Happy 2019 everbody! I neglected to wish you in my last post, with the my excitement at finally getting my YouTube channel up and running.
Today is marks two firsts – my first day back in the world of work, and my first ‘best of 2018’ post. These are some of my most read posts, although they are quite difficult to write as I have to go over a lot of products I’ve used throughout the year, and narrow down what loved the most. I’m beginning with the favourite of all three – my top of skincare for 2018. For some reason, my favourite skincare posts always get more attention than the makeup or hair and body care – any idea why?
1.MAKEUP REMOVER – Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water
This micellar water is super easy on the pocket, comes in a bulk bottle, a travel bottle and in convenient wipes, and does the job MARVELOUSLY at removing even waterproof makeup. I have gone through more bottles of this than I can count, and will continue to repurchase it, as long as it’s sold.
2.CLEANSER – Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm
I mentioned this in my recent empties video on YouTube – this is my all-time favourite cleansing balm. It’s super gentle, has no fragrance at all, and removes makeup like magic. It also doesn’t break me out or block my pores.
3.CLEANSER – Nikel Cleansing Milk with Immortelle
I was lucky enough to work with Nikel last year, and am such a huge fan of the brand. You’ll find a few of their products in this post, as they’re just so darned effective. I love a milk cleanser as my morning cleanse or my second cleanse in the evening, and I reach for this without even thinking. Gentle, soothing, lightly fragranced with the delicious scent of oranges. Just perfect.
P.S. The Beautiful Store has a 50% sale on Nikel until stocks last. You’re welcome.
4.TONER – Pixi Glow Tonic
I’ve never been massively into toners – I’d always use a facial mist or a thermal water before going in with a serum. Until I started using this gentle exfoliating one. I use this every single night, and it keeps any texture at bay, leaving my skin soft and glowing each morning. You use so little that it lasts for ages. I have previously purchased mine on Fashion Police (best price for local importers), but you can also buy on the link above to get it on Cult Beauty, who ship to SA.
5.EXFOLIATOR (PHYSICAL) – Mario Badescue Botanical Exfoliating Scrub
This was a product I only started using towards the end of the year, but it truly is one of the best I’ve tried. It’s gentle, yet the ground Ecuadorian Ivory Palm Seeds make such a wonderful scrub. That, and the fact that it’s packed with antioxidants and nourishing ingredients, mean your skin is left super soft and smooth. Totally worth the money.
6.EXFOLIATOR (CHEMICAL) – dr.dermal Texture Correction Pads
You’ve all heard about my love for the dr.dermal pads. They’re soaked with a solution that includes professional-strength glycolic acid, so they’re quite strong. This means I use one a week at most, or only when my skin needs an extra blast against texture and spots. Your skin might go a little pink when you use it, but you’ll wake up and notice a difference immediately.
1.DAY SERUM – The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
Yep. I’ve used many hydrating serums this year other than my usual one from The Ordinary, yet I will always go back to this. It’s the best of the best. If I could bathe in this, I would.
2.NIGHT SERUM – Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules
Another item I only started using towards the end of last year, this one absolutely had to be in my favourites. I know there was a lot of hype around the launch, and you’ve all heard about how wonderful it is from every influencer around. But it’s with VERY good reason.
I had kind of pegged this product as a favourite, but wasn’t going to include it in my ‘best of 2018’ posts as it was so new. Until I went back to a couple of other retinol products I own over the holidays, as I was using these almost every night and needed to try and conserve them a little. I picked up on a difference though – other than the fact that this feels super luxe to apply (more so than any of my other retinols), every time I used the others, I’d wake up feeling tight around my nose and chin, my skin was pink and it felt and looked dry. Sure, this is a typical reaction with retinols. However, when I’d use the Elizabeth Arden capsules, I’d wake up still feeling comfortable and hydrated. My skin wouldn’t be even slightly pink, instead it would be more even in tone, it would be glowy and super duper soft. One might think that they weren’t possibly working as well as the others, but in fact I was seeing better results with FAR less irritation.
This for me, is proof that these belong in my best of 2018.
3.EYE CREAM – Neutrogena Hydro Boost Awakening Eye gel-cream
I’m constantly on the hunt for a great eye cream. One that hydrates without being too rich (milia, get ye gone!), and one I can wear under makeup that won’t cause my concealer to crease.
I have found THE ONE in this light gel-cream from Neutrogena. It’s really lightweight, yet it packs a hydrating punch like no other. Perfect for daily use, and I even use it a lot of nights too. During winter I might need to use something a little more nourishing at night (probably the Clinique All About Eyes, as I have a sample pot that I quite like), but for now, I’m happy with this twice a day.
I much prefer the lighter gel-cream consistency for day time, as it sits better on my face and under makeup. The 2018 generation of Clinique Moisture Surge is better than any before it. Insanely hydrating, even juicy in texture. I love this and it’ll always be a repurchase, as I really do feel the difference in my skin when using this.
As mentioned, I love a gel-cream texture, so I obviously had to try out the new Elizabeth Arden offering. Once again, Arden has killed it with a fabulous product. It even comes in a luxe-feeling glass jar, and contains a whopping 75ml of product. Fabulous if you can’t quite justify a higher price tag. I also love that this leaves your face feeling almost airbrushed and pores looking smaller, even though it is super hydrating.
6.NIGHT CREAM – Nikel NIKELHIDRIS face cream
Although it’s not quite a night cream, I used this lovely light moisturiser each and every night until I finished the jar. It’s lightweight cream product that is super hydrating and nourishing, and smells gorgeous thanks to sweet orange oil. This just made my night time skincare routine feel extra pampering, and I loved it.
7.FACIAL OIL – Mario Badescu Rose Hips Nourishing Oil
Guys. If you’re afraid of facial oils, don’t be. Even with oily skin, a facial oil can work wonders. This makes a fabulous starter oil, as it’s surprisingly non-greasy, and sinks in almost immediately. I haven’t been this impressed with a facial oil in a long time actually, and I love using this even on my dry cuticles. I even have been known to use it in the morning on days when my skin has been a lot more dehydrated, as it sinks in and doesn’t leave my combo skin feeling like an oil slick. Your skin is left glowy and healthy – what more could you ask for?
8.CLAY MASK – L’Oreal Pure Clay Detox Mask
I’ve now finished 2 jars of this clay mask, and am already in the market for a new one. It really does a marvellous job at sucking out all the dirt and oil from your pores, and I find if I am strict and use it once a week, breakouts are minimal. It’s also budget friendly, and I definitely get more than the suggested 10 uses out of a jar.
9.HYDRATING MASK – Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask
I always follow up a clay mask with a hydrating one, and I love to use one overnight too. I always knew I’d love this one from Clinique, but I had no idea I’d love it so much. Creamy, this works wonderfully in place of a night cream too, and I’ve even used a little one morning when I felt my skin was too tight from retinol, and it worked like a charm. Makeup sits on it well too!
10.SHEET MASK – Garnier Moisture Bomb Tissue Mask
I am a sheet mask addict, and this one from Garnier is one of the juiciest sheet masks I’ve found. I can even get a day or two’s use out of the remaining serum in the sachet (just the sachet into a zip up packet after). Super hydrating, and great when you’ve spent a little too much time in the sun.
1.FACIAL MIST – Nikel Alpine Rose Tonic
Where in your routine do you use a facial mist? I use it after cleansing and often in between serum and moisturiser too. Sometimes I even spritz some on after I’ve finished my skincare, and after makeup. This one from Nikel I also mentioned in my empties video. This is more of a combination of treatment and face mist, and is so so good, it doesn’t only soothe and hydrate, it also protects your skin against the environment.
2.FACIAL SUNSCREEN – Vichy UV Protect SPF 50 Anti-Shine Cream
I have used so many different facial sunscreens, but this is a repurchase this year. It doesn’t leave your skin greasy at all (duh, that’s why it’s called Anti-Shine Cream), but it’s not super mattifying. It also contains thermal spring water, so it’s a soothing, hydrating boost and a great SPF in one product. Well done Vichy, well done.
3.TOOL – Jade Roller
I bought my jade roller from The Beautiful Store last year, but they don’t seem to have any stock currently. I love to use this at night to massage in my facial oil, I use it around my eyes when I wake up a little too puffy, and it’s a gem when you massage it over a sheet mask, as all that goodness really sinks in well. I could always just use my hands to massage my face, but this works better and is so pretty. I find it relaxing too!
4.LIP CARE – By Terry Baume de Rose
By far the most luxurious (and expensive) lip balm I’ve ever used, this just feels so amazing on the lips. My aunt-in-law kept raving about it when she used some while we were in the Cape, saying it was the best lip balm she’d every used! I know it’s not in everyone’s price bracket, and I myself only have a mini jar thanks to a luxury skincare bundle I bought on Fashion Police some time last year.
This is thick, luscious and has a light rose fragrance to it. It feels buttery on the lips, and could even pass as a lipgloss. It’s not sticky in the slightest, and while it hydrates the lips, it also doesn’t rub off or disappear. You can still feel it on your lips hours later. It also has SPF 15 in for sun protection.
It’s very pricey, but I have the teeniest sample jar that has lasted absolutely ages, as you only use such a little amount. The full size jar would easily last you well over a year. You can pick up the full size and other By Terry products on Metropolitan Cosmetics here in South Africa.