Must-Haves that Stayed Favorites 2021

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Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Palette | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Palette | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Palette | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Palette | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Palette | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Palette | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Palette | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Palette | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Palette | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Palette | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Palette | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Palette | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction / Decadence Look | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction / Decadence Look | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction / Decadence Look | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction / Decadence Look | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction / Decadence Look | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction / Decadence Look | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction / Decadence Look | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction / Decadence Look | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction / Decadence Look | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction / Decadence Look | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Mothership Eyeshadow Palette
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Palette | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Palette | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Palette | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Palette | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Palette | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction Palette | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction / Decadence Look | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction / Decadence Look | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction / Decadence Look | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction / Decadence Look | Look Details
Pat McGrath Bronze Seduction / Decadence Look | Look Details

2021 was a very utilitarian year for me, because it was the hardest year for me–I am fortunate enough that my hardest/worst year on-record is by no means that bad, it’s just relative to what I’ve experienced thus far. Mellan, my heart-dog, passed away on January 12th, 2021, which set the tone for the year and dictated a lot of my beauty rituals and routines.

I teared up frequently throughout the year over his passing, with some days being better than others, and there were even times where a week or two would go by with almost no tears at all (perhaps just a sob-fest randomly in the evening). Nonetheless, it’s taken me awhile to get to the point where I am more consistent about not tearing up significantly during the day.

As a result, in order to still test eye makeup, I applied everything noticeably above the upper lash line, leaving a very blank space between my upper lashes and where the eyeshadow began so that if I did tear up, I didn’t breakdown the makeup I was testing. This really made makeup functional but not that fun. It’s been many years since I really wore whatever I wanted without regard for what I needed to review, but I very, very rarely bothered to do makeup “just for me” in 2021.

A lot of the must-haves I discovered in 2020 didn’t actually end up getting incorporated or used much in 2021, so my 2021 list looks a lot like my 2020 list. Here’s hoping that 2022 might be a better year for me in makeup.

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 2020 along with must-haves that remained favorites in 2020, which gives you an idea of how these all-time favorites have evolved. This post is a reflection of how those newer must-haves were incorporated into my routine in 2021 along with any my long-time must-haves as listed in 2020 continued to be used in 2021.  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:

I finally let go of some products, whether because I moved on or it felt like it was time to replace and I didn’t want to repurchase (because I do like playing with new things and have plenty of new and not-so-new-but-not-yet-old things to enjoy, too!). These included: Giorgio Armani Luce, Milk Makeup Blitzed, and Charlotte Tilbury Light (2).

Must-Haves that Stayed Favorites in 2021

20 Comments

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Genevieve Avatar

I remember very well the absolute shock of your post about Mellan’s passing. And I can’t believe that almost a year has passed since then. He always had such a gentle ‘smiley’ face that I loved to see.

Reviewing the enormous amount of makeup that you do, it is amazing that something gets to be kept and reused, and your choices above are your favourites. These are lovely.

Denise S. Avatar

I can understand you’re grieving over Mellan. He was a special boy. I cried big tears when I heard he’d passed and I didn’t even technically know him. Took me a long time to not feel sad when I think of my beloved Golden Retriever -Goldie. And our cat Blaow, I still miss them a lot. Nice favorites! I own most of them but I see a few that I’d like to try that I don’t own.

Susan Nevling Avatar

I have no comments on your favorites but I want to share that I truly understand your pain and feelings of loss with Mellan’s passing. I had my most wonderful dog ever who had to be put to sleep in 2018. I still tear up at times thinking of him. All my dogs and cats are loved but some stand out. Hugs and love.

Mariella Avatar

We had to put Daisy to sleep in the summer of 2006 and not a day goes by when I don’t think of her. That I was busy with three young children (one quite young) and all the demands of family meant I couldn’t dwell on her loss because my kids were also missing her dreadfully (having to put her down came very suddenly and even our vet said it was a shame as all her “vitals” were so good for a dog her age but her hips or perhaps spine had given out entirely). Just the other day, my older son’s friend came for the evening with his new puppy (the puppy is still quite new and quite young – they don’t want to leave him home alone yet) and I was surprised by how delighted I was with this little fellow (and he seemed awfully drawn to me, out of all the people who were here, but it could be because I’d rubbed a bit of turkey skin on my fingers!).

My must haves/favourites that have stayed favourites (I’ll try to keep it short):
Of course, MAC Craving lipstick
UD’s original Naked palette
MAC Sweet Sentiment blush
Dior Rosy Glow Awakening blush
Sephora Cappuccino pencil liner (before it was reformulated)
NARS Kalahari and Old Church Street e/s duos

Christine Avatar

They are so hard to lose! I can’t imagine forgetting Mellan, and most of the time, the memories bring me more joy than sadness, but he will be forever missed. Even though Mellan had a lot of health issues, he was “good” at the time of passing, so it was still unexpected as we certainly expected one of his known issues to be the cause not yet again something new!

Puppies are precious!

Lily Kelley Avatar

Most of your long time readers like me saw Mellan grow up and will always cherish the memories he left behind. Mellan will always be in our hearts.
Back to make up, Mac Fairly Precious has been a favorite of mine since it was released.

kjh Avatar

When I need to go…and it will be far sooner than your other readers…I’m crossing the rainbow bridge. And if I’m not allowed to cross, I’m not going. (A b******ization of Mark Twain) After I check in with Wrigley, Petrushka, the Teckel, and all the rest who went before me, I’m looking for Mellan, Scunci, and all Temptalia pets. That’s why I will be asking for someone to get the T tumblr up as my last request. So many dogs (and books), so little time. We love them all, but some love YOU at a special level. They are attuned. That’s Mellan.

kjh Avatar

Oh I forgot the question. Zoeva En Taupe, pat Guinevere/unnatural natural, etc, Nars Mona and red family. I never tire of Nars blush palettes. Or Hallberg liners. Since I have virtually stopped buying and have adepts with depots for CP, Viseart, and SG, it’s simple to revisit my besties!

Christina D. Avatar

I was so moved reading about your emotions regarding Mellan’s passing that I don’t even care about the makeup part at this moment. Referring to Mellan as your heart-dog made my eyes well up. Through the years, I’ve been blessed with several wonderful dog and cat children — and currently have four precious felines — but Pepper was my spirit-animal. I had to make that godawful decision to let her go and ease her suffering back in January 2018, and I still breakdown thinking about it and praying I did the right thing. I miss her so much. Of course, I miss all my fur babies and that is the worst part of being a pet parent.

Alex Avatar

Christine, I’ve been a long time lurked and follower of your content. When Mellan passed, I ugly cried. 2021 was difficult for so many reasons, but it is SO hard to say goodbye to beloved pet and family member. I remember thinking about you and Mellan a lot and hoping you were doing okay. I am so impressed by your ability to keep Temptalia despite all the difficulties of this past year, and I want to sincerely say thank you for what you do. You may not realize it, but your makeup and dog related content has been such a lifeline for many of us during COVID, and and always your website makes it easier for me to make smart makeup purchasing decisions. Wishing you a Happy New Year from Minnesota <3

Bren Avatar

Lots of Hugs!!! We love you so much and appreciate all of your efforts. You are incredibly talented and creative. I would be lost without you! Thank you so much for everything… especially your beautiful SG collection. I adore using your shadows/SG shadows almost every day. Sending love of love and may 2022 be your best year yet!

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