I feel as though 2017 was the year of amazing beauty discoveries for me. I found myself investing in more products than usual, especially those within the high-end category, but I also found some drugstore gems that have become staples in my every day makeup and skincare routines. There are the odd few that I won't be repurchasing, but there are so many more that are worth shouting about. I've put together a few of the ones that stood out for me the most last year, and the ones that will be holding a firm place in my routine within the next year too.
URBAN DECAY NAKED HEAT PALETTE: My favourite type of eyeshadow palette is one that you can look at and instantly know that you'll use every single one of those shades at some point. I have a couple of the Urban Decay palettes but I feel like this one is best suited to me as I always find myself reaching for those burgundies, terracottas and rose gold shades. I wouldn't say this is the ideal palette for every day use as some of the colours included are quite intense, but the first 4 base shades are great for adding that neutral and minimalistic splash of colour to the lids for a more neutral look if required. Just like the previous Naked palettes, the shadows are extremely pigmented and long-lasting and there is a variety of matte and shimmery shades included. A few of the most used shades in my palette are Lumbre, Scorched and Cayenne.
It wouldn't be right for me if I didn't include a CT product in this post as 2017 was the year that I truly discovered and fell in love with her brand. Her lipsticks are some of my favourites and have been for a while, but I wanted to start experimenting with the products that I wouldn't usually go for. I'd never owned an eyeshadow pencil but was on the hunt for something quick and easy to apply in the inner corners of my eyes to create a different kind of look. Champagne Diamonds appealed to me straight away as it really is the most beautiful, glittery gold shade and requires minimal effort, even for the most intense finish. It has unbelievable pigmentation and a soft and creamy formula that glides onto the lids. I've also found that it's longer-lasting than the standard eyeshadow.
NYX TAME & FRAME BROW POMADE: I never thought I'd see the day that I'd be swayed away from my Benefit brow products, but I think this one from NYX has converted me. I picked this up on a whim whilst buying a couple of lip products one day as it was just one of those products I was intrigued to try out as I hadn't used one with that type of formula before. I'm really glad I decided to give it a go as it has become a staple in my makeup bag. My brows are a feature that I like to accentuate and this product allows me to do just that but can also be used sparingly to create a more natural look. At first glance, it looks quite waxy and hard to work with but it's the complete opposite and the creamy substance glides onto the brows like a dream. I'm extremely pleased with the fact that it's a perfect colour match to my hair colour too.
HOURGLASS AMBIENT LIGHTING POWDER IN MOOD LIGHT: Hourglass is another high-end brand that I became a huge fan of recently and their powders are one of the reasons why. I'd tried some of the shades within the Ambient Lighting palettes and just loved the way they made my skin look and feel, which is why I knew I needed to get my hands on the full sized versions of my most used shades. I'd typically go for the powders that created a full coverage and matte finish to my complexion but feel as though I now prefer a more glowy and natural look, so started to introduce myself to products on the more sheer and translucent side of the scale. Mood Light is the most gorgeous sheer lavender shade that creates an effortless, radiant glow to the skin. The Hourglass powders are designed to filter out harsh lights and blur skin perfections due to their perfect balance of warm and cool tones. The compact size is a generous size that lasts for ages, so is well worth the investment.
NYX LIQUID ILLUMINATOR IN SUN BEAM: Liquid highlighters have never really been my thing as I find powdered versions a lot easier to work with, but at the same time I sometimes like to create a more dewy finish to my complexion. The Sun Beam illuminator from NYX is a gorgeous, iridescent champagne pink shade that can be used as a standalone product to highlight the cheek bones, as well as a primer and foundation base too. This is a great multi-functional product that I'll reach for when I'm after a natural glow that isn't too intense, which can be created by mixing a small amount to my foundation. I also use this entirely on its own on no makeup days as it just gives the illusion of my skin looking more awake by adding a subtle amount of radiance.
MAC BEAMING BLUSH HIGHLIGHTER: I've grown quite the collection of highlighters within the past couple of years and MAC seem to create some of the best ones. Soft and Gentle has always been one of my favourites but I wanted to try something different to the gold/champagne toned ones that I already had in my stash. Beaming Blush is one of the most beautiful pink highlight shades that just adds a lovely iridescent glow to the skin. The extra dimension skin-finish highlighters have a slightly different formula to the originals from MAC as they're described as a liquid-powder with prismatic reflections that are designed to sculpt and highlight the face. They are a lot creamier and a little less intense than the ones I've tried before but still create an amazing glow to the complexion that lasts all day.
JO MALONE BLACKBERRY & BAY: If you've followed my blog for the past year or so, it will be no surprise to you that this will be staying firmly within my routine. Jo Malone fragrances are some of the most unique and luxurious products a girl could own and they put together the most beautiful combinations to create their distinctive scents. Blackberry and Bay is one of my all time favourite daytime scents as it's extremely fresh and lasts the whole day too. One of the reasons for my love for Jo Malone is the fact that you can layer different fragrances on top of each other to create something even more unique. It's one of those scents that changes throughout the day and smells even nicer after a few hours.
URBAN DECAY NAKED CONCEALER: When you have dark circles like me, finding a concealer that actually does the job at covering them can be a task in itself. There are a few drugstore concealers that I can rely on to do this for me, but I wanted to try something a little more expensive to see what difference it could make. I'd heard many good things about the Urban Decay concealers and I was really impressed with the coverage when trying it out for the first time. I tend to go a couple of shades lighter when choosing a concealer as I find it more effective, which is why I picked up the warm toned 'light' shade. If you're looking for something that provides full coverage with a demi-matte finish and masks any darkness and even redness such as around the nose, then I would recommend this one.
Which makeup items will be staying in your routine this year?