2015 Favorites

During 2015, there have been a lot of ups and downs, like many of you. But, I have had a year of gratitude, and really want to share a lot of the things I have absolutely loved this year!! I will list  my 2015 makeup favorites first, but stick around ’till the end if you are interested in a few life updates.

2015 Favorites

I have had so many makeup loves. As you all know, if you keep up with my blog, and my Instagram (@thatbasicchic), or even my snapchat (thatbasicchic), I adore trying new products and sharing them with my friends, clients, and anyone else who will listen to me blather on about products. With the different kinds of shoots and clients I have been involved with this year, I have needed to really up my makeup game. With no further adieu, here are the best of the best. I will make my best attempt to just move around randomly because I have no specific order other than pulling all of the items that I have most loved.

PrimersStarting with primers, the hype has been huge for the Nivea Post Shave Balm (sensitive version). I love this product as did most who reviewed it. All of the reviews are very genuine. If applied and allowed the appropriate amount of time to dry (let this product dry until a touch sticky), this is a wonderful product you will enjoy that adds minimal texture, with lots of longevity and staying power for makeup. And, no (!!!), you will not smell like a dude.

A product that really shocked me this year was purchased on a whim. The Dr. Lin Daily Hydrating Gel has been a dream come true. Because my t-zone tends to get super oily mid-day, I really needed a gel versus a balmy lotion moisturizing product. Trying this product was a shot in the dark but, ended up with a great moisturizer that has primer power benefits. This gel includes hyaluronic acid and aloe vera, along with the glycerin for stickability.

Nyx BrushesAnother product I loved this year are relatively new to the market – NYX brushes. I bought doubles, in the event they were suitable for my pro kit, and I am glad I did. I adore both of the eye brushes, and use them every single day. The construction of the brush is very sturdy and the bristles are soft, yet firm enough to blend out product well. The face brush has been challenging, in that the brush length was too long to really blow out foundation, yet too dense for powder products. Turns out, it is the perfect length and density to blend concealer and liquid highlighters nicely into foundation. That is where this brush finds its home in my collection.

BlushI really only had one blush that I fell in love with this year. That blush, made by StudioMakeup, in the color Wildflower, has been amazing! This was a product that came in the boxycharm subscription box, and looked really useless at first glance. Do not be shocked or underwhelmed by the photo. One try, and I was hooked! This color is pigmented enough to look flush, but sheer enough to be the perfect natural blending color between a highlighter and a contour.

Eye BasesThis year really has been all about that base – eye base, that is! I have enjoyed a number of base products and will likely go into more detail in a blog of its own. In short, using an eye primer before powder product application, will be a game changer. Not only does a base add dimension, but it also adds a great deal of longevity to pigmentation throughout the day. Many of the eye bases I was in love with during 2015 can be easily worn alone for a very natural and every-day look.

 No shocker to anyone, there are two skin perfecting products I use daily that I simply could not live without. The first is the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete coverage concealer. I likely have very little I need to say about this product because it has been so highly touted. If you don’t want to pay the steep price that is being asked for this concealer, consider the NYX HD concealer. The second product that made me feel a bit late to the party, was the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder. While I really try to stay away from too much powder these days, I must have something to set my make up under my eyes and anywhere I use color corrector. This makes setting powder a necessity from time to time. Likewise, this translucent setting powder really adds minimal texture for areas you have already applied multiple products.

Morphe ShadowsMorphe has taken over social media this year! No doubt about it, using Jaclyn Hill to get the attention of her YouTube community and Instagram following  was a stroke of genius! But, for good reason: Most of their products are pretty good, considering the price point. This year I put together a custom palette of shadows, which I use for myself (even though I do not use them on my clients). I really like them for everyday wear and the pigmentation is well worth all of the hype.

Sadly, there has not been a single thing this year in the lip product category, that has taken my breath away. 2015 was the year of the liquid lipstick, and while it has been fun, and it definitely has its place, I do not use them with my clients, because they can be a mess past a couple of hours of wear. There are a few brands that make a better liquid lipstick if you are in the market. Ofra hands down, has the best formula with the best wear. But, they are a little pricey, so get on their mailing list until they blitz with a sale! If you are in the market and just want to run by a drug store to pick up a liquid lipstick, feel free to visit the NYX kiosk. NYX lip creams are really great for all practical purposes. The pigmentation is great they wear off nicely.

 HighlightersI would be remiss if I did not write specifically about illuminators
 and highlighters. Because there was so much chatter in the area of highlighters this year, nearly every brand came out with or promoted a highlighter within their line. There have certainly been a few frontrunners. The first that comes to mind is Champagne Pop by Becca Cosmetics with Jaclyn Hill. Becca makes absolutely, hands down, the best formula of powder highlighter. It is sheer enough to not add another cake layer of powder, while delivering maximum glow. That said, I have been loyal to Loreal Infallible eyeshadow loose pigment in Iced Latte. While the color is a bit different, the consistency of the product is the most similar to the Becca highlighters. Check it out and let me know what your thoughts are!

IMG_9558Illuminators are really a different animal for me, so I do want to give them  honorable mention. I work with many different age demographics, but find that powder highlighters are not always a good fit for clients over 30. Powder highlighters tend to do just that – highlight – even fine lines, pores, and wrinkles. A better product for skin with more texture are liquid products that melt into the skin giving a softer glow versus a shiny or orange-peel finish. I love the Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Spotlight, but also feel like the Jelly Pong Pong product gives a similar finish once tapped into foundation. Again, this is all about personal preference so try as many as you like until you get the desired effect.

It Cosmetic ShadowsWhile I was shy on lip products loves, I am NOT short on eye products at all. I have another eye palette that I really caught feelings over during 2015. It Cosmetics is another hot! hot! hot! producer of quality cosmetics. This brand is most known for their face perfecting products (which you should run out and get right now) but has a much less promoted cash of eye products. The lovely formulation of powder eye products, watch better than even I guessed. I purchased the Naturally Pretty Romantic eye palette, which includes 14 muted and Matt eye shadows, along with one transforming pearl shade. I think this is a basic for every personal collection and a great jumping off point for someone who wants to begin doing more eye shadow work.

 Arm CandyLast but not least, this year I have added stacks and stack of bracelets to my jewelry wardrobe. This is the fault of my beautiful friend Melissa who is an Alex & Ani addict, and felt it necessary to share the love. After she bought me my first bracelet, I was hooked and started receiving these as gifts from my husband and children. Also, because I saw several girls wearing them (and thought they were fun and GORGE), I began buying lily and Laura bracelets. A portion of the proceeds for this bracelet go toward allowing women of Nepal a means to practice a trade for fair wages. Just one more reason to go out and buy some!

On A Personal Note:

If you are still hanging out with me and care to read about a few personal things, you are in the right place. Our family has had a hectic 2015. There were lots of sad things that happened, but also many (many, many, many) blessings.

I started last year with the death of my Dad. That was a pretty low time, but during that time, there was not a single day I felt fatherless. I am so grateful that I have a super strong relationship with God and for many year have given HIM responsibility for my parenting. Although I miss my dad a lot, and am so glad I got him (honestly, hard to say after years of wishing I could just have a dad like I thought everyone else did), I suffered through his loss with a lot of love and support.

After rebounding from that, my business took off like CRAZY and I got to spend a lot more time being creative and practicing the art that I love. While I still do not demand that my art support me, I am really proud of my hard work and super happy that I was able to share the lives of so many incredible women!

The summer of 2015, my oldest son had to be hospitalized and have surgery of both of his femurs (he is now “The Titanium Man”) after a terrible accident that broke both of his legs and nearly killed his dad. Not only did God teach me many lessons about trust during this time, but there were so many blessings that I did not have much time to feel sorry for myself or my son. My son (now 15 years old), has worked SO HARD (some of you have seen his progress on my Instagram or Snapchat)!!! I am so proud that he never gave up and although he still has to be in physical therapy, HE IS PLAYING HOCKEY AGAIN! Side note: his dad is also back to work and well on his way to being back to himself. So you see what I mean about being grateful.

Lastly, in November, we found out our little boy – the youngest – has Autism. While this is not great news, it is also not a tragedy. All of our five children are different. We love them differently, we teach them differently, we treat them differently (not better or worse, just different), and they are not cookie cutters of one another (or us). This little one is no different.
Truth is, his Autism has taught me a lot about love. From a very young age, our baby just loved differently. He did not want as many hugs and kisses as he did spins around the room. He wanted to be loved with less touch and more support and understanding – and LOTS of smiles and laughs. While I still steal every snuggle and nose-touch (his preferred kiss), I have learned how different love can be and that a redefined sense of life is not a curse, it is a blessing.
 Now it is your turn, tell me about your favorites for 2015!
Love, lessons, light, and lipstick,
That Basic Chic