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 🙂

Makeup favourites of 2018

2018 involved a swift expansion of my makeup collection because I went a bit bonkers with experimentation. I grew to love playing with and wearing eyeshadow and discovered a bunch of awesome products from different asian and western brands.

It was hard to pick one product from each category but I decided to pick them on the basis of what I used the most in 2018 and what I would use if I was in a rush that didn’t require much time and thought.

Foundation

I had to break this down into two sub categories since I enjoy using both cushion and normal liquid foundations and have tested many last year.

Cushion Foundation: COSRX Clear Fit Blemish Cushion 

COSRX Clear Fit Blemish Cushion - SPF47 PA++
COSRX Clear Fit Blemish Cushion – SPF47 PA++, Mochi like cushion.

This cushion provides amazing coverage (med-high) and I love the mochi cushion. It allows the puff to pick up an even amount of the foundation, resulting in using less. It doesn’t cake and shade #27 is pretty perfect for me. It contains centella asiatica, tea tree oil, adenosine and madecassoside so it’s a better option for times when I am battling breakouts.

Reviewed here

Purchased from yesstyle.com*

Liquid Foundation: MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof

Pictured right – MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation

I haven’t reviewed this on my blog yet but it was the foundation my MUA used on my wedding day. That was almost two years ago and I have loved in since. It provides buildable full coverage that you can sheer out if you prefer. I apply it with a kabuki brush for fuller coverage and I sometimes go over it with a clean damp beauty blender, just to mesh it all in. It’s matte but not a flat matte. It is definitely waterproof, I sweat heaps in summer and it has lasted. I’m in the shade #NC35.

Purchased from MAC.

Concealer

The Saem – Cover Perfection Tip Concealer SPF28 PA++

The Saem - Cover Perfection Tip Concealer
The Saem – Cover Perfection Tip Concealer

This was an easy choice, it provides the best full coverage, is cheap and it has SPF. It also comes in a few shades which is great for a korean brand.

Reviewed here

Purchased from yesstyle.com*.

Setting Powder

It Cosmetics – Bye Bye Pores Poreless Finish Airbrush Powder

It Cosmetics – Bye Bye Pores Poreless Finish Airbrush Powder

This loose powder, although it’s messy to use, really does make me look poreless. It doesn’t feel heavy and doesn’t cake on top of foundation. I apply the smallest amount anyway because it’s all I need. I do press it into my pores with my Wayne Goss Air Brush and have also used a makeup puff and both methods work well. It mattifies without drying out my skin and is translucent. Great for the sweaty humid weather here in Sydney.

Purchased from Beautylish.com

Bronzer

I have liked cream bronzers too but since they require a bit more time to apply I didn’t include any for this category. I also didn’t love any cream bronzers enough to include it.

Becca – Sunlit Bronzer

This bronzer is smooth and easy to apply. The payoff is sheer and buildable and the shade, Capri Coast, really compliments my skin tone. Because it isn’t matte, it adds a healthy dimension to the face. It looks shimmery in the pan but it doesn’t translate once applied on the face. Really lovely option for those who are after a healthy and warm complexion.

Purchased from Beautylish.com

Blush

Hourglass – Ambient Lighting Blush

Hourglass – Ambient Lighting Blush – Diffused Heat

This was my first taste of the amazing quality which are Hourglass blushes. The shade Diffused Heat was rated highly by Temptalia and I very much agree. It is so easy to blend and the color payoff is amazing. The marbling is so beautiful, making it a joy to look at and use. This shade is a peachy pink on me and gives me a healthy looking flush and really compliments my complexion.

Purchased from Mecca.

Honourable cream blush mention goes to the RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Shade #Illusive. I carry this in my gym bag and gives such a healthy flush to the cheeks. Reviewed here.

Highlighter

This was the year of discovery for highlighters for me. Two years ago I didn’t even wear any bronzer or highlighter, just blush, how things have changed 🙂

NARS – Highlighting Powder

NARS – Highlighting Powder

My absolute favourite has to to be the NARS Highlighting powder in shade Fort De France, a newish release from NARS last year. It is so finely milled, so it never looks powdery or cakey and doesn’t emphasise any texture. There is no shimmer whatsoever, just imparts a wonderful sheen. The colour is also perfect for my skin tone. If you are after a natural looking glow without looking like a tin man or disco ball, this one would be for you.

Purchased from Mecca.

A couple of honorable mentions for cream highlighters. The Son and Park Cube Highlighter and the RMS Beauty Living Luminizer were two highlighters I enjoyed using throughout the year but I didn’t favour them enough over the NARS highlighter.

Eyeshadow

Last year was also the year of eyeshadows for me. I’m still not the most creative and experimental mainly because I’m lazy. It was really hard to pick just one eyeshadow palette…

Urban Decay – Born to Run Eyeshadow Palette

This palette is the most versatile, easy to use and colour payoff is just amazing. It has so many shades across such a good variety of spectrums that you’ll be hard pressed to not find a colour that you were after. The formula is also beginner friendly, both matte and shimmer shades blend and layer very easily. This palette can also take you from day to night, simple looks to smoky looks can be achieved which makes it the best all rounder palette in my opinion. Their Naked palettes have kind of bored me, never interested me enough to pick up but this got my attention right away. Has not disappointed me yet, love!

Purchased at Mecca.

Eyeliner

Also had to break this into two sub categories, as there were two standouts last year.

Clio Waterproof Pen Liner Kill Black

Clio Waterproof Pen Liner Kill Black (top)

After using a couple of tubes of the Macqueen liquid liner (reviewed here), I thought it was time to branch out. The Clio Pen liner is so popular among the masses so I had to try it. I got it in Kill Black and it’s pretty darn good. It’s definitely waterproof, smudge proof and the pen applicator is brush-like and easy to use and control. I hate the stiff actual pen applicators since they catch on my lids and wreak havoc. It’s very similar to my beloved Macqueen liner but I feel like the product keeps longer, as in doesn’t dry out as quickly.

Purchased from yesstyle.com*

Shu Uemura Lasting Soft Gel Pencil Eyeliner

Shu Uemura Lasting Soft Gel Pencil Eyeliner (bottom)

It’s been a hard task, trying to find a pencil eyeliner that doesn’t smudge on my hooded eyes. I have oily eyelids so I need something to stay put and not give me panda eyes by midday. Have tried many korean and western eye pencils and none have really passed this test. I bought this Shu Uemura eye pencil on a whim (#Dark brown) and it’s been a reliable friend ever since. It has a very precise tip and while it isn’t overly creamy, it’s creamy enough to glide over the lid without catching on anything. I don’t tightline (it’s very uncomfortable) and don’t apply it to my waterline either so I can’t speak for when it is applied in those areas but I can say that when I apply it over my lid, it never smudges. I don’t use it to create a wing or anything, I use it when I need a little definition, usually when I wear eyeshadow. Otherwise eyeliner is a step I’m happy to skip if I’m going to work or am in a massive rush.

If you have any recommendations for a reliable smudge proof eye pencil, please let me know because I’m always on the lookout for more affordable options.

Purchased from yesstyle.com*

Lipstick

I only have one pair of lips but I have accumulated so many this year. I have my favourite lipsticks in different formulas, mainly from NARS and MAC but the one I have chosen is the most versatile and no brainer option.

Dior Backstage: Dior Addict Lip Glow

Dior Addict Lip Glow

This hybrid formula which Dior describes as a cross between makeup and skincare blew my mind. I thought it was just another overpriced, overhyped product but boy was I mistaken. There are three formulas, matte, original glow and holographic glow and I can only speak for the original formula.

Dior Addict Lip Glow – LTR- Coral, Berry, Pink

It contains mango butter so it’s quite hydrating and moisturising, best of all this feeling lasts, even through a meal. It gives a nice hint of color, contributed by a reaction to your body’s chemistry, as it uses Color Reviver technology to do this. This means that each colour will look different on everyone, pretty cool aye? It also leaves a sheen, making the lips look healthy, imparting them with a glow (true to its name). I can easily reapply without a mirror during the day which is the main reason I love it. It makes me look more alive without all the fuss of a normal lipstick. I have three shades, #berry, #pink #coral and I love coral the most.

Mascara

There were some great finds for mascara last year, some of them I’ve reviewed here.

Hourglass – Caution Extreme Lash Mascara

Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara
Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara

I don’t normally repurchase mascara because I enjoy testing out different ones and because of it’s short life span, you can easily do this.

This Caution mascara is definitely one that I will repurchase. It’s absolutely bullet proof thus making it very reliable. I have played basketball with this, have had my face squished in a massage and it’s lasted all day each time. I always curl my lashes beforehand but this gives the most fluttery and lengthening effect. It does give a little volume as well and also does a good job with lifting and separation of the lashes. So it pretty much does it all, without smudging and flaking.

Skincare favourites of 2018 to follow shortly!

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 🙂