With New Year’s right around the corner, I am bringing you one last post for the year. Today I am sharing my favorite beauty discoveries from 2017, a collection of all of the best in beauty I have found and come to love over the past year. I am planning to post a comprehensive list of my makeup, hair, and skincare recommendations before long, so keep an eye out for that in the New Year!
I have greatly enjoyed getting to test a variety of new products and brands over the past twelve months. Some highlights of the year include signing up to receive the Beauty Heroes subscription box for nine months, which allowed me to (more affordably) try a wide selection of items, as well as visiting Credo Beauty, The Detox Market, and Ayla Beauty during a visit to California this fall. You can believe I was in some kind of a green beauty nirvana getting to see, smell, swatch and sample everything in person!
If you are interested in hearing all about the best from 2017, just keep reading.
This year I discovered the brand Jordan Samuel. I was obsessed with watching his youtube videos (If you haven’t watched, you should. They are so informative!). I ordered the Plie cleanser (now called The After Show Treatment Cleanser), Hydrate Facial Serum, and Etoile Facial Oil, which you can read about in my blog post here. The standout product was definitely the Plie Cleanser. It washes away makeup, grease, and dead skin flakes so effectively leaving clean, yet not stripped, skin.
This must be the year of cleansers, because I also (finally) tried this one. It smells like a tropical fruit smoothie, and the formula effortlessly breaks down makeup. Although it is an oil cleanser, it washes off easily leaving absolutely no greasy residue. It is a little pricey, so I always wait until Pharmaca is having a sale.
My friend Laura, radiantbehavior on Instagram, (you should follower her if you’re not already!) introduced me to these beauties this year. They are a liquid-y little gels that are shaped to fit perfectly under the eyes. They are slightly adhesive to help keep them in place, but I find it is easiest to lay down while wearing them. The key ingredients are cactus collagen, vitamin c, and hyaluronic acid which help combat puffiness, fine lines, and dark circles. My under eye area is always incredibly even and smooth after using them, and they only cost $12 for a pack of 3. I use each set twice to make them last even longer. Just pop them back in the tray after the first use, and put into a sealed container in the fridge. I try to reuse them within a couple of days before tossing.
After testing many a natural deo, I keep coming back to this one. It doesn’t leave marks on my clothing or irritate my skin, and keeps me smelling fresh all day long. I love the lavender scent, and it never starts to smell like sweat. You know how some deodorants do that? (or maybe its just me.) This cream formula comes in a glass jar, and you just scoop at tiny bit out with you fingers, warm slightly to make the product easier to apply, and rub onto your armpits. It was slightly annoying at first to dip my fingers into the jar each time, but now that it is a habit I don’t think twice about it. The best part is that this deodorant is baking soda free (many people are sensitive or eventually become sensitive to baking soda).
I received a travel size of this in the July 2017 Beauty Heroes Box, and after trying it a few times, tucked it away in my skincare drawer for a time when my skin needed more attention. Now that the winter weather has arrived, I have been consistently reaching for this the past month or two. I apply this over my serums at night when my face is feeling extra dry. My skin drinks it up, and I wake up with a face that feels something akin to a baby’s butt. I am planning to order a full sized after this mini one runs out.
This mask was a total splurge, but completely worth it to me. When I am struggling with dry patches or irritation on my face, I apply this and let it sink into my skin as long as I can. Unlike most masks, you do not rinse, but instead wipe the excess off with a face cloth. Just a pea-sized amount is needed for each application, so this mask will seriously last forever.
I received this mask in the April 2017 Beauty Heroes Box and after just one use I knew it was true love. While the scent is just okay, my skin reacts to this in the best way possible. My face is smoother, softer, pores seem clearer, and as the name suggests, my face always has a “glow” to it afterword. Key ingredients in this include raw rainforest Hawaiian honey, Amazonian White Clay, and Raw Cacao. The price tag is a bit of a beast so I use it only as a mask, and not as a cleanser to help it last longer.
I almost hesitate to recommend this, as it is so expensive for such a tiny amount (5ml). This bottle lasted me around one and a half to two months, and costs $55. BUT oh man, this is like liquid gold for my skin. It is the best and the most effective oil serum I have used all year. It leaves my face feeling softer, smoother, and more moisturized than most other oils I have tried. If you buy this, I would recommend adding just a drop or two of this into another oil serum each night to help extend its use.
This face cream is super fluffy and moisturizing for the skin in a light and soft way. It is filled with beautiful ingredients such as squalane, evening primrose oil, seabuckthorn oil, rosehip oil, carrot oil, apricot kernel oil, lavender oil, and frankincense oil. I tend to use this at night in the summer months, or when my face doesn’t need something as heavy as a balm. You only need a tiny bit for each use, and I like to tap any excess onto my lips before bed. It is a beautiful bright yellow color, and somehow reminds me of lemon mousse. If you want to hear more about it, you can read this blog post.
I didn’t think the perfect hand cream existed until I stopped into Ayla Beauty during our trip to San Francisco this fall. Guys, this is IT. If you want a hand cream that deeply moisturizes, heals, and nourishes skin while leaving absolutely no greasiness behind, stop your search now and get this. It lasted a couple months, and now I’m just dreaming about the day that I can get another bottle. MyHavtorn is a Swedish brand that utilizes extremely high quality organic sea buckthorn oil in their products, and I am currently eyeing their face oil.
After testing a few different hairsprays, this one has come up a winner. Truth be told when it comes to clean and natural hair sprays, they simply will not produce the same results as a conventional aerosol version. But what this one does offer is a good amount of hold, it doesn’t smell of alcohol, and it doesn’t weigh down my hair. As I use hair spray pretty sparingly, I bought the smaller size (2 oz) and it has lasted me quite a while.
Although I have only been using this for several weeks, I had to make mention of it. I dispense a pump or two onto my hands, and run it through my damp hair after showering. This helps to make my hair softer and shiner, adding both bounce and hold. The scent is pleasant, while very minimal. I get the best results with this products if I blow dry after applying, but it does help to add some shine and hold when air drying as well. If I want extra hold, I mix this with a little Innersense I Create Hold Styling Gel (aka the BEST hair gel).
I stumbled upon this by happy accident when I thought that I was ordering a traditional hair spray. After realizing my mistake, I pushed it to the back of my cabinet until one day when I was beyond desperate for some additional volume in my hair. I spray this all over the roots while my hair is damp, and then blow dry upward (you really do need to blow dry to get the volume) or with my head upside down. This adds so much lift to my hair, and it has a pleasant, but light, lemongrass scent. If your locks are looking for volume, this is your stuff!
Last spring I tried Au Naturale’s stick foundation and have not looked back since. After testing many many natural foundations, I can say that this is my favorite by far. It offers medium to full coverage, depending how much product you use, blends easily, and there is very little creasing (especially if using a setting powder on top). The stick format is super handy for quick application and for traveling. I have entire blog post about it here if you would like to read more.
I knew this was a winner after trying a sample of this that was sent to me. This is both a conditioner and primer in one, and really amps up lashes to add extra volume and length before applying mascara. I have a full post about my experience with this which you can read here.
I had given up all hope of finding a natural eye primer that actually worked until I tried this little tube. This product evens out skin tone and helps shadow to stay put, but even more importantly it prevents creasing all day long What?! I highly recommend trying this if you (like me) had sworn off natural eye primers.
Mother Bear’s Etsy shop creates some of the most beautifully pigmented eyeshadows I have had the pleasure of using. They have very little fallout, and blend so smoothly, and there are more colors than you could ever imagine to choose from. I bought a little set of three shades which came in a cute little magnetic tin palette.
If Glossier boy brow and the pressed shadow (that I previously used to fill in my brows) had a baby, it would be the Plume pomade. This little pot is filled with a mousse like cream that has a good amount of pigment without making your brows look scary, and also helps keep brow hairs in place. A dual ended spoolie brush is included as well, which makes application a breeze. This products also contains active ingredients from Plume’s Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum to help to nourish and promote growth for the brows.
This is the first baked blush that I have tried, and I now understand what the fuss is about. This powder is so smooth and buttery, and the color is just gorgeous. I love that Antonym’s blushes are baked with slight swirls of color, and this bamboo packaging is both eco-friendly and attractive. I have the shade ‘Rose’ which creates the perfect natural looking flush on my cheeks.
I fell hard for this little duo from the moment I swatched it. This shade is a nude, bronzy peach which gives a more sultry wash of color than standard pink-toned blushes. I like to blend this slightly lower than my other blushes to create a little definition on the apples of the cheek. The highlighter is equally impressive. Most highlighters in the green beauty world are either far too sparkly or lack impact. In my book, this checks off every box for a pressed highligher. It is a warm champagne toned shade with a soft, yet noticeable sheen. It adds glow to the skin without overdosing on the glitter factor.
I picked up this lipstick at the same time I bought the color and light palette (above). I was again captivated by the quality of Kosas products. All of their lipsticks have amazing color payoff, are super creamy (but don’t smudge!), and offer a pleasant vanilla scent. The packaging steps it up a notch from a typical lipstick with a matte black square tube that features a magnetic closure. The little details are everything to me and make this product feel that much more luxurious. The shade that I chose, Royal, is a lovely medium pink-red that is wearable for any occasion. Can you tell I’m loving this lipstick? But really I’m just obsessed with the entire Kosas line now.
This is my other favorite lipstick find for rich and pigmented colors. The shade that first caught my eye was Blooming, a vibrant magenta pink shade. I also ended up ordering Flaming Coral, a hot red with just a hint of orange, and Ballerina Slippers, a medium warm pink (very similar to Ilia Lip Conditioner in Blossom Lady). These also come in square tubes with magnetic closures, but my only gripe is that the white packaging gets dirty very quickly.
I honestly don’t know where these lip conditioners have been all my life. They are super creamy, extremely moisturizing, and pack a surprising punch of color. If your lips are in need of a little extra tlc but you don’t want to sacrifice color, this Ilia classic is calling your name.
As you can tell from the picture, these are well loved. These keep my lips moisturized, have a good amount of color- not too much, not too little, and there are tons of shades to choose from. I was thrilled when Root chose my name suggestion, Gigi, this summer for a limited edition pretty balm! That lippie has a permanent place in my collection. The pretty balm tubes are also quite slim, so they are great to keep in your purse, the car, your pocket, wherever! These are also quite affordable at just $8 each.
I picked this up in Target one day while on the hunt for a good lip balm that just moisturizes the lips. I was trying to find one without coconut oil and shea butter as they can sometimes clog the pores around my mouth, creating those pesky little zits. The only ingredients in this balm are organic avocado oil, organic beeswax, organic jojoba seed oil, organic hemp seed oil, and tocopherol. This moisturizes my lips just as well, if not better, than most balms I’ve tried in the past. Not to mention I paid less than $3 for it!
I splurged on this lash curler early in the year when I had a Sephora giftcard burning a hole in my pocket. I had heard people raving about it and after trying, I agree completely. The opening is shaped differently than other curlers I have used, which allows all the eyelashes to easily be pressed at once. It is incredibly user-friendly, and gives the lashes that extra lift we all want.
Tell me, what have been your favorite beauty discoveries of 2017? I would love to know!
*Some affiliate links used in this post. I love, use, and recommend every product I have mentioned.