Saturday, February 6, 2016

2015 Beauty Favorites

It's the new year! Hello 2016! It's nice to see you. Now 2015 might have been a pretty tough year but I have come to respect the challenges given to me even if they were difficult. Of course there were challenges to face but alongside challenges are also glorious triumphs. 

Also, I made lots of new beauty discoveries this past year and I would like to go ahead and share them even though it might be a bit late. Well here we go a 2015 beauty favorites round-up!

The Top Nude Lip : 2015 was the year I discovered the magic of nude lipstick and became increasingly obsessed. I have a post of a collection of nude products I discovered this year ( which you can read here x). However, my top pick by far was MAC Velvet Teddy Lipstick. I think in general 2015 was the year of MAC lipstick for me. My collection grew from 0 to now 5 in the past year. However, the winner by far is Velvet Teddy. Its just such a wearable everyday  color for me. I adore MAC's matte formula because it is so comfortable to wear and not overly drying and of course the vanilla scent makes it that much more of a winner. 

The New Holy Grail Concealer : The Urban Decay Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer. Replacing 2014's NARS Creamy Radiant Concealer, ( which is still very good in my book) The one from Urban Decay is just fantastic and is formulated beautifully with a full coverage look but completely weightless feel. Light the name would suggest. The other reason this product is great in my book is its wand applicator, it is designed like a doe-foot but it is actually flat sided and very flexible so you can easily use it on both sides. Simply genius. 

Best Beauty Tools: 1. The Original Beauty Blender. I think if I went around telling people that a little pink sponge changed my life there would be some big raised eyebrows but, I can tell you guys that a little pink sponge changed my life and you would understand. I was initially unsure if I would like it when I bought it but I must have horribly misunderstood this products magic. The Beauty Blender makes putting on base products a complete joy. It blends everything so seamlessly, so effortlessly I honestly don't know how I went so long before trying this product out. I use this tool everyday multi purposely without fail. I know there are many dupes out there on the market. I just don't think the original can be beat in this case and in my opinion. 

Now, I love my MAC 217 brush its really great at blending and even some packing too. It's a really nice multipurpose brush. One problem I find with it though, its kinda scratchy. Its not as soft as I think it should be. Thus, the Morphe 505 brush has taken its place for the primary multipurpose blending brush. Its quite a bit fluffier than the 217 but, it is also that much softer as well. I absolutely love this brush and will continue to love it throughout the new year. 

For the brush that really helps me do so many things I have loved this Sephora Classic Multitasker Brush all year long. The brush hairs are so so soft and make blending product a dream. Because of the nice angled shape to it I use it for bronzer, blush and the edge of the brush for highlight too. I think its always handy to have a brush like this around that can accomplish multiple tasks. 

Best Base Products : For the year 2015 I continued a series of blog posts I titled "Covering Your Bases" which are essentially in depth reviews of foundations I put to the test. This year was a very successful year for base products, therefore I have a couple to share starting with the Hourglass Hyaluronic Skin Tint which came into my life at a time when none of my foundations that I had before were working correctly anymore. My skin had severe dry patches and was in general very sad looking when I put foundation on. This product made my skin look healthy and luminous again and I was so grateful for it. The next foundation isn't technically a foundation, its a CC Cream but boy does it give a good whopping bit of coverage. I am talking about the IT Cosmetics CC Cream + Illumination. I really loved how this stuff felt on my skin. It felt light and fresh and perfect for summertime especially since it has SPF, definitely worth checking out. My favorite base innovation was the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops. Not a foundation precisely but it can become one. I think this product was so incredibly innovative and something the beauty world needed to see. It feels like such a simple idea because this product is pretty much just pigment. But, its so genius because of its multiple uses. You can adjust the shade of a foundation, add extra coverage to an already existing base, use it directly as a concealer, turn your favorite moisturizer into a tinted foundation. The only downside is that I seem to run out of it so quickly. The last foundation I will "cover" here is the Too Faced Born This Way Foundation which I discovered this fall. I think this foundation fully meets the traditional standard. All the rest of the bases I have mentioned don't formally call themselves a "foundation". But, this one does and it does a damn good job. Flawless coverage, great packaging with a pump, not too dewy or matte, long lasting, hydrating for the skin, etc. Really loving this one and I am still loving it now in 2016. 

Read the full "Covering Your Bases" posts here! ( 1, 2, 3

Best Glow Factor: In 2015 the whole world blew up for highlighter. Everyone wanted that glow, #dathighlighttho. It quickly became my favorite part of putting on my makeup. Now, to achieve that glow I think the easiest brand go to is Becca Cosmetics. They are well renowned for their Shimmering Skin Perfectors in Liquid, Pressed and Cream form. I have loved the Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal for a while but 2015 had in store a special collaboration that would strike the hearts of many. Makeup Artist/Youtuber Jaclyn Hill's collaboration with Becca to create the limited edition Shimmering Skin Perfector in the shade Champagne Pop. I personally went on a frenzy to get this because not only do I love Jaclyn I also was in love with the color. Which is a white gold with peachy undertones. This product is just freaking gorgeous on the cheekbones, on the eyes, all over the body.. ( just kidding) if you are interested please pick Champagne Pop up because it isn't going to be around forever. The other highlight I wanted to mention came late in the game this year and it is Laura Geller's Baked Gelato Highlight in Gilded Honey. This is a straight up gold highlight and if you have been on here for any length of time you might have gathered that I LOVE gold. To the touch it does not feel as creamy as a Becca Highlight might, but it melts into the skin just as beautifully if not better. 

Best Blushes: I have two favorite blushes for this year and a honerable mention as well. More towards the beginning of the year I bought MAC's Ambering Rose Blush which I feel is more of a fall shade but I wore it anyways for a good majority of the year. Its such a pretty rosy shade. Then I discovered Becca's Mineral Blush in Wild Honey, a peachy nude, which won my heart for the remainder of the year. I also wanted to mention The Body Shop's All in One Blush in the shade Amber, another beautiful warm mauve shade, which I also really liked this year. 

Best Bronzer: The Bodyshop's Honey Bronzer ( not pictured - lost it :( ). Loved the Honey Bronzer this year. Its great for those who have fair skin because its not too dark or muddy and its also very build-able so its also good for those who may be novice to bronzer. I will mention even though its very new to me, the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer has been really speaking my language so far. Definitely will land a place in another future favorites post I am sure. 

Best Drugstore Buys: I stuck to a lot of higher end products this year but I don't want to leave out the drugstore faves because there were a few. The first is the NYX Glide On Eyeliner in Golden Bronze which is a beautiful cinnamon color with a hint of gold. This was a staple for the waterline in the autumn to amp up the fall looks. Next, is Maybelline's Creamy Matte Lipstick in Divine Wine. This formula and color blew my mind its so unbelievably gorgeous. Such a rich oxblood color. If you are someone who likes a vampy lip you need this. Go buy it. You're welcome. The last drugstore buy is another NYX product and it is their Liquid Suede ( liquid lipstick) in the shade Sandstorm. I really love the formula of these liquid lipsticks because they do not make my lips feel like the Sahara Desert and they are non patchy upon application. The color Sandstorm is a browny nude,( another thing that I loved in 2015) that just looks cool, it may not be for everyone but I really love it. I really want to try more from this collection because they have such a beautiful range of color. 

Best Eyeshadow Palettes: So...Hi. My name is Allegra and I may be addicted to eyeshadows. Nice to meet you. Whether its a full blown palette or a single eyeshadow I just love to collect them and play around with colors and formulas. It brings so much joy into my life. I wanted to start off with some palettes that I loved a lot in 2015 and then move on to some singles as well. The Kat Von D Shade + Light Eye Palette was probably the most surprising favorite in 2015. I never liked mattes before, I thought they were boring and they just didn't interest me until this palette came along. I was going to resist it, but as I drove home one fateful day with swatches from it on the back of my hand I just kept looking at them. They were so pigmented, so smooth. I needed it. Since then I used this palette SO much, more than I ever thought I would. I love the way the colors are laid out and as I already mentioned the formula of these shadows are just incredible. I learned in 2015 that mattes are good and actually essential to put looks together. Thanks Kat Von D! I also have to give a brief mention to the OG original Naked Palette from Urban Decay because I became a cult follower to this palette. I think this is mostly due to the shade Half Baked ( can you guess?..its a gold shade) because it makes my life feel that much more complete. I can feel the eye-rolls because this palette has been to talked about to death and back but hey, there is a definite reason for it okay! Lastly, I wanted to mention the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette which I got as a lovely birthday gift from my best friend. This palette has a lot of amazing neutrals again, ( I am aware all the palettes I am mentioning are neutral. I'm sorry!) another reason I love this palette is the heavenly scent of cocoa that comes from it. I think that little added touch makes this palette that more special. 

Best Single Eyeshadows: Now, onto single eyeshadows! Probably my most used and best singles are my Makeup Geek foiled eyeshadows. I have talked about these shadows to death I feel so I won't go on and on, but they are amazing. Probably my top shade is Magic Act ( a pale white gold) and I think I will be expanding my collection of Makeup Geek shadows in 2016 because I love them so much. MAC Cranberry (not pictured) eyeshadow still remained a solid favorite in 2015. I also had a brief but strong moment with Burberry's Pale Barely which is a unique but easy to wear taupe color. Kat Von D's Metal Crush Eyeshadow in Doce ( a rich copper) blew my mind. I tried Makeup Forever Artist Shadow's (not pictured) and they were also so amazing. And lastly, Charlotte Tillbury's Eyes To Mesmerize Cream Eyeshadow ( not pictured) in the shade Bette ( a burnished amber gold), swooped in at the last second and stole my heart for the last remainder of the year. Seriously, so many great eyeshadow formulas out there I cannot wait to try out more in 2016! 

Best Brow Products: Alright, we are almost there! I promise! I only have two brow favorites both from Anastasia. The Anastasia Dip Brow being the main favorite. I had no idea how long this stuff would last. I still have half a container and its still going strong. Also, I feel it gives me very "on fleek" brows which is also awesome. The other favorite is the Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel. This product helped me when I was in more of a rush and needed to do quicker brows. It keeps the hairs in place while also giving them a hint of color and fullness. I do think the wand is a little too big but, I still like it and used it a bunch

Best Mascara: Benefits Roller Lash. I loved Roller Lash so much this year. It gives really nice length and separation and doesn't flake. I also really liked Tarte's Gifted Mascara as well.  

Best Finishing Spray: To finish this post all off I wanted to mention lastly a setting spray. The original MAC Fix + is almost like a makeup godsend. Again, its one of those products that has multiple uses. However, its best use is to mist the face down after all the makeup has been applied to help even more to blend things together, make your face look less powdery and give your face a radiant glow before you head out the door. I also like to use Fix + before makeup to help hydrate and also wake me up if I am just getting out of bed. 

Yay! Made it to the end! ( whew!) A whole year wrapped up in makeup favorites. I really hoped you enjoyed it and also I really hope you all had a wonderful year, holiday and new year as well. I know this post is going up later than I wanted it to but I definitely wanted to put this one up in order to give some closure to 2015. It deserved a send off. Now, you and I can continue on together in 2016 and all it may have to offer us. Blogging is very fun and I am so excited to create more content this year, grow, and hopefully connect with more of you. Please, in the comments tell me : What were some of your favorites of 2015? it doesn't have to be makeup either it can be anything! Favorite memory, accomplishment, etc. Let me know! 
Have a great week guys! I will see you all soon!

- A 


  1. I see loads of my favourites here! Loving sandstorm!xx

    Laura | Lala London: Beauty & Lifestyle

  2. Makeup Geek eyeshadows have one of the nicest formula I've come across, I think I love them more than Mac! I really want to try the Too faced Foundation, that may be one of my next purchases ;)
    xxx Claire


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