A New Day

Taking a look at all of the things I've been missing

2015 Favorites and Year in Review

on January 17, 2016

Ah, another  year has come to an end. How on earth did that happen so quickly?!?

I love going back through the year on the blog, Instagram and subscription histories to put together this content. It gives me an interesting perspective on the amount of things I’ve sampled, purchased (dear God…), loved and hated. This year only provided a couple of regretful purchases (which were promptly returned) and pushed me to try a few new things. I think if there was a overall theme for 2015, it would be The Year of Luxury Products.. I fell hard for some really pricy stuff. Oops.

This post will be much like my 2014 post and share some of my Birchbox and Allure Box finds, move on to a couple brands and then my standout products.

Birchbox Discoveries:

Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Micro Water – it really took me a while to figure out the whole micellar water deal. Some people can just use this to remove makeup and be done with it. No. Sorry. Not me. This probably sounds odd, but I love using this to remove my residual eye makeup in the morning. You know, when the eyeliner migrates to your crows feet over night? Hot. But I prefer this over an oily, bi-facil remover or harsher cleanser.

Ok.. so out of all of my Birchbox samples, this was the real standout. I received a lot of things I liked, but just weren’t game changers I guess.

Allure Beauty Box Finds:

I was really happy with this subscription overall. There was a much better range than Birchbox as well as a detailed product booklet that gives so much great information!

Butter London Nail Lacquer in The Sweet Spot (Allure LE) – while I have 2 other polishes from this line, this was the first one I actually sampled. The color is a lovely, sort of neutral pink. Two coats provide full coverage that lasts a solid 5 days before chipping (with topcoat). I find myself using this regularly.

Erno Laszlo Sea Mud Deep Cleansing Bar – this has been my go-to T-zone deep cleanser for months. I use this with a regular foaming cleanser and kojnac sponge in the morning. It is heavy duty and helps unclog pores and minimize oil. Months after getting this, this little bar has shown zero signs of use.

Brands

Becca – 2015 was the year of the highlighter and Becca consistently nailed it. Unlike most people, I didn’t start with Opal or Moonstone. I picked up Blushed Copper and went all in from there and picked up some of the sample sets with Opal and Rose Gold. In addition to the highlighter, I really loved the Beach Tint Shimmer Souffle and featured it in one of my weekly favorites. I did cave and pick up Champagne Pop, which is the only other full size highlighter in my collection. There are now enough highlighters in my collection for the next decade.

Guerlain – one of my favorite things this year was discovering this brand. Since my first visit, I have purchased and tested out a number of other products. The color is fabulous and the skincare is ridiculously good. If I could afford it, I would be using the entire Orchidée Impériale skin care line. The stand out products were the Météorites Baby Glow in Clair (in a favorites here) and the Abeille Royale – Gold Eyetech Eye Sculpt Serum, featured in my December Favorites.

Omorovicza – this was by far, the most dangerous brand discovery of 2015. Everything I have tried is amazing and soooo dangerous for my wallet. I reviewed the Thermal Cleansing Balm here and while I love it, I did resist temptation to repurchase. In addition, I splurged on the Complexion Perfector BB SPF20 in Light and it also was featured in one of my weekly favorites posts. Last time I visited the counter, I was gifted a ton of samples, so I have had an opportunity to test out many of the other products. If price was not an issue, I would own it all.

Real Techniques – I can’t believe I was so late to the party. These brushes are fantastic! I have purchased several and each one impresses me more than the last. They are great for blending and building color, easy to clean and don’t shed. I also cannot get over the price point of $5-$12 per brush!

Individual Products

Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo – SO GOOD! I haven’t had a dry shampoo really impress me in a very long time and this one blew me away. This was featured in my November Favorites.

Benefit Dallas – again, not a new product, but certainly an amazing one! I used this while doing a family member’s wedding makeup and fell in love.  It was so versatile and looked great on a variety of skin tones. I loved building it up for a warm glow as well as using with a light hand as a subtle bronzer.  I immediately went out and bought this and it is a staple in my daily look. This was also featured in a weekly favorites in April.

Maybelline Master Conceal in 10 Fair – I picked this up on a whim after leaving my concealer at home on one of my work trips. I liked it so much that when I forgot my concealer on another trip, I picked up another (hence the “1” on the tube). This is a serious, stay all day, dark circle minimizing beast! I also discussed this previously here.

PRODUCT FAILS

I don’t typically like to do negative reviews, but these are really worth mentioning:

Boscia Luminizing Black Mask – I used this several times in hopes of my experience improving. It did not. In addition to cleaning out pores, it also ripped off every tiny hair on my face. It also left my skin irritated and rashy.

Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Essence Treatment – this caused painful cystic acne after just a couple days of use. I stopped using it, treated the outbreak and then tried it again  couple weeks later. Again, within a couple days, the cystic acne returned… so it was returned. I’ve never had a reaction like this to any Kiehl’s product and hope to never again.

So there you have it. What were some of your 2015 favorites?

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