was the first product I tried from the brand, based on recommendations from Renee (Gothamista) on Youtube. Being a total novice, I wanted to start slow and this turned out to be perfect. I apply it in the evening after toner or essence. It has a milky viscosity and I only use 3-4 drops each time. It absorbs really quickly and best of all, it never irritated my skin. I don’t have obvious signs of ageing so I can’t tell you if it helped with wrinkles. It did, however, smooth out my skin’s texture and helped normalize my cheek area because I tend to get unevenness there. It’s also supposed to help with acne and pigmentation but I didn’t really see much of a difference in the 6 months I used it for.

It’s now been re-labelled as Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion with the same ingredients. I haven’t tried this yet but hopefully it is exactly the same because I will be definitely buying this again. I’m using their Retinol 0.2% in Squalene at the moment and I find that it’s too oily in texture so not enjoying it.

Purchased from Adore Beauty.

Face oil – Youth to the People Superberry Hydrate and Glow Oil

Youth to the People Superberry Hydrate and Glow Oil

I’ve used up a travel size of this oil, bought it from eBay before my local Sephora ended up stocking it (finally!). It feels lightweight, has a nice subtle scent and hydrates the skin with just enough dew. It’s moisturising too so most days during the warmer months, I will skip moisturiser. It doesn’t leave an oily residue which I love and sits well under makeup. Gives the skin a nice subtle hydrated glow. It has surpassed my love for Drunk Elephant’s Marula Oil (reviewed here), something I thought couldn’t possibly happen.

Purchased travel size from eBay * and full size from Sephora.

Eye cream – Belif Peat Miracle Revital Eye Cream

Belif Peat Miracle Revital Eye Cream

This eye cream has the characteristics of being perfection. It is easily absorbable, rich yet lightweight, doesn’t leave a residue and doesn’t give me milia. I don’t have obvious lines around my eyes but the skin in that area definitely isn’t as taut as they used to be. This cream hydrated and moisturises without causing any sensitivity to my eyes. The small jar is only 25ml but has lasted me a year and still going strong.

I didn’t know what Peat was and I’m always skeptical when “miracle” is used in a product’s name. It’s a big reason why I don’t try La Mer because their “miracle broth” sounds like a load of crock. Peat is basically dead, decomposed plant residue (sounds gross) but because it originates from moors, bogs and old glaciers, it is rich in minerals and antioxidants, hence it is considered a powerhouse ingredient for anti ageing. Whatever it is, it’s effective and I like it.

Purchased from yesstyle.com*

Sunscreen – Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF50+/PA++++ 

Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF50+/PA++++

This sunscreen is fairly new to me but I have used it long enough to fall deeply in love with it. It’s a chemical sunscreen loaded with hydrating, moisturising and brightening ingredients such as Niacinamide, Adenosine, Panthenol , Beta-Glucan and Sea Buckthorn Oil.

It has zero white cast and has the texture of a light moisturiser, hence it’s name “soft and airy”. I have combo skin so I substitute my morning moisturiser with this and it is enough for my skin. It sits well under makeup too which is a plus.

Purchased from eBay *

Other – COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch

COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch
COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch

This super popular product needs no introduction. I wrote a full review here. They are hydrocolloid patches and when applied to active breakouts, either dramatically flatten the pimple or bring it to a head so it can heal quicker. I used so many of these little bad boys last year especially during the bout of acne I suddenly got around my jawline. The worst thing to do is touch active pimples so with these patches on them, it prevented me from contaminating them with my fingers. I think they make a huge difference so will probably keep buying them for as long as I keep getting acne.

Purchased from yesstyle.com*

Well that’s it! You may have noticed that I didn’t include a moisturiser, essence or masks in my favourites. I’ve used some decent products but nothing that has really stood out.

What skincare product(s) could you not live without in 2018? Do let me know as I’m always looking for recommendations.

Please note: links in this post marked with an * are affiliate links. They provide me with a small commission, if you should choose to use them for a purchase, without any extra cost to you đź™‚

Skincare I’ve used up (September 2018)

I haven’t written an empties post since March…uh yeah this year has really flown! When I noticed that my pile of empties was becoming increasingly more difficult to store, I thought it was about time I posted so I could get rid of them.

I’m going to be breezing through (well I’ll try my best to) each of them, otherwise this will be very long. I’ve reviewed some of it in the past and will add a link to the review where applicable. Most of these products are minis, which I think is an affordable and smart way to try out new skincare, especially if getting samples beforehand isn’t possible.

All products were purchased by me (except for the last one which was in a members rewards box). There are no affiliate links in this post.

Simplistic Skincare – Essence wonder

empties-essence

Reviewed here.

Cost: $49 AUD, purchased from liliacandberries.com 

My thoughts since the review remain unchanged. I didn’t think it did much for my skin, even after using it up, I didn’t miss it or notice any differences in my skin. It is hydrating and absorbs very quickly. Nice packaging but won’t warrant a repurchase.

Goodal – Mild Protect Essence Sun SPF50+/PA+++

Goodal - Mild Protect Essence Sun SPF50+/PA+++
Goodal – Mild Protect Essence Sun SPF50+/PA+++

Cost: $9.81 USD, purchased from ibbi

After hearing the ladies at Glow Recipe rave about this sunscreen, specifically about it’s gel texture, I knew I had to try it. It’s a chemical sunscreen which is what I usually go for because I can’t stand dry and difficult to blend physical sunscreens. I’m sure there are more elegant formulas out there now but I just haven’t found one I’ve liked yet.

The gel consistency makes it easy to rub into the skin which I liked. There were two things that I didn’t like as much with this sun gel and the first thing is that alcohol is the 7th ingredient in the list (cosdna). I noticed this after I bought it, rookie mistake I know! I do know that alcohol is common in sunscreens since it helps make the texture more spreadable but I would still like to avoid it when I can. It wasn’t drying and didn’t smell like alcohol so that was a plus. The second thing was that it left my face dewy…borderline greasy. This could be a great thing for drier skin types but on my combo skin, I did not need the extra grease in my t-zone. Might be a better one for winter. Because of these two reasons, I won’t be repurchasing.

Fresh – Soy Face Cleanser (mini size)

Fresh - Soy Face Cleanser (mini size)
Fresh – Soy Face Cleanser (mini size)

Reviewed here

Cost: $20 AUD, 50ml, purchased from Sephora

As a second cleanser, it was a good one. Like I said in the review, it doesn’t leave my face stripped. It instead, left it feeling bouncy, hydrated and soft. Would repurchase. Keen to try more products from Fresh 🙂

MAC – Prep and Prime Fix +

MAC - Prep and Prime Fix +
MAC – Prep and Prime Fix +

Cost: $36 AUD, 100ml, purchased from Myer

This is a classic product which I will always keep repurchasing. I use it after makeup to set my face and to add a natural looking glow to my skin. It also helps melt powder into the skin, to mesh with the other elements. It doesn’t work like a setting spray (like urban decay’s all nighter) so don’t expect it to prolong the wear of your makeup. I just love the way it makes my skin look which is a good enough reason in my books. The mister on the bottle is glorious too, very fine. Good for use all year around but especially in summer because it also feels refreshing 🙂

Belif – The True Tincture Cleansing Stick (Chamomile)

Belif - The True Tincture Cleansing Stick (Chamomile)
Belif – The True Tincture Cleansing Stick (Chamomile)

Cost: I can’t access the order details but I think it was around $20-30 AUD purchased from eBay.

This was another purchase inspired by Renee (Gothamista). She compared this to the Su:m37 Rose Cleansing stick which I loved but can’t seem to find anymore. Anyway, this stick was nice, it had little bits of chamomile petals in it so it also gently exfoliated the skin while cleansing. I didn’t really feel it to tell you the truth. It did have a subtle natural smell and it was a nice sensory experience to use it. It also didn’t strip my skin but it wasn’t the most hydrating cleanser I’ve ever used either. I felt like if I didn’t apply toner right away, my skin would feel a bit tight. A stick last a really long time, mine expired before I could finish it.  I think I had it for awhile before use and didn’t pay attention to the date.

I probably won’t repurchase this. I prefer the Su:m37 Rose cleansing stick and Neogen Real Fresh Green Tea Cleansing Stick (Green Tea) over this one.

Amore Pacific – The essential creme fluid (mini size)

Amore Pacific - The essential creme fluid (mini size)
Amore Pacific – The essential creme fluid (mini size)

Cost: $25 USD, travel size purchased from eBay.

After hearing Liah Yoo and Jude (Fiddy Snails) rave about this moisturiser, I too also needed it. Especially when I heard that it contained 150 handpicked baby green tea leaves from AP’s own tea garden and that it’s a rich moisturiser disguised as a lightweight creme. Now Amore Pacific is impossible to get here in Australia. Managed to find a travel size on eBay which I probably overpaid for but oh well. I’m actually glad I only got the travel size because the full size is around $100 USD. I liked the texture, it was light and silky. My skin did feel moisturised but not that comfortable. I think it was the scent that bothered me, it smelt quite strongly of flowers I think, not a natural smell. Wish it smelt like green tea instead. For that reason I will not be repurchasing. Overall it didn’t feel unique enough for me to want to get past the scent. The good news is that Mecca, applicable to AU and NZ (I think), will be stocking AP products soon so it will at last be easily attainable!

Drunk Elephant – Beste Jelly Cleanser (mini size)

Drunk Elephant - Beste Jelly Cleanser (mini size)
Drunk Elephant – Beste Jelly Cleanser (mini size)

Cost: Came in a “Hit it off Duo” with the Lala retro whipped cream – $29 from Mecca 

I wasn’t a fan of the Lala Retro but I did enjoy this cleanser. It is hydrating, leaves my skin feeling similar to the Fresh Soy cleanser, which is soft and bouncy. There is no scent and I like how the texture is jelly like, so it doesn’t get messy.

I would repurchase, but lo and behold, my husband overheard about how much I liked it and gifted me with the full sized product for my birthday, yay!

Drunk Elephant – Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil (mini size)

empties-marula

Reviewed here

Cost: Came in a “Night Brights Duo” with the TLC Framboose Glycolic Night Serum, $40 AUD, from Mecca

I’ve already repurchased another Night Brights Duo before I finished it. I almost bought the full size but since I’m between a few oils, I thought I’d just buy it later because it’s quite expensive. I love this oil, it’s lightweight, easily absorbable, feels nourishing as well as moisturising. I like to apply it at night after my actives or retinoid. I don’t feel like to I need to apply moisturiser either. There’s just something about it sensory wise, it feels very comforting.

Acwell – Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner (mini size)

Acwell - Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner (mini size)
Acwell – Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner (mini size)

Cost: $9.50 USD for two mini sizes from eBay

Charlotte from Soko Glam sold me on this when she curated it into their store. It all sounded pretty good, low ph, licorice and peony for brightening and green tea. Honey skin also sounded pretty damn good too and her skin is flawless! I actually really liked this toner, it felt gentle and my skin felt balanced and calm after using it. I don’t know if it alone gave me honey skin, which I still don’t have anyway. I still have another bottle left but it’s something that I liked enough to repurchase.

Too Faced – Hangover 3-in-1 Replenishing Primer & Setting Spray (mini size)

Too Faced - Hangover 3-in-1 Replenishing Primer & Setting Spray (mini size)
Too Faced – Hangover 3-in-1 Replenishing Primer & Setting Spray (mini size)

Cost: Free with my beauty loop box from Mecca (member rewards thing)

I’ve wanted to try this for awhile because I’m obsessed with anything coconut and this has coconut water in it. Too Faced says you can use it three ways, as a primer/setting spray/refresher, but I used it only as a setting spray (because it was so tiny). It’s more of a hydrating setting spray than something that would cement your look to last all day. I feel like it gives the same effect as MAC Fix + and now that they also have a coconut version (which I’m currently using), I haven’t made up my mind as to which I prefer. I can’t remember if this Too Faced one smelt like coconuts but I remember it being pleasant enough. Because of its teeny tiny size, I only got to use it twice or thrice so it’s hard to remember exactly. I’ll most likely purchase the full size once my current setting sprays are used up.

Ok if you’ve made it this far, you’ve done well! Phew that was a looong post, a lot of words. Let me know if you’ve used any of these products mentioned and if you have any questions, please post them below. Until next time 🙂

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