The Most Surprising Products of 2022

As I started to put together my 2022 favorites list, it started to look like the If I could Keep Only One Tag Post that I posted back in May. Since I often reference my favorite products and formulas throughout my reviews and sales suggestions, I was thinking it’d be more helpful to shine a light on some different products. So, instead of favorites, I want to talk about 4 products that surprised me (in a good way) this year. These products just don’t quite hit the mark to be my favorite but they are still great products that are worth checking out.

Hourglass Veil Translucent Loose Setting Powder, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Concealer, Covergirl Clean Fresh Tinted Lip Balm in Made for Peach and Clear, NYX HD Finishing Powder in Banana

Despite blogging for 9 years (I published my first blog post in October 2013 😲), I’m one of those people that still get excited to try new formulas. I can appreciate that for instance, all blushes give you a flush of color, and still be curious to know how the formula and color differ from another blush. I go into most reviews expecting products to work just fine. There really aren’t a lot of products that are just bad these days. So when something impresses me and moves beyond that “just fine” feeling, it can be especially exciting for me since I have tried so much makeup over the years.

Oh and I do realize that there are a lot of new WordPress and e-mail subscribers that may not know my preferences as well as some of you, so I created a page that lists my favorite products with any corresponding blog posts. You can check out that page by clicking here.

This blog uses affiliate links (marked with **).  I may earn a small commission when you purchase through links on my site.  Learn more here.

Hourglass Veil Translucent Setting Powder, $46**

Hourglass Veil Translucent Loose Setting Powder Dry Eczema Prone Skin
Hourglass Veil Translucent Loose Setting Powder

Despite hearing rave reviews about this powder, I couldn’t find much information about it working for those with both dry skin and dark skin. Based on the claims, the powder is supposed to work for all skin tones and have a natural finish. So, in theory, there should have been no issue but I was still skeptical so I went to Sephora to check it out in person. As you can see, it impressed me enough in the store to go ahead and purchase it. I don’t typically like loose powders unless they have the mesh screen packaging that most people hate, but I thought this sifter style looked like it wouldn’t be too messy. I still like the mesh style best, but this isn’t too bad. Since I only need a little bit of powder, it dispenses way more product than I need for one use, so I haven’t had any issues. If you pack on powder or have oiler skin I can see how this style of sifter may not give you enough product.

There is no white cast on my Estee Lauder 4W4/NARS Tahoe skin tone and there is no flashback in photos. My skin doesn’t feel dry or tight when using this and it works for both my face and my undereye area. I like it better on the face because I feel like my NARS Light Reflecting Powder does a better job at setting my undereye area. I am however impressed that this is the only powder I’ve ever tried that helps foundation and concealer stay in place under the nose pads of my glasses.

Continue reading “The Most Surprising Products of 2022”

Forgotten Best Sellers: MAC Cosmetics

MAC Studio Fix Conceal and Correct Palette Dark, Extended Play Gigablack Lash, Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Dark, 217S Brush, Raizin Powder Blush, Satin Lipstick MAC Red, Technakohl Liner Graphblack

I enjoy writing these posts because it is a chance to talk about some older products that still manage to take up permanent residence on the brand’s best sellers list. To keep it simple, I use the brand website’s best seller list rather than separate retailers. I have already done a best sellers posts on NARS, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, and Laura Mercier if you’d like to check those out.

While it’s a tough sell to say anything from MAC Cosmetics has been completely forgotten, there are a couple of products that I want to showcase from the brand anyway. Despite not hearing as much hype about MAC Cosmetics they are still a powerhouse in the beauty industry and I’d imagine that a lot of people have some everyday staples from the brand. To get nerdy on you for a quick moment, MAC and Estee Lauder led the Estee Lauder Companies’ makeup portfolio with a net sales increase of $337 million combined (according to the Estee Lauder Companies August 24, 2022, annual report). So again, MAC isn’t really forgotten by makeup consumers at large, but if you are tuned in to beauty news, I think the items I’m going to talk about today may be lesser known to you.

This blog uses affiliate links (marked with **).  When you purchase through links on my site, I may earn a small commission.  Learn more here.

MAC is also joining in on the Labor Day sales and having a buy more, save more event ($20 off $75, $30 off $100, and $50 off $150). There are some exclusions, so double-check the website for the terms** before you get too excited 😉.

Offer ends 3:00am EST on September 8, 2022**
Continue reading “Forgotten Best Sellers: MAC Cosmetics”

40% Off Smashbox Cali Contour Palette (Product Update and Smashbox Bestsellers Sale)

The Smashbox website is currently having a sale for UP TO 50% off Bestsellers and the Cali Contour Palette is one of the featured items. I reviewed this palette back in May of 2021 and while I still think that it would be best for normal, combination, and oily skin types, I figured that this was an excellent occasion to share how I get it to work for my dry skin. I can use the top right and top left shade on my dry skin throughout the year without any issues. However, the yellow setting powder, two highlighters, and the bottom right bronzer shade are the ones that give some trouble.

This blog uses affiliate links (marked with **).  When you purchase through links on my site, I may earn a small commission.  Learn more here.

Offer valid until 8/23/2022 at 11:59pm ET at smashbox.com while supplies last. No code needed.**

It’s really not difficult to work with if you have dry skin, it is just that, in my opinion, these powders need to absorb some moisture to look their best. I find that when worn over dewy foundations (the more moisture the better), they melt into the skin and do not appear dry. When I wear some of the powders in this palette with my top foundations (Estee Lauder Double Wear, NARS Natural Radiant Longwear) they can look dry and powdery. However, over dewy bases like the Smashbox Halo Tinted Moisturizer and the Urban Decay Hydromaniac, they melt into my skin nicely with no dryness.

Smashbox Cali Contour Medium-Dark (Deep) Palette swatches Medium dark skin
Continue reading “40% Off Smashbox Cali Contour Palette (Product Update and Smashbox Bestsellers Sale)”

What’s Old at Sephora, Vol 2 (VIB Sale April 2022)

As always credit for this overall concept goes to Emily Noel on Youtube. I originally saw her older videos about What’s OLD at the Drugstore. I did this for last year’s sale and figured why not turn it into a series. So as the name implies, none of my recommendations are the newest things to the market. The sale dates are 1 April 2022- 11 April 2022 depending on your membership tier.

This blog uses affiliate links (marked with **).  When you purchase through links on my site, I may earn a small commission.  Learn more here.

Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder, $39.00**

This powder has been lurking around since at least as far back as 2016. For years so many people wanted Hourglass to create their ambient lighting powders in skin tone shades. Well, Laura Mercier did just that. The line started out with 6 shades and has been cut down to 3 recently. Shades 1, 3, and 5 are the new permanent lineup, although Sephora currently has shade 2 in stock. While this new range is unfortunate, I hope that more people can discover this great product and the brand can afford to expand the range.

Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder (5 medium to deep) swatch on medium dark skin
Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder (shade 5, medium to deep)

I have dry skin and this is my preferred setting powder but it can also be used as a finishing powder. When using this as a setting powder, I get the longevity and dried down feeling I prefer, but the glow of the powder keeps my skin from looking dry or looking matte. As a finishing powder, I apply this if a foundation is accentuating my texture. I find that layering this on top improves the look of things and makes the texture appear smoother. Laura Mercier claims that this powder has a “diffused, soft-focus finish” and I guess that is the benefit that helps with the look of texture.

Continue reading “What’s Old at Sephora, Vol 2 (VIB Sale April 2022)”

NYX HD Finishing Powder – Banana

NYX Cosmetics makes some bold claims about the HD finishing powder**. I decided to give this powder a try while browsing in the store, so I didn’t have any idea of what the claims were before testing it out. I think that ended up being a good thing because it allowed me to form an opinion without expecting anything specific.

The brand says this powder has a non-cakey matte finish that will soften the appearance of lines and pores. The HD finishing powder does come in 3 different shades.** I purchased the banana shade which is supposed to camouflage dark spots and dark circles. There is also a translucent shade and a mint green shade. The mint green shade claims to help with discoloration and redness.

So I can’t tell you anything about the translucent or mint green shades, but the banana shade only delivers on a couple of those claims.

NYX HD Finishing Powder, $10.00**

NYX HD Finishing Powder Banana Review and Swatch on Medium Dark Skin
NYX HD Finishing Powder – Banana
Continue reading “NYX HD Finishing Powder – Banana”

Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Powder Foundation (4W4 and 5W1)

This is by no means a new product from Estee Lauder, but it is one of their best sellers that I don’t hear much about. As far as I can tell, this version of the Double Wear Powder was reformulated sometime around the beginning of 2019. I remember the Estee Lauder counter had the previous version on clearance shortly before I bought this version for the first time. Every counter doesn’t always get the newest releases right on schedule, so please correct me if that timing is wrong.

Estee Lauder Double Wear Matte Powder Foundation Review 4W4 Hazel and 5W1 Bronze
Estee Lauder Double Wear Matte Powder Foundation – 4W4 Hazel (left) and 5W1 Bronze (right)

Estee Lauder claims that this powder is soft and weightless, and I definitely agree. It feels like I have nothing on when I wear it alone as a powder foundation. That does translate to less coverage than some people might be looking for given the Double Wear name. This powder was designed to be a buildable multi-use powder, so it does start off as light coverage. Not a lot of powder picks up on the brush, which helps it function well as a setting powder. Getting into the buildable claim, it does build on itself with no issue. You can achieve a medium coverage if you apply it with a brush and apply two layers. If you use the included sponge you can get more coverage, but I don’t think it ever quite gets to the full coverage that the brand claims. The sponge also applies the product heavier, so just one layer gives me medium coverage. A second layer with the sponge does improve the coverage a little, but some of my scars still peak through. But again, it looks heavy applied with the sponge and accentuates texture on me.

Continue reading “Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Powder Foundation (4W4 and 5W1)”