Top 10 Beauty Products of 2015

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As 2015 comes to a close, I’ve been reading and watching a lot of Best-Of 2015 posts and videos and was inspired to think about which products I’ve reached for the most in 2015. I decided to focus on ten products that I discovered in 2015 that have become staples in my collection. These are products that I consistently use and go back to, no matter how many new products I try.

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Eyes and Lips

I have a major obsession with eye shadows and eye shadow palettes so it was hard to pick just one item. However, when I really thought about it, these two items were the ones that stood out most in terms of quality, pigmentation, and usefulness. First, the Stila Eyes are the Window palette in Soul. Stila has four variations of this palette and Soul is nearly my perfect palette. It has a beautiful range of neutral colors and a good mix of matte and shimmer eye shadows which allow you to create a myriad of eye looks. My favorite shade is the classic Kitten, my perfect champagne shimmer eye shadow. Second, Burberry Eye Colour – Wet & Dry Silk Shadows. I have the shades Pale Barley and Mulberry. These eye shadows are great when you feel like splurging or treating yourself to a luxury product. The shadows have a beautiful texture and blend out perfectly. They are pricey but oh so worth it.

My favorite eye liner that I discovered in 2015 was the Kat Von D Ink Liner. I initially started with a travel sized trio to test them out and see if they were worth the hype and they definitely are. The liner is dark and leaves a solid line with no patchiness. The liner also lasts all day and doesn’t transfer or smudge. I recently purchased a full size of the brown liner in Hemingway and find myself reaching for this over my other black liquid liners.

My favorite mascara is the Maybelline Lash Sensational mascara. Mascara is a product in which I tend to favor drugstore brands and this mascara is no exception. It adds length and volume and is hardly ever clumpy. It doesn’t flake much and lasts all day, yet is easy to remove with a makeup remover at night. I have it in both black and brown and use it often, both for daily and night looks.

My favorite brow products are the Nyx Cosmetics Eyebrow Cake Powder and the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brush #14. Brow powder is great for when you don’t want extremely sculpted brows and just need to fill in sparse areas. The Nyx powder comes in a good range of shades and lasts all day. The Anastasia brush has both a spooly to comb through the brows and a fine brush to easily apply the brow powder. This combination has been my go-to for most of the year and has replaced other eyebrow pencils I’ve tried.

It was very hard to choose a favorite lip product I discovered in 2015 but when looking through my collection, the Clinique Pop Lip Colour + Primer stood out right away. The lipsticks apply evenly and last for many hours. When they do start to fade, they fade evenly so it’s not obvious. The lipstick is smooth and moisturizing. I have the shades Plum Pop (my favorite), Melon Pop, and Poppy Pop.

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In 2015 I finally found a face primer that I love and that actually works. I started using the Make Up For Ever Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer in Hydrating this year and have fallen in love. It’s moisturizing and creates a smooth, even base for my foundation and helps my foundation last all day. They have a variety of options for different skin types and I’ve heard they’re all great. I think next summer I’ll try one of their radiant primers when my skin isn’t so dry.

My most recent foundation discovery was the Too Faced Born This Way foundation. This foundation is incredible. It applies easily and creates a flawless base. It doesn’t have the greatest lasting power but is good enough for a normal day at work or an evening out with friends. It gives a natural finish that isn’t too matte but also not too dewy. This is definitely a foundation I’ll keep going back to.

My last two products I’ve blogged about before, the MAC Mineralized Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle and the Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Colour. These products are long lasting, highly pigmented, and blend easily. The highlighter gives a subtle glow to the cheeks and a slight shimmer without being too glittery. The blush comes in a variety of shades and gives healthy color to the cheeks. These cheek products are two that I consistently come back to because they are that good.

I’ve discovered a lot of new beauty products in 2015 and these are some of my favorites. I’m looking forward to what new launches come out in 2016 and all the new products I can test out.

What were your favorite products this year?

March Favorites

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It’s that time again! March is one of my favorite months because it’s my birthday month and because it marks the end of winter. I didn’t switch up my makeup much because I found some stellar products that I love so much that I didn’t even want to use anything else. These are all newer products to me but are now permanent staples in my collection.

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First is the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette. I debated buying this palette for almost a year but wasn’t sure how much wear I’d get out of rose-toned shades. I finally broke down and purchased it using a $50 credit I earned at Ulta and I am so glad I did. I’ve used this palette almost exclusively since I bought it. There is a great mix of shades so you can create a neutral eye look, a smoky eye look, a shimmery pink eye look, or anything in between. The pigmentation is amazing and when used with an eye shadow primer, the shadow lasts all day without creasing or fallout. This is a great palette for spring and summer and a great addition to any makeup collection.

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As mentioned above, I always use an eye shadow primer to prevent creasing. My new go-to is the Too Faced Shadow Insurance. It is a skin-toned cream that neutralizes the eye lid and preps it for shadow. It keeps the shadow in place all day. It comes in several shades, but I like the original. I first got this in a small sample kit of Too Faced products and quickly became obsessed. I never apply eye shadow without it now.

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Next are two compacts from Marc Jacobs. First, the Light Filtering Contour Powder in Mirage Filter. This is a contour kit for anyone looking to get into contouring, which is all the rage right now in the makeup world. The yellow shade is great for setting concealer under the eyes. The brown shade is the perfect, cool toned shade to contour the cheekbones, jawline, and temples. Second, the Perfect Tan Bronzer in O!Mega Bronze. This bronzer warms the skin without being too orange or too heavy. It adds a nice sun-kissed glow which I often desperately need. Both compacts contain a ton of product and are well worth the money.

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My new favorite mascara is Benefit Roller Lash. I wore this mascara every day of March except for when I went out for my birthday, when I used Benefit They’re Real mascara which is insanely waterproof. Otherwise it’s been Roller Lash and nothing else. This is a new launch from Benefit and when I saw the brush I knew I had to try it. The small, curved, plastic brush is perfect for coating each lash. The mascara adds volume and length without being too dramatic. I can easily put on two coats, although any more than two coats and the lashes tend to get clumpy. It doesn’t flake but washes off easily. This is the perfect, everyday mascara for those of us who love our lashes.

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Last are my Sephora Cream Lip Stains. I posted about the red lip stain last month and how amazing it is. I’ve since added to my collection and they are all just as amazing as the red. I have (from left to right) 07 Cherry Blossom, 05 Infinite Rose, 14 Blackberry Sorbet, 09 Watermelon Slice, and 01 Always Red. These lip stains are great for going out when you don’t want to worry about your lipstick fading or smearing. The color payoff is amazing and you can wear them with or without a lip liner. These have become a cult product in the beauty world and Sephora is often out of the most popular colors, so if you can get your hands on one I highly suggest you grab one.

That’s it for my March favorites! I have some new products I’m playing with that are very promising so be on the lookout for reviews. Let me know if you have any product or post suggestions!

February Favorites

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It’s favorites time again! I tried a lot of products in February but very few stood out enough to for me to call them a favorite. (Many had potential and could be a favorite in March so stay tuned). Instead I rediscovered a couple old favorites, as well as discovered some instant favorites. So let’s jump right in!

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First is a new favorite. This is the Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Color in Lush Nectarine. It is the perfect peach for Spring. The blush is insanely pigmented and lasts all day. The texture is smooth and the blush blends like a dream. This is the first product I’ve tried from Laura Mercier and I love it so much that I plan to check out her other products soon.

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My new favorite eyeliner is the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Dark Brown. I’ve been using black liquid liner for a while now and wanted something a bit softer. After hearing and reading rave reviews of this eye liner, I decided to try it out. The pen is easy to use and apply a clean line and the color is dark without being too harsh. The eyeliner lasts all day and doesn’t smudge or flake. There is a wide range of colors to match any eye color or skin tone. I’ve already picked up the color Indigo for when I want a brighter eye look. I would recommend this to anyone who wants to dive into the world of liquid eyeliner.

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The first old favorite I rediscovered is my beloved Revlon Colorstay foundation. This is my holy grail foundation. I’ve been trying some new foundations recently but none of them were quite working for me. I was digging through my foundation drawer and found this foundation and decided to try it again. I honestly had forgotten how much I love it. It lasts all day and leaves a beautiful finish on the skin. It doesn’t stick to any dry skin which was my biggest issue with other foundations I’ve been trying. The foundation comes in two formulas, one for normal to dry skin and one for oily to combination skin. My sister has been using the formula for oily skin and loves it as well. This will forever be my favorite foundation.

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My second rediscovered favorite is Benefit They’re Real mascara. This is the perfect mascara for when you want insane lashes that look like they could be falsies. The wand has a ball of bristles on the end that helps you reach the lashes in the corners of your eyes and helps you separate the lashes if needed. The formula is lengthening and volumizing and all around amazing. It doesn’t flake and lasts all day. My only problem with the mascara is how waterproof it is. This makes it hard to remove at the end of the day but the effect is worth it.

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My last favorite is MAC Fix+. I use this as a finishing spray to set my makeup and help it last all day. It adds a nice glow to the skin as well and can be used throughout the day to refresh your makeup. I sometimes spray this on my beauty blender to help blend my foundation or cream contour. Fix+ can also be sprayed on an eye shadow brush before applying eye shadow to get a more intense color payoff. This is a great product for someone looking to keep their makeup fresh all day.

I also thought I’d start including some random, non-beauty favorites. Just a quick list showing what else I’ve been into lately.

Music – Milo Greene
TV – Parks and Recreation (the finale broke my heart and made me so happy at the same time)
Book – Yes Please by Amy Poehler
App – Candy Crush Soda Saga
Youtuber – ViviannaDoesMakeup

That’s it for my favorites! It was hard to pick my favorites for February since very few items stood out to me, but we’re only 5 days into March and I already have some favorites picked out. What products have you been loving recently?