Best of Beauty | 2019


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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.



The Zoeva Makeup Artist Zoe Bag Rose Golden Volume 2 was my first purchase of 2019, and although this aesthetic brush set was very expensive, it was absolutely worth the investment! Thirty brushes are a lot, but I use each and every one, and I can truly notice the difference in the way they blend my makeup. For a full review, click here.

 One of the most iconic beauty products of 2019 eventually made its way into my collection, and I am here to say that it is worth the hype. The Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask has been one of my most reached-for skincare items thanks to its clean, effective ingredients. As I mentioned in my review, I love using this as a moisturizing primer before makeup and as an overnight mask. 

This past summer, I went on a drugstore makeup shopping spree, and so many of the items I picked up became instant ride or dies! The L’oréal True Match Lumi Glotion Natural Glow Enhancer in ‘Light’ is probably my most loved purchase from this haul due to the perfect rose gold shade and its versatile formula. The liquid — which can be used all over the face alone or with makeup, mixed in with foundation, or patted on the cheekbones for a highlighter — is definitely a game-changer, and I am on my way to purchase another.

The MAC Studio Face & Body Foundation filled a gap in my collection and is now utterly irreplaceable. It is a liquidy, water-based foundation that delivers sheer, buildable coverage and a dewy finish that genuinely looks like skin. Anyone who has dry skin, wants to look lit-from-within, and prefers believable makeup looks needs this in their life.

The Too Faced Born This Way Naturally Radiant Concealer is by far one of the brand’s most underrated products — one which I was fortunate enough to find at TJ Maxx for a drugstore price. The collection has a great range of shades and undertones, which means I now have a beautiful formula for spot concealing, especially on foundation-free days. It has a skin-like finish that avoids looking either dry or shiny, and it appears traceless once  blended.

The Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronzing Makeup Base is not a new product by any means, but it has been a stand-out this past year. The more I experiment with makeup, the more I realize that — because I use such dewy bases and so little setting powder — cream products often perform better than powder ones. Although this cult classic is in desperate need of an extended shade range, its buttery, blendable formula is unparalleled.

Another pricey purchase that I 100% got my money out of is the NARS Exposed Cheek Palette, which contains one lovely golden champagne highlighter and five of the best blushes I have ever used. I don’t know how they did it, but the powders are glowy without having the slightest bit of shimmer, depositing the most effortless wash of color to the cheeks.

On a similar note, the Ulta Peach Pop Blush Palette has graced my cheeks since the moment I first tried it this summer. The formula is not anything special, but the shades, which are a neutral girl’s dream, pair beautifully with every makeup look and are so easy to use.

The Huda Beauty New Nude Eyeshadow Palette is by far one of the prettiest palettes on the market, and me and my rose gold obsession just couldn’t resist. I don’t use this palette as much as I would like to while away at school, but the mattes basically blend themselves and the shimmers are beyond stunning.

Like many of my purchases throughout the years, the Maybelline Color Sensational Shine Compulsion Lipstick in ‘Baddest Beige’ was directly inspired by several YouTubers in the beauty community. The formula is crazy comfortable, the sheer, warm nude is a great topper for lip liner or another lipstick, and the pink packaging is so sleek.

With two of my most favorite skincare ingredients, what’s not to love about the Heritage Store Rosewater and Glycerin? It feels relaxing and hydrating on bare skin as it intensifies the moisturizers I apply underneath, and it melts makeup into my skin for a more flawless, glowy finish. The affordable price tag makes it all the better.

Please comment your makeup favorite of the year below so that we can all have the opportunity to try new products. I hope you have a wonderful day and an even more wonderful new year. Thanks for reading!


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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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If you want to elevate your everyday makeup routine, you’ve come to the right place. I share approachable, aesthetic, and, most importantly, authentic content for beginners and professionals alike.