2016 Quarterly Makeup/Beauty Favorites and Flops (Jan - April)

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Hi, everyone!

Phew. It's been a long time since I've been on here, but I can finally say that'll be back on a more consistent basis now that summer is here! Yay! I was super crammed with finals studying and projects for the past two weeks, but I'm finally free. Wheee!

This post will be outlining some of my 2016 makeup and beauty favorites and flops from the first four months of the year! I've loved and hated loads of products in these past months, so I've only included a few standout ones from each category. Keep reading to see which products made the cut!

Urban Decay Naked Palette and L'Oréal Color Riche Mono Eyeshadows
(L: Paris Beach; R: Café Au Lait)

L: NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brûlée
R: Sonja Kashuk Matte Pencil in Candy Nude


Hourglass powder in Ethereal Light - $45.00

This product was actually a surprise favorite. I'd tested out some of the Hourglass powders in Sephora previously and wasn't super impressed with them. It seemed like they didn't really do anything in terms of perfecting my skin, let alone brightening any areas of my face to give off that special inner glow that everyone craves. This shade however, worked quite well. It showed up on my skin very well, and it blended seamlessly over my base makeup. Most importantly, the shade wasn't super glittery, which I find is the case with most highlighters. This one had a nice, natural look to it to and kept my skin looking radiant all through the day.

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation (Gobi and Siberia) - $45.00

So many people talk and rave about this, so naturally I had to try it. It took me a while to get used to the consistency and coverage, but I really ended up liking it. It's a very blendable, light to medium coverage formula that comes in a shade that actually fits me. I have both Siberia and Gobi, and almost always mix the two to create my perfect shade. While it's definitely an expensive foundation, I think it's probably one of the most natural-looking, least cake-y ones out there. It's definitely something I feel is more aimed towards people with dry skin, but I find that it works perfectly fine on my combination-oily skin, too. This foundation is a definite winner in my book.

Urban Decay Naked Palette - $52.00

Okay, this is kind of a cheaty product since I bought it last year, but I've used it a ton these past four months! This classic palette was a complete hit when it first came out, and now however many years later, it's still a makeup staple today in a makeup lover's collection. The quality of the shadows is absolutely excellent. They blend well into an eyeshadow base or into each other, and they have great pigmentation. I've found myself reaching for this to create neutral, daily looks. So many of the colors are wearable that it's super easy for me to use a  new combination of shadows without feeling like I'm stepping too much out of my comfort zone. My favorite colors are Virgin, Naked, Sidecar, Buck, Half Baked, Smog, and Toasted. I use at least one of these each time I do an eyeshadow look. If you're someone who's been eyeing this for a while. I highly recommend getting it. It's a great investment and if you happen to like a color a lot, you can buy the individual shadow from the Urban Decay line.

NYX Butter Gloss (Creme Brûlée) - $5.00

This cult classic was something I hadn't tried until recently. I'm not the biggest lip gloss fan, so I initially had low hopes of liking this product, and yet here we are where it's now mentioned in my favorites. These glosses have a kind of balm-gloss hybrid texture to them and don't feel as sticky as normal lip glosses you would find from another drugstore or higher priced brand. They really seem to melt nicely into your lips to give them that healthy, plumped look. The shade I bought is a nice nude, everyday pink that can be paired with lipsticks to add a little bit of extra shine. This gloss doesn't move the lipstick off your lips like some other glosses can, which is a great plus. The best part though is that is smells just like a sweet, vanilla cake!


Clinique Chubby Lash Mascara (Bodacious Black Honey) - $17.00

Ugh, this mascara. I hate calling it a flop because it's not really a full-on flop. It's just a product that didn't perform as well as I expected. The reason it's on here is because of the color, or rather, the lack of color. When I first saw this, I was so intrigued. A burgundy mascara that's actually a wearable shade? Sign. Me. Up. When I first applied it, the color was very visible, but then it dried and turned into a typical brown-black shade. Even though it has that initial color, it totally vanishes. I don't know if this is just something that has to do with my skin color/eye color combination or what, but I was just not happy with the color payoff in the end.

Aerin Rose Lip Balm - $30.00

This is one of those super expensive products that a lot of bloggers talk about in videos and such, but I honestly just don't get it. What makes this product so special and amazing? Can someone please explain? Vloggers talk about how moisturizing and plumping this stuff feels, but I didn't find that to be the case. To me, it felt extremely tacky and didn't offer any moisture at all. It sat on my lips basically like a lip gloss. I don't think this is worth the money whatsoever. I've tried other lip balms way cheaper than this and those have worked far better to add moisture back into my skin to leave my lips looking and feeling great. The scent is also super strong, so be warned that if you don't like the smell of roses, you will almost definitely not like this lip balm.

Sonja Kashuk Matte Lip Pencil (Candy Nude)- $7.99

This lip product gets compared a lot to the NARS lip pencils, and while I do think they're similar, I don't like this formula at all. I felt like I really had to keep swiping over and over to even get a decent amount of product on my lips. It also clung to the very slight patches of dryness that I have on my lips and left visible clusters of pigment, so if you're someone with chronically dry lips, these are definitely not for you. I do find that the formula looks much better if you mix it with a Nudestix lip and cheek pencil on your lips, but this is the only way I can wear them and not be annoyed with the formula. Overall, I was not impressed with these and would rather take a regular drugstore lipstick over these any day of the week.

L'Oréal Color Riche Mono Eyeshadow (200 Paris Beach and 203 Café au Lait) - $5.99

I had such high hopes for these shadows from the rave reviews they were getting, but I just did not like the formula. These shadows feel so heavy on the lids like nothing I've ever felt. It feels like they don't blend out into the eyeshadow primer and instead, just sit on top of it. Furthermore, the pigmentation isn't great. Both of the shades I have lack decent pigmentation, and I feel that for the price you pay for these, the color payoff should be better. The color range tends to stay on the more neutral side of things, with some blues and oranges here and there. These have a gel-powder hybrid formula to them and look more opaque when you swatch them on the back of your hand, but once you apply them to your eyelids, the color really sheers out into a light wash of shadow. They're not easily buildable and I think for the quality you get, it's just not worth the money. Check out the Maybelline Color Tattoo Shadows or the new Covergirl palettes if you're in the market for a new eyeshadow.

That's it for my quarterly favorites and flops! Let me know what you guys think of me doing my favorites/flops posts in this format. I would love to hear your feedback!

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