2019 was… so-so—let’s be honest. It was a roller-coaster that was in a dire need to be fixed, repaired; imagine a scenario when you’ve reached the pinnacle, the vertex of the parabolic roller-coaster track and suddenly, the goddamn thing arrives to a screeching halt. But, instead of halting at the ‘highs’, the vehicle remained stagnant at the ‘lows’. Nonetheless, ‘19 hasn’t been as harsh to me as the preceding two years and for once, I want to be sanguine about 2020 which might stir hopes for a brighter future. Cheers to that!
However, 2019 was also fruitful in ways I couldn’t have imagined—I made new friends, gained more experience and… Started this blog. As much as I’m giddy with excitement to explore my options, I’m also eternally grateful for this opportunity. Also, I bought loads of makeup and skincare throughout the year; you see, my beauty purchases aren’t much of a seasonal affair. We’ll be primarily focusing on the that.
Even though I bought a lot of stuff, only a handful of them were worthy of a repurchase. Ranging from quads of glittery eyeshadows to bronzers big enough to not fit inside my bag, from scary-sounding acid and serums to utilising colour correctors for the first time, from discovering Ayurvedic, vegan products to buying regretful boujee skincare treatments—this year has been wild (in terms of beauty at least). In this piece, I’ll be telling you guys about my “holy grails” and the products that have earned my respect this year.
Disclaimer: The ratings are absolutely based on my own personal experiences and this is a completely unbiased and honest review. Some of the photos used are not my property, the source is the internet!
First off, kudos to L’Oréal for having about 20+ shades of foundation, concealer and complexion concerning makeup! It is quite a hassle to search for a shade that is free of that morbid orange pigment which, after oxidation, turns tangerine; this foundation, however, has a slight yellowish undertone and provides medium coverage. I bought the shade 3W Golden Beige which blends in without any excess labour. I don’t have to build it up and one pump is a generous amount that covers my entire face.
Ever since Glossier took the world by a storm with its sheer makeup (“minimum coverage”) that is meant to enhance natural beauty, I had kinda ditched foundations that offered medium-to-full coverage but this one was recommended to me by so many people! Plus, this is also non-comedogenic which means that it doesn’t clog your pores! I feel like it has moisturising properties because it doesn’t get flaky or dried up by the end of the day. It’s a great purchase considering it isn’t too ritzy and the amount of product can last really long. This is easily my favourite liquid foundation!
This mascara though. It has coconut oil in it! Coconut oil is literally the solution to the world’s problems at the present moment. The oil is primary composed of a medium-chain fatty acid that goes by the name of lauric acid which eases the absorption of oils in the hair and promotes hair growth!
I love the definition and the non-flaking features of this mascara! It’s quite thickening but my eyelashes don’t stick to each other and start faffing with this! If you’re going for the “no makeup” makeup look, then push all your other mascaras aside and use this. It gives off such a natural look! I have really thin eyelashes; they’re almost non-existent if you look from afar that’s why mascaras are part of my everyday makeup, but this? This is some next level stuff. I often use this to bolden my brows as well because… I have short brows and when I wear sunglasses they’re almost invisible, sigh, the perils of being… I can’t even think of a proper word. Moving on.
One coat is enough to cover the Eilish. Wow, talk about employing slapstick comedy. It doesn’t clump either! Can you believe that? Body Shop, what sorcery is this?
Since we’re already chatting about The Body Shop, let’s not go off-topic. I was a bit iffy about trying out night masks because I have had bad experiences in the past, mainly pillow stains (followed by my mum telling me to do the laundry, eugh), but I bought this anyway because The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Range is unrivalled. The facial cleanser has helped me with not just normal breakouts, but hormonal and cystic acne as well, I am also a big fan of the scrub and the daily solution! Yeah, basically the entirety of the collection.
The texture of the product is gooey, akin to slime and it’s green in colour. The immediate action formula is the reason why I’m hyping this so much. I’ve been using the mask for almost a month and the results are drastic! Usually, I wake up with a thin, oily layer of the product on my face and then I quickly rinse it off and it’s so cooling and hydrating. I’ve noticed reduction of blemishes and scars (looking at you, dumb seventh-grader me who used to pop the zits as if they’d magically disappear without leaving a trace) and evening out of my skin. I use it on an alternate-day basis and it’s actually a miraculous blend, to be honest.
I personally advise to use this after cleansing your face and applying a toner, preferably of the same range. This one is the integral part of my night-time routine and I think you all should try it too!
4. INNISFREE’S GREEN TEA SEED EYE CREAM (£25)
This was my first time trying Korean beauty products other than the sheet masks and I’ve officially put my faith in K-Beauty.
I have bags under my eyes—luggages, in fact—solely because I spend way too much time with my head buried in my ruddy textbooks, crying in the toilet in the middle of the night because… I’m very sensitive and I have mental breakdowns every now and then. Also, ‘cause school. So, if you ever happen to cross paths with me, you’ll be shocked to see the amount of concealer I slather my under-eyes with.
I haven’t noticed any dramatic differences yet but that’s because I’ve started using this only recently. (Thanks Innisfree for gifting me one of the free sample sachets—that’s how I got to know that this is some good stuff!) However, the luggages have reduced to purses! My under-eyes are free of those gigantic dark circles that have been housing them for so long. The interesting thing about this product that actually attracted my attention was the fact that the formula is hydrating and moisturising too! The formula consists of amino acids (as written on the bottle) which is meant for hydration, and alcohol. About the latter, I was a little hesitant before applying this because alcohols like isopropyl alcohol that is mainly used in cosmetics is an irritant—at least to me—but it wasn’t anything harmful. I generally apply this when I am multi-masking.
If you’re dealing with puffiness and under-eye dryness, then this is the product for you. Handcrafted by Gods.
Are any of my pieces really mine if I don’t mention at least one bronzer in them? In one of my older blog posts, I had sung praises of Marc Jacobs’ O!Mega Bronzer and L’Oréal’s Bronze Please! (with an exclamation mark in each of them!) because they’re actually amazing products that I’ve had the fortune of getting my hands on. Too bad, they’re too big! I use these bronzers almost everyday but when I need to touch up my makeup again, I can’t just carry around a 40 pound bronzer palette! Honey, no one’s got the time or the energy!
Back to Bronze is small, compact and quite soft, but it is buildable, however. I love the shade and I’m extremely enthusiastic to purchase the other variants! I use it on the corners of my forehead and right below the apple of my cheeks to enhance my complexion and it’s so pretty… Oh, God. Again, if you’re aiming for the “no makeup” makeup look, go ahead and brush this on your cheeks. It gives off the natural tan vibes.
6. REVLON’S COLORSTAY LOOKBOOK EYESHADOW PALETTE ($7.70 for Enigma, $5.99 for Player & Maverick)
This palette is a force to be reckoned with. I usually overlook Revlon’s counter in the stores but this… This singular palette changed my perspective of this brand. I threw my pre-conceived notions out of the window—that’s how good this palette is. The quality is just outstanding, the pay-off is so well; there’s no flakiness, the colours last for about an entire day and there are no clumps formed as well! I adore the vibrant shades—I have three (out of five) of these palettes: Player, Enigma and Maverick (Swatches are down below!)
The packaging is small and can be carried around easily! To attain an intensity similar to that of the swatches, one swipe is enough! The colours have varying finishes: satins, shimmers, mattes and etcetera so multiple looks can be acquired. The utilisation totally depends on your mood and occasion, if I’m aiming for a subtle, flirty look then I’d opt for Enigma, or if I’m going out for clubbing with my friends, I’d choose Player any day and for a neutral/nude, formal style, I’d go for Maverick without thinking twice.
I recommend using a eyeshadow primer before applying the product since it enhances the overall colour!
Okay, I don’t own this. This one belongs to my sister who’s rude enough to never lend it to me… So, I have to sneak into her room to use this (M, if you’re reading this, yes, I was the one who emptied this out. Don’t be mad at me). Anyhoo, mix a few drops into your moisturiser or sunscreen since applying it directly isn’t recommended!
I use this on my legs, face and oftentimes to highlight my collarbones. One pump is enough for a light film of this—I’m speaking for myself—because I have medium skin-tone so it suits me pretty well. The composition has Marula Oil and Theobroma Cacao Oil: the former is beneficial for acne-prone and oily skin types and the latter has anti-oxidative properties and none of these clog pores. The formula is super hydrating and easy to rinse off! If you’re going for the healthy, sun-kissed glow, I say, don’t hesitate to use this. It’s worth the price!
8. SUMMER FRIDAY’S R+R MASK (£46)
I feel as if Summer Friday—wholly, as a company—is degradingly underrated. I used to be huge fan of their Overtime Mask back in good ol’ 2016, and now that we’re nearing the end of a decade, I’ve switched to the R+R mask. This is made for combination skin (It’s not established otherwise, I’m just saying because it did the magic for me). Avoiding the eye area, just massage it all over your face and neck and leave it around for 10-15 minutes, rinse gently and voilà! My skin feels so hydrated and supple and it literally wakes you up.
Now, in my earlier pieces, I have stated this a number of times: I don’t use physical exfoliants. I restrain myself from doing so because the lack of uniformity in the particle size irks me but this mask has rose petal powder in it which tenderly exfoliates and I feel so… alive. Don’t take it the wrong way. Ahem. The composition is a lot of essential oils and I haven’t studied much about them so there’s a little grey area over there but one thing’s for sure—all oils have fatty acids and antioxidants so I’m 100% sure there’s moisturising properties in this. However, I feel more hydrated than moisturised when I use this? I hope that’s a good thing. Also, it’s completely vegan! So that’s great.
All in all, it’s an uh-mazing product with sweet, rosey smell and it’s oil-based (that’s why I was quite unsure as to why it’s hydrating), you get a good riddance of the dead skin cells piling up on your face!
I know, I haven’t updated in a long while. I feel exceedingly guilty about it, believe me. School keeps me preoccupied with tests and labs, I can’t even get time to sleep but hey! It’s still fun! I come back here because you guys pour in so much love with your likes and comments! Next up, I’ll be doing a piece on how to pick the right foundation! Yes, a lot of my friends were curious about it so I decided—why not? Or maybe something fresh. I don’t know, we’ll figure it out.
To keep yourself updated, follow my blog for e-mails! Wishing you all a lovely year ahead! Cue Start Of Something New. (Yes, I have been heavily invested in the new High School Musical series)