It’s almost two weeks into 2016. How is that possible?! I’ve had time to reflect on some things that I really appreciated in 2015: kickass makeup products. I’m not serious, but I kind of am. I want to give a quick shoutout to some of the products that saved my life this year and transformed me into a little bottle of sunshine each morning. I’m going to focus on only makeup because including everything else (hair, skincare, body products, perfume, etc.) would take waaaay too long. Although this list doesn’t include all of my HG products of the year, it does include everything I discovered this year that I could not possibly live without.

Mary-Lou Manizer

I pined for this for a long time but didn’t get around to buying it until last summer, and let me tell you – SO WORTH IT. If you’re fair-skinned like me, you know how real the struggle is to find a highlighter that a) shows up and b) makes you look like you glow from within. This does both of those things and more. If I’m feeling a little eh, I know I can always toss this on to bring some light to my face and trick people into thinking I’m a glowing goddess. It’s also an amazing highlight for the eyes. I love me some multi-tasking products!

MAC Velvet Teddy

This is definitely my go-to lipstick. It goes with everything, has a creamy, velvety formula, and has amazing staying power. I never used to be a lipstick girl, but this guy turned me over to the dark side. I’ll never go back.

Maybelline Warm Me Up

This is another one of my most used lipsticks. Not only is it inexpensive, but it’s neutral enough that it goes with pretty much every single makeup look imaginable. I love products that I just don’t have to think about, and this is one of them. If I’m rushing out the door and don’t have time to decide what to put on my lips, I’ll always throw this in my purse. The formula is smooth and creamy, the staying power is excellent, and you just can’t go wrong with it.

e.l.f. Blush Palette in Light

Oh. My. God. I am obsessed with this. The pigmentation of these blushes is INSANE.  The first time I used this palette, I applied what I thought was a normal amount of blush… Let’s just say things got out of control. A little goes a long way. You have everything you need in here, making it perfect for travel. Plus, the mirror inside is one of the best makeup mirrors I’ve ever come across. And it’s super cheap! This outperforms most of my high-end blushes, and I really couldn’t ask for anything else. You’ve got a coral, a darker pink, a light pink, and a warm shade inside, so basically you’re ready for anything if you’ve got this in your makeup stash.

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer

Nothing new – this is the best. Staple bronzer forever. I love matte bronzers more than anything, but this is by far the best one I’ve encountered. I have a really hard time finding bronzers that don’t make me look orange, but this shade gives the perfect amount of warmth to my skin without making me look like an Oompa Loompa. Impressive. And it smells like chocolate soooo…. Laaaahv it!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit

Back to the whole “I’m so pale I can’t find a normal-looking bronzer” issue – this kit solves it. This is the perfect contouring palette for something with my skin tone. This includes a cool-toned shade that is perfect for countouring, a lighter matte brown that works incredibly well for bronzing, a banana shade to set your concealer, and a subtle highlight. The packaging is sleek and compact, and it comes in multiple versions so you can pick the best one for your skin tone!

Cover FX Custom Cover Drops

I was really intrigued by these for awhile, so I had to get my hands on them. And I’m so glad I did. Basically, these are insanely pigmented drops of perfection. You only need a few drops for some crazy full coverage. You can mix this with your moisturizer, your primer, your foundation, or you can just use it as a foundation by itself. I usually use mine mixed with a foundation to get my perfect color match. This product is a life saver for seasonal transitions – you don’t have to stop using your winter foundations for summer, and vice versa. I also find that my foundation lasts a lot longer when I use this, which is always a plus!

NYC Liquid Eyeliner

This will forever be my favorite liquid eyeliner. Black as night. Lasts all day long. Easy application. There is literally nothing wrong with this. And it’s ridiculously cheap. I have tried so many liquid eyeliners, and nothing compares to this. It’s matte, dark, and will change your winged-liner game forever.

L’Oréal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation 

This is everything I could ever want in a foundation. It’s incredibly long lasting, extremely matte, and very full coverage. I am so picky about foundations because pretty much everything either breaks me out or leaves me an oily mess. The number of “mattifying” foundation failures I’ve experienced is ridiculous. I had lost hope until I stumbled across this product. The only thing I don’t like about this foundation is that I’m in between shades so I have to mix two of them, but that’s just me being annoying. If you struggle with an oily T-zone, pick this up right now and your life will improve immediately.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz

I used to not care at all about my eyebrows. That was a huge mistake. Once I realized how incredibly important eyebrows are, I discovered how difficult it really is to find the perfect brow product. Generally I prefer pencils because they’re super easy – it’s one step, and you don’t need a brush. But the problem I kept running into was that all the pencils I tried had a really warm, orange undertone, which definitely does not flatter my cool-toned skin. Enter: Brow Wiz. This is the perfect waxy pencil. No fuss at all. The color selection is amazing, so I can easily find a color that really does suit me perfectly. Plus, it has a spooly brush on the other end that you can use to brush out your brows and blend out the pencil after applying it. This lasts all day long, so your eyebrows won’t weirdly “fall off” throughout the day (you know what I’m talking about!). I’m really not into needing a brush, a powder/gel, and a separate spooly. I want one product. Boom. Done. Here it is.

Lorac PRO Palette

Okay, this is kind of a cheat because I definitely did not discover this in 2015, but I used this palette waaaay too much to not include it. Anytime I’m traveling, this is the palette I bring. Anytime I’m just feeling like, ASKDAFDKLJ (you know that feeling in the morning?), this is the palette I use. It has a row of matte shadows and a row of shimmery shades, all incredibly buttery and pigmented. Seriously, every color you could ever need is in here. It covers all the bases – a matte white, a dark black, golden tones, medium browns, perfect transition colors… I’m pretty much attached to this and would die if I ever lost it. If I could only have one eyeshadow palette for the rest of my life, it would be this.

L’Oréal Voluminous Miss Manga Rock Mascara

The commercials for this mascara initially turned me off because the models had spiky, clumpy, weird-looking lashes. Not sure what that marketing technique was, but one day I figured I might as well try this out because I love the original Miss Manga so much, and I’m glad I did. This mascara is BULLETPROOF. It will not smudge or flake off. It makes my lashes huge and intense and fabulous and I have nothing but total adoration for this product.

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder

I’ve been using the same setting powder since I was 13, and I never thought I would use anything else. Everything else I tried would break me out or turn my face into an oil-party by the end of the day. I need lasting power! After all of the magnificent reviews on this, I decided to give it a long-term try, and it was a total success. It’s so cheap, and it works better than almost every other setting powder I’ve tried. It also has a certain scent to it that reminds me of something but I’m not sure what. It smells good, though. A thin layer of this leaves me matte all day and makes my skin look smooth and poreless. It’s also great for touchups because it’s a pressed powder, so I always keep an extra one of these in my purse!

Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick

Specifically, Melted Sugar and Melted Nude. To say liquid lipsticks were HUGE this year would be a massive understatement. Quality liquid lipsticks are tricky because a lot of them fade away during the day in patches, leaving awkward areas of your lips stained while other sections are flakey and lipstick-less. I use this when I do not want to have to reapply or be worried about it fading during the day/through eating and drinking in an ugly way. This stuff is DEPENDABLE. Melted Sugar mixed with Melted Nude is the perfect nude combo if you have pale skin – it won’t drown you out, and it will make your lips look mysteriously plump. #Sold

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara

I almost didn’t mention this because I feel like I literally talk about it all the time. I already raved about this in my recent post about my top mascaras, so I won’t go into too much detail, but I recommend this mascara to everyone. Do not underestimate the brush. This truly does lift, curl, volumize, and lengthen your lashes flawlessly. I’ve gotten asked four times this week alone if I was wearing false lashes while using this mascara. Definite winner.

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