Thursday, January 11, 2018

Best Makeup of 2017

This is a little bit of a different "Best of 2017" makeup post because I don't have a "best" product for every makeup category, and I very specifically won't mention any base products like primer, foundation, concealer, and powder. And that's simply because I did not encounter any this year that impressed me enough as a standout. Eyeshadow is my favorite part about makeup, and that is what dominated my interests this year and mainly what I'll talk about in this post. There are also favorite products of mine that have been favorites for years, but those will also not be included here. 

These are the products that I discovered in 2017 that stood out to me as being the best and products that I look forward to using for years to come. 

Duped Just Peachy Mattes

 The original post on how I made this palette is here.

I've written about this palette so many times since I first made it, and without doubt, it is my top pick for best makeup product of the year (and to be clear, that's referring to my duped palette, not the one by Too Faced). What I love so much about this palette, other than the fact that it's gorgeous, is that it was the first palette that I made with shadows already in my collection. I feel like it's important to mention that the majority of the shadows in this palette are from Colourpop, and Colourpop first launched their pressed shadows in January 2017. That means that I bought the majority of this palette in 2017 and didn't have these shadows just hanging out in my collection before last year. This is important to note because I couldn't have made this palette without the Colourpop shadows—I didn't have duplicate shades elsewhere. With that said, I bought all of these shadows individually throughout the year because they were pretty and unique to my collection and I was drawn to them. I didn't buy them with the purpose of trying to duplicate a palette. When Too Faced released the Just Peachy Mattes palette, I was so drawn to it and wanted to buy it. But then I saw it in person and realized that I already owned that palette, and I decided to assemble it. And then I customized it further to create this palette that I love. This was such a huge lesson for me to really dive into what I already own before bringing something new into my collection. It was also a great lesson because the quality of my palette is better than the original from Too Faced. I was therefore able to get the cool new palette with the color scheme I loved, but I got a better version of it and I didn't have to pay for it (depending on how you look at it). I still use this palette on a weekly basis, and it is my favorite product of the year.  

Duped Desert Dusk

The original post on how I made this palette is here.

Speaking of duped palettes, this was my other favorite palette of the year, which is another one that I made with products that I already owned. This palette made the list for several reasons: I love the color scheme, I love that I am getting use of out shades in my collection that were being neglected for one reason or another, and I love that this palette got me hooked on wanting to recreate palettes with singles in my collection instead of buying the new palette. Like the duped Just Peachy Mattes palette, I like this one more than the original from Huda Beauty, and I feel like the quality of mine is better as well. This is also a striking reminder that we really do buy what we already have so often. 

Colourpop Yes, Please! 

This is the only actual premade palette that made it onto the list this year, and I've included it for several reasons. The first and most obvious is that I love the color scheme and love how warm it is. When other brands were turning out "warm neutral" palettes filled with slightly warm browns, Colourpop came out with a warm palette with a deep red, bright orange, and strong yellow gold. I also like this palette because it basically dupes the Natasha Denona Sunset palette. Now, typically I really hate it when one brand blatantly rips off another (Makeup Revolution, I'm looking at you), but I loved the comparisons between Yes, Please! and Sunset. What it ultimately boiled down to for many people is that there wasn't much of a difference between the quality and payoff of the two palettes. But there was a difference of over $100 in price. Yes, Please! showed us that we don't need to pay $129 or even $60 for a great quality, on trend palette. Colourpop really won the 2017 makeup game as far as I'm concerned (which is especially cool to me since I had essentially written them off in 2016), and I hope they change and challenge the industry as well. Companies will continue raising prices as long as they know people will pay them, but then Colourpop comes along with great quality makeup at a fraction of the cost. So now people might not be so gullible to think there really is something all that special about Natasha Denona or Tom Ford or even Urban Decay and Too Faced to justify the high prices. If Colourpop can produce great quality makeup at a low cost, why can't other brands? So Yes, Please! is a winner this year for delivering a killer palette for $16 and reminding me that many brands are kind of screwing us as consumers. 

Fyrinnae eyeshadows and Pixie Epoxy

In 2017 I discovered the wonders of indie makeup, and it's hard for me imagine that it took me this long to get on board. Not every product I tried from indie brands was a winner, but the vast majority of what I purchased ended up being incredible. And if I had to pick one indie brand that didn't disappoint, it would be Fyrinnae. I don't think there has been a single eyeshadow that I've tried from Fyrinnae that I didn't love, and I always have so much fun when I play with these shadows. In my opinion, the indie shadows I own are the most unique and beautiful in my collection, and it floors me that more people don't talk about them. Pictured here are just a few of my favorites, which include Winter, Again; It Beautifies!; The Alchemist; Serendipity; Rapunzel Had Extensions; and Mephisto. I also had to include Pixie Epoxy since these shadows don't really work without it. I've used PE with many other shadows in my collection, including Tom Ford quads, and it's a product that I'm very happy to own. 

Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter and Glow

This is one of the few products in my life that I purchased before there was any hype and then had subsequent hype. I hadn't heard anything about the Stila Magnificent Metals when I was in a Sephora and spotted them. I swatched Rose Gold Retro and knew that I would not be leaving the store without it. Since then I have purchased a few more (pictured here are Rose Gold Retro, Sea Siren, and Next to Notte), and I have to say that these are my all-time favorite liquid eyeshadows as well as my all-time favorite glitter eyeshadows. There is just nothing quite like these products, and in the year since they first released, many brands have tried to replicate them. I didn't wear these for the longest time because I didn't feel they were "work appropriate" (I hate that term), but I love the bold statement that they make. This is also the kind of product that is exciting to see from brands—it's original, different, and, most importantly, performs well! It truly was an innovative product that brought something new to the beauty community (unlike countless warm neutral palettes), and I've really enjoyed these. 

Bobbi Brown Camel

It was difficult for me to pick individual shadows that were favorites this year, but when I looked at my collection, there were two ultimate standouts. One was Bobbi Brown Camel. I know that it looks like a brown. And it is. But it's also the most unique brown in my collection. I had been wanting a mustard brown for ages, but no color was quite right. I finally bit the bullet and bought Camel, and I could not have been happier with it. There was a period of time during the spring where I was wearing nothing but Camel in my crease, and I was amazed how it looked great with almost every color. Even colors I never would have thought paired beautifully with Camel. Since there are a few brands now that offer incredible eyeshadow at low costs, I don't really believe in breaking the bank for high-end singles. But some shades, like Camel, are just that special. 

Illamasqua Cascade

And this is the other standout eyeshadow of the year. Cascade is a white/blue duochrome shadow, and when I first put this in my inner corner, I knew my makeup "game" had changed. For the better part of the year after that, I only put this or another duochrome shadow in my inner corner. In recent weeks I've started incorporating Make Up For Ever Pearl again (which had previously been my all-time favorite inner corner highlight), but I still go back to Cascade several times a week. I know that I haven't hit the pan on this shadow and that I have on Urban Decay Roadstripe (which I also use in the inner corner), but that's only because this shadow has been repressed and is delicate, so I never put my brush in the same place when I use it. (The shadow arrived completely shattered, and Illamasqua only offered a refund for the shadow, not to send a replacement, which meant I would have had to pay international shipping costs again. I therefore chose to accept the refund and repress this one.) It's difficult to describe just how gorgeous and brightening this shadow is, but if I could only have one shadow for my inner corner, this would be it. Like Camel, I absolutely think this shadow is worth its price tag. 

Wet N Wild Megaglo Highlighting Powder in Botanic Dream

At this point, I have a lot of highlighters. And between gifts and a couple purchases this year, I have more than I could ever want. Throughout the year, I have really focused on only three highlighters: Becca Moonstone (my all-time favorite), Wet N Wild Botanic Dream, and one that creeped in at the very end of the year that I really can't stop using because I love it so much—Physician's Formula Butter Highlighter in Pearl. I wanted to include PF Pearl in this post, but since it came into my life at the tail end of the year, I didn't think that was appropriate. Regardless, I used the heck out of Wet N Wild Botanic Dream for months, and it was all I brought several times while traveling. I mentioned that I did five women's makeup for a wedding in early fall, and this was the only highlighter I had. I used it on all of the women, and it looked stunning on each of them. Wet N Wild released some really great new products in 2017, and, like Colourpop, I like the standard that they bring to the community. Wet N Wild is arguably one of the least expensive brands in the drugstore, and yet they very often produce better makeup than the most expensive drugstore brands as well as mid-range and high-end brands. This highlighter performs incredibly well, and it remains one of the most beautiful in my collection. 

Marc Jacobs Air Blush

I've changed my opinion on what brand has the best blush many times since I first started wearing makeup. First it was MAC, then it was Tarte, then NARS, then theBalm, and now Marc Jacobs. I'll say that I still have at least one blush from each of those brands in my collection, plus one of my all-time favorites, Hourglass Mood Exposure. (Hourglass never made it to the top of my blush brand list because I don't feel any of their blushes are as good as Mood Exposure.) But then I discovered the Marc Jacobs Air Blushes. And I can say without doubt that these are the best blushes in my collection. They truly stay on my skin for an entire day, which is something that no other blush in my collection can do. I now own three of these blushes, but I wouldn't be surprised if I purchase another this year to replace one or two currently in my collection. What I also love about these blushes is that you can get essentially three colors out of them. You can primarily use the light side or the deep side, or you can mix it all together. Some of these blushes I only mix together (like the one pictured), but others I concentrate on different parts of the pan. These are certainly the most expensive blushes in my collection, but I think they are worth it for the staying power. 

bareMinerals Gen Nude Matte Liquid Lipcolor in Juju

And finally, the last product that made the list is a bareMinerals liquid lipstick. I'm not sure if I've ever talked about this lipstick on my blog, but it's always been a staple and something I reach for when I need a quick, pretty lip that goes with pretty much everything. I absolutely detested liquid lipstick before I found this particular one, and it actually inspired me to want to try other formulas. I now have a few formulas that I really enjoy that don't dry out my lips or crack and crust. The only way I can describe this lipstick is just a "go-to." The texture is so whipped and light, and I just love how it applies. This is not transfer-proof, which is important to note as I know that's a feature many people like in liquid lipstick. For me, the fact that it does transfer is what makes it bearable to wear. And I would trade some light transfer over desert lips any day. There have been other lipsticks that I have loved throughout the year, but this has been my favorite. 

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