Hello everyone, I hope you had amazing holidays! I know it’s a cliché thing to say but the past year has passed literally SO fast, I can’t even believe it. I gotta say it wasn’t the best year for me (as you can probably tell by my absence on the blog) so I’m really excited to enter 2017 – I hope it will be amazing! Without further ramble, let’s get started with the favourites!
1. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD foundation in Y235.
Last year I was switching between many foundations but whenever I wanted a flawlessly looking skin, both in pictures and in reality, I kept reaching for this one. I’m not gonna lie – for my oily/combination skin it needs a seriously mattifying base (that would most likely break me out later on…) but it’s worth the sacrifice – the effect is just Photoshop-like. The foundation blends into the skin perfectly, giving the kind of airbrushed effect, a bit dewy and very smooth that makes it photograph beautifully. It doesn’t look like you have a ton of makeup on, no matter how much you’re actually wearing, it just gives the appearance of perfect, healthy-looking skin. The only thing I could complain about is medium coverage – I need to take some time to hide everything that peaks through with a concealer. I also love that the foundation is sensitive-skin friendly – it doesn’t break me out or irritate my skin. The shade Y235 is a perfect match for me.
2. Estee Lauder Double Wear Concealer with SPF 10 in 1W Light.
Undoubtedly my favourite concealer to hide blemishes and acne scars, it has dethroned my previous favourite – Rimmel Lasting Finish. Very high coverage with impressive longevity make a perfect combination. If that wasn’t enough, it has SPF that protects my spots from getting darker in the sun. The concealer is quite thick and heavy so I use it to hide imperfections, not under my eyes.
3. Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel eyeliner in Blacquer.
It’s my reach-for product when I need a quick eye makeup that will make a significant difference. I have small eyes and of course I’d like them to appear bigger so my trick is to line them on about 7/8 of the lashline, as close to the lashes as possible (both on the upper and lower lashline), do a small flick in the outer corner and then smudge the line a bit with little smudger brush. This helps my eyes appear bigger and more, hmm, intense. This eyeliner is just perfect for that as it’s creamy when applying and smudging but it dries after a while and stays in place all day.
4. NARS Audacious mascara.
You know that moment when you finally find your perfect mascara after years of searching? I didn’t know until I tried this one. I got this one as a sample from Sephora and I had to get used to the spiky wand (yes, I poked myself in the eyes like 10 times) but as soon as I did, wow. This mascara is just awesome – it gives length and curl, makes the lashes look thicker and lasts for hours. It usually transfers a little bit from my lower lashes but compared to other mascaras it’s still amazing. I also love that it’s easy to remove. As for my sensitive eyes, this one doesn’t irritate them at all.
5. Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara in Dark Brown.
I was always loyal to Benefit’s Gimme Brow but when a bit tight on a budget I decided to try the Maybelline Brow Drama, without high expectations. Man, was I wrong. I actually like this much more than the Benefit one and the fact that it’s just a fraction of the Gimme Brow’s price makes it even better. The shade Dark Brown is a perfect match for my hair and brows, the wand makes it extremely easy and quick to apply and it stays stays put until you remove it while still looking very natural. But what I love the most is that it thickens the brows like nothing else – I have a really sparse right brow (and a perfect left one, ironically) and I don’t need to fill it in with anything – this brow gel is enough. Such a time saver!
6. NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams.
I discovered these quite late but better late than never. The first shade I bought was Cannes – a beautiful, muted pink, the nude-type. I loved everything from the creamy formula, through beautiful scent to longevity – it might not survive a meal but it leaves an even stain afterwards, not an awkward lip-liner kind of thing. I definitely wanted to get more shades (all named after cities and countries btw which i think is pretty awesome) so I didn’t hesitate when I saw the advent calendar with 12 beautiful shades! Some of my favourite ones are Cannes, Stockholm (perfect nude), Monte Carlo (gorgeous red) and Morocco (stunning orange-red), all in the picture. Stay tuned for a lip swatches post!
1. Cetaphil EM Micellar emulsion.
Really shortly about this one because I already mentioned it in my 2015 Beauty Favourites but I just have to talk about it again. It’s a non-foamy cleanser which means it’s very gentle for the skin and doesn’t dry it out. After using it my skin feels clean but not tight and dry and it doesn’t break me out. It used to be nighttime cleanser but now I use it twice a day. I also read somewhere that VS models recommend it and if there’s anything that can make me look more like Sara Sampaio, I’ll buy it.
2. Clinique 7-day Scrub Cream.
I first got a sample and loved it so much that I simply had to buy the full size, there was no other option. I don’t use it every day as I don’t think it’s a good idea, but whenever my skin gets a bit flaky from dryness or I need a perfect, smooth base for full makeup I exofliate with this. It’s very gentle but at the same time gets rid of dry skin and some of the impurities. Perfect for those with more sensitive skin.
3. Obey Your Body Peeling Gel.
I wrote a full review of this product that you can see here so I’m not going to elaborate much further here. It is expensive and hard to get but as I guess anyone with acne, I’m willing to do anything to make it go away ( yep, I didn’t take care of myself and my acne is back ). This product makes a tremendous difference, if only I remember to use it once a week. It just clarifies the skin, as simple as that. I don’t know how this happens because there’s nothing revolutionary in the ingredients list but it just makes wonders if used regularly.
4. La Roche-Posay Toleriane moisturizer.
I can’t use products with essential oils, too much silicones or paraffin. What can I use then? Not many things, Toleriane among them. This is a savior for my acne-prone, sensitive skin treated with anti-acne medicines. It’s moisturizing, not too heavy, not too greasy and doesn’t break me out. Unless I need something to mattify my skin, I reach for this one.
5. Avene Cleanance Mat moisturizer.
It’s a moisturizer so here it goes, in the skincare category, but I use it as a face primer. It’s packed with silicones so it looks and feels more like a primer. I have oily skin (that’s at the same time dry from anti-acne meds) so if I choose a lighter, not-so-mattifying foundation I use this one as a base (instead of my Toleriane cream) . No matter how hot it is, or how dewy my foundation looks, this keeps my skin from getting all oily. The only problem is that it breaks me out a little bit so I use it on more special occasions. Like, taking Instagram pictures for example.
6. Tołpa Botanic Black Rose Lip Balm.
Apologies to my international readers as this product is available only in Poland! However, if you happen see it somewhere, it’s a very affordable lip balm with excellent quality. I apply quite a thick layer before I go to sleep and wake up with perfectly hydrated and nourished lips, all pouty and ready for applying lipstick 😉
So that’s it for my yearly favourites! Have you used any of these products? What are your favourites? Let me know in the comments, links to favourites blog posts very welcome!