So we've seen these types of lists everywhere now that we're nearing the end of the year. I personally love hearing people's favorite products. As skincare is probably the majority of my content I'm going to start with it first. Then I'm going to narrow down my makeup faves in another post to make it easier.
I've had a lot of favorites, but I took this list down to the ride or dies. The re-purchases. The recommendations. The stand alone Holy Grail products for myself in 2017. So let's get into it.
Starting with cleansing:
Elemis Pro Collagen Cleansing Balm: This balm......this BALM. I have strong feelings for it. I would say we're committed to each other. A "till death do us part" situation. I like this because of the texture first, it's a soft balm that's not clumpy or anything. Almost reminds you of honey but it's not sticky at all. So it's goop-y and it's thick. I love it because when my skin is super dry I will use it in the morning as my cleanse and actually just leave it on for a few extra minutes because it's not slime-y it just stays on the face exactly wear you put it and helps hydrate the skin and then I take it off. So it's super gentle for morning use but it's my fave go to" first cleanse" at night. It's also massive in size. I know everyone loves Emma Hardie Moringa Balm and I do too but it's a little too much for my skin sometimes and I don't enjoy the scent. It's still very very good but I'd still pick Elemis.
Choosing a good second cleanse or non balm cleanser was difficult. So I chose two. One is a bit more harsh because of the benefits it has and the other it's just really nice and gentle neither of the two leave my skin feeling stripped and tight.
My first cleanser is a morning cleanse a lot of the time, or when I'm really simplifying my routine down to necessities and mutli-use. Neostrata Glycolic Foaming Wash. I'm nearly out of this actually. I have an entire routine dedicated to it. It basically tells you all you need to know in the name it's an AHA built into the cleanser. I know a lot of you will de-bunk it and say that 80% of that goes down the drain. All I can tell you is that the days I use this especially if I'm using it in repetition, my skin loves it. My skin looks so nice. Now I don't use it all the time I tend to go for a gentle cleanser since I test a lot of resurfacing products and acid toning products so thus, the reason I use it in a more simple routine.
Second cleanser is kinda a new one that I've found that I really like and that's Dr. Roebucks Cleanse. This is a simple cream cleanser and I love it. They're a "green beauty" brand and there hasn't been a single product that I've used that I didn't like from their line. Honestly. I just noticed that this has been in rotation every since I got it. Also if you're interested I am an affiliate with Dr. Roebucks and if you want to save some monies you can use my code "LOVEMASCARA15" to get 15% off.
Going straight into toners it's no contest.
Biologique Recherche P50 1970 lotion (liquid) this is the mac daddy of Acid Exfoliation, nothing comes close to it. It smells terrible and they have different variations of P50 but mine is the original formula. I only use mine at night and not in the morning.
Next is Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Pads. This has some really fantastic ingredients and benefits to it along with being a nice acid toner. I need to purchase some more actually, I just used mine up. It's a 60 count and in pad form. I love the pad form AHA/BHA toners.
Moving right on in to Vitamin C.
First one won't be a shock to anyone. It's the Drunk Elephant Firma-C. I have always really liked this. It's a serum and full price it's $80 which is pricey I know but they have mini travel duos where you get the Frima C and the B-Hydra Gel in a little duo and that way you can try it out. Also they've got killer sets that literally for $8 more you could get 4 more products with a full size of the Firma C. It's just fantastic.
Another one that I love is the Ebanel Vitamin C10 Serum. This is a liquid basically meaning it's super thin but it works. They did send this to me but I would gladly buy it again and will when I need to. You can find it on Amazon.
Let's talk about Retinol.
Yes I use retinols. I started using them probably 3 years ago. I would much rather be ahead of the game while not completely ruining my face with too many harsh products, so I always recommend starting with a mild one. Work your way up if you need to but don't fix something that it's broke. I used it due to texture problems at first, and then to help with getting older.
So first is easy to get your hands on, hell it's even at my Walgreens and I'm super impressed by that. It's Differin gel. This is a acne treatment actually but they found that it could be used as a retinol basically and it catapulted since them. It's not expensive. They have a smaller tube for I think $10 that will last you a pretty good while. I find this to be mild. Others find it to be a lot to handle so work up to an everyday routine or maybe you don't need it everyday right now and that's fine. I think it's fantastic because I've seen people use this not just for the retinol like effect but also to combat cystic acne and I always see an improvement.
Another affordable one is The Ordinary Retinol 1% this is in the silicone solution. They're have "more sophisticated" formulas out now or "new generation retinols" out but this one worked well for me and it really did it's job. Plus I think it's $6 which hoo-ray it's now being sold on Sephora as well as Beautylish and of course Deciem.
Eye got my Eye on you...
So for eye cream I'm the worst. I use it but I'm so critical so the one that blew my mind this year was ViiCode Oxygen Eye Cream. It's so nice. I did notice a difference but it's a bit pricey too. I have an entire review on it.
Next is Kate Somerville Wrinkle Warrior. This is fantastic under makeup because it absorbs so fast and does a very good job of plumping up the eyes when you feel tired or dehydrated. It's lovely.
I have a few serums actually. Surprising I know (eye roll).
These first two saved my face when I thought it was fall off. Neostrata Bionic Face Serum and Ceramiracle First Light Serum. They work differently, they have different consistencies but they both really hydrate and feel the skin antioxidants and so much more.
Speaking of hydrating. I've used the Dr. Roebucks Hydrating Serum so much I have worn the words off the label. This has a milky look so it. It is what it says it is: a hydrating serum. It smells lovely and refreshing on the face and I think it's fantastic to use at night even if you have Normal/Combo skin let alone Dry skin.
The last serum I just used up yesterday. I tilted this thing upside down to get every last drop and that's the Algenist Liquid Collagen. Or Liquid Gold as I like to call it. This is a fast absorbing serum that I use right after cleansing and after liquid toner if I'm using a liquid toner that night. It's just heavenly. It smells so good and it lasts a long time. I used it every night for 6 months straight I think.
Give me all the oils!
Ughhhhhh I love a good facial oil. Oh man do I love it. I did narrow it down to just 3 though for this.
Juno from Sunday Riley. This oil is packed with antioxidants. If your skin has taken a beating or you slacked on your skincare the night before this comes in and saves the day. I love all the Sunday Riley Oils but this would be my top pick if you wanted to try an oil and now they offer them in half sizes! This above any other facial oil that I've tried so far would be the one I'd tell you to start with. It's a combination of oils and essentials oils not just one carrier oil like Argan Oil or Jojoba Oil.
Also from Sunday Riley UFO Oil. This is essential if you have breakouts or just to have on hand if you do break out. Which I like using it when my skin is kinda oily because it absorbs quickly. I also use this when I know a breakout is going to pop up thanks to a product or lack of skincare, hormones, so on.
Lastly, my good buddy Liz "The Granola Goat" . My botanical guru. She's a gem and a genius. I love all of her products and especially her oils and balms but the 24 Carrot oil is my favorite oil of hers and to use in general when I want a thicker more rich oil. It feels so amazing on the skin.
Which leads us to Balm/concentrates.
I love facial balms or concentrates. They're basically solidified oil with shea butter usually and it's fantastic at night as like a sleeping mask sort of. You do have to be careful though because I find them very tricky. Some cause me to break out and others don't. Things that are made with coconut oil (not the fractioned kind) can cause clogged pores. I also find for myself that certain balms cause clogged pores for myself so take it easy with them.
I recommend starting with the Granola Goat Omni Balms. They can be used really anywhere but I just use them on my face. Liz uses a different type of Shea Butter from the majority of other balms out there. She uses pure Nilotica Shea Butter in hers which is much softer, there's no chunks, it's not super hard that you have to really work to get the product out and they don't break me out or clog my pores. I'm not kidding her Starry Night Balm replaced my Blue Cocoon from May Lindstrom, which is a cult favorite. I also really love the Brigther Days Balm as well. She does such a good job and she puts so much time and effort into her products she pays attention to all the details that some people just over look but she has a passion for her craft and I really admire that about her. They're super affordable too.
I have quite a few for this one too.
Fresh Vitamin Nectar Moisture Glow, smells amazing has Vitamin C in it and sits under makeup very very well. Their Black Tea Overnight Mask is something I use quite often to really soothe my skin if it's irritated. Their Corset Cream.........I just love it. I really do.
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. I have a tub of this sitting on my night stand. It helped repair my skin after an incredibly dry spell and brought it back to life. Therefore, I always have it on hand in any size.
Origins Mega Mushroom Skin Relief Lotion (toner) will sooth (not cool down, but soothe) an angry face.
Tatcha Violet C Radiance mask. Don't know if this actually gives you a glow but I love it. Plus it's purple.
First Aid Beauty Greens Mist. So refreshing, so soothing. Nirvana.
Aveseena Honeyactive Mud Mask this is super comparable to The Honey Mud Mask from May Lindstrom with a few differences in ingredients. It smells soooooooooo good. It makes you want to eat it.
When Sheet Masks. These are gel masks. They are so nice. They sent me some and they hold rank as my favorite sheet mask to date.
I'm from Tennessee. I'm a makeup and skincare lover. I have always enjoyed creating looks but I love to help people with product knowledge and application even more. I've been able to do these things because God has seen fit to bless me with the opportunity.