My head tested them all so you don’t have to
If you're a regular PurseBlog reader, you know I'm a total beauty junky, especially when it comes to skincare. Now that we're nearing the end of the year and I've once again secured my Sephora VIB Rouge status, it's clear to me that there were some obvious winners from the things I've tried for the first time this year. Finding something that really works can take some trial and error, but I've got some personal recommendations below that can take some guesswork out of it. If you want to see some more of my favorites, I documented them earlier this year. (Although at least one of those products has lost the throne to a new find below!)
1. Isehan Kiss Me Heroine Make Super Waterproof Mascara
$11.84 via Amazon
This stuff is the most personally revolutionary product I found this year, not only because it's the most smudge-proof mascara I've used by a long shot, but also because it costs like a third of what fancy mascaras generally cost. Depending which seller you choose on Amazon, it can take up to a month to arrive, but the price and effectiveness are well worth the wait. I'm pretty sure I could go swimming in it.
2. The Ordinary Buffet Multi-Peptide Serum
$14.80 via The Ordinary
I've started using a lot of The Ordinary's simple, low-priced serums and acids in the past year and like basically all of them, but this one is my favorite. It's nominally an anti-aging product, which is most often associated with wrinkle reduction, but I see a lot of benefits from it even though I'm not fighting any wrinkles at this point. (Mostly just because I'm genetically lucky with that aspect of my skin.) It's firms and brightens my skin and helps even out its tone, and I feel like it also contributes an extra dose of hydration, which is especially critical during cold weather.
3. IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Illumination Cream
$38 via Sephora
When I die, bury a tube of this with me. I first tried this product when I got my makeup done for a friend's wedding a couple months ago, and afterward I went out and bought a tube of it immediately. Because my skin is so dry, I've generally been stuck with light-coverage formulas that contain a lot of moisture, but this product has both good coverage and a really nourishing, soft feel to it. It makes me look radiant and even, and it makes a great canvas for my other makeup. I love it so much that I bought two more to have on hand when I had a Sephora coupon.
4. Christophe Robin Regenerating Hair Mask
$71 via Sephora
I'm going to level with you: this stuff smells like baby powder and is hellaciously expensive, but it's the best consumer hair product I've ever found for my dry, damaged, fine, thin hair. It make it feel thicker and fuller, and it provides incredible moisture without turning me into a greaseball on day two. My hair looks shiny and healthy, even after heat styling, and you only have to use a teeny tiny bit for results.
5. L'Occitane Cleansing and Softening Shower Oil with Almond Oil
$25 via Sephora
I have this probably-too-cautious fear of falling in the shower, which had always kept me away from this beloved body wash until I actually read the fine print on how it works. The product does indeed dispense as an oil, but it turns to a foam the second water touches it, leaving your skin clean, soft and moisturized and your body upright. It smells wonderful and feels very luxurious, especially in dry skin months.
6. Drybar Lush Detox Dry Shampoo
$23 via Sephora
This is another product that I have to level with you on: this dry shampoo smells bad. The Lush scent is better than the original, but the Lush is still overly powdery and unpleasant. It also leaves that dreaded dry shampoo white cast on your hair unless you brush it out carefully. All that said, it's the only dry shampoo I've ever used (and I've tried them all) that actually made my hair look cleaner when I got done using it. I spray it in my roots in sections, let it sit for a few minutes, brush it out thoroughly and then flat iron.
7. FENTY Beauty Match Stix Shimmer Skin Stick in 'Starstruck'
$25 via Sephora
I don't buy a lot of color cosmetics, but I do like to experiment with highlighters, and this one is great. The color isn't overly bold, it blends easily, it's not sticky when applied and the tube is the perfect width to cover the area you normally want to hit with a little bit of highlight. I wear it every day.
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