Of course “new year, new you” seems to be the mantra of the beginning to every new year, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still appreciate a few things from 2017. Yearly beauty roundups are some of my favorite videos and blog posts to view, and they are taking over the internet right now. It’s always so interesting to see reviews of those holy-grail-must-have products that we just can’t seem to live without anymore, and I actually had a good bit of those myself last year that I can’t wait to share with you today!
I’m usually the type of person to have one or two foundations throughout the entire year and never really branch out. However, last year foundation really seemed to pique my interest with so many brands launching them, so it was something I definitely expanded on throughout 2017. I have very dry skin, so I typically am drawn towards more dewy and natural finishes. Plus, I’m always a sucker for a good base with SPF, and my very fair skin appreciates it. So here are my top 3 foundation picks that I just couldn’t live without last year, and will continue to use this year!
L’oreal Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation
I’ll start with the base that has the most coverage in this L’oreal favorite. This is glowy without being too greasy and gives such a beautiful finish to the skin. This formula is more on the watery side, which makes it easy to wear a light layer but it also layers up well to medium coverage. It doesn’t crease, and is perfect to wear year-round whether it’s from a dry winter or a warm summer. The slim packaging is a bonus too because it’s such a travel-friendly product!
BareMineral Prime Time BB Primer
This is my go-to base pretty much anytime I wear foundation during the summer. It’s a tinted primer, so it combines the steps of primer and foundation, which makes it quicker to apply. It’s perfect for summer because it has an SPF of 30, and has a satin matte finish. It blends with the skin so beautiful, and seriously lasts all day. Sometimes I can even get away without using powder on top of this at all and it still looks flawless. The only negative about this product is that once you’re almost out, the foundation won’t come through the pump anymore, and you have to take the lid off to apply it. Other than that, I’m definitely keeping this a staple!
No. 7 Dual Action Tinted Moisturizer
This is my top pick for those mornings that I decided to hit the snooze button one too many times, but still look like a zombie and just want something natural that helps me look and feel a little more put together. It gives very minimal coverage, but helps to even the skin tone nicely. It blends super quickly, and is the perfect base for on the go. I would not recommend this foundation for summer though because it is so dewy. However, it’s great for those days when my skin is begging for a little extra moisture because it’s super hydrating.
Hello, my name is Rachael, and I’m addicted to lipstick. Haha, I will be the first to admit that when it comes to blush, mascara, and lipstick, I have a slight addiction. They can just liven and change up any makeup look so easily, and I just love how easy it is to add personality with these. It was so difficult to narrow down to just a few favorites, but that’s when you know these products are seriously worth raving about because they had so much competition!
Wet N’ Wild Mega Cushion Contour
From foundation to blush to contour, cushion products were all the rage in 2017, and they really do apply so beautifully. Having paler skin, sometimes it difficult to find contour or bronzer that doesn’t make my makeup look muddy or too orange, but this cushion contour from Wet N’ Wild is the absolute perfect shade. It blends so easily under and on top of foundation and really helps to warm up any makeup look without going overboard.
NYX Whipped Lip & Cheek Souffle
My love for cream blush didn’t slow down one bit last year, and products like this one are the reason I just can’t help myself any longer. The applicator looks like one from a liquid lipstick tube, but makes it super easy and quick to apply it to the cheeks. It takes the smallest amount of product to give that perfect pink flush, and this bottle will last you forever. After purchasing it early last year, I wore this at least one a week if not more, and only just finished it last week.
NYX Cream Blush
NYX does it again with another high quality product for only a few dollars at the drugstore with this cream blush. This is a staple in any quick makeup look because it’s super pigmented and blends beautifully. This color is a pinky mauve with just a hint of orange and will last on the cheeks for hours, which can be very uncommon for cream blushes.
Colourpop Super Shock Blush
Shade: Cruel Intentions
Colourpop is something I always hear others raving about, but since it’s online, I never really got around to trying it until earlier this year. In fact, when I first purchased this blush, I actually hated it. Not because it’s a bad product though, but because I was applying it totally wrong. I was using a normal blush brush, but barely any product was picking up and it just wouldn’t blend properly. However, I discovered that when using a stippling brush (I recommend this one here), this blush looks amazing! It’s the most unique formula to a blush I’ve ever seen because it’s almost like a half-and-half mix between a powder and cream blush. It’s super pigmented, and blends like a dream. This color specifically has a mauve-toned base with a slight hue of maroon to it, so it’s not the average pink blush, but just a little bit deeper. I find it works great on days I want to wear a darker lipstick because it helps balance out the darkness of the lip color to not entirely wash out my skin tone. It’s also probably the longest wearing blush I own, and stays put all day!
Shade: Grammy Goes Glammy
No Longer Available
Yes, this is an eyeshadow, but it’s an even better highlighter! This is just the perfect neutral highlight shade without being too pink, too gold, or too white. I find the best way to apply this is by spraying setting spray (my favorite one is mentioned later in this post!) on a brush and then dipping the brush into the product, and it gives that beautiful wet and dewy look to the skin. I have loved this thing so much that the label is almost worn off and even the lid has completely broken off. I guarantee you won’t find a better highlighter for less than $3 anywhere else!
It! Cosmetics Superhero Mascara
I’ve previously given an in-depth review on my love for this mascara here, so I won’t go into too much detail again, but this is the best high-end mascara I’ve ever used. It’s great for volume and length, doesn’t flake or smear, and is contact lens approved!
L’oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara
This mascara seems to have recently taken over the beauty community, and for good reason. It’s obvious that it’s aimed to be a dupe for the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, but honestly this one is better and half the price! This one holds a curl so well, and instantly gives that “wide awake” look that most dramatic mascaras go for. Also, I find how long and thin the actual tube packaging is to lend very well to easy application. For a more detailed review (with before and after photos) of this product, check out this blog post.
Clinique Chubby Stick Tinted Lip Balm
Shade: Woppin’ Watermelon
The phrase “tinted lip balm” has always been a bit off-putting because is $18 really worth just a lip balm? However, I would say this is definitely more than just a lip balm, because it’s the perfect mix between hydrating and pigmented. I love this for super natural days where I want to give my lips some color but don’t want to have to use a mirror or worry about messy application. It’s perfect for throwing in my purse and applying on the go!
Nars Velvet Lip Glide
OH MY GOODNESS. If you’re going to go out and splurge on any lipstick right now, get this one! This is my all time favorite lip product when I want something more than a tinted lip balm, but don’t want to deal with the hassle of a fully pigmented, matte lipstick. At first application, there’s sort of a glossy finish to this product without being sticky at all, but throughout the day it fades evenly to stain the lips such a natural rosy tone.
Lancome Juicy Matte Shaker
Shade: Beige Vintage
I’ve recently hopped off of the all-matte-lip-all-the-time train, so this is more of a recent discovery, but I’m just too in love with it not to mention it here. These are very similar to the Nars Velvet Lip Glides I just talked about above, but this product is great if you want slightly more pigmentation and a little longer wear. They dry to more of a satin matte finish than fully, but never dehydrate your lips. The applicator is really unique too, because it’s a sponge that you dab to apply the color. It makes the application very natural, and doesn’t use excess product. And this color is gorgeous. It’s the perfect subtle pink, and fades evenly throughout the day for that very natural “your-lips-but-better” shade.
So, I’ve definitely mentioned a couple of times now that dry skin basically rules my life and is the deciding factor for all of the products I use. Of course then, I can’t live without moisturizer, and I definitely seemed to find some keepers last year.
Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizer
Even though I am pretty fair-skinned year round, I never realize that I actually do get darker during the summer months until come winter none of my foundation shades match me anymore. This moisturizer from Jergens works wonders in those winter months when the sun never seems to come out anymore. It helps to maintain some sort of tan, so I don’t have to completely purchase new shades of makeup just for winter. Plus, this is just a great overall moisturizer regardless of the tanning properties.
This might be a slightly odd product to include in the best products of the year, but this was a life saver. I have extremely dry skin and get dehydrated really easily, and mixing that with wearing super matte lip products all the time did not turn out well. There came a point were I had to say goodbye to many of my matte products in 2017, and Aquaphor is the only brand of lip balm that actually kept my lips hydrated the entire year. Also, it’s multi-purpose and works great on minor cuts or sores as a general ointment, so it’s a staple to have around at all times!
Origins Drink-Up Intensive Moisturizer
As I mentioned above, I have extremely dry skin, so having a good moisturizer is essential, especially this time of year. I’ve tried a couple of other moisturizers that feel nice right as they’re being applied, but none that last and actually heal my skin, except for the Origins one. I pretty much never go to bed without putting this on anymore. It is a bit thicker and slightly greasy, but so worth not ever having dry, cracked skin. Even though it is a thicker formula, the product actually goes surprisingly far, so a little goes a long way. This is my third tube of it though, and I don’t think I can ever live without it now!
Clinique Moisture Surge
As I typically only use the previously mentioned moisturizer from Origins at night because it is so thick, I tend to like a lighter one for throughout the day and under makeup. This one from Clinique feels so refreshing and cooling when I put it on in the morning, and definitely helps makeup go on smoother. I also notice this doesn’t add any greasiness to my makeup application, which can sometimes be a problem with more water-based moisturizers.
As exciting as makeup products can be, it’s just as important to take interest in those products that are removing the makeup and taking care of your skin under the makeup.
Mario Badescu Facial Spray
Does anyone remember when setting sprays weren’t even a thing a couple of years ago? Haha, but I’m so glad they are now because this definitely makes a difference! This is great for just setting makeup, and it not only helps it to last longer, but also helps it to meld with the skin for a natural, radiant finish. Plus, the ingredients in this product are great for the skin. I would recommend spraying this before mascara though, or at least waiting for mascara to completely dry, because this can make mascara smear or run if it’s sprayed too soon after applying the mascara. However, the best part about this spray is that it can be used to freshen up a makeup look later in the day. So if you feel your makeup may look cakey or too powdery, just spritz this on and you’re good to go!
Garnier Micellar Water
2017 was definitely the year for micellar waters, and I totally hopped on the bandwagon. This one from Garnier has all of the other ones beat, and removes makeup flawlessly. It also doesn’t leave a horrible greasy film to the skin afterwards like many makeup removers do. I just pour some on a cotton round and the makeup just melts away. There are 3 versions of this product, but this one specifically isn’t too harsh for dry skin and doesn’t over exfoliate. It cleanses just enough to remove any trace of makeup without totally sucking the life out of my skin.
Cetaphil Makeup Remover Wipes
For Sensitive Skin
I spent a good portion of last year on a serious weight loss journey (15 pounds down, woo!), and spent a lot of days at the gym. There are some people that are perfectly fine working out in makeup, but I am definitely not one of them. I obviously don’t want to have to lug around a bottle of makeup remover though, so when I discovered these wipes, they instantly became a gym bag staple. They’re great for on-the-go, and they actually do a pretty good job of removing the majority of makeup. Mascara removal is the only issue I’ve ever had with these, but that’s easily overlooked. Plus, I love the fact that there are a good amount of wipes in a single pack and they take a long time to dry out. Most of the time I’ll use up the entire pack way before they start to get dry and lose the solution. And much like the Garnier Micellar Water, these wipes don’t leave a greasy film behind or dry out the skin!