2016 Beauty Favorites
Prepare for a very long post about all things beauty in 2016!
At the end of 2015, I'd only been blogging for a few months so I didn't put together a post about my yearly favorites. For the end of 2016, I had a glance back at all of my monthly favorites posts and simply picked out what I used the most often. Some of these products were 2016 releases, others are a little bit older but are still my holy grails. I picked at least one item for every category and now I'm debating doing a similar haircare/skincare 2016 favorites!
Primer: Nyx Angel Veil
I don't always use a primer, but when I do I reach for this fantastic drugstore option. I bought it because it was said to be a dupe of the Hourglass Veil Mineral primer. It definitely has a similar feel on the skin, although I only had a sample of the Hourglass option so I can't attest to how well each works in the long run. It smooths out my skin and controls my T-zone, which can get oily.
Foundation: Too Faced Born This Way
I love this so much that I bought two shades (Porcelain and Light Beige) so that I can wear it all year round! Born This Way checks every box for me: it has medium-full coverage, makes my skin glow, and lasts all day. It is very much worth the splurge for me.
Concealer: Bareminerals Bareskin / NARS Radiant Creamy
I couldn't narrow this down to just one concealer. I use both of these interchangably depending on the effect I want. If my undereyes are looking dull or dry, the Bareskin concealer gives a natural, luminous finish. I have it in the shade Light which is a near perfect match for my skintone, so I think it looks more seamless on my skin. I also prefer the Bareskin for blemishes or when I'm tan. If my dark circles are looking especially dark, however, I love the Radiant Creamy because it has more coverage and it's a lighter color. I use the shade Vanilla.
Contour: Benefit Hoola
I have this powder bronzer in my Benefit Cheekathon blush palette (review) (which is an amazing value by the way and I reach for it all the time!) and it's a neutral matte bronzer. It's very easy to blend, which makes it hard to go overboard with it. The shade is not too warm, not too cool, so it's perfect for creating a subtle shadow below the cheekbones.
Bronzer: NARS Laguna
I've used this bronzer at least three times a week since I got it in late 2015, and there is barely a dent in it. It's on the pricier side but it lasts so long and it's such a staple product for me so I think it's worth the splurge! This is a golden-toned brown which gives a bit of sheen, so I apply this to the edges of my face to warm up my complexion.
Blush: Benefit Rockateur
Back to the Cheekathon Blush palette, Rockateur is a beautiful mauve/rose gold blush. Usually these kinds of shades don't attract me, but something about this one had me using it all throughout autumn and winter this year! It's a little bit shimmery and it blends like a dream.
Pressed Powder: Rimmel Stay Matte
This was a recent purchase but one that I've incorporated into my daily routine. My T-zone can get oily after a couple of hours and this helps to lock my makeup into place and keep everything shine-free. The powder is very fine-milled and has a bit of pigment to it, so you can use it for some subtle highlighting, too.
Translucent Powder: Elf High Definition Powder
I spill loose powder like nobody's business so I always go for drugstore option. I picked this up on a whim and I love it for setting concealer! I haven't noticed it giving any flashback in photos and it doesn't seem to leave a white cast, so my darker skinned beauties can give it a try as well!
Highlight: Becca Pressed Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone
Becca's finely-milled highlighters are my all-time favorite, Moonstone especially. I think this one is more versatile than the popular Champagne Pop because it is finer and not as blinding. Therefore it can be built up for a more intense highlight or I can use it with a fan brush for a more subtle effect.
Eyeshadow Primer: Wet n Wild Photofocus
If I know I'm going to be out for more than 6 hours I usually pop on an eyeshadow primer, and this is the best one I've found! It helps with creasing and making colors last longer on the skin.
Eyeshadow Palette: Anastasia Master Palette (review)
I feel bad writing about this because it is getting harder to find, but these Anastasia shadows are truly top-notch. They're so pigmented and this palette has every shade that I could wish for (except maybe a good highlighter!) There are a few pops of color, crease shades, and the most stunning metallics I've ever laid my eyes on. You can get lots of beautiful looks from this palette, neutral and bold. It outshines every other palette I've picked up this year.
Swatches from left to right: Hollywood, NYC, Kim, Muse, Marina, Claudia
Single Eyeshadow: L'Oreal Infallible in Amber Rush / NARS Dual Intensity in Himalia
I narrowed it down to two beautiful eyeshadow singles, the metallic rose gold Amber Rush and the taupey/bronze Himalia. Both of these are absolutely gorgeous on their own. If I'm in a rush or I'm living out of a makeup bag, either of these are easy to toss on and have a pretty eye look using just one shadow.
Eyeshadow Trio: Stila Neapolitan
I'll admit, I created this category just so I could talk about this trio. It was a lifesaver this summer when I was working two jobs and wanted something simple to pack in my makeup bag. This includes a warm light gold, a matte light pink, and a smokey chocolate brown that are all incredibly soft and easy to use. I found this at TJ Maxx for less than $6 so it was also a great deal!
Eyeliner: Ciate Fierce Flicks / Maybelline Lasting Drama in Soft Nude
For a liquid liner, I love the Ciate Fierce Flicks that I recieved in an Ipsy bag a few months ago. I know a different subscription service carried this recently, too, so hopefully more people get the chance to try it out! This is a black felt-tip liquid liner that is very easy to use and it hasn't smudged on me once. On the waterline, however, I like a soft shimmery champagne like Maybelline's Soft Nude to brighten up the eyes. It's such a creamy formula and it doesn't tug at all. I use this almost every day but I rarely talk about it on my blog, so I'm giving it some love here!
Mascara: Maybelline Colossal
This needs no introduction, it's my absolute favorite mascara and I've written about it in what feels like a million blog posts. I have sort of medium-length black lashes and I prefer a natural look, so one coat of this gives me lots of length, natural-looking volume, and no clumps.
Lipstick: MAC Honeylove
Seriously, how hard is it to pick a favorite lipstick? I narrowed it down to Honeylove and Velvet Teddy, but Honeylove came out on top. It's my perfect matte nude, a pink-toned beige, and I reach for it constantly. The formula is very comfortable for a matte lipstick, too!
Liquid Lipstick: Colourpop Ultra Satin Lip in Magic Wand
I'm generally not a liquid lipstick fan. They dry out my lips, they're hard to take off, sometimes they look crumbly or emphasize my dryness and just...ugh. I prefer the simplicity of a regular lipstick any day. However, this formula makes wearing a liquid lipstick very easy and comfortable. It's not completely transfer-proof and it doesn't dry down to a matte finish, but it has good staying power. This color is perfect as well! It's sort of a brown-pink that isn't too dark and isn't too light.
Lip Gloss: Maybelline Colorjolt in Stripped Down
Now that I've swatched them, the color of this is very similar to Magic Wand but this formula is more glossy and not quite as pigmented, so they look different on the lips. I'm not a huge fan of the felt-tip applicator but it does apply the product evenly. It feels hydrating on the lips and it lasts longer than a traditional gloss.
Perfume: Taylor Swift Wonderstruck / Jimmy Choo Blossom / Thierry Mugler Angel
I wear different perfumes all the time so it was difficult to narrow it down, as you can tell! In the spring I like something light, sweet, and a little bit floral, like Blossom. This is a nice daytime fragrance for the summer, too. My all-time favorite scent is Taylor Swift's Wonderstruck. For about two years I only wore this on special occasions, so now I associate the scent with a fun night out and getting dressed up. It lasts forever and it has more fruit tones than Blossom. For the autumn and winter months I've been loving Thierry Mugler's Angel perfume, which has chocolate, spice, and caramel notes to it. Plus all of these bottles are to die for!
Swatches from left to right: Hoola, Laguna, Rockateur, Moonstone, Neapolitan Trio
Swatches from left to right: Himalia, Amber Rush, Soft Nude, Fierce Flicks, Honeylove, Magic Wand, Stripped Down
I would love to know your standout products of 2016!