Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Best and Worst Natural Beauty Products of 2013

Just like last year, I've put together a roundup of the best and worst natural beauty and skincare products I used in 2013. I always appreciate when bloggers post on not only what works well for them but also what doesn't, so hopefully this is helpful to you!

For reference (to get an idea if these products may work for you), I'm:

  • Blonde with blue-green-grey eyes and pale skin.
  • I tend to burn easily and then tan. My skin is dry but mystifyingly prone to breakouts. My skin tone is pale and pretty neutral with a slight tendency toward blue undertones (blue-based clothing/makeup look better on me, not yellow-based colors like olive).
  • My blonde hair is fine, previously processed, and prone to greasiness/limpness. It isn't frizzy or easily tangled, and it dries quickly and can hold a curl  but is naturally straight.
  • I don't have rosacea, eczema, etc, although I do have acne and blackheads.

Best Natural Skincare of 2013:
  • Skin Apotheke Ubtan Scrub (my review here) (two-time Best Of winner!)
    • I really loved this scrub until I got some water in the container and mold grew :( However, when I went to buy another I saw that the price had increased from $20 when I first bought it to $32 currently! In my opinion that's too much for this scrub so I'm on the search for another, but I really do love this one.
  • Stark Skincare Cyprus Oil (my review here)
    • My love affair continues with this oil--I'm on my second bottle. It smells divine, adds the perfect amount of dewiness and moisture to my skin, and soothes my skin when it becomes inflamed. When I'm not going anywhere, I'll wash my face and just add this for the day. It's so light and soaks in quickly so I forget I even have it on!
  • Devita Solar SPF 30 Protective Moisturizer (apparently I never reviewed this?!)
    • Holy Grail product! I'm on my third tube of this moisturizer because it's so fantastic. It's perfectly lightweight, not greasy, but really moisturizes. I've mixed mineral foundations with it as a tinted moisturizer, and I like to layer it over Stark's cyprus oil too. I love that it's SPF 30, and it doesn't break me out.
  • Andalou Naturals Glycolic Brightening Pumpkin and Honey Face Mask (my review here)
    • I loved this so much I ran out of it! I thought I'd play around with other masks but I find myself missing this one so I'll probably repurchase it sometime soon. 
  • Badger's Damascus Rose Beauty Balm (my review here) (two-time Best Of winner!!)
    • This balm is a perennial favorite (seriously, it made last year's Best Of list). It's too heavy for me in the summer and during the day, but I love it in the winter as a night cream. It makes a noticeable difference in the moisture of my skin but never causes breakouts. I put this on any time my skin needs a nice drink and I wake up with the softest skin :)
  • Devita's Cocoa and Cappuccino Masque (my review here)
    • I really really loved this mask until it developed mold (booooo!) The above link takes you to their Cappuccino Cocoa mask, which has a slightly different name and different packaging than the product I bought and I'm not sure if they are the same. Either way, I'd rebuy!
  • Andalou Naturals Cleansing Milk:
    • I've been loving this cleansing milk as a nightly facewash. It's super gentle and doesn't dry out my already-dry, sensitive skin. It takes off makeup and face grime easily. The consistency is like a runny lotion--not thick at all, and it spreads easily on the face. Sometimes it doesn't feel like it's getting everything off my face (like my face feels like it should be more 'stripped) but it really does! This doesn't completely conquer my breakouts but it does reduce the prevalence of them. I'm on the lookout for another similarly gentle cleanser than can kick my acne to the curb, but until then I'll continue using this. 
  • Rainwater Botanicals deodorant (my review here)
    • Since discovering this deodorant I think I've gone through 3 sticks. I love the lavender sage and lemongrass scents! I also tried the Jasmine Wind scent but for some reason it was really ineffective for me. I worried that the shop owner had changed the formula but I bought another stick of Lavender Sage and it works just as well as ever. So if you try out this deodorant and it doesn't work for you, try another scent and it may work better! She even has a great sample package so it's easy to find your best fit :)
Best Natural Makeup of 2013:

  • W3LL People Universalist #2 and #8 (my review of #2 here)
    • I love number two "Moonstone Glow" as an illuminator--I put it in the inner corner of my eye, on my cupid's bow, and on my cheekbones for a little extra touch that perks me right up! Number 8 "creamy dusty rose" is a perfect coral/pink color that looks great as a subtle blush. I don't typically use this on my lips but it's designed for both. Since these are cream-based products, I do have to reapply mid-day but it's a pleasure to do so anyway so I don't mind :)
  • Real Purity mascara in navy (not in purple!) (my review here)
    • I really loved this product in navy. It was great at darkening, lengthening, and curling my lashes. It still doesn't hold up to my former 'dirty' mascaras in performance but it's a good everyday staple. 
  • Oh Sudz concealer (my review here) (two-time Best Of winner!!)
    • This concealer continues to be my favorite, especially once I figured out that it's better to blend it with a concealer brush than my fingers. It has lasting power and blends flawlessly into my skin. My stick has lasted all year!
  • Silk Naturals Heavenly mineral glow
    • I bought a sample of this just before Christmas and plan to buy a full size. This glow is essentially a powder blush--it's a gorgeous subtle shimmer and looks very natural brushed across my cheeks. It's perfect for those 'no-makeup' looks and, with a tan in the summer, would make a great replacement for bronzer.

Worst Natural Beauty Products of 2013:

  • Real Purity mascara in violet
    • I'm not sure what went wrong here, since RP's mascara in navy is my current favorite natural mascara. It's like the violet one has an entirely different ingredient list! The violet is much too light, for one--it barely darkens my naturally light-brown lashes. On top of that, the violet version does nothing to lengthen or curl my lashes. At $15 a pop I expect more out of this product and will never repurchase it in this color.
  • Acure organics dry shampoo (my review here)
    • As I stated in my review, this was a rare fail for Acure in my opinion. I love many of their products, but this powder was really ineffective for me. In fact, I returned it and have since just used cornstarch, which is more effective than this product. 
  • Acure Organics Mint Shampoo (my review here)
    • I used to love this shampoo, but somehow over time it lost its efficacy on my hair and I started to notice that my hair looked greasier and greasier after using this. I'm bummed, because it used to be a Holy Grail product for me. I've switched to another tea-tree based shampoo and don't love it, but it performs better than this mint shampoo did at the end. Still on the hunt for a perfect replacement!

What are your favorite products of 2013? Any big fails I should avoid?


  1. I really want to try that cleansing milk from Andalou! I love the Blissoma mild rice cleanser but it's about $30! And I'm also using the Micheal Todd honey and oat cleanser but it strips a little to much in the winter! (I would love if you would stop by my natural blog! http://taylorssimplyjoy.blogspot.com/

  2. I've used the Blissoma cleanser before but actually prefer the Andalou one! Give it a whirl, and thanks for stopping by!