The Best Of 2015: Beauty, Fashion, Home, Pets, Everything!

Hey guys!  I can't believe another year has come and gone and that 2015 is almost over!  I've been thinking of all the things I enjoyed over the past 12 months, and over the past couple of weeks I have been compiling a list for this post.  I usually stick to just beauty favorites, but this year it's a little of everything.  I didn't pay attention to numbers, I simply made a list of all my favorite things and grouped them together.  I would love to know what your stand-out favorites were this year, so comment or message me all of the things you've been enjoying.  This blog post is kind of long so I guess we will get right to it.  I will link everything that I can. We will begin with beauty.


As someone who used to not really even believe in primers, I have ended up in total primer obsession territory.  I always use a pore minimizing primer followed by a mattifying primer.  I love the Porefessional and the Smashbox Pore Minimizing Primer for smoothing and filling in my pores, and the Make Up For Ever Mattifying Primer is the best at keeping my oil at bay.


I have two favorite foundations this year, both of which are excellent for fellow oily skin gals like myself.  They both offer great coverage without looking cakey and really hold up during the day.

BB/CC Cream

I've talked about this stuff for forever now.  It has SPF 50+,  it contains an anti-aging serum (vitamins A, C, B and E, hyaluronic acid, hydrolyzed collagen, antioxidants, botanicals, etc.), and it is a full coverage color correcting cream.  Basically this is everything you need in one product.  This is all I travel with, it is especially great in tropical climates.  If you haven't jumped on the wagon yet, then get to jumping.  You won't regret it.


My favorite concealers to use under the eye are the MAC Prep+Prime and the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind.  I don't have super dark circles so I prefer to use something super light that won't crease and settle into my fine lines.  Both of these work beautifully.  To cover any blemishes on my face I prefer the Maybelline Master Conceal.  It's really light and liquid-y and it covers like a CHAMP.  Stays on all through the day really great too.

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, $37

I have one high end favorite and one drugstore favorite.  Both of these powders set your makeup beautifully without adding ANY color to your face.  They actually work very similarly on me.  I have very oily skin and I really benefit from a great powder to lock things in place.  I love these equally even though there is a $32 price difference!

If you know me at all then you know I am OBSESSED with orange makeup and my favorite blush to wear in the warmer months is the gorgeous and glowy Taj Mahal shade by Nars.  In the fall I love to wear Sin (by Nars as well), a gorgeous glowy plum.  My favorite blush to wear in the winter is Hot Tamale by Maybelline, the bright pinkish red shade gives you the perfect I've been out playing in the snow flushed look.  In the spring I love Peaches by MAC, and this is probably what I am wearing any other time I am not wearing the other blushes I mentioned.  The perfect matte peach blush.

Nars Laguna bronzer is just the best.  I personally use this limited edition one (that is still available on Sephora's website) that comes with a baby Ita brush.  Gorgeous bronzer, excellent quality, and definitely an item worth investing in.

Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips All-in-1 Palette in Natural Nude, $13.99
Wet n Wild Shimmer Palette in Hollywood Boulevard

Where I have oily skin I prefer a highlight that is more glowy instead of shimmery or glittery.  My very favorite products that give me this look are the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders and the Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder.  Absolutely stunning.  Two drugstore products that I picked up this year that are just as beautiful is the Physician's Formula Natural Nude Palette and the WNW Shimmer Palette in Hollywood Boulevard.  In the PF palette I only run my brush along the top two rows when I use it for highlight and it has to be one of my favorite highlights OF LIFE.  Just using the top two rows gives you THE perfect light creamy pink highlight (which is my favorite highlight shade).  I tried to link the WNW palette but was unable to find it.  I didn't think this was limited edition and I seen it pretty recently at the drugstore.  It was really cheap, less than 5 bucks and it is a supposed dupe for MAC's coveted Whisper of Gilt highlight they released a few years ago.  If you can still find this I highly recommend giving it a shot!

I have oily lids (just like the rest of my face), so my eyeshadows are prone to creasing.  Both of these are great for preventing creasing, and I also notice my eyeshadow fading less and wearing off less with these as well.  The Nars product goes on clear, but the Benefit one is like a concealer and primer in one.  I have lots of veins and redness on my lids and this covers like you wouldn't believe.
Too Faced Vegas Nay Star Dust Palette (LE Ulta exclusive)

My favorite palette of life, hands down, is the Stila eyeshadow palette in Soul.  It is the perfect palette in my opinion.  I know several YouTubers that share my love of these palettes, but I did see some people taking about them and saying they didn't think the quality was as good as other Stila eyeshadows.  I can only speak for the Soul palette, but it is PERFECT.  Most of the shadows in this palette are buttery, but some do feel a little drier.  However, every single shadow blends out with perfection.  And, if a shadow is a little drier in texture you have 0 fallout with it.  The shadows are pigmented and absolutely STUNNING.  I can't imagine ever loving a palette more than I do this one. That being said, I think MUFE released a killer palette this year, their 15 Artist Shadow Palette has 15 beautiful shadows for an unbelievable price.  This palette has a value over $220 with a price tag of just $59!  (It is still available right now on the Sephora website).  Another limited edition palette that knocked my socks off this year was the Star Dust Palette Too Faced released in collaboration with Vegas Nay.  Unbelievable quality, buttery soft/pigmented shadows, plus it came with several extras (deluxe mascara sample, eyeshadow pigment and a primer).  It was on the Ulta website a few days ago but I didn't see it today when writing this blog post.  If you really want this palette you could definitely find it on eBay.  And the last palette I really wanted to mention this year was the Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette.  Anytime I am doing an eye look and I need to bring in a couple of shadows to complete the look (a great mid tone crease shade to blend, a great matte black to deepen things up, etc.), then I always reach for this palette.  All of the colors are great but the rockstar stand out shade of the palette is the gorgeous warm brown shade in Peanut Butter.  I find myself wanting to use this shadow in almost EVERY SINGLE look I do.


Since discovering the Anastasia Brow Wiz and Clear Brow Gel a few years ago I haven't really strayed from these products.  This year I tried the NYX Micro Brow Pencil and fell in love with it.  Absolutely without a doubt the closest thing you'll get to the Brow Wiz, and it's half the price.


This year I have really been using a gel eyeliner more than anything else.  Maybelline makes my favorite one.  It's super dark and black and dries to a matte finish.  When I do a smoky eye (which is almost always) I love using the Milani Kohl Kajal liner in my waterline.  It really stays put better than most other liners I've tried and it's a gorgeous deep, dark black.  Plus, you really can't beat the price tag.


The Rocket has been my favorite mascara for at least a year now, it is just one of the best mascaras ever in my opinion.  It definitely gets better a couple of weeks after opening.  The Guerlain mascara is a super wet formula and it's one of those mascaras with just a couple of swipes of the wand you immediately see it working.  It is NOT one of those mascaras where you have to set and coat your lashes a dozen times to see the product finally appearing.  If you don't like really wet mascaras you probably won't like this one, but I think it's divine (and totally worth the $30 price tag).


I never do my makeup that I don't set it with a spray.  All three of these were new purchases for me in 2015 and I have enjoyed them all.  I especially like the MUFE and Kat Von D ones if I wear glitter on my eyes.  They really help keep it in place.  The L'Oreal one is really great for the rest of the face as it seems to keep my face from getting as oily.

Nars Lip Gloss in Turkish Delight, $26

My two favorite lip glosses of life are Buxom White Russian and Nars Turkish Delight.  Both are just beautiful pink glosses that make me swoon.  This year I discovered the Sephora Ultra Shine Lip Gels and I have really grown to love them.  It says on the Sephora website that they have a gel-effect on the lips, inspired by gel nail polishes.  I have only purchased two so far, but I am definitely going to pick up a few more next year.  I bought a limited edition shade that is no longer available, and I also bought it in Baby Doll (pictured) which is a pretty baby pink.  The formula of these is basically what landed them in my favorites.  So pretty!


2015 is the year of the liquid lipstick.  It has to hands down be THE makeup trend of the year.  I am very sensitive to products on my lips and liquid lipsticks can sometimes be impossible for me to wear.  I am someone that constantly licks my lips, especially if I have a super drying product on.  I cannot wear those liquid lipsticks that dry down to what feels like a layer of plastic on your lips.  I feel like I have to constantly wet my lips and I will have licked off the whole inner part and will be walking around with a ring of color on the outside of my lips.  NOT pretty, lol.  The products I listed here are what I consider the most comfortable and wearable for me.  Granted I have not tried every brand of liquid lipstick out there, as I pretty much tend to prefer a standard lipstick straight out of the bullet.  I really love the Too Faced Melted lipsticks, my favorite two shades are Melted Fig and Melted Nude.  I also really love the Sephora Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Color formula.  I have 3 different shades of them and they are all gorgeous.  I am mainly talking about this formula being something I love.  When you first apply them they are NOT matte and it takes forever for these to dry down (close to an hour?) but when they do they are on the more matte side but they are super comfortable to wear.  If you don't like any other liquid lipstick formula you've tried before then give these a shot.  The Sephora Cream Lip Stains almost immediately dry down to a matte finish that doesn't transfer, but again these are pretty comfortable to wear.  Not as comfortable as the Luster Mattes (in my opinion), but pretty comfortable.  My favorite shade in this is Marvelous Mauve.  And lastly is the Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Outlaw.  This is a knock your socks off gorgeous red that I actually purchased right before Christmas.  Love.


If you follow my blog then this should come as no surprise.  If I ever wear a nude lipstick it is almost always Honolulu Honey.  This is a flattering nude, which is so hard to find.  The Too Faced Melted Nude lipstick is relatively new to me, but I have absolutely fell in love with it.  Nude lips are great for pairing with smoky eyes, which is almost always how I do my makeup.  


Both of these lipsticks are what I would describe as the quintessential your lips but better shades.  They are both very wearable pinks that don't appear to be anything special, but once you swipe them on they kind of brighten your face and enhance any makeup look.  Out of the two I actually prefer the Maybelline one.  Stunning. 

As I mentioned previously, I adore orange makeup.  My go-to lip look when I am wanting something orange or coral is the Guerlain lipstick in Gipsy and the YSL lip gloss in Corail Lingot.  So luxurious.

All of these lipsticks are superb.  Bite lipsticks are so creamy and feel so nice on the lips, they claim to actually reduce lines on your lips over time.  Covergirl Divine is an excellent dupe of MAC Up the Amp, both of these are just beautiful.  And, if you hadn't noticed, the Too Faced Melted Fig lipstick was mentioned above in one of the other categories.  You know something is pretty great if it's mentioned in more than one category!

The best of the best for a ruby hued lip.


In the age of liquid lipsticks it is vitally important to prep your pout before wearing anything that mattifying.  Plus, I enjoy doing a lip scrub even when I'm not wearing makeup.  It exfoliates your lips and feels so nice.  Top with a moisturizing lip balm and your lips will feel pillowy soft.  This scrub by Lush is not only vegan but it's also edible, so just put some on and give your lips a good rub, then lick it off and you're done.  Oh, and it's delicious.


My favorite lip balm for when I'm just at home is the Dior Rose one.  I especially love applying this when I am fresh out of a hot bath or the shower.  I love to use the Jack Black Intensive lip balm after I do a lip scrub or when my lips are super dry as it is very moisturizing.  Eos lip balms are drier in texture and are my balm of choice for prepping my lips before any liquid lipstick or other drying lip product.  Eos lip balms are not what I reach for on a daily basis usually (I do sometimes), but I definitely prefer them over anything else to prep my lips for other lip products.  The Lemon Drop Eos lip balm is my favorite because not only does it smell and taste the best to me, but it also has SPF 15. The Jack Black has SPF 25, which is super handy in the summer as well!


Let me start out by saying, ALL OF THESE ARE CURRENTLY STILL AVAILABLE ON THE SEPHORA WEBSITE.  I hate mentioning anything that is not readily available for you to get your hands on, and I am so happy these are all still in stock.  Blush palettes are one of my favorite makeup items to collect and I have them from almost every brand there is (Nars, Tarte, Benefit, etc.).  I am so happy to get this one by Too Faced!  I also have really been enjoying the Love Flush Blush set with the coordinating Melted Liquified Lipsticks.  I think the Love Flush blushes are such a beautiful product and I love having backups of 3 of them.  And again, you know a product is great when it is in more than one category in your annual favorites list, and the Make Up For Ever 15 Artist Palette was mentioned above in my favorite eyeshadow palettes category.  Again, beautiful high-end, excellent quality eyeshadows available for an unbelievable bargain.  Grab this while you can, folks.


As of late I am really going back to basics where skincare is concerned.  For at least a decade now my favorite thing to wash my face with has been the Dove White Beauty Bar.  Plain and simple, this soap is so gentle and your skin just loves it.  Same goes with the Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream.  This doesn't have a lot of active ingredients in it, it simply moisturizes your skin.  It's so gentle, and again, your skin will LOVE this.  A new product in 2015 for me was the Murad Advanced Acne & Wrinkle Reducer.  As someone who struggles with adult acne from time to time (mainly blackheads), and who is also starting to see some signs of aging on my skin, the fact that there is a product out there to treat both acne and wrinkles is genius.  I really don't know of any other product out there like this.  It's not an overnight miracle, but with a few weeks of using this product I definitely seen a difference in my skin.  And lastly I wanted to mention an eye cream I bought earlier in the year that I absolutely loved.  Ole Henriksen has several products that I have used and loved, and this one is one of my favorites.  This eye cream is for the daytime, as it has SPF 15 in it.  It's really thick and feels so good under your eyes, yet it isn't greasy at all and makeup goes over it flawlessly.  It makes your under eyes feel really moisturized and I will definitely be repurchasing this again.


While I do buy and keep body washes on hand, I also use the Dove White Beauty Bar in the shower as well.  As soon as I get out of the shower I put my hair up in a towel and apply the Neutrogena Body Oil all over my body while I'm still wet, then I towel off.  Usually after that I always apply a seasonal lotion by Bath and Body Works.  Right now my favorite is the Merry Berry Christmas.  SO GOOD.  If I am really wanting to pamper myself or if I'm feeling really dry I love to use a Body Shop body butter, my favorite flavor is the Vineyard Peach.

Pantene Dry Defy Shampoo and Conditioner, $8.99/each
L'Oreal Total Repair Extreme Shampoo and Conditioner, $4.99/each

For basic shampoos and conditioners, products that simply go down the drain, I tend to buy more affordable products.  These two sets are my favorite for my long hair.  I have oily roots and dry ends and both of these make my hair feel really clean and soft.  Just make sure if you buy these that you buy the Total Repair EXTREME and not the Total Repair 5.  There's definitely a difference.


As someone with really long hair (waist-length), it is really important to me to keep my tresses as healthy as possible.  The Carol's Daughter Monoi Repairing Hair Mask is just heavenly.  As soon as I use it I notice an immediate slip to my hair that wasn't there before.  It is just SO much softer.  From the drugstore I really love the L'Oreal Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm and the über affordable Aussie 3 Minute Miracle.  The Carol's Daughter product is the champ in this category, but there are other really good cheaper options out there as well.

TreSemmé Heat Tamer Spray, $7

All of these basically work the same.  The Ultime Crystal Shine & Hold one smells really strong like perfume, so you might not like it.  I happen to love it!

Schwarzkopf Styliste Ultime Biotin Volume & Texture H2O Free Hair Spray, $6.97

Every single time I wash my hair I put a dollop of the Living Proof product in my hair while it's still wet.  It makes it a lot easier to comb my hair out and it gives my hair body and shine and makes it much softer.  My oil of choice for my hair is the Morrocanoil Light, which I purchased for the first time in 2015.  It makes your hair soft and shiny without being too heavy and weighing it down.  And my favorite hair spray of the year goes to another Schwarzkopf product, the Biotin Volume & Texture hair spray.  Like the heat protectant I mentioned above, this product smells really strong like a perfume.  I think the aroma is lovely but you might not like it if you don't do scents.  This hair spray is super light and not wet, and you are able to get some volume.  I really like it!

My signature scent in the spring and summer is the Miss Dior Blooming Bouquet, in the fall and winter it is the YSL Manifesto.  In between, here and there, I really enjoy the Vanille perfume that I purchased at Anthropologie in Las Vegas earlier this year.  It's so yummy!


My favorite polish of life is the gorgeous neon-aquamarine blue I'm Addicted by Essie.  This polish just makes me happy!  Other favorites this year were lighter, brighter cream polishes.  My favorite white polish is Floral Street by Nails Inc, and their gorgeous green so pale it's almost white shade in Swan Street was a home run winner this year.  Chillato is a gorgeous creamy yellowish green that looks absolutely stupendous in the spring and summer months!


Black Leather Moto Jacket (random pictured)

Earlier in the year in the spring and summer months, rompers and jumpers seemed to be all the hype.  Easy one piece outfits that you could just throw on and go.  My favorite one I got was this chambray/denim one from Old Navy.  Another trend that really got popular around fall was the monogrammed vest, and well, monogrammed anything you could think of.  I only got one item, this navy quilted vest you see pictured here.  A fashion item that never goes out of style is a scarf, and my favorite scarf of the year I actually purchased at Target.  It is such a great quality and it feels almost just like my $$$ Theodora and Callum ones I have.  And lastly, this year I have also been enjoying my black leather moto jacket that was handmade in Italy that we purchased while vacationing there.  There are so many available by so many brands, you could easily choose you one that's affordable and suits your liking.

The only sneaker you'll ever really need is the classic white Converse Chuck Taylor.  In the spring and summer months my favorite sandal to wear was the Mossimo Gabriela Sandals in Gold.  I don't think they are available anymore, but every year they come out with something along those same lines.  Moving on into the colder months I have really enjoyed this really good leather riding boot (the Marc Fisher Audrey boot) which is very well made and goes with anything.  I also have been loving the Forever 21 Western Redux Genuine Leather Pointed Booties.  These are no longer available on their site, but different brands have things that are very similar and it is this particular style of shoe that I have been enjoying.  I love the buckle detailing on the leather bootie, it pairs perfectly with my black leather moto jacket <3 

Baublebar Solid Bar Y-Chain
Kate Spade Bow Bangle

The Y-Chain was definitely a key look in 2015.  I loved and am still loving my Solid Bar Y-Chain necklace from Baublebar.  I didn't see this on their site, but they have numerous Y-Chain necklaces that are very similar still.  In most of my blog posts from this year you will see me almost always wearing my Kate Spade bow bangle and Crystal Grammercy watch.  Such lovely, classic pieces.

Probably my favorite purchase of 2015.  We picked this beauty up while in Vegas at the Louis Vuitton store located in the Fashion Show Mall.

Marshmallow Fireside, $22.50
Leaves, $22.50

While neither of these candles are on the site right now, just like they always do, they will be back before you know it.  Marshmallow Fireside is one of my favorite scents in this whole world, just a yummy woodsy marshmallow sweetness that is unlike anything else I've ever smelled.  The Leaves candle doesn't actually smell like Leaves, it's a warm, slightly apple, delicious scent that smells like the Hallmark store in the mall.  Just plain ole good.  2015 is the year I fell in love with this candle and I can't wait to buy another one next year!


It may be odd that I put a coffee category in this year's favorites list, but coffee has ended up being a huge part of my day and something I wake up looking so forward to.  Out of all the coffee I have ever tasted, the cup that I make here in my home of the mornings tastes the best to me.  I love the smoothness of the Folgers Morning Cafe, it's not too strong or overpowering (especially considering how I doctor mine up with sweetener and creamer ha!!).  This year my favorite creamers have been by Bailey's and I normally just get the French Vanilla flavor.  I have especially fallen in love with some seasonal creamers though, the standout winner being the International Delight White Chocolate Raspberry.  SO GOOD.  I brew a large cup of the coffee, throw in a couple packets of Truvia, followed by a splash of one of these bad boys and I am in Heaven.  Honestly the best tasting coffee that I've ever had.


I actually watch very little TV, but when I do my favorite things to watch are true crime shows.  One of my favorite things in this world is for someone to tell me a story.  I can sit in silence and listen for hours about anything as long as it's real and it actually happened.  Other than those shows I always look forward to the latest episode of Scandal, Teen Mom and Project Runway.  The best on TV in my opinion!  I didn't include a movie section in this year's favorites because there really weren't any that captivated me.  I seen several I liked but nothing that really stands out that I feel like mentioning.

Uptown Funk by Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars
Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran
Like a Wrecking Ball by Eric Church
Blank Space by Taylor Swift
Painkiller by Little Big Town
Trap Queen by Fetty Wap

These were the songs I jammed the most to in 2015.  I actually went to a pool party in Las Vegas this summer and seen Fetty.  I couldn't get enough of that song (I still love it).  I love all genres of music and there was a lot of really good music released in 2015.


Again, I love to hear a story (or, in this case, read a story) about things that have really happened.  Memoirs are my favorite types of books, I just love to hear all the stories about one's life and their perspective.  These three books were all very enjoyable reads and very entertaining.  I actually met Holly in Vegas once after one of her shows, so reading her book was especially entertaining.  Highly recommend if you enjoy this type of book as well.


I take it back, the best purchase of 2015 has to be the Catgenie self-flushing litterbox, NOT the Louis Vuitton bag hahahaha!  I love this thing that much.  I did a whole blog post on it when we first received it, you can see that here.  It is expensive and it is a bit of an investment, but it has been so worth it.  For months now I have not had to clean the litterbox.  You simply hook this up in your laundry room (or bathroom) and it empties, washes, and dries the litter every single time your kitty uses it.  They always have a clean litterbox and you never have to do the actual cleaning.  You do have to buy the sanitizing solution cartridges and add some more of the litter/granules here and there, but other than that this thing takes care of itself without fail.  Words can't describe how much I love this.  If you have an indoor kitty then you need this in your life.  Period.  The other thing I wanted to mention was the Bayer Seresto Tick and Flea Collars.  These things are a bit expensive up front, but keep in mind they last for 8 months.  Yes, 8 months.  So, you only have to think about flea and tick protection for your dog or kitty a couple of times a year.  They work like a champ, I haven't seen a single flea or tick since we purchased these for our babies.  Love and highly recommend.

T-Fal OptiGrill, $179.99

To put it simply, this is a super simple, very smart grill that you use from the comfort of your kitchen counter.  All you do is hit the power button, select what type of meat you're cooking and hit OK.  Wait for the grill to heat up, it will sound an alarm when it's ready, put your meat on and close the lid.  Then just watch the dial and remove your meat when it gets to the desired doneness you want.  The grill self-adjusts and measures each piece of meat and cooks it perfect every time.  There's even a frozen option you can select so that you can put a totally frozen piece of meat on the grill and the grill knows how to perfectly cook that meat as well.  So much handier than having to go outside and fire up the grill and then having to guess when your meat is rare, medium rare, medium, done, or well done.  Now you know immediately!  Cooking a filet mignon to a perfect medium rare can be quite difficult, but this grill does all the work for you.  Highly recommend.

Alright guys!  Wheeewwww~ that was a long one.  If you stuck it out and read through all of this then my hat is off to you.  These are all the things I've been using and loving this year, and I hope this post gives you some ideas for things you might be in the market for.  Let me know your loves of 2015.  Here's to an even better 2016!


Christmas 2015: Makeup, Fashion And Family ❤️

Merry Christmas everybody!  For those of you who celebrate I hope the holiday was everything you could have hoped for, and that you spent it surrounded by people you love.  Our Christmas was just that, and I thought I would share a few photos of our lovely day together <3

He's making a list, checking it twice...

Necklace:  Disney World
Plaid shirt: Old Navy
White tank:  American Eagle

Foundation:  Covergirl Ready, Set Gorgeous
Eyeshadow:  Make Up For Ever Artist 15 Eyeshadow Palette
Mascara:  Jordana Best Lash Extreme
Lipstick:  Marc Jacobs Lip Crème in So Rouge
Blush:  Nars Sin
Highlight:  Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Face/Eye Palette

Christmas cheer!

Through the years we all will be together, if the fates allow...

No holiday is complete without a picture with Aunt Kaffy!

May your days be merry and bright...

My boy <3

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!