2015 Beauty Favorites

Today's a round up of my ultimate beauty favorites in 2015. I don't have a whole lot because I wanted to truly chose the products I used the most this past year and the ones I can't "live without".


2015 was the year of soft pink and nude colors for my nails. I didn't wear much of my nail polishes displayed in my DIY Nail Polish Rack because as much as it's awesome, the racks are next to my windows and the sun doesn't play nice with polishes.
Most of my nail polishes became tacky and so, I went to Sephora and bought these two :

Chanel - Nail Colour 491 Rose Confidentiel 

This one might be my favorite Chanel nail polish, even more than the famous Rouge Noir from the brand. Rose Confidentiel compliments especially my skin color and stays on for days without chipping. If you have tan/brown/Indian skin, you might want to give this one a try. I guarantee it'll look good ! 

OPI - Tickle my France-y

Perfect nude for tan skin, it's not a warm undertone but neutral which is something I never go for as it doesn't particularly suit my skin tone but this one works. It might be because my hands are noticeably darker than the rest of my body and thus, less yellow and warm. Tickle My France-y is the perfect nude and go-with-everything color.


A L'Orientale - Argan Oil 

Argan oil is a staple in my skincare routine, my skin is weirdly both dehydrated and dry at some times and I use this oil as a moisturizer/locking product at the end of my skincare routine.
Read this article to know why I love using Argan Oil : My favorite natural ingredients for beauty purposes 

OST - C20 Vitamin C Serum

If you've been reading my articles this past year, I've been raving and raving about this one over and over again. But this Vitamin C serum truly changed my skin for the best and I can only recommend it to everyone and anyone wiling to give this inexpensive and effective serum a try. 
Full Review : Here and Here for the new version.

Cosrx - Ultimate moisturizing Honey overnight mask

I know this product is described as a mask but I use it as a moisturizer day and night without fail. This product helped my skin tremendously and is now a holy grail in my routine. I'll do a review as soon as a I get my new jar because I love this so much that it's almost finished.
This mask can be used as a mask, a cream (as I do) or a wash-off mask as described here on Wishtrend.

Whamisa - Organic Flower Toner Deep Rich

Another holy grail in my routine, after reading Skin and Tonics raving review about this hydrating toner, I jumped on it in the hopes that it would help my disrupt skin barrier after a terrible try at chemical exfoliation. Needless to say, it did and amazingly well : This toner is watery, light and full of natural fermented ingredients (along with my fav Argan Oil) and provides the ultimate boost in moisture for your skin. 

Klairs - Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil

I've been using this oil all year long after failing with Banila Co's Clean It Zero. This Klairs has the decency of not breaking me out and removing my makeup at the first step of my double cleansing method (ie : oil cleansing first and foam cleansing/micellair water cleansing) to fully remove every trace of makeup off of my face.

Read the full review here


MAC- All Fired Up

You can tell from the non-existent bullet but this lipstick was hands down my most worn lipstick in 2015. All Fired Up is part of MAC's retro matte collection a.k.a the ultra drying and stiff lipstick formula from MAC. It's my all time favorite shade from them (surpassing Viva Glam I, my teenage years love). I described and did a whole article about this article in My Top Two lipsticks for Tan and Indian Skin.

Dose of Colors - Kiss of Life

I instagramed how much I wanted the Dose of Colors liquid lipstick, I've wanted this shade for so long and the reason why I never got to get it was because it was hard to fork out 30€ for a liquid lipstick. As always, I needed a reason for this purchase and I got it as an early birthday gift from myself. I thought this shade would the perfect dupe/duplicate for Mac's All Fired up but it wasn't, I was bummed out but the color is beautiful.
I'll do a full article on all of my liquid lipsticks soon, so I'll talk more about this liquid lipstick then, but hey, if it is in my 2015 favorites.. you can guess whether I like it or not !

Giorgio Armani - Master Corrector - Peach

My under eye lover during all of this year. Armani is a luxury brand and I did have to fork out to get this corrector but I've wanted for a long time and I can say that this corrector is perfect for me. It's completely liquid (not creamy and thick like Mac's Studio Conceal and Correct Duo), lightweight, easy to blend and it doesn't crease on my undereyes ! In mac Mac corrector reviews, I talked about how it creased like cray but this Armani Master Corrector doesn't crease and is lightweight.
However, I believe there are only two shades a pinky one and this peach one. The peach shade is pretty light, if you're even slightly darker than me you won't be able to use this corrector. On days when I haven't slept much and when my dark circles are pretty prominent this corrector isn't enough and I end up using my MAC corrector instead.
TL:DR : Expensive but really amazing peach corrector, however, it wouldn't work for darker skin tone if you're darker than an NC40.

The Balm - Mary-Lou Manizer  Highlighter

A well-known highlighter from The Balm, a.k.a my 2015 self birthday gift, yes I do give myself beauty birthday gifts because as you may have guessed, it's my only way to justify some purchases. Mary-Lou Manizer is a pearly highlighter complimenting my skin tone. However, I must say that since the start of 2016, I've received the well-known and popular Champagne Pop from Becca x Jaclyn Hill and... Mary-Lou has a strong competitor !

Etude House - Play 101 Pencil in #49

I did a full on review on these pencils from Etude House, and this particular one was my ride or ride of 2015. I used it everyday without fail on my lower lash line to give it a little more definition, the dark brown shade looks more natural than a stark black pencil. On days when I didn't have the time or the strength to do my signature winged eyeliner, I smudged this pencil around the area of my upper lash line and it would look really good ! This pencil is easy, really easy to blend and thus, easy to use, it's not long lasting but it does a pretty good job for the price !

Full Review here


Mary-Lou Manizer, Mac's All Fired Up, Dose of Colors - Kiss of Life, Etude House - 101 Pencil #49


Beauty Blender - Pro version (black)

In my March wishlist, I talked briefly about how I wanted this tool. Everyone knows what it is, everyone uses it but yet, I refrained myself from getting one for years. I've always thought that it wouldn't be worth 20 bucks and that It must be the same as my Kiko dupe I've had for a couple of years. On a whim, I decided to buy it and boy.. I was wrong ! This sponge is magical, someone could really tell me "I told you so" and I wouldn't say anything !
If you never tried this sponge and you use a dupe, I urge you to try this. If you want to blend in your concealer or the famous under eye highlight (I use a lighter concealer and the yellow shade of the Mac corrector on top) without any extra texture or cakyness, if you want it to make it look ultra natural, use this and you'll be amazed with the result. I never tried to use it to put on foundation because I'm pretty content with my Sigma F80 brush, but this Beauty Blender sponge is a must-have !

Spring Facial Hair Removal tool

I've had this for years and bought it really cheap for 1€ from a Chinese website. I use to remove my upper lip hair, it's easy almost painless and quick to do. Most often than not, I chicken out from threading that area, it's super painful with threading but this Asian tool is re-usable, easy and not gimicky ! Since then, Tweezerman are selling one as well, theirs is 20 bucks and Asian one is merely a dollar.. Choose what you want and try it !

Bonus : 2015 Music Favorites

After thinking about it.. I'll be also doing a 2015 Beauty Flops article, I've had some and I thought that it would be interesting, especially you were thinking on picking up these products !

What you need to know before and after buying a new product

I didn't think about this post until my friend was texting me about how he was going to buy some product based on how popular the brand was. That's when I had the thought that a lot of people might be thinking like him, buying stuff because of the marketing surrounding the product and the brand.

There are few things you need to do before purchasing that shiny new product and a few other steps to take after buying it. To avoid any mishaps , unnecessary products, stuff that are not meant for your skin, that will break you out etc..

Steps before buying

1) Read

It has become the standard to read product reviews before buying any type of beauty product. However, a nice marketing and ad campaign can sometimes easily ruin our self control !

Read a lot of reviews, preferably from people who have the same skin type and skin issues/need as you do. Try to find a nicely balanced review : if the blog post is only rewriting what the manufacturer marketed , it won't give you a constructive opinion of the product.

If you can't find it on a blog, Reddit is the way to go : you can find a lot of people opinions fairly easily. Also, check out comments on Youtube reviews, some might be helpful !
A list of Beauty related Reddit I tend to visit : Asian Beauty - Brown Beauty - Skincare Addiction - Makeup Addiction

2) Ingredients

Not matter how great the product seems to be, if the ingredients is a whole load of crap or if the marketed star ingredient is at the end of the list, you might want to pass on the product. 
You can search up product ingredients on Cosdna, however, it's not always accurate, and all of the warnings won't specifically apply. It's not because an ingredient can be an acne trigger that it will break you out !

Cross checking the ingredients with products that have already worked for you and products that didn't is another way to know if a certain product could work out for you. I use an Ingredient Checking Spreadsheet macro made by the great Melubbeauty : that you can find here.

Eventually , dress up a list of ingredients that you know you want to avoid or go for. Keeping that list in the notes of your phone could help you when you're shopping in a drugstore.

2) Checking the pH when shopping for cleansers

The issue with pH and cleansers has its lovers and detractors but eventually : a cleanser with a high pH could lead to a weaker skin barrier and your skin getting drier in a result. I don't have the actual knowledge to address and explain this step, but the "perfect" (again, highly simplifying here) pH of your cleanser would be around 5. You can read Snow's article on Why the pH of your cleansers matter here.

3) Get samples !

Before splurging on a product that might not work for you, you might want to get samples. A lot of Asian Beauty shops offer a large variety of samples to try.
Moreover, even if you don't get the fancy packaging, samples can sometimes be more economical than getting a full size product. Check out the Asian Beauty list of shops here.

Steps after buying

4) Patch test

Even if you have been always lucky you don't know when that luck might run out ! Always patch test : you should test your new product on a certain area of your face before applying it all over your face. Try to patch test for a sufficient amount of time, ideally 2 or 3 weeks depending on how your skin works and how it reacts to new products.
Why patch testing ? You can prevent an allergic reaction or a break-out, this way, if your skin does react to the product, the damage will be restricted to the area where you tested the product. Better break out in one area rather than your whole face !

5) One product at a time

Always test one product at a time and introduce only one product at a time as well. If you introduce several products at the same time and you break out, you won't be able to know which one break you out in the end. Patience is key, it's easy to get excited with a new huge haul of beauty products but your skin is worth more than that !

6) Breaking out ? Purging ?

If you do end up breaking out, whether you followed the last few steps or not you should go back to the routine you had before breaking out/adding new products. If you aren't sure what broke you out : Keep it simple and let your skin calm down with a simple routine : Cleanser , moisturizer, sunscreen. I would also add a trusty spot treatment in this simplified routine to fight the break out. 

However, a break out is different from purging : you can't purge from a moisturizing cream or a foundation, if you do get pimples from those type of products you might want to stop using them. To know precisely if you are breaking out or purging, reading this article from Skinacea might be helpful.

Lastly, don't mistake a break out from something else : I personally tend to break out when I eat spicy food both my stomach and skin can't handle it and especially salty food just doesn't do it for me (Another reason to throw the junk food out of the window !). Of course, it won't be the same for everybody, some people don't break from food, others break out from different things.

Before buying other products :

Keep track of what you already have. This advice actually applies for almost every thing but, do you really need another sleeping mask ? Don't you already have this lipstick color ? Do you really need another nude nail polish ?
It's fairly easy to get overwhelmed with a whole bunch of products, and if you follow step 5 carefully, you won't even be able to try and test all of the product for a long time.

Don't buy too much at a time. Again, the more you buy at a time, the more you're tempted to try everything all at once. 

Honestly, I'm guilty to a lot of these issues : I tend to stack products, test them before patch testing them and even accumulating a whole bunch of creams and cleansers that I don't even end up using after all because I'm not sure if they were breaking me out (hence why you should patch test one product at a time diligently). But I've been working and on it and I've started to be more conscious about my skincare/beauty routine and ways.
Are you read to buy some Asian beauty products now ? Check out my list of dedicated shops here !

This post is going to be posted on January 1st, so : Happy New Years ;) - Dini

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