best of beauty 2016

As the year comes to end, it’s time to round up the best in beauty for the year. Here is what I have been enjoying and reaching for again and again as part of my beauty routine. I wanted to share these with you and hope that you are able to try out some of these as well.


Best in Skincare:

best makeup remover– clinique take the day off cleansing oil (or balm)

Either of these two are an essential part of my skincare routine and I have to use this to remove my makeup. Nothing else comes close to removing all of my makeup, without leaving a residue or irritating my eyes. The best part is how soothing they feel on the skin. It’s like a little ritual. More reviews here. 

best facial cleanser– Cetaphil derma control foam wash I have tried an endless number of cleansers, both high end and drugstore and this is the BEST cleanser I have ever used. I’ve repurchased this for over a year now, have a bottle in each of our bathrooms, back home at my parents’ house, and one at my in laws house. I cannot be without it. I use it am and pm as the first step to my skincare routine.What I love about it is that the foam formula does not dry out the skin, no matter how liberal you are with it. I don’t know how this can leave my face so clean WITHOUT drying it out. No other cleanser has ever come close to doing this in my experience. I highly recommend this to anyone with any skin type, male or female.

best facial scrub– dermalogica microfoliant

This mild exfoliator is my every day acne buster.  Even though I don’t feel the need to use this every night anymore, I still keep it in the shower so it’s available for me to use 2-3 times per week. I love how mild yet effective this is. See review here. 

best facial moisturizer– clinique moisture surge

I can’t even count how many of these I have gone through. No other moisturizer has come close to proving the perfect amount of hydration for my skin, without leaving my skin greasy. It does not interfere with makeup application, is fragrance free, works perfectly any season of the year and is not ridiculously expensive. This is my one holy grail skincare product that I cannot be without. See my review here.

best facial sunscreen– MD solar sciences

This has an SPF of 50 which is ideal sun protection for my face. I also love that it keeps my skin matte and is wonderful to use for even sensitive and acne prone skin like mine. This is my holy grail facial sunscreen for every day of the year. See my review here. 

best anti aging product- I have not been loyal to any anti aging serum or moisturizer this year and have been focused on a simple and consistent skincare routine this year. The best anti aging products for me are those that do not break me out, leave my skin plump and hydrated.  I have stepped away from harsh serums, exfoliators and treatments that promise anti aging. See my current skincare routine here.

best facial mask – My favorite mask of the year is a DIY! I like using manuka honey in the warmer months for about 20 minutes before rinsing off and in the cooler months I like to add coconut oil to it.

best eye cream– I have been loyal to this eye cream by Shiseido but have just recently begun looking into others. I have enjoyed this eye cream but am now wanting something less rich and thick. I would love to hear your recommendations.

Best in Makeup:

best lipstick –bareMineralsGEN NUDE™ Radiant Lipstick

I am so in love with the formulation of these lipsticks! They feel like butter on the lips, making my lips super soft. I love the shade tutu but will be adding to my collection. I love this lipstick because it isn’t super pigmented, which I prefer for every day. I also love that I don’t need to use a lip balm underneath it. It is creamy, buttery perfection in a tube. Well done Bare Minerals. I did a review here.

best lip gloss – Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Gloss

I absolutely love the formula of these lip glosses and much prefer them to the liquid lipsticks from the line. I am just not a liquid lipstick girl- they dry out my lips and I hate that feeling! The shade bordeaux is a great date night or going out shade while metallic rose is perfect for every day. These lip glosses are not sticky, smell like vanilla cupcakes and are such a pleasure to use. Love love love them.

best lip balmNivea kiss  of milk and honey and AERIN Rose Lip Conditioner

I apply the Nivea balm several times throughout the day and before going to bed. It softens the lips, hydrates and smells wonderful. The Aerin rose lip balm is more like a kiss of luxury on the lips. I find myself reaching for this any time of the day just so my lips can smell like roses. It is more shiny then a balm but not quite a lip gloss.

best blush- benefit rockateur

Benefit’s rockateur is a shade that will go with any makeup look and gives just the perfect amount of color. You can build it up depending on what look you are trying to create. I can wear this to work every single day and wear it for glam looks in the evening. Super versatile. See review here. 

best eye shadow palette– too faced semi sweet chocolate bar 

Too faced semi sweet palette is hands down my palette of choice. I reach for this palette more than any other palette I own. I like to travel with it, wear it to work, nights out, and even for no makeup makeup looks. See review here. 

best eyelinerHourglass 1.5MM Mechanical Gel Eye Liner

I love this eye liner because of how thin the pencil is. It gives me the most precise application ever. This is quite pricey but is hands down the best eye liner I have ever used. It’s a spurge that has changed my eye liner game forever. It stays put all day

best mascara– L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara, Carbon Black for every day and Marc Jacobs BeautyVelvet Noir Major Volume Mascara for a bit of drama.

I don’t need a mascara to lengthen my lashes since they are already pretty long but I do love the volume each of these mascaras gives me. The L’oreal one is fuss free and easy to use while the Marc Jacobs I have to be a bit more careful with, but I do love that clumpy lashes look it provides- super sexy.

best concealer– I haven’t been committed to a single concealer this year because I find that as long as I use this before concealing, any concealer works perfectly under my eyes. Some of my favorites are Nars, L’oreal, and L.A. girl, as well as Estee Lauder.

best bb cream – bare minerals complexion rescue

Bare minerals complexion rescue is great for weekends or those lucky days when you don’t need much coverage. It has a dewy yet natural finish which isn’t shiny. The shade range is excellent. I prefer to wear this on weekends and all summer long. I also like to sometimes mix it into my foundation to add a bit of a more natural look.

best foundationNars velvet matte skin tint SPF 30

I love this foundation so much that I mix in a bit of this into any other foundation I use. The formula and shade is perfect for my skin type and skin tone. See my review here.

best makeup brushes- real techniques

Real techniques makes the best makeup brushes as far as quality, price and functionality are concerned. Each of their brushes is versatile, hold up well after several washes and blend makeup beautifully.

Best in Hair:

best shampoo and conditioner– Suave Professionals Keratin Infusion Smoothing Shampoo & Conditioner 

I love how soft this leaves my hair. I haven’t switched to anything else in close to a year and that says a lot.


Here are some of my favorite body products:

Favorite shower gel: Aveeno Skin Relief Nourishing Body Wash, Coconut

Favorite shower oil: L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil

Favorite body cream: Shea Butter Ultra Rich Body Cream and a recent favorite AERIN Beauty Rose Hand & Body Cream

Favorite hand cream: Almond Delicious Hands and Roses et Reines Hand & Nail Cream

Best fragrance: CHANEL COCO MADEMOISELLE Eau de Parfum

Over the past year, this has become my signature scent. Knowing how much I love it, my husband purchased the largest bottle for me while we were killing some time at CDG airport- nothing better than some duty free shopping. I don’t think I will ever grow tired of this scent- it’s sophisticated, sexy and classic.

What are your beauty favorites from the past year??





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