My favorite products of 2019

I recently posted about some of the worst products I tried in 2019, and I feel like I need to offset the negativity by mentioning some of the best products I tried last year.

Admittedly, I used a lot of old favorites this past year, like the Mizon snail cream I reviewed back in the day and my favorite Soap & Glory body wash. But I also managed to find some new favorites.

Colourpop Pretty Fresh Hyaluronic Acid Tinted Moisturizer

I don’t really do tinted moisturizers. I’m into a good BB cream, especially in the summer, but I’ve never used a tinted moisturizer that didn’t look like garbage or slide off my oily face almost immediately. Also, there’s basically no coverage. I’m not someone who wants totally full coverage, mask-like skin, but I need a little something just to even out my skin-tone. Giving the illusion of youth and hydration is nice, but not necessary.

This shit is so good! I’ve been wearing it almost every day for the last few months, and I really love it. The coverage is a step above what I’d expect from a tinted moisturizer, and it’s just enough for everyday. It’s not super long-lasting, but when it wears off it doesn’t look insane or patchy. It doesn’t break down even when my skin is super oily, and at the end of the day it still just looks… nice. I set it with powder and use a bit of bronzer, and my base is done. It makes me wonder if I’ve been missing out on the wonders of tinted moisturizer all these years.

Too Faced Damn Girl Mascara

This was another surprise. I really don’t like Better Than Sex Mascara. I tried to like it, since it’s Too Faced’s flagship mascara and so many people swear by it, but I find it dry and flaky and it does nothing for my lashes.

I didn’t have high hopes for this new release, and I likely wouldn’t have tried it if I hadn’t gotten a deluxe sample, but you know what? IT LOOKS SO GOOD. It makes my lashes full and holds curl really well, and basically makes me look like I’m wearing falsies. It also doesn’t transfer to my lower lash-line or flake off, even when I forget I’m wearing makeup and rub my eyes. I burned through the sample in record time and bought the full-size without thinking twice. Love love LOVE.

Avon Washable Waterproof Mascara

In the middle of 2019, I decided I wanted to start a podcast, and a bunch of my friends, including Hopelessly Heather, were kind enough to let me pry into their lives/relationships/etc. The podcast sadly didn’t last and some of those interviews won’t see the light of day, but during my interview with Heather we meandered into our mutual love of makeup, and she recommended this product. She’s been an Avon rep for ages and knows what’s good, and this stuff does not disappoint.

Full disclosure: I don’t like this alone as a mascara. It doesn’t have the length and volume I want in lash product. However, it’s AMAZING as sort of a mascara raincoat. I put it on after whatever mascara I’m wearing, and it doesn’t really change the effects of the original mascara, but suddenly I’m wearing waterproof mascara. I’ve worn it through weddings, graduations and two funerals, including my uncle’s, and instead of running down my face like I expected, my mascara mostly stayed in place. There was a tiny bit of smudging after the funeral, but I cried A LOT, so what can I really expect?

If you have watery eyes or find your mascara always runs, you need this. Get it. Right now.

Hourglass Ambient Edit Unlocked face palette

Technically this is a re-release from last Christmas, but I didn’t get it in 2018 and had major FOMO. I kicked myself practically the entire year for buying the other palette instead of this one. So obviously I was excited when I saw this was being released again.

Not gonna lie: the packaging is garbage. For what I spent on this palette I shouldn’t feel like it’s housed in a lunch container. Having said that, I’m IN LOVE with the powders inside. More than once I’ve used just this palette for my entire face, including my eyes. It’s great for a natural, “no makeup” look, and the last couple times I’ve gone home it’s the only palette I’ve packed. So pretty. Worth every penny, and still available as of this writing.

Urban Decay Naked Honey palette

I was firmly in the “Why do we need this?” camp when this product was announced. It’s brown. What’s so revolutionary about it? It didn’t help that it was the release right after Urban Decay’s other disappointment, the Naked Reloaded. Then I saw the marketing images, and the Lizzo campaign, and swatches, and reviews, and I started to think that maybe I was wrong to be so judgy about it.

Yes, I was fucking wrong.

This palette is beautiful. Yes, it’s brown. No, that’s not revolutionary, but it’s super wearable for everyday. The color story is so easy that I don’t have to put too much thought into the looks I create, and sometimes I really appreciate that.

Good Molecules Instant Cleansing Balm

I’m a big fan of Beautylish. They carry brands that I can’t find elsewhere, their shipping is fast, and when I’m being financially irresponsible I really appreciate the ability to pay in multiple installments. In 2019 they decided that they wanted to compete with the Ordinary, and I don’t hate it.

I’ve tried a bunch of products from Good Molecules, but this balm was a standout favorite. I’ve mentioned before that I really like oil and balm cleansers to remove makeup, and this is a particularly good one. First and foremost, because it was really inexpensive. I appreciate that a lot. It doesn’t smell weird. It comes with a little spatula. It emulsifies completely and doesn’t leave an oily residue. It removes makeup completely. Really what’s not to love?

Good Molecules Niacinamide Brightening Toner

This is a recent favorite. It’s only been out for a few months but I really like it. I use it every morning, and I’ve seen a noticeable improvement in the appearance of my pores and the way my skin looks overall. Of all the toners I’ve used over the last few years, this is the only one that’s made a visible difference, so for that reason alone I plan to keep using it.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hand Gel Cream

This is possibly my favorite product of the entire year.

My hands get extremely dry in the winter, sometimes to the point of cracking and bleeding. I end up using heavy duty hand creams, like O’Keefe’s Working Hands or heavy, greasy creams for very dry skin. They help, but my hands stay a bit dry, and I hate how heavy and greasy the creams feel on my skin. I don’t want to put on lotion and then leave oily smears everywhere. That’s gross.

This stuff doesn’t have that problem. It’s lightweight and absorbs super fast. It doesn’t have a bunch of alcohol and fragrance that irritates my skin, but the best part: my skin is actually hydrated! It’s not still dry and flaky and actually feels like skin. It’s a damn miracle. I’ve completely used two tubes of this already, and I now keep it all over my house. There’s one in my laptop bag, one in my office, and one in the living room so I have it anywhere I need it. I love it and I’ll cry if it’s ever discontinued.

So now you know all of my favorites from last year and some of the things I’ve been using a lot of. Have you tried any of these things? What do you think of them?

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