Fave Products of 2016 Featured Image

Beauty Tips

My Fave Beauty Products of 2016

Fave Products of 2016 Pinterest Image

I can’t believe it’s that time of year already! Time to wrap up Setareh Beauty’s favorite, new products of the year! If you’ve been following me for any length of time, many of these items may not be a surprise. For everyone tuning into my “Best of” list for this year, welcome! This list is in no particular order, so please keep that in mind. I will be uploading a video to demonstrate all of these products but with the move and all, it’s easier to write everything out for now.

Also, before moving on, it’s important for you to know that everything I recommend has been personally purchased and tested by me. Before I can recommend any product, I use it consistently for at a minimum one month. I may love something the first time I use it but hate it the next week. Also, nothing, and I mean nothing is sponsored in this post! Be at ease knowing I stand behind these products 100%. So here we go!

Setareh Beauty Best Mascara

Best Mascara

Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill

Giorgio Armani Eyes To Kill

If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you’d know my sister Azadeh introduced me to this mascara early this year and I won’t lie, I was hugely skeptical! After all I’ve tried every mascara under the sun. Being a makeup skeptic and trying out more makeup than I’m proud to admit, it takes a lot for me to LOVE a mascara. I like plenty of mascaras, don’t get me wrong because most mascaras are good, but never hands-down wow.

BUT I trust my sister’s opinion and also know she does pretty extensive product research prior to purchasing anything (see her post here).

The last mascara I felt the same with was Christian Dior’s Blackout. But like many amazing mascaras, CD’s formula changed since originally falling in love with it and GA’s Eyes To Kill has moved to my #1 mascara for now.

 Setareh Beauty Best Tool

Best Tool

Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler

Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler

So I’ve been a long time fan of Revlon’s eyelash curler, so much so that I’ve used it in my pro kit for years. I also know everyone raves abut the Shishedo curler, which I personally haven’t tried yet. But after doing my own product research, I decided to splurge on Kevyn Aucoin’s Eyelash Curler during Sephora’s VIB 20% off sale. It was still a splurge even with the discount! This curler is total a game changer for me, though. One quick little squeeze and bam! Perfectly curled lashes that instantly open the eye. This curler is fantastic for you ladies who opt-out of wearing mascara on the daily. This is also a fabulous purchase for those who want to make a $5 mascara look like $50 mascara.

Check out my demo of this tool here.


Setareh Beauty Best Skincare Product

Best Skincare Product

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser

Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser

Ok, so I won’t even lie. I got a full-sized one of these for free with the purchase of several other skincare products. Kiehl’s is awesome like that. I thought, oh, it’s just their free moisturizer. It’ll be just o-k. But seriously, it’s more than ok. It gently removes all my makeup, doesn’t cause any irritation on my normal-to-dry skin whatsoever, and has lasted literally the whole year. My mom ended up splurging on some Kiehl’s and scored a full-sized cleanser too. However, she already has her cleanser stash and gave hers to me. A more depth review is in the works when I post all about moisturizers and masks of 2016.

Setareh Beauty Best Versatile Product

Best Versatile Product
Burberry Fresh Glow Highlighting Luminous Pen

Burberry Fresh Glow Highlighting Luminous Pen – Nude Radiance NO.01

Ok, this bad boy came in a Burberry Beauty gift set I purchased during Nordstrom’s Semi-Annual Sale. So zero research went into this product and the second I put it in the corner of my eyes, it was love at first feel. The product is truly so glowy in all the right ways. It’s perfect for brightening in a subtle, sexy way. I also love lining my top lips with this to add a sexy little glow to my cupid’s bow. I will repurchase this hands down! Because it’s creamy but not too creamy, it looks a bit more natural than powder alternatives.

Runner Up:

MAC Shell Cream Color Base

MAC Shell Cream Color Base

This used to be one of my old favorite products and after going through several “luminous” base products for blushes and eyeshadow, I went back old school and picked this up. I use it under my bronzer/blush and highlighter as well as all over my eyes. It gives a nice glowy tint that is perfect alone or used to bring out a little shimmer in whatever product goes on top. If you don’t have time to use an eye primer, and you aren’t prone to oily eyelids (see my post on that here), this is a great product. What I really love about it is that it’s small.

See it in action on my Facebook page on my Instagram @nataliesetareh

Setareh Beauty Best Lip Product

Best Lip Product

NYX Lip Liner

NYX Lip Liner – Pale Pink

As I’ve gotten older I’ve been more comfortable with sporting a bold and/or colored lip. It used to be chapstick or clear gloss for me. I have found though that lip liners seal the lipstick deal. I had a client that wanted a really super nude lip and a bride who wanted a baby pink lip. These were last minute requests and I only had a darker pink lip liner in my kit and a my nude liner was totally dried out. I ran out to Ulta and ended up with NYX Pale Pink and NYX Nude.

I loved them so much on my clients that I purchased them both for myself. They help to really define my lips better than I could’ve imagined and also help keep my lipstick on. At $$$ a pop, they are super affordable to wear everyday. NYX is one of the solid brands that has graced my annual faves list for the last two years and I’m happy to report their products made it on my list for a third consecutive year!


Setareh Beauty Best Face Product

Best Face Product

Hourglass Veil Primer

Hourglass Veil Primer

Originally, I recommended this primer for my mother who, if you read all about her professional traveler tips post here, you’d know she’s on planes a lot. Traveling can take a huge toll on your skin! I hadn’t seen her for months but noticed a dullness to her skin when she came to visit right before baby girl was born. I immediately took her to Sephora to change that!

I have been following Hourglass products for quite some time, testing them out constantly, but never committed to them. However, as soon as I saw my mom’s face I knew she needed to bring back some brightness and Hourglass delivers on that promise! Don’t want to commit? Ask the Sephora salesperson if you can take home a sample!

Unlike Too Faced Primed and Poreless Primer, Smashbox, even MUFE’s primers which I also love, the Veil Primer wears more like a moisturizer. There’s no silicone feel to it that means it’s also perfect for oily skinned folks. It’s also perfect for me, a normal/dry skinned lady. Will I be using this in my pro kit? Depends. For clients with oily skin who want a bright, airy look… yes. But for my clients in front of intense light or on an all day shoot,  I’ll stick to my silicone based primers.

If you are on the fence about buying this, just splurge and get the big one. The savings is way better and you won’t worry about running out anytime soon. A pea sized amount is good for the whole face and I would recommend applying with your fingers (cleaned and washed of course).

I recommend storing this baby horizontally, not vertically. When stored vertically, it turns into a really liquid-y, milky cream… kinda like the juice of ketchup before the good stuff comes out. It’s a weird analogy, I know but that’s the only way I can think about it!


Runner Up:

Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup

Giorgio Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup

I really didn’t want to include two items from the same brand in one post but I have to be real {and really honest} here. I love Giorgio Armani’s super famous Luminous Silk foundation, really, I do. But I don’t love it enough to commit to putting it in my kit or using it or switching out my MUFE for it just yet.

I also hate wearing foundation everyday. So I don’t. That’s why I tend to wear BB or CC creams on the daily. When GA launched this Fusion makeup, it was love at first feel. It seriously feels like velvet on the swatch, velvet on the face, is super buildable and blendable. I’m color 5.5. For having SPF, I’m surprised it doesn’t appear oily at all. As a matter of fact, I’d highly recommend this formula for oily skinned faces! I’m personally more on the dry side so I definitely need a great moisturizer under this baby, but I moisturize anyway, so no big deal.

Setareh Beauty Best Personal Care Product

Best Personal Care Product

Tom’s Deodorant in Lavender

Ok, so as much as I’m all about beauty products, I simply have to tout my favorite deodorant. Did you know that regular deodorants (Dove, Degree, etc) are full of toxins that can be carcinogenic? I’d be lying to you if I said that everything I use topically is vegan, organic, or free of all “bad” ingredients. I am however, extremely conscious of what goes on my skin and make risk assessments as needed. With deodorant, something I apply everyday and oh-so-close to my thyroid gland, I want to make sure the deo I apply is “clean.”

I need a good and powerful deodorant and Tom’s doesn’t disappoint. However, you may need to apply more than once a day if engaged in a lot of physical activity (or are just more sweaty, like me). But I don’t feel bad because it’s full of great ingredients. Now I have to convince my hubby to switch over to the male version. Wish me luck.


Setareh Beauty Best Hair Product

Best Hair Product

R+Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo

R+Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo

If your hair looks really greasy or is super oily, this is perfect for you. Dry shampoo has been the answer to my prayers! I’ve tried many in the past few years. I mean, there’s not enough good things to say about this product. It works extremely well, feels great, and lasts a long time! Worth every penny!

Did I miss something on this list? Do you love any of these products too? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! As always, if you have a beauty question and concern, feel free to ask me here.

I wish you all a beautiful remainder of 2016 and a most blessed, happy, successful, and magical 2017. We will be ringing in NYE this year in Paris {gasp!} so make sure to follow me on Instagram @nataliesetareh to see some of the magic.

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P.S. If you asked me a beauty question, if I don't immediately know the answer, I must thoroughly research every question I receive, and sometimes do not have an immediate answer or I need clarity on unlisted ingredients in certain beauty products, sometimes getting a clear answer takes up to 3 weeks... have patience, it'll be worth it!

Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can't put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you're doing it from a position of correction.

kevyn aucoin