Top 10 of 2011


I was inexplicably inspired by Elisa's alternating column post, I just had to do one myself :) Thanks Elisa! Unfortunately, unlike Elisa, I've been pretty bad on the review front in the past several months so some of my Top 10 picks have no full length reviews to accompany them. Also this list is my Top 10 favorite things I used regularly in 2011/currently (as opposed to the best 10 products I discovered in 2011). This is ranked in order of importance in my life ;)

#1 - Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate
I haven't done a full review post on this yet, but it deserves one. I got this after hearing about it from fuzkitte and bought it mostly out of curiosity. Plus the hygienic eye-dropper design appealed to my lab rat side~

As one of the most hyped items of 2011, I had low expectations for this, especially since I'm a strong believer in that there are no "miracle product" for skin. While this doesn't do everything (aka moisturize), this is one of two items I use every night and I think it has really improved my skin over the past year (started using it daily in June 2011). It has a lovely, light citrus scent and does not leave a residue in the morning. Though this is on the pricey side, even after 6 months of daily use (~3-4 drops), I still have half the bottle left.

The reason I love this so much? I noticed the effects of this within 3-4 days of use (immediate redness reduction and glowing skin the next morning). It's like getting the results of a sheet mask without a sheet mask and sort of why I stopped using sheet masks for awhile. Long term use has smoothed of skin texture and overall permanently reduced the redness I had on my cheeks. I highly recommend this for anyone with sensitive skin and hyperpigmentation. Everyone's skin is different, but I think this product is worth sampling!
#2 - Vitacreme B12
I've been using this for about a year solid now and it is hands down my face lotion of choice (though I do sometimes extra-moisturize with the Boscia Intensifying Moisture Pack+ in the winter). It has no SPF and is not a heavy duty moisturizer. However, the quick absorption, gentleness, and the fact it goes very well under makeup is what I like so much. The delicate baby powder scent is also a plus.

Make sure you massage this into your face up & out to get the full effects, like the directions say. I think that massaging makes a huge difference in the overall results. I didn't massage until 3-4 months in when I finally read the directions that came with the product >_> and seriously, give it 3 days and your face will seem firmer and tighter somehow. So, yes, massage a pea-sized bit on your face for about 1 min, up and out.

This is pretty much a cult favorite and yeah, I'm in that cult :)

#3 - Boscia Cleansing Gel
Been using this for a loooonggg time, since bloody December 2010! I've sampled other face washes through but I always come back to this one.

I wear BBcream pretty much everyday and am still lazy now as I was in a 2-step cleansing process would never work for me. This puppy takes off BBcream + Koji Wink eyeliner + Boi-ing Concealer everyday without fail. I use 1-2 pumps, lather it up with my hands, smooth the bubbles on my face, brush my teeth (yes, with the gel on my face), and rinse off. Yeahhh, kill two birds with one stone! The whole shebang takes 5 minutes on the days I don't take showers. Super gentle, effective, and can't put a price on a good cleanser (especially if you're a makeup-wearing, acne-prone lazy bum).

#4 - Skinfood Mushroom BB Cream
Like the Boscia cleanser, I've tried several BBcreams over the past few years but always come back to this one. I like the slightly heavier coverage, the dewy finish (tho some might say oily), and it just works with my skin color. It smells like grass (I like it) and it's never broken me out.

It sometimes can be a bit tricky to apply naturally without getting the caked texture. Basically, you should pat it in and apply in thin layers, waiting 3-4 minutes between each layer. This is my favorite BBcream and I probably will never switch unless Skinfood discontinues it (NIGHTMARE).

#5 - Lioele A.C. Trouble Control Patches favorite acne solution. I've tried a couple of acne patch brands (3M - review coming up, The Face Shop) and Lioele's is the best. All three are equally effective in the long run I think, but Lioele's patches are the most invisible, easiest to get in the U.S., and leaves the least residue. I slap these on every time I get a pimple and if anything, they keep me from picking at it with my dirty fingers. LOVE these and are my favorite acne control method :)

#6 - Benefit Boi-ing Concealer
Tried this after hearing rave reviews from Mara. I have since switched from shade Medium 02 to Light 01, which is a closer match to my skin and blends perfectly under my Mushroom BBcream. What I really like is how this "sticks" to your skin and actually covers redness with a thin layer; you don't have to cake it on. A little goes a long way and it's totally worth $18. I don't use this every day, just on days I look particularly pimply and red, but when I do I look like I have perfect pictures anyway ;) The only thing I don't like is that it works best (for me) when I use my finger and the hygiene thing kind of annoys me. Nevertheless, this is definitely my favorite concealer!

#7 - The Body Shop Cocoa Butter Lip Care Stick
This is the only lip balm I use now. I just LOVE the scent of this just smells so damn good! It's a tad pricey as lip balms go ($8) but come on, one stick lasts forever - I'm still using my first one! It glides on like a dream (you may need to warm it up a bit first) and though some people may not like the butter-y slick it leaves behind, I like it. This has no SPF sadly, but it's super moisturizing and goes under lipstick well.

Read the full review
#8 - Koji Dolly Wink Liquid Liner
I never made a review post of this, but everyone and their grandma has reviewed it ^_^ In a nutshell, IT JUST WORKS.

My mini-review: Contrary to popular opinion, this is not a "miracle" for oily lids. For me, this does rub off a little bit during the day. I find that the part closest to my hidden fold rubs off the fastest - basically, the line gets "thinner" as the day goes on. But the part closest to my lashes will last the whole day no matter what I am doing. What makes it for me is that it's so easy to remove, just a bit of warm water will do the trick. It's also SO easy to apply because the super fine tip. I've never tried an eyeliner that comes close to the ease of use as Koji's. MAC Fluidline is darker and richer in color, but it's a bitch to get off in my opinion. Plus I can't be bothered with the whole brush tip thing every morning.

The popularity of this item has made it easy to find online; you can find it anywhere on Ebay, Sasa, Amazon for roughly$14.

#9 - Boscia Moisturizing Pack
I use this only in the winter and what I use when I need a good kick of moisture. It smells strongly of cough drops but it works for me since I use it in winter and it clears my sinuses ;) It has a liquid-y gel texture that I find really cooling and light, especially for such an intensive moisturizer. It's unique in that it's not a cream but still hydrates like one. A little goes a long way so don't slather it on or you'll wake up with a coat of oil on your face ;)

#10 - Etude House Orgel Light (Coral Pink)
Still my favorite lipstick. It's my lips but better and leaves a lovely shine and a faint pink tint. It's not super long lasting but it smells great (like fruit), always looks good, and I dunno...I just like it. One tube is lasting me forever, I'm still using my first one O_o Given I don't use this everyday but it's my fail-safe lip color and one that I use when I want to look nice but don't want to make it look like I am wearing any makeup ^_~ I've never seen these sold online anywhere, but they have a ton of shades and are totally worth a try if you're in Korea. Best scented lipstick (more like lip tint) that I've ever used.

A couple runner ups that I love but didn't make the list: My Beauty Diary Apple Polyphenol Mask, My Beauty Diary French White, Zoya Freja, and the Zoya Sunshine Collection. I didn't put them on the list because I feel like I could "live without them" but they sure are great to use :)

I still love shopping *sigh* but have really cut back on my makeup/skincare purchases in the past few months because I am happy with what have (sadly, my shop-a-holic ways have transferred themselves to clothes now >_>). If you've tried any of these products below, definitely let me know your thoughts!


  1. I am learning all sorts of new products from this list. Thanks!

  2. whoaaa, your layout is even better than mine!!! ='D I've been wanting to try the kiehl's serum =.= but gahhh, so pricey =( i also read a lot of great reviews about estee lauder serums, but GAHHH so expensive x__X sigh.. 

    and about the dolly wink eyeliner, i finally bought one, but haven't tried it out yet >.<" i hope it won't smudge that much on my oily lids =/ ... i read great reviews about the one day tattoo eyeliner of K-palette, tried that one before? 

  3. Great favorites, I've only tried #7 and totally agree with you on that one. I'm intrigued with 1 and 2, I may give them a try this year.

  4. great top 10s for 2011 ^^ I love the dolly wink eyeliner =D i haven't tried the Kiehl's concentrate serum but it looks interesting :D

  5. I really want to try that Kiehl's midnight recovery serum now, you and Fuz make it sound so magical.  I wish Vitacreme b12 was easier to get a hold of, I've heard nothing but good reviews.  Plus the cream is pink.  Thanks for sharing you top favorites. 

  6. Oh how I love that Dolly Wink eyeliner. I really want to try Kiehl's Midnight recovery. I seriously need to look into investing in my skin more.

  7. Noticed that a lot of Korean and Japanese brands. I find these better for Asian skins too, and love the pretty packaging. Kawaii!

  8. I love your favorites Elle! I really want to try the Vitacreme B12 and the Skinfood bb cream now - I've been looking for a heavier coverage bb cream since the Missha Perfect Cover breaks me out.

    I just used up my Boscia Moisturizer and it is probably one of the most moisturizing facial lotions I've tried to date. It's worked miracles on my super dry skin in the winter. I'm a big fan of Boiing as well - I just purchased my 2nd one :)

  9. ELLE! Dang, I was just reading all the products that you have been loving. I'm kinda sold on the Kiehl's Midnight recovery, Boscia Cleansing Gel and Skinfood BB cream. ahhhhh. Have you tried Etude House's Precious BB Cream? Because if you did, I just wanted to know how it compared to Skinfood's. Tehehe

    I am the MAKEUP WEARING, ACNE PRONE LAZY BUM. woohooo I dont know why I'm so proud to be one. lol But you really recommend it for acne prone peeps? Heck, then i'm in!

    Anyways Thxs for the review. They were hecka helpful!

  10. I'd really love to try more Boscia. Really should have bought more while I was in the US ! Really great recommendations ;-) I'll have to look into Kiehl's as well !

  11. Vitacreme B12 is also my fave!! My skin never got used to the Kiehl's midnight recovery serum... I should keep trying! But i think it gives me blackheads =_=


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