December 30, 2017

Beauty Favorites of 2017

2017 has been a fantastic year for me in terms of makeup. I've really discovered what products and tones work for me, what brands or products I don't want to try, and I transitioned to cruelty-free makeup. I also became an Ulta Platinum member and a Sephora VIB member, which wasn't good for my bank account, but meant that I tried out a lot.

Originally I was going to do my favorite products from my entire collection, which is not completely cruelty-free, but as I was choosing my holy grail products I noticed that most of them were cruelty-free. There are a few categories where I actually do prefer a non cruelty-free product, but I did end up making this a cruelty-free list and I'm really happy about it. All of them are products that I love and would absolutely repurchase. There is at least one for every category as well as a few honorable mentions!

Primer: Nyx Angel Veil
I feel that this primer would be good for every type of skin, whether you have oily or dry. Mine definitely leans toward the dry side and I still love this, and I know several bloggers with oily skin who love it, too. It makes my skin feel more even and so, so smooth.

Primer Honorable Mention: Glossier Priming Moisturizer
If I had gotten this earlier in the year, it might have been listed as my holy grail. I love this product for my dry winter skin and it works well under all of my foundations. It's a light moisturizer that sinks in quickly and leaves my skin soft and smooth for my base products. I haven't been using it for long so I don't know if it works well in the summer, when my skin is more oily, which is why it isn't at holy grail status yet.

Foundations: Elf Flawless Finish and Too Faced Born This Way
I love both of these foundations, I can't pick between the two! If you have oily skin or only like matte finishes, these probably aren't for you, but check them out if you prefer a glowy finish. My only gripe with the Elf foundation is that the shade range is atrocious.

Concealer: Urban Decay Naked Skin
For the longest time I couldn't find a concealer that I liked more than the NARS Radiant Creamy, but then I finally picked this up. It has great coverage but blends much easier than the Tarte Shape Tape. It doesn't crease on me so long as I set it, and it works well both on blemishes and under my eyes. The only thing I don't like is the scent because it smells a bit like paint, similar to the Wet n' Wild Photofocus foundation if you have tried that.

Setting powder: RCMA No Color setting powder
Other than the strange packaging, there isn't a translucent setting powder that I reach for over this one. I don't notice any flashback or white casts and it sets my base perfectly. When I set my concealer with it, my concealers never crease and it almost airbrushes the undereye area. I can't imagine myself buying anything more expensive than this because I know this one works so well for me.

Shade and Light palette

Contour powder: Kat von D Shade and Light contour palette
I picked up this gem at TJ Maxx for only $20! I always thought I wouldn't like a big contour palette like this, but the powders are so unbelievably soft and easy to blend. I use the bronzer shades, the contour shades, and sometimes use the setting powders. I think it will work for a variety of skin tones and the formula is just perfect.

From left to right: Caramel, Mood Exposure, Puff, Moonstone, Opal, Champagne Pop, Prosecco Pop

Bronzer: No. 7 Matchmade bronzer
People rarely talk about this drugstore pick, but it's my top choice for the year. There are only three shade options, but if one works for you I highly recommend it. It blends seamlessly into the skin and never looks patchy or muddy. It's completely matte and looks very natural on my skin. I have the shade Caramel, which is the middle shade.

Blush: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure
I am blown away by how soft this product is. Everything about it is luxurious and beautiful. It's a pricey product, but for me, completely worth it. Mood Exposure is a mauvey blush that is great for fall and winter, but I wear it all year round. It gives a subtle glow and doesn't apply too lightly or too heavily. The Milani baked blushes are a good alternative if you prefer drugstore prices, but I prefer the Hourglass formula.

Blush Honorable Mention: Glossier Cloud Paint in Puff
I don't usually reach for cream blushes, but Glossier is starting to change that. I bought Puff several months ago and I'm amazed at how easily it blends into the skin. Cloud Paint is the perfect name for it. Most cream products, in my experience, either have no pigment or way too much pigment but Glossier got it right with these. You can build them up but it's hard to go overboard with this soft pink shade. I want to get Haze next!

Highlighter: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors
Ever since I first tried them three years ago, the Becca highlighters have had no competition for me. They're the softest highlighters I have ever owned or swatched. The shade range is fantastic and the amount of product you get will last for years and years. I have four shades but my favorites are Moonstone and Opal! What I really like about these two shades is that you can apply only one light layer and get a more natural looking highlight, or put on a bit more product and be seen from space.

Master Palette swatches from left to right: Hollywood, NYC, Kim, Muse, Marina Claudia, Lula, Isabel, Violeta, 5th Ave, Bronx, Paris

Eyeshadow Palette: Anastasia x Mario Master Palette
I'm always sorry to mention this palette in my favorites because it was limited edition, but it's truly my top pick. It has everything for me and the formula is top-notch. The color selection is great for everyday. I love that it is mostly a wearable, everyday palette but the shades are still unique.

 Lorac Pro 3 palette (top photo): Blanc Canvas, Cool Taupe Pink Nude, Clay, Terracotta, Dk. Brown, Jet Black
Bottom photo: Lt. Gold, Almond Pearl, Medallion, Lt. Pewter, Amethyst, Rose Bronze, Dk. Mocha, Truffle

Tartelette swatches from left to right: Charmer, Jetsetter, Rocker, Smokeshow, Flower Child, Smarty Pants, Firecracker, Activist, Funny Girl, Sweetheart, Rebel, Leader

Eyeshadow Palette Honorable Mentions: Lorac Pro 3 and Tartelette in Bloom
These two are permanent palettes that I love. If you're a fan of warmer, wearable shades, the Lorac might be for you, whereas the Tartelette in Bloom is what I would recommend to any beginner. Both of the formulas are easy to use and you can get multiple looks from them.

Single Eyeshadow: Stila Glitter and Glows
I am constantly blown away by these. I bought a set with three shades in it and I adore every shade. When I first swatched them I stared at them for at least five minutes, they're so beautiful. I never wore glitter on my eyes before these because I ended up with fallout everywhere, so now I can experience the beauty that is glitter. I do have some fallout with these right after application, but throughout the day the glitter is locked into place. I really need to pick up a few more!

Single Eyeshadow Honorable Mention: Kiko shadow stick
If you're looking for something that is beautiful, affordable, and quick to apply, look no further. It is so easy to create a stunning eye look with these cream eyeshadow sticks. Like the Stila Glitter and Glows, once these are dried they are locked in. I want every shade.

From left to right: Stila Diamond Dust, Smoky Storm, and Kitten Karma, Kiko 05

Eyeshadow primer: Wet n Wild Photofocus
Truthfully I have never tried another eyeshadow primer, but why would I want to when this drugstore option does the job perfectly? I have long days of work and school, but my shadows never crease when I use this. I recommend it to everyone unless you prefer a primer that has a lot of coverage to it.

Liquid eyeliner: Nyx Epic Ink liner
For years I've been hearing amazing things about the Kat von D Tattoo liner, so when I heard about this dupe I immediately added it to my cart at Ulta. It's super pigmented, has a brush tip applicator, glides across the lids, and makes doing a wing much easier.

This is the category that most stumps me. I have tried many, many, many mascaras this year in an effort to replace my former holy grail, the Maybelline Colossal. There are a few high-end mascaras that fit the bill, but I hate buying them just to throw them away after a few months. Therefore, I'm still on the hunt for my favorite cruelty-free drugstore mascara. I like the Milani Lash Trifecta and will probably repurchase it for now, but any suggestions would be amazing!

Lipsticks, lip glosses, and liquid lipsticks:

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick in Pillow talk
I didn't think it was possible for me to have an absolute favorite lipstick, but this is it. My baby. The packaging and formula feels so luxe and the shade is my favorite. It's a matte formula that I find very comfortable, but I actually don't wear it that often because I don't want to run out of it!

Tarte Color Splash lipstick in Salt Lyfe
In the slightly less expensive realm of lipsticks, this range from Tarte is lovely. Salt Lyfe is a cool-toned nude, which I've been drawn to this year, and it's another comfortable matte formula. They have a great range of shades

Bite Beauty lip products
I've found several of these at TJ Maxx and I've fallen in love with the formula. They are creamy and pigmented and just everything that I want in a lipstick. I also love the philosophy behind Bite's beauty range: everything is food grade! I have the shades Retsina and Pepper in their Luminous Creme lipsticks, and their Matte Creme lip crayon in Cava (which I forgot to swatch, sorry!)

Colourpop Ultra Glossy Lips
Lip gloss is making a comeback in a major way for me, and it all started with these Colourpop lip glosses. They aren't sticky in the slightest but they add a nice amount of color and shine to the lips. I only have two shades, Fairy Floss and Aquarius, but they are both gorgeous.

Colourpop Ultra Satin Lips
Overall I'm not a fan of liquid lipsticks, but if I had to choose one...Magic Wand and Aquarius are my favorite shades. This formula doesn't completely dry down, but it's pigmented and more comfortable than other liquid lipsticks.

Swatches from left to right: Charlotte Tilbury Pillowtalk, Tarte Salt Lyfe, Bite Retsina, Bite Pepper, Colourpop USL Aquarius, Colourpop Calypso, Colourpop Magic Wand, Colourpop UGL Aquarius, Colourpop Fairy Floss

Perfume: Tocca 
Cruelty-free perfumes are hard to come by, but Tocca is one of the confirmed brands and I have tried at least six or seven of their fragrances. I think that there is something for everyone. I love sweet, light scents so Simone is my favorite. It is both fruity and sophisticated, very fresh and easy to wear. I also love Liliana, which is very similar to Marc Jacob's Daisy. Tocca's lotions and exfoliators are also amazing!

I hope you all have had a good year and have a fun New Year's Eve! What were some of your favorite products of 2017?

Xx Katie

7 comments on "Beauty Favorites of 2017"
  1. Great roundup of your 2017 beauty faves! I really must get my hands on some of the Stila Magnificent Metals, I keep hearing so many great things about them xx

    // In Search of the Holy Grail

  2. Great picks! The Stila glitters are so good, and you have a fab collection. I hope you have a Happy New Year too xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. I'm definitely going to do a project pan for 2018 to help me limit my spending (though I still have a long ass wishlist, haha). I hope you have a wonderful New Year, Katie!

    Hannah the Mad Dog

  5. You have so many amazing looking products I still need to try. I love the Elf foundation, I really need to get it again soon.
    A Sparkle Of Grace

  6. I love the Glossier primer, Hourglass blusher and Becca palette :) great choices!

    Jasmine xx

    Jasmine Talks Beauty

  7. I see a lot of my faves as well. One thing I really want to try are those Stila's Glitter and Glows eye shades. x

    Ann-Marie |


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