Best of 2020: Make Up

I’m not going to barrage you with a reminder of how much this past year sucked, I am sure you have heard “we made it through” way too many times these past few weeks. I only bring up the train wreck that was 2020 to explain why almost all my favorite products this year have been mentioned previously. For me, this was not the year of makeup experimentation, rather I found myself falling back into tried and true products that felt comfortable. Between Zoom appearances and moving from my bed to the couch, I did not find myself straying all that far from these products. Heres to 2021, and a more inspirationally fulfilling attitude moving forward!

NUDESTIX Eyebrow Stylus Pencil & Gel $26.00

I originally bought this product just for the gel after hearing Kathleen Lights rave about its powerful hold, but I have embraced the full product recently. I have fairly easy eyebrows to deal with, so I am never usually looking for more than a pencil to fill in any gaps and a clear gel to keep them in place. The pencil is admittedly pretty dry, so I wouldn’t recommend it for someone that needs a lot of light hair-like strokes. I would like to petition NUDESTIX to release the gel a standalone product though, because it really is the best clear eyebrow gel I have ever used. My brows stay put all day, without feeling like I smeared a glue stick across my forehead.

Charlotte Tilbury Eyes to Mesmerize Cream Eyeshadows $32.00

My favorites: Champagne, Oyster Pearl, Amber Gold, Chocolate Bronze

For every ten times I wore eye makeup this year, 9 times it has been some hastily thrown together combination of these four eyeshadows. Everything about this product is perfect; the consistency is blendable and smooth, it can be used as a wash or color or be built up to full opacity. Once these set, they stay bright on my eyes for hours and hours, and the cream formula means no fallout. If you have blue eyes, go out and buy the Amber Gold (previously named Bette) shade right now, and if you aren’t convinced, go look at Estee Lalonde on instagram wear it, and you will be.

Kosasport LipFuel Hyaluronic Lip Balms $18.00

My favorites: Baseline (clear), Pulse (sheer, warm tan)

I have either worn a sheer lip balm or nothing at all since quarantine, mainly because putting a lip product on only to have it ruined by a mask has been a waste of time. I love these balms from Kosas, they hydrate my lips for hours and never feel greasy or too slippy. The shade Pulse gives the most beautiful subtle wash of color, it really brings life to the face.

Buxom Wanderlust Primer-Infused Blushes $23.00

My favorites: Mykonos (peach), Seychelles (bronze), Dolly (absolute mauve)

If you take anything away from this post, let it be the overwhelming need to collect every single one of these blushes from Buxom. I cannot stress enough how perfect this formula is, it is the only powder blush that truly lasts all day on my skin without any fading. The shades are super pigmented, so you do need a light hand with some of the deeper shades. If I had to pick one, it would be Seychelles, because it doubles as a bronzer when I am particularly pale.

Read a more in depth review here

Jouer Cosmetics Essential High Coverage Liquid Concealer $22.00

This is one of those concealers that is creamy enough to sit beautifully under my eyes, but also opaque and long-lasting enough to cover up blemishes all day. I only need to set this lightly, and I can add layers and layers without it looking caked on and gross. My one issue with this product? The shade range is great for fair and light skin, but seriously lacking in darker shades with varying undertones.

Fenty Beauty Sun Stalk’r Instant Warmth Bronzer ‘Inda Sun’ $30.00

When the only face-to-face you get is over Zoom, it’s important to look somewhat alive and healthy, at least enough to fool your boss or classmates. This bronzer is perfectly subtle and difficult to overdo, so it is beginner friendly. Because it is a matte formula, it can also be used to contour the face, and this shade is particularly neutral so both cool and warm undertones can use it.

Read a more in depth review here

Tatcha The Silk Canvas Protective Primer $52.00

I hate to gush about this primer because it is both bulky and expensive, but I really do think it is worth it. I have almost completely ditched all my other primers save for my moisturizer in favor of this product. It fully blurs the pores around my nose and chin, and creates the most even, beautiful base to put foundation on top of. I have yet to try a foundation or concealer that doesn’t work well with this primer. If you aren’t sold yet, buy the small sampler size and test it out for yourself!

Read a more in depth review here

Glossier Perfecting Skin Tints $26.00

Although the stress of quarantine initially caused me to break out, my skin has since been looking super healthy most likely due to the dramatic decrease in face makeup usage. When I do want to lay a very subtle base down to blend my concealer into though, I have been reaching for this skin tint from Glossier. I love how buildable this product is, I can put on layer after layer and it never looks caked on because the formula is so thin and smooth. This has very light coverage so I really only recommend it for casual, no-makeup looks. I usually use the shade G11, but I sometimes like to add a drop or two of the darker shades to bronze up my skin a bit.

Read a more in depth review here

Glossier Cloud Paint Cream Blushes $18.00

Top to bottom: Storm (warm rose), Puff (light, cool pink), Dusk (brownish nude), Haze (deep fuschia), Dawn (sunny coral), Beam (soft peach), Eve (rich mulberry), Spark (bright poppy)

I really think these might be my favorite makeup product of all time, and the reasoning is two-fold. For one thing, the colors are all stunning and the packaging and marketing feel so fun. Secondly, they actually perform as beautifully as they look. Because it is a thinner gel formula than a typical cream blush, it dries down completely and does not budge at all. You can mix them together to get your perfect shade (like real paint), or you can do the lazy girl trick I love and use the shade Dusk as both a blush and a bronzer. I find these apply best using first a stippled brush and then a beauty sponge. I like to warm up the product a bit on the back of my hand before applying it also, it really makes it blend perfectly.

Read a more in depth review here, and here

Colourpop Flexitarian Super Shock Highlighter $8.00

I usually like to keep my face colors (blush, bronzer, highlight) either all powder or all cream/liquid/gel, so I have been constantly pairing this highlight with my Glossier Cloud Paints. Be warned, this product is not for the faint of heart, it delivers an insanely metallic sheen that always steals the show, so I tend to let my eye makeup play a supporting role. I like to apply this very lightly to the tops of my cheekbones with my fingers, and then blend it in with a damp beauty sponge.

Melt Cosmetics Gemini Eyeshadow Palette $58.00

The moment I saw this eyeshadow palette, I knew we would be in it for the long haul. I absolutely love the deep olive greens and mustard yellow/brown shades, they are the best way to change up the classic smokey eye. Melt’s formula is also one of the best on the market, the shades are all pigmented and long lasting, and blending couldn’t be easier. I know they are most famous for their shadow stacks (my Rust stack has definitely seen better days) but I really think this is their best product.

Read a more in depth review here

Dose of Colors Pretty Cool Eyeshadow Palette $32.00

This palette has allowed me to float comfortably in the eyeshadow range of “barely there” and “fine I’ll add some depth.” The first two shades are perfect for all over the lid and a little concentrated in the crease for a super subtle bit of definition. I also like to add the tiniest bit of the last shade to just the outer corners of my crease to deepen my look. This palette is perfect for those of us with more neutral and/or pink undertones, because the browns are cool without looking ashy.

Read a more in depth review here

L’Oreal Voluminous Original Deep Burgundy Mascara $8.99

I am not a huge mascara person, I have short lashes that clump up easily, so I only have a few formulas that work for me. The Voluminous formula from L’Oreal has always been a favorite, and when I saw that they came out with some more colors I had to try it. I have green eyes and something about this Burgundy shade makes them pop like crazy. If you have hazel or green eyes, you need to go pick this up right now.

Let me know your favorite products of 2020!

Glowingly yours,


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