2015 Favorites

I’m approaching my annual favorites post a little differently than I did last year. Instead of breaking it down by section, I’m just going to slap all my 2015 Favorites together. I liked plenty of things, but these are what I liked most.

2015 Favorites

Naked2 Basics - Social

Naked2 Basics, $29 – has been my lifesaver. Even when I first swatched it and decided I required it, I didn’t imagine I’d come to use it as much or as often as I did and do. Personally, I think it is superior to its predecessor…but I don’t own its predecessor, so I haven’t run it through the gauntlet, yet.


e.l.f. Studio Blush in Tickled Pink, $3 – is a very subtle, pleasant peachy-pink hue. I wear it the most of all the blush I own; it’s hard to overdo, and isn’t too much for work.


MAC Creme in Your Coffee, $17 – Such a nice MLBB, it stays and wears away well. Reapplies easily, and has that lovely signature MAC lipstick scent. I will repurchase a billion of these.

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Sunscreen Saga – Finding Biore Aqua Rich

Although facial sunscreen is very important, I don’t talk about my whole sunscreen saga often. Two reasons:

  1. I haven’t found one I actually care for which leads to…
  2. Being a lazy jerk about application despite it needing to be a priority for me.

Body sunscreens are fine and I have zero issue with them. I have two Hawaiian Tropic favorites (this SPF 50 one glides on and moisturizes beautifully, and this SPF 20 one is shimmery). For a while, I pursued moisturizers with at least SPF 15 sunscreen in them and hated every.single.one. They smelled weird. They left a white cast. Regardless of being oil-free, they left my skin with an awkwardly shiny sheen and worst of all? They broke me out.

And what do we say to the product that’s causing breakouts?
Not today.

So, like an ass, I had forsaken the effort for a while and relied on my foundations and whatnot for protection, and the sunscreen saga was at a halt. Then, my mom received a melanoma diagnosis (she’s OK! – she paid attention to her skin and saw a dermatologist when she noticed a change in some moles she had [for the love of cats please go if you notice such a thing]). They caught it early enough that a couple relatively simple excisions were all that were necessary, though she does have to go back every so often because sufferers are at increased risk in the future. I stopped tanning (but I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t miss it), and I got serious about sunscreen. After all, a few blemishes and effed up, scaly-textured skin between your eyes, even if you have them perpetually, are far better than having to contend with melanoma.

Sunscreen Saga - Walgreens Dry-Touch Sheer

For a long time, I was using an SPF 50 Walgreens-branded (oh snap, yes, generic!) variant of a popular Neutrogena sunscreen (I am unsure of which one, but I think it is a Dry Touch one, maybe this one?) – but the reviews were fantastic, the price was nice, and it was accessible. I actually mentioned it in my old Skincare Basics and in an old Favorites. It didn’t keep me in a perpetual state of blemish-dom, but my skin wasn’t happy with it – and it wasn’t my own overt scrutiny; my husband noticed the change in how the skin on my face appeared.

The sunscreen itself is GOOD – it absolutely does its job. No sunburn, even out all day, including through peak sun at an amusement park in July. It took me all this time, and this product, to realize that I have some kind of sensitivity to many readily available sunscreens. Honestly, I’m not sure which component doesn’t play nice with my skin, but after doing some research about my complaints and situation, I came across several recommendations for a Biore sunscreen.

Sunscreen Saga - Biore AQUA Rich Watery Essence

While I used to be a pore strip loyal, my mind hasn’t been blown by Biore for years. Or, more specifically, Biore US. You see, Biore is owned by the KAO Corporation and originated in Japan. They are actively doing business in Japan and enjoy success there – and they don’t indulge in shenanigans the way their US counterpart does. Sunscreen is serious business in Asia, and I learned that many formulations over there differ significantly from our thick, smelly, stark-white pastes…and in fact tend to be kinder to skin. Dozens of testimony lead me to stray from the beaten path of western sunscreen and down the rabbit hole that is asian items.

First stop? Biore AQUA Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+ PA++++. It just came in the mail from Amazon and I’ve never been so excited about a sunscreen – I so hope it’s the right one for me, I’m really looking forward to discontinuing use of stuff that makes my skin unhappy. What protection efforts are you making for your skin?

Biore Self Heating One Minute Mask Kit & Review

I love when companies revive products that they killed years ago, and the Self Heating One Minute Mask from Biore is no exception. I used the original years and years ago and it disappeared from the market circa 2010. Recently relaunched as part of their Charcoal / Don’t Be Dirty line, the Biore Self Heating One Minute Mask looks like this:

The new variety contains four foil packets (though oddly spelled, “packette,”) for $7-8 and is available at drugstores, mass merchants, and drugstore.com. Back in the day (at least circa 2007), it looked like this:

Biore Self Heating One Minute Mask - old retail

The mask came with eight single-use blister-packs and retailed for roughly $7 (a better value than today!). You were instructed to wash your face, leave it wet, open a blister pack and smear the contents onto your face. Once it made contact with the water, a chemical reaction would occur and warm your face. After a minute or so, it would turn blue to show you when to rinse.

I actually received a sampler kit of the Self Heating One Minute Mask courtesy of Biore’s Prove it Rewards program on Facebook. They had a temporary offering where you could redeem a ludicrously low amount of points to get it, so I jumped on it. A couple weeks later, this arrived:

Biore Self Heating One Minute Mask - kit packaging

Let’s crack ‘er open!

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