HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE! Hope 2015 was fun, now it’s time to start 2016! I thought I’d start off 2016 by reflecting on the year that just passed. 2015 was a great year for all sorts of products, from makeup to skincare, hair, entertainment and some of my favourite recipes. I thought I’d share them all with you!
I didn’t wear a whole lot of face makeup this year, because honestly I’m too lazy and my glasses cover up my dark circles, for the most part. If I was going to wear something, it would be a little bit of powder to prevent eye makeup smudging. Innisfree’s No Sebum Mineral Powder was my favourite, as it’s really finely milled, made my skin super soft and smooth and is super inexpensive.
For brows, I’ve been loving the Etude House Drawing Eye Brow in 02 Gray Brown, because it’s the perfect natural shade for me. Along with that is the Essence Clear Lash and Brow Gel. It keeps my eyebrow hairs in place without being crunchy, and it’s cheap and cheerful.
For eyeliners, I have two, which are the Clio Kill Black Brush Liner and the Kill Brown Pen Liner. They were new finds for me this year, and I’ve fallen in love. I’ll be uploading a detailed review of them soon, so stick around for that!
The Koji Lash Curler in No. 73 changed my life. I used to use a crappy one until I changed, and it made such a difference. I like it because it’s really inexpensive and gets the job done well.
Maybelline Full N Soft Waterproof Mascara gives my lashes enough length and a bit of volume, whilst still looking natural.
I have quite a few lip favourites, this year. The first is the Etude House Dear My Jelly Lips Talk in PK002. It’s is what I would describe as the perfect hybrid of a lipstick, lip gloss and lip balm, and looks really cute.
Next is the Aritaum Color Lasting Tint in 02 Baby Wink and 06 Cranberry Shower. They were later finds in this year, but I’ll definitely be purchasing more. They’re long lasting gel-cream lip stains, and are quite moisturising. I’ll review them more in depth soon!
Special mentions go to Innisfree’s Vivid Tint Rouge in 10 Raspberry Red, Etude House Dear My Wish Lipstick in BE102, Etude House Fresh Cherry Tints in RD301 and OR201, and NYX’s Matte Lip Cream in San Paulo. All beautiful shades and lovely formulas, I just didn’t wear them enough for me to classify them as yearly favourites.
My favourite nail polish is Essence’s Colour and Go Polish in English Rose. I don’t wear nail polish often, but if I did it would usually be this colour. It’s inexpensive, good quality and a gorgeous colour. I’d finish it off with Sally Hansen’s Insta Dri Top Coat, which does exactly what it says.
NYX Matte Lip Cream: Target
Essence Colour and Go Nail Polish: Priceline
2015 was the year where I really upped my skincare game. I realised that beaded cleansers weren’t good and were damaging my skin, as well as learnt a lot of the science behind what I put on my face like emollients, various ingredients (like titanium dioxide/zinc oxide in sunscreen causes the white cast) and what they do etc.
This year, I loved Garnier’s Clean Sensitive 2 in 1 Waterproof Makeup Remover and Garnier’s Micellar Water or removing my makeup. Garnier’s 2 in 1 Makeup Remover is the most effective waterproof makeup remover I’ve used. I’ve almost finished my second bottle of micellar water, and I love it as a toner and that it’s so economical.
Aloe Vera Gel in general is a favourite product because it’s so multi-purpose. It can be used to soothe irritated or sunburnt skin, hydrate skin, nourish the ends of your hair and cuticles, make lip tints less pigmented and so much more. Fruits of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel is my favourite because it’s the only one I can find locally that is 100% aloe and has no alcohol like others do.
I started introducing oils into my skincare routine last year with rose hip oil, and this year I introduced argan oil. I bought the Argania Argan Oil mainly because I was able to get it for $5. I love it because my dry skin soaks it up in the winter, and my dry patches disappear.
Mizon’s Hydra-Full Solution Water Volume Aqua Gel Cream, Mizon Snail Recovery Gel and TonyMoly’s Appletox Honey Cream were three products that my dry skin loved this year.. You can read about them in my asian beauty haul I posted this month.
Skinfood’s Rice Wash Off Pack is my favourite because it’s such a gentle exfoliator, and nourishes my dry skin. It smells nice, is inexpensive, effective and I love it.
For sheet masks, two standouts were the My Beauty Diary Sheet Masks in Hyaluronic Acid and Innisfree It’s Real Sheet Masks. Both masks didn’t fit so well but were super hydrating, brightening and made my skin glow.
Soap and Glory’s Sugar Crush Body Butter just smells amazing. It smells heavenly and moisturises my snake legs like a good body butter does. It smells like sweet limes and kiwis with a hint of cheesecake to me? It’s just great.
Aveeno’s Intense Relief Hand Cream is just a really nice hand cream that moisturises my dry hands, because I find most hand creams don’t moisturise them enough. It has a natural oatmeal scent, very unisex.
For lip balms, I kind of switched around between Carmex’s Original Lip Balm Squeeze Tube, Hurraw! Balms, EOS Lip Balm Sphere and Lucas’ Papaw Ointment (which is super multi-purpose!). All great lip balms, and my favourites among a whole bunch that I’ve tried, and also all quite inexpensive.
Argania Argan Oil: Priceline
Hurraw! Balms: iHerb
My hair is quite dry, and only this year did I decide it would be a good idea to start using oils. I used Garnier’s Fructis Brushing Express Oil, and fell in love. It makes my hair smell amazing, makes my hair dry faster and nourishes it so it doesn’t feel dry.
Seraz’ Bio Therapy Essence is quite similar, but much better (and also a lot more expensive). I only use it when I’m heat styling, as it makes my hair super soft, look healthy and shiny as well as protects my hair against heat.
Liese’s Smooth Hair Cocktail is amazing, and I use it sparingly. I bought it because it looked gorgeous, but the product is amazing too. It smells like sweet peaches, makes my hair super soft and detangled as well as smell heavenly.
Essential’s Rich Premier Shea and Honey Mask is absolutely amazing. I got it overseas in Thailand, and it smells heavenly and makes my hair super nourished and soft. I use it sparingly because I don’t want to run out, but I love it.
L’Oreal’s Elnett Hairspray is my favourite hairspray for this year. It has a really fine mist, doesn’t make my hair feel crunchy unless I put too much, and holds hair in place really well. I’m not a big fan of the smell or how tall the bottle is, but the product itself is great.
Seraz Bio Therapy Essence: Bought it at my salon, can’t seem to find it online! ):
I’m quite a big fan of floral scents or sweet-floral scents, but not overly sweet. I have four fragrances that I absolutely loved that fit into these categories.
Juicy Couture Couture La La I managed to find for $25 and I was super excited by it. It smells super crisp and fresh, like green apples and flowers, maybe a bit of honeysuckle? (You might want to check fragrantica links below for accurate descriptions). It’s probably my most worn fragrance this year.
I also loved Taylor Swift’s Wonderstruck as it’s sweet, floral and slightly musky? I just like this one a lot, and it’s usually super inexpensive too.
The Body Shop’s Fijian Water Lotus and Japanese Cherry Blossom scents I absolutely adore for spring/summer. Fijian Water Lotus is an aquatic, fresh floral fragrance, and Japanese Cherry Blossom is a sweet floral scent and they both smell amazing.
My favourite drink for not just 2015 but like 2014…and 2013…and 2012…and so many more is bubble tea, but I always found it as a treat because it’s kind of expensive! So naturally being a diy (although not being awfully good at it) enthusiast (and also a tad bit stingy), I started to make my own chocolate milk tea at home. I kind of experimented and found a brief guide/recipe to what works for me!
- Cocoa Powder + Sugar OR Hot Chocolate powder
- Black tea (I like to use Twining’s Assam Bold)
- Condensed Milk
- Ice (optional)
- Pearls (optional)
- Mix cocoa powder and sugar or hot chocolate powder at the bottom of a glass/shaker
- Brew tea with very little water if making cold, half the amount of water if making hot.
- Pour brewed tea over cocoa mix and stir until fully dissolved.
- Add desired amount of condensed milk and shake/stir.
- Add desired amount of milk and ice (optional) and shake/stir
- Cook pearls (optional) according to package directions.
- Pour chocolate milk tea mixture into glasses and add pearls
- Enjoy! (:
I can’t really say much about the other recipes that I’ve loved, except that they’re amazing. Try them out, you wont’ regret it.
Wontons (I use this recipe and adjust it for frying/boiling): Recipe
My Favourite Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting: Recipe
Nutella Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream: Recipe
My Favourite Chocolate Chip Cookie: Recipe
Amazing Gingerbread Cookies: Recipe
Absolutely Amazing Cream Puffs: Recipe
My favourite books this year were China Rich Girlfriend and the Divergent series. China Rich Girlfriend was the sequel to Crazy Rich Asians, and I just loved that book so much and China Rich Girlfriend was just as good. Although I’m a bit late, the Divergent series just made me an emotionally unstable mess for two weeks. I’m still unsure if I’m okay now, and I wouldn’t be able to reread it without being like that again.
I was quite bad with anime this year, and I didn’t watch a lot. My favourite for something darker would be Fate/Zero. I loved the characters and the plot, and it was definitely addictive. For something less dramatic and dark, something on the lighter comedy end I’d recommend Shokugeki No Soma (or Food Wars). I found it really hilarious and fun to watch, and since I’m frequent in the kitchen I enjoyed the cooking aspects of it too. (I mean the foodgasm bits were really awkward to watch and I didn’t like those all too much…). I also thoroughly enjoyed the manga, as I binge read that in a couple of days, it was so addictive.
Favourite movies were Inside Out and Pitch Perfect 2. I loved Pitch Perfect, and Pitch Perfect 2 was just as amazing. I even went though an Anna Kendrick obsession phase which you can read about in the obsessive discoveries part of this post. Inside Out was just cute, adorable, and I loved it. Disgust is the absolute best.
My favourite apps for the year were Wunderlist, Tsum Tsum and Sling Kong. Wunderlist is extremely helpful for making lists, and I like to make lists of items I need to buy and packing lists for trips so I don’t forget anything. It’s easy to use and practical. Tsum Tsum and Sling Kong are both really fun time passing games, but Sling Kong can be played offline. They’re both fun and incredibly addictive.
That’s it from me for now! I hope you all had a great celebration for Christmas (or any other holidays you celebrate/don’t celebrate) and New Year. I spent it with family, and it was really fun! What do you celebrate with family and how did you guys celebrate? Do you have any interesting traditions? I’d love to know!
Well that’s it from me for now, hope you’re having a lovely day wherever you are!