Best Beauty Buys of 2018

my best beauty buys of 2018 becs lynk
How I simplified my skincare and makeup routine in 2018, and what products I’m looking forward to trying this year.

2018 was a rollercoaster year. My skin took a major hit – after all, I’ve been pregnant since April! These hormones have been no joke. It took me until December to find a skincare routine that worked for me, if you can believe it. Before I got pregnant (or, I should say, before my mid-twenties hit me) skincare wasn’t something I had to worry about. But work stress, a slowed metabolism, hormones, and a lot of life changes brought symptoms to my skin that I had never experienced before.

I had been treating my skin totally wrong because 1. I didn’t know what I was doing and 2. I believed everything I read on the internet. And I know what you’re thinking. “This is the internet. You are literally sharing your skincare routine for other people to copy.” But I’m talking about Twitter influencers who convinced me to put coconut oil on my face for an entire year. Boy, did that turn out badly.

Click to find links to all my favorite beauty buys on the LIKETOKNOW.it app!

My Best Skincare Buys of 2018

Why did it take me so long to find a routine that worked for me? Because for the longest time, I thought I just suffered from dry skin. In reality, I had dull skin that was in desperate need of some exfoliation and cell turnover. The regimen that ended up working best for me was actually marketed as an anti-aging regimen. When I saw it, I was like, “I am way too young for this.” But then I gave it two weeks, and my skin was a whole lot brighter and softer. My makeup went on so smooth. And my breakouts stopped in the areas that I thought were always my “dry zones.”

Turns out, the problem wasn’t that my skin was excessively dry. It’s that oil was trapped under dead skin that wasn’t being properly exfoliated. And the rough exfoliators I had been using on my skin in the past had only been doing even more damage.

Full disclosure here, and I think that this should go without saying, but I am not a skincare professional, a beauty influencer, or anything even remotely close. The active ingredients in the products that I found from Mario Badescu were recommended to me after a consultation with a highly qualified aesthetician. And just because they worked for me does not necessarily mean that they’re going to solve your skincare problems overnight. But if your symptoms sound like mine, here’s the good news – these products are drugstore cheap, and come in sample sizes, making it really easy to give them a try before you commit.

  1. Glycolic Foaming Cleanser: I still exfoliate occasionally during the colder months when it’s warranted. But this glycolic acid cleanser sloughs off dull, dead skin without a rough scrub. No more buildup for me, thank you very much.
  2. Glycolic Acid Toner: The perfect follow up to the cleanser to make sure that the areas with excessive buildup get the attention they deserve. For me, that’s my jawline, forehead, and area around my nose.
  3. Moisturizer with Vitamin C: This is a great lightweight moisturizer to use every day, especially before putting on makeup.
  4. Seaweed Night Cream: YOU MUST TRUST IN THIS STUFF. This is the richest, creamiest moisturizer I’ve ever used. And one bottle has lasted me nearly a year. You can gently touch the stuff and it’ll cover your entire face. No joke.
Now that my skin is in better shape, I have successfully gotten away with wearing ONLY these five makeup products. I adjusted the colors on lightroom, but otherwise, this is completely untouched, and even though I don’t have photos for context of the kind of shape my skin was in before, this is a SERIOUS improvement. My chin is SO SMOOTH.

My Favorite Makeup Buys of 2018

Once my skin was back in working order, I realized that I could get away with wearing a LOT less makeup. Great news for me, because honestly, I’m not very good at doing my makeup. I see people creating these crazy, dramatic looks on Instagram and I just cannot comprehend. I wear two shades of eye shadow and that’s my “going out” look.

  1. Bye Bye Foundation: It Cosmetics really knew what they were doing with this one. It glides on like a BB cream with the full coverage of a heavier foundation. One teensy little pump covers up any redness, but still lets my freckles shine through so I don’t look like a fake Barbie doll.
  2. Bye Bye Undereye Concealer: This tiny tube will last you forever and a day. You only need the smallest amount for total coverage. I use it under my eyes and to cover up acne scars from all the damage I used to do to my chin.
  3. NYX Born to Glow Illuminator: This is a contouring and strobing hack for people like me who do not know how to makeup. I use it as a blush, bronzer, and illuminator at the same time. Sometimes even an eye shadow. How does that work? I have no idea. This stuff is just magic.
  4. MAC Matte Lipstick in Velvet Teddy: The best shade of nude to ever grace God’s green earth. And seriously looks amazing on all skin tones.
  5. Better Than Sex Mascara: This is one of the more controversial mascaras of the beauty world, and not because of the name. Some people really just don’t like it. I’ve tried the original and waterproof formula, so I’ve seen what people are talking about. The original was a little flakey and I found myself needing to reapply throughout the day. I usually don’t go for waterproof because it’s harder to take off at the end of the day, but the results were so worth it.

Now that I’ve finally found a routine that works for me, you probably won’t see me trying out any new everyday basics. I’m just glad I found something that works for me before the baby gets here. But if ANYONE EVER can keep it in stock, you can bet that I’ll be adding the Isle of Paradise dark tanning drops to my routine. I have heard such amazing things, and it’s different than other tanning products. You add a couple drops to your daily moisturizer. Anyone who’s been lucky enough to snag these bad boys from Sephora before they constantly sell out will tell you that they do so much more than turn you orange like other tanning products. They actually improve the healthy glow and overall tone of your skin. So, count me in! You know, if I ever DON’T miss a restock.


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my 2019 beauty routine including skincare and makeup
best beauty buys of 2018, plus skincare products I'm trying in 2019

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becs lynk

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