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Best In Beauty: 2016 Makeup Favourites

19:50Alice Grace

2016 makeup favourites high street affordable high end beauty blogger clarins laura mercier chanel hourglass charlotte tilbury benefit YSL loreal by terry beauty blender soap and glory estee lauder maybelline rimmel

Now that 2017 has arrived, there's only one post I can kick off the year with. It may be up a little later than planned, but it's finally time to bombard you with a mammoth list of my top products from 2016. Unlike my 2015 Favourites or 2014 Favourites, in which I listed my holy-grail products from every makeup category, I decided to restrain myself this year. As I had such an extensive selection of products when first putting together my edit, I thought I'd cut them down to the cream of the crop that I reached for most often.

My ultimate favourite re-discovery from 2016, has to the Clarins Beauty Flash Balm. A skincare and primer hybrid, it offers the most noticeable boost of radiance and hydration of any primer I've ever used. Famous for it's tightening effect, it creates a silky film over the skin which instantly firms and smoothes the face. Providing a barrier between the skin and any makeup applied over the top, it keeps your base looking perfect, without it sinking in to the skin by the end of the day. Whenever I have a special occasion to get ready for, this is an absolute must-have in my makeup bag.

2016 makeup favourites high street affordable high end beauty blogger clarins laura mercier chanel hourglass charlotte tilbury benefit YSL loreal by terry beauty blender soap and glory estee lauder maybelline rimmel

For bases, I've got two that I've consistently gone back to throughout the entire year. For a lighter finish, I've been obsessed with the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder. So quick and easy to use, I simply buff it over my skin with a soft kabuki brush and I'm left with a flawless, glowing finish. Despite having dry skin, this powder foundation never looks cakey or emphasizes rough patches. For a fuller coverage, it has to be Estee Lauder's Double Wear Stay-In-Place Foundation. I know this foundation has a bad rep for looking heavy, but it's honestly the longest lasting base I've ever tried. Making sure I've slathered on a rich moisturiser first, I simply bounce the smallest drop on to my skin with my makeup sponge and I'm left with a perfected, almost airbrushed finish that I can rely on to last through wind, rain, icy temperatures and heatwaves. It's not an everyday base for me, but whenever I want that totally polished look or know I have a long day ahead, then this is my first choice.

I can't believe it took me so long to cave in to the hype, but in 2016, I finally got round to trying the Maybelline The Eraser Eye Concealer. Just as everyone says, it's seriously impressive. The sponge applicator, which I expected to hate, is actually ideal for dabbing the concealer on without dragging the delicate skin. The creamy formula is hydrating and smoothes any fine lines around the eyes, without sinking into any creases or caking up. Although the lightest shade isn't as light as I'd like, the peachy tint to it helps to cancel out any blue-toned shadows, correcting discoloration. Another affordable formula I loved, but for concealing redness and blemishes, was the Rimmel Lasting Finish Concealer. Usually, I much prefer liquid concealers to creams that come in a pot, but this one is an exception. Thick and creamy, the formula melts on to the skin and has a high coverage that camouflages even the angriest of blemishes with ease. When blended out, it doesn't look at all heavy and once set in place, it doesn't budge.

I can only apologise for banging on about my next pick so much recently, but it's just such a beauty! Although it came out fairly late in 2016, I used it pretty much every day up until the new year. For powder, blush and highlight, the Hourglass Surreal Light Ambient Lighting Edit has it all. Not only is it insanely beautiful to look at, but the powders all work in harmony to work miracles on a dull complexion. Hourglass are by far my favourite brand for powders, as the formulas are always so finely-milled and give the skin an incredibly healthy, lit-from-within glow.

But, carrying a whole palette in your bag for touch-ups isn't practical, so the powder I've been keeping in my on-the-go makeup bag for most of the year has been the Estee Lauder Double Wear Powder Makeup. A quick dusting simply blots away any shine and adds an extra hint of coverage, but doesn't leave skin looking at all chalky. It's also amazing when you make spontaneous plans to go out and don't have time to go home and get ready. If you generously buff this powder over the skin, then it acts more like a full-on foundation and leaves skin looking totally flawless. Lauder also offer this powder in so many shades, so it's always possible to find a perfect match!

When it comes to bronzers, I'm a total floozy, so it was difficult for me to select just one favourite. As always, the Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base is my number one cream bronzer. Nothing can beat the smooth gel-like mouse texture for creating a plumped, luminous finish and I love that it looks so much more natural on the skin. For a powder formula, I was late to the party with the Soap & Glory Solar Powder, but now it's a staple in my makeup bag. With two halves, one lighter and one darker, you can really customize your colour with this bronzer. Once you break through the shimmery overspray, both sides are pretty much matte and, as the colours are both quite neutral and aren't too red in tone, the bronzer can also be used to softly contour with.

2016 makeup favourites high street affordable high end beauty blogger clarins laura mercier chanel hourglass charlotte tilbury benefit YSL loreal by terry beauty blender soap and glory estee lauder maybelline rimmel

The brand that smashed the brow game in 2016, was of course Benefit. After releasing a whopping selection of products, I picked up the Benefit Goof Proof Brow Pencil and Gimme Brow Volumising Brow Gel and they've been my staple duo ever since. The unique shape to the Goof Proof pencil makes it so easy to fill in any sparse areas and create the brow shape you want. Like the name suggests, it's hard to go wrong with this fool-proof pencil, even if you aren't confident with beefing up your brows. Gimme Brow is amazing at setting every little hair into place, but as it's tinted and contains fibers, it adds some extra texture to the brows at the same time. If I'm rushed for time, I'll use Gimme Brow by itself, as it just adds a hint of definition without looking too harsh.

I've mentioned my love for all things Nars many times before, but I don't think I've featured many of their eyeshadows on AGB. During 2016, I realised just how much I adore them and my most-worn of my collection was definitely the Nars Cordura Eyeshadow Duo. The shadows blend so easily and have strong pigmentation, so it's easy to create stunning looks with them. When I wanted a cream shadow, I was all about the Charlotte Tilbury Colour Chameleon in Bronzed Garnet. They have the perfect texture - smooth and soft, but not so creamy that they crease or fade after a few hours. All of the shades are just beautiful and, although they're designed to suit different eye colours, I ignore that. Bronzed Garnet is a jeweled plum-burgundy shade with a fine sprinkling of gold shimmer and it just looks insane with my brown eyes, even though it's meant to be paired with green.

Liquid liner isn't an essential for me, as I often smudge a kohl pencil along my lash-lines to add definition instead. But, when I do want to create a feline flick, I always turn to the L'Oreal Super Liner Black Lacquer. I find a pointed sponge-tipped applicator the easiest to use and this one allows you to create either a fine or thick line in seconds. The waterproof formula is super black, lasts all day and dries to a glossy finish, which I personally find more flattering. Another bonus - it doesn't dry up too quickly!

Usually, I'm all about high-street mascaras and rarely splurge on premium formulas. But, the one that I discovered last year and found was actually worth paying more for, was the YSL Effect Faux Cils Shocking Indecent Volume Mascara. Promising indecent volume, this mascara definitely delivers and is so effective that I've been asked if I've been wearing falsies when I've used it, on multiple occasions. Things can get a bit clumpy if you continue to layer it, but I find one coat gives me plenty of drama and prevents that spidery look. My favourite high-street mascara of the year, was the L'Oreal False Lash Flutter Mascara. With a fanned-out wand, it picks up every lash and pulls them up and out, for a flirty, fluttery result. The plastic wand really separates the lashes and prevents clumps, depositing most of the mascara at the base of the lash and then gently coating the length and tips. This mascara not only creates great volume, but lengthens amazingly too.

There were a couple of new lip product releases that blew me away in 2016, but there was one that just pipped the rest to the post. The By Terry Rouge-Expert Click Sticks are basically my perfect lip product. The genius applicator hugs every curve of the lip for a precise finish without needing lip liner and the formula is just incredible. Super pigmented, it provides opaque coverage in one swipe and the consistency feels more like a lightweight balm. It's a matte lip colour, but feels comfortable to wear all day and doesn't need topping up for at least five hours. I couldn't completely ignore the liquid lipstick trend in this post, so I thought I'd include the Boujois Rouge Edition Velvets. Personally, I find a lot of liquid lipsticks to be far too drying and leave my lips feeling irritated after wear, but I love the light, comfortable texture of Bourjois' versions. As they leave a stain behind on the lips, they last for so long and I can often get away without touching-up once.

For makeup tools, my Beauty Blender overshadowed any of my brushes over the past year. If you want flawless, yet natural-looking makeup, then bouncing this baby over your skin to apply products is the way to get it. I have to admit, I do find it a pain to dampen the sponge before every use, but the effect it has makes it totally worth it. I have tried a few cheaper alternatives to the original Beauty Blender, but none of them quite compare for me. Although the sponge is expensive, it holds its shape and lasts so well, ensuring you look after it and wash it regularly.


Which products did you love most during 2016?

AGB X


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12 comments

  1. Nars eyeshadow duo seem to be perfect fuss-free palette, I've always had my eyes on Isolde, but this one in Cordura looks better for quick night-time eyes.

    Selene Addicted

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    1. Isolde has been on my wish-list for a while now, I'm all about the warm golden bronze tones! x

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  2. gorgeous photography - i agree with most of these favourites - especially the maybelline the eraser eye concealer, i've been obsessed with it lately! xo
    jen | velvet spring

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    1. Thanks so much! It's just the best under-eye concealer, isn't it? So much better than even the premium formulas in my collection! x

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  3. I've had the Chanel bronzer on my list of things I want for nearly a year now but I've never bought myself to buy it
    Charlotte / Charlotte's Picks

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    1. It is expensive, but a pot lasts for sooooo long that it's totally worth the splurge! x

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  4. I tried a sample of Estee Double wear foundation a while ago but didn't like it on my skin as it made it looked a bit dull, it definitely is long lasting though. I love the look of the Nars eye shadow duo

    S x | SHELISES WORLD

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    1. When I first tried it, I thought the same. To make it work, I just load up on moisturiser first and then mix in a few illuminating drops into the formula and that helps it to look a bit more radiant, instead of totally flat :) x

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  5. I can see a few of my favourites included (although with a whole load I would like to try!). Great picks.

    Amy - http://fourcatsplusus.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. Great minds think alike, hey! x

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  6. I really want to try that chanel solei de tan. I agree the beauty blender is just such an amazing beauty tool.

    www.themakeupaficionado.com

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    1. It's so worth a try, honestly! I was dubious about the Beauty Blender before I purchased it, thinking it might be a little unhygienic, but now I can't be without it! x

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