2016 was a big year for me beauty wise. I found some of my favorite products, realized what works/doesn’t work for my skin and even went VIB Rouge (a.k.a. spent WAY too much money at Sephora). Amidst the countless products I tried last year were a number of hidden gems that I’m happy to share with you today!
All of the things listed are products I truly love and will continue to use throughout 2017. I tried to mix in both high-end and affordable items so that everyone can find something they want to try. Hopefully my horrible spending habits will save you some time and money the next time you decide to splurge on beauty! Also, read to the end to find out what beauty products I’m DYING to try in the new year!
Makeup Forever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation
This was the first liquid foundation I ever tried and boy did it not disappoint. It provides a medium coverage, but can be built up to full coverage easily. My favorite way to apply this is with a damp beauty blender because that gives me the most natural finish, which is important for daily wear. AND it comes in 40 SHADES! That’s a rare find, my friends.
The NARS All Day Luminous Weightless foundation was another one of my favorites this year! Comes in 20 shades and gives a natural glow. Definitely full coverage and is oil-free!
Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder
This setting powder changed the game for me. You know the reaction you have when you take the first bite of a juicy, mouth-watering burger? Well, that’s the same reaction I had to this powder. I immediately noticed a difference between this and the powder I was using before and was shocked at how flawless this made my skin look. It’s made to create a soft focus, meaning it completely erases the look of pores leaving a smooth finish. I mostly apply this in my t-zone and under my eyes to set concealer, but if I’m going for a more full-coverage look then will dust it on all over my face. I’ll also dip a damp beauty blender in the powder and “bake” under my eyes and contour when I want a stay-all-day coverage.
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop
The BEST highlighter ever made. Hands down. No comparisons. Worth the price. Probably worth my life. There’s nothing more to say.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer
I’ll admit, this bronzer scared me before I tried it. As a girl with extremely oily skin, anything marked “shimmer” or “glow” (or luminous, or brightening, or anything that isn’t matte) has me running in the other direction. Something about this enticed me though, so I bit the bullet and splurged and now it has become a staple in my everyday makeup routine. The entire Hourglass brand has rave reviews on pretty much every product, and this bronzer lives up to the standard. It gives the most perfect glow to the skin and truly makes you look like you’re glowing from within! It doesn’t go on cakey, but a little does go a long way. I like to apply it with the Sigma F25 on my forehead and to blend my contour. It honestly doesn’t matter what type of skin you have, this bronzer will compliment anyone.
L’Oreal Paris Infallible 24HR Eyeshadows (Drugstore)
These eyeshadows are surprisingly amazing. They’re super blendable and add a nice shimmer to any look. I have the colors bronzed taupe and amber rush (which has been my go-to lately!) and I can attest to the long-wearing proponents like the name says (but I can’t tell you if they last for 24 hours… don’t sleep in your makeup people!) These eye shadows are just as good as any high-end product and they range from $3.99-$6.99 each. SUCH a steal.
Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso (Drugstore)
I’m honestly sad that I didn’t have this blush in my life for longer. I wish I could bathe in this stuff; I love it that much. This is the perfect summertime blush (I talked about it in my makeup dupes post here) and you can’t go wrong when you’re flaunting this peachy color on your cheeks. It pairs hand-in-hand with a tan and will make you absolutely radiate.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz
This product taught me that brows do matter, and for that I am forever biased about the brow wiz. It glides on so effortlessly, and the fine tip makes it easier to mimic hairs with small strokes. Take pride in your brows ladies and gents— this product is worth it!
Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm and Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream (Drugstore)
Burt’s Bees is my O.G. of all lip balms. I seriously love this stuff… so much so that I refuse to use anything else. The amount of tubes I’ve gone through is honestly insane! It makes my lips feel incredibly smooth and also gives a little tingly feeling when you put it on (which I think means it’s working its magic). I will never devote as much love to another chapstick because I’ve reached the end of the rainbow with this one.
The cuticle cream is something I started using just recently, and I’ll admit I haven’t used it enough to notice a difference yet. However, I have such dry and brittle nails that I’ve convinced myself this is going to be my saving grace.
Simple Micellar Cleansing Water (Drugstore)
I bought this on a whim because I had run out of the cleanser I was using at the time, and I was so surprised with how effective this was. I’m extremely careful with what I use on my face since I have such sensitive and acne-prone skin, but this always left my face clean and my skin noticeably clearer after a few uses. Now that I have a regular face wash again, I still like to use this as a toner to ensure I get every last bit of makeup off at night!
TULA Exfoliating Treatment Mask
THIS. MASK. You’ve heard me talk about it before (that blog post here), but I can’t help but include it in my 2016 favorites. This mask has worked WONDERS on my skin and is the only mask I’ve ever repurchased. The soothing smell alone would be enough to keep me hooked, but that’s not all this mask has to offer. The probiotic technology helps balance the skin and the plant-based beads are biodegradable. A mask that’s good for the skin and safe for the environment? Sign me up for a lifetime supply, please.
(I also use TULA’S Purifying Cleanser… if you haven’t tried this brand yet, you need to!)
Batiste Dry Shampoo (Drugstore)
This dry shampoo was actually a recommendation from my brother’s girlfriend. I was using baby powder because every dry shampoo I’d tried seemed to make my hair look greasier, but the powder was leaving a white cast. Batiste’s Hint of Color is the only dry shampoo I’ve ever tried that actually WORKS! I’ve gone through so many bottles of this stuff.
Just because it’s a new year doesn’t mean I will be parting ways with all of my favs. However, I can’t wait to see what goodies I can get my hands on in 2017! Here’s a list of some products I can’t wait to try:
- Tarte Shape Tape Concealer (an Ulta exclusive)
- Maybelline Expert Wear Eye Shadows (specifically khaki camo!)
- Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Blush
- Jouer Long-Wear Lip Cream
- Pixi Glow Tonic (available at the drugstore)
- Living Proof Full Shampoo