I’m not one for ‘monthly favourites’ videos or posts, but I thought a review of all of my favourite ‘holy grail’ products from 2016 would be a good way to share my all-time favourite beauty products with you!!
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer (oil free), travel size $44 CAD at Sephora
I got this primer for Christmas 2015, and it was the first primer I ever got. I never thought much of it after I started using it, but recently it’s been running low so I’ve been shopping around for a new one and realised how great this primer is. It’s not on the cheaper side of things, and one of my goals for 2017 is to find the greatest products the drug store has to offer, but if you’re looking for a primer that’s not oily, but not drying, and works perfectly, this is it.
Cover Girl’s Ready Set Gorgeous Powder Foundation
This was another favourite that flew under my radar for awhile. I bought this a long time ago because I needed a powder to set my foundation/concealer and whatnot – at the time I did not realise it was a foundation powder. This is just another product that has always done exactly what I need it to, so I’ve never had to look anywhere else for a better one.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Luminous Light, $55 at Sephora
Did I buy this product only because Zoella used it in one of her makeup tutorials and made it sound awesome? Yes. Is it awesome? Yes. I love love love having a dewy looking complexion and when I set my makeup with this as a final touch it makes me look soft and dewy light a literal goddess. It’s definitely one of the more pricey items that I have, but I would absolutely repurchase it. It doesn’t take much product to receive this result either, I’ve had this powder for about 6 months now, and I’ve used it basically every day, and it still looks as full as the day I bought it.
Too Faced’s Cocoa Contour Palette, $52 CAD at Sephora
This is a powder contour palette that I received this palette for Christmas 2015, and as you can see it’s been really really really well loved. The darker colours are perfect for a soft, natural contoured look. The light cocoa is great for under the eyes, but unfortunately is a bit too light for my skin tone 😦 so I usually mix it with the Cover Girl powder foundation that I mentioned above. The pop of light is the only colour I really never use as the highlight is a bit too chunky on the sparkles for me and really doesn’t look natural at all – strange since the other colours are all about the natural. Hmm. ALSO I usually don’t really end up using the brushes that palettes come with because they’re often poor quality – not the case here! This buki brush has been used every single time I use this palette, which is basically every day.
ABH’s Modern Renaissance Palette, $55 CAD from Sephora
If you’ve been following my blog or youtube for awhile now you’ll know that this is a favourite of mine. I wrote a blog post reviewing it that you can read here which specifically outlines all of the reasons why this is the best and you should 100% have your own. Basically, the colour scheme is awesome, I use all but two of these colours (those fuchsia pinks just don’t do it for me) on a daily basis. The colours are super pigmented and super easy to blend and mix together. It’s just awesome, if you’ve been debating getting one, get it. They’re worth it. The brush doesn’t seem to be of that great of quality, but it actually works really well with the palette and I usually use it whenever I use the palette.
Urban Decay’s 24/7 Pencil Concealer, in FBI $24.00 CAD at Sephora
I purchased this concealer in the summer of 2015, and I’ve used it pretty continuously since. At first I didn’t use it too often as I thought it was too dark for under eye concealment, which is really all I use concealer for. Then, along came the wonder that is colour correcting. The colour is perfect for a first base to counter darkness under the eye, then I top it off which a lighter coloured concealer and it works perfectly! It’s also high coverage and super easy to use. I’ve been putting off re-purchasing it for awhile now because it is a bit pricey, but I’ve had it and used it for so long now that I know it’s worth it.
Collection’s Lasting Perfection Concealer
This concealer is hailed by British beauty bloggers and youtubers everywhere, so when I visited Ireland in October I was determined to find it and try it out. I actually didn’t end up finding it until I was at the airport waiting to catch my flight home… but I got it! This is a high coverage liquid concealer that I will admit, I think would work a lot better for me if I had a sponge. I really need to get one of those. It’s ultra brightening and stays on all day without setting into lines or fading off, which is awesome since it’s a drug street brand and incredibly afforable! If you live somewhere where you can get your hands on this, try it.
Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner, Trooper is $25 CAD at Sephora
This product has replaced last year’s Maybelline liquid liner, which I found faded a ton throughout the day. The tattoo liners are all waterproof which makes them last through weepy eyes (chronic for me in the winter time), and stay put all day. That being said, it’s still really easy to take off with a wet Q-tip, just a bit of pressure is needed, but waterproof makeup remover (which is usually oily feeling) is not! I, personally, am not a fan of waterproof makeup because I find it always feels harsh on my face and hard to take off. This product has all of the benefits of a waterproof product, without any of the fall-backs.
Maybelline’s Lash Sensational Mascara, is $5.96 at Walmart
Maybelline’s Lash Sensational Mascara has been hailed by pretty much all the Youtubers I watch, so I decided it was worth going out and picking up (which I rarely do, online shopping is my go-to). At first, I wasn’t wholeheartedly impressed with this mascara as it didn’t seem to put enough product on my lashes, and it didn’t seem to stay on very well, and it didn’t separate my lashes all that well. I realised that I wasn’t using the right side to apply the mascara – you need to use the concave side to really separate your lashes, and the convex side to get more product on. I still only really use this as a second coat of mascara, but it really helps to get all the lashes and separate them and give ’em a nice finished look!
Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray, $39 CAD at Sephora
It looks like they’ve changed the packaging on this, I almost couldn’t find it online hahaha. This is another hailed product that I decided to try out and was not disappointed. I use this spray every time I have a long day and every time I go out and it keeps all my makeup, specifically my face makeup and powder contour, on all day long! If you’re looking for a setting spray and you’re not sure if this is worth it, it is!!
Sephora’s Makeup Brush Shampoo, $10 CAD at Sephora
To be honest, this is the first and only makeup brush shampoo I have ever used. That being said, it works to clean out my brushes completely of all makeup residue and makes my white fluffy brushes white again with a bit of time and effort. One drawback is that it seems to take forever to get out foundation from brushes using this shampoo. 😦 I’m not 100% sure why, and I’ll have to try another shampoo just to see if that’s just how foundation is, or if it’s because of the shampoo to be certain. Otherwise this shampoo is perfect and works great for a weekly (should I be doing it more often than that???) cleaning of my most used makeup brushes! I use it with a homemade Pinterest scrubber, I wrote about my makeup brush cleaning ritual – you can read it by clicking here.
My Makeup Brush Set Oval Brushes, $38.99 CAD from their website.
I got sent this brush set from My Makeup Brush Set to try them out and write a promotional review on my blog – you can read that here. I wasn’t fully sure what to expect when I first started working with My Makeup Brush Set, I was hoping they weren’t going to be really cheap knock-offs, but was prepared for that to be the case. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that they were basically the same as the high-street, trendy versions of the same brushes, just without the labels or company mark ups. Both the brush sets they’ve sent me have become staples in my makeup routine and all of my favourite brushes have come to me from them. This oval one in particular is a favourite of mine because I use it to put on my foundation, it’s really soft on your face, has the perfect density to blur out imperfections and leave me with a good base for my face. (I use the MAC Face and Body Foundation in case you’re wondering!!)
VERB Sea Spray, $16.00 CAD at Sephora
I ran out of my much beloved Biosilk beach spray this year, I had had it for years and it worked decently but left my hair a bit crunchy feeling. When I went on Sephora to look for a replacement I made sure to read all the reviews to find one that made your hair look like you had just swam in the ocean, but didn’t make it feel like you had. This sea spray by Verb had the best reviews online and I can say wholeheartedly that it’s the best sea spray I’ve used! It does the job and gives your hair a nice texture without causing any product build up or making you feel like you need to wash your hair before you style it again.
L’Occitane Shea Butter Lip Balm, $12.00 CAD at L’Occitane
I did a big L’Occitane haul before the Christmas holidays (because dear god I wanted that advent calendar!!!) and I picked up this lip balm. I’ve always used my Lucas Pawpaw Ointment and you guys know how much I love it – I wrote a full on review here if you don’t know what that is! But I wanted to try out another lip balm because my lip dryness has been excessive to say the least this season and I was not! Let! Down! This lip balm is thick, hydrating, and stays on for a decent amount of time, and, most importantly, it doesn’t make your lips feel dry if you stop using it. It’s also surprisingly very affordable for a luxury brand lip balm.
L’Occitane Shea Light Comforting Cream, $36.00 CAD at L’Occitane.
Unlike the lip balm, this one is a bit pricier – but to not as bad as expected considering L’Occitane is generally taken as a luxury brand! The pot of cream is pretty small considering the cost but when I tried out the 25% shea sample cream from my advent calendar, I knew it would be worth the investment. I often get little patches of eczema on my face which I can’t cover up with makeup because it just flakes off and gets irritated, and they take forever to get rid of with regular cream. WELL! This shea cream deals with it almost instantly – I haven’t had any since I started using it even though it’s only the 5% cream! In fact, recently I had a little patch of eczema on my elbow from wearing a wool sweater and my hydro-cortisol cream seemed to just be angering it more than it was healing it, so I put on a small bit of this cream morning and night and, I kid you not, it cleared up in two days.
Finally!!! This post is done!! I kid you not it’s taken me about 2 weeks to actually finish this with all the school work I’ve had going on! If you have any drug store recommendations let me know in the comments below – I’m going to do a haul soon! Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed!