Today we're talking makeup! We're keeping things off-the-cuff and not worrying too much about categories or anything like that and just showcasing my favourite discoveries of the year...
First up is the Elf Halo Glow Liquid Filter (Medium) | £14 | demo / review. This is a highlighter-filter that I primarily use as a primer to boost the luminosity of my skin (though I sometimes mix it in with my foundation before applying it). It's a little more coverage and has a little bit less of a sheen than it's obvious comparison point from Charlotte Tilbury (which is almost twice the price) but I think actually prefer that! This is my perfect glow-booster when my skin is looking a little dry or lacklustre.
It's no secret on this blog that I love a tinted skin product that combines a bit of coverage with skincare benefits. Tinted serums and moisturisers are my go-to for casual days or when I'm going into the office and a new one joined the ranks this year: the Rose Inc Skin Enhance Luminous Tinted Serum* (060) | £36 | demo, full review. This is a water-based serum packed full of hydration with spheres of pigment suspended within the formula; as you massage the product into your skin, they burst and give you a light bit of coverage. This is perfect for a natural makeup look when you just want to look a little fresher, more radiant and take down a bit of that redness. It lasts nicely on my skin and doesn't sink into fine lines, so could be a nice option for more mature skin types.
For nights out and special occasions, I do also keep a 'proper' foundation on-hand and the one I've reached for the most this year has been the Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Foundation* (Neutral 6) | £36 | demo, full review. This gives that flawless look with the perfect not-to-matte, not-too-shiny finish. It has the ideal level of coverage for me when I use a couple of pumps for my entire face, evening everything out and giving that 'perfected' look without completely covering and smothering my natural skin. It's long-wearing and doesn't get dry, patchy or settle in an unflattering way. I absolutely love this stuff!
My new go-to concealer this year has actually turned out to be the Charlotte Tilbury Beautiful Skin Concealer (7) | £25 | demo / review | just pipping Rare Beauty to the post... This just has that Goldilocks quality that the foundation has, to be honest! It has coverage but isn't thick or heavy, it's hydrating but doesn't crease through my setting powder and it has longevity without clinging or looking dry. It has a nice brightening quality to it that's nothing too dramatic or overpowering too and the undertone looks very natural on me.
I guess I had a bit of a Tilbury moment this year because my favourite highlighter has turned out to be the Charlotte Tilbury Spotlight Beauty Wand in Goldgasm | £29 | demo (again Rare Beauty just missed out on the crown!) This is a liquid highlighter in a tube that comes out through this kind of spongy applicator which helps you get it onto your skin in a more natural way (you can blend it out with your fingers or a brush, it's up to you). It has this dewy, pearly quality to it without being chunky or glittery and it's the perfect level of highlight for me personally. The warm gold colour feels like it was made for me too! If you're within a few shades of my skin tone on either side and you're quite warm: this could be your perfect highlight too.
As you may have noticed, I have a thing for cream and liquid cheek products and this year I've been reaching regularly for the Made by Mitchell Blursh Liquid Blusher in Terracotta Tan | £14 | demo. This is a kind of moussey-liquid blush that's super-pigmented (you can soften it a little by mixing it in with your highlighter) so requires a light hand for that perfect warm bronzed-tan look. It's a matte formula that's long-wearing and doesn't apply patchily or go uneven during the day. Considering how pigmented it is, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to blend out and get the hint of colour I want. If you like that really warm-toned look with just a pop of colour that elevates the look beyond just bronzing: this is for you.
I've been a fan of these blush / lipstick do-it-all products for a good while now but 2022 saw the Nudestix Nudies Matte All Over Colour in Picante | £28 | demo | join my collection. This is from the matte finish range, but don't be put off: it's creamy and doesn't skip over on application, plus you can apply it over lip balm if you want more of a glossy look in that area. I find this so easy to apply and you can even throw it in your bag to top up your lip and cheek colour, say if you're going out in the evening after work, and they're great for travel. As the name suggests, this is a hot and spicy orange-red tone.
My favourite new palette to my collection this year has to be the Huda Beauty Empowered Eyeshadow Palette* | £56. This is one of my all-time favourite eyeshadow formulas, so I'm really not surprised that the latest Huda Beauty launch was a hit with me. The mattes are creamy, blendable and still incredibly pigmented and long-wearing. Then there are these gorgeous metallic shades I like to press on with my fingers to get that super-stunning dewy liquid-metal look. Then we have glitters and also some really interesting cream shades and softer shimmers. The colour story is perfect to take you from day to evening; you can go for a soft brown matte look for a day at the office or go all out with purple and peach glitz. I love how cohesive yet versatile this palette feels and being able to play around with so many different textures and finishes.
Let's talk about some lip stuff! I believe I got this for the first time for Christmas last year and, honestly, it's barely left my handbag since... The Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm in Vanilla Beige | £21 | is my favourite nourishing lip balm with a wash of glossy warm, muted blush colour. It just always seems to work! For more of a proper lipstick, this year I've actually really enjoyed the Charlotte Tilbury K.I.S.S.I.N.G. Lipstick in Island Dream | £26. This is Charlotte's creamier, more moisturising lipstick formula but it's still got amazing colour payoff, it's just extra-comfortable and gives a slightly glossier look to the lips. This colour is also gorgeous; a really wearable, muted tan-coral that I really like for my skin tone.
Finally, I have to shout out a couple of makeup brushes... the first is one that I really would like a duplicate of, because it's a fantastic multi-tasker! The Rose Inc Number 3 Foundation Brush* | £28 | was kind of an added extra in a PR box I got and ended up being one of my favourite products from it! It's an angled synthetic brush that can be used to flawlessly, lightly blend out both less-thick foundations and tinted moisturisers, but it's also actually great for seamless concealer application and this shape fits perfectly under the eyes. It's also dreamy for blending out liquid or cream bronzers, highlighters and blushers naturally and effortlessly.
I've also really been enjoying the Trinny London Blush / Bronzer T-Brush* | £26 | as my alternate for cheek products (mostly bronzer). The tapered shape allows you to apply the product precisely (like hitting right under the cheekbones) and although I've never tried birch bristles, this is probably the most realistic vegan alternative I've come across to natural bristles. I love how naturally this applies my cheek products with minimal blending and this brush line as a whole is pretty foolproof!
Have you tried any of my makeup picks? What were some of your top finds of 2022?