2015 Beauty Favorites

Here's another yearly roundup that I decided to continue after writing one last year. I've discovered lots of new holy grail products this year, and lucky for you, most of them can be found at the drugstore! Read ahead for everything that I absolutely loved this past year!

L'Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation in 104 Golden Beige
Starting off with a drugstore option, this stood out to me the most this year out of all the ones I've tried. It's not nearly as impressive as my two other favorite foundations that I'll be mentioning in a bit, but it's a great drugstore product that's well worth the money. It has a broad shade selection, a smooth, velvety formula, and it lasts relatively long with minimal touchups.

MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NC25
As much as I really liked the MAC Pro Long Wear foundation, this one tops it for me because it lasts and stays matte much longer and the formula's a little easier to work with. My only complaint is the packaging (no pump) which makes it difficult to get the product out especially when you're about to run out. 

MATCHCo Foundation
If you missed yesterday's post, I raved all about this app-exclusive foundation. It's my absolute holy grail of all time so far, so it's gonna be really hard for something to top it off. It's about $50, but I assure you that it's worth every penny (for a makeup junkie anyway). It matches my skin tone perfectly (hence the name), provides full coverage, stays matte and flawless for as long as 12 hours, and the formula feels incredibly comfortable despite the heavy coverage. It seriously has everything I look for in a foundation, so I'm definitely going to repurchase in a few months. I highly recommend downloading the app - just type MATCHCo and let the app do the rest of the color-matching!

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer - Neutralizer
I included this concealer in last year's beauty roundup as well, but this one in particular is in the shade Neutralizer, which has a bright yellow tone that functions as the perfect highlighter and concealer for the undereyes, forehead, nose bridge, and chin. I apply it directly on those areas and blend it with my favorite beauty sponge for a flawless finish.

SOHO Beauty Sponge
Speaking of my favorite beauty sponge, I've been using nothing but the one by SOHO, which I actually prefer a lot more than the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion sponge. It's just way more durable and it doesn't absorb too much product, which was my problem with the latter. It's the perfect tool for blending foundation, concealer, and even undereye setting powder!
e.l.f. Studio Ultimate Blending Brush
While I do love using a sponge for blending, this brush is especially great for foundation when I want super full coverage (which is usually the case). It's very dense but soft at the same time, so it picks up a lot of product and distributes it evenly and seamlessly. It doesn't shed either, so I'm pretty sure I'll be using this for a long time.

Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade in Soft Brown
The Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade will probably be my holy grail eyebrow product for years for the sole purpose that it's gonna take me forever to finish. I believe I've had it for almost a year now, yet I barely got through the surface and I use this thing every single day I go out. The waxy texture works best for me because it doesn't smudge and it lasts for as long as I need it to, even after long naps when I tend to sleep on the side of my face. It's so easy to work with as well, as long as I use a thin angled brush.

L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Miss Manga Rock Mascara in Waterproof Blackest Black
I don't exactly remember, but I think this is the first drugstore mascara that really stood out to me and I actually considered a holy grail at some point. It's definitely one of the best inexpensive ones, but it's one of those things that just comes down to personal preference because not everyone likes that spiky look. 
Maybelline Volume Express The Falsies in Blackest Black
As you can see in comparison to L'Oreal's, the Falsies gives a fuller, more wispy look, which is why it's my new holy grail mascara as of now. I actually just got it later this year, but I had to include it in this roundup because I seriously swear by it. However, this one takes quite a few coats and even more TLC to get it to look this nice, but it's worth the effort because the end result always makes my lashes look like falsies!

NYX Highlight & Contour Pro Palette
I haven't been doing strong contouring lately, but when I do, I always turn to this palette. It's got everything I need - even highlighting powders for undereyes, eyelids, and brow bones. I use the last two contour shades the most because they work best with my skin tone, and the darkest one is great for when I really want that chiseled look. It's definitely pricy for a drugstore product, but the pans are refillable and you don't need much anyway because they're all so extremely pigmented that you literally just need a dab to get enough product on the hollows of your cheekbones.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed
Speaking of something that will last you a lifetime, the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush is one of those "a little goes a long way" kind of products. I've also had this for a quite a few months now and I barely hit pan. The pigmentation is incredible and this color in particular is so versatile that it goes with any look. Plus, it stays all day long even during the summer!

Colourpop Highlighter in Lunch Money
My absolute favorite highlighter ever is Colourpop's Lunch Money because... I mean just look at that intense glow! The formula is so unique - it's like a mousse, cream, and powder all at the same time which doesn't even make sense, but the result is this stunning wet-looking radiance that adds so much life to my face. Again, a little definitely goes a long way. I've been wearing this every day since summer and it barely looks touched!

Colourpop Ultra Matte Lip in Bumble
Perhaps my most favorite category for this year (or every year for that matter) is lipsticks because if you can't already tell, I have a little hoarding problem, but I feel like I'm at a point where I'm satisfied with the brands I've tried because I absolutely love them more than anything I have in my lipstick collection. Starting off with a much cheaper "drugstore" option, Colourpop's Bumble instantly became a favorite because it's the shade I've been so anally searching for, and it's an added bonus that it's ultra matte and lasts for a decent amount of time. I honestly wouldn't mind stocking up on these because they're certainly worth every penny.
Ofra Cosmetics x Kathleen Lights Liquid Lipstick in Miami Fever
On the slightly more expensive side (if you use the coupon code Kathleen40, you get 40% off), KathleenLights's collaboration with Ofra Cosmetics called Miami Fever hands-down tops anything I have in my massive lipstick collection. It's a bit more on the orange side, but with a darker mauve lip liner underneath, I get this gorgeous deep terracota shade that I ended up loving much more than I expected. I loved it so much that I repurchased another one even if I'm nowhere near done with my first tube, which is very unlike me especially when something's this pricy. The moussey texture makes it super hydrating despite the matte finish and it also lasts all day even after heavy meals! I loved the formula so much that I purchased another one in a different shade (Santa Ana), which I absolutely adore as well but not nearly as much as Miami Fever. It's seriously a shame that it's limited edition!
Girlactik Matte Lip Paint in Demure
On the much higher end of my collection, Girlactik's Demure also falls on my top favorite liquid matte lipsticks. It has a strong but nice fragrance, great pigmentation, and the smoothest formula out of all the ones I have. It lasts slightly longer than Bumble but not as long as Miami Fever. However, since the color is a bit more on the vampy, muted side, I don't always reach for this one on an everyday basis. Nonetheless, it's an incredibly stunning and versatile shade that flatters any skin tone.

That's it for all of my absolute must-haves for 2015! I truly recommend every single one of these products because they're quite life-changing... at least in the eyes of a beauty blogger. As I've said in my last favorites post, thanks so much for being a part of a great year! It's been an eventful one and I can't wait to see what the upcoming year will bring. Have an amazing and safe New Year's Eve and I'll catch you all in 2016!

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An Irvine-based style & beauty blogger

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