November 9, 2016

Playing Favorites - Some of my Favorite Beauty Brands

      When my friends ask me for recommendations if they're looking to buy a specific product, I tend to recommend brands that I think do a great job in a specific product range. While part of having a beauty blog means testing out new products, I do tend to rely and repurchase certain products from certain brands because I've found them to be the best out of the products that I've tested and tried. Some of my recommendations will be based around brands, and others will be oriented towards a category. Curious to see which brands made the cut?

General Skincare

      My go to general skincare brand is Kiehls. Almost every product I've tried from Kiehls is amazing and compatible with my skin. I first used the Ultra Facial Moisturizer (without the SPF) back in college and I still reach for it now in the dead of the winter when I need to protect my face from the elements. Ever since I invested in the Midnight Recovery Concentrate, I can't imagine my skin routine without it - your skin feels noticeably soft and moisturized in the morning. On a similar note, their Super Multi Corrective Cream is also one of the few moisturizers where I can feel a difference in my skin when I use it. I also love their Creamy Eye Treatment, it's reasonably priced, doesn't feel heavy in the under eye area, and delivers just the right amount of hydration. 

Gel Moisturizers

      The best gel moisturizers in my opinion are created by the Korean beauty brands. As someone who loves options, a lot of the Korean beauty brands actually make several types of gel moisturizers. Belif has two different versions - the Aqua Bomb and the True Cream Moisturizing Bomb. Although the "cream" version is not a true gel texture, I find it to be more gel like than any other cream moisturizers. It's a sort of hybrid between a gel and a cream. The Face Shop makes several gel versions of their popular chia moisturizers. The Artemisia Watery Calming Cream by Hanyul is another favorite of mine because it's gentle and suitable for sensitive skin but delivers the perfect amount of hydration in the summer.

Cleansing Oils

      In another category, the best cleansing oils that I've used tend to come from Japanese brands. The DHC Cleansing Oil has been around for ages and has an olive oil base. Shu Uemura is widely considered by beauty enthusiasts to be the brand that pumps out the best cleansing oils. Again, gotta love the options as Shu Uemura (while pricey) makes at least five different cleansing oil options. Next on my list to try is the Cleansing Oil by Muji. At only $15.50, I'm hoping it might just be the most affordable but effective cleansing oil I've tried yet.


Sensitive Skincare Products

      When I get asked for brand or product recommendations from friends with sensitive skin, I always turn them to Avene. It's so easy to get here in the States, and I feel like those with sensitive skin will appreciate that all of their products are scentless, gentle, and free of dyes. Although I've tried their famous Thermal Water Spray, I'm more partial to Cicalfate and the Skin Recovery Cream.


Lipsticks & Lip Products

      When it comes to lip products, I gravitate towards NARS, Lancome, YSL, and Dior the most. NARS has some of the most pigmented lip products I've tried. In terms of formula, YSL and Dior make some of my favorite lip product formulations. I'm obsessed with both Dior and YSL's liquid lipstick products - this and these in particular. For a higher end lipstick, I adore the Rouge in Love lipsticks by Lancome because they're pigmented but hydrating at the same time.



      I've basically thrown away all of my powder eyeshadows except for the Naked 2 palette by Urban Decay. I just never grab them because I'm almost always deferring to the UD palette instead. Plus, have you seen the range of colors and finishes at the UD shelves at Sephora? You just can't go wrong, and most of the UD eyeshadows stay put and give great color payoff.


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