Today I have a list of some favourites ready to share. I tried to edit my selection, but as you can see from the first photo I still included quite a few products. I will be making another post about my skin care favourites so check back soon if you're interested in reading those. Previous reviews are linked for reference and swatches.
Let's start with my biggest weakness, eyeshadows. I loved two eyeshadow palettes the most. For the majority of the year I've used theBalm's Meet Matt(e) Nude Eyeshadow Palette which is filled with nicely pigmented and blendable matte eyeshadows. My particular favourite was the Matt Singh shade that was my eyeshadow of choice in spring and summer. In the last couple of months the Self-Made Palette from Anastasia Beverly Hills swiftly replaced all other eyeshadows I've used. It has a lovely selection of different finishes and undertones, but could use another matte transition shade. If you're a fan of neutral shadows but want to start incorporating some color into your looks this would be a great way to start, just make sure to snap it quickly, since it was a limited edition product.
There were two single eyeshadows I've loved in particular. The Catrice 720 Papaya Don't Preach is a stunning shimmery bright peachy pink shade, while the NARS Dual-Intensity Eyeshadow in Himalia remains a go-to for a quick bronze wash on my lids. It has a soft texture and great pigmentation that gets a metallic vibe when applied with a wet brush. It blends with ease and looks great applied with just using your fingers.
My favourite discovery of the year were probably the Kiko Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadows in 05 - Rosy Brown and 06 - Golden Brown, along with their metallic and pricier cousins Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colours in Copper and Rosegold. Between the two, their formula is very comparable, but Laura Mercier's shadows have better pigmentation and last slightly longer on my lids. Another pen style eyeshadow that impressed me, mainly thanks to it's water-like cooling feel on the lids, was the 127 Laurier Rose Stylo Eyeshadow from Chanel's summer collection. Creamy, mousse-like texture was the feature I most appreciated from Excess Shimmer shadows by Max Factor, particularly the 20 - Copper shade that works as a lovely base. I've seen some comparisons of these made to Tom Ford's creamy shadows as well as more recent ones from Charlotte Tilbury, but since I don't own either I can't say for sure if Max Factor shadows would actually be decent drugstore alternatives.
From Chanel also comes a stunning Stylo Yeux Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Ardent from their fall collection and the Essence Big Bright Eyes in 01 Highlight it nude, that is the perfect brightening waterline eyeliner and can also be used as an inner corner or brow bone highlighter. But it would be pointless to talk about any of these shadows if I didn't also mention the Eyeshadow Primer Potion from Urban Decay that keeps everything in place, prevents creasing and helps with longevity and pigmentation of shadows.
I also wanted to mention the Benefit Roller Lash Mascara that I've used up last year (and I plan to repurchase it when I use up other mascaras I have in my stash). It curled my lashes without using a lash curler (and kept them curled the entire day), added length as well as volume to them, without any smudging or flaking throughout the day.
I have an ever-growing collection of polishes so I have a hard time sticking to a certain shade for longer than a week, but these three have been making regular reappearances of my nails. Maybelline Super Stay Nail Polish in 130 - Rose Poudré has an impressive long lasting staying powder, lack of which is usually my main complaint for drugstore polishes, and the shade is a perfect muted mauve that looks very classy on the nails. I've also loved two polishes from Chanel's spring collection in 697 Terrana and 707 Mediterranée. I love both shades and formulas, but I hope Chanel changes their brushes with the reformulation that they're planning for this spring.
My hands down most used product of the whole year was the Kat Von D Shade & Light Contour Palette. While I don't have much use for the two darker highlighting shades and the darkest contour shade in the palette (except as eyeshadows where they perform just as good as something from Urban Decay) I absolutely adore the other three shades. The first darker shade is the perfect contour for me and the middle shade is a beautiful bronzer and I'm really close to hitting pan on it. On a rare occasion that I want to bronze up my skin in the winter I have to mix both shades, so it's not too warm. These are really pigmented and don't require too much product and the palette is sturdy enough to survive travelling.
My foundation of choice this year was Chanel's Perfection Lumiere Velvet in 10 Beige. Leaning warm, it was still a good enough match for my neutral undertone, because it blends into the skin seamlessly and leaves a natural velvety finish on the skin. It has light coverage, which I sometimes struggled with, but that's why we have concealer, right? On that front I've continued using the Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 15 (works for me in the summer and has medium, but buildable coverage and works on blemishes and under eyes), MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW 15 (it requires building for covering blemishes, but works nicely on the under eyes) and Catrice Liquid Camouflage High Coverage Concealer in 10 Porcellain (works on both under eyes and blemishes, but requires building despite being described as high coverage concealer at which point it can look cakey, depending on the setting powder), while trying to give my beloved NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer some rest (the truth is I want to delay repurchasing it again ($$) while I try some other formulas).
I've used a variety of blushes throughout last year, but besides the Hourglass Ambient Lightning Blush Palette I've mainly been coming back to these three. I was surprised by the formula of Essence Matte Touch Blush in Berry Me Up. It blends easily, isn't powdery and looks like a natural flush on the cheeks. The Max Factor Creme Puff Blushes were probably one of the most exiting items to launch in our drugstores this year, the main reason probably being that they look similar to Hourglass Ambient Lightning Blushes (but just because they look similar they're not dupes). I love both shades I have, but I chose the bolder Lavish Mauve as a favourite. Another blush I was blown away by was the Joues Contraste Blush by Chanel in 260 Alezane from their fall collection. On me it pulls slightly bronzy and is a perfect fall/winter shade for pale to medium skin tones.
I've tried a fair share of lip products but these have been in rotation the most. The Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat lip pencil in Pillow Talk is the perfect lip liner that will pass as natural lips even if you slightly over-line them. The shade is pretty much perfect for my lips and it's creamy enough to be worn on its own. Another lip liner that I've used a lot has been the MAC Soar Lip Pencil. The shade is a deepened mauve brown and is also creamy enough to be worn on its own, but can get a bit drying if it's not layered with another product. I especially like to pair it with Chanel's Rouge Allure Velvet Lipstick in 34 - La Raffinée.
The most coveted finish in lip products this year was definitely matte, but since my lips often don't agree with drying formulas I've reached after glosses. Essence came out with their version of Liquid Lipsticks, but with a glossy finish and the shade 02 Beauty Secret was my favourite from the bunch. The formula isn't gloppy or sticky, feels comfortable on the lips and has a nice staying power for a gloss and such a shade.
The last favourite from last year is the NARS Audacious Lipstick in Anita. I bought two lipsticks from this collection last May and have been going back and forth between absolutely loving and feeling 'meh' about them (especially considering the hype about them after their release). Both are opaque in one swipe and wear well, but whenever my lips are slightly on the more dry side these can accentuate the dryness and even make them flake. I do like the Anita a lot more and I seem to like the formula of it more as well. The shade is an antique rose and is a lovely deepened every day shade. I'll post a full review soon, where I'll share more of my thoughts in case you were thinking of getting one.
Congratulations if you've made it all the way through to the end of this post. If you're interested in reading about last year's post you can read about my 2014 Beauty Favourites here. Let me know in the comments what some of your favourite products were or if you also liked any of the mentioned ones. Also, I wish everyone a happy new year! Make sure it will be the best one yet.