10 Favorite Products of 2017 (Beauty & Skincare)

 An assortment of my 'favs from 2017.

An assortment of my 'favs from 2017.

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If you happened to skim my year in review reflection post, then you may know that 2017 was a doozy.  In times like these, I wish I could say I have responsible coping mechanisms.  I wish I could say I'm really low maintenance -- but I'm just not.  Give me all the "self-care" rituals and I'll enjoy every detox-salt soaked body butter moisturized minute.  There were a lot of new-to-me products that I discovered in 2017 - some were horrible and some were awesome.  Don't worry - I'll only share the awesome below.

One last point for context before we jump right into it - I had a bit of an eco-crisis this year.  I read Pheobe Lapine's "The Wellness Project," where she recommended an iPhone app called "Think Dirty." In said app, your favorite products are rated as "Neutral," "Half 'N Half," or "Dirty" based on reassuring criteria such as carcinogenicity, developmental and reproductive toxicity, and allergies/immunotoxicities.  Amazing book and advice, very scary results. Let's just summarize that I was horrified at the ratings of what I was using on a day to day basis, and so I am slowly but surely *trying* to revamp my stash.  Instead of a drastic overhaul, I'm attempting to at least be more aware of products that I'm using daily, specifically things like toothpaste, skincare, and deodorant.  I'll admit I'm certainly not still perfect in this realm, but I also know what's best for my health long-term.  Oh, responsibility. Without further ado, let's jump into my favorite products of 2017.

Top 10 Products of 2017:

1. Drunk Elephant - TLC Sukari Babyfacial ($80)

Albeit an odd name, this product was my go-to exfoliant this past year.  I leaned on this hard leading up to my wedding for a variety of reasons: 1) It's a mere 20 minute commitment, 2) It doesn't sting (at least for me), and 3) It's not a weird color.  I use this about once a week or every other week and it gives me the smoothest, softest skin afterwards.  Will repurchase, but it hasn't run out even after a year.

2. Naturopathica Vitamin C15 Wrinkle Repair Serum ($33 for travel size)

Let me set the scene for this product discovery - it was after I had a crazy period of time at work that I decided it was time to treat myself to a facial.  My husband and I booked a bed and breakfast for my first weekend of freedom in April.  We drove from Boston, MA to Portland, ME, where it proceeded to snow about a foot. In April.  This was actually a great excuse to do little more than get the best facial of my life at Nine Stones Spa and listen to the entire S-town podcast.  At Nine Stones, they used only Naturopathica products during my facial and I ended up leaving with the travel size version of this product. I've honestly never been a huge fan of Vitamin C products as I never see a huge difference but WOW. Worth it.  And fits into my new natural product shtick. Success.

3. Pai Fragonia & Sea Buckthorn Instant Hand Therapy Cream ($30)

I know - this is an absurd price for a product for a hand cream.  I purchased this on a recommendation from L'Amour et la Musique on Youtube - and dang it, I love it. Most importantly, it's not greasy enough to result in sticky laptop keys, but moisturizing enough that my hands always feel soft. I keep this on my desk at work and it always does the job. 

4. Erborian BB Creme au Ginseg - Clair ($39)

First of all, can we all agree that anything that is called a "creme" is probably trying to be fancier than it actually is? This is the only face product I used in 2017, other than the occasional foundation for a special occasion.  This stuff is good.  Sheer, light coverage (personal preference, I go in with concealer if I need it), sunscreen, and the shade just works on my fair skin. I apply with my fingers and it's super quick. And it lasted a full year. Win.

5. Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser ($18)

I just went back through my Glossier order email history, and I went through at least 6 of these in 2017. *Insert ashamed-face emoji* Hear me out - this product removes makeup like a cleansing balm but has superior texture, smells faintly of roses, doesn't make my eyes water/hurt, and is gentle enough to use in both the morning and evening for cleansing.  Oh, and I'm a fangirl of Glossier as a brand (so much so, I bought the sweatshirt and wear it constantly). If I had to pick, this is my holy grail product for 2017.  

6. Glossier Generation G Lipstick - Jam ($18)

As a general rule, I don't wear lipstick.  I'm much more of a chapstick or Aquaphor kind of girl.  HOWEVER - this is just the prettiest berry stain that is perfect for the fall and winter, or if I'm feeling really crazy, I'll build it up for a brighter look.  I even find myself reaching for it at work.  The best part is that you don't even need a mirror to apply it. 

7. Glossier Boy Brow - Blonde ($16)

Although I have really blonde hair, my eyebrows have always been strangely dark - I don't need a lot of color or definition, just a little something to look polished and put together for work. Long story short, this stuff adds the right amount of texture and hold, and I can get away with just using this and no pencil if I'm super rushed.  Another winner from Glossier.

8. Dr. Bronner's Almond Pure Castile Liquid Soap ($7)

Even though this product is about as basic as they come, for some reason, I hadn't tried it until this year.  I highly recommend the almond scent - it's really warm and comforting.  A word to the wise - the mint formula may make you tingle in places that you don't want to...be forewarned.

9. W3LL People - Expressionist Mascara ($22)

I'll be honest - I still don't think natural mascara is a good as drugstore formulas (L'oreal Voluminous I'm looking at you.) That said, this stuff comes pretty darn close.  It's super black, has a great wand, and the only con is that it transfers slightly by the end of the day.  If that happens, a quick skim under my eyes with a q-tip and I'm good to go.  I may eventually go back to L'oreal, but I like the clean ingredients in this formula, especially for a product that I apply so close to my eyes.

10. Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream ($48)

I feel like my face is perpetually chapped or red during Boston winters.  I'm naturally very fair, so much to my dismay, every moment of embarrassment and stray gust of wind results in a bright red flush on my face. I wouldn't call this product so much of a cream as opposed to a balm, which I actually really appreciate when the weather is -10 degrees and windy.  Without fail, it calms my skin down and leaves a protective barrier behind for any impending ventures outdoors.  

Well friends, that concludes my beauty reflection of 2017.  Cheers to 2018 being just as successful and beautiful.

Love,

Meg