2015 was a big year for me and beauty. I’ve always been interested in makeup, and since it was part of my cosmetology license training I had a pretty good understanding of makeup as a whole and how to apply it. I just never really explored the world of makeup before then. Prior to last year I didn’t wear blush or bronzer, I only wore natural eye and makeup looks, and I never tried anything new. For me to have tried new things and liked or loved them is HUGE. So I decided to put together a 2015 Best in Beauty post of my favorite things in skin care, makeup, and tools. I’ll be breaking it down to: Skincare, Face, Eyes, Lips, and Tools
I have quite a few favorites, so let’s dive right in!
Let’s start with skincare.
Purity: it’s no secret that I fell in love with this face wash last year. In fact I convinced my entire family to use and convert to it. Out of 5 people in my house, nobody has a bad word to say about it. You can read a more in depth review here!
Pūr~lisse: I received this in my November boxycharm and I’m so glad that I did! I’m the kind of person that can lay in bed all night and barely get any sleep, and I pay for that dearly with dark under eye circles. I’ve used this morning and night every single day since opening the box, and I had really low expectations for what this could do for me, but for the first time in my adult life, I’ve seen a huge decrease in puffiness, and I see next to no discoloration under my eyes when I’m not wearing makeup. I may even consider paying the $65 price tag when it’s time to replace this in my collection.
Mattifying Toner: I bought this after seeing Valentina had a bottle and asking her what she thought of it. She liked it, and I do too. It mattifies the skin with a bit of powder inside of it rather than relying on an excess of alcohol or anything else incredibly drying, so I can slap this onto my face and not worry about over producing oil throughout the day. I can even use it twice a day with no problem!
Facial oil: I had been thinking of trying a facial oil for a few months after reading reviews online where people said that they noticed their skins health had improved and they saw more longevity from their makeup with daily use. I apply 3 drops at night after cleansing and toning before bed, and one drop in the morning added to my moisturizer and my skin has never been better! I rarely break out, and my combination/oily skin has been more balanced and my T-Zone has not been an issue at all.
Face From left to right: tarte airblush maracuja blush in shimmering poppy, bh cosmetics Flawless Brow Trio in light, the Balm’s Mary-Lou Manizer, Revlon ColorStay foundation for combination/oily skin in buff, tarte Amazonian clay waterproof bronzer in Park Avenue Princess
airblush in shimmering poppy: I got this blush in a set of makeup from tarte’s website about a month or so ago. For $69 you got a foundation, a blush, an eyeliner, a lip product, a mascara, a brush, and a makeup bag. All in all I’m super excited to have sprung the money for that because this brand has become my holy grail find for just about everything. The blush is long lasting and a super flattering color. I rarely reach for anything else.
Flawless Brow Trio in light: I mentioned this in a haul post back in September. I was confused about how to use it then, but I fell in love with it after figuring it out. I change my hair color pretty frequently, so having 2 colors to work with is awesome because then I don’t have to worry about grabbing something new when I change my hair color up because I have a warmer and a cooler shade in here to grab no matter what I need.
Mary-Lou Manizer: I honestly cannot believe that I made it through the year without making a post about this highlight??? It is literally all I have used since Valentina gave it to me for my birthday. 9 times out of 10 if I’m wearing makeup, this is not only my cheek bone highlight it’s also my brow bone and inner corner highlight. It’s so flattering and has the perfect amount of shimmer to look natural, but you can build it up to look more like a unicorn just licked your face if that’s what you want. (This is what I want) It lasts all day, even through my constant face touching. I can’t say enough great things about this highlight.
ColorStay Foundation for Combo/Oily skin in 150 buff: I’ve been using this foundation for probably 4 years now. If you set this foundation with a powder, it will legitimately last you all damn day. I seriously never have to retouch this except maybe around the lip if my lip color feathers some and I end up wiping a little off because of that. In my opinion, because you can get this for dry or oily skin this is the best foundation you can grab from the drug store. It’s on the pricier side, but it’s absolutely worth it.
Park Ave Princess: This is the first shimmery bronzer I’ve ever enjoyed using. I don’t use this for my cheek contour, but it’s great for around the hairline and to pick up my skin tone a bit and keep me from looking flat. There isn’t a day I haven’t reached for this since I picked it up in June.
Eyes From left to right: Urban Decay Naked Basics, Buxom single in Pure Platinum, colourpop cosmetics super shock shadow in Cheap Date, elf lashes in natural, tarte skinny smoldereyes in deep amethyst, Buxom single in No Faux, and tarte gifted mascara.
Naked Basics: This has been in my collection for about 2 years now. I was too broke for a Naked Palette at the time this came to me, and frankly I didn’t really use shimmery colors so I wouldn’t have spent the money on it anyway. I’ve grabbed this palette every day since I bought it whether it was for a transition and/or crease color or a full eye look. This palette is super versatile and incredibly pigmented. Some of the best matte shadows I have ever used.
Pure Platinum: I spent a lot of this year on the hunt for the perfect silver shadow, and nothing was ever metallic enough. I stopped by the Buxom display at Sephora on my way out the door because I hadn’t found anything I wanted, and it was game over. This stuff is perfect. The formula is incredibly buttery so it apples without any streakiness and its opaque in one swipe. Admittedly I don’t use as often as I’d like to, but it is one of my favorite finds of 2015.
Cheap Date: I got this as a Christmas gift from Valentina (I’m sure you’re all shocked at this point. I probably don’t have to mention who my beauty related gifts come from ever again.) and I have pretty much used it every single day since. I can put it on lightly for a wash of shimmery golden goodness on a lighter makeup day or really pack it on for sparkling pure golden lids. It’s amazing on its own or in a smoked out glam look. It’s incredibly versatile and I’m absolutely in love.
Natural Lash kit: I don’t wear lashes as often as I would like to. I haven’t found a glue that makes daily wear realistic for me yet. But when I do decide to embark on the lash journey, I’m reaching for these. I have quite a few expensive lashes in my collection, but I have legitimately never worn them because I LOVE these so much. They are $1 and they are the perfect length and fullness to make people guess whether or not you are actually wearing lashes and they are very durable. Properly cleaned and stored I’ve gotten up to 13 wears out of one pair.
SmolderEyes waterproof eyeliner in deep amethyst: this stuff is NO JOKE. I use this to do tight lining or to line the water line. When I wear it, I have to go in with coconut oil on a q-tip to remove it. The staying power is the best of anything I’ve ever used. And the color is deep enough that it looks black on the eyes, but has enough purple to bring out the green in my hazel eyes.
No Faux: My first ever duo chrome. I was attracted to the Buxom stand by this shade because even in the pan it looked gorgeous. When I swatched it I spent the next 15 minutes following Valentina and her sister around Sephora moving my hand back and forth watching it change and shift. I use it a lot to smoke out my lower lash line whenever I do a more because it’s got a deep enough time to keep the smoky look going but it’s light enough to keep me from going full raccoon.
Gifted: I tried this mascara because I suddenly developed a sensitivity to literally every single thing I put on my lashes. Even tried and true holy grails I’d used for years. I went in to Sephora and they suggested tarte to me. I wasn’t in love with the idea of paying $21 for a mascara that I was convinced I’d have to return in a week. That same week is when tarte had the deal I mentioned earlier in this post so I grabbed the mascara and the rest is history. It doesn’t clump, it doesn’t smudge, it doesn’t flake when I touch it. It gives the perfect amount of volume and it lengthens like nothing else I’ve ever tried. And best of all I’m not a crying mess when I put it on.
Lips:From left to right: MAC matte lipstick in Heroine, Bite Beauty matte lip crayon in Café, NYX Intense Butter Gloss in Chocolate Crepe, tarte LipSurgence lip crème in stunning, NYX lipstick in tea rose
Heroine: Last year when I had blue hair I wanted a purple lipstick for a very different look. I bought Violetta first, and though it was a nice purple, I was rather unimpressed. I went back and tried this on, and for the first half of 2015 I couldn’t keep this off my lips. It lasts pretty much all day with only minor touch ups needed after eating and/or drinking, and isn’t too terribly drying on the lips.
Café: This came to me as part of the Best Bite Rewind set that I received as a gift, but I had been lusting after this color for weeks. It’s the perfect light slightly rosy nude. It lasts moderately well, but I do have to touch up usually about 3 times during a work day. It’s not drying at all, but that’s because in my experience it never dries down completely to a matte finish. It’s a great color, fantastic formula, and from a wonderful company. I can’t sing its praises loudly enough.
Chocolate Crepe: I bought this in June because I wanted in on the mauve lip trend for a meeting at work. (When I had meetings with my higher ups while I was a manager I would purchase a new makeup look in addition to a new outfit.) It’s much darker than what was trendy and not quite mauve, but this gloss helped me discover that I prefer more of a dark lip than a natural looking mauve. I wear this on its own on my makeup free days and as a gloss overlay on some of my long wearing lip sticks to keep them from drying out at least once a week.
Stunning: I got this with that Tarte set that I have talked about. It wasn’t part of the set, but a free sample I got for spending more than $40. I’m glad I picked this because it was a great little glossy pencil to throw into my purse. It looks good on its own but is also sheer and glossy enough that it can be used to revive warmer toned liquid lipsticks throughout the day when they haven’t been worn down enough to need another application. This never leaves my purse, and probably never will. It’s amazing.
Tea Rose: Another purse staple of mine, I keep this in there for days I don’t have the time to apply or reapply liquid lipstick and need a little something on the lips. It’s not a matte finish so it gives the lips a creamy finish and is a beautiful brown rosy nude. I’ve bought and used this lipstick for two years and I just hope they never discontinue it so that I can continue to use it for years to come.
Real techniques: I grabbed this brush after seeing KathleenLights talk about it in a few of her videos. It’s perfect for a full coverage foundation for coverage that isn’t too heavy and cakey. The brush doesn’t shed and reshapes nicely after washing.
tarte: I got this brush in that tarte set I’ve talked endlessly about, and it is amazing. I had trouble with contouring when I first started to give it a try, my brushes were either too fluffy and would blend the product completely away or they were too densely packed and I might as well have drawn a line on my face with a sharpie. Between the size and the bristles this is a perfect happy medium. I get the perfect cheek contour every time and I never have trouble with blending.