It’s definitely been a ~year,~ but not all was bad – I tried a bunch of new products this year and came up with a list of the 17 best beauty products I started using in 2017!
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but in that time, I’ve managed to finish my thesis, take all my finals, and graduate – yippee!
2017 was kind of a rough year TBH and when things get bad, I generally turn to makeup as a stress-reliever, which may explain why I’ve managed to collect so many lipsticks over the course of this year…
In any case, the good thing about this is that I’ve tried a bunch of new products and I’ve actually liked a decent amount of them, so much so that a few of them I’ve either began to use almost every day or that I credit with changing my ~beauty game~ in 2017. Here’s a list of 17 products that actually made 2017 somewhat bearable! (*insert strained smile here*)
In 2017, I branched out into more highlighters and bronzers, which was a big deal for me since those were products that were more out of my “comfort zone.” I continued my quest for the perfect red lipstick (spoiler: I found at least 2 of them this year) and also gave a product another chance.
1.) Innisfree Matte Mineral Setting Powder // $8.00
Also known as the “No Sebum Mineral Powder,” this powder has quickly become my favorite powder to set my undereye concealer (I actually spoke about it in my undereye concealer tips post). I like this powder because it prevents creasing without being too drying under my eyes, it has no flashback, and it leaves my undereyes feeling really soft and velvety somehow.
2.) Colourpop Crème Gel Liner (“Mr. Bing”) // $5.00
When I first tried this eyeliner, which is a Colourpop x KathleenLights collab, way back in September 2016, I found it extremely disappointing. I loved the color, but it was a little dry, and although I wrote that it wasn’t “impossible to work with,” I found that it was just kind of annoying to work with because it kept tugging at my eyelid, so I essentially just stopped using it.
Fast forward to this August almost a year later, when I was placing a Colourpop order and needed another product to hit the free shipping mark. I decided to give this another go again because I remembered liking the color so much and found that while it was still a little more dry than I was used to with liners, it was so much better.
Since then, I’ve been using this every single day. It’s long-wearing, doesn’t budge, and is super flattering for my brown eyes, which goes to show that maybe everything deserves a second chance. I’m still wondering if the first one I got was a dud (I’m not sure where I put it so I can’t take it out to compare) or if they’ve reformulated or something, but either way, I’m very happy with it!
3.) Wet n Wild Bronzer (“Reserve Your Cabana”) // $3.99
This is a highlighter masquerading as a bronzer that I reviewed back in October this year. Although the naming really doesn’t make sense, it received high marks from me due to the glowy finish, buildable pigmentation, creamy texture, and impressive longevity.
One of the reasons why I’ve been wearing this almost every day is because of how healthy it looks on the skin (I’m not a “blinding highlighter” kinda gal) and because of how effortless it is – I find that I can just throw this on without a mirror if I have to and it’ll look good no matter what. For some reason, this always looks well-blended, even if you literally just threw it on your cheeks and went on with your day.
4.) Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer Murumuru Butter Bronzer (“Bronzer”) // $14.95
I did a review on the “Light Bronzer” shade of this bronzer in April, which I liked a lot. Along with the most repetitive name I’ve ever seen, it had nice pigmentation, a really healthy finish, was super blendable, lasted all day, was soft to the touch, and smelled like vacation. A little more into the summer, I tried the slightly darker “Bronzer” shade, which I preferred a lot more on my skin tone. Even now in December when I’ve lost all of my tan, I still think this shade is really flattering! At almost $15, it’s a little pricier on the drugstore side for a bronzer, but since this is basically what I exclusively use when it comes to bronzing, I think it’s well worth it.
5.) Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint (“Uncensored”) // $24.00
This lipstick might be one of the best red lipsticks I own (AND the packaging is really cool), which is saying a lot given the fact that 22% of my collection is red lipstick (I have a spreadsheet don’t come for me) – it’s super flattering, super comfortable, and super long-wearing, making it a great lipstick.
I also actually wore this lipstick to my graduation too, so it has a special place in my heart in 2017!
6.) Colourpop Ultra Satin Lip (“Ambush”) // $6.00
If you haven’t noticed, red is my favorite shade to wear for lipstick, so I’m constantly trying new lipsticks. This red from Colourpop is another “perfect red” that’s really comfortable to wear and affordable! I definitely prefer the Ultra Satin formula to the Ultra Matte formula when it comes to Colourpop, but I find that some of the “richer” colors in this formula tend to bleed a little bit. Luckily, this color doesn’t do that, which means you can skip the lip liner!
7.) Colourpop Ultra Glossy Lip (“Moon Child”) // $6.00
I hate lip glosses and nude lip colors with an absolute passion, so when I actually liked this nude gloss from the most recent Colourpop x KathleenLights collab, I was pretty surprised and on the verge of an existential crisis.
This gloss is great because it’s not sticky at all – it’s smooth and makes my lips feel nice and hydrated, which is great given how cold it’s been lately. This may be the only nude lip color I’ve found that’s actually flattering on my skintone, and the sparse gold glitter makes it even prettier. I like the opacity on this too – it’s opaque enough to cover my lips without it being so opaque that it looks milky. #newyearnewme??
8.) EcoTools Blending & Bronzing Brush // $9.99
This brush is really unique because it’s a duo-fiber brush in a domed shape, which is something I’ve never seen before. I’ve really liked pairing this with my Butter Bronzer because it picks up just enough product for me and distributes everything evenly without it being patchy – I don’t wear any powder or liquid foundation, so products can tend to look patchy on my bare skin if I’m not careful, but this brush makes everything look super smooth.
9.) Brush Cleaning Mat & Brush Drying Tower Set // $13.99
I’ve always been a bit of a clean freak when it comes to washing my brushes and this set that I found on Amazon has really cut down my weekly brush-cleaning time. The mat has suction cups on the bottom of it, which prevents it from sliding all over my sink and I feel like it also makes whatever soap I use go a longer way since I’m able to just put a few pumps directly on the mat and use it for all of my brushes instead of having to put new product in my hand every few brushes.
The “tower” also seems to make my brushes dry a lot faster – I’ve previously just been drying my brushes tilted-down on a towel, which worked pretty well for the smaller eye brushes, but if I didn’t keep rotating the bigger, more denser face brushes that I have (i.e. the EcoTools brush I just mentioned), they tended to take a lot longer to try. This tower dries everything overnight without the need to rotate anything and comes with a variety of sizes that are all “lined” with silicon to keep all my brushes in place!
2017 was a big year in skincare for me – my skin was pretty good all year (knock on wood) thanks to the fact that the products I’ve been using have been less harsh and more “natural.” Once I cut out traditional “acne-treating” products that contained ingredients like benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, I noticed that my skin became a lot happier and a lot less irritated!
Most of the skincare products you’ll see in this section were actually already mentioned in my post on affordable skincare favorites – some of them didn’t make the cut for this post, but I still love (and use) all the products on that list!
You might also noticed that some of the prices on Amazon have changed from this post to my last post – this is because Amazon uses something called “dynamic pricing,” which according to Intelligence Node is a “strategy based on which retailers change the price of the product based on supply and demand.” This article by CBS talks about a website called “camelcamelcamel” that tracks historic prices of products on Amazon. I’ve personally never used it, but it seems really interesting!
10.) The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Light Cleansing Oil // $9.98
When I first wrote about this oil, I wrote about how I like to take one pump of it all of my dry face to get off any bronzer/blush I’m wearing and then half a pump on my fingers to gently massage it over my eyes before wiping it all off with a makeup remover wipe, but I recently discovered that all of that isn’t even necessary. Now, I just take two pumps in one hand, rub my hands together, and massage it in all over my face, concentrating mostly on my eye area, and then rinse it all off with warm water. After, I go straight in with my cleanser and all of my makeup is completely gone!
The fact that I no longer need to use any kind of makeup wipe means cutting down on waste and saving a bit of money, and being able to use only two pumps of product all in one go means I save a lot of time at night. Although I don’t normally use any kind of foundation and I would call my daily makeup application relatively “light,” I found that in the situations where I wear a full face of makeup (I’m talking full foundation, a smokey eye, waterproof liquid liner, etc.) I still only need about two pumps to get the job done and take everything off with no residue. This product has seriously been one of my favorite discoveries of this year!
11.) Himalaya Neem & Turmeric Natural Face Wash & Cleanser // $8.99
Another product I’ve previously written about, I really like the scent on this cleanser because it’s slightly “spicy” and the fact that it makes my skin feel so soft afterwards, probably due to the Vitamin E in it. I like to double cleanse at night and this is usually the first cleanser I use right after taking all my makeup off. It’s effective while still being gentle and doesn’t dry my skin out at all.
12.) Radha Beauty Rosehip Oil // $14.95
Yet another product from the previous list, I’ve been obsessed with using this as a nighttime moisturizer. It makes my skin feel healthier and brighter, and although this oil is a little on the thicker side, it sinks right in and doesn’t make me feel overly greasy.
13.) L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Face Oil with SPF 30 // $14.05
This product has apparently been discontinued (WHY, L’OREAL??), but is still available on Amazon, which is why I think it’s a little pricey for a drugstore product, but it is so worth it. I think 2017 has really been the year of oils for me because I discovered that my skin actually reacts really well to them. This oil has been a life-saver this winter because my skin tends to get hella dry, no matter which moisturizer I use and how much, yet only a few drops of this somehow keeps my face from turning into a complete desert. This oil is especially cool because it has SPF in it, which means I can use it during the day without having to layer.
I’ve been enjoying a “dewy-er” look this winter, which is easily achieved with this oil as it leaves a nice healthy sheen. It also works really well under foundation (I wore this on my graduation day too).
14.) Dr. Bronner’s Organic Lip Balm (Peppermint) // $2.99
Since I wear lipstick so often, I need to take good care of my lips or they end up really sad, so I’m constantly putting balms on them. I tried this one on a whim this year and ended up really liking it – I love the peppermint scent and it’s moisturizing enough to use as a treatment at night, yet light enough to be able to use under a matte lipstick without having to blot it off first. It doesn’t leave any kind of waxy residue or anything either.
Another thing I like about this lip balm is that I don’t feel “dependent” on it – some lip balms I feel I need to constantly use, but one swipe of this in the morning is all I really need to get me through my day.
This year I really “trained” my hair to need less washing, which has saved me time, money, and the overall headache of dealing with looking presentable. Although my hair has always been pretty manageable, I’m finally happy with the overall health of my scalp!
15.) Nature Queen Beauty Herbal Shampoo + Conditioner // $39.00
I’ve already done a pretty thorough review on this shampoo + conditioner, which has honestly really changed my hair and scalp health. When I was first sent a trial-sized version for review purposes by the company, I was a little bit skeptical as I had just tried another pretty pricey shampoo/conditioner set that I liked, but found that it just wasn’t worth the price tag.
Since doing the review, I’ve purchased the full size set of these products myself because I ended up loving them that much. What’s different about them that I haven’t found in any other products is that they somehow manage to control the oil on my scalp, which is something no other product has been able to do. This means that I don’t have to wash my hair as much, which has pretty much also solved the problem of my scalp getting irritated quickly, and also means I don’t have to use as much product anymore, making these bottles go a really long way. I’ve been using the full-size version of this since August and I’m still probably only halfway through with the bottles.
16.) It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product // $18.52
I’ve always wanted to try this product because I’ve always seen such amazing reviews on it, but the price tag has always kept me back. If you haven’t noticed, this might have also been the year of me making questionable purchasing decisions (I really do blame the stress), but this is one of those products that the gamble really paid off.
This product, coupled with my new shampoo & conditioner, makes my hair feel amazingly soft and smooth. I like how it never feels greasy and the product actually lasts a long time. Something a bit strange that I’ve noticed about it is that it tends to get “goopy” and thick after a few months of use, but if you just add a bit of water to the bottle, it’s good as new again.
17.) Heeta Hair Scalp Brush // $9.99
Ok, this brush looks really weird, but hear me out – not only is this scalp brush super soothing, but it makes your shampoo even more effective because it really works it into your scalp. I feel like this brush has also played a role in me taking back my scalp health this year – take that, oil!
In honor of 2018, I’ve included one extra product that I really liked, but ended up not quite making the cut. Hopefully this isn’t sign for things to come in my new year. Uh oh.
18.) Colourpop No Filter Concealer (“Light 20”) // $6.00
When I first started using this, I really did love it, but the reason why this didn’t make the list is that it ultimately wasn’t able to replace my Maybelline Instant Age Rewind concealer… #sadface
That said, I do still think it deserves an honorable mention because it’s still a great product. It has great coverage without being too thick and doesn’t crease on me, which is just short of a miracle. I tend to prefer wearing this for special occasions because I realized the coverage is almost too much for everyday wear for me given I don’t wear foundation.
…And there you have it, my favorite products of 2017. Let’s hope 2018 is a better year so I won’t have to compensate by trying so many more new products! *nervous chuckle*
- Intelligence Node // “How Dynamic Pricing is Disrupting Online Retail in 2017“
- CBS News // “How Amazon uses “surge pricing,” just like Uber“
- Camelcamelcamel.com // Amazon price tracker
- Innisfree Matte Mineral Setting Powder // $8.00
- Colourpop Crème Gel Liner (“Mr. Bing”) // $5.00
- Wet n Wild Bronzer (“Reserve Your Cabana”) // $3.99
- Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer Murumuru Butter Bronzer (“Bronzer”) // $14.95
- Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint (“Uncensored”) // $24.00
- Colourpop Ultra Satin Lip (“Ambush”) // $6.00
- Colourpop Ultra Glossy Lip (“Moon Child”) // $6.00
- EcoTools Blending & Bronzing Brush // $9.99
- Brush Cleaning Mat & Brush Drying Tower Set // $13.99
- The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Light Cleansing Oil // $9.98
- Himalaya Neem & Turmeric Natural Face Wash & Cleanser // $8.99
- Radha Beauty Rosehip Oil // $14.95
- L’Oreal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Face Oil with SPF 30 // $14.05
- Dr. Bronner’s Organic Lip Balm (Peppermint) // $2.99
- Nature Queen Beauty Herbal Shampoo + Conditioner // $39.00
- It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Product // $18.52
- Heeta Hair Scalp Brush // $9.99
- Colourpop No Filter Concealer (“Light 20”) // $6.00
- Nature Queen Beauty – Refer a Friend redemption code (you get $5 off, I get $5 off) // https://naturequeenbeauty.com/a/refer-a-friend/redeem/l3zpkcmpg188ngmlmvx2h3xbqtnjedm3xuii8gic
- Colourpop – Refer a Friend (“Give friends $5 off their first order, and you’ll get $5 when they make a purchase”) // https://www.talkable.com/x/k9Npri
*Disclaimer: With the exception of the Nature Queen Beauty trial size set, which I received for free to review, I purchased all above products with my own money and am not affiliated with or compensated by any of the brands mentioned (I wish!). As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own (unless stated otherwise)!