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

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Beauty Reflections’ Skincare Faves of 2016

Cleansers

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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)

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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
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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 
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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)
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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)
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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?

HIF© stands for ‘Hair Is Fabric’ and it’s a line of haircare from my favourite beauty obsession, DECIEM. HIF© believes that we should treat our hair just as we treat our fancy clothes-you don’t stick your silk dresses in the washing machine, right? So why shouldn’t we treat our hair just like we treat our fine clothing? HIF© is like dry cleaning for your hair-only with water! #BestProductTaglineEver

And they’re right! Our hair is really like fabric, made up of dead cells that can’t be repaired.#TRUTH

Hif © Professional Cleansing Conditioners

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HIF© Cleansing Conditioners-Curly Hair Support

HIF© is a line of FIFTEEN Cleansing Conditioners made for different types of hair and concerns. HIF© Cleansing Conditioners use “cleansing fractions” instead of harsh detergents and deposit good for your scalp and hair ingredients that even penetrate the hair cuticle. That’s where your healthy hair starts dudes! So many great ingredients including hyaluronic acid, precious rock extracts and exotic oils will get your hair looking in top top runway ready condition!

There’s so many different HIF© Cleansing Conditioners, and honestly you can’t pick a bad one. Each HIF© comes with a Cleansing Coefficient and a Conditioning Coefficient. A higher Cleansing Coefficient means there’s more cleansing fractions and more of a foamy feel(for those that like that foamy feeling when you wash your hair). The higher the Conditioning Coefficient the more conditioning treatments there are in it.

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HIF© Cleansing Conditioners

So, for example in the above pic the HIF© Intensive Detox will leave your scalp and hair feeling extra CLEAN and it foams up quite a bit! The HIF© Silver Hue Support has a lower Cleansing Coefficient but a higher Conditioning Coefficient, although I find that it still foams up well. The HIF© Curly Hair Support in my first picture has a Cleansing Coefficient of only 3, so it doesn’t have the foaming action that these two do. However, just because it has a lower Cleansing Coefficient doesn’t mean that your hair won’t feel clean-it just all depends on what your particular hair type really needs to look and actually be healthy!
 
Each different HIF© has specific ingredients to make your hair type be it’s best. HIF© Curly Hair Support nourishes the scalp and the hair follicle directly with Tomato Enzymes that provide cysteine to the hair, which is what’s needed to form keratin. Keratin will help curly hair be it’s BEST curly self, plus it’s got loads of amazing conditioning ingredients to prevent frizz too. HIF© Silver Hue Support is my favourite, because it helps my grey hair look so bright! It has refractive metal prisms to combat any dullness and brassiness, so when I use it my hair looks cleaner and brighter and not yellow, which is a huge problem when you have grey hair. It also really deep conditions my hair which is also important because grey hair is coarser and wiry. This stuff leaves my hair feeling soft and smooth and manageable. No Baba Yaga hair!  😀   HIF© Intensive Detox is great to use after a lot of styling products for a big night out, or if you’ve had an extra sweaty Zumba workout and your scalp needs some extra cleaning  😛  It’s got the highest Cleansing Coefficient of them all and deep cleans with a cooling sensation that’s kind of awesome. HIF© Intensive Detox has a desert date bio-complex that is rich in iron content to help fight hair loss, eliminate dirt and residue on the scalp,  yet still conditions hair to leave it feeling soft.

So, how do you these Cleansing Conditioners? Well, first up you need LESS than you think you do-especially if it’s more of a foamy formula. I’ll squirt about a thumb length into my hand and then rub both hands together. One hand will go to the front of my scalp, and the other to the back. Then, I massage the product all over my scalp with a a bit of water to activate it. Massage away and then I take it though the length of my hair. Then, I twist my hair up and pin it onto the top of my head and let it sit for 3 minutes. You’ll feel your HIF© working on your scalp-kind of tingles. Then, just rinse off and Bazinga! You’re good to go.

I love my HIF© so much and just ordered some more for me, and for Marky too. She loves the HIF© Red Hue Support, which has iron rose crystal extract that hydrates while restoring red colour and shine. My only con would be that it’s a tad expensive, but if you’re like Marky and wash your hair every third day then it’s not so bad really. Me, because of Zumba I wash my hair pretty much every day-I don’t like sweaty scalp ok  😛   so, I’ll alternate using other shampoos with my HIF©.  They will be coming out with one litre versions of some of the formulas, so that’ll be more cost effective of an option for sure.

DECIEM…I love them so much…everything I try is amazing I swear!

So, do you use cleansing conditioners? Or have you tried them in the past and hated them like I did? These will change your mind I promise!

“A highly active concentrate of advanced hyaluronic complexes, next-generation peptides and biotechnological technologies to target rehydration on and below skin surface, while visibly improving lines, wrinkles, sagging skin and textural damage.”

 
When I received Deciem Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age to test out, to be honest I kind of got all CHEST PUFFED OUT AND DEFENSIVE, as if I was a member of SAMCRO(been watching SOA and WOW, LOVE). Because when a product claims to show VISIBLE RESULTS IN 10 DAYS… I get all roll-up-my-sleeves-show-me-what-you-got and commit completely to that so called magic product, to see what it’s REALLY got to prove…if anything!

BRING. IT. ON….Boooooooyahahahahahaha

And I’m serious! When I test out skincare, I really DO test it out. I give up all faves and HGs, to see if these new products really DO work. I figure if it doesn’t do something for my 48 year old skin, then forget it working for young 20-something skin. Ahh, those days… when I could use pretty much nothing on my skin and it was SO lovely and good… sometimes I wonder if screwing around with skincare makes your skin go NO. LEAVE. ME. BE. Curious thought, no?

Anyways… So Ok, Long story short…I started using Deciem Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age Advanced Serum every day and night and only Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age Advanced Serum since it arrived at my doorstep and you know what?

WORKS. REALLY WELL. 

Deciem Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age and Hylamide SubQ Eyes

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Deciem Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age and Hylamide SubQ Eyes

 

Deciem Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age Advanced Serum($38) contains five forms of hyaluronic compounds to target multiple depths of your skin(which EHHHH, again I find hard to believe…honestly you need a friggin NEEDLE to start getting skincare to touch some of those deeper skin levels) 😉 But, it does contain non-animal-origin Hyaluronic Acid that targets surface hydration and elasticity. It also has two forms of very-low-molecular Hyaluronic Complex that absorbs quickly to target below the surface rehydration, and a Hyaluronic Acid pre-cursor that helps to visibly plump skin up. There’s a tamarind-derived plant hyaluronic that gives immediate and long-term rehydration too and I can attest to THAT claim for sure…to be honest I haven’t really used a moisturizing cream since starting to use this serum….I don’t seem to need anything else! My skin feels so GOOD. Moisturized and lovely! Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age Advanced Serum also contains an Antarctic and Hawaiian Algae Complex to promote renewal and help prevent moisture loss, so I guess that’s why I’m experiencing perfectly hydrated skin! And living here in dry Alberta? That’s something! My skin always feels so dry here. Parched. I really notice it when I’m in California visiting Marky. There’s so much more humidity in the air over there, and wow…my skin LIKES it there. It behaves so differently when I’m California Dreamin’, not even kidding. I have a separate skin care routine for California and trust me, it’s so much more simple than my Alberta routine. I don’t need to hydrate as much when I’m down there! Guess it’s another sign I belong down there, hey? 😉

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Deciem Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age Advanced Serum

 

Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age Advanced Serum contains Palmitoyl Tripeptide-38+  which is an advanced form of Matrixyl (TM of Sederma)  that helps to reduce the look of lines, wrinkles and surface irregularities. Nonapeptide-3 Retino-Complex+ is a novel technology that promotes better visible anti-aging results than Retinol without irritation. And as someone who suffers from using any kind of Retinol product, I can honestly say this stuff does NOT irritate, OR break me out. Every other friggin’ retinol product does that to me…no matter HOW gentle it claims to be. I break out. End of story. But this? NOPE. It’s like a miracle for me.

Heres’ what I can tell you…and I cross my heart and stick a needle in my eye if I lie: The pores around and on my nose have been getting worse and worse as I age. Nothing was getting those suckers to look better. But Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age Advanced Serum? Worked like a CHARM. Now, I’m not an idiot…nothing can really make pores smaller. But this stuff? Has kind of made them look less visible…better…makeup goes on so much better and doesn’t settle in them ugly pores so bad now. My skin looks SMOOTHER. Brighter! So much so that I don’t feel the need to cover it up with makeup and foundation! I honestly haven’t had such great results from a skincare product in YEARS, it’s that amazing to me. My skin looks really GOOD lately, and that’s an amazing thing to say when you are 48 years old. Just try to make me stop using Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age Advanced Serum…you’ll find yourself booted onto Kepler 452b TOOT SWEET… 🙂

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Deciem Hylamide SubQ Eyes

 

Deciem Hylamide SubQ Eyes($35) is just as good too! It contains a Flavanoid Glucoside Bio-active to help encourage circulation and reduce visible darkness under the eyes. It also contains a Darutoside complex for a lifted upper lid appearance and reduced visible sagginess, which I say works. One of my eyes is more hooded than the other, so I really notice a difference when I don’t use Hylamide SubQ Eyes. My eyes really look more open and lifted when I use this! It also has stuff to reduce the look of lines around the eyes, and YUP. It did that for me too. I mean, they’re still there? I’m 48 so HELLO…lines around the eyes are mandatory at this point. But Hylamide SubQ Eyes has made them less visible…not so deep. It WORKS. The only crit I have has to do with the packaging with this product. The dropper isn’t quite long enough to get all the serum out. I had to use a Q-tip to get all the god stuff out, but that’s the case with most products packaged like this.

Deciem Hylamide SubQ Eyes and Deciem Hylamide SubQ Anti-Age have worked SO WELL for me, that I’ve already purchased replacements, and have started using them now. These two products are AMAZING, and it’s not often that I actually purchase skincare sent to me for free. But these? WORK. And you can’t stop me from using them. EVER. Order these products, and cripes…everything Deciem sells HERE. STUFF WORKS.

Both of these Deciem Hylamide products have changed my skin so much that I really do urge you to give them a try! They are affordable. And work! REALLY WELL. And that? Is something these days in the makeup/skincare world! Have you tried a skincare product recently that just WOWED you? It’s pretty rare!