Best of Beauty 2015

One category I want to focus more on this year is beauty. I thoroughly enjoy trying out and testing new beauty products, so I want to begin to share my reviews and favorites with you all on Life With Emily! To me, there’s no better way to start off than by sharing my Best in Beauty 2015! All of these products are tested and loved frequently by yours truly, so you can trust that they are good! Below I will be sharing why each is my favorite; I would love to hear any of your tried-and-true beauty products!

life with emily best of beauty

best of beauty 2015

Face Cleanser | I began using this facial cleanser just before the holidays and it’s safe to say I am hooked. I have very sensitive skin, so finding a face wash that doesn’t break me out is super important. This one doesn’t have a fragrance and is safe for sensitive skin (it even says so on the packaging.) I also really like that it lathers well; I can’t stand when a face wash doesn’t lather!

Cleansing Brush | I have had my Clarisonic for almost four years and I still swear by it. I alternate between different brush heads depending on the time of year and the way my skin is acting. I can tell a major difference in my skin when I use mine and when I forget. Even though it is a bit expensive, it totally pays for itself in a few uses.

Primer | Primer is one of the most important beauty products. Primer helps diminish wrinkles and fine lines while also prepping your skin for long-lasting makeup. I couldn’t choose just one for this category, so my top two are It Cosmetics No. 50 primer and Smashbox Photo Finish Primer. It Cosmetics I like for two reasons, because it is light weight and because it’s also contains anti-aging products. Smashbox is also light weight and doesn’t leave your skin feeling oily.

Makeup Applicator | The Beauty Blender is by far my favorite makeup applicator. It helps blend your foundation and concealer without smears or lines. It’s also very easy to use, lasts a long time, and very easy to clean!

Foundation | Once again, I couldn’t choose a single favorite for this category! Depending on how much coverage I want I go between Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Foundation and Stila Stay All Day Foundation. The Urban Decay foundation goes on very light and blends very well. I also liked that they have a big array of shades. I began using the Stila foundation over the summer when I was wanting a foundation that would stay all day and cover up my freckles. It did a great job of covering up and staying on all day. I will admit as I became more pale through fall/winter I had to stop using it. It didn’t want to blend as well and their lightest shade wasn’t light enough. For reference, I use Urban Decay ‘1.0’ shade and ‘fair 2’ in Stila.

Concealer | I got this It Cosmetics Eyelift in a Tube over the summer and have used it ever since. It is a concealer and brightener combo, so both match very well. It is a decently thick concealer, so it doesn’t require a lot (and it lasts a long time!)

Eyeshadow | I don’t wear eyeshadow every day, typically only when I am going out. I love the Naked 2 palette because it contains lighter colors that go well with my complexion. I prefer the 2 over the 3 palette because the 3 has a lot of rose gold colors and those do not look good on me! I would suggest the 2 palette for anyone who likes a more neutral look.

Eyebrows | I will admit, I didn’t always use eyebrow products and now that I do I can’t imagine not using them. I have tried quite a few brow pencils, but my recent favorite is a drug store buy! The Maybelline Brow Define & Fill Duo is great because it is a pencil and blender in one! having blonde eyebrows it’s really difficult to find one that matches perfectly and this one does the job! I also like the Anastasia Clear Brow Gel because it keeps everything in place all day.

Finishing Powder | I absolutely love It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Finishing Powder. It does a great job minimizing your pores and erasing any imperfections you may have to give an overall finished look.

Mascara | It’s no secret that I love mascara but I’m not quite ready to admit how many I have (hint: it’s a lot!) My favorites that I use all the time are It Cosmetics Waterline Mascara (great for lower lashes), Taste Lights, Camera, Lashes (does a great job at separating your lashes and making them look full), and Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara (for lent, volume, and an overall full lash look).

Eyeliner | I currently use Tarte Lights, Camera Lashes Longer Eyeliner because it is very easy to apply and it stays on all day, which is important because I mess with my eyes a lot throughout the day (a nervous habit haha)

Makeup Setting Spray | All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray by Urban Decay is my all time favorite. Before I tried this one, I tried a few others that left my face feeling wet, oily, and sticky. This one gives you a nice glow and keeps your makeup in place all day…. through sweat, tears, and hands on your cheeks (I do this a ton when I’m working!)

best of beauty 2015 2

Hair Straightener | This straightener by god doesn’t have a heat dial, so it uses safe-for-hair heat technology. Since I straighten my hair most days, this is very important to me! This straightener helps to prevent damage and breakage, while leaving my hair shiny and healthy looking.

Face Mask | I talked about this face mask last week. I seriously love it and the results I have seen from it! My skin is brighter and doesn’t have as many blackheads. GlamGlow offers a ton of different masks for your individual needs.

Dry Shampoo | Confession: I only wash my hair 2 to 3 times a week, so having a good dry shampoo is vital! Batiste is a great cheap option and they have one for blondes, brunettes, and a few different scents. Drybar is one of my favorite “medium priced” dry shampoo. The smell is amazing and it doesn’t take a lot to leave my hair feeling fresh. If you’re looking to splurge a bit, then Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo is the way to go. Their came out earlier this year and they have one for light tones and dark tones.

Shower Gel | My skin is very sensitive, so I can only use certain products. Philosophy’s Fresh Cream is one that I always have on hand because it smells great (also comes in different scents & are still safe for sensitive skin) and leaves my skin feeling so soft.

Perfume | I originally borrowed this perfume from my friend Haley (from Sequins & Things) when I forgot mine during our stay in New York for LuckyFabb a few years ago. As soon as I got home I texted her asking what the name of it was and it’s been a favorite ever since. It smells so clean and lasts all day long.

Microexfoliant | I got this Dermologica Microexfoliant over the summer and it totally changed my skin care routine. I use it 3-4 times a week and it leaves my skin feeling clean, fresh, and bright. The craziest part is that it starts out as a powder and laters once it meets the water. I like this because I can use very little product without wasting any!

Hair Ties | Since I wear my hair up 4-5 times a week for Pure Barre I began wearing these Emi-Jay hair ties to prevent breakage. I like them because they keep my hair in my ponytail, they don’t break my hair, and they don’t give me a headache (sometimes regular hair ties pull my hair and give me a bad headache!)

Brushes | It Cosmetics Brushes are hands down my favorite. They are so soft and seem to last forever. I have a regular sized set as well as a travel set that way I never have to go without them.

Brush Cleaner | Cleaning makeup brushes is quite the process and I had never figured out a good way to clean them until I came across this makeup brush glove by Sigma. It makes cleaning brushes so much easier (and a bit more organized haha)

Hair Sprays | I don’t use hair spray every day, typically only when I curl my hair. But when I do I like to make sure they hold my hair without feeling stiff. My go-to is Drybar Flexible Hold Hair Spray because it smells great and holds my hair all day. I bought this after a trip to the Drybar where my hair held for 3 days without any other products!! When I am curling my hair I use Not Your Mother’s Texturizing Spray to give my fine, thin hair a little added texture so the curl holds better. Since my hair is so thin and lacks volume I will also use Living Proofs Root Lifting Hair Spray to give my hair a little volume.

Nail Top Coat | I love painting my nails, it’s therapeutic for me haha! But I tend to be a little impatient when it comes to allowing them to dry. Seiche Vite’s top coat dries my nails quickly and keeps them looking good for a while!

Lip Products | In the winter when my lips get really chapped I use First Aid Beauty’s Lip Therapy to get them back to normal again. For normal, every day use I stick to the tried-and-true Chapstick! It works well for me and is cheap, so why stop using a good thing?! For lipstick I love MAC lipsticks. They have such a large range of colors and they stay on well.

I would love to hear some of your favorite go-to beauty products in the comments below!

Leave a Reply


  1. Lucy O'Connor wrote:

    Thank you so much for this post! I remember commenting on a photo you put up on Instagram & asking for your fave beauty products! You have such beautiful skin so these products must be pretty darn good!

    Posted 1.7.16 Reply
  2. Really want to try the lip therapy and the urban d. setting spray!

    Kisses from

    Posted 1.8.16 Reply
    • Emily wrote:

      If you do, you will love them!!

      Posted 1.9.16 Reply
  3. Amanda wrote:

    Hi Emily-love reading about your favorites. I really like the First Aid Beauty cleanser too. You mentioned you have very sensitive skin and some products break you out. Any suggestions for a good moisturizer? I’ve tried so many and they all seem to cause breakouts. Thanks and Happy New Year!

    Posted 1.10.16 Reply
    • Emily wrote:

      Hi Amanda, I actually use Aveeno’s Ultra Calming moisturizer. It has been the best for me (I like the entire Aveeno line.) In the winter when my skin is really dry I will use First Aid Beauty’s ultra repair cream on my face, too. It’s a little more thick and stays on & moisturizes through the night. xx

      Posted 1.10.16 Reply

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