Laurantaina Best of Makeup 2017

Happy New Year! This NYE I have a get-together at my friends' place, enjoying Japanese shabu-shabu. I won't be doing a full glam look for the evening, but I'll rock a glittery eye whenever I have the chance! 

The Best of 2017 saga continues: today I'll be showing you my best makeup discoveries. These are items I first tried in 2017, but everything didn't necessarily launch this year. I noticed I didn't choose an eye quad to feature - my reasoning for this is because I rotated my eyeshadow palettes a lot, so there wasn't just one (or two) all above the others.

Best of Makeup 2017

Best of Makeup 2017

Chanel Les Beiges Healthy Glow Gel Touch Foundation

I loved this light-weight cushion foundation so much I used it up in a couple of months. To my heartbreak, Chanel doesn't seem to sell refills for this cushion. The shade was perfect for my pale skin instead of being ashy (like many Asian cushions) and lasted long during the day. The only con was I ran out of it too soon!

Rouge Bunny Rouge Eyes Wide Open Brightening Duos*

I love me some inner corner highlight, but many palettes I use lack the perfect pale shimmer shade I like to use. These pen duos have been a life saviour as they're quick and effortless to use thanks to the fat nib. I can toss them into a makeup bag and easily accompany with any palette I'm using. One nib is a highlighter while the other end of the duo is a perfect brightening khol for the waterline.

Dior Skinflash Radiance Booster Pen

To my knowledge this particular one has been discontinued and replaced by a pen slightly different brush. I'm somewhat pale and my dark circles tend to look quite prominent and purple, so I like adding a corrector shade before going in with a concealer. This Dior one is incredibly light and not only cancels out purple under eyes, but also brightens the area. I've used this a ton, so it has to be mentioned!

SUQQU Volume Eyebrow Mascara

Final find for 2017. I don't think this eyebrow mascara increases the volume of your brow hairs, but it keeps them combed in place, giving the brows a voluminous look. The khaki shade is perfect for my natural medium brown hair, not too warm and I find the wand size and length easy to use, which makes me to prefer this over L'oreal for example.

Surratt Eyelash Curlers

Eyelash curlers are such an individual thing (just like mascara), but I got to give a mention to these high quality curlers. They don't pinch my eye, grab every lash and give a nice long-lasting curl to the lashes instead of just pinching them straight up for a fleeting moment. I've used these curlers a ton and they don't feel loose or the gum hasn't fallen off, unlike with some other competitive curlers.

NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer

Everybody raved about this concealer in 2017 - for a good reason. It works wonderfully for both: under the eye area or concealing spots, as the finish is soft matte (thus, the name), feels lightweight and doesn't move around - without being drying. Works well with a brush or fingers, I usually dab the concealer gently with a paddle brush and if my under eyes are extra dark I layer the concealer with my ring finger. If you're all about that heavy full coverage look there might be better alternatives for you.

Best of Makeup 2017
Best of Makeup 2017

Lancome Matte Shaker

I felt Lancome was all over the place with their marketing and honestly I'm not a fan of 80% the matte shaker colors, but I love the applicator and wear of these colors. I've been wearing Pink Power whole year and right after my no-buy ended I ordered another color. I perhaps wouldn't wear these all over my lips, but for the Korean gradation look these are perfect! Light on the lips, long-lasting stain which is kiss-proof and drink-proof! Perfect for a night out or those days when you can't be bothered with touching up. Love.

Heroine Make mascaras

I finally got myself to try the legendary Heroine Make mascaras. Somehow the old Rose of Versailles-style packaging made me feel these wouldn't be any good, but I was so wrong. Even when using the 'volume' mascaras, I feel these give you quite a natural, subtle look, but the wear time is excellent. I won't tolerate any mascara smudging, smearing or transfer and I'm happy to say these wear beautifully. My favorite is the non-waterproof volume one because the wand is best suited for my eye shape and still wears well. The waterproof one has to be removed with an oil-based cleanser but I still found it easy enough to remove.

Rouge Bunny Rouge Pristine Light - Light Corrective Eye Primer*

This primer was an odd one, it took me long time to determine whether I liked it or not. Now I can't bare the thought of doing my makeup without it and I've totally forgotten my old HG eye primer (the Too Faced one) to my drawers. The RBR eye primer is a bit sticky and sets fast, so I like to work one eye at the time, but it gives a nice base to the eye makeup and cancels out any redness or veins I have on my lids. I do think it improves the wear and look of my eyeshadow, but nothing can keep my hooded lids from creasing +8 hours.

Byredo Mojave Ghost

I was obsessed with this perfume, but I couldn't justify splurging on the full size, so I went for the roller-ball oil and couldn't be happier as the perfume wears very long, distinguishably, but the roller-ball is easier to pop into a clutch bag. The scent has light and floral top notes, but the base is very woody, earthy and elegant. I don't feel like I'm getting bored or too used to with the scent, but always enjoying its complexity and intensity.

Cream shadows.. RBR Birdwing Beauteous

This was a difficult battle between Chanel, Tom Ford and Rouge Bunny Rouge. I was going to pick Chanel as the winner, as their shadows made such a good impression on me, especially the shade Silver Pink, but I had to change my mind. It is the Rouge Bunny Rouge Long-lasting Duo Cream Eye Shadow in Birdwing Beauteous (longest name ever). It makes you shine like a sexy robot and it STAYS on my hooded lids, no creasing whatsoever. The only cream shadow type I can actually use to contour my eye socket. RBR please bring out more shades!

Tom Ford Sheer Cheek Duo in Bicoastal

This makeup product is a little cheat, as Bicoastal was released in 2016, but it's been hands down my most reached blush this year. No question. I haven't made up my mind about Tom Ford's baked gelée formula, but Bicoastal is smooth, pigmented - yet not too pigmented to give you clown cheeks. The amount of shimmer makes my cheeks pop with a healthy glow and I love it you can adjust the color and lever of shimmer by mixing the two shades. If you missed out on Bicoastal, the new Lavender Lust is very similar!

Best of Makeup 2017

I want to thank all my readers, blog friends and brands for sharing the love for beauty in 2017. I hope and foresee that 2018 is going to be even more magical and hopefully full of health and happiness to you all. What were your favorite makeup products from the year? Did you spot here anything you liked as well? 

xx Laura

Products marked with * are PR-samples kindly provided for consideration.

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Laurantaina Best of Skincare 2017

I'm going to skip gushing how 2017 has flown by - I actually think 2017 was quite a long year with a lot of major ups and downs. What I noticed was each month flying by, but the year in all took a while.

If you're a regular reader, you may know I've was on a cosmetics no-buy from August to end of December. I only bought a couple of necessities I had run out of and consciously rotated most of my makeup collection, so I thought I wouldn't have enough products to show for a best of beauty post. In the end, I got inspired to type which products have been the standouts for 2017. I'm sure many of you will enjoy this type of a roundup as well!

These are the skincare products I've 1) discovered in 2017 2) are crème de la crème, top of the bunch, best of the best, hall of fame.. If some category is lacking this means I either rotated products in this category a lot or just didn't encounter something that blew my mind. Sorry if this post is mainly hyping, but these items are worth it!

Best of Skincare 2017

Best of Skincare 2017

Josh Rosebrook Active Infusion Serum*

In my review and empties post I shared my love for this serum, but even after I've used up and recycled the bottle I keep remembering how amazing it felt - both on my skin and for the senses. The scent is divine, but not overpowering or sickly sweet: there are a beautiful hints of ylang ylang and vanilla. There is a beautiful mixture of avocado, marula, jojoba, hemp seed and sea buckthorn oils (just to name a few) and herb extracts that gave both instant glow and moisturization for my skin. Although the "serum" is heavily oil-based, it still absorbed quickly without leaving my skin tacky. Looking forward to repurchase this in 2018!

Max and Me Enchanted face oil

I had a small dilemma which product to feature from Max and Me as I've loved everything I've tried from the brand. I knew I wanted do a shoutout to one of the oils as I've used them ton during 2017, but which one? The body oils are divine and I can't really make up my mind between Enchanted and I am the Light, but in the end I chose Enchanted as I've used it the most. Soothing, nourishing and repairing oil that uplifts both your skin and your mind. Full review here.

Mahogany Naturals the Blue Lover* and Lina Hanson Global Treasures

In 2017 I tried out a bunch of incredible balms from Max and Me, May Lindstrom and Mahalo, but in the end I decided to feature the Blue Lover and the Global Treasures. Max and Me's Sweet Serenity balm came close, but these other balms I discovered earlier in the year and have been using more. I feel like I've reached Global Treasures the most, as it's oddly "lightweight" balm, ie. non-greasy or very oily feeling, which makes it gorgeous under the eye area and all over the face to seal in other skincare. The Blue Lover on the other hand is my "therapy" balm as it has incredible scent and skin calming properties. Read more in my review! I always reach for it if my skin feels troubled or irritated. I'm excited to try more from these two brands!

Best of Eco Skincare 2017

Mahalo the Petal mask

I feel I gave this mask a bit harsh review. I wasn't sure what it does.. Moisturizes? Calms? It's a pretty hefty price for a jar that doesn't do anything. I decided I'd use it up anyway, but the more I used the more I kept reaching for it. If you skip the fact the floral honey smell is divine and the mask feels nice on the skin, this sure is a multi-purpose fix for a variety of skin concerns. Feeling congested? The Petal. Feeling dry? The Petal. Not feeling your best, but not sure what to do? The Petal. It's not a magic fix, but sure turns your skin for the better. I will definitely repurchase this mask. Full review here.

January Labs Skin Brightening Tonic*

Very gentle daily exfoliator packed with aloe, lactic acid and various fruit extracts. Now when my skin is looking better (vs adult acne I used to suffer), I like to reach for a gentle daily exfoliator. My skin loves lactic acid and this toner helps to keep any spots at bay.

Kypris Antioxidant Dew and Luxe Botanics Camu Serum*

Again, something I've used up and recycled the bottles, but have been missing every since.. And when it comes to choosing beauty products, I think it's a good sign. I honestly miss how these serums made my skin feel. Both formulated with great ingredients, antioxidants and hydrating properties that my skin loved. I find it hard to choose one over the another, so I'm giving a shoutout to both! Read my Camu serum review here.

Pestle and Mortar cleansing balm

This cleansing balm took me by surprise. I had sampled a nice mix of cleansing balms during 2017, but I needed something that had good ingredients but wasn't too expensive so I could use it liberally to remove my makeup. Pestle and Mortar's cleansing balm had an unique texture - oily, but a bit "gritty" and makeup easily glided off after massaging my face with this balm. Very nice, I can't wait to purchase my second jar!

What were your standout skincare items for 2017? Makeup version of this post will be following soon, please stay tuned! Happy Holidays and New Year! xx

Items marked with * were kindly sent to me as PR samples for test and review: this does not influence my opinion. I would repurchase everything on this list with my own money.

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My Post No-Buy Beauty Wish List

I feel shameful typing this post. I learnt a ton about myself during the 1/2 year no-buy, but having a wish list afterwards feels like I'm throwing some of my experience away. Being a beauty junkie, I haven't stopped my fancy for new products and brushes! While I haven't spend money on beauty I've been carefully observing new launches and promising items. I feel I'm even smarter where I'm going to spend my hard earned $$$. I've put together a wish list and I thought I'd share it with you. Let me know in the comments if you've tried these and what has intrigued you lately!

Image: Josh Rosebrook

Image: Josh Rosebrook

Josh Rosebrook Nutrient Day Cream Tinted SPF 30

I have firm love for my Holy Grail moisturizer (January Labs Revitalizing Day Cream review here) and sunscreen (Innisfree Perfect UV Protection Cream review here), but Josh Rosebrook's skincare line keeps impressing me while one of my favorite Youtubers, L'amour et la Musique, has spoken favourable things about this SPF moisturizer. It's pricey, but I'm considering it. I'd also like to repurchase the cleanser from this line.

Image: Beautylish

Image: Beautylish

Viseart Warm Mattes palette

If you've tried Viseart, I could just leave this here without any reasoning. You'd understand. Their eyeshadows are such superb quality, pigmented yet buildable, soft without being too powdery. I enjoy my Neutral Mattes and Cool Mattes palettes a lot and I know I'd get a lot of use out of the Warm one. I think there's nothing prettier than a simple warm eye look, mascara and dewy skin. Definitely high on my wish list!

Image: Burberry

Image: Burberry

Burberry Contour Stick in Medium 01

I've been meaning to try Burberry's infamous Earthy blush for ages, but now I'm even more intrigued by the new contour sticks. What I've seen from videos this contour stick blends like a dream - no wonder, Burberry's makeup is top quality. Looks perfect for natural, skin-like contouring.

Image: Jordan Samuel Skin

Image: Jordan Samuel Skin

Jordan Samuel skin cleanser and hydrating serum

Jordan Samuel's skincare has been so hyped up in the eco beauty community, but not in that annoying, pushy way. People genuinely seem to love his products, which are said to be efficient but don't break the bank. I need a new makeup removing cleanser and usually I go for oils or balms that break down makeup. I'm intrigued if this creamy After Show Treatment cleanser (Plié) lives up to its claims. I also need a new hydrating/antioxidant serum, something to compete with Kypris Antioxidant Dew, Luxe Botanics Camu serum or Pestle and Mortar Hyaluronic Serum. I have my doubts, but I'm willing to try!

Image: Chikuhodo

Image: Chikuhodo

Chikuhodo Z-10 pointed eyeshadow brush

This eyeshadow brush is a beauty from Chikuhodo's Z series. I tried to convince myself I don't need it as I have several pencil brushes, but nothing like this! Z-10 looks extremely soft, precise and having some flexibility, which my current pencil brushes are lacking. I would like to try it for blending and diffusing color on the lower lash line, like Karima McKimmie does in several of her videos.

Image: Beautylish

Image: Beautylish

Sonia G. brush set

One of the December highlights was when Sonia of Sweet Makeup Temptations announced she would release a Japan-made brush set with Beautylish. If someone should have their own brush set, it's the Fude Goddess Sonia! Designed to "bring joy to your makeup ritual", I'm eyeing several brushes from this set. I probably wait for the individual release and collect the brushes little by little - luckily they are not a limited edition. The handle design is just stunning and Beautylish has released other amazing brushes in the past!

That's it! I'd say my list is.. acceptable. Are you eyeing anything right now? Perhaps mentally preparing for the January sales? Let me know in the comments! Happy holidays!

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