I haven’t done one of these since 2016! While I do love looking back at the snapshot of my favorite products I once had and discovered, I also find these types of posts can become very long. During 2022 I did go through a lot of new skincare and haircare products. However, many fell short to impress me. So this list will be kept short and include products that were introduced to me during the year, excluding regular favorites. Let’s start with some body care!
Ouai Body Wash
In spring we finally got our bathroom renovation going that we’d planned and procrastinated for years. But perhaps for good reason, as I don’t think I’d go with the fabulous terrazzo tiles had we done it sooner. For our new and fresh-looking bathroom, I felt we needed a luxurious body wash with good-looking packaging. OUAI body cleanser ticked all those boxes. The original comes in the scent Dean Street which is a wonderful citrus with a touch of floral scent. But you can’t go wrong with the scent of Melrose Place either. Not only does it smell divine, but the wash itself is also of high quality! It has a luxurious foam that feels hydrating and works really well as a shaving cream too! And using it to shave my armpits made me realize that OUAI must do a deodorant with the scent of Dean Street!
If you don’t buy this for yourself, it makes a great gift for someone else. And it lasts a long time too! I’m six months in and barely used half. Not to mention, there’s a refill version.
Sacheu Gua Sha Face Tool
This is actually quite a recent addition that I got myself for Christmas. People have been raving about Gua Sha for years now. Normally I’d be jumping on all the trends first. However, after the jade face roller fiasco – which I still find is the most worthless thing ever – I’ve been much more on the fence to try new tools. But after realizing I’ve been using this face roller from The Body Shop for a couple of years now, I felt confident to invest in Gua Sha too as it seems I’ll be using it.
What drew me to Sacheu is that their tools are made of stainless steel. As the Aquarius I am, I do love gemstones, but after my research into yoni eggs, I learned that stone is porous and can trap dirt. I’ve also read of many people breaking their Gua Sha tool. Considering how the face roller from the Body Shop still stands, stainless steel felt like a better investment.
The Sacheu Gua Sha tool has a heaviness to it. I personally wish it could’ve been a few grams lighter as it does feel like it’s going to slip off my hand. And it’s sort of heavy enough for the arm to feel lightly fatigued after a while because you’re holding it extra tight. Other than that it feels very high quality and luxurious. I will probably get the one for the body too!
Skincity Skincare Milky Moisture Toner
I did try this product first in 2021, but it was in 2022 I bought the full size. I don’t know if it’s the classic “I’m in my thirties now”, but my skin has been craving thicker creams and lotion-y essences. The Skincity Milky Moisture Toner is just the right viscosity my skin has been craving. And the hydration and barrier-strengthening ingredients feel very soothing for my acne-prone skin.
Considering the price, what you get, and that it has lasted me a full year, this is a very affordable essence that doubles as a hydrating ampoule/serum too. Their Hydrating Toner is also wonderful and I recommend it for normal/combination skin. Although I’d like to try a few other lotion-y toners out, I will with no doubt repurchase and stick to this one for 2023.
L300 Pro-Retinol Night Cream
The Swedish pharmacy brand, L300, which I’ve used for years now, launched a new line of products at the beginning of 2022 called Pro-Retinol. The line, composed of four products, contains retinyl palmitate – a gentler type of retinoid for sensitive skin. During the year I’ve tried all four new products as I was lucky to win them in a giveaway.
My favorite product of the bunch is the night cream! Which I had purchased on my own before winning the giveaway. All products, except for the day cream, that pills, are lovely though. They all include ceramides and peptides that make the skin feel very soft and hydrated. For wintertime, I have switched to even thicker night creams, but will definitely be going back to this one once the weather gets warmer.
Caudalie Vinoclean Cleansing Oil
After my disappointment with the new ACO cleansing oil, I bought the oil I had originally thought of trying next. From the first use, I wondered why more aren’t talking about it. It’s such an underrated product!
Caudalie cleansing oil has a very simple ingredient list that I think sensitive skin can appreciate. And whilst there is some fragrance tucked in, it is a mild tone of almonds, which may or may not be to everyone’s liking… But I find it to smell just like Swedish Mazarin tart that I like. So I’m down with the bitter almond! Nonetheless, the product has a thicker texture that I personally prefer in a cleaning oil. Not to mention that it emulsifies and washes off as cleanly as most Asian cleansing oils. It’s also quite affordable compared to others I’ve lately tried. All in all, just lovely and a must-mention!
Youth To The People Superfood Cleanser
This too was originally introduced the year before. I loved the little travel sample I tried that I invested in the full size in 2022. I don’t believe in spending too much money on cleansers and have been using L300 cleansing mousse for years – which can be found for as little as €5. However, I felt for some change and it didn’t help that every influencer I looked up to was using this in their routine!
The YTTP cleanser is an expensive cleanser at first look. But a little goes a long way. And despite being two users (my boyfriend and I) it’s lasted a little over 6 months! Considering our mousse cleanser usually needs to be repurchased every two months, the YTTP cleanser ends up being just slightly more expensive.
Not to mention the packaging. From an environmental standpoint, I end up going through less plastic. Which I personally think is worth the little higher cost because of it. Even my boyfriend likes the sturdy glass and convenient pump. And it’s a cleanser you’re more than happy to put on display.
Summer Fridays CC Me Serum
After testing a smaller sample earlier this year I’m happy to have gotten a full size in the SpaceNK advent calendar of 2022. All my initial thoughts in my first review still hold. While the Summer Fridays CC Me serum won’t give you instant gratification like vitamin C serums with pure ascorbic acid, this one still wins my heart of how simple it is. No sticky feeling, no hotdog scent, no runny formula. Just a nice vitamin c serum that goes well in any routine.
Thanks to advent calendars I’ve had the luxury of trying out products far out of my budget. Although sample sized, they’ve proven that they are worth the money. Here’s what I liked, despite the price.
Augustinus Bader The Cream
The year before, I tried the Rich cream, which failed to hydrate my skin in the Swedish winter cold. Neither my mom found it as rich as you’d expect. However, after trying The Cream I finally saw what the hype could all be about and I even updated my original review. Of course, depending on your skin type… And Augustinus Bader has now a cream to cater to every specific need. I felt like The Cream was truly plumping, lifting, firming, and all of that I expected at that price level. If I found it at a good deal I would happily repurchase it.
Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask
I’m not the only one highly impressed by this £125 face mask! As this is a mask, it will last you a couple of months as you won’t be using it daily. This makes me almost think £125 is totally worth it! My expectations were really low, and I didn’t want to like it. It’s hard to pinpoint how the Sisley Black Rose cream mask does what it does. But it does exactly what it says it will do!
I will be honest and say that I’m a little confused about the name and usage though. It says to be put on 10-15 minutes, to then “wipe away excess using a cotton pad”. Read: not washed off. Of course, washing this off would be a waste! But so in reality, this is more of an overnight mask or, like I think most people use it, a thick night cream. Either way, the hype is real about this one!
Créme de La Mer
It’s been 15 years since me and my mom split the cost and shared a jar of this stuff. It does have a weird consistency that goes from thick to luxurious slip when warmed between the fingers. But say what you want about the Créme de La Mer. I agree that it’s overpriced and the scent smells cheap. But it’s honestly a very nice rich cream to use around wintertime and the amount you need for the whole face is less than a pea!
If I had to pick between this and Augustinus Bader the Rich cream, I’d pick La Mer moisturizing cream as my skin feels much more elastic, hydrated, and just wonderfully soft the next morning compared to the other.
Milk Makeup Sunshine Skin Tint & Lip+Cheek in Perk
I’m not a huge makeup wearer but during 2022 I switched from BareMinerals foundation stick (which is still a favorite) to Milk Makeups Sunshine Skin Tint and been happily satisfied. I love the sheer coverage and refillable packaging. The same year I also added their Lip+Cheek sticks in the shades Perk and Quickie. However, Perk is the one I’ve been reaching for the most during the whole year. It lives up to its name and is very universally flattering!
Kosas Lip Fuel
I got these tinted lip balms from Kosas as stocking fillers for Christmas and they’ve been the primary lip product ever since! I could do without the minty aroma that temporarily gives a tingle. But it’s by no doubt a nice lip balm with great color payoff! The shade I’ve been abusing the most that came in this trio set is “Flow”, described as a warm beige. I found it to be the most universally flattering as it has a natural fleshy color. It’s basically “my lips but better”. Rush is a cool toned pink that’s also very pretty, but doesn’t look as natural on me as I had hoped. I was wishing it would look as gorgeous on me as on Rachel Nguyen. But considering my natural lip color is more beige it just doesn’t suit me as well. I let my boyfriend have the clear shade, which he’s enjoyed using.
Kérastase Curl Manifesto Leave-In
During the year I went through both Kérastase Ciment and Nectar Thermique. But the Curl Manifesto leave-in heat protectant was the only one that actually felt protective and didn’t result in dry messy hair for me!
I will say though that the product itself is a bit confusing. In the US it almost markets itself as a curl cream when in reality it’s more of a hydrating leave-in with high heat protection. I think it’s a great leave-in for blow-drying textured hair with a round brush or any type of high-heat styling. The results are smooth, frizz-free, and shiny hair.
However, as for styling hair naturally textured with this, you’ll need to add other products on top for greater definition and frizz reduction. It says to help enhance curl definition and frizz control. But whether I air dry or diffuse my wavy hair with this, the result is quite bad compared to real one-and-done curl creams. The only reason to use this is for heat protection and some light hydration, as it won’t define curls. In other words, I don’t know why they skipped on calling this “thermique” as they do with all their other similar leave-ins.
Davines Oi Oil
When it comes to hair oils I’ve been feeling like goldilocks lately. They’re either too heavy or too light, dries out my hair, or leave it greasy looking. I don’t know what magic is in the Davines OI Oil. The base of it doesn’t differ much from any other hair oils on the market. Yet, this is the only hair oil that adds both softness and shine without the grease or heaviness. And despite my long hair with dry ends, a little goes a long way! I only need two pumps of this which is way less than the amount I’ve needed to take with similar products. The scent may not appeal to everyone. It’s not my personal favorite. However, I always get compliments whenever I wear this, and that’s a good sign.
Amika The Closer Instant Repair Cream
First of all, the packaging is the worst and doesn’t give the product a fair rating. Like, Amika should make this come in a squeeze tube! Other than that, I’m really impressed by the product itself! You need the tiniest amount and the result is beautiful shiny hydrated hair!
Although this instant repair cream can be used on dry hair, I recommend using it on as styling cream on damp hair before blow drying. That’s when the effect really (and literally) shines through! It makes the hair shiny and look really healthy without feeling heavy. Basically, the first time I used this I couldn’t believe my hair could look this healthy! Great for long hair to both protect and strengthen the hair strands. And despite the packaging being the worst I did repurchase it as I’m so happy with the result!