Best of 2016

As the year wraps up, I thought it would be a good idea to compile a list of some of my favorite products throughout the year. These products include stuff that I have been reaching for throughout the year.

Face Products

 

Complexion Favorites 2016

 


I have been on the lookout for a new contour powder. I found that the one that I had was too warm for me in the winter months. When I went into Sephora, I explained to one of the representatives my issue, she referred me to the Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit. This is the perfect contour kit for someone with deeper skin complexions. It includes three colors, a contour shade, bronze shade, and highlight shade. I bought the “medium/deep” shade. When I am wanting a warmer contour, I mix the bronze with the contour shades to preventing it from being too cool and muddy.

I hate to jump on the bandwagon, but I couldn’t help it. This powder is phenomenal. Under the eyes, it helps to lock in your concealer and prevent it from creasing. One thing I have noticed is the fact that it clung to my dry spots this winter. That’s to be expected, being that it includes talc. I would suggest people with dry skin to dust this powder on, rather than bake with it to prevent it from clinging to your dry patches.

I actually received this as a Christmas gift from my lovely sister, Linda. (You can get to know her through her YouTube channel here.) There are a variety of shades that makes this a very versatile palette for any highlighter junkie. As you would expect, the highlighters are creamy and easy to work with. If you’re willing to splurge, it’s definitely a palette that you should look into.

Churro
colourpop.com
Churro was an instant favorite of mine. Though I didn’t mention it in my “Highlighter Favorites” post earlier this year, I completely fell in love with this. Much like other ColourPop products, Churro has a silky texture. It’s not too golden and not too peachy, making it perfect for a variety of skin tones. And the best part? It’s only $8!
Foundations
Foundation Favorites 2016

 


Again, I’m jumping on the bandwagon with the L’Oreal Pro-Matte foundation. There are countless reviews on this, so I won’t go too in-depth with this. It’s perfect for my oily skin makeup fanatics.

If you haven’t heard about this foundation, I am skeptical. This is geared towards those of you that are on the dryer side. As stated in the name, it gives off a luminous finish. If you’re more on the oily side, you may not like this. I love the fact that it comes with a dropper, which makes it easy to dispense the perfect amount. All-in-all, if you haven’t tried this, you should definitely go to your local Sephora and ask for a sample.

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics long wearing foundation
macys.com
Foundation sticks were all the rage in 2016. Wanting to try one, I opted for the Bobbi Brown stick and it completely changed the game. It gives a buildable medium to full coverage without looking cake-y. Because I’m lazy and refuse to use more than one brush for my complexion, I use a BeautyBlender sponge to blend it out because I find it the best to blend out my concealer. But, with this particular product, I would suggest that you use a brush, as it can be difficult to blend out with a sponge.

Cover Fx Custom Cover Drops N90
$49 – farfetch.com
Skincare
Skincare Favorites

 


Masks have really helped improve my complexion this year. This Black Tea face mask is really interesting. It gives off a cooling sensation when you rinse it off. This is perfect for hydrating your skin, without leaving you greasy. It also helps with problematic acne-prone skin. I would definitely recommend this to anyone that’s struggling with these skin issues.

Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Full Strength
bloomingdales.com
Every time I use this product, it completely blows my mind. I use it at night, before bed and when I wake up in the morning, I find that my skin is drastically improved. With this peel, I generally leave it on for 10-15 minutes and then rinse it off. This is perfect for acne-prone skin or if you struggle with dark marks. If you do purchase this, make sure you use it only once or twice a week. Anything more and you can run the risk of burning your skin. You don’t want to do that.

Simple Skincare Smoothing Facial Scrub
target.com
This was a surprising drugstore find. I love that it has exfoliants that give you a deep clean and removes your peaky dead skin. I love it so much that I even mentioned it in a previous post I dedicated completely to Simple Skincare.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Therapy
sephora.com
I usually have oily skin, but the dry winter weather has really dried me out. This face cream has really assisted with restoring my skin. I generally pat it in over the dry patches on my forehead and temples at night. If you have dry skin, this may be your best friend.

The Detoxifying Black Cleanser was a spur of the moment purchase. I was really interested in adding charcoal to my skin care routine and a representative at Sephora pointed me to this. It’s a black gel that warms on the skins. At first, it was extremely weird, but when you work it into a lather and rinse it off, it leaves your skin feeling soft and toxin-free.
Clothes
Anyone that knows me is very aware of my obsession with outerwear. I feel that the perfect sweater or trench just really makes the your whole outfit. It helps to tie in everything together, while keeping you warm.
Outerwear Favorites
Outerwear Favorites by Me featuring coats

Cardigan
forever21.com
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For the past couple of months, no one has been able to get me out of this particular cardigan. It’s the perfect cardigan to keep you warm. I’m a big fan of longline coats and sweaters because it really elongates your frame, making you look taller. It’s also versatile enough to be able to pair with not only jeans and a shirt, but a short dress.

Coat
forever21.com
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I’ve gotten many questions about where I’ve gotten my go-to jacket. I feel bad explaining that I got it two years ago at Charlotte Russe, but I recently stumbled upon a similar jacket on Forever 21. I wear  this with just about every outfit. That’s what I love about trench coats. They help to dress up a laid-back outfit and also is the perfect statement piece for a midi dress or skirt. I love to pair this with high-waisted jeans and booties.

Coat
shoptailor.com
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This coat has been the best purchase I’ve made in Richmond. I fell in love with the dusty pink color. I find that depending on what you pair it with, it the color can come across either stone or a very light pink. Much like the previous trench, I love to pair this with high-waisted jeans and booties. I also like to pair it with a black dress. I also have to mention the owner of Shop Tailor, Taylor Alexis. She is the sweetest person and was so helpful when I was looking for the right trench. If you’re looking to purchase quality items from an awesome and down-to-earth person, you should definitely log onto ShopTailor.com.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I hope your New Year is even better. Let me know what some  of your favorites of 2016 have been. I’d love to see what you love and what I should be picking up in 2017.

VERT Beauty Review

VERT Beauty is a boutique located in Denver, Colorado that sells a variety of organic beauty products. Along with green beauty services, VERT Beauty offers a line of natural and eco-friendly beauty products.

I had the wonderful opportunity to review some products from the company.

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I was able to get my hands on several VERT Beauty products. Products included were the Cheek Contour brush, Concealer brush, and the Beauty Eyeliner Pencil in ‘Vert.’

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First off, I have to say that I was very pleased to find that the Contour Brush was extremely soft. Just as the name suggests, the bristles are contoured to fit the hollows of your cheekbones. The bristles are made out of natural ebony capra (goat) hair that allows you to get a medium to full coverage with your bronzer application. This brush retails for $32.

Best Uses: Applying bronzer or contour in the hollows of your cheek as well as around the perimeter of your face.

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The next brush, which is my favorite of the two is the Concealer brush. The synthetic bristles are perfect for covering small breakouts. My favorite thing about this particular brush is the design. The brush has a removable “cap” that allows it to be perfect to put in your travel bag for on-the-go touch-ups.

The bristles are perfect for applying concealer because it is stiff enough for precise applications, but flexible enough to allow you blend out edges. This brush retails for $20.

Best Uses: Carving out your brows, outlining your lips and covering up small blemishes.

The last thing that I was given the beautiful VERT Beauty Eyeliner Pencil in the color ‘Vert.’ The color is this beautiful turquoise-jade shade. It’s buildable, so you’re able to add more layers to get your desired pigmentation. I found that the product itself was very smooth and easy to glide on. Ingredients include jojoba oil, mango seed oil, flower extracts and other nourishing ingredients that ensures that the pencil won’t skip over your lids. (No wrinkles with this product!)

VERT offers five different eyeliner pencil shades. Shades include Noir Or (black gold), Bleu (navy), Violet (purple), Cuivre (copper), and Vert. This pencil retails for $17.

Best Uses: Make hazel and brown eyes pop by creating a wing with Vert. Greens tend to make these color eyes stand out a bit more.

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I’m so glad to have been able to test these products out. I love learning about eco-friendly brands like VERT. The brushes are definitely worth it in my opinion. The brushes I received are from the VERT Beauty Brush Kit, which retails for $185. You can purchase the brush kit from the website here.

You can see other products VERT Beauty has to offer on the website.

KBShimmer Review

These products were given to me to test, but thoughts are 100% my own.

KBShimmer is a beauty company that offers a variety of products from body scrubs to nail polishes. At the beginning of the month, KBShimmer launched their Winter/Holiday Collection with 16 new shades. I recently had the opportunity to get my hands on some new nail polishes from the new collection.

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Also, would you like to know the best thing about the two polishes? They’re not tested on animals. (Claps for saving the bunnies!)

I was given two shades: Get To The Poinsettia (right) and Have A Look-Ski (left). Both have a holo (holographic) cast to them, which made me fairly skeptical of the pigmentation of them. However, after trying them out, I was pleasantly surprised.

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Let’s talk about Have A Look-Ski first. It’s a very pretty teal holo. It comes out a bit lighter on the nails than what you see from the bottle.

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I’m a big fan of nude polishes because the go with everything, but this color was a refreshing twist on my everyday look. I was able to get the full pigmentation of this polish after two coats. I really enjoyed wearing this for the weekend.

Get To The Poinsettia is definitely my favorite of the two. It was also the more pigmented of the two. Though the website says to apply two coats, I found that one coat was pigmented enough to fully cover my entire nail.

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Much like Have A Look-Ski, Get To The Poinsettia has a holo cast to it. I applied it to my toes and it lasted the fairly well, considering I didn’t apply a top coat to my toes.

Final Thoughts:

I really enjoyed the two polishes. My favorite thing about the two polishes is how quick-drying they are. By the time I finished applying one coat to each of my fingernails, my first hand was dry. If you don’t believe me, try it out for yourself!

I just have to say that if you are a germaphobe like me and you constantly wash your hands, you definitely need to apply a quick-dry top coat. This will ensure that your beautiful holo nails will last longer.

The polishes in KBShimmer’s Holiday/Winter Collection are now available. You can purchase them for $9.25 at KBShimmer.com, Amazon, and select salons and retailers.

(Pro-tip: Make your manicure last longer with a couple of easy steps! Make sure your nails are clean by sweeping them with acetone or alcohol before you apply the polish. This ensures that your nails don’t have any oil on them, which will help you avoid peeling. Also, wrap a bit of the polish around the tip of your nail to avoid chipping!)