What a year! The last few months of 2018 were rough, but I made it through and things are looking up. I ended a year with a much-needed trip to Los Angeles/Joshua Tree; now I’m back in New York City focusing on my day job, as well as freelance work and (of course) blogging!

Over the past 12 months I’ve been lucky enough to try a bunch of really great beauty products (and only a few not-so-great ones)–many of which quickly became staples in my lineup! It was hard, but I narrowed it down to my absolute favorites of the year and I am ready to share my newfound loves with my Haute Mess family.

I did my best to keep this list full of products that made their debut in 2018, but there are a few older skincare and makeup favs I just discovered this year. What products did you fall in love with in 2018?


  • Summer Friday’s Jet Lag Mask
  • Summer Friday’s Overtime Mask
  • Glossier Solution
  • Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi™ Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops
  • Dr. Jart Cicapair™ Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment SPF 30
  • ColourPop Super Shock Highlighter in Fire
  • Glossier Cloud Paint in Dawn


  • ColourPop The Zodiac palette
  • Fenty Beauty Moroccan Spice Eyeshadow Palette
  • Glossier Lidstar in Cub and Lily
  • Glossier Lash Slick


  • Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
  • Glossier Generation G (reformulated) in Like and Jam
  • ColourPop Matte Lux Lipstick in Third Eye
  • MAC Cosmetics Powder Kiss Lipstick (can’t choose a fav shade–they’re all great!)
  • Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint in Unbotton
  • Pat McGrath Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil in Contour

Body & fragrance

  • Fur Oil
  • Tom Ford Fucking Fabulous Eau De Parfum

Getting glammed up is so fun, but most days, I hardly have time for a full face. I am a busy New Yorker juggling my day job in Midtown, freelance projects and hobbies of my own, so I need an easy, go-to routine I can count on–something that elevates my look and makes me feel confident from morning ’til night (or, in terms of Cloud Paint, from Dawn ’til Dusk).

Don’t get me wrong, I love a bare face, but I work in the beauty industry, so a little glam is part of my job!

Skincare is most important to me, so I start with Glossier Invisible Shield + Drunk Elephant’s D-Bronzi serum. This lightweight combo protects me from UV and blue lights, as well as from environmental aggressors like pollution. I’ll also add Glossier’s Zit Stick to any blemishes if necessary–this revolutionary spot treatment can be worn under or over makeup! The best part is that it is easy to reapply, so some days I’ll bring it with me on the go.

I don’t wear foundation, and I never have before. Instead, I reach for a bb cream or tinted moisturizer. My favorite is Bali Body’s BB Cream (I am in the shade Natural). It has just the right amount of coverage and a skin-loving formula (hyaluronic acid and marine collagen for a supple, youthful bounce, plus green tea to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation). Then, I add Glossier Stretch Concealer (in the shade Medium) to any areas, such as under my eyes, that need additional coverage. I find that waiting 30 to 60 seconds before blending (with my ring finger) gives me the most coverage from this lightweight, no-fuss concealer.

Cloud Paint is blush made easy, and thankfully there are six beautiful shades to suit whatever look I’m trying to achieve. Beam and Haze, two of the OG colors, are always a safe bet, but Dawn and Storm quickly became favorites when they launched over the summer. All it takes is a little dot (or two!) on each cheek, plus another across the bridge of my nose, to brighten up a sleepy face in the morning.

Even when I’m going lowkey glam, I still want a stunning highlight. Jeffree Star Cosmetics Supreme Frosts are a great option because they are low-maintenance and high-intensity–I apply to my cheekbones, brow bones and cupid’s bow with my ring finger, then pat to blend. Frozen Peach is my first-choice shade for a sunkissed glow.

Amplifying my eyes and boosting my brows is easy with Glossier Boy Brow + Lash Slick. I use Boy Brow in the shade Brown for instant thickness and all-day hold, then Lash Slick for long, fluttery, natural-looking lashes that never clump, flake or smudge.

Of course, I change my lip color often, but I do have a rotation of everyday favorites I work my way through. On the daily I tend to reach for a cream or gloss formula, such as Bite Beauty’s The Multistick in Cashew, of Fenty Gloss Bomb in Fenty Glow. I am also a big fan of nude-browns and golden hues, so I love a gilded gloss like Dose Of Color’s Over The Top, which has a clear base with gold reflects.

What I’m wearing…

  • Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi
  • Bali Body BB Cream in Natural
  • Glossier Stretch Concealer in Medium
  • Glossier Cloud Paint in Beam
  • Jeffree Star Cosmetics Supreme Frost in Frozen Peach
  • Glossier Boy Brow in Brown
  • Glossier Lash Slick
  • Bite Beauty The Multistick in Cashew
  • Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in Fenty Glow

No doubt that Halloween is one of the best holidays of the year (although I will admit Thanksgiving is my personal fav). This year I challenged myself to create a few fun Halloween looks with makeup. First up is the spookiest of all, a glam take on the classic Morticia Addams costume.

I started with the intense smoky eye; I used a combination of Fenty’s Moroccan Spice palette (one of my most-loved palettes) and Morphe’s new Boss Mood palette. It was easy to create a sharp wing with the help of a little tape. Then, I polished off the eyes with Morphe lashes in the style Go On & Fake It. To blend the falsies in with my natural lashes, I put Chanel’s Le Crayon Yeux in 01 Noir in both my tightline and waterline.

Next up was skin–this was the most challenging part of the whole look for me, mainly because I love bronzer and other glow-y products. I perfected my skin with Glossier’s Perfecting Skin Tint (I’m in the shade Medium) and Tarte Shape Tape concealer (Light Neutral).

To achieve a paler skin tone, I added brightening powder all over my face (typically, I use this product only under my eyes), then finished everything off with MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Fix+ Matte.

While I normally go for a light, natural-looking contour with Fenty’s Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha, I added a ton more product than usual and took it parallel to my chin on each side to recreate Morticia’s famous cheekbones. I blended downwards, then towards the side of my face to evenly distribute the pigment.

This look called for a bare cheek (the sharp cheekbones are enough of a statement on their own), so I chose not to add any bronzer, blush or highlight. However, I did use a bit of pearlescent eyeshadow to make my brown bones, as well as the inner corners of my eyes, pop. (Yes, it was hard for me to resist highlighter. It’s one of the best makeup products in my opinion!)

Before going in with Fix+ Matte one more time, I brushed Glossier Boy Brow in Brown through my brows for my usual fluffy look. While Moritica has thin brows that look amazing on her, I decided my costume needed a more modern look.

As always, I saved lips for last. I lined using ColourPop’s Lippie Pencil in Bossy, a classic red, then layered MAC’s iconic Retro Matte in Ruby Woo on top. Whenever the holidays come around, I reach for Ruby Woo (the perfect ruby-red hue) a ton, so I was excited to bring it out about a month early this year!

To give myself a little glow, I covered my decolletage in Milk Makeup’s Glitter Stick in Rainbow Glitter. This was such a fun investment; I love accenting my eyes, cheeks and collarbones with it. The multi-color Rainbow shade has a clear base and ultra-reflective glitter particles.

Styling my hair was relatively easy. I combed through my natural wavy texture and created a super-straight middle part, then lathered my locks  in coconut oil for a healthy, shiny finish.


It’s October, one of the best months of the year! I have a lot more favorites than expected this month, and nearly all my new beauty favs are thanks to Sephora’s surprise Appreciation Sale. 😉

As the seasons change, I also discovered a number of fashion go-to’s I’ve really been loving, all of which are timeless and will be part of my collection for a long time.


XLE: YouTuber Lauren Elizabeth has great taste is just about everything, so it makes total sense that her womenswear label XLE is exactly what the fashion sphere needed. I will admit that I was pretty skeptical to try an influencer-owned brand, but XLE blew me away!

A few days after the first collection dropped, I decided to try four pieces–two sweaters, a slip dress and a pair of booties. Everything is flattering and comfortable, in addition to gorgeous in a minimal, simplistic way. I definitely see myself in all of these pieces throughout the season and well into winter. The deep red snakeskin booties are already an everyday staple for me; they are beyond comfy for a heel and look badass with everything.

Réalisation Par: What’s not to love about this feminine and effortlessly chic label? Réalisation’s patterned dresses and blouses can be dressed up or down for a wide variety of occasions. Personally, I like to wear mine with athletic shoes and a messy bun; this combo is easy and makes me feel confident.

GRLFRND Denim: Anyone who reads Haute Mess regularly knows how much of a denim junkie I am, and I think I (finally) found the best pair ever. Via Intermix I chose a pair of high-rise flares with a light-medium wash that fit like a glove from the first time I pulled them on. Now, I don’t want to wear anything else!

B-Low The Belt: For so long I’ve had trouble finding the perfect belt; most are either too wide to fit through most belt loops or too skinny for my personal taste. And to be honest, the fit of every reasonably priced belt I’ve tried sucks–I almost always have to make new holes in mine, which looks awful to a detail-oriented person like myself.

Instead of investing in the same Gucci belt everyone else owns (I was seriously considering it), I picked two from B-Low The Belt during the Labor Day sale: a skinny beige one with a little snake for a buckle, as well as slightly thicker classic black one with Western-style hardware (both leather). I’m convinced there are no better belts for the price! And no, I didn’t have to create new holes in either of them. 😉

Earrings by Vanessa Mooney: The tiny silver hoops I used to wear every day were super worn-out, so it was time for a change. I found three pairs of beautiful and unique earrings that I absolutely love from L.A.-based designer Vanessa Mooney. The fresh pieces in my rotation were exactly what I needed to accent all of my fall looks this year.


Glossier Zit Stick: Another month, another Glossier drop! As a Rep, I had the opportunity to experiment with Zit Stick a couple weeks before it became available. It was an instant win for me!

Zit Stick reduces spot size and redness in a matter of errors, but unlike other spot treatments, the thin (serum-y), see-through formula can be worn under or over makeup. Speaking of the formula, it includes three of the most trustworthy “breakout erasers”: benzoyl peroxide, capryloyl salicylic acid and tea tree oil.

I also love the oh-so hygienic stainless steel rollerball applicator, as well as the four-channel flow that evenly covers each spot in the product.

Fenty Beauty Moroccan Spice palette: Ever since the Moroccan Spice pop-up this summer, I’ve been drooling over Fenty’s eyeshadow palette of the same name. Moroccan Spice feels so much more grown-up and sultry than so many other palettes on the market, and it has a great range of shades, tones and finishes–everything from light to dark, warm to cool and matte to metallic. There truly are so many possibilities with the Moroccan Spice palette, including Ri’s look from her Wild Thoughts music video.

Fenty Beauty Tapered Blending Brush (210) & All-Over Eyeshadow Brush (200): Along with the Moroccan Spice palette, Fenty launched two eyeshadow brushes. I held-out until Sephora’s VIB Appreciation Sale to pick-up both brushes and the palette for myself, and although I wish I had these products in my collection sooner, they were definitely worth the wait!

The Tapered Blending Brush and All-Over Eyeshadow Brush are unbelievably soft and full; they disperse (and of course, blend) powder eyeshadow evenly *without* trapping any of the product in the bristles. There is so much less waste with these two brushes than with similar eyeshadow brushes, so they are worth the splurge in my opinion.

Plus, the extra-long handles make them so easy to use, and the nude-pink design beautifies any top shelf.

Pat McGrath Labs Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil in Contour: I knew this lip liner would be amazing (it’s Pat McGrath, after all). Contour is a must-have matte beige brown–perfect for over-lining the lips–that looks gorgeous under a ton of different lipsticks and glosses. I use a light hand when I want natural-looking coverage, and a heavier hand when I want more color payoff. Either way, the longevity of this luxury lip liner outperforms any other I’ve tried.

Pat McGrath Labs Lip Fetish Lip Balm in Gold Astral: A glittery lip product that doesn’t feel gritty? Only Pat McGrath could make that possible! From the first application Lip Fetish Lip Balm feels so soft and leaves a beautiful dewy, healthy sheen on the lips.

Gold Astral is an out-of-this world shimmer with a clear base. The gold color is never too yellow, and the glitter particles are never, ever chunky.

Sol de Janiero Brazilian Bum Bum Cream: Not to sound dramatic, but I am a little annoyed with myself for not trying this body lotion sooner. Brazilian Bum Bum Cream (pronounced “boom boom”) absorbs almost instantly, softening, smoothing and tightening the skin. The delicious pistachio-caramel scent lingers long after application and makes me feel like a goddess!


Are You Am I swimwear: My obsession with Are You Am I is so real—it has easily become my favorite label over the past year or so. Everything they make is perfect; it was only a matter of time before I tried AYAI swim.

I quickly fell in love with the beautiful mauve-nude color of the label’s latest swim separates. I chose the Keela top (micro coverage with a ribbed texture and feminine ruffle trim) and Zora bottom (a high-rise fit with romantic knot details and a flattering ruched backside). This combo is something I see myself wearing for years to come!

NGL NYC Bikini Bites: How fun is this swimsuit with customizable body jewelry?! The best part is that all the hardware is made in the U.S.A. I absolutely *looove * wearing this bikini. The fit flawless, and I always feel like I stand out in the best possible way whenever I am in it.

Louis Vuitton Multicolore Pochette: Bright colors are huge lately, and as someone who wears mostly neutrals, I am surprisingly really into this trend—as long as I limit all the brightness to accessories only. The pre-loved Louis V Pochette I picked up from The Real Real is without a doubt one of the best accessories I have ever owned! It is big enough to fit all the necessities (and then some) while still looking super-cute and tiny. Plus, the multicolor pattern gives me *aaall * the early 2000s nostalgia in the best way possible.

Red boots: There is no better way to elevate an outfit than with a gorgeous statement shoe! The red boots I found at Free People are insanely comfortable and instantly dress-up all my favorite denim, day or night. Red has been my go-to pop of color lately, and these boots fit the bill.

Glossier Lash Slick: Can’t believe that I haven’t properly mentioned this product on the blog yet, because it is hands-down the best mascara I’ve ever tried (and I’ve tried A LOT).

No matter what, my mascara always smudges or flakes off quickly, leaving a mess under my eyes–but not with Lash Slick! It got me through allergy season, stressful days at work and countless military homecoming videos without smudging or flaking whatsoever. It’s unbelievable!

I really do love the long, feathery look it gives the lashes. This look works perfectly on “no-makeup” makeup days because lashes look so natural, but it is also allows bold eyeshadow to show through.

ColourPop The Zodiac Palette: If you are a regular Haute Mess reader, you already know ColourPop’s pressed powder eye shadows are my favorite formula ever. And The Zodiac Collection, ColourPop’s newest collab with YouTuber Kathleenlights, is so gorgeous.

Honestly, at first glance this palette doesn’t look all that wearable, but somehow all the shades work together perfectly. I love The Cancer, The Virgo and The Libra for more natural, everyday makeup, and The Aries, The Sagittarius and The Capricorn for intense eye looks.

ColourPop Super Shock Shadow in Fire: Wow—I don’t even know where to begin with this highlighter! The bouncy, gel-like consistency is of course amazing, but that is expected with ColourPop’s Super Shock formula. Fire is an out-of-this-world warm, peachy-gold that gives my skin a magical finish no matter where I apply it. It has the delicious wet look that I love in a highlighter, making it the perfect topper for the cheekbones, brow bones, cupid’s bow and beyond.

Jeffree Star Cosmetics Liquid Frost in Canary Bling: I started watching Jeffree Star on YouTube earlier this summer, and quickly fell in love with his honest and fun personality. As I learned more about him as a businessman through Shane Dawson’s YouTube documentary, I became eager to try his namesake makeup line.

Liquid Frost was my first pick from Jeffree Star Cosmetics; the ultra-fine glitters and glassy reflects are stunning. My favorite way to wear it is mixed in with my moisturizer and body lotion for an all-over glow. The shade Canary Bling is my go-to pale gold.

Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi: The first Drunk Elephant product I’ve ever tried! This multi-tasking formula is great. It has a serum consistency that easily mixes-in with any moisturizer or liquid makeup for a quick glow-y bronze finish (thanks to cocoa extract and platinum peptides). D-Bronzi is also equipped with a mix of vitamins, antioxidants and other good-for-you ingredients that help strengthen the skin and protect it from pollution and other environmental aggressors.

GLAMGLOW GLOWSTARTER Mega Illuminating Moisturizer in Nude Glow: Sephora’s birthday gifts always blow me away, and this year was no different. I chose the GLAMGLOW box with SUPERMUD mask (which worked wonders on my skin), as well as Mega Illuminating Moisturizer. The light, whipped texture gives me an airbrushed base under makeup—especially when mixed with D Bronzi. I can’t get enough (and I plan on purchasing the full size sometime in the future).

Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille: Warm and musky scents are definitely my go-to; I am not into anything fruity, floral or feminine when it comes to fragrances. In fact, I believe Tobacco Vanille is marketed as a men’s fragrance. But, that didn’t stop me from picking it up a few months ago. The spicy and not-too-sweet blend of Tobacco Vanille always warms me up on cold and gloomy days. Tom Ford can do no wrong in my opinion, and I will for sure be trying another one of his fragrances when this one is empty.