HAPPY NEW YEAR, Y'ALL! Who doesn't love starting anew just because some long-dead pope named Greg said so, amirite?
I, for one, am looking forward to all the new beauty products that will be launched in 2016. For example, Tom Ford is wasting no time and launching a new cleansing oil, like, today. (More on that soon.)
But let's not jump so hastily into this new year that we forget the best launches of 2015!
My favorite new product of 2015 would have to be MAC Lightful C Tinted Cream SPF 30 With Radiance Booster. Essentially a BB cream, it launched in May, just when I was looking to do my annual switch from foundation to something lighter.
In addition to it being a perfect weight and easily, invisibly blended, it features both UV-blocking ingredients and brightening ingredients, like vitamin C and licorice. They also managed to stuff in an anti-aging peptide, hydrating botanical extracts, and oil-controlling ingredients.
In other words, I'm probably not switching back to regular foundation anytime soon. It looks great, it feels great, and it comes in nine truly comprehensive shades, from Extra Light to Dark Plus.
I asked xoVainers what their favorite 2015 beauty launches were, and here's what they told me.
"I'm going to have to go with Benefit Roller Lash mascara, which launched earlier in the year and is a product I consistently use. I'm on my third tube of the year, in fact. It gives me long and curled but featherlight and natural-looking lashes. I sometimes use the They're Real mascara, which is also good (love the blue one, especially). However, I find that Roller Lash is easier to apply and easier to wash off. It's also a less clumpy formula, in my experience."
"I think the launch that most excited me in 2015 was the Giambattista Valli x MAC collaboration. I always find myself interested in MAC launches in general, but this one was particularly exciting because I love Giambattista Valli as a designer, and I loved the packaging of this range. I gifted a couple of the lighter/brighter colors to friends, but I kept the gloss, and the shades Charlotte and Eugenie, and I'm still in LOVE. I can't wait to see what MAC launches in 2016 (I'm looking at you Zac Posen x MAC)!"
"Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo is a cut above the rest. Hair actually feels clean when you use it, rather than the powdery residue you can find with some other dry shampoos. My hair gets REALLY sweaty and gross when I work out, but this formula soaks it ALL up, with almost no white stuff left behind. If any white stuff shows up, you can just let it rest for 30 seconds, and then comb through or shake it out with your fingers. It's the best dry shampoo I've ever tried, hands down."
"I love the Maybelline Vivid Matte Liquid Lipsticks. Maybelline has been killing it in the drugstore lipstick department in the past two years. They've been consistently mixing great colour payoff, on-trend shades and smooth formulas that never feel chalky, and these liquid lipsticks are no exception.
"The shade 10/Nude Flush is what I'm wearing here. It's got that "nipple" hue we talked about before, plus opaque coverage in one layer and no gross, dried out feeling. Similar to their beloved Creamy Mattes from last year, but the lip-gloss wand application feels more precise. And it's cheap!"
"So unsurprisingly, my favorite launch of 2015 is a line of lipsticks. The ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip colors come in a million shades, and holy cow, do they stay on like no other. My top three are Solow, Dr. M and More Better."
"I picked Tarteguard 30 by Tarte as my #1 product launch of 2015. It's the first physical or mineral sunscreen that I've ever tried that didn't make my face look as ashy as the day is long. Now, I'm not some sunscreen truther insisting that the ingredients in chemical sunscreen are so dangerous that you're better off not using it at all (I think that's absurd); but I DO like to try and avoid potentially hazardous ingredients whenever possible.
"I also love that this sunscreen is light enough to layer over my regular moisturizer and the packaging (a glass bottle with a silicone sleeve over it) it too cool for school."
"I think they might have launched in 2014, but my hands-down favourite new brand discovery of 2015 is Captain Blankenship. Everyone that's worked in beauty has at some point in time, entertained the idea of making and selling their own line. You fantasize about the products you'd make, the names you'd give them — it's fun, and if you've never done it, you might actually be an inanimate object. Captain Blankenship IS that brand for me; their fragrances are the ones I wish I'd mixed.
"Their hair care is exactly what I want, in the packaging and the scents I want. Sure, I could mix up my own hair oil or fragrance, but why bother when they've NAILED IT?"
"My favourite product launch from this year might have to be the Max Factor Masterpiece Glamour Extensions 3-in-1 Mascara, and it’s the first fibre mascara I’ve ever not hated — probably because it’s a one-step process. It does heaps for length and volume — mostly length — and doesn’t have fluffy bits that get in your eyes.
"This one’s for all the non-USA Vainers out there because Max Factor’s not really easy to get in the States anymore, but apparently CoverGirl does a lot of the same products just with different names, so you can probably track it down."
"Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick in the shade Villain. This colour makes me feel like I could take down the school bully. The texture is also wonderfully moisturising and velvety."
"My favorite product launch was the Cover FX Custom Cover Drops. Foundations are usually too yellow or orange for me since I have a neutral undertone. These drops help me get closer to the perfect shade, and they mix really well with almost anything. They're also giving the foundations I've been ignoring that weren't the best color match for me new life."
"I raved about bareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream when it hit the market last spring and I'm still as besotted as the day we met. I'm on my second tube now, because I wear this almost daily (unless I need a full-coverage foundation) to even out redness and give my dry skin a gorgeous, dewy glow. I can't imagine using anything else."
"ONOMIE is a new line consisting of only two products: a brightening under-eye concealer and an "illuminating eye treatment" (aka a highlighter). First of all the design and aesthetic of the brand is very pleasing to me, but that's just something that would make me take notice a product quicker. Behind the actual products, these combine skin care with makeup (I am a die-hard "skincare infused into makeup" person), so each contains vitamin C, botanical ingredients as well as antioxidants to not only conceal any eye area shadows, but also work to diminish them properly.
"They can be a bit spendy, but considering they're working to nix the issue on a more permanent scale, it's kind of working to make itself void so you won't need them anymore (theoretically). And I actually really love the quality of these. The concealer is light, easy to blend, comes in a full range of colors for any skin tone, and it doesn't crease or get weird throughout the day. The highlighter is also easy to blend and gives just the right amount of shine to look brighter without appearing like some sort of shimmer-panda.
"Also cool to note: they name their shades after historical women geniuses in history, which is pretty boss (I'm a "Hypatia" btw) and donate a percentage of profits to an organization that provides educational scholarships to girls in low-income countries."
"2015 was the most stressful year ever for me, and I've spent the past few weeks insanely swamped with moving across the country and starting a new job, so I literally cannot think of a single beauty product, let alone my favorite one to launch this year. But if I had to talk about my favorite thing in 2015, I would say how much I'm glad to have gotten to know my boyfriend, Oscar Isaac.
"Have you guys met my boyfriend, Oscar Isaac? He's so great. So nice, so smart, so absolutely stupid-levels of oh my god so hot I cannot breathe. Oscar Isaac is the most beautiful thing to happen to me in 2015 and ever, and he inspires me to be the best I can be because he is the best.
"I just survived my first Snow Emergency up here in New England, thanks to my boyfriend, Oscar Isaac, keeping me warm. If you'll excuse me, I need several moments alone with my boyfriend, Oscar Isaac."
OoooooK then. On that note, an obvious question for this Open Thread: What was your favorite beauty launch (product or brand) of 2015?