It’s almost the end of the year so I thought I’d share my favourite things and best purchases. I was also prompted by questions on my Instagram asking if I recommend something and any gift ideas. This post can be a gift guide in a way, for someone who likes fashion and beauty like me. 🙂
I have a combination of beauty, fashion and random things that I loved and used this year. I’ll start with my beauty favourites:
This year, I have really been into Korean beauty products. I have tried Kbeauty the past few years but it’s really this year that most of my skincare routine are Kbeauty products. They work and are more affordable than most western brands I’ve tried.
- Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask – I have been using this lip sleeping mask for years. It always tops my most used/favourite because it’s the best. If you haven’t tried it, you are truly missing out. I have a few because they’re everywhere: in my car, handbag, bedside table, dresser etc. I also love the lip balm version which is a lot easier to apply when you’re out and about. I can’t live without this as no other lip balm compares. I love the berry (og) flavour the most but they come out with seasonal scents too. The peppermint and gingersnap from the Christmas set are great too.
- CosRx Snail mucin essence – This might sounds weird if you haven’t heard of it before but it is amazing. It’s hydrating and moisturising and is a must for my skincare routine.
- Laneige cream mist – I’m into spray mists / toner mists rather than toners you have to use a cotton pad. This one has been one of my favourites I’ve tried.
- AHC eye cream – I have tried so many other eye cream brands and this is my favourite. I like the formula and also how affordable it is.
- Heimish Watermelon gel cream – I used to love the Clinique moisture surge and I found this as a greater, more affordable alternative. It’s not sticky and absorbs well into the skin. It’s lightweight and moisturising. I’ve gone through 2 tubs of this already.
- Innisfree green tea sleeping mask – This is a fairly new addition to my routine as I got this from my Melbourne trip but it has been a favourite already. I will repurchase this.
PS. You can get most of these Korean beauty products from Hikoco, Adore Beauty or Sunday Ritual online. Hikoco has an actual store in the CBD and Newmarket.
- The Ordinary lash and brow serum – I have tried a few lash serums over the years. I started on Revitalash which was great and made my lashes fuller and longer, however it is quite pricey. I think it’s great when you’re starting out with thin and short lashes. Nowadays, I’m more about maintenance so I didn’t mind not using Revitalash anymore. I then moved on to Lashfridays which worked for a while but I had issues with it going off after a month or so and made my eyes crusty so I stopped using it. I thought I’d try The Ordinary one as I saw it on Farmers one day and it’s actually great! My lashes have been long and it works! It’s only around $30 too.
- Missha aqua sun gel spf50 – Missha has been my go-to sunscreen for every day. It doesn’t give a white cast on the face and it’s good under makeup too. Also super affordable. I think it’s one of the cheapest Kbeauty spfs I’ve seen at $20 and it works!
I also loved this Innisfree Apple Seed Cleansing Oil. I have gone through 2 bottles of this. It’s great at taking makeup off without stinging your eyes.
I’ve had an LED mask on my wishlist this year. There are quite a lot of options now but the popular ones are from $600-800 which is a lot of money! After some searching, I ended up buying the Permaderm Boost LED mask. It’s currently $210 down from $299 which is a great deal. Shipping was fast and so far, I like it! I don’t regret purchasing this at all.
It has both Red + NIR light and Blue light. The red light is more for anti-aging while blue light is for acne. I am consistent with my skincare routine and put this one most nights. I have seen my skin being more glowy, makeup looks good on my skin and acne/spots clear up faster and I think they fade quicker too. So far, I’m happy with it.
I like that it’s wireless so I can walk around and do chores while I have this on. I usually put this on the red light setting for 10mins then fold my washing. I only have to charge it maybe once every 2 weeks so it lasts well. The mask is a bit heavy but it just needs getting used to.
I don’t have too much makeup favourites as I tend to switch between products I have but these two have been great:
- Mecca Max whiplash tubing masara – I have tried a few tubing mascaras and this is still the best one under the $30 mark.
- Heimish Artless Glow Base – I got a sample of this from a Hikoco order and loved it so I bought the full size one. It’s great under makeup as a glowy base as the name suggest but I like that it also has spf. I don’t rely on this as my sole sunscreen but it’s good to have an additional layer. It’s like MAC strobe cream but with spf.
As for lipsticks, I really loved this Gucci tinted lip balm in Penelope Plum. The left photo is when I bought it and on the right is its current state. I have used it so much. It’s a tinted balm so it’s moisturising / not drying at all but it’s also quite pigmented. I also love the packaging. I will not hesitate repurchasing this one after I use it all up.
Bodycare / Haircare
For haircare, these two were my absolute favourites:
- Eleven Australia Miracle Hair Treatment – I’ve used this for years and it’s another holy grail product of mine. I love it and my hair is not the same if I don’t regularly use it.
- Ouai Wave Spray – I prefer to have my hair wavy/curly rather than straight and this product helps in keeping my hair wavy all day. It smells great too.
As for fragrances, I am so glad I discovered the Perfume Oil Company this year. I love the Santal 33 scent and it’s been my signature scent this year. I struggle with perfumes/fragrances now as most scents give me a headache. Even the original Le Labo Santal perfume gives me a headache. Thankfully the Perfume Oil Company one doesn’t and I love it. I’ve repurchased it in the bigger size but it’s still in a roller ball bottle. It’s easy to put in my handbag and the scent lasts all day. These perfumes are great for travelling.
The fragrance sets (left photo) would a be a great gift too. They smell great and won’t break the bank. I highly recommend! I also shared this in more detail in my midyear recap blog post.
Moving on to some fashion favourites, it’s a mix of brand new and opshopped/secondhand purchases.
At the start of this year, I did treat myself to this YSL cardholder wallet. It was my birthday gift to myself. I like smaller wallets and this was a perfect buy for me. It’s embossed leather so it’s not smooth which is great because it doesn’t scratch easily. I don’t baby this wallet at all and it gets chucked with my keys etc but it still doesn’t have scratches.
I thought instead of buying a designer bag (brand new), I’d rather buy a wallet first that I know I will use every day. This was a treat but one I do not regret at all. It has lasted quite well and I’m pretty happy with it. I got it from the Saint Laurent store in Newmarket and we had a great service there.
For the past 2 years, I really got back into my love of bags. Especially, secondhand designer bags. This Burberry bag has been my absolute favourite. I bought it from Designer Wardrobe for such a great price. I love the colour and it goes well with most outfits in my wardrobe. The camera-style is perfect as it fits everything I usually need with me. I actually bought this in 2021 but it has been 2022’s most worn/used bag.
As for my 2022 best bag purchases (I have a few haha), my faves have to be the vintage Bally woven leather bag and the Coach bag. The Bally bag was a great find from Luxury Trade. It’s vintage and about as old me but it is in such amazing condition. There are no scratches on the leather and even the inside of the bag is leather and also in good condition. It shows the quality of the leather and craftmanship of Bally.
The Coach bag was a Designer Wardrobe find for a ridiculous price as she just wanted it gone. I quickly snapped it up and it has been my go-to errands/popping out to shops bag. It comes with a crossbody strap and a wrist strap as well. It’s probably my second most worn/used bag this year. I think I got this for $50 including shipping and it was barely used condition. This is still on the Coach website for $495! Such a steal!
For clothing, I really had these as my most worn pieces:
- Floral dress (left) – It was another secondhand Designer Wardrobe find and is my most worn dress ever since I got it. It’s been my go-to dress and I probably wore it weekly.
- Witchery floral skirt – I initially bought a long-sleeve midi dress version of this floral print but I ended up returning it and getting the skirt version instead. It was the best idea because this skirt has been my most-worn skirt this year. I love wearing it to work with a long-sleeve shirt or my other fave Loewe t-shirt. It works with boots, loafers and sneakers. I love it.
- Loewe anagram t-shirt – This was a Recycle Boutique find and I was so stoked when I saw it. It was cheap and I’m thankful they probably didn’t know how much Loewe is! This t-shirt has been my go-to and I love wearing it with the skirt above.
- Puma Cali sneakers – My most worn pair of shoes is this all white sneakers. I have another Puma cali pair in pink and white but I snapped this up from Designer Wardrobe as I knew it would be more versatile. It goes with any outfit I choose and why I wear it almost every time I go out.
I had to give a special mention to Papinelle as they do the prettiest and comfy pyjamas! I was gifted the Papinelle x Karen Walker set on the right by my sister but I have since bought 3 other pj sets and a robe. I love the quality, feel and design of their pjs. The cotton and cotton and silk ones are great. Yes, they’re a bit pricey but they go on sale a few times a year and that’s when I bought mine. Life is too short to not wear nice pjs has been my saying haha. These would be great gifts as it’s it might not be something people want to buy for themselves but would be great to receive.
I also want to add Hine Collection activewear. I posted about my love for Hine back in 2021 too. Their activewear is the only ones I wear to go to the gym. I like that I’m supporting a wahine Māori / NZ owned brand and I genuinely love the sports bras, leggings and shorts I own. I have the sets in black and navy blue and they’re amazing. I’ve sold/gotten rid of my other activewear as I mostly just wear Hine.
I also have some random favourites I wanted to share:
I think my best and most worn purchase is my pair of Bailey Nelson eyeglasses with transition lenses. I got 2 pairs on sale when they were doing a deal and I ended up getting transition lenses on one pair which was the best decision ever. I have to wear glasses to see properly and having transition lenses made me wear contacts less and it’s so great for sunny/bright days. I don’t have to switch to sunglasses because they adjust automatically.
If you’re a glasses-wearer, I highly recommend adding it on. I can’t go back now. I’m wearing the same glasses on the photos above but you can see one is clear and the other has a darker lens because it was sunny outside. The lenses get darker too, depending on brightness. I love it so much which is a big deal for me because I hated wearing glasses for as long as I can remember.
Another favourite is this Takeya water bottle. I didn’t buy this but my sister gifted me this for my birthday as I wanted an insulated bottle that has a straw. This is my gym water bottle. It keeps the water cold and it’s the best. Perfect for the gym and at the beach.
A random favourite this year has been cups/mugs! The ones on the left are the Acme bibby cup. After getting covid, I didn’t like coffee at all so I switched to tea. These bibby cups are magical as they make your tea drinkable straight away. There’s something about the design that cools your drink fast. It’s awesome and they come in different colours. It would be a great gift to tea lovers.
The mug on the right is my favourite but I didn’t buy it. Max actually made it for me as he’s been doing pottery this year. He’s made quite a few pieces but this mug has been my go-to tea or coffee mug. I love the colour and he added a thumb dent on the side which is a feature I liked.
My last few random favourites are:
- Disposable camera – this is my second one which I still have to use up but I had one at the start of the year which I’ve gotten developed already. It’s been a great little thing to bring with me during our trips. I’ve posted some of my photos here.
- An Organised Life notebook – I was gifted this by Trilogy (ad/gifted) along with some skincare (hence the writing in front of the notebook). It’s a lined notebook and I have loved writing anything and everything in it. Writing on it is so smooth and I’ve become that person who writes random things down. I would consider purchasing a notebook from An Organised Life once I finish this one and it would also be a good gift to someone who likes writing and stationery.
- Kip & Co Silk Pillowcase – This is another ad/gifted from PR. I was so grateful receiving it as I already use silk pillowcases. I have the Slip ones but this Kip & Co Field of Dreams pillowcase is better. Even after washes, it still feels soft and I love the floral pattern. It would be a great gift.
These ones I don’t have photos of but have been good purchases for me too:
- Laser hair removal on underarms from Laser Clinic. I initially bought a session of 6 when they went on sale and it has been a great purchase because it worked well on me and I don’t really have to shave anymore. I wish I did it years ago.
- Brows and lash lift and tint from Brow Theory in Takapuna. The girls at Brow Theory are great. I love having my lashes lifted as I have straight lashes. It makes me feel more put together when my brows and lashes have been done.
- Gym membership. I think of it as an investment to my health. I go to spin class at least 3x a week and I love The Trip. I even have proper cleats I bought from Trademe in 2021 because I love it so much. I’ve realised after years of hating exercise that the key is to find one you like. I’m glad I have found it because I actually look forward to going to the gym rather than it feeling like a chore.
That’s it for my favourite things and purchases for 2022. It was actually easy to draft this post because I keep a list in my phone’s notes app of my best buys to keep tabs of what I love and use. I also have a separate list for my wishlist / want to buy to track what I want and what is lacking in my wardrobe. Some things above I’ve loved for years and some were newer additions. Let’s see if these will continue to be favourites next year. 🙂