2017 Beauty Favorites + GIVEAWAY!

Hey y’all and welcome to 2018! I love reflecting on the trials, accomplishments, and lessons learned at the end of each year, and it was fun for me to look back on all of the adventures 2017 brought my way. From Taiwan to Korea to Thailand to the USA and back to Okinawa, I covered a lot of ground and made so many memories. I also like to evaluate the products I have in my collection and decide what I should keep, what I should toss, and what I should repurchase. Every year, I write a favorites blog about the standout products of the year before. So without further ado, here are my 10 beauty favorites (plus a bonus shoe fave!) from 2017, and if you make it to the bottom, you’ll have a chance to win one of them! All I ask is that you follow my blog and leave a comment with one of your resolutions or favorite products 😊

Burberry Brit Rhythm for Her Eau de Toilette / Fragrances are very personal, but I loooove this ultra-feminine perfume! It’s floral without being stuffy, sweet without sending middle school flashbacks, and woodsy while maintaining its femininity. I wear this daily and frequently get compliments. Not gonna lie, I just dabbed some on my wrists just to smell it. Mmmm…< a href=”http://tartecosmetics.com/en_US/makeup/face/concealer/shape-tape-contour-concealer/836.html?dwvar_836_color=tan&cgid=makeup-face-concealer#start=1&#8243; target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Tarte Shape Tape Concealer in Light Sand / Let’s be real. This concealer basically broke the internet in 2017. According to Tarte, one of these beautiful babies is sold every 20 seconds. If you haven’t tried Tarte Shape Tape, get on it, because this stuff is amazing. It’s full coverage without being detectable, and you get a significant amount of product (10 ml)–I purchased this in July and am still using it daily in January. No drugstore concealer (even my favorites!) can top this, and it’s 100% worth the splurge.

Too Faced Sweet Peach Papa Don’t Peach Blush / I think the only blush I’ve consistently recommended on my blog is Benefit’s Dallas. I have a little confession to share about that…I’ve barely used it at all since purchasing this blush 🙈. Papa Don’t Peach is still bronzey and natural-looking, but it brightens up your face in a way Dallas can’t. It smells just like Too Faced’s other peach items, and you get 9g of product, so it’ll last a while even with daily use. Plus, I can’t get past the freakin’ adorable packaging!

Burt’s Bees Cleansing Oil with Argan and Coconut Oils / People with oily skin tend to be afraid of facial oils and oil cleansers, but they’re actually beneficial for all skin types! Some oils can even regulate sebum production 😍 This Burt’s Bees oil cleanser is actually my favorite of the several I’ve tried, which is surprising considering it contains coconut oil, which breaks me out on its own. I use this to remove my makeup before cleansing, and I can’t get over how well it removes my makeup or how soft it leaves my skin. I’ve pretty much ditched makeup wipes for this, AND it hasn’t broken me out!

Sexy Hair Vibrant CC Hair Perfector / After getting highlights sometime mid-year, I felt my hair start to ride the struggle bus. It was stringy, lifeless, and a little straw-like. I picked this up on a whim and OMG. After just one night of using it, my hair was radically different. I became an instant believer. This product makes your hair so soft, and it smells delish!

wet n wild Photo Focus Foundation / So, can we talk about how this foundation is less than $6? 👀 It’s medium-full coverage, so smooth, super lightweight, and DAMN. It just plain makes your face look fabulous. I like it best when applied with a damp sponge, and the coverage is buildable at pretty much all levels. So whether you want a flawless full-coverage face, or a sheer wash of even coverage, this foundation can do it for you. I bought it enough to buy a shade for each level of the fake-tanning cycle. That’s commitment.

Tarte Cosmetics Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara / I’m about to make a bold statement. I think this is my holy grail mascara. Yep, I said it. Why is no one talking about this?! I had never even heard of it until I saw it mentioned in one of Tarte’s Instagram stories. I ordered it at random during a points promotion for platinum members on Ulta.com and my lashes have never been the same. This mascara does everything I wish Too Faced’s Better than Sex mascara did. It gives you tons of length, medium volume, and won’t flake or smear throughout the day. I have excessively watery eyes, and this has never run. I even tested it with actual tears once. Still no running. Do your lashes a favor and buy this. Oh, and supposedly it also nourishes your lashes and stuff 🤷🏼

Origins Original Skin Renewal Serum with Willowherb / If you have textured skin and/or large pores, this serum is a must-have. It doesn’t have the consistency of a serum, it’s more like a gel moisturizer, and it absorbs right into your skin. Origins claims this serum will solve your skin’s quarter life crisis, and I think they’re right. I’ve noticed a significant improvement in the texture of my skin, and I think my pores are slowly starting to look smaller as well. My skin’s usually pretty dull as well, and this gives me a glow without making me shiny or dewy.

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips All-In-1 Custom Nude Palette / Hi, my name is Shelbie and I’m a snooze alarm addict. So, basically, a stoplight-styled messy bun, exta-shot latte, and 10-minute face are my workweek staples. I need versatile products I can take on the go, and it’s always a bonus if they’re inexpensive. Thataylaa has raved about this palette for forever, but I only purchased it a few months ago. The palette is made up of 12 shimmery shades, ranging from ivory to pale pink to copper to bronze. I frequently use the four top-left shades swirled together as a higlight on my cheekbones, nose, and browbones, with one of the light pink shades on my lids and the darkest shade in my crease. It’s also stunning all swirled together and topped over your blush. If you like shimmer, I’m confident this can be a short-on-time staple for you, too!

Toms Women’s Majorca Cutout Sandal, Taupe Suede / This is my bonus fave. And you’re probably eye-rolling at the fact that I’m recommending a pair of TOMS heels, but stay with me. These are my daily go-to work shoes. I can dress them up with ankle-length trousers or dress them down with jeans, and they are SO. DAMN. COMFORTABLE. Seriously. I walk about 2 miles a day on my lunch at work, and I can comfortably walk that in these shoes without any pain or blistering. I don’t even think I can do that in my running shoes, tbh. The heel is high enough to enhance your legs, but low enough to prevent you from eating pavement. They are well worth the investment and I’ve already purchased a backup pair. (BTW they’re as low as $45 on Amazon right now and retail for $130!)

Because I love these products so much, I want to share one of them with you! Enter my Amazon Giveaway to win a Vibrant Sexy Hair CC Hair Perfector here . Don’t forget to subscribe to wisconsinwhimsy and comment your resolution or favorite product below!

Happy new year! xo, Shelbie | By the way, I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website, although all opinions stated here are my own. Your purchase helps support my little space on the internet, and I’m grateful for it.

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A Year’s Worth of Beauty Trash

An old blog post of mine that gets hits pretty consistently is one I wrote about product empties. So, this is going to be just like that but on steroids. When we first moved to Okinawa, I wasn’t familiar with the strict rules on recycling and waste disposal, so I kept saving my empty cans of dry shampoo because I didn’t know what to do with them. (P.S., it turns out they’re recyclable) Eventually, I had filled up the bottom shelf of my toiletry closet with empty products and thought, “I’ll blog about it!” (Actually, I think I defensively made up that I was blogging about it to deflect my husband’s questions about why I was accumulating a small landfill of cosmetics in our side closet, but…)

This was actually really fun for me to go through and reflect on some of the products I actually made it through. Oftentimes I get so excited about trying new products that I forget about the ones I already have!

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Rimmel Stay Matte Powder / I’ve probably gone through 7-10 of these powders over the years, and while I no longer use it (I’m currently in love with Cover FX Illuminating Setting Powder), it served me well and kept me matte-r than most powders. I probably won’t repurchase since I’ve found better alternatives, but it’s an affordable and readily available option for oily skin.

it Cosmetics Celebration Illumination Foundation / I used to love this powder foundation (see this post about covering acne), but somewhere along the way my skin decided it no longer wanted to be friends, and thus, I had to break up with it. It’s a great powder for touch ups due to the coverage though, so I still keep a spare in my car.

Benefit Hoola and Dallas / I’ve raved about these powders to y’all in probably 1/3 of all cosmetic blogs I’ve written, but just in case you’ve missed all of those somehow: I love these babies. Hoola is the perfect bronzer for contouring (even for pale princesses!) and Dallas is such a gorgeous bronzey-plum blush. They’re worth the price, imo.beautytrash-5

Nars Creamy Radiant Concealer / I HATED THIS. Okay, hate is a strong word. But I really wasn’t impressed for how much hype it gets. First of all, it’s hella expensive. I don’t mind paying a pretty penny for quality high-end products, but $30 for such a teeny wand of concealer is a little over the top for me. The coverage was just meh and it looked cakey under my eyes. I don’t get the hype 🙅🏼 but I will say the color match was on point!

NYX HD Studio Photogenic Concealer / I’ve raved about this concealer in the past as well, but lately it hasn’t been working for me either. I’m wondering if my skin is changing? This concealer has a whipped consistency and a tendency to make my undereye area look crepe-y, and the shade selection is pretty poor.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser / If you’ve been watching YouTube makeup tutorials since back when they weren’t trendy, you know the crazy level of hype this concealer got. It’s good, but for some reason I’m not jumping to repurchase. beautytrash-6

Alba Botanica AcneDote Deep Pore Wash / This cleanser lasted me almost 8 months, so that alone is impressive, but I don’t think it did much for my acne. It’s pretty drying. Won’t repurchase.

Fake Bake Flawless Darker Self Tan Liquid / I’ve made my love for this product abundantly clear on wisconsinwhimsy. It’s a dark, natural tan that smells delish and doesn’t transfer (just do not get wet for 24 hours or else the color guide will make you look super splotchy). Read more about how I tan at home here, but I’m testing a new tanner (only because my beloved Fake Bake can’t be shipped overseas 😭) so expect an update soon.

Clinique Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion + Cleansing Foam / I bought the entire set, but for some reason didn’t finish the third step, which is a treatment lotion. I didn’t get amazing results using these products, and they were pretty drying. Meh. Next.

Wet n Wild Photofocus Setting Spray / This setting spray sucks. The packaging is super cheap (it’s WnW, I know) and the mist is not fine or even, so it’s basically equivalent to spraying yourself in the face with a Super Soaker. And it won’t even lock your makeup in place. Pass.

NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray / I love this stuff! It’s not super mattifying, but it does keep my makeup in place all day. It’s pretty refreshing, too. And cheap! #bonuspoints

Daiso Japan Puff Sponge Detergent / Step aside, overpriced brush and sponge cleansers, this cost me ¥100 and it works amazingly. I didn’t realize how much old foundation was lurking behind in my beauty blender until I started using this. If you’re not in Japan (or California, which I believe has a Daiso, though I’m not sure this product is sold there) you can find it on Amazon.beautytrash-8

Biosilk Silk Therapy Lite / If you’ve ever used the regular Biosilk Silk Therapy, you know that it feels like applying syrup to your hair. You have to use a teeny, tiny amount or risk looking like you just wrestled in a pool of baby oil. The Lite version was definitely lighter and made my hair feel smooth, but it’s still a heavyweight product that doesn’t really offer long-term results.

Maybelline The Falsies Push Up Angel / The mascara wand makes this product a deal breaker for me. Only one part of it actually has bristles on it, and I poked myself in the eye with the plastic applicator pretty much every time I used it. It didn’t push my lashes up or make them look like falsies, so skip this one unless mascara-induced blindness is on your bucket list.

Maybelline The Magnum Barbie / This mascara has built-in fibers to make lashes look longer and thicker. It’s also only available in certain Asian countries, so if you’re in the States you’ll have to admire the cute Barbie packaging from afar. It made my lashes look super fab, but unfortunately the fibers would flake off into my eyes throughout the day and really irritate them.

Maybelline The Falsies / I just really love Maybelline mascaras, apparently. This is a classic drugstore staple for long and full lashes, and I always keep a spare tube in my gym bag for on-the-go glam.

Too Faced Better Than Sex / I swore I would never repurchase this mascara, and then I did. 😂 I got it 40% off during a flash sale on Too Faced’s website, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have bought it. I did like it better this time around, but my same complaints of flakiness, smudges and crusty lashes still prevailed. I won’t repurchase (and I swear I really mean it this time!)

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The struggle of having nonexistent eyebrows is real.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz / I used Soft Brown for years, but I’ve realized Caramel is actually a better color match for me. I love, love, LOVE this brow pencil and will always come back to it.

NYX Micro Brow Pencil / I think this is a pretty good dupe for the ABH Brow Wiz, and as you can see, I’ve repurchased it a zillion times. I actually think there are more empty tubes lurking in my car somewhere. My only complaint is that I go through them quickly, but other than that it’s a faithful option for people who need precise brow help.

Milani EasyBrow Automatic Pencil / Skip this. The pencil is way too soft so it gives a really harsh payoff that looks a little “Crayola-to-the-face-ish.”

K-Palette 1-Day Tattoo Eyeliner / This eyeliner really does last all day, but the tip isn’t precise enough for a clean cat eye and eyeshadow transfers onto it really easily. It’s also only available in Southeast Asia, but if you are interested in trying it, you might be able to find it on Amazon???

Milani Eye Tech Extreme Liquid Eyeliner / This is the closest I’ve found to a drugstore dupe for Stila Stay All Day liquid liner. It’s precise and very black. I’d definitely buy it again, and I’m actually wondering why I haven’t done so already 🤔

BareMinerals Lasting Line Eyeliner / I like this for the most part, but it does smudge and I also don’t really wear black pencil liner…so I probably won’t repurchase.

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L’Oreal Lumi Cushion / So, I have mixed feelings on this. I actually liked it because it made my skin look really fresh and healthy, but there’s also not much product and the cushion sponge it comes with sucks. I applied it with my beauty blender instead because of how terrible the cushion was. It also only has light coverage and definitely doesn’t hold up to the intense (aka 100%) humidity and heat in Okinawa, so it’s not on my list of items to repurchase. It does have a nice shade range though!

Estee Lauder Double Wear / Y’all I drank the Kool Aid and was obsessed with this foundation for a long time. I even wore it on my wedding day. I’ve seen the light though…and I will not be repurchasing. It’s heavy, doesn’t control my oil, and is not pale-skin friendly.

Maybelline SuperStay Better Skin / I loooooove the Better Skin concealer, but this foundation doesn’t live up to the same hype. The foundation is hard to color match and oxidizes, so if your skin isn’t naturally orange, I don’t recommend it. It also made me a hot, oily mess. Kind of like a McDonald’s fryer.

Revlon ColorStay / I swore by this foundation in college so I did one of those things where you look back on the past and reminisce on things you thought were great but really weren’t. I thought to myself, “Remember when your face looked super cakey and broken out all the time? Let’s relive that.” And I bought this foundation. And then remembered why I stopped using it.

L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte / I think this foundation is a good, affordable drugstore foundation. It’s not something I reach for often, but I do usually have a tube of it somewhere in my makeup closet. It has medium coverage is surprisingly paraben-free.

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So…we need to talk about something. It’s about how lazy I am with my hair. I have never, and I seriously mean never, taken an interest in hairstyling. If I wouldn’t look like a naked mole rat, I’d probably shave it all off my head. (Props to all the people who rock the hairless look, I envy you) As you can imagine, I have a super strict hair routine. It goes something like: brush every 3 days, shampoo, occasionally condition, messy bun, dry shampoo, repeat. 😬 I used Batiste religiously when I lived in the States, but unfortunately it’s not available here (apparently Japanese people aren’t lazy bums like me) and aerosols can’t be shipped overseas. Recently the PX has gotten more dry shampoo options, but over the past year it was super limited.

Bumble and Bumble Hair Powder / This stuff was life changing when my hair was red/brown. It actually might be the best dry shampoo I’ve ever used, but unfortunately it’s $30 and I can’t justify that kind of investment into a product that will only last a couple of weeks.

got 2b Rockin It Dry Shampoo / If you like chunks of whatever dry shampoo is made of floating in your hair like extra-large flakes of dandruff, buy this. If not, avoid it like the plague.

Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak / This dry shampoo is just okay. It smells non-offensive and works decently, but I’d say it’s only good for the day after washing and not anymore after that. It only helps with minor shine, so definitely skip it if you want to extend your style further than that.

Dove Dry Shampoo / As you can see, I repurchased this a lot, lol. It smells good and actually works decently, although I still wouldn’t really give it more than four stars. It just happened to be the best product available to me. One day I’ll return to my precious Batiste.


That’s all, folks! This isn’t a complete list of products, since I know I slipped up and threw stuff away every now and then, but I hope you enjoyed being nosy and reading all about my trash. What products are you trashing?

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June Favorites

I cannot believe it’s already July! I hope everyone in the States had a wonderful Independence Day weekend. June was a wonderful month for me – I finally started to settle into our new house, we completed the adoption process on our adorable 3-year old Labrador, and I made some amazing new memories with my husband. I’ve been wearing less makeup than ever – but (and I’m sure you’ll be able to tell based on my faves!) only because I have been loving a natural, glowy look with nearly-bare skin, highlighted cheekbones, and soft pink lips.

Clinique Color Surge Eyeshadow in Lucky Penny // $16, discontinued // I’ve owned this shadow for quite a long time – I want to say I purchased it two summers ago, but since I usually reach for one of my palettes, it’s been a little neglected. Recently I’ve been trying to cycle older products into my routine, and I realized how much I love this shadow! It’s an intensely shimmered copper that blends like a dream and has that coveted creamy texture of high end powders. I love it. Sadly, Clinique discontinued it, so unless you want to fork out the big bucks for it on eBay or Amazon, you’ll have to settle for a dupe such as CoverGirl’s Mink.

Lipstick Queen Frog Prince Lipstick // $25, Ulta // I reviewed this a while back (read here) and really liked it, but for some reason it got tossed into the abyss that is my lipstick collection. It’s a buildable lipstick that can go from a tinted balm to a pigmented stain in just a few swipes. I think it’s so fun that it looks green in the tube but shows up rosy pink on the lips! It’s a great lippie to keep in your bag.

Yankee Candle Wax Tarts in Lemon Lavender + Sage & Citrus // $1.99 ea, Yankee Candle // Y’all. I have a Yankee Candle addiction (my husband will confirm this). It’s one of those iconic brands that follows you into adulthood – I still remember my mom burning their candles as a kid. I used to be a huge candle junkie, but here in our new house, we have a lot more space – so I’ve been using my wax warmers more often because, quite frankly it’s a lot more cost effective to melt wax in each room than it is to buy full size candles. These two scents are pretty self explanatory, and they’re perfect spring-to-summer transitional scents.

Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Radiant Lights // $6, Ulta // This highlighter is really popular in the blog world lately, and I know I’ve written about it before on wisconsinwhimsy. It’s cheap, it’s gorgeous, and you get a good amount of product. I have a handful of high end highlighters, and yet this is the one I reach for almost every day! I would say the pigmentation is middle of the road, but that’s actually a pro for me, since it gives me a little more control over the opacity.

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone // deluxe sample, but full size is $41 at Ulta // If you read my last beauty blog about the Best of Becca Blushed Radiance kit, you probably already know why I love this product. It’s perfect for a sheer-to-medium intensity glow, and it feels really lightweight on the skin. Moonstone is a great shade for light skin like mine!

Wet n Wild 1 Step Wondergel in Stay Classy // $4.99, Target // I purchased this at the Exchange with a coupon, so I only paid $2.99 which was a steal! Stay Classy is a cool-toned mauve, and I would definitely say it’s a year-round color. I didn’t bring my UV gel kit with me to Japan, so I’ve been using regular polish on my nails lately. I’m hard on my nails, though, and it’s hard for me to find polish formulas that I actually like! I’ve had this on my nails for 5 days now, and while it doesn’t look like a fresh mani, it does still look pretty good for a home nail job. It hasn’t chipped at all, rather just worn down on the tips of my nails. I’ll definitely repurchase this in other shades!

What were your favorite beauty products this June? Let me know in the comments below!

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