Best Beauty Products of 2017

It’s that time again! A year ago, I did a post reviewing my favorite beauty products of 2016. It was so much fun that I wanted to do it again! I’m thinking this will be an annual tradition, what do you think?! I’ve listed some of my very favorite products in each category of beauty, skincare, & hair below. (This year, I’m changing it up a little by not forcing myself to pick a favorite for some categories where I honestly feel that there are multiple great options.) Leave me a comment sharing what you think was one of your very top products of 2017! 🙂


Best of Beauty 2018 - Makeup Favorites
Best Primer: Smashbox Photo Finish Primer ($36) *two-time winner* This is a tried and true primer I’ve used forever! I tried many other brands over the years, but this one remains my favorite mainly due to two things: 1) the super smooth texture & 2) the staying power my makeup has when I use this in combination with a great setting spray. It also doesn’t hurt that Smashbox gives out samples of this stuff like its air basically! I kid you not, I have never actually bought the full size of this because I have a never-ending supply of sample packets. Smashbox also offers different variations of the original primer now that address specific concerns such as pore minimizing, color correcting, etc. Check out the full range here.
Best Foundation: Urban Decay All Nighter ($40) I always get the best coverage and the most compliments when wearing this foundation! It is pretty matte, but you can add some illuminating drops into it if you prefer a more glowy finish. This stuff really lasts ALL DAY (or night) and gives such a flawless finish! They offer 24 different shades, and I wear 6.0 or 6.5. Keep in mind that it does oxidize (meaning, it turns darker a few minutes after application)! I wanted to also mention that my favorite drugstore foundation is the L’Oreal Pro collection. The Pro Matte is great for oily skin types. My favorite is the Pro Glow.
Best Concealer: Tarte Shape Tape ($24) *two-time winner* You must already know how in love I am with Shape Tape! If you haven’t already heard it praised a million times, let me confirm that it is the single best concealer ever created! This launched at the end of 2016 and pretty much anyone who tried it has never looked back. It is full coverage, won’t crease, and lasts all day. The price is actually very reasonable too because this is the biggest concealer tube I’ve ever seen (I’m still using my original 2 tubes!) Likewise, the wand is bigger than I was used to with the NYX or Maybelline Fit Me versions. It is great to cover the entire undereye area with one swipe!
Best Blush: I have to give it to the *two-time winner* Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush ($29). This is a pressed blush that is offered in different shades, and I believe I own 5 or 6 of them. All are so beautiful, give a natural look, and have great staying power.
Best Highlight: My new favorite without a doubt are the Cover Fx Custom Enhancer Drops ($42). I got a sample of these and have been obsessed ever since! I’m really into a nose highlight right now, so I love to dab a dot on the tip and blend it out over the bridge of my nose too. You can apply them with your fingers or a brush. The shade I love is ‘Moonlight’.
Best Lip Product: This year, I fell in love with the NARS Velvet Lip Glide ($26). The formula is unlike any other lipstick I’ve tried – it is pigmented, creamy, comfortable, and doesn’t get weird as it wears. As the website describes, it “glides like a gloss, cloaks like a lipstick.” The color ‘Bound’ is a beautiful soft rose. 
Best Setting Spray: I have always loved the *two-time winner* Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray ($31). On days when I want to ensure my makeup stays put forever, this spray is my ultimate fave!
Best Eyeliner: I have said it a million times, but if you’re new to my blog (hi!) you’ll soon learn that my very favorite eyeliner for ever and ever is the *two-time winner* It Cosmetics Gel Eyeliner ($22). This lasts all day and doesn’t smudge, thus makign it a rare amazing find for the waterline.
Best Mascara: I’ve tried soooo many mascaras, but you should already know my favorite that I shout from the rooftops ALL.THE.TIME. is none other than the *two-time winner* L’Oreal Telescopic Carbon Black Mascara ($9.99)! This mascara is sooo lengthening and natural looking, plus it doesn’t clump and umm hello it’s under $10! If you have never tried this, you MUST! You will wonder (like me) why you ever wasted all that money paying $24 a tube.


Best of Beauty 2018 - Skincare Favorites

Best Cleanser: For the past year, I’ve been totally into micellar waters for makeup removal and light cleansing. I’ve tried a bunch of brands, and my favorite so far is the *two-time winner* Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water ($8.99) This stuff makes it sooo easy and non-messy to clean your face and take off your makeup. It is gentle on the skin (no eye irritation unlike other brands!), yet effective at really getting off the gunk! I apply this with cotton rounds.
Best Toner: I’ve been a longtime user of the *two-time winner* Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner ($18). No complaints, and they always have it on sale at Ulta during their big sale events! Glycolic acid is great for minimizing pore size. I apply this with a cotton round nightly after cleansing.
Best Ingredient: The other item I apply nightly is the Peter Thomas Roth Retinol Fusion PM ($65). As we get older, retinol is a crucial ingredient for preventing aging of our skin! I use this every night after toning and before my moisturizers.
Best Facial Oil: I will always stand by the *two-time winner* Tarte Maracuja Oil ($48) for any and everything! You can use this in your hair, on your lips to hydrate, and on your body and face as well to moisturize. I like to use this after a serum, but before my moisturizer in the morning or nighttime. If you dry skin, this will be a savior for you. But if you have oily skin DON’T BE AFRAID! Face oils are actually great for oily skin because they regulate the amount of oil that is present so your skin doesn’t feel parched and produce as much oil on its own to make up for any imbalance. Trust me, facial oils will only make your skin better, never worse.
Best Eye Cream: For morning mainly, I love the *two-time winner* Origins Ginzing Eye Cream ($30) which is super brightening and energizing for those mornings you wish you could hit snooze.
Best Eye Gels: I love the Patchology FlashPatch Eye Gels ($50 for 30 pairs) for depuffing and energizing the under eye area. You stick these under the eye for about 10 minutes, then remove them and rub in the remaining serum. They feel so refreshing and are great for any morning you are short on sleep or feeling extra groggy. I always travel with these!
Best Mask: I am a mask fiend, but overall I would have to award the *two-time winner* Mario Badescu Masks ($18-24) as the best masks out there. They have tons of different masks to address varying skin concerns, but two of my favorites are the Super Collagen & Flower Tonic. I brush these on with a flat foundation type brush for a spa-like feel.
Best Sheet Mask: I have tried tons of sheet masks as well, but my remaining favorite and *two-time winner* is the Yes to Grapefruit Sheet Mask ($3.29). This mask is for brightening and tightening pores. It is super refreshing and cooling, and I love the serum it leaves to rub into your skin afterwards.
Best Acne Product: If you have a problem acne spot or zip pop up, then the *two-time winner* Mario Badescu Drying Lotion ($17) is going to be your savior! This is a formula you apply right to the spot with a q-tip and it clears it up substantially overnight!
Best Face Mist: If you know me, you know I’m a die hard fan of the *two-time winner* Mario Badescu Facial Spray ($7)I keep this mist in the travel size in my purse for a quick spritz whenever, in my fridge for a quick refreshing spritz to cool off, and in my makeup bag to set my makeup in a jiff. They now have 3 different scents!
Best Self Tanner: I like to be picky about what I put on my face because this is some of the body’s most sensitive skin and I don’t like any unnatural ingredients to interfere with my skin here. So, I love using the *two-time winner* Tarte Brazilliance Self Tanning Facial Towelettes ($10 for 5) because they are made with maracuja oil that is anti-aging. I actually cut each of these in half and use one half at a time to go over my entire face.


Best of Beauty 2018 - Hair FavoritesBest Hairspray: This year, the Pantene Air Spray Hairspray ($4.99) really wowed me! The hold and staying power is great, but the bonus is the amazing smell it has which is pretty rare in a hairspray product!
Best Oil/Serum: I found this*two-time winner* Pantene Smooth & Sleek Serum ($7.67) randomly in the sales section at Target last year and decided to give it a try. The texture and results are great, but what really got me (again) is the scent. Pantene is really killing the hair product scents, I must say!
Best Dry Shampoo: Forever and always, my favorite dry shampoo will be the *two-time winner* Dove Dry Shampoo ($3.19). I have tried tons including the two most popular in the beauty industry and I have to say that I really hate them and prefer this over any others out there! It doesn’t show white in my dark hair, smells nice and fresh, and does the job flawlessly!

Well that concludes my Best in Beauty Picks for 2017! Leave me a comment (if you made it this far! haha) and let me know what you think of my picks and which items you would add!

xoxo, Nicole

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