Comments 14

The 3rd Annual Skincare Dundies: Stud & Dud Cosmetics of 2017

This year has been different for me in a variety of different ways, including skincare. I was not nearly as experimental with new products, I found myself returning to cosmetics that were familiar & loved. I minimized my routine, not even bothering with it some of the time.

I took a different approach to the 2017 Skincare Dundies, it will not be as extensive or feature the latest cosmetics as in years past. The focus will shift to my absolute tried & true favorite cosmetics of each category, accompanied by the most loathed product I have ever slathered on my face.

Let’s try something new together, shall we?


Oil Cleansers

Loved: Tosowoong Apricot Seed Cleansing Oil

This cleanser was included in one of my very first blog posts nearly three years ago now, that’s hard for me to even believe. I praised it highly in a post where I compared multiple oil cleansers, however this year was the first time I had repurchased it in quite some time & I am questioning why I had not gone back to it sooner. I have tried so many over-priced & less impressive oil cleansers from luxury brands when I had this affordable little bottle with an attractive ingredient list that I already knew I loved all this time. If you have never tried this oil cleanser, it is one of the few products I recommend to anyone & everyone.

*Reviewed December 2017

Hated: Boots Botanics Organic Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm

I tried this product many moons ago based on a recommendation of a friend & this is the only cosmetic where she has ever led me astray. I am still trying to recover from how catastrophic this was to my skin The product is so dense it never seems to wash off my face & this is the very first cosmetic that ever caused my face to break out.

Water-Based Cleansers

Loved:  CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser

This is an American drugstore cleanser that alludes me in continental Europe, but it is just so good that nothing else seems to compare. I have mentioned in posts a few years ago that this product can leave behind a thin residue if one does not rinse it off thoroughly enough, but it is so affordable & it has one of the best ingredient lists I have ever laid eyes upon.

Hated: Innisfree Jeju Bija Anti-Trouble Cleansing Gel

This is not a bad cleanser, it is just the least effective one I have ever used. I love a gentle cleanser, but this one seems to completely disappear once water is added & I have never felt my face less clean than when I have used this bad boy.

*Upcoming Review in January 2018

Cleansing Waters

Loved: Bioderma Sensibo H2O Micellar Water

I am on a roll for old school products in my cosmetic collection, this cleansing water is no exception! I love the Bioderma cleanser because it leaves my skin clean & hydrated, it is the only micellar water to have never bothered my eyes either.

Hated: Balea Micellar Water [For Dry Skin]

This German drugstore brand had many affordable skincare cosmetics I adored, but loathed as well. This product falls into the latter category as it did not remove my eye makeup without feverish tugging on my skin & left behind a thick residue.

Chemical Exfoliant

Loved: Balea Papaya Enzyme Face Peel

This is a newer product in my collection, which is relative because I have been using this wash-off mask for over a year & a half. I initially stumbled across this cosmetic when I was living in Austria, it is the cheapest & most effective AHA exfoliant I have ever tried. I raid every DM & empty their entire stock of this mask whenever I am in a Germanic country. I gift this to all my friends because I need them to know the gospel that is this product!

Hated: Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum

This is an example of a perfectly decent product & I enjoyed it when I first began testing it, but it grew extremely lackluster with time. I got swept away with the Drunk Elephant hype when they first launched a few years ago, but now I am less than impressed with them. While their products do feature a good ingredient lists, they are nothing special & I could easily find an equivalent product for a fraction of the price.

Physical Exfoliant

Loved: DIY Honey Sugar Scrub

I have tried many facial scrubs from mediocre to the truly awful, but I have never found a cosmetic product I have loved more than this simple DIY mask my mum has made since I was a small child. It is a tablespoon of honey, a dash of whatever sugar is lying around the kitchen, then heat it up on a pan or in a microwave for a few seconds. Voila, the bi-product is an extremely gentle scrub that can double as a moisturizing wash-off mask!

Hated: Lush Cup ‘O Coffee

While experience has taught me Lush’s clay masks are not for me, my inner caffeine addict convinced me this one would be different. It was not. The coffee grains are extremely coarse & it felt like they were scraping up my skin instead of exfoliating it. It did not brighten my complexion either so much as turn it red & flaky from dryness. Hard pass for me.

Vitamin C Serum

Loved: Skin Solutions C + E Combination Antioxidant Treatment

My past favorite vitamin c serum has since been reformulated, but I have a hard time recommending it after lackluster impressions of the new formula though it is still a fraction of Skin Solutions’ price. Skin Solutions is definitely the runner-up, but it does not need to be since it is genuinely a good product! It is gentle, non-irritating, and improves the appearance & texture of the skin.

Hated: The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%

I have tried a number of vitamin serums I have not liked, but this is the only serum I was never able to repurpose. It did not layer under any of my cosmetics well so it never worked well on my face in either of my daily routines, but it was such a harsh formula that it felt like it burned my chest & back of my hands. Ultimately, I just binned the bad boy.


Loved: Missha All Around Safe Block Essence Sun SPF 50+

This was my first Holy Grail cosmetic discovery & nothing has come along to knock it off the pedestal yet. It is moisturizing & leaves behind a satin finishes, it plays well with other skincare products & makeup. It offer UVA & UVB spectrum protection, what more could a girl need?

Hated: Eucerin Sun Creme SPF 50+

I have written multiple posts & sonnets about my dislike for this product. It is thick & greasy, defying all law of physics by never absorbing into the skin. It does not layer over cosmetics or under makeup at all. There are so many better sun care options on the market, I would even choose to forgo suncare if this were the only option.

Facial Oil

Loved: The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil

I have tried a few different from The Ordinary throughout 2017. I have enjoyed nearly all that I tried, but this one is definitely my favorite. It is so well formulated, it applies to the skin as if it were water & it mixes well with moisturizers. This is one of the few cosmetic oils that I feel is not ridiculously marked up ever since they became a trendy product on every cosmetic counter last year.

Hated: Skinfood Premium Rich Avocado Essential Oil

There is not much to say other than this oil gave me the worst acne of my life. Bye, Felipe!

Light Moisturizer

Loved: Laneige Water Sleeping Pack [2015 Renewal]

This has become one of my favorite morning moisturizers, even though it is intended to be the final step of an evening routine. It is an extremely watery texture that absorbs quickly into the skin, few moisturizers have provided my skin with plumping effects & prepped my skin exceedingly well for make up as this one had.

*Reviewed J

Hated: Cosrx Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion

I have never met a Cosrx product I truly liked, but this is one of the worst. This moisturizer actually stupefied me a bit, how can an allegedly oil-free moisturizer make my face a complete greaseball? Only Cosrx has the answers! Basically Cosrx lied with the name, the ingredient list does contain oils. This lotion does not layer with anything, makeup definitely cannot be applied over it because this behaves more like an oil cleanser than a moisturizer. There are literally hundreds of thousands of facial lotions on the market, you can choose a better one.

Occlusive Moisturizer

Loved: Origins Drink-Up Intensive Overnight Mask

This brand creates some of my favorite moisturizers & wash-off masks, this particular heavy cream is a dream for dehydrated skin like mine. It is full of botanical oils, it is affordable & it is the most effective moisturizer I have ever used. My only complaint is I wish it were more accessible in Europe!

Hated: Cosrx Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask

This is the product that helped me discover palm & coconut oils are not my friend, they clog my pores & it took weeks for the gift of pimples to diminish.

Wash-Off Mask

Loved: Caudalie Moisturizing Cream Mask

I have long loved this wash-off mask, fortunately it is much more affordable in my current location! It does not appear to be anything exceptional, but it is the most hydrating & plumping mask I have ever used. The effects of the mask last marvelously well for a wash-off product. This is one ofthe few products where I grit my teeth & pay an inflated price tag for it because it is worth it for my skin.

Hated: Lush Bunny Moon

If you have not noticed the trend, Lush skincare just disagree with my skin. All the clay masks & facial scrubs leave my face feeling tight & parched. I have tried a few samples of Lush’s various jelly masks, but feel so heavy & leave a residual film on my face. Just no.

Sheet Mask

Loved: LoveMore Oriental Beauty Series

I would love any sheet mask LoveMore created, really. The mask material is made of a breathable silk, never soaked in an essence worthy of less than high praise! This particular series stood out to me because I fell in love with every mask type from the series, these have been named as some of my favorite sheet masks in the Dundies of old.

Hated: Etude House I Need You Series

This is a discontinued sheet mask series that was replaced by the far superior Therapy Air series, however my discontentment for the I Need You masks still runs strong. I Need You came in three different essence types, I specifically detested the Emulsion essence because it was so thick & uncomfortable on my dry skin. Everyone seems to highly praise this series & I can only assume it is because the sheet masks were so cheap; but we are all worth so much more than subpar, ill-fitting sheet masks!


What were your beloved or most loathed cosmetics of 2017? If you’re interested more of my product favorites, here are Skincare Dundies from previous years:


  1. What a fun little series you have here! I’ll have to catch up with your previous years. 🙂

    Haha, I am actually using the Boots Organic Cleansing Balm in my routine now. I don’t hate it but I definitely wouldn’t repurchase or recommend. It’s a balm that ABSOLUTELY has to be used with a face cloth otherwise there is just no chance in removing the heavy residue…it just doesn’t emulsify or wash off?? The only reason I am still using it is cos I haven’t broken out and it’s my first step in a double-cleanse so it’s not so bad that way. The smell is also weird though not unpleasant…I don’t know but it reminds me of cough sweets/cough medicine.

    I detested The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension. I normally don’t get a chance to hate on products because I tend to choose skincare quite carefully but hated this like no other lol. Agree with everything you said about it!!

    I am loving LUSH at the moment…more specifically their body lotions, lip scrubs and lip balm. But I do not care at all for their bath bombs (never tried but I’ll stick to my opinion). I used to love their face masks but since they’re fresh, I’m not fussed since long ago and think others perform better without the hassle of washing off.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The cleansing balm is so fussy, I could never get it off my face without the cloth either!

      I love a lot of Lush’s other products like the lotions & lip scrubs, but their hair & facial skincare just never got on with me!


  2. Adventures With Amanda says

    Hello 🙂 I have updated my old blog that you follow and now blogging at could you please ensure you have re-followed that page as all my followers haven’t managed to update! Thanks babe! 😘💙 xxx


  3. Love the way this piece is written! It’s so hard to find the perfect skincare products, especially when there are so many but I really like reading the bad experiences people have had (as well as the good) so i know what products to stay away from! The best facial exfoliant I’ve ever used is a homemade one by my mum! It consists of grapefruit oil, brown sugar and coffee grounds and honestly it’s changed my skin forever (not just on my face either!) Would definitely recommend giving it a go! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wish more people spoke honestly about products that did not work for them, I find it just as useful of information as “holy grail” products! Ah, thank you so much for the DIY recipe! I have really been getting into DIY masks lately =]


  4. There were a lot of products I hadn’t heard of before in this list, so thanks for sharing. I got some Balea shower foam from friends in Germany last year – I must try out more of the range!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the concept of this post, it’s so well thought out. I found it really helpful because it gave me so many lovely recommendations and some things to stay away from. xx


  6. I love the honesty in this post. Such a great mix of product, I’ve never tried some and super glad that you are so honest as I’m able to avoid extra trial and error myself xo


  7. Pingback: My Updated Skincare Routine – Autumn / Winter 2018 | A Little Driftless

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