We all know that 2020 certainly was not the year to make the “Best of Years” on any list. In fact, for the most part, it was a year that we would like to sweep under the carpet.
Or perhaps just throw out to the trash!
Regardless, during the last year, while remaining in isolation and distancing ourselves socially, we still needed necessities such as toilet paper, tissues, cleansers for our house and our bodies, detergent, and eggsmilkandbread. Those were the essentials we bought, along with food, more than anything else. We learned to shop, not as often, but wisely. Perhaps not going to the supermarket every day but opting for a once-a-week visit that would become an event of sorts. And all the while challenging to keep our sight in perspective while wearing a mask.
Online shopping became a “thing” more than ever in 2020. I had to become very creative in my excuses for the many Amazon packages that came a knockin’ at my door!
And through it all, I still wore makeup every day. Mind you, the pandemic didn’t affect the way I worked. I still commuted back and forth, and still do, to the office for work. And although at one point I was one of two people there, I still wore makeup. And now with five of us, I still wear makeup and continue to use my beauty products.
Yes. All through the pandemic it has been makeup every day!
In all honesty, I didn’t make a ton of beauty purchases this year. In fact, last week I began a beauty purge. But I’ll get to that later. For now, I’ll concentrate on what beauty products, makeup and skincare that were my favorites of 2020. Some riding the cusp of 2019 into 2020 and a couple of late arrivals. All in all, they made my favorites.
Let’s begin, shall we?
Trestique Crayon Sticks. This was a late-to-the-game item. And oddly, gifted to me by the brand for review but I loved the crayons that I made a purchase on my own of a mini travel kit. Here’s my review in case you haven’t read it. Trestique Review.
The Essential Eight. I loved it so much that I purchased the mini version!
What sets these sticks/crayons (whatever you chose to call them) apart from other sticks is their absolute creaminess. I’m serious. The products are the ultimate in creaminess. However, they aren’t greasy. They stay put all day and are wonderful for mature skin. Since the first time I used them over a month ago, they are the makeup that I use almost every day. As we age our needs become so much different than when we were younger. We need products that hydrate and give us a bit of a dewy glow. Matte looks can be very harsh on the mature face and boy, Trestique nailed it!
In fact, it was this makeup that had me purging a large number of my makeup. I will be buying the products regularly.
A face full of Trestique!
Seint (Formerly Maskcara) Makeup. During mid-year, I bit the bullet and ordered this cream makeup due to the many ads I had seen on Instagram. Truthfully, I’m glad I bought the products. In my collection I have illuminators which work as foundations, contour, highlighters and blush. There is a definite learning curve in using these products—too heavy a hand produces too much product. Tread lightly and reap the beauty rewards. I’ve hit pan on one of the foundations ( which are referred to as highlighters-but they work as both concealers and foundations) and just today ordered a replacement.
I have a palette full of Seint. These cream cosmetics are a mature woman’s BFF!
Subtl Beauty Makeup. Another brand I’ve come to love over the past last year. The packaging proves that great things some in small—you guessed it—packages. The stacks are tiny enough to fit into any purse but the products inside deliver wonderful results. The bronzer is one of the best. The Highlighter is incredible and for the two being powders, they are wonderful for mature skin. The lip/cheek creams are also wonderful and long-lasting and there’s a good selection of the cheek/lip colors!
I may have hit pan on the cheek/lip color but…
I have more-I’m obsessed!
L’Oréal Color Riche Lipstick in Number 165-Tickled Pink. I bought a few lipsticks last year. But none compared to this beautiful pink. It is a nice, satin pink that glides on beautifully with a hint of sheen. It isn’t matte (thank God) and with a clear gloss worn over it, gives a different dimension of light and shine. I discovered this shade when I was unable to find my usual NYX Butter Gloss in Merengue—which is becoming increasingly difficult to track down. In the end, I began to prefer this to the Merengue. It’s also very cool-toned friendly. Even with cool-toned skin, finding a good pink can be hard to find. This definitely fits the bill. An added plus, it’s not expensive. Frankly, I’m done with pricey lipsticks. None of them stay on for very long and I feel they are a complete waste of money.
This shade is so glorious!
I wore it today in my YouTube video! Isn’t this a pretty color?
Glossier Futuredew. Not a foundation. Not a primer. It’s just this stuff (for better lack of a word) that is a pinkish-flesh kinda colored liquid/oil/serum product that makes your skin glow! It’s really incredible. I love it alone because it just gives off such a dewy radiance! Under makeup it enhances dewiness. How do I love thee? I ran out but reached for the backup—of which I have a few!
Is this an indication of how much I love Futuredew?
Eucerin Roughness Relief Lotion. This. But I use it on my face. Oh yes, I do! My dermatologist recommended this to me after I was complaining about my skin drying out like a prune that became a raisin. I don’t think she realized I was referring to my face. Anyway, I bought it and now I use it strictly for my face. It’s ridiculously hydrating. Has it smoothed out my wrinkles? No. I need fillers for that. But…in the meantime, I love slathering this on because it really does the job of moisturizing!
I use it on my face!!
Aesop Geranium Leaf Body Balm and Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm. These two items are late to the game. My son Jake gifted these items to me (as well as others) for Christmas and I’ve been using both regularly. The Body Balm is incredible for dry skin on arms and legs. What I especially love about the body balm is that there is no “film” after application. Some body moisturizers and creams leave a weird film after applying and when you put pants or jeans on shortly after it feels weird. None of that with the Aesop! It absorbs into the skin. There’s also something in it that Chippy finds delightful because he tries to lick my legs as I’m applying.
And might I add the scents of these products is so clean and fresh!
The hand balm is equally remarkable. You apply and it soaks right into the hands without that greasy film! These items are pricey. Ain’t gonna lie. But I will say they are worth every cent. In fact, I just ordered Aesop’s Amazing Face Cleanser (Wait till Bonaparte gets the bill. Oh boy)
Mixeasy Face Mask and Face Scrub. These ended up to be summer favorites for me. The face mask was so refreshing after a day in the sun and the face scrub is gentle yet exfoliating. The face mask doesn’t peel off nor do you need to keep it on till it’s dry—I keep it in the fridge.
But before I continue, Mixeasy is a brand that custom mixes ingredients to your needs and liking. I love the concept and the products really are quite good. The face scrub is an asset to any collection of facial cleansers because it is an exfoliator but yet isn’t harsh at all—it isn’t grainy nor does it feel like sandpaper. I’m almost done with the jar and will order another when I’m done.
The products inside these jars are remarkable. But the packaging looks so ‘tweeny! Change up the packaging to a more grown-up look!
There is a con to these products though—and I’m so utterly shallow but it’s something that bothers me. It’s the packaging. I know. I know…. I’m being ridiculous—right? Well, not really. Look at the jars. The labels. They look like products for kids or tweens. It’s the colors they use and the designs. Honestly, this company isn’t doing themselves justice with inferior packaging/labeling. Kick it up a notch. Use grownup, more streamlined labeling. Perhaps only Black and White with more “serious” font for lettering. Just my opinion!
L’Oréal Voluminous Mascara. We all have that one mascara we love and return to. Trust me, for years I adored Maybelline’s The Falsies then the brand went and changed the formula and it was awful. L’Oréal’s Voluminous has remained a best of for me since I started using it regularly. As you may be aware, I don’t like to spend a ton of money on mascara because I go through it like a newborn goes through diapers. I don’t wear fake eyelashes so I depend on mascara and this definitely gives the appearance of volume for a fraction of luxury mascaras.
Affordable and amazing. Never fails to give beautiful lashes!
Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Cream Eyeshadow Stick. There are quite a few eyeshadow sticks/crayons. And these sticks can be tricky simply because some brands are difficult to blend and they dry out after time. very upset about it) (I know this. My Laura Mercier eyeshadow sticks dried out and I was Not so with the Bobbi Brown eyeshadow sticks. I’ve got this is Stone—a grayish/taupe and love it. It blends easily and stays put.
The shade Stone, is just an all-around, universally flattering shade!
DUcare Brush Duo. These were purchased simply because I didn’t want to spend the money on the Seint brushes. And on Amazon, the duo cost me $16. For the duo, less than half of what the Seint Blush/Contour brush cost. They do the job. I’m able to apply my Seint products beautifully with these brushes and I even use them for my Trestique products as well as other products. The only thing I don’t use them for is blush.
These brushes have been used every day for over three months. They are spectacular at performing their application and blending duties!
DUcare Face Brush. Another Amazon purchase by this brand. I’ll tell you, DUcare makes a damn good brush. I use this as a finishing brush—to blend all my makeup in and it works wonders. I’m not exactly gentle when doing so either. This brush is dense but not too hard and not too soft—it’s just right and is an absolute workhorse of a brush.
I use this for blending out everything. This is a true workhorse. DUcare makes great brushes at an incredibly affordable pricepoint!
Maybelline Tattoo Studio Eyeliner Pencil. This is now one item I will be purchasing multiples of. One shall go into my travel case and stay there. How did I discover this treasure? Well, I my iT gel eyeliner pencil was done. So off I went to Ulta to get a replacement and they were out. After muttering some rather saucy language to myself, I left in a huff and went to Walmart. I found this. It was inexpensive. I bought it and never looked back. I use this to tightline. It stays put all day. I’ve nothing more to say except that Maybelline had better never change the formula to this nor should the brand ever discontinue this.
If you tightline, you NEED this pencil!
Real Techniques Number 402 brush. Hands down, I love this brush. I love this brush so much that I have quite a few. A couple in my travel kit. A few on my vanity and some still in the packaging waiting to be used. It’s a small brush but works big wonders when applying blush and highlighter and concealer. These brushes are used with all my Subtl Beauty products and basically used to apply every blush I own. The price can’t be beat either.
Best for concealer. Best for Blush. Best for highlighter. Best for Travel. The 402 Brush!
The Face Shop_Rice Water Bright Facial Foaming Cleanser and Facial Cleansing Oil. If you are like me, you don’t like to stick to just one facial cleanser. You like to change it up—right? These Korean Beauty products are excellent! Another Amazon purchase that I was extremely happy with over the past year.
The foaming cleanser is remarkable in the fact you only need the smallest amount for a lot of foaming little bubbles. It deep cleans and leaves your face nice and soft and not taut and dry. It’s excellent for mature skin.
The oil is equally excellent in leaving your skin soft. It’s one of those “dry” type oils—and it doesn’t foam up the way the foaming cleanser does but leaves your skin just as soft. I use this when I’m short on time but want to cleanse my skin thoroughly.
Well within any budget, these two products are strong to cleanse yet gentle on the face!
Honorable Mention: Last summer, on a whim, I purchased this brush set from Amazon. Although I have yet to use all the brushes, the ones that I’ve used—I use almost every day. The eye blending brushes work as well as the Morphe ones I have. And the spoolie brush for brows is epic. The case is great for travel because it snaps. It was a non-brand that was on Amazon and I think the set I purchased is no longer available but I added a similar one to an Amazon list.
I’ll tell you, Amazon has some pretty amazing offerings as far as makeup brushes go. The snap-together case is what triggered my want for this and the brushes that I’ve used are fantastic!
Most Disappointing Purchase: There’s always the product or brand we purchased and found it to be disappointing. For me it was the 19/99 Color Kit One. Coming in at $79 for three pencils, a brush, a sharpner and case it was an overpriced –very overpriced set that I could have appreciated far more if it was sold for about $29. I’m being truthful here. The three pencils worked beautifully. A red lip/cheek pencil, a deep brown pencil that I found useful for contouring my nose and a highlighter. So why the disappointment other than the price? The pencils are so creamy that you are constantly sharpening and that means going through these in record time. They are sitting in a drawer now and I don’t even reach for them. You know, there are products that I don’t mind spending more money for–especially if the quality is steller. I just didn’t find these products worth the money. Again. Just my opinion.
$79 for this and the case is extremely flimsy. TBH, the products are really great but at that price–is just way too much to pay…
I mean..the products deliver but at some point you gotta say it’s just too expensive!
And with this list I have to say that 2020 was also the year I did a lot of purging of the cosmetics. I trashed many liquid foundations because as I pro-age, the liquid foundations no longer do the job they did when I was younger. I did keep the Anastasia foundation, the Jouer foundation and the Fenty foundation. As far as a more affordable foundation-I kept my The Ordinary serum foundation. Everything else was thrown out either because it surpassed the expiration date or didn’t work.
All powders were trashed. And presently, I’m going through powdered eyeshadows. Anything matte has been purged. I’m definitely leaning to the creams these days.
Anyway (because we all know that anyways is not a word), I’ve compiled an Amazon list of the Best of 2020 Beauty for your use and reference. I do receive a small commission from Amazon for products purchased but this is by no means meant to ask you to buy any of the items.
The list is on my Amazon Storefront if you would like to see!
Let me know below what were your favorites of 2020. We’ll find something good about last year—right?
Thanks for the recommendations Catherine!
Joni you are nost welcome! XOXOXOX
That streaked gray wig looks fabulous on you. I suggest wearing it all the time.
Thank you Jennifer! XOXOXOXO
Hi Cathe. I have found your product recommendations to be spot on for pro-agers. I have purchased trestique products and the Subtl stacks and have been very pleased. Their creamy textures have become my go to everyday faves. I steer clear of powders these days as I find them not to be age friendly. I really enjoy your diverse blogs and feel that you are a great resource for mature women who want to make the best of their unique beauty.
These are the best fun for my makeup and skin care adictions. I as well have numerous Tatoo Studio eye liner pencils. Just last week I went through and tossed over 20 lipsticks and many eye pallets, just not using those. (I still have over a dozen lipsticks so no hardship there) Keep up the great work since I always get great ideas from you.
I always love reading your recommendations, thank you! 🙂 MJ