Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2017 favorites

Happy new year and happy 2018! I wanted to share my top 10 favorites  of 2017 with you.

10. NYX Away We Glow in 08 moon glow - I ran out of my beloved Becca shimmering skin perfector in pearl and replaced it with NYX for two reasons: 1) I'm a grad student on a budget, and more importantly, 2) There is no known universe where I could finish a full size shimmering skin perfector. The mini spotlight size took me 2 years! The NYX isn't a perfect dupe (not as gel like of a texture, doesn't blend as well over powder), but is 90% there and meets my needs perfectly. Like everyone else on the planet, glowy skin and I were friends all year long.

9. Whole Foods organic lip balm - I went through about a dozen of these in 2017, 50/50 lost vs. used up. I love the honey vanilla version, it moisturizes without irritating my skin and only costs about $3. Sold for life <3

8. Sheer glossy lips - My skin is too dry and I am too impatient for the perfectly carved out lip line and matte liquid lips. I need my skin and lips to feel comfortable and I'm permanently running late, so for me that means tinted lip balm, glosses, and sheer lipsticks I can apply on the bus without a mirror. Some of my favorites: Urban Decay and Too Faced La Creme lipsticks layered over lip balm, Clinique almost lipstick in black honey, Fresh tinted lip balm in rose and petal, and Bite's (discontinued?!) lip gloss in currant.

7. My Japanese brushes - My everyday brushes never fail me and I'm still amazed that some of these brands aren't more popular. Chikuhodo, Hakuhodo, Koyudo, and Mizuho all have some relatively affordable brushes (MAC or MUFE price range) that blow everything else out of the water in terms of quality. I like more natural and sheer looks with powder products, so my soft natural hair brushes deliver. Pictured: Hakuhodo tapered candle 5521, Hakuhodo J521 eyeliner, Chikuhodo Z-5 large eye shader, Mizuho PM11 brow brush, Koyudo 035 medium shader, Hakuhodo K022 blush/powder . I don't think everyone needs these exact brushes, but I do think it is worth buying high quality brushes of which ever shapes you use every day.

6. NARS Laguna - Check out that huge pan! I wear bronzer everyday and Laguna was easily my most reached for this year. Even on my cool toned fair skin, this is never too orange. I don't know how, but Laguna always makes me look healthy and pretty.

5. Anastasia Beverly Hills brow products - My favorite ABH trio - the perfect brow pencil, dipbrow pomade, and brow gel are everything I want. Excellent longevity + good shade match (I use medium brown) + easy to use textures = happy brows

4. Silica HD powder - I love lightweight translucent silica powders, my two current ones are the Essence All About Matt and the loose silica microspheres from TKB trading (basically the generic version of the branded HD silica powders). I love the mattifying and smoothing effects of silica powders, plus they are ultra lightweight. I apply mine with a damp beauty sponge to look extra poreless and smooth. (FYI - these can leave a small white cast, medium - tan - deep skintones may want a tinted version instead).

3. Skin79 BB cream - I know the K-beauty world has moved on to trendier BB creams, but the Skin79 range still has me twitterpated. I love how easy these are to use and how natural they look on my skin. I often need to mix shades together to get the right one for the right time of year, but they mix with each other, moisturizers, liquid highlighters, and sunscreens easily. I can apply with my fingers, brush, or sponge and go from light tinted moisturizer to medium coverage with no need to do anything special or cross my fingers to make it work. The pink BB pumping cushion isn't my favorite, but I have repurchased the Pink 3 or 4 times now and have also gone through at least 2 VIP Golds and a full size of each the Orange and the Green.

2. Aquaphor - Favorite sleeping mask, favorite lip mask, favorite eczema treatment, favorite cuticle balm, favorite all around salve. I use up and repurchase Aquaphor about 4-6 times per year and have for almost a decade. Even as I'm paring down my collection and beauty spending, I sill buy backups for my Aquaphor backups.


1. Using and loving what I already have! - From panning products to reusing packaging of high end empties, my low-buy makeup year went well! It feels great to reduce my collection to only the items I use regularly or products that excite me and start using things up. I'm more appreciative of what I have and love the personal challenge of rotating through and using what I own. I challenge all of you in 2018 to make an effort  to love what you have already!

xoxo AM

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