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Beauty Edits - Best in Beauty 2018

I had a draft of this post sitting on my computer since January. Then Polar Vortex happened and Chicago froze!! The city hardly got to see any sun. I would be lying if I said I did not get any chance to click decent photos because I did see sun from my window a couple of times but I was either busy with other chores or just plain lazy.
The timing of this post doesn't really matter because even if I post this in the January of 2020, it still would be applicable. My beauty and makeup purchases have drastically reduced in the past 2-3 years. I still buy stuff but they have to be unique enough to fit in my already lovely makeup collection and justify the purchase.

Here are a bunch of beauty products that were new to me in 2018 that I enjoyed using and they quickly became my favorites.

I have love hate relationship with this one. I totally love how effortlessly the product evens out the skin without being heavy. It is not a primer or foundation or a tinted moisturizer. It is all these three rolled in one. I would call it tinted primer. There us hardly any coverage but it does something on the skin to make it look even in texture and tone. The color is very forgiving too. One of my favorites for no makeup days. The only downside is the packaging. The product is extremely soft and something this soft in a twist up stick is a recipe for disaster. Mine arrived broken in mail. Nonetheless, I love the way it performs.

In the same vein as above we have the Lilah B Flawless Finish Foundation.
It is a silky, sheer, weightless powder with light coverage, that gives natural luminosity to the skin without drying. The color selection is not huge, but they are pretty forgiving. A single color caters to multiple skin tones and skin types. It blends beautifully and is very easy to layer with other products. A good product for making the skin look like 'my skin but better'. The heavy pebble packaging is cute and fun but not very functional. There is no mirror nor applicator inside the compact. 

This is a loose powder and it loses 5 points in my book for being loose. I always find working with loose products very cumbersome and messy. Other than that the Hourglass powder worked for me. It is not a shimmery powder but I know many found it too shimmery for their liking. This is n confused a setting powder but for me it is more of a finishing powder and with that being said the key to make this work is using the right tool. After multiple trial and errors, I found Eco Tools brush works the best  for me with this product. The light, airy brush picks just the right amount of product and distributes it pretty nicely.

Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Blur Perfector
I think this product is discontinued because I didn't see it anywhere on multiple websites. It is a bummer because I love this product. It is something that I use to 'spot conceal' fine lines, large pores and uneven skin texture. It blurs imperfections and  makes the skin look smooth and flawless. It  comes with a fancy sponge but I use my fingers if I am using it on moisturized face. Very rarely I feel the need to touch up the makeup. In that case, I use the sponge. I must admit though, it was not the most hygienic way.

CHARLOTTE TILBURY Instant Look Eyeshadow & Face Palette
This was my most used, most favorite Travel palette. I enjoyed having a good blush, highlighter and some lovely neutral eye shadow colors in one palette. The mirror too is a pretty user friendly one. I have the palette in Beauty Glow and most of the colors are neutral toned that compliment my skintone nicely. The colors are pigmented and like every other Charlotte Tilbury products the quality is amazing!

Blush/Highlighter/Cheek products
Creams and more creams! I have always been a fan of cream blushes and highlighters. They look way more natural than powder counterparts and I prefer them for everyday makeup. This does not mean I have totally said bye to powder blushes. I still use them, just not all the time.

CHARLOTTE TILBURY Cheek To Chic Blush in First Love was actually Love at First sight. This Nude Blush with Peachy hues is one of those wonderful colors that shows up on my skin just right enough to make it look like my cheeks but better. The undertone is perfect! I loved pairing it with bright, coral lipsticks in summer. It is one of my favorites.

ILIA Multi-stick in At Last and LILAH B. Divine Duo™ Lip & Cheek in b. lovely - beige
These are multi-sticks aka intended to use both on lips and cheeks but i find myself using these on cheeks exclusively. Usually these kind of products dry my lips out. As blush though they are great. Easy to blend, look natural and stay put. I use them on its own all the time but also beneath powder blush too for extra staying power. I love the texture of Ilia more than Lilah b but the color and staying powder of the later is far better.

The best cream highlighter in terms of color. Neither too gold nor too champagne. The base color is almost invisible, making the highlighter almost transparent with super fine glimmer suspended in it. Few pats and taps are enough to give the skin that beautiful dewy glow.

This was a product I was dying to get my hands on and having missed it for the first time, I wanted it more. The FOMO was real! With Pat McGrath name and expertise, I knew this would be something I would love. The Skin Fetish Highlighter in the shade Golden is insanely gorgeous. It compliments my skintone to perfection, as if it was custom made for me (how cool would that be!!) The sheen is pretty natural and not over the top. The Balm side of the duo is magical. It is just a clear balm but it imparts the most beautiful dewy look on the cheeks. Smells wonderful. This should come in its own tube. The packaging is drool worthy!

This is an old product and a repurchase. I have had my love-hate relation with this one. It made me look greasy and shiny on some occasions while it made me look super glam and gorgeous (self-praise) on others. I figured the key to make this work is not to go crazy with application. It is not a freshening mist, where I can just go crazy spritzing like a product obsessed woman. Meticulous placement of the product is what makes the difference. Light Misting and slightly pressing it with a damp Beauty Blender is the way to go!

By now you must have figured out my makeup style. It is basically no makeup, all natural, my skin but better, put together kind of stuff. As much as I enjoy watching 'real makeup tutorials' I personally don't go for one. Especially when it comes to eye makeup.
A little wash of color, some eyeliner and Mascara is all I need. No elaborate cut-crease or smokey eyes. The mess I create while applying these three things itself looks pretty smokey! (insert laughing emoticons)
Ardency Inn Modster Smooth Ride Eyeliners are best out there, but they are very difficult to come by. The products are always sold out on their website and the third party sellers on Amazon are not reliable. These are the creamiest, long lasting pencil eyeliners. They don't sting or burn my waterline and stay put. The colored shades are pigmented and look vibrant. The brand has nailed the formula but their supply to demand ratio is not the best.

There was so much hype around this mascara when it was first released. I didn't buy it right away! Last Fall I picked a Milk Makeup Mini kit and that gave me a chance to try this mascara. It is good. It holds my curls and make the lashes look bigger and better. The pigments are rich and the mascara stays put without making the eye lashes crunchy and dry. I like it. I still love my holy grail mascaras. YVES SAINT LAURENT The Shock Volumizing Mascara, BUXOM Lash Volumizing Mascara and
BENEFIT COSMETICS They’re Real! Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara are few that I have re-purchased multiple times. Of all the new ones that I tried this year, Kush was the best.

This is just a neutral palette and I loved the colors in it, but as I have so many other palettes in similar Neutral shades, I never really felt the need to own one more. Last year though, Sephora had this one day sale and at $20 I couldn't say NO to it. As expected, I love the colors and love the palette, with big mirror and sleek packaging!

One category of makeup that I don't mind buying new shades and new formulas. The thing with Lip products is that they actually get used a lot and I end up finishing them, unlike blushes that take forever to hit the pan.
Every lip product purchase I made this year were amazing except one.

MARC JACOBS BEAUTY Enamored Hydrating Lip gloss Stick is one of those unique formulas that is hydrating like a tinted balm and has the sheen of a lip gloss. The packaging is not my favorite though. You can twist up the product but not twist is back in tube. I have it in shade One Mauve Time, a soft berry-mauve shade. It is not crazy pigmented, but gives the needed tint to the lips. It is creamy and does not peels my lips.

YSL comes up with the most unique formulas with beautiful packaging. This Liquid color balm is just like the name. It is a moisturizing lip product that is like a gloss but is not sticky and stains the lips like a tinted lip balm. There is a typical YSL mango fruit scent to the product. The balm feels cooling on the lips, but not minty, tingling cool, just cool. The applicator is nice and the packaging is beautiful. Little pricey for what it is but it is the brand talking. I love it for quick touch ups. 

This brand took the beauty world by storm. I find the colors complimenting my skintone but the shimmers a little too much for my liking. The Gloss Bomb Universal is a lip luminizer, which is nothing but a sheer lip gloss with high shine and shimmer factor that gives the lip a full, juicy look. The shimmers are not gritty and I can control how heavy or light I apply it. It is slightly sticky, that helps the product stay longer on the lips. Also, Rihanna makes anything and everything look beautiful on her. So when she applied it on her lips, in a video, it was hard not to pick one for myself. (NO, it didn't make me look gorgeous like Rihanna, but I enjoyed the product)

DIOR Rouge Dior Lipstick in Satin finish has quickly become my favorite. It is creamy, stays forever, does not dries or peels my lips and looks absolutely lovely! The shade Eccentric 996 is a beautiful Fall-Winter shade. It is dark, yet muted. This along with LANCÔME L'ABSOLU ROUGE in Perfect Fig gives me the best shade for my pigmented lips. The texture of the Lancome Lipstick is equally creamy, but not mushy creamy. It stays on the lips and does not dries or peels them. Both these Lipsticks are scented. They have the perfume scent, that most high end lipsticks have. The scent does not bothers me, but I know many who dislike fragrance in lipsticks.

BAREMINERALS GEN NUDE™ Radiant Lipstick was the surprise winner for me. At $20 a piece, these lipsticks are pretty good. They are creamy, pigmented and affordable. The colors are lovely ranging from nude to bold. I have two of these. Mantra and Queen. Love them, Queen more than Mantra for the shade.

The one lipstick that didn't work for me was the Hourglass Girl Lip Stylo. It was one of my favorites of 2017 and while I still love the formula and color, the rancid scent of the lipstick bothers me. It smells like the lipstick is gone bad, making it totally difficult for me to apply, because that scent just lingers on and on forever!

Lastly, a few makeup brushes. I had never owned an Eco Tools brush before and I cannot believe what I was missing! The quality is par excellence. The bristles are crazy soft. The shape of the brushes are crafted beautifully. These are cruelty free, synthetic brushes. The price is crazy affordable and they are available in almost every single store!

If you love cream/liquid blush and highlighter, MAC Cosmetics Duo Fiber Brush 130 is one of the best tool to blend that. My absolute favorite brush of liquid and cream products. The one I own is an older one and I don't think mine is synthetic. They have a synthetic one now. 

These were my Beauty favorites from 2018. Do you spot any personal favorites? Anything you would want to suggest for me to try in 2019?

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