Top 16 of 2016: Beauty

Welcome to my Top 16 of 2016: Beauty Edition!  Like last year, I’ve decided to compile a list of my Top 16 products of 2016, specifically all those that are beauty related.  This includes everything from makeup, hair, tools, fragrance and skin and body care products.

  1. IT Cosmetics Your Skin but Better CC Cream & Heavenly Luxe Brush
    I’m kind of cheating here because this is two items but I’m only counting them as one (forgive me); but in my opinion you can’t use one without the other – they work best together.  This has been my go-to foundation for the last 6 months; read my full review here.
  2. Tarte Shape Tape Concealer (Light)
    This is the best concealer I’ve ever used, hands down.  It covers and blends and wears beautifully.  It doesn’t crease and lasts all day.  It can look cakey if you overdo it – but that’s because a little goes a long way.  I wish they sold it at Sephora instead of Ulta, but thankfully it’s available on for us Canadians.
  3. IT Cosmetics Your Skin but Better Airbrush Perfecting Powder Powder (Light)
    I’ve been using this in conjunction with the CC cream and it’s a perfect combo for me.  I was previously using the Laura Mercier powder below, and I still like it but this is a bit more mattifying for me and therefore helps foundation last longer throughout the day.  I also really like that it’s in a pressed format – which makes it much easier to apply and travel with.
  4. Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder
    I’m way late to the party on this one – this is extremely popular amongst the general population of beauty gurus and I now understand why.  It sets my foundations and concealers really well, is finely milled and doesn’t highlight any dry patches or settle into fine lines.
  5. CoverGirl TruBlend Blush (Light Rose)
    This is such a great blush – they have 3 shades but I have the lightest one which is a beautiful pale pink.  It has a touch of shimmer in it, and is easily buildable.  It’s just a fantastic everyday blush that I used a lot last year.
  6. Lorac Pro Palette
    For reasons unknown to all of Canucks, Lorac is not available in Canada.  After purchasing and using this palette extensively over the last 4 months, I confirm that we are definitely missing out.  This has quickly become one of my favourites and shown me what quality eyeshadows should be – they’re soft, easily blendable, highly pigmented, long-lasting and versatile.  I haven’t done a full review on this palette but I plan to shortly – it’s long overdue.  Stay tuned.
  7. Buxom Customizable Eyeshadow Bar Palette
    I’ve been using this palette for well over a year now but similar to the Lorac it’s at the top of my list, for all the same reasons.  I love the customization factor to this one – you can really build your own ideal palette!  I’ve got a full review on it here.
  8. Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette
    Yes, there are 3 eyeshadow palettes on my list this year.  I received this one as a birthday gift last year and I reached for it often throughout 2016  It’s a beautiful palette with soft and buttery shadows and they smell like chocolate.  Access my detailed review on it here.
  9. Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick (Airy Fairy)
    I’m not a lipstick person – I much prefer glosses and balms.  But I really like this formula (no-drying and long-lasting) and this shade (pink nude with a hint of shimmer).  Best of all, it’s super affordable – they retail for around $6 CAD at your local drugstore!
  10. NYX Butter Gloss (Angel Food Cake)
    If you like lip glosses like me, then you need to try NYX’s version if you haven’t already.  I’ve tried a few shades in the line and this is my new favourite.  It’s a neutral mauve shade that works and looks great with anything; in addition, their lip gloss formula is top-notch – it’s not sticky and super comfortable to wear.  I look forward to trying further shades in 2017!
  11. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes
    A good makeup wipe can be hard to find, especially when you have sensitive skin.  These replaced my previous favourite by Olay after those seemed to not be as effective and dried out about halfway through the package.  These are gentle, non-irritating yet super effective at removing all of my makeup.  And they don’t dry out!
  12. Clinique City Block We all know the importance of a good sunscreen and being in the pale family, protecting my skin is a must.  But sometimes sunscreen + sensitive skin = recipe for disaster.  Thankfully, this contains only physical sunscreens, is oil-free and is extremely lightweight so my skin is totally okay with it.  In addition, it has a sheer tint to it which means I feel comfortable wearing it sans foundation if I so choose.  Strongly recommend this!
  13. Vichy Normaderm Corrective Anti Acne Treatment
    I was given the opportunity to try out a few skin care items from Vichy’s Normaderm line via Chickadvisor last Summer and while I enjoyed and appreciated them all, this product stood out to me the most.  Despite being called a treatment, it’s better described as a moisturizer.  I’ve been using this as part of my evening skin care routine and I’ve noticed an improvement in my skin.  You can read more about it here.
  14. L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil
    This product has been mentioned several times on my blog and was even featured in my very first giveaway – and for good reason!  I use it on the regular to shave my legs and as an all-over body wash.  It smells delicious and it leaves my skin feeling silky smooth.  I’d 100% recommend this but just be careful if you’re using it in a tub/shower combo, it can make certain surfaces super slick!
  15. OGX Extra Creamy + Coconut Miracle Oil
    Even though I tend to suffer from dry skin, I’m not fond of super thick, intense moisturizers.  I prefer lightweight yet effective versions instead.  This falls into the later category yet I’d describe it as very, very effective!  I’ve only been using it for a couple of months but it’s made such a difference, especially combined with my L’Occitane Shower Oil.  I apply this after I shower and once it’s absorbed (which doesn’t take long BTW!) my skin feels super soft, silky and hydrated and it stays that way!  Plus, it smells so good (coconut + vanilla)!
  16. Viktor & Rolf Bon Bon
    Have I mentioned how much I love fragrances?  I have a collection of about a dozen full-sized perfumes and probably 20 or so sample sizes right now and I love mixing it up and wearing a new one everyday.  I love displaying pretty bottles on my makeup vanity. I think this is the perfect perfume bottle ever – this is exactly what I would design if I were to design one.  More important is the fragrance inside – I want to bathe in it!  Unfortunately that would be REALLY expensive….so I’ve actually dedicated this for special occasions or days where I need a bit of a boost.  It’s that perfect mix of fruity musky sweetness and it makes me happy when I wear it.  🙂
Honourable Mentions

I’m not sure if last year was just an off-year – but I tried a lot of great products.  It was really hard to narrow it down to only 16, so much so that I’ve also compiled a list of honourable mentions below.  These are also great products, but didn’t make the cut because I didn’t reach for them as much as the products above  – but I still believe they’re still great products and deserve recognition!

Too Faced Love Flush Blush Wardrobe
Read my full review on this guy here.

Maison Jacynthe Beauty
Reference my blog post on them here.

MUFE Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation
Read more about it here.

Batiste Dry Shampoo (Special Edition – Ella Henderson)
Batiste isn’t anything new in terms of a favourite product, but this scent was new to me last year and it’s my favourite.  I’m hoping that they decide to make it permanent!

Essie Angora Cardi
I tried to scale back on buying nail polish last year but out of the few I did pick up, this was the standout.  This is one of those shades that you could get away with wearing anytime of year (described as a deep rose purple) and the formula is what Essie should aspire all of its polishes to be.

L’Oreal Brow Stylist Definer (Blonde)
I went through a handful of these pencils over 2016 and I thought for sure they were going to make my list of favourites.  But I’ve realized that I’m a low maintenance brow person at heart – I don’t like spending a lot of time on them yet I was.  Don’t get me wrong, these mechanical pencils work great.  They’re a great shade match, they have a slightly waxy yet creamy texture and they fill in my browns well.  But on a daily basis, I’m much more likely to reach for the product below. For special occasions, I’ll still be reaching for this though.

Essence Make Me Brow (Blondy Brows)
I’ve read that this is a dupe for the Benefit Give Me Brow, which I’ve yet to try.  It was only $3 at my drugstore so I figured at that price, I had nothing to lose (which is often the case with Essence products).  I have to say that I’m impressed with it – it gives me very natural-looking brows without the hassle of filling them in for what feels like hours with an eyebrow pencil.

Muji Blush

I scored this over the Summer as part of a giveaway from the lovely Stash Matters.  It’s a fantastic little blush in a lovely shade – if only we had access to Muji Beauty here!

Elizabeth & James Nirvana
I’ve been really enjoying this musky, slightly sweet, sightly smoky fragrance and debating if I splurge on the full-size of it.

Nest Indigo
Another fantastic fragrance that I discovered later in the year and am debating if I should invest in the full size.  This is sweet, slightly woodsy and a little spicy and a great cold weather fragrance.

Okay that was a REALLY long list – I may have went a little overboard on my honourable mentions!  Regardless, I hope you enjoyed scrolling through some of the products that impressed me over the last year.  Did any of these make your list for 2016?


  1. stashy says

    I have the CoverGirl TruBlend Blush in Medium Rose and it is gorgeous! Such a great drugstore gem.
    I know, I am still so frustrated that Lorac isn’t here in Canada! I vow to get my hands on that palette in 2017! Hmm maybe we’ll take a trip to the US this year.
    I agree, those Buxom eye shadows are great! I almost included them in my list but I need to explore more of the individual shades.
    Oh I’m so glad the MUJI blush made it in your honourable mentions! 🙂

    • prettyrufflife says

      I want to pick up Medium Rose as well, they are fantastic blushes!

      Would you like to sign my petition to have Lorac come to Canada? Hahaha! 🙂 Or maybe we should start one to have Ulta ship to Canada.

      I’d love to pick up more Buxom shadows this year but I think I need to focus on using up the ones I already have. They’re so under-rated.

      The MUJI blush is very deserving of it’s honourable mention – I hope to use it a lot more this year. 🙂

  2. Robyn says

    Great list! I absolutely looooove my Lorac Palettes! I recently got another (the first one) that I’ve started playing with and I’m really enjoying it just as much as the first one I got (the second one). Really wish they sold them in Canada!

    I NEED SHAPE TAPE!!!! AHHHH! When I was in the States last they didn’t have many shades in stock. I was going to ask my parents to pick it up for me but I decided to go with the Lorac Palette instead just because I wasn’t 100% sure which shade I need (likely the lightest one but… sometimes even those can be too dark #paleproblems).

    Anyways, I enjoyed this post, you have excellent taste and I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store!

    • prettyrufflife says

      I know, I’m totally obsessed with Lorac, I’d love to get one of the Mega Pro palettes in my hands. They need to come to Canada – we should start a petition!

      I have Light in the Shape Tape and it’s pretty light – I probably could have went up a shade for spot concealing, however I can still make it work and I’m quite pale. And there are 3 shades below that so I think you’d probably be okay with the lightest shade but that’d just be my guess.

      Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  3. Maria says

    oh my goodness what a list of amazing products! I totally want to try many of them. Lovely post love and Happy New Year! Wishing you all the best!!

  4. Polished and Inspired says

    Great picks all around!
    I really wish we had the Shape Tape here! I kind of want to try new concealers this year, and the Shape Tape gets so much love. It’s so much easier to shade match yourself in stores instead of picking a shade at random.
    The Lorac Pro Palettes are also on my list of things I want! The last three times we’ve been in the US in the last three years, we were in cities that didn’t have an Ulta readily available.

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