There were SO MANY products that I used and loved over the last 12 months. (Quelle surprise, I know!) So today, I want to give you a peek into my makeup bag/medicine cabinet to see all the stuff I've been using.
This is a long—very long!—list of all my personal favourites of 2015, whether they were new discoveries or oldies that I've loved for ages.
Here's what I used most last year.
Sappho Organics Liquid Foundation
In 2015, I found Sappho Organics Liquid Foundation, and now my search for the perfect foundation/BB/CC/tinted moisturizer is OVER. I think it looks more natural on the skin than anything else I've tried; it also smells amazing and uses safe, natural ingredients. I wear the shade Leisha and you can read my full review here; also check out my interview with the founder, Canadian makeup artist JoAnn Fowler. I'm not married to any one foundation brush, so I apply this with whatever I grab first from my collection.
RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-Up
I've been using RMS Beauty "Un" Cover-Up for years and still adore it. I pat shade 11 on my eye area with my fingers, and sometimes around the nose as well; if I'm having a good skin day I'll even sheer it out as foundation with the RMS Beauty Skin2Skin Foundation Brush. I just find it a bit too creamy for blemishes. Rose-Marie did a talk at The Detox Market last year and convinced me that the ingredients in my former favourite Clé de Peau were probably aging to the delicate eye area.
Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer
When I need my concealer to REALLY conceal, and to stay put for hours, I always turn to Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer in the shade Light Beige 3. It is completely opaque, requires no setting with powder, and you only need the tiniest smidge (therefore a tube will probably last you years). It's perfect for spot-covering pimples, and sometimes I will put it around my nose since I get redness there.
Japonesque Retractable Lip Brush
Okay, speaking of pimples... if you want to cover them properly, you have to dab the concealer on with a teensy tiny brush. NOT a concealer brush, because those are too big and too flat. I use a lip brush, and my favourite is the Japonesque Retractable Lip Brush. The bristles are just the right size and aren't irritating on the skin, like many brushes can be. I always have one of these in my purse for touch-ups on the go.
RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Curious
I got big into RMS Beauty Lip2Cheek in Curious last year. I get the most compliments when I wear it on my cheeks and lips. On your cheeks, it's not as bright orange as it looks—it's more sheer, and surprisingly flattering on me compared to pink blush. I just bought a second one for my purse, that's how much I love this product! I apply it with the RMS Beauty Skin2Skin Blush Brush.
Gabriel Blush in Apricot
EcoBrow Defining Wax in Marilyn
Did you know that makeup artists sometimes paint freckles on their clients' faces after applying foundation, so that it looks more natural? BEST TRICK EVER. My product of choice for this is EcoBrow Defining Wax in Marilyn, which I dab on with the Real Techniques Silicone Eye Liner Brush and then soften with a fingertip.
RMS Beauty Tinted “Un” Powder
I was a devoted user of Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder, but I switched to RMS Beauty "Un" Powder last year. Both products are made of pure silica, but I think the RMS silica is higher quality. I have it in the colourless and Tinted versions, and press it on sparingly with the puff. I've found it looks too heavy if you try to sweep it on with a fluffy brush. If you've ever found that "Un" Cover-Up looks too shiny or doesn't stay put, you need (and will LOVE!) the powder over top.
RMS Beauty Living Luminizer
No surprise, the best highlighter of all time is RMS Beauty's Living Luminizer. I love this dabbed at the inner corners of my eyes and along the tops of my cheekbones. This is seriously one of the best ways to fool people into thinking you have perfect skin.
Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler
L’Oréal Paris Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara
When it comes to mascara, I am NOT loyal. However, I used L'Oréal Paris Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara more than any other last year. Why? Because I was sick of looking in the mirror mid-day and seeing smudgy raccoon eyes from whatever I'd been testing. So I picked the cheapest tubular mascara at the drugstore and eh, it's good enough! I'll sacrifice volume if the product will at least stay put, which this does.
Sappho Organics Eyeshadow
When JoAnn did my makeup, she also introduced me to her amazing Sappho Organics Natural Eyes Eyeshadows, which you can mix and match in the magnetic Sappho Organics Stainless Steel Compact. I like these because the eight shades were all chosen with a makeup artist's eye, so they just WORK. They're more interesting than the typical Sephora palette, but not too pigmented for the non-expert. Pro tip from JoAnn: mix them with aloe vera gel to create more intensity and staying power (I do this with Jono to create a liner). Chloe is my favourite for shading the crease.
RMS Beauty Cream Eye Polish in Myth
Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kôhl Liner
Probably my favourite eyeliner is Smashbox Always Sharp Waterproof Kôhl Liner, because it glides on yet is very smudge-proof. The cap also has a self-sharpening feature that keeps the tip nice and pointy.
Maybelline Brow Drama
Mineral Fusion Sheer Moisture Lip Tint
Joe Fresh Long Wear Lip Liner in Cool Nude
My lip liner pick is Joe Fresh Long Wear Lip Liner in Cool Nude. Honestly, it performs as well if not better than lip liners from top makeup artist brands. This colour is very "your lips, only better" and it lives up to its long-wear promise. I often wear this with just lip balm.
Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Coral Crush
Dior Addict Lip Glow
It's hard to find a lip balm that works! One that does, for me, is Dior Addict Lip Glow. It has a slight tint that adjusts according to your body chemistry, and it’s also excellent for moisturization purposes. This is always in my purse.
Formula X Sheer Strength
Formula X Sheer Strength was my go-to nail polish last year. For chip-prone nails, it is the best! Easy to apply and makes your nails look clean and glossy, while adding strength. I also love RMS Beauty Nail Polish in Luminizer, any polish from Dior (they have my favourite brushes) and the new Smith & Cult range (reviewed here) for brights.
World Clean Hair and Skin Cleanser
I was so excited to discover Toronto-based World Salon's line of professional-quality, all-natural hair products last year. Unlike every other natural hair line I've tried, these actually perform on par with the likes of salon brands such as Kérastase, etc.—I would actually say they work better for me! World Clean Hair & Skin Cleanser is what I use for shampoo. It's clear, not creamy, and leaves my hair feeling bouncy yet nourished.
World Repair Deep Conditioner for Hair
As much as I love World Clean, I think I love World Repair Deep Conditioner even more. It is an all-natural hair masque with a gorgeous whipped texture, and I swear that it has improved the condition of my hair (to the point where the shampoo girl commented!). I use it on my ends, in place of regular conditioner.
World Up Natural Holding Spray
The third and final World Salon product I'm loved up with is the World Up Natural Holding Spray, which is a sugar-based, alcohol-free natural hairspray. I just use a tiny bit around my part to hold it in place and tame any flyaways, and it does work!
Mason Pearson Hair Brush
I use my Mason Pearson Brush for everything I do to my hair: detangling, blow-dries, styling and just generally refreshing my hair. They are pricey but worth it, in my opinion—they will never rip your hair, and last forever!
T3 Featherweight 2 Dryer
I got my first T3 hair dryer 10 years ago and it still works! But in 2015, I upgraded to the T3 Featherweight 2 Dryer, which is even speedier. I'm usually a lazy air-dryer, but this works so fast (and leaves my hair so smooth) that I'll probably blow-dry more often now.
Tata Harper Aromatic Stress Treatment
There are so many perfumes I love, but can't wear due to allergies. Fortunately, essential oils don't give me any issues, including the Tata Harper Aromatic Stress Treatment. It's not technically a fragrance, but I use it that way—it smells so fresh and instantly relaxes me.
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