Best of Beauty: 2017 | 12 Days of Christmas


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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.













2017 has been an incredible year and I am thrilled to be writing about ten of my most standout makeup products I have been using and loving over the past twelve months. These are the best of the best — products I can always rely on to help me look and feel my absolute best…

  • L’Oreal Pro Glow Infallible Foundation: I have only owned this liquid foundation for a few months, but as soon as I first tried it I knew it would be one of my all time favorites and I was right. It has medium-full coverage with a natural, luminous finish, which is exactly what I want for special occasions or not-so-good skin days. I love that I can enjoy a high quality product at an affordable price and I know that I will be repurchasing this all throughout next year!
  • Nars ‘Banc De Sable’ Highlighting Palette: Although this product (review here) was limited edition and unfortunately can no longer be purchased, I finally convinced myself to include it anyway because this has been one of my most favorite items this past year and I would feel dishonest if I did not mention it. This palette contains three highlighters for a wide variety of skin tones, each of which can be used dry for a natural sheen or wet for maximum intensity. I love all of the shades, but the rose gold one on the far right is by far my favorite; I love sweeping it over my entire cheek area for a natural ‘lit from within’ glow unlike anything I have ever tried before! If you are interested in this, Nars has a very similar palette here and duos with the same breath-taking formula here.
  • Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rose Water: This soothing and multi-purpose mist deserves every positive thing I have ever written about it on my blog. It hydrates and invigorates skin, intensifies eyeshadows, and helps makeup look more natural, all at a drugstore price. I have gone through several bottles of this in 2017 and am looking forward to using several more in the upcoming year.
  • L’Oreal Infallible Makeup Extender Setting Spray: There is nothing worse than spending the whole morning putting on my face only for it to slide off a few hours later, but luckily for me, I have been spritzing this all over my face to keep my completed look looking fresh and flawless all day and all night. It has made long school days so much more low-maintenance and glamorous, which I definitely appreciate.
  • Too Faced Sweet Peach Eyeshadow Palette: I could not talk about my favorite makeup products of the year without mentioning this stunningly gorgeous palette. Every time I open it and smell the sweet peachy scent, I fall in love all over again; with the perfect ratio of shimmers and mattes, and the combination of peaches, purples, bronzes, this palette truly feels like it was made for me! For a detailed review, please click here.
  • Morphe x Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow Palette: After months of hype surrounding this affordable palette, I remember how excited I was to finally swatch all the shades and use them on my eyes, and they definitely did not disappoint! Even though the majority of this palette is neutral, I do not have anything like this in my collection in terms of quality or shade range. The formula is so unbelievably blendable that the eyeshadows actually feel like cream ones; with such a wide range of warm-toned mattes, this collaboration with my favorite beauty guru has truly taught me how to embrace non-shimmery shades. If you would like to read my full review, it can be found here.
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Custom Eyeshadow Quad: I have to admit these eyeshadows are very expensive, but having the opportunity to choose four of my dream shades to fit into this sturdy and compact palette was well worth the price, especially considering how useful this is on vacation. I have the shades ‘Glisten’, ‘Rosé’, ‘Birkin’, and ‘Truffle’ and the perfect combination of rosy neutrals with the variety of different finishes is all I could ever ask for!
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo: Filling in my eyebrows has never been something I look forward to, but the two-toned powders inside this pretty little packaging makes defining my brows easy and quick. This has just the right color and amount of pigmentation, and despite using this almost every day, I still have not hit pan.
  • NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in ‘Stockholm’: Using this unique and affordable liquid lipstick is always wonderful because it lasts ages and feels smooth and soft on my chapped lips. The peachy nude shade compliments so many of my makeup looks and I love how it looks slightly different on everyone.
  • Nars ‘Supervixen’ Lip Gloss: This is not only my favorite lip gloss of the year, but also my favorite lip gloss of all time! The high shine formula glides over lipstick or bare lips so beautifully and the mauve shade with fine gold shimmer elevates all of my neutral and rose gold makeup looks. Whenever I want to look extra special, I always reach for this gloss because I know it will never let me down.

Thank you so much for making 2017 an amazing year and here’s to an even better 2018! What are your favorite beauty products of the past year?


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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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