2017 Favorites | Skincare + Haircare
I thought I'd do a little run down and share some of my favorite brand discoveries ( / continued favorites) of 2017 and highlight some of my favorite products from each of them. 2017 was definitely a year of exploration for me in the skincare world, and as I stepped away from more makeup content, I definitely jumped in more towards skincare, haircare, and beyond (even candles !!!).
S K I N C A R E
AESOP | They opened an Aesop store near me in Santana Row so you can guess my high levels of excitement. I've only tested out a few of their products, namely the Parsley Seed Masque and the Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm. Both of these are loves in my book but I obviously wanted to try more. They were difficult to get a hold of as I didn't have a store near me (the next closest one was up in SF) and shipping was a bit meh. But then they came to Nordstrom and I dabbled with the idea of getting it. But then the store opened and allowed me to go in and sniff / test everything. If you ever go to an Aesop store, don't be scared to ask them for samples because they are more than happy to! My boyfriend actually got suckered in because he got so many samples, loved stuff, and went back to buy it. I think he's more into Aesop at the moment than I am lol. But I'm hoping to try more from their skincare and body care range this year - if you have any recs for ya girl, let me know. (PS if anyone has tried the pet range - let me know cause my bf and I are kinda interested in giving that a try.)
BIOSSANCE | This brand really came under radar this year thanks to Kelsey, Mili, and Celina. I saw all three of them posting about different products and I of course wanted to try more. Biossance gives out free mini samples of their products and all you have to do is pay for shipping. I was about to do this option but Sephora offered up a free mini of their Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil so I couldn't say no. It's such a lovely oil and I really love how it makes my skin glow! I have a ton of oils and cleansers to use up at the moment so I did end up picking up their Squalane + Probiotic Gel Moisturizer. I love that it's a light gel consistency so it doesn't feel overly heavy on the skin, I love using it as a morning moisturizer! I also love that Biossance is based up in SF, hits close to home!
THE CHEMISTRY BRAND | Everyone thinks about The Ordinary when they hear Deciem, but another brand I wish I saw more of was The Chemistry Brand. I tried the ha3 Hand Hydrator when trying to make the minimum shipping amount. I ended up loving this hand cream - like cut open the tube when I couldn't get product out love it. This stuff made my hands so so soft and sank into my skin so quickly. This makes the perfect work desk companion because you don't have to worry about greasy fingers building up gunk in your keyboard cracks. I'm eyeing up a few other bits from the brand and will keep you guys posted on how they work!
DRUNK ELEPHANT | I think DE really came into the spotlight this year (in my books anyways) and it's truly love. There hasn't really been any products I've tried that I dislike - although I do like some more than others. My favorite thing about the brand is that they have minis of e v e r y t h i n g. This is how I came to try a lot of products as I picked up the mini duos from Sephora / picked them up as mini freebies. I think hands down my favorite product that I tried from Drunk Elephant has to be the TLC Framboos Glycolic Night Serum. This was one of the products this year that seriously wowed me - enough to the point that I had to pick up the full size (even though it costs an arm and a leg). Paired with Tatcha's Essence, I woke up with the brightest and glowiest skin I ever did see. Another standout product for me has to be TLC Sukari Babyfacial - a cult favorite among many bloggers and skincare enthusiasts. Tbh this one is some scary sh*t, the first time I tried it I was actually terrified I would have red blotchy skin after haha. It is so tingly and feels like little needles pricking you all over your face and almost feels like your face is on fire? (Hopefully I'm not scaring any of you away from it.) I stuck through it and the tingling went away maybe 5-7 minutes later - so fear not guys. The more I used it, the more my skin got accustomed to it. I try to do this every week or two but am really going to try to implement a sort of "Sunday night routine" to really stick to this product to see the best results. I have a ton of minis to try and I'm stokeeeed - I just got a new little shower caddy with a bar soap section so I'm going to be cracking open my baby Juju & Pekee Bar duo that I have. DE also kindly gifted me their Protini Polypeptide Cream* which I'm excited to try!
FRENCH GIRL ORGANICS | FGO is a brand that has been on my radar for a while and this year I finally took the jump to try some of their products. I picked up two of their products from Anthropologie during a sale at the beginning of last year. (PS - if you aren't shopping Anthro beauty you are missing out, they have a ton of sales and have a great array of products! A lot of green beauty too if that's something you're looking to venture towards.) I ended up going with the Rose Lip Polish and the Cleansing Wash. These are both also high favorites of mine! The lip polish is lovely and the jar is so luxe. I prefer this one much more compared to the Fresh Beauty sugar lip scrub I was using. I think I like this one because it's more gritty so it sticks on my lips better. I like to take a tiny pea size amount and spread this evenly over my lips, leave it on for a few minutes while I do the rest of my skincare routine / moisturize my body. I heard of this tip from someone else (can't remember who, unfortunately) and I find it leaves my lips so much softer as it also gives time for the oils to sink through my lips for an extra hint of moisture. I then go in and scrub this off and apply a nice hefty lip balm after or even the Pathology lip masks*. I'm terrible about lip care but having products you love (like this) make it much easier! The Cleansing Wash actually proved to be an incredible morning face wash and I just finished up my mini bottle at the end of last year (see empties post here).
- GLOSSIER | I don't even know where to start with this one. If any of you are regular readers you know that I have a love affair with Glossier - and that started before I became a rep. I babble a lot about Glossier so be sure to catch all my posts on my Glossier Tab here. And remember that you can shop through my rep link (glossier.com/reps/cindy)! If it's your first order you'll score 20% off! I do make a small commission off each order so whether or not it's your first order, it's much appreciated! Feel free to check out more on my disclaimer here.
- GO-TO SKINCARE | I am so thankful that Jennifer introduced me to this brand when we had our blogger swap last year. She was suggesting popular Australia based brands to me and she swooned over this brand, which obviously made me swoon over the brand (typical Cindy behavior). She sent me their Go-To Lips! and Face Hero Oil which have both become staples in my routine! Enough so that both products made it into my 2017 favorites. Imagine my surprise with Go-To reached out to me to send me some more products to try (I was screaming internally - - - and externally to my bf). My post on IG of these little babies was one of my top liked posts in 2017 (for obvious good reasons)! The peachy-pink aesthetic packaging was possibly my favorite of 2017 and has really gotten me into the peachy-pink vibe. It. Is. Perfection. I'm still working my way through trying all of their products but I'm using their hand cream at work right now and it is up there among my favorite hand creams ever. It has a very light scent, moisturizes my hands well, and sinks in quickly - checks off every box that I could want from a hand cream. I'll definitely need to restock this once it runs out!
- HERBIVORE BOTANICALS | Herbivore Botanicals is definitely a brand that has been on my radar for a long time. I haven't had a chance to try much from their brand - mostly because I don't have space in my skincare routines for any additional face mists, masks, or moisturizers at the moment. But I'm definitely eyeing up the Lapis Facial Oil, MOON FRUIT Night Treatment, Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist, and Pink Cloud Rosewater Moisturize Creme!! One little thing I did treat myself to this year was their Coco Rose Body Scrub. I treated myself to this luscious scrub around my birthday after returning from my trip to Asia. I had gotten the most incredible full-body scrub down and wanted to do all that I could to maintain that smoothness. I liked that this scrub was actually gritty and majority scrub rather a liquidy texture with a few beads of exfoliation scattered throughout. If you're in the market for a new scrub, I highly recommend treating yourself to this little baby.
- INDIE LEE | This is another Anthropologie brand that came onto my radar last year (or maybe even at the end of 2016). The founder's story of being diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer and beating it really moved me and I love that she created a brand with products that work and contain safe ingredients. I tried the Rosehip Cleanser and fell in love with it! It was a wonderful cleanser which did not leave my skin feeling stripped at all. I'm itching to get another bottle but I'm also contemplating on trying the other face wash, the Brightening Cleanser, or the COQ-10 Toner. Mili also talks about their Squalane Facial Oil which leans on the more affordable side and reaps incredible benefits. Indie Lee - you are definitely a brand I'll be trying more from this year! - - & if you have any recs for the brand, please send them my way.
- JORDAN SAMUEL | This brand came to my attention through the likes of Amelia and Sofia (both incredible bloggers that you need to follow). Jordan is an ex ballet dancer who has ventured into the skincare world - and I for one am so so glad. I treated myself to his trio of products that includes the Hydrate Facial Serum, The After Show Treatment Cleanser, and Etoile Facial Oil. I've been using the cleanser as a first cleanse for a few weeks now and looove how it makes my skin feel. I've been going in with the hydration serum every morning and occasionally at night when I feel like my skin needs it for the last month +. My skin drinks this up and I've noticed significant improvement in the appearance of my skin. It hydrates down to the core so it's not just a temporary fix, it really is working between the layers of your skin. One that I've only recently incorporated into my skincare is the oil - so while I may not have much to say on the long term effects, I'm really liking it so far.
- KIEHL'S | This is by no means a new brand to my radar, but it's an oldie but goodie. Last year I really missed having the Midnight Recovery Concentrate in my life and am debating on picking it up again this year. They launched their Midnight Recovery Cleansing Oil last year and of course, I wanted (read : needed) to try it. I was a bit disappointed with it but this was after using the Tatcha Camelia Cleansing Oil which was much thicker in consistency. I didn't love it at first, but am really growing to love how it leaves my skin feeling clean and bright. I also love the smell of this oil as it's so soothing. I love using this one at night and have it in my shower so it's the first thing that I apply when I jump in while my hands/face are still dry. One of my favorites from earlier in 2017 had to be the Hydro-Plumping Retexturing Concentrate Serum which is like a low-grade botox in a serum lol. That baby really lasts and a little goes a long way. It was like the gift that kept on giving. I actually do think it helped with the appearance of fine lines and smile wrinkles (which I slowly started to notice around my eyes and mouth). I haven't gone back to it (yet) but am debating on getting it again soon as prevention, or maybe picking up some other Korean product that I've had my eye on for a while! I also have a sample of the Nightly Refining Micro-Peel Concentrate that my sales associate recommended (it was sold out when it first launched for the longest time). Then Amelia said it was incredible, so I obviously need to give it a try ASAP. Will keep you all posted on it!
- KYPRIS BEAUTY | Ooooh baby did Kypris come in strong this year. I can't remember who I spotted this brand from first, but everyone and their mom was talking about the Antioxidant Dew. (Come to think of it, it may have been Anna who spoke about the wonders of Kypris products). Anyways, I was able to score this product from Cult Beauty a while back (post here), although unfortunately I don't think the same deal can be scored anymore. I loved the Antioxidant Dew and just finished it at the end of last year as well - it lasted me a good 9 months of almost daily use! I definitely think this product helped with the redness in my skin because I noticed less redness in my cheeks for sure in 2017 - and I attribute a lot of that to this little magic in a bottle. I then picked up their Midnight Catalyst which has pumpkin enzymes and is supposed to help with skin regeneration / pore minimizing. I'll admit I haven't reached for this one tooo much but the times I did use it I loved how bright my skin looked! I was working to finish up products before really getting into this one and now that those are done with, I'll be reaching for this one a lot more. There are so many other products from Kypris that I'm looking to try, if you have any favorites/recommendations, please send them my way :)
- MISSHA | I think 2017 was definitely a year where I dabbled with more K-Beauty finds. Thanks to Adri, I found the MISSHA sunscreen which has quickly become one of my favorite sunscreens of all times. I have a new bottle to use so once I get through some of the open ones I'm testing, I'll definitely be going back to this little guy. I tried my best to use cheaper alternatives to the Tatcha Essence and found my way with MISSHA's Time Revolution First Treatment Essence. I'll admit I didn't like this one all too much when I first started using it, but I've actually grown accustom to it. I do like that this one doesn't break the bank, and people compare it to a cheaper alternative to the ever popular SK-II essence. I've tried face masks here and there from MISSHA as well and they're definitely great! I'm definitely hoping to try more products from MISSHA (and more Korean brands), so send me alllll your recs.
- THE ORDINARY | Well, Deciem really made a dent in the skincare world with The Ordinary. So much so they almost broke the internet when they launched and their products would be out of stock 85% of the time. A few things I semi disliked about ordering their products online was that if products didn't work for me I couldn't return them and the minimum order amount for free shipping was rather high seeing as though the products are pretty cheap. I guess it's a petty thing to be unhappy about, but I really don't like paying for shipping lol. But I guess it ended up being a blessing in disguise because I ended up ordering more than anticipated and found a lot of products I like! One of the best products I found in 2017 has to be the Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil. This stuff is magic in a jar, and paired with the Drunk Elephant TLC night serum + Tatcha Essence, this stuff made me glooooow. Great thing is they're now available at Sephora so get your butt over to the site and get your order in.
- PATCHOLOGY | I found this brand thanks to Jewlie, who is the queen of glow over on IG. She kept featuring eye gels which are low key one of my favorite skincare treats. I'd only found one brand before that I liked and it was one from The Face Shop that was frequently sold out + kinda pricey. I was over the moon when Patchology reached out to me to see if I'd like to try their products. I've gotten to try quite an array of products from the brand which you can read about in my little Ode to Patchology here. The standout products of the brand have to be their eye gels * which I loved so much I went out and bought the full size jar of. These little babies are a treat and I like to use one at least once a week (if not more). My bf loves these too so they're definitely a firm favorite in our household! I recently came into the Restoring Night CloudMasque Sleeping Mask * which I'd been eyeing up for a while, so I'll let you all know how that one works for me.
- PEONY COSMETICS | This is a brand I've really come to love thanks to Nourish Beauty Box. I've gotten one product from PC every month for more than half a year now and I've really been a fan of each one I've tried. They have both skincare and makeup products and it's a great way to incorporate more cruelty-free and vegan products into your collection if that's what you're looking for.
- PIXI BEAUTY | I think for the longest time the only thing I really used from Pixi was their Glow Tonic (which still remains a favorite to this day). Last year I bought the large bottle with the pump because convenience (lol). I saw that they sent Kate La Vie a personalized one with her name and dreamed that I could have one of my own. Well that dream because a reality because Pixi freaking sent me one with. my. name. on. it. *screeeeams* (guys like I actually screamed when I got the package because I didn't think I was even on their PR list/accepted into their influencer system.) My best friend started using Glow Tonic and asked me where to get the large bottle so I ended up giving her my half-empty large bottle (since they're LE) and I'll be cracking open my personalized one soon :) Another standout product for me this year from them had to be the Hydrating Milky Mist which I loved using all Summer long. I recently finished it up but this has been one of my favorite face mists ever. Bold claim, I know. But the nozzle actually mists out a perfect amount of product and doesn't spray a stream of product onto your face (you know the ones). I'm holding off on repurchasing this as I already have an arsenal of other face mists to try, but come warm weather season I don't think I'll be able to resist and will probably end up getting myself another bottle :B Another "big launch" from Pixi last year had to be their partnership with skincare goddess Caroline Hirons to create the Double Cleanse. I didn't love using this when I first got it but now that I'm really into double cleansing, this one is quite a dream to work with. I'm attempting to live life more vicariously and switch up my routines. Maybe that means taking a bath instead of a shower on my 'no hair wash' days and doing a double cleanse at my sink rather than in my shower (wild life, y'know). I know a few people experienced their products building up mold *shudders* but luckily that hasn't happened to me. But in fear of that I do try to dry my hands before I dig in / am more swayed to use an actual spatula to scoop the product out. Pixi has had a ton of new skincare launches recently and I luckily got the Rose Flash Balm * and Rose Caviar Essence * which were both on my list of products to try. There's a few others that I'm hoping to try too so if I finish up enough products maybe I'll pick them up!
- REN SKINCARE | Ren has been on my list of products to try for a while and last year I was able to try two of their products. I got the Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk which I used as an AM cleanser and I did really like it! I also won the Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask in a giveaway and love how it smoothed and brightened my complexion! I definitely see myself reaching for this more once the warmer weather comes in. There are a few other products I have an eye out on so I'll keep you guys posted if/when I try them.
- SUNDAY RILEY | It's no secret that I have a love affair with the Luna Sleeping Night Oil, but I picked up the UFO Oil and got minis of the CEO cream and Tidal cream. I did a little rundown on all my favorite Sunday Riley products over on Pur Opulence (where I'm a contributor) here.
- TATCHA | Tatcha is one of those brands I ooh-ed and ahh-ed after for years. I would treat myself to the occasional mini product here and there but could barely stomach investing in their full-size pieces. The more products I tried, the more I fell in love with their products because they worked. As I mentioned above, one of my favorite duos from 2017 had to be the DE glycolic night serum with the Tatcha Essence. This stuff is magic in a bottle and my skin always looks great after I use the duo. The Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil is beautiful and does not irritate my skin at all, but leaves my skin clean and smooth. The Silken Pore Perfecting Sunscreen was also one that I fell in love with and when I finished my mini, I gladly picked up the full size. The dream happened when Tatcha reached out to send me some products - including their new Deep Cleanse Cleanser * and a full size of the Water Cream *. I'm loving these already and I'm excited to see what new products they bring out this year! I also have an ample supply of minis which I've acquired over the last year which I can't wait to properly test out (IG post here)
- WILLING BEAUTY | I get sent a lot of products and a lot of them are brands that I've never heard of. One of those brands were Willing Beauty and a brand that I quickly fell in love with! I'm not going to delve into too much information but I've pretty much finished every single product that I received as part of their HY+5 system *. You can read more about their products in my dedicated post here.
H A I R C A R E
- PHYTO PARIS HAIR | This was one of my first dabbles with "luxury" haircare and was the first time (since my mom used to buy me hair products) that I tried something more than a cheap-o drugstore version. I was kindly gifted a lot of their products over last year and I'm still working my way through some of them. Intense Hydration Brillance Shampoo*, Intense Hydrating Brilliance Mask*, and PHYTOKÉRATINE EXTRÊME Exceptional Cream*. I'm not sure but it looks like Sephora is cutting back on selling cause there are almost no products left on the site, and Ulta is cutting down on the variety of products sold.
- OUAI HAIRCARE | This is one that I was definitely thinking was hyped up but one that I've actually come to really enjoy. I really love their Hair Oil, Wave Spray, and Smooth Spray. Once I *finally* run through some of my hair products, I'm definitely thinking that I'll try some of their shampoo/conditioner products.
- VERB HAIRCARE | I luckily won their entire Ghost haircare range in one of their IG giveaways and had a chance to test a lot of them. While some were misses, I definitely had some hits. There are a lot of products that I'm interested in trying and cannot wait!
C A N D L E S
- BYREDO | Byredo is a brand I'd eyed from afar for a long time, and last year I added 2 candles and 1 fragrance to my collection. This brand is pricey, yes, but so luxurious and worth it. The candles burn so slowly and the scent is easily thrown across the room. I've been cautiously burning my Burning Rose (a la Glossier style) and I'm maybe halfway done with the candle. The first burn took at least 4+ hours so if you're trying to get an even burn, you definitely need to appropriate enough time for it. The other candle I got was Bibliotheque but I haven't cracked that one open just yet. To read more about which fragrance I picked up, check out my 2017 Beauty Favorites post here.
- OVEROSE | This is also a brand I've been eyeing after for the longest time. Who can deny the pretty pink packaging ?? When Overose released their holographic packaging, I jumped on the chance. Granted that ended up being slightly disappointing, I still love it. I ended up getting two scents - Indasmin (which is the most perfect jasmine scent) and Anthurium (which is basically Diptyque Baies x100). They recently changed the name of Indasmin to Ultraflora - - so I'll definitely be repurchasing that because I think it has quickly become one of my favorite candle scents! I know Overose can be kind of difficult to get a hold of, but as someone from the Bay Area, I got mine from Shop Anomie! Keep an eye out for when they restock :)
- PF CANDLE CO | This is a brand I've eyed up for a while and finally got to try last year. Amber & Moss is my boyfriend and my's favorite candle - it's a great unisex scent and it's almost always burning in our apartment. We finished up the normal size candle and bought the dual-wick version shortly after. This one is available at Urban Outfitters and is one I often snag when they have their 20% off sales. They're also often stocked by local shops and can occasionally be found on clearance (select scents that is).
Read more about some of my Winter candle picks in my post here!
Wheeeew that was a long one. If you'd made it all the way down here, kudos to you! What are some of your favorite skincare/haircare/candle products that you tried last year? Any new/favorite brand discoveries or ones that you want to try this year?
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