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  • Writer's pictureKaren Lee

5 Mind-Blowing, Must-Try Skincare Products

2018 was a big beauty journey for me. I tried *a lot* of products. And I mean *a lot*. I went from knowing very little, to understanding most of the ingredients that come on a label. It was a full-blown balls-to-the-walls research frenzy of a year. Here are some HG (a.k.a. Holy Grail) products that I really felt were game changers for me.

Farmacy A New Day

- Oh the genius of the ancient Chinese. Jade rollers and gua sha are only going to grow in poularity 2019. Using rice powder as a cleanser/exfoliator is a little less well known practice adopted from the Chinese. Also powder cleansers in general. It all started when I got a sample in a Sephora order of a discontinued Boscia product. I had always wanted to try the Tatcha rice enzyme powder but at it's $$$$ price point, it wasn't going to happen. I then tried Amore Pacific's powder cleanser, but it didn't have the soothing rice smell I loved about Boscia's and it wasn't as gentle (and still $$$). I did some price comparison between some K-beauty/J-beauty brands online, but dollar per ounce, Farmacy wasn't really that much more.

What I love about it:

- The price is right

- Ingredient conscious

- Super gentle

- Travel friendly

PC: Detox Market

Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask

I've tried a lot of masks in the last year.I was late to the GlamGlow Super Mud party, but I was wowed by the pore-less look it gave me afterwards. The ingredients can be a bit much for a lot of people, so I don't usually recommend Super Mud. I found that Drunk Elephant's Baby Facial didn't give me as much "WOW" as expected. But Tata...girl...this stuff is magic. Instant. Glow. For reals. A little over a year ago I didn't even know what people meant by glow. I really wish someone explained it to me like this: Glow is basically the amount of light that is bounced off your face. Smooth, dewy face = lots of bouncy light rays directed back at the world in a really flattering way. Textured skin/dead skin = not a great surface to be bouncing light off of. If only it wasn't so dang expensive.

What I love about it:

- Leaves you looking like a pore-less, disco ball of glow

- Ingredient conscious

- Gentle enough to be used more than once a week

PC: Drunk Elephant

Drunk Elephant Shaba

So this one I use for preventative purposes, rather than as a product for damage reversal. Don't know if it's doing anything, but I really hope so because this stuff ain't cheap. The reason I pick this one over any other eye cream? The copper peptides stimulate your hair follicles to stay in the "growing phase" and not in the "dormant phase" so you end up with longer lashes. And THIS I really noticed. Why not get an eye cream that does 2 in 1?

What I love about it:

- Makes my eyelashes super long

PC: Sephora

Tatcha Silk Canvas

I didn't want to love it... but I just keep going back to it. I love it as an every day primer, the last step in my skincare routine. Regardless of whether or not I wear makeup, I like to put on some primer to mattify my SPF. For me this stuff is perfect. It's just the right amount of blurring for no-makeup days and it doesn't make me feel like it's clogging up my pores (like other primers).

What I love about it:

- Apply with fingers

- Ingredient conscious

- Feels really nice but not in a silicone-y way

- A blurring barrier between your skin and the world

PC: Anthropologie

WTF! Why isn't everyone talking about these things? Or maybe people did and I wasn't here for it. I'm screaming it from the mountain tops people, YOU NEED THESE IN YOUR LIFE. What is more satisfying than picking at a spot? Seeing all the goop sucked out of it! So you know those squishy, jelly, bandages you stick on a blister? I used to think they were good for blisters because they were so cushy, but it turns out the stuff (hydrocolloid technology) actually draws out and absorbed liquid. It starts translucent, and when it's vacuumed everything out, it becomes opaque. So I slap one on a spot at night, and by morning it's like the bump has moved off my face and into the pimple patch. No more patchy concealer y'all. Your face will be a smooth, flat surface that you just need to dab some concealer on for the redness. No brand works better than the next, as long as it's hydrocolloid material, you're good to go for any price point.

What I love about it:

- REALLY works

- The most satisfying feeling when peeling it off

- You can save money by making your own by cutting up any kind of hydrocolloid bandaids (those squishy gel, blister bandages)

It is SO hard to narrow it down to just five. Other honourable mentions go to Caudalie VinoPure Serum, YTTP Superfood Moisture Cream, Drunk Elephant's Protini and Pekee Bar, and Sunday Riley Good Genes.

Have you tried any of these? Let me know which ones you want to try or what your experience has been in the comments below!


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