2016 FAVORITES: Liner, Lashes & Brows

by - December 22, 2016

Weirdly enough, 2016 will definitely go down as the year that I actually learned to apply winged liner. And of course, once I learned how to apply it well, it became a staple in my beauty routine and one that I'm starting to feel a little bit naked without. This category is definitely full of hardcore ride-or-die favorites because I don't mess around when it comes to the types of products I like for liner, lashes, and brows.

Shall we proceed? Keep reading for my favorites!

I think everyone has their favorite style of liquid liner, and for me personally it's all about a pen style liner with a brush tip. I've got some felt tips and some dip type liners, but I pretty much always skip over them and go for a brush tip pen because it's just the easiest thing in the world to me and I can never get just the right line without one. These two are by far my favorites in my collection. Like... by a lot.

HIGH END: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Mad Max Brown
I feel like the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner is a bit of a cult product at this point, and it really is for good reason. It actually took me a while to get on that train, but now that I'm on it I'm sticking around. I actually have mine in Mad Max Brown, which I think is perfect for day to day because it's dark and opaque but it isn't nearly as stark as a black liner. I tend to use this a lot for work looks that I don't want to be too heavy and it always gets the job done.

Physicians Formula 3-in-1 Eye Booster Liquid Liner in Blackest Black
{REVIEW} For me, this is the best black eyeliner of any formula that I've ever tried. I know some people hold the KVD Tattoo Liner in Trooper above this one, but not even that can beat this for me. First off, I literally had one for well over a year and it didn't dry out. I mean... That's kind of unheard of, right? Second, this liner applies perfectly for me every time, lasts absolutely all day without flaking or smudging, and is super black. What more could you ask for? Oh, right, a drugstore price! I seriously love this liner oh so very much!

NOTE: I didn't include pencil liners in this post because... Well, I just don't like pencil liner that much and I very rarely reach for it, so I just didn't have a favorite.

Mascara is very, very subjective, I think. For a long time, I always felt like drugstore mascaras were more than good enough for me, but this year a couple of high end mascaras just came out and smashed the crap out of every drugstore mascara in my collection. Well, except for one, but it happens to have been discontinued so once the three backups that I have unopened in my collection are gone, that's it! Frownyface.

HIGH END: it Cosmetics Superhero Mascara
This is a newish find for me when I received it in an Ipsy bag and it's possibly become my all time favorite mascara. I LOVE how this makes my lashes look - very full and very black without being clumpy or weird - and it stays on my lashes like gang busters without flaking or smudging absolutely morning to night. I'm a little sad about this being my favorite, though, simply because it Cosmetics isn't so easy to get my hands on - and this is a SPENDY one.

HIGH END: Benefit Roller Lash Mascara
I had to mention this one because it was my favorite for about 80% of this year. This one comes very, very close to the Superhero in that it gives my lashes a really full, fluttery look without ever looking like too much and it also stays really well on my eyes. This is probably the one I'll go back to because it's easy to get my hands on and I can buy it in travel size - which is actually my favorite way to buy high end mascaras because I find that the formula is always better in this format. Anyone else?

DRUGSTORE: L'Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions Mascara
Ahhhh my lovely, lovely L'Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions. This is the one that's been discontinued and I'm still so sad about it because I love it so much. I pretty much use this mascara every day for my lower lashes, because the brush is small and I can really get in there, but I also find that it looks amazing on the upper lashes as well. I have this on the go in both regular and waterproof formulas and it's just a true true true love for me.

As you can see from the photo, one of these favorites isn't currently in my collection so I had to get a little creative with the picture, but both of these have reached pretty much ride or die status for me - which is why I only have the more affordable option in my collection right now. My love for the NYX is almost on par with my Anastasia love, so I tend to just stick with the lower cost option because I go through brow pencils so much!

HIGH END: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz
{REVIEW} I feel like the Anastasia Brow Wiz pretty much changed the brow pencil game for keeps. It's the OG micro tipped pencil and such a phenomenal formula that it's pretty undeniable that it's going to be a high end favorite. What can you say about it, really? It applies really easily and gives a naturally full look to the brows, it stays absolutely all day without anything getting patchy or weird, and there's a shade for everyone. Perfect!

DRUGSTORE: NYX Micro Brow Pencil
{REVIEW} There's really only one way that the NYX doesn't quite measure up to the Brow Wiz and that's with wear time. It gives pretty much the exact same look on the brows, applying easily and giving a really natural look, but I find that it doesn't quite last as long. Don't get me wrong, I can get a whole work day out of this pencil without my brows getting crazy, but it just doesn't have quite as much longevity as the Brow Wiz. Still incredible, though, and the one I'm more likely to repurchase because it's half the price.

I wasn't actually going to include a pomade in this post, because I don't have a high end favorite, but then I decided that I love this enough to include it. Why don't I have a high end favorite? Because I don't like pomade for my brows enough to invest in one, if I'm being honest. I find that I only reach for pomade when I really, really have time to go in to perfect and sculpt my brows, which isn't all that often, so I'm more than happy with this one.

DRUGSTORE: NYX Tame & Frame Tinted Brow Pomade
{REVIEW} I can't really compare this to the product that inspired it (Anastasia DIPBROW Pomade) because I've never tried it, but this really gets the job done for me. I like to go in with a TINY little angled brush and draw individual whispy hairs there to get a really full but natural look to my brows. I find that I do have to be careful not to get too much product on the brush and to use a light hand for the strokes, but when I do I've gotten some great compliments on how my brows look when I've used this product.

Tinted brow gel is an absolute must for me and one that I can't skip without noticing and regretting it. I've actually tried a surprising number of tinted brow gels over the last couple of years and these two stand above the rest for me. That said, the Benefit Gimme Brow is an amazing product and I did go back and forth on whether to include it in this post.

HIGH END: blinc Eyebrow Mousse
{REVIEW} I actually got to try a bunch of things from blinc this year and I was overall really impressed with them and this is one that I'm still using consistently. I think this gives me really nice texture in my brows, which is great for me since I like to have a natural, just shy of bushy looking brow. This is actually a really great tone for my brows as well, because it's just the right depth for a natural look and is light enough that if I go too heavy on the brow pencil it can help to tone it down a little bit.

DRUGSTORE: essence Make Me Brow Eyebrow Gel Mascara
{REVIEW} I was really interested to try this brow mascara as soon as I heard about it, because it was pretty clearly in the possible dupe category for the Benefit Gimme Brow and I think it really holds up and is actually my favorite brow gel from the drugstore. I love the tiny wand on it and I feel like it allows me to be quite precise with the application, which is where a lot of drugstore brow gels don't get it right for me, and it comes in three shades so I think most people will be able to find a good fit. That said, I've heard that the darkest shade doesn't work so well for really dark brows, so that could be an issue. Still, I think at under $5, this is definitely worth checking out.

Like I said above, this set of products really wasn't difficult for me to choose favorites from at all, because I've really solidly found products at this point that I absolutely love and that stand head and shoulders above the rest. I do want to throw out one honorable mention, though, and that's to the Covergirl Supersizer Mascara, which I think is absolutely fantastic if you want really, really full lashes with a ton of volume. It got eked out this year, but it was definitely a contender!

Thanks for reading and come back tomorrow for the last of my 2016 makeup favorites with all of my favorite shades and formulas for lips!

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