2016 - My Year in Sephora - the best, the just OK...and the worst.

I spend a lot on my face when it comes to skin care and make up. In the last few years I've really focused on quality of the stuff I use since my skin is so damn sensitive. Butterfly could fart in my direction and my skin will find a way to break out. The moment I turned 13 and got my first period, my skin went from baby smooth to the oily crater mess that has followed me through my youth, mid twenties and now into 30's. I contribute my non-existing self-esteem during those years mainly to my skin issues. Top that with a fact I don't exactly lead the healthiest lifestyle due to a slew of bad habits (I'm an animal, what can I say)...for the sake of my skin and appearance, I go the extra mile. This year was exciting for my Sephora addiction. Mainly because I got my routine down and found stuff that actually works for me. The product pictures in this post are not stock photos taken from websites, but my own. I really want to show you guys that this is the stuff I truly use religiously. Well, not all of it. Some are flukes and I'm AWFUL at returning shit. If you follow my snapchat, you know how much I love beauty hauls and doing swatches. I get ton of positive feedback so I thought why not combine all the stuff I bought in 2016 into one big post. 

I'm going to combine all aspects of neck and up care: face, hair and make up. Don't ask me for body lotions and creams since the answer is basic and simple: I stick to Eucerin & Aquaphor. That stuff is tried and true and magical. I use Aquaphor on my elbows, knees and anywhere with extra flakiness and dryness, while I apply Eucerin to my neck and chest area for extra hydration right before bed.

I want to start with skin care because its so crucial. I have a routine that is OCD-level down perfected and if I skip it...it means I died or I got home drunk and wasted out of my mind. I won't get into my full routine since that's a topic for another post. 

Top three products are my tried and true repeats. I can't recommend them enough. Korres Wild Rose face oil (2nd bottle), Kate Somerville acne spot treatment (I think this is my 5th bottle in the last 2 years), this stuff is STRONG and has sulfuric acid in it that reduces pimples and First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream. I'm on my second jar and it lasts a long time. Its not a heavy moisturizer and I like to use it in the mornings before my make up to hydrate the skin and give it some base before foundation. The bottom two products (Lancome eye cream and Tatcha Supple) are expensive as shit but that's because they help fine lines around the eyes. 
Face Masks: Boscia black mask and Origins Original Skin. I have A LOT of texture due to acne and enlarged pores and once a week (Sunday nights), I do a pretty mask heavy routine that strips ALL dead skin cells of my face. Because it can be so drying, I don't do it more than once a week. 
Bobbi Brown - I am so impressed with this brand in terms of their skin care. Make up? I don't care much for it. I use this cleansing oil once I take my foundation off with make up wipe remover and it just leaves skin so soft. Because I'm oily and break out so much, I give my skin what it needs: OIL. I use oil cleansers to clean and face oils to moisturize. People assume if you have greasy skin, the best thing to do is to dry it out and that can't be more wrong. If you keep on drying it out, your pores will react and produce MORE oil and with it more acne. Fighting oil with oil has been my Holy Grail revelation.
Another product I LOVED in 2016 was Clinique Take the Day off Balm. Its oil based and melts the make up right off. Its even gentle for the eyes.

The skincare stuff I did not care for at all and it pains me due to money I spent on it is Sunday Riley. Honestly, these were purely hype based purchases that did NOTHING.
I think Tidal actually made me break out even more, especially on my chin. Right now, they are collecting dust and reminding me of money I dropped on them. Hey, you win some, you lose some.
Hair wise, I can no longer imagine my life without Bumble & Bumble invisible oil products. I have pretty dry hair due to processing and styling, so it always needs extra help. These products give me hydration without weighing it down and making it look greasy. I'm obsessed.

Verb Ghost oil is another product I use daily and its shockingly invisible while super thick in consistency. I say witchcraft but whatever gets these hair ends hydrated.

Now onto MAKE UP :)

I love love loveeeeeeeee make up. Beginning of 2016, I watched a lot of YouTube tutorials. Last few months, less so due to lack of interest. Everything loses its charm I guess. Also, some of these famous beauty gurus started to get paid to push products so they can fund their Botox and fillers...so I gave up. I still follow and love few (Tati and Kathleen Lights) Now don't get me wrong, I don't judge anyone opting for plastic surgery and enhancements. Do whatever makes you feel good. You do you boo. I personally cannot take a beauty advice from anyone that fills their face with fillers and botox. "Ohhh look  how full my lips look with this $90 lipgloss from Tom Ford" 
Well DUH! Your lips look full since they are FILLED with enhancements! I just don't buy it anymore. With that said, I had TON of exciting Sephora purchases in 2016 in terms of make up.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance eye palette is THE best palette out there. No joke. If you are going to splurge on anything, make it this. I do heavy black eye shadow on weekends and at parties, but for every day, I'm a warm neutral kinda girl. Lots of browns, reds, oranges. This is a staple item and I'm simply obsessed. Highly pigmented and blendable. It only has two cons but its so magical that I'm able to look past them. It has NO matte black and its very powdery, so I recommend you do your eyes first, battle the fall-out and then do your foundation.

My foundation Holy Grail for the last few years has been Estee Lauder Double Wear. This is my 4th bottle in 2 years. It stays on all day and I touch up  maybe once or twice a day, which for a change, is a miracle. I can't use anything else anymore.
In 2016 I also discovered Givenchy Prisme Libre loose powder in Mousseline Pastel, much to my wallet's dismay. This baby is expensive, but this baby also WORKS. No weird white cast, it mattifies my greasy face, smells incredible and lasts all day. Dare I say its better than Laura Mercier Translucent Powder (I have and use both.)
Even tho my skin can be absolutely tragic at times, I don't have problem with puffiness or dark circles underneath my eyes (knock on wood), therefore I use concealers very seldom. The ones I love are Urban Decay Naked Skin and Too Faced Born This Way, simply because they are NOT heavy. I use them on acne, excessive redness and to highlight if my skin is looking a little thirsty and dull.

Highlighter wise? Guuuuuuuurl...this can be a separate post on its own. I love highlighting. My temples, cupid's bow, nose bridge, shoulders, shoulder blades, eyes, inner corner...you name it. The one highlighter that stood out for me in 2016 is this Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops in Moonlight. This shit is LEGIT and not for the faint of hearts. You will glow to Gods. Its expensive but a little goes a long way. Also, good luck finding it since its always sold out.

Must I even mention NARS "Orgasm" blush? You don't know shit about make up if this baby is not in your collection. Its a perfect mix of pink and peach for all skin tones with micro glitter to make you glow. Its flawless. I hit pan finally 2 years into using it, so yeah, it lasts FOREVER. "Orgasm" is a cult item for a reason.

If I'm not reaching for Anastasia Modern Renaissance, I've been really loving Too Faced Sweet Peach palette. For the longest time it was gone and sold as special edition. Brand finally made it permanent and I got my hands on it. Its got beautiful cool and warm tones, smells like fresh peaches and the satin shades are nearly perfect. The matte ones need a base for sure.
Since Michelangelo did not sculpt David with plastic fork and hammer, using the right tools to apply your make up is the KEY. I love the Beauty Blender and stippling brush to apply liquid foundation and my newly purchased Kat Von D setting powder #20 brush for the powders. Its softer than baby's butt. I love it.

To color correct, I love YSL products. I use the green touch up stick when I have too much redness from break outs and irritation and Apricot CC primer for a quick touch up when I don't do a full face.

Black eyeliner is a MUST. Hello have we met? I've been using Kat Von D's Trooper for couple of years, but in 2016 I got Tarte double end liquid and pencil eyeliner. You need jaws of life to take that shit off. Its so good. I also loved Pat McGrath and Marc Jacobs. Easy applications, super black, lasts forever.

Now for the make up products that sort of ended up disappointing me. 
Because of my oily, acne prone, enlarged pore skin, I was so excited for Cover FX and its blot drops. It ended up being the most useless product on the planet. For nearly $50, I expected a top notch product. I kept it because I want it to try it different ways: mix with foundation, moisturizer, as a primer, pre make up, post make up...I tried it in every way imaginable. Not only did it not do jack shit, it made me even oilier. What a huge fail for Cover FX (usually a fantastic brand)
Anastasia Beverly Hills foundation and contour stick- It blends to nothing. I tried sculpting my cheeks and as I blended the product, it disappeared. Useless.

Kat Von D's liquid lipstick. I know I know...everyone and their mother swears by these but I just can't stand the dryness. Liquid lipsticks are tricky, I get it. But when the formula is done right (like Kylie Cosmetics), I absolutely love it. I hate these from Kat. Hate them. My lips turn into a dry butthole when I use them.

I didn't hate these two, but for the price, I was not crazy for them either. While I love the color range in this Anastasia glow kit Sweets, its ends up being chunky and glittery. I still reach for it since I love that lavender shade for my shoulders, but I wish it was little smoother and creamier like Becca ones.

Kat Von D's Shade & Light contour palette is just too damn powdery! The amount of product even the least dense brush picks up is INSANE. Color range is nice but the palette itself is a mess. And it could also use a gray tone based shade.

So yeah...that was my year in Sephora. Lots of good stuff, lots of bad stuff, routines mastered, new skills learned...I love this shit. I love having fun with it and experimenting. I genuinely do not regret a single dime spent since 90% of the stuff I get is awesome and it works.
What were your favorite and least favorite products in 2016?