With the new year slowly approaching, it seems only appropriate to do a wrap up post! I’ll be (hoping) to do two of these, so first up is my Makeup post! In my first year of blogging, I realised that I like to test out make up products more than I do skincare – even though I am an absolute geek for a thorough and well considered skincare routine. Perhaps this is because I’m not a very patient person and I like something where I can see results right away. In addition, I do wear quite a bit of make up every day of the week for work, so finding the perfect products is really important to me. I am someone with rather temperamental skin conditions (sometimes very oily and sometimes ridiculously dry) and sensitive eyes, so I am quite strict sometimes on the products that I love and I don’t.
For this reason, I am sometimes a bit of a stickler for brand choices. My brand choices for this year have mainly centred about long-lasting power, high pigmentation and my beloved dewy finishes. Clio remains on top as one of my favourites, with 3CE being a very strong contender in some areas and LUNA being a surprising – but not that surprising – new obsession of mine.
If you’re interested in reading about my top choices (and yes, of course you are) then click on! These products are in no particular order but are all products that I loved and used continuously throughout the year.
CLIO – Kill Black Waterproof Pen Liner
First off is the eyeliner that I have been using irreplaceably not only for the entire year but also all of last year as well! I’ve experimented with different liquid liners (and also used pencil and gel) but nothing gives me the darkness, precision and longevity of the Clio Kill Black.
I know that they are very popular for their brush liner too, but I absolutely prefer the pen version. Comparatively, the tip is a little harder at first and isn’t very flexible, so it gives you a little less control over your curves. However, it is also easier for a beginner to use for this reason. Also, the pen tip seems to make the product last a lot longer, as I often have clogging issues with their brush tip.
I do use the brown as well, but I much prefer my black liner as I like a bold, sharper line for my make up looks. This is personal preference, however.
3CE – White Milk Cushion*
This was the first time I had actually used a white cushion and I was really surprised about it at first. I’m not sure if this is new, but the white cushions were somewhat of a trend at the beginning/middle of the year in Korea. The product is white but is really suitable to my skin tone and gives me a gentle whitening effect and helps to even out my complexion. On top of that, I usually just apply a bit more of a normal BB cushion where I want some more coverage.
This was the first 3CE product that I’d used and I completely fell in love with it. It has a soft and sweet milky scent, is super blend-able and I can also wear it under my make up as a base. My only complaint about this product is that they don’t sell refills so, went I went to the Stylenanda store in search of another, I only had the choice to buy a whole compact again – and this one isn’t cheap. I do think it’s worth the try though because it’s a nice product, it’s super cute and it smells great too.
Instead of getting a new cushion, I ended up finishing my white milk collection by getting the cream (I had already received the mask for review purposes).
TONYMOLY – Delight Circle Lens Mascara**
I absolutely did not expect to fall in love with this mascara. It’s actually quite cheap (even on the cheaper end of road shop brands in general) so I was expecting this to be a pretty ordinary product. Admittedly, it’s quite hard to impress me when it comes to mascaras because I have really short, straight and stubborn lashes that don’t really react to anything. Boy, they react to these though!
I tested out the green version (which is both curling and length) and I find myself reaching for this whenever I want my lashes to really stand out. They hold the curls really well and, best of all, really do lengthen perfectly. The formula also doesn’t clump up at all.
My favourite mascaras this year is this and the Holika Holika Magic Wand (Too Faced would have topped the list but their waterproof mascara is quite disappointing compared to the original) but this one won easily with its price point.
HEIMISH – Dailism Eye Palette (Cozy Coral)***
My favourite Korean eye palette for this year was absolutely the Heimish palette. In fact, I think that I will continue to love this for quite a while as it is now my go-to travel set. This palette was flexible enough to take me from day to night for my entire Korea trip – and I think that’s pretty impressive since I like to play around with my make up a lot.
The pigmentation is pretty good and the colour choices are great. There is a bit of fallout with the shimmer shades but, with a slightly dampened brush, this isn’t an issue at all. The included brush is also pretty decent and the price point is great too! In the next year, I’m considering getting some of the other colours to try out too (though I predict that 2017 will be a year of palette obsession for me)
PERIPERA – Peri’s Ink Velvet
I think everyone knows that I am obsessed with Peri’s Ink lip tints. When I was in Korea last, they only had the original five (or six) colours out – all super pigmented ink type tints that stained the lips with a vibrant, juicy colour for what sometimes feels like eternity. When I went to Korea this year though, I found out that they’re have extended their range! There is now the ink type, the moisture and the velvet.
Truth be told, I actually love all three of them and I’m wanting to get a couple more of these colours too (because I don’t think I’ll be able to get them all) but after much consideration, I decided to highlight their velvet range instead.
This formula ties in more with the current matte lip trend and gives a strong, matte finish. However, it isn’t drying and is easily blended out into a gradient lip or used for a full lip. It does transfer a bit but, like the rest of the peri’s ink products, still leaves a stain. The colour, like the ink version, is also super pigmented, vibrant and can also be built into an opaque application.
INNISFREE – Auto Eyebrow Pencil
I admit that this one isn’t the most spectacular product. In fact, out of the entire list, it is probably the most ordinary. However, I do really love this product and did a minor stock up while I was in Korea (six or so in total, and I also bought it in three colours so that my brows can match what ever hair I choose). I was previously using the Nature Republic Eyebrow Pencil but found that it was a little bit too dark while the Clio Eye Eyebrow Pencil was way too soft – the latter is the most disappointing Clio product I’ve used.
However, once I started using this one (I borrowed Sophia’s in Korea because I lost my own) I couldn’t go back from it and I ended up buying my own. The product isn’t too soft and the pigmentation is build-able so it is easy to get strong edges while still softening the beginning of your brows. The colours look great and the formula is blend-able enough to soften the brows.
TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL – Artclass by Rodin (Contour)
Oh contouring. Contouring was such a massive trend this year but there was a different approach to it in Korea. The look was more subtle, generally used to heighten the nose and slim face – no thick layers of cream or dramatically white baked under eyes. To experiment with that, I tried powders, liquids, creams and stick formulas but found that the former was the easiest for me to work with.
I bought this compact on my trip to Korea and have been using it every day since. The colours perfectly match my skin – the middle brown is a bit cooler and doesn’t look like an unsightly orange (which is pretty common with a lot of Korean shading tones). The lighter colour can then be used to blend it out naturally and the darkest reserved to deepen point areas.
This compact has made my contouring process so easy and quick that I can incorporate it into my every day routine. The formula is highly pigmented and easy to blend, doesn’t streak and the colours are perfect. I also have the highlighter and blusher for the Artclass by Rodin series, but definitely think that this is the star of the lot.
LUNA – Water Essence Founpact EX
I was so happy to get this when I returned to Korea! I found this last year when it was first released but, being the silly duffer that I am, hadn’t bought it and had been regretting the decision since. Now that I do have it though, it had catapulted itself to the second highest rank of my Favourite Cushions/Foundations of all time.
The formula is hydrating, infused with water essence (which is the white swirls, I assume) and has a cream formula that is blend-able and easily build-able. It also fills it pores and blurs out fine lines for what looks like a flawless, dewy finish. Once you set it with a bit of powder, it is pretty much perfect. The lasting power is pretty good too and generally doesn’t cake much on me until quite late in the day.
LUNA is my new obsession at the moment and I’m wanting to try more things from their brand to find their strengths and weaknesses. I love their focus on skin and hydration.
3CE – One Color Shadows (Matte)
I fell in love with these so quickly and was really tempted to buy them all, but had already spent so much on my trip that I tried hard to limit myself. Knowing that I am only three colours off of owning possibly the entire matte line though… I might just bite the bullet and do it.
These eyeshadows are ridiculously pigmented and can swatch to look exactly like the pan – something which has completely transformed my standards on which I hold eyeshadow products now. The discovery has made me rather difficult to impress and easily disappointed by other (very hyped) eye shadow palettes but… oh well.
In order not to look overly done, I usually only tap my brush against the pan once or twice (swirling it like I might for my Etude shadows is out of the question) and I already have a very vibrant and colourful look. The formula is also really easy to blend and super creamy too. They’re comparatively a bit expensive but, in my opinion, an absolute staple for anyone who loves bold, matte shades.
IOPE – Air Cushion (Moisture Lasting)
Last but certainly not the least, it’s my favourite cushion of all time! I decided to splurge a little on the previous cushion and loved it so much that, once I found out the new one had come out, I had to get it. So here I am – I still have an extra refill for the third generation, and I now also have the fourth generation cushion with three extra refills (and four cases in total, including two limited edition ones). Am I a little obsessed? You bet, but this is so good that I don’t mind at all.
The moisture version of the cushion is very comfortable on the skin with a slight dewy effect but is actually closer to a semi-matte. It doesn’t slip or slide after application at all and doesn’t actually need to be set with a powder either (which is very rare for a hydrating cushion).
They also have four different finished and a broad spectrum of colours (13, 21 and 23 in warm, neutral and cool tones) so I’m sure that there is something for almost everyone. As IOPE isn’t a roadshop brand, it is a little bit pricier but is absolutely worth it. For someone who wants their make up to look great and last for the entire day, this is absolutely a worthwhile investment.
And there you have it everyone: my top 10 make up products of the year! It’s been a really incredible year of changes – from graduating university (again), to working, travelling, blogging. Everything changed this year and I am absolutely certain that I started 2016 a very different person to how I am finishing it. Next year will surely be even more.
I am grateful for the incredible support that I’ve had from people for this blog, from my amazingly generous sponsors, the wonderful readers, the friends I’ve made on the way and even my real life friends who are equally as encouraging and lovely about this beauty endeavour I am making.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading this list and I definitely recommend checking out the products that I’ve introduced. Look forward to my Top 10 Skincare post to come soon!