By Amy Sciaretto
BEST AFFORDABLE BUT FUNCTIONAL MAKEUP BRUSHES TO APPLY MAKEUP
el.f.’s new Beautifully Precise makeup brushes are the ultimate in affordable luxury. With lucite handles and white bristles, they look gorgeous when stored on your vanity and fit wonderfully and ergonomically in your hand. The brushes address all of your features, from your face to your cheeks to your eyes, and the most expensive one is just $12. You can nab the whole set without going into debt. And for that reason, I’m in! Need more reasons? OK, great, I’ve got them. These brushes are fab for everyday use or you can grab them as backup wands that you use for specific makeup situations, like when you want to do a heavily bronzed look or for seasonal products you don’t use very often. My favorite is the Multi-Blender Massager, which is shaped like a paint brush. I like to use it to apply MAC Studio Fix powder.
BEST MAKEUP REMOVER WIPES TO TAKE IT OFF
Makeup remover wipes are functional. They do a job and if they do it well, I will continue to use the specific brand. But what about a makeup remover wipe that is… FUN? So Fresh So Clean offers his and her, green-tinted makeup remover wipes in Cool Cucumber. While I find it somewhat pleasurable to see my smoky eye makeup smeared all over a white makeup wipe, it’s even, well, cooler when the wipe is green. Fresh. Clean. Green. These wipes are thicker than your standard wipe, making them feel a bit more luxe and spa-like. But my favorite quality is the bright green hue.
BEST NEUTRALS MATTE EYESHADOW PALETTE
Matte… it’s not just for lips in 2016. While mega matte, power pigmented pouts, courtesy of assists from Kylie Lip Kits and Kat Von D Everlasting liquid lippies, are all the rage in 2016, the matte texture also applies to eyeshadows. Urban Decay’s all-matte, all-neutrals NAKED Ultimate Basics Eyeshadow Palette is another entry into the brand’s NAKED range. It’s timeless, will never go out of style, and has 12 pans of shadow designed to work together to create soft ‘n’ subtle, office-appropriate eyes or you can pile on colors and layers for a smoky look. Let’s go commando… but not in that way.
BEST EVERYDAY USE MATTE EYESHADOW PALETTE
What a feeling! Sola Look’s Flashdance Palette is inspired by the classic ’80s film and its Pittsburgh setting. It holds four extra large pans of matte shadow named after characters in the film. You can use it every day and create either custom looks or signature sunset smoky eyes. If you are an ’80s kid or love nostalgia for that period, you so want to scoop up this palette and paint your lids with the shades, while cranking the soundtrack to this beloved movie. Music and makeup are better together.
BEST LIP INNOVATIONS
Giorgio Armani’s Lip Magnet hugs lips with lightweight color. It’s four times the color yet two times thinner than regular lipstick. So it’s light but pigmented. There are 18 colors, all inspired by tattoo inks. They hug lips but allow for comfort and movement. So, these babies are definitely a makeup bag “do.”
NARS Velvet Lip Guide is a richer-than-Warren-Buffett addition to the brand’s lip offerings. The formula is gloss-like, but the color and coverage is highly-pigmented and opaque. The end result is semi-matte but high impact. This is the only product you need on those lazy girl makeup days when you have no energy or inclination to do a full face. This gets the job done.
BEST NEW BLACK EYELINER
Maybelline’s EyeStudio Master Precise Curvy Liquid Liner is oval-shaped in all capacities. The pen is oval-shaped and the tip is oval-shaped as well. At first, I thought it was a bit intimidating and would be hard to grip and therefore get control to create a perfect, upper lashline-hugging cat-eye flick. Then I used it and it was like Black Eyeliner for Dummies. I want to stock up on like 10… in case this is every discontinued.