Best of 2021: Beauty

Hello and happy 2022!

I’ve been a bit absent from blogging, but I wanted to come on and share some of my favorite finds from 2021. Let’s begin with beauty products.

1. Glossier Ultralip 

Glossier Ultralip lipstick with G logo

As Glossier puts it, Ultralip is the cashmere sweatpants of lipstick. Ultralips provides a hydrating shine with pigmented color, making this the perfect lipstick for matte lip haters or those of us with extra chapped lips. My favorite shades are Villa (dusty rose) and Lucite (soft peony pink), but the range includes a total of 9 shades from light pink to deep terracotta, brown and red shades. Not to toot my own horn, but my photo of Ultralip in the shade Villa was reposted on the Glossier account not once but twice…

These lipsticks are definitely not mask-friendly, but they’re great for when you’re sans-mask and just want a bit of comfortable color.

2. Rare Beauty Perfect Strokes Mascara

I’ve been loyal to Glossier Lash Slick for a long time, but after trying Rare Beauty’s mascara it was quickly booted out of its first place position. This mascara coats all the lashes in one go for beautifully voluminous and long lashes with no clumps. As someone with lashes that turn downwards before being curled (and struggle holding a curl with most mascaras), this mascara also holds a curl in my lashes all day long. It doesn’t flake or smudge and, while not a tubing mascara, is pretty easy to remove with an oil-based cleanser at the end of the day. Honorable mention for the Merit Clean Lash Extension Lengthening Mascara – this also provides clump-free length but definitely less volume than Rare Beauty. It’s a tubing mascara, so it’s easily removed with warm water.

3. Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless Filter

Since I don’t wear foundation on a daily basis, I often reach for this in its place. Hollywood Flawless Filter helps to even out my skin tone and provide a glowy base for makeup. It truly gives a glass skin effect. I use shade 2 on the higher points of my face and 3 everywhere else.

4. Dior Airflash Spray Foundation

I first used this foundation in college when I borrowed it from a suite mate of mine, and when I posted photos wearing it I got SO many compliments on my skin. Well, when I had some occasions in 2021 that called for actually wearing foundation for once (Harry Styles concert, real estate headshots) I decided to try it out again.

This foundation provides the most beautiful, natural, and buildable coverage. You just spray a bit onto a dense buffing brush (like this Real Techniques brush or this elf brush) and blend over your face. I wear the shade 2N, which tends to work pretty well for me even if I’m a bit paler. In that case, I just do an extra thorough job of blending it out. It’s quite expensive at $62, but worth every penny in my opinion, especially if you’re like me and only wear foundation for special occasions.

5. Charlotte Tilbury Contour & Highlighter Wands

If you use TikTok, then you’ve heard about these makeup products. I’ve been using them for a year or two now, and after Madison Beer’s makeup tutorial these wands started flying off the shelves. I love the contour wand for a super blendable and almost foolproof contour. Just a few dots on the hollows of my cheeks, forehead and jawline blend out to a beautiful, natural looking contour. I also love the Beauty Light Wand in Pinkgasm for an ultra-glowy blush and in Spotlight for a blinding highlight. At the end of 2021, I also discovered the Beauty Pie Triple Beauty Luminizing Wand, which is an exact formula dupe for the Charlotte Tilbury highlight wand. Highly recommend this if you can’t get your hands on Charlotte Tilbury!

6. Sephora Collection Concealer

The Sephora Collection Bright Future Gel Serum Concealer is one of the most underrated products out there. Sephora Collection has its hits and misses, but this one is definitely a hit. I’ve tried so many concealers from both the drugstore and high end ranges, and this is one of the best I’ve ever used. It doesn’t cling to dry patches or crease once it’s set with powder, and it has a decent shade range. I won’t be going back to NARS concealer after using this one.

7. REFY Brow Sculpt

So many fell in love with Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Brow Freeze when it was released in spring 2021. I like it, and it holds brows pretty well, but I didn’t like the application process. When REFY became available at Sephora, this was the first product from the brand I tried. It gives the brows a similar fluffy, brushed up look while holding them in place all day, but what I love about it over ABH is that it comes in a brow gel tube with a brush and comb inside the applicator. It definitely helps eliminate some of the steps that are involved with Brow Freeze.

8. MAC Paint Pot

An oldie but a goodie. This product has been around for AGES, and I think a lot of people forget how good MAC Cosmetics was and still is. I’ve been loving my Paint Pot in Painterly as an eyeshadow base or to just even out my eyelids. I have very prominent veins in my eyes that drive me crazy, and this helps neutralize the color a lot. It also is a great eyeshadow base that doesn’t even need to be set before applying shadow.

9. Pat McGrath Palette

Pat McGrath Huetopian Dream Eyeshadow Palette

I purchased Pat McGrath’s Mothership IX Huetopian Dream palette during the brand’s Black Friday sale, but while this palette is still relatively new to me it’s so unique that it deserves a spot in my favorites. This palette has both neutral shades and colorful duochrome eyeshadows for making fun, glittery looks (check out this pink and purple look I created for New Year’s Eve). Pat McGrath eyeshadows are not only unique in colors but also texture – the glittery and metallic shades are some of the best I’ve ever tried. Just be sure to do your eye makeup first so you can wipe away any glitter fallout without ruining your base makeup. Additionally, try using a glitter primer or the IntensifEYES Artistry Wand to help the shadow adhere better to the eye.

10. Kosas Cloud Set Powder

Kosas released this powder in 2021. When it first dropped, I didn’t think much of it – my Charlotte Tilbury powder and Hourglass loose powder get the job done just fine. It wasn’t until I saw some beauty gurus raving about it that I decided to pick it up, and I’m glad I did. I find that I’m able to pick up a lot more product with a brush when using this powder than I am with the Charlotte Tilbury airbrush powder, meaning I can more efficiently set my face and it helps keep oil at bay much longer. It’s also $11 cheaper than Charlotte Tilbury. The Tilbury powder is still great, but this one just works better for my needs. If you’re on the market for a new pressed powder, definitely give this one a try!


What were your favorite beauty products this year? Let me know in the comments!Signature

Leave a Reply