Best of Beauty 2017

Monday, January 15, 2018

Over the year I test and play with A LOT of makeup on a daily basis, adjust my routine as I discover new products, and find favourites that I absolutely can't live without. In 2016 I curated a list for the first time and it was so well received that I'm doing it again for 2017!

As I'm writing this, I already know this post is going to be a LOOOONG one so I hope you have a snack. I'm eating mango and grapes as I work on it. Let's jump in!

For the first time in my 28 years, last year I fell in love with my brows. They have finally grown to a point that I enjoy staring at them and shaping them minimally to create the perfect arch. I began the year creating bold brows and filling in as much as I could, but by the end of the year these two products became my ride or die:
  • Benefit Cosmetics Foolproof Brow Powder: Launched in spring 2017, I didn't love it at first! I still had a lot of sparse areas that I could only fill using Ka-Brow Gel, so I let this product collect dust. Towards the end of the year I decided to give it another try and fell in L-O-V-E. It makes your brows look effortlessly natural and real, while filling in the areas where you don't grow a lot of hair.
  • Benefit Cosmetics 24-Hour Brow Setter Clear Brow Gel: If you haven't used a clear gel to set your brows before, girl, get on it! No matter what product I use on my brows, once I set them in place with this I seriously feel alive. All the hair and product stays in place, even if I'm in the pool, and I have all the confidence that my brows won't go anywhere.

2017 was the YEAR for eye shadow palettes, it seems! There were so many that I wanted to splurge on, but had to choose wisely. I'm super happy to report that I don't regret any of these below:
  • Jaclyn Hill x Morphe Eye Shadow Palette: I knew I was going to purchase it because I'm a huge JH fan but waited until there were actually some in stock this summer. The most interesting thing about the hype and "negative/bad" reviews is that they usually only talk about the packaging + cost of the palette. Most people love the actual quality of the shadows... and in the end, isn't that what matters? I instantly fell in love with the colour story, and the amount of looks I've created using various colours has made it worthwhile for me. Even though there are TONS of tutorials and reviews, let me know if you'd like me to do an in-depth one or maybe a few looks that I love to create! I really love this palette.
  • Urban Decay Naked Heat Eye Shadow Palette: I've been collecting UD palettes for years and honestly haven't been loving the last few collections... until Naked Heat! While a lot of the shades are super similar to the Jaclyn Hill x Morphe palette, this one brings it's own uniqueness. I have been able to create subtle, smokey, rose gold and bold looks using just one palette... what more could you ask for? The quality, colours, packaging and price-point = it's all here in one beautiful eye shadow palette.
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Eye Shadow Palette: The love I feel for this palette is like no other. It was sold out for the longest time, and even when it came back in stock I never got lucky! Finally when it arrived, I was so obsessed I used it for a whole month straight. I can create sooo many looks with the unique colour range and have debated picking up other ABH palettes because of this one. The only downfall for me has been that I usually reach for a couple of other palettes, while using this one to pick some of my main statement colours. If you are new to makeup, I wouldn't recommend this one because it can be tricky to use!
  • Wet n Wild Au Natural Eye Shadow Palette: Wow, what a year it's been for this brand. They actually recently changed their packaging that I'm not 100% sure if you can still pick up this palette, however, their shadows are SO on-point; the pigment, colour range and longevity is incredible for a drugstore brand, especially one that keeps it's price-point low and affordable. This palette is a staple of mine, and I often reach for it when I'm in a rush but want my eyes to speak volumes.

In 2017, I encouraged all my friends and followers to try drugstore mascara! Not only are you getting the bang for your buck, but the quality is usually incredible!! Here are two that I fell in love with last year:
  • Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara: This waterproof, smudge-proof baby is now a staple of mine. Although it isn't new to the market, it is one that I discovered back in March and truly loved using everyday. It makes your lashes look longer and fuller, giving any eye makeup look that full bold effect. I was actually stopped and asked a few times what lashes I was wearing, and people were shocked when I said it is just mascara!
  • L'Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara: It's already been said by SO many people that this is the perfect dupe for Too Faced Better than Sex mascara, and I have to agree. I love that mascara, but when this came to market, I began to like this even more! The only thing that I don't love is that it doesn't layer well for me, especially if I'm using one mascara for volume and the other to curl... it will definitely begin to flake. Other than that, I've gone through a few tubes of this and still really enjoy it.

I tried SO many foundations this year, but I've narrowed it down to these two that I gravitate towards on an everyday basis:
  • IT Cosmetics CC+ Cream with SPF 50: I'd been wanting to try this for years and it was totally worth the wait. This full-coverage foundation will hide any blemish and leave you with the most beautiful glow! Like most liquid foundations, I set it with powder so it stays in place and lasts longer. I also find that this foundation works well in the summer AND winter! If you are interested in trying, I highly recommend that you find the perfect shade for you; if I wear a shade too light or dark it definitely shows.
  • CoverGirl Vitalist Elixir Foundation + Sunscreen SPF 20: I love CoverGirl foundations and this is, no doubt, another favourite to add to the collection. If you like foundation to be hydrating, dewy, radiant but not matte, then this is definitely one you should try. If I want more of a matte face I would reach for something else, but I usually like my skin to glow and the Vitalist Elixir is PERFECT for that! 

This product on everyone's 2017 favourites, and my list is no exception.
  • Tarte Cosmetics Shape Tape Concealer: Once you try it, you will not love any other concealer as much as this one! I purchased it in the summer while on a spontaneous trip to Detroit, and now I wish I had bought a few more tubes. It is THAT good. So many people have suggested dupes for this concealer, but nothing truly compares. It is full coverage; you can dab a bit as concealer or even use it as foundation with powder to set your face. I have really bad bags under my eyes, partially because of lack of sleep but it's also hereditary, and this concealer HIDES THEM COMPLETELY! I cannot say enough good things about this product. Also, completely weird side note: I love how it smells, think fresh lemon in water...

A quick roundup of some other face products I loved last year, and yes, am still using this year:
  • Pixi Beauty Flawless & Poreless Primer: This is a brand I was mainly introduced to in 2017, and while there are a few products I enjoy, this primer has been a highlight for me! I've always had a hard time finding a drugstore primer that is hydrating and gives a flawless finish, and now, this is definitely up there for me. Your foundation will look amaaaaazing. Promise!
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in "Paaarty": This is part of the Tarte Birthday gift that Sephora gave last year, and I quickly became obsessed with the blush. It is not pink, not neutral and definitely not peachy... instead, a little bit of all three. It complements SO many lip colours and if you know me, you know I like my blush to pair well with my lippie.
  • CoverGirl Tru Blend Blush in "Medium Rose": Why did I not start using this earlier?! This blush is the PERFECT pink. I find a lot of pink blushes to be quite blinding, but this is the perfect blend of subtle versus too in-your-face, It also adds shimmer to your cheeks!
  • Benefit Dandelion Twinkle Highlighter: I've talked about this A LOT in 2017, and you're probably a little sick of me mentioning it, but seriously, this was my favourite highlight to use on an everyday basis last year. It glides on SO smoothly, doesn't look patchy, and gives a beautiful rose gold glow. I've also seen Dandelion Twinkle on various skin-tones and it always looks flawless.
  • Yves Rocher Bronzing Powder Duo: Lately I've been gravitating towards palettes and powders that include a matte highlight and bronzer in one, and this one is no exception. I got it sent to me last year, and it's amazing how often I reach for it! There are four different shade ranges to choose from; you can always go to a store near you to get the perfect match.
  • Pixi Beauty Book of Beauty Contour Creator Kit: This is another kit that I used almost everyday... clearly because I've hit pan! I always refer to this as a dupe for the Kat Von D contour kit, the shades, as well as how it is all laid out, is SO similar but the price-point is significant. The powder is so easy to blend in, lasts all day long, and I also love that you have multiple shades to pick from depending on how your skin may change throughout the year.

This is the hardest category for me everytime, because I go through SO MANY lip products. However, I've been able to narrow them down to these five, with a nice mix of high-end and drugstore products:
  • Maybelline SuperStay Matte InkI have always been super impressed by Maybelline's lip products, and this liquid lipstick collection was no exception. After seeing everyone freak out over them on social media, I finally decided to buy a couple! The formula is super similar to LipSense (highly pigmented, long-wearing and will NOT come off until you try and rub it off with makeup remover oil), but this winter I have found it to dry out my lips quite a bit. Nowadays I've been applying it with gloss on top, which has been helpful.
  • Make Up For Ever Artist Liquid Matte Lipstick, shade "109": I only have one colour from this collection, and I hope it stays in market forever because it is the most beautiful pink-nude-brown shade I've ever seen! I'm obsessed with this formula; it glides on smoothly, does not move around, stays on all day (but I do like to re-apply after meals) and is seriously addictive... I could wear this colour all week long, it goes with anything!
  • L'Oreal Infallible Paints: I believe L'Oreal launched a whole bunch of new items in the Infallible collection in 2017, and my favourite is the lippies! I'll admit that they aren't as long-wearing as I'd like, in fact, the stain comes off quite easily, but the colours they have in the collection are SO beautiful! I also really like the sponge applicator, makes it super easy to apply.
  • Yves Rocher Rouge Vertige Liquid Balm: If you're looking for a balm or gloss that has a VERY slight colour stain, look no further! Yves Rocher has a huge collection of these in almost every colour imaginable, and they are all amazing. It is non-sticky, blends right into your lips and immediately starts to provide nourishing qualities thanks to the cherry oil.
  • Lancome Matte Shaker High Pigment Liquid Lipstick: In 2016 I was obsessing over the Juicy Shaker, and in 2017 it is all about the matte babies! This is basically a long-wearing lip stain; you shake the little tube and use the sponge tip to apply the pigment. Initially I was quite annoyed because it took tiiiime to get the product out, but once you figure out, the product comes out easily and looks beautiful on the lips!

That is all, my friends! Next year I am thinking to add skincare + hair to this round-up, what do you think?
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