Another year has come and gone, and I’m left reflecting on all the great things and a few unfortunate things that happened over the past 365 days. It began with a flight home to Indiana to say my goodbyes to my maternal grandfather where I witnessed my first fireman’s funeral. It was inspiring to see the love and respect given to someone I love as we drove by his fire station on the way to his gravesite. I never regret getting to see my family, especially if I also get to see snow. It was a nice, bittersweet beginning to the year.

From wedding showers to weddings, the first quarter was quite busy. A friend and I got to sneak away to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and my husband and I celebrated our golden year birthdays by taking a ski trip to Vermont. I turned 29 on March 29th, and he turned 30 on March 30th! It’s one of my favorite things about us. I love that our birthdays are one after the other.

April brought the birth of our second nephew, our little Noah Bear. He is an amazing addition to our family, and I truly love seeing baby’s firsts all over again. More weddings came along in the fall, and this time I was even a bridesmaid!

Our fifth anniversary was commemorated with a week long cruise on the Allure of the Seas, the ship we sailed for our honeymoon. We had such a great time relaxing, laughing and enjoying new foods and drinks.

The holidays were spent with family and friends and altogether did not last long enough. I am so fortunate to have such great reminders of the good in the world. I see it every time I reconnect with them. Regardless if we’re sitting around the dinner table or celebrating at a fantastic wedding, they know how to make me smile, laugh, and feel I’m right where I belong. The last night of the year my husband and I got to see the last win of 2016 for the Tampa Bay Lightning. It was our first game, and it certainly did not disappoint! It was also the first time I wore a funky color lipstick in public. After all, the Bolts’ colors are blue and white.




Now that I have gushed about the experiences in my year, let’s get to the makeup! I’ve gone through the ridiculous amount of things I have in my collection and picked out the things  I call my true favorites of the year. Some were not new to 2016, but they were certainly the products I reached for on the daily. I picked one (or two) for each category.

For primer, the photo-jan-01-3-02-17-pmbest I found for my oily skin is from Makeup Forever. This mattifying base is the first I’ve tried that truly lived up to its name. It glides on smoothly and dries to a semi-tacky finish. I love it! For my pores I enjoy the MUFE pore minimizer, and thankfully these Step 1’s play nicely together! They’re not too heavy nor do they clog my pores or make me break out.

The photo-jan-01-2-55-57-pmfoundation I reach for most often is Urban Decay’s All Nighter. It’s waterproof, matte, and high coverage. Hello, I live in Florida and have oily skin amidst the humidity and daily afternoon showers.There was a bit of a learning curve to get this foundation just right, and often times I had to alter my primer as the combination of mattifying products made it impossible to buff the foundation into my skin. However, once it is blended out, I couldn’t be happier with the results. I dislike using a beauty blender, as the added moisture seems to counteract the application, but this works beautifully with a dense brush, or my newest favorite tool, the Artis Oval 7.


My most favorite concealer of 2016 was the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer, but I ran out of it in July. Thanks to the the Glam Life Guru, I picked up this drugstore gem. It’s incredibly easy to apply and blend, and the coverage is pretty phenomenal. I’ve also started using Tarte’s Shape Tape, but it’s a recent discovery, so it hasn’t earned the right of being called a fave quite yet.

Who knew that something so inexpensive could be so, so wonderful?! I used Nyx HD Translucent powder for a while, but the photo-jan-01-2-57-47-pm
whitecast was unbearable. It would take over my highlight and make it impossible to get a glow to outshine it. The Coty Airspun has lasted almost an entire year, and I’m not even close to being out. It’s great for baking or powdering all over. I have the color Naturally Neutral because my WalMart was out of the translucent powder at the time, and I may or may not have ordered backup from Amazon Prime while writing this… 🙂


This gem from MAC is nearing extinction more and more each day.  It’s another product with longevity as it has lasted me since the beginning of 2016. It’s a great warm shade to help liven up my pale, Casper-like skin. Too warm to work as a contour powder, it is a fantastic bronzer. I haven’t purchased another bronzer this year, so  I don’t have anything to compare it to, but I think that also demonstrates how great of a bronzer it is that I wouldn’t need another to replace it.


The Urban Decay 8 Hour Afterglow blush made it’s appearance into my collection with this shade- Rapture. When they went on sale later in the year I added Score and Fetish because Rapture wore so well. I loved that it was purple toned, and  I love the way purples look on my skin. It’s not overly pigmented to the point where it looks like an unnatural flush, but it’s deep and beautiful, and I feel confident when wearing it.

The Mophoto-jan-01-2-53-35-pmon Child Glow Kit is by far the coolest highlight palette  I bought this year. While I love Becca and Jaclyn Hill’s Champagne Pop collab, I love the versatility of these colors. It’s hard to pick a favorite as they’re all so very different. The looks are endless as they look beautiful separately as well as combined and create dimension for days and days! These also work as lovely eyeshadows too.

The only primer Iphoto-jan-01-2-57-18-pm will ever trust is the Smashbox 24-Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer. MannyMUA recommended it on his channel for those with oily lids. I have used other primers in the past, but nothing as fantastic as this one. My eye looks will last all day, usually without any kind of creasing. Some cream shadows still wiggle around throughout the day, but this is still the best performing eye primer I’ve used.

Anastasia Beverly Hills has put out some of my photo-jan-01-2-53-00-pmfavorite palettes of all time. This year I purchased more palettes than I have in any previous year, and while I have a deep fondness for all of them, I reached for this palette the most. I had it with me each time I traveled, knowing I could create a mass variety of looks. It’s mixed with mattes, shimmers and satins, day looks and nighttime dazzlers, and each one turns out exactly how I want it. These blend flawlessly and nearly effortlessly.


As far as a single shadow goes, Scarlet Eclipse from the Estee Edit is without a doubt my favorite eyeshadow purchase. Does it still count as a single if it’s an eye duo? I got this pretty late in the year, but there isn’t a single shadow that tops my love for this product. In fact,  I have it in Cyberella and Aqua Nova as well. They are the coolest products I have ever used, and I can’t wait to see what other color combos are added to their line. I’m addicted and I know I will be purchasing more.

My two favorite liners, both black, are wildly opposite. The NYC liquid liner has upped my wing game immensely, and the Urban Decay All Nighter Eyeliner is perfect for my waterline. The price points on these are also opposite, going from the drugstore to boutique, but I found a replacement UD eyeliner at Nordstrom Rack for $5.98! Colored eyeliners are fun, but black eyeliners are staples. Day to day, I rely on these to polish my looks.


Glitter is an essential part of a glam look. With Urban Decay’s Heavy Metal glitter liner in Midnight Cowboy, all that glitters can be gold. I use this as a liner, as a glitter all over the lid, as an inner corner highlight. It’s so easy to control and manipulate, and it adds the WOW factor to any eye look.


Who hasn’t tried every mascara that launches from Cover Girl to Maybeline? While they’re more affordable, they don’t hold a candle to Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara. It’s clumpy and messy, and I love that! The brush is unique, and it creates unbelievable lashes. I have tried other mascaras like Benefit’s Roller Lash and a couple from MAC, and while they are great quality, they just don’t hold up to this product. My husband even surprised me with a fresh tube as part of my anniversary gift. While he didn’t realize this was my favorite mascara, he thought I’d enjoy reviewing it for my blog. So very thoughtful!

I don’t usephoto-jan-01-3-02-53-pm lashes often. I find it difficult to get them exactly right, whether it’s trimming them or getting them stuck into place at the right angles. When I found Tarte’s Tarteist Lashes I purchased a few pairs. Girl Boss is by far my favorite. They’re very voluminous and sexy, and even I can apply them with ease. They’re comfortable. They’re reusable. They’re just fun.


The brow product I used for the majority of 2016 was Benefit’s Goof Proof Brow Pencil in number 3. Much like the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer, it is triangular in shape making it easier to define and sculpt them into place. I don’t care for the spoolie side as it’s pretty sparse. It works, but I prefer using a separate spoolie to get the brow hairs in line.

Too Faced’s Lady Balls was by far my favorite red lip this year. It’s best worn with a lip liner, but it will last throughout the day with ease. It’ll need reapplication if you eat, but otherwise, it’s a solid winner. Buxom’s Sinful Cinnamon is a great nude similar to Kat Von D’s Lolita. In fact, I purchased it because Lolita was sold out for most of the year. It’s a great pinky brown nude-ish color that is a great daily wear. These are both matte, yet neither is drying.

Out Loud from Smashbox is myphoto-jan-01-3-01-48-pm absolutely top favorite lipstick of the year. Another last quarter edition to my collection, I wouldn’t have found it without seeing VladaMUA’s Halloween lip art. And then I wouldn’t have had it for my friend’s wedding day or Thanksgiving. It’s honestly the best fall/winter color I have ever found!




Soap and Glory’s Sexy photo-jan-01-2-59-24-pmMother Pucker is my favorite plumping gloss. Not only did they get me with a clever name, but this has the most wonderful tingling sensation. While others I have tried have had a peppermint scent, this smells like vanilla cupcakes. The pearlescent shimmer make this an enhanced natural look.





To round out the look, a perfect face needs a perfect setting spray. A long time favorite, Urban Decay All Nighter lives up to its name, no matter the product. It was this setting spray that encouraged me to try the foundation and the eyeliner. I’ve tried the Deslick in the past, but nothing holds my makeup in place like this. I am excited to get a refill in the new packaging, but I’m not looking for a replacement. Pretty sure this will always be on my favorites list. Why change it if it’s not broken, right?

Just like the year 2016, this blog post has reached end. Thanks for reminiscing on my highlights throughout the year with me! Creating this blog really has made this year special. It’s given me an outlet for writing and a place for my opinion to be heard. I hope you’ve seen some useful tips here and that you’ll visit me plenty in 2017! Cheers!