The Best Beauty Products of 2016 – A Yearly Review

The Best Beauty Products of 2016 – A Yearly Review

The Best Beauty Products of 2016 – A Yearly Review

First things first, I hope you all had a Merry Christmas (or whichever holiday you happen to celebrate!) and a Happy New Year! I was supposed to do more posts near the end of December, but I’ve been constantly battling with my wi-fi for the past few months, and it’s driving me insane. I’m here today (before it’s too late) to talk about my 2016 beauty all – stars.

I’m not going to  rank them because I truly feel that they are all excellent products. Each and every one of them is definitely violetelm approved. I’m actually shocked that almost everything is drugstore. I think that’s because it was an amazing year for drugstore launches, as well as the fact I discovered so many gems that people already raved about!

The Best of Beauty 2016 - foundation & concealer

Speaking of gems everyone already raved about, let’s talk about L’Oreal True Match Foundation. I definitely think this will be my go-to for a long time to come. Of course, if something new comes out and I want to try it out (and let you guys know!) I will, but I have a feeling I’ll just keep coming back to this. Medium/Full coverage, a great shade range, tiny reflective particles to give you a (#)flawless look… I love everything about this foundation!

This tube of Maybelline Fit Me! Concealer is coming to it’s end, but I have a backup already to keep me going! This concealer is the drugstore equivalent of the Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer. (My favourite high end concealer right now, but I’m desperate to try Tarte’s Shape Tape!) It’s very lightweight on the skin, blends out so incredibly, adds just a touch of highlight to the high points of the face, while also covering my dark under eyes. Perfect.


I like to pair those two with pretty much the only primer I’m using right now, which is the W7 Makeup Prime Magic Primer. I tested it against Maybelline Baby Skin and you can read my thoughts here! It’s makes my skin super smooth for the application of foundation, makes my pores smaller and to me it’s a bargain at £3.99! I also like how this has no smell and is a lot easier to apply evenly on the skin than more firm, gel-like formulas. It really is one of my favourite beauty finds this year.


This is the one thing that isn’t drugstore on my list. I got this at BeautyBay (fast becoming my favourite website… that free shipping tho). Of course, I had to have something Jeffree Star on this list. This is the Beauty Killer palette, and I’m obsessed. This palette was so good to me this season, and I can definitely see a difference in my eye makeup when I use it because it blends beautifully. My favourite shade from this range was the dark plum Vanity, but Courtney (in the top right) is definitely one of the best transition shades I’ve ever used. You can read more about my love of this palette (and see some looks I created with it) here!


I’m back again to W7 Makeup! I think it was the brand with the most surprises for me this year. This is the Hollywood Bronze & Glow palette, which is a very inexpensive dupe for the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow palette. I picked this up in my local Gordon’s Chemist for £2.99, as opposed to the £49.00 price tag on the Charlotte Tilbury equivalent. This product has been used nearly every day since I bought it (as I’m sure you can tell from the picture). I still haven’t hit pan on it yet!

The bronzer is best for those with fair-light skin and possibly, running into light/medium skin tones. I know sometimes those with fair skin have trouble with bronzers. It’s hard to find one that isn’t too orange, but I think this is cool toned enough for even contouring! They only have one shade choice (which is the annoying thing about cheaper brands). It is worth buying even for the highlight (which, I admit doesn’t look like much in my pathetic finger swatch) but in real life gives such a pretty glow to the skin!


The Rimmel Brow This Way has been a staple in my beauty bag for almost two years. However, I still had to list it in this year’s favourites, because they now have a New and Improved (!) brush/spoolie! I have to say it is way better than the one they had before! I use the shade 003 Dark Brown. It really helps to set my eyebrows after using my ABH Dipbrow. Mostly, I like to use it on it’s own, to give my eyebrows a little colour on my more simple makeup days. I also have to mention that this stuff lasts forever. I’m talking 6 months or maybe longer, that’s always a pro on my list!


And last, but my no means least, I chose the Rimmel Kate Moss 15th Anniversary Lipstick (breathe). This is the shade 56 Boho Nude. This was probably my most reached for lipstick since I bought it. I love nude shades on my lips! This formula is so easy to wear and fades nicely. Boho Nude is super moisturising on my lips, and I could go on and on about it! (That packaging tho – a beauty bloggers dream) I also have two other shades that I love from the collection. You can check them out and see swatches here!

I think that’s enough from me for one day. Hope you made it through! This blog started in June of 2016, so I’ll never forget the year that has gone by! It’s been so much fun writing blog posts, taking pictures and trying new products. I’m so grateful to those of you who read (almost) every post and leave a like or a comment! Thank you all so much for your support, and I hope you have an amazing 2017!

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Emma Louise McCaw

22-year-old English graduate and part-time beauty & lifestyle blogger from Northern Ireland. I spend my time reviewing makeup, thinking about makeup, applying makeup... and drinking more coffee than is probably healthy.
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