Best Buys in 2022

četrtek, december 29, 2022


A new favourite high-end foundation I discovered this year. It's got about medium coverage, but it still looks like skin and natural. It wears nicely through the day too without flaking or making my lines very obvious. I have the shade Swan, which isn't my perfect match, but they have a lighter one called Cloud. 

Initially I considered this a messy and time-consuming foundation to apply, but it became a complete opposite and it's the one I grab when I'm in a hurry - I can even apply it on the way. It covers well when I layer it, it hides redness and doesn't look flat matte. It combines coverage and powder for me, so it's quick and easy - I just buff it into my skin with a flat kabuki brush. Shade 002 Ivory is a match for my pale skin. 

The best pore blurring primer I've found so far - I haven't tried the original version, though. The name say it's a radiance primer, but there's no shimmer in it and it looks matte on my skin. Texture is a silicone silky-feeling primer and I need the smallest amount where my pores appear largest. I had a few similar blur primers and this one is the nicest & most effective (though not miraculous). Despite being dry-to-the-touch instantly when it's on the face, it's not drying on my skin. I only have a mini size, but it's a primer I'd buy full-size when this runs out, but like I said, a small amount goes a long way, so repurchasing minis is an option too.

I have a couple of powders that are described by most as blurring and "Photoshop filter in a pan", but I was disappointed by them, while this one has the closest such effect I've found. It's made from two parts, the radiant powder and a balmy, vaseline-like highlighter, which is honestly useless, but it doesn't matter because the important thing here is the powder. It's firmly pressed into the pan and I need to use my denser powder brushes to pick it up, so the pretty rose pattern was ruined fast. Rosé All Day doesn't look powdery, it doesn't make the makeup look more obvious, it takes away greasy/fresh makeup shine yet leaves a nice glow on the face. I picked Revlon's Colourstay Blot powder over this in the summer months, but otherwise this was my top choice all year. Originally it had a strong scent, but by now it's gone. 

This is from the Revlon's line that is designed mostly for oily skin and I got all three products. All are great, though I can only wear one at once when on my dry skin. I wore this powder throughout summer and I still reach for it occasionally in the colder months. It's excellent for taking away excess shine of SPF's and it's very finely milled, smooth and not very obvious on the skin. I find this makes my skin and makeup look smoother and just better, plus it never sticks to a certain area, leaving an odd textured patch like it happened to me at some other loose powders. 

I got three great setting sprays this year, though one was a repurchase, but I find this one wins, even though it's not the best suited for my skin type. It promises a blurring effect and I do feel my skin looks best with this one. It's nothing specific, but the makeup on a whole looks smoother. Otherwise it's made for oily skin, so it can be drying for me, but it's the one I like most. 

Benefit revamped their blushes this year and only Dandelion stayed. Just like their old blushes, these are wonderful. Willa and Shellie are so pigmented, they apply smoothly and last well. Dandelion needs more building up, but it's an interesting shade that kind of works with your skin tone and creates a shade that looks natural, even though it looks baby pink in the pan. Willa is a warm pink and Shellie is a coral that brightens up the face. Since they are so pigmented, you can easily just buy a mini version and it's going to last long. 

A great quality blush from the drugstores, I can see why this formula is on the best affordable blush lists so often. It wasn't a top performer from the start, but once I got through the top layer it became a lovely smooth formula. It's good a fine shimmer that gives a nice glow to the skin, similar to my discontinued favourite L.O.V. blushes. 

One of the best natural-looking highlighters in my collection. I've been wearing it for most of the year, especially in the summer when highlighters can look too shimmery in direct sunlight. It creates a natural looking glow and it doesn't emphasize pores, while the shade is neither too cool or too warm and it suits my skin tone. In a light coat it even works as an all-over luminous powder, though I still prefer Physicians Formula for that. 

I'm not one to wear bronzers a lot, but this formula is just amazing. It's so smooth, blends with ease and adds a glow without shimmer. I'd love to have a highlighter and a blush in this formula, but sadly only the first exists and it's perpetually out of stock. I have two shades and both are quite light, however, the tones of them are well done as one is more golden and one reddish, so neither look orange, but quite natural on the skin. The pattern is also so beautiful. 

Fantastic neutral palettes with plenty of shades to play with. Formulas are smooth, pigmented and they blend with ease. They have combinations of mattes and shimmers, as well as a good selection of light, medium and deep tones - it's all I need for a nice, neutral look I wear the most. Stone Cold Fox is my favourite because of the cool tones, but I'm glad I got the warmer Bare Necessities too.

These are the best cream eyeshadows I've found since I tried Kiko's many years ago - and these are sold in my local drugstore. They have such an intense colour payoff with one swipe and they blend out without losing too much colour, so they don't need endless building up. Golden Brown is the better of the two and looks great alone on the eyelids and lasts so well through the day without much fading or creasing. 

A green eyeliner with gold shimmer with a great colour payoff, creamy formula that blends nicely and it lasts well. 

I love this formula and shade, I've been wearing constantly this year. Shade is very close to my natural lip colour, so it's a great shade for a natural makeup, which adds more definition to my lips. Formula is  comfortable, smooth and has great pigmentation, plus it lasts well, but even so the colour is close to my natural lips that the fading it not obvious. Finish is satin-creamy.

This doesn't just look cute, it's also a great lip balm that smells amazing. It has a creamy, soft, nourishing formula and it smells similar to The Body Shop Vanilla Pumpkin body butter, so like vanillary-almond goodness.

A lovely mint green that leans more to blue than green. While it's not a gel formula, so not so smooth as some of the new releases, it's much better than pretty much all such shades I've tried. Three coats get me an even application that isn't streaky or looking too thick.

Two gorgeous shades that suit my taste and the formulas are scented, which is a nice little plus. 203 is a beautiful classic cool red and 104 a mute nude pink with some nude tones. 104 has their pink fragrance, the one I show you a bottle of at the end of the post, while the red 203 has their red fragrance, which has a rich floral-patchouli scent. The scent is well noticeable on the first day, so I get a whiff of the fragrance every time I put my hand near my face and on the second day it's still noticeable when I put my nails to the nose.

A brilliant discovery this year. I've never been a fan of these types of sponges which you have to wet and I don't like the finish they leave on my skin, but this one is soft enough even when dry and it blends foundation seamlessly. The flat bottom part is great for the job and I use the rounded side of the top for under the eyes. I occasionally use the felt tip for applying powder, though it's more time consuming than a brush because of the smaller size. It of course works great wet as well and it's a really nice sponge for the price. 

ESSENCE Lashes to Impress
03 Half Lashes
Cute half lashes that add a nice fluttery look on the outer corners. They aren't that much longer than my natural lashes in the centre part of my eye, so they look natural. 

A great glue for false lashes. It holds all day, the corners of the lashes stick right away and it isn't in any way annoying to use (it has a brush as the applicator, so you don't waste product). 


This is what micellar waters should be like - simple formulas with niacinamide, ceramides, cholesterol and no fragrance. It removes makeup well, even hardcore foundations like Dermacol and intense matte liquid lipsticks (but of course not waterproof mascaras). Skin feels comfortable after removal and there's no residue.

Luna's are admittedly so expensive, but this little silicone sonic brush makes my skin smoother and consequently softer, and I also like that it feels like a pleasant massage. Before I had a cheap dupe from Aliexpress and they are worlds apart (that one also broke very quick). The first time I used it, my skin glowed like never before. Later my skin was still healthy-glowy, but it's not as much of a stark difference as then. The silicone and bristles feel soft, and this is pleasant to use, so that minute passes almost too quickly. This model needs to be charged once every 5 months (I can confirm the battery lasts forever) and has 8 intensity settings. It vibrates every 15 seconds to let you know to move to another area on the face and pulses 3 times when the cleansing should be over, which is after a minute - I like it more than the Play version I got latter, but that one is great as well because it analyses your skin. 

Micro Foam Cleanser is one of the most luxurious cleansers I've tried. You only need a tiny amount that you emulsify between palms of the hands with some water and it produces such a rich, dense foam and it's just a pleasure to use. It's not drying, my skin feels comfortable after use and it doesn't have soap (so no SLS or SLES).

While I like the Afrodita Professional Shot version more in term of effect because it has more of vitamin C, this one is the affordable version available in drugstores and supermarkets here. Both contain Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, a stable version of vitamin C soluble in oil that doesn't irritate the skin and it's said to be 25x more effective than l-ascorbic acid - based on my experience I agree. Afrodita's products are so far the only vitamin C products I noticed faded sun damage and pigmentation marks. I've also noticed a difference in my skin especially when I made a switch to the SVR version of vitamin C serum (I swapped them because it is lighter and because I had it in my collection), which despite having used it all summer, was not nearly as effective as Afrodita. This version also contains squalane and Ethyl Ferulate, which is an ester of Ferulic Acid. Texture is very similar to the Professional version, so both are light oily-ish lotions that leave a glow on the skin (those with oily skin may need something mattifying over it when worn during the day).

An affordable retinal product that is very gentle. I didn't see any improvements in terms of lines when I used it, but I'm kind of hoping it's slowing down aging. This one has 0,1% retinal, which is said compares with 1% retinol, but with a lot less irritation and should work faster - I haven't seen results with retinol either, so at least here I don't have to suffer the side effects. I like the light texture, which is easy to combine with the rest of my routine, it was never irritating and my skin looked nice when I used it (nicer than now when I'm using Afrodita Professional).

This contains Neoglucosamine, a brightening and anti-ageing ingredient, as well as tiny shimmer, which creates an illuminating effect, so it's like one of those glowy primers, but it's very subtle. It's a light serum that's easy to layer and include in a routine, and my skin likes it. I'm not sure it has helped to brighten my skin, but the instant effect is nice and my skin behaves when I use it, plus there's not that many products with neoglucosamine, which sound promising. 

Next Generation Retinol Shot contains quite a new ingredient in the retinol family,  HPR Retinoid or Hydroxypinacolone Retinoate, a retinoic acid ester directly related to retinoic acid aka tretinoin. I've been using for a couple of months and it's not as gentle as Geek & Gorgeous, by that I mean that it's got the retinol drying effect if I don't use something with madecassoside with it, but it also in a way makes me think it's more effective than the G&G one. Not that I can claim any massively big results, but like I said above at G&G, it's more about slowing down aging. The texture is nice and it's a product that I can easily include in my routine. 
Bakuchiol je a plant alternative to retinol and it's said it works well in combination with retinol, as it stabilises it (actual retinol, not the HPR Retinoid- for this one I don’t know). The texture of this one is a bit more creamy and it's another product that's easy to include in the routine. 
What I appreciate most at these two, is that they also contain Urea, Panthenol, Squalane, Ceramides, Cholesterol, Beta-Glucan, amino acid Glycine, Lactic Acid and Niacinamide. 

This is perpetually out of stock here and for a good reason - it's cheap, has a good level of SPF and has 10 % of niacinamide. It's kind of a typical cream that sits on the skin for a while, but it's not a heavy, rich moisturiser, nor does it feel "sunscreen greasy". It's nicely hydrating, I can wear it under makeup, it doesn't peel and it doesn't irritate my eyes. I hope the stock situation will be better in 2023. 

I've used several different SPFs in the summer, but this is the one I most loved to reach for. It's such a lovely texture - it’s light and watery, very similar to Garnier Ambre Solaire Fluid, but somehow feels silkier on the skin, so it’s even nicer. It looks and feels great on the skin, with a skin-like finish and just a touch of glow (not that typical sunscreen glow). Skin looks smoother with this and pores look somewhat diminished too. It’s dry to the touch quickly and it doesn't irritate my eyes. It has a slight tint to it, but in pale shade and it doesn’t have coverage. Only thing I wish is that it was SPF 50 and cheaper.

Another sunscreen I loved this year. It contains Isobutylamido Thiazolyl Resorcinol (Thiamidol), which fades pigmentation. It's a non-greasy formula with a "Korean sunscreen level" of shine that looks more like healthy glow (I have normal-dry skin with very little natural oil coming through over the day), it feels like a regular moisturiser and not a sunscreen. It doesn't even have the Nivea Sun scent, which I miss, but it's a nice skin care fragrance and it doesn't irritate my eyes.  It always protected well in strong sun and it can be used under makeup too.

This brings using face masks to another level. It's a smart mask device, Foreo's version of an at home professional treatment that is used with sheet masks, so you can experience a skin care therapy you'd get in a salon, but this is also in a small portable format and it only takes a minute and a half. It combines warming (it heats up to 45°C & preps the skin), T-Sonic pulsations (enhancing mask absorption) and LED light therapy (brightening and anti-aging). I don't know if the lights really do anything (I don't think they can compare to the professional ones), but UFO helps my skin absorb so much more product. Their masks have so much essence and UFO helps most of it absorb quickly. I usually do 2 or occasionally even 3 treatments at once (last just for the neck) to use up all the liquid in the pack, so I do one treatment and then squeeze the leftover essence on the sheet and do it again. My skin is super soft the next day and this is the most effective way to hydrate my skin when it's very dry. When I have rough, dry skin and one session with this makes it normal again. I don't just use the device with their masks, but with any I have at hand. 
I have one complaint about it and that is that the battery is simply terrible.  You'd expect it to last a while if you don't use it for a few days, but so many times I picked it up and it was empty. Foreo says one charge should last up to 40 treatments, but it's much less - it's just constantly draining quickly even when it's not in use. So I need to remember to change it before every use.  


One of the best body scrubs I've tried. It has 5 different kinds of abrasives, though I notice just salt and some larger black beads, but the density of particles is perfect. It's one of harsher scrubs, so the way I like it, but it doesn't feel too abrasive, especially considering it's a dense salt scrub. It also washes off completely, leaving no residue behind. It's also has a lovely fresh-sweet vanillary, almost kind of bubble-gum scent. 

Nivea's body moisturiser have a great long term effect when I use them regularly and don't just moisturise the skin for a few hours, but my skin becomes noticeably softer and nicer in time. This one is their favourite formula of mine. It's a rich body cream that absorbs quickly and feels properly nourishing. Scent is the typical Nivea cream one that I really like.

TBS body butters are a long time favourites of mine. I'm a fan of their thick, rich formula that is intensely nourishing, but it does take a long time for them to absorb (I actually like that). I've tried many version of scent, Shea is another of my favourites, while this was a new discovery this year. TBS describes it as warm exotic scent. To me it smells like a comforting perfume for cold months with nuts, something slightly spicy & bitter plus vanilla or amber, but all mixed with this lovely creamy note. 


An intense purple shampoo for my blonde hair with the Olaplex technology. It's not as rich and cream as their classic n.4 shampoo, but I like it regardless. It neutralises yellow tones (but not orange) and adds a silver shine to the hair. 

This quickly became one of my favourite Olaplex products, the others being the n.8 mask, n.4 shampoo and n.6 leave-in. It's a light gel-type product, so I can spread one pump easily over my damp hair and it's the first step in my routine after rinsing of the mask/conditioner/treatment. I get some of the Olaplex rebuilding ingredient on my hair every time I wash it, plus I find my hair dries smoother when I use this. 

One of the best conditioners I've tried. It works pretty much the same as the mask and my hair dries so smoothly after using this. It's much lighter than the mask, yet it's nourishing enough. Moroccanoil products are some of the best I've ever tried, I truly love this brand. 

I absolutely adore the mask from this brand (and line Nourish) as well as the hair oil. This conditioner is just as good as the mask for my super dry hair and it's cheaper. It silicone free, yet makes the hair feel like I used Kerastase. Another winner by Lazartigue.

I’m a fan of the Repair mask, which unfortunately is sold only in small tester-size bags in my local Müller, but luckily I gave this conditioner a shot too and discovered it's just as good. It's a brilliant formula for very dry hair, despite being much thinner than the mask (which is like a balm). La Croa continues to impress me. 

SUBRINA Charm Super Cool Demi-permanent Toner
This year I finally managed to bleach my hair light enough to use a lighter colour than 9.1 from L'Oreal/Garnier I usually use (though not always) and I've been loving this toner. It's demi-permanent shade, so more gentle than regular, permanent colour (though I switch the developer at those. Here you also get a 3% developer). It’s the same shade as the discontinued Spectra toner that I showed once in the past. It turned out a beautiful blonde shade and my hair looks glossier than with my usual darker colour. Only complaint I have is that it's thicker than Garnier Color Naturals, so impossible to spread as much as that one, so for all my hair I need 2 almost 3 boxes, but I just tone the freshly bleached roots and leave the rest. 

I'm glad I replaced my cheap AliExpress Styler with this one. It's a powerful hair dryer that helps me get much a smoother result, though it still depends a lot of the hair care I use. It's got a Hydraluxe option allows a smooth styling with lower heat and it dries my hair faster than my old version. 


One of the best powder scents I've ever found. I originally encountered it at Pupa's scented nail polishes and I hoped they'll make a fragrance too, which they did, though I think it's LE. There are three versions of Vamp! perfumes and this one is a powdery, floral, soft and comfy scent. At times it reminds me of Yankee Candle Soft Blanket, but it's so much richer. I get tonka bean, iris, benzoin and vanilla the most. It's a very comforting scent and lasts decently on the skin.
Top notes: orange blossom, jasmine
Heart: tonka bean, silk blossom
Base: iris, benzoin, sandalwood, vanilla

While I think this brand overall is way overhyped, I will admit there's something special about this scent. Initially I was a bit underwhelmed by it, but just like with BBW Twilight Woods this grew on me so much. It's great gourmand scent with notes of nuts and vanilla - it's described as pistachio and salted caramel scent by SdJ, though there are more notes. It's warm, sweet, a bit creamy and rich - definitely not a summer, beachy scent, but more for colder months. The cream is a bit nicer, more creamy smelling, but the price tag is too high for what you're getting and getting the mist is a better deal. 

What were your favourite new discoveries this year? Have a great day!

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  1. Hi, which brush exactly do you use with the gosh powder?
    What is the brand and number/ name? Perhapse you can post a photo on Facebook?

    1. Sorry, it won't be much help to know this - it's a flat kabuki brush from a Kaviar Gauche collection by Catrice a couple years ago. I posted it here: It's not available anymore, of course. There might be something similar on Aliexpress or eBay, or this buffer brush by Essence could be similarly dense + still soft: .

    2. I have this E.l.f. one that's similar too:
      Mine is old and it's shedding, so I don't use it, but when it was new, it was very similar to Catrice's LE kabuki brush.

  2. Thank you for your recommendations. Do you tap the powder in or stroke over the skin?

    1. I "buff it in", so use circular motions to apply it :)

  3. New fav. Catrice x Maxim face palette for every day using, one and done 🙂

  4. Hi mateja🌸 i can not find your instagram account. Can i share your instagram account ? i want to follow you on instagram. 🌸


  5. it always protected well in strong sun and it can be used under makeup too, Overall its great for all type skin