The end of the year approaches and thoughts naturally turn towards review. In my mind I find events and decisions, both good and bad, thrown into sharp focus as I evaluate what I learned and what I want to revise about my life as I move into the new year. Should I try out more new walking trails in the area, should I attempt that weird machine in the gym that no one ever seems to use, should I try and make blancmange from scratch?
As is also natural, I also find myself thinking over not only the various products I’ve tried out, but the subscription services I’ve tried as well. Some I will continue to use, others, I might allow to lapse.
The one subscription service that has never let me down deserves mention in this list of a few favorite things. And that is Scentbox.
During this year I have had a subscription for a single monthly supply of perfume and I have increased it to two perfumes to try per month. I have liked some and disliked others. There was one perfume sent to me where an allergic reaction caused me to test the return and exchange policy for the company. I put the subscription on hold for a month and then resumed. I have sent them questions and received prompt and complete answers. At every turn they either met or exceeded all of my expectations and so that is why, despite having several subscriptions that I really enjoy, Scentbox gets the list as one of my favorites for 2019.
One of my favorite perfumes also came to me from ScentBox so I will move on to that as my next favorite. That perfume is Eau de Cartier by Cartier. It is soft, subtly and sophisticated. The scent has become my current favorite for a night out. I have yet to find a day scent I am willing to stick with as consistently, but perhaps that will come in 2020. I will certainly continue trying out new scents. Perhaps I will find a day time fragrance and perhaps I will find a night time one I like just a much if not more than Eau de Cartier, but at the moment, it is the unrivaled champion of the year.
For facial exfoliators, I have to give this year to Skin and Co’s Face Gommage. This was a surprise to me as I tried out quite a few this year and each time the new product was beaten by last year’s favorite Scrubatomic by Soap and Glory. I was certain nothing would come close to beating it, but in my December IPSY, this product arrived and I have to say it beat out Scrubatomic to take the 2019 exfoliator crown.
(Here she is its Miss Exfoliator – insert cheesy crooning lounge singer voice here please, thank you)
Balancing between exfoliator and mask, is the Pomegranate Resurfacing Mask from Korres. While it is somewhat exfoliating, I’m putting it in the mask category of favorites. It is a quick five minute mask that not only leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth but fresh feeling and looking. Also from this pomegranate line by Korres comes my favorite moisturizer of the year. The Pomegranate balancing moisturizer is one of the better moisturizers I tried this year.
The only time I had issues with it were in the transition weeks when the weather was switching. Then I was torn between whether or not I was applying too much or too little. For the transition times for moisturizer, I have to hand it to Purlisse Blue Lotus Moisturizer. This product rode those weather changes well and is one I will try again when winter begins to fade.
Before I completely leave exfoliators behind, I want to say one of the lip exfoliators I really enjoyed using this year was the ELF Sweet Cherry lip scrub. It comes in a tube that looks like lipstick and is super easy to apply. It is less messy than many other lip scrubs and works really well on dry winter lips.
As far as toners go, Thayers Facial Toner in Rose Petal is my current favorite. It feels nice on the skin, doesn’t smell like witch hazel and helps the pores on my nose look smaller. It also got me an ‘I told you witch hazel was fabulous’ from some of my older family members when I went home over the holidays, but I won’t hold against the Thayers. I do still want to know who stole my bottle while I was home this year though. I took a bottle home with me at thanksgiving and it was mysteriously gone when I repacked to leave.
Clearly, it wasn’t just my favorite.
One final skin care item I have to mention is the Kypris Antioxidant dew serum. I love everything about this serum. I love the scent, I love the way it absorbs into my skin and I love the way it makes my skin feel. I will not only be using this product going into 2020, but I will be looking at others they produce to try out. Hopefully other items work just as well. I can’t wait to find out.
To be honest, despite trying out numerous makeup products this year, as I review the year only three really stand out to me. The first is the Yensa Essential Glow primer. Not only is it a great primer under makeup but this summer when it was so hot that foundation was a laughable concept as it would either sweat right off or stay in place and cause massive breakouts from clogged pores, this was my favorite daily option. It has a slight tint to it and helps even up skin tone, but is light enough not to cause break outs. As such there were many days where I wore it with no foundation at all. As soon as it ran out, I immediately repurchased it and will be keeping it around.
The second item that stands out is the Trestique color+contour stick. It is a cream bronzer, which I never thought I would like, but it blends out beautifully and stays put all day. It is handy for travel as it is in a rather small container, and it comes with its own brush so a separate one doesn’t need to be packed. It is a great formula, just be advised that the magnet in the magnetic cap is pretty strong and will cause it to link up with any other metal object in the makeup bag. It is a great help in retrieving earrings from the bottom of the bag, so there is that.
The third makeup item that I felt worth mentioning in my favorites of 2019 is the Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara. I like the wand, I like the formula and of the multitude of mascaras that have come my way this year, it stands atop the pile as my favorite.
In the category of hair care, I have several leave in conditioner that I like and many different shampoos. The product that stands out the most to me is the Beauty Protector protect and oil. It is an Argan oil hair product that smells absolutely divine both in the bottle and in the hair. I think it stands out to me as I never thought I’d actually like a hair oil. Surprisingly, this is very light weight and not at all greasy. I have long and somewhat thick hair and need only a tiny dab for my whole head. It is great for taming flyaways, but I have found that if I rub a little on my hands and then rub it into the ends of my hair, I tend to get fewer split ends. Maybe it is just providing the ends with a little extra protection, but I really like it and plan to keep using it and to possibly give other hair oils more of a try in the future.
Finally, we come to https://www.amazon.com/Smith-Cult-Nail-Lacquer-Dear/dp/B00YSGSZ3GSmith and Cult Nail Lacquer. Not only is it a great nail polish that lasts quite a while without chipping, but I want to specifically mention the Doe My Dear shade. It is a nice cool toned shade that is neutral without being beige. It has almost a blueish cast to it and is great for daily wear. It is also useful as a base for more jazzy gem stones or glitter polish as it serves as a nice backdrop to the shine.
I know there isn’t an item for every category of face, hair and body care, nor is there a favorite for every type of makeup product, but to be honest, not every category had a favorite this year. I tried many products in many categories and these are the things that stand out to me as I look back over the year. Perhaps 2020 will be the year of the eyeshadow or the face powder or even the foundation.
Actually, as my favorite foundation was discontinued, 2020 may end up being the year of the great foundation quest. (begin the heroic dragon slaying music! I’ll go find my noble steed and makeup wipes.)
I’m not entirely certain what next year will hold, what trends will take hold or pass me by completely. Finding out is half the fun anyway. I can tell you though, if glitter encrusted lips make a return, I will be passing this time. I don’t mind flecks of glitter in my lipstick or gloss, but that fully packed on glitter lip from a few years ago, never again. My last attempt at trying it ended with glitter in my teeth that took two days, a tube of toothpaste and most of a bottle of mouthwash to finally remove. And it never looked quite right so I don’t even have one awesome picture from the ordeal. I had to replace my tooth brush, but on certain nights, I still think one of my back molars gleams. Beyond that, I look forward to trying all the new things this year brings to me.
Affiliate Codes: I may receive some compensation for the use of the below codes towards a purchase. (note: the above links are just general links from the product sites and I don’t receive anything from them should you wish to click on those instead.)
BLUE LOTUS BALANCING MOISTURIZER [More]
KYPRIS Antioxidant Dew is a lightweight, multi-action moisturiser with intense hydratio… [More]