I have a hard time reviewing skin care. I like to see a product demonstrate results before I share it with you all, and skin care products usually take a while to reveal results. The last thing I want to do is recommend some expensive tub of crapola that does nothing for you, dear reader. So know this: skin care is subjective. The following products are the few and the proud that made an impact on my regime and improved my situation. I hope they do the same for you, if you decide to try them out yourself! Without further ado…

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1. MAC’s Volcanic Ash Exfoliator and Naked Honey Skin Salve — it was impossible to choose one MAC product that made a notable difference to my skin care regime this year – so I’m cheating with a twofer! I am SO sad both of these products are limited edition. MAC’s Volcanic Ash Exfoliator has made such a difference to the texture of my skin. It’s a gentle scrub that quickly dissolves to ash, and it works so well for my purposes. I even use it on my dry, flaky lips. And after my lips are smooth and soft, I slather on a dab of Naked Honey Skin Salve for the ultimate kissability. This is one of very few “beauty” products my husband will share with me. Released earlier this year as part of the Naked Honey collection, this is a light moisturizer you can use ANYWHERE. I love it on my lips, and when I feel like really splurging I use some on my hands and feet (and then slip on some socks). This stuff is no longer available through MAC online, but you can find it at Nordstrom and at this site here. Please note — these items are expensive, but I try so many products and in my opinion, they’re both worth it.

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2. Me! Shower Sherbert. I’m so happy to be a member of BeautyFix (click here to join!) — every season a fresh batch of tried and tested beauty products lands in my mailbox. And I’ve found some real winners here — the ME! Bath line of products stands proudly among them. The Bath Ice Cream rocks, but the Shower Sherbert rocked my world. It’s hard to find a scrub that is both exfoliating and moisturizing, and this is that item. AND it smells positively edible. Amazingness! I need more Me! time, that’s for sure!

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3. 3 Lab Perfect Cleansing Scrub. It takes cojones to call your product “perfect” when there are SO many other cleansers and skincare lines competiting with you…but if anyone can do this, it’s 3Lab. Since I started using their cleansing scrub, I’ve noticed less breakouts, less blackheads, and prettier skin overall. It’s a very very gentle scrub — more of a cleanser with occasional scrubbies in the mix. I use it daily and it’s made a remarkable difference in the texture and appearance of my face.

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4. Mario Badescu. SO happy I attended the Powder Group’s Artist Summit here in Chicago (and can’t wait for their glorious return!). That’s where I was introduced to the wonders of Mario Badescu. The products I’ve tried are now daily must-haves for me. The Drying Lotion is like no other zit buster I’ve tried. It works overnight to dry those suckers out, and if you’ve got a razor bump or ingrown hair it works wonders on those too.

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5. Prescriptives Comfort Cream. Why, Prescriptives? Whyyyyyyyyyyyy? *picture me on my knees in the middle of an empty street in the pouring rain* — I am SO sad this brand bit the dust in 2009. But good news — the brand is leaving store shelves, but will remain online as long as products last. So you can still order your custom foundations for now – and pick up a jar of lush moisturizing Comfort Cream while you’re at it. I used to have a bedside table full of clutter, now I’ve got three things — my Bobbi Brown oil cleanser, my Ponds makeup wipes, and this night cream. Can’t do without it!

What are your thoughts, bellas? Tried any breakthrough skin products lately?

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