Best Buys of 2015 (Skincare, Makeup, Clothes + More!)

Happy Monday, friends!
First off, apologizes for the super long post. But since it’s the beginning of a new year, I thought it would be fun and different to show you my best buys of 2015… including makeup, skincare, clothes, etc. I tried SO MANY different products this past year, some I liked and some I didn’t, but these are all tried-and-true winners. Everything is split into two categories (beauty and fashion) so let’s get started…


Moisturizing lip balm: C.O. Bigelow’s Rose Balm was a favorite lip balm for this entire year… if you can find the “mint” one, that one takes the cake. I put this on my lips before bed pretty much every single night this year! At the beginning of the winter, I discovered First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Intensive Lip Balm and immediately fell in love with it, so I had to include it too. This is heavy duty stuff – the texture is pretty thick – but it does an AMAZING job at moisturizing your lips, especially during the winter time. It’s a little pricey but it’s my #1 pick and is definitely worth it.
Coral lipstick: I wore the heck out of MAC’s “impassioned” lipstick this year. It started last spring and continued on through the summer, fall and even winter. It’s a really bright coral color and can (in some instances) pass as a red lipstick. I love, love, love it in the summer – it looks most beautiful with a tan.

Mascara: Two winners here, because you can’t have a favorite mascara without applying a favorite primer first! I have been using L’Oreal Double Extend’s primer for years and years, and will probably never stop using it for as long as they make it. I’ve tried other primers (even expensive ones) and nothing beats this one – it not only makes your lashes longer but fuller as well. This year’s favorite mascara was by Too Faced and works really well with the Double Extend primer underneath. I LOVE the brush – it’s really fluffy and does a great job of reaching every lash. 

Face primer: For a long time I didn’t really understand the purpose of face primer, but once I started using Smashbox’s Photo Finish Primer I had an “a-ha” moment. This stuff is really great for reducing your pores and making your foundation go on smoothly. I highly recommend.

Pink lipstick: Two favorite pink lipsticks this year: YSL’s Tropical Pink was one that I wore throughout the summer on several vacations. I love the name of it, and the color suits it well – it really is a tropical pink! Next on my list is Lancome’s lip crayon in Drive to Pink. It’s a little bit of a darker pink, very pigmented and soooo beautiful. It would look gorgeous on any skin type.
Foundation: I’m a huge fan of Covergirl + Olay’s Tone Rehab liquid foundation. Not only is it a drugstore buy, but it’s super hydrating and moisturizing and goes on so well with a foundation brush (I love this one). I wore this foundation all throughout the spring and summer – the color “buff beige” really matched my skin in the summer. I also like Laura Mercier’s Smooth Finish Flawless Fluide Foundation, and found that it was a really good match for my skin during the fall/winter months when my skin is pale. Downsides are that it is really expensive, and I think the Covergirl foundation lasts longer.

Under-eye highlight: This BB Cream for the eyes is my favorite – I use the lightest shade, but have to be careful in the summer months not to apply too much (otherwise my under-eyes are too light).

Perfume: I’ve never been able to wear perfume because I get really bad headaches from it (usually), but this winter I started wearing Dior’s j’adore. This scent smells amazing – I don’t even know how to describe it – but people always compliment it! Now I can’t live without it.

Makeup brushes: Hands down best brushes award goes to Sigma Beauty. They sent me an array of brushes to try out during the summer, and I loved them so much that I bought more. The are incredibly high quality for the price, and they give your makeup that airbrushed appearance.
Makeup brush cleaner: This brush cleaning glove (also by Sigma) made cleaning my brushes so much easier this year. You just put a little soap and water on the glove and swirl your brushes around on the ridges of the mitt – very quick and no cleanup.
Face wash: I discovered this face wash around three months ago and am now a cult follower of it. My face is pretty sensitive and this stuff is very gentle and literally melts your makeup off. I love it!

White nail polish: Essie’s blanc is my favorite.

Top coat: Best top coat I’ve ever, ever used is Seche Vite. I received one years ago at a blogging conference and once I tried it I was hooked – it makes your polish dry really fast and last an incredibly long time. Try it once and you’ll be hooked too!

Hydrating serum: Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate was a godsend this year. I was suffering with really dry, dull skin at the end of summer, and this stuff saved my skin. I apply it every night after I wash my face. The smell is so soothing and relaxing, it helps lull me to sleep at night, and I wake up with brighter, more moisturized skin.

Face mask: I bought this Indian Healing Clay on Amazon after reading the thousands of positive reviews. I mix the powder with an equal amount apple cider vinegar and apply it to my face once per week (usually on Sundays). It forms a hard mask on your skin, and what’s weird is that you can really feel your skin pulsating once it dries! (You have to experience it to know what I’m talking about.) The mask really does clean out all of your pores… it can make you break out the first few times since it is literally pulling all the junk out of your skin. My skin is also red once I take the mask off, but for the next few days it is super glowy!


Wallets: I love pretty much any wallet by Tory Burch. During the spring and summer I carried a hot pink one – it was really bright and pretty so I wore it as a clutch with some outfits. Halfway through the year I upgraded to this Prada flap wallet (mine is light beige). It’s really roomy, has a mirror inside, and I love the flap opening because it’s really easy to get into. 

Makeup bags: Theres no doubt that Tory Burch makes the prettiest makeup bags for the summer – I used a cute one with pineapples on it most of the year (similar to this one). Her designs are always bright and beautiful, and perfect for vacations when you need to pack and store your makeup. I recently got this Louis Vuitton makeup bag – it’s actually from the men’s department (lol) but you would never be able to tell! This one in particular is larger than the ladies makeup bags, AND it has a special interior that protects against product spills and makeup. The ladies makeup bags all had leather interiors, which would get ruined if product was to spill in it.

Jewelry: The two jewelry items I wore the most this year (and often wore them together) were the Michael Kors Bradshaw watch and this David Yurman bracelet. I think I wore them almost every single day of 2015! They are both such classic pieces.

Handbag: Favorite handbag purchase of the year was this Chloe crossbody bag, which is so surprising to me because I really debated before buying it and almost didn’t. However, it goes with virtually any outfit since it’s two toned, and I love that it’s crossbody so it’s hands-free. It will transition perfectly into summer!

Phone case brand: My favorite phone cases of 2015 were all by Sonix. Their cases are SO cute, a lot of them are clear and have cute/fun patterns on them. My favorite the whole year was this cactus one I took with me to Cabo! 

Rain boots: The best rain boot awards goes to Hunter boots, for both their functionality and how cute they are. I wore my red pair more than any other – my favorite part is that it rains year-round, so you can wear them year-round (they look cute with shorts and dresses!). 

Warm boots: 2015 was the year the Ugg made a comeback. Seriously! Haha. I have this pair in all black and I love wearing them with leggings to run errands in during the winter. They are my go-to! I also wear them to Pure Barre since it’s always freezing in the mornings. 

Summer heels: My best shoe purchase this year was a pair of nude ankle strap sandals (mine are a different brand but look the same). You will be surprised just how much you’ll wear these heels!! I wore them with dresses, jeans, skirts, white pants, etc, and they go with literally EVERYTHING. Invest in a pair for this spring and you won’t be sorry! 
Summer sandals: My favorite pair of summer sandals are these Tory Burch Miller flip flops. They are really, really comfortable and incredibly versatile (they go with every outfit, just like the nude heels). I took them to the beach this summer, on errands, wore them to airports, on trips, basically all summer long and they held up so well that they still look brand new. These are an investment but so worth it.
Jeans: My favorite brand of jeans in 2015 had to be AG Jeans, particularly this pair of jeans that I wore more than any other pair this year. I wore them the entire year long and still love them just as much today as I did at the beginning of last year. I love AG Jeans in general because they fit SO well, they don’t stretch, and they have some of the best high-quality ripped jeans available. 

Leggings: Best leggings award goes to Zella’s live-in slim fit leggings. I actually have two pairs of these – one to work out in and one to wear with clothes! You’ve probably seen them a lot on my blog… I love wearing them with oversized sweaters and black booties or over-the-knee boots. The texture is really smooth and they’re not like your typical leggings – much higher quality. 
Well that’s it, folks! My most loved products of 2015. If you have a question about one of the products or you want to know about a category I didn’t mention, feel free to ask in the comments and I will respond to you there. I hope everyone has a great Monday!

P.S. The reason I didn’t mention any hair products is because I just did a dedicated blog post on my haircare routine. If you want to know my favorite hair products, check there first!


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Leave a Comment


  1. What a fun post! Definitely adding that Louis Vuitton makeup bag to my birthday list! : )

    Brooke du jour

  2. Love this post!!! AG is my favorite premium denim brand and that Too Faced mascara is my new favorite. Thank you so much for sharing and I hope that you had a wonderful weekend! 🙂

  3. Love the LV makeup bag!

    xo |
    The Fashion Forecast

  4. Such great favorites! I need to try those lip products and the Sigma brushes are by far the best! Sonix's phone cases are so fun!

    xo, Nina
    Law of Fashion Blog

  5. I love that smashbox primer! It's truly the best. I've used an urban decay one for my eyelids and it's also a great option for that area! It doesn't create any creases which is really nice!

    Darling Down South
    Find me at : instagram

  6. I'm SUCH a big fan of Smashbox's primer! Couldn't live without!!

    Kelly | Kelly in the City

  7. I love this post! Thanks!!

  8. I just started using Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate and I LOVE it. It has helped my dry skin so much. Do you use a night cream after applying the serum or do you use the serum alone? I'm still trying to figure out how to work this into my skincare routine. Ha!

    XO, Jaime |

    • Hey Jaime! I usually wear the serum alone but sometimes I do apply a night cream after it (there's a First Aid Beauty night cream that I like). The directions on the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery say that it can be worn alone or under a moisturizer!

  9. Love this style of post 🙂

  10. I love the C.O. Bigelow Rose Salve and most of their other products including body wash. I use that on an everyday basis, especially during the colder months. In the evening thought I use their night therapy lip treatment which if you haven't tried I would definitely suggest you should.

  11. I will definitely try some of those face products and lipsticks! I love the colors. 🙂 Thanks for the round-up.

    Simply Rachel Nicole

  12. I love smash box products. Also I live in Ugg in the winter time.

  13. Anonymous

    I have dry skin. Would I benefit from the Aztec Secret mask?

    • I have dry skin as well! You will still benefit, but definitely lather up on moisturizer after you take the mask off! My skin is always a little drier than usual the day after.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you so much Caitlin for answering my question. I have a follow-up question, if you have the time: Does the Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate do the trick for moisturizing after the mask or do you recommend another moisturizer for combating the dryness from the mask?

    • When I use the mask, I apply a stronger moisturizer afterwards (the mask can be very drying). I like First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydra-Firm Sleeping Cream 🙂

  14. That make up brush cleaner looks interesting!

    Liz @

  15. I need those hunter rain boots!

    Andy C.

  16. Thank you for all the recommendations ! I'm going to keep an eye on those makeup brushes
    The color palette

  17. Great post, the graphics were spot on. Thanks for the recap of your favorites!

  18. wow loved this post!!

    Kisses from

  19. Great Products! Some of my favorite makeup favorites too. I can't live without my Smashbox primer!

    -Ashlee Michelle

  20. Ok, that make up brush glove is seriously GENIUS!

  21. This makeup brush cleaner is adorable! I have these hunters and love them.

  22. That makeup brush looks really awesome – I've been wanting to get my hands on one. Also, UGH – I need a pair of hunters in my life!

    Jasmine | The Sixth Disney Princess

  23. Great post! I'm after a new serum so I might have to give that Kiehl's one a try!

  24. I love these picks!

    Her Heartland Soul

  25. I love all of your favorites from this year, will definitely have to check some of them out!


  26. Have you ever tried Rodan + Field skincare?! Debating about trying it but it's really expensive! Thinking of trying your skin regimen first 🙂

  27. I need to try that Aztec mask!! I love my Ugg and Hunter boots for chilly/rainy weather! I need to check out the Prada wallet, so cute.


  28. I LOVE First aid beauty products so much, and those phone cases are adorable! I will have to look into those now!

  29. I just got that mascara in a Target Beauty Box to try out, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it compares to higher end options!

    xoxo, SS

    The Southern Stylista

  30. So many great picks! I need to try your skincare suggestion! I recently shared my 2015 beauty favorites too!


  31. Hello! Do you have any suggestions for clearing up the occasional breakout?

    • I use Proactiv's Repairing Treatment lotion when I'm having a breakout! I apply it at night and let it soak in overnight!

  32. I absolutely LOVE this roundup of your favorites from 2015!! It is SO helpful to see what products other bloggers adore 🙂 thank you for sharing!!

  33. Such a great post! Love all the beauty products you have picked out! 😀

  34. Anonymous

    I love this list! I am always searching for new things to try. A lot of the products you listed are my go-to as well! Thanks for sharing!
    Xo, Tara

  35. Love the beauty products, especially the lipstick color!

    xxx, Lena
    Instagram: ellecouture_lena
    Twitter: lenafe94

  36. Unfortunately I can't agree that those pretty boots are the warmest. I wouldn't deny that they are comfortable, but they are definitely not the warmest