Monday, December 16, 2013

Best of 2013

We are approaching the end of December, so it's time to talk about the products that stood out to me the most throughout 2013 (do not confuse this with all-time favorites). I want you to know that I carefully selected the products because I want you to read and discover the crème de la crème

Hope you enjoy. 



Note: if there are any men reading this, these products will also work for you. 

The skin transformer: Perricone MD Blue Plasma quickly became the king of skincare once I saw its results in just a couple of weeks. I had always eyed it on Maree's Instagram (she's one of my biggest skincare inspirations), but I didn't want to bite the bullet - you guys, we're talking about a $95 dollar product here. However, one day I found myself wandering the halls of Sephora and came across the pretty, blue bottle. Since I had wanted to dip my toes in the water for so long, I asked for a sample - which surprisingly lasted me a good week and a half. The results were almost instant, but I knew it could be some sort of placebo-effect kinda thing. I was astonished to see how in just one week my skin felt smoother and it looked like good skin. Pretty good skin. I bought the full size and fast forward to four months later, I am still loving it. I have used it every single night and I cannot imagine my skin routine without this product. I filmed an in depth review here, if you're interested. 

The brightening serum: Ole Henriksen's Truth Serum is a Vitamin C bomb. I have discussed the amazing benefits of this powerful vitamin before, so it's no surprise this serum has been raved about by numerous blogs, magazines and celebrities. It is ah-mazing - it smells delicious (like oranges), firms, evens out the skin tone and protects against environmental aggressors. 

The moisturizer: Oh my, I don't think I can say anything negative about REN. It's truly a beautiful brand, and I love that there is literally something for everyone. The REN Vita-Mineral Day Cream formulated for Normal Skin is like water for my skin. This moisturizer is non-greasy, it absorbs quickly and keeps my skin plump, healthy and balanced. 

The oil: If you're in the hunt for a good facial oil, I know it can be slightly overwhelming. There are so many types and so many brands in the market. But hear me out when I tell you this: the Fresh Seaberry Oil is awesome. No silicones, no nasties, just a blend of seabuckthorn, cranberry oil, many omegas and Vitamin E which all guarantee to leave your skin oh, so smooth. I've reviewed it here. I recommend it for those with normal to dry skin. If you have oily skin, do not fear nor underestimate the power of oils! A good one for you gals is the Tarte Maracuja Oil (which actually helps with breakouts and inflammation).  

The SPF: I remember so many days not looking forward to putting on SPF, in fact, there was a period in my life where I did not use it at all (major skincare sin). The smell, the texture, the clogged pores, the breakouts -- all of it was unattractive to me. I have found it, my friends, the perfect SPF. Yes! The Shiseido Urban Environment Oil-Free SPF 42 is the one. No nasty SPF scent, no oily texture, no white cast on the face, no breakouts, nada. It is vitually undetectable and you cannot even feel it once you put it on. The skin drinks it up and you're left with a matte finish. The formula is designed to actually control oil production. It goes beautiful under makeup and it doesn't dry out the skin. WIN!

The mask: Arcona is such an underrated skin care line --  a clean and elegant, yet affordable brand. Their Tea Tree Mask is a great mask for anyone. It takes the gunk out of your pores, it feels minty and cooling, it purifies, yet it does not dry out the skin. Beautiful and luxe. Highly recommend.


The foundation: If you are a regular reader or a follower on Instagram, you already know my favorite foundation of all time is the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer. It is so versatile, so concentrated and my God, its finish! It looks so real on the skin. Despite its main ingredient is one I strictly stay away from - mineral oil - it is the foundation I reach out for when I want my skin to look perfect. I do recommend getting color matched at a counter. Other than that, thank me later. You can read my review here. And if you want to look at all of the swatches, check out The Beauty Professor's post

The concealer - high end: It's full coverage and it illuminates at the same time. It is silky and luxurious, smooths out any fine lines and hydrates. We're talking about the By Terry Touche Veloutee. My, oh my. It's pricey, but it is the one I reach for special occasions. It is by far my favorite concealer. 

The concealer - drugstore: The L'oreal True Match Touche Magique Concealer is my go-to concealer when my eyes look really tired. It is opaque enough to cover, yet brightening (but it doesn't contain any shimmer). I would say it's medium to full coverage. A little goes a long way. Great product!

The brow product: Anastasia Beverly Hills is known to be the "queen of brows", and this year, I was all about brows. The Brow Powder Duo features two shades to fill in and define your brows. I love the formula because it is long wearing and pigmented. 

The blush: Illamasqua makes exquisite, pigmented and ultra long-lasting blushes. The stand out this year for me was the Excite Powder Blush. It is gorgeous and flattering on all skin tones. A true peachy glow. Take a look here.  

The highlighter: Benefit Watts Up is a beautiful cream to powder gold highlighter that I found myself reaching for most often this year. It is absolutely stunning on women with medium to dark skin tones.  

The red lip: If you are looking for a highly-pigmented, long-wearing matte lipstick, check out Stila's Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick. My favorite shade is "Beso" which is a sexy red. My favorite red, to be completely honest. You can see me wearing it here

The mascara: Do not overlook mini mascaras - they last quite a long time! I fell in love with Benefit Bad Gal Lash this year. I love the brush and I love how long and full it makes my lashes look. You can find a close up pic here

The eyeliner: If you're a fan of gel liner, I highly recommend you to try the Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay In Place Gel Eyeliner. It is soft, very easy to work with and extremely long-wearing. I've had my little pot for about a year and a half and the formula is still as new -- it's not dry not tacky. Love.


Calling all curly-hair gals: I cannot even count how many hair products I've gone through in my lifetime trying to find the one product that keeps my curls looking hydrated, soft, bouncy, yet not crunchy or wet looking. Moroccan Oil not only smells divine, their Curl Defining Cream works. It is my HG curl product. I love how much product you get for the price you pay (a whooping 250 ml for $33.60!). All you need is a pump -- massage it between your hands and run it down your towel-dried hair. I personally always let it air dry. I'm left with soft, voluminous, frizz free curls. I have received tons, believe me, tons of compliments on my curly hair. Thank you, Moroccan Oil. 

Which were your 2013 stand out products? Do share! 


  1. In Austrakia, QV does a great simple skincare range, targeted at those with sensitive skins and specific allergies. I started using their daily SPF30+ moisturiser - was going on Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in October - so needed fragrance free but definitely needed SPF for harsh middle eastern sun. This product is AMAZING! Didn't burn once (I burn v easily) and goes on like any beautiful moisturiser, rather than a thick sloppy sunscreen. Perfect with makeup!

    1. That's so good to know! Wish I could try it! Thanks for sharing X

    2. Hi
      I so want to try the blue plasma think I will bite the bullet great if I could get a sample in the Uk unlikely though
      What was your skin like before using this

  2. I have spent a lot on beauty products this month but thanks to you the Blue Plasma and Seaberry Oil are on my list for next year! xx

  3. What do you recommend as a face wash?

    1. Hi Bridget! What's your skin type?

    2. Thanks for replying so quickly! I guess I would be considered combo but pretty dry in the winter. I experience break outs often on my chin. I'm very interested in trying the products you mentioned in this post but am looking for a daily wash too. Let me know if you recommend anything specific. Thanks again!

    3. I highly recommend the REN No.1 Purity Cleansing Balm. I've been using it for over a year. I also got my sister using it and she loves it as well. It cleans well without stripping your skin - hence, you won't get that tight feeling afterwards because it is almond oil based. If you're more into a "foam", I do like the Caudalie Foaming Cleanser because it is very gentle. And if you're into milks, the REN Cleansing Milk is another lovely one X

  4. Hi sis!

    Very informative as usual!
    Thanks for making me discover the Shiseido SPF! I love it!
    I've discovered a few new products lately that I'm loving... I'm very into Clinique lately! I might do a post soon...
    Have a nice weekend! Much love! xoxo

    1. YAY! Glad you loved it sis! I am looking forward to your post. Share with us your skincare goodies! Much love! XOXO