Best of 2016 Discoveries

And here it is – as you can imagine, trying to narrow down the best items was difficult! These items are new to me but may not be new launches in 2016.  Also, these items may not necessarily be my absolute “Holy Grail” of all time – they’re simply the best from the past year (I probably should do a “Holy Grail of All Time” post one of these days…)  Here’s what made it into my Best of 2016 Discoveries list:
A departure from previous years, instead of doing Top 10 or “Top xx of 20xx” (ie. Top 16 of 2016), I’ll list top items within categories: makeup, skincare, nails, body care etc.  This post is long but rather than breaking into several posts, I decided to do it all in one – I just hate it when they break movies into 2 parts – I don’t want to do that to you! 😛

Many of these were mentioned in my quarterly favourites so I won’t go into too much detail on each. I will link to reviews or posts where they have been mentioned before. Some of these items I no longer have in my possession so I’ll borrow photos from previous posts or use stock photos where required.


Cleanser: Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm (mentioned here and here) – this removes everything and is kind to the skin.
Honourable mentions: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser (reviewed here), DHC Deep Cleansing Oil (mentioned here)

Micellar water: Sukin Micellar Cleansing Water (shown here and here) – gentle and effective and smells like marshmallows!
Honourable mention: Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water (mentioned here)

Toner: MUJI High Moisture Toner (shown here and here) – fragrance-free and hydrating, very pampering for dehydrated skin.
Honourable mention: MAC Lightful Softening Lotion (mentioned here)

Moisturizer: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream (review here) – great all-rounder daytime moisturizer that wears well under makeup.
Honourable mentions: Antipodes Vanilla Pod Day Cream (review here), Mary Kay TimeWise Age-Fighting Moisturizer Normal/Dry Skin (shown here)

Eye cream: Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-aging Eye Cream (shown here) – non-greasy yet hydrating and creates a protective barrier on the skin for nighttime use.
Honourable mention: Yves Rocher Comforting Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream (mentioned here and here)

Serum / Facial Oil: NuWorld Botanicals Cold-pressed Organic Sea buckthorn & Jojoba Oil (review here) – silky wonder oil that absorbs into the skin like no other.
Honourable mention: Saje Sensitive Elixir Calming Skin Serum (shown here)

Mask / Treatment: Etude House 0.2 Therapy Air Mask (mentioned here) – the thinnest sheet mask I’ve ever used; conforms to the face like a second skin to deliver hydrating serum.
Honourable mentions: Farmacy New Day Gentle Exfoliating Grains (mentioned here), Too Cool for School Smart Fit 3D Mask Moisturizing (mentioned here), and LUSH The Sacred Truth Fresh Face Mask (review here)

Lip treatment: Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil in Honey (mentioned here and here) – protects lips in a thick honey scented oil that lasts a long time without stickiness.
Honourable mention: H&M Lip Rescue (shown here)

Setting Spray: Avon Makeup Setting Spray (shown here and here) – keeps my makeup looking fresh for a long time.


Cake Beauty Creamy Coconut Supreme Body Mousse (shown here) – I tried a few of Cake’s body mousse and this scent was my favourite.

Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant in Vanilla Coconut (shown here) – what can I say, I like creamy coconut smells! And this aluminum-free deodorant was my favourite formula after I tried a few through my journey to switch from antiperspirants to deodorants.

LUSH Bath Jelly (shown here) – this particular one is a limited edition Easter one but I’m all about these fun little wobbly shower gels – they lather up and actually work well.


Tracy by Ellen Tracy – this was given to me by fivezero when we met up and I keep forgetting to mention how much I love this! It’s a creamy and mellow scent… as described by Chris, it’s “skin-like”.
Honourable mentions: Philosophy Love Sweet Love (shown here), Bobbi Brown Beach (shown here), The Body Shop White Musk Libertine (shown here), and H&M Cashmere Haze (shown here).


Garnier Whole Blends Green Tea Green Apple Refreshing Shampoo (shown here) – smells great and cleans my hair thoroughly.

Herbal Essences Smooth Collection Conditioner (shown here) – this made me rethink hair conditioner! Doesn’t weigh down my hair and keeps it smooth. All credit goes to Mrs Strawberry Blonde for this recommendation!

Lee Stafford Coco Loco Blow & Go Genius Lotion (shown here) – smells incredible and does what it claims: defrizzes and provides fantastic volume. Thanks to Rachael for this!


Base / Concealer:

Foundation: Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin Skin-Transforming Makeup (review here) – easy to apply, wears well and contains mineral sunscreen.
Honourable mentions: Vincent Longo Water Canvas Foundation (review here) and W7 HD Foundation (shown here and here)

Under Eye Corrector: Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector (review here) – a game changer corrector that also acts as a primer too.
Honourable mentions: Mary Kay Undereye Corrector (shown here) and Tony Moly Panda’s Dream Brightening Eye Base (mentioned here and here)

Concealer: Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer (review here) – covers all day long without making the skin look dry or crepey.
Honourable mention: Shu Uemura Point Cealer (shown here)

Eye Shadow Primer: none of the new ones I tried in 2016 were any good. Sad!

Powder: L.A. Colors Pressed Powder in Beige (reviewed here) – so inexpensive and provides shine-free coverage.

Colour Makeup:

Eye Shadow Palette: CoverGirl TruNaked Eyeshadow Palette in Roses (review here) – buttery smooth, pigmented formula and well-curated colours – I can’t rave about this drugstore gem enough!
Honourable mentions: Lise Watier Simply Nudes Eyeshadow Palette (review here) and Tarte Tartelette Tease Palette (review here)

Eye Shadow Single: Teeez Spectrum of Stars Eyeshadows in Smokey Rose (shown here and here) – a truly unique colour among my many eye shadows, and in a pigmented and smooth formula, to boot.
Honourable mentions: Burberry Pale Barley (shown here), Faces Metaliglow in 03 Rose Bronze (shown here) and MAC Smokey Mauve Extra Dimension (shown here)

Mascara: Maybelline Lash Sensation Mascara (mentioned here) – this delivered on volume, length and curl. Thanks to Nicola who sent this to me in a swap, or else I never would have tried it.
Honourable mentions: L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly Mascara (mentioned here), Revlon Volume + Length Magnified mascara (reviewed here) and CoverGirl Super Sizer mascara (shown here and here)

Pencil Eyeliner: Shu Uemura Coloring Pencil in M Dark Brown 83 (shown here) – this liner will last through rain, allergies, and crying – all at the same time! XD
Honourable mention: Lancôme Drama Liqui-Pencil Longwear Eyeliner in Pluie (shown in the same post as above).

Liquid Eyeliner: I did not try any new liquid liners in 2016! 😮

Brow Product: Shu Uemura brow:sword (reviewed here and here) – this was the only new brow product I tried in 2016 and initial review wasn’t outstanding, but as I brought it along on my trips, I came to appreciate how handy it was. And how awesome is the name?

Blush: Surratt Beauty Artistique Blush in La Vie En Rose and Se Pomponner (shown here and here) – silky formula that blends itself – both colours are so wearable despite being so different.
Honourable mentions: Clinique Heather Pop (shown here), Nars Goulou (shown here), Kiko Shade Fusion Trio Blush in 05 Marsala (reviewed here)

Highlighter: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Opal (shown here) – this was so neglected and went mostly unmentioned on the blog but it’s a truly beautiful highlighter and its cult status is well-deserved.
Honourable mentions: the ones from the Carli Bybel BH Cosmetics palette (review here)

Bronzer: No new discoveries stood out to me this year

Contour: No new discoveries stood out to me this year either!

Lipstick: MAC Lipstick in Brave (shown here and here) – thanks to Cat, my PLC! ❤ This brightening MLBB is easy to wear and feels comfortable on the lips – everyone needs Brave in their lives!
Honourable mentions: Burt’s Bees lipsticks in Lily Lake 530 (shown here), MAC Finally Free (review here), Rimmel Nude by Kate lipstick in #45 (shown here)

Lip Gloss: Lancôme Juicy Shaker in Berry in Love (shown here) – the shaker is gimmicky but the product inside is great – this particular shade is very flattering on.


Surratt Relevée Lash Curler (review here) – this has been one of my best finds in years and a definite new HG!

MAC Masterclass Oval 6 Brush (review here) – even among all of the much cheaper dupes, the MAC one performs better and I reach for it more than the others.

H&M Precision Makeup Sponge (mentioned here) – a squishy sponge that blends foundation similar to the famed Beauty Blender, for only $5 (and they now offer a peach coloured version so, less stain-y!)


Overall best: Essie Gel Couture in Pinned Up and Top Coat (review here) – this lived up to its claims and now I can ditch UV gel nails when I go on vacation.

Stand-outs for colour and formula:
• Essie Maximillian Strasse-Her (review here)
• Revlon #905 Sophisticated (mentioned here)
• China Glaze Change Your Altitude (review here)
It was certainly a year of grey polishes for me! 😀

• Paul & Joe Figue 04 (mentioned here)
• China Glaze Let’s Jam (review here)
• Cover Girl Outlast Being Blonde (mentioned here)

Have you tried any of these items on my list?  What were your favourites of 2016? If you have a blog post with your best of 2016 list, please link them below! 🙂

124 thoughts on “Best of 2016 Discoveries

  1. I’m guilty of using that Green Apple shampoo all through 2016 and 2017. I use to use this Green Apple shampoo in high school and it was like my “signature scent” almost so when I saw this I flipped out! I know I should try other scents/products but I like smelling like a Green Apple Jolly Rancher at the end of a shower! lol

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Comment:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s