2016 Makeup and Skincare Favorites
Hi Hiiiiii :-)
So I've only posted once in the last 5 months. I feel like I'm always apologizing for lack of posts, inconsistency, etc. and I don't even know what to say this time. Much of it is due to the fact that reluctantly, I admit I'm a creature of habit - and once I fall out of the habit of doing something it takes absolutely momentous effort to get back to it. I've also had random family stuff going on and was sick for 3 weeks at the beginning of the year. And to be really, really honest the blogging community of late has got me extremely unmotivated and disenchanted. But I'll save that discussion for a Beauty Thoughts post!!
Onto my 2016 Favorites!!
This time around, I didn't do separate Makeup and Skincare posts. Makeup-wise, it was an extremely slow year as I very much settled into a look and somewhat of a routine. And skincare-wise I felt I had a lot of repeats from previous years, so I decided to combine the favorites instead of forcing something that wasn't really there - I try to keep favorites to products I actually discovered in that year.
***All items purchased by me. Links are not affiliated. This is not a sponsored post.***
Surratt Surreal Real Skin Foundation Wand - Review HERE. Still in total love and still the best all around foundation I've tried to date. I love other foundations for others reasons (because they have a little more of this or a little more of that), but the Surratt ticks every box I can think of. Ok, well, except for having to mix 2 colors and the attached brush, but I don't mind at all considering how fantastic the actual formula is. It's better than skin-like, and by that I mean it makes my skin look pretty darn fantastic while still looking like my actual skin. It's really pigmented, so I don't need much and I can't feel it on. One of the biggest bonuses is that it wears well over my sunscreen! Oh, did I mention that it plays very well with all my other products?!!!
MV Organics Rose Plus Booster - This is a favorite of Divya's @The Conscience Fund. I've seen her mention it often enough that it's always stayed in the back of my mind. I received the full size bottle in a CultBeauty goody bag (either the Fall or the year end favorites - I forget which one). I didn't touch it for awhile - partly because I was nervous about trying another mixed oil blend. In the past I haven't done so well with premade mixed oil blends - I usually end up with clogs or irritation bumps and since it's a blend it's difficult to suss out which oil is the culprit.
But at some point, I was having dehydration problems and nothing in my regular stash was alleviating that under the skin itchy, tightness. So I bit the bullet and tried the MV Organics Rose Plus Booster. I haven't used my previous favorite, jojoba oil, since!! It has a lovely texture that's not heavy and absorbs nicely. It layers beautifully, and works well under makeup and mixed with other skincare. It doesn't contribute to clogs or irritate my skin, and I can use it morning and night. And best of all...it cured my Winter dehydration issues!!! I've already started on my second bottle, and have a backup on the way!
Tea Tree Oil - This is the NOW brand tea tree oil, but I only tried it because it was what I already had on hand (for a different purpose)...so I'm not sure how or if it's much different than other brands? Anyway...so off and on over the past 10 years or so I've suffered from clogs. At times it's better or worse depending on my routine and products, but it's progressively gotten better over the last few years. PS this section is long and probably TMI, so if you don't want to read it, please skip down to the Youth to the People cleanser!
These aren't any normal clogs though. I call them clogs because I don't what else to call them. I've mentioned them once in a Favorites post, HERE. Maybe I'll refer to them as super clogs?!! Ha ha! Sooooo...what's the difference???? At the core, these super clogs have hard, kinda rubbery plugs that are extremely difficult to remove - and they won't completely heal unless all signs of the infecting plug are gone. But their rubbery texture makes them really tough to grab with tweezers or any other method.
I've done all kinds of googling to figure out what these plugs are - NO they are NOT your average sebum or keratin plug. I found a thread awhile ago that said it might be some kind fungal something or other and using an anti-fungal cream helped. I started using Lotrimin around my nose and mouth area at night. It definitely helped and I still use it to this day.
However, when I went through laser treatments this Summer I couldn't use all the products in my normal routine and my skin definitely suffered. One of the side effects of said lack of a regular routine was that the super clogs/plugs returned with more frequency and annoyance. I googled the issue, yet again, and found mostly the same answers. Until I found THIS thread - several of the posters talk about Demodex mites...I guess we all have them and they live on our skin, but for whatever reason some people are more susceptible to their pore-clogging super powers if we have too many of them -_- They can attach themselves (that's why they are so hard to remove once they form a plug ugh!!) inside pores and feed off off skin, hair and whatever else they can find.
I rarely go without cleaning my skin morning and night, and I almost never touch my face (except for my skincare routine) so I'm not sure why I would be more susceptible?? From several of the descriptions and experiences though, I'm pretty certain that's been the culprit. It probably also didn't help when I started Treninoin after the laser treatments and my skin was more flakey so the mites had more to feed on. EW, I knooooow!!!
One of the posters mentioned that sea buckthorn oil helped kill them off, and someone else mentioned tea tree oil. I happened to already have some tea tree oil (pictured) so I tried that right away! Now it's been several months, and I can tell you that it has most definitely helped. I still have the occasional plug to deal with, but they are a lot less frequent - maybe 1/month at this point. In full disclosure, I still use the Lotrimin on top of the tea tree oil as neither seems to work as well individually as they do combined. Aaaaaall that said ha ha - I actually had forgotten about the sea buckthorn oil until I looked up the link for this post. I'm going to order some and will let you know how it goes!!
Sorry for the way long chat about mites, but I know how extremely frustrating they can be to deal with!! So if there's anyone out there who is looking for some answers, hopefully this will help a little.
Youth To The People Kale + Spinach + Green Tea Age Prevention Cleanser, $36/8oz @ Sephora - I wasn't sure how soon my previous favorite cleanser, the Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser, was going to be toppled after finishing so many bottles. But a late year discovery finally beat the reigning champ. I purchased the YTTP (Youth To The People) Age Prevention Cleanser during the Sephora sale - instantly fell in love and promptly purchased a second bottle AND a bottle for my Niece, Miqa, before the sale ended. By the way, she loves it too!!!
First let's talk price. 8oz for $36, that's twice the size of the Indie Lee for just a few dollars more. The packaging is nice too - a glass pump bottle with clean text and graphics.
This is a lightly foaming gel cleanser with a clean, slightly 'green grass' smell. It's not overpowering, and it's nice to have something that's not floral or fruity for a change. The ingredient list is a little bigger than the Indie Lee, but it makes sense with the Kale + Spinach and whatnot listed just in the product name...but it's also got a host of vitamins (A, C, B5) and aloe.
My skin is left feeling fresh, clean (no residue!!!) and not dry! I feel like it gets rid of oil a little better than the Indie Lee. I still mainly use this as a second cleanse (as with the Indie Lee), or in the morning if my skin isn't too oily (for instance when I'm staying home and don't wash my face until the afternoon I definitely am more oily and need to use a different first cleanse just for that area). And then there's that something intangible that I can't describe that makes me love it so much!!
Here's what my Niece had to say about it:
I really like that it makes my skin feel soft when I wash my face and that it feels like it actually washes off. some cleansers don't feel like they wash off completely and I don't like the feeling of having things on my face after I wash it. I also really love the smell :)
And there you have it - she's 20, I'm 41...and we both love it! BTW I'm well into my second bottle!
Tretinoin Cream 0.025% - There is an adjustment period, though mine was less severe because I had been doing microdermabrasion sessions between laser treatments. At least that's what my esthetician told me! Bottom line: this is better than any serum or treatment I've tried. My skin looks fresh, plump, has less breakouts, has helped with remaining sunspots - and as said before, has given me that something intangible that I can't exactly describe or put my finger on but where I just go, DAMN MY SKIN LOOKS GOOOOOOOOOOD!!!!
I remember awhile ago, Caroline Hirons said in a video that really all you need topically is a retinoid at night, and vitamin C and sunscreen during the day. Love her or hate her, I think on the retinoid part she's right. Of course, it's fun to try different serums and stuff and not everyone wants to go through the expense/trouble of getting a retinoid...but I'm SO SO SO happy I finally did!! Total game changer for me, and it's given me everything I've ever hoped for in an anti-aging treatment. This is my second tube - the first lasted about 3 months and the cost is $90.
WHEW!! Finally done! Thoughts?? What were your favorites for 2016?!!!