Holiday Gift Guide 2020: Skincare, Bodycare & Haircare

Can you BELIEVE it’s almost December! This year has somehow flown by, even with the ongoing pandemic – It feels like it was just March and we were only starting to hear about COVID-19. Yet it’s almost holiday season & with holiday season comes my favorite part of the year: shopping for gifts! I love looking through a holiday gift guide to figure out what will be best for my loved ones.

If you are wondering what skincare to gift your loved ones (or yourself), look no further than this guide. I put together my absolute favorite products I used and/or discovered this year, all of which have earned holy grail status for me. In some of the sections I’ve also included runner-up options that I also love, in case you need more choices.

P.S. If you’re hoping for some more specific gift guides, I will be publishing a gift guide for men, a gift guide for those new to skincare, and a gift guide for content creators later in the month. Stay tuned 🙂

Now, let’s get into this gift guide!

First Cleanser: Deviant Skincare Cleansing Concentrate

deviant skincare cleansing concentrate

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know that Deviant Skincare is one of my absolute favorite skincare brands ever. I reviewed their entire line here, and also talked specifically about their incredible cleansing concentrate in this review. Their commitment to effectiveness and transparency, as well as the fact that they are an entirely bootstrapped brand run by just two people, is so impressive.

I cannot recommend their cleansing concentrate enough as a first cleanse. It is the only balm cleanser I keep going back to again and again. The CC, as it is affectionately called, has a beautiful luxurious texture. While cleansing can sometimes feel like a chore, with this product it feels like a spa treatment to look forward to each night.

The cleansing concentrate comes in 3 sizes: 50ml, 100ml and 200ml. Its price ranges from 31-69 British pounds ($41.36-$92.07). Everything about it, from the packaging to the product to the customer service, is exquisite. Buy this for either yourself or your loved ones and they will be singing its praises too. P.S. If you shop through this link, you’ll get 10% off your purchase (and I get 100 points for their referral program!)

However, I do know this balm is pretty expensive, so I wanted to make sure I included a few other options that I’ve enjoyed as well:

Second Cleanser: Romer Skincare Cleanse

romer skincare regimen

We can have a debate about the merits of clean skincare/whether it’s just fear mongering, but regardless of where you stand it is nice to know what you’re putting on your face. That’s why I’m such a big fan of Romer Skincare, particularly their cleanser. It contains manuka honey, aloe vera, and caffeine extract. The best part about Cleanse is that it works for all skin types, so no matter if you have dry, sensitive or or oily skin, this cleanser will be a great option.

I reviewed their whole line here and also shared some details about the founder & the company’s beginning that I think make them such a unique brand in the skincare space. They are definitely worth checking out, especially if you are looking to support small businesses this holiday season.

Some runner ups worth mentioning:

*Disclosure: I have been interning with Romer Skincare since May and received product as part of my internship, but all thoughts/opinions here are my own and I was not asked to include them in this gift guide.

Mask for Combatting Acne: Eminence Clear Skin Probiotic Masque

eminence clear skin masque texture

Everyone suffers from acne at one point or another. While clay masks are one of my favorite ways to treat & reduce acne, it’s also important to use masks that don’t completely dry my skin out. That’s why this cream mask is so incredible: It uses willow bark extract (where salicyclic acid is derived from) as well as yoghurt to soothe inflammation and treat acne while also hydrating the skin. It’s pricey, but very worth it.

Some runner ups worth mentioning:

Hydrating Mask: Fresh Beauty Black Tea Mask

fresh beauty black tea instant perfecting mask

There are so many fantastic hydrating masks out there, but the one I’ve repurchased the most is this one from Fresh Beauty. It’s not just hydrating: It’s also soothing, smoothing and redness-reducing, leaving behind a clearer, “perfected” complexion. I reach for this one before any event and also when my skin needs a little pick me up. My favorite part is probably the whipped marshmallow texture, tied with the wonderful cooling effect it has. This mask is a little pricey, but that’s what makes it an awesome option as a gift.

Fresh Beauty is one of my favorite skincare brands, so if you’re interested in reading more about their products you can check out my full brand review here.

Some runner-up options worth mentioning:

Toner: Indie Lee COQ-10 Toner

Indie Lee COQ-10 toner

I love using a toner after I have cleansed & masked to prep my skin for the rest of my routine, and this Indie Lee COQ-10 toner has been a staple for me for years. It’s hydrating and refreshing – perfect for both my morning and evening routines. I haven’t found another toner quite like it!

P.S. If you would like to shop through my affiliate link & support me, you can visit the Indie Lee site through this link (I receive a small commission from sales when you use my link).

Mist: Tower 28 SOS Spray

tower28 sos daily rescue facial spray

Face mists are another important part of my skincare routine. It’s so important to keep your skin damp in between steps, especially when you’re applying hyaluronic acid serums. I have quite a few face mists I enjoy and rotate between. This Tower28 Spray earned my top spot, however, because of the hypochlorous acid. A powerhouse ingredient for combatting acne & redness, this mist helps to soothe my skin and keep it looking healthy and irritation-free. It’s also quite reasonably priced for a face mist.

Some runner ups worth mentioning:

If you’d like to read more of my face mist recommendations, you can check out my face mist roundup post here.

Eye Product: MOX Mind + Body Eye Serum

Mox eye bright cbd + hyaluronic acid eye serum

Whether or not you actually need a separate eye product is up for debate, but nevertheless I still enjoy using one. I prefer lightweight eye serums as opposed to creams (although I do have some favorite eye creams I’ve used!), which is why this Mox product wins this category for me. This Colorado-based CBD skincare brand is changing the game when it comes to using actives in skincare. Their eye serum actually makes a difference to my under-eyes. They appear brighter and smoother. I also feel like they are more hydrated.

If you’d like to read more about Mox, check out my full brand review here.

And if you’re looking for more eye product recommendations, here are a few more of my favorites:

Serum: Sand & Sky Tasmanian Spring Water Splash Serum

Sand & Sky Tasmanian Spring Water Splash Serum

Pretty much every skincare brand has a hydrating serum, so it can feel overwhelming to decide which one is right for you. I’ve tried a lot that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed, but one knocked the rest out of the park this year: sand & sky’s tasmanian spring water splash serum.

This lightweight, citrus-smelling hydrating serum is somehow seriously moisturizing but doesn’t clog my pores or weigh my skin down. It sinks in effortlessly and leaves my skin looking radiant and plump. I’ve already gone through two bottles and will definitely be making this a repurchase.

If you’d like to read more about Sand & Sky’s Tasmanian Spring Water line, you can read my blog post here. I’ve also reviewed the other Sand & Sky products in this roundup.

Some other serums I enjoyed this year:

Moisturizer: Allies of Skin Peptides & Antioxidants Firming Daily Treatment

Allies of Skin Peptides & Antioxidants Firming Daily Treatment

A moisturizer that costs $109? You might be looking at me like I’m crazy… but when I tell you this little tube of magic is worth it, I mean it. I have a lot of favorite moisturizers but this one is truly something else. It makes my skin look supercharged with energy. My complexion appears smoother, brighter and firmer. You also only need the tiniest amount with each application, so my jar has lasted me three and a half months – and counting! This would be an amazing gift for any of your friends or family who are skincare junkies.

If you want to know the tea on all of Allies of Skin’s pricey products, check out my full brand review where I share exactly which products are worth it – and which aren’t.

And if you want some slightly less pricey moisturizers, here are a few of my other favorites:

Facial Oil: Deviant Facial Oil

If I was going to put a brand on this gift guide twice, it had to be pretty damn good. Well, Deviant REALLY is that good. I am obsessed with this facial oil about as much as I am obsessed with the cleansing concentrate. It’s super luxurious yet my skin absorbs it quickly. The best part? It’s safe for acne prone skin to use.

P.S. If you shop through this link, you’ll get 10% off your purchase (and I get 100 points for their referral program!)

Some of my other go-to facial oils are:

Bodycare: All Things Necessaire

This year, one body care brand became a true holy grail for me: Necessaire. Before discovering this brand, I had never felt truly excited about body care. To me, it was definitely secondary to my skincare. Yet with Necessaire products, self care is enjoyable – it’s now an important part of my routine.

My three must-haves from Necessaire are their body wash (I love the sandalwood scent!), their body lotion, and their body serum.

If you’d like to hear my full thoughts on the Necessaire line, be sure to read my blog post all about them here.

P.S. If you would like to shop through my affiliate link & support me, use this link to visit the Necessaire site. And if you’d like to take an extra 10% off your order, my code 10AMBER lasts until December 14th!

Haircare: Briogeo everything!

With how much I’ve raved about Briogeo over the last two years, is it any surprise that they’re my haircare recommendation for this gift guide? You only have to take a look at my love letter – I mean, brand review – about them to see why they’re my favorites. Briogeo has truly transformed my hair and I can’t recommend them enough.

The best part? With so many products, they have something that will work for everyone, no matter your hair type.

My favorite products from Briogeo are:

  • the Scalp Revival Charcoal Micro-Exfoliating Shampoo (truly the best scalp scrub EVER)
  • the Be Gentle Be Kind Apple + Matcha Shampoo and Conditioner
  • the Be Gentle Be Kind Avocado + Kiwi Hair Mask

I can’t recommend them enough. If you gift someone on your list Briogeo, their hair will thank you forever.

Leave in Haircare Product: Gisou Honey-Infused Hair Oil

This is one of those products that people always wonder: is it worth all the hype? I’m here to tell you that YES – it really is.

While I don’t think every Gisou product is amazing (as I share in my brand review), this one blew me out of the water. It leaves my hair incredibly soft and silky and has completely changed my post-shower haircare routine. It’s the only hair oil that doesn’t weigh my strands down and leave them looking oily.

The best part? You only need a small amount with each application so buy your friend the travel-sized version – it’s slightly cheaper yet still lasts for a long time.

Sunscreen: Keep Cool Soothe Bamboo Sun Essence

The final product recommendation for my 2020 holiday gift guide is probably the most important one: sunscreen. Gifting your friends & family a sunscreen they will love is the best gift you could give them; cancer is no joke, and sun protection is critical. Even if they haven’t worn it before, it’s better late than never.

This sunscreen has earned my top spot for its lightweight texture, ease of application, and the way it doesn’t even feel like a sunscreen. No white cast, no heavy feeling on your skin, and no breakouts. It will turn even the most staunch anti-sunscreen individual in your life into an SPF lover.

If you’re curious about some other sunscreens, here are a few more recommendations:

I hope you found this holiday gift guide helpful as you think about what to get for yourself, friends & family this holiday season. Happy shopping!

P.S. Please note some of the links on this page are affiliate links, meaning I make a small commission (at no extra cost to you!) should you choose to purchase through them. This means I can put more money into making better content for you on my blog and instagram!

119 thoughts on “Holiday Gift Guide 2020: Skincare, Bodycare & Haircare”

  1. Wow 🤩 amazing gift guide. Almost all of these products and brands I’ve never tried yet but seeing them all over Instagram. I tried the Briogeo hair products and love them . 💕. I recognize them form your page because you use and reviewed them 💕👌🤩.

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  2. I always see you rave about deviant products but if you’re putting them on here twice I know I really need to check them out! I loooove cleansing balms so that will most likely be the one I go with. As for gifts for other people, I love that you included multiple products in each category at a variety of price points!

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    • I’m so glad you enjoyed that part! It was so hard to choose just one absolute fave in each category, I had to include a few extras. And please let me know if you do pick up the deviant skincare balm! Would love to hear how you like it 🙂

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  3. Some great choices in here! Love Briogeo as well especially their Scalp Revival Oil. Also random question what fabric is pictured in the Tower 28 shot? It’s stunning!

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  4. This is such a well thought out gift guide! I’ll definitely be checking these out for the remaining hours of cyber Monday, thank you!

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  5. I have wanted to get a lot of them but I couldn’t as I was not working during the sale and I really wanted to save money. Probably next year I will get some of these at least, especially Aos, Deviant Skincare, Sand & Sky Aus.
    This year I managed to grab only a single gift kit that is the Briogeo’s honey mask kit which I have tried earlier as well, such an amazing mask.

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  6. Girl, this is one comprehensive list! I see some of my faves and a lot more that I’m going to have to check out. Thanks!!

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  7. I have heard you rave about Deviant For so long. I completely trust you and when I’m able to grab the cleansing balm I will!

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    • At this point I should be an affiliate I talk about them so much (that would be a dream!) They’re just that good. I think you’ll love it – it’s somehow so nourishing yet safe for acne prone skin.

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  8. I am in love with this gift guide! I love that you included your favorite product in each category, and a couple of runner-ups. So many of these products are ones that I’ve had my eye on for a couple months now, just waiting to get through the products I have open. I’ll definitely be saving this guide and referencing it as I buy replacements!!

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  9. the textures of all of these are absolutely amazing! i’m very curious about indie lee & allies of skin. i’d totally recommend cocokind’s rosewater toner, i love the way it makes my skin look. rosen skincare’s earth cleanser is also a fav mine!

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    • Allies of Skin is such an amazing brand – I actually did an extensive brand review a few weeks ago on here if you’re interested 🙂 Some of their products are hits and others are truthfully a miss, but the formulations are all so well thought out.

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  10. Wow literally my dream holiday gifts!! So obsessed w the Deviant packaging and have had the Tower28 spray on my wishlist for so long!!!

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  11. Love this guide! I’ve had my eye on the Keep Cool sun essence for a while, it sounds amazing!! The Allies of Skin moisturizer sounds phenomenal, I can’t believe it’s actually worth the money!

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    • I was shocked it was too! I mean $109 is insane for a moisturizer – but everyday I use it I’m more and more impressed. It’s definitely not a must-have, there are other moisturizers I enjoy as well, but it’s on another level and if you can snag it on sale or it’s within your budget it’s probably the best moisturizer you can buy – especially if you are concerned with fine lines, dehydration and uneven skin tone.

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  12. Amber! You outdid yourself with this. I am very excited to add some of these to my wishlist, and some of these I will probably pick up for friends or family. I LOVE the runner up sections – god I know this took you so long to make, and I appreciate you.

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    • Awww Cheyenne I appreciate you! I really wanted to make this as great and helpful as possible so I am so happy to hear you enjoyed it 🙂

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    • This is an amazing gift guide! That Indie Lee toner is very popular on skincare blogs! I loved reading this cool blog! Loving your page also!

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  13. Such an amazing and thorough gift guide! I’ll have to check some of these out- you’ve never steered me wrong yet. I’ll definitely bookmark this and come back to it for recommendations when my collection is getting a bit sparse.

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    • I am so happy to hear you trust my recommendations so much! That makes my day 🙂 Please let me know if you pick up anything and how you like it.

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  14. The Keep Cool sun essence is definitely a good pick to gift to someone!! I really enjoyed it and you realky just cant go wrong with it!!

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  15. Every single item on this holiday gift guide is one I’ve been interested in!!! I trust that Deviant is amazing after reading this and can’t wait to try my cleansing concentrate that’s in the mail! Also interesting to hear that the Gisou oil is worth the hype- I’ve been on the fence about getting it. Thanks Amber!

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    • So glad you enjoyed it! I really love digging into which hyped up products are worth it and which aren’t, especially when they’re pricey. I find those reviews are the most helpful 🙂

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  16. I can’t wait for your gift guide for men! I swear shopping for men is harder than it should be. There are so many good gifts in this gift guide. Necessarie body wash and scrub are shower essentials for me!

    – @prettyasapeachhh

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    • I’m super excited to share that one too! I have some great self care ideas for them – I think Necessaire might make an appearance too!

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  17. I love this gift guide, there’s a little bit of everything that I like 🥰 I am still hesitant about the allies of skin, that’s my monthly internet bill 😅 I don’t think I’ll ever be able to afford it so I’m hoping my family gets it for me 😏

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    • That’s my favorite way to get pricey skincare! Also always keep an eye out for sales, they had 30% off for black friday and Dermstore usually has sales twice a year.

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  18. Oh my God 😍
    How many beautiful products 🤤
    It’s even difficult to choose from them which one I’d love to try the most 🥺🤩
    But I can say that Keep Cool Sunscreen is awesome, it’s the best one I’ve ever tried.
    The rest of the products from the guide would be great to try ☺️

    Thank you so much for these Holiday Gift Guide it’s really useful. ❤️

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  19. I really loved this detailed Holiday gift guide!
    Thank you for the suggestions and infos about these products! I can’t wait to try the fresh Mask, which seems perfect for my dry skin!
    Viviana 🙂

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  20. Lovely products and descriptive review as always. I can feel the love you have for these products without actually come in contact with them haha

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  21. I really love this ! never heard of the keep cool sunscreen but def going to try it ! I also have been curious about indie lee and am surprised you’ve recommended a few products from them! will def try soon

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  22. I can’t believe the year is ending either, spending so much time at home made me see more reviews and products, so I can say that from your guide there are many products that I want to try, but above all .. Keep Cool sunscreen, who does not want a sunscreen with these characteristics! ❤️🙌🏼🙋🏻‍♀️ I was very close to buying it but due to shipping problems, I couldn’t! I hope that next year it will be in my routine!🙌🏼

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  23. This list includes so many products I’ve been eying but not trying 😩. A lot of runner ups such as anything YttP, the Korres mask…those are all ones I’ve purchased and liked a lot so seeing that there might be even better products 👀 (I know opinions are subjective so I might not like the ones on your list as much as you did or more than the runner ups 😂) has me wanting to purchase one of everything 😍. I’ve only tried Gisou’s hair oil and just purchased a Necessaire set from the products that made your list 😢. Going to share it with my best friend who was also looking for some recommendations. Thanks for making a detailed, informative, and fantastic post! The product shots are 🔥 as always too 😉!

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  24. What a great gift guide! I really appreciate that it’s a combination of IG faves like gisou, briogeo, keep cool etc and some new stuff (at least new to me!).

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  25. I loved reading this list of your favorites! There are so many I want to try. I was so surprised to see Eminence on your list! I absolutely love that brand and so happy you included a product from them. Happy holidays!

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  26. Omg all the products are super tempting, most of the products I haven’t even tried but seen them all over Instagram. Thank you so much for this lovely giveaway opportunity, you’re so generous 🤍
    Insta id: fakehadil

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  27. There’s so many of these ive never even heard of!! The ones I have tried on here I love. (Gisou & briogeo). Great list 💗

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  28. Your list has so many products I would love to try! I hope that soon more of these brands become available in Canada (where I live), international shipping, customs and duties are no joke and can easily double the cost of purchases or sometimes become even more costly then what you were buying. Which is so sad because there are so many beautiful things we can all share with each other. From your guide I would love most to try all things Deviant and Necessaire, with the Sand & Sky serum thrown in too! Thank you for the great info.

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  29. This holiday list is amazing!! Thanks so much for all the product reviews. I haven’t tried several of these brands, but definitely will now .

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  30. So thorough-I love this blog!! So interested in all the Briogeo products.. now to decide to get them as gifts.. or for myself.. maybe both😝

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  31. These all sound fantastic and I appreciated seeing the runner ups too! I couldn’t agree more on getting “everything” from Briogeo! I bought my mom a set for Christmas (shh, it’s a secret!) and I am so excited for her to try it out! 🤗

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  32. Those are some really amazing ideas. I would personally prefer to try sand and sky and keep cool they are just dream brands and even the others are amazing.

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  33. Wow! It’s such an amazing guide, I haven’t tried many products from here but now I might. Every product is Lovely 🙂

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  34. This is a helpful guide not just for gifting but also for year round goodies.
    I’m really interested in trying a mist and a cleansing balm. Thanks for the info. I’be got some researching to do 🙂

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  35. Quite some new brands and products on here that I am exited to try especially the cleasing balm from deviant you mention as a holy grail 🤩🤩

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  36. You really succeeded in making a comprehensive Holiday Guide! I love the variety of products. Your hard work organizing and preparing this is greatly appreciated!

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  37. So many amazing brands! It was super helpful seeing them all with your description of their highlights. Makes me want to give a few a try!!

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  38. The perfect gift guide! I think necessaire and the hair oil are such great gift ideas since it’s so nice yet something some people might not purchase in their own!

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  39. Awesome post! I have an eye on the sunscreen given what’s going out there! I have heard greatt things about the bamboo one! And I’m a biiig fan of tower28!!

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  40. You got a good eye for products!!! Most of these are the products that I’ve been really wanting to try and products that I also love!🥰 the brand that im most curious about is Necessaire 😆 oh and i really love the Briogeo Scalp Revival Line!🥰

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  41. Wow, I am lusting after this list! Your photos are definitely sealing the deal, the texture shot of the probiotic masque is *chef’s kiss*

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  42. Romer and Deviant Skincare excites me the most. Cleansing is really important to me as I suffer from breakouts a lot, so I like to keep my face clean.
    Deviant is really expensive considering it’s only a balm but I would definitely try it once to enjoy the heavenly experience everyone raves about so much.

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