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Post in Makeup Is Life

Best, Most, and Worst [2021 Edition]

Another year has passed so figured I'd keep my tradition going and post my Best, Most, and Worst thread. Can't wait to read everyone's replies!

1) Your favorite purchase of the year- why?

2) A purchase you regret- why?

3) Most expensive purchase- was it worth the money? 

4) Most hyped product you bought- was it worth it?

5) Did you spend less, the same, or more than other years? 

6) Rediscovered loves or underrated/underhyped makeup discoveries

7) A product you missed out on or haven't bought yet but really want

8 ) Did your makeup routine change in any way?

9) What makeup trend do you think will be big next year?

10) What was your favorite body product or fragrance?


Here are my answers!

1) Your favorite purchase of the year- why? It's like trying to pick a favorite child. I picked up so many good products this year. Top 5, I would say Natasha Denona Retro Eyeshadow Palette PAT McGRATH LABS Mothership IX Eyeshadow Palette: Huetopian Dream, the Vanity Makeup Cosmetics Signature Palette, and NARS Bijoux and Climax palettes. I had some really cool purchases over Black Friday but I haven't tried them enough to make them favorites just yet. For non-makeup, I bought myself a Coach bag on sale and have no regrets. The outlet is where it's at. 

2) A purchase you regret- why? I don't regret them so much so that I wish they were better formulated: the Melt Cosmetics Mary Jane Eyeshadow Palette and Melt Cosmetics Brunet Eyeshadow Palette . I love the color stories but have issues with the shimmers.

3) Most expensive purchase- was it worth the money? Sonia G Sky Face Set, totally worth it for me.

4) Most hyped product you bought- was it worth it? I would say the Rephr brushes lived up to the hype for me. I haven't washed them all just yet and I'm not sure how well they hold up over time but I was very happy with how they feel and how the apply color.  Another overhyped product I bought is the Thrive mascara, it's just ok for me.

5) Did you spend less, the same, or more than other years? I'm not sure. My purchases over the first half of the year were pretty minimal but I went all out during Black Friday and all the sales, so maybe about the same?

6) Rediscovered loves or underrated/underhyped makeup discoveries Rose Inc blushes, MUFE cream blushes, Roen quads

7) A product you missed out on or haven't bought yet but really want the Victoria Beckham Bronzer in #2 and the Rephr 22 Brush (the large bronzer one).

8 ) Did your makeup routine change in any way? During the first half of the year I didn't use that much makeup but being back on BIC definitely reignited my love for doing full looks. 

9) What makeup trend do you think will be big next year? I think we're still going to see lots of cream products and light bases.

10) What was your favorite body product or fragrance? CLEAN RESERVE Reserve - Skin 3.4 oz/ 101 mL Eau de Parfum Spray is still one of my favorites for every day. For body, I recently discovered the Biossance 100% Sugarcane Squalane Oil 3.4 oz/ 100 mL thanks to a few BIC members and it's a game changer for me. 


Tagging @itsfi @Sunnysmom @faeriegirl @eshoe @Ispend2much6 @curlychiquita @ather @SportyGirly125 @lmaster @haleyvvvv @heavyhedon @RGbrown @sister13 @CookieGirl1 @greeneyedgirl107 @AznAngelLiz @Kim888 @Titian06 

Re: Best, Most, and Worst [2021 Edition]

@Nahnom Do you mean Arabic as in Arabic-themed or Arabic as in produced from Arab nations? I have smelled many of the former, these "inspired by Arab culture" fragrances, but I am not familiar with traditional Arabic fragrances and attars.


Maybe if you shared examples of what you mean by the Arab perfumes you have in mind, I could be more specific 🙂 What I can say for now is that Fayoum is a modern scent so it is not at all like your typical opulent, amber and spice laden "oriental" perfume. It is also very different from modern, fruity, fig forward perfumes like Diptyque's Philosykos or Hermes' Jardin en Mediterranee. Most fig perfumes focus on the fresh fig with its milkiness and greenness. Fayoum offers the tang of dried figs. JS offers samples if one is hesitant. Personally, I do not buy full bottles without sampling first. Even if it smells nice, it might not work well with your skin!

Re: Best, Most, and Worst [2021 Edition]



Thanks for the suggestion.


*aka local/indie in that you can only buy from a seller in a marketplace and can't find it online.

Re: Best, Most, and Worst [2021 Edition]

@Nahnom Yes, I totally know what you mean about becoming bored with a genre!


OK, I think I get where you're coming from. By local/indie, I'm assuming you're in North America and you're buying scents from an urban pop-up market full of crafters and DIY beauty product makers and not a traditional Arab marketplace. In this case, I would say that the nose behind Jazmin Sarai was trained in Grasse so the house has that French polish and balance while the quality of indies can vary greatly. In my experience, the vast majority of indies are weak - someone playing around with ingredients and putting it in great packaging. If that person or team has a lot of capital behind them, they can even command a decent distribution network, look very professional, and charge through the roof for subpar product. Having said that, there are also some excellent self-taught noses that break the mold or go their own way. And not every perfume needs to be polished of course! There can be a lot of charm in less refined work. But I definitely wouldn't pay as much for it.

Re: Best, Most, and Worst [2021 Edition]

@pocketvenus Didn't know that she was trained in Grasse. I've never bought or used any Arab (whether Arab-inspired or Arab-made) perfumes from an urban pop-up in North America.  

Re: Best, Most, and Worst [2021 Edition]

@Nahnom Ha ha I should have worded my question more clearly!! Sorry for any confusion. What I meant was, I'm familiar with Arab-inspired fragrances meant for a market where most of the consumers think of the European dominated perfume market and are not familiar with attars, ouds and such versus Arab scents made for Arab markets where the scents will be based on a totally different history. I'm not familiar with the latter so in this case, I'm afraid I can't make any comparison and answer your question!


I really doubt Fayoum is a commercial win for the house. It just doesn't meet anything the US and Canadian markets are asking for or are familiar with. It also doesn't fit any established perfume genre aside from the catch-all, "niche." Even though it's inspired by an Egyptian place and is by an Arab nose, it does not draw from the conventions of the oriental genre which typically features spices, musks and most of all, amber. If the notes in Fayoum are a familiar genre in Arab-dominant markets, unknown to outsiders, it might be better compared to something like YSL's M7 which was the first widely distributed oud fragrance in the US and Europe and a commercial flop for Tom Ford who was the creative director behind it. M7 was not at all popular. The US or Euro markets were not ready for it and it was discontinued - though it was reformulated and re-released many years later in a tamer, more accessible form. I would be shocked if Fayoum sells as well as others from the house. The one that I think fits what you described better is Nar which came mid-way through as the smoky genre was taking off in niche such that we now see mainstream versions like TF's Ebene Fume. Both well made scents too 🙂

Re: Best, Most, and Worst [2021 Edition]

@pocketvenus That Jazmin sounds interesting! I think your nose is definitely refined for the higher end ones.

Re: Best, Most, and Worst [2021 Edition]

@Samtian It's really good and very unique, when your smell returns, I'd recommend sampling <333

Re: Best, Most, and Worst [2021 Edition]

@pocketvenus I added it to the wishlist the second I read the notes haha. 

Re: Best, Most, and Worst [2021 Edition]

@Samtian I really like the house, it's really affordable and there are some winners. I also really like the coffee cardamom one, Otis and Me.

Re: Best, Most, and Worst [2021 Edition]

@pocketvenus  It's been years since I burned incense at home, but that hasn't stopped me from browsing Shoyeido's site and telling myself "c'mon, do you really need USD $100+ incense? No you do not." 🤣 Which one (that you already have) is your favorite scent? 


Also, now I'm curious about the Canadian version of Luna. In the US, it contains HPR, aka granactive retinoid: that's a fairly new ester of retinoic acid that theoretically requires no skin cell conversion to retinoic acid. So, theoretically, it works faster than retinol with less irritation than tretinoin (which is basically retinoic acid). Does the Canadian version contain retinol instead of HPR? I wonder if Canada law treats HPR as tretinoin and, therefore, doesn't allow it in OTC products. Which is odd because HPR is not tretinoin. I mean, HPR still hasn't been clinically studied or results-proven enough to get out of "theoretically" status, so... huh. Adding this to my list of interesting things to investigate. 

Re: Best, Most, and Worst [2021 Edition]

@WinglessOne I know it's so tempting ha ha ha.


The only Premium incense I can speak to is Ojya-ko or "King's Aroma" which is a great, long lasting but not overpowering sandalwood scent. It's not nearly as expensive as the kyara/agarwood sticks, very affordable.


I think the Horin line is great. One of my favourites is from the line is Horikawa or River Path. It's more expensive than KA but I think it's totally worth it. It has warm spices with a good amount of sweetness. Quite rich but never in an overpowering way. Knowing your tastes in perfumes, you might really enjoy this one. They also have a Horin sampler set with five different scents in case you're curious about the whole range but it doesn't include Horikawa which I think you would find the most memorable. Instead, the sample set has Shirakawa, White River, which is also spicy but gentler.


There's also a very affordable one in the Genji series that's called Hanachiru-Sato, or Field of Blossoms, that I really enjoy. It's quite different from a lot of the other Shoyeidos. I'd describe it as modern, woody and refreshing. I think you'd prefer the Horikawa though.


So I'm so glad you brought up the ingredients because I think I got things mixed up. The Canadian ingredients list on Sephora's website also says retinol now though I distinctly remember looking up the ingredients and seeing "retinoic ester"? Jeez, maybe I mixed up the Canadian and US Sephora sites since I shop on both when I buy gifts for my American friends. I'm pretty sure HPR is not allowed in Canada OTC now but the regulations seem to keep changing. A number of years ago, I recall Canadians were upset that Luna had to be reformulated for us and people were getting Luna in the US. I've only ever tried retinol though so I'm glad the Canadian one has it, not sure why I thought they were using a retionoid.

Re: Best, Most, and Worst [2021 Edition]

@pocketvenus I've been obsessed with Sunday Riley's Luna this year. I got the beauty favorites boxes from the VIB sale last year (four of them) that included a small 0.17 (i think) vial in each and they lasted me FOREVER. I finally bought a 0.5 oz at the prestige ULTA sale a couple days back since the last of my vials is getting low.

Re: Best, Most, and Worst [2021 Edition]

@QueenMarceline Yes, I literally only use 4 drops of the stuff per week!!! 💧💧💧💧

Re: Best, Most, and Worst [2021 Edition]

@pocketvenus Great picks! It’s hard to be a fan of a product but not the name behind it. Sounds like you invested in some good luxe purchases. I would love to see a picture of your fragrance collection sometime. I probably wouldn’t recognize half the stuff lol 

Re: Best, Most, and Worst [2021 Edition]

@makeitup305 Yeah, I don't have anything against Ms. Kardashian per se as I don't really know anything about her, it's more that I don't understand why we would celebrate individuals born into great wealth! Here's a pic of the two fragrances I bought ❤️ I do have mainstream stuff like CdG, Hermes so you'd definitely recognize some I'm sure 🙂 But my collection isn't actually all that large. I keep a lot of samples or decants on hand for reference but if I know I'm bored of something, I give it away to someone who will truly enjoy it. So many of my friends have niche perfumes now ha ha 



Re: Best, Most, and Worst [2021 Edition]

@pocketvenus I want to try some more niche fragrances this year. I'm happy lots of more expensive brands are doing sample sets, too. Most of the fragrance samples I don't like end up in the spare bathroom at my house for guests to try out or take.

Re: Best, Most, and Worst [2021 Edition]

@makeitup305 I LOVE the little sampler sets. I'm always down to try something new but most of the time, I'd only like a small size to wear every now and then or hang onto for reference and I don't love it enough to want to wear it regularly.

Re: Best, Most, and Worst [2021 Edition]

@pocketvenus I recently picked up the Kilian set from Sephora and a Maison Francis Kurdijian from Nordstrom. Today I saw one from House of Sillage and a big one from Commodity. I remember people were sad when Commodity seemed to be discontinuing their fragrances from Sephora a couple of years ago but they seem to have brought them all back. This one is really tempting since there's so many!

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Re: Best, Most, and Worst [2021 Edition]

@makeitup305 Yes, it's definitely a trend now to release a sampler set and I am totally behind it!! And yes, I remember that too. Not sure what happened to Commodity's finances and ownership, one wonders if everything's been reformulated or if people can stop searching for dupes!

Re: Best, Most, and Worst [2021 Edition]

@pocketvenusI ended up picking up the set, just out of curiosity and the price point was good for so many fragrances. I looked on their IG and apparently it was sold in 2019 and picked up a few months later by this guy. He posted a bunch of videos on IG detailing the behind the scenes of buy a fragrance brand and relaunching it. I found it super interesting!  I think you would really enjoy it, I was thinking of you as I watched the videos (they're like 5 min each, give or take). They were still selling products during the first wave of Covid in 2020 but I think their whole rebranding was probably pushed back due to the pandemic. I never tried their products when they were at Sephora but many people seemed disheartened by them going out of business. I look forward to trying their "Scent Space" formulations of each scent.

Re: Best, Most, and Worst [2021 Edition]

@makeitup305 Interesting! I don't have IG but what you said about the timing makes total sense. It would take some time to build back the distribution network too, I think, we might not see it at Sephora again?

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