December 18, 2015

Beauty Products That Remain My Favorite, Years Later

My Top Ten Beauty Products

I wrote this post almost three years ago, which is pretty crazy! The good news that till this day, every single one of these products remains a favorite. In fact, I forgot how much I loved Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cream, but this serves as a reminder to repurchase it.

Being in constant pursuit of the perfect, holy-grail status, products, I’ve tried a ton of stuff over the years. Typically, I’m quite hesitant to recommend something unless I’ve really test driven it and feel strongly about. If it’s something I wouldn’t want to be without and would repurchase (and in most cases, have) time and time again, it makes the cut. My current top ten:

Sunday Riley Good Genes: I’m now on my third bottle of Good Genes and that’s saying a lot considering it’s quite an expensive treatment ($105), but I’d buy it again… and again. It makes my pores look smaller, brightens my complexion and has lightly faded old acne marks. Overall, it just makes my face look better. I use it as a night treatment about 3x a week (and I’ve confirmed, it’s safe to use while you’re pregnant) after toning and under a moisturizer. I usually wait a bit before applying my creams on top.

Edited to add: I’ve received a ton of questions on whether I use this with Biologique Recherche P50 and the answer is yes, but my skin can handle a lot. If you’re super sensitive or prone to redness, maybe try a lighter toner (like Pixi Glow) or skip the toner all together. However, I do not use this on nights I use retinol. On retinol nights, it’s JUST retinol and a few layers of moisturizing treatments.

Sunday Riley Juno: Another Sunday Riley product that I’m on my 2nd bottle of, hefty price tag and all. My skin loves face oils, whether I’m layering it underneath a moisturizer or mixing into one and this oil keeps it beautifully calm, hydrated and glowing. I alternate this with some other oils that I have, but on the days that I use this, I use about two drops and let it soak in before layering my moisturizer on top. I do the same at night, but am usually sightly more generous with how much I apply. My good friend, Keiko, couldn’t use it because of the oregano smell, but I don’t even notice it! I’m convinced it doesn’t smell as strong as when she first tried it, but if you’re super sensitive to smells, just a heads up!

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector: Probably the best cream highlighter that I’ve tried for that luminous, dewy, Hollywood glow rather than looking like glittery shimmer on the face. I apply a little bit on my cheeks, on the bridge of my and under my brows. Keep in mind, a little goes a long way, so use sparingly and play around with the right amount that works for you. I’ve read that some people use a flat brush to apply, but I just use my fingers. There are some days where I’ll just apply concealer and then this stuff, but on the days I wear foundation, I’ll apply this on top. Bonus points: looks incredible in photos!

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence: I first spoke about SK-II here, but I felt the need to bring it up again. I’ll be honest, it’s hard to pinpoint what exactly makes this stuff so great, but whenever I use it, my skin looks calmer and significantly more balanced. At first, I thought it might be in my head, but I recently went to an event and got into a skincare conversation with a friend of mine who I haven’t seen in months. Her skin looked incredible and of course, whenever that is the case, I needed to know what she was using. Her response “I swear, I think that SK-II Facial Treatment Essence is what’s making it look so good.” I got excited that I wasn’t alone in feeling so strongly about it and then she proceeded to tell me that Grace Atwood from The Stripe also swore by it. Let me tell you guys something, both in pictures and in person, Grace has the most beautiful complexion, so that made me incredibly happy to hear. Apparently this stuff “builds” over time and the longer you use it, the better your skin starts to look. It’s super expensive so I make a point to buy it when Sephora is having their Friends & Family sale and I don’t use it every single day, but I will say, there’s something special about this stuff. On the days that I use it, I acid tone (usually one of my milder acids), let that settle, apply a few drops of this, let this settle and then moisturize.

Kate Somerville Goat Milk Cream: I was first introduced to Kate Sommerville after seeing a few of my favorite skincare instagrammers include the Nourish Cream in their daily regimen over and over again. I ended up buying it and getting what the hype was about. It’s not considered a miracle cream, just a really great daily moisturizer, especially when layered over an oil or serum, which is how I typically use it. I started looking into her other products and the Goat Milk Cream piqued my interest after reading tons of great reviews. Needless to say, I love it! I’ve been using it at night, but once the weather turns colder and harsher, I’lll probably start using it during the day. It absorbs beautifully, calms my skin and is super hydrating. On nights that I use this, I tend to layer this over a few drops of Juno or one of my Biologique Recherche Serums.

Lancome Artliner: I’ve tried so many liquid eyeliners out there, but this one is my favorite. I love the applicator brush, I love how easily it applies and it never smudges (once it sets).

Biologique Recherche P50: For those of you who’ve read this post might already know how I feel about this stuff. I know that as long as this product is around (hopefully forever), I will never be without it. As far as being pregnant and using it, I’ve done my research and asked around and it is in fact safe to use while you’re pregnant, but I have noticed, my skin is slightly more sensitive than before so I now use it several times a week rather than every single day. On the days I’m not using this, but still need/want an acid in my routine,  I’ve replaced it with the much gentler Pixi Glow Tonic after hearing a bazillion positive reviews. I have to say, I love it!

Caudalie Grape Water: I use this stuff right after I use my acid toners, specifically the P50 to calm it down and settle any redness. I use it when I travel to keep my skin happy and moisturized (spray on your face, wait a minute and then apply a few drops of your favorite eye cream and moisturizer to lock that moisture in..) and I use it on the days where I don’t have time to reapply my makeup but need to look perkier. I have some friends who will spray some on their makeup sponges to give their face a dewier look.

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat Foundation: My favorite foundation, hands down. I don’t wear foundation every single day, but on the days that I do, this is my holy grail. This stuff gives a nice dewy finish and gives you that “natural skin but better” look. I’ve tried others that are deemed “the best of the best,” both from Chanel and Armani and I always come back to this. If you’re into a heavier coverage or if your skin is very oily, this stuff might not be for you, but if it’s on the normal to dry side and light to medium is your thing, I highly recommend. Tip: I always apply a primer, especially to my t-zone, before applying foundation. Makes it go on so much smoother and last so much longer.

Urban Decay Smoky Palette: Most of us can agree that Urban Decay makes some of the best (if not THE best) eye shadow palettes out there. The original Naked Palette has been my go-to for years, but since this one came out, I’ve been using it more than any others. I don’t go around wearing a smoky eye during the day, but there are enough beautiful neutrals to create a natural, day-appropriate look. On the days or nights that I want to get a little wilder with my look, this palette has all the colors that I could ever need. Tip: I always apply a primer before using any eyeshadow. I apply, let it set for a minute or so and then have crease-free shadow all day (and night) long.



  • Dani Mendocha

    Awesome picks 🙂 I've heard so many great things about the Urban Decay Smoky Palette!

    Dani |

  • Joanna

    I love reading posts like that, because I always end up finding great new products I've never heard of 🙂 I'm really curious about the Juno face oil (especially that I'm not familiar with the brand) because my skin loves oils, too. I'm currently using Clarins Lotus Oil and I'm pretty happy with it, but it's always nice to try something new. I'm also intrigued by this Goat Milk Cream. I've been searching for a good moisturiser with decent ingredients, but haven't found my favourite so far.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, you use the best products!


  • Tasha Juli

    Yup! I use both the SK-ll and the Sunday Riley. The Goat Milk Cream sounds interesting, I might check it out. Sadly I don't care for the Urban Decay palettes. They have such beautiful colors, but even with a primer, the fallout is enough to make me not want to use them…
    Tasha Juli

  • Chantel

    Great choices.

  • Alicia Rodriguez

    I always love reading your beauty recommendations. You should do more beauty posts!

  • Kristina

    The Urban Decay palettes belong to my absolute favorites too as well as YSL make-up!
    ♡ Kristina

  • Poshnessary com

    Always love to hear about other peoples favorite products. Loved the post

    Kisses from

  • alyssa amato

    Love the Urban Decay eye shadow palette, thanks for sharing your favorite beauty picks! xx

  • Pinja

    Loved this post! It's always nice to see what beauty products other people use and recommend! xx

  • Grace (The Stripe)

    oh my gosh thank you for the kind words, Helena!!! so happy you love it as much as I do. xx

  • Jalisa G

    Wow, thanks so much for sharing your beauty favorites with us! I haven't heard of some of these, so I appreciate you explaining what each do and why you use them 🙂 I hope you have a wonderful day and weekend!



  • anoddgirl

    so many great products! I've always wanted to try the YSL foundation

  • Courtney & Kelly

    Thank you for all of the tips!!


  • Elizabeth T.

    Thank you so much for this roundup 🙂 Loving all of your picks, especially the SK-II Essence and the Naked Smokey Palette <3 Both are such essentials! Loved reading all of the reviews – it's perfect for some end-of-the-year, treat-yourself shopping 😀

    XO, Elizabeth

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  • theglamandglitter

    The products you mentioned are so so good! I especially love the Sunday Riley Good Genes, i does an amazing job! I really want to try the SK-II treatment, it sounds great! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Check out my blog if you want:

    Tamara xxx

  • Amanda Carmela

    Love reading about different peoples skin care routines! I will definitely be looking into these products more. I love skincare products, they're always so much fun.

  • Rabecca Chepkoech

    Great post! Definitely recognized some of them. <3 Wish list sag worthy!

  • Adriana

    I love the YSL foundation, I used it more often during winter since my skin is a little bit dryer so that one gives a really nice glow! I also love the UD palette, it's amazing and one of my favourites from this year!


  • Helena Dommor

    Amazing post : ) thanks for sharing your reviw about these products : )

  • Kathleen Harper

    Looks divine. Great post!

  • Vera

    Love this post!

    Blonde in Cashmere

  • Nissi Mendes

    Nice Beauty selection.

    ♥ Nissi

  • ayme nicole

    SKII makes amazing products!! Actually, during Sephora's last sale I wanted to get that essence but it completely sold out. Everyone I know has raved about that as a holy grail product and I totally can't wait to buy it BUT I do have to say that it has this funky smell that kind of turned me off the first few times I used it but the results are so great that I can get used to it haha.


    COFFEESLAG Ditto Review


    Those are amazing products. I love good genes 🙂
    xx Fiona

  • Kat

    Thank you so much for your beauty posts. They are super informative and I can tell you do a lot of research and these must take a while to put together, so sincere thanks from a loyal reader. Also I had a chance to say hi to you at the SKII soho event. That was my first time trying to product and I have since purchased the power essence and both and my husband are HUGE fans of the lightweight moisturizer.

    xoxo, Kat

  • Mary Taylor

    Thanks for sharing your thought and it’s really helpful. Selecting a cleanser with a balanced PH will help maintain skin's natural balance and for me the best facial cleanser is Sakare’s cleansing products.

  • MissyDress

    Love your share, and i love your recommend

  • Laura Mitbrodt

    I would love to try that face oil

  • Jamie Ever After

    look like great products! xo

  • Anonymous

    I love this post.Thank you!:)

  • happy wheels

    Thanks for sharing this quality information with us. I really enjoyed reading.
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    thank you for share with like this review about this great products
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  • allen sarah

    Lovely option and top ten beauty products 🙂


  • Elena

    What shade of Becca skin perfecter do you use?

  • Erica lagocha

    I was wondering if you noticed a difference in the YSL foundation? I was looking at switching to it and remembered that you said it was one of your favs but recently I’ve read that the formula has changed.

  • JAna

    Hi!Can you use SK-II Facial Treatment Essence and the SKII masks if you are pregnant?

  • Olga Vygovskaya

    I”ve been following your posts for a while and found some good advice. I see you had a baby recently. My congratulations! My husband and I are starting to try and i have a lot of concerns about the safety of the skin products i use. I recently purchased Juno Oil by Sunday Riley. it says on Sephora website that it is safe during pregnancy but it is very high in Vitamin A. Did you use this product during your pregnancy?

    • Helena

      Hi Olga!

      I totally understand your concern! I did continue to use most of the products I was using before pregnancy with the exception of my retinol products. I did continue to use Juno and Good Genes! Also, I found this video very helpful. I value both of their opinions for what it’s worth.

      Good luck!

      • Olga

        Thank you so much for the Vidio. It was very helpful and reassuring .

  • Emily Lunstroth

    this post is guiding me through my recent good genes purchase! I just got p50 and am wondering would it be best to use them on alternate days?

  • sarah ro

    hello! can you use the p50 and the good genes together or alternate nights?

    thank you!

  • scas

    I’m looking for a few bugs in my post. But I think I should have someone look and point out it.

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