best of beauty 2016

As the year comes to end, it’s time to round up the best in beauty for the year. Here is what I have been enjoying and reaching for again and again as part of my beauty routine. I wanted to share these with you and hope that you are able to try out some of these as well.

 

Best in Skincare:

best makeup remover– clinique take the day off cleansing oil (or balm)

Either of these two are an essential part of my skincare routine and I have to use this to remove my makeup. Nothing else comes close to removing all of my makeup, without leaving a residue or irritating my eyes. The best part is how soothing they feel on the skin. It’s like a little ritual. More reviews here. 

best facial cleanser– Cetaphil derma control foam wash I have tried an endless number of cleansers, both high end and drugstore and this is the BEST cleanser I have ever used. I’ve repurchased this for over a year now, have a bottle in each of our bathrooms, back home at my parents’ house, and one at my in laws house. I cannot be without it. I use it am and pm as the first step to my skincare routine.What I love about it is that the foam formula does not dry out the skin, no matter how liberal you are with it. I don’t know how this can leave my face so clean WITHOUT drying it out. No other cleanser has ever come close to doing this in my experience. I highly recommend this to anyone with any skin type, male or female.

best facial scrub– dermalogica microfoliant

This mild exfoliator is my every day acne buster.  Even though I don’t feel the need to use this every night anymore, I still keep it in the shower so it’s available for me to use 2-3 times per week. I love how mild yet effective this is. See review here. 

best facial moisturizer– clinique moisture surge

I can’t even count how many of these I have gone through. No other moisturizer has come close to proving the perfect amount of hydration for my skin, without leaving my skin greasy. It does not interfere with makeup application, is fragrance free, works perfectly any season of the year and is not ridiculously expensive. This is my one holy grail skincare product that I cannot be without. See my review here.

best facial sunscreen– MD solar sciences

This has an SPF of 50 which is ideal sun protection for my face. I also love that it keeps my skin matte and is wonderful to use for even sensitive and acne prone skin like mine. This is my holy grail facial sunscreen for every day of the year. See my review here. 

best anti aging product- I have not been loyal to any anti aging serum or moisturizer this year and have been focused on a simple and consistent skincare routine this year. The best anti aging products for me are those that do not break me out, leave my skin plump and hydrated.  I have stepped away from harsh serums, exfoliators and treatments that promise anti aging. See my current skincare routine here.

best facial mask – My favorite mask of the year is a DIY! I like using manuka honey in the warmer months for about 20 minutes before rinsing off and in the cooler months I like to add coconut oil to it.

best eye cream– I have been loyal to this eye cream by Shiseido but have just recently begun looking into others. I have enjoyed this eye cream but am now wanting something less rich and thick. I would love to hear your recommendations.

Best in Makeup:

best lipstick –bareMineralsGEN NUDE™ Radiant Lipstick

I am so in love with the formulation of these lipsticks! They feel like butter on the lips, making my lips super soft. I love the shade tutu but will be adding to my collection. I love this lipstick because it isn’t super pigmented, which I prefer for every day. I also love that I don’t need to use a lip balm underneath it. It is creamy, buttery perfection in a tube. Well done Bare Minerals. I did a review here.

best lip gloss – Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss

I absolutely love the formula of these lip glosses and much prefer them to the liquid lipsticks from the line. I am just not a liquid lipstick girl- they dry out my lips and I hate that feeling! The shade bordeaux is a great date night or going out shade while metallic rose is perfect for every day. These lip glosses are not sticky, smell like vanilla cupcakes and are such a pleasure to use. Love love love them.

best lip balmNivea kiss  of milk and honey and AERIN Rose Lip Conditioner

I apply the Nivea balm several times throughout the day and before going to bed. It softens the lips, hydrates and smells wonderful. The Aerin rose lip balm is more like a kiss of luxury on the lips. I find myself reaching for this any time of the day just so my lips can smell like roses. It is more shiny then a balm but not quite a lip gloss.

best blush- benefit rockateur

Benefit’s rockateur is a shade that will go with any makeup look and gives just the perfect amount of color. You can build it up depending on what look you are trying to create. I can wear this to work every single day and wear it for glam looks in the evening. Super versatile. See review here. 

best eye shadow palette– too faced semi sweet chocolate bar 

Too faced semi sweet palette is hands down my palette of choice. I reach for this palette more than any other palette I own. I like to travel with it, wear it to work, nights out, and even for no makeup makeup looks. See review here. 

best eyelinerHourglass 1.5MM Mechanical Gel Eye Liner

I love this eye liner because of how thin the pencil is. It gives me the most precise application ever. This is quite pricey but is hands down the best eye liner I have ever used. It’s a spurge that has changed my eye liner game forever. It stays put all day

best mascara– L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara, Carbon Black for every day and Marc Jacobs BeautyVelvet Noir Major Volume Mascara for a bit of drama.

I don’t need a mascara to lengthen my lashes since they are already pretty long but I do love the volume each of these mascaras gives me. The L’oreal one is fuss free and easy to use while the Marc Jacobs I have to be a bit more careful with, but I do love that clumpy lashes look it provides- super sexy.

best concealer– I haven’t been committed to a single concealer this year because I find that as long as I use this before concealing, any concealer works perfectly under my eyes. Some of my favorites are Nars, L’oreal, and L.A. girl, as well as Estee Lauder.

best bb cream – bare minerals complexion rescue

Bare minerals complexion rescue is great for weekends or those lucky days when you don’t need much coverage. It has a dewy yet natural finish which isn’t shiny. The shade range is excellent. I prefer to wear this on weekends and all summer long. I also like to sometimes mix it into my foundation to add a bit of a more natural look.

best foundationNars velvet matte skin tint SPF 30

I love this foundation so much that I mix in a bit of this into any other foundation I use. The formula and shade is perfect for my skin type and skin tone. See my review here.

best makeup brushes- real techniques

Real techniques makes the best makeup brushes as far as quality, price and functionality are concerned. Each of their brushes is versatile, hold up well after several washes and blend makeup beautifully.

Best in Hair:

best shampoo and conditioner– Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Smoothing Shampoo & Conditioner 

I love how soft this leaves my hair. I haven’t switched to anything else in close to a year and that says a lot.

 

Here are some of my favorite body products:

Favorite shower gel: Aveeno Skin Relief Nourishing Body Wash, Coconut

Favorite shower oil: L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil

Favorite body cream: Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Cream and a recent favorite AERIN Beauty Rose Hand & Body Cream

Favorite hand cream: Almond Delicious Hands and Roses et Reines Hand & Nail Cream

Best fragrance: CHANEL COCO MADEMOISELLE Eau de Parfum

Over the past year, this has become my signature scent. Knowing how much I love it, my husband purchased the largest bottle for me while we were killing some time at CDG airport- nothing better than some duty free shopping. I don’t think I will ever grow tired of this scent- it’s sophisticated, sexy and classic.

What are your beauty favorites from the past year??

 

Sincerely,

Surleen

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my winter skincare routine

Now that it’s getting colder out, my skin is definitely feeling more dehydrated. This routine has been working really well, in keeping acne at bay and leaves my skin hydrated and soft.

Here’s my current skincare routine:

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  1. Cleanse with Cetaphil derma control foam wash I have tried an endless number of cleansers, both high end and drugstore and this is the BEST cleanser I have ever used. I’ve repurchased this for over a year now, have a bottle in each of our bathrooms, back home at my parents’ house, and one at my in laws house. I cannot be without it. I use it am and pm as the first step to my skincare routine.

What I love about it is that the foam formula does not dry out the skin, no matter how liberal you are with it. I don’t know how this can leave my face so clean WITHOUT drying it out. No other cleanser has ever come close to doing this in my experience. I highly recommend this to anyone with any skin type, male or female.

tha-07003-62. Tone with Thayers Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel Organic Aloe Vera Formula Toner Rose Petal– I went back and forth between many different toners before finally finding one that I’m actually excited to use day and night. I love that it’s alcohol free. It also smells amazing, is soothing and removes every last trace of makeup. It’s fuss free- you can’t go wrong with this one.

IMG_75893.Lotion/ serum in the PM with Clinique reitalizing supreme lotion– Even though this is not a necessary step, it is one that I have been loving. I like to use this at night before applying my moisturizer. It helps my moisturizer sink in better and leaves my skin baby soft (so soft that I sometimes can’t stop touching it). See my review here.

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4. Clinique moisture surge- I can’t even count how many of these I have gone through. No other moisturizer has come close to proving the perfect amount of hydration for my skin, without leaving my skin greasy. It does not interfere with makeup application, is fragrance free, works perfectly any season of the year and is not ridiculously expensive. This is my one holy grail skincare product that I cannot be without. See my review here.

I’ve been using all these products for at least a year now, if not more, and can honestly say that I have found the perfect routine for my skin. I find that keeping things relatively simple has proven to be the best formula for my skin. What is your current skincare routine?

Sincerely,

Surleen

my world.

December is my favorite month of the year and there has definitely been much to love…There is something about the colder months that just makes me appreciate things like being home and being warm, snuggling up on the couch with Chutney, listening to good music or watching bad TV, staring at my Christmas tree or making comforting food. Here is a roundup of all that I’ve been loving lately.

channa mereya  To say that I’ve been obsessed with this song is an understatement. I liked it when I first heard it, before I had seen the movie, but there’s something about listening to it now after having seen the movie that is very touching. I thought the movie was incredibly heart felt and would recommend it- even if the story doesn’t appeal to everyone, I am certain you will find a song that moves you.

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Chutney’s snowman pajamas- I couldn’t pass these up when I saw them at the store- Chutney looks so adorable in them! This morning he was still in bed and lazily gave me his paw one at a time so I could get them on. We got them from a dog boutique called Popcorn Paws.

This is Us: My husband and I have been watching this show ever since the very first episode aired and we were blown away by it all- the acting, the storyline, the twists and suspense. Most of all though, I think what keeps us watching is how every episode is full of emotion- the most powerful of all being love. This show is the best show to have come out in a very long time. I can’t remember the last time I saw something that was this good without being violent, disturbing, or vulgar.

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Peeping santa bubble bar- I have many favorite Lush bath bombs but this one tops the list because not only is it festive, it smells amazing, has the perfect amount of bubbles yet leaves my skin baby soft! Not to mention how cute it looks…

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Anastasia Beverly Hills lipgloss in Bordeaux- I am not a liquid lipstick girl. I just don’t like the way they look on me- I love the shine of a lip gloss but the pigmentation of a lipstick. This is the best of both worlds and isn’t super sticky. I love this color so much and am planning to pick up some other shades in the collection.

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Twisted peppermint candle from Bath and Body works- Hands down, best candle made by the brand, have repurchased it several times and I just wish they carried it year round.

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Mexican hot chocolate- We recently picked this up from Surla Table and I have to say, it takes hot chocolate to another level. I like to make mine with half parts skim and half parts soy milk. It’s the perfect drink to sip on while on a Netflix binge.

Sincerely, 

Surleen 

 

 

 

 

 

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