Last year has been a time for major makeup and skincare revelations for me. I always been a beauty lover, but it was 2016 when my obsession with makeup started to become evident to other people. I received so many wonderful opportunities to collaborate with fantastic brands like my photo shoot with Garnier and modeling for Victor dE Souza. But my major beauty accomplishments happened in the comfort of my own beauty room, where I constantly experimented with the goodies from my collection, tried new products, and reported on all of the exciting beauty launches to you guys.
I feel so incredibly honored that you value my opinion in beauty, as I’m not a professional makeup artist or cosmetologist, but rather a girl who reads labels and doesn’t feel shy about experimenting with all things beauty. Thank you for being here with me and sharing my makeup and beauty journey with me!
Today I decided to share with you a list of all makeup products that I’ve been obsessed with in 2016. Please be aware that there is more than one product per each category—because each of them serves different purpose.
As always, please let me know in the comments area below if you tried and loved (or hated!) any of the products I mention in this post. Also, feel free to share your favorite products of the year with the Style Sprinter community!
Disclosure: This list has been created based on the products that I personally tried and continued using in 2016. I purchased most of the items in this post with my own money, but there are also some items that I received for review purposes (some of the products that I initially received as sample I later repurchased myself).
This year has been huge on finding new foundations. From my all-times favorite Make Up For Ever HD Foundation to the recent obsession with Estee Lauder Double Wear Cushion Foundation, I tested out tons of new products and many of them became staples in my beauty collection.
Best High-End Full Coverage Foundation: Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation
Best Drugstore Full Coverage Foundation: L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation
Best High-End Cushion Foundation: Estee Lauder Double Wear Cushion Foundation
Best Drugstore Cushion Foundation: Maybelline Dream Cushion Foundation
Best High-End Foundation for Photo & Video: Make Up For Ever HD Foundation
Best Drugstore Foundation for Photo & Video: Milani Conceal & Perfect Foundation
Best High-End Tinted Moisturizer: IT Cosmetics CC Cream SPF 50+
Best Drugstore Tinted Moisturizer: L’Oreal Paris Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream
To say that I’ve been obsessed with palettes in 2016 is to say nothing! From a regular makeup lover who is keeping an eye on all new makeup launches, I turned into a real makeup collector and eyeshadow palettes are on top of my list. I was among the first purchasing Tarteist Pro Palette, ABH Modern Renaissance, and ABH Master Palette, and I’m certain that I’ll continue sharing with you all of the palette swatches and reviews in 2017!
Best of Palette of the Year: Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette
Best Limited Edition Palette: Anastasia Beverly Hills Master Palette by Mario
Best Matte Eyeshadow Palette: Tarte Tarteist Pro Palette
Best YouTuber Collaboration Palette: BH Cosmetics Carli Bybel Palette
Best Artistic Palette: Urban Decay Electric Palette
Best High-End Contouring Palette: It Cosmetics Je Ne Sais Quoi Complexion Perfection
Best Drugstore Contouring Palette: e.l.f. Cosmetics Contour Palette
There was not that many mind-blowing blush explorations in 2016 as I couldn’t stop wearing my favorite blush from Pixi by Petra Palette. However, having just one favorite blush seems a bit limiting for me so I’m setting a goal of finding a perfect blush in the upcoming year.
Best High-End High-End Blush: Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush
Best Drugstore Blush: Milani Baked Blush
Best Glowy High-End Blush Palette: Becca Blushed Glow Palette
Best Glowy Drugstore Blush Palette: Pixi by Petra Palette Rosette
Best Matte High-End Blush Palette: Too Faced Love Flush Blush Wardrobe
Best Matte Drugstore Blush Palette: e.l.f. Powder Blush Palette
You’ll be surprised, but Champagne Pop by Becca Cosmetics didn’t actually make the list! I’ve been loving the makeup palette created by Jaclyn Hill, but I found myself reaching out more to the drugstore highlighters. Perhaps, it has something to do with my skin tone as I am not a big lover of golden undertone products. Well, with exception of the Becca Backlight Priming Filler that I actually use as a highlighter rather than a primer!
Best High-End Highlighter: Benefit Cosmetics Watt’s Up Highlighter
Best Drugstore Highlighting Palette: Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Palette
Best Drugstore Highlighter: Wet n Wild Mega Glow Palette
Best Cream Highlighter: Jouer Cosmetics Cream Highlighter in Tiare
Best High-End Liquid Highlighter: Becca Backlight Priming Filler
Best Drugstore Liquid Highlighter: Maybelline Master Strobing Liquid Illuminating
Hand by hand with my foundation and setting spray experiments came my new favorite primers. Actually, I’ve always been using primers, but it was 2016 when I explored some of the best products on the market. These days, I often use a few different primers at the same time: matte one for the T-zone and hydrating or glowy everywhere else.
Best Primer for Dry Skin: Make Up For Ever Hydrating Primer
Best Primer for Big Pores: Smashbox Photo Finish Primer
Best Illuminating Spray Primer: Pixi Beauty Glowtion Day Dew
Best Anti-Aging Primer: Amazing Cosmetics Anti Aging Face Primer
Best Dewy Effect Primer: Smashbox Primer Water
Best All Skin Types Primer: Too Faced Hangover Primer
Knowing how much I love lip products, be prepared for a long list! Especially because 2016 was the year when I started using liquid lipsticks. I wish I remembered all of the super drying ones that I decluttered this year, but I still have a few that I simply can’t stand. What’s more important is that I found so many awesome new shades so my biggest accomplishment as a makeup lover in 2016 is that I expanded my lipstick vocabulary and now I’m wearing not only red lipsticks, but also many other shades!
Best High-End Liquid Lipstick: Too Faced Melted Matte Lipstick
Best Drugstore Liquid Lipstick: Milani Amore Pacific Liquid Lipstick (full review)
Best Black Lipstick: e.l.f. cosmetics Lipstick in #Black Out
Best Nude Lipstick: Julep It’s Whipped Matte Lip Mouse in Bisou
Best Brown Lipstick: OFRA Cosmetics—Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Moccha (full review)
Best Purple Lipstick: Urban Decay Vice Lipstick in Firebird
Even though I’ve been wearing lots of falsies last year, I did test tons of mascaras (not only for the lower lashes but in general) and found some amazing products. At the moment, I’m rotating a few of them and honestly I would not be able to pick just one most favorite even if you asked me to do so!
Best High-End Mascara: Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara
Best Drugstore Mascara: Maybelline Colossal Big Shot Mascara
Best Couture Mascara: YSL Baby Doll Mascara
All-Times Best Mascara: Tarte Light. Camera. Lashes Mascara
Best New Discovery Mascara: Essence Princess False Lash Mascara
Best Artistic Mascara: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (in purple)
Best Special Effect Mascara: Inglot False Lash Effect Mascara
2016 made a major change to how I apply my eye makeup. While I’ve always been a winged eyeliner kind of girl, I usually used an eye pencil to do so, while last year I can’t recall even one instance when I reached out to an eye crayon. Ever since trying Too Faced Sketch Marker, I jumped on a liquid eyeliner trend and never stopped using it!
Best Artistic Eyeliner: Too Faced Sketch Marker
Best Couture Eyeliner: Smith & Cult B-Line Eye Pen
Best High-End Eyeliner: Kat Von D Tattoo Eyeliner
Best New Discovery: Eve by Eves Liquid Eyeliner (full review)
Best Gel Eyeliner: Inglot AMC Eyeliner Gel
Best Artistic Eyeliner: Pop Beauty Fluid Pop Liner
There were a few amazing concealer discoveries in 2016 for me. Starting with Too Faced Born This Way Concealer at the beginning of the year and finishing with exploring NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer this fall, my under eye area was thanking me for finding all the coolest products that make me look alive even when I didn’t have enough sleep.
Best New Discovery: Tarte Shape Tape Concealer
Best High-End Full-Coverage Concealer: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
Best Everyday Concealer: Too Faced Born This Way Concealer
Best Drugstore Concealer: NYX HD Concealer
Best High-End Under Eye Concealer: Benefit Cosmetics Fake Up Concealer
Best Drugstore Under Eye Concealer: Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer
Best Under Brow Concealer: Maybelline Brow Precise Perfecting Highlighter
Best Professional Concealer Palette: Kryolan Dermacolor Camouflage Crème Mini-Palette
2016 was a year when I started baking my under eye area with loose powder and it’s dramatically changed my appearance as I totally forgot about creasing concealer. Usually, I use a damped beautyblender to apply powder under my eyes and a large powder blush to set the rest of my face.
Best High-End Setting Powder: It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Silk HD Powder
Best Drugstore Setting Powder: Coty Airspun Loose Setting Powder
Best Setting Powder Palette: Pop Beauty Setting 101
Best Compact Powder: Dior Diorskin Compact Powder
I’ve been using setting sprays before, but not as obsessively as in 2016. With the exploration of the power of Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray this summer, my perception of how long makeup should last has dramatically change. Those days, I’m never finishing my makeup without setting it with one of the sprays that made it into my best of the year list.
All Times Best Setting Spray: MAC Prep + Prime Setting Spray
Best High-End Setting Spray: Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray (they just changed the bottle design to darker shade)
Best New Discovery Setting Sprays: Pop Beauty Makeup Magnet Mist
Best Drugstore Setting Spray: e.l.f. Makeup Mist & Set
If you follow my blog for a while, you know that I never leave the house without having my brows done. Ever since I explored how dramatically brow makeup changes my entire look, I’ve been constantly testing all sorts of brow products in order to find the best performing ones. 2016 was especially great for exploring some of the best brow products around and I’m excited to share my new discoveries with you.
Best High-End Brow Palette: EWC Strut Boldly Palette
Best Drugstore Brow Palette: Pop Beauty Brow Duette
Best High-End Brow Gel: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel
Best Drugstore Brow Gel: e.l.f. Cosmetics Brow & Lash Mascara
Best Brow Discovery of 2016: Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow Gel
Makeup application is much easier if you have in your beauty arsenal a few items that help you to apply your falsies, clean brushes, or make your eyeliner line as sharp as possible. 2016 was an exciting year for beauty tool discoveries for me, as I finally gave try to widely hyped beauty blender and discovered how you can turn any eyeshadow into eyeliner with the help of Duraline.
Most Innovative Makeup Tool: Inglot Duraline
Best Makeup Sponge: The Original BeautyBlender
Most Handy Makeup Tool: e.l.f. Makeup Correcting Pen
Best False Lashes Glue: Ardell Duo Eyelash Adhesive
Best False Lashes Applicator: Make Up For Ever Lash Show Applicator
Best Brush Cleanser: MAC Brush Cleanser
Best Brush Cleansing Mat: Sigma Brush Cleansing Mat
Best Color Switch: BH Cosmetics Quick Change Brush Cleanser
2016 was very fruitful for discovering my all-times favorite high-end skincare products I simply can’t imagine my life without. From my favorite eye cream to hand lotion that completely changed my approach to skincare, all of the products contributed to the fact that I’m experiencing the best skin in years. Even though these products are more expensive than drugstore alternatives, I’ll be repurchasing each and every item from this list—because they really work!
Best Makeup Remover: Bioderma Micellar Water
Best Cleanser: Cosmedicine Healthy Cleanse Face Wash
Best Toner: True Botanicals Nutrient Toner
Best Eye Cream: Retrouve Revitalizing Eye Cream
Best Moisturizer: LaMer Creme De La Mer
Best Serum: True Botanicals True Repair Serum
Best Anti-Aging Cream: Perricone MD Cold Plasma Anti-Aging Treatment
Best Sunscreen: Dr. Dennis Gross Mineral Sunscreen
Best Peel: Real Chemistry 3-Minute Peel
Best Facial Mask: Tula Exfoliating Treatment Mask
Best Sheet Mask: Bioxidea Mirage 48 Excellence Gold Face Mask
Best Body Lotion: Josie Maran Whipped Butter
Best Hand Lotion: Aveda Hand Relief Moisturizing Creme
My new philosophy in 2016 was that great looking skin is a requirement if I want my makeup to look good, so I really took my time to research and test a lot of skincare products. As it turned out, high-quality ingredients come with a certain price level, so last year there were only a few affordable skincare discoveries that I list below.
Best Drugstore Makeup Remover: Garnier SkinActive Micellar Water
Best Drugstore Cleanser: Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser
Best Drugstore Toner: Pixi by Petra Glow Tonic
Best Drugstore Moisturizer: Aveeno Daily Moisturizer
Best Drugstore Sunscreen: Eucerin Daily Moisturizing Face Lotion SPF 30
Best Drugstore Peel: e.l.f. Exfoliating Scrub
Best Drugstore Facial Mask: Biore Self-Heating Clay Mask
Best Drugstore Facial Mask: Leaders Coconut Gel Mask
Best Drugstore Body Lotion: The Body Shop Piñita Colada Body Butter
Best Drugstore Hand Lotion: Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Hand Cream
Most Innovative Product: DermaE Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask
One of the most proud moments of 2016 for me was writing a series of haircare products reviews for InStyle magazine. I wrote about how to pick a chlorine removing shampoo, which spray is the best to calm down freezy hair, and which dry shampoo is the best on the market. I was happy to find even more hair care products under different categories
Best High-End Shampoo: Aveda Damage Remedy Restructuring Shampoo
Best Drugstore Shampoo: Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo
Best High-End Conditioner: Aveda Damage Remedy Restructuring Conditioner
Best Drugstore Conditioner: Aveeno Pure Renewal Conditioner
Best High-End Leave-In Conditioner: Living Proof No Frizz Leave-In Conditioner
Best Drugstore Leave-In Conditioner: It’s a 10 Leave-In Conditioner
Best High-End Dry Shampoo: amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo
Best Drugstore Dry Shampoo: Batiste Dry Shampoo
Best High-End Hair Spray: Oribe Texturizing Spray
Best Drugstore Hair Spray: L’Oreal Elnett Satin Spray
What were some of your favorite products of 2016? Please share your lists in the comments area below!