To mark the end of 2021, it’s time for my annual blog tradition—sharing my favorite beauty products I tried this year.
To be fully transparent—2021 was not my best year so skincare and makeup was my escape. I tried a ton of new products but was focused on finding skincare that brought me comfort and makeup that was easy and effortless. Other highlights include renewing my Sephora VIB Rouge membership through 2022 and getting my hands on a $100 Rouge Reward.
Here are my 2021 best beauty products I tried for the everyday minimalist.
Subtl Beauty Starter Stack
This might be my favorite product discovery of 2021 – a portable makeup stack that fits in the palm of my hand. A starter stack includes your shade of concealer, lip + cheek, bronzer, shine control powder, and highlighter. You can shop Subtl Beauty and use my promo code KARA10 for 10% off your purchase.
Benefit Brow Pencil
I purchased this on a whim but it ended up being the easiest brow pencil I’ve ever used. It blends really nicely and the fine tip allows for precise application while still looking natural. I wear the shade 3.5 neutral medium brown.
Maelove Glow Maker
I was first introduced to Maelove via a sponsored collaboration earlier this year. The Glow Maker has become my holy grail vitamin C serum and once I hit empty, I will be repurchasing! Other vitamin C serums I’ve tried in the past caused skin irritation and redness. This formula is equal parts gentle and effective. I’m also a huge fan of the exfoliator and retinol serum for beginners.
Glossier Cleanser Concentrate
Over the last couple of years I’ve slowly transitioned away from Glossier skin products; however, this year’s launch of Cleanser Concentrate has worked really well for my sensitive skin. If you like a deep, pore-level clean, this is a great way to gently exfoliate.
Rare Beauty Mascara
This year I grew tired of lengthening mascaras and decided to switch it up for a more volumizing formula. Happy to report I didn’t experience any clumps or flaking with this one from Rare Beauty. The only downside is that it requires waterproof makeup remover.
Farmacy Filling Good Serum
This is one of the few skincare products I’ve restocked in under a year. After using it for just two weeks, I started noticing my skin looked more healthy and plump, and it layers well under heavier creams. One full-size bottle lasted me a little over six months (I used it daily).
Tower 28 Tinted Balm
This was my makeup staple all summer long for dewy cheeks and lips. I have the shade Magic Hour, which is described as a rosy nude but pulls more peach on my skin tone. It’s very pigmented and easy to blend with just your fingers (although I prefer using a brush).
Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm
This the newest addition to my skincare routine but I LOVE the lip applicator, which makes it easy for applying on the go. My lips feel protected when I wear this balm and it feels very creamy. I have the shades Vanilla (clear finish) and Vanilla Beige (tinted beige).
I don’t love the packaging but it is recyclable and reusable (the mirror pops out too). The concept is focused on one single shade that comes in three finishes: matte, shimmer and metallic, which makes it convenient for anyone that doesn’t have a lot of time or prefers an uncomplicated routine. These are the opposite of super pigmented shadows, so don’t compare them to the likes of Natasha Denona or Urban Decay formulas. The shades are sheer but buildable for a quick, everyday routine. I reviewed several of the shade options here but I reach for Bluff and Almond most often. Shop Glossier here and get 10% off.
Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray
I’ve always used the same setting spray for year so when I hit empty I wanted to try something different and I’m so glad I did. Albeit pricey, this setting spray works great for all skin types. I’m not a huge fan of the scent but I do love how it keeps my makeup intact and lasts all day, even when wearing my KN95 mask.
You can shop my 2021 best beauty products here. As an affiliate, I make a small commission when you shop through my links (it doesn’t cost you extra). If you do, thank you so much!