The Best Beauty Products of 2016: Skincare & Haircare
It was another great year in beauty for me across skincare and haircare. As I really focused on using things up, my skincare routine went through a bit of an overhaul and I welcomed many new products into my beauty stash. There were first forays into brands I had been eager to try for quite some time (I'm mostly talking about Glossier here) and I even felt like I started listening to my skin more, while less on the opinions of others. I'm well and truly aware that I can be a sucker for blogger hype, but I think I've also learnt where to draw the line. I'm going to continue this approach to beauty in 2017 and to wrap up yearly favourites posts, here are my skincare and haircare highlights of 2016.
I think it goes without saying that the standout skincare brand of 2016 goes to Glossier. As soon as they released their Milky Jelly Cleanser last year, I was all over them and mid-year, I used a US mail forwarding service to finally get my hands on some of their dreamy products. Milky Jelly Cleanser is wonderfully gentle on the skin and whilst still removing every trace of makeup, it has a mild rose scent, which makes my heart sing as one of my favourite scents ever. Moisturising Moon Mask and Mega Greens Galaxy Pack are the two face masks within the Glossier skincare lineup; the former being a cooling and hydrating one, while the latter working to detox and clarify the skin. I bought these in replacement of other masks I had used up (the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask and REN Clarimatte Invisible Pores Detox Mask) and the Glossier offerings are by far superior. The Glossier Balm Dot Com became my go-to lip balm of 2016 and as I mentioned in my An Introduction to Glossier post, to me, are the Lip Smackers for the millennial. I have the unscented Balm Dot Com, as well as the Coconut Balm Dot Com and I can't wait to try the Rose one next. Contained in the cutest pink packaging, Glossier is fuss-free, effortless beauty, which is what I really appreciate about the brand.
Along with the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser, I introduced another two cleansers into my skincare routine (it's probably my favourite skincare product to try); the NUDE Perfect Cleanse Omega Cleansing Jelly and the REN Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk. The NUDE Perfect Cleanse Omega Cleansing Jelly is more or less the same as Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel, only it's contained within a squeeze tube and smells different, though equally as pleasant. Needless to say, I adore this stuff and I would definitely repurchase it. Milky cleansers are my favourite for the second step in my double cleanse and the REN Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk is perfect for just that. I love that this doesn't feel at all stripping on the skin and when it comes to cleansing, I much prefer to keep things simple and gentle.
During the harsh, cold winter halfway through the year, I went through a troublesome phase with my skin where I kept breaking out, but luckily, the Avéne TriAcnéal EXPERT* came to the rescue. It's specifically formulated to deal with adult acne and even with a lightweight texture, I found it moisturising enough in the cold weather. I'll be keeping this around just in case those pesky blemishes make a return! After I used up my Mecca Cosmetica To Save Face SPF 30+, I bought the To Save Face Superscreen SPF 50+ to replace it. In Australia where the sun is at its harshest, a good SPF is vital and I've been using the Mecca Cosmetica offerings for years. Apart from the SPF factor, there's no real difference between the two except for the colour (the Superscreen looks like a tinted moisturiser, though doesn't actually contain any pigment). It's non-greasy, non-whitening and I appreciate that it also contains wonderful ingredients like hyaluronic acid, pomegranate extract and vitamin E for an extra skincare treat.
The Oskia Renaissance Mask* was a product that came into my possession last year, but as I was using up my REN Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask, I only began using it this year. It looks and smells like their cult Renaissance Cleansing Gel, and works to resurface and brighten the skin for a more radiant complexion. Whenever my skin is looking dull or lacklustre, I know I can rely on this mask to turn things around. After I used up my Nuxe Contour des Yeux Prodigieux, I bought the Hylamide SubQ Eyes, which while I initially loved at first, ended up being too harsh for my skin and making my eyelids really dry and patchy. It was awful and something I'd never experienced before. I've since passed it onto Jess and I now use the Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream, which has a beautiful silk-like texture and is really gentle. I haven't had it for too long, but it's already helped repair my sore eyelids and though it's quite pricey, you only need the tiniest amount of product, so it'll last you a fair while.
In body skincare bits, I tried out two shower products; the Philosophy Coconut Frosting Shower Gel and the Lush The Comforter Shower Cream. I choose my shower products purely based on scent and they're both absolutely delicious, while lathering up really nicely too. I also enjoy the thicker consistency to the Lush Shower Cream as it makes it something a little more luxurious.
I'm not usually one to try out lots of different haircare products, but I somehow ended up introducing a fair few new items into my routine this year. The first 2016 haircare highlight goes to the Davines LOVE Smoothing Shampoo* and Conditioner*, which is formulated for frizzy and dry hair types, and really helps to nourish and soften my tresses. The cute minimalistic packaging is something I really love too.
After I used up my Ojon Rare Blend Protecting Treatment, I decided to try the Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil Primer after hearing so many rave reviews. This is by far the best hair protectant I've ever used, not to mention it smells incredible and definitely lives up to the hype. In other haircare treatments, I also really loved the Sachajuan Hair Repair and Philip Kingsley Scalp Toner. As I mentioned, my hair is frizzy and dry, as well as really thick, and the Sachajuan Hair Repair works to hydrate it and restore shine. It's pretty intensive stuff, so I don't use it all the time, but when I do, my hair loves it. My scalp is a little on the sensitive side, so whenever it gets a bit itchy or flakey, I have the Philip Kingsley Scalp Toner to soothe and refresh it. Providing a pleasant tingly sensation, it even promotes hair growth, which is always an added bonus, especially for someone like me whose hair grows super slow.
What were your favourite skincare and haircare products in 2016?