I'm breaking with tradition this year and doing separate year-end favourites for makeup and skincare. I think the lack of makeup-wearing-occasions this year has really solidified my favourites and I honestly didn't even have to give the products in this post too much thought. Here's the makeup I actually wore this year...
The theme here is lots of tinted things, just to pre-warn you! First up is a product I've repurchased too many times to count: the Bobbi Brown Corrector (Peach) | £20. I tend to use this corrector before foundation to cancel out dark circles with its peachy tone. It avoids the need to layer on lots of concealer and has a lovely light texture. Another old classic that saw me through 2020 is Nars Tinted Moisturiser (St. Moritz) | £31 | full review. Again, I have no idea how many of these I've been through, but it's been a fair few! Every time I use it up and wander towards another product then come back to a fresh tube, I remember why I've always loved it so much. It's my perfect 'my skin but better' everyday base that's long-wearing and oil-free but still gives my complexion a fresh, healthy glow. It gives enough coverage to balance out the tone of my skin and hide redness but still shows my freckles and leaves my skin looking like skin.
Two other light complexion products I've enjoyed at different stages of the year have been the Ilia Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 30 (Matira) | £44 | and the Kosas Tinted Face Oil* (Shade 6) | £40. The Ilia product really saw me through the summer months; it's a tinted sunscreen product with added skin benefits like squalane and hyaluronic acid. It has a lovely silky texture, it goes on beautifully and offers a long-wearing light-coverage finish. I love how dewy it looks on my skin to really give that summer glow. Finally, for bases, the Kosas is on its way out but will absolutely be repurchased! I really wasn't sure at all that I'd be into a tinted face oil, but something about this formula just works; even in the height of summer it doesn't slip off my face. It offers a light, dewy coverage and a really unique texture that's both moisturising and flattering on the skin.
Moving on to other complexion products, despite a few new dalliances, I've reverted back to established favourites more often than not this year. First up is the Nars Soft Matte Complete Concealer (Ginger) | £24. This is a potted concealer that's easy to blend out using the warmth of my fingers. I use it to spot-conceal generally, but on minimal makeup days I'll sometimes wear it under my eyes. Don't be put off by the name; it's nothing too 'matte' but is very long-lasting. My go-to product to use under my eyes is the Milk Makeup Flex Concealer (Medium) | £24. This is a really great long-wearing formula that doesn't crease on me but isn't drying either. It gives me a good medium coverage, which is really what I'm looking for in an everyday product. My go-to powder this year was actually a new discovery: the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Pressed Powder (Medium) | £35. The shade range in this powder is a bit ropey, but they did launch an extra option this year, so I guess that's something! This is a pressed powder that gives a luminous finish but sets makeup in place. It's honestly traceless on the skin so gives zero cakiness, even when I'm applying it slap-dash in a rush.
- CHEEKS -
I have a few things from Nudestix in this post, because I guess their makeup vibe has just really suited my makeup vibe this year. First, I'll talk about the Nudestix All Over Face Colour Glow in Hey, Honey | £30. This cream stick highlighter gives a gorgeous, subtle, dewy, glossy glow to the skin. I really love this light gold colour; it catches the light and looks beautiful! I also have and love the Nudestix Nudies Matte Blush & Bronze in Sunkissed & Terracotta Tan | £28 each. Sunkissed is a sort of muted rosy bronze that I use as a blusher and Terracotta Tan is a beautiful warming bronzer shade. I love how easy this formula is to use, how it looks on the skin and how well it lasts.
Another favourite formula for the cheeks comes from Kosas. I love both the Kosas Colour + Light Creme in Tropic Equinox* and Helios | £32 each. This formula has a gorgeous, emollient texture that still gives great colour payoff. I dab these shades on to my skin and blend out with my fingers for a fresh, glowing finish that lasts (the blushers don't go patchy or fade noticeably throughout the day like many dewy-look formulas I've tried). Tropic Equinox is a muted neutral colour palette with a champagne highlighter and a rosy-nude blusher and Helios was my go-to during the summer with a warm sunny-gold highlighter and an orange-red blusher.
I've also found myself consistently reaching for the Flower Beauty Blush Bomb in Cinnamon | £11.99. You only need the tiniest dot of colour to add a warm rosy flush of colour to the cheeks. It's easy to apply and lasts me all day, plus it's pretty affordable. To round off my cheek makeup picks, I have another bronzer! Unsurprisingly, it's also cream; the Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer in Hunnie Glaze | £28. This is a glow-y but not greasy cream formula that's easy to work with and gives the perfect level of colour payoff so it's there but it's not too much. It blends without moving around my complexion makeup and has really great longevity. This is a perfect warm-but-not-orange tone for me too.
- EYES -
This is probably getting a bit old to keep using... but the palette that contains all of my essentials, that I've reached for time and time again this year is the Tarte Tartelette Toasted Eyeshadow Palette | £38. This is probably my ultimate warm-toned eyeshadow palette that can take me from day to night, has a really good gradient going and a great mix of mattes and shimmers. These mattes can kick up some fallout but on the flipside; they're easy to blend and last really well on my eyelids. I like these more subtle metallic shimmers too, though I do tend to reach for this primarily to use the mattes, because this palette contains my essentials.
I'm not sure how there's any of this left, given how much I use it, but the Nudestix Magnetic Luminous Eye Colour in Copper Foil | £20 | is still going strong! This creamy formula glides on to give a liquid metal finish in seconds, but it's really long-wearing once it's set down. I love this warm coppery sunshine gold shade.
I won't lie; when it comes to liner and mascara, I've been pretty samey, so I'll keep it brief! My go-to liner has been the Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Smoky Quartz | £16. This is a pigmented twist-up liner (because I can't be doing with sharpeners!) that I use on my water line to add depth and definition to my eyes. Despite the name, it definitely doesn't smudge or smear throughout the day and I love this warm deep brown tone. My mascara of choice has been the Glossier Lash Slick Mascara | £14. It's lengthening, gives me separation in my lashes, and - most importantly - it doesn't flake or smudge all over my eyes, even on long days. Everything I look for in an everyday essential!
- LIPS -
I've been a fan of this product in different shades for years and in 2020 my go-to was the Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Spice | £19.50. It's a sheer tinted lip balm with a really nourishing formula. This rosy nude colour goes with the majority of my everyday makeup looks, which is probably how it become such a staple for me. A great in-between option for something that's sheer but offers a bit of colour is the Nudestix Magnetic Lip Plush Paint in Hot Paprika | £24. This is a comfortable but matte-look lip shade that wears well and doesn't go patchy or get messy when I reapply it. The colour was one of my favourites over summer; a warm red with a hint of orange.
When I'm going a bit more glam, there have been two standout products. The first is relatively new but I fell for it hard, especially when I realised how similar it was to a discontinued MAC favourite: the Vieve Modern Matte Lipstick in Power Suit | £19. This is a creamy, comfortable, opaque matte formula that doesn't cling to dry patches and has some serious staying power. This is my perfect warm brown-toned nude colour, too. My other option is something a touch more vampy: the Ofra Long-Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Americano | £15.50. This is a fuss-free matte liquid lipstick. It's not drying, it's not flaky; it's just a glam lip in a couple of swipes. I love this warm reddish-brown colour.
Finally, another area I've probably not been that adventurous in; brows. Throughout the year I've been using the MAC Brow Styler (Spiked) | £16. Ok, it's nothing revolutionary but it's not that expensive and it's lasted me ages with plenty more still in there (though that could say more about how little I've worn makeup this year!) It's a micro-fine pencil you twist up instead of sharpening and comes with a spooly to give a more natural look. It's long-wearing and the shade range looks realistic. I know I'm late to the party, but this year I discovered the Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel | £9 (travel size) | and really get why it's so hyped! It holds the brows in place without being stiff and immobile and doesn't come off in horrible clumps like the last clear brow gel I tried.
What have been your go-to makeup products this year?