Best in Makeup and Beauty 2016 – My Most Reached For!

Firstly…happy new year to you all! I wish you a very happy, healthy and fun 2017! Secondly, it’s time for me to share with you, not so much new product launches of 2016, but instead, products I’ve either personally discovered in 2016, or things that I just can’t get enough of or have found myself reaching for the most throughout the last year. I love reading this kind of post (or watching similar YouTube vids) myself and either giving it a yes!! in agreement or discovering new things to try via other peoples favourites. I’m going to stick to 15 products total, I could go on all day, so many good things 2016! Without further a do, lets get straight to it!

I’m going to kick things off with the Shape Tape Contour Concealer by Tarte in the shade light. I’m fully aware that pretty much every blogger/ vlogger/ influencer on the planet will have this in their 2016 favourites list, so won’t spend an age on this one, however, there’s one very good reason for it making it in to everyones favourites…this stuff is unreal!! It’s hands down the best concealer I’ve tried, ever! It’s vegan, comes in 14 shades and you get a lot of product for the price, 10ml in fact, double the amount of a lot of other high end favourites, eg. the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer (Available from Debenhams*) contains 5ml of product for a comparable price. It’s creamy, has a naturally radiant finish and is full coverage without looking or feeling heavy. It blends like a dream and a little goes a very long way!

Next up, the Kat Von D Beauty Lock It Setting Powder (Available from Debenhams*). Launched in 2016 and now my holygrail, this universal shade setting powder has an innovative delicate mica formula and avoids the heavy, chalky and bulky binding ingredients a lot of other powders contain. This gives a 30% lighter textured powder that instead of feeling dry and caked on the skin, delivers a smooth, seamless finish that blurs imperfections and locks makeup down!

The Pixi Glow Tonic (Available from Cult Beauty) has changed my life…or at least my skin, ha ha.This cult glow giver is a surprisingly affordable Glycolic acid toner/ exfoliator and near enough miracle worker, which in my opinion, would be a great and super effective addition to anyone with any skin type’s skin care routine. I’ve already gone through several bottles and will repurchase, I can’t live without this stuff! Even after a few days use you can feel the difference in the texture of your skin and see a healthier, more glowing version of you. I have a dedicated blog post about the Pixi Glow Tonic, you can read more about it here.

One of my favourite 2016 finds is the Milani Stay Put Brow Colour (Available from Beauty Bay*) not only for the product itself, but the price! Since picking this up, I haven’t really reached for my Anastasia Beverly Hills equivalent at all and that’s just under twice the price of the Milani. The Stay Put Brow Colour even comes with a pretty decent dual ended angled/ spoolie brush and is amazing if you’re in a pinch, but I have to admit, I do still prefer my Anastasia Beverly Hills #12 dual ended brow brush (Available from Beauty Bay*), it’s thinner and the precision is hard to beat! It’s available in 5 shades and boasts 16 hour, all day smudge proof/ waterproof wear. It’s creamy, has an easy to work with texture and is just as highly pigmented, if not more as any high end formula. (I alternate/ mix the shades 03 and 04.) Absolute winner!

The Make Up For Ever Pro Bronze Fusion (Available from Debenhams*) in the matte shades 10M Honey and 20M Sand. I think these bronzers were technically a 2015 discovery, but since picking them up in the MUFE store in Dublin, have quickly turned in to an everyday makeup bag essential! Both shades I use are matte, they have 3 matte shades in total, but also carry 3 luminous shades if you prefer you bronzer to have more of a glow. The MUFE Pro Bronze Fusion is a waterproof, gel- powder formula bronzer, which is lightweight, mistake proof and virtually undetectable on the skin. It doesn’t look or feel powdery and just imparts the most beautiful healthy, warm glow.

I’m not going to spend too much time talking about the Urban Decay Primer Potion in the shade Enigma (Available from Urban Decay), I have a whole blog post dedicated to this favourite , which you can find here. Nothing evens out my lids, keeps shadow pigment strong and eye makeup in place all day like this brilliant eye primer and the new Enigma shade is perfection!

After using my trusty, cult favourite Shu Uemura lash curlers (Available from Amazon*) for what feels like forever, I was initially pretty reluctant to even consider trying an alternative, but had heard so many good things about the Surratt Relevee Lash Curler (Available from Cult Beauty), curiosity got the better of me and here I am, having used it for most of 2016 and loving it! Ergonomically designed and hand calibrated in Japan, this award winning lash curler delivers beautifully fanned out and lifted lashes, without any harsh crimping…a beautiful, soft natural looking curl that lasts! It works amazingly on even straight lashes like mine and it’s design and soft, rounded silicon cushion means that lash breakage from use is minimised (always good!). It looks sleek too, anything matte and black has my vote!

I’ve been a fan of the original pink Beauty Blender (Available from Boots*), that everyone knows and loves (I still do!) for so long, but since discovering the Beauty Blender Pro (Available from Beauty Bay*), it’s been the one I reach for the most. Specially designed with Pro Makeup Artists like myself in mind, but in my opinion, this pro version would benefit/ be suitable for anyone looking to achieve a fuller coverage base in a shorter amount of blend time. It has the same great results as the OG Blender, but with it’s unique smooth suede like texture, it allows you to get a way higher level of pigmentation in a shorter time. I love how the slightly firmer feel of this one really presses the product in to the skin effortlessly.

Next up, another Kat Von D Beauty gem of a product in the shape of the Tattoo Liner in the shade Trooper (Available from Debenhams*). A true cult favourite, Kat’s personal favourite and most definitely one of mine, have used it for years! I also use it every single makeup wearing day! It does come in black (Trooper) and a brown (Mad Max Brown) if you wanted something softer, however I’ve only ever used Trooper myself. I love how intensely black it is and the staying power is second to none! It’s highly pigmented formula boasts 24 hour, waterproof and transfer resistant wear and the super fine brush tip applicator means you get ultimate control and a really precise liner placement. It’s great for detail work and makes short, easy work of a wing. A perfect choice for makeup pros and newbies alike!

The Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette (Available from Cult Beauty) needs no introduction! And this choice will be no surprise I’m sure! An essential warm neutral and berry toned collection of 14 highly pigmented, smooth, buttery eyeshadows, 11 mattes and 3 metallics. Super wearable, suitable for any eye colour. The shadows are so easy to work with and you can create so many different looks from one palette. It’s beautiful…that is all! Grab it while you can too, it’s not limited edition (and ABH now have a European warehouse/ site to order from with way more ease), but it’s never in stock for long regardless!

My lip saviour…Carmex Moisturising Vanilla Lip Balm SPF15 (Available from Boots*)! I always like to have a lip balm on me at all times, especially during the colder months when it only takes my lips minutes to go from smooth and hydrated to cracked mess! Argh! I generally prefer a stick (less mess!) and SPF is good, so this ticks the boxes and just works really well! I’m not a fan of the original Carmex flavour or any of the others they’ve come out with so far, until this, I love the vanilla scent/ flavour, it’s nice, but isn’t too overpowering. Inexpensive and works a treat!

In 2016 the Makeup Geek Contour Powder Compacts (Available from Beauty Bay*) have made it both in to my professional makeup kit and my personal makeup bag. I obviously have the full range of shades and tones in my kit, there’s 3 warm and 3 cool shades, but being a pale person, I personally use the 2 lightest shades, Bad Habit (cool) and Love Triangle (warm) and often mix the 2 for a really natural contour shade. They are available in pan form, which I use in my kit, housed in a Z- Palette (Available from Beauty Bay*), but in my makeup bag, I prefer the individual compact version, super portable, great for travel. The powders themselves are highly pigmented and blend beautifully on to the skin. They’re buildable too, so perfect for soft definition and a stronger contoured effect.

As all of you are probably super aware at this stage (I talk about them enough, ha ha), highlighters are my thing and I have tried many! There’s also so many I love and regularly use, but the Jeffree Star Cosmetics Skin Frost in Peach Goddess (Available from Beauty Bay*) is one of my favourites from 2016. Online JS drama and whatever your opinion on JS as a person aside, when it comes to products, he knows his stuff! Lightweight, super blendable and the pigmentation is insane! I own a few, but Peach Goddess stands out to me, it’s such a beautiful tone and perfect for my pale skin. It gives the most luminous glow to the skin and as well as full on popping highlight that the product/ brand is known for, using it sparingly gives the most stunning dewy finish without any hint of glitter. You get so much product for your money too, as the pans are huge (15g) and as much as I’ve used mine in 2016, I’ve barely made a dent!

2016 has been a year of trying new primers for me, with so many new product launches and I’ve actually found a few of my now favourites, the Too Faced Hangover X Primer (Available from Debenhams*) for example, being my ‘go to’ most days. Having already spoken about that on a few occasions now though, I wanted to talk about another firm favourite and one I use along side the Too Faced one often, the Smashbox Pore Minimizing Photo Finish Primer (Available from Boots*). It dramatically blurs and reduces the appearance of pores instantly and for up to 8 hours. It’s non drying, but absorbs oil and is sweat/ humidity resistant. Makeup applies so smoothly over the top and I do feel it makes my makeup last way longer and keeps it looking fresher for longer than not using primer. I mainly use this one on and around my nose and chin.

So last, but absolutely not least and another from one of my favourite skincare brands…the Pixi by Petra Glow Mist (Available from Cult Beauty). I love this stuff! Am a big fan in general of prep, setting and complexion sprays and this one in my opinion is relatively overlooked and not talked about as much as some and as much as it should be! Before makeup, it hydrates and nourishes the skin…after makeup, it sets and gives a beautiful dewy finish to the skin and you can also use it anytime to refresh and add glow. Another of my favourite ways to use it, is before my powder highlight, to really make it pop! Check out the dedicated blog post about the Pixi Glow Mist here.

So that’s it! Like I said in the intro, there have been so many products that I’ve discovered, loved and/ or used to death in 2016, so this is just a snippet really, but still some of my absolute favourites! What were your makeup and beauty discoveries and loves of 2016?? Leave me a comment if you’ve used and loved something I have, or even better, if you’ve found something that I really should try! Enable away!

Thanks for reading and again for all your support in 2016, it really does mean a lot!! ♥︎

Lyd X



I’m now based in Cork, Ireland. Although I do still take select bookings for North Wales/ Cheshire and Dublin (get in touch for more info) and am available to travel country wide…I’m mainly taking makeup bookings for Cork City and surrounding areas. 

As a bridal makeup specialist, I do get booked up well in advance so if you’re looking for wedding makeup in Cork contact me asap to check availability, secure your date and avoid disappointment! I’m freelance and travel to your home/ venue of choice.

Also available for makeup for any occasion/ event, lessons and master class makeup…find more information and a full list of services here.

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