As we finally, finally (almost!) draw the curtains on this tumultuous year, I wanted to do a quick round up of my top 10 makeup products for 2016. I don’t think I’ve made so many drastic changes all at once in my life before, and frankly I’m still trying to find my footing. But there’s always joy to be found in the things you love and it’s been an AWESOME year in makeup.
Skincare generally excites me more, and my approach to makeup has always been about efficiency and simplicity. I have one look that I tone up or down depending on the occasion, so I look to an arsenal of reliable products that always performs rather than a huge variety of colours and whatnot. Other than lippies, of course.
Just for context: I have very oily skin and the tropical climate in Singapore means that makeup usually melts faster than you can put it on, which is why long-stay, no-run makeup is the name of the game here.
These are some of the goodies that earned a permanent home in my makeup bag this year.
Top 10 makeup products for 2016
Dolly Wink eyelash glue
I went through a Dolly Wink craze when it first launched because I uh, kinda fell in love with its founder Tsubasa Masuwaka, a Japanese gyaru model turned entrepreneur. Ahem. However, even though they were very comfy, I thought Dolly Wink falsies were a little OTT and never really got into them. What I do love though, is the eyelash glue – I’ve tried a bunch of popular ones like DUP, DUO and even Shu Uemura, but nothing worked as well as this does. I’m currently on my seventh or so bottle, it’s THAT good. Stays on all freaking day. IMO it works better wet than semi-dry.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz
Bought on a whim, love at first application. I have terribly asymmetrical brows and brow skills but have decent results with this. When i extend my brow tails with it, it looks remarkably natural though a bit of setting is required if you have oil rig skin like me. I use Brunette/Dark Brown.
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner
Technically, I didn’t discover this this year, but I love it so much it deserves another mention. I dumped my Dolly Wink liquid liners immediately (which I stuck to for at least a year) the day I tried this. You can read my full review here, though the short of it is that it is incredibly pigmented for something that dries almost immediately and STAYS PUT ALL DAY. No flaking, no smudging, no nothing. The soft tip is also perfect for flicky-ass wings. I have to have at least two backups stashed at all times because I’m that dependant on it.
Nature Republic Real Gel Tint Pink
For someone who snacks constantly, tints are a godsend. And 2016 has been a fab year for lip tints, with tons of great products flooding the scene – most of them cheaper and way better than Benetint. I had a brief moment of madness a few months ago and ordered 20, um, I mean 10, different tints from various Korean brands, but this is my favourite because it’s so easy. Some lip tints stay on all day, yes, but they’re also impossible to remove at night. This jelly tint stains your lips naturally and quickly, doesn’t sink into fine lines nor taste like poison. Plus, when you’re done, one swipe of remover gets it all off.
Caudalíe Beauty Elixir
Mists are typically super hard to get right, because most are made up of just water that can dry out your skin if you don’t pat off the excess. I love the idea of mists and always buy a ton of them only to abandon hope after the first spray. The problem is that other than aerosols, most bottles do not dispense fine enough a mist that hydrates or does its job without messing up your makeup. Aerosols also generally don’t give you a lot of product.
I’ve been using this for close to two years, and it’s the best shit ever. If your makeup looks cakey or dry after loose powder, this mist combination of oil and water not only sets it, but also gives your skin a more dewy, natural finish. It is expensive but worth every penny.
Make Up For Ever HD Foundation
I’ve been using Make Up For Ever’s concealers and primers for like, forever (har har), but the HD liquid foundation is pretty much a recent find for me. For me, MUFE is one of those brands that rarely disappoints though I wish it could be a little more affordable. I apply this with a Beautyblender and you really don’t need a lot to get full coverage. It’s also more lightweight than a BB cushion and doesn’t move once set.
Hakuhodo makeup brushes
Before I found out about the world of artisanal brushes, I thought Sephora and MAC were expensive. These Japanese brushes cost upwards of $100 each but man, you’ll never go back. Super soft and durable. Gets the right amount of product on the face. I got two during my last trip to Japan, and I’m looking forward to growing my collection. I won’t dither on here because I’m saving up for a full review.
RMK Creamy Polished Base in EX-01 (pink)
I got this as a gift but it renewed my interest in this Japanese brand. Ironically, RMK’s signature product is another primer – which I’ve just bought to try out – but this truly rocks my socks. It brightens, smooths, hydrates, and makes makeup look better as well as last longer all at the same time. It also has royal jelly and rosemary extracts to moisturize skin. Like MUFE, it is quite dear but totally worth the moolah.
Tarte Tartelette Tease clay eyeshadow palette
I have both Tartelette Tease and the full size mama Tartelette, but this gets extra love because it’s so portable and convenient. One of my major gripes about my all-time favourite Naked2 is how heavy and un-travel-friendly it is, and this has everything I need on the go. As with most Tarte palettes, it’s super pigmented and creamy yet long-lasting on my oily lids. My favourite shade is BFF to smoke out the outer corners, though you can see how little I actually need to use.
(Digression: Don’t trust beauty reviews that rave about something with a photo of the product looking UNTOUCHED. Personal peeve.)
Hands down, butt down, tits down – find of the year. I was married to Miche Bloomin falsies for a while – they were super comfortable, natural, and comes in a pack of four pairs for only 1000 yen. Then I met D.U.P. and got a divorce. D.U.P costs twice as much (two pairs for the same price) but they’re also twice as durable. They’re so natural people think I have lash extensions on when they’re standing right up close and for the longest time most people didn’t even realise I was wearing them. Which is good, just in case you’re wondering – because I don’t need mini eye fans for daily use.
So that’s it, my top 10 makeup products for 2016. I love these so much it’ll take a seriously awesome product to knock any of them off my shelf. I also have a top skincare post coming up that I’ll hopefully get around to before Christmas!
Are any of these a favourite of yours too?