Best Makeup Products of 2022

I hope you enjoyed the holidays. It has been busy and a little crazy moving so close to Christmas, but I’ve survived so far 😅. We stopped on the way to our new home to enjoy the holiday with family and that has been a welcome break.

So anyway, I wanted to share some of the best products that I tested this year. These items aren’t favorites of mine but I can still appreciate them for how well they perform. For more stand-out products, check out my recent post on the Most Surprising Products of 2022. Let’s get into it.

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

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Dreams Quad, $53**

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Dreams Quad Swatches and Review
Pillow Talk Dreams Luxury Palette

The Pillow Talk Dreams Luxury Palette is a great option for anyone that likes to keep things simple especially if you have a medium to dark skin tone. Those with lighter skin tones can still use this quad, however, all of the shades being mid-tones and darker keep it from offering as much versatility. That is just my opinion, of course, so don’t let me discourage you if you feel that I’m off base with that assessment.

Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Dreams Quad Swatches on Medium Dark Skin
Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk Dreams Quad

All of the shades are nicely pigmented and although the shimmers offer a nice amount of shine, they are forgiving to eyelid texture. One thing that may be important for some of you is that the mattes in this quad do darken when they are applied over anything that may still be wet. If you want to see how dark they get, check out my full review post by clicking here. So if you use a cream base or concealer, the matte shades will look darker. You can also check out that same review if you want more details on this quad.


Smashbox Halo Tinted Moisturizer, $41**

MAC Studio Radiance Face and Body C5, Estee Lauder Double Wear Sheer 5W2, and Smashbox Halo Tinted Moisturizer Medium Tan Swatches

When I wear the Smashbox Halo Tinted Moisturizer I feel like I’m having a good skin day. Even on my driest days, it makes my skin feel moisturized and it wears comfortably all day. One caveat is that it isn’t as forgiving to eczema texture as something like the MAC Face and Body is, but honestly, that is a lot to ask of a product. It’s a dewy finish that can benefit from a little powder if you don’t like a tacky feeling on your skin.

Continue reading “Best Makeup Products of 2022”

Worst Makeup Products of 2022

bareMinerals Bare Pro 16HR Powder Foundation in Medium 35 Warm Swatch
bareMinerals Bare Pro 16HR Powder Foundation in Medium 35 Warm
Armani Lip Power Long Lasting Satin Lipstick in 400 Swatch
Armani Lip Power Long Lasting Satin Lipstick in 400

Even when products don’t work for me initially, I do my best to test them in different ways to find a way to use them. Unfortunately, these are some products that I could never get to work. Labeling these as the worst makeup products of 2022 doesn’t mean that they won’t work for anyone else, but for me, there are several other products with better performance that I would recommend over them.


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

ONE/SIZE by Patrick Starrr Turn Up The Base Buttersilk Concealer, $25**

ONE/SIZE by Patrick Starrr Turn Up The Base Buttersilk Concealer, $25**

The ONE/SIZE Turn Up The Base Buttersilk Concealer was so bad for me that I returned it. I don’t think it is a bad product, but it did not work for me at all. This formula dries down quickly, but not so quick that it is hard to work with. Since it is matte I was hoping that I could wear it without powder, but unfortunately, I got creasing. Creasing is a typical issue for me, so that definitely doesn’t mean it will crease on everyone. Setting it with powder did help the creasing, but it was already so dry looking on its own that the powder only made it look worse. Obviously, that makes sense, but since I was trying it out anyway, I tried it with powder just to see how it went.

This is a matte, full-coverage concealer, so if you know my skin concerns (dry, sensitive, eczema-prone) you may be wondering why I even tried it out. Well, the Sephora product information does claim that this can work for dry skin and I also watched several reviews from other people with dry skin that love this formula. So it just doesn’t work for me personally. I would recommend the Pat McGrath Sublime Perfection Concealer** and the Too Faced Born This Way Super Coverage Multi-Use Longwear Concealer** over the ONE/SIZE concealer. The Pat Mcgrath is the most similar with its full coverage and matte finish. The Too Faced concealer has better coverage than both the Pat McGrath and One Size but it has a natural/satin finish. For swatches and more details on Pat McGrath and Too Faced concealers, I have a post that you can check out by clicking here.


Continue reading “Worst Makeup Products of 2022”

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.

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MAC’s Most Inconsistent Eyeshadow Formula – Dazzleshadow Extreme

Now, you guys know how much I love MAC, but I can admit that the brand has missed the mark with this eyeshadow formula. They really should have spent more time refining it before putting it on the market. The worst part to me is that they are still using this formula in palettes, so they seem to be running with it. There do tend to be inconsistencies in other finishes (from other brands as well, not just MAC), but given that there are only 10 dazzelshadow extreme shades, they really should perform more similarly to each other than they do. The shades that I have tried are Objet D’ Art, Couture Copper, Joie De Glitz, Celebutante, and Incinerated and between these 5 shades, they feel like 3 (maybe 4) different formulas.

MAC Dazzleshadow Extreme Eyeshadows Objet D' Art, Couture Copper, Joie De Glitz, Celebutante, Incinerated Swatches and Review
L to R: Objet D’ Art, Couture Copper, Joie De Glitz, Celebutante, Incinerated

Objet D’ Art and Joie De Glitz perform the same in that they have a gritty texture with noticeable sparkle and a good amount of fallout. If you are someone that doesn’t mind doing your eyes first or cleaning up fallout, I actually would recommend these two. I’m not sure how anyone at MAC felt right describing Celebutante as extreme. It has a very soft finish, it looks much shinier in a swatch than it does on my eyes. I would say it is satin at best, there is nothing metallic or extreme going on in my experience. If you like a more subtle eyeshadow, I do think this one performs nicely and I had no issues with fallout. It just doesn’t deliver what it should since it is grouped under the dazzleshadow extreme finish. I did purchase Celebutant from the Cosmetics Company Outlet, so I guess it is possible that it was part of a bad batch that got sent to the outlet as overstock.

Couture Copper is smoother than Objet D’ Art and Joie De Glitz and doesn’t have a noticeable sparkle to it but does have more shine than the typical MAC finish you may be used to. It is also more finicky to apply than Objet D’ Art and Joie De Glitz, applying best with fingers. I still like and use Couture Copper, but there are better more user-friendly shadows. The reason I said there are “maybe 4” formulas is that while I think that the formula of incinerated is most similar to Couture Copper, it has a thicker texture that makes it the hardest of all shades to work with. Hopefully, there isn’t much more variation in the formula of the other 5 shades in this line, but at this point, I wouldn’t be shocked.

Have you tried this formula? What do you think of it? Let me know in the comments section below.

MAC DazzleShadow Extreme Swatches (L to R):

  • Objet D’ Art: Electric ochre with silver sparkle
  • Couture Copper: Bright copper
  • Joie De Glitz: Olive green
  • Celebutante: Rosy pink with red sparkle
  • Incinerated: Brown with red pearl
Continue reading “MAC’s Most Inconsistent Eyeshadow Formula – Dazzleshadow Extreme”

Makeup So Good That I Want To Buy More

UPDATE October 2022:  Looking for me? Military life has us moving again, as it does. So while I won’t be posting, if you have questions you can always leave a comment on any post or email me at editor.nikkifromhr@gmail.com.

Dior 689 Mitzah, NARS Liberte, Pat McGrath Belle of the Ball Swatches
Dior 689 Mitzah, NARS Liberte, Pat McGrath Belle of the Ball (LE)

If you watch beauty videos on YouTube you may have seen this concept popping up where people are highlighting makeup that was so good they needed more. I thought I’d run with that idea but instead talk about a few things that I’m not going to buy more of despite really enjoying them. I’m no stranger to buying multiple colors of the same formula and as you’ll see in the last two, I already own multiples. I’m just trying to buy makeup differently moving forward.

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

Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette (689 Mitzah), $62**

Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette 689 Mitzah Swatches on Medium Dark Skin
Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palette 689 Mitzah

I have posted a full review with swatches if you want my full thoughts on this palette. I have owed several Dior 5 Couleurs over the years and I’m never disappointed. Every time I wear Mitzah, I’m impressed by how smooth they are on my eyelids, while still having enough shine to stand out. Lately, I have been reading and watching reviews of the 579 Jungle version because I love green eyeshadow but as with most colors, all greens don’t work for me.

$ 0.00
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$ 62.00
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Dior 5 Couleurs Couture Eyeshadow Palette 579 Jungle 0.24 oz / 7 g**

While I do think that the two greens in this palette would work out great, I really think I’d mostly only use the 1 green shimmer shade and the rest of the palette would be a waste for me. In the reviews I’ve watched, the dark green matte does seem to show as green, so that was good to find out, but I hardly ever use shades that dark. Buying this palette would just take time away from enjoying the Mitzah palette.

The Dior 5 Couleurs Eyeshadow Palettes can be purchased for $62.00 at nordstrom.com** and sephora.com.**

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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”