2016 has definitely been a whirlwind of a year for many of us. Some of us are more than ready to get it over and done with, and others may have the best year of their lives. Regardless, I think it’s very important to reflect on everything that has happened as the year comes to a close; both the good and the ugly.
I certainly have had a mix of both high and low points this year, but in terms of my blogging life, I’ve had wonderful experiences this year. I’ve attracted a larger audience which motivated me to discover more products in order to deliver better content. In turn, I collected so many great products this year that made it to the most elite ranking: my yearly favourites. If you’d like to know what made the cut this year, please keep reading.
There’s a bunch of things in this category, and it was also one of the hardest ones to decide on. I have collected an absurd amount of face products this year, but these are the ones I’ve used consistently and are totally fool-proof.
For the second time in a row, the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer has made me yearly favourites. I just love this concealer so much! It’s full coverage, creamy, and just looks so great on the skin. A close second, however, is the Urban Decay Naked Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer. I’ve been using this just as much as my beloved NARS concealer this year because my skin was quite dry. I found that the UD concealer worked a lot better when my skin was dehydrated. I think the only thing keeping the UD concealer from being my HG foundation is its crappy shade selection. But the moment UD releases more shades, including a Medium Warm, it certainly will be a strong contender.
As someone who doesn’t really wear foundation on a regular basis, I managed to accumulate a ton this year. I found some decent ones, but the one that really stood out to me was the EX1 foundation. I wrote a full review on my thoughts for this foundation, but long story short, it’s been my go-to the majority of the time whenever I want to do a full face of makeup because of how natural and flawless it looks. A close runner up was the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation, which I absolutely adore, but the EX1 foundation was a better shade match for me.
I don’t know why I slept on the MAC Studio Fix powder for so long. I know so many people that swear by this powder, yet I was never really interested in it. If it wasn’t for my search for a powder foundation that matched my skin perfectly, I don’t think I would’ve even given it a chance at all. I still love my Tarte Amazonian Clay Powder foundation, however their shade range just wasn’t doing it for me anymore. With the MAC Studio Fix powders, I found my exact shade and undertone and I love how I can either even my skin out subtly or get full coverage with it depending on how I apply it. It helps me out a lot on very lazy days or whenever I’m rushing, which is usually 80% of the time.
As for translucent powder, the Laura Mercier Loose Translucent Setting Powder is my HG for 2016. It sets my under eye area very well, it doesn’t crease, and I don’t get any flashback or white casts from it. I really don’t think that anything will come close, but who knows what I’ll find next year?
Since I haven’t really been wearing foundation much, I wasn’t really a big primer user this year. With that said, the one I’ve been reaching for constantly is the Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Refiner Primer. It does such a wonderful job of filling in my pores and fine lines, giving me a smooth base. It also isn’t drying like many pore-filling primers I’ve tried. I still like my Smashbox Photofinish Pore Minimizing Primer, however I find the one by Dr. Brandt to be much less drying.
NARS Laguna is, without a doubt, my favourite bronzer from 2016. Again, this is another classic that I’ve been sleeping on until recently, and I really wish I picked it up sooner. It is so easy to achieve a subtle bronzed look and I love how I can just dust it on and go, knowing that it will look perfect no matter how sloppy I am with it. Another bronzer I used many times this year was the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in ‘Radiant Bronze’. While I did like it, I think I could have gone with the lighter shade, Luminous Bronze. Radiant Bronze was just a little too intense for me as it was way too pigmented to use frivolously.
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal and Champagne Pop have been my favourites this year, once again. They have such great formulas and I love how I can get achieve a subtle glow or a blinding highlight. These really are hard to top! I also picked up the shade ‘Rose Gold’, which I also love, but I gravitate towards Opal or Champagne Pop the majority of the time.
I have a soft spot for blushes. I can’t get enough of them and I really can’t have too many. I love having variety in terms of shade selection and finish. Because of this, I have tried and loved so many blushes this year. However, one that really stood out for me is the Milani Baked Blush in ‘Rose D’Oro’. It has quickly become one of my favourite blushes because of its beautiful bright rosy shade and the lovely golden highlights. It gives my face a fresh glow and flush of colour, which is what I aim for on a daily basis. To top it all off, it’s very affordable! I can’t recommend it enough.
This might be a given, but there’s a reason that the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette is on everybody’s favourites list. 2016 was all about warm-toned shadows, and this palette was at the pinnacle of the trend. It’s a the perfect warm-neutral palette with the most beautiful pops of colour. The formula of the shadows are also top notch. They are so blendable and pigmented, I love how easy it is to create either a subtle or bold look without having to use a million different products to make the shadows work. Every time I wanted to go for something dramatic and saturated, I always reached for this palette. Kudos to Norvina for creating this bad boy and making it permanent!
The Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Mascara was my favourite mascara of the year, hands down. In fact, it has reached HG status in my books. It makes my lashes so bold and thick even with just one coat. I’m not really a fan of natural lashes, and this mascara does the exact opposite for me. If you want dramatic, dark, and thick lashes, I highly suggest you try this mascara out.
I tried really hard to use up my Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade this year, and in the process of doing so, I fell in love with it all over again. I think I’ve mastered the techniques on how to use this product at this point, therefore I appreciate it much more than when I first got it. I thought it was a very high maintenance product for me since I only like using things that are quick and easy, especially during the work week. However, now that I’ve gotten the hang of it, I use it daily and think it’s absolutely wonderful. I’m definitely going to repurchase it when I run out, which will hopefully be soon.
Liquid lipsticks took the world by storm in 2016, so it’s no surprise that I have a few in my favourites this year. My all-time favourite still has got to be the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita. It’s the shade I wear almost every day, and for good reason. It is the most beautiful MLBB shade I’ve stumbled upon thus far. Another liquid lipstick brand I’ve really been loving this year are the Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipsticks, specifically in the shades ‘Androgyny’ and ‘Unicorn Blood’. The formula is so comfortable and the shades are stunning, I even like how they smell like root beer unlike most other liquid lipsticks.
Ever since I’ve started wearing makeup, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect lip stain. I always need some colour on my lips because they aren’t very pigmented to begin with. But there are times where I don’t want to wear anything too heavy like a lipstick, and I also need something more transfer-proof. Queue the NYC Smooch Proof Lip Stain, which has been a part of my collection for an embarrassing amount of time. I never used it and I eventually forgot about it. However on one fateful day, I found it while rummaging through my lip products, and figured I’d try it out. To my surprise, this lip stain looked absolutely gorgeous on. Since then, I’ve been using this product almost daily. It isn’t extremely drying like many lip stains and it also doesn’t do the weird thing where it makes the insides of my lips a lot darker than the rest of my lips. It seriously is the most perfect lip stain I’ve come across. Unfortunately, the particular shade I use has since been discontinued, but the line still exists. It’s also dirt cheap, so if you’re looking for a natural-looking lip stain, this is one you should try.
MAC Spice has definitely been a favourite of mine this year. It is the perfect nude with a little *spice* to it (corny jokes are my forté). I usually just wear this shade as an all-over lip colour. It has great staying power and when it fades, it does so in a very beautiful and subtle way.
This is a product I never thought I would see myself liking, using, or even consider as one of my favourite items of the year, but 2016 was full of surprises. The Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss in the shade ‘Tara’ has completely removed my resentment for lip glosses. Glosses were the one thing I was absolutely not interested in, and even to this day I’m still not a huge fan of, but this one by ABH is definitely an exception. I love the shade, and the formula isn’t sticky and annoying like many other glosses I’ve tried. I really hope ABH releases some new shades in 2017 so I can branch out a little more in the gloss department.
And that sums up my 2016 favourites! I have to admit that while I collected many items this year, my style and preferences leaned more toward neutral and natural looks lately. Because of this, I’ve been slacking when it comes to actually using the makeup I have. In 2017, I’ll definitely be focusing on using up my collection and trying to be a little more creative.
I’d love to learn about my readers’ 2016 favourites! Please feel free to leave a comment below of any products you’ve been loving this past year. Wishing you all a wonderful and safe NYE!