Saturday, December 23, 2017

Best of 2017

I haven't been inspired to do a yearly favourites in a couple of years, but felt motivated to put together something this year. Maybe because it dawned on me I've now been blogging for 6 years (craaaayyy, even with the significant drop in posts from 2016), maybe after reducing my exposure to a relentless reel of influencers' monthly favourites, hearing about what people have been enjoying and reaching for is genuinely interesting again, maybe because at the end of the day, I still just really like makeup, skin care, candles, fragrances, the whole shebang. I had a look through my blog posts, Instagram, and stuff lying around at home, and picked up the following 11 products as my standouts of 2017.

NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Abu Dhabi
Might as well say it. This is my favourite lip colour. The shade is perfection to me for a natural, beautifying, effortless pout. I even bought a backup because when you've found the one, you don't ever want to be without.

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor in Seduction
A close second to Abu Dhabi, Seduction is a touch pinker and darker. Very similar texture, application and feel on the lips, which is to say it's soft, velvety, and gives the polish and relative longevity of a matte without sucking all the moisture from the lips. Full review here.

Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer in Bronzer
Haven't stopped using this since it came into my life. I went from skipping/total disinterest in bronzer for at least half a year (only using blush or a bronzer/blush hybrid like NARS Madly or Max Factor Creme Puff Blush in Nude Mauve) to using this with my Charlotte Tilbury Powder & Sculpt brush daily. It's so smooth, virtually blends itself, the shade isn't too dark so it's tricky to work with but pigmented enough that definition is easy to achieve. The colour is just the right mix of warmth for that summery, healthy glow and shadow for a believable contour.

Clinique Cheek Pop in Nude Pop
Just the perfect, everyday, neutral peachy-nude blush. The cheek equivalent of NYX Abu Dhabi. Goes with everything, instantly lifts a dull, tired complexion and makes you look fresh and alive. Creamy, non-powdery, satin texture that looks lit-from-within. Works a treat with the Morphe E4 patted up and down the cheekbones and onto the apples of the cheeks.

Nudestix Magnetic Eye Color in Night
This is one of those somewhat boring, unsexy products that I use all the time and haven't encountered a better version of. A fat, jet black, matte crayon like this is a great tool for monolids since it can draw a thick line quickly. I first do a winged liner with a fine, felt tip/brush eyeliner like Maybelline HyperSharp Wing Liquid Liner, then use this when I want to thicken and even out the shape my eyeliner from the inner corner to the beginning of the wing, giving the appearance of more rounded, larger eyes. The staying power is absolutely phenomenal. On the couple of times I've been naughty and slept in my makeup, pretty much everything is gone the morning after but this.

Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow/Liner in My Two Cents
I've been eyeing Charlotte Tilbury Eyes To Mesmerise in Bette for forever, but why would I spend $44 (not even including shipping) on it when I have My Two Cents? This is the perfect shimmering goldy-bronze on light-to-medium skin tones. On days I wear contacts, this is my go-to cream shadow paired with Rimmel ScandalEyes Shadow Stick in Bad Girl Bronze. I even picked this My Two Cents/Bad Girl Bronze combo for my eye makeup to an interstate wedding. Never fails.

l-r: NYX Abu Dhabi, Revlon Seduction, Clinique Nude Pop, Benefit My Two Cents, Physicians Formula Bronzer, Nudestix Night

Laura Mercier Fall in Love Illuminator Collection
I've been meaning to do a review of this for ages, but since it was limited edition from late last year, I felt there was kind of no point. I thank my lucky stars every time I use this that I took the plunge and purchased it, because usually I shy away from expensive items. This houses 4 of their highlighters in the shades Indiscretion (rose gold), Addiction (more conventional yellow gold), Devotion (an icy purplish shade) and Seduction (bronze). I usually go for Indiscretion or Devotion, as Addiction is a bit boring to me (still beautiful though) and Seduction is way too dark for a highlighter (great for eyeshadow/workable as shimmery bronzer). They are a drier, more gelée type formula (what I recall/imagine ABH So Hollywood to be like), and don't emphasise skin texture or pores. They don't go on extremely blinding at first instance, so can be built up to desired intensity. Best of all, I really do like that there's a bit of glitter in the mix. I just think it makes the shades that touch more interesting and eye-catching.

l-r: Indiscretion, Addiction, Devotion, Seduction

Tarte Tartelette in Bloom
At the beginning of the year, I was debating between Tartelette in Bloom and Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance. The latter was sold out, so deciding which to buy came down to the one that wasn't out of stock. I ended up buying Modern Renaissance at the tail end of the year thinking I *needed* it, and now I can definitively say I prefer Tartelette in Bloom. Why? Simply, the colours. In the mornings when I'm doing my makeup for work, I don't really gravitate toward bright/dark pinks, reds and vibrant oranges. The rest of Modern Renaissance is also cool-toned (read: muddy and dull on my lids). But almost every shade in Tartelette in Bloom is flattering, office-friendly and foolproof. It's a complete palette with smooth, pigmented shadows that are a breeze to blend. Full review here.

Too Faced Hangover Primer
A fairly recent find given I only bought this in September, but I think I've finally found the primer for me. I don't think it does much in terms of oil control or improving longevity of your base, but it does create a more moisturised, plump, soothed canvas for your foundation to go on. On good skin days, coupled with this primer, my skin looks positively glowing and baby smooth. The coconut scent is delish, it's a pleasure to use and feels like a treat on the skin.

Crabtree & Evelyn Spiced Earl Grey Hand Therapy
Truly one of my favourite discoveries of 2017. The travel size lives in my makeup bag. I loved the tester so much in the shop I also bought the 100ml, but gifted that my mother. I'll have to resort to eBay to replenish my stock since this was sadly limited edition from last Christmas. I wish they would bottle the scent in a perfume. The smell is exactly as the name suggests. I didn't think earl grey in a hand cream could be done this right, but I'm happy to be proven wrong.

Gucci Bloom EDP
My current scent obsession. I can't even remember the last time I purchased a 100ml bottle of perfume (from a department store at that, not even Priceline/Chemist Warehouse/online), but it's a testament to how much I lurrrvee it. I also have the body lotion and rollerball, so I can live out my dreams and douse myself in the stuff. It's a somewhat old fashioned white floral that's been reimagined in a modern way. I like that it's not too dry or green on my skin, with a certain sweetness and creaminess that's been missing in other white florals I own (Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia, Kai perfume oil). The dreamy ad campaign with Dakota Johnson, the millennial pink bottle, I'm a sucker for it all.


  1. I completely have an obsession with the Gucci Bloom bottle. I just picked up a mini deluxe sample of the perfume (in a mini version of the bottle!!) so I'm excited to give it a try. The notes in it sound incredible! I can't believe the year is ending and it's time for yearly favorites already! These are all such great picks :)

    Cindy |

  2. Gosh!! I need to add Nude pop into my collection (I already own 3 clinique pop blushes and they have one of my favourite formulas)

    I do understand why you prefer Tarte's palette over Anastasia's. I do really love bright shades, but I also don't find myself reaching for that type of shade when I am getting ready to work.

    I hope I can see you blog a bit more in 2018 <3
    Take care!!

  3. The Butter Bronzer is definitely my fave bronzer for the second year running; its the one I'm always reaching for. I'm excited to try some of the other shades when I'm in the US in April.

    Victoria x

  4. I understand where you're coming from about Modern Renaissance! It's still one of my favourite palettes, but I don't reach for it as often because the shades are so bold. I do love the looks I can create with it though and the formula is great. In Bloom seems like the perfect everyday palette though! I was so tempted to pick up that Laura Mercier highlighter palette - don't make me regret my decision! Haha, I have way too many highlighters though...

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

  5. Can I say, I love the way you describe fragrances?! I've read all your posts about your perfumes, and I'm definitely sniffing some of your faves on my next visit to the store.


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