Best of Beauty | 2015


about makena

I’m Makena, the creator and editor of Makeup By Makena — a beauty blog dedicated to empowering others through the art of makeup.






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Beauty Book

This 32-page magazine is a guide to my all-time favorite beauty products.


Happy New Years Eve, everyone! Today, I will be going through my very favorite makeup products throughout the past year that I have used most often and loved a little too much! If you were hoping to find a makeup look to wear tonight, then look no further because you can always use my Glamorous Holiday Makeup Look for New Years Eve, which is perfect for this special occasion! Anyway, let’s hop into it…

  • L’Oreal True Match Lumi Foundation: I use this product almost every day to achieve a more flawless, natural-looking base before I begin the rest of my makeup. It never looks cakey or clings to my dry patches and I can’t imagine how the rest of my beauty routine would function without it. If you’re in the market for a new drugstore foundation and want a dewy finish, then this $13 liquid foundation is my top pick!


  • Real Techniques Expert Face Brush: I have to admit, this brush has been on the back burner ever since I first tried my Beauty Blender a few days ago, but nevertheless, it has still been a staple for the past year. Like all Real Techniques brushes, the bristles are soft and and amazing quality with no fallout whatsoever, which is perfect for the $9 price tag. The reason this specific brush is a 2015 standout is because it can be used for so many different things! Other than blening out liquid foundation, it also works beautifully at blending out concealer under the eyes and on blemishes, blending out cream and powder bronzer for contouring, setting the face with loose or pressed powder, and almost everything else you could think of.


  • Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer: This brightening under-eye concealer costs around $5 and provides a light to medium coverage that helps conceal dark circles and makes your face look more awake and fresh. I like to apply it under my eyes in an upside-down triangle shape, pat it out with my finger, and then blend it from outer corner to inner corner with a makeup sponge. I use mine in a light shade in order to highlight my face and then I set it with translucent powder.


  • NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Powder in “Sunny”: I mentioned this in a haul a long time ago and have been using it for a natural everyday look ever since. I love swiping it under my cheekbones and along the edges of my face for a naturally warm look that never appears orange. It’s only $3 and has a really nice formula, making it easy to blend.


  • MAC Sheertone Blush in “Blushbaby”: I know I’ve mentioned this way too many times on my blog, but hopefully by including it in this post, you’ll realize that I’m not just making stuff up:) It’s $22, so it’s kinda pricey, but the pinky-beige color is just so perfect and pairs well with every single look whether it’s a bold eye, a bold lip, or a no-makeup makeup look. I love this so much and until I find a drugstore alternative that is the exact same dusty rose shade, I will continue to use this lovely product for many more years to come!


  • MAC Matte Eyeshadow in “Soft Brown”:  After watching Jaclyn Hill use this in almost all of her tutorials, I finally decided to spend the $16 and buy this once I realized that there weren’t any good dupes. It took me forever to do so since it’s pretty expensive, but it’s one of the best purchases I’ve ever made! It’s the perfect warm-toned pinky brown for blending into the crease as a transition shade before you apply the rest of your eyeshadow. I literally use this for almost every single eye look and don’t know how I managed to do my makeup without this in 2014. If you want to buy your first eyeshadow from MAC, but aren’t sure which one to get, this would be a great option. It may not seem like anything special at first, but matte shades like these are very hard to find at the drugstore and you will definitely get your money’s worth.


  • Too Faced Natural Eyes Eyeshadow Collection: In case you hven’t noticed, this palette of nine beautiful neutral eyeshadows has also been one of my most used and loved products of 2015. At $36, it’s a great value compared to other palettes and honestly contains all of the shadows necessary to create several complete and practical looks. I still haven’t found a dupe for “Push-Up”, which is possibly my favorite shadow of all time, but I have not given up yet! If you’re thinking about buying this or want to learn more about it, feel free to check out my review.


  • Wet n Wild Color Icon Collection Eyeshadow Trio in”Walking on Eggshells”:  The “lid” shade from this shimmery neutral trio is the perfect all-over color for pretty much any look. It also looks great when you throw some “Soft Brown” in the crease for an effortless yet polished look. Wet n’ Wild is a great brand that offers MAC quality for only $3 and I’ve loved using this throughout the past year.


  • L’Oreal Telescopic Mascara: Last year, I mentioned the L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black, which is still one of my  verey favorite mascaras, but this past year I’ve been loving this one because it never looks clumpy and  makes my lashes way longer than normal while still looking natural enough to wear to school. It’s around $9 and I will continue to repurchase it throughout the new year!


  • Wet n Wild MegaLast Lip Color in “Bare It All”: This is the perfect pinky-brown shade and I’ve used it so frequently that it broke when I was in Hawaii last summer:( It lasts just as long as high-end brands, feels creamy on the lips, and is a really nice quality. Did I mention it’s only $1.50? That’s right, $1.50!

WetNWildMegaLastLipColor"Bare It All"BestOfBeauty2015.jpg

As 2015 draws to a close, I thought sharing my 2015 beauty favorites would be the perfect way to end the year and it is also fitting that this is my 100th post exactly. Yay! Happy New Years!  I hope your 2015 was a great year and I genuinely wish each of you a blessed and joyful 2016 with lots of makeup,  of course! Also, I would really appreciate it if you shared your makeup favorites of 2015 in the comments section! Talk to you next year…


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Read the Comments +

  1. shayfabs says:

    These are some great picks! I have to try that MAC eyeshadow, it really does seem like a good transition shade and I’ve heard nothing but good things about the real techniques brushes. I like the one you posted about. Great post and Happy New Year to you too!! Xx

  2. Cyndel B. says:

    As far as drugstore, my favorite foundation is the Maybelline Fit Me Poreless Mat Foundation. And as far as department store, and it was a real splurge this year, the Dior Skin Nude Foundation. Also, the Sephora Brow pencil is amazing.It is a dupe for the Anastasia Brow Pencil everyone loves. Happy NYE!

    • I think I tried a sample of Matte and Poreless once and really liked it; I’ll jave to give it another go next time! I’ve heard a lot of great reviews on Diorskin so I’m glad you love it! Review?? Thanks so much for sharing that dupe, I’ll have to take a look at that brow pencil the next time I go to Sephora. Hope you have a wonderful 2016! xoxo

  3. sofiacollins says:

    The Too Faced Palette is definitely in my 2015 factories, I use every matte shade in the palette every single day! I originally bought it for honey pot but it’s such a beautiful palette! Also, how are you liking the beauty blender? As much as me? I seriously haven’t touched a makeup brush for foundation or concealer since October but the Expert Face Brush used to be my ride or die! I’ve been wanting to try the Lumi foundation for so long but I’m trying to finish up a few of my (6) foundations before I buy any more, it is 100% next though! Happy New Year! xo

    • Happy New Year! I am so glad I got the Too Faced palette and I couldn’t live without it; I’m glad you like it as much as I do! I am in love with my Beauty Blender! What do you use to clean yours? Let me know when you get the Lumi foundation! I just want to thank you for always being so sweet and supportive of my blog and I and I can’t wait to see both our blogs grow in 2016! xoxo

      • sofiacollins says:

        You’re so kind! I got the beauty blender that came with the mini cleanser but I’ve heard of people using bath and body works foaming soap? I prefer the solid but it’s kind of expensive so I’ll be using my starlooks gift cards to get their brush cleansing solid!

  4. I love that you included the Real Techinques Core Collection makeup brush! I heard so much good news about it that I bought my own set! Great post! ☺️

    • Thanks so much for the amazingly helpful feedback! I hope you like your new brushes; I’d love to see a review on them! You are so sweet and I can’t wait to see to read your blog throughout 2016! xoxo

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Hey, I'm Makena.

I’m Makena, the creator and editor of Makeup By Makena — a beauty blog dedicated to empowering others through the art of makeup.

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