Monday, January 12, 2015

Harlot Beauty 2014 Favorites: Skincare

2015 is finally here! That means it's time for my very first Yearly Favorites Post! I have so many favorites that I've broken it down into 2 separate posts: Makeup/Hair, and Skincare. I could keep breaking each section down into smaller and smaller categories (liquid/gel/pencil liners for example) but a post like that would be exhausting to compose and to read! So I'm doing my absolute favorite products. I'm not putting something into a category just to fill it. If there's no favorite, I haven't included it in these lists.

I may not think these products are the best overall in their category, but I have chosen products that are my personal favorites. I don't like making "best of" lists because as we all know, some products may not work for everyone.

So let's get down to business! Fair warning- this post is much longer than my Makeup Favorites, so grab a cup of coffee, slap on a sheet mask and settle in for some skincare goodness!

Face

Facial Brush
Clarisonic Mia 2
I was a Clarisonic skeptic for quite some time. I read endless conflicting reviews, bought knockoff facial brushes galore, until I finally gave in and tried the Mia 2 (I got it for free using Birchbox points and a coupon. Score.) This probably ranks as my favorite skincare purchase of 2014. My skin immediately responded to this product, and overtime I saw my pores were smaller, sebaceous filaments were significantly lessened, and my skin is more smooth and bright. I can definitely notice a difference when I stop using this, and it's not pretty. I'm definitely a Clarisonic convert!

Cleansing Cloths
TheFaceShop Herb Day Cleansing Tissue
I try not to use cleansing tissues often. They can be pretty damaging to the skin when used regularly, and don't do a very good job of cleansing the skin overal. I got these Herb Day Cleansing Tissues through Beauteque and 3B, and love how thick and soft they are! They do a great job removing excess makeup, but I especially love using these first thing in the morning to remove sleeping pack residue and my spot treatments. They have a herby-floral scent that isn't too overpowering, and they're non-irritating. It's a great way to freshen up my face in the morning when I'm too tired to get out of bed!

Oil Cleanser
A friend of mine sent this to me as a gift in December, and I love it so much that it has surpassed all my other oil cleansers! It has a light lemony scent, and kicks butt at removing all of my makeup. (Though I can't speak for waterproof mascara as I don't wear it!) I haven't had any irritation or breakouts from this product, even with my sensitive, acneic skin. This product does contain mineral oil, so I wouldn't recommend using this as your only cleanser, however it's fantastic as part of a double cleansing process (oil then cream cleanser).

Foam/Cream Cleanser
Skinfactory Real Soft Premium Deep Cleansing
Skinfactory is one of my absolute favorite brands, unfortunately they're pretty hard to find for sale on most websites. Since I couldn't find a direct link for this cleanser, I will suggest that if you're interested in trying it, you can contact TesterKorea and they will get it in their store for you! TK is the last stop in Kbeauty for me. If you can't find it- they will get it! This cleanser has some excellent ingredients, and no weird scents or dyes. I only need a pea-sized amount to cleanse my entire face. This cleanser foams up with the most soft, velvety bubbles you've ever felt. It almost feels like a luxurious shaving cream when it's fully bubbled! I haven't had any issues with this cleanser feeling drying or stripping on my skin, but it has also helped greatly with my hormonal acne.

Booster
Dear By Enprani Moistfull Booskin
Not everyone uses a Booster, and they're not entirely easy to come by. Many companies put booster components directly into their toners, so theirs no need for a separate step. Boosters are applied directly after cleansing, and they help return moisture balance to the skin as well as prepare the skin to accept and absorb more products. I have used and enjoyed the Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Booster, but this Moistfull Booskin by Enprani is definitely my favorite. It's sort of like a sticky water in consistency at first, but smooths on my skin nicely without leaving a residue, and does a fantastic job of returning moisture and balance to my skin after cleansing.

Toner
Mizon AHA & BHA Daily Clean Toner
This might be my most-purchased product in 2014, as I keep re-purchasing this again and again rather than banging through the toners I already have. I don't think I have found a better toner. Ever. Seriously! This stuff is amazing at dissolving sebaceous filaments, calming and keeping acne at bay. It has even lightened the appearance of some of the acne-scarring I have. This is usually sold out everywhere it's sold, but I linked to Beauteque's listing as they tend to get it back in stock pretty quickly and have insanely fast shipping. Last time I ordered this from them, I had it here in 2 days! I also noticed that RoseRoseShop has this toner for insanely cheap with free shipping. I don't know how long it will be available there, so get it now if you're interested!

Exfoliator
Paula's Choice 2% BHA Gel
Let me just say, I've probably owned dozens of bottles of this BHA Gel in my lifetime! I have tried so many other exfoliants from all over the world, and I always go back to Paula's Choice 2% BHA Gel. This also comes in liquid form, although I feel like the gel gives me more control, and I waste less product. The AHA Gel is also absolutely fantastic, but I tend to use this one a lot more often. I'm not a fan of actual scrubs to exfoliate as they irritate my skin, and I'm also not big on peels that you need to wash off; After cleansing, I do my skincare in bed in front of my laptop, so I need an exfoliant that doesn't require me to rinse it off. This does an amazing job of keeping my skin looking acne-free, fresh and bright. No other product on the market does it quite like this one!

Sheet Mask
My Beauty Diary Imperial Birds Nest Sheet Mask

Benton Snail Bee High Content Sheet Mask
I put 2 sheet masks on my favorites list because I use the Imperial Birds Nest masks to moisturize and soothe my skin, and the Snail Bee sheet masks to help calm and get rid of acne and irritation. I have a huge collection of various sheet masks and I use/enjoy many of them, however these are the ones I consistently go back to and repurchase because they truly work!

Essence
Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence
I know, I know. Benton and this particular essence have wreaked havoc on many people. (There was a contaminated batch of this product. Apparently, there was an issue during production where preservatives were not added? Not entirely sure exactly what happened, but It wasn't pretty.) They've lost a lot of customers by the way they handled themselves in that situation. Having said that, I had never tried Benton products before the entire debacle, and while I was absolutely fine to never try them, I ended up with a mountain of this essence in my possession through gifts, Memeboxes etc. My hormonal acne is pretty awful, and there are definitely times where I will try anything to get rid of it. I finally got up the guts to bust one of these open, and wow- this stuff...I can see why so many people loved it before. My acne was practically gone in just a few days. My skin was brighter, smooth and soft. I can understand people not being comfortable about trying this, especially if they were effected by the contaminated batch. As much as I wish I wasn't, I'm addicted to this stuff. Absolutely nothing gets rid of my acne faster.

LJH Tea Tree 90 Essence
 This Tea Tree Essence is absolutely fantastic because it doesn't smell like tea tree (not a fan of the strong tea tree scent). In fact, it doesn't have a scent at all. It has the consistency of thick water, and absorbs quickly into the skin. Not only does this soothe and get rid of acne, it's moisturizing and noticeably brightening/evens out my skin. I have used this as a spot treatment and have seen acne disappear in days. Using this on top of the Benton, has been an unbeatable treatment!

Serum 
Benenet Herb & Bee AC Control Serum
This serum came in a "Free From Oil and Trouble" Memebox, and I have fallen completely in love with it. If you're weary of the Benton Essence after the contamination incident, this product might be your answer! It is called a serum, however it has a light, yet slightly thick watery consistency quite similar to the Benton Snail Bee Essence. It has a light herbal scent, and smooths on my skin without feeling sticky. I have found that it performs amazingly well on my combination skin, keeps heals breakouts, and calms irritation. It contains 75% bee venom and 5 different herbal extracts that together make a cocktail of hydrating, skin soothing and repairing goodness. This stuff is very hard to find online, so I requested that TesterKorea carry it. Their price is pretty high (over $30) but I reached out to Benenet in hopes that I could get more info on where to buy their products online in the future. Fingers crossed they get back to me!

Eye Cream
Mizon Snail Repair Eye Cream
The first ingredient in this eye cream is snail secretion filtrate. It makes up 80% of this eye cream, so if you're looking for an eye cream that really packs a snail-y punch, this is it. Not only is this stuff super-moisturizing, but I find that it actually lessens the appearance of fine lines almost immediately after use! Granted, it's only a temporary effect, but it still brightens and moisturizes my eye area like no other eye cream I've tried. Although I will admit, I'm about to cheat on this eye cream with the Mizon Returning Starfish eye cream, which I'm hoping is as awesome as it sounds!

Cream
Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream
I actually have quite a few creams that I love and enjoy, but throughout the entire year I'd say this Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream takes the crown as my most-used and enjoyed. This was also in my Memebox Haul of Fame, and for good reason! While this is a "cream" in how it functions, it has a gel-like consistency. Meaning it works well for both dry and oily skin types. If you have very oily skin and live in a warm climate, you might be the only one that might find this a bit too moisturizing/rich. It absorbs into my skin without being sticky or leaving a heavy residue, my skin feels moisturized and smooth. I've had no irritation or issues using these cream on my sensitive/acne-prone skin, and it doesn't over-moisturize where I feel greasy after using it.

Sleeping Pack
Lioele Waterdrop Sleeping Pack
This is my holy grail sleeping pack. I have jars and tubes of sleeping packs stacked to the ceiling, and I still squeeze every last drop out of this one before moving on to another one. And even then, I only use a different pack for as long as it takes for a new Waterdrop tube to ship to me. On my more oily days, this sleeping pack is absolutely fantastic. It comes out sort of gel-like, and immediately breaks down to a watery consistency that spreads smoothly and evenly over my face. I like that this pack does what it claims: creates a moisturizing layer on the top of my skin that holds in all the moisture while I sleep. It doesn't really "sink in" to the skin, but it also doesn't feel super sticky or weird when it's applied. It keeps my skin moisturized while I sleep, but I don't wake up looking like an oil-slick, which I love!

Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Sleeping Mask
This sleeping pack is the one I use and love during the winter, or when my skin is particularly dry and irritated. It's super creamy, but as it's massaged into my skin, breaks down to an almost gel-like feel. It's more moisturizing than the Lioele sleeping pack, however it also doesn't leave me looking oily in the morning, either. That's kind of how I decide whether or not I like a sleeping pack- if I look shiny in the morning, I pass. If my skin is bright and moisturized, it's a go. This pack along with the Lioele Waterdrop have become the perfect team for my combo skin.

Mist
MISSHA Super Aqua Aroma Deep Sea Water Micro Mist
I'm not super familiar with a lot of facial mists, so I can only go by the few that I've used, and what I personally like. These Super Aqua Micro Mists are probably my favorite thing to use on my face throughout the day. I'm not a fan of mists that come out heavily- they're just not pleasant to spray all over my face. These micro-mists are literally misting your face. It's similar to hairspray in the way that it comes out: press the button and move the mist from side to side over your face. I didn't choose a particular scent because I've tried and enjoyed Lavender and Bergamot (not a fan of Rose), but these mists are actually enjoyable and refreshing to apply to the skin. I like using them after using sheet masks that leave behind a sticky residue, or as the finisher of a long multi-step skincare routine. I also love tossing these in my purse and misting them on whenever I see my face getting dry or my makeup starting to cake up. Definitely something I've repurchased a few times, and that's saying something considering the sheer volume of stuff I have!

Spot Treatment
Ciracle Red Spot Cream
I use and enjoy a lot of spot treatments, all of them for different issues, however The Ciracle Red Spot Cream is the one I go to over and over for my everyday breakouts. I only wish this came in a gigantic tub instead of a teeny jar, because I really slather this stuff on. It has a very light medicinal scent, but it's not overpowering and fades once it's dry. This is a creamy-white paste that dries on the skin, so you don't have to worry about it getting all over your pillow when you sleep. Whenever I get a particularly ugly breakout, I pat this cream on top of it in a pretty thick layer, and by morning, the redness is gone, and the breakout is visibly smaller. Using this nightly, my breakouts usually disappear within a few of days.

Eye Patches
Purederm Anti-Wrinkle Gel Patch
I love eye patches, but they can be pretty expensive if you're using them as regularly as I do. Purederm is a fantastic brand for inexpensive products, and while I don't have a direct link to these for you, I can always find them on ebay. My favorite type of eye patches are the ones that feel like a dry sheet mask on one side, and then have a sticky gel-like substance on the other. They tend to stick better to my skin, and provide the most visible benefits. I can definitely see a decrease in the dark circles and puffiness around my eyes when using these. My favorite time to slap these on is as soon as I wake up in the morning. I wear them around the house and while I'm drinking my morning coffee, and then remove them before I shower.

Sunscreen
Tonymoly My Sunny Milky Sun Cream
I actually have a lot of favorite sunscreens, but this one is newer to my collection and I've become quite impressed with it! I usually use SPF 50, but since it's winter and I rarely go outside, this one does just fine for me. What I love about this product is how easily is glides on and absorbs. It also has some really fantastic whitening properties. I can apply my primer and CC cream over this without it pilling up or feeling sticky like so many other sunscreens I've used. I will say that this has a thinner consistency, so if you like a creamier, more lotion-like sunscreen this might not be the one for you.

Specialty Skincare Item
Skinfactory 7 Seconds Morning Sheets
My precious Skinfactory 7 Seconds Morning Sheets don't really fit into any other category, so I actually created one for them. That's how amazing they are. You can find these on the Memebox website as well as Wishtrend, and they are packed with SO many amazing ingredients that it would be ridiculous to list them all out. If you haven't heard the buzz about these from memebox and kbeauty fans, these sheets are pretty versatile in how/when you use them. They have a scrubby side and a soft side. I use these in the morning after I cleanse and shower. I first use the exfoliating side, then use the soft side to pat and massage the essence into my skin. These are SOAKED with product, so I usually used what's left on the pad on my chest and shoulders. These can take the place of a toner, essence, moisturizer etc, especially if you have oily skin. I like to use these right after cleansing in the AM. I then wait for them to dry, and apply an essence and a light cream, but not matter how you decide to use them, these will make your skin feel and look absolutely incredible. I notice a huge difference in how moisturized and smooth my skin is, and my makeup applies more evenly as well. I also love that these make my morning routine so much faster and easier, especially because I'm usually running late!

Whitening Cream 
Cloud 9 Whitening Cream
I had a completely different whitening cream in mind when I thought of doing this post (skinfactory hydro moisture white cream,) however a friend of mine gifted me this cream for Christmas and I've been obsessed with it ever since. The consistency is whipped and light, kind of cloud-like (hence the name!) and is incredibly easy to apply and blend in. Since I already put so many other things on my face, it's important to me that products be light and easily absorbed, and this one truly fits the bill. I love the packaging, and love how well it evens out my skin tone naturally. I don't look like I have white paint on my face, but the redness around my nose and chin is visibly diminished when using this. It also apparently can reduce the melanin in your skin over time, although I'm not sure how true that claim is! This one pulled out in the lead by the end of the year, and that's pretty impressive since I have so many whitening products!
By the way, if you're interested in a fun little video where they use this cream and go crazy about melanin etc, here you go!
 

Hands/Feet
Hand Mask
Holika Holika Baby Silky Hand Mask Sheet
I try to keep my hands in excellent condition. I have no idea where the obsession came from, but I have a skincare routine for my hands that is just as important to me as my facial skincare routine. One of my favorite things to use are these hand mask sheets. They're basically plastic gloves that are filled with a moisturizing lotion or essence. I usually put these one once every other week as a deep moisturizing treatment, and I really love how incredibly soft they make my hands feel. They're especially great if you use a scrub before hand, and a heavy-duty lotion immediately after use.

Hand Scrub
Julep Brillliance Glycolic Hand Scrub
I have been using this hand scrub for years. It's changed packaging and names several times, but it's always the same product, and always absolutely awesome. It's like a facial for your hands! If you have any rough spots on your hands, this will take them away in an instant. I have an obsession with keeping my hands super soft and well taken care of, and this product is the star of my hand care routine. It's a gentle scrub, but feels incredibly moisturizing as well. If you use a good hand lotion immediately after this, you won't be able to stop feeling your hands! No other similar product has come close to this one in terms of quality, and if you're looking for a good hand scrub this winter, this is the only one I would highly recommend.

Hand Lotion
Pure Smile Hand Lotion
As I mentioned above, I am hand-care obsessed. I have more hand creams than I have anything else, believe it or not, and I use them multiple times a day. I carry a hand cream in my purse, my car, my jacket pocket- I have one on my nightstand, in the bathroom and by the kitchen sink. I have a lot of favorites, but this year I was particularly impressed by the Pure Smile Snail Hand Cream. It's actually quite thin in consistency, and while at first it feels like it wouldn't be very moisturizing, as soon as it absorbs you can feel the difference on your skin. With regular use, I was blown away with how much softer my hands were, and how the skin seemed to be more plump and healthy-looking. I've gone through 3 tubes of this product in a 2 month span because I can't stop applying it!

Foot Mask
FREESET Soo Ae Snail Foot Care Mask

If you aren't familiar with these kinds of foot masks, they're basically plastic socks filled with an essence that you place on your foot for an hour or so, and they provide different skincare benefits. A lot of people love peeling foot packs. I'm not one of them. These types of foot masks actually work over the course of a week or so to slowly peel away the top layer of your skin, revealing the soft, new skin underneath. I think they're a necessary evil every now and then, but I have never enjoyed using them. I hate the feeling of dry skin peeling off my feet for weeks on end, especially when the soft-feeling is so short lived. What I prefer are foot softening masks. They're used in the same way (plastic bag socks!) except they don't peel the skin off your feet, rather they deeply moisturize. My personal favorites are surprisingly these Snail Foot Care Sheets from Freeset. I got this for the first time in a past Beauteque bag. I love that they have a light peppermint scent, and they do a fantastic job of making my feet feel incredibly soft. I linked to where you can buy these on ebay through a trusted seller if you're interested!

Foot Scrub 
Tonymoly Shiny Foot Scrub Wash
I don't really take care of my feet as much as I probably should. I make sure the skin on my face and hands is on point, however my body and feet tend to get left behind sometimes. I made a skincare resolution to be more caring to my feet, but I also wanted to find products that would be quick and easy to use. This foot scrub really does the trick to slough off dead skin and make your feet feel cool and soft. Using it in conjunction with a really good foot lotion, you won't need to file down calluses or use foot peeling masks for quite some time!

Foot Lotion
Mizon Olive Cocoa Butter Foot Cream
I walk around barefoot as often as I possibly can, and that can be pretty damaging to my feet. Along with the Tonymoly foot scrub, I have been using this Mizon Olive Cocoa Butter Foot Cream and it has blown me away! The cocoa butter scent is delish, but this cream also intensely moisturizes my feet while also being fast-absorbing, so you don't have that slimy lotion-feeling after applying. I've been using this every single night before I go to sleep and I'm amazed by how visibly healthier the skin on my feet looks. Using this nightly has really made a difference in how often I need to exfoliate the skin on my feet.

Body
Body Wash
Milky Dress Anti-Trouble Body Cleanser
This is the perfect body wash for anyone that has sensitive skin, but also deals with occasional body acne. I've never had really bad breakouts on my bod, but I like to make sure that it stays that way. This cleanser has a light citrusy scent, and balances the oil moisture level in your skin while fighting acne and blemishes. It also has silkworm "silk yarn" in it which is not only cool, but it contains calcium, Vitamins and 50 kinds of minerals to nourish the skin. I've had great results with regular use of this product- hardly any body acne for months!

Body Exfoliator
Innisfree Tangerine Blossom Perfumed Body Jelly Scrub
Ooh this stuff is awesome. Just writing about it makes me want to hop in the shower and use this! I love a good body scrub, especially in the Winter when my skin gets seriously dry and itchy. This particular scrub from Innisfree is awesome because it smells amazing, has the perfect amount of scrubbiness, and contains macadamia seed oil. The scrubbing part of this product melts down like a sugar scrub in the shower, so you won't have little scrubbies sticking all over your skin as well as the bathtub. It not only buffs away dead skin cells, but also feels super moisturizing on the skin.
 

Body Lotion
Whish Body Butter in "Almond"
While you may or may not be a fan of almond-scented products, I just cannot get enough of this body butter from Whish. The sweet almond scent is intoxicating to me, and it is super moisturizing without being too thick or greasy. I love the pump that this product is housed in- it pushed up from the bottom so you can get every last drop of product. There are plenty of other scents available, so I highly recommend checking this body butter out!

Shaving Cream
Since I've already raved about the scent of these products, I will just go on to say how awesome this shaving cream is. While I have heard mixed reviews on this product, I have to say that it's been a dream come true for me! It doesn't foam up like a typical shaving cream, but feels and looks almost like a lotion. It has helped me avoid knicks and cuts, and I can feel the skin on my legs is more moisturized after shaving. So many shaving creams claim to moisturize, but I've never felt it with any of them until this one!

Phew! We've come to the end! I hope you enjoyed my Skincare Favorites of 2014! I'd love to hear about any of your favorite skincare goodies! Recommend me something you can't live without, and maybe it'll end up on my 2015 Favorites!

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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.

8 comments:

  1. I had pretty much the same experience with the Clarisonic Mia 2 as you did! I had wanted to try it but couldn't justify the price, so I bought cheaper knockoffs. They were okay, but thanks to Birchbox I was able to get mine for super cheap! I love it and I would recommend it to everyone.

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    1. it's amazing how many people have had the same experience with Clarisonic! I always tell people if they subscribe to Birchbox to save up their points for one because it's a ridiculously good way to get it for super cheap!

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  2. Oh, that Mizon sale! I've been wanting to try that toner but haven't yet. So tempting. I love the Waterdrop sleeping pack too, but it's been so long since I used up the tube I had. Too many excuses to buy stuff.

    PS I have a bottle of that Benenet serum that I don't think I'm going to use. E-mail me if you want it!

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    1. Omg yesssss!! I will e-mail you when I get home from work. I reeeaallly didn't want to spend $30 on another bottle of it!

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  3. I'm happy to know that so many of my favorite products are on your list :D High five for the Lioele Sleeping Pack, Benton Snail Bee Essence, Julep Hand scrub, Morning Sheets, etc etc!
    I suppose I better buy that Mizon toner now... Since you have such good taste... :D

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  4. Hey! I'm looking out to try mizon Bha/aha daily clean toner, but can't seems to find it anywhere as it is all sold out! Do you know where can I purchase it ? :)

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    1. Hi Vivien!
      You're not alone in having a hard time finding it! There's been talks that Mizon is discontinuing it, as well as a contamination issue with a specific bath (most seemed to have come from rose rose shop, who have said they will no longer carry it) Urban Outfitters, Beauteque and Peach and Lilly have all carried it at some point but the only place I can seem to find it is for exorbitant amounts of money on Amazon. I will definitely make a post if it comes back in stock anywhere!

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  5. This post is worthy of appreciation, looking forward to more exciting! Wholesale Clarisonic

    ReplyDelete