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The Best of Beauty: 2015

Best of Beauty 2015

Hey 2015, you were pretty cool. There was that whole living in Toronto for three months, falling madly in love and getting a Smart TV. That last one was a real game changer, let me tell ya. Reflection makes my world make more sense to me and I also love thinking about it through a beauty lens. Remembering the year in beauty brings up fun memories of date nights, shower experiments and great (or not so!) hair days. There were so many great discoveries, advances and ingredients. Somehow, I narrowed my best of beauty down to 10 products. Now, to opine…

Kahina Fez Perfume Oil is the sexiest fragrance I own. I feel traveled and adventurous when I dab this on. It evolves into something spicy and earthy – completely unlike anything I’ve worn before.

Been wearing Charlotte Tilbury’s Eyes to Mesmerize on the regular since I met Charlotte this summer. It’s a cream to sheen formula which means it looks so bright and glowy on the lids. The color Jean is champagne perfection. All shades are named after badass women, which is also pretty cool.

Apparently, 2015 is the year I rediscovered my love of cream shadows. Blue eyes really pop with the Ilia Silken Shadow Stick in Next to You. It is a bronzy amber that leans warm and almost orange. I line my eyes on the lower lash line with this, too. Crazy pop!

When I was in Toronto, I didn’t want to keep too many polishes up there because I knew it was just more to bring back. I must have worn Dior Nail Glow for almost two months. My nails looked so healthy without any actual color.

Tatcha Pore Perfecting Sunscreen isn’t just SPF. It is an awesome makeup primer and over time helps improve tone and texture.

I’m unbelievably picky with eyeliner, usually favoring liquid but can’t get enough of W3LL People Hyponist Eyeliner in Plum. It is almost navy and a nice change from black.

Those early mornings? Met their match with Bottega Organica Eye Illuminate Cream. It might be the fanciest skin care I’ve ever used but boy does it work. On top of all of the skin care benefits, it also has a yellow tint so automatically everything looks corrected and brighter.

Dry shampoo is the greatest invention and Living Proof’s is the best of the best. Cleans hair and you can actually go a really long time without actual shampoo. Like a week, or more.

BareMinerals Complexion Rescue does everything. It is so hydrating and makes my skin look radiant. I’ve bought several tubes of this since trying it in January. A true staple for all of 2015 – I’ve been using it all year long!

Coconut oil is the most useful and functional item in your bathroom, yet, it never seems to be very pretty. Cocovit changed all of that with a beautiful jar (in three sizes!) This is made right here in Chicago, but sourced from a village in India. It’s the fluffiest coco oil and barely has a scent.

Any beauty discoveries you made this year that stand out?

A Modern Way to Wear Lip Liner

Modern Lip Liner I’ve still got this picture perfect modern brown lip color in this fall campaign on my mind. It’s so fresh and doesn’t feel like it’s resurrecting the bad browns of the 90s. Or Kylie Jenner. It’s more rosy and perfect for her skin color. I think that’s the key to pulling off this color because it can go very mud quickly.  Sometimes I get stuck on something and go off on a mad search to recreate the look. And other times, I look on my bathroom counter and realize I already have what I need. Lip liner!  How very 90s of me. Except this time I fill in my whole lips and concentrate an extra layer right in the middle — no obvious outline here, please and thank you.

MAC Pro Longwear Pencil in Staunchly Stylish is a pinky beige with just the right amount of brown tones. It’s impressively lasting – hours and meals go by and it’s still there. The matte finish helps it last and throughout the day I dab my treasured orange and basil Cocovit Lip Balm on top to give it a modern finish.

The Dark Side of Beauty

Activated Charcoal Beauty

I just have one question: do you want to join me in and brush your teeth with charcoal? Let’s do it! Grill all up in our grills. Except not really. Don’t eat actual coal, guys. Activated charcoal on the other hand is A-OK. Chances are you are using something with this sooty substance in it in your beauty routine right now. The activated part means that is has been plussed up with oxygen and when you use it in skincare it acts like a magnet for toxins. As for brushing your teeth with it, that’s more of a whitening treatment than it is everyday toothpaste. This formula gets rave reviews on Amazon and I’m taking the plunge! Along with this charcoal-infused toothbrush because why not double-down? If you’re not quite ready for the charcoal swish, there’s some other beautiful ways to get messy.

The face wash by Shamanuti is one of the best things I’ve ever smelled. My face feels moisturized and clean when I use. It was a Birchbox discovery and I like to refill the mini bottle I sampled when I travel. Want ever more of that charcoal clean feeling? Try the One Love Organics konjac sponge to exfoliate.  Like a love note, from OLO, written in charcoal.

This brand new Coconut Charcoal Face Mask by Chicago-based Cocovit has activated coconut charcoal (how do you like that?!), bentonite clay, turmeric, neem powder and Indian ginseng. It’s a serious skincare powerhouse.

Toronto is filled with amazing juiceries, but I seriously miss Owen & Alchemy. If you are in Chicago, please go enjoy a bottle of the Activated Charcoal Lemonade for me. And while you’re at it, grab a #58, too.

Boscia was an early adopter of the charcoal and as such, I’m itching to try their new cleansing cloths. They’re billed as a pore treatment since there’s glycolic acid mixed in with charcoal and black tea.

I also sort of want to wash my hair with the Sort of Coal shampoo. It’s actually made with white charcoal – though still black in color – and it’s supposedly amazing for oily scalps. I don’t totally fall into that camp but like a clarifying cleanse occasionally.

Eagerly awaiting my Magic Mud delivery!