The 2017 Edit
THE 2017 EDIT
Happy end of the year everyone! Let's be cliche and say I can't believe the year is almost over, because seriously where the hell did the last six months go? This year has been a crazy whirlwind with blogging and work and my senior thesis show. I can't believe I only have one semester of college left!
I decided this year to do a favourite from each category (which you guys helped me with on Instagram), but I did struggle bit to fill some things so there are a few left out. I'll probably go back to the set # of favourites because although it's fun to see so many things, it also means that I'm probably not going to write about them in as much depth. Also if you follow me on Instagram you know, I tried to be very very strict with these categories and really narrow down on the things I used the most. But there are many many more products that I love throughout the year, so you can check my monthly edits to see those!
I also want to hear from you! So let me know in the comments what your superstar products of the year were.
PRIMER // BOBBI BROWN VITAMIN ENRICHED FACE BASE
I never really know whether to include this as skincare or makeup, but I exclusively wear it as a primer so I'm gonna stick with makeup. Anyway, this beaut an oil-free Shea Butter based formula that is mega-hydrating, but doesn't feel greasy. It smoothes the skin and makes it look plump, leaving a perfect base for makeup. It's a little thicker than you'd expect, but blends away super easily and doesn't leave any sort of residue. It was a toss up between this and the Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow, but I use the Bobbi almost every day so she won.
FOUNDATION // CHARLOTTE TILBURY LIGHT WONDER
This was the hardest category because I love foundation. But my most used has 100% been the Charlotte Tilbury Light Wonder. This may be the perfect foundation. It's a lightweight, medium coverage, satin-finish that makes your skin look totally flawless. I think it also may actually be magic because it somehow smooths over texture and bumps, making them look almost non-existent (I'm assuming this is the light reflecting bit?). It somehow manages to look natural and dewy while also lasting all day. Ideal!
POWDER // MAC NEXT TO NOTHING
I don't really get into powders that much, but several people asked me which ones I love. I've been reaching for the MAC Next to Nothing powder a lot this year, it's incredible because it sets your makeup without adding any powdery-ness (?) but also is quite blurring. I'm also really into the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light for under my eyes so that gets an honorable mention.
CONEALER // NARS SOFT MATTE COMPLETE CONCEALER
This one is obviously everyone and their mum's favourite concealer of the year. The launch of this was huuuuge, I feel like everyone was talking about it. And for good reason, it's incredible. It's a satin matte finish so isn't too dry, but it has an incredible amount of coverage. I mean it literally covers everything. Because of hyaluronic acid and peptides, it keeps the skin from getting dry preventing that nasty concealer buildup over blemishes. I's also somewhat blurring over my pores, which is a-okay. I will say I definitely bought the wrong shade. I have Chantilly, but I recently got a sample of Vanilla which matches me perfectly. Womp. Anywho, that led me to mixing it with the Glossier Stretch Concealer which is the greatest product combination of all time. Promise.
BRONZER // CHARLOTTE TILBURY BRONZE & GLOW
In case you can't tell from that poor crumbled up compact, I use this thing to death. It is literal perfection and may be my favourite purchase of 2017. I loooove looking bronzey and sun kissed, but I'm also paler than a sheet of paper. So. I tend to end up looking like I smudge Dorito's dust on my cheekbones. Not unlikely to be honest. Anyway, this powder is so finely milled that it somehow deposits colour and is also sheer. Meaning that it is the perfect natural looking everyday colour. It smooths over the skin and makes you look like a glowing goddess. So worth the price, but I do wish Charlotte would release this on its own.
HIGHLIGHTER // COVER FX MOONLIGHT
I almost made the Glow side of the B&G my favourite highlight of the year (it is incredible), but then I remembered how much I adore the Cover Fx Perfect Light Highlighting Powder in Moonlight in the earlier half of the year. That made me pull it out and use it again the other day and I realized how incredible it is. Again, a super finely milled powder that looks like it's melted into your skin. It's almost like a silvery colour and looks ethereal on the skin. Love.
BLUSH // GLOSSIER CLOUD PAINT
I once said that Glossier had officially launched the product that is the best thing since sliced bread following the launch of Cloud Paint. And I still stand by that statement. This is the perfect blush. It's no fuss, the perfect range of colours, and lasts all day. Did you hear that? A blush that lasts all day. Mind blowing. I love all the shades, but my go-to are Beam and Dusk. If I had to tell you to go for one, it'd be Beam. It's a beautiful orangey-coral colour that brings so much life to the cheeks.
I also wanted to give a little honorable mention to the Bite Beauty Multi Sticks (breaking my own rule), because if the Cloud Paints hadn't come along they would have been my fave blushes.
MASCARA // LANCÔME MONSIEUR BIG
Another duh product. This stuff blew up in the blogger world. And for good reason! It is honestly the most perfect mascara I've ever tried. It is majorly volumizing and quite buildable, you can layer for a bit before it gets too clumpy. I always like my mascaras more dry, so it took a bit of using this before I understood why everyone loved it so much. I will say I do wish Lancôme would make the brush a little less spiky. I think it would solve any clumping problems!
I was going to put an eyeshadow palette here, but I have very rarely worn eyeshadows this year (mostly because I'm mega lazy). I decided to talk about this gorgeous palette because it was a big splurge for me and something I thankfully ended up absolutely loving. In the palette, you get a creamy concealer, blush, and highlight. I've seen a few people compare the concealer to the Glossier Stretch Concealer, but I disagree. I'd say it's more like a hybrid between the Glossier and the NARS Complete Comfort Concealer, but with a little less coverage. It doesn't look matte by any means, but it's also not dewy which I think makes it ideal for touch-ups. The blush is a beautiful rosy-brown-pink, and the finish is sort of velvety. The star of this show is the highlighter, and I kind of wish I could purchase this separately. It's an icy champagne colour that manages to look dewy without looking sweaty and feels like nothing on the skin.
I don't think I'll ever be with my Boy Brow, but a recent find is the LA Girl Shady Slim Brow Pencil. My friend Hannah told me about this and I was like no way a $5 brow pencil is any good. She proved me wrong. This is one of the best brow pencils I've ever tried. It's a perfect ratio of creamy and waxy, super easy to apply, but also doesn't budge. Plus it's cheap as hell and as the product I go through the most I'm very happy I no longer have to spend $20+ every time I run out. Add Boy Brow and you're basically Cara Delevingne. I've never gotten so many compliments on my brows.
Chanel has definitely been a fave for me brand-wise lately, and this Ombre Première only added fuel to the fire. This was a new launch in the summer, and the formula is creamy but not too creamy. It's almost like a lighter version of the MAC Paint Pots when they dry out a bit if ya know what I mean. But once it's dried down it does not budge. Good luck trying to blend after because I'm telling you it sticks like glue, it doesn't smudge or fade or crease all day. This colour is a golden brown that's quite warm without moving into orangey territory , the perfect every day shade.
EVERY DAY LIP // GLOSSIER GENERATION G IN LIKE
The Generation G Lipsticks in general have been my go-to lipstick this year because they're so easy. My most reached for shade is Like (closely followed by Cake), which is a lovely pale pink nearly the colour of my lips. This formula is like a matte balm so they glide on easily but aren't shiny, and the colour lasts really well and fades beautifully. If you're a fan of more of a Popsicle-stain colour, go for a darker one like Jam or Crush.
BOLD LIP // SEPHORA CREAM LIP STAIN 01 ALWAYS RED
This beaut has been my number one lipstick of the year. In fact I did declare it my all-time favourite (may be replaced but the Fenty Lip Paint, yikes). It's a lovely bright red that's super classic, super French, and super chic. The formula is incredibly long wearing, but also very comfortable. Coming from someone who hates liquid lipsticks.
TOOL // ELF ULTIMATE BLENDING BRUSH
A few of you asked me to talk about brushes which I didn't even think about doing. My absolute favourite brush discovery of this year has been the elf Ultimate Blending Brush. It is the perfect foundation brush and obviously so inexpensive. I love the synthetic bristles, the shape, and it's just the right amount of dense while still having a bit of give.
CLEANSER // GLOSSIER MILKY JELLY CLEANSER
If this one isn't obvious you're clearly new to my blog. Welcome! This is one of the only skincare products that I've ever repurchased. Eight times. I honestly don't think I can ever be without this. It's incredibly gentle but still gets my skin super clean. It removes all my makeup, and uses the same cleansing agent as contact lens solution so I don't have to worry about it irritating my eyes. The texture is hard to describe, it's truly like a liquid jelly (the name explains perfectly) and just feels so good on the skin. I got this for my sister for Christmas and even though she doesn't give a what about skincare and usually uses a Walmart cleanser, she absolutely loved it.
SERUM // JORDAN SAMUEL SKIN HYDRATE
I definitely struggled a bit picking a serum here. I've definitely tried my fair share this year as it's been a year of skincare discovery. But this Jordan Samuel Skin Hydrate has definitely been my most used, and for good reason. It's an Aloe juice based serum with Hyaluronic acid, stabilized Vitamin C, hexapeptides, cucumber, tamarind, and passion flower extracts to keep your skin mega hydrated and dewy. In case you can't tell, I'm nearly halfway through this bottle because I slather my skin in it day and night. The texture of this is a dream, it's like a runny gel thank just sinks into your skin beautifully and feels so good. I love that it's no frills, so I don't need to worry about putting too much on or mixing it with other things. It's just easy. My skin has been so thoroughly hydrated since I started using this, the kind of deep down hydration that makes your skin feel plump and smooth. A hero product for sure.
LIP BALM // GLOSSIER BALM DOT COM
If you've never tried balm dot com I am truly sorry for you. Several people asked me to write about my fave lip balm. Come on.
EXFOLIATOR // FRENCH GIRL ORGANICS FACIAL POLISH
I'm not a huge fan of physical exfoliators, but if I feel like my skin needs one I mix the French Girl Organics Facial Polish with Milky Jelly. This combo leaves my skin amazingly smooth and is very, very gentle. The powder is super finely milled, so I feel like it's less likely that I create any micro-tears in my skin. Just as a warning, I still wouldn't recommend using a physical exfoliant more than once a week.
TONER // PIXI GLOW TONIC
Again, you must be new, hello! I've been waxing lyrical about the Pixi Glow Tonic for a very long time. This is another product that I think I'll never go without. I have stopped using it day and night, and instead use it probably five times a week. I still definitely think that it's gentle enough to use it every day, I just find that I don't need to use it as often now and as I use a peel on Sundays I try to give my skin a break from other acids at the weekend. Anyway, back to Glow Tonic. It's 5% glycol acid toner, with witch hazel to tone and aloe vera to soothe. It has the Queen Caroline Hiron's seal of approval (and high praises), and if that isn't enough for you I don't know what will be.
This was also so difficult. I am a face mask obsessed, my entire medicine cabinet is full of them and as I try to use one every morning I have many favorites. But the only ones I've ever repurchased are the Glossier mask duo. I'm including these as a set because I needed to cheat again but also because they work perfectly together. The Mega Greens Galaxy Pack is my troubled skin saviour, I'm 99% sure it could fix anything. Except maybe a peaky blinder's cap to the face, sorry mate. It is, however, a juice cleanse for your face. It's a soft clay mask, so has all the purifying benefits without being even the slightest bit drying. I use this one an alarming number of times a week as it leaves my skin smooth and clear and fresh. Love. I'll often follow this with the Moisturising Moon Mask, but I also use this cloud-like dream on its own very very often. This one is full of hyaluronic acid, plant-based squalene, and sweet almond oil and leaves the skin plump and mega-hydrated. It's incredible as an overnight mask, be prepared to wake up with radiant skin.
Ooooooooo lemme tell you this stuff. It's good. (Please read that in Pip the chipmunk's voice form Enchanted). Étoile has a high concentration of cranberry seed oil, which Jordan says is the only oil to contain a 1:1 ratio of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, as well as all 8 vitamin E groups. It also features skin balancing Argan and Marula, which pair with vitamin C ester and CoQ10. CoQ10 is a skincare superstar, it's a super powerful antioxidant and also plumps and rejuvenates the skin.This is a great oil for all skin types because it sinks in super quickly and doesn't leave a film on your skin. It again leaves my skin mega-hydrated and I've noticed a marked improvement in my skin's texture and how even the tone is.
MOISTURISER // GLOSSIER PRIMING MOISTURISER RICH
I really did try to not picks so many Glossier products, but they are just truly the things that I use the most. This has been my nightly (and sometimes daily) moisturiser for probably 80% of the year. It's a super thick, super rich (duh) cream that thoroughly sinks into the skin. With rich creams I'm always a little worried that it'll just sit on top and be greasy, but this makes my skin feel like literal velvet. I have a full review up here if you want to read more about the ingredients, etc.
This is definitely quite a newbie, I think I've only been using it for two and a half months. But it had to be included in this edit because, combined with a few other products, this has been absolutely life-changing for my skin. I've had a lot of texture problems over the last few years and stubborn acne scars that wouldn't go away. Thanks to this literally angelic product, they're almost all gone and my skin is incredibly smooth. On top of that, any active acne seems to disappear much more quickly, and I'm much less tempted to pick at them (it's so hard not to though). Again, there's a post here talking about the ingredients in this beaut and how they work to improve your skin. Kiehl's has created a game-changer with this one.
ESSENCE // BY TERRY CELLULAROSE HYDRA TONER
Another one from my Skincare Saviours post, and one that I really had to bite the bullet to purchase (but was so worth it). It's so brightening, since using this my skin has moved far away from the dull category I used to place it in when filling out questionnaires. It's very hydrating and leaves my skin looking plump, and I think this has been a big help in lightening my hyper pigmentation.
SHEET MASK // TONY MOLY IM REAL RICE MASK
A lot of people asked me to talk about my favourite sheet mask, but I honestly just buy a million from Korean beauty websites and don't really think twice about which one I'm using. This is the only one I've ever repurchased because it is seriously hydrated and helps brighten up dull, tired skin as a quick fix.
FRAGRANCE // JO MALONE BLACKBERRY & BAY
This was hard for me, because this has been a year of me actually buying and loving different fragrances. In the past I've stuck to one and used it until it ran out. There are so many I've been loving, but surprisingly judging by how empty this bottle is compared to the others I've bought, Blackberry & Bay has been my most used! It's lovely and bright and fresh, a good break from heavier sexier scents because most of the time I don't feel like wearing those.
SHAMPOO & CONDITIONER // KRISTEN ESS SIGNATURE
Again, if you don't follow me on Instagram, you've missed out on my Kristen Ess obsession. I discovered these several months ago (I think back in July?) and quickly tried to get my hands on the entire line. My favourites have definitely been the shampoo and conditioner combo, I've already been through two bottles of each! The combo leaves my hair feeling clean but never stripped, and shiny and bouncy without getting product buildup. I have a review dedicated to the products I've tried here.
HAIR TREATMENT // VERB GHOST OIL
I really have been trying to take better care of my hair, but I'm so lazy. This oil is great because it's so easy to just throw on and not worry about. It sinks into the hair quickly and doesn't feel greasy. It's lightweight so it doesn't weigh my hair down at all, but also helps control any frizziness. I'm really not a hair care person at all so it's difficult to talk about products like this for me, but I seriously love this stuff and use it after every hair wash (and most days tbh) which is a serious commitment for me!
Let me know what you've been loving!