Happy 2015! I wanted to take a moment and talk about some of my favorite products I’ve been using over the past year. I’m starting with makeup picks and then moving on to skincare and body care, and I like the exercise of narrowing a list down to ten – it really makes me focus on the things I was most excited to experience for the first time and continue to reach for on a daily basis.
Maybelline Face Studio Master Hi-Light Blush and Bronzer ($9.99) … full review
I’m starting this list off with some makeup products, and this Master Hi-Light bronzer has been one of my most versatile makeup bag staples. This formula of the Master Hi-Light products is really nice and not too luminous, as the name might suggest. I find that the shade Light Bronze works well as a gentle bronzer perfect for more natural makeup, and it can even work as several different eyeshadows, depending on which color(s) I dip my brush into. I like to use the cream shade on my brow bone, the brown in the crease, and a mixture of 3 or 4 of the shades all over the lid, making this a perfect product to pack for a weekend trip when I want to only bring a few essentials.
Pixi Correction Concentrate ($12) … full review
The Correction Concentrate is a peachy pink color meant to counteract bluish tones under the eyes. I really love the consistency of this concealer, as it’s easy to apply and never creases or makes my skin look dry. The color is meant to be appropriate for a variety of skin tones, and I personally find that aspect really workable, as well. I typically like to follow up with a brightening concealer under my eyes, which I can match to my skin, but having used the Correction Concentrate underneath ensures that I don’t need to pack on a concealer with tons of coverage. The peach tone does the heavy lifting when it comes to concealing the darkness under my eyes. Cruelty-free.
L’Oreal Visible Lift CC Eye Concealer ($9.99)
This is one of those brightening under-eye concealers that I referred to above. I picked up the Visible Lift CC eye concealer on a whim when I needed an eye concealer that better matched my summer skin tone, and it really pleasantly surprised me. I don’t find it to be the highest coverage, but it definitely brightens and makes the skin under my eyes look great, when it can otherwise tend to look a bit dry and sad. The formula is really lightweight and it comes with a rollerball applicator, which is easy to use. I’ve used this a ton since picking it up.
Sonia Kashuk All Covered Up Concealer ($9.99) … full review
Another concealer! I initially wasn’t crazy about the All Covered Up concealer when I first bought it, and I had a bit of a learning curve. A little goes a long way and the texture is super soft, much more so than I’ve been used to in the past. Once I got the hang of it, this became my go-to face concealer for redness and uneven tone over the past 6+ months. I love that the pot is so little, as it’s a perfect space saver, and the formula has a really nice, natural, and healthy-looking finish to it. Cruelty-free.
Too Faced La Crème Color Drenched Lip Cream lipsticks ($22) … full review
For me, these La Crème lipsticks hit two big targets for me – they’re very kind to dry lips, and I absolutely love the whole shade selection. It’s really as simple as that! They’re a little spendy so my collection is growing pretty slowly, but they’re packaged in classy gold tubes and are just all around pleasant and lovely. Cruelty-free.
NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder ($35) … full review
I initially had a lot of skepticism over whether a powder could really be worth a $35 price tag, but this Light Reflecting loose setting powder gives me something I haven’t been able to replicate with a cheaper product. It has a nice texture and gives a flattering finish to the skin without being particularly luminous, and it really helps control oil and keep makeup looking fresh all day. It’s an easy choice to make in the morning if I have a long day ahead of me. Cruelty-free.
Andalou Naturals 1000 Roses Floral Toner ($12.95)
Moving on to skincare! Andalou Naturals has become one of my favorite skincare brands, and the 1000 Roses floral toner is fantastic and a great value for the money. The 1000 Roses line targets sensitive skin, but I honestly think this toner would work for just about anyone. It’s lightly hydrating, not heavy, not drying, and full of beneficial ingredients like aloe, rose distillate, vitamin B5, and vitamin E (those are, in fact, the first 4 ingredients). The whole 1000 Roses line smells like fresh roses, but there’s no artificial fragrance in the mix, the scent comes entirely from the rose-derived ingredients (and it smells lovely without lingering on the skin for too long). You can find it at natural health food stores or Vitacost. Cruelty-free.
Egyptian Magic ($26/$39) … full review
I hadn’t heard of Egyptian Magic at all when my mom gave me a jar of it. She had purchased a two-pack at Costco but found my sister wasn’t fond of it. I expect that was probably because of the heavy, oily texture, as it’s an oil-based balm, but my skin absolutely loves this. It’s so simple (6 ingredients), and I mostly used it in place of a night cream, but the longer I had it the more uses I found for it. It came with me when I traveled and always sat on the nightstand next to me. I would use it on my hands and elbows as I was getting ready for bed, and it became my favorite lip balm, as well.
SheaMoisture Raw Shea Butter Body Wash ($9.99) … full review
I found a couple of really fantastic bath and body products this year. I have to look for hydrating body products because my skin just tends to dry out in the shower or bath, and this body wash with raw shea butter is really impressive. It froths quite a lot, but feels luscious and hydrating, as well. It includes coconut oil, vitamin B5, silk proteins, soy milk, flower extracts, and extracts of frankincense and myrrh. It smells awesome, and the bottle lasted me a long while, too. Might be my favorite body wash to date. Cruelty-free.
Level Naturals Bath Bombs ($1.99) … full review
I take lots of baths for achey muscles, and I really need to have some hydrating bath additives to keep my skin from drying out to much. Most bath products are formulated to look and smell nice, but don’t make much difference for skin, and so I always am excited to find products that cover all of the bases rather than just the superficial ones. I found these bath bombs by Level Naturals at Whole Foods and they are fantastic. They’re $1.99 each, which is totally reasonable, and they’re very moisturizing! Some of the scents are stronger than others, but they’re all really nice, and I’m so happy to have a reliable and reasonably priced bath bomb that adds some luxury to my life. Cruelty-free.
There are my ten! I’d love to hear about your experiences with these products, or what your favorites of 2014 have been. Hope you’ve been enjoying the holidays, and I wish you all the best in 2015.