It’s getting trickier each year to pick a handful of favorites, especially for oils and cleansers as I found several amazing ones this year. My selection criteria are simple and have remained the same over the years: I choose the products that perform effortlessly and efficiently, do not cause me any skin reaction and therefore the ones that I reach for the most. As usual, I try to keep it balanced by having a little bit of everything (hair care, skincare, makeup, etc.) If you’re curious to see my previous yearly favorites, click (here). Without further ado, here are my top 2016 products.
‘Mamma Chia!’ Picking a face oil was particularly hard this year as I adored SkinOwl’s Mangosteen oil (reviewed here) and La Belle Lune (reviewed here). Ultimately Maya Chia stood out for it is a powerhouse, fusing a stellar range of ingredients. It’s a thick oil in appearance with an orange-copper hue but once applied, it is effortlessly absorbed and not greasy in the slightest. It quickly brings back moisture and glow. Every time I massage it on, my skin looks instantly healthier. Over time, I’ve experienced a more balanced skin, clearer complexion and I noticed some scar fading.
I’m aware that it has been around for quite several years but I only got to try it this year and I wholeheartedly get the hype. A delectably sweet vanilla-infused mist that hydrates and plumps your skin while soothing your mind. The temptation to spray the entire bottle in one sitting is strong because it is just that gorgeous.
A one-of-a-kind balm cleanser. This product came out early December but it blew me away. A balm cleanser that requires no washcloth; it emulsifies and can, in the blink of an eye, be washed off with water, nothing else. Makeup, grime, and all impurities are vanishing with Mahalo’s Unveil, thus revealing a clean, soft and nourished complexion.
I ordered it on iHerb out of curiosity as I have been reading about acids and wanted to give it a try. At first, the tingling sensation feels unpleasant but I got over it when I saw my chin looking less congested and with noticeably shrunken pimples. I’ve been using it for months and I have noticed significant results. I do not use it as a daily treatment, only at times when my skin starts acting out or as a preventing treatment during that totm, where I tend to breakout more.
I wore this all summer instead of an oil/moisturizer. Light, cooling and protective, it’s a pleasure to apply. My skin behaved exceptionally well during the summer and I credit the Madara moisture gel and Mad Hippie Vit. C serum combo. It is similar to Dr. Alkaitis soothing gel in terms of performance. If you have oily skin and you’re not feeling oils or creams, the moisture gel is a terrific alternative for refreshed and plump skin.
Every summer I look for a Vitamin C serum and I think I have found the one. Mad Hippie’s Vit. C serum has a gel texture, feels feather-light and amazingly hydrating. Works splendidly as a makeup primer as well. Vit. C serums can be quite expensive and Mad Hippie is one of the most affordable options out there.
Potent, but gentle, Okoko’s beauty mud draws out impurities like a champ without disrupting the skin’s balance. A clever blend of clays, vitamin C, raw cacao, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients, Okoko’s la boue de beauté is a real skin treat.
Their newest launch and an instant winner for me. Invigorating, refreshing and beautifully fragranced with blood orange, grapefruit, and sandalwood. Hands feel soft, nourished and smell amazing. Does not get any better than that.
Decadent, indulgent and remarkable. The Beldi soap is a standout product for soft skin. The eucalyptus version is a godsend for winter as it also warms you up if you have the first signs of a cold. The child in me is also enthused by the gooey texture, vaguely reminiscent of the infamous 90’s slime toys 😉
The only hair conditioner/mask hybrid that can be applied to my roots without turning my hair into a greasy mess. An exotic indigo-colored cream that restores shine and strength to fine and damaged hair. I’ve tried countless cream conditioners and this is a forever purchase.
I wish this could be bottled into a perfume because the scent is utterly divine. It lingers on the skin for hours and puts me in the best mood. It is such a happy scent that I get excited whenever it’s time to apply a body oil haha. Oh, and it keeps skin super soft and smooth 🙂
PHB is another brand I’ve discovered this year and this is the product that started my curiosity for them. The blush and eyeshadow sections are spectacular and you can create a plethora of makeup looks with this. The products are richly pigmented, long-wearing and non-irritating.
I don’t think twice when it comes to ILIA, whenever there’s a new release I usually go for it. Kokomo was an impulse purchase and probably one of the best this year. Not only has it been my summer companion (thanks to the SPF) but it has quickly become one of my go-to colors for daily wear. A flattering soft mauve that adds a dainty touch to every makeup look. Swatches (here).
The only contouring product I use. This year, I played around with contouring and strobing and luckily for me, I picked the Sculpt & Glow palette to work on this technique. Foolproof, the contour color is subtle, not muddy-looking and as a result, it imparts a natural-looking contour shade to the face. Here’s how it looks on (here) + swatches (here).
Finely milled, it provides a solid coverage minus the cakiness effect and doesn’t aggravate the skin’s condition, quite the opposite, since it is cleverly enriched with Marshmallow extract, Witch Hazel extract, Camellia Seed Oil and Aloe Vera. It also has a beautiful rose scent.
Holy glow! I’m obsessed with highlighters because they easily brighten up a dull complexion or illuminate your eyes. I have quite amassed a collection this year but Phosphene stood out immediately: the cream-to-powder texture stays put for hours and the color shines like the moon in a dark night. The proof is in this pic (here) where I’m gleaming, literally. Overall, Ritual de Fille has been one of my favorite brand discoveries, I also enjoy their blushes, lipsticks and eye soots. Everything they do is just rad.
This product came from their limited edition Zanzibar collection, it’s a liquid metallic eyeshadow, with the same mechanism as Studio78 Paris liquid lipsticks for instance. N*183 is colorwise, a winner: a metallic brown, similar to an RMS lip polish, but with a major staying power and crease-free. The lasting power is one, if not the best, I’ve experienced with a green eye makeup product. I really hope they bring them back to make them permanent in their collection because the eyeshadow cream pens/sticks are really unique.
Since the launch of the Peridot Magazine, I’ve also been more interested in eco-fashion and health/wellness which is why I also wanted to share my favorites from both categories.
I rely heavily on essential oils, the Altitude oil is a comforting blend that relieves tensions, signs of fatigue and anxiety. I apply a few drops on my pulse points or on my shirt collar to tackle the first signs of stress. A few deep inhalations and I feel reassured and relaxed, ready to go on with my day.
Truly extraordinary and transformative, and one of the most positive experiences I’ve ever had with a product. After several days of using the elixir, I felt a significant change, a more relaxed body as well as a rested mind. I tried it at a time I was under a lot of pressure and I credit this for helping regulate stress levels and dominate restlessness.
Simply brilliant. If you’re unsure about how to incorporate more nutrients into your diet, give Alchemy blends a try. Each blend serves a specific purpose, my favorite at the moment is the energy elixir because it made a difference for me this year. Depending on how I feel in the AM, I either sprinkle it on my breakfast or take it as a juice shot.M
I’m back on the Maca track, to get a little energy boost. I’m also using their MSM powder and so far I’ve been very satisfied with the quality. They have a wide range of vitamins and supplements to try from and compared to other supplement brands, Kiki Health also is fairly affordable which is a great plus.
I’m all about the fun factor of these bath salts. Initially targeted for children, I’m adamant that adults can enjoy it as well. Those artisanal bath salts are fragranced and colored with the most uplifting scents: honeydew, raspberry, blueberry (your bath turns into the color of the fragrance you choose) to name a few.
One of my favorite discoveries from a previous LoveLula box, Moa’s fortifying green bath potion is a winter must-have for me. It turns your bath into a cozy, warm and energizing haven. I’ve found it also miraculous when feeling under the weather, it is instantly invigorating.
My aromatherapy game is strong in the winter and Breathe Easy is part of my wellness arsenal. Tazeka is known for their rainbow of essential oil roll-ons. The Breathe Easy is meant to relieve sinus congestions and headaches and it has not left my purse since I got it. I inhale it deeply to combat stuffy nose and the first signs of congestion.
Thinking Mu is a Spanish eco brand with a terrific selection of quirky and witty items. I’m a huge fan and I’ve already gotten a few pieces from them. The quality is outstanding and the prices are fair. I found this tee in the men’s section, which is a frequent occurrence for me as I prefer men’s cuts when it comes to t-shirts. I like the loose fit and the round neck (FYI: I’m really not a fan of low v-necks and tight fits often found in women’s section). Made with organic cotton, it feels super soft and comfortable to wear. Oh, and the reference to one of my favorite 80’s tv shows might have had an impact on my decision to purchase this ;).
Basically, I’m living in these pants for they are supremely comfortable and warm. Asquith turned me into a Yoga pants wearer and I’ve since purchased a few other things from them. I’m quite nitpicky when it comes to pants (comfort comes first to me), but the Live Fast model blew me away, I was as enchanted as the girls from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants were when they found THE perfect pair of pants (it used to be one of my favorite books as a teen;). Made of organic cotton, soft and cozy without being suffocating. I could not find them on the website anymore, but I linked to a store that still stocks them (on sale!).
2016 is the year I got very seriously onto eco accessories, and that includes bags. Earlier that year, I got the Matt & Nat Peltola backpack in fuchsia on sale. It turned out to be one of my best investments as I’m wearing it all the time and it still looks impeccable. The backpack comes with adjustable shoulder straps, top zipper closure and a flap with hidden magnetic closure. It easily fits a 12” laptop/iPad, an A4 notebook, a wallet, a makeup bag and other bits and bobs very easily. Currently on sale on their online store.
What were your favorites in 2016? Spill it, I’m super curious to know! 🙂
I’d like to thank you each and every one of you for your support and also your kind messages following my previous post (here) explaining the struggles I encountered this year. It’s been a rocky year, leading up to some painful discoveries, but also some eye-opening experiences and I remain very grateful.
To my sweet readers, I wish you all a year filled with extra love and kindness, an abundance of joy, solid health for you and your loved ones. Thank you again and let’s make 2017 an awesome year!
Lots of love,
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Green hunter, wellness junkie and pun maker on the website, I'm on a journey towards a kinder and healthier life. @lizthegreenspirit on Instagram.