Beauty Favorites Product Review

Best of Beauty 2015

December 28, 2015

Now that we got the fails out of the way, let’s talk about the good stuff. This post contains all of my favorite beauty discoveries for 2015. I tried TONS of things and these are the ones that made the cut!

  • NYX Brow Mascara–A quick swipe of this and I’m good to go. I use this when I’m too lazy to fill in my brows, but I still want to bring some life to them.
  • NYX Eyebrow Gel–If you want to be sure your brows stay put for days on end, this is the product for you. I like it, but I don’t use it too often.
  • NYX Tame & Frame Brow Pomade–The consistency of these is perfect, it’s not to thick and it’s easy to work with. Again, not something I use often, but I do like it.
  • Anastasia Brow Wiz–The holy grail of all eye brow pencils. It’s the best and my brows are on always on the highest level of fleekness when I use this. If I used it every day, I’d go through them like crazy and they are pricey so I reserve this for special occasions only.
  • Makeup Geek Eye Shadows–After hearing about these all over YouTube and watching Makeup Geek’s videos for over a year, I finally bought a few to try. I. am. hooked. I’m currently stocked up on eye shadow, but when I run out or need a new shade, I will be buying from MUG. The quality & pigmentation are amazing and they couldn’t be more affordable. I love Marlena and I want to be her when I grow up.
  • Lorac The Skinny Palette-A $15 steal during the Nordstrom Anniversary sale and it’s my go to palette for traveling. It has the perfect amount of shades to create any look and it’s super sleek and compact. I did a tutorial with it and it was really well received.
  • NYX Big & Loud Lash Primer–Another product I’m too lazy to use every day (ain’t got time for extra steps), but it does make a difference in my mascara application when I use it.
  • Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara–Hands down the best mascara I’ve ever used. I don’t often splurge on high end mascara because there are great options at the drugstore, but this one is worth the extra dollars.
  • Jordana Best Lash Extreme Mascara–Best drugstore mascara out there and it’s $2.99. Enough said. (I find mine at Walgreens)
  • Colour Pop Eye Shadows–These are a strange, hard to describe formula. They aren’t powder and aren’t completely gel, somewhere in the middle. They are all super pigmented and extremely affordable.
  • MAC Paint Pot–Since the early summer, I haven’t been wearing much eye shadow. Part of it is laziness (I admit it) and the other part is I like bright, bold lipstick so I choose to play up my lips instead of my eyes. However, I still want something on my lids to cover up the veins and just even everything out and Soft Ochre and Painterly do just that. I put a little on with my finger and set with powder.
  • Wet n Wild Eye Shadow Trios–I’ve only tried Walking On Eggshells, the one pictured, but if all the trios are this good, you need to run and buy some. I love these shadows and the compact is $2.99. These are the perfect soft, neutral colors for every day wear. I did a tutorial using this here.


  • Colour Pop Ultra Matte Liquid Lipstick–A non-drying, affordable liquid lipstick. These come in tons of colors and are one of my favorite formulas.
  • NYX Intense Butter Gloss–I’m not usually a gloss girl, but I went through a glossy lip phase this year and these were my go to. They are very pigmented and last a long time on the lips.
  • Revlon Ultra HD Matte–Another amazing liquid lipstick formulation and these can be found right at the drugstore. I hope they will come out with more colors next year. (Can’t find them online to link, but I’ve seen them at Rite Aid, Target, and Bed, Bath, & Beyond/Harmons)
  • Gerard Cosmetics Hydra-Matte Liquid Lipsticks–2015 was definitely the year of liquid lipsticks. This formula is the best as far as not drying out your lips. They are $20 and only available online, but there’s always a coupon code arond.
  • YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick–I treated myself to this fancy lipstick on my birthday and I love it. If they weren’t so expensive, I would have all of them more. I definitely think you’re paying for the name and the packaging as I’ve tried better lipsticks, but I do love it.
  • Maybelline Creamy Matte Lipsticks–The best matte lipstick formula ever, even better than MAC. I did a review on them here.
  • Gerard Cosmetics Lipstick–I got 2 shades for Christmas last year and ordered a few more this year. I love the formula and they have some really unique colors.
  • Colour Pop Lippie Stix–$5 for incredible lipsticks?! Yes, please! Colour Pop has any color you could ever want and all lippie stix have a coordinating lippie pencil (lip liner). Did I mention they were amazing and only $5?
  • Smith’s Minted Rose Lip Balm–I wanted a lip balm that wasn’t in a tube and this happened to be right at the register at Sephora so I grabbed it. It’s my new favorite lip balm and I can’t be without it.
  • Lip Monthly Subscription Service–If you saw my fails post, you saw Ipsy was a flop, but Lip Monthly is a winner. This is a monthly subscription service that only includes lip products. This is the perfect service for me because lipstick is my favorite and because trying new skincare and facial products doesn’t always go well for me.
  • NYX Lip Primer–Works like a clear lip liner and I highly recommend this, especially if you don’t like lip liner. It serves the same purpose, but it’s clear so you won’t/can’t make a mess with it.
  • Essence Lip Liner–My favorite lip liners and they are $1.49. Does it get any better?

  • GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment–Not a cheap mask, but it sure does work. I don’t apply this all over my face, I use it as a spot treatment.
  • Image Skincare–Thanks to my esthetician, I finally found a skincare routine that works for me and helps keep my acne at bay.
  • Neutrogena Ultra-Light Cleansing Oil–Takes off every trace of makeup from waterproof mascara to liquid lipstick. It smells amazing, is affordable, and easy to get your hands on. (review here)
  • elf Contour Brush–If you want a really sharp, chiseled contour, this is the brush for you. Contour brushes can be ridiculously priced (I’m looking at you NARS Ita), but this one is only $6 and works really well.
  • Real Technique Brushes–I’ve acquired quite a few RT brushes this year and they are hands down my new favorite brand. Whenever I’m asked for brush recommendations, I immediately suggest these.
  • Eco Tools Brushes–Another great, affordable brush brand that’s easy to find.
  • HK Girl Fast Drying Top Coat–If you think Seche Vite is good, you will be blown away by this. It’s SO much better. It’s my new can’t live without it top coat.
  • Essie Gel Setter–If I want my manicure to last, I use this top coat. I can go almost a week without chipping with this stuff.

And of course, the best thing ever…Louboutin Lipstick.


If you read all of this, bless you! I debated doing separate posts, but I decided one long post would be best. Tell me what you’ve been loving in 2015!

P.S. I already have a list of things to try in 2016! What a shock 😉

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  • KatieBun December 28, 2015 at 8:12 am

    Yes! Everything you listed is amazing! 🙂

    • hhardydawson December 29, 2015 at 3:13 am

      I think so too! I’m ready to tackle some new stuff for 2016. Is it bad that I already have a list?

      • KatieBun December 29, 2015 at 8:10 am

        Naah, I have a list for everything 🙂

        • hhardydawson December 29, 2015 at 11:25 pm

          Glad I’m not the only one!

  • Spryha December 28, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Wow informative blog indeed. I am surely gonna follow you girl!!. It would be really nice of you if you could check me out and follow too if you like 🙂

    • hhardydawson December 29, 2015 at 3:14 am

      Thanks so much! I will definitely go check out your blog and follow. I love finding new blogs to read. Thanks so much for checking out mine!

  • Lee December 28, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    You have mentioned all my favorite items! I love Becca, NYX, and MAC. Also, you gave me some idea’s on what to try!
    xo, Lee
    Wine & Couture

    • hhardydawson December 29, 2015 at 3:15 am

      I’m glad you got some ideas! I love your new blog name 🙂

  • elleseesyou December 29, 2015 at 4:09 am

    loved seeing your choices! that tarte concealer is a fave of mine. esp the RT brushes–such a great deal.

    • hhardydawson December 29, 2015 at 4:28 am

      I always recommend the RT brushes, so inexpensive and such good quality. I bought a few more with a gift card I got for Christmas. You know I needed some more brushes 😉