2021 Favorites

Another year is around and here are my yearly favorites, which are basically all the new products I tried in 2021 and that I have loved using throughout the year. It's been very skin care oriented year. I feel like the older I get, the more emphasize I put on good skin care, plus we didn't go anywhere much this year, so there weren't so many opportunities for glamorous makeup. I still managed to find some good new finds. 

SVR Skin Care

This year I had chance to try out lots of new skin care products and SVR impressed me as a whole brand. Pretty much all of the products I tried from them were lovely. It's more of a high end brand that you can find in pharmacies and it has super smooth formulas with effective ingredients that actually do something. You can find ranges for sensitive skin that aren't scented to more luxurious formulas with subtle scents and high end packaging.

SVR [A] Ampoule Lift is retinol serum and the formula is one of the best I have had of retinols, though I haven't tried that many to be fair. It's liquid gel like serum formula that is so smooth and actually makes skin look moisturized because of glycerin and squalane. It also has some peptides and vitamin C. It's one of those retinols that is gentle enough for my skin, but still makes my skin smoother and softer with continuous use.

I also tried mini versions of [B3] Ampoule Hydra which is nice hyaluronic acid serum and actually doesn't clog my pores. Most hyaluronic acids do that on my skin and I don't like the texture, because it can pile, not this one though. [C] Ampoule Anti-ox is vitamin C serum and it's one of those oilier ones. I dislike vitamin C products because of the scent and the fact that they can often sting my skin. This one makes it more tolerable because of oily texture and actually doesn't irritate me. I notice slight difference in brightness when I use it. 

SVR [Pepti]Biotic Regenerating Smoothing Matt Gel is one of those perfect gel moisturizers for combination and oily skin for the summer. It has amazing ingredients with probiotics, peptides, vitamin C and hyaluronic acids, so you get a bit of everything - anti-aging, brightening, hydrating and regenerating. I loved gel formula that made my skin look velvet matte. It was perfect for hotter months. This one had subtle powdery scent.

REN Clean Skincare Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic

I haven't made a separate review of this one yet, but I got it as a gift in Sephora. Surprisingly, this is pretty strong for my skin. In contains lactic acid and salicin from willow bark. I noticed this stings my skin a bit and with daily use my skin got very smooth and a bit brighter. I now use it every other day, because it dehydrated my skin a bit, but I loved exfoliating aspect of it. I believe this small size is available for purchase and it actually lasts you a very long time. 

Second bottle of this is sitting on my shelf, because I loved it so much. There's something about cica products that my skin just loves. It's viscose serum that absorbs fast and leaves lightweight noruishing layer on the skin. It contains all the best ingredients to soothe and repair the skin like centella asiatica, panthenol, prebiotic, hyaluronic acid and peptides. It's the perfect serum to reach for when you're in need of something soothing, calming and repairing. 

Another serum that I have loved, but I used it up very quickly, because of super lightweight runny texture. I didn't repurchase it, because I had other products to try and I feel like it would be best for rosacea skin. It contains azelaic acid which calms, hydrated and brightens the skin. I've seen it in action on rosacea skin and it immediately had that effect of redness disappearing in the matter of seconds from applying it. I've used it to strengthen the skin and calm it, because it also contains niacinamide, centella asiatica, panthenol and a bunch of other soothing extracts. It's a powerhouse when it comes to soothing ingredients and I always recommend it to anyone with rosacea. It can be irritating to those with very sensitive skin, but it has no fragrance either. 

Schwarzkopf Gliss Kur Hair Repair Ultimate Repair Express-Repair-Conditioner

Some products I've only tried in December, but I liked them, so they are now in my yearly favorites. This leave-in conditioner is one of them. I use these type of products after shampoo and regular conditioner. This is sort of an extra layer of nourishment and hydration that I would put on before drying my hair. It has strong oriental fragrance that smells sort of masculine to me, but I've got used to it. It's milky liquid that has hydrolized keratin in the formula. It gives my hair that nourishment that it needs, makes them a bit smoother and easier to comb, but doesn't feel heavy either on my fine hair. I feel like since I've started using it, my skin looked shinier and smoother after blow drying it. I don't like much of these leave-ins from the drugstore, but this one is a winner. 

L'Oreal Dream Length 8 Second Wonder Water

Previous year was year of hair waters. These are basically quick working hair masks that laminate your hair to make it looks super smooth. I tried L'Oreal version first and I wasn't as excited by it at the first try. After a few I've noticed that this very watery liquid heats up seconds after applying it on the skin and it makes my hair ultra smooth. If you're looking for volume, don't use this. This makes my thin hair silky smooth and straight. It's perfect for when my hair feels frizzy, dry and lack-luster. It also has lovely peach ice tea scent and if you have short hair this actually lasts you quite a few uses.

Schwarzkopf Gliss Hair Repair 7 Sec Express Repair Treatment Colour Perfector

Gliss has three versions and this one is for colored hair. On contrary to L'Oreal, this one actually turns into a heavier cream once you massage it into the skin. It actually looks more like a hair mask and this one feels more nourishing on the hair, but doesn't give me that ultra smooth look to my hair. However, I love how convenient it is, it's basically quick working hair mask. If you're like me and you can't be bothered to leave hair masks on for longer than a minute than this one is perfect for you. 

L'Oreal Elvital Dream Long - Detangling Conditioner, No Haircut Cream Leave-In and Defeat The Heat Heat Spray

After trying micellar water from Dream Long line, I've quickly tried almost every other products from this range and I loved all the products. All the products have niacinamide, ricinus seed oil, castor seed oil as well as hydrolyzed wheat, corn and soy proteins. All formulas feel super smooth on the skin and help make my hair feel smooth, moisturized and nourished, but lightweight. Conditioner is one of those thinner in consistency, but super smooth. Leave-in cream is perfect drugstore alternative for high end leave-in sprays, but just tad less effective. It helps hair look better. I also love leave-in spray which I use as the last product before blow drying or using any heat styling tools on my hair. It makes the skin equality as nourished and smoother as L'Oreal Elnett Smooth version which I also use interchanging with this one. All products have very lovable fruity summery sweet scent that lingers on the hair for a bit. It's one of those drugstore ranges that I have and will repurchase a lot.

b.tan Love At First Tan Darker Violet Base

I very rarely use self tanners, but I've used this one last year and it turned out to be one of the better ones. It has slightly purple toned mousse that makes it easy to apply on your body with tanning mitt and the application is pretty full proof. I applied it very light and it gave me even tanned look that wasn't orange or too warm at all. I actually matches my natural warm olive tone well. There was no weird spots, if I took my time with application and went thinner on drier parts. It has that annoying self tanner burnt scent that linger on the skin for days, but you get used to it. It also washed out evenly and I will probably use it this year as well. This is especially perfect for any special occasions where you want to look tanned, but without actually tanning outside. 

This has become my staple cream for my atopic dermatitis and eczema. I buy the biggest bottle and have it on my desk at all times, so it's easy to reach. I use it on my upper body where I have dry skin and on my hands. It's mineral oil based with glycerin, squalane, borage seed oil and centella asiatica, all very moisturizing and soothing ingredients that really help to repair and nourish dry and irritated skin. I love that is fragrance free and it has slightly thicker consistency, so it leaves nourishing layer on the skin that keeps it protected from outside factors. 

I've been using MAC Studio Finish Concealer for years and when I got newer version of Catrice, it actually reminded me how similar these two are. It's thicker cream concealer that melts under the warmth of fingers. This is perfect for applying over spots and blemishes not so much for under the eyes or on any larger and drier parts of the face. It gives good amount of coverage, a tad less than MAC's version, but still covers well. You get a ton of product and there is good color choice for light to medium skin tones. 

When it comes to matte blushes, I love H&M Pure Radiance Powder Blushers. In my opinion they have the best selection of nude, muted colors for light to medium skin tones and the formula is very easy to apply, blend and it lasts well on the skin. It's not one of those super pigmented blushes, but it looks very natural and you can build up the color. It never looks patchy or wears of that way. I have a few shades already and last year I added this muted pink in Cameo Pink that suits so many different skin tones. 

Warm Soul is the newest color in Catrice range. Catrice always had great blush formulas and this is perfect drugstore option, if you like blush with a bit of that subtle glow. Warm Soul is warm coral pink. The formula is nicely soft and it had very good pigmentation. It's also easy to blend and lasts well on the skin. 

Another product that has been a staple in my routine are Colourpop's Super Shock Shadows. It's their winning formula of mousse like creamy texture that turns powdery on the skin and great selection of shades that makes it their best seller. I love ultra glitter shades, because those have fine glitter that looks like million bucks on your lids. It's so easy to apply with just finger all over the lid for multi-dimensional effect. I have heavily used up my two new shades - Mycelium, peachy gold and Ritz, beige brown with silver glitter. When I am in a hurry, I apply matte powder eyeshadow in the crease and one of these two all over the lid with some mascara and I am good to go. 

These are two sparkly shades of loose pigments that looks best applied with mixing medium for a proper foiled effect. Salma is copper bronze shade and Clio is redish brown with duo chrome sheen. There is actually a lot of pigment in glass pots and they look amazing over the lid as pops of shimmery pigments. I have used these a lot for special occasions and they always got good reviews. What can I say, I love a bit of sparkle. 

NYX Lift & Snatch! Brow Tint Pen - Ash Brown

This is another recent find, but I loved it immediately. It's brown pen with super fine brush tip that is actually thin enough to draw in individual hair like strokes. I love that you can draw thinner or thicker hair and if you apply light pressure, you get light color. It's one of the first products that actually had proper grey toned medium brown shade and no weird undertone. It's perfect for my brows which are laminated, but I have bold spots which I can now fill in and it looks like my hair. I hope it the tip will stay saturated for long. It lasts on me the whole day, though it will wash off, if you wet it. 

These two are supposed dupes, but there are differences between them. I first got the famous  Gloss Bomb in most universally flattering shade Fenty Glow. This is very nourishing and soothing thicker lip gloss formula. Maybelline has similar, slightly lighter formula, but it has that warm plumping effect that may bother some. I dislike peppermint plumping effect, but this slightly warmer one, works fine on my lips, it doesn't irritate and hyaluronic acid in it makes it lovely to wear. Both shades look like that proper warm nude color with tiny shimmer and glossy sheen. 

Essence Hydrating Nude Lipstick - 302 Heavenly

This is fairly new range of lipsticks from Essence and I've reached for it quite a lot. It's that smooth gel like formula with slightly sheerer pigmentation than proper lipsticks and lovely creamy shine. Heavenly is proper warmer nude brown color that looks lovely on my light skin tone and goes with most of my looks. There's just something very comforting about this formula and it's so easy to wear because of nude color. 

This one is actually very similar formula to Essence. It's another gel like smooth creamy formula with lots of sheen. I feel like Revlon's has more color payoff. It's also slightly warmer and darker peachy version of nude brown. It's another very comforting and soothing formula to wear, especially for dry lips. I've had it in my bag since I bought it, because it's so easy to apply. It's obviously not the most long lasting, but I prefer comfort over lasting power. 

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