Best of Beauty 2016: Must-Have Makeup

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click them and make a purchase, I can earn a small commission. This post is not sponsored, however some of the products mentioned were sent to me from the brand for free in exchange for my honest review.

I don’t know about you, but I am SO ready to wrap up 2016. It’s not that this was a bad year (although there were definitely some less than spectacular moments), it’s just that I’m excited to wipe the slate clean and make 2017 my best blogging year to date. Looking back at where things were at this time in 2015 I honestly had no idea how much I would grow in 365 days, how many new friends I would make, or how many opportunities would come knocking on my door. This year I took my first swing at fashion blogging and got featured on the Stitch Fix website. I was accepted into Ipsy Open Studios and got to network with some fantastic ladies. I experienced my first Generation Beauty and was able to connect with so many amazing brands. I honestly feel so humbled by all of the love I received in 2016 and am so proud of myself for all the work I’ve put in to make my content better than ever. So with the prospect of a new year ahead I find myself totally geared up and ready to take on even more new adventures.

Of course, I shouldn’t get too ahead of myself. 2016 deserves a proper send off with a final look back at all of my favorite beauty launches and discoveries of the past year. Since there were so many great products to talk about, I’ve decided to break things down into two posts. Today we’re chatting all things makeup related – from beautifully blinding highlights, to the dreamiest of lipsticks. I’ve got my top picks for every category ready to go, and I can’t wait to show you which ones came out on top.

I hope you guys enjoyed this look back at 2016 as much as I did filming it! I’ll be sharing my top picks in skincare, hair, nails, and more later this week, so make sure you check back soon to see the rest of my favorite beauty finds.

Best Primer: Too Faced Hangover Rx Replenishing Face Primer ($32)
The BEST hydrating base for your makeup. And it smells like coconuts. Can you get much better than that? Read more: Too Faced Totally Obsessed Sampler Review

Best Foundation: Milani Conceal + Perfect 2-in-1 Foundation + Concealer ($9.99)
For the price, nothing comes close to this foundation. With full coverage, a satiny finish, and all-day wear, you would easily guess it costs 3 times as much as it does. Read more: March 2016 Favorites

Best BB/CC Cream: IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Color Correcting Full Coverage Cream ($38)
A perfect hybrid of foundation and skincare, this not only covers EVERYTHING, but it also has good-for-you ingredients to improve the look of your skin AND SPF 50 to protect you from the sun. Read more: What I’m Thankful For: Beauty Edition

Best Concealer: Tarte Shape Tape ($24)
Has anyone tried this concealer and disliked it? I’m not sure that it’s possible. Read more: The Ride or Die Makeup Tag

Best Finishing Powder: Kat Von D Lock-It Setting Powder ($30)
This stuff seriously does lock your makeup in place all day. Read more: Kat Von D Lock-IT Vox Box Review

Best Setting Spray: Makeup Revolution Pro Fix Oil Control Fixing Spray ($8)
Takes away that powdery look to your skin, helps to control oil, AND it’s less than $10! Read more: Makeup Must-Haves for Oily Skin

Best Bronzer (Powder): Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer ($14.99)
This bronzer smells like heaven and makes you look like you’ve been sunning on the beach all day. Read More: Summer Beauty Haul

Best Bronzer (Cream): Milk Makeup Matte Bronzer ($24)
This cream bronzer melts perfectly into your skin, looks ridiculously natural, and can be blended in with your fingers in seconds. Read More: Milk Makeup Have a Good Trip Set

Best Blush (Powder): Too Faced Sweetheart Perfect Flush Blush in Beach Peach ($30)
For a perfect not-too-pink glow on your cheeks, you need this in your life. Read More: Spring Ulta Haul

Best Blush (Cream): Seraphine Botanicals Guava Butter ($24)
Silky, buttery beautifulness that adds just the right pinky-peach flush to your lips and cheeks
Jouer Lip + Cheek Tint ($15)
Richly pigmented but beautifully blendable, these cream tints are super long wearing and look incredibly natural.

Best Highlighter: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Champagne Pop ($38)
This highlighter is an absolute phenomenon of the beauty community, and once you try it, you’ll understand why.

Best Brows (Gel): NYX Eyebrow Gel ($6.99)
The most affordable way to get instagram-worthy brows that will legit last an 18 hour day.

Best Brows (Powder): PEEK Expresso Natural Stain Brow Powder ($22)
For softer, natural brows, this powder has been my go-to for months. AND it even smells good!

Best Eye Primer: Too Faced Glitter Glue ($20)
This primer will change your life. No joke. Read more: Get Your Sparkle On: A Too Faced Glitter Glue Review

Best Eyeshadow (Single): Colourpop Super Shock Eyeshadow ($5)
2016 was FINALLY the year I got to experience Colourpop. These eyeshadows have the most unique formula in an amazing ever-changing lineup of colors. Read more: Colourpop Forever Freshman Super Shock Shadow Collection

Best Eyeshadow (Palette): Kat Von D Beauty MetalMatte Eyeshadow Palette ($60)
Hands down THE BEST eyeshadow palette deal of 2016.

Best Eyeliner: Tarte Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner ($24)
Two amazing eyeliners for the price of one? Yes, please.

Best Mascara: Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara ($24)
This mascara stole my heart from the first swipe. When they say major volume, Marc Jacobs does not lie. Read more: Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara Review

Best Beauty Sponge: NYX Flawless Finish Sponge ($8)
Easily the best Beauty Blender dupe I’ve come across. Might even like it better…

Best Face Brush: Real Techniques Bold Metals #301 Flat Contour Brush ($20.99)
If you want to slay the contour game, you need to own this brush.

Best Eye Brushes: NYX Pro Blending Brush ($9.99)
This crease brush will blend out your transition colors like a dream.
Luxie Small Tapered Blending Brush ($12)
Creating a smokey eye has never been so easy. 
Crown Brush #464 Oval Lip ($2.89)
Shhh…this brush is my little secret weapon! Don’t tell 😉

Best Liquid Lipstick: Ofra Long-Wearing Liquid Lipstick ($19.90)
Kathleen Lights, I finally understand your obsession.

Best Lipstick: Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick ($26)
The most exciting lip launch of 2016 by far. This lipstick line will blow you out of the water. Read more: April 2016 Favorites

Best Lip Pencil: Nudestix Gel Color Lip + Cheek Balm ($24)
If you love the shine of a gloss but hate that sticky feel, you’re going to LOVE these lip pencils. Read more: New-in From Nudestix: Gel Color Lip + Cheek Balm

Best Lip Gloss/Topper: Jouer Skinny Dip Lip Topper ($16)
Can’t help but save the glittery gloriousness for last. Read more: September 2016 Favorites

What were your favorite makeup products of 2016?