*Prices have been converted to CAD*
Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm – $67.99
I’ve tried a lot of primers, from cult favourites like the Hourglass Mineral Veil, to the glue-stick looking Aqua Glow from Stila… but none have ever really impressed me until I started using the Elemis Pro-Radiance Illuminating Flash Balm. It’s definitely pricey but it makes such a difference to your skin and makeup. I have dry skin and this primer is so hydrating and dewy without being sticky or oily. It makes your skin look super healthy and you only need a little bit each time, so although it’s a pricy product, the tube will last you a while.
Milani Conceal + Perfect 3-IN-1 Foundation and Concealer – $12.32
So on the other end of the price spectrum we have my 2017 favourite foundation right from the drug store. Before I tried this product I had no idea that I would keep coming back to it month after month and now I’m on my fourth bottle. When I use my other foundations I end up missing this one and coming back to it. It’s full coverage but it doesn’t feel thick or cakey. It reminds me of the Stila Stay All Day Foundation + Concealer which is another favourite of mine (but this one is a fraction of the price!). I use the shade Light Beige.
Colourpop No Filter Concealer – $7.39
Concealer is one of those products that I hate to splurge on because I go through it so fast. At the same time, it’s one of the most important steps in my routine. When I tried this super affordable concealer I was so impressed. It provides great coverage, is super buildable and doesn’t dry out my under-eyes. I also really love the flat tipped applicator. The only negative to this concealer is that it oxidises. But I’m not really bothered by this as it happens almost immediately (so you’re not turning orange over the course of the day). Just purchase a shade lighter than you usually would and it’ll be a great match. I use the shade Light 20.
Mac Mineralize Skin Finish – $38
This is a classic that’s been around in the beauty community for years, but even with all the new launches each year, I can’t give it up. I can be a little wary of using powders because I like dewy looking makeup and I already have pretty dry skin (especially during the winter in Canada). But this powder isn’t clingy or drying. It also provides a little more coverage. A lot of the time I wear concealer and this powder and skip foundation. By using a more dense brush you can really build up a good coverage. I use the shade Medium Golden.
Colourpop Pressed Powder Bronzer – $9.86
Colourpop really blew me away this year with all of their new product launches and something I was really excited about were their pressed blushes and bronzers. I picked up the shade CA Dreaming and really love the golden undertones. It makes me feel very glowy and tan while still being a matte powder. The price is amazing for the amount of product you get and I really like the reusable packaging. I definitely want to try out more shades this year.
Kevyn Aucoin The Sculpting Powder – $53
This powder is really easy to use. Sometimes when I’m using a shimmery bronzer or something with a bit of a sheen, I use this powder first to create a super matte realistic-looking shadow. A lot of contour shades can pull very warm and orange so I appreciate a powder like this that focuses more on the cooler tones. The product is definitely on the pricier side but what can you expect when it comes from the contour master himself? I use the shade Medium.
Milani Baked Blush – $9.86
Okay so everyone and their mom has heard about Luminoso which is often touted as a dupe for Nars Orgasm. But the formulation of this blush is something I can’t step away from. This product gives you the most healthy looking glow. If you look into the pan it looks shimmery but once applied to the skin it looks flawless and sheen-like. I love warm peachy tones and find the colour super flattering. Lastly, the price is hard to beat!
Wet N Wild MegaGlo Highlighter Powder – $6.15
Aside from lipsticks, the thing I own the most of in my makeup collection is highlighters. I’ve tried so many different brands and have so many favourites that it was hard to limit myself to picking just one for 2017. But when I really got to thinking about what I used the most this year, the product I thought of kind of surprised me. This highlighter is only six bucks but the formula is better than a lot of high-end ones I’ve tried. It has a really pretty pearly glow and this colour in particular is a really flattering rose gold shade. The glow is definitely intense but the finely milled formula means it doesn’t look chunky on the skin. This shade is Precious Petals.
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector – $50
Becca gets their formulas so right with these liquid highlights. Sometimes their powders can be a bit too much for me but these liquid versions give the perfect glow. Your skin looks super healthy when you wear this product and the glow is more dewey than sparkly. The shade I love most is Opal. It’s a really pretty soft gold that suits a lot of different skin tones.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer – $30
I think that everyone knows that Anastasia Beverly Hills is the go-to brand for brows. However there are definitely people who prefer either her Brow Definer or Brow Wiz. I started out with the Brow Wiz and really enjoyed it. I actually initially picked up the Brow Definer by accident, but realised I way preferred it. My brows are pretty full so it was nice to have a thicker, triangular nub to speed up the filling-in process. I also found that the Definer helped me to shape my brows so much more easily than the Brow Wiz did. I use the shade Medium Brown.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel – $29
At first I was reluctant to spend this much money on brow gel. But when I used this formula for the first time I really noticed the difference between this product and cheaper alternatives that I’d tried. This stuff holds your brows in place all day but still makes them look light and feathery.
Stila All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner – $29
I’m not really big into eyeliner. I hardly ever use a pencil and I can’t get the hang of the potted formulas. When I want to do a cat-eye I’ll always go with a pen-style tip. I’ve used other liquid eyeliners in the past and the tips can be too hard or the formulas can be too watery. This stuff is jet black, dries down to be super matte and the tip is perfect for creating a wing.
Too Faced Sweet Peach Eye Palette – $59
I always find it hard to narrow down my favourite eye shadow palette each year but this product really blew me away. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to love this palette as much as I did. I didn’t buy it until quite a while after its initial release, thinking the colours weren’t’ really my thing. But I’ve quickly changed my mind. This palette is so versatile and the formula is incredible. I find these shadows super easy to blend and they all compliment each other really well. The satin finishes are especially stunning and colours like Nectar and Luscious are as delicious as they sound.
Super Shock Shadow – $6.16
I saw the swatches of Lightning Bug online and immediately knew I wanted it in my collection. I was not disappointed. This shade is so beautiful and unique. It’s this orangey copper that really wakes up the face and looks fantastic on any skin tone. This is a great topper on top of a warm smoky eye look, but my favourite way to wear it is by itself all over the lid. I really can’t say enough about the Colourpop super shock shadow formula. It’s how the company first shot to fame and there’s really nothing else out there that can compare!
Benefit Cosmetics Roller Lash Curling & Lifting Mascara – $31
You know when you try out a new makeup product and suddenly you’re getting compliments from everyone? That’s what happened to me when I first used this mascara. From my family, to my friends, to strangers, people were stopping me to tell me how lucky I was that I had such nice lashes… and I don’t! I’ve really struggled with my lashes which aren’t particularly long and fall out easily leaving sparser areas. But this mascara is magic in a bottle and really transformed any eye look I did. Mascara is a super important step in my makeup routine and I’m so glad I finally tried out this product in 2017.
Milani Make It Last Setting Spray Prime + Correct + Set – $12.32
The drug store actually has a lot of great setting sprays. I’ve always been a really big fan of the Nyx ones and so I was super happy to find another cheap setting spray that worked so well. This stuff feels really great on my skin and when layered over my favourite foundation (also Milani) it creates a really nice base. I noticed my makeup lasting longer and the spray on this bottle is really good. It distributes the product evenly so you don’t have to worry about getting those weird splatter marks.
Colourpop Lippie Pencil – $6.16
I think that Colourpop has some of the best lip pencils in the game, especially for the price. They are super smooth, pigmented and glide on without any tugging. This particular shade, Curvii, is a warm beige and is a really nice base for a lot of different nudes that I have.
Nars Semi Matte Lipstick – $35
This colour, Pigalle, is such a stunning staple. It’s a brown nude with just the right amount of pink balanced in. I can throw this on with almost any look and it goes perfectly. I live in Canada and during the winter my lips get super dry. I love the look of matte lips but some formulas can really draw attention to dry patches. This formula is pigmented and matte while still being super comfortable and hydrating.
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick – $29
So out of everything in my makeup collection, I own the most liquid lipsticks. I love collecting different shades but especially love collecting nudes. Dolce is the most unique and beautiful nudes I’ve ever tried and also one of the best formulas. This colour is described as a nude cinnamon sheen. It actually has really subtle shimmers in it. Shimmer is something I’d usually steer clear of in a liquid lip, but in this product the effect is so beautiful. This colour is especially amazing in summer with really bronzy skin and lots of highlighter.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss – $21
I’m not the biggest lip gloss fan but I’ve been trying more and more of them lately. This year I purchased Kristen and really fell in love with the colour. I really like pigmented lip glosses and this is the perfect nudey plum shade that would be flattering on many different skin tones. The formula is really comfortable, not super sticky like other lip glosses that I’ve tried.