Hello! Happy New Year! I really didn't plan on taking such a long break, but I didn't have a set date in mind for my return - I just wanted to do it when I felt ready. I hope you all had a fabulous festive season? We had a great balance of seeing family, but also plenty of time relaxing and in our own little bubble - it was exactly what we needed! I usually post yearly favourites before Christmas, but I felt so burnt out that I would have been forcing it, so I have a few posts now that I've been able to give it more thought. I'm starting with makeup, then on Saturday, I'll be talking skincare favourites, and finally on Monday, it will be bath, body and fragrances. Then, regular content will resume, although there will be some changes this year. There were some posts last year that I wasn't 100% happy with (not many, as I respect my readers too much to just put any old rubbish out or just re-write a press release), and I had a good think over the Christmas break and whilst I like having a schedule, I don't want any pressure on myself and won't put posts out for the sake of sticking to a schedule. I'd also like to include more topics, rather than just sticking to beauty, so hopefully that will happen too. My main priority this year is my health, so there will be no pressure on me (applied only by myself!) - if I need to take breaks, I will. My focus is on quality over quantity, when it comes to posts.
When it comes to doing favourites posts, it's very difficult not to include 50+ products, so I have been very strict with myself and it really is just the crème de la crème of products that I'm featuring, so let's get started! As always, if a product was sent to me, it will be marked with a *.
Primer: I have two! I always, always wear a primer and have done for years. Because my skin is so dry, I just feel that my foundation sits better when I use one. I will generally use either a glow-enhancing, or moisturising primer, and the two standouts from 2021 are Armani Luminous Silk Hydrating Primer, which not only hydrates (without feeling greasy, or like there is an extra layer of product on the skin), but it also adds a gentle glow, and Charlotte Tilbury Invisible UV Flawless Poreless Primer*. This primer contains both UVA and UVB protection, blurs the appearance of pores, and has a satin finish, so it works great as a standalone product, or also as a primer.
Foundation: I tried a lot of foundations last year, but the most reached for were Armani Luminous Silk (which I've worn for years), and IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream. Despite the fact that I have a number of foundations, I repurchased the Armani one because I couldn't be without it. I love the coverage (medium and buildable) and finish (not matte, not dewy - just a healthy 'lit from within' skin look). I also find that the wear time is excellent. The CC Cream is totally worth the hype for me - I could apply it with my eyes closed and it would still look seamless. It gives a solid medium coverage, glides over pores and dry patches and gives the skin a natural, radiant look. There are also matte and illuminating versions available.
Concealer: Again, I have two! I love the bareMinerals Bareskin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer for my under eye area, as it gives full coverage, but doesn't settle into fine lines, and is long-lasting. I also love the Fenty Pro Filt'r Instant Retouch Concealer*, because I can use it on blemishes, areas of redness, my under eye area, and it gives a solid medium coverage, is long-lasting and lightweight. Plus, a little goes a long way.
Blush: Fenty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Blush in Petal Poppin' is one of the best cream blushes that I have tried, and I have found that I have been reaching for cream cheek products a lot over the past year. It doesn't disturb my base, is buildable, and gives my cheeks a natural flush of colour.
Highlighter: I own A LOT of highlighters, but the product that I have used most often is Charlotte Tilbury Flawless Filter, which can be used in a number of ways, but I just love the natural look it gives when I dab it along the high points of my cheek bones. Because I've been using a lot of cream face products, it works so well and blends in, to look very fresh and lit from within.
Bronzer: I have two - one powder and one cream. I absolutely adore the Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Bronzer, which looks so natural on the skin - it'd almost be impossible to overdo it with this product. It blurs pores, warms the skin up, and can also be used to add some definition. I also like to use it on my eyes. The pan is huge and it's also refillable. The cream bronzer that I love is Fenty Beauty Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer. 2021 is the year that I really fell in love with this brand! I have used a lot of cream bronzers, but none blend as well as this one, or look as natural. It doesn't disturb the base underneath, but also looks good on minimal makeup days, with just a primer and concealer, with this to warm the skin up. I bought this one and was kindly sent a backup, which I'm delighted about, because I wear it pretty much every time that I wear makeup!
Powder: I fell in love with By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra Pressed Powder (use the code LYMIN to save 20%) and have barely reached for another one since buying it, yet I'm nowhere near hitting pan - probably because I only need to apply a small amount, and I tend to only apply it to the areas that my mask will cover. Although it's white, this doesn't transfer to the face - it's just translucent and it sets makeup in place, without mattifying or drying the skin.
Setting Spray: Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray was released at the perfect time, given that everyone was about to start wearing masks! It really does set makeup so well, that it doesn't budge, fade, or smudge. The mist action is very fine, so you don't feel like your face is saturated when you apply it. I have tried A LOT of setting sprays, but this is definitely one of the best!
Brow product: I went back to my Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer and Dipbrow Gel (use the code LYMIN to save 20%) because I find that the brow definer makes a job that I really don't enjoy, so easy! It gives my (pathetic) brows definition in less than a minute, and the gel adds more volume, but also sets them. Job done!
Eyeshadow: I rarely wear anything other than cream shadows and my favourites are Charlotte Tilbury Eyes To Mesmerise (full review and swatches here), as they are just so quick and easy to use, yet you look like you've made an effort. Late last year, I also discovered Victoria Beckham Beauty Lid Lustres and I fell hard! For a sophisticated sparkle, you cannot go wrong with these - so easy to apply, either with a flat shader brush, or your finger, and then blend out. Pigmented and easy to apply...... I need more shades!
Eye Liner: This was a no-brainer. It had to be Pat McGrath Perma Precision Liquid Eyeliner - very black, doesn't smudge (even with my watery eyes and oily lids), easy to apply, plus it's easy to remove without having to tug on the delicate eye area.
Mascara: Another category where I have two (but one has been discontinued). I have another Pat McGrath product - Fetish Eyes Mascara, which adds volume, doesn't smudge, doesn't make lashes go crispy or flake, and again, is easy to remove. The second mascara is from Marc Jacobs Beauty, which has ceased trading! It's their At Lash'd Lengthening and Curling Mascara. I almost feel bad mentioning this, seeing as you can't actually buy it anymore. I love the definition this gives my lashes and it's probably the best mascara that I've tried, which both lengthens and curls my lashes. I bought backups, but really hope that this brand is taken over and that this mascara returns!
Lip Products: Finally, lip products! It probably won't be any surprise that this section involves Charlotte Tilbury - I love her lip pencils and lipsticks, as they are comfortable to apply and wear. However, I also have to mention Huda Beauty Power Bullet Lipsticks, which are so creamy and comfortable to wear, but they also makeup lips look plump, and they are hydrating too. Finally, a liquid lipstick that stole my heart is Lancõme L'Absolu Rouge Drama Ink*, particularly shade 535, which is a coral (review and swatches here). They have a demi-matte finish, and are not drying, due to the hyaluronic acid that they contain. They are perfect for under masks, as they stay put!
It might seem like a lot of products, but I really have narrowed it down to my absolute favourites and most worn from 2021! I'd love to hear what your favourites were?
Thanks for reading!
All products are bought by me, unless otherwise stated. Anything marked with a * has been kindly gifted, without obligation. I don't do sponsored posts. Opinion is always my own. Affiliate links may be used.