My Top 10 Beauty Finds of 2020



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Over here at TTL we started a tradition back in 2017, where we like to do a little NYE blog sharing my top beauty finds of the year.  Generally I share the empties because shucks, if the bottle is empty I MUST have enjoyed using the product.  This year I rifled through my large bag of empties to pull out extra special products from brands I love that I want to highlight and celebrate.  I hope you will try and fall in love with them like I have.  So let’s jump right in with my top 10 beauty finds of 2020!!

Disclosure: My small business earns a commission when you shop using my affiliate links below. 

My Top 10 Beauty Finds of 2020

Kosas Color and Light Blush in color 8th Muse

Let me introduce one of my favorite clean beauty brands, KOSAS.  Where to begin…well their makeup is formulated with super clean nourishing ingredients so you get skincare benefits while wearing makeup. Sounds so simple, yet they are trend setters in the beauty space.  The branding and packaging is modern, minimal, and aesthetically beautiful.  I love that no matter what product I am wearing from Kosas I know that my skin will be plump, hydrated, and feel it’s best self. Kosas Color and Light  blush is the cream blush I compare ALL other her cream blushes to!!  I do not say this lightly, it is a perfect product.

Kosas BlushThis empty palette is the first Kosas product I ever purchased about 2 years ago (and yes I just finished it), the one that made me fall in love with the brand.  The unique texture is best described as creamy yet rich.  It beautifully melts into my skin rather than sitting on the surface. 

I love that you can build the intensity from a natural wash of color to punchy pop of perfect pink.  I wish I knew how makeup was made because Kosas really nailed it with the tones and undertones of 8th Muse pink, very complimentary on my skin!!  The finish is radiant and most importantly wears beautifully throughout the day.  In my opinion, the blush looks the best after it’s had a chance to “marinade” with my natural skin oils.  I apply this with a loose filled blush brush but it can totally be applied with your fingers.

Farmacy Green Clean Cleansing Balm

Farmacy makes several of my everyday skincare holy grail products.   They meld science with nature in their thoughtful and beautifully effective formulations.  Farmacy uses a “farm-to-face” approach which is truly special and everything I love about clean beauty.  I will forever be thankful to Sephora for introducing me to Farmacy!!  BUT let me be crystal clear, my real debt to Sephora is for one Farmacy product in particular, the Green Clean Cleansing Balm.  I can tell I love a product when I open my skincare drawer and day after day I repeatedly reach for the same products. 

Top 10 Beauty Finds of 2020 Farmacy Green Clean Cleansing BalmIn 2020 I will have used nearly 2 jars of this incredible cleanser. Uhhhhh, yeah it is an AMAZING product!!  I double cleanse my face every night. I like to use a creamy balm or oil based cleanser 1st to break down makeup, dirt, sunscreen and sebum then I follow that with a gel water based cleanser.  I’m obsessed with how Green Clean Cleansing balm instantly melts away makeup, even waterproof eyeliner and mascara. 

It is very gentle, cleans without stripping, leaves my skin super soft and silky and don’t even get me started about the texture of the balm!!  The balm itself is solid yet pliant. Once you begin working it into your skin it melts into a soft creamy texture.  Using the applicator provided, I apply it to dry skin, massage it for about 30 seconds concentrating on my eye area.  Then I wet my hands with warm water and continue massaging my face using circular motions.  Rinse with warm water.  IF you try this product you HAVE to tell me how you LOVE it…because you will love!!

Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer

I wanted this blog to highlight products I have used or finished for the first time in 2020, but I HAD to make an exception for a ride or die holy grail product that I have been obsessed with for years, Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer.  I have oily skin which means that I also have oily eyelids too!!  There is NO BETTER eyeshadow primer out there.  I cannot live with my Too Faced Shadow Insurance Primer. I buy multiples at a time.  It is legit babes!!

Too Faced Insurance Eye shadow primerNot only do I apply this primer to my eyelids BUT my eyebrow hack is to apply this primer to my brows before filling them in.  If I don’t use this primer my eyelid oil melts into my tear ducts by the end of the day AND my brow pencil won’t even go onto my skin without the primer!!  Trust me, I have tried MANY eyeshadow primers and nothing works as well as this one.  

Tower 28 ShineOn Lip Jelly color Fire

I LOVE discovering new brands and immediately falling in love!! Tower 28 is one such brand.  A lovely clean beauty brand, Made in California, founded by women, the entire Tower 28 product line up gets the TTL stamp approval from top to bottom.  But since I’m sharing newly discovered 2020 products that are empty or almost empty let me gush about Tower 28 ShineOn Lip Jelly in the most perfect orange-peachy color Fire

Tower 28 ShineOn Lip JellyIn the tube the color looks intense but once applied it is a lovely wash of “orange” that I dare say looks like it could be my natural lip color!!  Super long lasting shiny finish with zero stickiness.  As you can see, I basically reach for this color on the regular.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum

You know when you come across a product and you know it’s gonna be special because of the packaging? Well that’s how I felt the first time I used Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum.  Back in late summer TTL was hired for a collaboration with Estee Lauder and Who What Wear to share my life as a Corporate Flight Attendant.  Along with this collaboration, I was to share my experience using Advanced Night Repair Serum.  The only problem was I was in Rome on my way to Nice, France so I hadn’t received the product to try. 

Let me tell you, the moment we landed in Nice I went to the Galerie Lafayette and bought a bottle of Advanced Night Repair Serum. I mean what better time to try the serum then while traveling?

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair SerumLike I said I KNEW it was gonna be a special product the moment I reached up and grabbed a bottle off the shelf.  That night after cleansing and toning I applied the serum for the first time.  Holy smokes, the rich fluid sank into my face immediately plumping my skin with hydration.  Hero ingredients like hyaluronic acid lock in moisture while over time has helped my skin look more radiant.  I am more than halfway done with my 2nd bottle and have a 3rd bottle already waiting in my beauty cabinet…I even keep a mini travel sized one in my travel kit!!  This product is ideal for all skin types and I highly recommend it for aging skin.

Briogeo Scalp Revival Shampoo

Scalp care is skincare, plain and simple.  So the fact that there are not more brands developing haircare products specifically with the scalp in mind is beyond me.  No matter your hair type, it is very important, especially as we age, to care for your scalp.  Briogeo gets that!!  I have been a Briogeo fan girl since 2019 when I met brand founder Nancy Twine, a smart, savvy, trend setting brilliant business woman who created her product line using only clean ingredients. All of their products are curl friendly, none of the bad stuff. 

Briogeo Scalp Revival ShampooI use Scalp Revival Shampoo 2 times a month (I wash my hair once a week) to clarify my scalp and to give it that special attention it deserves.  It is a micro-exfoliating scrub that has charcoal to draw out impurities and build-up.  But what I enjoy most is that it has peppermint to soothe which leaves my scalp feeling refreshingly tingly.  When I cleanse my scalp, I only apply the scrub to my scalp and massage while avoiding the longer strands of my hair, the shampoo running out of my hair is sufficient to cleanse the longer strands.  Oh and when I rinse the shampoo out I continue to massage my scalp kinda how you wash your hands, it’s important to continue to agitate your scalp even while rinsing.  

Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen

What can I say about Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen??  Supergoop hands down is kicking ass in the sunscreen beauty category for a good reason. They make effective clean spf that is smart, innovative and cutting edge.  The science behind Unseen Sunscreen is remarkable!!  If you are new to Supergoop, let me fill you in.  Supergoop is changing the way SPF is thought about.  For me the hero product is Unseen Sunscreen because it is like no other SPF out there!!  The texture is lightweight, not quite a gel but not a cream either. For the lack of a better comparison it is like a makeup primer. 

Top 10 Beauty Finds of 2020 Supergoop Unseen SunscreenIt glides over skin with ZERO white cast yet leaves my skin with a completely invisible super smooth velvet like silky finish!! It’s kinda magical in that it works for all skin types AND skin tones while ALSO using a fragrance free clean chemical formula.  Babes, I keep multiple tubes of this sunscreen on hand.  While it is not the only sunscreen I use, it is easily the one I reach for most frequently.  I wear SPF everyday, even indoors.  No matter your skin tone we all need to wear SPF.  Not to mention, the sun is the number cause of skin aging, so yeah darlings grab yourself an Unseen sunscreen. You’ll thank me later!!

Hum Gut Instinct & Hair Sweet Hair

For me beauty begins on the inside.  I look at each day as an opportunity to work on that eternal inner glow.  Sorry not sorry, but I say this all time, a rich plant based diet will give you far more long-lasting “beauty” benefits than any serum or cream could ever give you.  While I do strive to get as much nutrients as possible nutritionally I do turn to supplements to fill in the gaps.  So let me round up this blog with a few supplements that I truly see as beneficial.  

Hum SupplementsHum Gut Instinct is a probiotic to balance your gut.  Gut health is often overlooked, but think about it… your gut is where nutrients are broken down and absorbed.  This vegan supplement adds good bacteria into your gut to aid in digestion and boost your immune system to prevent bad bacteria from taking over. 

Hum Hair Sweet Hair is a vegan chewable gummy that supports hair growth and maintenance.  SOOOOO after taking these for 3 months, I went to get a haircut and for the first time in 6 years years my hair stylist said to me, “Wow, you have a lot of new hair growing in…lots of baby hair along your hairline!!!”  Babes, I know for a fact it is due to Hair Sweet Hair.  They are the only hair supplement I was taking at the time.  Honestly, I need to wrap this blog up so I can hop over to Hum’s site and order a subscription!!

Gaia Herb Turmeric Supreme Extra Strength

Babes I know that taking turmeric might sound hippy-dippy. I am a passionate believer that turmeric helps combat daily stressors and inflammation in the body. Curcumins, the active ingredient found in turmeric is what makes turmeric effective. I personally began taking high doses of turmeric after my hysterectomy 2 years ago to support my body through the healing process. I can not definitively say that the turmeric allowed me to bounce back like a champ, but I do believe it helped my body. 

Gaia TurmericEver since then I have taken a turmeric supplement. Earlier this year I began taking Gaia Herb turmeric. I love that it contains black pepper which helps turmeric metabolize. They are also vegan, soy free, gluten free, and has liquid phyto-caps for rapid absorption. The moment I wake up I take 3 capsules containing 36mg of curcumins each. The suggested dose is 1-2 capsules daily. I do say if you have any medical conditions or take any medications please consult your doctor. 

Okay darlings, I told you mine now tell me yours. What were your favorite beauty products of 2020?

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I’m a clean beauty expert, a plant-based recipe guru, a fashion maven, and a mature black woman embracing my natural hair, silver streaks and all.

Welcome, I'm Tennille Murphy