Goodbye 2016! Hello new life! It has been a great year of blogging and I want to extend a special thank you to all of you for supporting me through another year! I am looking forward to starting 2017 with new products, people, and posts. I am also looking forward to making a some major lifestyle changes (more on that later) for now I want to share the beauty products that found a new home on my vanity.
This is my Best of Beaty 2016. I’m not going to lie, this list took me over a month to complete because it’s so hard to narrow everything down. I’m aware that some of these products are not 2016 new, but new to me.
LashFood- Photo-Medic Eyelash Enhancer $78 USD: This pricey eyelash enhancer worked like a charm on my abused lashes. Made with organic medicinal herbs to enhance natural hair growth. It’s a thin water-like consistency that is applied with a tiny brush applicator. There was no burning or irritation and my eyes are very sensitive. I used this nightly and after 2 weeks I could visibly see new growth and length in my lashes. At week 8 I started to maintain with 3-4 applications a week. It’s perfect for me because I want the false lash look but I’m too lazy to apply them everyday. The picture below is a sample size of LashFood.
Benefit- Roller Lash Mascara $24 USD: The only mascara that allows me to skip curling my lashes. The shape of the wand and texture of the product separates, lifts, and curls the lash on its own. It lasts for roughly 9 hours without smudging or crumbling. It give me a very natural look and it’s great for lengthening. For volume I layer Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara. Benefit slays with mascara!
Too-Faced Born This Way Foundation $39 USD: My favorite full-coverage oil-free liquid foundation. Every foundation oxidizes in my t-zone, this one just seems to last a little longer. With a blending sponge, it truly looks natural on me. I also have neutral undertones so 3 of their shades work for me. There are 18 shades in the Born This Way line. This is not my HG and I’m convinced that I won’t find it in my lifetime. If anyone knows of a good medium coverage foundation for oily t-zone, please leave a comment below.
Algenist- Complete Eye Renewal Balm $68 USD: Made with caffeine, vitamin C, cucumber, aloe, and green tea, it’s moisturizing and refreshing. I love the balmy texture. It’s on the thicker side but sinks in pretty quick. My under eye is less puffy and dark when I wake up. I also use this in the morning allowing it to fully absorb and there is no interference with foundation. It is pricey so I would love to know what you guys use for the under eye. I was recommended Kiehl’s and I think I may give it a try.
Muji- Cut Cotton Ecru $3.99 USD: This package contains 180pcs and lasts a long time. These squares are minimally packaged and made with recycled biodegradable material. They work great for toning and removing makeup/masks, lipstick and I pretty much use them for everything. A cheap and effective product that I can’t live without. Thanks to Stashy from StashMatters for introducing me to Muji!
Muji- Toning Water For Sensitive Skin Moisture $10.50 USD: The first toner that doesn’t burn my skin and leave me feeling like a raisin. The amount of makeup and dirt this toner removes, after washing, still amazes me. Even you beauties with super sensitive skin could use this. It feels like water but cleans and evens skin like a toner should. This was also from Stashy and she knows what works for sensitive skin!
Amika-Perk Up Dry Shampoo $22 USD: This is another light-weight product that absorbs oil, lifts, and refreshes minus the chalky residue. It uses a natural rice starch to absorb oil and dirt. The scent is actually pretty good for a dry shampoo. You get all the benefits of a traditional dry shampoo without having to work all that chalky powder in. The powder is an annoyance on dark hair. It saves me a few minutes in the morning and I’ll take every minute I can get. As with this post, I am always running late no matter how hard I try. Lol
Oribe- Superfine Hairspray $33 USD: Again, great for fine hair with the super-fine mist. Too much of a heavy duty hairspray ruins the look. I love this for a messy bun because I get medium hold with flexibility. It also smells so good. A bit expensive for hairspray but I use it so rarely that it really lasts a long time.
My second favorite is Salon Grafix Volumizing Hairspray in firmer hold. This is a much stronger hold and I love the anti-static effect. I really friggin hate static in the winter, it drives me insane!! SG dries really quick and it has Keratin so it leaves a nice shine too. This is reasonably priced at $4.99 USD and works really well on fine hair.
RevivHair- Placode Booster Serum $44 USD/30 day supply: Made with breakthrough peptide technology, I wrote a post about this that showed visible hair growth. It’s the only alternative to Minoxidil that actually works without burning or irritating the scalp. There is no sticky or greasy residue and you can apply to wet or dry hair. I preferred to apply it to wet hair and let it absorb while air drying.
Shea Moisture- Weightless Texture Spray Fruit Fusion Coconut Water $10.99 USD: Of course this smells like I’m headed to the beach, making a deep freeze day much brighter. Its namesake is true, as far as I can tell, it’s weightless. I spritz this on my damp hair and it adds a little texture and without drying my hair out. I use is about 2-3 spritzes and comb through. Texture and hair that smells fantastic!
Clinique- Chubby Stick Moisturizing Colour Lip Balm in the shade Whole Lotta Honey $17 USD. I love having the texture of a balm with a semi-sheer beige pigment. I am on my 2nd stick and plan to purchase more of the 16 shades. It lasts about 3 hours and I usually re-apply at least once. It’s so moisturizing, I’ve been addicted this winter.
Kaplan MD- Perfect Pout Lip Mask + Lip Balm $24 USD. Let me clarify and say JUST the Lip Mask! An affordable lip treatment that exfoliates and plumps. It makes my lips baby soft and diminishes fine lines. I apply and leave on for 3-5 mins while it soaks in then rinse with a warm cloth. The downside is that the mask isn’t sold separately and I am not a fan of the smell or taste of the lip balm. The balm tastes and smells like straight up sunblock. If you don’t mind the taste of SPF then you may love it because the texture feels really nice. Otherwise I suggest using a regular lip balm or plumper after the mask. Full post coming soon.
Cedar + Stone– Atlantis facial oil for Intensive Cell Repair Therapy for Dry, Acneic, oily or Comination skin. A lovely Australian serum that I spoke about on MyLipAddiction podcast. When I’m having a breakout or a red inflamed skin day, this is my overnight cure. Rich in fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins, not only clears blemishes but evens out my skin tone. The smell is a delicious blend of citrus, lavender, and neroli and provides amazing aromatherapy for relaxation. The sad news is that I can’t seem to find it at Urban Outfitters or Cedar + Stone website. I’ve messaged the company to see what’s up.
TandHK Perfection Serum for dark spots and acne scars. $70 USD. I have a full post about this coming soon so I won’t go on too much. The fact that it’s in my favorites gives a hint at my progress. Unlike other scar treatments, this is not sticky and does not cause itching. The treatment is creamy and smooth. I apply nightly to my traumatic facial and chest scars. My scars are not acne related they are deep scars so I believe this would work wonders on acneic or superficial scars.
Erno Laszlo Sensitive Double Cleanse Travel Set. $28 USD. The picture below is a miniature sample I received in a beauty sub. The travel size is bigger and it will last a long time. I have always practiced double washing on my face and this set just makes it easier. This has a very light fresh honey scent, I just cannot use a perfumed cleanser on my face. A very small amount of oil will loosed up your makeup, even waterproof mascara. Do not rinse the oil off, lather the bar of soap with warm water and apply directly to the face with circular motions. Both products will work simultaneously to cleanse. When complete, my skin feels clean and soft. I had no sensations or burning, it’s very gentle on the skin and no tight dryness afterward.
Lancer The Method Face Polish. $75 USD. This may not be for everyone because the pumpkin and pomegranate enzymes are pretty course. It can be abrasive depending on how much water is used. I tolerate a good scrub because I love how soft and smooth my face feels after. No other face scrub can compare to this polish. It’s pricey but it will last forever. A pea-size amount is all you need for the whole face. Warning: if you get it near your mouth, it has a strong chemical taste. The scent on the skin smells like lavender but it tastes absolutely terrible but the goal isn’t to eat it.
Tinted Lip Balm
YSL- Volupte Sheer Candy in Mouthwatering Berry. $37. You all know I love YSL and unfortunately the Sheer Candy line isn’t all that good, in fact there are only 2 shades in the whole line that do not have shimmer (this one & Tangy Mandarin). The shimmer shades have a gritty texture and after a 20-30 mins the shimmer is gone and my lips feel dry. This is so not the case with Mouthwatering Berry, it’s a beautifully deep shade of berry with YSL’s signature vanilla minty flavor. It is a lip balm so it will need re-application in 3 hours or so, but the shade is so pretty with the perfect amount of pigment. I really cannot find a dupe and I tried because $37 for a tinted lip balm is insane. The only thing that comes slightly close is Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in the shade Black Honey for half the price at $17 USD. They are both very pretty but YSL is more moisturizing and that’s why it made my best list.
Gerard Cosmetics Lipstick in the shade 1995. $19 USD. This is a classic retro 90’s shade in the nude family but on the darker side. It is matte but not as drying as a liquid matte. It’s comfortable to wear for day or night. The pigment will obviously vary with skin tone and on my olive skin it appears on the darker side of brown. 1995 applies evenly and opaque. It lasts around 5 hours. It’s a great shade for all generations. My daughter and I both wear 1995.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in Metallic Rose. $16 USD. A shimmery dusty rose in a light-weight formula that delivers great pigment on it’s own or layered on lipstick. It has a sweet vanilla scent and it’s not sticky. My biggest complaint with any lip gloss is thickness and stickiness, this one is neither. To be honest, I didn’t love the shade when I saw the packaging but when I applied it, it was perfect.
Tarte Amazonian Clay Waterproof Bronzer in Park Ave Princess. $30 USD. I am sorry y’all this is still my all time favorite bronzer, which I wrote about here. This is a subtle but gorgeous glow that can also be used to contour on fair skin. There is none to very little shimmer in it and that is important to me. I use this every day….no joke. I have worn it to the beach and it is definitely waterproof and does not budge. It blends great over foundation (powder or liquid).
L’Oréal- Infallible Pro Glow foundation in Nude Beige. $12.99 USD. I tried Pro-Matte first and it was too drying. Pro-Gow actually gives me a very nice subtle glow with medium to full coverage. It’s buildable to a degree and blends out flawlessly with a blending sponge. I wear this almost everyday because it’s a little more light-weight for work days. It’s also less than half the price of my high foundation.
Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder. $38 USD. I’m sure you’ve all seen this before, but it’s a first time purchase for me. This light-weight finishing powder sets my makeup with a nice matte finish without settling into my fine lines. It also helps to control my oily t-zone for at least 5 hours which is long for me. This also doesn’t throw a white cast in photos.
Urban Decay- Gwen Stefani Palette. Unfortunately this was a limited edition that I paid $58 USD for then a month later it went on sale for $25 USD and I snagged another. I know people feel that quality is sometimes lost in collabs or limited editions but not with this one. I really didn’t expect to use this much but as it turns out, I reach for this a lot! I have used every shade except lighter blue and not for lack of beauty, it’s just not a good shade on me. The pigment is there. The quality is there. They blend easily.
Tarte Amazonian Clay Color Vibes Palette Limited Edition. On sale for $41 USD. This is the biggest palette in my collection, it’s huge!! There are 20 limited edition shades and a double-sided brush. I have worn every shade in this palette. The shades are pigmented, blend easily, and they’re so pretty. What I really like is that I can pick any 3-4 shades and create a vibe….literally. I didn’t want to put 2 eyeshadow palettes but I had to mention this.
Bareminerals BareSkin Sheer Sun Serum Bronzer. $28 USD. Do any of you use 2 different foundations for winter and summer? I don’t have to anymore! I use my winter shade and a a few drops of Sheer Sun Bronzer to give some warmth when my skin has some summer color. I originally received a sample and loved the natural look so much that I bought the full-size and still haven’t opened it. The sample lasted through the summer and there is still some left.
Urban Decay Single Shadows- Roadstripe, Rust, Acid Rain. These are 3 unique shades from the Urban Decay XX Vintage line. They are 3 of the original 19 eyeshadows UD launched in 1997. Roadstipe is a shifty iridescent white. Rust is a yellow-orang with a gold shift. Acid Raid is a pale yellow-green pearl with a slight gold shift. Just from the descriptions, you can tell these are unique. I love the velvety feel of these singles. The blend and pack really well. The pigment is insane!!
Exuviance Evening Restorative Complex. Now on sale for $38 USD. I talked about this here. After 4 weeks, my face has never been so evenly smooth and supple. This stuff smells amazing and I can’t get enough of it.
Benefit Gimme Brow Volumizing Finer Gel. $24 USD. This has saved me so much time in the morning. It’s a multi-tasker, I can fill in and shape my eyebrows with the tip, comb through with the brush to smooth over and lock into place. This does not dry shiny, it’s textured with fibers and dries to a matte-like finish.
Clean Reserve Warm Cotton. $95 USD. I love this scent because it’s a very clean non-perfume scent. Almost like freshly cleaned laundry. It’s perfect for work. Some reviews say it doesn’t last long but I haven’t had this issue at all. I get a lot of compliments when I wear this. People have even asked what laundry soap or fabric freshener I use. I’m almost through my first bottle and I will definitely re-purchase.
I hope you enjoyed my best of beauty list and I look forward to a new year and new beauty and life adventures!
What are some of your favorites from 2016 or something you are currently loving?