My Favorites of 2016

It was a long and bumpy ride, but we have finally made it to the end of 2016! So much has happened this year, both good and bad, and I’m still a little confused on whether or not I’m happy to see it go. But I do know that I am super excited to start a new year! Since I started my blog in October of 2015, this was my first year growing my blog from January to December and being the makeup addict that I am, that meant a lot of new products. I don’t have a favorite for every category, I just wanted to mention some things I’ve discovered this year along with products I completely adore. It’s broken down by categories and since I’ve mentioned almost all of these things before, I won’t go in much detail but I’m sure it will still be long so grab a snack and get comfy!
Sundown Naturals Biotin Gummies
Biotin is great for skin, hair, and nails. It doesn’t have to be in gummy form, but I’ve had some bad luck with the pill form having an unpleasant odor so I stick to the gummies now. I take two of these 1,000 mcg gummies each day and it keeps my skin clear like nothing else. And for being “vitamin” gummies, they taste just like a regular snack pack!

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser
This year I put an extra effort to reduce the amount of harsh chemicals I put on my face, including all of my strong acne treatments. Cetaphil is one of the most common dermatologist recommended brands and I was so surprised to find that it kept my skin clear better than my acne face wash did. It’s very gentle and makes me feel super clean, I don’t ever plan on replacing it with another product!

Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay
This was one of my first five blog posts and I’ve loved it for years. Unless I receive a mask in a subscription box or a company releases one that sounds super interesting, I will never use another face mask besides this one. I love that it’s completely natural and that it works better than anything else. It’s super strong and takes everything out of my skin! I could go on for hours about this one, but you can find all the details in my previous post about it here if you’re interested.
c.Booth 4-in-1 Body Lotion
I wish I had found this lotion years ago! I use it every single day and this is my third bottle so far. This huge 32 oz bottle always lasts me exactly 6 months, so I definitely think it’s worth the price. I’ve mentioned it in multiple empties and favorites posts in the past and I’m still just as in love with it as I was the first day I used it. The smell lasts all day, it absorbs into the skin super fast, and leaves me feeling extra soft.

St. Moriz Dark Instant Self Tanning Mousse
I finally gave into the self tanning trend this year and as I do with everything, I researched for hours before I decided on a mousse I wanted to try. The St. Moriz is incredibly affordable and gives me a beautiful tan. In case you missed my full review with details on application, you can find it here. It’s not the best smelling, but it does the job and that’s all I’m asking for.
Bath & Body Works Stress Relief Lotion (Eucalyptus Spearmint)
I’ve had many Bath & Body Works lotions in the past and although I think they’re great, I didn’t necessarily think they were incredibly better than anything else. And at first, I wasn’t believing that the stress relief really works. But now I love it and act like a total weirdo sniffing my hands in my face until the lotion fully absorbs.

Secret Outlast Xtend Deodorant
I’m a little sensitive when it comes to deodorants and this year, I was definitely searching forever to find a natural deodorant to replace the ones with aluminum in it. Unfortunately, I wasn’t happy with any of them and decided to try a sample of this Secret Outlast Xtend. It doesn’t give me any sensitivity and works great. Finally!

White Mountain Epsom Salt
Baths aren’t my favorite thing in the world, but when I do something that I know will make me sore I’ve been obsessed with soaking in this epsom salt for a few minutes. I find this specific one at Walmart for under a dollar and although it doesn’t have a scent, it always prevents my muscles from getting sore.
Pantene Curl Perfection Shampoo & Conditioner
Pantene is my favorite hair care brand of all time. No matter how many high end or drugstore brands I try, I always go back to Pantene. Their products make my hair the softest and keep it healthier than anything else. The Repair & Protect version was my favorite until they recently reformulated it and then I switched to the Curl Perfection, which I think is even better!

Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioner
I’ve talked about this so many times, not in a specific blog post but it has made its way into many empties. This smells like coconuts and I kid you not, I can wash my hair at night, style it the next day, spend time in the windy outdoors, and by the time I shower the next night it will still smell like coconuts. It’s amazing! The Moist version is the best, I didn’t see many results from the Strong version.

‘N Rage Demi Permanent Hair Color (Fiesty Fushia)
Another new thing I tried this year was dying my hair! I made it through 23 years of life before I felt the urge to do something different. I originally dyed a small strip of my hair teal, but once that faded and I had finished the bottle I switched to pink. I love this hair dye and pink is definitely a lot easier to maintain!
Nume Lustrum Curling Wand Set
I wrote an entire blog post on this curling wand set and showed pictures of what look each wand created. You can catch up on that post here. This is still the only thing I used to curl my hair. The curls last longer with these wands than with anything else that I’ve tried and they curl the hair so fast. I definitely recommend finding a coupon code or waiting for a sale to pick up this set whenever you can!
Garnier 5 Sec Blur Skin Review Instant Smoother
This made it into last year’s favorites also. The packaging still isn’t my favorite with this formula, but aside from that it’s the perfect primer. It blurs my pores to perfection, makes my skin smooth, and keeps my makeup in place all day. A little pricey for drugstore, but totally worth it!

Milani Eyeshadow Primer
If you have oily eyelids, this is going to be your best friend. I’ve tried many eyeshadow primers in the past and none of them have held up like this one. I’m so happy I found an affordable eye primer that works better than any other. It does still allow creasing eventually, but only after many, many hours.
Elf High Definition Undereye Setting Powder
I do really love the Elf HD Setting powder, but I like to use this specific one separately to set underneath my eyes. It’s a very smooth powder and doesn’t allow much creasing throughout the day. I also think it has just the slightest yellow tint to it which helps to brighten that area as well. For the price, there’s nothing better.

Elf Mattifying Blotting Papers
I’ve used so many things to blot my face, many of which are too embarrassing to admit. When Elf released these blotting papers, I immediately fell in love with the design. I adore blotting papers that have powder on them and this one took it a step up by providing the little puff. It makes it so easy to blot during the day. Such a convenience!

Maybelline Dream Wonder Foundation
I was really surprised with how much I loved this foundation. I wasn’t really excited about the hydrating claims because of my extremely oily skin and basically just bought it because of how much it was hyped up. It creates such a beautiful finish that looks really natural, provides great coverage, and doesn’t fade throughout the day. The formula can tend to separate in the tube, but other than that I’ve never had any problems or complaints about it.
Makeup Geek Blush & Bronzer
This should be totally obvious. I talk about Makeup Geek products way too much for my own good and it’s probably getting so repetitive at this point. The fact that they’re so affordable and made without talc is just such a beautiful thing to me, I’m obsessed. If you haven’t tried any of their eyeshadows, blushes, or bronzers yet, you really really really need to!
Profusion Cosmetics Duo Eyebrow Pencil
I didn’t like many things that I tried from Profusion Cosmetics, but this Duo Eyebrow Pencil has definitely impressed! It’s a really smooth formula which makes it incredibly easy to blend out. But my favorite part is that there are two different shades to create a very natural look while keeping some darkness on the outer corner.

It Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil
They give quite a bit of product in this travel size pencil, I am very surprised. The consistency is smooth and the shape of the pencil isn’t as fine of a tip as other options, which allows for faster application. The spoolie is also really nice and convenient.
Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Mascara
This was a more recent find towards the end of the year. If you’ve read my mascara routine post, then you’d know that I typically like to use two mascaras to get my lashes to look the way I want them to. But I was very impressed with the way this mascara performs on its own. It’s one of the few high-end products that I would recommend over and over!

DIY Eyelash Growth Serum
I’m obsessed with all types of hygiene and taking care of my natural lashes is included in that. I’ve used many things to try to grow my lashes naturally, but nothing worked until recently. I made my own eyelash growth serum that I apply every night before bed and started noticing results in just one week. I’m so happy with the way my lashes are looking now!
StudioMakeup On-the-Go Warm Up Palette
This is one of the few, if not the only palette, that I have found that includes every shade needed to create multiple different eye looks. It is a little pricey, but I think the quality and the amount of use you’ll get out of it makes it totally worth it. I use it all the time and it would be great for travel! If you haven’t seen it, don’t forget to check out my full review and tutorial I posted featuring this palette in more detail.

Ulta Rose Gold Palette
I got this palette right in the beginning of the year and I loved it so much, it made it into three favorites posts in a row! It was also the palette I used in my very first eyeshadow tutorial. The quality on this palette is amazing, which is obvious in the swatches on my review post. Ulta has a few different eyeshadow palettes that have this same layout and although I haven’t tried any of the others, I can say that Ulta has amazing eyeshadow quality!

Ulta Single Eyeshadow (Naked)
Speaking of Ulta’s amazing eyeshadow quality, I do like many of the singles that I own from their brand but Naked is my absolute favorite. I use this almost every single day and in many ways. I’ve used it as a highlighter on my cheeks, underneath my eyes to brighten dark circles, under my browbone, on the inner corner of the eye, and just as an all over eyelid shade. It has so many uses, I can’t be without it!

Wet n Wild Single Eyeshadow (Brulee)
This is my favorite shade to blend with, but it can also be used as a base on top of primer or as an all over shade for a super natural look. Wet n Wild has amazing eyeshadow quality and they’re incredibly affordable. This is one of their few matte shades and the fact that it’s only $1 completely amazes me.

Hikari Cosmetics Retractable Eyeliner (Raven)
I very rarely ever use black eyeliner, but I can’t put this one down. The quality is so amazing and definitely not what I was expecting. A lot of eyeliners seem to all be the same, but I barely even have to touch this to my eye and I’m getting a ton of pigment because it’s so smooth. I want all the colors! Definitely the best eyeliner formula I have ever tried.
Revlon Lip Butters
I wouldn’t be surprised if I ended up owning every shade from this line at some point. This isn’t a color specific favorite because I’ve loved every one I have tried. The formula is what makes me so happy. It’s super smooth and comfortable to wear all day. If you want to see more color specifics, you can check out my review on these lip butters here.

Revlon ColorStay Moisture Stain (LA Exclusive)
I got on a lip stain kick this year. I don’t know why I haven’t ever tried a lip stain before, but I was really missing out. It is totally my type of product. I wear it for a while, it stains my lips, and then I’m good to go the rest of the day. I’ve also been really into pinks since dying my hair and this shade is one of my favorites for something light.

Elf Lip Stains
In my battle of the lipstains post, the Elf ones are the only formula that lasted all day and stained the fastest. This goes on like an actual marker, I let it sit for a few minutes, and then I like to rinse it off for a more natural look. It doesn’t dry out my lips and is great for people like me who don’t like to wear lip products all day. It doesn’t leave any residue and you can even put a balm on top for extra moisture.

Manna Kadar Cosmetics Lip Gloss (All of Me)
Again with the pinks, this is my favorite for when I want something a little darker without moving into the berry shades. The formula isn’t a sticky gloss, it’s very comfortable and hydrating. I don’t hear much about Manna Kadar Cosmetics, but this gloss proves that they may be a brand worth looking into.
I tried to keep fashion and other random favorites out of this post for the sake of keeping it from being too extremely long, but I have to throw this one in here. Although it’s only been two weeks, it’s a huge engagement ring!! I’ve waited 4 ½ years for this and I am over the moon excited. I still get a mixture of emotions when I think about it. I want to scream it to the world, cry from excitement, but also find myself completely speechless at moments. I know that this is going to make 2017 one of the best years of my entire life and I cannot wait!!
If you made it to the end of this post, thank you! I know it was a long one, but I didn’t include anything in here that hasn’t dramatically changed my life or that I wouldn’t completely recommend. If you’ve tried any of these products or have any questions, let me know about it in the comments. Through everything, I hope you enjoyed 2016 and thank you for all of your support. Have a fun and safe New Year and I’ll see you in 2017!! ♥

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