Favorites of 2013

Happy New Year everyone! 今年もよろしくお願いします!

2013 was really a tough year for me. I moved internationally twice, had some struggles at work, had some personal issues, and really had the toughest year that I can remember.  A huge thanks to all of my blogger friends who listened to me rant online, for the bloggers and other people in my twitter/facebook/pinterest feed who kept me distracted from the troubles in my life, and for everyone who reads my blog for the support that you have given me over the last year.

Here are my favorites from 2013! Unlike past years, I have included items that I tried in previous years. If you are interested in seeing my past favorites, I have done an annual roundup for 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2009.   Wow, I can’t believe that this is the 5th time I have done this kind of post!

As usual, all links go to previous reviews.

Skin Care

Best makeup remover

Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes
You can tell that this is an extremely old picture from when this blog was called by another name. The link goes to a review that I wrote in 2010!!!!   When I was in Hawaii this past December, a fellow beauty blogger kindly gave me some of these wipes, and reminded me of how much I love them. I love that these are big enough to cleanse my entire face, and remove my (non-waterproof) mascara. The watchout is that they cannot remove my eyeliner well because I smudge it into my eyelashes.

Best shower gel

Bath and Body Works shower gels tend to all be the same for me in terms of how they perform. This one stands out because I really, really love the scent.

Best cleanser

I upgraded my review of this product from “Maybe” to “Yes”. This product improved my skin’s turnover, improving the texture and appearance. 

Best eye cream

This is the first eye cream that I have tried which I actually liked. It is a serum-like product which was absorbed quickly into my skin without leaving any residue. It is light enough to use in the summer (like in Indonesia or during my trip to Hawaii), yet moisturizing enough for me in the winter.

Best face mask

I reviewed this product 3 years ago, and when I look back at all the exfoliating face masks that I have tried, this is still the best one!

Best body lotion

The Body Shop Body Butter in Ginger Sparkle
This is a product I picked up while in Hawaii, and promptly fell in love once I got back to Japan. It is the most moisturizing body lotion I have used in recent years! It is a limited edition product, and considering The Body Shop Body Butters come in a range of different moisturizing levels, I am very interested to find a non-LE product which works for me.  A review is coming up soon!

Makeup

Best foundation

Surprised? You shouldn’t be.  This product made it into my favorites list 3 months consecutively since I started using it. It is the first foundation that I wasn’t sick of using before I ran out of it. I use the shade Sand Beige. 

Best BB cream

This BB cream is a local Indonesian product that I picked up after reading recommendations on Indonesian beauty blogs.  I am not even sure why I keep going back to this BB cream over the others that I own, but somehow this product makes my imperfections less noticeable without looking caked on. Oh, and it was super cheap in Indonesia – less than $10.

Best false lashes

Don Quijote Value Pack Cross Short
I know, I know, I haven’t written a post about Don Quijote (known as Donki, a 24 hour shopping chain in Japan), and I definitely haven’t written a review on these false lashes. It’s funny how writing these roundup posts remind me of reviews I need to finish! These lashes are cheap (around 1000 yen or $10 for the pack) and look natural on my eyes. They also come in different styles!
(picture from Donki’s website)

Best eyeshadow

I love how pigmented they are. I love how they last all day on my eyes, even in the sweltering heat, and don’t fade.  I love the colors. And I love all of my blogger friends who have helped me enlarge my collection!

Best lipstick shade

MAC Viva Glam V

Yet another product which I haven’t reviewed… but it is so well loved that I hesitate to write a blog post on it since it will only repeat information which is on other blogs.

Other favorite products

Favorite brush

I love to use this with any full coverage foundation. I love that it is super soft, only $10, and cruelty free.  I don’t love that it has been discontinued, but I bought and tried the Ecotools Domed Bronzer Brush, and I am extremely happy to say that it works just as well for me.


Best nail product

I really love these, and I stocked up on some while I was in Hawaii. I also started putting a gel topcoat on top and curing it with an LED light, which really helps it to last.
(picture from my instagram)

The blog

Most reviewed brand on Cosmeddicted
No surprise! This is the 3rd straight year that I reviewed more products from Lush than from any other brand.  However, this year I did only 8 reviews of Lush products, which is as many as I did in my first 9 months of blogging.
Actually, I did not blog a lot in 2013.  I did only a total of 39 product reviews – less than one per week. In comparison, I did 46 in 2012.  This has a lot to do with my moving twice, especially as I moved to Indonesia with most of my stash in storage.

Second most reviewed brand on Cosmeddicted

Bath and Body Works is my second most reviewed brand in 2013, but I did only 3 reviews. The second most reviewed brand in 2012 was L’Oreal.

My favorite blog post of 2013

When I lived abroad, I stocked up on “essential” skin care supplies on my trips back to Japan. Apparently I bought much more than I needed, because now I have bags and bags of cotton and lotion for lotion masks. I am slowly going through my stash of these and other things which I have hoarded over the past 3 years! 

Most viewed blog post of 2013

This continues to be my number one viewed blog post, perhaps because there are only a few reviews of this product in English.
What I want to improve in my blog
1. More beauty tips: I used to do these quite frequently, but I did only one last year!
2. Get back on Pinterest: I browse Pinterest frequently but I want to also post more frequently this year.
3. Change my layout: I’ve started to look for a new, simpler layout. I hope I can find one soon.
Thank you again to everyone’s love and support to my blog throughout 2013. Best wishes to you all for 2014!
xoxo, K
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