Best Buys of 2017 (Makeup, Hair, Skincare + More)

For the past couple of years, some of my most popular posts were my Best Buys of 2015 and Best Buys of  2016 posts, so of course I wanted to keep the tradition going! Each year I round up the absolute BEST product in each category that I bought all year. You’ll see that there are a few products that have made the list all three years, but quite a lot of new products too! All of these have my 100% stamp of approval, and none of these are sponsored. πŸ™‚
Let’s start with makeup!
Best Lip BalmDior’s Creme de Rose Smoothing, Plumping Lip Balm was my favorite lip balm of 2016 and 2017. I blogged about this lip balm in my night routine post, I’ve been using it for the past couple of years now and absolutely love it. The scent is so feminine and very calming, and the formula is really smoothing – it also has SPF 10 in it so it’s a good option to wear under your day-to-day lipstick. 
Best Lipstick: Without a doubt, MAC’s “creme cup” would have to be the best lipstick I bought all year. It’s a beautiful, creamy pink/nude shade that is so flattering on any skin type! I wore it in a lot of blog posts this year, but it’s also the color I reach for daily whether I’m out running errands or going on date night. 
Best Primer: I started using MAC Prep + Prime this year and fell in love with it. This product is weightless, helps fill in imperfections and makes my makeup last 10x longer than without it – even in tropical climates!
Best Foundations: I had two favorites this year. For the past couple of years I’ve been hooked on L’Oreal foundation because it’s inexpensive and you can find it in pretty much every drugstore (so it’s easy to pick up while you’re traveling). Lately I’ve been applying this foundation in #107 and this one in #307 right on my face, then use a foundation brush to blend it all together. One of the reasons I like these two products together is that they’re very matte so your face doesn’t get shiny during the day. My other favorite foundation from this year would have to be Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Foundation –  it doesn’t smudge and lasts all day (it’s basically just a high-end version of the L’oreal Infallible!).

Best Bronzers: A year-long favorite was Benefit’s Hoola Bronzer. The brush it comes with is really convenient, I use it for contouring my cheekbones, around my forehead and nose. It’s the PERFECT bronzer for contouring. 
Best Mascara Primer: I’m still using this mascara primer and it’s the absolute best!! One tube will last you several months, and it makes your lashes look so much thicker and longer when you put mascara on top. 
Best Mascara: While I still love Too Faced’s Better than Sex Mascara, I actually found another one that I love just as much!! This one is new this year and it makes my lashes SO full and voluminous – if you love Better Than Sex then you HAVE to try this one!  

Best Makeup PaletteIt Cosmetics’ Complexion Perfection Palette is a staple in my makeup bag. It contains a gorgeous pink blush, highlighter, bronzer and setting powder. I use every powder except the bronzer (I use my trusty Hoola Bronzer instead). I could rave about each powder for days – the blush is gorgeous and the highlighter is BRILLIANT and so pigmented. 
Best Setting Powder: This is a new one! I realized that my previous setting powder wasn’t working very well on a trip to Aspen – my face was shiny in all of the wrong places, even after applying multiple rounds of powder. So I switched over to Laura Mercier’s translucent setting powder and never looked back. The finish is smooth, matte and easy to apply and the best part is that my face no longer gets shiny (even on a recent trip to Mexico).
Best Brushes: I made the switch over from Sigma brushes to It Cosmetics brushes this year. Really all of them are amazing and give your makeup an airbrushed look! I recommend this kit for starters – I have it and in addition to the brushes, the carrying case makes the perfect case for traveling! I take mien on every single trip I go on πŸ™‚ 

Best Brush Cleaner: This Sigma Brush Cleaning Glove is, once again, the easiest method I’ve ever found for cleaning your makeup brushes. I put this on my left hand and clean my brushes at sink with a little bit of dish soap – the grooves in the glove really get out every bit of makeup debris in the bristles.  
Best Bubble Bath: This lavender bubble bath is without a doubt the best bubble bath product I’ve ever used in my life. It makes your whole bathroom smell wonderful like a spa, and it bubbles up really nicely! The best thing about it, though, would be that the scent lasts for a while afterward so you continue to smell the nice lavender scent throughout the day, like a subtle perfume.

Best Body Lotion: I purchase a jumbo Creme de Corps every summer and it lasts for a full year. It’s the only body lotion that I’ve ever religiously used – it doesn’t have a strong scent, it moisturizes really well and it’s not oily at ALL – I hate feeling oily and sometimes strongly scented body lotion can give me headaches. I love this one so much that I carry around mini bottles in my handbag!

Best Face Wash: Y’all are probably sick of hearing me rave about this bareMinerals face wash but it is hands down my favorite facial cleanser I’ve ever used. It stopped my breakouts! Read more about it in this blog post.
Best Self-Tanner: Hands down the winner to this category goes to Tanceuticals. I buy the “Dark” tanning lotion (for both body and face) and when I apply it, it looks like I’ve been laying out for an entire summer – it’s a beautiful golden brown color without any streaks or bad smell. I love taking a shower at night, applying it and going right to bed and I wake up with a tan – and it doesn’t rub off on your sheets!!! 
Best Deodorant: I shared this deodorant on snapchat a looong time ago, you may remember it from then! It might seem crazy to spend this much money on a deodorant, but don’t knock it until you try it. It is hands down the most wonderful, heavenly smelling deodorant you’ve ever smelled.  
Best Makeup Remover: This makeup remover is truly the best! My mom and I both use it and swear by it. I use the cleansing water with a cotton pad when I’m at home, but when I’m traveling or at the gym I prefer to use the towelettes
Best Retinol: My dermatologist recommended Avenue’s RetrinAl 0.1 Intensive Cream and I’ve been using it every since (for the past couple of years). If you don’t know much about retinoids, read this article or just do a simple google search on them. My dermatologist said that she recommends it for all women in their late 20s – it’s the one product that all dermatologists use themselves and it TRULY helps with the aging process. I use the RetrinAl every single night. 
Best Moisturizer: Similar to the face wash, I’ve probably overtalked about this moisturizer.  I really do attribute my clearer skin to both the wash and moisturizer! The bareMinerals moisturizer is really light on my skin, doesn’t leave a greasy residue, but I wake up with perfectly hydrated skin. I use it every. single. night. πŸ™‚ 
Best Treatment for Damaged Hair: I’ve blogged about this in the past year, but this olive fruit oil repairing mask saved my hair this year. I use it about once per week (or more if my hair is feeling extra damaged) and it kept it feeling and looking soft and smooth. This is a product I repurchased multiple times this year. 
Best Curling Wand: You guys probably know by now how much I love my T3 curling wand (many of these products I have blogged about over and over). I use the 1″ straight barrel on my hair in pretty much every single blog post – the curls last for DAYS. Just a warning, it does get very hot! One of my friends in Winston-Salem bought it and loved it, but it accidentally burned through a plastic toilet seat!! (lol) So be careful! 
Best Hair Dryer: This year I upgraded my dryer to the T3 Featherweight Luxe  and it is AMAZING. This dryer works really fast and makes my hair feel softer. It used to take me forever to dry my hair – now I can dry it in the same amount of time as my mom (who has really short hair!). 
Best Hair Brush: You can get a Wet Brush from Target, Sally’s Beauty Supply or pretty much any drugstore. I love this brush because you can use it on wet hair without damaging your hair. 

Best Hair Clips: I really love these hair clips (an upgrade from what I was using last year!) and I use them daily – if not hourly. They really help when I’m drying and curling my hair to hold up big sections of hair at once – but I also use them throughout the day. Sometimes I clip up the top section of my hair to create volume while I’m getting ready, but they’re large enough to hold the weight of my hair when I want to put it up in a messy bun, too. And the best part is that you can go out in public when them in your hair because they’re a really pretty tortoise color!

Jeans: This is a new one! The brand Good American completely and totally stole my heart this year. (Fun fact: it’s Khloe Kardashian’s jean line) I now own three pairs of Good American jeans and the best jeans I’ve ever worn in my life: they fit really well, are so comfortable they feel like pajamas, and they don’t stretch out at all. This pair is my favorite (you will probably recognize them from my pictures!).
Espresso Machine: I made a HUGE splurge this year on the Breville Oracle Touch Espresso Machine – all of my friends and family thought I was crazy at first – that is, until they tasted the coffee πŸ™‚ I use this machine daily to make lattes and honestly it’s the best coffee I’ve ever had in my entire life! I no longer buy Starbucks or coffees out every day because I make them at home – and honestly, it has ruined Starbucks for me because I don’t like the taste of their coffee now! If you’re contemplating buying an espresso machine – DO IT! You will save money in the long run if you usually buy a coffee every day, and making my coffee has become my very favorite part of the day. This version is a lot cheaper and makes the same quality espresso – the only different is that it’s not fully automated. 
Luggage: Definitely my best luggage purchase would have to be this Delsey Chatelet luggage set. They’re incredibly easy to roll, durable and come with an integrated TSA-Approved lock. I’m going on three (or maybe four?) years now with the same set and they are so durable – they’re still holding strong! I have both the large one and the 28″ carry-on. Aside from the logical reasons, they’re also beautiful! I’ve literally had someone chase me down in the airport to ask where it was from! 
Do you have any products from 2017 that really stood out as your favorites? I would love to know! Let me know in the comments if you have one you think I should try πŸ™‚


Leave a Comment


  1. All such good products! I fell in love with the IT cosmetics miracle water toner, it makes my skin so bright!

    Xo, Nina
    Law of Fashion Blog

  2. You should totally try the new L'Oreal Paradise mascara!! It's super affordable and a dupe to the Better than Sex πŸ˜‰ I absolutely love it!

    xo, Rosie //Curvy Life stories

    • Yess, though, I haven't tried the Too Faced one, but I have falled in love with the L'Oreal one. At first it was weird but then maybe I got used to the wand or something and now I love it!


  3. Love the benefit bronzer and the T3 wand! I will have to check out some of these other products πŸ™‚


  4. I really need to get better at cleaning my brushes, and that glove looks fantastic!
    Green Fashionista

  5. I need to try some of these products!

  6. The deodorant is SO amazing.. I'm hooked on it too! I try to only use it for special occasions and use Dove spray on for all other days but sometimes I can't resist using it. Great post!

  7. Amazing post! Your reviews are always so thought out and unbiased which is why I love to read about your favourite products! I recently purchased the T3 curling wand and the hairdryer and I definitely agree – they're the best I've ever used! Thank you for the other recs though – some shopping might be on the cards!

    Want to know where to find designer pieces for less? Check out my newest post now!Β Β

  8. I love so many of these products! I just got some Micellar water to remove my makeup and love it so far! Great picks!


  9. I am in love with those L'oreal foundations! They have such great coverage!

  10. Great recs! I'm going to have to check out those jeans. πŸ™‚

  11. That brush cleaner is so cool I've never seen that before I need it lol!!
    Xo, Kelsey |

  12. Hello! How long does the retinol last you?

    • Hey Lauren, I only use a little bit every night so it lasts me five or six months!

  13. I need to go to Nordstrom to try on the good American jeans. I’m 5’11 so I doubt they’ll be long enough for me, but I’ve heard awesome things about them!

  14. LOVE this post! Can't wait to try the mascara, hair repair mask and Good American jeans!

    Brooke du jour

  15. Definitely want to try the t3 hair dryer! <3


  16. I really need to try the garnier water, I have heard a lot about it.

  17. I see quite a few of my favourites in this round up. I'm obsessed with the L'Oreal Infallible foundation. It looks as though my skin has been airbrushed when I use it. Creme Cup is one of my favourite MAC lipsticks (along with Angel). There is always a L'Occitane lavender bubble bath on my bath tub. The Kiehl's Creme De Corps is amazing!! Garnier's Micellar Cleansing Water is my favourite makeup remover. Hoola Bronzer is an old favourite too πŸ™‚ Loved this post, Caitlin!

    Arum Lilea

  18. Omg, there are some awesome picks on this list!

  19. I love the Dior lip balm. You've also mentioned the Chanel lip balm before. How do they compare?

  20. The garnier micellar water has the chemical polyaminopropyl biguanide in it which is known to potentially cause cancer!! You can research it to see more…I used to swear by it but switched to the simple micellar water which doesn't contain this ingredient! Just a heads up πŸ™‚

  21. These all look amazing! I need to figure out my favourite buys of 2017!

    I hope you have a great Friday!

  22. Love this post! So many products I need to try!
    Sarah Lillian |

  23. Love these choices! Great list.

    | |

  24. I might be misunderstanding as I am a foundation newbie, but you use BOTH L'oreal Infallible foundations at the same time, then blend together with a brush?
    Would love it if you did a "How you apply your make up post!

  25. Girl! We are similar in choosing makeup. All of the items you talked about I love them so much! They are my first love in my makeup range. That Loreal foundation suits me so well. Hoola is my love! Mac fix plus, OMG! I can not think about makeup without this item! And All this credit goes to Lina Cameron! I was a student of her. My skin was horrible. She suggest me all this. And I am blessed now. She is the best makeup in my town, also she trains best make-up lesson here!

  26. Stephanie

    Love this! I use the NARS foundation too and love it. How does it work on your under-eyes? Do you use it as your concealer as well?

  27. Aubrey

    OMG, my husband and I half-jokingly/half very seriously say that when we eventually have our first wee one, he plans to get the Breville Oracle Touch Espresso Machine as my “push present” lol. What’s your favorite drink and/or settings on the Breville Oracle Touch Espresso Machine??