I simply can't believe another year has gone. I am happy to say goodbye to 2016, as it's truly been a trying year in terms of my personal life. I have managed to somehow survive and keep a smile on my face, so I take it as a win.
I have had so many favourites over the last 12 months and choosing only the few, was a truly horrendous task. I have had at least two products in each category and I recommend them all, as truly they're incredible. However I've given myself a task of only choosing one per category and it saddens me deeply. This was a task I have to compare to choosing one child only as your favourite, a heartbreaking thing to do. For that reason alone, you should check out my choices, as it came researched and took weeks to choose and write. So grab yourself a cuppa, snack on that leftover chocolate and let's get on with my A Year in Favourites part 1;
I've loved so many over the last 12 months but two truly stood out. Becca Backlight Primer & Too Faced Hangover Primer have been with me every day for the last 5+ months (I think?). I loved them both but if I have to choose only one, it has to be Becca Backlight Primer. It has truly changed my life and saved me so much money. It fixed so many foundations that I just could not wear on it's own. It gave me glow from here to Mars and made me look like a million pounds. I've spoken about the formula in lenght HERE. It truly is a remarkable formula that fights the signs of fatigue and diminishes the dullness. If you suffer from dry or dehydrated skin, this will be your hero. Great for mature skin also, well tested by my lovely mom, who loves it too!
Choosing a favourite foundation wasn't too hard. I truly only loved two this year. One being the Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, which is an incredible choice for evening with no SPF, it makes for a great base if you plan on taking any flash pictures. However choosing one that works great every day makes the true favourite in my eyes. Last year it was Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Stick Foundation in R230. Not only does it work like the best Instagram filter, making my skin so smooth and just luminous, it's one of not many that suits my skin tone and is light enough. This shade was made for me! It took few weeks for me to love it, as I had to test it with different primers and powders to make it last all day long, but once I did, it just stolen my heart completely. It's one of those foundations that you need to try at least once, especially if you're dry and have an alabaster skin. I spoke about it HERE.
Finding a right concealer is like finding a gold pot at the end of the rainbow so I'm super excited to say I found at least three that I loved dearly in 2016. Bourjois Radiance Reveal was not a love from first sight, oh no, actually when I first reviewed it, I kinda hated it. That is until I truly understood it and then we had a continuous affair through the whole year. It's super hydrating so perfect for those with even mature skin. And now available through Fabled, an online store by Marie Claire (click here for 15% off your first order) Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer was a love from first sign and its still one I reach for all the time. This is the one I do my matte highlighting with as it's actually light enough! However the one to won the title this year is my beloved Make Up For Ever Full Cover. It was a love from first use and I don't understand the mixed reviews this baby is getting. It has a full coverage, it's so creamy, application is just a joy (I use my fingers first and then beauty blender) and it certainly doesn't dry my under eyes. I can't praise it enough and if you suffer with heavy dark circles, just give this baby a whirl. I wrote about it HERE.
I have a love/hate relationship with setting powders. Having a dehydrated skin does not help! However with me being oh so good with my skincare lately, I practically diminished any signs of dehydration and even started to see a bit of shine after foundation sits few hours on my face. No one will understand my joy at that LOL. I've discovered couple of powders that really work on dry skin and even most mature ones too. In the beginning of the year (around March time) I discovered Lush Emotional Brilliance Powder and loved it for the satin finish it gave me. It's not the powder to keep the shine at bay, it gives luminosity and won't dry out your skin any further. I have it in translucent and it works great and it doesn't darken my base. However the winner of last year and quite possibly the biggest discovery of 2016 is the RCMA No Color Powder. It's just genius! It keeps the foundation on all day long, keeps the shine at bay for hours, it doesn't cake up and most importantly it works great for under eye baking! I can't praise it enough! There was so much hype around this product, and still is f you believe the 'out of stock' signs everywhere, but this one's worth it, so if you manage to get your hands on it, you won't be disappointed.
The next couple of categories were super easy. Yes I used a lot of conturing products last year but one truly won the category and it is Kobo Contour Powder in Sahara Sand. It's a Polish brand, it's dead cheap and works amazingly on my pale complexion. It's light enough and have an exact amount of pigmentation needed from this product. It's a cool toned bronzer and works beautifully on the palest of the folk and up to light/medium complexions. It does come in a darker version. I've used it non stop forever and finally I'm seeing a huge dent. I will most definitely re-purchase and I advise you to do to.
I've talked about the L'Oreal Infallible Sculpt Contouring Palette in 01 Light/Medium in quite a few posts including multiple favourites. This is a product that yet again is getting mixed reviews. People complain it disappears when applied but I don't have or see that at all. It's light and cool toned and you can apply in in so many ways. I always apply by a finger and you can easily do the blending with your fingers too, as it blends like magic. I prefer application via the fingers and blending it in with a sponge or a brush. I find sponge works best and it's the quickest way. I like the formula as it's super smooth and not too oily. It works great, stays on (given I powder it down) and I love the shade - perfect for mature skin contouring or a easy daily contour.
Becca has won the highlighting front. I cannot imagine this year without Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Pearl It was the first super white highlight powder I owned and it made it in to so many of faves for a reason. This is the highlighter to use if you like your strobing to be visible. It's one for those super pasty folks like me, always struggling to find products light enough. I can't praise it enough, it's a stunner. The runner up in the category is yet again Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone. It is a weapon of choice if I go for a natural look, without any powder formulas. It's such a stunning shade, not too cool either, but somehow so suitable for my whiter than white skin.
There could only be one winner and it's Nars Orgasm. I purchased it on the day I discovered we have a SpaceNK store in Solihull! I wanted to try it forever but really wanted to swatch before I commit to buy. It is so worth the hype. The most beautiful rose gold shade with a little shimmer running through. I'm never one for non matte blushes but I wore this all summer and even a little these days. It's that one blush I reach for without even thinking about it.
I've tested a lot of eye primers in 2016 and I must say I found three to work well for me. MAC Paint Pot in Painterly and Urban Decay Original Primer Potion have been on my lids everyday for a really long time and both work wonderful on my quite oily and hooded lids. There's no question for me, if I need a primer, as no shadow lasts for more than two hours on me without it. However I recently started using Too Faced Shadow Insurance and I give the winner status to it. I don't know why I think it's better, maybe it isn't, but I love the packaging, you only need a tiny bit and man it just works!!!
I've used a fair share of mists last year and two stood out the most. I need my mist to take away the powderness of the products I use and both have been great at it. MAC Fix+ is a staple in any makeup lover collection but for me the winner is Pixi by Petra Glow Mist as it gives my skin the most incredible glow. I use it before and after makeup and simply can't get enough. If you haven't already and love a glowing complexion, you simply must try it!
This category has almost killed me and choosing just one wasn't fair to all the palettes I loved during 2016, so I decided to just go ahead and do it and also post my top 5 palettes of 2016 in a separate post soon. As I mentioned there were so many contenders to the title and it pleases me to say that Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance has won it all. This was a truly remarkable release and the formula is just out of this world. If you'd like to see it swatched, check out my full review HERE. Little birdie told me it's coming back in stock on Cult Beauty soon, so put yourself on a wait list now.
I don't like liners. There are multiple reasons of course. First they don't look right on my hooded eyes so I rarely bother as it's hard to find one that does the line thin enough. Because I rarely use it, I'm not really that great at it either, so simplicity is the key. I have to award Kat Von D Tattoo Liner because it does it all. It lasts, it's super black, super easy to use and makes doing a thin line a walk in a park. If you haven't already, I strongly recommend you make 2017 a year when you try this liner!
There were two mascaras that amazed me last year and one that won it all. I hated Illamasqua Masquara Gain when I first got it as it's nearly bloody impossible to do your lashes without the mascara being all over the lids. Plus when I first opened it it was so liquid, my lashes clumped together to show the worst mascara look ever. So I left it. I left it for 6 weeks and then used it... Loved it ever since. If you don't have too long or volumes lashes, this mascara will make it seem like you do. But it's also a bloody pain in the arse! For this reason alone and because I've loved it since the first use and don't think I'll ever purchase another one, the title goes to Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara. It gives the volume, length and separation - all in couple of strokes. It is THE BEST mascara I've ever used. Simples. Plus come on, the name & the packaging do it for me too. Just get it.
There are many products I've loved when it comes to my brows and I have a whole POST about it, but the one product that won last year is Benefit Ready Set Brows. I can always find products to make my brows look awesome in the morning, but finding a mascara that sets them so well, is nearly impossible. This one does and I will never use another one (I Think LOL). It keeps my unruly brows at bay all day and night long. Seriously !
2016 was definitely a year I re-discovered lip liners and I have many faves in that category. I've used Rimmel Lip Liner in East End Snob for what seems like forever and it's still the best budget alternative to more expensive choices as the formula is simply brilliant plus I love the shade. Whoever said it was a dupe for Charlotte Tilbury Pillowtalk haven't obviously seen or used it. It wins the title because the formula, the shade, the everything just works about this liner. It makes overlining my lips simple and quick and most importantly unnoticeable. I also loved Gwen Stefani x Urban Decay 714 for all the days I wore a statement red.
When it came to lippies I wore nude mostly all year round. Yes, I had a darker phase during autumn and December but mostly I wore nude. I've loved Makeup Revolution Rose Gold Lipstick in Chauffeur since it's launch, as the shade is cool enough and light enough to make it a beautiful nude for us pasty folks and I appreciate the rose gold bullet packaging. That was until I saw and tried Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips in Kim K W and the award has to go to this beautiful light nude. It's the lightest nude I can go for without it looking like concealer and it's such an easy shade to pull off. The packaging is stunning and makes for a great handbag addition. Actually I always have it on me, just in case.
|From left: Moonstone, Pearl, East End Snob, Pillowtalk, 714, Chauffeur, Kim K W, Brique, Designer Blood|
|From left: GR 10, Mannequin, GR 3, Bronze Rose|
Liquid Lipsticks dominated 2016 and my own lips. I have tried and tested many and three brands came out victorious. Firstly the discovery of late summer - Jouer and their Fall Collection lippies have inspired me. My most worn were Brique & Bronze Rose The formula is amazing, they stay put and application is great. Plus their not super drying. On the drugstore front, Golden Rose Liquid Lipsticks have been great and ended up in favourites more than once over the year. I only have couple of shades (3 & 10) but for the price these will shock you with their quality. The overall winner had to be one and I'm super pleased to announce Jeffree Star Designer Blood as a winner of the year. I've loved many more shades but this Holiday release have overtaken my lips and I know I will love it for a really long time. It's such a unique dark berry shade. It looks beautiful against my super pale complexion, lasts all day and doesn't dry my lips. Winner! I love JS formulas the best and on days where even I can't do a statement lip, I choose Mannequin. Perfect nude that stays on looking pretty all day long.
There were many brushes and sponges I've loved. I use many every day. I have shown you my favourite eye brushes in last year's faves so I concentrated on face ones this year. Beauty Blender Pro is my day to day hero, it applies the foundation, concealer, contour and baking as no other and there aren't any other sponges I will ever love as much. I've also really loved the Morphe Large Soft Fan Brush for my highlight needs. It applies it with such easy, I don't use any other brush for strobing anymore. It dominated the market ;) But the winner has to be MBrush by Maxineczka in 02. The quality of bristles, the cut, how incredibly soft it is, make it a winner. It's not the cheapest out there but it has never lost a single hair, it washes out perfectly every single time, looks beautiful and most importantly, it makes my contouring so easy, I don't use any other brush any more. I have few brushes now but with new releases, I will definitely pick more up, as the quality of these is simply the best out there.
I'm a huge perfume lover and mostly go for sweet feminine scents so me loving Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia was a bit of surprise to anyone and me. It's such a fresh and beautiful scent, I fell in love with it instantly. Plus the packaging. I simply can't describe my love of this simple bottle. However sweet and sexy will always be my signature style so I can't give a title to no other than Victor & Rolf Flowerbomb. I have had so many bottles of this perfumed water and it'll always be close to my heart. I'm happy to finally have it back in my life and it wins the title for sure.
Thank You For Reading,