Laurantaina Best of Skincare 2017

I'm going to skip gushing how 2017 has flown by - I actually think 2017 was quite a long year with a lot of major ups and downs. What I noticed was each month flying by, but the year in all took a while.

If you're a regular reader, you may know I've was on a cosmetics no-buy from August to end of December. I only bought a couple of necessities I had run out of and consciously rotated most of my makeup collection, so I thought I wouldn't have enough products to show for a best of beauty post. In the end, I got inspired to type which products have been the standouts for 2017. I'm sure many of you will enjoy this type of a roundup as well!

These are the skincare products I've 1) discovered in 2017 2) are crème de la crème, top of the bunch, best of the best, hall of fame.. If some category is lacking this means I either rotated products in this category a lot or just didn't encounter something that blew my mind. Sorry if this post is mainly hyping, but these items are worth it!

Best of Skincare 2017

Best of Skincare 2017

Josh Rosebrook Active Infusion Serum*

In my review and empties post I shared my love for this serum, but even after I've used up and recycled the bottle I keep remembering how amazing it felt - both on my skin and for the senses. The scent is divine, but not overpowering or sickly sweet: there are a beautiful hints of ylang ylang and vanilla. There is a beautiful mixture of avocado, marula, jojoba, hemp seed and sea buckthorn oils (just to name a few) and herb extracts that gave both instant glow and moisturization for my skin. Although the "serum" is heavily oil-based, it still absorbed quickly without leaving my skin tacky. Looking forward to repurchase this in 2018!

Max and Me Enchanted face oil

I had a small dilemma which product to feature from Max and Me as I've loved everything I've tried from the brand. I knew I wanted do a shoutout to one of the oils as I've used them ton during 2017, but which one? The body oils are divine and I can't really make up my mind between Enchanted and I am the Light, but in the end I chose Enchanted as I've used it the most. Soothing, nourishing and repairing oil that uplifts both your skin and your mind. Full review here.

Mahogany Naturals the Blue Lover* and Lina Hanson Global Treasures

In 2017 I tried out a bunch of incredible balms from Max and Me, May Lindstrom and Mahalo, but in the end I decided to feature the Blue Lover and the Global Treasures. Max and Me's Sweet Serenity balm came close, but these other balms I discovered earlier in the year and have been using more. I feel like I've reached Global Treasures the most, as it's oddly "lightweight" balm, ie. non-greasy or very oily feeling, which makes it gorgeous under the eye area and all over the face to seal in other skincare. The Blue Lover on the other hand is my "therapy" balm as it has incredible scent and skin calming properties. Read more in my review! I always reach for it if my skin feels troubled or irritated. I'm excited to try more from these two brands!

Best of Eco Skincare 2017

Mahalo the Petal mask

I feel I gave this mask a bit harsh review. I wasn't sure what it does.. Moisturizes? Calms? It's a pretty hefty price for a jar that doesn't do anything. I decided I'd use it up anyway, but the more I used the more I kept reaching for it. If you skip the fact the floral honey smell is divine and the mask feels nice on the skin, this sure is a multi-purpose fix for a variety of skin concerns. Feeling congested? The Petal. Feeling dry? The Petal. Not feeling your best, but not sure what to do? The Petal. It's not a magic fix, but sure turns your skin for the better. I will definitely repurchase this mask. Full review here.

January Labs Skin Brightening Tonic*

Very gentle daily exfoliator packed with aloe, lactic acid and various fruit extracts. Now when my skin is looking better (vs adult acne I used to suffer), I like to reach for a gentle daily exfoliator. My skin loves lactic acid and this toner helps to keep any spots at bay.

Kypris Antioxidant Dew and Luxe Botanics Camu Serum*

Again, something I've used up and recycled the bottles, but have been missing every since.. And when it comes to choosing beauty products, I think it's a good sign. I honestly miss how these serums made my skin feel. Both formulated with great ingredients, antioxidants and hydrating properties that my skin loved. I find it hard to choose one over the another, so I'm giving a shoutout to both! Read my Camu serum review here.

Pestle and Mortar cleansing balm

This cleansing balm took me by surprise. I had sampled a nice mix of cleansing balms during 2017, but I needed something that had good ingredients but wasn't too expensive so I could use it liberally to remove my makeup. Pestle and Mortar's cleansing balm had an unique texture - oily, but a bit "gritty" and makeup easily glided off after massaging my face with this balm. Very nice, I can't wait to purchase my second jar!

What were your standout skincare items for 2017? Makeup version of this post will be following soon, please stay tuned! Happy Holidays and New Year! xx

Items marked with * were kindly sent to me as PR samples for test and review: this does not influence my opinion. I would repurchase everything on this list with my own money.

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Autumn Mega-Empties 2017 - Would I Re-Purchase?

This post has been little overdue - I had other fun posts in the publishing queue and so much empties to go through! Meanwhile I've accumulated even more empties, but those are going to wait for my next post. Personally I love when people share their trash.. I mean used up products. I'm always curious what was worth using up? Would you repurchase? This is when we as consumers get to say the final word. Enjoy, it's going to be a long one!

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January Labs Pure & Gentle Cleansing Gel

Very nice gel cleanser in a generous, long-lasting bottle. I like to use this either as a morning or second cleanser. Leaves a nice clean feeling, but doesn't dry my skin out or leave it feeling too squeaky clean. Not very pricey, around £24/27€/$32. I purchased my first bottle myself and got another from January. Will keep using and repurchasing this one. Full review here.

January Labs Moisture Balancing Lotion

Another favorite for January. This was actually used by my boyfriend, he has gone through several tubes. Many males in my life are not into skincare, but this is the moisturizer I like to gift and recommend them as it's light in texture and absorbs quickly. Fuss-free and again – not very expensive. January's products are also very cleanly formulated and effective, so I happily recommend them.

January Labs Retexturizing Night Cream

I think this might be my first empty bottle of the Night Cream. January's Day Cream is my staple moisturizer, but the Retexturizing Night Cream doesn't get as much love. In the evenings I like to layer my face with oils and balms over a serum - a night cream simply doesn't fit my routine. I've also been mostly happy with the texture of my face (knock on wood): if there are any bumps surfacing I'll reach for January's Daily Brightening Tonic in the mornings. If you're in a need for a good, gentle yet effective acid exfoliant, this cream is a great choice as it's packed with Lactic Acid. I think I will return using this cream as soon as I finish some of my facial oils.

January Labs Power Peel Exfoliant*

As much as I tried, I didn't get on with this exfoliant. I loved the idea of it, texture and spotlight ingredients, but the mask itself didn't do much for me. It's also very valuable mask, so I expect a noticeable difference, which I didn't get. If you're looking for a brightening mask I recommend get a sample of this first, if possible. I've heard there is a "pro" or "heavy duty" version of the Power Peel Exfoliant, which I haven't tried. Full review here.

January Labs Advanced Eye Technology

No kidding, I almost have the whole January Labs line reviewed here! This eye cream I actually did quite enjoy. Most of them seem to do nothing at all and it's down to the hydration, texture and moisturizing qualities. January Lab's eye cream is quite pricey, but performs well: lightweight on the skin, but nice and plumping. Nothing will get rid of my dark circles or fine lines, except temporarily plumping them, but overall I think this is a safe bet if you're looking for a high quality eye cream. I think I'd repurchase when it comes on sale (I shop mine on Cult Beauty).

Pur~lisse Blue Lotus Eye Serum*

This serum was had a pleasant light texture like a lotion, but I didn't find it particularly memorable. I would dare to say this is one of those eye creams that you won't notice doing anything. Right now I'm just taking all oils, serums and creams near my eye area instead of a specified eye product although I do like the Verso and January Labs eye creams. If you're wanting to try Pur~lisse, get the sheet masks or the basic facial cleanser instead.

Hadalabo Foam cleanser

Basic, unoffencive foam cleanser. No need for a mini loofa as the cleanser comes conveniently out from the pump bottle as fluffy foam. Unlike many foaming cleansers, I didn't find Hadalabo drying at all. It isn't as luxurious and decadent as Sulwhasoo's foam cleanser, which I'm lovingly using right now, but still worth of re-purchasing.

Hadalabo Gokujyun Lotion

Again, very basic, but very well-performing product from Hadalabo. This lotion (more like hydrating toner) is packed with hyaluronic acid, light-weight and absorbs quickly. Excellent pricing and a generous bottle - no wonder it's a classic among lovers of Japanese skincare. Will repurchase!

Innisfree Perfect UV Protection Cream SPF50+ PA+++

I feel like I've talked about this sunscreen for a thousand times.. not really, but I've gone through at least 10 tubes of it without any exaggeration. This sunscreen was previously known as Eco Safety Perfect Sunblock, but at least in day-to-day use the feel is the same. Now my most recent tube is labelled both water-resistant and for dry skin, but I'm unsure if Innisfree provides a lighter version of this one. Indeed, it's on the creamier side and possibly a bit heavy for oilier skins, but my skin loves its moisturizing qualities. There's no bad white-cast and it truly seems long-lasting. Will repurchase (forever). Review here.

Glamglow Youthmud mask

Not worth the hype. I think my Mom enjoys Glamglow masks, her skin is ageing and oilier than mine. Personally Youthmud mask felt just uncomfortable and drying, I didn't like it at all. I'm glad I didn't purchase a full size but a mini, since the mask dried out and I lost at least 3/4 of the product.

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Rouge Bunny Rouge Gentle Cleansing Water

I rarely use micellar or cleansing waters, but sometimes I wear a lot of eye makeup and it's easier to remove to bulk of it before going in with a balm cleanser. This cleansing water was very good, non-drying and performed well. The only con was I broke the cap before I had used it all up. Otherwise the bottle does look beautiful in one's bathroom cabinet. What stop me from repurchasing is the hefty price tag. If you can pick it up on sale, I think it's a very nice one!

Kypris Antioxidant Dew

Ah, I did have love-affair with Kypris' Antioxidant Dew. This serum was so hyped up on YT and blogs I felt hesitant to pick it up, but ended up doing so with little expectations. Overall I found this serum very nice; nourishing, plumping and hydrating - layered beautifully under other moisturizers, sunscreen and makeup. I think this falls to the category of hydrating serums where is a lot of competition, but in the end I think I will repurchase the Antioxidant Dew. I already got the Moonlight Catalyst from Kypris and I can't wait to discover more from the brand!

OUAI Hair Oil

Excellent light-weight hair oil for healthy shine and tame the frizz. I have quite coarse and thick hair with little to no damage, but I do heat style from time to time. I used oils in the hopes of getting that silky smooth hair like in Asian TV ads, but it didn't happen. Still, from the hair oils I've tried OUAI is on the good side. The scent was okay, a bit too floral for my liking, but it didn't linger too much. Would repurchase, but next I'll try the rose body and hair oil from the brand and see if it works for both purposes!

Luxe Botanics Camu Serum*

This serum I loved. It's similar to Kypris Antioxidant Dew in texture, hydrating and plumping qualities, but with added Vitamin C boost. You need something more heavy-duty to fight sun damage, preferably in a darker bottle, but Luxe Botanic's Camu Serum is a good option if you need an all-arounder serum for healthy and bright complexion without needing to worry about the ingredients (they're great). Full review here.

DHC Cleansing Oil

Another Holy Grail product from Japanese drug stores. DHC cleansing oil is a classic, but much more affordable than Shu Uemura for example. It removes makeup, dirt and grime from your face effortlessly. I personally add little water to emulsify to texture, but you can use it with hot cloth just as well. This was a limited edition bottle with Alice in Wonderland packaging, which I'm going to save as I love Alice! The cleanser lasted me for many many months, so I would definitely repurchase.

Joseon Dynasty Cream

This cream was hyped up in the Korean beauty community. I guess it had a clean ingredients list with high hydration properties and fun texture, as it felt like gloopy jelly. The original packaging had a nice touch with paper and ribbon on the top, making a standard glass jar looking like an antique pot, but I discarded the decoration after first use. While it was an okay standard moisturizer I didn't like sticking my fingers or a spatula into the pot. I think there are much nicer creams available if you dare to spend little extra $$$ (look into NUORI and January Labs for example).

Khiel's Creme de Corps

This was my decadent body creme purchase from last year. I really wanted the Soy and Honey? version, but it was sold out in the large size. Quite expensive for a body moisturizer - at least in Finland, where Khiel's is prized as a premium brand. The scent was mediocre, but moisturized nicely. Although I've tried some divine body oils in the mean time, I still miss this tub of body cream. Its texture was simply very nice, whipped cream. If I can get the soy and something scent, I think I'll repurchase a smaller jar.

It Cosmetics Superhero mascara

I remember getting this in my Beautylish Lucky Bag, but it took me quite a while to start using it: the packaging isn't very attractive in my opinion and I hadn't heard much about the mascara either (now I keep seeing it everywhere). But it was good. If my memory serves me right it didn't quite have the va-va-voom or spider leg effect I look for in a mascara, but nice, didn't go all over my face and used it up. Wouldn't repurchase as there are more exciting high end mascara launches in the market. Still, I usually go for Japanese drug store mascaras: D.U.P., Heroine Make, Mote etc. (like the one in the pictures, I just can't recall the name) as they're cheap, won't smudge and give nice length to the lashes.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Lotion

Hydrating lotion I used for the body, non-sticky and felt light on the skin. This bottle lasted me a while, but I wouldn't repurchase as I'm quite lazy when it comes to body care and I need something much heavier when I moisturize. FAB isn't sold here locally and I only re-order more memorable products online. If FAB is easy for you to access and you like lighter moisturizers, it isn't a bad one.

NIOD Non-Acid Acid Precursor 15%*

I have a bit conflicted thoughts about Deciem brands.. When they first launched Hylamide and NIOD I was very excited, but after the Ordinary took over the Internet I grew quite tired of the hype and super duper scientific skincare. Since then I haven't repurchased anything from NIOD. I feel I am a skincare nerd, but I guess not geeky enough? Anyway, NAAP is one of the better products I think. I reached for it whenever my skin felt spotty and NAAP seemed to tone it down: I avoided zits and continuing redness. Could repurchase if needed? Full review here.

Phew! That was a lot of empties. Have you tried any of these products or used up something lately?

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Products marked with * were pr samples. I've received products for review from January Labs, NIOD and Rouge Bunny Rouge, but also purchased a lot with my own money. All thoughts honest and my own, there are no affiliate links.