I get frequently asked for makeup and skincare recommendations, and I’m super excited to put them all in one place. I’ll be doing a separate skincare/haircare post and a lifestyle favorites next for books, clothes, movies, etc. so this doesn’t get too long. I would love see your favorites and recommendations for 2020 in the comments!
2019 Makeup favorites:
Some quick notes before I get into it – I have dry skin, wear shade 4 in Luminous Silk, and I tend towards a glowy, natural look. I didn’t find a mascara or brow favorite this year, so those won’t be listed.
Primer: Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face primer
I tried a bunch of different primers this year, but nothing overtook my long time favorite – the. It’s definitely more of a moisturizer but I do find that it helps makeup last longer as well. A close second is the Smashbox Primerizer but I found it didn’t hydrate as well as the Hangover primer does.
Foundation: Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation
This one is expensive, but Luminous Silk has just the right amount of coverage (medium), looks glowy but not oily, and lasts all day. For me, it is definitely worth the splurge. Some other foundations I discovered this year and may outrank Luminous Silk in 2020 are Clinique Even Better Refresh Hydrating and Repairing Foundation and Glossier Skin Tint.
Concealer: Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector
This was a game changer for me. I have very dark and noticeable under eye circles and have been searching for something to help correct them for years. This corrector does the trick and puts way less pressure on having the perfect concealer to go on top.
I’ve been loving the Glossier Stretch Concealer for the rest of my face so far, but am still on the hunt for my perfect concealer in 2020.
Powder: Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder
As someone with very dry skin, I’ve had trouble finding the perfect powder that will set my makeup, blend everything together nicely, and not look cakey. The veil powder does all of that and even though the full size is $46, the travel size is still going strong even though I got it at the end of 2018 and use it ever day. I decided to pick up the full size this year because the packaging is way easier to use, but I’m sure it will last for me for the next few years based on the travel size.
Contour: Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder (powder) and Fenty Match Stix Matte Skinstick in Amber (cream)
Both of these give me the perfect natural looking contour quickly and easily. I have considered trying others to see if they’re better, but I have yet to see a need to switch it up from these.
Bronzer: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer (powder) and Nudestix Nudies Matte Blush & Bronzer in Bondi Bae (cream)
Like my contour favorites, both of these give a natural warmth and blend out easily. They both give a subtle radiance that is especially great in the winter when my skin needs a little extra help. The Hourglass is one of my favorite powder formulas because it’s not that pigmented, so I can slowly build it up depending on what kind of look I’m going for. I have a few other bronzers but don’t find myself reaching for them as much because I pick up way too much color too quickly, and they aren’t as easy to blend as the Hourglass.
Highlight: Mac Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle (powder) and Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter (liquid)
The makeup artist for my wedding used the Mac powder on me, and it looked so amazing in the pictures that I went out and bought it as soon as I found out what it was. It gives the perfect amount of sheen without being glittery, and I find that it’s very hard for me to use too much.
The HFF had been on my wishlist for a long time before I finally decided I should just get it. I’m so happy I did because it is one of the most amazing products I’ve ever tried. I mix it into my primer or foundation for an all-over glow, put it under my eyes under my corrector/concealer if I need more brightening and coverage there, and use it on as a liquid highlighter. It works well in every way I’ve tried, and I get tons of compliments every time I use it.
Blush: Nars Blush (powder) and Glossier Cloud Paints (liquid)
Once I found the right brushes to use with my Nars blush (more on that in my brush post!), it became my go-to powder blush. It makes me look healthy and awake without overdoing it, and although it being hard pressed can make it harder to use, I find that it means I don’t end up with a giant splotchy mess that’s hard to blend out.
The Glossier cloud paints give a natural flush to the cheeks that lasts all day and blends well with my other cream products. The one thing I dislike about these is the packaging. I always end up squeezing out way too much, but it’s worth it for the effect they give.
Eyeshadow: Natasha Denona Biba Palette
This was a gift from my husband (thank you!), and I’m not sure I could have convinced myself to spend this much on a palette. Now that I’ve had the chance to use it almost every day, I absolutely would buy it again. It is the perfect mix of warm, neutral, and cool tones with the right amount of shimmers. The formula is amazing, and if I could only have one palette, it would be this one.
Lip liner: Make Up For Ever Artist Color Pencil in Wherever Walnut
The Bite liners were a close second, but given that they are discontinued and no longer available, my choice for this year is this Make Up For Ever pencil. The formula is creamy without being slippery and helps define my lips without drying them out. I particularly like this color because it adds depth to my lighter colors and helps retain the shape for darker colors.
Lip gloss: Em Cosmetics Morning Dew Crystal Lip Gloss
I have tried so many lip gloss formulas this year, and my favorite is absolutely this one. It is incredibly moisturizing and makes my lips look great even why they are incredibly dry. I tend not to go for clear glosses since I like one and done products, but I have come to appreciate that I can put this over any lip color to add shine and moisture. And it’s not sticky at all!
Lipstick: Bite Beauty Lip Lap Custom Lipsticks
While I am obsessed with the Lisa Eldridge Velvet Mattes that I got this year, my pick has to be my Bite custom lipsticks. I went to the Lip Lab for my bachelorette party and made my perfect red, my wedding lip color, and a replicate of my favorite but now discontinued lipstick. All 3 look amazing on me, and I loved the experience of making my perfect shades with my bridesmaids.
Setting spray: Cover FX Dewy Finish Setting Spray
I was dedicated to Urban Decay All Nighter as my setting spray of choice for years, but the Cover FX knocked it out of my top setting spray spot for keeping my makeup looking great all day without drying out my skin. It’s alcohol-free, and I find that has helped a ton with my skin feeling less dry throughout the day.
I can’t wait to keep using these products and the new things I found in 2019 – looking forward to seeing how different my 2020 favorites are from my 2019 list!