I am starting 2017 with a look back at my favourite beauty products, tech gadgets and life moments in the past year. It’s always fun to itemize and catalogue the highs and lows and resolve for bigger and better things for the upcoming year. So let’s start with the beauty…
When I looked back at my beauty discoveries last year, I was having a bit of a difficult time. I have been loving the same old things (Hourglass Femme Rouge lipstick in Fresco, Hourglass Ambient anything, Chantecaille Just Skin, etc.), but 2016 was actually a great year for discovering beauty.
Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette | Natural BeautyI picked up a few palettes this past year, but the standout for me was the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette. It has everything that I love about makeup. Three neutral-toned eyeshadows, a warm bronzer, a champagne highlight, and two soft pink-hued blushes. The best part is that they blend beautifully and the compact size is perfect for travelling. Side note: Charlotte Tilbury, the brand, is definitely one of my favourite things about 2016.
Chantecaille Future SkinFor a base, my most used (and also 2016 discovery) was a jar of Chantecaille Future Skin. Future Skin remains number two to my ultimate favourite base, Just Skin, but it's still top shelf material. Future Skin is an oil-free gel foundation. It's lightweight with a somewhat sheer (yet buildable) finish. I love the naturally flawless finish this gives, it almost feels like skincare instead of a foundation.
Urban Decay Naked Skin ConcealerI'm always on the hunt for a great concealer. This past year I discovered some really great ones, but in 2016, my top concealer would have to be from Urban Decay. The Naked Skin concealer is easy to blend, easy to build up and gives a soft luminous, demi-matte finish. On top of that, this concealer covers up the dark circle, feels somewhat moisturizing under the eyes and doesn't settle in the fine lines.
Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Flawless Finish PowderMy go-to powder has been the Air Brush Flawless Finish compact from Charlotte Tilbury. It's a micro-fine powder that applies seamlessly and gives the skin a beautiful soft-focus finish. It's not the best oil controlling powder, but it doesn't cake or sit in any fine lines, so it's great in my books.
Wayne Goss Air BrushMy best (and softest) brush purchased in 2016 was this limited edition Air Brush from Wayne Goss. It is a flat paddle shaped brush with a slightly tapered tip (and did I mention über soft?). It is the perfect brush for setting powders, bronzers, blushes and highlighters. It's a small-to-medium sized brush and incredibly versatile. I would pick up another one in a heartbeat if it becomes available again.
Lancôme Juicy Shaker | Piece of CakeThe Juicy Shaker is an incredibly addicting bi-phase lip oil that is comfortable on the lips and offers a sheer wash of colour. I love the hydrating, non-sticky formulation. Piece of Cake, a rose mauve, is my favourite shade of the bunch because it's a great everyday colour. The super-soft cushion is the perfect applicator—just shake the bottle like a cocktail shaker and apply liberally to the lips.
Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick | Bond GirlBelieve the hype, Bond Girl is a great lipstick. It's a gorgeous colour and the formulation is nice. Bond Girl is a beautiful berry plum lipstick with a not-quite-matte but satin finish. I have a couple matte revolution lipsticks and they feel a bit hydrating on the lips and are (surprisingly) comfortable to wear. I actually wore this lipstick on my wedding day in combination with another Charlotte Tilbury lipstick, Walk of Shame.
Bite Beauty Multistick | MascarponeThe Bite Beauty Multistick is a cream stick that wears like a powder and gives a beautiful wash of colour on the skin. I like the idea of a multistick, a single product that I can use on my lips, cheeks and eyes—but I've only used this on my cheeks.
Mascarpone is a rosy plum shade and gives a gorgeous flush to the cheeks. The cream has a weightless feel and it doesn't tug on the skin when applying. I usually apply it with a synthetic brush, but fingers work, too. It's pigmented yet buildable and incredibly easy to blend. It lasts all day on my cheeks and even longer if I top it with a powder blush.
Becca Luminous Blush | CameliaBecca Camelia is a warm pink blush with a hint of shimmer. The formulation is soft and buttery (perhaps a little powdery) and is best applied with sheer layers. It gives the cheeks a gorgeous wash of colour. Plus the subtle shimmer gives you that "lit from within glow" and isn't that what we're all after?
Estée Lauder x Victoria Beckham | Modern MercuryThe highlighter that got away. That's what Modern Mercury was to me. When Estée Lauder originally released Modern Mercury in their Illuminating Powder Gelée formulation, I was mildly devastated that I didn't pick one up. So, needless to say, when I found out they were re-releasing it in a Victoria Beckham collab, I knew I had to have it.
Modern Mercury is a warm rosy gold highlighter and it is everything I dreamed it would be. The formulation is smooth and buttery, it looks great on the skin and it is so easy to blend / apply.
Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder | 01 HighlightIf you're looking for a more natural, ultra-smooth highlighter then you have to check out the Laura Mercier Matte radiance Baked Powder. 01 Highlight is a gorgeous beige champagne highlighter. It gives your skin a gorgeous radiant glow and it has a sheer / buildable application. I'm so glad I picked this up.
Burberry Eye Colour | AlmondMy favourite eyeshadow this past year was from Burberry. The texture of these shadows are smooth, silky and buttery. Almond is a simple medium brown eye colour that looks great on the eyes. It's kind of a boring shade in the pan, but it looks beautiful alone or layered for a more intricate look.
Essence Make Me BrowForget about the fact that this brow gel is only $4, but it is a great tinted brow gel that helps keep my brows from going haywire. It also has tiny fibers that help create fuller looking brow.
L'Oreal Brow Stylist | Dark BrunetteAfter finding this brow pencil at the drugstore, I haven't once ached for the Anastasia Brow Wiz. L'Oreal really hit it out of the park with this ultra fine eyebrow pencil. The precise tip creates a soft natural brow that lasts all day long (not to mention it is super affordable!).
I'm kind of a techie at heart, so I thought I would include some of my favourite tech gadgets in 2016. It feels a bit soon to be mentioning it since I just picked it up in December, but I have been loving my new MacBook Pro. Compared to my old MacBook Pro, the new one is lighter, faster, has a better screen, louder speakers, longer battery life and a touch bar.
The Jet Black iPhone 7 also made the cut because I've been loving the better camera, the force touch and the smaller form factor compared to my previous plus model.
A surprising favourite is the Apple Watch. I really didn't think that I would use it as much as I have, but I wear it pretty regularly. I like the notifications, being able to send quick messages from my wrist, the ability to stop alarms and get instant reminders, and it also tells time.
The Samsung T3 Portable SSD is a blazing fast external SSD and is so portable. It also uses USB C, which makes it the perfect companion to my MacBook Pro.
Canon G7X (the original model—they have now come out with a Mark II) has been my favourite point and shoot camera.
Of course, a recap of 2016 wouldn't be complete without mentioning some life moments. Getting married would definitely be a top highlight. Our trip to Santorini, Greece was also an incredible memory.
What were some of your favourite things (or moments) of 2016?
P.S. you can also check out my favourites in this video: