We all come across new favorites with each passing year. Let me tell you, last year was no exception. There were quite a few items that I discovered and earned a place on my “Best of Beauty” for 2019.
Most of my “Best Of” pile from 2019!!
Among what wasn’t on the list were eyeshadow palettes nor were single eyeshadows. I’ll tell you why. There is a plethora of eyeshadow palettes in my collection and the fact is, I don’t use them all. And in the ones I do use, only the neutrals are in constant use. It made absolutely no sense to add any of them to my list.
A few of the palettes that I have. Only the neutrals are used. Made no sense to add any of these to the best of list.
Also, there really is no drug store makeup on the list except for mascara and lipstick. Why? You might ask. Well, I purchased two drugstore foundations that received tons of love and great reviews. But they didn’t work for me. In fact, they turned out to be a disappointment. The Maybelline Fit Me foundation and the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint.
The Fit Me states it’s made for Normal to Dry skin. Didn’t do a dang thing for me!
Both foundations did nothing. The Fit Me did not provide a dewy finish and the Hydro Boost did not provide any coverage or a great finish. It was dry. Now, this could possibly be due to the fact they aren’t mature-skin friendly. However, I didn’t get the hype about either product.
Add to that the drugstore pricing keeps escalating. I’ve reached the point where for a few bucks more, I’ll level up to a more upscale brand. I have and there are four foundations on my list!
With the escalating price point of drugstore makeup –I’ll take a couple of dollars more and level up!
So, let’s get down to the nitty gritty—shall we?
All-Over Skin Moisturizer: Cerave. My dermatologist recommended this to me and I have to tell you. I love this. The cream is thick and glides on nicely. It absorbs wonderfully. And I use it in the evening on my face.
At around $12, this moisturizing cream is the bomb! It’s perfect for all-over moisturizing AND great on the face. I use it at night!
Face Moisturizer: L’Oréal Age Perfect Rosy Tone Moisturizer. WOW! Is this stuff greatness. And I would have never known about it if Influenster didn’t send me a jar for a try-out and review. I used this for six weeks before reviewing. Around the third week, close to the month period, Bonaparte made a remark that my skin was looking really nice. Then I received more compliments from co-workers. I was blown away. The funny thing is that when you take it out of the jar, on your fingers, it doesn’t feel like it’s going to be hydrating. In fact, it feels a bit dry. Then you apply it and it morphs into this silky cream. The rosy tone dissipates but gives a bit of a glow and with use, the skin really looks better!
I purchased new jar the other day and this is definitely going to be repurchased and repurchased. It’s just a terrific day cream!
THIS! The L’Oreal Age Perfect, Rosy Tone moisturizer is fantastic! Take a look at my skin. It’s really improved and under makeup it gives a nice glow. Did it get rid of wrinkles? No. But it gave my skin a youthful glow and smoothes out the texture. I love this stuff! And at under twenty dollars at Walmart it’s a great deal!
Best Skin Oil: Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse ‘Or. This oil can be used for hair, for skin, and for the face. I’m into the shimmer and here’s why. I love a dewy glow. I love a luminous look for the face. This works. I apply this on my face after my primer and before applying foundation. Under foundation, it gives a healthy luminosity. A little goes a long way. I would never put this on my hair—bio or fake though. I’ll stick to the face!
This oil also comes without shimmer but I prefer the shimmer. It gives a nice luminosity under foundation and during the summer it gives your tan (real or fake) a nice glow!
Best All-around Multitasking Cream: Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrate. This is da bomb! I use it as a primer. I use it as a moisturizer. I’ve used it as a makeup remover in a pinch. This does it all. And a little bit goes a long, long way. I first purchased this at City-Pharma in Paris for the first time at the end of 2018 and it became a “go-to” for 2019. In fact, I purchased two more tubes of this on our last Paris trip. As a primer, it is great under makeup. It’s a great hand cream too. It’s great!
Now available in the States, this multitasking cream is wonderful. A moisturizer, a primer (and I use it as one), a makeup remover. It’s definitely a must-have and best-of! I’ve two unopened tubes in waiting!
InStylish Beauty Blending Sponges: Thanks to Chippy’s penchant for snacking on my beauty sponges, I am eagerly awaiting a shipment that I ordered last week. I’ve replaced other blending sponges for these non-latex ones. They blend makeup smoothly and the way the sponges are sculpted gives more ease in blending. I’m very pleased with the way the sponges not only blend, but how they apply foundation. The sponges don’t overdo it on the absorption so there’s more makeup on your face than the sponge!
It’s obvious that Chippy loves these blending sponges as much as I do…
Fear not! My new order of Instylish blending sponges arrived today AND with a sponge holder no less.
This is being kept far from Chippy, the non-latex blending sponges are the best I’ve ever used..and I’ve used ’em all!
Kerry-Lou Brushes: I have three of Kerry Lou’s brushes. The fan brush, the foundation brush and the stippling brush. Of the three, the foundation brush has turned into a Holy Grail. What’s great about it? Well, for one thing, many foundation brushes can leave lines of foundation. where applied–think of a carpet with vacuum cleaning lines or a lawn that has been freshly mowed. This one doesn’t. It does the job of applying foundation so well. And when you have a great brush you use less product! (All three brushes are excellent but the foundation brush is definitely a best)
My Kerry-Lou foundation brush is especially fantastic when applying a thicker foundation. Less product is used. I tell you this is an excellent brush!
Real Techniques Blending Brush: I love these so much that I have a stash. For a small brush, there’s a ton of versatility. They are excellent for applying concealer, cream blush any cream makeup for that matter. I’ve used these to blend in some foundations as well and the price is so inexpensive that you’ll buy them in multiples
Number 01413 is the magic number. I swear these brushes are ridiculously versatile. I will be placing these new ones into my travel kit. I have one for blush…one for concealer…
The brush is designed to use with smaller packaging too, which is very efficient and practical!
Best Multi-Tasking Makeup Product: THIS IS THE NUMBER ONE “BEST OF 2019” Subtl Beauty Stacks. Holy Cannoli. These stacks are priceless! The greatest travel makeup. One for your vanity. One for your purse. And let me make it clear—this isn’t “gimmick” makeup. The products offered in the stacks are excellent. Well-pigmented. Creamy. Blendable. Incredible!
Overall Best of 2019. Subtl Beauty’s stackable makeup. This is no gimmick. These products are excellent and proof that the best things come in small packages!
The bronzer can be used as eyeshadow. And Lord knows, I’ve been using it on both my face and eyes. The lip/cheek color is luscious and creamy and stays put. The highlighter is some of the best ever. Giving a glow that won’t make you look like headlights turned on to bright! I have one on my vanity and one in my travel bag. I can go on record as stating that this is my Number One favorite makeup item of 2019. It’s that good. Honestly, if you are planning on traveling this year, head to the website and do yourself a favor!
And if you love a natural look, Subtl Beauty gives it to you. All from those little stacks!
Foundation: 2019 was the Year of the Foundation for me. It seems as though I found the best ones that work for my mature skin. None are drugstore brands (although one favorite that remains year after year is The Ordinary Serum Foundation). These foundations have made my face very happy.
MAC Face and Body. There has been a lot said about this. I’ve read many negative reviews and positive but I have to say, this is a terrific foundation. There is a learning curve and this is best applied with the fingers then blended in with a damp, almost dry blending sponge. It isn’t full-coverage and it is more on the matte side. Definitely use an oil underneath before applying. This is also buildable; however, I find that I think one application is fine—especially if you are going for a light and natural look. It’s mature-skin friendly and applies like a second skin! It’s been said that this keeps well in the fridge but I haven’t tried that.
Not full-coverage, and there is a learning curve because this isn’t your usual foundation. Apply with fingers then blend in. It ends up like a second skin. And doesn’t cake up in the wrinkles. Very liquidy and buildable. Once I figured out how to use this, I ended up loving it!
Jouer High Coverage Crème Foundation. Another foundation with a learning curve. But once you “get” the application down pat, you will absolutely wonder how you ever did without this. This is full coverage. FULL coverage. And one to one and a half pumps will be sufficient for your entire face. Again, this doesn’t give off a luminous glow so it’s best to apply an oil underneath the foundation. I think the most challenging aspect to this foundation is finding the correct shade for your skin tone. I purchased Vanilla which, in all honesty, is a bit too fair for me. However, I make it work with bronzer and blush strategically applied. I’ll be repurchasing in a darker shade. But you can order a sample card that would best fit your skin tone. Of note—shake before using because it does have a tendency to oxidize slightly! Read my blog post about Jouer Cosmetics!
Once I figured out how to properly use and apply this foundation, it became so used that it is a “Best Of” for 2019! I LOVE this..
This Vanilla shade is light but the coverage and the finish are incredible!
Anastasia Beverly Hills “Foundation”. Lest we never forget what is inside the bottle! I love this foundation and use it as an everyday product. There is a natural luster and luminosity here that isn’t in the others and that’s one of the reasons I love this foundation. It’s a medium coverage which suits just fine for every day. Blends beautifully and is another one of those second-skin foundations. There are a TON of shades to choose from too!
For those of us with bad eyes…
This foundation gives the most beautiful dewy and luminous finish–it’s crazy! CRAZY! It’s a great every-day foundation!
Fenty Pro Filt’r Hydrating Longwear Foundation. You know, this is better than the Fenty original foundation. First of all, let’s talk about the packaging. It’s genius. A tube with a pump. Why aren’t all foundations packaged like this? This is incredibly hydrating. And the coverage is there. Oh yes. It’s there. And it is long wearing. Doesn’t fade. Everything described in the name of the foundation is true. It applies nicely and evenly and gives the skin a nice dewy finish making it very mature-skin friendly. And it doesn’t oxidize.
Fenty had me at “hydrating” and it is. Purchased on the Fenty website, this creamy ultra-hydrating foundation is akin to a CC cream but only better. It has the thickness of a cream but more whipped. The fact it’s in a tube warms my heart. it takes up less space and the pump gives just enough foundation to work the face with. This is a fabulous mature-skin foundation. It’s also a nice one to use in this cold, drying winter weather!
Bronzer/Contour: This is a weird thing for me. I use bronzer in the summer to glow up a tanned face but during the winter, I use bronzer to shade more than contour. Some of us need a bit of definition—especially as we pro-age and that’s where the Bronzer comes in. Jouer’s Suntan and Jouer’s Sunshine. Both were purchased online for $5.00 each and are part of a click and attach. The Suntan is a more matte while the Sunshine has a bit of a sparkle
My Five Dollar Jouer Bronzer in the shade Sunshine. It applies lighter than it looks and doesn’t come off as dirty looking. It has a nice shimmer too!
The Suntan bronzer is in the middle. Each of these components were $5 each and snapped together. What a concept–huh?
Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow: I love this simply because the “bronzer” is a lighter shade and is perfect for winter sculpting. The highlighter isn’t bad either but it’s the bronzing half that is the bomb. Too light for summer, it works well when the tan has faded.
This is the priciest makeup I own. I paid $68 for it but it is pretty darned amazing. I sculpt with the bronzer but I don’t really use the highlight side. Still, the bronzer is so natural that I don’t mind! The duo in “light” is extremely fair skin friendly. No oxidation at all, and a little is all you need! I will repurchase when I hit the pan on this!
Blush: My Best of for blush this past year was the Subtl Beauty cream blush. I’m telling you, that little stack of blush is incredible.
The two Subtl Beauty blushes that I rely on whether home or traveling–on the left is “Perfectly Pink” and the right is “Mauve”. Both are divinely creamy. They stay put they give the nicest flush. And I also use them on the lips from time to time but mostly blush. And a little goes a long way because they are super pigmented!
Bare Minerals Mineral Blush. This. Just a tiny amount is all that is needed for a nice flush to the cheeks.
This shade, “foret” is a brighter pink than the creams above. Just the tiniest bit on the brush gives a nice pink color to the cheeks. Oddly enough, this has been discontinued. Go figure!
Quite honestly, these were the two blushes I used regularly throughout the year. Nothing else I purchased rocked my boat!
Brows: Brows are a pain in the ass. It sucks when the brows become sparse and are replaced by lady whiskers on the chin. Am I right? Needless to say, I don’t want my “filled in” brows to look like two railroad cabooses. On the other hand, I don’t want them pencil thin. Add to the fact who has matching brows—one of mine is higher than the other. In other words, brows are a challenge. In the past I’ve relied on Anastasia DipBrow but 2019 offered a change.
The best brow pencil of 2019 is……from a brand that I vowed never to use again. Urban Decay (I received a very condescending email from the company a few years back). Urban Decay Brow Blade Pencil! This brow pencil has a regular pencil on one end and a felt tip pen on the other. It’s incredible. The pencil can be used to fill the brows in and the felt tip can “draw” little hairs to give a natural appearance.
This might be the greatest brow pencil in existence. That thin felt-tip end draws little “hairs” in perfectle. It’s worth the $26!!!
After the pencil is used, going over the brows with a gel gives the perfect finish. Two brow gels that made the grade—Benefit and Glossier. Both are excellent with the Glossier just going a notch above to exceptional. A light touch is all you need to keep the brows brushed up and in place!
Benefit’s Gimme Brow and Glossier’s Brow Boy. Both are excellent. You can see I use the Glossier Boy Brow a lot! The price point on Glossier is better too. $16 where the Gimme Brow’s full size is $24!
Eye Shadow: No new palettes but I did manage to find the perfect cream shadow. Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks. ( I even wrote about them in another blog post: Let’s Summer-Eyes! These are incredible. The cream doesn’t smudge nor does it fade. In fact, you gotta work fast to blend them in. They are more mature-skin friendly than anything else I’ve ever tried. Coming in second are Jouer’s cream stick shadows and they made the best of because the price is more friendly than the Laura Mercier.
Cobblestone on the left, a gorgeous taupe and Intense Amethyst on the right. A steel/taupe/violet.
This photo was taken in the summer and I’m wearing the Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks!
The Jouer sticks are creamier than the Mercier, but just a bit less pigmented. HOWEVER–at $18 a stick they come in at a great price and value compared to the $30 Mercier sticks!!
Eyeliner: No longer is eyeliner used to line my lids. Rather, I tightline. If you are not familiar with tightlining, it is using the liner inside the lid. It gives an open look—especially to the mature eye. Ever the hypocrite I am, I have to say, there is one and one alone lining pencil that is the greatest ever. iT Cosmetics “No Tug” eyeliner pencil. This is incredible. Incredible. Once applied to that upper waterline it doesn’t move. Stays put all day. Crying through the daughter’s wedding. It didn’t budge. This is greatness!
Ugh. iT cosmetics and their GDamned “anti-age” crap. It’s PRO-AGE! Regardless, run out and buy this eyeliner. It IS the greatest and it doesn’t move. I apply at 7 AM and it is still on when I leave work at 5PM. This is amazeballs! I use only the black!
Mascara: I do not feel that mascara is a product in which a lot of money should be spent. A tube of mascara usually lasts me about six weeks because I go through it like a baby goes through diapers. My top mascara is L’Oréal Voluminous Mascara, along with the matching lash primer. This is the GOAT of mascara. It gives volume, lift, lushness, fullness and doesn’t flake! I started using the primer with it. I honestly don’t know what good it does but I feel the need to apply it under my mascara!
My “go to” mascara. The white tube is the lash primer which I use as well. Both of these cost far less than one tube of department store or luxury-brand mascara–a lot less! Five dollars each at Walmart!
Lips: Again, I don’t buy expensive lipsticks. Trust me. In an impulsive moment, I purchased a very expensive lipstick by Guerlain at CDG airport this past November and I never use it. I liked the case. Hey. We all do things like that now, don’t we?
My impulse lipstick. I could not help it. I was drawn to the case with it’s little mirror that opened up. Guerlain is a favorite brand but I’m not gonna do this anymore!
My Best lipstick of last year ended up being Ballerina Shoes from L’Oreal Color Riche. At less than $5.00 a tube it’s a gorgeous pink that I will safely say is flattering to all skin tones.
This. Drugstore lipstick is the way to go. L’Oreal’s Ballerina Shoes. Need I say more? The best lipstick of 2019!
One thing I discov ered in 2019 is that basically, all highlighters are pretty-much the same. Some more pigmented but a subtle little glow is all you need. And what highlighter was my 2019 best? Again, that little stack!
Rose’ is the newest highlighter from Subtl Beauty. I also have the Champagne highlighter.
Hey, it wouldn’t be a “Best of” if I omitted my favorite tanning product of the year now, would it? Having tried quite a few in 2019, my new obsession is the Jergen’s Natural Glow Wet Moisturizer! Now, my skin is really fair. My legs very white. This “subtle” color gives me a nice tan! If you are lazy such as I am, then the process of drying off after a bath or shower and waiting to apply fake tan can be a chore. This cuts the drying time out. Smooth it into wet skin and you are good to go. And I find it doesn’t streak when you apply to wet skin!
Another winner!!!! I’ve been using this since I stopped going to the beach! I just repurchased!
So that’s it. I realize this list isn’t a large one. And in a way, I’m somewhat happy about that. It comes down to as we age, we’re a bit more disconcerting about what we use. For me, the drugstore stuff isn’t all it’s cracked out to be for certain products—and for a few bucks more, I’ll spend the money needed to make me look and feel better. But with basics such as mascara and lipsticks the drugstore brands are great!
What’s your opinion on that? Let us discuss!