I’m slightly cringing at how late this is going up since we’re a month into the new year, but better late than never! *Cringing continues* More importantly, it was fun to reflect on the products I’ve discovered and used during the past year, and being able to summarize it into this post, I think, speaks volumes about how much I’ve enjoyed them. Here we go!
ALL ABOUT THAT BASE
Sunscreen is a must for everyday and I found myself using two throughout the year including the Neutrogena Healthy Defense Daily Moisturizer with Sunscreen SPF 50 and the Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Cream with Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ for Face, which was so graciously gifted to me. They both wear well under makeup while giving me the sun protection I need. I love the sunscreen scent that they have, but it doesn’t linger after massaging the products into the skin.
The Laura Mercier Foundation Primer is a hydrating gel formula that’s great for normal to dry skin. It doesn’t blur or fill in the pores around my nose as well as a silicone primer would, but it’s great when you need that extra hydration. On the other hand, the Loreal Revitalift Miracle Blur Instant Skin Smoother has that silicone texture that fills in my pores and acne scars to create a smooth canvas for foundation. Due to its slippery texture, I find myself wiping down my makeup often because of the transfer of product from my hands to other makeup, but this had been my go-to for the majority of the year and I’ve really enjoyed the finish it gives my skin.
All three of the foundations are great for normal to dry skin, though lately my skin’s become more of the normal/oily type. Before the recent transition, these were my foundation loves of the year. The Loreal True Match Lumi provides a dewy finish with medium coverage, but sheers out to a light coverage when used with a beautyblender. You can see it here! The Revlon Age Defying Firming and Lifting Makeup provides a medium to full coverage with a demi-matte finish to the skin. I wore this in my Fall Look post and it’s an amazing drugstore option for full coverage. The Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Foundation isn’t brand new to my collection, but it continues to be a go-to foundation when I’m looking for full coverage that also photographs well in flash photography.
The Maybelline Fit Me Concealer is a great reliable drugstore option that I’ve used for the most of the year. It blends easily with a finger and reduces the appearance of my dark circles.
To bronze and contour my face, I’ve relied on both the Loreal True Match Super Blendable Powder in Cappuccino and the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer in Medium/Deep. They are both amazing products and have only a few differences between them such as the chocolate scent in the Too Faced bronzer (the Loreal bronzer is non-scented) and its larger price tag. The color of each bronzer appears the same to the naked eye, but one can argue that the Loreal bronzer is slightly more orange than the Too Faced bronzer. I recommend the both of them, but if you’re looking for a great quality bronzer on a budget, I’d definitely go for the Loreal True Match Powder in Cappuccino.
The BareMinerals BareSkin Perfecting Veil is a beautiful, finely milled, pressed powder that I used to set my foundation and concealer. It comes in a magnetic compact and I liked bringing this with me when I needed to powder my face in the middle of the day.
My favorite discovery of the whole year is the Becca X Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfecter in Champagne Pop. Highlighting itself has taken the beauty world by storm and it had transitioned from something new to something that’s now a part of my everyday makeup routine. It’s that extra bit of something that makes a natural look more glam without having to go all Kim K. (though there is the option to). I’ve really enjoyed winged liner, bold brows, and a neutral lip finished off with a bit of Champagne Pop on the cheeks and under the brows.
Nothing made me look more human in the morning than a bit of blush and Urban Decay’s Afterglow 8-hour Blush in Rapture and Benefit’s Boxed Blush in Dallas did that for me. The pigmented plum shade with iridescent shimmer is compacted into a sleek square case and is the one I constantly take with me on trips. Dallas’s brownish pink tone makes it stand out, but neutral enough that it matches with any look. It’s especially great for adding color to the cheeks when you have a strong smokey eye.
Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray. Solves longevity and cakiness problems. Glamorous and refreshing mist. Love it. Get it. Favorite of life.
Liquid Lipsticks also reigned the year of 2015 and it continues into the new year with new releases from MAC, Revlon, and Maybelline. In 2015 though, I really enjoyed the Sephora Lip Creams in 13 Marvelous Mauve and 14 Blackberry Sorbet, both of which were much loved during the Fall and Winter seasons. Easy to apply, creamy, and resilient to coffee drinking (though not to burrito eating or oily foods, like most if not all lip products), these were and are my favorite liquid lipsticks to wear. They are also on the more affordable side of the liquid lipstick spectrum as they are priced at $14. Liquid lipsticks in bold colors are amazing because it’s a low maintenance formula that you don’t have to think about reapplying after a meal (though you might have to after the burrito).
When I wanted a traditional lipstick, I turned to MAC’s Mehr and Kat Von D’s Studded Kiss Lipstick in Lovecraft. Both are beautiful, neutral, cool-toned pinks that are great for everyday wear. Lovecraft in particular has a grayish undertone that makes it especially fitting for the colder months. Nars Audacious Lipstick Lipstick in Anita (not pictured) was also a huge favorite of mine last year and was a great go to for everyday as well as for smokey eye looks.
THE SHADOW AND BROW GAME
The Lorac Pro and Urban Decay Naked 3 were my palettes of choice last year. With the Lorac Pro, a simple eye was made of up Mauve in the outer thirds and winged liner, while Garnet and Espresso made an easy killer of a smokey eye. The later half of the Naked 3 palette also made an easy-to-do romantic smokey eye. Both palettes have great quality eyeshadows, but the Lorac Pro trumps all in terms of the buttery quality and versatility of eyeshadows.
My favorite and super comparable liquid liners go-to the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper and the Physicians Formula 2-in-1 Eyeliner and Serum. They both have felt tip applicators that make drawing with precision easy. I’ve worn both liners at once to compare them and my girlfriends and I hardly notice a difference between them. If you’re on a budget, I’d say the Physician’s Formula Eyeliner is a great option.
After all this time, I’ve finally figured out how to do my brows. I’ve done away with eyeshadow before, but nothing lasts as long or gives me a more precise shape than the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Dark Brown. My second favorite discovery of the year takes a little longer to apply than with a brow pencil, but shaping my brows and seeing them frame my face gives me satisfaction and confidence in the morning. Oh yeah~Brows on, ready for the day~. Dipbrow FTW. I use the Anastasia #12 Brush/Spooley to sculpt my brows. Before the Dipbrow, the MAC Eye Brow Pencil in Spiked made me realize how wonderfully easy it is to draw in eyebrows and is a much loved go-to for rushed mornings and is easy to travel with.
The Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara gave me a nice balance of volume and length. The curved brush along with the short and long rubber bristles allowed me to comb through and easily add length and volume to my ittay bittay lashes.
FROM THE TOOL BOX
The beautyblender is wonderful for applying and blending foundation. It’s great for sheering out thicker or hard to blend foundations as well as giving the skin a natural finish. Goodbye cakiness! My third favorite discovery of the year. It’s also uber satisfying to pat the face with a cold sponge in the morning.
The Ecotools small fluffy blending brush (similar here) is great for blending out eyeshadow as well as for placing highlighter onto the cheeks which is how I’ve been using it as of late. The Real Techniques Blush Brush is fluffy and great for sweeping soft color across the cheeks and the Buffing Brush, from the Real Techniques Core Collection, is my go-to for a blended, fuller coverage foundation look.
And those are my favorites of the year! It’s a hefty hefty post, but I hope you all liked the run down (or as close to a run down as I could make it) and I look forward to a new year of beauty innovations! Let me know if you’ve discovered anything amazing last year (doesn’t have to be beauty related :))! Hope everyone has a great Sunday! 🙂