Well, here it is! My very first blog post!
Most of you may know me from Instagram, so if you've made it here - THANK YOU.
This year, my already large collection of products has grown by nearly 1000% - not even exaggerating!
These are the products that have truly made a difference and have become staples in my routines and collection.
OUAI HAIRCARE - This has been the first year I've treated my hair to quality products, and have truly noticed a difference. I have very long/dry/wavy hair, so keeping it nourished is my #1 priority. I have been obsessed with pretty much the whole line from OUAI, but these are the ones I CANNOT live without.
OUAI TEXTURIZING HAIR SPRAY - Perfect for adding volume and texture - I only use it when curling my hair with a wand, but it creates that "beachy babe" hair, which we obviously all want.
OUAI HAIR OIL - WOW. The shine. The nourishment. The scent. It's incredibly hydrating, yet it does not weigh my hair down. I prefer using this right after the shower and keeps frizz far, far away.
R+CO HAIRCARE - I've fallen head over heels for R+CO - their innovative, unique and multipurpose products are easy to use, and perfect for those on the go!
R+CO FOIL : FRIZZ & STATIC CONTROL SPRAY: Tames frizz and adds a gorgeous and weightless shine. It's THE perfect finishing spray!
This year, I've learned that less is more and being gentle has been my priority.
JORDAN SAMUEL HYDRATE SERUM: Like a glass of water for your skin, HYDRATE has been a total staple in my daily and nightly routines. It's hydrating, plumping, refreshing, soothing and thirst-quenching.
Ingredients include: Hyaluronic Acid, Stabilized Vitamin C, Cucumber, Tamarind, and Passion Flower extract to keep the skin dewy and fresh all day long. It's perfect for all skin types, as it sinks in quickly and does not leave a film or residue. I am close to finishing my 2nd bottle, which is a HUGE testament, as I rarely go through products.
JORDAN SAMUEL ÉTOILE WITH RETINOL TREATMENT OIL: Perfection on it's own, and even better when combined in a mask form with Root Science's DETOX Powder (more on this below). Jordan Samuel's Étoile gets vamped in this Retinol version, making it the perfect moisturizer, multivitamin and antioxidant. This Cranberry Seed, Marula and Argan oil combination are amplified with 0.2% Retinol to provide radiance to the skin.
ROOT SCIENCE DETOX CLARIFYING FACIAL MASK & SPOT TREATMENT: Targeted to calm, clear and correct, this loose powder face mask is nearly magical! It softens and virtually erases pore visibility, making your skin appear and feel baby-smooth.
Featuring French Green Clay to absorb excess oils, Indian Need Leaf which is antibacterial, Bentonite Clay - rich in toxins and soothing, Calendula Flower to soothe and heal, Tumeric Root - rich in natural Salicylic Acids to keep skin bright and blemish free and Gotu Kola- rich in phytonutrients, which promote the production of collagen and strengthen the skin.
*KEEP READING TO SEE HOW I INCORPORATE THE LAST TWO PRODUCTS TO MAKE THE ULTIMATE MASK*
THE PERFECT MASK:
1. Get a small bowl
2. Add about a teaspoon of the ROOT SCIENCE DETOX MASK
3. Add 3-5 drops of the JORDAN SAMUEL ÈTOILE OIL WITH RETINOL
Why use regular water when you can use a $55 water? Okay, this is THE epitome of boujee, but I promise it's so worth it.
4. Add a full pump of the DIPTYQUE INFUSED FACIAL WATER to the mixture, and mix away! Add more water if needed - you should be left with a thin paste.
5. Spread a thin layer all over the face and let it set for about 15-20 minutes.
Results? GLOWING, even toned, pore-less (almost doll-like) skin. Trust me. It's worth it. It's incredible. It's miraculous.
The Diptyque Infused Water is more than just "water" - a soothing and moisturizing magical fluid that's infused with Damask Rose and 9 other botanicals - it leaves the skin feeling soft, plump and smooth. If you're not into fragrant products, skip this one and trade it for any traditional essence!
KEEPING THE MOISTURE ...
Being "gentle" is an approach that has completely changed the way my skin behaves. Keeping the moisture, retaining it and feeding it to my skin has been a primary focus this year - here are my must have products!
CLEANSER - GLOSSIER MILKY JELLY CLEANSER: Is it my favorite cleanser ever? Possibly. Most definitely. This is my 4th bottle, and don't plan on stopping any time soon. I use it on dry skin during the night to remove makeup and on wet skin in the morning to remove last nights skincare. It's PH balanced and a creamy gel formula with conditioning ingredients, such as Rosewater, Comfrey Root Extract, Aquaxyl and Vitamin B5 aka - forget tight and dry skin after cleansing, and welcome plump and hydrated skin! I will never, ever live without this.
If you'd like to get this or any other Glossier product + a 20% discount, use the link below! I am a Glossier Rep and will receive a small commission from your purchase*
EYE CREAM - CHANEL LE LIFT CREME YEUX : aka- the only eye cream to ever reduce my under eye darkness. It's de-puffing, firming, hydrating, nourishing and the perfect consistency to be worn during the day or night. It's star ingredient is Ipomoea Batatas Root Extract aka 3.5 D-A, which is an antioxidant that helps restore firmness and suppleness. It's more than worth the price tag, and has completely changed my under-eyes!
MOISTURIZER - AFRICAN BOTANICS FLEURS D' AFRIQUE INTENSIVE RECOVERY CREAM: A soothing, calming, anti-inflammatory and healing cream. It's star ingredient: Blue Marine Micro Algae, and along with a high concentration of plant peptides, this beautifully crafted cream stimulates cell renewal, plumps and envelops the skin. I strictly use it during the night time, as it's texture can be overwhelming during the day. Deeply nourishing and soothing - it's cooling texture de-puffs and makes my bedtime routine that much more enjoyable. African Botanics has proven to be the ultimate luxury for my skin, and it was very difficult to choose only one product from their range. I don't see myself living without this any time soon.
Exfoliation: we all need it! Whether you prefer chemical, physical or both, exfoliation is crucial if you want smooth, even-toned and glowing skin. While being gentle was a priority this year, these two acids were my favorite, non-irritating treatments for when my skin needed an extra push towards the ultimate glow.
SUNDAY RILEY GOOD GENES - A cult favorite for a very good reason, this gentle Lactic Acid treatment deeply exfoliates to reveal radiant, brighter, smoother skin while still being gentle. It drastically changes the appearance of my skin in one use, which is why this is perfect right before an event or big day!
With continuous use, it retexturizes skin and fades dark spots.
Star ingredients: High Potency, Purified Grade Lactic Acid: it exfoliates dull, tired and pore-clogging dead skin cells to reveal brighter and smoother skin.
Licorice: Naturally brightens the skin and and fades hyper pigmentation.
Lemongrass: Helps boost radiance and provides GOOD GENES with it's signature aroma.
COMPLEX BEAUTY - THE GODMOTHER ENZYME MASK: Granting all of my clear and glowing skin wishes, The Godmother is packed with a blend of Pumpkin, Vitamin E + C, Glycolic Acid, Bilberry, Neem and Meadowfoam Seed Oil - which work together to leave the skin bright, even toned and glowing.
It's vibrant orange-terracota color and pumpkin scent only add to the phenomenal experience.
Glossier has been one of the star brands of 2017, without a doubt. Their celebration of enhancing your own features without having to cover them up, while catering to the girl on the go is everything I love in a brand and more.
GLOSSIER SKIN TINT: Ultra light-weight and giving your skin some serious glow, this is the perfect foundation for those, who like me, don't love a heavy layer of makeup. It evens out the skin tone, and gets rid of redness, which is all I look for in a base product. It lets my own skin breath and still be herself!
GLOSSIER BOY BROW: Clear, Brown, Black - yeah, I've got them all- and use them EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. It perfectly tames the brows, while plumping them and providing a soft, and never crunchy hold. I own about 5 and you will never catch me without it.
GLOSSIER OG BALM DOTCOM: Although not technically a makeup item, I pretty much quit lipstick in 2017, so having soft and supple lips was a MUST for me. I've "suffered" from dry lips my entire life, and since continuously using the Glossier lip balms, my lips are never dry- like, ever. For some reason, I think their original is the most moisturizing, and prefer the scent and color free formula.
Don't forget you can shop Glossier with me and get a 20% discount on your 1st purchase!
*get ready for a super awkward video of me telling you my favorite Glossier products - you're welcome*
NUDESTIX is another brand I've been obsessed over this past year - their whole concept is based on girl-on-the-go, and all of the products come in a stick form - my favorite form.
NUDESTIX ALL OVER FACE GLOW IN HEY, HONEY & ILLUMI-NAUGHTY: Easy to use? Check. Gorgeous shades that fit all skin tones? Check. Glow like a glazed doughnut? Check. These highlighters have a beautiful texture - they are almost glossy on the skin and highly reflective. Wear Hey, Honey for a bronzy glow or Illumi-naughty for a duochrome look.
NUDESTIX ALL OVER FACE COLOR IN NAUGHTY N' SPICE: A matte color stick that can be used on the face, lips and eyes- they have the most stunning shades and stay on the skin forever. Did I mention all of the products feature a flat buffing brush on the opposite end? Although I love ALL of the shades, Naughty N' Spice is the one I got the most use out of.
* Use code SOFIEUH10 on Nudestix.com to get 10% off your purchase!
If you follow my Instagram account - sofieuh -you KNOW I am obsessed with scents and perfumes, and a beautiful scented body product goes hand in hand with the pairing of a perfume. These two body creams not only smell phenomenal, but have kept my skin nourished and hydrated like no other.
LE LABO - HINOKI BODY CREAM: A thick and buttery cream that truly keeps my skin nourished all day long. The woodsy and menthol-like aspects of Hinoki last for hours on the skin, making this a hybrid scent/moisturizer.
SANGRE DE FRUTA - ROSE No 1 BOTANICAL BODY CREAM: A luxurious oil-like balm that completely melts in to the skin, leaving it nourished, glowing and radiating with the scent of fresh rose petals. An alluring, vibrant and fresh scent that will perk up the skin and senses, while enveloping dehydrated skin. The brand's name quite literally translates to "fruit's blood", and that phrase is quite apparent when you smell the potent scents. Hand crafted in Vancouver, BC in luxurious glass jars, and never tested on animals.
This past year, my passion for fragrance has exploded - I've been able to discover so many different brands and learn so much about ingredients, notes, the making of perfume and history behind so many iconic brands. Check out my Instagram for more in-depth reviews on my favorite fragrances, but fear not- I will be posting many reviews here!
My love affair with Byredo does not even begin to be properly reflected with these two scents, but these are the ones that have completely blown me away and will be staples in my collection...forever.
BYREDO ACCORD OUD: Basically my signature scent. I feel important and luxurious when I wear this, and reserve it for special occasions. I'm a huge believer in wearing any scent at any time, but this is THE one I leave for special outings, or stay-ins. Wink Wink.
It features notes of:
Top: Blackberry, Rum, Saffron
Heart: Clary Sage, Leather Accord
Although no actual Oud (a resinous wood) is listed, the aura of Oud is created with the combination of Rum, Blackberry, Saffron and Leather. It opens up boozy and sweet, and settles into a deep, incence-like leather that makes it perfectly gender neutral.
BYREDO RODEO: A raw, hot piece of leather that's been heated under the beaming sun. It's a phenomenal fragrance and well worth the trip (or phone order) to NY, since it's exclusive to the Byredo flag-ship store. OR - blind buy it online - it's THAT good. For a more in-depth review, check out my Instagram.
It features notes of:
Top: Leather Accord
Heart: Midnight Violet, Suede
Base: Black Amber, Vetiver
MAISON LOUIS MARIE - No. 04 BOIS DE BALINCOURT: MLM offers an incredible selection of scents at relatively affordable prices. They have quickly become one of my favorite brands for the quality of the scents and gorgeous packaging.
This scent is THE perfect stand alone or layering scent. It's small, but mighty. Since it's a perfume oil, you only need a few drops to smell incredible all day. These are also great for prolonging the scent of your traditional Eau de Parfums and combining scents.
This fragrance is an almost dupe for Le Labo's popular Santal33 and Diptyque's Tam Dao.
It's the perfect combination of woods and light spices that make this perfectly unisex and everyday wear.
Notes include: Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Vetiver, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, and Amber Wood.
HANDS IN THE FIRE
My obsession with candles and hand creams runs deep - very, very deep. Like, unhealthy, depths of the underworld deep. Here are some of my faves:
BYREDO APOCALYPTIC CANDLE: You might be asking yourself - are all of Byredo's products great? Yes. The answer is YES. Well, I'd say about 95% of them are, but nothing beats their candles. I have yet to try one I dislike, but Apocalyptic takes the cake. Have you ever wondered what a post-apocalyptic waste land of despair would smell like? Well, it's this. A combination of Black Raspberry, Fire Iron (YES), Oakmoss, Papyrus, Birch Woods and Dark woods. It's the scent of fire- raw, dirty, copper-like fire. It's incredible and will fill the room in seconds - even when not being burned. Is it worth $80? Absolutely.
BOY SMELLS - CINDEROSE CANDLE: I've smelled many perfumes and candles in my life, but very few have made me feel something - a memory, a past feeling, a smoky reminiscent idea - this one does. It transports me back to the old, incense-filled churches of my homeland, Peru - always adorned with fresh flowers, especially roses. It immediately transports me to a simpler time and place, and what more could you ask from a candle? Although I've tried many selections from Boy Smells, this one is without a doubt their best creation and strongest candle - an absolute masterpiece.
BYREDO GYPSY WATER HAND CREAM: Basically, all of Byredo's hand creams. I've gone through about 3, and don't plan on stopping anytime soon. They smell amazing and are nourishing - so worth it.
CHANEL LA CRÈME MAIN : Featherweight texture, quickly absorbing and the quintessential Chanel skincare scent - does it get any better? Add the hydrating and softening May Rose Wax and Iris Pallida, which regenerates and brightens, and you've got a winning combination.
If you have made it this far, you are the TRUE MVP - thank you for reading and look forward to more in-depth reviews!
Don't forget to follow me on Instagram @sofieuh to chat with me and see more daily favorites.