Lai Beauty, The Lai Times

Beauty & Skincare Favorites of 2018

This past year, I’ve tried so many new beauty and skincare items, and re-purchased many of my old favorites to use as well! Here is where I’ll share the best of the best of 2018! Since this is for the entire year, it’s pretty long, but I hope you will find something new to try in the new year or see some of your favorites on this list!



  1. Skinfood – Rice Brightening Cleansing Water
    I love this cleansing water! If I’m super lazy or in a rush in the morning, this will be the thing I use to cleanse my face in the morning. But I usually use this as part of my double cleanse, if I get home from work early, but don’t want to shower right away, I’ll use this to get the first layer of makeup off and just apply face cream. That way my face feels a little bit fresher and cleaner, and then later I’ll finish cleaning my face when I shower at night time.
  2. Missha – Time Revolution Night Repair Borabit Ampoule
    Over this past year alone, I re-purchased this 4 times (Yes, I checked my Amazon account). This stuff is that good! I like to test a lot of new skincare products, but my face is really sensitive, so even if the new product says it’s for sensitive skin, sometimes my skin still freaks out. If that happens I know this Ampoule will calm it down overnight. I can tell a huge difference when I don’t use this product the night before. I have tried lots of other ampoules, but none come close to how this makes my skin feel the next morning.
  3. Missha – All Around Safe Block Essence Sun SPF 45/PA+++
    I love sunscreen and because I live in sunny California, I wear it every day! This one is perfect for my combination/dry skin type. It doesn’t leave a white cast on my face, and keep my skin hydrated and doesn’t break me out. I have re-purchased this 4 times! I always make sure I have a backup one in my dresser since I run out of sunscreen so fast.
  4. Klairs – Supple Preparation Facial Toner
    I have re-purchased this twice this year. The price for the size of this bottle is just the best! And the toner is gentle, makes my skin hydrated, and it always soothes my skin if I ever use a facemask that was too strong for my skin. There is a slight herbal scent to this toner, but nothing that is really strong. This toner has been so good to my skin that I keep coming back to it.
  5. Schmidt’s Natural Deodorant
    I switched from normal deodorant to a natural non-chemical deodorant a couple of years ago and I haven’t looked back since. Growing up as a competitive gymnast, and competed as a cheerleader in high school, I always thought the stronger the deodorant the better, but after a while, the skin of my armpit started to get really sensitive and I started getting little red bumps and irritation marks. It took my body a while to get used to a natural deodorant, but it has been the best for my underarm skin. My favorite scents are the Lavender & Sage and the Rose & Vanilla.
  6. Avon – Insect Repellent Sunscreen SPF 30
    During the summer, this was a LIFESAVER! Insect repellent and sunscreen in one! I kept getting so many bug bites during summer, that it wasn’t until my older sister introduced me to this! It is literally the best thing ever! Perfect for hiking, camping, going to the beach, or any sunny day when its bug bite season!
  7. Nature Republic – Soothing & Moisture Aloe Vera 92%
    I have bought so many tubs of this that I have lost count. I usually buy this in a pack of 3 or 4, or whenever there is a deal, I stock up because I use this almost every day. I don’t have a lot of acne or any big acne spots, but I do get those little whiteheads and tiny bumps on my forehead, chin and even across my cheeks. Sometimes it flairs up if I eat too much gluten, use a face product that was too strong for my sensitive skin, or when its that time of the month. I like to slather my face in this after I shower. Kind of like a facemask, but I wait until it dries down and then begin my skincare routine or sometimes if I forget, I’ll do my skin care and then before applying my night facial cream, I’ll use a thick layer of this and let it dry before applying the night cream. Aloe is great for soothing the skin, calming down my redness, and keeping my skin clear! And I love reusing the tubs for other things.
  8. Pond’s Dry Skin Cream
    I use this morning and night time for my combo/dry skin. This is great especially on those harsh winter days when the air is so dry that my skin feels like it’s so tight that if I try to smile it feels like my skin will crack. This may be too thick for some people, but if you even have a little dry spot on your face, this will heal it right up! I go through some many tubs of this, that I always look out for coupons to keep my stock full.
  9. The Face Shop- Rice Water Bright Cleansing Oil
    I have been using this since high school, it’s super affordable (I usually buy a 2 pack from Amazon) and it lasts a good couple of months. I use this mostly at night time, right before I hop into the shower. I’ll pump 2-3 pumps into the palm of my hand, warm it up between my palms then gently work it into my face. I like to use my fingertips to gently loosen up the mascara on my eyelashes and then I’ll go back and massage the oil into my skin, taking time to rub around my nose since that’s where white and blackheads usually show up on my skin. I love how easily this breaks down my make up and cleans my pores really well without stripping my skin of its natural oils. The bottle comes with a pump stopper so you can take it with you when you travel and don’t have to worry about it spilling all over your things. I forgot to pack this one time and I deeply regretted…my mascara was so hard to take off and skin didn’t get the deep clean it usually got. Can’t recommend this enough!!
  10. COSRX – Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
    I have been using this since I discovered it back in college, about 4 years ago. It’s just a really easy facial cleanser that doesn’t make my skin feel tight after I rinse it off, and helps reset the pH of my skin in the morning. I usually like to sleep with a hydrating sleeping mask on, and this doesn’t strip away any of the moisture that my skin has been drinking up while I was sleeping. I order this on Amazon, and always make sure I have a back-up in my collection. I even got my older brother and younger sister using this and they love it!
  11. Bath & Body Works – Stress Relief Moisturizing Body Cream
    I love the candle that Bath & Body Works does in this scent, so I was so happy to find it in a body cream! My little sister and I have been using this non-stop since I first purchased it. It doesn’t leave my skin feeling slippery or greasy, it absorbs really fast and makes my skin feel hydrated and smooth.
  12. Miniso – Soft Cotton Pads 180 count
    These are my go-to cotton pads! I used to really like the ones from DAISO, but when I tried these ones from Miniso, I fell in love with them so much more. They are just a little bit softer than the ones I usually get from DAISO, and they are so cheap! And since they added a Miniso into our mall, it’s even easier for me to purchase these. I used to stock up on cotton pads when I went to DAISO since it’s not the closest to my house. But now when I go to the mall, I can always pick up another pack of these!




  1. Atom – Atomy BB Cream SPF 30/PA++
    I have been using this BB cream for years, probably since before college so that more than 6 years. A little bit goes a long way, I squirt a little dot on my finger and use it for my under eyes and the redness around my nose, then I squirt a thin line on my finger, rub it between my fingers and pat it all over my face for light coverage. It may not seem like high coverage, but it’s buildable and it makes your skin look like you aren’t even wearing anything. It covers all my redness, blurs out my uneven skin (it’s magical!), and makes my hormonal acne look like it’s not even there. The formula reflects light really well, making your skin look smooth and healthy! AND it’s great for my combo/dry skin, and even on my really dry skin days where my skin is flaking, this helps me feel a little bit better about my skin.
  2. Banila Co.- CC Whitening Moisturizing Color Control Base SPF 30/ PA ++
    During the summer, this was my go to! It helped even out my skin tone, kept my skin hydrated, and was great for the days when I was running around in the sun and didn’t want to wear a BB cream or foundation. I love the packaging since it’s a pump, but in a squeeze bottle, so its travel-friendly, and I don’t have to dip my hands into anything.
  3. Kiss Me Heroine Make – Long and Curl Mascara
    I have sadly just run out of this mascara and currently trying a new one, which is why I don’t have a this in the picture above. But! This is hands down my favorite mascara ever!! This mascara keeps my lashes curled and makes them look long and lushes. It doesn’t say it is waterproof, but it is super long wearing, and kind of hard to get off at night time, but my trusty cleansing oil gets it off gently for me. And I love how the formula allows you to build it up (for super full and lushes lashes), or just wear one swipe of it to bring definition to your eyes.

    Top to Bottom: Wet N Wild blush, Benefit blush, ColourPop (fluffy), Tarte Palette (I tried to swatch the colors…but the lightning wasn’t the greatest and some of the colors are super close to my pale skin tone…sorry, but hopes it helps!)
  4. Tarte – Don’t Quit Your Day Dream palette
    As someone who’s go-to eye look is pretty neutral, this palette came on every trip with me this year. It has a nice selection of colors, a huge mirror, and has some of the prettiest shimmer shadows perfect for topping off any eye look!
  5. Wet N Wild – Coloricon Ombre Blush
    I am on the pale side most of the year, so this blush helps give my skin a little bit of life, especially on days where I don’t want to wear much make-up. The pink to lavender ombre color is perfect for every day and help brighten up my under eyes as well. This has been my daily blush color when I’m not using the Benefit Dandelion blush. This is also the blush I take with me when I travel since the Benefit blush packaging isn’t the best for traveling.
  6. Benefit – Dandelion Blush
    I bought my first one in the mini size back in college and I hit pan so quickly, that during Black Friday last year (2016) I bought a full-size version and it was the best buy ever! When I’m not using my Wet N Wild blush, this is the one I reach for. It an easy light pink color that pairs great with most eye looks.
  7. ColourPop – Super Shock Shadow (Fluffy)
    This is the most beautiful warm golden/coppery color with all the shimmer you could ever want! I love using this as a sheer color with a brush or when it’s for a night time look, using my fingertips really allows you to get the best color payoff. It’s super pigmented and shimmery! If you are a fan of shimmers and warm golden colors, this is the best! I don’t think ColourPop carry this color anymore, but some other pretty golden colors are Puppuccino (bright copper with pink glitter), Pledge Class (warm terracotta with gold glitter), and A Little Quarky (peachy gold with blue and silver glitter).

    Top to Bottom: Poppy Glow, Rose Glow, Flame Pop, Candied Apple Pop
  8. Clinique Pop Liquid Matte & Pop Oil
    The formula of both of these is just so good! On days where my lips are more on the dry side, I’ll just my Pop Oil in Rose Glow or Poppy Glow. And if I’m looking for a strong lip look, I’ll reach for either my Pop Liquid Matte in Candied Apple Pop or Flame Pop. And they are easy to travel with, I usually just throw whichever one I’m using in my handbag and if I ever need a touch-up, I have it ready.
  9. YSL – Black Opium Perfume
    This has been my go-to perfume for years now. And I love keeping this travel size in my handbag or in my car. Its keynotes are: black coffee, warm vanilla, and white flowers. I don’t know why, but when I spray this I feel empowered and ready to take on the day. I love the smell of coffee and the hints of vanilla and white flower help round out the scent. I have brought so many of these travel sizes, since carrying the huge bottle around isn’t the most practical thing.
  10. Giorgio Armani – Si
    This is my other go-to perfume if I’m not reaching for Black Opium. Usually, I have both of these in my car, so depending on my mood, I switch between the two of these. I do work as a Physical Therapy Aide, so on the days that I work, if I feel like wearing something, I usually reach for this one over Black Opium, since the scent isn’t as overpowering. The keynotes of this are: blackcurrant nectar, airy florals, and musky blond wood.
  11. L’Oreal Paris – Elvive Extraordinary Oil
    This hair oil has given my hair so much life back! I have not your typical “Asian” hair, mine is wavy (sometimes curly), it’s super thick and frizzy and is super poofy when I wake up. This hair oil helps me manage my hair, it keeps the frizziness down and helps smooth out the kinks in my hair. My hair absorbs this really well and doesn’t leave my hair feeling really oily or greasy. I love that I can use this when my hair is wet or even when dry when I want to calm down puffiness.

I had so much fun writing this post, all about my favorite beauty and skincare products of 2018. There were also so many more products that I wanted to add in, but then this would have been an even longer blog post. But if you want to see other beauty and skincare products that I loved throughout this year, you can go back read my past skincare post and monthly favorites:

Skincare for the cold weather
Cleansers for dry and acne prone skin
January Favorites
February Favorites
March Favorites
Travel Make up Bag Essentials
April Favorites
In the Month of May + Favorites
June Favorites (My Birthday Month!!)
July Favorites
August Favorites
Updated Skincare Routine
September Favorites
October Favorites

I hope you had a wonder 2018 and are looking forward to 2019 as much as I am!! I am also going to do Fashion favorites of 2018, so don’t forget to subscribe to my blog to keep up to date and follow me on IG @_rachel_lai!

Every day, Lai Day! Have a wonderful Christmas and New Years!!

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