I’ve definitely had some clear favorites in terms of products that were on repeat in 2020. It wasn’t exactly an experimental year for my beauty routine, but sometimes it’s good to stick with what works. I was on roaccutane for most of the year (I’ll share my acne story later) so my skincare was really basic. Roaccutane, if you don’t know it, leaves your skin very dry and sensitive, so a mild face wash and a good moisturizer + SPF is all you need. Instead I focused on hair growth and building a solid foundation for my hair and skin health. I really wanted to grow out my hair after a while of keeping it shorter, and I’m definitely happy with the results.
For my skincare (see below), I really stuck to simple things. already now my skincare routine has changed dramatically again, so I’ll give an update in a few months.
The biggest revelations for me in 2020 was really what a big difference an old-fashioned washcloth can make for removing makeup and giving some very gentle exfoliation. I know manual exfoliation is a bit old school, but on roaccutane your skin is somewhat accelerated in its cell-renewal and very dry, so it can help keep dry lips, flaking and just dead skin cells in general at bay. I have sworn by the Toleriane face wash which was gentle yet effective at removing makeup.
Similarly, you can’t really tan – which I don’t do too much of in any case with my skin tone – so I became addicted to the Purity face mist from St. Tropez. It smells heavenly and leaves such a natural tan. I also use this product on my hands and ankles for a natural result. Wearing sunscreen became an even stronger habit for me that I will keep for 2021 for sure.
Finally, I literally went through more Vichy Mineral 89s than I care to count. This stuff just sinks into your skin, like a big glass of water – perfect for my thirsty skin.
I have a full review of the AgeLoc Galvanic Spa. There’s just something about devices… And this one really minimized my pores and the overall appearance of my skin. Pablo even took note of the difference it made. Plus, it makes for a nice relaxing session of pampering myself in the evening.
Hair care (see below) was where I tried new products. The Moroccanoil products are some of the best I have ever used, end of story. I had a fairly short hair cut in October 2019 after battling split ends for a while and finally chopping off a good chunk for a clean slate. It was a great reset for my hair, but it made me aware that I really need to look out for breakage. Keeping my hair moisturized is a big part of this. The lightweight version of the oil is one of the only ones I’ve found that actually gets absorbed by my fine hair without looking greasy or heavy.
Being on roaccutane I also had the luxury of barely needing to wash my hair – one of the biggest perks if you ask me! I can normally wash my hair DAILY which is so tiring. I wanted to take advantage of the decreased need to wash and double the effort with a sulfate free shampoo. I discovered this Kids’ shampoo in our local Coop during lockdown in March and I love how gentle on the hair it is, not to mention how affordable it also is. The only thing I’ll say is that you’ll need to wash twice if your hair is very dirty, but hey, I can manage! The purple mask is by far the best product for cooling brassy tones – I tried countless products and this one is intense but effective. So much so that it will stain if you’re not careful. I love the cooler, ashy tones it brings out in my hair.
I went on a supplement- and vitamin journey in March-April as I was still dealing with a lot of fatigue, and hair vitamins really stuck with me. Let’s put it this way: My hair grows either way, but what I really noticed when I stopped taking them for a month was a significant increase in hair loss. I take them every day now and the hair loss stopped.
Finally, here’s a shout out to a local product which I discovered already in late 2019 and LOVE, the Demoi lash and brow serum. It comes at a price tag, but it’s cruelty free, socially conscious and most importantly it really works. I get comments asking if my lashes are fake when I’m consistently using this – I used to get lash extensions but I’d simply never do that again with this in my life.
HANDS DOWN my favorite purchase was the LV toiletry bag (see below). For years I’ve wanted one, and I finally pulled the trigger. It makes packing for trips so much more exciting, and on a daily basis it sits on my bathroom cart and contains all my makeup. I love the durability of LV canvas and the fact that it wipes down so easily.
I’ve gone through so many NYX butterglosses and think I have at least 5-6 colors of them. I love the NYX lip products; they’re extremely affordable and the whole line is cruelty free as well!
Another affordable makeup brand that is cruelty free is Kiko which I love even more. I have so many of their products and the quality is always good. This eyeliner in the nude color is one of my MUST HAVE makeup items. I often have quite a bit of redness in and around my eyes in the mornings, and this just makes you look like you got 3 hours more sleep than you did. Plus it lasts amazingly well on the waterline!
The L’Oreal Bambi Eye mascara has been my go-to the entire past two years, and I honestly love it. The only con to it really is that it’s not cruelty free. Which the remaining products thankfully are (I am becoming more and more concerned with buying cruelty free lately). The Born This Way concealer is just an amazing product. My main concern is redness and a bit of hyperpigmentation, so I don’t need full-full coverage, but it mixes well with a moisturizer as well for a lighter, more foundation-like effect.
My biggest revolution out of these was the Huda Tantour product – imagine a creamy bronzer with a slightly powdery finish… but not too powdery. Natural. I always feel I look incredibly healthy whenever I put this on. It’s such a great glow!
For my dry skin I found myself urgently needing moisture, and I really enjoyed the texture and incredible scent of the Aesop body balms.
The real star of the show in 2020 however was the St. Tropez bronzing mousses. I use both the classic and the express versions and absolutely adore them. I’m incredibly fair-skinned, being Scandinavian and all, and while I do tan nicely under the sun, 1.) it takes ages and 2.) so long that it wouldn’t be healthy. Don’t get me wrong, I like to catch a few rays, but the color comes from these bottles. A good mitt is a must for the application of these, but it glides on amazingly well and becomes straight-up addictive.
I’ve loved Molton Brown shower gels for ages. The scent just stays on my skin forever and it’s the most luxurious way of starting my day off in the shower. It’s on the pricey side for a shower gel, but for a special occasion it’s a wonderful way to treat myself.
Finally, I’ve been a fan of Acqua di Parma since I was a teenager, and I rediscovered it in 2020. Funny how you seem to have constant favorites over time! I have a serious soft spot for scents that are slightly androgynous and Acqua di Parma is for me the ultimate summer scent. It elevates my mood and it’s such a classic, clean and elegant fragrance. I’ll probably be repurchasing this for the rest of my life.
Without saying too much, my beauty needs and wants for 2021 have definitely shifted. As I mentioned I’m more concerned with finding cruelty free products. I’m also back to “real” skincare with active ingredients. Keep your eyes open for more!