2015 was a fun year for makeup – we highlighted (and then strobed), we contoured (and cream contoured), we baked, we wore bold liquid lipsticks, our brows were on fleek, many of us looked like drag queens on a regular basis and it was glorious. I’m here to share with you some of my very favorite makeup that I used in 2015. Even though I buy an enormous amount of makeup, I’m a very harsh critic and I’m very skeptical of BS marketing. I’m here to say you absolutely do not need to buy expensive makeup in order to look good, many of these products are from the drugstore! This is also a good place to start if you’re just getting into makeup and don’t know what to buy. Here’s the best makeup of 2015!:
My #1 most repurchased beauty item of 2015 was…
C.O. Bigelow My Favorite Night Balm ($7.50, but never buy anything full price at Bath and Body Works!) – Bet you didn’t see this one coming! I think I bought 5 of these little suckers in the past year and it’s my absolute favorite. I did really like the BITE Beauty Agave Lip Mask, but the packaging crumbles and it’s 3x the price! I wear this to bed every single night and wear it during the day too it’s lovely. A lip moisturizer/balm/mask is the first thing you should put on before starting your makeup. Their Mentha Supreme 2x Lip Shine ($8) is also great and gives you fresh breath I use it at work.
Dr. Brandt Pores No More Pore Refining Primer ($15 for 0.5oz) – While I did like the Too Faced Hangover Rx it was more of a light moisturizer. This Dr. Brandt stuff is also MUCH better than the Smashbox primers. I’m trying to squeeze out every last drop of the sample I got from Sephora because it’s pricey, but awesome.
Beauty Blender ($20) – I wish I could quit you… but you’re too great. I use my beauty blender to apply my foundation, concealer, and powder to set my concealer or bake. I’ve bought a few this year because they are just awesome. Honorable mention for tool for applying my foundation goes to the Morphe G6 Flat Buffer Brush ($13.99).
MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC20 ($27) – This foundation has been my ride or die for about 6+ years now and although I’ve tried many more, I always go back to MAC. This is an excellent medium to full coverage foundation that leaves you looking flawless with a natural matte finish which is perfect for my oily skin that has scars and discoloration. It’s long lasting and I love how yellow the undertone is. I will say MAC breaks some people out so I recommend asking for a sample and using it a few times before buying. My Drugstore favorite was the Maybelline Fit Me Matte and Poreless foundation.
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer in Fair ($6.79) – Although I bought a few pricey high end concealers this year, I kept going back to this awesome drugstore product. This has great coverage with a thin formula, it’s easy to apply, and I use it for concealing under my eyes as well as highlighting my forehead, down the bridge of my nose, around my mouth, and my chin. Great product and I prefer it to the Urban Decay Naked concealer and Makeup Forever Full Coverage concealer. Two other excellent drugstore concealers I’d buy again- NYX HD concealer and Maybelline Fit Me concealer.
Ben Nye Luxury Powder in Cameo ($13.20) – This is an excellent powder for setting your concealer under your eyes. After I have blended my concealer in with my beauty blender, I take the still damp beauty blender and put it on top of the powder jar, tip it upside down near the tip of the beauty blender, and turn the jar right side up and tap off the excess. I then take the now powdered beauty blender and push it on to the concealer under my eyes to set it. If you want to bake, put a whole bunch under your eyes and then leave it on for a few minutes and sweep off the excess with a clean powder brush. Cameo is a great shade if you’re fair like me, Banana (the shade Kim K made famous) is better if you’re darker or have a more olive complexion. The other powder I use for under my eyes is MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus because dressyourface on IG makes it look so incredible, but when I use it it comes off a little more powdery than I like. I also tried Laura Mercier’s translucent powder this year which I was unimpressed by.
Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder in Luminous Translucent ($6.99) – This is stuff your grandmother used because she is wise and knows what’s up. This looks amazing applied heavy with the powder puff giving you a matte yet luminous look, or applied lightly with a fluffy powder brush to set foundation. This powder also looks nice when applied over concealer in the same way I described above with the beauty blender.
theBalm Bahama Mama Bronzer, Shadow, & Contour Powder ($18 but look out for theBalm on Gilt!) – This powder is an excellent contour color. It’s, matte, super pigmented, and a little goes a long way so I typically use a different bronzer to warm my skin up all over (none making the favorites list for 2015, but currently using a Milani bronzer), and then use this powder in the hollows of my cheeks to carve them out and make my face look thinner as well as near my hairline on my forehead to make it appear smaller. I also use it in my crease and sometimes as an all over eye shadow. This product is dark enough to work as a contour on my much tanner sister as well so it’s versatile.
Milani Baked Powder Blush in Luminoso ($8.49 but definitely buy at CVS BOGO because Milani products are awesome) – This blush was EVERYTHING in 2015. Every time I wear makeup I wear blush (hello this is Blushing in Hollywood after all), and I would say I wore this perfect glowing peach shade 90% of the time which is huge for me! This is a universally flattering shade and I HIGHLY recommend it. I’ve had it all year and just hit pan! Watch how I apply it all over my face here.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil in Taupe ($23) – I tried so hard to find a cheaper brow product that would work for me, but so far I haven’t found it. I was previously a Brow Wiz kind of girl, but have convinced myself that the Perfect Brow Pencil lasts much longer which is important. I also have used the Dip Brow Pomade which is WAY too easy to go overboard with and look like Eugene Levy and I hate how the pot dries out. I wanted to believe the NYX Micro Brow Pencil was a dupe, but the color (taupe) looked so bad. Let’s face it, Oprah went to Anastasia because she is the queen of brows.
Maybelline Volum’ Express The Rocket Mascara in Very Black ($4.98) – I was annoyed that the marketing people at Target had tricked me again by putting mascara at the end of the baking aisle in the grocery section, but this mascara is really great I have already repurchased it after trying a few others I didn’t like as much. Even though it’s a volumizing mascara I find that it gives me a lot of length in my lashes. I got my sister the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara for Xmas even though I knew she was getting a tube already from our parents, so I ripped open the package and thought “maybe I’ll just keep this”. It was so bad I taped the package back together wrapped it up and gave it to her. Merry Christmas Hannah!
Morphe M433 Pro Firm Blending Fluff ($5.99) – This brush was a great addition to my collection this year because it’s at an excellent price point and it’s super versatile. If I was going away and could only bring 1 eyeshadow brush, this would be it. I use this to apply highlighter to my inner corners and brow bone as well as down the bridge of my nose and on my cheekbones. I can also use it as an all over the lid brush, a crease brush, a brush to blend colors together, and a brush to blend shadow out in my bottom lash line.
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Opal ($38) – I did not spend $38 on a highlighter, not that I’m above it, but I purchased a much more reasonable value set from Sephora that’s no longer available and I’d recommend going that route. This is a pretty golden opal pearl highlighter that is similar to my old stand-by Mary LouManizer by theBalm, the difference is that Opal is a bit warmer so it looks like a more natural glow than the stark champagne look of Mary Lou Manizer. I like Opal on the inner corner of my eyes, down the bridge of my nose, and on my top lip on the cupid’s bow. For my cheek highlight my favorite this year has been Cindy-Lou Manizer by the Balm which is a pinky peach highlight which seems odd, but looks awesome on top of peach blushes. Another honorable mention goes to the Elf Fan Brush which is a steal at $3 and is great at applying these highlighters.
Ardell Natural Demi Wispies ($3.99) – I found myself buying these lashes over and over this past year because they’re affordable, easy to apply, have a nice thin band, and are comfortable. These are great for beginners. Check out my post on how to apply lashes.
House of Lashes White Lash Adhesive ($8) – This is the best lash glue I’ve ever tried. Who the hell wants to wait for Duo to get tacky? You brush this on your band and you’re ready to go. I would say the only minor down side is that once you touch this to your skin it’s stuck so you can’t just wiggle them in into place if you put them too far from your lashes.
Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in Midnight Cowboy ($20 but I bought mine on Ebay new for about $13 so check there!) – Absolutely love this stuff for a pop in my inner corners, a sparkle on my upper lashline, on top of glitter pigments to add even more sparkle and dimension on my lid, and under my bottom lashline as well. Super fun and I love that Nikkie Tutorials had this and the HOL lash adhesive on her list too.
Rimmel Exaggerate Full Color Lip Liner in Eastend Snob ($6.49) – By FAR my most used lip liner of 2015 this is just a perfect your lips but better shade. I often use it all over my lips as a lip color on it’s own. I first mentioned this back in late 2014 in my Kylie Jenner lip color drugstore dupe post. I wear so many pinky-nude lipsticks that this works for me 90% of the time that I need a lipliner.
Milani Color Statement Lipstick in Nude Creme ($5.49) – This was a fantastic drugstore find as this is an amazing nude color even on my pale skin. It also smells like watermelon Jolly Ranchers.
MAC Lipstick in Creme Cup ($17) – If I had to throw all of my lipsticks away today and only keep one, I think I’d keep Creme Cup. It’s an excellent light nudey-pink that’s feminine and can be worn with pretty much any makeup look.
Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain in Cherish Devotion ($4.74) – Another great drugstore lip product that’s moisturizing, easy to apply and wear, is a nice sheer color, and it’s slightly minty too. I’ve bought quite a few of these, but this blue-based pink color is my favorite.
Finally here is a pic of my BFF Annabelle and I on the last day of 2015 where I’m wearing almost all of the products I just listed at the same time: Dr. Brandt primer, MAC studio fix fluid, Maybelline age rewind concealer, Ben Nye cameo powder, Coty Airspun Translucent powder, Bahama Mama for bronzer/contour, Milani Luminoso blush, Anastasia Perfect Brow pencil, Becca Opal highlighter, Cindy Lou Manizer highlighter, Maybelline Volum’ Express mascara, Ardell Natural Demi Wispies falsies applied with House of Lashes lash adhesive, Urban Decay Glitter Eyeliner in the corners of my inner eyes, and Milani Nude Creme lipstick! I didn’t do a great job at travel blogging since I mostly only have pictures of the bathroom at the Hyatt in Charleston, but that lighting! Honorable mention for my favorite beauty product of 2015 goes to my Sony Alpha a5100 Digital Camera which deserves it’s own post!
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