As a self-proclaimed beauty junkie, I buy and use a boatload of beauty products in a given year. Some are bad and most are just okay. A few times, I experience Holy Grail Beauty! As we get closer to the Year of Perfect Vision, I’m sharing my beauty faves of 2019. These are the products, brands, and experiences in beauty that blew me away and will have me coming back for more.
Essence Volume Booster Lash Primer
A year ago, I thought lash primer was a gimmick to get me to spend more money on things I didn’t really need in my makeup routine. After I heard so many of my favorite Beauty YouTubers rave about the Lancôme Cils Booster XL Vitamin-Infused Mascara Primer, I decided to give lash primers a try. Honestly speaking, I could not tell the difference in my lashes when using the Lancôme Primer. However, the Essence Primer has been the true game changer for a fraction of the price. This Essence Volume Booster Lash Primer made my lashes look longer and plumper. It almost looks like I am wearing false lashes when I put on my mascara. If you’re thinking about trying the Lancôme Primer, I recommend saving your coins. Walk on by the Lancôme and head straight toward the Essence.
Farsáli Liquid Glass Radiance Serum
This mini Farsáli Liquid Glass was an unplanned purchase during a Sephora sale. I was already using the mini Farsáli Skintune Blur Perfecting Primer Serum mixed in with my foundation. I wanted to see how the Liquid Glass Serum would fare. Between the two, I prefer the Liquid Glass, but I have to use the Skintune Blur for another month to say for certain.
While using the Liquid Glass Serum, I mixed two drops of with two pumps of the Laura Geller First Filter Luminous Foundation and two drops of the NYX Away We Glow Liquid Booster in Untamed. The result was a beautiful, luminous, glowing canvas.
IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara
I received a sample of the IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara, and I was in love after the first stroke of the lash. I wouldn’t say my eyelashes are nonexistent, but they’re not abundant. Since I’m not a false lash girl, I rely on a quality mascara to give me great lashes. Let me tell you! With the IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara, my lashes went from “Where?” to “Wowza!”
The only negative is the price. Since IT Cosmetics is a prestige brand, this mascara is over $20. I can’t recommend you go out and buy a mascara that costs almost $25 when there are drugstore mascaras that may work just as well. I haven’t found them yet, so I just wait for a sale, or I buy the travel size version.
I was sad when Ulta stopped carrying Japonesque Brushes because they are the best drugstore brand brushes! The silver lining for Japonesque being discontinued at Ulta was the brushes I didn’t have in my collection showed up at my local TJ Maxx and Marshalls stores.
Now, I have more of the brushes I love in my collection, and I bought them for significantly discounted prices. If you’re looking for quality makeup brushes and don’t want to break the bank, then head to a TJ Maxx or Marshalls near you. Plenty of Japonesque brushes are waiting for you to give them a good home.
Morphe Continuous Setting Mist
I tried a lot of setting sprays this year, and I always keep coming back to the Morphe Continuous Setting Mist. For a while, this was the first and only Morphe product I’ve ever used. Since then, I’ve added their Flawless Beauty Sponge and the 3B Pure Nude Eyeshadow Palette to my makeup collection. The Morphe Continuous Setting Mist gets high marks for spraying a light, fine mist that leaves my face with the perfect dewy finish.
Sephora Beauty Insider Community
If you are looking for a place where you can freely geek out about everything under the beauty sun, then you need to join the Sephora Beauty Insider Community. I started becoming more active in the Sephora BIC last year. It quickly became my daily pit stop while perusing the internet. One of my favorite boards is Ulta GWPs in the Savvy Shoppers Group. I get the inside scoop about Ulta’s upcoming sales, coupons, and bonuses. I also enjoy sharing my monthly empties and the occasional haul. Overall, BIC is a great place to learn news about your favorite brands or get answers to your burning beauty questions.
Sephora Collection Brushes
The Sephora Collection Brushes are quite underrated in my opinion. I hardly ever hear anyone rave about them. That’s sad because these brushes are soooooo good! I know some beauty lovers will balk at the price, but sometimes you get what you pay for. If you want your makeup to look good, especially when you’re a novice, then you have to use quality brushes. Sephora makes quality brushes! The good news is sometimes these brushes go on sale for up to 50%. This is how I got a lot of the pricier ones like the #91 Powder Brush that have been on my wish list for a hot minute.
It is hard to pick a favorite because the brushes have different uses, but some of my top picks are the #64 Diffuser Brush (makes my foundation look flawless), #93 Blending Brush (melts powder highlighter into my skin), and #99 Sculpting Blush Brush (is actually perfect for setting the under eye area with powder). Overall, the Sephora Collection Brushes look professional, are easy to use, and make me feel like a real makeup artist. I would recommend adding a few to your tool kit. They won’t disappoint!
Shiseido Facial Cotton
Before I experienced the fluffy goodness of the Shiseido Facial Cotton, I thought the rave reviews were all hype. Then, I saw a pack at TJ Maxx and decided to give them a try. Oh, boy! I was singing another tune after I used the first cotton pad. These Shiseido Cottons are the softest cotton pads I have ever used. They are worth every penny and are now the only cotton pads I use.
Sunscreen is essential in any good skincare routine, even for us brown-skin girls. Our beautiful melanin gives us some protection, but it is not enough. We should be slathering ourselves everyday with at least SPF 30. The hard part is finding sunscreen that works without leaving the dreaded white cast. Enter Supergoop!, my holy grail sun protection provider. For the past few years, I’ve been using the Glow Stick on my face and the Everyday Sunscreen for the rest of my body. The Unseen Sunscreen is also an excellent buy.
Ulta Beauty is my #1 destination for all things beauty! For starters, they have the best rewards program. Each dollar spent is a dollar earned that can be redeemed for both products (drugstore and prestige) and services. Thanks to their numerous point multipliers, points can rack up quickly! As you reach higher statuses of Platinum and Diamond, additional rewards are waiting. Platinum and Diamond members enjoy Perks Day each month where there is early access to new releases, exclusive discounts, and even a free gift for Diamond members.
On top of this, Ulta is always having a sale! Most of the time, the sales are for the drugstore products, but there are plenty of opportunities to save on prestige brands. The biggest sale is Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty, the semi-annual flash sale where shoppers get select prestige products for up to 50% off. It’s one of my favorite times of the year! Other special sales include the Love Your Skin and Gorgeous Hair events.
If you’ve been sitting on the fence when it comes to Ulta Beauty, then get off because you’re seriously missing out on some great deals and rewards. Remember to sign up for the emails (and open them) because that’s where Ulta shares most of the good stuff!