Welcome to my top skincare and beauty favorites from last year!
Last year, I discovered the world of Korean Beauty and have incorporated a lot of Korean products into my daily beauty routine. For me it's all about masks, masks and masks! They have really help to keep my dry skin hydrated (as well as drinking more water). Right now, I just started doing a 7 day mask cleanse to really give my skin a clear boost. At the end of the week, my skin will be more hydrated and have that healthy bounce.
I also tried a lot of cushion compacts this year, but my favorite by far is the AMOREPACIFIC Age Correcting Foundation Cushion Broad Spectrum SPF 25. It give me medium to full coverage but feels super light. it's a great everyday cushion because they look is just flawless looking skin!
Here's the top 15 products that I have loved this year and that I use all the time.
1. AMOREPACIFIC Age Correcting Foundation Cushion Broad Spectrum SPF 25 ($80 at Nordstrom)
This is the perfect everyday cushion. I love the whisper light texture that is really buildable if you need more coverage. I am shade 204 light/medium and it works perfectly with my skin tone. It's pricey for the cushion but it comes with an extra refill so one of these compacts should last you all year. You can flip the sponge over after a couple of months to really use up the foundation. This cushion is fortified with AMOREPACIFIC's wonderful skincare and has SPF 25. They don't have this anti-aging cushion version at Sephora but they do at Nordstrom. If you happen to have an AMOREPACIFIC counter at your Nordstrom, I recommend you try it out. I told my girlfriend about it and once she tried it at the counter, she bought it right away! (full review)
2. Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo ($37 at Chanel.com)
I have this lipstick in 3 colors now. My first one in 214 Message I got back in March. Message is such a pretty rose/red. The texture is amazing. It glides on the lips so easily and the colors are gorgeous. It's the perfect mix of lipstick and lipgloss so you have shine without any stickiness. They don't last as long on the lips after you eat or throughout the day but the colors are just gorgeous. I also have it in 216 Lettre, a perfect everyday rose shade and 218 script, a wonderful nude. (full review 1, 2)
3. Drybar Hair Products: Drybar Let it Blow!The Ultimate Travel Essentials Kit ($135 at Sephora) and Drybar The 3-Day Bender 1.25" Digital Curling Iron ($135 at Sephora)
I'm consistently impressed with all of Drybar's hair devices as well as hair styling products. I bought their hairdryer earlier in the year in a special Sephora box set. Looks like this Let it Blow! boxset is available now but for the travel dryer and comes with the small brush (love!) and styling products. It's such a good deal for $135! This is limited edition so hurry. The curling iron has been great at giving my hair some large wavy, loose curls. My hair also feels extra soft after I apply some of their Shine Cream. (full review 1, 2, 3)
4. Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil ($48 at Sephora)
I have been using this cleanser regularly everyday since I bought it back in July. I massage this on my face dry to loosen all the makeup. I love that it gets rid of all my makeup (even eye makeup) and doesn't strip my skin when I rinse it. The cleanser emulsifies once it touches water and clears away all the dirt and makeup. It's truly hydrating and my skin has been really clean and clear because of this. This is great for sensitive skin. I loved this cleanser much I also bought the travel size (0.8 oz) ($15) for my recent trip to France.
5.Dior Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade 0.4 oz ($33 at Sephora)
This is a oil-gel lip balm that works with your pH to give you a natural, rosy tint. I love the shine so to me, it's like a beautiful lip gloss. You can wear it alone or over your favorite lipstick. It's really nourishing and I found it hydrated my lips wonderfully i cold weather when I was on vacation in France. (full review)
6. Yves Saint Laurent Souffle D'Eclat Finishing Veil ($60 at Nordstrom)
This is the perfect loose powder to finish and set your makeup. I sometimes just wear this over my moisturizer on days I don't need a lot of makeup coverage. It's light and feels really good on the skin. It also helps to even out my skin tone too. It also looks pretty on my bathroom counter next to my perfume bottles! (full review)
7. Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Lip Color in 09 Rose Stiletto ($37 at Nordstrom)
This is my favorite everyday neutral/nude lipstick! My SA at YSL Beauty says it's one of the most popular colors and is frequently sold out. I think what makes this color so appealing is that it doesn't wash out your face. It's got a pretty hint of berry. I used this everyday for a long time and need to buy a new one soon to replace it. (full review)
8. Dior Diorskin Nude Air Glow Powder in 002 Fresh Light ($56 at Sephora)
I have been using this almost everyday since I received it. I use it like a bronzer but I feel like it's much more than a bronzer. It gives my skin a nice warm glow that I like to use not only on my cheeks but also as a base for my eyelids. I can't imagine my makeup routine without this. The silver compact with Dior cannage pattern is really beautiful and luxe. It comes with a small brush that works pretty well. I only use the small brush when I'm traveling. (full review)
9. La Mer Creme de la Mer ($170 for 1 oz at Bloomingdales)
I have been using this famous La Mer cream since June as a night cream and I love how my skin feels with it. The cream contains it's secret "miracle broth" that is made with sea kelp harvested off the shores of Vancouver. It's a rich cream so a little goes a long way. Use the scoop that comes with the jar and scoop a small amount. You'll need to warm it in your hands first and then gently pat it on your face to apply. (full review)
10. Kiehl's Apothecary Preparations ($95 at select Kiehl's boutiques)
Kiehl's goes back to it's apothecary roots with this special customized to you serum that you can only purchase in select Kiehl's boutiques. I have been using mine every night since I received it and it's made a difference in my skin. I love the light soft scent from the essential oils and I plan to go back to Kiehl's to get a new one once this serum is finished. So far I am not even halfway through since using it from late October. (full review)
11. Korean Face Masks
I love using Korean face masks and usually purchase them at Japantown in San Francisco. (See my Korean Beauty Map on Racked SF.) I love Tony Moly and The Face Shop mask the best and I find that they really keep my skin at their best if I use them regularly. Prices for masks are really inexpensive -- anywhere from $2 up to $10 each. Beauteque just rebranded themselves as a Korean Beauty e-shop into a e-commerce Korean face mask shop so you can find lots of brands online there. Pictured above is Tony Moly's I'm Real Coconut Face Mask (2 pack for $7.50).
12. Korean Beauty Secrets: A Practical Guide to Cutting-Edge Skincare & Makeup ($16.60 on Amazon)
This book was written by beauty bloggers Kerry Thompson and Coco Park and goes in depth on skincare and makeup brands and their benefits. It's a great overview into Korean Beauty and to discover how to get really clear, flawless skin. There are example skincare routines for different skin types and makeup tutorials. If you'd like more reading, I also really liked The Little Book of Skin Care: Korean Beauty Secrets for Healthy, Glowing Skin by Charlotte Cho ($16.46 on Amazon).
13. SK-II Pitera Essence Set ($99 at Sephora)
This year I decided to splurge again for the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. I like this set because it also comes with a face mask and a travel size clear lotion. The smaller bottle works for me because it's perfect for traveling. I also found the larger bottle heavier and harder to store because it's taller. I use this twice a day - in the morning and night right after I clean my face.
14. AmorePacific Intensive Vitalizing Eye Essence 0.5 oz/ 15 mL($95 at Sephora)
Don't think you don't need any eye cream or eye serum. The key is to start using these in your 20's so you can avoid wrinkles in your 30's and 40's. This AMOREPACIFIC Eye Essence is amazing. You click the top of the "pen" so the clear gel serum can come out and then you use the cooling roller ball to apply this under your eyes. It feels so good! It works to de-puff your eyes and helps brighten and moisturize the eye area. (full review)
15. Cocokind Organic Chlorophyll Mask($18.99 at Cocokind) and Cocokind Organic Baby Oil ($13.99 at Cocokind)
Cocokind is a brand that is dear to my heart. I use their products everyday in one way or another. This year they launched two products that I use regularly. I love that their products are organic and natural. Their Chlorophyll Mask helps detox and clean your skin (see my mask face on Instagram). It contains natural chlorophyll from chlorella, spiraling and wheatgrass. Their baby oil is something my daughter (8 years old) and I both use out of the shower to moisturize our skin. She has really sensitive skin so it is perfect for her. For me, I love how it makes my skin so darn soft and the light coconut scent is wonderful. It's not greasy and absorbs quickly! (full review 1, 2)