I don’t think I’ve done a post like this before (my memory has recently been quite shoddy, so don’t quote me on that), and I have thought about doing a post like this. I’ve surely done a “Favorites” post in the past, but not one that covers all my favorite products of the entire year.
In 2016, I’ve tried out soooooo many products and I’ve returned a lot as well. In this post, I will list the products that were my favorites (or the ones I reached for the most) ranging from base products (foundation, concealer, powder) to blush, highlighters, lip products, etc.
Let’s get started!
- Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer – At first I didn’t really care for this primer, but now I pretty much love it. I don’t like the price, though. LOL. This is great for summer months when my skin gets more oily than usual…or when my skin is just going through it’s oily times. During the cooler months, I’ll apply it to my oiliest areas (t-zone). It has a silicone feel and it is definitely water-repellent.
- Kat Von D Lock-It Featherweight Primer – This primer was a (pleasant) surprise to me. Whenever I hear or read the word “hydrating”, I assume it won’t work for my skin type. I bought it anyway because I loved how it felt when I swatched it on my hand one day in Sephora. Recently, I discovered that this stuff is perfect for the cooler/cold months and keeps my skin nice and hydrated. Believe it or not, hydrating products can help reduce the oiliness.
- Lily Lolo Flawless Matte Finishing Powder – Yes, you read right. This is a powder. I have used this to set my foundation (whenever I wear a mineral foundation), but I tried using this underneath and it works so well! I’m sure you’ve heard of the method of using a powder first, then foundation, then powder again on top. It works. ‘Especially for us combo/oily skin types.
- MAC Prep + Prime 24-Hour Extend Eye Base – This is an eye primer, but it’s still a primer right?! Let me tell you…this stuff is holy grail for me! Yes, I know that term gets tossed around very easily, but this seriously is my “one and only” eye primer. I’ve tried many eye primers and none come close to this. I hope MAC never discontinues this product. I’d be very unhappy.
- Sterling Minerals Rose Petal Foundation – This foundation brought me back to the world of mineral makeup. I love that it comes in three different formulas (depending on skin type and coverage) and it comes in a range of beautiful shades that are true to skin tones. I have all the formulas but I love the Dewy (combo skin) and Velvet (oily skin) formulas. It looks very natural on the skin and doesn’t oxidize. This also can be used as a concealer. I’ve used this in my under-eye area with success!
- Lily Lolo Mineral Foundation – This is another great quality mineral foundation. I love that this company provides shades in different undertones. It provides decent coverage and I love that the olive shades aren’t too warm. The shade Cinnamon was perfect for when I had my deep tan. The foundation is long lasting and also doesn’t oxidize. I find it to be pretty affordable, especially for the amount of product that you get!
- EX1 Invisiwear Liquid Foundation – I currently have a post about this foundation saved in my drafts, LOL. This foundation is pretty much spot on regarding my undertones. Farah Naz understands very yellow/olive undertones. This foundation looks soooo natural on my skin, no matter how many layers I apply. It also looks great in photos. My ONLY “issue” is that I wish it were more full coverage (it’s my obsession), but I absolutely can deal since I don’t have terrible skin. Stay tuned for my detailed post regarding this company.
- Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation – I’ve already written a post about this foundation (twice, actually)…so you know I love this stuff. It’s actually what I’ve been wearing pretty much consistently. I went and purchased Medium 57 so that I’m covered. It’s my favorite full-coverage liquid foundation.
- Honorable Mention: Lucy Minerals Foundation – This is what I’d consider a full coverage mineral foundation. Most would complain that mineral foundations don’t provide good coverage…this stuff definitely is full coverage! You just have to be careful with how much you apply, because it can look cakey. Once you find the right application and amount, you will love it. I wish there were more deeper shades (especially deep olive shades). I’ve used this as an under-eye concealer and it’s very effective.
- Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer Crème – This has worked quite well for me regarding my under-eye area. Once I set it with setting powder, I am good to go. I don’t have to worry about creasing. Very recently, I didn’t feel like wearing a full face of makeup and applied this to the dark areas on my face (under eye area and around the mouth)…and you wouldn’t be able to tell I only had on the concealer!
- NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer – I think this will always be a favorite of mine. I use this mainly as an under-eye concealer. Although it covers well, the consistency isn’t heavy. Kudos to NARS for also coming out with new shades, some that are on the more “correcting” side. *thumbs up*
- RCMA No Color Powder – I first bought this product for my professional kit, then finally purchased one for myself. It truly is a no-color powder. Its only purpose is to set foundation to keep it in place, which it does quite well. I love that it doesn’t in any way alter the color of my foundation. I have used this on all skin tones, so it truly is a universal product. Also, this stuff will last you a very long time being that you don’t need to pile it on like crazy (like what you see many people do).
- Cinema Secrets Ultralucent Setting Powder – I came across this gem later on in 2016. So glad I did, because it works sooooo well. It definitely sets makeup beautifully and I find it to work very well for oily skin. One thing…make sure you don’t apply too much or it will look a little too matte. It comes in a variety of shades. I purchased Soft Custard (which is perfect for my undertones) and Rich Tan which is currently too dark for me right now.
- Lily Lolo Flawless Finishing Powder/Lily Lolo Translucent Silk Finishing Powder – I’ve already mentioned the Flawless Matte Finishing Powder in the primer section, but it’s also a fave setting powder of mine. That’s for when I want a more matte finish. The Flawless Finishing powder leaves a nice luminous finish on the skin and it actually keeps the foundation in place. It’s the same for the Translucent Silk…the only difference is that the Flawless Finish has more of a flesh tone color and the Translucent Silk has no color.
- Honorable Mention: Kat Von D Lock-It Setting Powder – This has to be one of the lightest powders I’ve ever used. Whenever I apply this over my Lock-It foundation, it leaves it looking so beautiful! When I use this to set my under-eye area, it also leaves it looking beautiful and most importantly not dry! It also doesn’t accentuate any of my fine lines (due to anatomy, not age). This powder would work great for those who have dry skin and are scared to wear a setting powder. Give it a try!
- Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix Setting Spray – This isn’t a powder but it’s basically in the “setting” category. I was told about this by a former neighbor of mine, and ever since I purchased this…I haven’t used another setting spray. I have used the Skindinavia and the Urban Decay ones in the past, but Make Up For Ever’s works the absolute best for me. I found that the other sprays either didn’t keep the oils at bay or it made me more oily. I believe it’s because of the alcohol. Not only does the Make Up For Ever one set everything, it also takes away whatever powdery texture that’s on my skin. So no need for MAC’s Fix +…even though I like that product too. It’s not a setting spray, though.
- Sterling Minerals Rosebud blush – I don’t think I’ve ever used mineral blushes until I used these. These are very pigmented and don’t required a lot of product. The colors look beautiful on the skin and last all day. I have all of the darkest shades and I’m very pleased with them.
- EX1 Cosmetics blush – Farah Naz came through again with these blushes, which comes in four shades. They are so lovely on my skin. I have been wearing them consistently. These blushes are also long-lasting.
- Sterling Minerals Bronzer in Golden Rose – This works very well for my golden-olive undertones. I love that it doesn’t look orange on my skin, like most bronzers tend to look. It also lasts all day and doesn’t require much product.
- Lily Lolo bronzer in Bondi Bronze – I actually use this as a blush (LOL), but it works just as nicely as a bronzer. It’s a liiiiittle more red than the Sterling Minerals, but it works for me. It has such a smooth consistency, therefore not applying splotchy.
- Danessa Myricks Enlight Illuminating Powders – I have about 90% of these powders. These make such great highlighters. I honestly don’t even know why I purchase any more highlighters. LOL. This really should be enough, but the way my makeup obsession is set up…
- Lily Lolo Mineral Eye shadow in Gold Digger – This is a beautiful gold shade. It’s an eye shadow (as you can see…) and I do use it as an eye shadow, but I also happen to use it down the bridge of my nose and above my cheekbones.
- Lily Lolo Mineral Eye shadow in Sticky Toffee – This is also a gold shade but has more of a brown undertone. Still gorgeous. I use it the same way as Gold Digger.
- Armour Beauty – Yes, the whole company. LOL. No I didn’t purchase all the shades, but the ones I have (which is many)…I don’t have any complaints. ‘Pigmented, keeps my lips soft and lasts all day long. Very flattering and worth the money, IMO.
- Tarte Tarteist™ Glossy Lip Paint in Slay – I love this particular gloss. In the packaging it looks like a mauve color, and it actually looks more mauve on my lips. Yay, for lip colors looking the same color on the lips as it does in the packaging! It looks so good, whenever you want to go neutral on the lips…but still have some color. I have another shade of the Tarteist™ Glossy Lip Paint, but this one is my absolute fave!
- Coloured Raine Matte Lip Paint – I’ve stated that this stuff tears up my lips…but it’s still a fave. LOL. (I recently wore the shades Cherry Blossom and Roulette, and it didn’t jacked up my lips like it did before…maybe it’s because I’m more “hydrated”…or I just needed to give them a break.) All of the colors I’ve worn, I’ve received MANY compliments. The colors are bomb and it’s a Black-owned company! (…if you care about that, which EYE do!)
- Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks – Very nice formula (although the dark shades tend to apply a bit streaky) and I love the colors. For me, this is the most comfortable formula for liquid lipsticks. Kat also has TWENTY-FIVE more shades coming out soon! How exciting…and dangerous for my wallet. 😦
- Tarte Tarteist™ Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Bae – LOVE this. That’s it. I talked more in depth about this product here.
- MAC Liptensity Lipstick – I was very surprised at these lipsticks. First, I’ve never seen any mention of them until makeup artist, Nick Barose posted this. (‘LOVE Yvonne Orji, by the way.) I couldn’t wait to get my hands on one and I love what I have so far. My favorite shade at the moment is Smoked Almond. The Liptensity formula hugs the lips and pretty much stays on. It doesn’t dry the hell out of my lips, which I really appreciate. I plan to get more shades.
- Honorable Mention – Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche lipstick – I only have one shade, which is Licorice (thank goodness it doesn’t taste like licorice…HATE that stuff)…but this is a very good-quality lipstick. It is very moisturizing on my lips. It does transfer a bit (which honestly doesn’t bother me), but it didn’t fade. (Huh?!) It does leave a stain, which I love. Despite it transferring a bit, it also doesn’t bleed outside the lines of my lips. ICONIC!!! I must purchase more shades.
- Melt Cosmetics Eye Shadow Stacks – These are basically my holy grail eye shadows. Very good quality and awesome colors. I love all of them, but the Rust stack has to be my absolute fave. Something ’bout those warm colors! Good job, Lora and Dana!
- Honorable Mention: Lily Lolo Mineral Eye Shadows – These are very lovely eye shadows. I have a handful of these, but they apply beautifully…nice and smooth and pigmented (especially for mineral loose shadows) and I love to use one of them as a highlight on my face, which I stated in the “Highlighter” section.
- Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencil Waterproof Liner – I only have shades M-10 and M-60 but these are the G.O.A.T. for my waterline. For the majority of 2016, I’ve been wearing only eyeliner in my upper and lower waterline, so this product has been pretty much it for my eyes.
- Honorable Mentions –
- Lucy Minerals Mineral Liner in Matte Black – I never thought I’d like mineral liners simply because I didn’t think they’d work, but listen…this works. It doesn’t fade and it actually shows up very black on my upper lash line. I never thought a loose powder eye liner would work.
- Tarte Clay Pot Waterproof Liner – This is another good liner! It goes on very black and is long-lasting. It also doesn’t irritate my eyes.
- Senna Cosmetics Powder Brow Styling Pencil – This has replaced all of my brow products, so I don’t have to mention any other product. Senna has been in the business for DECADES, and I unfortunately only came across her products within the past two to three years. I purchased her pro brow book kit for my professional kit and it comes out nicely on clients, every time. She recently released the Powder Brow Styling Pencil and I had to get it because it intrigued me. I love this stuff. It is so natural-looking (I hate drawn-on brows, even though I’ve done that in the past but we’re not gonna go there)…and it hasn’t faded on me yet! I have the shade dark brown and it’s perfect.
- Anastasia Beverly Hills Pro Pencil in Base 2– This is a strange favorite of mine. I say strange because the texture of this product is not the easiest to blend, but that is actually what’s also good about it. LOL. Whenever concealer in general is used as a brow highlight, it has the tendency to migrate/crease if you don’t (or don’t remember to) set it with powder. With this product you don’t have to worry about that. I just use a stiff brush to properly blend the product and it does the trick. Blending is key. Note: Up until verrrrry recently (read: today), I didn’t know that this could also be used as a facial highlighter, concealer, eye shadow primer and outer lip liner as the website states. I saw this in Sephora and only thought to use this as a brow highlight. LOL.
- Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara – I have not tried any other mascara since I’ve worn this. I love how it makes me look like I actually have eye lashes. Until I come across another good mascara that works really well, I don’t see myself wearing anything other than this.
- Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm – Chile…this stuff has become my holy grail. I love using this to take off my makeup (usually when it’s a full face). Very simple instructions and it gets the job done.
- Paula’s Choice RESIST Perfectly Balanced Cleanser – This works for my combo-oily skin and doesn’t leave it feeling greasy or very stripped.
- Paula’s Choice Earth Sourced Perfectly Natural Cleansing Gel – I really like this cleanser. I introduced it to my skincare about a couple of months ago and I don’t regret it. I’m pleased with it.
- Paula’s Choice RESIST Daily Pore Refining Treatment 2% BHA – This was my introduction to liquid exfoliants. I’ve never used one that wasn’t liquid. It works very well and it leaves my skin nice and smooth. I noticed the texture of my skin improved…almost looking like it did when I was in undergrad!
- Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant – I find that this is a “calmer” version of the RESIST one (and it’s cheaper). It also works well and keeps my pores from being clogged…also keeping that smooth texture.
- Paula’s Choice RESIST Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50 – This is perfect for my skin type and it has the right amount of SPF. I noticed my makeup performed much better after using this moisturizer!
- Paula’s Choice Earth Sourced Antioxidant Enriched Natural Moisturizer – I use this as my night time moisturizer. It does a good job hydrating my skin during sleep into the morning.
- Honorable Mention: Pai Chamomile and Rosehip Calming Day Cream – I received this as a sample when I visited a cute little shop in Manhattan, and I was very impressed with it. It properly moisturized my skin and it didn’t leave any residue. I still have a good amount of it left, which is good for my wallet (LOL). So, I still can enjoy my sample until I purchase the full size…if I do…it would be worth the money, though!
- Moisturizer (I use body butters.)
- Exfoliating gloves – I use this (along with soap) to cleanse my skin. Nothing else. Keeps my skin nice & smooth…and CLEAN! FYI: This is also very good to use two days after getting a bikini wax to prevent ingrown hairs.
- Basically any residue-free shampoo: I’ve used brands from Avalon Organics (Clarifying Lemon) to Aubrey Organics (Green Tea) to Andalou Naturals.
- “Conditioner”: I put conditioner in quotation marks because I don’t use traditional conditioners on my hair. I use leave-in conditioners that lean more towards the watery side. Creams will leave too much of a residue, which is bad for locs.
- A mixture of rosewater and vitamin E oil as a spray. It works well to moisturize my hair!
- Oyin Greg Juice and Frank Juice: This stuff smells soooooo good. I purchased this because I miss using Oyin products. It leaves my hair feeling moist and you don’t have to use a lot, unless you want sticky hair.
- Scalp –
- Wild Growth Hair Oil – If you can get past the smell, this stuff is great for hair growth and it keeps the scalp from drying out.
Well…that concludes my favorites of 2016! ❤