Must-Haves that Stayed Favorites | 2020

I’m really satisfied with how many of the must-haves I wrote about in 2019 actually were successfully incorporated into my must-haves that stayed favorites throughout 2020! I did a better job honing in on what I could (not just would want to!) reach for. There are plenty of long-time favorites that kept their spots on their list, though! 🙂

Keep in mind that these are products that I really enjoyed using enough to 1) remember they exist, 2) put them in a more accessible area, and 3) use again but in my world, using the same product more than a handful of times is a feat, so my threshold for “must-have” is by no means something I have to use everyday (not possible!).

You might want to check out the new must-haves I discovered in 2019 along with the must-haves that remained favorites in 2019.  This post is a reflection of how those newer must-haves were incorporated into my routine in 2020 along with any my long-time must-haves as listed in 2019 continued to be used in 2020.  I’d love to hear about your own staple products in the past year and how that compared to prior year; what stood the test of yet another year?

Here are some things that changed:

Some things that definitely did not change…

And here are how my new must-haves from 2019 ended up working in 2020…

EYE PRODUCTS: I still very much favor Pat McGrath and Natasha Denona eyeshadows whenever it comes to having an opportunity to play with old releases, even if other palettes and products are stellar quality. Natasha Denona Biba and Nude palettes are both my “go-tos” for neutrals.  I used Pat McGrath’s Nocturnal Nirvana and Sydney Grace’s Autumn’s Reign a few times over the past year, but I found when I wanted to use Sydney Grace eyeshadows, I wanted full access to my singles instead.

CHEEK/FACE PRODUCTS: I did, in fact, end up reaching for and using Cover FX Warm Honey, Milk Makeup Blitzed, Fenty Beauty Afternoon Snack/Mo’ Hunny, and Sydney Grace Paris Skies throughout the past year.  I didn’t end up using Cover FX Spiced Cinnamon much (I still went for Marc Jacobs Beauty Airblushes instead), and while I do love it, Marc Jacobs Beauty Jet Girl is just too large to store in my vanity drawers so I didn’t remember to use it much!

I used the Pink-Champagne side of the Natasha Denona highlighter/blush mini (still wish it came as an individual shade!).  When I wanted something warmer and just as sparkly, I used Fenty Beauty’s Wattabrat.

LIPS:  I didn’t end up wearing Giorgio Armani Rose Nomad more than once again, but I did reach for and was able to reuse Pat McGrath Flesh 3 and Marc Jacobs To the Moon.

Must-Haves that Stayed Favorites in 2020


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Ana Maria Avatar

I started this journey 3-4 years ago slowly, but 2020 was definitely the year I realized I don’t need to always buy new products. I kept repurchasing MAC Prolongwear Concealer and the Blotting Powder, I returned each time to Paula’s Choice primer with SPF. And most likely in 2021 instead of trying new things, I’ll repurchase old favorites once I finish current products.

Charlie Avatar

Love this post! I love hearing what remains a must have or what changes. I have been using my old formula bite agave lip masks nonstop, and the other must have has been the Becca under eye concealer pot. Not super exciting but definitely helpful!

Genevieve Avatar

It’s always really lovely to read about what you choose to use when you are not testing makeup, the kinds of products that catch your eye and suit your skintone and colouring.
I think you post reflects how we do change our preferences now and again, but other products remain dear to our hearts.

Some things that did not change:
Foundation: I still love and wear every day L’Oreal’s True Match foundation in porcelain rose.
Lipsticks: CP’s Foolish, Tea Thyme, LA Lady remain staples within my lipstick range, as does EA’s Perfect Bronze, Maybelline’s Spice for Me and Milani’s Cinnamon Spice.
Eye Products: I still love my Nakeds 1 & 2, Huda’s Smokey Obsessions, Pixi Beauty Reflex Light, Stila in the Garden, Dior’s Bonne Etoile, Maybelline’s Burgundy Bar and ABH Sultry palettes, to name a few.

What Changed in 2020
Cheek Products: After reading some of your excellent posts about cheek products, I realised that just plain corals suited me the most. So I purchased Clinique’s Melon Pop and The Balm’s Hot Mama. I tried to get Cover FX’s Soft Peach shades, but to no avail.
Lipsticks: I did add Maybelline’s Mauve for Me to my favourite lipstick stash – it was easy to wear under a mask.
Eye Products: PMG’s Sublime Mini has been a definite favourite since purchase, along with her Lapis Luxury shade – which is stunning. ND’s Glam and CT’s The Rebel 2020 will be popular additions for this year.

Mariella Avatar

You mentioned – no surprises – several of my favourite eyeshadow palettes – Dior Bonne Etoile, Stila In the Garden (gosh, isn’t that a thing of beauty AND practicality?), the first 2 Naked palettes and ABH Sultry. I didn’t list them or the stellar Chanel Empreinte du Desert because all are no longer around – either LE or discontinued. But they are such beauties! I think I’ll take out Sultry and give it a whirl for the next 2 or 3 days (I’ve been trying to emulate YOU by using my palettes in a rotation of some sort).

Mariella Avatar

Staples of mine that haven’t been discontinued or weren’t Limited Edition:

Dior Rosy Glow Awakening Blush (I think that’s the name); MAC Craving lipstick, Sephora Cappuccino pencil liner; UD Corrupt Eye Pencil; IT CC Cream, Australian Gold Tinted Facial Moisturizer and, much as it pains me to include it, Hourglass Veil powder and Ethereal Light Ambient Lighting Powder. For eyeshadow palettes, I guess it would have to be Smashbox Minimalist which is still available. I was going to include Nars Voyageur Suede palette but I think it came out in 2020, not ealier. It goes without saying that my Chanel quads remain ongoing favourites but I think all of them were either LE or have been discontinued (even Tisse Rivoli and Gabrielle).

brendacr1 Avatar

I have complained for quite a while that I could never find a primer that worked with any of my foundations nicely so I just didn’t use one. Well, going through my cupboard I found a tube of Heir Atelier Primer, so I’ve been using it whenever I have been using foundation and it’s been making me look like a rockstar! I have been trying it a few different ways just to make sure it wasn’t a fluke and each time I come home and look in the mirror my makeup hasn’t moved at all, it looks like I have just applied it, I can’t stop admiring my face in the mirror! I hope when I change my foundation it keeps up because I’m in love with this stuff!

Ginny Avatar

There’s still nothing that makes an effortless look for me like MAC Eye Kohls. Perennial favorites. This year I tried to replace Armani’s Neo Nude powder which I use as bronzer and is really expensive. But nothing I tried could match it so it still stands.

For things that have been unseated: Nars Orgasm blush. Too much hardpan so now I use MAC Springsheen. For lip products I’m always changing my mind and bouncing around.

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