Happy New Year everyone! It’s that time of year again! There’s a lot to go through, so get comfy folks!

My Skincare Faves of 2016

Beauty Reflections' Skincare Faves of 2016.jpg

Beauty Reflections’ Skincare Faves of 2016

Cleansers

Beauty Reflections' Skincare Faves of 2016.jpg

I love Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil($58) to remove sunscreen and makeup. It takes off everything, including mascara and doesn’t irritate my eyes. Of all the cleansing oils I’ve tried, this one emulsifies the best and rinses off the best as well, leaving no oily residue at all. My skin feels soft and clean after using it, and sometimes I don’t even feel the need to double cleanse to remove any leftovers. It’s never, ever broken me out either. Will definitely repurchase this for sure!

BriAA’s Genesis Cleansing Gel is new for me. BriAA is an Israeli Company that is launching in the USA. They are a leading skincare manufacturer with international reputation of more than 38 years in the skincare industry, specializing in natural cosmetics and skin rejuvenation technologies. They sent me a couple of products to try, and WOW-I LOVE this gel cleanser a lot! It smells like green tea and is so light and refreshing. Without a doubt, it’s probably the best foaming, gentle, gel cleanser I’ve ever tried. It cleanses gently, and leaves my skin feeling so GOOD and soft. LOVE IT. Look out for this company, their products are pretty awesome from what I’ve tried.

Hylamide Hydra-Density Mist($18)

Beauty Reflections' Skincare Faves of 2016.jpg

Love this mist after cleansing! It has some marine extracts with a higher water-retaining capacity than hyaluronic acid to hydrate skin. There’s also Green Tea Polyphenols, Golden Eye Grass Root, and Tasmanian Pepperberry to soothe skin and reduce redness. It’s a meaty spray which I love and works well. Good stuff!

AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Peel
Beauty Reflections' Skincare Faves of 2016.jpg

I didn’t use this for a few months as I was testing out so much skincare this year, and I missed it SO SO MUCH. I’m so glad to be using it again and so is my skin haha. Within a week, my skin looked brighter, better, calmer, less flaky, and less breakouts. See my original review here on how it changed my skin. It now has the dubious distinction of being the one skincare product that I’ve been using for over 2 years now and that’s something when you’re a blogger!

Hylamide and Deciem The Ordinary 
Beauty Reflections' Skincare Faves of 2016.jpg

The Hylamide Booster C25($38) is back again this year as a fave. It’s just solidly good stuff and my skin loves this 25% concentrated and completely stable 25% Ethylated Vitamin C booster. I should really do a more in-depth review of The Ordinary serums and that skincare line, which you can find here. I don’t know how they do it, but their prices are outrageously affordable and from what I’ve tried-REALLY GOOD TOO. The Ordinary Buffet($14.80) is a Multi-Technology Peptide Serum, with Matrixyl 3000 being the main proven anti-aging peptide. The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 ($6.80) is an awesome hydrating serum and did you see that frickin’ price? HOW. The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA 2% costs $6.50 and it’s SO GOOD you guys. Lactic Acid is for me at least, the one exfoliating HA that doesn’t break me out. This one smells good too, not overpowering at all, but has a nice gentle scent. It works so well, leaving skin smooth as silk. I use it every other night and love it. They have a 10% concentration as well, and that’s the next one I’m picking up for sure.

It’s hard to see in that pic, but Consonant HydrEXTREME ($72 for 10ml) is on my faves list again. It’s seriously the BEST hydrating serum I’ve ever used. Click on that link to read all about it.

Yuri Pibu Artichoke Power Essence($38)
Beauty Reflections' Skincare Faves of 2016.jpg

Here’s comes some of the Korean Skincare I’ve been using and loving this year. Yuri Pibu Artichoke Power Essence contains 60% artichoke extract to hydrate, nourish and smooth skin and it also helps to tighten the appearance of pores. It’s waterless, which I find amazing and has no silicones, no parabens or other not good for your skin ingredients. It’s an essence, so that means it’s a lotion-y serum. It absorbs quickly, and I swear my pores are looking smoother too. You can find it at Glow Recipe, although it’s sold out at the moment.

J.One Jelly Pack($42) and J.One Hana Cream($30)
Beauty Reflections' Skincare Faves of 2016.jpg

This Korean Skincare line is created by a popular actress and these two products are AWESOME. J.One Jelly Pack firms, hydrates and is a primer for makeup too. It’s a weird texture, a kind of sticky gel that seems a bit hard to rub on, but don’t worry, it does finally sink in and when it does WOWZA. I swear my face loses like 10 pounds when I use this stuff haha! It firms and lifts up everything, smooths over pores, and is a great primer too.
The J.One Hana Cream is a capsule cream which is SO COOL.

 photo SAM_5405.jpg

Each little sphere is perfectly portioned so you get the right amount every time you use it. I love this idea! It’s full of ingredients that brighten, firm, blur, and plumps up the skin. You can find both of these products at Sephora in the USA right now, and I’m hoping they make their way across the border soon. Otherwise, you can order them from Glow Recipe which ships to Canada in 2-3 days. So worth it!

Moisturizers

 photo SAM_5408Beauty Reflections' Skincare Faves of 2016Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb($38) is Korean as well, and you can find the line at The Face Shop across Canada, and at Sephora in the USA. It’s such a good moisturizer if you have really dry skin. It’s a kind of bouncy cream that gives instant moisture. You know when people say it feels like your skin just drank a big glass of water? That’s exactly what this feels like.

Live Clean Fresh Face Soothing Daily Moisturizer is probably the best drugstore moisturizer I’ve tried, and it made my list this year again. So affordable at around $14 for a massive tube-it’s 5 oz. Who in the heck makes a face moisturizer that size these days? Live Clean, that’s who! No bad for your skin ingredients at all, it’s a solid moisturizer that I love to use and never interferes with makeup at all.

 photo SAM_5410.jpg

Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30($52) is another Korean skincare brand, and again I’m so sorry, but this one isn’t in Canada either. The other Tiger Grass cream is, but because this one has SPF it’s not here. Maybe soon. But I love using this one on no makeup days.

 photo SAM_5411.jpg

The green-beige colour does a pretty decent job at correcting my redness amazingly enough! Shocked me actually. I got a sample at Disneyland the last time we were there, and loved it so much I got the full size to take home. The Tiger Grass helps soothe redness and reduce it. It’s thick, and really protects the skin’s barrier. Plus, it’s got SPF 30 too, so for me this is a godsend product. If you suffer from redness like I do, it’s worth trying for sure.

Night Creams/Moisturizers

 photo SAM_5415.jpgMost nights, I opt for a sleeping mask with Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask($92) being my fave. I love the stuff. I wake up with moisturized, brighter, firmer looking skin every time I use it.

Another Live Clean Fresh Face product! The Nourishing Night Cream($20) is awesome. Natural, organic ingredients that work so well and is so affordable. I love using this one if I’m using an acid or retinol overnight as it doesn’t have any ingredients that would interfere. Love it and Live Clean a lot!

Masks

Beauty Reflections' Skincare Faves of 2016.jpg

I love masks. And I love the Blithe Patting Splash Mask in Rejuvenating Purple Berry($45). Marky loves the Soothing Green Tea one. You can read my review HERE, but for both of us these Splash Masks are probably one of the best skincare finds of the year.

Beauty Reflections' Skincare Faves of 2016.jpgI have a lot of masks, but to be honest these three from Eau Thermal Avène are the ones I reach for and use the most. Pretty much after every shower I’ll use one. The Soothing Moisture Mask I’ll even use as a moisturizer if I’m feeling especially parched. The Tolérance Extreme Mask  is great when my skin is acting up and feeling itchy and blotchy and misbehaving. And the Antirougeurs Calm is perfect for anytime I want to look less red.

Eye Cream

 photo SAM_5428.jpgThe Bella Aura Instant Lifting Eye Contour is my favourite daytime eye cream hands down. It’s more of a lotion than a cream, but it sinks in immediately, cools, refreshes, brightens, and I swear my eyes look lifted as well. I adore it so much, and will need to repurchase another this month for sure.

The Peter Thomas Roth Retinal PM Cream($68) I’ve been using since the Sephora VIB Sale in November, so I can honestly tell you this is probably the best eye cream I’ve used to reduce the look of fine lines and crow’s feet. I’m really noticing the difference about now, and that’s the thing with products like this, it takes time before you really see results. I figure I’ll need to replace it this month, and I plan on doing that for sure.

Sunscreen

SAMSUNG CSC

Cyberderm Simply Zinc Sun Whip and Every Morning Sun Whip($38 each) are the best mineral sunscreens I’ve ever used. They protect all day long, don’t interfere with makeup, and never break me out. I prefer mineral sunscreen on my face, and these two are pretty much perfection in my eyes. And yay! They are Canadian as well! And, they ship to the USA and International as well.

Favourite Skincare Line Of 2016

Beauty Reflections' Skincare Faves of 2016.jpg

Bella Aura’s Essential Energy Boosting Kit

Bella Aura Skincare was the best skincare line I’ve tried this past year. It’s a luxurious, natural, and highly effective skincare line that is is emulsion-based. Emulsions are created when a water based moisturizer is combined with botanical oils. They are lightweight and quickly absorb into the deepest layers of your skin, leaving no greasy residue at all. An emulsion has the ability to maintain hydration levels and prevent moisture loss from your skin’s surface. All skin types benefit from emulsions, as they are hydrating and don’t clog pores at all. This is Bella Aura’s Essential Energy Boosting Kit($75) and contains 10ml sizes of all 5 Bella Aura Skincare products. It’s a great way to try the line and I think you’d love it as much as I do!

Phew again! These faves posts take so long to do, but I like doing them because it really makes me look at what products I actually use. A lot of them I’ve bought on my own, a few have been sent by PR. But all of them I will continue to keep using and purchasing when I run out, that’s for sure.

Have you tried any of these products? What skincare gems did you discover last year?

When You Find A Sunscreen So Good You Give Up Makeup

So, if you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat, then you know I was in California last week. We went back to move Marky out of the hell house she was living in and store her stuff until we drive her back at the end of August. Right now she doesn’t have anywhere to live, but it does look like it won’t be much of a problem. She has two friends that she’ll be living with that are looking. Fingers crossed!

Anyways, you know how a lot of people do those “What Makeup I Packed” posts? Yeah, I’m not sure I’ve ever done one to be honest? But I thought I’d show you what I brought with me to California.

This is my travel makeup bag. I like it. I don’t take a lot of makeup when I travel, so this works for me. It just opens up like a bowl and I can see everything easily.

IMG_9927

And here’s what was inside:

IMG_9929

My favourite tinted moisturizer from Algenist(you can only get in the USA), concealers, eyeshadow pencils, mascara, Hourglass Diffused Ambient Lighting Powder, RMS liquid Luminizer, Becca beach Blush in Fig and a few brushes.

I WORE NONE OF IT. NONE. OF. IT.

Yep, that’s right. We left on Wednesday AM and I was wearing pretty much what you see there. And that was the last day I wore makeup. The whole time we were in California the temperature ranged from 38C in Disneyland to 45C in Valencia where Marky goes to College. HOW can you guys who live in such high heat keep wearing makeup when it’s HELL outside? I just couldn’t do it. But, what I did care about was protecting my face from the insane sun!

This is what I wore on my face the whole 5 day trip:

CyberDERM The Sunscreen Company.jpg

CyberDERM The Sunscreen Company

Have you heard of Cyberderm and their sunscreens before? Neither had I, until they contacted me and WOW I’m so glad they found me! These two sunscreens are AWESOME.

CyberDERM sunscreens belong to a new school of sunscreen formulations borrowed from 20 years of Aussie research. The concept of using Zinc Oxide instead of chemical sunscreens with a high SPF has only recently began to hit North America. Now I’m not gonna start debating about the badness of chemical sunscreens here-that’s not my job and to be honest I’m not a full believer that they’re hormone disruptors and all that. BUT, I do prefer a mineral sunscreen on my face. I think they work better at preventing sunburn, and they last longer too. Zinc Oxide protects against the longest wavelengths of UVA where most other sunscreens fail to protect. And that’s why I like them for my face.

CyberDERM The Sunscreen Company.jpg

CyberDERM The Sunscreen Company

Yeah, I know what you’re thinking: But Tracy, mineral sunscreens are so heavy, greasy, and leave a white cast on my face. Not CyberDERM! CyberDERM formulates sunscreens that you just HAVE to try and you won’t believe that they are a mineral sunscreen. I for sure didn’t! They feel silky, and have a transparent finish-NO WHITE CAST left on your skin at all! Simply the BEST sunscreens ever.

CyberDERM Every Morning Sun Whip SPF25($38)

This one is great for everyday use. I used it on the days we were moving-so in and out of the house. It has 15% Zinc Oxide and 7.5% Octinoxate(which absorbs UV-B rays from the sun). It’s perfect for all skin types, even oily and acne-prone skin. It leaves a cashmere matte finish that’s soothing and won’t irritate the most sensitive of skins. I did try this at home under makeup and it doesn’t interfere with makeup application at all and makes a great base. It’s a must have for me now, and I use it every day.

CyberDERM The Sunscreen Company.jpg

CyberDERM The Sunscreen Company

CyberDERM Simply Zinc Sun Whip SPF 30($38)

This is a pure physical sunscreen, that contains 22% certified organic Zinc Oxide in a hydrating Olive Oil base. It sounds like it’d be heavy and greasy as heck, but nope. It’s a bit thicker than the Every Morning one, but it still apples smoothly and easily and absorbs quite quickly. I think my skin looks a bit shinier than when I use the Every Morning, but nothing like other mineral sunscreens I’ve tried in the past. No white cast at all! This is a great sunscreen if you have drier skin(like me) and if you have really sensitive skin(like me). It’s also a great choice for those of you that suffer from Melasma or hyperpigmentation(like me again LOL) because it gives strong and consistent protection against UVA and UVB rays. Simply Zinc also gives you some anti-aging benefits since the olive oil provides some anti-oxidants and for good measure, CyberDERM added some tetra-peptides in there for a bonus. This is the sunscreen I wore when I was at Disneyland all day. And I mean walking around outside-ALL DAY. I applied in the morning, and was fine all day long. Honestly, you should reapply to make sure you get consistent protection, but like I said, I find that mineral sunscreens last longer on me so I didn’t feel the need to. I didn’t get a sunburn at all, and more importantly-no BREAKOUTS. My skin hates the combination of high heat and sunscreen and whenever I’m in California, I usually break out. Not this time!

CyberDERM sunscreens are amazing and I urge you to pick one up. You’ll love them. You can find them online at Detox Market, or from the CyberDERM website HERE.

I wish I had found CyberDERM sunscreens earlier before I plunked down cash for another expensive sunscreen. Sigh. Such is life, hey?