We are t-minus 4 days from the start of the new year, and I thought I would reflect on this past year and compile a list of my most used and most loved beauty items. I'm only including items that I discovered and fell in love with this year, so this is by no means a comprehensive list of my holy grail beauty items -- stay tuned for a blog post on my favorite makeup items of all time! Otherwise, keep reading to hear my 2018 holy grail beauty items!
2018 was definitely the year that I started gravitating toward quick, easy, hassle-free makeup. As someone with a busy lifestyle, having a quick and easy makeup routine is something that I value a lot. The Hourglass Scattered Light Glitter Eyeshadows allow me to do just this. They are stunning on the eyes, yet take so little effort to apply and blend out. They are gorgeous on their own, too, so you can literally pop these on your lids in less than a minute and be on your way. While a lot of brands came out with similar products this year, I definitely think this one takes the cake. They are definitely worth the splurge because you'll get a ton of use out of them. I've been using these so much this year that I don't have a favorite eyeshadow palette to share with you all!
I never thought I would see the day my Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer would be dethroned. But alas, here we are: the Smashbox Photo Finish Primerizer is my new holy grail primer. It is more hydrating than the Too Faced primer and absorbs better into the skin. It has hyaluronic acid in it, which is an ingredient that I LOVE and that does wonders for your skin. This primer truly lives up to its name and moisturizers and primes your skin very well. I'm so in love with this primer that I've even stopped restocking my Too Faced one. It'll be hard to top this primer!
Again, 2018 was the year that I started looking to simplify my makeup routine. Naturally, I fell in love with stick foundations this past year because they are so much easier to apply. I truly appreciate not having to get my hands dirty with foundation when I'm in a rush; I love being able to apply my foundation straight from the tube. I love the Makeup Forever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation for more than just the fact that it comes in a stick form, however. This foundation is so flattering on your skin, and gives you good coverage but still looks natural and dewey. It blends like a dream and doesn't emphasize any texture or dryness. The liquid version of this foundation actually used to be my former holy grail foundation for over 4 years, but I prefer the stick form more because it offers a bit more coverage. It's the perfect everyday foundation!
Speaking of stick foundations, 2018 was the year that I fell in LOVE with the Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick. The Makeup Forever foundation is my medium coverage foundation for everyday use while the Hourglass foundation is my full coverage foundation for going out. This foundation has the most beautiful coverage and finish. You can apply a thousand layers of this foundation without it looking cakey. I highly recommend checking this foundation out if you haven't already!
I feel like 2018 was the year of powders and concealers. So many brands came out with great concealers this past year, giving us more options beyond the Tarte Shape Tape. Two of my favorite concealers are the Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer and the Colourpop No Filter Matte Concealer. They both blend like a dream, have amazing coverage, and don't crease or look cakey. My favorite thing about these concealers is probably that they are extremely brightening, so they are great for highlighting. The Too Faced concealer has slightly more coverage and has more of a natural dewey finish than the Colourpop concealer, while the Colourpop concealer is a bit more brightening.
Prior to 2018, I never even owned a powder because of my dry skin. However, I found that with the right products, powder can make a huge difference in your makeup in terms of setting, blurring, and prolonging. While I tried many great powders this past year (like the It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Poreless Finish Airbrushed Pressed Powder, BECCA Hydra-Mist Set & Refresh Powder, and Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Setting Powder), my favorite has to be the Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder hands down. It blurs and brightens your skin without emphasizing texture or dryness. If you are someone who hates powder like me -- I've been wearing makeup for four years without powder -- this is the powder for you. It looks like nothing on the skin; I might even like my skin better with this on than without. I have tried other powders that I like, but none that truly look like nothing on the skin and none that truly pass the test of not emphasizing my dryness or texture. The only downside to this powder is the packaging, which is awful. Otherwise, believe the hype around this product and go buy it!
I am a huge fan of shimmery bronzers because they give you a sunkissed look. While my Too Faced Sweethearts Bronzer in Sweet Tea is still my favorite bronzer, the BECCA Gradient Sunlit Bronzer is like it's warmer, bronzier sister. The Too Faced bronzer is more of a neutral bronzer with a subtle shimmer, while the BECCA bronzer is warmer and more suitable for the summer. The bronzer includes their highlight in Opal, which is a stunning shade. Pick up this bronzer and you won't regret it.
I kid you not: this is the only blush I used for practically all of 2018. Perhaps that's an exaggeration, but this is truly my favorite blush of ALL TIME. The formula is amazing: the blush is pigmented and blends like a dream. It is the perfect peach shade and is extremely flattering on the cheeks. I never cease to be amazed whenever I put this on -- it just completes my make up look! If you are on the market for a peachy blush, look no further: Burt's Bees Blush in Bare Peach is your winner.
Just as the Smashbox primer dethroned my Too Faced primer, I know I truly love a product when I find myself reaching for it over my holy grail items. In this case, the Jouer Cosmetics Powder Highlighter in Citrine is a formidable challenger to my holy grail BECCA Highlight in Moonstone. I wouldn't say that I like the Jouer highlight more because I feel that these two highlights are completely different in formula and color. The Jouer highlight is absolutely blinding, and I reach for it when I want more of a golden highlight. However, because it is very intense, it can tend to look powdery and emphasize texture on your skin, so I would use a light hand with this product.
This lipstick has been my go-to nude lipstick. It is truly the perfect nude and goes with every makeup look. The formula is also nice and buttery. I honestly never reach for anything else when I want a nude lip. I have trouble finding nude lipsticks that go well with my skin tone, but MAC always seems to get it right!