best of 2018: skincare +hair

Blog, Favorites

Ciao bella!

Welcome to the fourth post of my best of 2018 series: the skincare and hair! I’ve already done a post on my favorite eye products here, my favorite face products here, and my favorite lipsticks and lip glosses here. I’ll also be doing a worst of 2018. Keep checking my blog for more posts on my favorites!


First up, the skincare! I have combination skin, so most of my face is dry, but I tend to break out on my nose and cheeks. Skincare is highly subjective, so of course I don’t guarantee all of these will work for everyone, but these are my favorites!

BEST CLEANSER: Pai gentle hydrating cleanser {review}

The Glossier milky jelly (review here) came close to beating this (and it’s a great option if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative), but I really like this cleanser. It comes with a pump, so it’s nice and sanitary, plus it also has a double sided face cloth.

The cleanser itself is thick and creamy, almost like a moisturizer. So, it doesn’t strip my skin or leave it feeling tight; instead, my face feels soft and fresh after using this. It doesn’t remove makeup, but I do find that it helps prevent breakouts if I use this daily. It’s also a great cleanser to use in the morning, before makeup, because I find it gives me a really nice base to start with.

This is definitely on the pricier side, but if you have dry skin or sensitive skin (Pai products are generally very good for sensitive skin), I highly recommend this.

BEST MAKEUP REMOVER: Julep love your bare face oil {review}

This is also branded as a cleanser, but I see it as more of a makeup remover, because that’s what I primarily use it for. Because it’s an oil, it dissolves all of my makeup, from the mattest of long wear lipsticks, to black mascara. It also comes in travel size containers if you just want to try a smaller size of it.

This is the best thing I’ve tried for removing makeup without being as wasteful as makeup wipes. With that being said, my favorite makeup wipes are the Koh Gen Do cleansing spa water cloths if you’re looking for a cloth remover, but I find them pretty wasteful, and I’d go through them fast, so I rarely use them.

BEST FACE OIL: Vintner’s daughter botanical oil

This is the best face oil I’ve ever used. It’s borderline magical. It’s an oil, yet it clears up breakouts on my face (I’m not going to question how that works), it leaves my face soft and glowing, and it has a nice, unobtrusive scent.

However, this is the most expensive thing ever. I typically have no tolerance for overpriced skincare (*cough* this face cream *cough*), but in my experience, this is perfect for my skin. I got this as a gift, and I haven’t repurchased since because it’s simply too expensive.

So, if you’re looking for a really good face oil, and you don’t want to spend an exorbitant amount on it, the Julep Boost Your Radiance face oil is also a good option. It’s by far less expensive, and I like it a lot. It has a light rose scent, it absorbs fairly quickly into my skin, and it’s also a good way to get a glowing complexion.

BEST FACE MASK: The Body Shop matcha green tea face mask {review}

For some reason, the review linked above is my most viewed post on the blog. It has almost double the views of any other post (the norvina palette dupes and naked heat dupes are in second and third, respectively). I’m not sure why this post is so popular, but I can attest to the high quality of the mask.

I’ve almost completely finished the mask because it’s my go to for when I need something that will clear any breakouts on my face, or just make my skin fresh and glowing. This mask focuses more on clarifying then hydrating, which is just something to keep in mind depending on your skin type. I use this before special events, or when I just want to chill out and relax. The packaging is really nice, plus I really like the body shop as brand, so I highly recommend this to anyone who’s looking for a new face mask.

BEST SHEET MASK: Yes to grapefruit brightening mask {review}

Oh, I love this.

Sheet masks generally tend to be pretty expensive for the fact you can only use them once, so I like to stick with drugstore face masks, simply because they’re cheaper. Yes to is a drugstore skincare brand with a bunch of great face mask options, but this is my current favorite.

I really like this one because it’s fairly hydrating and it leaves my skin glowing and beautiful. It doesn’t tingle too much, and it’s not overly saturated, so it doesn’t drip everywhere when I try to put it on. Depending on where you buy it, it’s $2-3, so it’s highly affordable, and a nice way to treat yourself every now and then.

BEST SUNSCREEN: Julep no excuses sunscreen {review}

This is my favorite sunscreen simply because it doesn’t look like sunscreen (well the SPF 40 doesn’t hurt either). It’s a chemical sunscreen, so it goes on clear, which means you can apply makeup on top of it and it won’t look shockingly white.

In the post above, I compared it to the Glossier Invisible Shield (another popular chemical sunscreen), but in the end, I decided that this was better due to it’s cheaper price point and higher SPF.

BEST SPOT CORRECTOR: Royal herbs spot treatment

I don’t have a photo of this, but I wanted to include it anyways because it’s my favorite anti-acne treatment. It’s clear (which means I can apply it at any time of the day) and it uses natural essential oils to clear up breakouts. Royal herbs is a Canadian brand I really like that sells all natural skincare.

Shop this here!

Shop the skincare!


BEST BODY BUTTER: Rica body butter

I’ve repurchased this three times and it remains my favorite thing to use on dry skin. It has a beautiful coconut scent to it, and it’s perfect for when I have super dry skin (like in the winter) and I need something to repair it.

This is a super light cream with a whipped texture. It says you can use it anywhere on the body, including the hair, but I typically stick to using it on places where my skin gets super dry, like elbows, knees, and feet.

Shop this here!

BEST LOTION: LUSH charity pot

I also don’t have a photo of this, but it’s my favorite body lotion of all time. The nice part is that the proceeds are donated to different’t charities.

Lush says “With every purchase of Charity Pot, we donate 100% of the price (minus the taxes) to small grassroots organizations working in the areas of environmental conservation, animal welfare and human rights.”

It’s win-win: you get a really nice moisturizer, and 100% of the money you spend on it is donated to a charity! I will continue repurchasing this, because it’s my favorite.

Shop this here!


I’m always hesitant to recommend hair products because I have very specific and annoying hair. I have thick curly hair that’s basically impossible to manage. However, if you also have curly hair, maybe some of these products will work for you too!

BEST SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER: DevaCurl decadence shampoo and conditioner

This is my current favorite for shampoo and conditioner. Both have a nice scent to them, and they make my hair soft and curly. Deva Curl is a great brand for curly hair, and I generally enjoy their products. So, if these don’t work for you, I recommend trying out their other types of hair products because they’re directly designed for curly hair.


1. Ouidad Curl Quencher cream

I typically apply this right after the styling gel (below) to smooth out any frizz and soften my curls.

2. Ouidad Curl Quencher styling gel

I put this on after I get out of the shower. It helps define and hold my curls in place, without being crunchy or unnatural.

3. Ouidad botanical boost spray

This is great for when my hair is dry, but I still want to give it a little boost of curl. I really like the scent of this, which is very subtle (a highly underrated quality in a hairspray).


Yet another mask featuring matcha!

This is super hydrating. I only use it when I really have time to relax, but it’s a great hair mask. It leaves my hair soft and moisturized, which is great because my hair is usually dry. If you have oily hair, this might not be as great.

Shop the haircare!

Those are all of my favorite hair and skincare products from the year! What did you enjoy this year? Do you see any of your favorites above?

Ciao bella!

*A note

Some of the products in this post were given to me for PR purposes through the company. 

This post contains affiliate links.

Read more about my affiliate link/PR samples policy here.

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