We're almost halfway into the first month of 2016 and I'm glad to report that I'm mostly back into the swing of things. I've hit the PhD writing with a bang (more on that in an upcoming post) and I'm excited to also be back to blog writing. Today I'm showing you what made my list of top 25 makeup products for 2015. There are many more products that I've loved, but I thought I'd only show you the things that I really really really loved and which weren't on the previous year's list.
Skin and cheeks
My favourite BB cream of the past year has to be the L.A. Girl Pro BB cream in the shade "Fair". This doesn't provide a lot of coverage and I wouldn't recommend using this on bad skin days, but on days where my skin is well-behaved or when I just want to look like I have *something* on my face, this is what I reach for. It's more of a tinted moisturiser, really. The tube is also small enough to throw in your handbag and there are a ton of shades to choose from. Although I'm not a big foundation wearer, 2015 saw me finding my HG foundation. Yes, the L'Oreal Infallible 24H Matte foundation (I have the shade "20 Sand") is *that* good. It's mattifying without looking cakey or flat, and after months I'm still loving it.
As for setting powder I've really been loving the Bourjois Healthy Balance powder (I have it in the shade "52 Vanilla"). The compact is thin and sturdy and includes a mirror, and the powder is finely milled and doesn't leave your makeup looking caked-on.
In the concealer department there was only really one product that stood out: the Rimmel Wake Me Up concealer in the shade "Classic Beige". The product is creamy and I use it under my eyes, around my nose, and anywhere I need touching up. It blends beautifully and doesn't just sit on top of my skin. If I set it with powder it also doesn't crease under my eyes. Sadly it is not available in South Africa and I'm already dreading the day I finish it (which, it seems, will be soon).
I forgot to photograph it (you can still see it on the first photo), but the NYX HD High Definition Eye Shadow Base was basically the only one I used in 2015. It's nothing fancy but it does what it says on the tin: it makes my eyeshadow last longer, and that's fine by me.
I tried a lot of cheek products this past year and I couldn't just pick one favourite. Three blushes made my top list: two from Cargo and one from Benefit. Benefit's Coralista is a gorgeous peachy coral that makes you look like you've spent long days on a beach in St. Tropez. Cargo's Blu-Ray HD Blush/Highlighter in "Pink" is a buttery pinky peach with delicate shimmer running through it. The Cargo Water Resistant Blush in "Bali" (in the tin) is the perfect subtle pink. It just adds a delicate flush to the cheeks and makes you look healthy and awake.
My favourite bronzer of 2015 is hands down Soap & Glory Solar Powder. The bronzer is two-toned: one a chocolatey bronzer and the other a lighter, slightly more illuminating powder. Swirled together they create the perfect bronzy cheek. The packaging is cute but cardboard, so not very sturdy or handbag-friendly. Apparently they now come in plastic packaging, which I am thrilled about. This is unfortunately not available in South Africa, but do put this on your wish list next time you head overseas.
This has to be the latest addition to my makeup stash, but one that I am already very fond of. The Benefit Watt's up! Highlighter is just amazing. Firstly, just look at the cute packaging! The one end has a twist-up highlighter and the other a spongy tip so that you can blend it out. The product is the most beautiful shimmery gold, and is very creamy and blendable.
Eyes and eyebrows
My favourite mono eyeshadow of 2015 is the teeny tiny Wet N Wild ColorIcon single eyeshadow in "Nutty". It's the perfect one-wash eyeshadow and the colour is a beautiful taupey brown-grey. It has a hint of sheen and looks good whether or not you are making an effort with your makeup or just slapping on a few products. My favourite cream eyeshadow has to be the MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in "Groundwork". It's a medium brown and looks quite boring in the pot, but on the eyelids it is the perfect wash of neutral brown. I like applying this with my fingers and then blending the edges out with a brush.
My favourite drugstore eyeshadow palette of the year is this little brown beauty from Catrice, aptly named "Chocolate Nudes". It contains six buttery eyeshadows ranging from a very pale pearly shade to a rich chocolate brown. There is a mix of matte and shimmery shadows, which are all buttery and blend perfectly, and they last really well with an eyeshadow primer.
The non-drugstore eyeshadow palette that stole my heart this past year is the MAC 15-pan Warm Neutrals palette. It contains 15 gorgeous shades, and although the contrast between the shadows could have been a bit more, I still love it. There's something for every nude-lover!
I have to be honest, I don't have a mascara that stood out head and shoulders above the rest, but I have been using this Maybelline Lash Sensational Lash Multiplying Mascara for a long time. The slanted brush makes combing through the eyelashes very easy and the mascara is black and wet: easy to smudge it onto your skin, but amazing for coating the actual lashes and making them look sexy and well-defined.
Obviously I was never going to skimp on the lip products! I tried narrowing it down, but I ended up with six lip products that were my favourites of 2015. I absolutely love the L'Oreal lipstick collections where they teamed up with celebrities to create shades complimenting each star's skin tone. First there was a "Pure Red" collection and then a "La vie en rose" (pink) collection. From the Pure Red collection I have "Julianne's red" which is a bright orange-toned matte shade. From the La Vie En Rose collection I have "Eva's Delicate Rose" which looks dark in the bullet but is a fantastic "my lips but better" shade on me.
I was surprised by the quality of the essence lipsticks. This one in particular ("03 Red Rocks" from the Merry Berry Christmas collection) is a bright pink-red. It's matte but also creamy and doesn't feel drying. Another super cheap, but amazing quality, lipstick is this Luminous Lips one from Catrice called "120 Wood Rose propose?". It's glossy and extremely creamy, so creamy in fact that my first one melted and then broke off! This shade is a great neutral option and is a slightly brown rose colour. Winter 2015 saw me wearing plummy and vampy shades on my lips and this one from Wet N Wild called "Sugar Plum Fairy" was the one that got me over my fear of wearing plums in public. It's a bit drying, but with some lip balm underneath you don't have to worry. It's a gorgeous dark pink-plum and I can't wait to crack it out in winter! Last but not least is a nod to liquid lipsticks. The Bourjois Rouge Edition Aqua Laque in the shade "07 Fuchsia perché" is all kinds of fabulous. It applies very wet, it basically feels like you're applying water to your lips. Within seconds it sets, leaving you with a gorgeously glossy berry-stained lip.
I'm still loving my Real Techniques brushes, but I thought I'd only include new tools. This past year I've been loving the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Makeup Sponge. I wet it under the tap or with setting spray, and then bop (it's a technical term) it all over my face. It's good for concealer and foundation, but also when you feel like you've overdone it: it can make cakey areas look less cakey in a flash. I've also been loving these three Cala eyeshadow brushes from Dischem. I have the 311 Blending Brush, the 314 Angled Shadow Brush, and the 312 Shading Brush. If I remember correctly they were R29.95 each.
If you're reading this it means you made it to the end of my very long list of makeup products that I loved in 2015, congratulations! Next time I'll feature the rest of my beauty products that made the cut for 2015. Which products made your "best of" list? Let me know in the comments section.
Until next time!