When it came to beauty discoveries, 2018 was a year unlike any other. It was a year that I found some incredible, steadfast skincare staples, and on a few occasions, I went out of my makeup comfort zone and took a chance on some quite interesting, colorful products. Indeed, it was a year of experimenting while also one of trying to establish a more consistent routine—just one less thing to think about, right?
Last year, my beauty goals were, in part, defined by my having a baby. I needed glow-enhancing skincare products (that weren’t too fiddly), makeup that could quickly make me feel elegant on those occasions that I left the house, and a hair routine that was as effortless as possible while disguising my postpartum hair loss. I think I was successful in two of these three goals! Read on for the top five tools I discovered in 2018.
These Are the 5 Best Vegan Beauty Products I Discovered in 2018
Murad City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50
This lightweight sunscreen was an important discovery for a few reasons: this is one of the best mineral sunscreens in terms of wearability—it’s neither oily nor drying, it feels weightless, it’s not chalky, and it plays beautifully with foundation. Murad City Skin sunscreen also helps protect skin from pollution and blue light from electronics, which some dermatologists believe may harm skin. The huge drawback of this product is the price per ounce (ugh!), so I probably won’t repurchase. However, it’s still among my 2018 beauty hall of fame because using it daily helped remind me to take other measures to reduce my skin’s exposure to blue light from screens by using apps like flux and using a screen cover on my smartphone. I don’t know if my skin has been significantly protected, but my eyes are much happier—and that’s a beautiful thing, too! Finally, this product alerted me to an emerging sub-genre of skincare, and fortunately, more lines are coming out with blue-light blocking products. (BareMinerals has its own version at a better price, but I’ve yet to try it.)
NuFACE Microcurrent Facial Device
After Juhea gave the NuFACE Mini a try, I had to jump on board, too! I joked to Juhea that before using the device, I felt like my face was a Picasso painting—features all over the place!—and the beautiful little NuFACE puts it back together. That’s a big hyperbole, of course, but the NuFACE does have a way of subtly putting my face in order. When I go to wash my face, I can tell that my facial muscles feel more toned—or at least more awake and engaged. Some skin experts also suggest that in addition to toning facial muscles and boosting collagen production, microcurrent technology may also help fight acne.
Some old favorites that also helped my skin glow in 2018: Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Skin-Perfecting Liquid, Paula’s Choice 1% Retinol, and a slew of plant-based facial oils–I’m always treating my skin to serious moisturizing!
Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Glam Eyeshadow Palette
Cruelty-free brand Anastasia Beverly Hills released some gorgeous eyeshadow palettes last year, and I was especially taken with Soft Glam, a palette of rusty browns, glimmering golds, and multi-dimensional rose hues. While some of the colors are somewhat neutral, the palette feels more like a collection of attention-grabbing warm-toned jewels, especially because the pigment payoff and longevity is one of the best I’ve experienced. This was a bit of a wildcard pick for me because I tend to stick to more demure shades, but I have no regrets. You can easily create a statement eye or do a gorgeous color wash (one of my favorite quick techniques). With time not on my side, I usually skipped eyeliner and just used this palette and a few strokes of mascara. New signature makeup!
Where has tubing mascara been all my life? Blinc Mascara is such a welcome member of my makeup arsenal. As a serial mascara smudger, this innovative tubing formula was a game changer. In addition to having serious staying power, it also delivers on length. The tubes that form around your lashes dissolve in warm water (no need to abuse one’s lashes with persistent swiping–phew!).
Around three months postpartum, many mothers experience seemingly drastic hair loss as a result of hormonal fluctuations. I was no exception. I lost fistfuls of hair over the course of about a month, and because most of the hair loss was around my hairline, my hairline looked really wonky. I’d read that one can disguise this with a fringe, but bangs and I do not get along. So I just waited it out. Postpartum hair loss is almost always temporary, however—it grows back like gangbusters!
Soon enough, I had a halo of little baby hairs along my hairline, which also looked goofy (they stuck straight up!), but I was grateful to see them. In the meantime, I focused on keeping my hair in the healthiest condition possible with weekly deep conditioning and a post-shower hair oil on the ends. Also, I told my hair stylist that I needed a “wash and wear” cut, one with layers to add body and movement; this is the best option for me because I almost always air-dry my hair.
While I never quite got my hair to look as stylish as I’d like (therefore not really meeting goal #3), I occasionally added a bit of polish with a wonderful hot tool that’s basically a heated brush that smooths and straightens hair. (Mine is very similar to this one.) It would take me anywhere between five and ten minutes to use this, but given life with a baby, it didn’t get used that often. I’m certainly hanging on to it, however, because it’s so user-friendly (even easier than a traditional straightener) and on hair that’s relatively straight to begin with, it’s the next best thing to a blowout.
What are your favorite beauty discoveries of 2018? Do you have any specific beauty goals for 2019?
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