Here it is, the last day of the year! I remember how at this time last year, I was hoping this one to be good and happy but it turned out to be one of the most difficult and sad years for me and my loved ones. In fact, the past couple of years have been very tough, so I think it’s finally time for something more cheerful and happy! And I hope you’re going to welcome 2018 in the best possible way!
I like taking a look back at what beauty bits I’ve been loving throughout the year because as we try a lot of products, sometimes we forget what works best on us. Like I recently mentioned, I don’t have that many favourite products this year. I’ve been struggling with skin issues since July, I’ve never had such problems before and it’s been quite challenging to find what’s best for my skin. At the same time, most of my favourite beauty items have been discovered in the second half of the year. But let’s just take a look at them.
I’ve been setting aside micellar water quite a bit in 2017. It’s usually my preferred product when it comes to taking off the majority of my makeup, so that I can cleanse better afterwards with one or two cleansers. But as my skin problems started, I was suggested to try using it less. However, there has been one micellar water that I’ve been really liking. Simple Kind To Skin Micellar Water is very affordable and really gentle. It contains Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) which is anti-inflammatory and although I always wash my face after using micellar water, I can see the difference. I know that it is combination of products that make the difference but if I want to use a gentle micellar water, it would be this one. I also like that it doesn’t leave a sticky residue and doesn’t dry out my skin.
Just like last year, there are two cleansers that I’ve been absolutely in love with. I haven’t used the Avène Cleanance Cleansing Gel for Face and Body for a couple of months but it has been a true saviour in the summer months right after my problems began. It is soap-free and it feels incredibly calming on my skin. It doesn’t strip my skin, it doesn’t leave it feeling tight or itchy. It contains Monolaurin to reduce excess oil, Zinc Gluconate to calm redness and irritation and Avène Thermal Spring Water to soothe, soften and calm the skin. You can read more about this and one more cleansing gel that really impressed me in the warmer months here.
The second cleanser that I wanted to mention is actually my autumn/winter face wash. First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser is more of a cream cleanser which initially scared me but luckily, it doesn’t clog my pores. It’s fragrance- and sulphate-free and feels very mild on the skin. It’s feels a bit richer than my other favourite cleansers and I think it’s great for this time of the year.
Facial mists have always played a very special role in my skincare routine. There are so many that I love that I’d need a separate post to talk about them (I actually have a refined edit of some here) but I wanted to mention two La Roche-Posay products. I’m not sure how many times Serozinc has been featured on my blog but when you love something, you just can’t hide it. It mattifies the skin without drying it out and still leaves a healthy glow, it heals blemishes and feels really soothing. La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water Spray (not pictured above) and Avène Thermal Spring Water help me a lot when my skin feels a bit more dehydrated and they work well before applying facial oil. Thermal water sprays are a staple for me, as they can also be used on irritations, sunburn, rashes and I basically, have all sizes everywhere around me.
I admit, I collect too many lip balms, I love lip balms and I want to try all of them but I simply adore Dior Lip Glow and I can’t wait to see the new finishes for spring 2018 in January. When they came out with a Berry shade, I was more than happy because it was the shade that was missing. But when they added the Lip Sugar Scrub to the family and it ended up sold out everywhere, it changed my mind about lip scrubs being messy and hard to use. It’s a lip balm and lip scrub in one and it also leaves a beautiful hint of tint. It feels very gentle on the lips but it does exfoliate them and it’s very comfortable to use, it just looks and feels like you’re applying a lip balm. You can read my full review on these two brilliant products here.
This is the category that usually contains the largest number of products but this year and especially, the second half of it, I haven’t been wearing much makeup. I was suggested by a dermatologist to try skipping the foundation step as often as I can (by the way, Dior Forever is still my favourite foundation, so no change there) and I’ve been mostly using mascara, concealer, light powder and lipstick. So, these are basically, my favourite makeup items in 2017.
I spent good 7 months trying to track down the NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer and I’ve been using it only for about two but I already know that it’s amazing. I have really dark circles under my eyes, I’ve always been like this, there’s nothing I can do about it, so that’s why I’m always on the hunt for the best concealer out there. Coverage isn’t the only feature that makes it a brilliant concealer. But there’s something about pot concealers although most of us aren’t the biggest fans of dipping their fingers in the tiny pots. They just seem to have a bit more creamy consistency and higher coverage. What makes NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer stand out is the shade range, the fact that it almost doesn’t crease and feels creamy at the same time, it sets to a matte but not flat finish and it’s really easy to blend, it doesn’t feel drying and the coverage is medium and buildable. I use it on my dark circles or to hide some imperfections around the face and it works great both ways.
Even when I don’t use foundation, I like to apply a bit of powder because I tend to get shiny in the middle of the day but also, powders can have blurring effect. There are powders that don’t just mattify the skin but they also leave a beautiful glow to it and make you look a bit more healthy. This is the case with La Mer Sheer Pressed Powder in Translucent* that I was lucky to receive for reviewing. It is a gorgeous powder, indeed. It is so soft and finely-milled that it’s hard to believe it’s real. I really don’t feel it on my skin when I use it and I have to check in the mirror if it’s there but even then, I see radiant skin. The coverage is quite sheer, it’s not a powder foundation, after all but it just leaves a healthy veil, thanks to the light-reflecting pigments that create a soft blurring effect. The powder also has skincare properties and it’s really noticeable now that we’re in the colder months. Some powders can dry out the skin but this one leaves it nourished and glowing.
Mauve shades are usually supposed to be worn mostly in the autumn/winter but I love them all year round and my blush of choice for the past 5-6 months, has been the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure. I adore my Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in 10 Nude Mauve but I really wanted to try this beautiful shade from Hourglass. After sharing my love for the La Mer product, I have to say this is another soft, finely-milled and simply gorgeous powder. It blends beautifully on the skin and I’ve been using it for so long but it still looks like brand new which is great. I have a full review on this blush here.
Maybe because I’ve been mostly wearing mascaras or maybe there have been just many brilliant ones out there but I feel like 2017 gave us some amazing mascaras. My personal favourites are Lancôme Monsieur Big Mascara and MAC Bold & Bad Lash*. The first one was initially sent to me by the brand and I loved it so much that I purchased another one. And I don’t usually get a second tube of mascara with a bristle brush. It’s very easy to work with the big and thick brush, the formula isn’t clumpy, at all, it isn’t too wet or too dry, it’s perfect. I love that it doesn’t smudge or flake and by the end of the day, it still looks amazing. Monsieur Big separates and volumises my lashes, it doesn’t irritate my sensitive eyes and I’ve done a full review on the whole Monsieur Big range here.
What can be better than a good mascara? Two good mascaras…in one tube! MAC Bold & Bad Lash* has two mascara brushes with two different formulas in one packaging and they both do a fantastic job at volumising the lashes but with just the right amount of volume. The small brush makes it very easy to control the amount of product you want to use on your lower lashes and as a person who normally doesn’t like to wear mascara on the bottom lashes, I love this one. Also, the one designed for the upper lashes holds the curl really well and lasts all day without flaking and smudging. In case you’re interested, here’s my review on this mascara.
The hardest part of this post for me was choosing my favourite lipsticks because I simply cannot commit to wearing just one or two. But I managed to pick three. Burt’s Bees lip balms are some of my favourite ones out there, so when the brand launched their 100% natural lipsticks, I couldn’t wait to try them. Sadly, we had to wait pretty long to get them here in Norway but the brand kindly sent over a preview and I’ve been enjoying them since the spring. 530 Lily Lake* is a beautiful mauve pink and there are so many shades to choose from, the packaging is really pretty and is made of 60% recycled material. The colours are very opaque, the texture is creamy and easy to apply and they feel really nice, hydrating and balmy. They’re not the most long-lasting lipsticks but they’re definitely good ones.
Tom Ford lipsticks are finally available outside Oslo and the shade Indian Rose* is the perfect pinky rose colour. Obviously, I use the other side of the bullet because I wear it all the time and want to keep the TF for as long as possible. At first, I was surprised by how long-wearing the lipstick was, considering it is quite creamy and non-drying. There’s a slight shimmer running through when you look at the bullet but it doesn’t really show up on the lips, it just makes them look more plump. It’s a beautiful lipstick and I’m really happy to have it in my collection.
Role Play by Marc Jacobs is another lipstick that I really wanted to have, I know they’re all part of the same shade family but I just love such rose pink nude nuances. But texture-wise, this Marc Jacobs lipstick is nothing like my other lipsticks. It’s a gel lipstick and it’s hard for me to explain exactly how it feels, it’s moisturising, it’s not balmy but still glides on the lips easily. It’s quite unique and I really like that it’s a mini, I love mini products in general but also, the chance to use them up at one point rather than just collecting them, is much bigger.
Body and Hair Products
This is a tiny category but I wanted to mention a few products that I really love. First of all, the Rituals Foaming Shower Gels are some of the best-smelling and luxurious body products I’ve seen. When you dispense the product into your hand, it looks like gel but water transforms it into a rich and creamy foam. They’re such a pleasure to use and me and my boyfriend always have a few bottles at home.
Unfortunately, I don’t have my favourite body oil with me at the moment but I just can’t miss the opportunity to say a few words about it. I have a full review on the gorgeous Tom Ford Soleil Blanc Body Oil here and it was actually, my summer body moisturiser, mainly because of the scent but regardless, it is a beautiful body oil. It’s silky and luxurious, it feels amazing on the body, it’s nourishing and the scent is divine, warm and sultry.
Last but not least, there’s only one product pictured above but the entire Kérastase Aura Botanica range (I have a detailed review on each product here) is a dream. I was initially sent the whole line but since then, I’ve repurchased most of the products several times and I need to stock up on them again. Even if I’m on a place with hard water, these products help me get shiny and beautiful hair, they smell lovely and they are silicone-, sulphate- and paraben-free.
That’s it for my beauty favourites of the year! I wish you safe and happy celebrations tonight and a wonderful 2018, be good and do good!