HELLO! Happy almost 2020 and welcome back to my blog. With the second half of my internship with Better Homes & Gardens, my summer internship in NYC with The Knot and my first semester of senior year, this year has definitely been one to remember! As we say goodbye to 2019 and hello to 2020, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on my makeup favorites of the past year.
In the last few years I have fallen in love with the way makeup allows me to express my creativity and the way I relax when applying makeup. This started when I found GlamLifeGuru or Tati Westbrook on YouTube. Her videos are still my favorite because she offers amazing reviews, has a great taste in products and provides achievable looks and tips. Many of my early product purchases were based on recommendations from her and other sources. However, I have since grown to enjoy scouting and testing out my own products. This was kickstarted during my internship with The Knot this summer. Near the end of my time in NYC, we had a beauty sale to clear the beauty closet in preparation for another year of product. All of the unused products that The Knot had been sent from brands or purchased for photoshoots was set out for employees to buy at extremely discounted prices and all of the profits were donated to charity. I walked away from the beauty sale with A TON of products that I was eager to try out.
This post is not intended to make you feel like you need everything or need more in general. I am just sharing my favorite products that I've gathered over time and after saving up in many cases. If you have favorite products, keep using them! You can do so much with the products you have. With that out of the way, here are my favorite makeup products of 2019:
While I understand that moisturizer falls under the category of skincare, I tend to think of it as the first step of my makeup routine. I'm still trying to figure my skin type out and create a routine that works best for me, but I've been enjoying both the Glow Recipe Watermelon Moisturizer and the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel-Cream. I typically use the Glow Recipe moisturizer all over my face right before I apply primer and foundation. I find that this product leaves the skin feeling hydrated but also slightly tacky which allows the makeup to adhere better. I use the Neutrogena moisturizer every night before bed but also before makeup if I feel my skin is extremely dry.
I have a confession: for a long time I didn't think any sort of face primer was necessary. I finally picked up a cheap primer a year or two ago to try it out and I didn't see much of a change. Many of my favorite beauty YouTubers have raved about pore-filling primers, so when e.l.f. released their Poreless Putty Primer and the product received rave reviews I knew I had to try it out. I only use this product in my T-Zone and it has worked wonders!
Unfortunately I didn't have a new clean Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge on hand to photograph, but this sponge is my favorite makeup tool and the way I prefer to apply my foundation and concealer. I bought a set of sponges from my local Marshalls and they were way cheaper than at any other retailer. I'd suggest checking Marshalls or TJ Maxx as a first option.
In 2019, one foundation stood above the rest for me: the L'Oréal Infallible 24HR Fresh Wear foundation. I found that this foundation stays true to its name in that it lasts all day. As a drugstore foundation, I'm extremely happy with the look this provides. This foundation is offered in tons of shades and offers a pretty full coverage finish. I have found that as the hours pass, my skin can get oily wearing this foundation and requires some mattifying powder in the T-Zone. I wear the shade True Beige (420).
As a college student, under eye bags/color are/is a real problem. I was so excited when I heard that the drugstore brand e.l.f. had released the 16hr Camo Concealer. At $6, the price just can't be beat. I have and use two shades: Light Peach for the under eyes and Medium Peach for concealing blemishes. Full disclosure: I plan on finding a new go-to concealer in 2020 because the e.l.f. Camo Concealer quickly creases under my eyes.
If you intend to wear your makeup all day, powder is a MUST. I've used the Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Powder in various shades for years. I started 2019 using this powder primarily to set my under eye concealer. However, I went on to try out some new setting/finishing powders that quickly made their way into my favorites. I purchased the Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in Transparent after YouTuber Allie Glines recommended it again and again as a great mattifying powder. I brush this product over my concealed under eye areas, in the T-Zone, and lightly around the rest of the face. I've found that this product is extremely efficient and allows me to use less product for each application. Finally, I was so excited to pick up an Hourglass powder at my work's beauty sale this summer. This finishing powder pulls a look together and brings some life back to the skin with a subtle shine.
Living in the Midwest means my skin looks pretty pale for at least half of the year. I love using bronzer to add some color and life to my skin. The NARS Hot Nights Face Palette is another one that I picked up at the beauty sale because of the beautiful eyeshadow shades, highlighter, and bronzer. I will admit that I have primarily used the natural-toned bronzer, but this palette is a condensed product with many options. The Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer was one of my favorite products of 2018, so I started the year off continuing to use that. I loved warming up my skin with it and also dusting it in my crease as a quick and easy eyeshadow. Toward the end of this year I picked up the Milani Silky Matte Bronzing Powder (another Allie Glines recommendation) and I have not been disappointed. The shade I chose has slightly more color payoff than the Butter Bronzer which I love and the matte formula applies flawlessly.
Milani is one of my absolute favorite drugstore brands because their quality is impeccable. I particularly love their blushes. This is my second time purchasing the Milani Rose Powder Blush (I used the first one like crazy and then it unfortunately broke while traveling). I usually don't like a lot of shine on the cheeks, so the pale pink color and matte texture of this product are perfect. When I'm feeling a little flashier, I turn to Milani's Baked Blush formula. The peachy Luminoso shade is ideal for special events and/or the spring and summer seasons.
There's nothing like a little highlighter to finish off a look and make you feel radiant (literally)! I was so excited that a Becca highlighter was available at our summer beauty sale, I had heard great things about the Pressed Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop, but I am here to report that the shade Opal is stunning as well. I love grazing this product over the high points of my cheeks and down the bridge of my nose.
As previously mentioned, my absolute favorite beauty YouTuber is GlamLifeGuru a.k.a. Tati Westbrook. In October, Tati launched her brand Tati Beauty and the brand's first product, the Textured Neutrals Vol 1 palette. Watching Tati's videos made me fall in love with being creative through makeup and I thought the neutral tones unique organization of her palette was so intriguing. Needless to say, I purchased the palette and have been totally loving it. The matte shadows are so pigmented but also blend beautifully. The pressed glitters also help elevate any look. The palette is currently sold out, but Tati did share that the product will be restocked multiple times over the next few months before becoming a permanent item. The other palette I've loved on this year is the Anastasia Beverly Hills x Jackie Aina palette. Jackie Aina is another beauty YouTuber, and this year she collaborated with the brand ABH to create a stunning palette. I was stunned when I found this product available at the summer beauty sale, before it was even on sale (brands will send out PR packages to influencers, news outlets, etc. ahead of time). I snagged it and have been experimenting with all of the unique shades.
This mascara can also be attributed to GlamLifeGuru/Tati Westbrook. I was so surprised when Tati raved about this mascara from the beauty supply store, Sally Beauty. Since I was already in need of a new mascara, I decided to try it out. I am now on my second tube of this mascara, and I love the way it adds volume and lengthens my lashes.
This year I fell in love with nude lipstick. I picked up this Charlotte Tillbury lipstick at the summer beauty sale because of the subtle nude shade (the gorgeous packaging also caught my eye). I've turned to this lipstick for special events and just when running out the door in need of an extra touch to pull everything together.
Makeup Remover (Toner)
I had heard things here and there about witch hazel and how amazing it is overall and for your skin, so I finally had to pick up a trial size from Target. I accidentally picked up the one with cucumber essence, but I ended up liking the spa-vibes it gave me when using it. I use this product after I've removed my makeup with a wipe and such. It easily removes any lasting traces of makeup and leaves me ready for bed!
There you have it! It's so cool to see how my makeup interests and preferences have changed over the last few years. I'm eager to continue trying products out in 2020, and I hope this post gave you some ideas of products to try out for yourself in the new year. Expect many more posts from me in 2020 (and more consistently). I can't wait to share all about my final semester of college and hopefully the start of a job post-graduation. Until then, happy new year to you!