2016 FAVORITES: Eyeshadow

by - December 21, 2016

When it came to choosing eyeshadow favorites for 2016, I have to admit that there were some absolute knee jerk favorites and some that required a little bit more thought. I don't think I'm the most adventurous person when it comes to my eye looks, but I've definitely been stepping out of my comfort zone in the past year and my personal style of makeup has been evolving. A lot of the products I chose for this category are ones that are attached to favorite go to looks, because I think the things that I tend to go back to are all for good reason.

So let's get going on the favorites, shall we?

Until this year, I've definitely been a little bit more devil-may-care when it comes to applying eyeshadow primer - which is probably why I have so many in my collection. I've definitely gotten more consistent in using it, though, and I've seen a distinct difference in the wear of my shadows, not just in longevity but in how long a look actually looks good and not muddied. I wouldn't say that I have particularly oily or particularly dry lids, but I do have distinct lines in my crease and I find that the best thing that primer does for me is to stop my makeup from creasing too much throughout the day.

HIGH END: blinc Eye Shadow Primer
{REVIEW} This is a primer that I didn't necessarily have the highest expectations of, but it really managed to impress me. This is a tinted eyeshadow primer, so it really helps to even out any discoloration or veins on my lids and it distinctly improves the longevity of my shadows. The doe foot applicator makes this really easy to apply and I find that it sinks into the skin really quickly, but does leave enough tackiness for the shadows to stick to. Perfect!

DRUGSTORE: Milani Eyeshadow Primer
This is a primer that I picked up based on hype and I have to say that it really lived up to the hype for me. This formula is actually really, really different from the blinc primer and I think it has different benefits. For me, this helps my lid to appear smoother and helps to disguise the fine lines around my eyes that I really, really hate. It also helps to amp up the pigmentation of my eyeshadows and hold everything in place all day. If you haven't tried this primer yet, I highly recommend that you get your hands on it!

I used to actually wear a lot more cream shadow than I do these days, but I've actually really only been reaching for these two with any regularity. Cream shadows are a great go to for easy looks or as eyeshadow bases, and each of these have their own specific use for me personally!

HIGH END: M.A.C. Paint Pot in Painterly
Obviously Painterly is one of those cult products from MAC that was pretty big on social media a few years ago but doesn't get mentioned nearly as much as it used to. This is just a great go to for me, whether I'm building an intense eye look or just doing a quick contoured eye. I find this to help hydrate my lids and help my makeup stay in equal measure, which I think can be a hard chord to strike. Because this is a little more pink in tone, I think this is perfect for me and I just always seem to go back to it.
DRUGSTORE: Maybelline Color Tattoo Leather in Creamy Beige
{REVIEW} I've actually had this Color Tattoo in my collection for a long time, but I really only fell in love with it this year and that's for one very specific reason and was actually inspired by Emily from Beauty Broadcast on Youtube. I like to apply this with a domed shadow brush all over the lid and blended into the crease and then pack a loose pigment or mineral shadow in a champagne tone with some serious glow and shimmer to it on the inner 2/3 of the lid and I have a really gorgeous, really simple eyeshadow look in almost no time - and it stays put absolutely all day. I would say that I probably do this look at least a couple of times a month now, but when I first started doing it over the summer it was more like a couple of times a week. I think I'm even going to go out and pick up a backup of this one.

Loose eyeshadows are another thing that I really didn't think too much about until this year. I had a handful of them in my collection that I usually received in subscriptions and never really reached for, but 2016 definitely changed that - mostly because of the super simple look that I create with my Maybelline Color Tattoo in Creamy Beige.

HIGH END: naked cosmetics Loose Pigment in Sierra Nevada #02
This loose pigment is an absolute obsession for me at this point, even though I wasn't sure I would ever use it when I first got it. The look this gives on the lids is just so gorgeous that I can barely stand it. Like I said above, I generally use a flat brush to pack this onto a sticky base, such as a cream eyeshadow, and it just gives a really gorgeous luminosity to the lids that just pops. This is, I must say, probably my favorite pigment I've ever used and I have every intention of ordering more from naked cosmetics in 2017. 

DRUGSTORE: Pure Anada Loose Eyeshadow in Champagne
This is a fairly new product for me, but I've actually really always wanted to try more from Pure Anada and this year I finally got around to it as my love for loose eyeshadows finally emerged. As you can see in the picture, this shadow is very similar to the naked cosmetics one but I actually feel like they look pretty different when you use them. This one definitely gives a really nice glow to the lid, but I feel like the wear time isn't quite as good on this one and the naked cosmetics one just has a more smooth look to it overall.

When it came to choosing favorite small palettes, this was actually a pretty difficult for me. I find that I really don't reach for small palettes the way that I used to and because I have so many great large palettes that I can build a whole look out of, I just tend to reach for those these days. That being said, when I started looking through my small palette drawer, these two instantly jumped out at me.

HIGH END: Urban Decay NAKED2 Basics
{REVIEW} As you can see in the photo, there are some serious dents in my Urban Decay NAKED2 Basics palette, and for good reason. I tend to reach for this palette a lot if I'm using single shadows or palettes that don't have the mattes that I need for a full look, but also on days when I just want to throw on a simple contoured eye and go. This palette also has a perfect brow shade for me in it, which makes it one of those really versatile palettes that can just go in your purse and do everything you need it to do. I know some people don't love this palette, but I most certainly do!

DRUGSTORE: Milani Everyday Eyes Palette in Earthly Elements
{REVIEW} Because the trends for 2016 leaned so much towards warm tones that don't really have a huge representation in the drugstore, this palette really stood out for a lot of people. NOW, this isn't a perfect palette, I'll be very clear about that, but I actually reached for this one a ton during the fall months because it creates and absolutely gorgeous warm smoky eye and the 4 shades in the palette that lean deeper perform absolutely beautifully. I actually had planned on getting more of these Everyday Eyes Palettes this year, but I never got around to it and this was always the one that grabbed me anyway.

Ahhh the large palette category, which is always a favorite of mine because I'm a sucker for a big ass palette. This one actually changed a couple of times as I was thinking about it, but I'm really confident about my choices at the end of the day! I have a few that I'd like to throw honorable mentions at, but I decided to be very firm with my choices at the end of the day. 

HIGH END: Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette
{REVIEW} I mean. So. Yeah. This is the best palette of 2016 by a pretty wide margin, as far as I'm concerned. I've already hit pan on one of the shades (Tempera) and made some pretty significant dents in others. I've actually overall been really impressed with the variety of looks that I've been able to get from this palette and I've found that even when I don't want an overly warm eye look I can reach for this. The quality on these shadows is incredible. A few of them are a little bit dusty, but they blend so perfectly and last so well on the eyes that it really doesn't matter how dusty it is. I'm pretty much in love with this palette.

DRUGSTORE: I Heart Makeup Death By Chocolate Palette
{REVIEW} When it comes to large palettes at an affordable price, I think one of your best bets is to go with TAM Beauty, which is the umbrella under which you'll find Makeup Revolution and Freedom Makeup London. I've never been disappointed with any of their powder products and I think this is definitely my favorite palette I own from them. The reason I love this palette is because it's really, really versatile and I can create a really wide range of looks without having to work too hard. It's also very much in the tones that I generally prefer, which are neutral leaning a little bit rosy.

Honestly, I could have mentioned so many favorite products in this post, but I was trying to keep myself restrained. I wanted to cheat a little and mention a couple of other favorites... because I can! I created two custom BUXOM palettes this year and I'm so impressed with the quality of the shadows and I love that I can put together whatever selection of shades I want in a really sturdy palette. More recently, I've really been loving the NYX Love Contours All palette, which I think is a great neutral palette with powders that are really, really good quality. My favorite drugstore shadows continue to be from Wet N Wild, though I wish they would take the Color Icon formula and put out some new palettes. And my absolute favorite non-neutral palette is the BH Cosmetics Foil Eyes Palette, which is phenomenal for really punch looks!

Annnnd breathe. I feel like I typed that like I was talking a mile a minute!

Thanks for reading and be sure to come back tomorrow for my favorite liners, mascaras, and brow products!

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