I only used one eyeshadow primer all through 2016 which says quite a lot and it's none other than the Essence I Love Stage Eyeshadow Primer//£2.50. I can't even begin to tell you how many tubes I repurchased in 2016. I think it's probably 4/5 and I even bought some for my friends, my sister, etc. It is essentially an amazing eyeshadow primer with a doe foot applicator for easy application. I believe there are two shades of this primer and I got for the cream shade one. It helps my eyeshadow pop, prevents crease and increases longevity. The best part is it's only £2.50 and it works so much better than many other more expensive eyeshadow primers. It was a favourite in 2015 an it is back again.
Each time I wear foundation, I always wear a primer because my combination oily skin does not work well without one. I loved three primers in 2016 and they all offered various benefits for me. The first is the Wilko Silky Mattifying Primer//£3 and it ticks all the boxes for me. It is a slightly silicone primer but it does not feel too slippery at all. It helps my foundation apply smoother, last longer and it prevents shine. It's also super affordable at £3. The second primer I loved (and still love) is the Vincent Longo Water Canvas Base Primer*//£33.50 (Review). It is such a beautiful primer and it always transforms my foundation. It works so well on my skin because it is water based so it offers a moisturising, refreshing and hydrating effect. It helps my foundation apply smoother and last longer although I won't classify it as a mattifying primer. Regardless, it still controls shine and my foundation always looks great whenever I wear it. The third primer is the Nude by Nature Smoothing Primer*//£22 which is one of the best primers I have tried when it comes to making my skin feel smooth. My foundation glides across so easily and lasts all day. It's truly a good all rounder and I really enjoyed it especially towards the end of the year.
I don't think my brow routine has changed much from 2015 because I tend to use the same kind of products. In 2016, I finally got to try the Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade //£15.50 (Review) and I enjoyed it so much. It is one of the best brow pomades I have tried and I know I' be repurchasing it. There are close dupes in the drug store but for my brows, the ABH is the best so far. My shade is Chocolate and it is spot on. Contrary to some reviews I read about it drying up quickly, mine is still going strong and I have hit pan already. It applies so smoothly, lasts all day and does not wipe away regardless of any weather condition. The second product I loved was the Soap and Glory Brow Filling Pencil //£8 (Review) which I absolutely adore. I think I may have repurchased it at least 6 or 7 times and I won't be stopping any time soon. I don't have a picture of it because I just ran out of my last pencil before I took the photos for this post. In the picture above, I have the ABH Brow Wiz (Review) which I also adore but it is more expensive and works in the same way as the Soap and Glory version.
What can I say? For almost three years straight, the Yves Saint Laurent Baby Doll Mascara//£25.50 (Review) has remained my number 1 mascara. No other mascara has even dreamt of coming close to it although I do have a few drugstore versions I have enjoyed. I have repurchased this mascara more than a few times and used up all the mini samples I have gathered (which I love so much). It is the only mascara that lengthens, adds volume and holds a curl with no clumps in sight. It is a true all rounder for me. Another mascara which I was not the biggest fan of initially but it has grown on me is the Lancome Hypnose Star Mascara (Waterproof)//£22 (review). I fell in love with the sample I got from a while ago and purchased the full size but I was initially slightly disappointed. However, I started using it again and actually really like it. I am not sure what has changed. It is great as an everyday mascara as it moderately elongates my lashes and adds a good amount of volume. I find it works better when I layer it with other mascaras.
I have never done an eyeshadow look without eyeliner. It just won't work out and my eyeshadow never looks complete with a nice wing. Even when I do minimal makeup, I still reach for an eyeliner. I always look out for a nice black, demi-matte eyeliner which is easy to apply. My all time favourite (and it has been for a few years now) is the L'Oreal Super Liner Perfect Slim //£6.99 (Review). I switch between the Perfect Slim and the Super Star but I think I used more of the Perfect Slim in 2016. It applies smoothly and the felt tip gives me a lot of control. More importantly, it lasts all day unless I purposefully rub and smudge my eyes. For the price and quality, it is a 5-star product in my opinion. Another eyeliner I discovered in 2016 was the Nude by Nature Definition Eyeliner*//£16 (Review). It comes in such a gorgeous rose gold packaging and the product itself is so easy to apply. It starts off looking quite shiny but ends up as a classy matte texture which I love for everyday wear. I love wearing this during the weekends which is when I have more time to perfect my eyeliner wing.
Now for my waterline, I used two different eyeliners all through 2016 because they had amazing quality. The first was the Vincent Longo Cosmetics Pro Waterproof Eyeliner in Aubergine*//£17 (Review). It is such an amazing purple shade which is so flattering on any eyeshadow look I create. It really makes my eyes pop and I love the texture, the way it glides and it does not irritate my sensitive eyes. Another set of eyeliners I loved (and still love) are the Nude by Nature Contour Eye Pencils*//£14 (Review) which are the softest eyeliners I have tried. They glide on so beautifully and are highly pigmented so a little goes a long way. I absolutely love them for this and the fact that they are made from natural ingredients makes me love them even more. There are 6 shades available and I love all the shades I have.
I almost didn't want to write about concealers because I don't think anything has changed at all from my 2015 Makeup Favourites. The first concealer is the Revlon Color Stay Concealer //£6.99 (Review) and it is my main under eye concealer. I purchased 6 backups when I panicked that my shade (Deep Fonce 06) was being discontinued. It is lightweight, easy to apply and does not easily crease under my fine lines. The second concealer is my all time favourite and it's no surprise- LA Girl Pro Concealer//$3.99 (Review). I have spoken about this so many times so I am going to try not to repeat myself again. I don't use this concealer for my under eyes at all rather it is specifically for concealing dark blemishes. It has a thicker texture so I know it will not be ideal for under eye concealing as it will be prone to creasing, etc. For my blemishes, it works like a dream and I sometimes use it as a foundation because it is amazing like that. It lasts all day, does not budge and the shade Fawn is a perfect shade for my complexion. The third concealer on my radar is the Becca Dual Coverage Concealer (Review) which I love and have repurchased more than a few times. It can be used for any type of concealing but I mainly use it to neaten my brows and highlighting my brow bone. The other concealer which I loved so much especially at the beginning of the year was the MAC Prep & Prime Highlighter in Peach Lustre //£19 (Review). It is a peach toned corrector which I use mainly to colour correct before applying my foundation and concealer. It works so well to cancel out any discolourations from my dark blemishes especially on my cheeks. Lastly, I have the Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage //£27.50 (Review) which I loved a lot during Summer. It is best for pin point concealing which is what I mainly use it for. It has a somewhat pasty texture which ensures it does not slip off my face especially during summer.. I don't reach for it so much now that it is Winter but it will make a come back during Spring.
When it comes to foundation, I am very picky but quite open to try out new ones. I don't want to have to faff around with my foundation especially if I have to mix or manipulate it to get it to suit me. I just can't be bothered doing that. I have a whole drawer of foundation and I have recently started giving them away because I want to retain only the best of the best. My first favourite foundations is one I adore although one tiny snag about it absolutely annoys me but let's start with the good points. It's the MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation//£22. It has been an old love and I have used it on and off for about 6 years. It offers a lovely medium coverage that can easily be built up too full coverage but one has to be careful as it could look cakey. It is such a perfect match to my complexion (NC45) and it is best for combination oily skin as it has a demi-matte finish. One little snag is its smell or should I say scent or fragrance but I can hardly classify it as one. It just smells like paint, to be honest. The sad part is that this smell does linger for a while before fading off. However, the foundation performs so well that I just overlook this little snag. I will be repurchasing it regardless because it makes my skin look flawless. The second foundation I fell very hard in love with is the Bobbi Brown Long Wear Even Finish Foundation /£31. I used this foundation almost every single day since I purchased it and I still use it mostly during the week. It is a good match to my complexion (my shade is Golden 6). I am beginning to think it slightly oxidises to become the most perfect match to my skin (to my delight). It is long lasting, applies like a dream and has a demi-matte flattering finish. I just wish it offered more coverage because I still have to either build it up or use a concealer for any dark blemishes. My third favourite foundation is the Black Opal True Colour Foundation Stick //£9.99. I used this foundation so much that I finished one and repurchased a back up. My shade is Topaz and it is a pretty good match for my complexion. I love its ease of application and how long wearing it is. I do have to say it has the tendency to colour transfer but it is nothing out of the ordinary. I used it during the colder months when my shiny T-zone is better controlled because this foundation makes me get shiny pretty quickly during the warmer months. However, I find these little snags very minute compared to how much I enjoy wearing it and that's why it is made it into my Makeup Favourites.
My all time favourite foundation for 2016 is none other than the Vincent Longo Water Canvas Creme-to-Powder Foundation*//£43.50 (Review). It is the most expensive but one of the best foundations I have ever tried. It is a water based foundation as the name suggests so it feels extremely lightweight on the skin no matter how much I build it up. Whenever I use it, I don't even bother with a concealer or powder because I build it up to conceal every blemish. Whenever I want a flawless Instagram ready finish, I reach for this foundation because it makes my skin look incredible with the littlest effort. I was so lucky to be gifted two because I managed to destroy the surface of my first one. I have learnt the trick of applying it and now my second one has no terrible dents yet (*touch wood*). The trick is using a rounded buffing brush and picking up the product eve so gently. I press it into my skin as opposed to spreading or swirling it and it's really perfect this way. It's totally worth the price tag as I feel fabulous when I use mine. My shade is Honey Pecan.
In 2016, I was mainly into muted tones when it comes to blushes I think my go to shades are a bronze pink and dusky rose as they look best on my complexion. The first blush is Sainsbury's Boutique in Fool's Paradise*//£8 (Review). It is just my perfect everyday blush and I wore this blush on a daily basis (even into 2017). You know when you find that one blush that suits your complexion and goes with all your makeup looks, you just stick to it. That's exactly how I feel about this amazing blush. The next blush I loved is the Vincent Longo Water Canvas Blush in Swan Lake*//£33.50 (Review). The texture is so similar to the VLC Water Canvas Foundation and I just adore its application. It always looks very natural and never looks cakey on me. My third favourite blush is a new discovery but one I love so much- Colour Pop Blush in Bardot //$8. It is a such a beautiful bronzey copper shade and I usually opt for it when I want something extra. I love its texture, application, wear time and of course, the price.
I rarely ever use my foundation without using a powder to set it. There are a few exceptional foundations that I can get away without using a powder but that's for another post. I use an all over face powder to ensure that my foundation lasts longer and to prevent shine. The first favourite is the MAC Mineralize Skin Finish (Medium Dark) //£24 which has been a favourite for many years. It does not sit heavy on my face at all and it's just the perfect last step to my makeup/foundation routine. It also really helps control shine on my combination oily skin especially during summer. The second powder is a new discovery for me and it's the Nude by Nature Flawless Pressed Powder Foundation*//£25. I have the shade Sandy Brown (N9) and it is a pretty good match for me. It is a lightweight powder that sets my foundation in place and it keeps my face matte for a good while. I love that it comes in a pressed powder form and it can actually be used solely as a foundation. However, I just apply it lightly to set my entire face and that's me done. Whenever I have to do any touch ups, I am always delighted to whip it out because who does not love rose gold packaging.
I think I really got into Highlighters towards the end of 2015 and even more in 2016. Highlighters just add that extra oomph to my entire look and I love that there are different products that provide whatever level of glow you want. I have quite a collection of highlighters but I had to really be strict and pick out my top favourites. The first highlighter is the Nude by Nature Highlight Kit*//£25 (Review) and it is my most used highlighter. This kit contains my 3 gorgeous highlighters which are perfect for everyday and can be built up for a more dramatic look. The particles are finely milled and these highlighters give the most natural looking glow. The second highlighter is the Vincent Longo La Belle Luce Highlighter in Patina*//£24.50 (Review) which has such a beautiful mosaic design. It is a gold toned highlighter and it looks so flattering on my complexion. It is ideal for everyday use but I tend to reach for it more during the weekend when I can layer it as much as I wish. Its glow lasts all day which is a plus for me. The other highlighter I loved which I enjoyed was the Colour Pop Highlighter in Avalon//$7. I got this towards the end of 2016 but it has become one of my favourite highlighters. It went straight to y wish list after watching several YouTube videos and I saw how flattering it looked on darker skin tones. It has the typical Colour Pop Pearlized finish which is the texture everyone loves. The pigmentation and wear time is absolutely fantastic and it really makes my skin look sun kissed with its rich bronze gold shade. The last highlighter is an old favourite- The Balm Betty Lou-Manizer //£15 (Review). It was one of the first highlighters I fell in love with and I still have a soft spot for it. It is incredibly pigmented and I reserve it for days when I want to make a statement.
I don't think I can mention highlighters without thinking of my contours. I love contouring my face but not in a crazy way. I have three contour kits and products that I reach for depending on my mood. My first favourit is the Nude by Nature Contour Kit*//£25 (Review) and it is also my everyday contour. I have already made a lovely dent in the Contour Shade and I am so glad I have a backup waiting for me. It is the perfect contour colour for my complexion and it is amazing for everyday wear. The good thing about it is that it can be built up according to your preference but it still manages to look natural (no muddy contour in sight). An old time favourite is the Sleek Contour Kit //£6.49 (Review) which is actually the first contour ever I purchased. It has been repurchased so many times that I have lost count. I use the shade Medium which works so well on my complexion. It is very pigmented so you need a light hand.. Having said that, it is quite easy to blend so you can always go over any mistakes made. It's a lovely kit, affordable and easy to find in the UK. What's not to love? The last but not the least is a cream contour although it is actually a foundation stick. It's the Black Opal True Colour Foundation//£9.99 (Review) in the shade Suede Mocha. I reserve it for days when I want to be totally extra and have my contour pop. The contrast of the shade against my complexion makes my hidden cheek bones defined and I have enjoyed using it so much. It is also easy to blend and does not interfere with my foundation at all.
When it comes to eyeshadows, I have no self control at all. I knew there was no way I was going to pick just one eyesahdow palette so I cheated a little and made several categories of my favourite eyeshadows. I split them into Palettes, Single Eyeshadows and Cream Eyeshadows. I thought I'd start with palettes because they are my top favourites. These palettes were custom palettes i.e.I picked out my favourite single eyeshadows and inserted them into an empty palette. My most used palette has to be the KIKO Eyeshadow Custom Palette// £2.90 each.This is my go-to eyeshadow palette and I use it almost everyday I wear makeup. The eyeshadows have incredible pigmentation for the price range and they last all day(especially with a primer).They do kick up some powder but their pigmentation, wear time and beautiful shade choice overshadows any slight powder kick up. The second palette is another custom made palette- Makeup Geek Eyeshadows. I bought both the Regular//£4.95 shades and the Foiled//£6.95 shades and they are one of the best eyeshadows I have tried. They are greatly pigmented, last all day without rubbing off and they come in the prettiest wearable shades ever. The third eyeshadow palette is my MAC Customised Eyeshadow Palette//£10 each. I feel quite sentimental (very silly I know) about this palette because it took me quite a while to finally complete it. l. I still love all my eyeshadow palettes but there's still that little something special when it comes to my MAC Palette. All my palettes look alike and I realised this when I finally complete them. I have neutral shades and the bold shades and I can't think of any shade in these palettes that I won't use.
In 2016, I tried out two incredible brands that made me convert to think about investing in single eyeshadows as I prefer buying or making palettes. In 2016, I was absolutely obsessed (and I still am) over the Vincent Longo Pearl X Ombre Eyeshadows*//£19 (Review). They are possibly the most beautiful eyeshadow designs I have ever owned. Their gorgeous mosaic design never fails to impress me and I always want to just play with them. I was lucky to be gifted two shades- Luna Beach*(purple/blue/bronze) and the Gypsy Rose* (pinks, rose gold with specks of burgundy). I always use them to create custom eyeshadows and I usually get compliments and questions on my eyeshadows. Later in 2016, I got to try the Nude by Nature Natural Illusion Pressed Eyeshadows*//£14 (Review) and I fell in love with them. Their rose gold packaging tugged at my heart strings and I was even more delighted that the eyeshadows delivered amazing quality. I was gifted the entire Eye Collection (Review) and the single eyeshadows within the collection are so lovely. Their texture, finish and pigmentation was top notch and I didn't expect this especially as they are a natural brand.
Apart from my single eyeshadows and custom palettes, I absolutely loved some quads and wheels in 2016. I enjoy using them because they are travel friendly. My first favourite a Shu Uemura Quad//£10 each and it is also a customised quad. I chose these colourful shades because I sometimes struggle to find them in a palette and I just love purples/pinks, etc. The packaging is one of the classiest I have ever owned and the eyeshadows themselves are top quality. They have a buttery texture and really great pigmentation. The second quad is from Illamasqua Fatale Palette//£34 and it was a lucky purchase for me. I pretty much use all the shades in there except the darker taupe shade. The three other shades are my favourites and the pigmentation of these eyeshadows are top notch. This quad was so handy for travelling as I just grab a neutral palette and this colourful quad and I am sorted. The last eyeshadow is actually an Eyeshadow Wheel which I discovered at the end of 2016. It's the My Sign Collection by Makeup Revolution*//£5 (Review). Of course, I have Capricorn which is my zodiac sign. All the colours in this wheel are up my street and they are so easy to use. I can create an entire look just with the colours in this wheel and even do my brows on top of it. I love it and I adore the idea used in designing an eyeshadow wheel.
Cream Eyeshadows // Link //£29 (Review)
I know I included the By Terry Ombre Blackstars in my 2015 Makeup Favourites but they still remain my favourites. I have tried a few other cream/stick eyeshadows and none even comes close to these Ombre Blackstars. They are very expensive but I have to say they are worth it. They come in a variety of shades but I only have 6 shades and I love them all. They apply so smoothly, last all day and have a pearlized finish (thanks to the Tahitian Pearl infused in the formula). I have worn them on their own or under other eyeshadows and they always look gorgeous They just transform any eyeshadow look and I cannot get over how beautiful they are. I won't be surprised if they show up again in my 2017 Favourites.
The easiest category to choose from for this post was lipsticks. Why, you ask? It's because I was 100% obsessed with only one brand and it's none other than the ILIA Lipsticks*//£22 and Tinted Lip Conditioners*//£22. They were my most used lipsticks and lip products in general and their quality is just out of this world. I have a good number of shades which are made up of my favourite colours. Their packaging is really unique and I don't think I have tried any other lipstick with similar packaging. The lipsticks themselves have a really gorgeous pigmentation and their wear time is impressive. I love reaching for the Tinted Lip Conditioners for everyday while I opt for the Lipsticks during weekends or any other days I want something extra. ILIA is a Green Beauty brand and their quality is just really commendable.
Favourite 2016 Purchases
I thought I'd include a final category which is basically a shout out to my two of my favourite purchases in 2016. The first one was a gift from the man and a lovely surprise at that. It's none other than the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Palette//£65. I loved this palette in 2016 and it is still a firm favourite. The Ambient Edit Palette contains blushes, a bronzer and lighting powders which I adore. There's just something so unique about Hourglass and that's why they are a firm favourite for many people including bloggers. Of course, we can't ignore the gorgeous packaging!! If you missed out on this palette, you can purchase the Marble version or wait for the Blush Palette coming out on the 14th February 2017.
The second purchase was made at the end of 2016 and it's sadly sold out (it was limited edition though). It's the MAC Nutcracker Sweet Copper Face Compact//£29. I am not usually crazy about MAC Limited editions but this Face Compact had me at Hello. I saw countless posts on Instagram, Twitter and even Facebook. I could not resist and I am so glad I caved in. Inside the palette you get a Blush and a Highlighter and they are so perfect for my complexion. I can't even begin to describe how much I love this Face Compact. I honestly thought it would be more expensive than it was and even if it was, I'd have still purchased it.
It took me such a long time to write this post because I have been so busy but I wanted to write about things I loved only. I really hope you enjoyed this post even though it is such a long one. I am keen to know what your favourites are so I can check them out. If you have written yearly favourites, please link them below so I can have a nice read. That's all from me and I'd see you in my next post...xx
*PR Samples + Gifted PR Samples, Affiliate Links used, read my full disclaimer here