Best of beauty 2016

I know you’re all thinking 2016 seems like a year ago! It sure does. You can’t just crown a beauty product your favorite of the year without some serious thought and consideration. After much deliberation, I have finally settled on what I believe to be my most reached for beauty products of 2016. I have a mix of new products that made there way into my heart for the first time this year, along with some holy grails that I have purchased time and time again.

Make up is a very personal preference for several reasons. One being, that everyone has different skin types. Foundation is very personal since many look for different finishes and coverage. Everyone looks for different things when it comes to makeup, what might be a major turn off to one person, might be just what someone else is looking for. Eye palettes and blush are much more universal than for instance, foundations or mascaras.

I. Love. Makeup. I have what most would call a “makeup collection’, which is weird because it’s not really something you can collect, or should! lets just say a year hasn’t passed that I haven’t made V.I.B rouge in a very long time. So lets just say I have purchased, loved, and also hated quite a few beauty products over 2016.

1. Facial Spray: Mario Badesccuo Rose water $7  This product could also go in my best of skincare, but I wanted to include this since I usually use it as a base before I apply my makeup. This is great for spraying on freshly washed skin for added hydration. You can also spray it on after your makeup for a setting spray if you would like. Have you ever felt like your skin was tight and needed to be refreshed half way though the day?? This is your guy! You can spray it any time, anywhere. I pretty much use and abuse this product, and I know you will too! For $7 you really can’t pass this baby up!

2. Foundation:  Makeup For Ever ultra HD Foundation$43 I always come back to this amazing foundation. It looks great regardless of your skin type, and it has a natural flawless finish. It has medium to build-able coverage, and wears all day. Also, there is no sunscreen, which means no white cast when being photographed. (My fellow blogger babes knows the importance of that.) This now comes in 4 shades. *allure best of beauty 2015

3. Setting powder:  Laura Mercier translucent setting powder $38  Until this year I never used powder in fear of having a cakey finish. This setting powder blurs lines, and extends the length of my look with a very natural looking finish. This is a universal powder that I have in my kit to use on all of my clients regardless of skin type.

4. Concealer: UD naked skin weightless complete coverage concealer  Has been repurchased over and over this year. It has a weightless coverage that covers my dark circles without any creasing. If you haven’t tried this yet, I promise you will love it. This formula never settles into my dry spots, which is a plus!

5. Bronzer: Hoola matte bronzer by Benefit $29  This is an award winning bronzer and with good reason. I have more bronzers and contour palettes than one should own. However, I always reach for this! The color is perfect for most light to medium skin tones. I use this to warm up around my forehead, chin, and cheek, and it is also my go-to for contouring. This do all is a steal at under $30!

6. Lipstick: Stila liquid lipstick in Patina $24 This is my ALL time favorite liquid lipstick. I didn’t even have to think about this one. It was my most clicked on beauty products EVER this year; I received numerous messages and questions about it. I lost it not once, but twice and ran out to repurchase it immediately. 

7. Eyeshadow Palette:  Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance $42  You know a product is a winner when it takes you over 5 months to get your hands on it!!! This Palette has 14 blend-able, pigmented colors that are great for day or night. You are able to create whole eye looks with this one Palette, which makes for convenance and easy travel. New year, new makeup, pick this baby up!!

8. Brow Product: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow wiz $21  I decided to include a brow product even though I know longer need to use them. I had my eyebrows micro bladed last June and can’t begin to explain how happy I am with my decision to do so. Until then, my morning routine revolved around the brows. The Wiz is great for beginners. If you are new to the brow game or are looking for a new product, give the brow wiz or Dip brow a try. I know the importance of a great brow so I wanted to help you girls out with an awesome product to help you start your 2017 brow game strong.

9. Highlighter: Becca shimmering skin Perfector in Champagne Pop $38 I am absolutely in love with this highlighter. If you are like me and want the aliens on mars to see your beaming cheek bone, you have met your match! I have been watching Jaclyn Hill since she was recording videos at her desk in her tiny kitchen. She really is an incredible MUA and I have enjoyed watching her succeed. Pick this gorgeous highlighter up and strobe with the best of them.

10. Mascara: Benefit roller lash $21 or L’oreal voluminous carbon black $12 Not going to lie, I wasn’t blessed with many stand out features! However, I was granted a pretty decent pair of lashes. I can use almost any mascara and be happy. These two did stand out to me however.

11. Blush: Milani Luminoso $8 This blush was in the running with some of my favorite high end blushes. The hourglass blush was another favorite, but you could not beat the price point on this one. The color is wearable, and great on so many skin tones. It has a slight shine that allows for a lit from within look! The packaging is nothing to write home about, but the products inside sure is.

12. Nail polish: Wet & wild 1 Step Wonder Gel $4.99  I haven’t found a polish I love this much from any brand or price range. This polish is under 5 dollars, comes in a bunch of great colors, and get this…….its stays one for longer than a day! Thats huge for me given that I am not kind to my nails. Maybe I should add that to my list of things to work on for 2017?! If you are looking for a great top coat, the get out the door works best for my dry brittle nails.

13. The beauty blender $20 Twenty dollars might seem like a lot for one little sponge. If you had asked me a few years ago, I would have agreed! But, I will say, it’s the best $20 I have ever spent. It makes my makeup go on flawless, and it’s so easy to us. (Make sure you dampen it for the best results.) This is a must have in your makeup bag. I use this to apply my foundation, set my concealer, and even cream contour!

14. Makeup Storage: GLAMBOXES $199 & Up Clear storage is my favorite because I love being able to see everything. I have purchased many clear acrylic organizers before making the switch to GLAMBOXES. I am so happy I did, nothing else compares. They look pretty displayed, and hold up so nice over time.

15. Perfume: YSL black opium $90 DUR… clearly because it is the best! Does anyone else still say DUR?? No, your right, I should stop! It’s so juvenile. This has a base note of black coffee, with vanilla bean and white flowers. That doesn’t mean much to me other than I know I am OBSESSED!! What’s not to love? Coffee and Vanilla bean, Heck YEAH!

I am hoping to put more beauty posts up this year! I enjoy writing them and hope you enjoy reading them just as much! Let me know in the comment section if that is something you would like to see!

Xo~ Gretchen


My name is Gretchen Michelle. A fashionista, coffee lover and mom who believes in living life to it's prettiest potential through fashion, beauty, and health.

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  1. 1.20.17
    Kelsey said:

    You need to come and do my makeup for me! And then teach me how to do it myself!! That’s the bronzer I use, so at least I’m doing something right! 🙂

    xo Kelsey |

    • 1.20.17
      livinglifepretty said:

      Hoola is the best!!! You always look beautiful, so your ahead of me!!!

  2. 1.20.17

    These look amazing, I have always wanted to try that Rose Water toner

    • 1.21.17
      livinglifepretty said:

      You have too!! I am hooked. Its works wonders on my dry skin.

  3. 1.21.17
    kelly said:

    This list is everything! Now if I could only get good at doing my own makeup haha

    • 1.21.17
      livinglifepretty said:

      I watched Youtube video after Youtube video! I am self taught, So that means anyone can learn! Have a wonderful weekend.

  4. 1.21.17

    Awesome round up- so many new products I need to try. That bronzer sounds great. Always looking for new ones!
    xoxo, Jenna
    Boston Chic Party

    • 1.21.17
      livinglifepretty said:

      Hoola is such a great universal shade! You will be hooked. I know I sure was!

  5. 1.25.17
    Hannah said:

    Well, heading up to sephora with a credit card in hand is probably not advised for me after reading this best of beauty blog! I WANT EVERY PRODUCT! Stopping by this blog on the regular has become a danger to my checking account! ??keep up the great work and thanks for making my life easier when it comes to fashion and beauty

    • 1.25.17
      livinglifepretty said:

      Thanks for reading Hannah! Now i know what to get you for your Birthday.;)

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