Best of Beauty | 2021


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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.


I fell in love with several new beauty products in 2021, and today, I am here to share the details on my top 10.

I may be a little biased because of my love for Sivan Ayla, but the Lux Unfiltered N°12 Bronzing Face Drops have transformed my skincare and makeup routines. I apply a few drops after my moisturizer and wake up with a natural-looking tan, which makes me feel so much more confident without makeup.

I have not stopped recommending the Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation since I tried it: I think it would work beautifully on every skin type and for every occasion. It’s not matte or dewy, not sheer or full coverage—just the perfect in-between. The shade range is also wonderful.

The ELF Hydrating Camo Concealer is proof that high quality does not have to mean expensive. For only a few dollars, this product offers medium-to-full coverage with a skin-like finish. I wear the shade ‘Medium Sand,’ and it’s ideal for my no-foundation makeup looks.

I have always loved cream makeup products, and the Wet n Wild MegaGlow Makeup Stick checks all my boxes. The shade ‘Where’s Walnut’ is excellent for contouring medium-tan skin tones, and the formula works just as well as the high-end ones I have tried. It’s the perfect balance of pigmentation and blendability.

The Honest Beauty Crème Cheek Blush in ‘Rose Pink’ is one of the most underrated products I have ever tried. The formula is absolute perfection. It’s buildable and easy to blend, and, unlike some formulas, it never disappears or looks patchy. I cannot recommend this blush enough, especially if you are new to makeup or to creams.

The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Mini Sculpture Unlocked Palette is the definition of luxury. The subtle luminosity of the finishing powder is a must-have for dry skin, while the strobe powder offers an intense pop of highlight that melts into the rest of your makeup. The blush and bronzer are both glowy without emphasizing texture; I fell in love with the unique formula and recently purchased a full-size version of the bronzer.

As someone who has always gravitated toward shimmers, I never thought I would own, let alone love, an all-matte eyeshadow palette. But that changed when I first tried the Makeup By Mario Master Mattes Eyeshadow Palette. I use it regularly, whether getting ready for a day of work or a night with friends. Everyone should have this in their collection.

If you want darker and fuller brows but don’t want to spend a lot of time on them every morning, the ELF Wow Brow Gel is your answer. The precise wand deposits microscopic fibers and a tint of color. I use ‘Neutral Brown.’

In 2021, I finally tried the iconic Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick in ‘Pillow Talk.’ The color is a universally-flattering medium, neutral pink, but the best part is the formula. It’s opaque, buttery, and long-lasting, and I want to try all of the shades.

If you have been looking for an affordable alternative to the Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks, the L’Oréal Colour Riche Les Nus Intense Lipsticks are a great option. These are comfortable and pigmented, and there are so many beautiful nudes in the collection.

Whether you only just discovered my blog or have been here from the beginning, thank you for being such a special part of my year. Here’s to 2022!

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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.