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Editor’s Picks: The 100+ Best Skincare, Makeup and Hair Products I Loved in 2017

The most amazing beauty staples and new discoveries of the year.
Best skincare and beauty products 2017

Once a year, I like to give you a list of all the products I used and loved in the last 12 months—and the time has come for my 2017 edition!

Consider this a beauty cheat sheet, if you're looking for my most recent recommendations in one handy place.

A lot of these things, you'll recognize from 2016, because when I find something that works, with great ingredients, I'm VERY loyal. 

(That's also why I no longer do a version of this list for new launches, because most of the time, I'm not impressed beyond the marketing hype to actually include them in my routine!)

That said, there are definitely some newcomers here that have now become permanent staples, such as BHAs and squalane oil.

If you'd like to see how I actually layer this stuff onto my face, take a look at my fall skincare routine. I'll be sharing a winter one shortly, with some recent purchases that I haven't talked about yet!

Until then, here's a look back at my favourite products, from head to toe:

Best Cleansers

COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

  • Creamy cleanser: I can't say enough good things about Schaf Facial Cleanser—it's quite possibly the PERFECT cleanser. Unlike most cream formulas, it rinses clean and is 100 percent natural. I use it a lot in colder weather, as it's non-drying. I'm also nearly done my tube of First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser (reviewed here), which is also a nice one, although not as natural.
  • Oil cleanser: I double cleanse at night whenever I've worn heavier makeup or sunscreen, and my oil of choice is coconut. I follow this method with a soft cloth. The Kopari Coconut Melt (reviewed here) looks pretty on your countertop, but you can also just get a big tub of Nutiva from the health food store and it will work just as well.

Best Exfoliators

COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

  • BHAs: I made the switch from AHAs to BHAs in 2017, and haven't looked back! You can read more about their benefits here. My Holy Grail product—and probably the single most important thing in my entire routine—is the COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid. It's what I rely on daily to keep my skin clear, bright and smooth. I also use the Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid sometimes, although I think it's more drying.
  • AHAs: To fade the pigmentation I always get in the summer, I doubled up on acids for a while and used Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 PIGM 400 in addition to the BHA, along with P50 Corps for my body. Earlier in the year, I also used Lotion P50 (which is no longer available in Canada) and P50T (reviewed here). I still love 'em, but if I had to choose, I'd go with BHAs—applied the same way, twice a day, I think they're more beneficial and less irritating. 

Best Hydrators

The Ordinary 100 Percent Plant-Derived Squalane

The Ordinary 100% Plant-Derived Squalane

  • Serum: No surprise here—my all-time favourite serum is still Consonant HydrExtreme (reviewed here). I don't use hyaluronic acid, as this works so well for me!
  • Oils: The big development here was that I discovered squalane oil in 2017... and now all other face oils are practically dead to me! Seriously, it works so well that I have no plans to EVER stop using it. You can read more about its benefits here. In the name of research, I tested squalanes from four different brands: Indie Lee, Peter Thomas Roth, Biossance and The Ordinary. I can't tell the difference between them at all, but I will say that Peter Thomas Roth and The Ordinary have the best and sturdiest packaging. 
  • Creams: I don't use face creams that often anymore, as I don't find I need them with my usual serum/oil combination. But if I do want extra moisture, my favourite is the silicone-free LXMI Crème du Nil (reviewed here). For eye cream, I was using Biossance Squalane + Peptide Eye Gel for a few months, but I started developing a bit of irritation. That skin is so sensitive, this often happens to me with eye formulas! So now I'm just sticking with squalane there. I also use squalane instead of lip balm!

Best Sunscreens

CyberDerm Every Morning Sun Whip SPF 25

CyberDerm Every Morning Sun Whip SPF 25

Best Skin Treatments

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10 Percent Zinc 1 Percent

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

  • Niacinamide: Although it's marketed as an acne/oily skin treatment, I use The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% for niacinamide's brightening effects. It's hard to say whether the vitamin C or niacinamide are more effective—I alternate both!

Best Skin Gadgets

Red Light Man Red Light Device

Red Light Man Red Light Device

  • Red light therapy: If I could only use one gadget, it would have to be the Red Light Man Red Light Device. I usually just lie in front of it for 20 minutes or so, repositioning it every so often until I've covered all of my face. You get an immediate glow, and it's incredibly beneficial for ALL skin issues—and good for your health, too!
  • Cleansing: The Foreo Luna 2 is still my cleansing brush of choice, because it doesn't collect bacteria and is gentle on the skin. I use it at night, when I can't be bothered with double cleansing.
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From The Skincare Edit Archives

  • Microcurrent: After reading this article, I was inspired to try microcurrent treatments with the NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Device. I *think* I can see a difference, but the challenge is to keep up with the treatments! In 2018, I'm thinking about trying microcurrent facials.
  • Microdermabrasion: Although I wouldn't say it's necessary with daily acids, I do a home microdermabrasion treatment every once in a while with PMD Personal Microderm. It's a great device to use once a week if you can't tolerate acids. 
  • Face massage: You know when you can just tell you're holding onto tension in your face? I've been massaging it out with the Clarisonic Smart Profile Uplift (reviewed here). My only issues with it are that it's kind of noisy, and it's expensive if you're not going to use the cleansing head (like I said, I use the Luna).
  • Lip plumping: This is a totally frivolous one, but I was so excited about the new PMD Kiss Lip Plumping System (reviewed here). I still use it for a little lip volume boost before going out!

Best Skin Makeup

RMS Beauty Un Cover-Up

RMS Beauty "Un" Cover-Up

  • Powder: ILIA Soft Focus Finishing Powder was a new purchase for me in 2017, and it's the best powder I've EVER used—yes, even better than RMS Beauty's! The texture is just amazing; non-slippery and very oil-absorbent (and it's silicone-free, of course). I use the Clinique Eyeshadow Brush to apply it only in the T-zone—never a big brush.
  • Highlighter: I know the brand has released other highlighters now, but for me, nothing beats the original RMS Beauty Living Luminizer

Best Colour Cosmetics

Dior Lip Glow

Dior Lip Glow Color Reviver Balm

Best Haircare

Nature Clean Pure Body Shampoo

Nature Clean Pure Body Shampoo

Best Bath, Body and Fragrance

Kopari Coconut Balm

Kopari Coconut Balm

  • Hands and feet: My hands don't usually get too dry, so I don't go through a lot of hand cream, but a new one I discovered in 2017 (and like a lot) is the Kopari Coconut Balm (reviewed here). For feet, I think urea is one of the best ingredients, and the Atrac-Tain Cream is the only urea-based cream that I've found without petroleum. I also do Baby Foot every so often.


So there you have it—a complete inventory of my 2017 beauty loves!

For what it's worth, you should be aware that I did purchase most of these items myself (and would do so again), instead of receiving them as PR samples. So I really do stand behind what I'm recommending here.

And as you can probably tell, I'm very much focused on skincare these days. I truly believe that is the reason why I can go so sheer with my foundation. (I'm also just feeling a more minimal, natural look in general—perhaps that's the Glossier effect, or just being too busy/lazy to experiment too much!)

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