Beauty Favorites 2015 (Pt. 2)

Welcome back! This is a continuation of my 5 part series of my favorite products of 2015. Last post was based on face products, and today is focused on eyes.

2015 Eye Favorites.jpg

As I’ve said in my “About” on this blog, I share predominantly affordable products, but this one will include some high end favorites, sometimes it really is worth it to spend a few extra bucks on a great product.

As with my last post, this is a collaboration, so check out my Instagram for those!

 

So let’s start off with an eyeshadow primer, which if you’re not familiar, is a product made to help eyeshadows last longer, prevent creasing, and make shadows appear more vibrant and true to color on the eye.

The Essence I Love Stage Eyeshadow Base has been my holy grail product basically since the moment I brought it home.  Retailing at $3.49, I can promise you won’t find a better shadow base at this price point.

Essence I Love Stage Eyeshadow Base.jpg

This does have a very yellowish tint to it, but I find once sheered out on the lid, it’s not a problem. I’m very fair skinned and don’t have any issues with the coloring.

Essence Eye Base Swatch.jpg

Obviously the best part of this primer is its staying power. I’ve had this primer last on my eyes for a solid 15 hours without moving. My shadows still looked fresh and great. I’ve tried several primers, both high end and drugstore and none of them have come close to what this does for me. Such an underrated product, in my opinion.

 

Next favorite is a cream shadow, the Elf Cosmetics Smudge Pots. As you can tell, I have almost every shade and truly love these little dudes.

Elf Smudge Pots (2).jpg

These cream shadows have an almost mousse-like texture, but don’t crease at all! They’re incredibly comfortable and come in an array of gorgeous shades, and weigh in at a hefty price tag of $3.

SP Swatches 2.jpg

(Shades from L-R: Cruisin’ Chic, Back To Basics, Wine Not, Ain’t That Sweet, Gotta Glow, Pearls of Wisdom, Poppin’ Party)

The smudge pots can be used on their own, as bases, or as cream eyeliners. Honestly, you cannot go wrong with these products, my only wish is that they would come out with skin tone shades to use as an actual eyeshadow primer.

 

My first high end pick in this category, the Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow Palette is a favorite for a number of reasons.

Too Faced Chocolate Bar

(Like the reflection of my sweatpants in the mirror? )

First things first, the color selection is phenomenal. I love all of these beautiful neutral warm tones. There’s a great mix of mattes and shimmers, and even a pop of color  with the glittery purple.

Did I mention this actually smells like chocolate? Yeah. seriously. The shadows are infused with cocoa. There are  3 palettes in this installment by Too Faced, and this is the first, and retails for $49.

This is by far my favorite palette I own, I feel like I can come up with an endless amount of looks and never get sick of using it. If you’re going to splurge on only one palette, I highly recommend you choose this one.

 

Another palette I have to mention is the Elf Cosmetics Mad For Matte Eyeshadow Palette

Elf Mad For Matte.jpg

 

Mine has seen better days, but that’s because this is a total must have for me. The shadow quality is obviously not the same as Too Faced, but for only $10, I won’t complain.

Mad For Matte Swatches

This palette is what I call a “companion palette”, a palette that you can pair up with anything. If I have a shimmery single shadow I want to use, I can pair it up with this palette to get a matte crease, or if another palette I’m using doesn’t have any mattes, I can pull this out.

Some of the shadows could stand to be a little more pigmented, the light shades in particular, but all in all, I still really love this palette

 

Next up, eyeliners. I’m very specific with my eyeliners, since I have watery, sensitive eyes. It’s hard to find something that doesn’t irritate my eyes and will actually stick around in my waterline. And I finally stumbled across these.

These are the Essence Long Lasting Eye Pencils. Costing a mere $2.49, I would easily choose these over many high end favorites.

Essence Long Lasting Eye Pencils.jpg

 

Not only do they come in a decent array of shades (my absolute favorite being “Hot Chocolate”), but they last a solid 8 hours on my watery eyes without causing any sort of irritation.

Essence Eye Pencil Swatches.jpg

(Shades L-R: Tu-Tu Turquoise, Cool Down, Berry Merry, Hot Scorch, Hot Chocolate)

I cannot say enough wonderful things about these eyeliners. My one tip to those who try these is to apply about two layers of these for the most opaque look on the waterline. If you struggle with finding a liner to stay on your waterline, definitely pick some of these up.

 

I should start this part out by mentioning that I am not all about those super sculpted, very sharply defined eyebrows. I already have naturally full eyebrows, and prefer the more natural look anyways. So these products can be used to achieve a natural brow, or used in a more concentrated way for more dramatic brows if that is what you’re into.

My favorite brow pencil I’ve discovered this year is by far the Elf Cosmetics Instant Lift Brow Pencil.

Brow Pencil Swatch.jpg

(This is a heavy swatch)

I have black hair and use the shade “Neutral Brown”, because as I mentioned, I like eyebrows that look natural on myself. This particular shade can be used with a very light hand and be suitable for those with light hair, or can be applied more heavily for those with darker hair. They do offer two other shades, but I love this one for its versatility.

The texture of this is not unlike many other brow pencils, slightly waxy, not too creamy formula that makes it so easy to fill in the sparse areas of your eyebrows. However, if you have very thin brows, the tip of this does not stay sharp and thin like the Anastasia Brow Wiz does. But at a price of $3, if you’re like me and don’t need harsh definition to your brows, this is a great product for you.

 

This is my other high end favorite that I actually discovered thanks to my Ipsy subscription*.

The Elizabeth Mott “Queen Of The Fill” Brow Gel is by far the most phenomenal brow gel I’ve ever used.

Queen Of The Fill.jpg

The point of this brow gel is to not only act as a “hairspray” for your brows and lock the hairs in place, but to add a tint that will give some additional fill to the brows, and has a great small wand for easy application.

The price tag on this one is a little painful, $20 for 0.14 oz. But if you’re on a budget, the Nyx Tinted Brow Mascara  is a really great alternative and has a much larger shade selection than the Elizabeth Mott, which only has two shade options (Light Medium, Medium Dark). But the staying power is not as great as the Queen Of The Fill, and the brush is much larger, so if you can afford the splurge, I highly recommend this!

 

Next up is the mascara that changed my lash game this year, and that is the L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara (non-waterproof).

Loreal Carbon Black.jpg

First thing I love about this mascara is the shape of the wand. It’s an actual brush wand (which I much prefer over the rubberized version for my upper lashes) in a relatively large, tapered shape, making it very volumizing and easy to reach all of your lashes, from inner to outer corner.

Loreal Wand.jpg

This product is just everything I want in a mascara, giving volume and length to sad, short lashes.

20160109_180649.png (My results with this mascara!)

The other thing I noticed after a few weeks of using this mascara is that it actually helped my eyelashes grow! Not entirely sure why, as it doesn’t claim to do so, but I could definitely see a difference in the natural length of my lashes after using this.

This is available at most drugstores for around $6.99, and I find this so much better than any high end mascara I’ve ever used. If you are in need of a new mascara, give this one a go.

 

And for the last product in today’s post, the mascara I use on my lower lashes, the Wet ‘n’ Wild Megalength Waterproof Mascara.

Megalength.jpg

I discovered this gem because of ThaTaylaa on YouTube, who swears by this for her lower lashes. and I could not agree with her more,

Generally, I’m not a huge fan of rubberized brushes, but the style and shape of this wand makes it so incredibly easy to coat every one of my hard-to-reach lower lashes and make them appear so much longer than they are. The waterproof formula helps keep this mascara from flaking or smudging throughout the day, but isn’t particularly difficult to remove as is the case with most waterproof mascara.

Megalength wand.jpg

 

 

Thank you all for checking out this post, stay tuned for part 3!

-Samantha

 

 

*This link is my personal Ipsy referral link. If you’re not comfortable with using that, please visit http://www.ipsy.com

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