Friday, December 30, 2016

Beauty Favorites - 2016

When I started to think about my 2016 favorite products, I initially thought I will not have many products to talk about. But, now that I have finally sat down to compile the post, the situation has completely changed! Another thing to note here is that there are hardly any items that were released this year! Apart from that one palette everything is permanent product. All of these products are all “new-to-me” products. Also, there is no lipstick here! What a shocker!



Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water: It appeared in my first-ever favorites post and it remained favorite till year end. I have very dry skin! Something like this is always intriguing to me! The name has 'water' in it, so it seems like a gimmicky product at an expensive price. But it really works! I got one last October in this travel size bottle in 2015 Sephora Favorites Superstars set (reviewed here) and I have been using it ever since! I already have bought a full-size! I don’t use it very, very often but I love how it makes my makeup application appear super smooth, every single time! No matter how carefully I exfoliate, I always end up with a few dry, flaky patches here and there on my face. Before I apply my foundation, I spritz this on my face, especially on the flaky, dry area. If I want to extend the wear time of my makeup, I spritz it again after I am done applying everything :-) My dry skin loves this product :-)

Becca Backlight Priming Filter: Like most of you, I also love a lot of Becca products! This is one of them. I got this in the Becca Blushed Radiance set (reviewed here) and I am halfway through that tube. I have another one in same size as this. I will probably pick up a full-size once I finish those. It gives me the faintest possible glow in the best natural looking way. I especially love to wear it during work days. I love the brightness it gives me! And the smell is amazing too!

MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD Foundation: I have been blogging about 3 years now and I have never posted an individual blogpost on basic face products like foundation or concealers! My main interest has always been eyeshadows, lipsticks, blushes and highlighters etc., products that offer me varied shades and finishes to play with. But after much deliberation and research, I finally invested in my first ever high-end foundation earlier this year. And I have been in love with this foundation from Make Up For Ever. I was never a full-coverage kind of girl and I will never be! But I do appreciate a foundation that can make me look naturally flawless without looking cakey. I wore it for almost all the events during my sister’s wedding! It was hot and humid in India; and at the end of the day I could see a bit oil coming through but I did NOT look greasy. I also have severe acne issues. This cannot hide huge bumped-out acnes but I can somewhat minimize the appearance of them. In short, I love this foundation and I very happy with it. I mix Y445 and Y415 to get a perfect shade. I know, it is time consuming to mix for a perfect match but these are the shades that I have and now I am too broke to buy another shade :-)

COVER FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Candlelight: I had to really think hard to decide if this is truly a favorite! This year, a lot of company brought out a lot of highlighters. This is surely a unique formula for a highlighter. This is also extremely pigmented, so there had not been enough chances for me to wear this. But whenever I have, I could not help but realize how happy it makes me feel. Hence, I decided to include it here! I have Sunlight to but I prefer Candlelight more. My most favorite way of using it is to mix a tiny drop with my foundation, it gives such a beautiful sheen! I love it! I have a very detailed review of this here.



Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light: Powder is another product that I never talk about! I have very dry, patchy skin, if I ever have to get rid of my powders I will not have much trouble! Naturally, I don’t really have experience with a lot of powders. I came across this beautiful little compact during Sephora VIB Sale last year and I decided to try it. It is one of those products whose effect is virtually impossible to detect on the face or in photos, but you can clearly feel that it is helping your entire look come together in the most flattering way! It is also the best powder for me to use under my eyes. I use the littlest amount possible and that is enough to set my concealer without irritating my dry under-eye skin.

rms beauty Living Luminizer: I have a detailed review and swatches of this product here. I had to wait so patiently to get me hands on this product! So much hope, so much anticipation. I finally got it in Beautylish Lucky Bag 2016 (reviewed here) and I have been using it non-stop :-) It has certified organic ingredients, so you know it has that “good-for-your-skin” quality! It gives me such a beautiful, naturally healthy look and yet, if I want that “va-va-voom” highlighter finish, I can definitely build it up to get just that. Also, it stays put the entire day! I am “head over heels” in love with this.

rms beauty Buriti Bronzer: Once I got my hands on the Living Luminizer, I knew I had to try this bronzer. It is also a cream product. I use my fingers to pat it on and use a dense brush to blend it out. Over past 3-4 months I am constantly using this bronzer and highlighter, mostly during my busy week mornings! It is a beautiful golden-y bronze shade with a very, very soft luminous sheen in it! Perfect for everyday wear!

Colourpop Super Shock Eyeshadow in Rex: Blue eyeshadow is my weakness! I can never have enough! Rex from Colourpop is a very glam blackened blue. They describe it as blue glitter on black base. I can see that but the black base comes off more as purple-blackened blue. The glitters here are simply beautiful and it is just 5$. Whenever I apply this eyeshadow, it immediately makes me happy!

Makeup Geek Eyeshadow in Crème Brulee, Morocco and Cocoa Bear: I have been using Makeup Geek eyeshadows for a long time. But this year, I fall in love with these 3 shades. I am especially enjoying Crème Brulee (reviewed here). It is almost similar to my skin tone which is why it is very versatile for me. I can use it as crease shade or I can even use this to erase any mistake I do with other shades. Cocoa Bear (reviewed here) has been an old favorite. But I like Morocco (reviewed here) a little bit more because of how warm it is.


Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in Midnight CowboyThis eyeliner brings me pure joy :-) It made its entry later in the year but it instantly stole my heart. It is such a handy product for a quick, super-glam look. The thin brush like applicator is extremely convenient to draw a thin, crisp liner and it is also easy to layer over eyeshadow. It stays intact without any glitter glue! And it looks perfect with any kind of eyeshadow shade. I have used this in almost 5 out of my 7 looks in my 7 Days of Glitter with Arrru series. One the best finding of this year for me!

Touch In Sol Stretchex Stretch Lash Effect Mascara: I love natural lashes; as long as a mascara gives me separate defined lashes and is easy to take off at night, I don’t need a lot from mascaras to impress me. Having said that I have to agree that this was a surprise favorite. This one does not offer much volume but it gives me a lot of length! I love the brush too, it’s easier to use on my small eyes. It also comes off easy with cotton absorbed in hot water. I used it up long time ago, and typically don’t buy regular size mascaras, but if I need to I will buy this :-)

Wayne Gosh Brush 05: Another thing I got from Beautylish Luck Bag 2016. I rarely wore eyeshadows on my lower lash line before but after I had this brush, the situation has been completely changed. Every time I am wearing full-face makeup, I have to put some eyeshadow under lower lash line. This brush is so soft and easy to use, I LOVE it.

Viseart Eyeshadow Palette  in - 04 Dark Matte: A product that teased me for a long time before I invested in it. I don’t use this as often as I thought I would. But every time I do, I love the end result.  I have a full review here. I know that people loves Viseart palettes mainly for the formula but for me the best thing about the palette is the shade range here. Deep, dark, extremely pigmented and very sophisticated matte shades. I love the formula as well – it is very easily blendable, extremely pigmented and stays on nicely. But for me it’s the shade ranges that stands out. Every time I wear a colorful smoky look, I need some help from this palette. I especially wear a lot of blue on my eyes and the two blue shades here are my favorite to apply on the crease. The colors here have such a deep, sophisticated hue to them that I feel they grounds any kind of heavy, colorful looks! I absolutely adore the warm shades as well. My only complaint here is the absence of a matte black. I understand Viseart’s concept and understand why they did not include black in their “Dark Matte” palette. But I do feel the need of black every time I wear deep colorful shades! I had to open another palette.
I sincerely hope I get more chance to use this palette and get at much joy out of this palette as possible.


Penny Jar in Olivia Palermo x Ciaté London The Smouldering Eye Palette: I am including only the Penny Jar shade here because that’s the only shade that deserves to be here. I love the palette as a whole but it is not worthy of being “Yearly Favorites”. Anyway, this is such a gorgeous shade. It has grey purple-y base and beautiful multi-colored speckles across it. The glitters are very finely milled and are very prominent & quiet reflective. The base kind of disappears on my skin tone but those gorgeous glitters look so incredibly beautiful and elegant!  
I took this with me to India and My sister wore it on her mehendi ceremony with a Coral Saree! That coral shade with this gorgeous eyeshadow made her look so very pretty! This shade is my go-to glamorous eyeshadow whenever I do need to look glamorous but not overdone! I have a detailed review here and you can see a look with this shade here.

Pewter in Lorac Pro Palette:  I love this palette as a whole but it’s the shade “Pewter” that stood out this year. I wore it a lot during the first half of the year. It’s very similar to my skin tone so it is very easy to wear to work. It gives me a beautiful sheen and if I am in a hurry I don’t necessary need any blending matte shade. I love this shade! I have a detailed review here.

Wayne Gosh Brush 05: Another thing I got from Beautylish Luck Bag 2016. I rarely wore eyeshadows on my lower lash line before but after I had this brush, the situation has been completely changed. Every time I am wearing full-face makeup, I have to put some eyeshadow under lower lash line. This brush is so soft and easy to use, I LOVE it.

Deborah Lipmann Nail Polish in Mermaids Dream: I don’t know if I love the name more or the product or the tiny little bottle :-) I reviewed it here long time back. I love this shade, such a gorgeous mermaid blue with some beautiful glitters. It makes me feel so glamorous and grounded at the same time. I probably have this on my toes for 50% of the time this year :-) I have had it for 2 years now, and it has started to dry out a bit but I will use it for as long as I can!

Sephora Collection Instant Nail Polish Remover: Whoever invented this, has a truckload of blessings from Nail Polish lover all over the world! You dip your nails into the product, swirl it around for 5 to 10 seconds and voila – all your nail polish is removed without drying out your cuticles. Its super convenient, fast and very effective! I have been using it for at least 8-9 months and it has not dried yet! Absolute love!

Ulta Mirror: I bought this for 1$ guys, just 1$. And I cannot emphasize enough how useful of a tool it has been for this blog. This is not aesthetically pleasing at all and I don’t carry it in my purse. I also don’t like this shade of pink however for some reason I always end up with pink stuff these days. This, I keep in my living room. So, when I am reviewing a product this is the mirror I use to see and study, scrutinize and experience how my new makeup is behaving  throughout the day. My bedroom is upstairs and 3/4 th of the time I spend on my living room so this mirror helps me the lazy me to avoid going upstairs to see my makeup and application. It has two size, one is a good magnified side where I can see every crease and every pore and see how the makeup is behaving. Also, even though pink is not really my shade, I have to agree that it is easier to find whenever I tend to let the house remain messy!


Lipstick:
Pictured below are all the lip products I wore the most tis year! But unfortunately, they all failed to pass that tricky bar to be on my Yearly Favorites list. Don’t get me wrong, I adore all of them but when I closed my eyes to none of them popped up as “favorite”. I guess, they failed to give me that certain joy I look for when I compile my favorites post. But, I definitely think they deserve special mention.

Urban Decay Revolution Lipstick in Rupture: Of course, I start with a discontinued product. It is not long wearing but I love the formula and adore the shade. I wear it to work OFTEN and it is in my 17in2017 Project Pan.
Smashbox Always On Liquid Lipstick in Bawse: Red lipsticks are my most favorite shade of lipstick. This formula is worth trying if you have dry lips – it is super comfortable. The shade is very neutral. It is not my all-time favorite red shade but I have enjoyed this the most this year. Full review here.
Stila Cosmetics Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in Beso: This is much brighter shade of red and I absolutely adore it. It is a very eye-catching red. This almost made it my favorites but lost for 2 reasons – 1.I did not wear it as much as I initially hoped. 2. On my sister’s wedding, I was counting on its amazing lasting power, but it faded a bit after 5-6 hrs. that disappointed me just a bit.
MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Amorous: Another shade that almost made it to my favorites list. I don’t even have a robust reason for not including it. I don’t prefer nude-ish lipsticks – so maybe that’s why! But apart from my bias, this is definitely has been worn a LOT. I love the shade, its neutral but with a unique purple undertone. I am very sure, it will be in my everyday stash for a long time.


Too Faced Melted Liquefied Lipstick in Fig: Another muted purple shade that I loved this year. I wore it a lot during the first half of the year, it does not last the whole day, but is very comfortable.

Marc Jacobs Le MarcLip Crème in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: I feel so happy and pretty whenever I wear this. Creamy opaque formula, applies smoothly to give even coverage in single swipe and stays almost the whole day! This is a pinky nude shade which is perfect for everyday office wear on my medium skin tone.

As I age, my skin is getting more complex than before and I have started to wear minimal makeup during the week. Not that I wore a lot before! But, these were the products that I have been enjoying the most this year with my complex and difficult-to-please skin :-)

I hope 2016 was a great year for you and I hope 2017 turns out to be even better!
Happy New Year, folks!

Love,

~Arrru
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