This year I’ve discovered some pretty killer beauty products that really made me wonder how I went so long without them. While some products were new to the market in 2017, others have been around for a while and were only new to me.
There have been so many awesome developments in beauty this year–both high-end and affordable–that I can’t wait to see what the industry in store (literally!) for 2018.
It was so hard to narrow down my top picks for the year, but I was able to round up 20 of my go-to skincare and makeup products to share with you guys. Some are obvious; I’ve talked about them on Haute Mess nearly all year long. Others have floated below the radar, but that doesn’t make them any less important to my beauty routine.
Glossier Balm Dotcom:
If I had to choose one product I couldn’t live without, it would without a doubt be Balm Dotcom. Thankfully, I don’t have to choose–I can have all six flavors in my life!
My favs this year were Original (unscented, un-tinted), Coconut (un-tinted), Cherry (juicy red tint) and Birthday (un-tinted with a subtle holographic shimmer).
A little really goes a long way with BDC’s lasting hydration–even through tough workouts. Additionally, now that weather is chilly here on the East Coast, I love using Original on my cuticles, elbows and those pesky dry patches around my nose and eyebrows. It’s the only salve I see myself using for the rest of, well, forever.
Glossier Invisible Shield SPF+:
Every. Single. Day. Glossier’s SPF+
provides sun, pollution and free radical production without stickiness, a white cast, irritation or breakouts. The non-drying, alcohol-free formula sinks into skin almost instantly, leaving your face, neck and décolleté with, as the name suggests, an invisible shield. It works flawlessly under makeup, but it’s great on its own, too.
Glass bottle [source: Ulta]
Plastic bottle [source: Ulta]
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion: Mario Badescu created the spot treatment of my dreams! I don’t have acne per se, but I’m definitely not immune to the more-than-occasional spot (especially just before “that time” or when my diet’s been shit).
This product really dries out whiteheads over night when other spot treatments have failed to do so in the past. It dramatically shortens the lifespan of a breakout, leaving dry, flaky skin that’s easily buffed away in its place. I make sure to always keep a backup bottle in my medicine cabinet because Drying Lotion never fails to save the day!
Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Cucumber & Green Tea:
While I’m still loving Lush’s Tea Tree Water toner that I discovered back in 2015, I discovered another great facial spray this year. Mario Badescu’s aloe, cucumber and green tea is instantly refreshing, but I’ve also noticed longterm improvements in my skin’s tone and texture.
I love all the natural ingredients in this formula. My skin reacts so well to aloe, and green tea’s antioxidants help protect my skin from harmful pollutants that are nearly impossible to avoid.
Boscia White Charcoal Mattifying Makeup Setting Spray:
Setting spray is a completely new product to me this year, and I really don’t know what I did without it all these years!
I love a dewy look, but on my oily skin, dewy makeup tends to slip right off. Thankfully, Boscia’s Setting Spray is always there to keep them in place. It also helps “melt” powder products into the skin so they never look caky.
The magic of charcoal controls excess oil and detoxes the pores, while vitamin- and antioxidant-rich black tea visibly minimizes pores and protects skin from harmful free radicals.
Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack:
An effective-yet-gentle detox mask is hard to come by, but Glossier’s goes above and beyond. So, it’s no surprise that this is the one mask I found myself reaching for time after time since picking it up in April. From breakouts to full-body detoxes, Mega Greens definitely had my back this year.
Bioderma Sensibo H2O Wipes:
I’ve tried a ton of different makeup wipes from high-end to drugstore, and Bioderma’s are without a doubt my favorite.
These wipes are so incredibly saturated–especially for the price. They are affordable, and it only takes one wipe to get the job done. Bioderma is hands-down the most trusted name in micellar water, so their wipes care for and refresh my skin in addition to removing makeup.
Glossier Wowder in Light/Medium (and matching brush):
Powder is a must for my normal-to-oily skin! That’s why I was so thankful when Glossier debuted Wowder earlier this year. It’s a powder unlike any other, and it instantly became a favorite!
Even under bright flash (think: passport and driver’s license photos), Wowder is undetectable on the skin, so you’ll never have to worry about it affecting your skin tone or settling into any fine lines.
While most setting powders leave the skin looking 2-dimensional, Wowder is full of diamond powder and vitamin E, which give it a glow-y, silky finish. It is the perfect complement to Glossier’s Stretch Concealer, one of my absolute favorites.
Wowder serves as both a blotting *and* a setting powder. Thanks to the precise-yet-fluffy blush, I am able to concentrate Wowder in my t-zone, where I tend to get the most oily. This is known as blotting. However, I also use the pointed tip to set concealer under my eyes, a process called setting. It controls shine and keeps makeup in place while reducing the overall appearance of pores.
As Glossier states, the brush is suspiciously soft, and the unique shape makes it perfect for targeting small areas (think: under the eyes) AND large areas (like the t-zone).
Tarte Shape Tape concealer in Light Neutral:
When I’m going for a high-impact eyeshadow look, Shape Tape concealer is the only product I trust to conceal my under eye area and keep it looking neat.
The full-coverage formula covers the pigmentation under my eyes flawlessly so that it doesn’t distract from any killer eyeshadow look (like hot pink lids or sultry, smoky eyes). It’s long-lasting, too, so I trust it to do its job all day or all night.
Glossier Stretch Concealer in Medium:
On the other hand, Glossier’s Stretch concealer is ideal for those no-makeup makeup days. The build-able formula melts into the skin and *actually* stretches over spots to conceal them while maintaining a bright, real-skin finish.
Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Mocha:
Fenty Beauty’s Matte Skinstick is hands-down the best product for contouring! The shade Mocha is perfect for my skin tone, and the formula is so creamy and blend-able; it glides on without disturbing any makeup underneath, making the contour process a breeze.
I also love using this guy (as well as other Fenty Skinsticks in the shades Chili Mango and Rum) as eyeshadow when I’m in a rush and need some quick glamour.
Glossier Boy Brow in Brown:
As the only brow product I’ve ever used, Boy Brow makes it so easy to achieve fluffier, groomed arches. All it takes is a couple swipes of this mascara-like waxy pomade for the natural, boyish brow look I love. The formula also ensures hairs stay in place without looking or feeling crunchy, unlike other similar products on the market. One little tube usually lasts me more six months, too!
Buxom eyeshadow in Gimme Gorgeous:
If you couldn’t tell from my many tutorials this year, Buxom’s eyeshadow in Gimme Gorgeous is the foundation of pretty much all my eye looks.
Paired with MAC’s Saddle in the crease for an everyday bronze eye, or in the crease to help blend bolder shades, I truly don’t know how I lived so long without this shadow. Not only is it the perfect neutral–not too cool, not too warm–the velvety-matte formula is so creamy and blends like a dream.
TONYMOLY LIPTONE Get It Tint Water Bar in Orange In Red:
2017 was definitely the year I jumped on the Korean beauty bandwagon. In addition to the hundreds of sheet masks K-beauty has to offer, I fell in love with their lip stains that give you that just-ate-a-popsicle pout.
I invested in a bright orange shade from TONYMOLY because it’s just so different from mainstream lip colors; it looks fun, youthful and unique. And you really can’t beat the staying power of a lip stain.
This one-of-a-kind product is *so* easy to use; it has a cooling, wet feel to it that glides on weightlessly (then dries down quickly). One or two coats will give the lips a sheer wash of color, while additional layers will build up the pigmentation for a more vibrant look.
MAC Cosmetics Matte Lipstick in Persistence:
This year I definitely gave up my signature bold lip colors in favor of more neutral looks. Still, I wanted something more unique than a basic, Kardashian-esque nude, so I picked up Persistence from MAC.
While its part of the company’s Matte Lipstick line, Persistence definitely doesn’t have that dry appearance that liquid mattes tend to have; it’s comfortable, creamy and looks healthy on the lips.
This warm, peachy cinnamon shade is what I like to call a “bold nude.” I picked it up in September as an everyday fall lip, but I love it so much I for-sure see myself wearing it into spring.
Glossier Generation G in Leo
and Buxom Full-On Lipstick in Sydney:
I grouped these two lippies together because they’re both a part of my “everyday” makeup look. Leo, a cocoa brown, warms up the face in 2-3 quick swipes. The diffused formula is perfect for casual, no-makeup makeup days.
Sydney is a feminine pinky-nude. Its applicator makes it easy to line lips neatly before filling them in with color, while the tingly formula gives your pout a subtle plump.
I love both these products the same because neither of them require any babysitting throughout the day; they both give you those natural-looking, “your lips but better” vibes.
ColourPop Lippie Stix in Oh Snap:
Oh Snap is a great lip color to pair with bold eye looks. The muted pinky-nude shade isn’t overpowering, but it doesn’t leave the lips looking bare, either. Plus, I can’t get enough of this formula; it’s comfortable and super long-lasting. Unlike other matte lipsticks, it doesn’t look crusty or messy overtime. And when it does begin to fade, it does so evenly.
ColourPop Lippie Pencil in Contempo:
When in doubt I reach for Contempo to prep my lips for a huge variety of different lipstick shades. This neutral dusty rose pencil works under both warm and cool tones, and the creamy formula is so easy to work with.
ColourPop Tapered Blending Brush:
This brush is my go-to for any and every eyeshadow look. I love it so much I ordered a second one and even have a third one in my cart as I type. The tapered shape allows me to target the crease, but it’s also full and fluffy, so I can blend endlessly (or dust shadow all over the lid and beyond).
Glossier Body Hero Cleansing Oil Wash:
Is it me, or does drugstore body wash leave an unpleasant film on the skin? I was using Dove’s for a little over a year before Glossier debuted Cleansing Oil Wash, and I immediately noticed a huge difference.
Not only does the neroli-orange blend smell amazing, the combination of oils works together to purify, brighten, protect and moisturize the skin. It’s face-quality skincare for the other 90 percent of you.