Happy New Year Sunshines! I hope you all had a cosy Christmas, fun New Year’s Eve and that the New Year so far has been a good one.
I took some time off publishing posts and reading posts because of the season and I was busy redesigning mine so I can start with a fresh new layout for the new year (Man.. that definitely took some time and if you’re a blogger as well, I’d really suggest you do the tags and categories properly the first time around ‘cause that definitely was a pain in the ass to properly reorganise -_-). Anyway.. My lucky / favourite number is 8, hence I’ll kick off this first post of 2018 with a favourites of 2017 on the 8th of January, which perfectly falls on a Monday.
I was thinking about how to structure this since I’ve never done a yearly round up before and decided that I will only mention products that I have (re)discovered, truly loved and used this year. This means that my holy grails that have stood by me longer than this year are not included, the products mentioned are not necessarily launched this year and I won’t mention all categories of beauty products since I don’t want to bombard you with tons of products that I didn’t truly love and used.
2017 was the year that I finally managed to try out Tarte products and considering the hype around the Shape Tape and brand support from influencers, I of course was very eager and excited when I managed to get my hands on their products as they don’t sell them in HK. Though I picked up a holiday set, it didn’t disappoint one bit (okay.. let’s be honest, I wasn’t a fan of the mascara nor the liquid lipstick but the eyeshadows, face products and eyeliner were a hit). I have been using the eyeshadows and bronzers every day as they’re very blendable and it’s really easy to have everything in that box laid out while I’m applying my makeup, plus the Sex Kitten Eyeliner doesn’t smudge on me at all, after hours and hours of wear in my waterline so this product (minus the Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara and Tarteist Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint) was definitely a favourite of mine and will be brought with me to the new year.
This product was a rediscovery of mine this year and I do understand the hype around this bronzer because it’s an overall good performing bronzer in terms of how blendable and the shade it is in. Although I left this product hanging a bit ever since I have the Tarte Bronzers, I still use it for a nose contour and for days when I want to switch things up a little.
Clear Brow Gel
Another rediscovery of mine that will most likely not be replaced my any other brow gel in the new year. Ever since my sparse brows started growing really fast again from the Talika Lipocils Expert and Eyelash Conditioning Cream I started using this product more often and it has currently become a staple in my kit. It truly is and feels like a strong hold hair spray for your brows and the two-sided comb allows me to get either a more neat or feathered look. Another rediscovered win for Benefit in my book!
Rimmel launched their products in HK this year and as one of my favourite drugstore brands, I do have to shout out two of their products that I have been using nonstop since their launch. Firstly, it’s their contour stick and yes I initially didn’t like it in my Rimmel Haul / First Impressions post, but I realised that I have been using the contour shade so often that it finished up and hence I picked up a new one in the shade Dark. This shade made me love this product so much more as it can give me a very nice, blended and strong contoured look with ease. The highlight in this dark shade stick fits my skin tone a lot more as it leans towards a warm-toned champagne highlight than cool-toned icy white highlight.
A long–time favourite of mine that I have finally reconnected with this year again and was still as impressed as before, so obviously this pressed powder had to be mentioned in the 2017 favourites.
With continuously switching up the mascara I use, the past year I decided to pick up this mascara again and I have realised that I absolutely love the Lash Sensational mascaras (both regular and waterproof version). The wand gives me just the perfect natural fluttered lash look that I seek for in my mascara, not overly dramatic yet not too soft and natural either, plus the formula on both the waterproof and regular one are great as well, though the shade isn’t the blackest out there.
If you see me wearing a nude lip, 99% of the time it is either the Rimmel’s Lasting Finish by Kate Moss in the shade 03 or MAC’s Velvet Teddy until I discovered this. Now, I absolutely love nude lipsticks when I go out because I love eating and drinking way too much to keep up with a darker lip option and I really only continuously use the two options above because they are amazing, but this year I discovered this Marc Jacobs lipstick which really puts the other two to shame when I wear it. The shade is perfect for my skin tone and formula is very long lasting without being drying or transferring too much. This lipstick will definitely be worn tons in the new year.
The best discovery and favourite of 2017 by far goes to this lip balm right here. Now, I actually received this from an acquaintance as a remedy product for a rash that I get in the colder months on my upper arm but when the warmer months hit I tried it out as a lip balm. Since then, this has been my favourite, favourite, lip balm of all time. With the tendency to lose things, especially lip balms, I managed to not lose this at all because that’s how precious it is to me. I even get a bit anxious when I don’t know where it is, especially since I still haven’t found out where to get it in stores yet.
As I’m getting older, my sun spots are really starting to show more and more thanks to past Sam not putting on sunscreen, so this past year I really made an effort to incorporate sunscreen into my skincare routine and have done so successfully. Even in the winter or when I’m at home I’ll put it on after moisturiser because I work next to a large window and yes, you can still get sun damage in the winter months. After trial and error, I found that this sunscreen has worked well for me, so far. You do need to blend it in well but you don’t see any white cast whatsoever afterwards. I still want to try out a lot more sunscreens this year to see if there is maybe something better out there, but so far this one will do. One major plus for this product, goes to the fact that it does protect against pollution and being in the environment that I’m in, I do look for products with many anti-oxidants in them.
When I think of Olay, I think of elder women mainly because my grandma used to use Olay products and I’m pretty sure I remember when I was younger the women on their ads seemed to be in their early 40s, hence I’m not usually drawn to the brand itself. However, I saw this product and thought I’d give it a go for a review. Though even up to now, I still haven’t reviewed it yet, I can tell you from this post that I absolutely love this product, have repurchased it several times and if you have dry skin I highly recommend this. It’s a non-foaming cleanser that has tiny tiny scrub particles in it yet is very gentle on the skin.
A long lost rediscovered product that I absolutely fell in love with this year. I recently tried to switch up my skincare routine and started using micellar water again but within a day or two switched back to this cleanser. Why? I stop wasting cotton pads as I remove it all with a cloth, I don’t have to spend minutes soaking my eyes in a cotton pad to remove stubborn waterproof eye makeup and lastly it’s really moisturising.
Speaking off cotton pads, this year I discovered lint free cotton pads. Now, you may wonder why on earth would I mention something as basic as a cotton pad in this post, but lint-free cotton pads are absolutely amazing, really.. if only I discovered them sooner. One big pet peeve that I have is removing my makeup or applying an essence / toner and seeing the lint is still clinging on my face or dangling in between my lashes, so this product has really helped me remove that pet peeve and I will never ever go back to regular cotton pads again. Oh and an added bonus is that they’re pretty much the same price as regular cotton pads and I get the cheapest brand available.
This hand wash has been well loved in my household and though extremely overpriced, I’m do have to say that it still would fall into my yearly favourites purely because I could justify the price and it could be used as a body scrub as well.
2017 wasn’t really a good hair year for me, I tried to grow it but it just took so much maintenance that mid-year I decided to cut it again (Can you tell I'm extremely lazy when it comes to doing my hair). Also, I realised that the previous shampoo I used made my hair feel very straw-like so these two were surprisingly a good find that made my hair smooth and healthy again. To top that off, the ingredients are cruelty free and naturally derived.
Another surprise find of the year was this hair oil. It doesn’t weigh my hair down and gives that added gloss effect while controls the fly aways. I’m a clumsy type and this packaging really drew me off at first, as it just has a sealed cap and when left open can spill everywhere if you drop it. Though, because of how well this product performs I can look past it and am extra careful with it.
Body Care and Random Beauty Bits
If you’re wondering why this product was still in its packaging then it’s actually because I haven’t used this yet, bought it for this picture and while writing this post I quickly had to open it to make sure it had the same texture as the Brush Egg that I lost or forgot somewhere and yes it did. So, let’s just pretend this performs as good as the Brush Egg so that I can tell you how much I love it. If you don’t know what the Brush Egg is, it’s basically a silicone egg shaped brush cleaner almost identical to the one in the picture, just shaped like an egg. It can remove every last bit of dirt on your brushes when you’re deep cleaning them and it’s only a few dollars, a definite steal in comparison to the Sigma Cleaning Mat.
I don’t exactly know what has gotten into me the past year but I have slowly been really addicted to hand sanitisers and just alcohol wipes to sanitise my phone, laptop etc. I love these in particular because they’re the perfect size to carry around in my pockets, bags and for around the house. I buy them in packs of 7 and because of that I do have to admit that I have half empty hand sanitisers literally everywhere around the house and in my bags now.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’d know that I’m a big Bath and Body Works fan and while I do love their candles, I don’t have a particular candle scent that I wanted to write in this post. But… I do have this pillow spray, which I’m so glad I found. I (excessively) spray the whole bed and room before I sleep every night, even if my boyfriend happens to go to bed and fall asleep before me (I still think he hasn’t noticed that I’ll just spray over of him if he’s in the way).
I’ve been using this product on and off for years but as part of my whole spraying ritual that I have gotten into before going to bed, this has become a solid staple product in my night time routine as well and even gets brought on holidays. In contrast to the previous few years, I really stepped it up in the gym in 2017 so with constantly tired feet, this has really been a way for my feet to get some TLC as well.
And that’s a wrap for today’s post Sunshines. Tomorrow this will be followed with my 2017 Lifestyle Favourites, i.e. tv shows, music, games, gadgets etc. I hope you like my new layout and that it’s easy to work around but there still some minor tweaks, especially on mobile devices to come here and there, so do let me know if you have any feedback!
What have been your favourites of the past year? What are you bringing with into the new year or are leaving behind in 2017? I’m so excited to start catching up on all the post I’ve been missing out on!