My top beauty picks from 2016

In Beauty by Sara Ann KLeave a Comment

So, let me first begin this post by clarifying…… THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST.

How so? These are all products that I have loved in 2016, and yes, while some were gifted, I actually liked enough to GO BUY IT FOR MYSELF!!!!

Hope that clears things up a little.


Here in some kind of order….

  1. Best buy of the year  – BSKIN Intense PAF Concentrate

There are a few reasons why I really like BSKIN – one of the newest kids on the block. Not just ‘cos I hosted the launch in Singapore. What I liked was that it honestly had results. VISIBLE RESULTS. There is a lot of research that has gone into this line of products, and everyone who has tried it, instantly becomes a convert. Natural ingredients backed by science – and I love that all their products have no parabens, no alcohol, and everything is non-comodogenic. Bonus – they smell great too!

Now first of all, a lot of people who attended the launch were given an entire set of products to try. I went home with just two. The V line serum – what they call the V3 Intense PAF Concentrate, and V2, the Natural Balance Essence that is somewhat like a toner.

Honestly, I am pretty fuss free and I like my skincare as SIMPLE and idiot proof as possible. So all I did was use the V line serum –

basically a vitamin C serum with 20% concentration of Vit C. (If you’re into beauty products, you will know that this is pretty rare. It is hard to get stable, and some people don’t like it because it can sting if you have open cuts or wounds, or have very thin skin.)

Obviously, I do not have the latter, so I can tell you after using it… THIS SHIZZ IS MINDBLOWING.

I only used the serum for TWO weeks – and you can see the difference in my pigmentation on my cheek.

Here are the before and AFTER shots, with NO makeup. And NO touchups.

From a shot with makeup on – and my pigmentation is visible – to the one with no makeup, and you can see, clearly, the spots aren’t there any more. (This is especially evident on my left cheek. Where you can see the little

I was impressed. #legit

The main purpose of the serum isn’t even whitening. There is the whitening range for that! But the entire texture and look of my skin changed in just the two weeks of using this product. I am now onto my second bottle and everyone has been commenting recently that I look younger and better than before.

In case you right this was just a new skincare startup, rest assured. The company that backs this range of skincare has been around for a very long time. A family business that started out with honey and royal jelly products, later going on to include health supplements, they had been using honey in their home remedies for years, before they decided to harness the powers of honey, royal jelly and propolis, and put them in a consumer friendly skincare range. Lots of my friends who tried the line rave about the travel friendly packaging and smart little features like the .


PRO TIP: I also highly recommend the Elvi device from Bskin for better penetration of the product. Plus I love that it has a lifting effect on my jawline, and my neck. When used right, I have seen people have visibly fewer lines IMMEDIATELY after a quick 6 min session on the Elvi. I don’t even want to talk about this product much because I would rather keep this secret all to myself!!

To be honest I didn’t think that the Elvi was doing much for me at first.

The pebble-like device first heats up to a 42 deg Celsius to gently shock your skin into regenerating itself as you massage it much like a hot stone on your face. It’s incredibly soothing. After a 3 min cycle of this, the Elvi beeps and starts vibrating as it commences its 3 min cycle in the lifting mode. In this mode, the machine makes use of iontophoresis to push your product (I use the V line intense PAF concentrate) and pushes it deep below the surface layers of your skin, down to where your skin actually needs all that nourishment.

I thought it was just soothing to use as the warmth tended to lull me to sleep, and I confess I definitely got overzealous with it… I used it for 7 cycles non-stop once, and my device decided to take a break on me.

While I was getting my device looked at. I thought, ok, let’s just test and see what happens if I don’t use it for a while.

Well… This is what happened after not using the Elvi for one month.

My skin definitely has lost its tone and you definitely can see the zits popping back up.

So. Yup. I’m sold. Got my device back and I’m starting my regime again tomorrow!



2. Best for anti-acne: Allies of Skin

Another noobie that is definitely gaining traction is Allies of Skin by Nicolas Travis. There are currently three star products that are being sold, and I hear another three about to launched in 2017.

But this, is my absolute favourite.

Congrats @nicolasiantravis – thank you for inviting me to your @alliesofskin launch. Can’t wait to try the new #1aalldaymask after seeing how hard you’ve worked on it over the last two years!  For guys and gals out there : This will revolutionise your beauty regimen, reducing it to just ONE PRODUCT. All the results, sans the effort! This “nutrient reservoir” for skin has been lab tested to improve acne lesions by 36%, is all natural, no preservatives, silicon or paraffin fillers, works intensively even under makeup all day, anti-fatigue, anti-pollution PLUS its gentle enough to be used on undereyes and lips too! #fwah #power #everythingalsocan #winalreadylor #alliesofskin #diediemustry #alliesforlife P.S. Thank you @renztan for saving me!! #mercurysocial

A photo posted by Sara-Ann Shuen Krishnamoorthy (@saraannk1) on

The original.

The part I love about it the most? It’s subtle de-puffing. When I was skiing in Japan, the man’s skin got really dry, and he asked me for a moisturizer. I made him put two layers of this on. “My cheekbones are on FLEEK,” he said much later in the day, as he was preening in front of the mirror. “That’s just the moisturizer working la babe,” I told him sagely.

Reality bites.


I know many prefer the overnight mask because of it’s ability to prevent acne. But, the formula was a little too rich for me on some areas of my skin, but would also dry out my nose and skin. (They would peel a little when I woke up in the morning.) Some people like this, because it shows that you are growing new skin all the time, and over time it will help you achieve that poreless look the founder has perfected. But, I kept getting a flaky nose which annoyed me. This works for me however, during “THAT TIME OF THE MONTH”. So, I still keep a tube ready for breakouts.

But really, the best thing about the 1A all day mask… It’s idiot proof. So convenient especially when I travel because all I need is just ONE item. I can use this under my eyes. For zits. Layer it on when I need more hydration.absolutely fuss free.

PRO-TIP: I know the Molecular Saviour Toner Mist isn’t talked about often. At $79, it feels like a bit of a splurge. BUT, it really does smell heavenly for something that not only can combat acne, but also hydrate the skin. A plus, if you’re in Singapore, you can order your products online, and they get delivered in a day.


3. Best value for money – BODY SHOP

I am going to sing the praises of a few products that I have actually gone back to buy. SEVERAL TIMES.

If you want Vitamin C products that work, but you can’t afford to spend that much…

These are my two picks.

I LOVE the gel-cream like texture of the Glow boosting moisturizer (S$40.90) that just gets sucked into my skin immediately. And I’ve found that after late nights out, or times when I am feeling rather peaked, a touch of the instant glow enhance (S$36.90) makes a world of difference, giving my skin a healthier, less greyish pallor.

Another secret to not looking my age…..

Using this

like water!!

I tend to use it especially when I travel to dry, temperate countries. I pretty much splash it all over my face and let my skin absorb the goodness. I have no idea how it works, I just know that I wake up to dewy skin the next day whenever I use this. The ingredients list also says that it has alcohol (at least it does in the old packaging I had this in), but despite being allergic to alcohol, I did not encounter any stinging or rash. So, I reckon the amount used is very small.

I have seen some people use this to hasten skin repair. The drops of youth concentrate, didn’t help me much with that. Compared to the La Mer concentrate that I use for wound healing, the efficacy was negligible. But, of course, the price difference is substantial. (Like hundreds of dollars difference. So, if you have patience, and a tighter budget, this would be your best bet.)

What it did help me with though, was an all-over even dewiness. When I used it in temperate countries, it felt like it formed a protective, non-sticky film over my face, sealing moisture in, without the stickiness oft associated with many sleeping masks. I am not sure if it has lessened my lines at all. But hey… it’s working a drop at a time I reckon, so it would take a while


4. Best eyeliner – Kat Von D Tattoo Liner


This is ridiculous. Now I’m having trouble finding mascara that stays put as well as this liner does.

I previously was a Stila Stay All Day eyeliner fan. I know that it still works better for some, but I have rather oily eyelids, and I don’t use primers. And Stila would still smudge a little on me. But Kat Von D, stays put as well as this dog.



I get that this was a random reference.

But you know what I mean.



2016 was the year I discovered LIP CREAMS!!!!!!!!!

I LOVE LIP CREAMS. Before, I seldom use anything on my lips, spotting it with a bit of balm if I ever needed anything.

But since lip creams have come into this world, my life has been changed.

5. Lip Creams

I honestly love NYX for their colours.

Amsterdam on the left is what I like to call “Valentino Red” – the perfect shade of red that can suit any skin tone, and still be flattering. I use this for when I want some vavavoom – and it’s staying power is rather commendable. Despite the fact that I eat up almost anything that comes into contact with my lips, the stain will last me an entire day. If I wanted it to look perfect, I would only need two touch ups, and that includes eating oily char kuay teow thrown into the mix.

The colour on the right, Cannes, is rather unusual. It looks rather brown/orange. But it dries to a perfectly natural pink tinge on my lips. I can’t explain it. But this has now become both mine, and my sisters, go-to colour for daily use.

The good thing about Nyx. They cost only S$13. The bad – they are slightly drying.

I tried on the Kat Von D lip creams – namely.. Requiem.

This turned out to be a rather bold, pink/purple on my lips. A cool, colour, but this was very, very, very drying a lip cream on me.

I used it once. You win some, you lose some eh Kat Von D?

My current fave lip creams are from the Bourjois velvet soufflé range.

Nice colours, and the creamiest, non-drying texture that just glides right on your lips. Let me repeat. NOT DRYING AT ALL.

On a heavy eating day, the application that you see in the test video below, lasted me about four hours. Not too bad all things considered.



And there you have it.

My selection of my best beauty buys in 2016. Let me know if you guys try out or love any of these products too. Or if there are any others you think should make the list.

And since 2017 has just begun… can’t wait to see what this year has to offer!




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