Monday, 2 January 2017

My 2016 Beauty Favourites

 
One thing I love to do at the end of year, is share my yearly favourites. These are the products that not only made an impression during a single month, but products that impressed me all year long. This will be a very long blog post, so lets get started….



My Favourite Foundations (yes there are three)!
The Aqua Glow Serum Foundation got a lot of use from me in the summer! It’s a water-based serum foundation, which makes it incredibly light on the skin. As you'd expect from a water-based foundation, this is incredibly moisturising on the skin. This is enhanced by the addition of Hyaluronic Acid in the formulation, giving a real boost of nourishment to the skin. It glides over both my dry cheeks and my oily t-zone, blending into both areas with ease. The coverage is completely buildable and it’s packed with multi-reflective pigments, which deflect light to give you a really even and radiant finish. 

My winter foundation of choice was the Candleglow Soft Luminous Foundation from Laura Mercier. This foundation just gives you everything you need, you pump it out onto your brush and it blends effortlessly into the skin. It gives you a lovely coverage, which is perfect for the winter months when you want to hide a multitude of sins. It lasts all day on my oily skin, whatever the weather! if you're curious my shade is 'Shell' – it’s a very lightweight foundation and it's designed to give you a glowy finish on the skin. 

This year was definitely the year of the cushion! The Nude Magique Cushion Foundation takes everything we know about traditional foundation and turns it on his head. The liquid revolutionary foundation features a cushion, which is drenched in the foundation. The Nude Magique Cushion Foundation comes packaged in a beautiful metallic purple compact, you flip the lid to find a sponge and then you lift the second lid to reveal the cushion. The coverage really is buildable, take a little bit on a brush for a sheer luminous finish, or apply extra layers for a medium coverage. The foundation blends into skin really nicely, giving your skin a luminous glow, it looks incredibly natural and pretty. It does not separate on my skin and it lasts really really too. 



My Favourite Concealer 
I picked up the NARS Creamy Concealer this year, as I wanted to compare it to the Urban Decay Naked Concealer. I spent a long time using both and found it impossible to pick between the two! In the end they both ran out and I opted to repurchase NARS, it has a drier and thicker texture, offering a stronger coverage, but in a more matte finish!

My Favourite Powder

Another year may have passed but I’m still obsessed with the Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder! It is certainly one of the better powders you can buy, so I love that it’s available on the high street. The Bourjois powder is a perfect match for my skin, what I personally like about this powder is that it's incredibly fine milled, so it does not feel heavy at all. Still it gives you great coverage, sets makeup and keeps shine at bay all day long. Some powders can feel quite drying on the skin, but this is really comfortable. 

My Favourite Mascara
My favourite mascara this year is Clinique’s Chubby Lash Mascara, which has definitely given the most dramatic, awesome lashes this year! The brush itself is described as "oversized" and they are completely right as it is really quite big. Despite the size of the brush, it's actually very easy to use, grabbing each lash and coating it in the lovely volumising formula. As you can probably guess by the 'fattening' in the name of the mascara, this mascara is all about adding volume to the lashes. In one quick application, the Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara coats lashes from root to tip. Offering the lashes immense volume and a rich colour, which doesn't go clumpy, fake off or smudge throughout the day.



My Favourite Brow Products
For brows this year I’ve picked out two products from Benefit! I firmly remembering buying Gimme Brow, as I bought it as soon as it launched here in the UK. Back then that was a pretty big deal for me, as I was just entering the world of high end beauty. I really did not have many high end products in my collection, so spending £18 on a brow gel took some convincing. Fast forward nearly two years and Benefit's Gimme Brow is a firm favourite in my collection. It's safe to say it was worth the hype and I never looked back.

Benefit's Goof Proof Pencil is exactly what it says on the tin, it's a bold claim, but Benefit say that this is the easiest brow filling and shaping pencil yet! It’s actually a double ended pencil - on one end you have a spoolie-brush and under the other spectacular lid you're greeted with a non-sharpen pencil. The pencil is a diamond shape, which is slightly skinner on the top than the bottom. This means you have a thicker end to do the bulk of your brow and a skinny tip to do some more precise work. The pencil itself is quite soft and it glides on to your brows with ease. 

My Favourite Blush
My favourite blush this year were definitely the products which had a more soft focus finish! The number one slot goes straight to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush. I have two in my collection – Ethereal Glow, which is a soft pink and Mood Exposure, which is more of a deep plum shade. These blushers are guaranteed to make your heart flutter! These blushers from Hourglass are no stranger to the bloggersphere, as they’ve had some major hype. However, the hype and the lovely reviews are 100% justified! Hourglass combined the formula of the famous Ambient Lighting Powders with coloured hues to create 'soft focus' colour. On the cheek it gives you a lovely colour and a beautiful glow.



My Favourite Bronzer
I never thought it would happen, but this year I officially hit pan on the NARS Laguna Bronzer! I don’t think this needs any introduction to bloggers, but it arrives in a huge compact and inside boasts the powder and a large mirror. Packaging aside, the biggest attraction for me, is that the bronzer is a pigmented powder, but it’s the perfect colour for lighter skintones.  It’s completely matte, which means you can apply as much or as little as you like – and not end up looking like a glitter ball. Hurrah! 

My Favourite Contour Product
The Master Contour V Sticks by Maybelline might look a little abstract, but they are a very clever invention. They are Maybelline's first 2-in-1 contouring stick, featuring a cream product which is designed to make contouring simple. They are handy twist up sticks, where on one side you have a contour shade and on the other, you have the highlighting shade. This is the first ever cream contouring product that I’ve managed to get on board with - it’s just so simple and the results are beautiful!



My Favourite Highlighters
For highlighter this year, for me it was all about the Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kits – which are the most swoon-worthy products on the planet! In each of the palettes you get lots of different powder highlighters, capable of creating intense luminosity. The first one I picked up was 'Gleam' as it's the one designed for lighter skin tones, then when I was in the USA, I picked up Ultimate Glow.  The formula of each highlighter is really lovely and I’m forever packing on the glow from these palettes! They are designed to be used both wet and dry, offering you the opportunity to really step up the pigmentation. The powders are finely-milled and they are actually to designed to work well as eyeshadows. If like me, you are a complete highlighter obsessive, this is a must for your collection. 

I've spoken before about my love for Laura Geller's Gelato lineup, I'll be honest, everytime I look at the blushers or the highlighters, my heart skips a beat. They are just the most simple design idea, with the stunning swirl is made to mimic the swirl of Gelato. This year Laura Geller added two beautiful sun-friendly shades of the Gelato Illuminators - Charming Pink* (which is a pale pink-silver shade) and Peach Glow* (a warm peach-apricot hue), designed to add natural radiance back into the skin. The highlighter comes in a little compact, which is black on the bottom with a clear lid that lets the beauty shine through. The texture of the Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator is buttery and it blends on the skin effortlessly. The highlighters have some very small glitter pieces, which just add to the glow and sheen, without being overloaded with glitter and shimmer. 

My Favourite Lip Product
The Lancôme Juicy Shaker is packaged as a super cute cocktail shaker, designed to work with the biphasic formula. You simply shake the mini cocktail shaker, blend the formula together and apply it to the lips with the applicator. I really do not have a bad word to say about the Lancôme Juicy Shaker. What is particularly lovely for someone who is scared of pigmentation on the lips, is that you can vary how pigmented this product is. You can wear it as a very light sheen, or keep building it up to something more intense. It's a really lovely glossy hue on the lips, which I just think is lovely and universally flattering. On the lips it's incredibly comfortable, boasting a non-sticky texture, which all the extra benefits of the different oils playing their part. I have the shade Berry Tale, which is a gorgeous and natural pink hue. It's a lovely colour and the colour is natural enough, even for a lipstick-hater like me!

My Favourite Single Eyeshadow 
As soon as I saw the Clarins Ombre Iridescent eyeshadows I knew I had to Plum Silver -there are four shades and I knew the purple one was the one I needed. The colours are brought to life with a shot of silver iridescence, so they have a really lovely shine. This has a cream-to powder formulation, which applies like a dream but also holds on your eyelids all day long. The colour is really pigmented, I load it on to my eyelids, I then take a MAC 217 and blend out the edges. What I love is that this honestly creates the most effortless smokey eye, without any hard edges and it only takes thirty seconds.



My Favourite Cream Eyeshadow Sticks
My love affair the By Terry Ombre Blackstar Eyeshadows started a couple of years ago. After listening to beauty bloggers bang on and on about these little eyeshadow sticks, it was time for me to scrape together my pennies and treat myself. The formulation is so creamy and pigmented! You just had to smooth a couple of lines of eyeshadow on to the lids, barely touching the eyelid and certainly not dragging – a quick blend around the edges using a MAC 217 and you are good to go! The best bit is the staying power, even on my oily eyelids, these cream eyeshadows set in place and do not budge! The two latest colours I’ve added to my collection are Beyond Gold (a rich gold hue) and Ombre Mercure (a glittery silver shade). I thought these would be perfect for the Christmas and festive season, offering a pretty glittery finish with minimal effort required! 



My Favourite Eyeshadow Palettes
The Hourglass Modernist Eyeshadow Palettes come in seven different shade combinations. I have the shade ‘Exposure’, which houses five beautiful shades that all follow a purple hue theme. I truly think it looks beautiful and the seamless colour transitions fill me with eyeshadow inspiration. The eyeshadows are created using a multi-press compression technique, which creates that beautiful wave effect in the palette. The five eyeshadows in my palette are richly pigmented; they give some serious colour pay off, without fallout on your brush or skin. The shades vary in formulation, some are matte, some are pearlescent and some are shimmer, yet they all perform impeccably. You can use each of the shades on their own, or you can mix and create an array of eye looks.

The more affordable palette I’ve been loving this year is Fleur De Force’s Lunar Rose. What I loved about the Lunar Rose palette, is that all the colours perfectly compliment my eye colour, so it really is the perfect quad. Colour wise, there's a dusty baby pink, a lovely rose gold, a shimmer rose and finally a mauve shade that has a hint of shimmer. The shades are true to the colour you see in the in the pan and they have just the right amount of pigment. The eyeshadows last really well on my skin, they actually happen to last all day, which makes them a winner for me! There is a TINY bit of fallout from these, especially on the matte shades, which just requires brushing away with your concealer brush after application.



My Favourite Face Palettes
The Ambient Lighting Edit was a limited edition palette for Christmas 2016 and it caused quite a stir. The Ambient Lighting Edit is a collection of gorgeous ambient lighting palettes, designed to give you everything you need for a flattering glowing complexion. What's fantastic for an Hourglass fan like me, is that every shade in this palette is brand new, so there are no duplicates in my collection. Inside the palette there is bronzer, blusher, highlighter and a pretty setting powder. I was really worried that this would be one of those neglected purchases, but I use it every single day! 

I fell head over heels with the Stila Perfect Me, Perfect Hue Palettes this year! The palette is designed to be a simple easy-to-use compact, as the palette is already filled with products for your skintone. The palette includes five eyeshadow shades and two blush shades, designed for medium or tanned skintones. I have the palette in Medium/Tan which is a little dark for me, but you can see that they give you everything you need to create anything from a nude finish, to something more dramatic. 

And breathe…. that concludes my 2016 favourites! Would any of these make the cut for you this year?

*Disclaimer*
Posts may include press samples, all press samples are always indicated with a * next to the product name. Some links included in this post are likely to be affilate links, but please be aware that posts are NOT affilate driven. If you want to know more, check out my full disclaimer.


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