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2015 Favorites

Wow, it has been a very up and down year for me. I finished my first year at University and then started my second year. I had my 6 year anniversary with my fiancee, and many more to come I hope, hehe. I became another year older, and got to see Jurassic World multiple times. Over this last year I have really worked hard on my Blog and Youtube Channel, and have gained so many more followers (hi there). I have been able to work with brands, which I never thought I would be able to do ever and have had so much fun in the process. At the same time that I was having so much fun, my anxiety had become worse. Some days are more of a struggle than others, but I'm getting there. But the one thing that has helped me feel 100 times better (apart from family and friends) has been makeup. My special effects work has been my life, being able to create looks and use so many different products to get there. I know I am no professional at it, but I am still learning and developing my own techniques. But, with all of this going on, there have been some things that have been a consistent staple in my life, which is where my 2015 favorites begin.

Nars Luminous Weightless Foundation, a god send for all lovers of Nars who want a fuller coverage that Sheer Matte/Glow doesn't provide. It has been one of my favorite foundations and leaves the skin looking flawless. To go under the foundation I have been obsessed with 2 primers, the first being Benefit's Porefessional. I mean it has been in a lot of my monthly favorites, so it is really no surprise that it is in my 2015 favorites. The second is the Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer, a littler bit better than the Porefessional, and perfect for a flawless poreless base.To cover up all those pesky blemishes and redness there has only been one true love, and that is the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer. It is a perfect concealer to cover up blemishes and brighten up the under eye, and the best part it is drugstore and super affordable.

To finish the base, I have fallen head over heel in love with the Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder. It is perfect for setting the under eye area, and it is so soft and velvety on the skin, it doesn't feel like your wearing anything at all. To put dimension back into the face, there have been several products that I have come back to time and time again. The Nars Laguna Bronzer, has been a staple of mine to contour with, it is dark enough that it contours my cheek bones, but light enough that it isn't too heavy on my pale skin. I just love this bronzer, and it is perfect for warming up the face. If I am feeling really fancy I will bronze and highlight with the Charlotte Tilbury Film Star Bronze and Glow palette. It has been one of my most beautiful products in my collection, and it give such a flawless airbrushed finish. For nearly every day I have been grabbing the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit, as it just has everything you need. The bronzer is perfect for my skin tone, the blush is beautiful and the highlight is so natural looking and perfect I melt. But, sometimes the highlight isn't as strong as I want it so I have been grabbing The Balm Mary Lou-Minizer, as it is super pigmented and really makes those cheek bones stand out.

No base would be complete without some killer brows, and mine have been done with one of two products. The Soap and Glory Archery pencil has been my main go to for natural brows, its easy to apply and doesn't need to much work. The second has been the NYX Brow Gel, great for that killer brow look. It is a little tricky to use at first but amazing once finished. Base one on to the eyes, and bronze has been my color this year, I don't know why but I'm in love with bronze shades. The eye product that I have been grabbing time and time again for an easy effortless look has been the Bobbi Brown Golden Bronze Crayon. It is stunning and beautiful, shimmery and light and lasts all day. But, some times the eye needs a bit more so I have been obsessed with the Collection Extreme Felt Liner. It is super easy to use and very black, it lasts all day and you can create a beautiful cat eye in seconds. With liner I always see the pink of my tight line, so to cover it up I have been loving the Urban Decay 24 Hour Liner in Stag. A gorgeous dark black brown shade, perfect for filling in those gaps. For mascara it has been a tricky choice, so I have come up with 3, the Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara, the Benefit Roller Lash and the Benefit They're Real Mascara. My bestie has always been the Benefit They're Real mascara as it makes my lashes look dark think and super long. The Too Faced Better than Sex mascara really adds length and volume, which some days you need volume rather than length. The Roller Lash is just amazing, you get really separated long luscious lashes with just one sweep.

To finish any look off you need a good lip, and this one was very tricky indeed, so I chose 5 brands. First up an every day lipstick, the Revlon Ultra HD Lipsticks. I have all shades and 2 new shades that are available in the states, they are just too beautiful. There are a variety of shades from beautiful nudes to bright pinks and reds, but what is great about them is they are so wearable and don't look to over the top. They keep lips hydrated and looking stunning. Next everyday lip has been the Too Faced Melted Lipsticks, again beautiful and hydrating and just look stunning. Some of the brighter colors stain the lips meaning no need to keep topping up the color. Next are more dramatic shades, Mac Russian Red has been my all time favorite red shade. It makes my teeth look even whiter and my lips look bold and beautiful without drying them out. The NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams have been my obsession recently and the shades that I have are the two darkest in the range. When matte lips are concerned I have to have a bold dark lip. To continue on with the dark bold matte lip theme, the next love of mine has been the Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolutions Lipstick in Glastonberry. A perfect purple berry shade, again making the lips look fuller larger and beautiful.

Skin Care
Everyone needs great skin care and I have 4 that have made it to my 2015 faves. The first is no surprise, as I worked with this brand for 3 months, the Proactiv+ Skin Purifying Mask. Great to combat those pesky blemishes. Next is another face mask and one I cannot stop using, it makes my face bright red but it is so worth it for the results, the InstaNatural Dead Sea Mud Mask. Amazing and deep cleaning and really fighting blemishes hard. The Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm has been my go to for removing makeup. It just feels so luxurious and smells amazing, and really breaks down and removes makeup. Finally the Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Sorbet, it is supposed to be used as a frosted moisturizer, but for me it has been a life saver for shaving legs. Being a moisturizer it keeps my legs hydrated and beautiful while I shave and makes them feel a lot smoother and softer after I am out the shower. But what makes this one so special is the smell it just reminds me of holidays in the sun.

Special FX
I don't know why I didn't include them in my 2014 favorites last year, but I think it was because I didn't have much special fx stuff. This year however, there have been 4 things that I have just fallen in love with when doing special fx makeup. The first and the most expensive has been the Sculpt Gel, a 2/3 part gel system that you can use to create silicon prosthetics. It is so easy to use and looks so real it is no wonder it is in my favorites. To create these prosthetics, I have been using the Reeves Artist Spatulas, which are great for carving and smoothing the gel. No special fx look would be complete without some blood, and my favorite blood of all has been the Ben Nye Scab Blood. It is perfect when you want that human flesh look, like a zombie has eaten you. Use it thin for light blood effect or use it thick for a more fleshy lumpy look. Finally Poly Morph Balls, yep that's right I am obsessed with them. I remember using them at school and after getting my own I have made some cool special fx pieces with them.

Beauty Tools
Well all this makeup needs to go on some how and out of the hundreds of brushes I own I have narrowed it down to 6. At the start of the year I indulged myself and bought all of the new Real Techniques Bold Metals brushes and the 2 that have been my loves are the Contour brush (301) and the Angled brush (202). 301 has been great for contouring my face but also to apply foundation with, as it is so dense and flexible. 202 has been my go to brush for my brows, as it is short and stiff, great for creating beautiful straight lines. My go to foundation brush has to be the Real Techniques Expert Face brush, perfect for application and buffing of foundations, I love this brush so much I bought a new one as the old one was falling apart. To apply blush, the only brush for me is the Mac 168, an angled fluffy brush. It is commonly used to do contour but I prefer it for blush. To set that under eye area in place I have been consistently grabbing the Bare Minerals Seamless Shaping and Finish brush. It is the perfect shade and size to fit under the eye and blend the product out, the best part not much of the product clings to the brush. The final brush is actually from a palette, it is the Naked Smokey Brush. Firstly I love double ended brushes, great for travel, but I love the little pencil brush end as I don't own anything that small, so it is perfect for applying shadow under the eye.

I had to add this in as there have been some shows that I religiously watch on a weekly basis (when they are aired). The first is The Walking Dead, this show is amazing and a special fx artists dream. I have been on the edge of my seat with this show and have even start watching the beginning again, it's just one of those shows you just can't stop watching. American Horror Story, again for most of the seasons a special fx artists dream. The start of the year we enjoyed the ending of Freak Show and the end we have checked into the Hotel, between this I have enjoyed re-watching all of the other seasons (my favorite has been Asylum). Recently I have been sucked into the world of Scream Queens, I think it is so cheesy that I just can't stop watching. Every episode has a twist in it and every episode who you think the killer is changes, it keeps you on your toes with out being serious. Finally to keep us laughing we have been obsessed with Impractical Jokers (USA). I love them all, they are so funny and the stuff they get up to is hilarious, I just can't get enough. Sometimes you just have to see some episodes again as they were just too funny.

(Photos taken from Google search)

So this has been my 2015 favorites. Lets hope that 2016 will be even crazier and better.

Stay Gorgeous

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