Top 5 of 2014: Skincare

Ahoy there! I'm back to regale you with more tales about products, people, and things I've been using (ok, I haven't been using the people, but you get what I'm saying) and my top 5 picks in all categories. This round I'm talking skin care which I finally feel like I've got a handle on. (Took me long enough.)

So, let's cut to the chase, shall we? What were my favorite products of 2014?
Here we go!

The Tatcha Ritual Set (for Normal & Combination Skin)

If you've gotten to know me, you know the minute I applied Tatcha to my face, it was love at first ritual. There are few product lines I'm this addicted to. The Ritual Set is exactly that. It makes taking care of your skin a ritual. It's an indulgence.

I used to be one of those scrub-face-hope-all-my-make-up-came-off-slap-on-moisturizer-and-hit-the-pillow kinda ladies, but after I got this, I take the time to really massage my face, remove my make-up properly, exfoliate, and moisturize. Every night, like clockwork.

If I was ever without my Tatcha products, I would definitely have a mild anxiety attack...and possibly break out in hives. (I wasn't kidding when I said I was addicted.)

Couple the ritual set with the Revitalizing Eye Cream and the occasional Deep Hydration Lifting Mask (a favorite after most bi-coastal, my-face-is-now-as-dry-as-jerky, how-can-I-feel-so-dry-and-so-oily-at-the-same-time flights) and you've basically paved the way to better skin.

Also, don't miss out on snagging one of their travel sets and/or their trial size products. They're perfect for my quicker trips and allow me to not have to check my bag. Shout out to my mom-in-law, Elizabeth, who got me one of these kits for the holidays. I see many an unchecked bag in my future airport visits!

Though I credit my Asian genetics for staying relatively young-looking, Tatcha has absolutely helped me battle many a stress-induced, sleep-deprived, over-traveled wrinkle and will continue to do so until the end of my days.

I'm a lifer with this brand.

Kiehl's Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Cream

During the day, I like to continue to defend myself against wrinkling by using this magical cream. Listen, I'm no spring chicken and there are plenty of long, sunny, tanning (a.k.a roasting) beach days that I regret from my teens and 20's. That being said, it's never too late to defend your skin (though if you're in your 20's and haven't started yet, you best get going!)

This is my favorite daytime cream. It's super moisturizing and contains copper PCA, calcium PCA, and Apricot Kernel Oil. All of those things spell more skin elasticity and less wrinkles. I slather it all over my face and neck after washing my face in the morning.

It sits perfectly under my make-up and makes my skin supple...which is great for someone who doesn't drink as much water as she should (I'm working on that!!!) On top of that, a little goes a long way, so a jar lasts several months.

I will say that this can be on the oilier side for some people (I live in LA where there's basically no moisture to be seen for miles, so my skin needs it.) However, it's nothing one oil blotting sheet can't fix.

Michael Todd Charcoal Detox Cleanser & Eye Serum

After all the Michael Todd products I've used over the past few years, these two have stayed in my top 5. The Charcoal Detox Cleanser  is incredibly mild (as in get-it-in-your-eyes-and-it-doesn't-sting mild), but highly effective. Just make sure to actually take the time to massage your face properly with the light lather. No two second scrubbing and rinsing, it won't be fact, no facial cleanser is effective when you use it that quickly.

The other product is the Intensive Organic Cream Eye Treatment. This stuff is great for daytime use. It keeps the skin around your eyes nice and moisturized, so you can smile and squint away without the fear of crows feet.

Between this and the Tatcha eye cream, I've avoided eye wrinkles despite being guilty of making lots of faces all day long, whether as a response to something or just to make my husband laugh. I'm not saying I can fend off the eye wrinkles forever...but these eye creams are definitely slowing all of that down.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Sunscreen Fluid & 60 Melt-In Sunscreen Milk

And all this skin care work is for naught if you're forgetting to use sunscreen. I use this sunscreen religiously on my face...I also use this on my body, though I've gotten to covering up more these days.

I know, I know...we all love to get a golden glow. Some people's skin can handle it better than others. If your skin has a tendency to basically turn lobster red very quickly, the sun just isn't for you. I'm sorry...but that's ok. I've seen plenty of porcelain ladies with pale skin that are just as gorgeous...and their skin looks phenomenal because they stay out of the sun (or gob on the sunscreen.)

BUT just because you tan without burning does not mean you don't need sunscreen. PUT THE TANNING OIL DOWN. I don't know about you, but the last thing I want to do is fry my own skin...which is essential what tanning is.

I've gotten over it. My skin is the color it is and I don't need it to be tanner...even if that means getting cute freckles in a few places or making my legs look thinner or making me look healthier. Skin cancer and premature aging bummers, people. Just use sunscreen.

Boscia Luminizing Black Mask & Charcoal Blotting Linens

And finally, once you're done with all the routine skin care and you're looking for some extra indulgence or maintenance, I go with these two Boscia products.

The mask has been a favorite for a few years now...initially I was skeptical because, well, I used to use peel-off masks in the 90's, thinkin' I was all fancy during middle school and high school, but those things were completely ineffective.

I just happened to get a free tube of this Boscia mask and gave it a try. Firstly, it's a bit of a challenge because I forgot how tight peel-off masks get. Don't go near anyone who's funny or watch any comedies while you have this mask on because all you can do is make a weird sound with your mouth partially open in place of laughing.

It's really great for scaring, I'll never forget the first time Charles saw me with this mask on. He definitely paused for a second. He's lucky I didn't hide somewhere and jump out...actually, he probably would've punched me, so I'm glad I didn't do that.

...but I'm digressing. Once you peel off the mask (and if you do it all in once piece, it's really satisfying) you'll notice that your face is super smooth and super bright. I was truly surprised...and my skin felt supple and looked poreless.

In short, total win.

And these blotting linens? (Yes, they're called linens and not papers for some reason) Obsessed. I have a pack of them in my bag at all times. You just never know when you'll need to degrease. Unfortunately for me (or maybe fortunately because it keeps me from wrinkling), I have naturally oil skin. If it wasn't for these blotting papers, I'm sure I would have caused several car accidents by now just from the glare of the sun off my nose while driving.

So, there it is. My tried and true products either discovered during 2014 or used happily through it. They're still going strong and from what I can tell, they're doing great things for my skin. Hope you get a chance to try some of them out in the new year!


  1. Wow, that's what I was searching for, what a stuff! I really like the way you describe. A good body lotion is an essential part of a good skincare regime. So i regularly use sakare's body lotions.

  2. Even though it seems you're moving on from this blog, I wonder if you could update me on your current skin care routine. I've enjoyed your posts on Tatcha skincare and thank your insights on my foray into using this brand, which I, too, quite enjoy and trust. Are Tatcha products still your mainstays or have you any other new products that you use in your routine to keep your skin radiant and in a good shape? Thought I'd inquire in case you check out your blog and any inquiries readers like me may have. Thanks so much in advance, Nami, and congrats on all the new changes that have happened in your life in the last few years!