2018: Favorite Beauty Buys

favorite beauty buys

Who am I? Is this really me, about to write a full length post on my makeup favourites? 2009 me would certainly have never seen this coming!!!

Anyhoo, here we are, a few weeks into 2019, and I think I can safely say that 2018 was the year of skincare and makeup for me (there are a lot of other things that 2018 will be known for, but let’s just stick to the good things here, right? :)). I am going to ignore how much of a dent it has made on my pocket (seriously though, some of these things can really cost a pretty penny!) and focus instead on how much joy it has brought me (yeah, full on Marie Kondo vibes!).

Good skin days are seriously the best, and I know that it does not happen magically. When I stick to my morning and night skincare routine (and I am sleeping well), the result of that is healthy, radiant skin, which on a regular day, does not need much makeup. I certainly have to put in some work after coming back from my travels, and there is a case of weird hormonal breakouts along my jawline and chin about once a month, but for the most part, I am quite happy (and blessed!!!) about my skin situation. I’ll do a separate post on my skincare favourites, but for today, let’s just talk makeup.

Ah, makeup goodies! Oh man, have I fallen hard for this! I still don’t own a crazy amount of stuff (not rolling around with 15 different foundations!!!), but I have more than enough and more importantly, I think I am finally getting the hang of applying makeup properly. I am far, far from perfect, and I kinda have really just one kind of makeup look, but that’s mostly okay by me. I do not have crazy many events to attend, and despite my self-professed love for makeup, there’s not much that I use on a day to day basis.

I haven’t gone and talked about my all-time favorites in each of the makeup categories, but instead just focused on my favorite beauty buys from last year, which I am well carrying forward into the new year.


favorite beauty buys

Bobbi Brown Nude Finish Tinted Moisturiser (in Light to Medium Tint) (USA|India) – I’ve been using this for close to a year now and I still continue to be madly in love with it. It’s what I reach for most workday mornings, and it’s got the lightest bit of coverage, which is perfect for me. It does get a tad oily, so I make sure to powder my T-zone after putting this on. And it might seem like too much effort to use a BeautyBlender to apply a tinted moisturiser but I’ve found that the finish of this is so much better if I use a damp sponge. (Bummer!!!! I just realised that the product, or at least some shades of it have now been discontinued!!! I am down to the very last bit on this tube! Guess I’ll have to find myself a new tinted moisturiser now.)

MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation (in NC40) (USA|India) – For days or nights when I want a little more coverage than usual, this has become my go-to. I am shade NC40, though I have a feeling I might have to go a shade darker once real summer rolls around. I am not a fan of the smell of this one, but barring that small niggle, I think it works beautifully on my skin. It’s long-lasting, and for my combination skin I find that powdering over the foundation just a tad bit helps with the oil control as the day/night wears on.

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder (in Translucent) (USA)- This powder is a cult favourite for a reason, right? I am a resident member of the combination skin + oily T-zone club, and this powder has been a life saviour. As with the BB tinted moisturiser, I’ve found that using a damp sponge to set this gives a not-so-matte finish.

2018 beauty favorites

Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter (in Shade 5) (USA)- Is it a primer, is it a highlighter, is it a foundation? I don’t know but to be honest, I don’t even care, because whatever this thing is, it’s absolutely the best thing that I bought last year. I was totally influenced by Grace into buying this – she raved about it so much, and that woman knows her stuff, so obviously I had to get it!

Okay, now, I’ve used it mostly as a highlighter, but a couple of times that I have mixed it with my tinted moisturiser/foundation, the end result has been luminous in the best possible way. When I use it as a highlighter, the effect is so subtle, and gives quite a glow from within, if that makes any sense. I wear minimal makeup (and most days, no makeup) to work, and some days when I feel like my skin is looking too flat, I just dab on a couple of dots of this, and it just transforms my face without making me look like a shiny disco ball.

L’oreal Lucent Magique L’eclat Booster (in Rose Eclat) – I feel like I am cheating a bit by including this one here because honestly, I don’t know where you could find this one. I picked it up a few months ago on one of my trips to Hong Kong from I think the Watsons store, but I’ve never found it ever again, and when I tried looking for it online, only Thai websites seem to be carrying this product. Anyway, L’oreal labels it as “micro-jeweled diamond complex” which I have no idea what that means, but I’ve used it mixed with foundation, and holy moly does it bring on the glow or what! It’s similar to the CT Hollywood Flawless Filter in the way that it lends this lit from within glow. I am very stingy in using this one because I have absolutely no idea how I will be able to replace it! :)

Bobbi Brown Glow Stick (in Island) – I think this was released way back in early 2017, but I’ve had this for just about six months or so (and I was working on this post, I discovered that they’ve recently discontinued this product as well! What is it with me and my love for discontinued BB products???!!!??? Anyway, this is gorgeous, gorgeous highlighter. Not very sparkly, just the loveliest hint of shimmer and glow, and it blends so beautifully into my skin. And in a pinch, it works as a fantastic eye shadow as well!

Becca Sunlit Bronzer (in Bronzed Bondi) (USA)- For the longest time I thought that us brown-skinned women had no use for a bronzer, but a little brush of the Becca Sunlit Bronzer along my cheeks and jawline and my opinion was forever changed. There is no shimmer in this one, and a little goes a long way. The Bronzed Bondi is the perfect shade for my skin tone (NC40 in MAC) and it adds just the perfect hint of colour without appearing muddy.


2018 Beauty Favorites

Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick (in Walk of Shame) (USA) – The CT website describes this as a “berry red”, which it for sure is, but on my skin, it’s not a very flashy red and I love it for that. I have my Tom Ford Ruby Rush lipstick for when I want all the drama (it probably is my most favourite red!), and this CT one is good for more regular days. It goes on comfortably, there’s no tugging, and while it doesn’t have a crazy long staying power, it fades pretty well.

Bobbi Brown Crushed Lip Colours – I’ve written a full post about them, so you pretty well know that I love them a lot. My favourite shades continue to be Bare and Plum for everyday looks, and Cabana for a fun night out.


Benefit Brow Zings Eyebrow Shaping Kit (in Shade 5) (USA|India) – I love the powder + wax packaging of this one, and with a little bit of practise I’ve figured out how to use this to end up with natural-ish looking brows and not overdone black strips of brows. I’ve used the Benefit Goof Proof Eyebrow Pencil before, which is very easy to apply but you don’t really get longevity with it. This one takes me through most of the day, unless of course, I’ve spectacularly rubbed all over my eyebrows for some reason.

Kiko Milano Dark Treasure Metal Foil Eyeshadow (in Shade 02) (USA|India)- I don’t wear eyeshadow on a daily basis, and despite a lot of practising, I haven’t gotten very good with dramatic eyeshadow looks either (my husband jokingly refers to my makeup practising sessions as “the lab”). So, single shadows rule the roost for me (this would probably make you believe that I have about 20 different pots of eyeshadows lying around, but really, I own about 3 single eyeshadows, that’s it!). This shade from the Kiko Milano Dark Treasure range is just perfect. It’s a deep-ish brown, with a hint of subtle shimmer. It’s dark enough to not disappear on my skin, and it generally wears well, especially if I remember to apply an eyeshadow primer before putting this on. (Sadly, I couldn’t find the links to the exact shade that I have.)

CoverGirl Lash Blast Volume (USA): For someone who almost always used to forget putting on mascara, I’ve come a long way. Would you believe it, I have 2 mascara favourites from last year!!! First up, this CoverGirl classic. I picked this one up around May when I was in Seattle, only to come back home and realise that I’d actually bought the brown one, and not black, like I’d intended. Cursing my stupidity, I relegated that to the back of my beauty drawer and forgot about it. Cue to sometime in October, when I somehow ended up giving it try and realising that I was kinda digging it, especially for everyday wear. It wasn’t as standout as the black, for sure, and that was totally fine by me. So most mornings, I slather on a bit of this on my lashes, and it’s all sorts of perfect.

NARS Climax (USA) – Now, my other favourite mascara from the year. I’ve seen many beauty bloggers/YouTubers go on and on about the NARS Climax mascara ever since it’s been launched. I finally got around to trying it sometime in November, and then all that hype made sense. It makes my lashes look voluminous and big and fluffy, but not in a crazy way. I love that the formula is lightweight and does not flake (which was my exact opposite experience with the ever popular Too Faced Better Than Sex). So yes, the hype is real.

So, when I want everyday definition, I reach for the CoverGirl Lash Blast Volume, and for when I want some drama, the NARS Climax it is.

MAC X Padma Laxmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink / Mossy Green (no links – this was limited edition) – (not pictured) This was a limited edition release, and after seeing Hitha rave about the collection, I went ahead and promptly bought this eye pencil combo. I’ll be honest, I’ve rarely used the green, but that shade of blue is sheer perfection. It’s not a flashy blue, so I can wear it to work without any hesitation, and it’s obviously not as intense as black. I tend to line my lower waterline starting from the outer corner, and stopping just a little short of the inner corner, and I’ve found that it gives a lot more of a natural look than lining it all the way through.


favourite beauty buys

I think that’s it, as far as standout makeup products from last year is concerned. I’ve loved using this and more importantly, I’ve really enjoyed learning to love makeup. For me, makeup is about enhancing what you already have, and most days, I prefer to lean towards a no-makeup makeup look, and every once in a while, try to amp up the glam for festive occasions or special night outs.

Anyway, that’s enough from me. I am super curious to hear about your makeup favourites, so please do let me know in the comments below. :)

Note: The post contains affiliate links.

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  1. I love this roundup! It looks like we share a lot of favorites. The Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter has been on my wish list for months, and I think I may make it my February beauty pick. I love that all her highlighting products look natural and luminous, and never glittery or super-shiny.

    I really enjoy your blog and look forward to following along!

    1. You should totally get the CT Hollywood Flawless Filter! It’s just really, really good.

      And thank you so much for stopping by!