This year in beauty has been a big one. Highlighter and liquid lipsticks reigned supreme in the beauty world and indie brands gained newfound popularity on Instagram and YouTube this year. And this year, probably more than any other before, I’ve tried a lot of makeup products. Some amazing, some not so much. Rather than focus on the bad, I’ve put together a list of my favorite makeup products of 2016, all from the drugstore. Look out for the high end version of this post, but for now let’s stick to products that both myself and my wallet really loved this year.
- L’oreal Infallible Pro-Glow Foundation
Maybe more than any other product this year, I’ve been obsessed with this foundation from L’oreal. After the success of the Pro-Matte foundation in the Infallible line last year (which I personally wasn’t a fan of, it was too patchy and drying for me), they launched a dewey version of the long-wear foundation. For me, this product works amazingly. It’s a medium buildable coverage foundation that I find applies best with my Beauty Blender. This is my perfect every-day foundation, it gives just the right amount of glow to my face without making me look sweaty or oily. To me, it is one of the best foundations on the market right now if you want a dewy finish.
- L’oreal Magic Lumi Primer
Okay, so I swear this isn’t a sponsored thing, I just honestly think that L’oreal kills the face game in terms of products. When I want a glowy primer under a foundation (typically a matte foundation) this is my favorite. While I love the Becca backlight primer, I’ve got student loans to pay honestly. To me, this is a great dupe for that primer and gives my face a glow-from-within look underneath any foundation.
- Wet-n-Wild Color Icon Blush in Mellow Wine
This blush is amazing, and at $2.99 you can’t beat the price. I tend to like more natural and pale blushes, and this is right up my alley. It’s highly pigmented as well so a little goes a long way. In the fall months I think it’s the perfect way to warm up my cheeks a little bit, and for those like me who tend to be a little wary of blush (thank you mom and dad for the super pink undertones) this blush color on fair skin is the perfect balance of warm and natural.
- Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer
Now I know that everyone and their grandmother has been talking about this bronzer on social media, but it really does live up to the hype. After I saw Jaclyn Hill talk about this in a video, I knew I had to buy it. It is a truly incredible product. It blends so easily into the skin, looks natural and dewy without any glitter or shine and is the perfect color for my pale skin. I will say, unlike a lot of other people apparently, I’m not a fan of the scent. I don’t understand why my bronzer has to smell like sunscreen if it’s not actually going to protect me from the UV rays.
- Colourpop Super Shock Shadow in Koosh
This year has been amazing for the brand Colourpop. Once they began to be compared to the coveted Kylie Lip Kits, their popularity skyrocketed, and that’s when I fell in love with them. Their prices are incredible and their products aren’t bad for the money. This is one of my newest favorites of the year, and in fact just came out in the 2016 Colourpop Holiday Collection. But, after I bought it and wore it for a week straight, I immediately went online and ordered two backups for when it stops being sold. More than any of their other eyeshadows, this colour is extremely buttery and soft, and is a soft satin sheen without any harsh glitter. To me, Koosh is the perfect natural shade to put all over my lids and I’m obsessed with it.
- Covergirl TrueNaked Palettes in Nudes and Roses
While I don’t like the Roses palette quite as much as I love my Urban Decay Naked 3 palette, I was pleasantly surprised with Covergirl’s take on the coveted Urban Decay palettes. Usually I don’t like this brand. Their foundations oxidize and go way too orange on me, and I wasn’t a big fan of any of their mascaras, but in eyeshadow, they might be my new drugstore favorite. Especially the Nudes palette, where every shade is blendable and pigmented without too much kick-up or fallout. And if you’re on a budget and want that covered Urban Decay look but can’t afford the hefty $50 price tag, then this is your best bet. My two favorites in the Nudes palette are the satin shades “Champagne” and “Mink.”
- Colourpop Sculpting Stix in Dove
I can’t stress to you how much I love this product. This year, I’ve been through not one, not two, but three tubes of this stuff. Because I’m so pale, contouring has always been kind of hard for me. But, when I saw these Colourpop products with decent reviews, I decided to give it a try. Dove is perfect for me because it’s so cool-toned and doesn’t go too orange against my skin. I was nervous at first about blending it in and moving my foundation underneath, but so far that hasn’t been an issue with any of the foundations I use when I use a flat topped kabuki brush to blend in the lines around my face. It also allows for a super precise contour because of how thin the pencil is. Tip, skip the highlighter shades though, they’re patchy and hard to blend.
- Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara
Because I throw out mascaras so often, I usually opt for drugstore versions of mascara, and Maybelline has been my go-to brand for mascara for years now. When I saw popular vlogger Zoella rave about the Lash Sensational Mascara, I rushed out to the store to try it for myself, and I like, Zoella, loved it. To me, this fan brush gives my lashes an incredible amount of volume and length. I really enjoy the wet formula because I feel like it holds a curl better than dry mascaras. If you don’t like clumpy mascara this isn’t the formula for you. I personally enjoy the dramatic volume look and don’t mind clumpy lashes if that’s what it takes to achieve that look.
- Ardell Glamour Lashes in #105
Because I’m terrible when it comes to peer-pressure (seriously, I should’ve paid more attention in elementary school) I slowly began to dive into the world of false lashes this year. While I’m still learning, I’ve found that when I want a false lash, I want a really dramatic one. So far the brand Ardell has been great for me in terms of price and availability. I think for lashes I’d rather get them in store than order them online to be sure I’m going to like what comes my way. These glamour lashes are over the top and extravagant, but I love them for that reason.
- Colourpop Brow Pot in Blondie
For me, I’m still getting the hang of filling in my brows, but something that was driving me crazy with most brow pencils I tried was that they ran out so fast. It seemed like I used it for a week before it was gone, and I was spending way too much money replacing my brow products. So, when people began raving about the Anastasia Brow Pomade, I decided to try something like that for myself. Because I’m a full-time college student I decided to try the Colourpop version of a brow pomade because I loved their pencil. I was not disappointed. The product has lasted for so much longer than a pencil and I love the colour. It’s hard to find shades light enough for my hair. Once you get the hang of filling in with a pomade (angled eyeliner/brow brush, I start from the bottom line of my brow and feather the product up ward to create the effect of hair), this product is a great and cost-effective alternative to pencils.
- Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner
When I first started wearing eyeliner a while ago, this was my favorite product. This year while cleaning out some old products, I decided to give it another whirl because of how much I used to love it. I totally fell in love with this product all over again. For me, when creating dramatic wings, I’ve always found gel eyeliner much easier to work with. I think personally I prefer to use an angled brush rather than a flimsy liquid liner tip. Out of all the gel eyeliners I’ve ever tried, this one is by far the best. It’s extremely pigmented, very dark, long-lasting and the pot doesn’t dry out like a lot of other formulas I’ve tried.
- Colourpop Super Shock Highlighter in Over the Moon
In October when Colourpop announced their opalescent highlighters, I was extremely excited, even if only one of the colours really appealed to me (obviously the pink). Highlighter had been one of my favorite things to lather on this year, and the chance to put on a dual chrome shine made me excited. I will say, in order to really get pigment this highlighter is best worn layered over a different one. In fact, on its own there’s not a ton of color pay-off. But, when worn over another highlight, my personal favorite is Ice Cold by Jeffree Star Cosmetics, the color-shifting formula looks amazing and is a great way to change up your highlight.
- Colourpop Ultra Satin Liquid Lipsticks
So, to be fair, I really did love Colourpop this year. At first when I tried their lipsticks, I hated the Ultra Matte formula. It dried out my lips and gave me the dreaded “butthole mouth.” When they announced their Satin formula however, I decided to give them another chance because I loved so many other products so much. I was not disappointed. I love the satin formula. I love that it still dries down like a liquid lipstick but it remains so comfortable on the lips. I would say in terms of shine, this formula is actually almost matte. Some of my favorite shades from the range are Baracuda, The Rabbit, Calypso, and Magic Wand. To me, this range is far superior to their Ultra Matte lips.
Thanks for reading about my 2016 drugstore favorites and look for my high end version coming soon!