2020 calls for a 2019 review. So let’s take a look which cosmetic products made me happy and which left me unimpressed in 2019. I’ll feature only the products that I’ve used in 2019 so this post leaves out many of my staples and long term love affairs, which deserve its own post. Also, keep in mind, that the ones that didn’t impress me are not bad products per se. They just don’t suit my needs! The same goes for the new discoveries, while I love them, they might not impress you, but I can absolutely say they are quality products that might be worthy of your attention.
The best and the not so good of 2019
- Miss Alice Hey, Gorgeous! hydrating serum: I got it for for testing and really didn’t expect much, since I’m definitely not a fan of unnecessary extra layers on my skin. I’m perfectly happy with a good moisturizer without any hydrating serums, but with this baby I saw a real difference. I’m using it regularly since April and I’m not giving it up anytime soon. I love the plump, the glow and the extra hydrating oomph that it gives to my skin. It already has its own review here: Miss Alice.
- Skinfairytale Chocotan tinted body and face lotion: A lotion that gives you an instant sun-kissed look on your body and face without any damaging sun exposure or the awful self-tanner after-scent. It is not a self-tanner! It is a kind of makeup that turns you in a summer goddess in minutes. A great product I use all season around. When it is cold I mix it to my foundation or use it as a bronzer for beautiful, glowing skin. During summer I use it also on my legs for a perfect Saint Tropez look. Among many similar products this is the one that clings best on your skin without leaving stains everywhere. For more, you can check its review: Chocotan. A little bird whispered to me that in 2020 we are getting an even better /lighter version!
- Skintegra Atomic Pre-Cleansing Emulsion: this baby might actually be my winner of 2019, because it is gentle, thorough and good for the skin barrier. It is an oil cleanser that emulsifies perfectly without leaving and residue on your skin. It is the only oil-based cleanser I know (so far) that can be used solely – doesn’t need the second water-based cleansing to rinse it off. A must try for everybody. You can read more about it here: Skintegra. And while I’m talking about cleansers I would also like to mention two excellent water-based cleansers that I gladly discovered this year: Melvita Cleansing Jelly and Yes Cleanse intimate wash (yes, it is awesome for the face too).
- Niod Survival 30 SPF 30 physical sunscreen: another mind-blowing discovery in the past year, because this is the most lightweight and pleasant physical sunscreen ever (physical sunscreen users will know that many are a real pain in the ass). The formulation is awesome, packed with precious antioxidants for extra protection and it can be applied in the required amount without any fuss or white cast. It can be a little bit drying and it is quite expensive but it is the best ever (so far). You can find its review here: Survival. Another two physical sunscreens worth mentioning that I’ve discovered this year are Australian Gold Botanical SPF 50 and Madara Age Defying sunscreen SPF 30. The first is a very waterproof and a very safe option for extremes (beach, snow). Madara on the other hand is very nourishing and well formulated for everyday use on dry skin. You can find more information about these babies on my Instagram.
- Melvita Flower Waters: Well, these were a real discovery, since these kind of products always seemed utterly obsolete to me. But it turned out, that are quite useful, pleasant to use and very effective. I use them for fixing my makeup and refreshing my enzyme peelings and makeup sponge. They are also great for taming and smoothing my hair and make a wonderful, refreshing toner. In 2019 became a staple on my cosmetic shelf. I’ve already mentioned them in my post about Christmas gifts: Gifts.
- Lush Candy Rain hair conditioner: another mind-blower. I discovered this jewel thanks to a fellow blogger Cindy, who praised it persistently and I have to join her in her awe. This is the best conditioner I’ve tried so far and there were many . My hair is otherwise healthy and doesn’t require a lot, but I can still appreciate a good hair product that makes a difference. This one smells heavenly (the whole bathroom smells heavenly after use!) and the scent is very long-lasting. It is very nourishing and moisturizing but it doesn’t weight your hair down. It does its job perfectly in just a couple of minutes and I can already feel the difference even when my hair is still wet. It has the same effects as a quality hair mask but needs much less fuss and time. Smoothed and moisturized hair looking just right out of the salon that smells heavenly. What is not to love! Definitely a staple! Doesn’t come cheap, but it is worth every penny.
- Eucerin Hyaluron Filler Intensive Moisturising Sheet Mask: Got it in a PR pack in December and already bought a few more. I never expected such performance from a sheet mask! I like sheet masks because they’re fun and can be a nice quick fix, but this one really made a visible difference. I used it on a trip in Beograd where we partied a lot and it made my face as good as new the next morning. It visibly plumps, smooths and hydrates the skin. I think it is perfect for special occasions, rehabs and works perfectly as an extra hydration boost under makeup. Of course the effect isn’t everlasting but oh boy, when you need a good quick fix or a cherry on the top for a special occasion, you’ll definitely not be disappointed.
And now the fun part! #rant
- Bioeffect EGF serum: sorry, but I don’t understand the hype. Please note that I didn’t use it for a long time, since I only had a 5ml vial, but It really didn’t impress me. It is sticky AF! Its main ingredient is a plant-based replica of EGF (epidermal growth factor) – a human protein which encourages cell growth and has some other beneficial effects that promote collagen and elastin synthesis for antiaging effects. Sounds awesome on paper and it might work, but it still seems very expensive (150€ for 15ml) for a poorly researched ingredient in terms of effectiveness on the skin. From my point of view is also very unpleasant to use. I didn’t used it long enough to form a substantial opinion but as it won’t get that chance anytime soon that’s all I got for now. In my opinion I’d rather spend 150€ on a laser treatment or some other active ingredients that have more scientific backup. At least for now.
- EOS lip balm: nope, not my cup of tea. This super-popular balm left me totally unimpressed. While it is very cute to look at and I like the innovative packaging, the content is boring. The nourishing effect on my lips lasts about 10 minutes and then I’m left with even lips that are even drier than before. I find even the most simple and cheap chapstick better than this one which isn’t exactly cheap. The gentle fruity scent is quite nice though.
- Azelique Serumdipity Pycnogenol serum: Its main ingredient Pycnogenol is a powerful antioxidant which has proven soothing effects on the skin. An ingredient that works very nicely when dealing with skin conditions and redness. I didn’t expect much from this one – just some soothing, calming and moisturizing but I didn’t get much. I just didn’t notice any effect whatsoever and I used it whole up. Niente, nada, zilch. Not even some moisture, I really wasted some skin time on this. It might work if you have redness issues though!
- Coco & Eve Like a Virgin hair mask: I don’t get this one either. If I’d put some hotel bath amenity conditioner on my (very undemanding!) hair I would have had better results. It is the most useless hair mask I’ve ever tried. But maybe it’s just me.
- Lixirskin Vitamin C Paste face mask: I’m really sorry about this one, because I believe it is a good product in general but is too harsh for sensitive skins. The idea behind it is actually quite clever – strong vitamin C in a mask as an antioxidant shot in the morning. This way your skin gets its daily dose of vitamin C without wearing it throughout the day, so it doesn’t mess with your pH (vitamin C in a form of ascorbic acid has a low pH – too low for skin). Nice idea but it doesn’t work for us mimosas. I was scarlet red each time I used it so I sold it. But it might work for you quite well if you don’t have any problems with sensitivity!
- Becca Under Eye Brightening corrector: ugh this one was awful on my face. We just couldn’t get along no matter what. It creased in my fine lines despite trying different application techniques and it has a heavy pink undertone that doesn’t match my skin at all (light to medium shade). Not my cup of tea and I don’t understand the hype. It found a new loving home too.
- Ren Clean Screen Mineral SPF 30 Mattifying Face Sunscreen: this protection cream was like wearing a neoprene mask over my face. It might work nice if you put a small amount, but in the required (1/2 teaspoon) amount it was awful. Heavy white cast, heavy texture that didn’t absorb, hermetical feeling on my skin. Even after a couple of hours I was embalmed like a mummy – it just stayed put. I went for a walk with it and I felt how my skin sweats and struggles underneath. Nope, not for me. I’ve tried many sunscreens and all of them are lighter and more pleasant than this one. I’m not sure if you’d like it either. I just can’t see how it would work on any skin in the required amount.
And it’s a wrap! How about you? Any decent discoveries in the past year?