Beauty & Skincare
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Super Favourites and Not-So-Favourites 2016

Hello lovely people! 🙂 I’m not really one to celebrate Christmas but I hope you all had a great time celebrating the winter holidays with your loved ones.

One of the things that is apparent with making monthly favourites is that it’s monthly which suggests products that I’ve grown to like or have been using a lot lately (in that month). However, it doesn’t always quite suggest how much I really like a certain product that extends beyond the months and seasons – a product that I’m happy to use all-year-round!

It would seem like a ‘beauty blogger no-no’ too to feature the same product twice or thrice in a row because readers love variety but not too much commerciality. So instead, to make this easier for you and me, I’ve purposefully left products to be talked about here in all their glory without the ‘monthly’ tag.

Contrary to that, I’ve also included some products that I haven’t been too fond of this year which I’ll talk about first so we can end this post on a high.

Let’s start shall we?

Not-So-Favourites

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 Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in ‘001 Translucent’
MAC Matte Powder Blush in ‘Mocha’
L’Oréal Mega Volume Miss Manga Mascara
Batiste Dry Shampoo Clean & Classic Original
Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins Mineral Enriched Renewal Cream

Dear brands, packaging is important too!: I don’t hate this product. Actually, I liked the  Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in ‘001 Translucent’ enough to buy it again (this is my second one) although the oil control can be better. The main problem I have though, is with the packaging. It’s clumsy. Drop it once and the plastic cracks or scratches. Otherwise, the plastic lid will become loose regardless. It’s okay to keep on your vanity, but another problem to take with you on-the-go. Yes, it’s £3.99 but c’mon!

Too much effort, not much result: I tried. I really tried. I don’t remember why I purchased MAC Matte Powder Blush in ‘Mocha’. All I remember is looking for a new everyday blush, and out of the choices the assistant showed, I somehow chose this. It looks like nothing in the pan, and low and behold – it swatches like nothing. It’s a dud. I can’t even call this a blush that can ‘easily be built up’ because it’s the exact opposite. I’m tired. Next please.

Attention readers, avoid this product: As usual, opinions are my own and do not represent the final conclusion of a product but believe me when I say that the L’Oréal Mega Volume Miss Manga Mascara is just bad. The brush is funky-looking, the wand bends, the formula looks suspicious – like wet, thick paint wanting to dry but can’t because it’s too thick. Maybe that’s the problem because this clumps so badly and makes you look like you only have 10 lashes. Save your money. Avoid at all costs. 

If you have dark/black hair, you’ll understand: Maybe I’m just bad at applying dry shampoo but the Batiste Dry Shampoo Clean & Classic Original is like an on-again, off-again affair for me…mostly off. Like every other girl, I use this on my bad hair days (i.e. greasy hair) but then enters a new problem that’s even worse: powdery residue that looks like dandruff. Of course, I can’t look down at my own head, but isn’t it embarrassing when your brother asks you why you have so much dandruff? (FYI yes it’s embarrassing, so embarrassing that I’m reluctant to use this anymore.) 

Exactly why you should shop for your skin type: Again, I don’t hate this product however it most definitely isn’t for me. Last Christmas, I purchased for myself an Origins gift set which contained the Origins High Potency Night-A-Mins Cream that I’ve wanted for a while. Unfortunately, the set with the oil-free version inside sold out so I had to settle for this. (I say ‘had to’ – I just wanted a really good deal!) Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with the product and it smells absolutely gorgeous but as someone who doesn’t suffer from dry skin, this is too rich for me.


Super Favourites

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SANA Soy Milk Moisture Cleansing Wash
Heroine Make Long & Curl Super Waterproof Mascara
Clinique Cheek Pop in ‘Melon Pop’
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel

Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Milk
Revlon Colorstay Foundation for Combination/Oily Skin in shade ‘180 Sand Beige’
Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder in ‘Pale Yellow’

In my ideal skincare routine, I’ll choose this every time: I’ve actually just ran out of the SANA Soy Milk Moisture Cleansing Wash and I have to say – I’m a bit sad. It’s a cream cleanser which I have previously used before (this is my second one in total) and my feelings haven’t changed. It lathers up really nicely – a pea-sized amount is enough! Skin is soft, fresh and full of moisture afterwards so I recommend for all skin types. It’s also very economical – I’ve had this since end of May and it’s now December!

The search is over, I’ve found my favourite mascara ever!: I’ve mentioned the Heroine Make Long & Curl Super Waterproof Mascara twice before on this blog already (here + here) and 3 months on, I am still using it. I have other mascaras but I naturally reach for this almost every time. It’s a rich fiber mascara with a small, clean and curved brush head which I think is the pinnacle of the product. It coats my lashes the way I want it to, holds the curl and gives lots of length and definition. The only con is it’s difficult to remove because it’s super waterproof but nothing a bit of almond oil can’t solve!

The blush that lasts all day and keeps you glowing: I have a fondness for blushes. There’s just something about adding a healthy colour to the face that’s very energising. In fact, I almost feel this is more key than using under-eye concealer to look more awake, which can sometimes go haywire. My favourite this year, and possibly of all-time is the Clinique Cheek Pop in ‘Melon Pop’. The blush is extremely buildable and enjoyable to use. The colour is described as a ‘pink-coral’ which I think is perfect if you don’t want to go too pink or too peach. Although this is naturally classed as more of a spring/summer shade, it’s possible to get away with using this in the colder months – or at least I think so!

 Once a favourite, always a favourite: Since we’re on the Clinique bandwagon, I thought I’d mention this too: the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturising Gel. This is my third bottle ever. I just always come back to it. It’s a very lightweight, fast-absorbing gel yet it really does the job. The pump packaging is a winner too! Not to mention, at a huge 125ml it is great value for money.

If all else fails, go one step up:  The only moisturiser that I can remember trying this year is the Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Milk and it’s another winner from inside out. Packaging is fully functional and product is not hard to squeeze out at all! The plastic is of really good quality. It’s a milky formula that’s very moisturising  but not heavy, and is easily absorbed into the skin. There’s also a generous amount of product – 90ml. (FYI – I’ve used since end of May and I haven’t finished yet!) 

 The foundation that wins it all this year: I like to rotate my foundations and bases around, depending on what coverage I want. As a combination/oily girl, I’m actually not keen on matte finishes and never go with full coverage because I don’t like the idea of heavy texture (and flatness) on the skin! The Revlon Colorstay Foundation for Combination/Oily Skin goes against my prejudices. With a beauty blender, this foundation is beautiful! It sits well on my skin, looks flawless and lasts the day (with or without primer). It looks even better as you go about your day, and oil control you might ask? It does a jolly good job at that too.

You don’t know what’s ‘good’ until you’ve tried good: Trying out new products is a constant learning process. You learn more about your skin. You learn more about the product type. As such, the rankings change and you’re able to make a quick decision on what’s hot and what’s not. This year, I’ve mastered the finish of my makeup with Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Pressed Powder in ‘Pale Yellow’. It is so beautiful and natural on the skin! I use this often and yet I still can’t see a dent in the product since I only need a little to set my makeup. It’s not often that I have to top-up either – usually just once if I have to.


A particularly lengthy post to end the year on! I love writing Favourites post anyways but this felt relieving as if I had confessed all my opinions that had been building up throughout the year! 

What has been your super favourites and not-so-favourites this year? 

Happy New Year as we close out 2016!

Much love. 🙂 ❤

9 Comments

  1. Great post!! My favourites for skincare has definitely been REN and liz earle. makeup is a bit of anything but my mains will always be too faced, urban decay and morphe 😻 happy new year! xx

    • I’ve yet to try all the brands that you have mentioned!! 😂 Many people rave about Liz Earle. I definitely want to try Too Faced and Urban Decay soon though!

      Happy new year too lovely! 🙂

  2. Loved this post! I completely felt the same about Rimmel stay matte pressed powder when I tried it this year… definitely not compact or secure enough to be taking on the go

    • Right?! I’m so glad that there’s someone else who feels the same way. When I repurchased it at Superdrug, I dropped my bag of goodies on the floor shortly after, and the packaging of the Rimmel powder cracked 😓😂

  3. Pingback: The Beauty Clean-Up #4 (empties) | Hoi Yin Li

  4. Pingback: The Beauty Clean-Up #5 (empties) | Hoi Yin Li

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