2017 End-of-the-year Roundup: 5 Faves and a Dud

The blog has officially been around for a year! What a year it has been. Thank you to everyone who reads; I hope that my posts are helpful to you.

Over the course of this year I’ve tried a bunch of new products, many of which were just ok, a few that were absolutely phenomenal, and one that was a complete dud.

Since this is the time of the year when everyone likes to do lists, I thought I’d add in a list of my own. I decided to do a list of my favorite products that I’ve discovered over the year that I *haven’t* done a review of on the blog yet. There are just so many products and so little time! This isn’t to say that I won’t do a full review of these products at some point, but right now, I’m going to hit the highlights/big points of each product. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments!

Without further ado, here are my top 5 favorite new (to me) products from 2017.

Naruko Face Renewal Miracle Essence

It’s an absolutely gorgeous glass bottle.

What it is: A First Treatment Essence. It is meant to help brighten skin as well as help the subsequent products absorb better into the skin.

Where it goes in my routine: After cleansing or any actives and before my toners.

Texture: Super watery, smells like sake.

Why it is a favorite: Honestly, I thought I had done a review of this on the blog already! I’m on my third bottle of this incredible essence. I’ve tried a number of FTEs, including the famous Missha Time Revolution and the Cosrx Galactomyces Power Essence, and this is the only one that has made my skin noticeably brighter and gives it that sought-after glow.

My skin is softer and the following products, especially toners, absorb faster. My skin loves fermented ingredients, and when I stopped using this for a week or so to test the effects, I saw a noticeable drop in the “lit from within” look that this gives my skin. I admit that I’m pretty heavy-handed with it, which is why I’m already on my third bottle. It feels so refreshing going on my skin that I’m not even tempted to try another FTE!

Price/Where to buy: I buy this on Naruko’s website, narukoboutique.com where is almost always on sale. It’s usually around $40 for 150ml after the coupons they offer (it says it’s $90 but it’s always at least 58% off whenever I check).

Earth’s Recipe Energy Boosting Toner


What it is: A deeply hydrating toner

Where it goes in my routine: After my FTE

Texture: An essence-type, thicker, viscous-y toner that smells like citrus

Why it is a favorite: This toner came to me as a PR gift, and I have since repurchased two backups of it! The Earth’s Recipe Energy Boosting Toner uses tremella mushroom extract, which can hold 5x more water than hyaluronic acid! I was shocked by how hydrating this toner is, and it quickly became a staple as the weather got colder and the air got drier.

What’s even better is that I can do 3 layers of this in the morning without it becoming sticky or making my other products pill. As I’ve been telling people, this has actually replaced my previous HG toner, the Klairs Supple Preparation Toner (GASP!). This has a bit more slip to it and is actually more hydrating. I absolutely adore this toner and recommend it to anyone with dry skin or anyone looking for a burst of hydration in their routine.

Price/Where to buy: You can get it on Amazon or Bemused Korea for about $34 for 160ml. I know, it’s a bit pricey. But it is so worth it. And if you watch Bemused Korea, they may have sales!

107 Oneoseven Core Flex Cream Essence

A luxe bottle for an equally luxe product.

What it is: An eye cream for the whole face that is also an essence?

Where it goes in my routine: I put this right after my toners, therefore breaking the “thinnest to thickest” rule.

Texture: A thinner, emulsion-like cream that has a faint, indiscernible scent

Why it is a favorite: This product confuses me. It’s a light cream but it absorbs almost instantly, immediately plumping up and firming my skin. I would have never thought to put this so early in my routine, but it helps the following products (usually my Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Essence) absorb much faster as well.

The main ingredient in the 107 Oneoseven line is fermented vinegar, which helps the molecules absorb faster and brightens/firms the skin. Unfortunately, this product is quite pricey, so I use it sparingly and always buy a bottle when it’s on sale. I suppose that you could use this exclusively as an eye cream and it would last you awhile.

I’m currently on my second bottle and I’m in love. This cream essence works so well for my skin’s firmness and texture, but it is definitely a luxury item.

Price/Where to buy: I wait to purchase this on sale because it is $69 for 50ml (eeeek! I know). I have purchased it at Beautibi and Bemused Korea

Swanicoco Fermentation Care Serum and Toner

The perfect pair.

(I’m cheating a bit by pairing these two products together, but I’ll explain why below.)

What it is: A light hydrating toner and a light serum

Where it goes in my routine: The toner goes in the toner slot (after cleansing) and the serum goes after my essences.

Texture: The toner is a white, thicker toner and the serum is a white, gel-like serum. Both glide easily over the skin and have a light, fresh, flowery scent.

Why it is a favorite: Ok, so I put these together because I read somewhere on Instagram that Swanicoco products work best when paired with another product from the same line. My experience with these two products tells me that is true. I adore using the toner and serum in the same routines: together they helped drastically reduce the redness in my skin. When I use these two products, my skin is luminous, even-toned, and brighter. The ferments help the products absorb quickly and layer nicely in my routines.

The bottles in the Fermentation Care line are beautiful, luxe silver bottles and are pricier than the Bioferment Snail Care line, the toner from which I reviewed recently. I have already repurchased the toner and the serum, as well as grabbing the emulsion during a really nice sale.

Price/Where to buy: I purchased these on sale at Beautytap; the toner is $38 and the serumis $62, but if you wait or shop around, you can find these on sale for around $25 and $38, respectively.

Klairs Vitamin E Mask


What it is: A light cream or sleeping pack

Where it goes in my routine: I put it after my cream as a last step or I use it as a cream and add a sleeping pack after.

Texture: It’s a pudding-like texture that “melts” back to shape after you take some out. It’s absurdly entertaining. It has a light citrus scent.

Here’s an extremely large video of it going back to shape (I couldn’t make it smaller–sorry!):

Why it is a favorite: I purchased this from 08Liter at a discounted price in exchange for a review. I fell in love. The pudding texture took some getting used to; you need to mush it in your fingers before putting it on your face or it will fall off. It absorbs fairly quickly and is only slightly tacky.

The Vitamin E mask is mean to work well with a vitamin C serum to enhance the brightening effects. I pair this with an oil containing natural vitamin C and it is a perfect pair because the Vitamin E mask alone is not nearly moisturizing enough. Still, the effects are incredible: on nights after I use this, the next morning my skin is bright, even, soft, and clear. The redness is diminished and my skin has never looked better. I have already purchased a backup of this mask.

Price/Where to buy: You can purchase it for around $20 for 90ml at Sweet Corea or $27 at Amazon.

Whew! Ok, I’m almost done. The dud of the year goes to….

The Papa Recipe Honey Bombee Toner


What it is: A hydrating toner

Where it goes in a routine: After cleansing or an actives

Texture: Super thin, feels like water; no scent

Why I stopped using it: I absolutely love the Papa Recipe line of sheet masks, so I was bummed when this product from 08Liter was a complete dud. Using this toner literally felt like I was patting water onto my face. It made my face wet, but it didn’t feel hydrated. It took awhile to soak in and there was no lasting hydrating effects. After a week, I stopped using it because it did absolutely nothing. Apparently, this is reformulation and the old version of this toner is great. That’s a shame.

After a year of trying a ton of different products, this is the one that comes to mind when I think about my biggest disappointment.

Price/Where to buy: I don’t know and I’m not going to tell you. Don’t waste your money.


2 thoughts on “2017 End-of-the-year Roundup: 5 Faves and a Dud

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s