I was definitely, DEFINITELY not intending on making one of these kinds of posts but after seeing all of the videos and posts by others, I've been inspired. That inspiration came from the realization that I had some products last year that really changed the makeup game for me. Seeing as it was my first year fully immersed in the beauty world, I learned a lot and was introduced to a lot of phenomenal products. The group that I have to share with you are a good mix between high-end and drugstore finds and I can honestly say that some of the products are holy grails for me and will be repurchased for a long, long time!
Let's get into the items.. (from left to right in photo above)
Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer 'Milk Chocolate' » I originally purchased this stuff in May of 2012 but didn't put it to good use until 2013. First off, this bronzer smells like cocoa. It's such a nice change of pace whenever you're swirling your brush in it! Second, it's actually a decent color for my pale complexion. I have many issues with makeup with my being so pale and finding a good bronzer is one of the bigger ones. I've tried and tried but I keep coming back to this guy. This guy's $30.
Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara » I have converted. After years and years and years of swearing by Maybelline mascaras I finally went out on a limb and tried this guy from Covergirl after receiving it as a gift. I stand corrected. After my recent slew of unimpressive Maybelline mascaras (MegaPlush, Big Eyes, Colossal Cat Eyes which all turned on me once they weren't brand new), it's been relieving to have a new tube of something that I like. I love the Clump Crusher in conjunction with my holy grail Maybelline Colossal (the original. don't let them fool you!) because the Covergirl one separates lashes and does solid base work while the Colossal beefs up the volume. It's priced as any other drugstore mascara at $8.99.
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Treatment Concealer 'Fair' » I purchased this product in May of 2012 as well but I got the most use out of it in 2013. I wasn't going to purchase it initially because I heard that it runs out quickly but um…. I JUST got the last drop out of it in my most recent video a couple of days ago. In 2014. It lasted a year and a half. Granted, I didn't use it every day as I had a lot of different concealers this past year but it still had a good, long life with me. This is the lightest concealer I have ever used and although it's still not light enough for my skin, it's passable. and that's a step in the right direction! With that being said, I used this on my face as well as my undereyes and it worked wonderfully there as well!
Maybelline ColorSensational Vivids Lipstick 'Shocking Coral' » Maybelline took the world by storm with their Vivids line and scared everybody when they announced it to be a limited edition collection but quickly changed their tune once they heard everybody's rave reviews about the colors! Shocking Coral is one of three that I own from this line and it's definitely my favorite. Now, if you know me you know that I have a thing for corals and so I was drawn to this shade simply off of the name. Unfortunately, it's not a neon coral once on the lips but it is a really pretty neon pink that works really well with my NYX Butter Gloss in Peaches and Cream. The best part about this shade is that it's a part of Maybelline's ColorSensational line which is my favorite for drugstore lipsticks. They're so comfortable on the lips and last for hours! Only $7.49!
Beauty Blender » I don't know if I'm allowed to do this. I just got my beauty blender a few weeks ago.. BUT! I'm already in love. It blends out my concealer like an absolute dream. I look airbrushed afterwards! Seriously. Even though I only use it for my undereye area, it's totally worth the $20 price tag. I made a mistake and didn't have it damp enough when I used it for the first time and so now it's permanently stained a little bit which makes me sad but that doesn't affect how it works! Love it. Totally worth the investment.
Benefit The Porefessional Primer » Definitely one of my stand-out products possibly of all-time. I remember the first time I ever tried this stuff in my local Ulta and I was SHOCKED. I think I even gasped. I was so taken aback by how it manages to seriously erase every visible pore on your face. It was the most unique thing I had ever put on and I have been in love ever since! Plus, I only need it on certain seconds of my cheeks so I don't have to use a lot every day so the tube lasts me awhile. It helps extend the life of it so I'm not so sticker shocked on the $30 price tag. Now, I can't entirely vouch on whether or not it extends the life of your foundation because that's not what I use it for but it's such a cult favorite, it won't be hard to find somebody else's opinion on that aspect of the product.
Benefit Gimme Brow 'Medium/Deep' » Another thing that I got very recently is the Gimme Brow by Benefit. However, this stuff is so revolutionary (I use that lightly, though) that I already know it's going to be a holy grail product of mine. It helps me make the inner portions of my brows look so natural so you can't tell that my brows are even filled in/drawn on. Now, it is pricey. But that $22 goes towards a multidimensional product. You can throw it on when you've got no makeup on to frame your face a little bit or put it on top of your usual eyebrow routine to help keep your brows in place and add fullness and color to them. The best part is the small spoolie applicator because it makes the color go where you want it and absolutely nowhere else! All-around A-M-A-Z-ing product.
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner » I was really excited when I saw that this was in the Sephora Superstars Kit that I got a few months ago because I was on the hunt for a new eyeliner and had heard good things about this one! Safe to say it's my favorite liquid liner that I've used and I love how small the tip gets to allow you to get a very precise wing. The one thing I'm nervous about since it is a sort of felt tip marker kind of liner is that it will dry out but after two months, I've been okay. Only time will tell! This one is $20 which is definitely a steep price but if it turns out to be something potentially holy grail-y then I won't have a problem paying that!
Real Techniques Setting Brush » My first but definitely not last RT purchase was this brush. I heard great things about it(as with all of these items) and I had just gotten into concealing my undereyes so I figured I totalllyyy needed this. Turns out that I have really enjoyed it! It fits perfectly under my eyes and is just fluffy enough to not pick up too much product while distributing the amount that it does evenly on the intended area. This brush is also only $8 which is a deal when you take into account the competitors over at MAC and similar. Definitely a great first step for me in the Real Techniques brand.
There you have it! My nine favorite products of last year. If there are any that you didn't try I'm going to state the obvious and say that you totally need to at least attempt to in-store or otherwise! Also, if there are any that you had a different experience with, I would love to hear about it. It's cool to see how products work differently for different people. Have a lovely day!