2015 was the year of perspective. I had so much fun really discovering the world of makeup the past two years, spending waaay more money than I ever needed to. This year, I was thoughtful and really asked myself whether or not something was worth the extra expense. I cancelled all of my beauty subscriptions (until Play! by Sephora came around..heh) and I redirected my efforts to skincare rather than just focusing on makeup, showing a ton of restraint (even when Hourglass released those pieces of art known as the Exposure Modernist Eyeshadow Palettes). That being said, I really discovered a lot of gems and feel like I am closer to getting that perfect concealer and the best foundation for me. I didn’t break it down by specific category this year, rather just looked at my collection and picked out the things I enjoyed most throughout the year. Now that I’ve harped on for ages in the intro, I’ll try to be quicker in my descriptions of my 2015 faves.
I’m not majorly into bronzer or blush, but I love highlight and this palette just hits the mark everywhere. Everything is really pigmented and easily blendable, so the quality is way greater than the amount I paid for it. Yes, the bronzer leans a little on the orange side, but again, it’s really easy to blend. The blush is a beautiful and natural peach and the highlight is a stunning champagne. All of these work really well with my skin tone, but I feel like they would flatter loads of different people.
IDK how much more I can praise this product. It’s a strange consistency that I can’t pinpoint, but applies like a cream and is perfect for layering with a powder highlight. It has a bronze tint to it that can change a blush shade or work on its own for a summery flush. The highlight itself is insane and at only $8, it’s really worth a try.
This has made several appearances around the blog and for good reason. The peachy side is really good at combating my dark circles. No, it’s not the best product (Bobbi Brown’s Corrector is the one), but it’s helped so much. The lighter side works well on blemishes however again, it isn’t the greatest thing I’ve ever used. The consistency is really creamy, which is probably where I have a hard time with it since I still haven’t figured out how best to blend and layer it. All of this aside, it’s really helped to cover my under eye area and blemishes while also reminding me my imperfections can’t totally go away and that’s okay. It doesn’t sound like I love it, but trust me, I’ve learned to work with it and reach for it every single day that I wear makeup because we just get each other.
Unfortunately this is no longer available from what I can gather, at least in US stores, but if you can get your hands on this somehow, you’ll know just how fabulous it is. I love non-powder blushes and this is the best of the best in my opinion. It gives the most natural red flush and is super pigmented. It can be very minimal or it can be quite bold. Either way, I love that no matter how much I wear, it stays put all day.
By far the best foundation/CC/BB/tinted moisturizer I’ve ever used. It covers so much without feeling heavy or looking caked on. It really just glides over everything and while it’s not full coverage or the longest lasting, it gets the job done and takes care of everything I need it to. On days when I don’t know what to do wear or if I’m not feeling too great about my skin, this is the one product I can always rely on to help boost my look. My favorite thing about it is the dewy finish because previously, it’s been difficult for me to achieve that effect without looking greasy. I love this so much that I repurchased it and it’s something I’ll definitely have in my makeup collection for a long time.
For someone with pale skin, this is the least scary bronzer I have ever used. This isn’t very pigmented, but it still manages to add the perfect amount of bronze to my skin. It’s perfect because it is literally impossible to overdo it and look like I came from the Jersey Shore. Plus, the packaging is really pretty.
I love volume and really dark, plump lashes with a bit of a clumpiness to them and this mascara does it all. I’m hanging on to the last bit of this product because I’m in denial about having to buy more, but I guess it’s worth it.
I have moments where I forget about this palette and I feel so bad when that happens because it’s stunning. I learned to really like the champagne shade this year and while I still don’t get much use out of the brown, I love the rusty red and gold glitter so much that it doesn’t even matter. I wore this on my birthday and I had it on most of the holiday season. Full review here.
I go back and forth with this liner quite a bit because the brush is so thin and sometimes I find it difficult to work with that. It’s all user error though and on days when I get it right, I am so in love with this eye liner. It’s perfect for thinner lines, as I’ve mentioned, which means it’s great for precision. It isn’t the longest lasting though, as I find it often wipes off if my eyes are more watery than usual, but nothing has been able to withstand that. Alas, I’m still on the hunt for that perfect liquid liner but am quite content with this friend.
I LOVE the Lorac Pro eyeshadows. This was my first venture into the Lorac world and it’s been the palette I’ve used the most since purchasing it. I love how buttery and blendable the shadows are. They’re also quite pigmented and the shimmers are totally stunning. I love the pinks and browns in this palette the most and because of that, I’ve gone on to own the original Lorac Pro (here) and the Lorac Unzipped Palettes. Full review of the Lorac Pro 2 here.
Because I owned all three of the Urban Decay Naked Palettes (I returned the second one), I got three packets of the Eyeshadow Primer Potion Samples and finally started using them this year. I decanted them into the sample pots you get when from stores and I find I get 2-3 months’ use out of each little pod. I love the Original, Anti-Aging, and Eden (matte) formulas and don’t really care for Sin (shimmer). Either way, they all get the job done and make my shadows more pigmented while preventing some of the creasing. The best part is that I didn’t have to spend any extra money on them.
This might be the best lipstick I’ve ever used, and that’s bad because it just had to be Burberry (and come with a Burberry price tag). I bought this on a whim at the Burberry flagship in London and while it wasn’t the initial one I wanted, I’m so glad I chose it. It glides on smoothly, feels lovely on the lips, and lasts absolute ages. The color is a really unique red with hints of orange and pink, so it’s super flattering. It can also look quite natural as well as make a bold statement, depending on how it’s applied.
Basically, I was terrified of brown lipstick until C let me borrow this one. It applies smoothly and has a matte finish, so it’s really long lasting. The best bit is that it’s a plumy brown, so you get the brown without the total commitment. It’s definitely changed my pout game this year, making me feel more grunge and chic than I actually am.
For something that will not budge, I always look to these friends. They’re all really pigmented, so no subtlety here. Further, they’re extremely matte, but they don’t seem to dry out my lips too badly. These have seen me through burgers and holiday meals, so I trust them in a crisis. I love each shade that I own and I definitely need more in my life. Marvelous Mauve, I’m looking at you.
If you want precision but you’re too lazy for the extra step that is a lip pencil, this is the one for you. I love this so much because it’s so easy to apply and because it’s a velvet matte, it feels quite smooth on the lips. Once again, it’s another lip product that’s in it for the long haul (see the pattern?). It isn’t as industructible as the Sephora Cream Lip Stains, but it does work wonders.
I think this is the step in my new skin care routine that I owe the most to because my face has never felt more clean since using it. I really enjoy using it after a cleanser because once I get a clean cotton pad, I know all of my makeup is gone. As a result, my skin has cleared up immensely.
I love how brightening this is and although I’ve been using it everyday for two months, I’ve barely made a dent in it. So worth the money and it doesn’t irritate my eyes.
This has also played a major role in my skin care routine along with the Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser (below). I think my skin quite likes charcoal because ever since adding these products, my breakouts have gone way down and the overall appearance of my face has cleared up. I like the sponge because I feel like it gets deep down into my pores and helps me reach all the crevices of my face, all while doing a bit of gentle exfoliating.
This is my third deluxe sample of this cleanser because it’s just so good. It does a great job of removing all my makeup and again, the charcoal properties make it so that I know my skin is experiencing a detox that isn’t the least bit harmful to my sensitive skin.
The best moisturizer hands down. This is so cooling and hydrating, plus a little goes a long way. Full review to come.
I only recently starting adding an oil to my daily routine and it’s made such a difference in terms of helping my skin avoid total dryness. I think it has also really helped to fade my acne scars and combat my pigmentation. This is heavier than the Josie Maran Argan Oil and as a result, I can get by with two drops instead of three.
Did you try any of these products this past year? I hope 2016 is the year I finally find the ultimate foundation and highlighter that gives me the disco ball glow I’m looking for. Xx S.