EauMG’s Favorite Makeup & Beauty Products 2016

For the past few years, I’ve made a list of my favorite beauty items from the year. These aren’t “new” products, even though some of them may be. These are products that are “new to me” products in 2016 that I fell in love with.

favorite makeup 2016


Like 2015, 2016 was a year where my love of color cosmetics was rekindled. I was all about having fun with makeup. I loved wearing burgundy and pink on the eyes. Even if I’m delusional, I like to believe that all lip colors work for me. In fact, I gravitate to “unflattering” shades from “my lips but deader” taupes, orange-reds and periwinkle. I’ve also been fascinated with 1970’s fashion mag editorial makeup…so think metallic shadow and glossy reds. I had a lot of fun with makeup in 2016.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow Palette in Modern Renaissance – This was my best makeup purchase of 2016. I have used this palette so much and I keep reaching for it. I love all the colors and the formula is so perfect. The only thing I can’t stand is the packaging itself. The mauve flocking collects makeup like a magnet and since I’ve used mine so much, it’s completely gross looking. Retails for $42 at Sephora.

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Concealer – This is a thick, almost tacky, concealer. But, I love that it’s full-coverage and has a non-matte finish. It works like a dream for my current needs. It wears all day long with no creasing. However, this brand runs incredibly pale (I’m shade “Medium”). And their shade range is pathetic. There’s no excuse with a brand with funding like theirs to offer such a limited shade range. Retails for $24 at Sephora.

Morphe Eyeshadow Palette in 35K – It seems to be the fad on Youtube is to talk crap about Morphe. But, I’m like these are great eyeshadow palettes for the money. If they charged more, I’d be angry but it’s like look at how much you get for a little over $20! I use this palette frequently because it’s so perfect for a daily neutral look. I love the mix of warm and cool tones. There’s so much I can do with this palette. Retails for like $25 at Morphe.

Bite Amuse Bouche Lipstick – I’ve always like Bite lipsticks but 2016 was the year that I became obsessed. I bought quite a few of the more unusual colors like Squid Ink, Kale and Taro. I bought shades that were more neutral like Fig, Sake and Whiskey. I also got a gross mushroom-y shade made at the Bite Beauty Lab (if you’re in NYC, you should do this, it’s fun!). Retails for $26 at Sephora.

My 2017 Makeup Predictions: I predicted in 2016 that there would be a backlash to “Instagram” style makeup. I think we did start seeing that towards the end of the year. Highlighters became more popular than contouring. Brows became messier. I also said that colors would become more “watercolor” like. This is something that we’re finally seeing now. So, I think this will continue into 2017. I think there will be more use of pastels on eyes (think a modern take of what was popular in the early ’00s). Also, glitter because the early ’00s are the “new 1990’s” to Millennials. I predict that skin will become a bigger focus with more dewy finishes and less of the Instagram coverup. People are focusing on skincare, so I think they want to show off skin. I also think there will be a renewed interest in “normal” shades since things have become more adventurous. There will be more monochrome peaches and pinks used on the lips, eyes and face in 2017. I also hope to see that super matte lip look become less popular, mainly because it’s so overplayed at this stage and the fact that I hate drying liquid lipsticks. Anyway, I think lip gloss is going to be huge in 2017.

favorite skincare 2016


My skin can’t behave but it was much better in 2016. In general, I’ve been into moisture and lots of thin layers of effective products.

Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Circle Perfector with SPF 30 – This replaced my 2015 favorite (Clinique Super Defense Eye Cream). I like that the SPF is higher. I don’t use it alone because it doesn’t provide any moisture but I love the finish. It’s tinted so it is not universal, but it works for me. Retails for $38 at Nordstrom.

Low pH Cleansers – Why didn’t I listen to you guys sooner?! I thought this pH stuff was all BS. Well, ever since I starting using low pH cleansers (which is not easy to find), my cystic acne has decreased. My skin feels and looks better. I’m a convert. CeraVe Renewing Cleanser was one of my 2015 Favorites, but now I’m sold on it and GlyDerm Gentle Face Cleanser. 

Leaders Sheet Masks – I’ve tried so many sheet masks since I’ve been using them for a decade, but I’m finally brand loyal. I love Leaders Sheet Masks so much. They have many formulas and I’ve found that my skin responds well to all of them. Masks range from $3-$6 a piece at Leaders. 

La-Roche Posay Antihelios Tinted Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 – There are many sunscreens that I like but I’m always on the hunt for new ones. Sunscreens just keep getting better so I don’t want to stick to just one. This one has been around, but I didn’t try the tinted formula until 2016. It’s completely weightless. The tint works for my skin. I like the satin finish. In the summer, it’s my replacement for foundation. Retails for about $25 at Target. 

My 2017 Skincare Predictions: I said for 2016 we’d see more Korean skincare (big brands are now carried at Target and Ulta). I said boosters would be popular, and boy, were they ever. I also said masks…and 2016 was the year of masks because they are a visual way to market skincare on social media platforms. My predictions for 2017 are that exfoliants will become even more popular. The skincare consumer is more educated than ever and knows the benefits of AHAs and BHAs, hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid… I think we’ll see “smart” ingredients be the focus of many products. I also think we’ll see more of the Asian style face implements become mainstream in the US, things like massagers, silicone spatulas, face rollers and LED light therapy. Gadgets have always been popular, but I think we’ll see even more of them (that’s another way to visually market skincare). I also think masks and boosters will continue to be popular in 2017. I predict we’ll see a lot of those genius Korean formulas (how do they manage to make everything so bouncy?!) in American and European drugstore brands. Finally, I think since cities have been growing over the past few years, we’ll see more skincare in the US marketed in the US as “anti-pollution” and basically marketed as “bubbles” to protect our skin from urban environmental stressors. Selfishly, I hope low pH cleansers become popular because that’s really what I need in my life.

favorite bath products 2016

Bath & Body

I know that unscented bath/body products are usually more effective, but geez, it’s just so boring. I like making bathing a ritual and an unscented ritual is too boring.

Fancy Body Oils (Like YSL Opium, Chanel No. 5) – In 2016, I was in the mood for anointing my body with perfumes. I starting scouting every perfume body oil on the market. My favorites were Opium and No. 5. And I’m still on the hunt!

Alba Botanica Midnight Tuberose Shower Gel – This is a cool tuberose in a moisturizing coconut formula. It smells heavenly and leaves my skin so soft. It’s an excellent product, especially for the price. The huge bottle goes for about $15 on Amazon. It used to be easier to find. I hope it’s not being discontinued.

Kneipp Orange & Linden Pure Harmony Shower Gel – In general, I’m all about bath products. There are so many great scents and brands out there. I’ve used Kneipp oils for many years but haven’t tried their shower gels until 2016. I love this scent, which is like a refreshing citrus-y lime blossom. It’s perfect for hot, humid summers. Retails for about $15 at C.O. Bigelow. 

Foot Peeling Masks – If you are into really gross things, then you need to use a foot peeling mask. Like if I knew that I’d have so much satisfaction from putting my feet into plastic bags of acid for an hour and then dealing with weeks of my feet falling off, I would have done this years ago. I like TonyMoly and The Face Shop.

My 2017 Bath/Body Predictions: I said for 2016, we’d see more perfume brands launching bath/body products. I think we’ll see more of this in 2017 as one is going to sell more hand creams than they will bottles of perfume in a year. I said that we’d see more clay-based body products. I didn’t notice that, so maybe we’ll see more “spa treatments” in 2017 (especially for self-care reasons). I do think we’ll see more anti-aging body products. Like I said before, the skincare consumer is wiser than ever. I think they want to take care of their skin from head to toe. There’s room for the market to grow in the area of bath/body by having smarter ingredients (especially hand creams).

2016 favorite hair products


My hair is the longest it’s been, well, ever. This is mostly due to my own laziness but also because I haven’t found a new stylist since moving. I get trims but I haven’t had much hair inspiration in years. One thing about long hair, is that it needs so much moisture to look healthy. So, I’ve become a fan of deep treatments and applying oils to my hair every time I moisturize my body (twice a day).

Palmer’s Moisturizing Hair Oil – I didn’t realize that I wanted my hair to smell like a York Peppermint Patty until I smelled this. Plus, my hair loves a rich oil formula (it’s a canola oil base). Retails for under $5 at Target.

Matrix Oil Wonders Volume Rose Shampoo & Conditioner – Listen, I only use this stuff because I love the rose fragrance so much. It’s like Le Labo Rose 31 for your hair. The formula does OK with my hair if I use deep treatments weekly. But, gawd, it smells so amazing. Each of the small bottles retail for $18 at Ulta. 

Ouidad Ultra Nourishing Cleansing Oil – This is one of those formulas that I use because it actually works for me. I’m not swayed by its aroma (which is pretty basic). I don’t have curly hair but I have course hair. This leaves my hair so smooth and frizz-free. Retails for $26 at Sephora.

Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Thermal Protectant – This stuff is great for heat styling or setting curls/rollers. It leaves my hair feeling so smooth and curls are bouncy/light. It also smells great (sweet and yummy). Retails for about $9 at Target.

My 2017 Haircare Predictions: Hair is a genre that doesn’t move as a fast as like color cosmetics. I predicted that in 2016 there would be hair boosters, which I did see a few launched. I also predicted hair perfumes and I saw more of those than ever (I think this will continue). In general, people want pretty, healthy-looking hair. I think people want to care about their hair health from the inside out (more scalp treatments, vitamins/supplements). I predict in 2017, there will be changes in the textures of hair products (like more foams instead of powders or oils – like “novelty” textures).

What were your favorites of 2016? Any new favorites? Old favorites?

If you’re curious, these were my favorites in 2015. 

If you’d like to know my favorite perfume launches in 2016, here’s My The Good, The Bad and The Ugly round-up.

*Sephora, Nordstrom, Target, Amazon, Saks, C.O. Bigelow are affiliate links. Thanks!

27 thoughts on “EauMG’s Favorite Makeup & Beauty Products 2016

  1. I am so inspired by all your cool lip colors and eyeshadow colors! Every time I think about beauty/makeup resolutions, I always want to wear more colors, because color is out of my comfort zone. The only eyeshadow I own is the Naked 3 palette from Urban Decay — my friend convinced me to get it. I’m trying to wear the shadows more, but I have to be very purposeful about it, haha.

    My favorite makeup, beauty, and hair stuff from 2016:
    -I can only do mineral sunscreens, and in 2016 I really got into Badger Balm’s zinc oxide sunscreen lotion for my face. It does leave a white cast, but I blend it in by layering some foundation on top. I like the unscented formula.
    -The Garnier Whole Blends line was a nice surprise! I’ve purchased a few of the different kinds, and like what I get for the price and think the formulas are pretty gentle. I’m already worried they’ll discontinue it. I just wish this line was sulfate-free!
    -I bought and loved the Tarte Amazonian Clay matte bronzer.
    -I fell in love with Nubian Heritage bar soaps — the raw shea, mango butter, and goat’s milk and chai are awesome. The soaps have a really creamy lather.

    1. I know I look ridiculous and probably getting too old for this sh*t, but hey, I like it. Looking like a clown can be fun 🙂

      I’ll check out your favorites! I tried a Whole Blends when I traveled last year and was really impressed by it for the price (I tried Pomegranate). Thanks for bringing those up. I forgot that I wanted to buy it when I got home :S

  2. Would love to hear about the Garden of Wisdom (?) stuff you mentioned last year. And all the things you use to control your cystic acne and diminish dark marks.

    After being normal (some acne, not terrible, controllable) for the first 24 years of my life, cystic acne decided to greet me at age 25. All the dark marks and unhealed spots are driving me mad, so hopefully the Glyderm will help!


    1. I really should do a post. It’s something that has been a battle and something I know many people deal with so would like to hear from others.

      I’m so sorry. I truly feel your “why me?!” cystic acne pain. My entire life, even through teenage years, my skin was “perfect”. I never had acne, not even a rare whitehead. Anyway, I get in my 30’s and BAM, just terrible, terrible cystic acne (6-10 at a time, I’m pale so it takes forever for them to fade). Long story short, there’s a medical reason (which I’m still dealing with) but it still sucks and is still something I deal with.

      I’ve found for me that working with lots of light/thin layers helps with spots and anti-aging. I’m also on Spiro and use some prescription creams. A dermatologist was the most helpful “investment” for me. Then all the fading/exfoliant creams. I’ve been low pH cleanser for half a year now. I swear, it makes a difference for me.
      I read this:
      And I used Glyderm which was recommended by my dermatologist. Anyway, I have actually been lazy with my skin the past few months and have had some medical flare-ups AND still, I’ve had 1 cystic breakout (of 1 spot) since I switched to low pH. Weird, huh? But, the more research I do, the more it looks like low pH is the way to go. Even in the past with a higher Spiro dosage and more acne-specific products, I would get 2 breakouts on a really, really good month. And those spots take MONTHS to heal.

      But, yeah, acne has its own crummy journey for anyone that ends up having it. I hope you can find something that helps. I’ll try to get a post up this month or Feb.

    1. I have loved seeing all the looks you have done with that palette! It’s so versatile and flattering on every complexion.

    1. The Morphe 35T is so pretty. Honestly, it’s probably better suited for my complexion but I’m so stuck on the one that I have 🙂

      I really didn’t expect to wear the ABH palette has much as I do. Pink?! Red?! Who knew I could make those work?

    1. I really think it has helped. It’s the only thing I’m doing differently right now and my skin is behaving. I actually ran out and used some foaming sample that I know has a high pH (three days in a row). BAM! I am now nursing a cystic spot on my chin. The cleanser was the only thing I switched up so I’m going to blame it on pH.

  3. Ohnigoodness, I’ve heard so many incredible things about IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Concealer but they don’t have my shade. I NEED to try this.

    1. They have no excuse for having such a sorry selection of shades (especially when they’ve been bought out for 1.2 BILLION!!!). It does make me sad to say I like it but it does do what it says it will.

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