I have to say that narrowing down my favorite makeup products of 2015 was quite the task. I tried a lot of great new products, but I also stuck with some that can be consistently found in my makeup bag. After playing and looking back at photos from last year, I was finally able to compile a list that I am satisfied with. I had to chop my list down some because if I didn't this write up would have been way too long! Keep reading to see the makeup that made the final cut.
I figured that I would do this in the order that I apply my makeup starting with primer. Primer is the first and most important step for me when it comes to a smooth and flawless makeup application. You have to prep the skin or order to get the best out of the products that you will be applying to the face. I have two favorites when it comes to primers. The first which is a holy grail product around the beauty world is the BECCA Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector. The consistency of this product is great and really glides onto the skin. Some have said that it can ball up when they are applying it, but I have not found that to be the case. The product creates a great barrier between my skin and foundation and keeps the oil at bay for quite a few hours before starting to peek through. My second primer that has quickly become my favorite is the MAKE UP FOR EVER Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer mattifying primer for oily skin. I actually will use this primer for my entire face including my eyes and it does a phenomenal job. I find that it also minimizes the appearance of pores which is a huge plus. It feel similar to the BECCA, but applies smoother and really melts into the skin. MAKE UP FOR EVER also has a smoothing primer that is for large pores and fine lines which I plan on trying this month. The Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion was my go to for priming my eyes. I have found that this primer does a great job of keeping my shadows in place and they last all throughout the day. I do want to give and honorable mention to the Too Faced Shadow Insurance Anti‑Crease Eye Shadow Primer as this one is also great and you cannot go wrong with either.
Foundations can be so difficult when it comes to finding the perfect color match. For me, someone who is on the neutral side with my complexion, the struggle is real. I find that so many foundations run too red or orange when it comes to the colors for African American skin tones. I tried several last year and I am pleased to report that there were some big winners. First, I will have to go with my MAC Cosmetics picks. I went away from MAC for years and it was due to working with associates the color matched me incorrectly. Every black woman is not NW45!!! My color is NC50 and the formulations that I wear are the Studio Tech and the Studio Fix Fluid. I like to travel with the Studio Tech and use it when I need a quick no fuss application as it comes in a compact. When I have more time on my hands, I go with the Studio Fix Fluid and my favorite way to apply it is with a damp Beauty Blender and really work it into the skin. I find that both of these products are great and really match my skin tone well. My second brand pick for foundation is the NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation. This formula is great for those of us with oily skin even though it claims to be luminous. I find that it makes the skin look natural, not matte or too glowy. I tend to apply most of my foundations with a damp beauty blender, but this foundation also works well with a flat top foundation brush where you can really buff it into the skin. My third and final foundation pick is the Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra 24H Long Wear Foundation. This was a late find for me in 2015, but after reading about it and my cousin constantly raving about it, I just had to try it and I am happy that I did! This foundation melts into my skin and let us talk about the color match. There is such a huge selection with their color range from the palest to the darkest of complexions. The color is rich and beautiful. All three of my picks look like skin and photograph very well. When I get complimented on my skin and not my makeup, I know that I have found the good stuff.
Concealers can be tricky because it all depends on what you are trying to achieve. I have some dark marks and darkness under my eyes, so I need great coverage, but I also like to brighten my under eye area. I have three picks for concealer and one can be found in the drugstore. MAC Pro Longwear Concealer gives great coverage without being thick and heavy. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer came into my life late in 2015, but I am so happy that it did, it is fabulous! I love the fact that it has a doe foot applicator which really make application easy. The have a great range of color to choose from. My final concealer is the L.A. Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer which you can find at your local Walgreens. This concealer is creamy and are made for easy application with a built in brush on the end. I have found that all three of these concealers don't crease or settle into fine lines and are very long wearing.
When it comes to setting my under eye concealer or doing a reverse contour I hands down love the SACHA Cosmetics Buttercup Powder and the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder. Both of these powders are finely milled and flash friendly. The Laura Mercier powder is also great all over the face to set your foundation and blends in perfectly for a flawless finish.
The eyes definitely had it for me hands down in 2015. I was a slave to the palettes and could not stop myself from purchasing many of them. I have thoroughly enjoyed both the warm and cool neutrals palettes from MAC Cosmetics. You can achieve many great looks with the colors comprised in both of these palettes. The tarte Tartelette In Bloom Clay Eyeshadow Palette comes with a step by step guide for those who are new or not very experienced in the world of eyeshadow. There is a great mix of matte and lusters that all work so well together and the looks that you can create are endless. There was however one palette that brought me to my knees in 2015 and it is the MORPHE 35O - 35 COLOR NATURE GLOW EYESHADOW PALETTE. I now see why this palette is always sold out on the website. I literally waited on the website and counted down until it went live to ensure that I did not miss out. The shadows are buttery and so highly pigmented that you cannot believe the affordability. This is a very inexpensive palette, I would pay much more for the color payoff that you get with this product. As far as single eyeshadows, I would have to go with COLOURPOP cosmetics. I love the colors Bandit, Boyband, Central Perk, Bae and Nillionaire. If you have not tried COLOURPOP cosmetics, you have to give them a try. They have a formula that is very creamy and almost sponge like. It applies very smoothly and they blend very well with each other and other regular eyeshadows.
With my eyebrows I actually moved away from my Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade and started using the NYX Eyebrow Gel in Espresso. This gel is my BAE! It is waterproof and stays in place like no other.
I can be very on and off with eyeliner, but when I did wear it last year I was all about the L'Oreal Infallible Silkissime Eyeliner. This liner is smooth and jet black. It does not always create the most precise line as it is a soft liner, but applies with great ease. I am looking to finally try the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner this year as it was all the rave last year for it precision, staying power and being the blackest of black.
2015 was the year of the highlight being on "Fleek" as they say. Everyone really stepped up their highlight game and that included me. There were so many to choose from, but not all of them are created equally or for those of us that are richer and deeper in color. I have loved the MAC Mineralize Skinfinishes in Global Glow, Gold Deposit and Cheeky Bronze. These colors compliment my skin and give me a very glowy dewy highlight. Last year was also the year of the Youtuber and there were several wonderful collaborations with stellar product launches. BECCA had a winning collaboration with Jaclyn Hill with her highlighter Champagne Pop. I have also been wearing the Carli Bybel palette from BH Cosmetics which contains some really beautiful highlight shades, they look great on and are highly pigmented. I do plan on trying some highlighters from Bobbi Brown and Anastasia of Beverly Hills this year as I have heard some really wonderful things about them.
I am not one who wears blush everyday, but I do have some finds from last year that I reach for. I love the NARS blush in Orgasm which is an oldie, but a goodie that I brought back into rotation. I also love the Milani Rose Powder Blushes in Coral Cove and Tea Rose. They are a great drugstore brand that are highly pigmented and wear very well.
Now with the lips I kind of stayed in my wheelhouse when it comes to my favs. I tend to favor the fuchsias and purples and last year was no different. I also found my new red shade which I was too excited about. I fell hard for the Kat Von D lip products and loved her Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in L.U.V and Studded Kiss Lipstick in Lullabye. These lipsticks have amazing staying power and are rich in color. I have also enjoyed wearing MAC Matte lipstick in Heroine, Flat out Fabulous and Ruby Woo. MAC lipsticks wear well and are very vibrant in color.
When I need to make sure that my makeup stays in place there is only one setting spray that works for me. The Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray keeps everything where it should be and also takes away that overly matte look that power can leave you with. It makes the skin look dewy and really enhances your makeup.
All in all last year was a very exciting year for me in the areas of makeup and beauty. I was able to define my routines and tastes with the products that I loved and that really worked for me. The wonderful thing about beauty is that it is fun and forever changing. There will always be new and improved products, but I feel that I have some staples that will stand the test of time. With that being said, I am more than ready to see what 2016 will bring in beauty, so let the shopping begin!