I was thinking to myself, how will I narrow down the products that made not only my skin glow, my soul glow, but my year glow?
Here’s to the ones that I craved for on my drives home, dreamt of on my late nights, healed me from within out and allowed me to experience not only a physical fulfillment, but a sensory, eye-catching, tasteful experience to indulge in. I experienced many, but these ones have lingered and comforted me in many different ways.
I’m breaking down my favourites by category in a K-beauty inspired order along with shower favourites. Let’s unravel, shall we?
Disclaimer: All products marked with a (*) were gifted to me. I also have a discount page you can check out if you want to grab a discount on some of my favourites. All other disclaimers are listed there.
Keep an eye out to see which product won my product of the year!
Eye and lip makeup remover
This baby takes off makeup like a dream. Non-irritating and gentle on the eyes, everything glides off in seconds without any weird residue. My absolute favourite even though I barely wear eye makeup. Oh, and don’t worry, mascara GLIDES off with it right away.
This is one of those products that is completely underrated, and I’m sad about it. When Farmacy sent me this earlier this year, I was intrigued considering I hadn’t seen it float around online much. From the silky, gentle application to the emulsifying process, I love this oil cleanser as a first cleanse to take off light makeup which I wear, or even when I’m usually wearing nothing at all.
Side note: The oil is sold out on Farmacy’s site but is in stock on Walmart here. I’m fairly sure this product is being discontinued, but if you’re looking for an alternative, check out my favourite balm cleansers below!
I couldn’t choose one. I tried, and I couldn’t. They both give me a unique experience and I’m so happy about it.
From the second Charlotte Cho launched Then I Met You, I instantly felt pulled in and my heart felt connected. Ordering the cleansing duo on launch day was one of the best orders and gut-instinct decisions I’ve ever made. From the packaging, unboxing experience, colours, texture and scent, the Living Cleansing Balm is one of the most unique skincare experiences the universe has granted me with. Packed with nourishing ingredients and antioxidants, the luxurious, sorbet-like cleansing balm removes makeup like a dream.
This one brings me back to my Seoul trip last April. I discovered the world of Banila Co while roaming the streets of Myeongdong. My first purchase was the new and improved Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm Original. With a gentle raspberry scent and gritty melting texture, this balm removes heavy makeup and excess oils without stripping my skin. It takes me back to Seoul every time. (A little goes a long way!)
Water based cleanser
I didn’t think it would make it, but it did. And I’m really happy it did. Clean Bee is one of the most simple yet effective cleansers I’ve tried. Suited for all skin types, it’s beyond gentle and works great as a single or post oil cleanser. Sometimes, I feel like gentle cleansers are just, well… basic. I’ve grown to take the time and sit with one, embrace and understand that a cleanser can be as simple as a cleanser, as non-simple as that sounds. I only recently discovered how to effectively use it for me, by lathering it for a few extra seconds with lukewarm water. I didn’t like the honey scent at first, but with months of cleanses I’ve grown to fall in love with it. Without a doubt, one of my favourite skincare products in my collection.
One of the coolest products of 2018. The entire egg line from Too Cool For School has blown me away. I mean, the Egg Mousse Soap is why I discovered K-beauty and began this journey. The Egg-Zyme cleanser has blown me away. It’s a super creamy, gentle, exfoliating foaming cleanser with derived enzymes from egg powders. It’s both a physical and chemical exfoliator due to the lysozyme particles as physical and the enzymes as chemical. It’s a literal melted marshmallow, fairy dust dream that leaves my skin feeling supple and clean. I know my mom uses this daily, but for me, 1-2 times a week works wonders. A unique product that allows for a truly unique experience.
I absolutely love this chemical exfoliant for 3 reasons:
It’s super gentle and works GREAT for beginners.
I see instant results in terms of overall glowing and healthy complexion after wiping it across my face with an organic cotton pad. (I use these ones from The Face Shop - they’re my favourite!)
It works wonderings in the morning and evening if used consistently. (Don’t forget your SPF, exfoliating or not!)
Toners and beauty waters
I dream of you.
The cucumber toner from Thayers is by far one of my favourite products, ever. I don’t usually wash my face in the morning, so I tone with this and my skin is ready to go. To awaken my skin or to simply refresh, this toner is absolutely perfect for daily use, morning to evening. I can’t get enough. It’s also awesome if my skin is ever feeling irritated or has redness. It just works wonders at any place and any time.
Perfect Rice Bran Cleansing Water by Shingmulnara
Another gem I discovered at Olive Young when I was in Seoul last April. It balances my complexion and works great to remove excess makeup, dirt and oils post second cleanse. It has such a dreamy, light scent and brings me to a place of comfort.
Side note: I’m not really sure the best place to purchase it online, but Beauty Box carries the line from what I’ve researched.
This is the first micellar water I’ve ever tried and I love it. So, I personally don’t think cleansing with micellar water is remotely close to being enough when taking off makeup, so I love using this post second cleanse or alone after a basic cleanse to tone and nourish my skin. It’s super hydrating and leaves my skin feeling plump.
Another incredible product in my collection that lived up to my non-existing expectations. This cleansing water is incredibly hydrating and balances my complexion whether using it post cleanse or alone in the morning. The product contains Belif’s Tri Herb complex to relieve daily skin stress while keeping it cleansed, clear and fresh!
When I first discovered Huxley, I was intrigued. When I was educated on their brand story and ingredient sourcing, I fell in love. The Grab Water is one of the most unique products that has ever come in contact with my skin. From the second I drop it into my hands and press it into my skin, my skin is quenched with love, nourished like an oasis of hydrated dreams and allows an aromatic experience of prickly pear cactus seed from the Sahara Desert. I love pairing this with their Fresh cream, which you’ll see in my favourites below.
You know how much I love this baby already, right? I’ve already written an in depth review for you here. And yes, I’m still in love.
If you’re looking for a product to nourish, nourish your skin, it’s this one. One drop goes miles, trust me. I’m so happy this worked for me. It feels so luxurious but not too heavy. It leaves me with the healthiest complexion, the most beautiful glow and happiest smile. I love using this alone or under a moisturizer, even right before makeup. An absolute staple in my collection, indeed.
I experienced something I never have before after pressing this into my skin: Immediate, but when I say immediate, I mean IMMEDIATE results. I remember, gently massaging it into my skin, feeling baby smooth, hydrated and just… perfection. I can’t even explain how awesome this product is. It layers perfectly under moisturizer and sinks into the skin with ease. Allows for an inner glow and feels invisible on the skin. Maybe I should just review it…
It made it to the favourites and let’s just say I’m happy I have a backup. Read my review for it here.
Since I don’t do skincare in the shower, (I’ll talk about it soon, don’t worry!) I love to use this post shower. It’s an awesome mist to help protect the skins barrier from the heat and excess elements from the shower.
It took me a while to figure a way to incorporate this gem into my routine, but I came to love using it at any step. Post masking, before moisturizer and in the morning.
Be patient - products can take months to love, just like this one for me. Explore them and take your time with them!
REFRESHING NATION, HI!
This mist is one of my favourites! From the gentle nozzle mist to the subtle cooling sensation, this baby works wonders layered or alone. Stunning for any season and works great as a setting spray, too!
I’ve never experienced anything like it. With opening holes only for the eyes and nostrils, this mask is unique in it’s form, ingredient list and texture all in one. I’ve already reviewed it here.
My product of the year.
I didn’t think I’d love it this much, but I do. I crave it, morning, afternoon and evening.
I’ll start off by saying this... After I’m done working overtime, work me overtime...
I remember pulling over to the side of the road on launch day and ordered it right away through the Summer Fridays site before it launched at Sephora. I couldn’t wait, my heart was pulled to it. Even though they don’t ship to Canada through their website, I made it work.
Let alone the awesome ingredient list, scent and results, I truly believe the main reason I fell in love with this is because of the immediate results. The immediate healthy complexion and radiating surface. I reviewed it over here and I encourage you to get a sample or even purchase it if you can.
I was really close of titling this one my product of the year… But I’ve loved it for a couple of years and still do. I always will. I’ve come to realize that pumpkin enzymes in skincare might be one of my favourite ingredients. I love this overnight mask for many reasons, mainly because of how lightweight it is, how gentle it is, how stunning my skin feels in the morning and how smooth my surface is. It’s such a comfort blanket for me, one that I’ll never let go of. This mask brings me back to New York City in 2017 when I first visited their Soho flagship store which is now closed. I remember receiving a sample that looked like this, and I was so intrigued by it. The packaging, concept. I fell in love. It makes me reminiscent of those times.
(And no, no pumpkin scent!)
At this point, they’re all equal to me.
The healing mask has truly healed me in many ways. I love the experience of sitting with it as it works its magical wonders. The texture is almost like a thicker aloe vera jelly that sits on the skin, eventually sinking in as it dries. It smells
I started my review with I didn’t “believe” in eye creams until this one. Read it here.
The Adaptogen Deep Moisture Cream is truly one of the best moisturizers I’ve tried this year. I have a full in-depth review of it here, where you can also read a review on every product from their line. I’ll be testing and reviewing their new Superberry Hydrate and Glow Dream Mask soon.
I absolutely adore this as a primer, a glowing luminizer that allows for a healthy glow within. The texture is lightweight, yummy and the scent is too. It’s so refreshing and stunning under makeup or alone. One of the best moisturizers I’ve tried, and a little goes a LONG way. You can read my mini review here.
I have no words to describe this one. The Egg Mellow Cream is one of the most unique products out there, undoubtedly the most unique moisturizer I’ve ever tried, or should I say, experienced. From the ingredients, benefits, texture / consistency and scent, I’d recommend this to everyone with any skin type. I’ll try to leave a review soon.
Paired with the Secret of Sahara Grab Water Essence by Huxley, this duo is my morning breakfast. For my skin. The cream has such a unique texture, sort of like a gel-like, thicker water cream that melts into the skin. It’s so refreshing and the prickly pear seed oil smells so natural and fresh. This may be my favourite moisturizer of the year.
I’m on my third bottle, what does that tell you? So, I’ll try to do a post all about SPF. Because, well, we all need SPF. Whether it’s raining or sunny, cloudy or not, we need it.
This is not only my favourite SPF ever, but one of the coolest products I have. Since it’s a fluid, it’s super lightweight and melts into the skin. It has a very watery consistency and feels so lightweight, absorbing into the skin quickly. And when I say it melts into the skin, it leaves no white cast. It only leaves the PRETTIEST glow that you’ll have to try for yourself to understand. I’m not sure why LRP claims it to have a matte finish. If you want to have fun with SPF, go for this one.
Another gem that brings me back to Seoul. I also think If you want to have fun with SPF, go for this one too.
SPF in stick form is so practical for under makeup and easy re-application throughout the day on bare skin without having to use your fingers. I love this baby because of how refreshing it feels and works under moisturizers and makeup. The packaging is also fun.
I discovered the sticks in Korea and I love them so much. There are two others in the collection that I’m really intrigued in trying as well.
Egg Remedy Shampoo + Hair Pack by Too Cool For School | Read my review here.
Lipidol Aftershave Oil (I get mine at Walmart)
And there you have it, the ones that made my soul glow.