When I began brainstorming ideas for this year-end product review, I realized that the review would go on forever. So, I decided to create a list of items that hold a meaningful message and products that I have been recommending to my friends and family all year long.
Oh Estée, your book has changed my life. I remember walking down the Fashion/Lifestyle aisle of Chapters (a Canadian big box bookstore) and seeing this book on the bookshelf. I squealed a little when I saw Bloom because I completely forgot that Estée wrote a book. To be honest with you, I didn’t think I would enjoy it. I had initially picked it up because the front cover lured me in. But then, I started reading the first few pages. Without even knowing, I spent 45 minutes standing in the same spot speeding through fifty pages. I’m not a big reader, but this book spoke to me like no other one has. Estée’s stories about her childhood and experiences with anxiety powerfully resonated with me.
I made, what felt like, the hardest decision of my life that day. I desperately wanted to buy her book but Christmas was quickly approaching and I wasn’t working many hours, so I slowly put the book down and walked away, disappointed. As the months went by, I slowly forgot about Bloom. Tati, however, did not forget and she sneakily bought it for me for Christmas.
I still have a couple of more chapters to go, but I will be writing an in depth review of Bloom. Wherever you live, go to your local bookstore and search for this book. Thank you, Estée for this gem.
Ok, I have to talk about Twilight Mauve by Zara. This perfume is the most beautiful thing I’ve every smelled before. If you asked me to explain the scent, I’d probably say that there are notes of sweet grapefruit mixed in with a load of fresh laundry. Did I do a good job? Anyway, I’m pretty sure I wore this perfume every single day in 2016. I wish Zara kept this one on their shelves. Now I’ll probably have to buy it on eBay.
I never would have imagined that I would own a Daniel Wellington watch one day. I still feel excited when I put it on. When it comes to buying things for myself, I’m very very very stingy with my money. This was definitely a “treat yourself” purchase.
Due to my Asian genes, I have been blessed with straight eyelashes and I have to use waterproof mascara to keep them looking curled. Unfortunately, waterproof mascara isn’t so easy to remove. I was using oil-based eye makeup removers but I hated the greasy film it left behind. Then I discovered The Body Shop’s Chamomile Cleansing Butter. Even though this is a rich product that’s extremely smooth and creamy, it feels like I’m applying a moisturizer. After I’ve rubbed the mascara off of my eyelashes, I like taking a cotton pad to remove the excess product before proceeding to cleansing my face. The removal process no longer rips my eyelashes off because the butter just melts away the mascara.
2016 was the year I discovered setting spray and it changed my life. Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray is actually really good! I thought it was one of those products that are just over-hyped in the beauty world, but it does work! On days when I’m wearing a lot of makeup, I can never skip the setting spray step. It smooths the powders into the foundation and my skin looks like skin. The smell isn’t so great but it quickly evaporates.
Going back to waterproof mascara, Too Face‘s internationally acclaimed Better Than Sex mascara is AMAZING. At first I was shocked and turned off by its $30 CAD price tag. I love my drugstore mascaras, don’t get me wrong. But this one thickens up your lashes and elongates them which makes it look like you’re wearing falsies! One con that doesn’t bother me too much, is that it does smudge easily. I realized that by the end of the day or even a few hours after I’ve applied it, some of the product transferred to my lower lash line. C’mon, Too Faced!
I’ve tried a handful of brow products this year, but the one I’m bringing with me in 2017 is Makeup Forever’s Aqua Brow in “Dark Brown”. You’ve probably heard or seen this product already. Unlike other brow powders or pomades, the Aqua Brow is extremely easy to use. Don’t let the dark pigment of the gel scare you! It’s actually not as dark as it appears when you squeeze it out. The gel glides so easily onto the brows, especially when I use my Makeup Forever angled brush. When I use the gel on clients and on myself, it clings onto the brow hairs and makes them look thicker!
We received the Kat Von D Shade + Light Contour Palette for Christmas from our cousin, Kelly, this year and I had to include it in this post. All of the eyeshadows and powders are matte and extremely easy to blend/build up. There isn’t much fall out when you dip your brushes into the shadows and when you apply the colours onto the eyes, it doesn’t look patchy.
I’ve been using the light matte shades Liberatus and Lucius as an inner corner and brow bone highlight. I actually prefer these matte shadows over shimmery ones for highlighting those areas of my eyes because I think it gives off a more natural effect. The contour and bronze powders in this palette are perfect for bringing some dimension to the cheeks! I love the greyish undertone of the contour shade and they blend so seamlessly.
I do plan on doing three different makeup looks using this palette for another blog post and video! Stay tuned for that!
Good quality makeup is essential, but to get a true quality look, you have to use quality tools. Though they are pricey, I do highly recommend Makeup Forever brushes. When I enrolled in school to become a Professional Makeup Artist, I received a kit full of Makeup Forever products, like these set of brushes! There are few missing but I wanted to write a separate review on these brushes where I’ll include the names of each brush, the application is like, price. Another reason why these are my favourite tools is because they were made in the motherland, île maurice!
Last year, I picked up a new hobby that soon unveiled a completely new side of me. I rekindled my love and passion for art when I began sketching in my sketchbook. I decided to go to Walmart one day just to check out the arts and crafts aisle. When I laid my eyes on this Simply Watercolour 24-piece set, I immediately put it in my cart. I’m not very knowledgable about art mediums so I’m not sure if these are good quality products, but I find the paints easy to use and mix. I have three random brushes that I always use to watercolour with and I haven’t had any problems with them. As you can tell, they are well loved.
That’s a wrap! 2016 was a heck of year and I’m really excited to see what products I’ll be bringing with me in 2018! I’ve unlocked a lot of new talents last year and I’m eternally grateful that I can use them in my career. What are your crème de la crème products for 2016?