The brands and products that made the “best of” list this year should come as no surprise if you regularly read the blog. Looking back at my makeup selections, I stuck with what I know this year. Rather than try a bunch of brightly colored shadows and vibrant lip shades, I focused on finding the best quality options out there for my neutral preferences. This year, I focused on highlighting brands for their performance in broad categories, but I also provide one product from each brand that stood out this year for those of you who like the product-based favorites. Keep reading to find out which brands made the cut.
The Top Beauty Brands of 2016
Best Brand for Face Makeup: NARS
As I packed for a weekend away, I realized all of my face products are from NARS. This is the brand to try if you’re looking for a foundation routine that will create a flawless, wearable finish. From concealer to foundation to setting powder, NARS covers all bases. They also do an excellent job of providing shade selections for deeper skin tones without the dreaded gray undertone that’s so common with other makeup brands. NARS even expanded the color selection of their coveted concealer this year. A few of their foundations made it into my 5 Must-Have Foundations for Oily Skin post, but I narrowed down the winner to one foundation for this post. Below are the standout products for NARS face makeup:
- Foundation: NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation
- Concealer: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (2015 winner!)
- Setting Powder: NARS Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder
Grab the free Foundation Color Match Cheat Sheet to see my shade in 20 different products and help you find your match.
Also Read: NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint Review
Best Brands for Eye Makeup: Anastasia Beverly Hills + Lancome
Remember when Anastasia Beverly Hills was just an eyebrow company? It’s amazing to see how the brand has expanded (successfully) into other makeup products and still continues to dominate the eyebrow game. ABH created my favorite palettes this year, both for their formula and their colors. ABH sells individual shadows that you can put together in your own DIY palette which is also nice, but I find their ready-to-go palettes have a smoother formula. I know I said I’d pick just one standout product for each category, but the eye selection resulted in a tie. Lancome is one of my favorite makeup brands thanks to their foundation and mascara. I’ve tried a few of their mascaras this year and have enjoyed each one, but below is the true standout product:
- Eyeshadow: ABH Modern Renaissance Palette and ABH Master Palette by Mario
- Eyebrows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz (2015 Winner)
- Mascara: Lancome Grandiose Mascara
Best Brands for Lip Products: ColourPop + Anastasia Beverly Hills
Lip products are always the hardest to narrow down for the “best of” posts because there are so many good options available. I didn’t include lipstick this year because I’m pretty loyal to MAC and don’t ever see that changing outside of trying a few colors here and there. Other than Whirl, I stuck with lip gloss and liquid lipstick this year. Colourpop reigns supreme for both their affordability and color selection. I predict Kylie Cosmetics will make a few “best of” lists, but I have to give to the original. As someone who owns a few lip products from the line thanks to a dear friend, I must say the liquid lip and lip pencil formulas truly feel exactly like Colourpop. For lipgloss, Anastasia Beverly Hills has my vote. They have a buttery smooth formula with a fairly opaque color selection so you can achieve color without the commitment. Below are my specific standout shades:
- Liquid Lips: Colourpop Ultra Matte in Limbo
- Lipliner: Colourpop Lippie Pencil and Colourpop Lippie Stix in Grunge
- Lipgloss: Anastasia Beverly Hills Lipgloss in Sepia
Best Brand for Cheek Products: Bobbi Brown
2016 was the year I started to love and appreciate a good cheek product. I didn’t fall deep into the contour trend, but I did dabble into the highlighting world. Bobbi Brown creates some of the best cheek products because the colors are customizable (there are several in a single shimmer brick) and the formula isn’t as chunky as Becca highlighters. This is the brand to try if you’re looking for a luxury highlighter.
- Highlighters: Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick in Bronze
Best Brands for Skin Care: Boscia & Glam Glow
2016 was the year of perfecting and maintaining my skincare routine. The year prior, I was on a journey to find which products would replace my drugstore routine. After testing different brands, Boscia dominated my skincare routine in the end. Their products are gentle yet effective, and they are on the affordable side of luxury skincare. I still continue to use and repurchase their products, and recommend them to anyone who will listen. Though I may branch out into a different brand for the new year out of sheer curiosity, Boscia will remain as one of my favorite skincare brands. For masks, the Glamglow hype is rightfully earned. I have used both the Supermud and Youthmud masks throughout the year when I need a major skin revival because they are the most effective in the least amount of time. Below are the specific standout products from Boscia and Glamglow:
- Daily Cleansers: Boscia Makeup Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil
- Weekly Masks: Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment
Also Read: My Current Skincare Routine || Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment: Full Size vs. Travel Size
Best Brand for Long-Lasting Fragrances: Elizabeth and James
I spent 2015 trying a few different fragrances to branch outside of my usual spectrum, and 2016 I reeled it back in to stick with what I know and love. I own and rotate all 4 fragrances from the Nirvana line, but I’ve narrowed it down to the top two for this best of the year post:
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