That’s Darling – Best of 2018 Favorites

December 31, 2018

The final few days of 2018 are upon us, so I’m taking this opportunity to round up the best of the best this year. From familiar favorites to recent discoveries, here’s everything absolutely worth trying in 2019.

BEAUTY

NARS CLIMAX MASCARA

I really thought that Lancôme’s Monsieur Big was going to take it as my favorite mascara of 2018, honestly, truly. In twist of events, back in October Ulta gifted me the Nars Climax Mascara to try out, and I’m never going back. This mascara is everything I’ve ever wanted in a mascara and more, and to this day, has not clumped a single time.

COVER FX GLITTER DROPS

Not once have I even seen so much glitter packed in such a teeny tiny amount of liquid. One minuscule drop of the Cover FX Glitter Drops and its enough. If you’ve never believed that a little goes a long way, you will after this. I discovered Glitter Drops thanks to Annie of Annie Wears It, after she brought a bottle to our trip to Chicago in June for Spring Awakening!

CLINIQUE BEYOND PERFECTING FOUNDATION + CONCEALER

My go-to foundation of 2018 covers every blemish or uneven color, and doubles as a foundation and concealer. I’m so happy to finally have found a foundation that doesn’t make my sensitive skin break out!

KAT VON D TATTOO LINER IN TROOPER

I can’t even begin to explain how much I used to struggle with eyeliner prior to finding Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner. While it’s definitely still not my strong suit, the brush and formula of this eyeliner makes doing my eyeliner so much easier.

NEST FRAGRANCES DAHLIA AND VINES

After countless rollerballs and Sephora samples, the search for my favorite fragrance is over…for now. NEST Fragrances absolutely stole my heart this year, and Dahlia and Vines came through as the winner for my favorite perfume. That being said, basically every NEST perfume I’ve tried is worth wearing, and my NEST Moroccan Amber candle is my favorite to burn,

ORIGINS UNITED STATE BALANCING TONIC

As I mentioned in my February Favorites, when one of my Origins purchases came with a sample of this tonic, I was beyond skeptical that something that appeared to have the same viscosity as water could really do much for my skin. I was SO wrong, and now the Origins United State Balancing Tonic is a regular part of my nighttime routine. This always leaves my skin feeling refreshed and clean. Origins overall is my all time favorite skincare brand, as their products are clean, good for sensitive skin, and highly effective.

CLARISONIC MIA 1

Just like Origins United State above, the Clarisonic brush was also high on my list of beauty products I was skeptical of. When Clarisonic sent one for me to try, I was once again, proven completely wrong. The Clarisonic Mia 1 is beyond effective. It’s been a complete game changer to my skincare routine. My favorite Clarisonic hack to date is that you can use it on your lips to completely remove the dry, peeling skin. Read my full Clarisonic review and experience by clicking here.

FASHION

LONGCHAMP LE PLIAGE

I’ve gushed about this bag so much since getting it, but I’m still going to take this opportunity to rave about it again. This bag has been my lifesaver for the last 10 months. It’s been my go-to, and it is easily the most multi-functional bag I’ve ever purchased. I’ve folded it up and packed it to travel, it’s my favorite bag to use as a personal item on flights, it’s my favorite tote bag for school, and the only bag I grab if I’m running to go get work done at a café or the office. It fits my 15″ MacBook, which is pretty much a miracle in itself. Read my full review on the Longchamp Le Pliage Large by clicking here. If you don’t have one, you need one. This bag was worth every single penny.

FRAME

Ladies, I’ve done it. I’ve found the perfect pair of jeans, or rather, the perfect denim brand. After trying FRAME, I’m never going back. Never have I ever purchased a pair of jeans that fit so perfectly while being oh-so-comfortable. FRAME’s denim is the softest, stretchiest denim I’ve ever encountered while still being thick and actually feeling like denim, not a thin flimsy material.

STUART WEITZMAN HILINE OVER THE KNEE BOOTS

These boots were definitely an investment piece for me, but I don’t regret purchasing them in the slightest because I legitimately wear them all. the. time. Dress them up for a night out, or down for running errands during the day. Despite the high heel height, they’re surprisingly comfortable. If I could have these in every single color, I would, but for now I’ll stick to black.

LILLY PULITZER RUN AROUND SHORTS

I’m usually not one for running/gym shorts, but I make an exception for this pair. Lilly Pulitzer’s Luxletic Run Around Shorts are not only cute, but so freaking comfortable. Plus, the pockets aren’t teeny tiny. I usually wear these for running errands in the summer when it’s unbearably hot and humid, paired with a silk camisole French tucked and a chunky gold heel.

LILLY PULITZER COLETTE SKORT

If you would’ve told me at the start of the year that a skort would make my list of fashion favorites by the end of it, I would’ve laughed. That being said, Lilly Pulitzer’s Colette Skort {as well as the Nicki, the version without scallops} quickly became part of my hot and humid summer uniform. These skorts are so easy to throw on for a casual day or dinner. I typically wear them July-August, paired with a silk camisole and this cardigan in case of air conditioning.

ENTERTAINMENT

QUEER EYE

I CANNOT get enough of this show! If there’s one feel good show of the year, this is it. I recommend this to everyone and anyone, and honestly, you just need to watch it for yourself to know what I’m talking about.

RIVERDALE

One of the nerdiest facts about me is that growing up, I used to LOVE the Archie Comics. My grandfather has a ton of the vintage Archie comics, and I’d sit in his house for hours reading them. When I found out that the CW was adapting the comic book series with a dark twist, and that none other than Cole Sprouse would be in it, I knew that I had to watch. Riverdale absolutely does not disappoint. I started watching early in 2018, and after binging the first season, I’ve watched every week since.

DYNASTY

My friend and I started watching Dynasty when I went to Boulder to visit her in June, and by the end of the trip, I had almost finished the first 12 episodes. Little known to either of us at the time, Dynasty is a modernized CW reboot of the original 1980’s soap of the same name. The CW really came out as my favorite network of 2018, with their newest show All American being an honorable mention for my 2018 entertainment favorites.

CRAZY RICH ASIANS

I had been wanting to see this movie ever since it was released, but didn’t get the chance to finally watch it until I was on my flight from JFK to Beijing earlier this month! This comes very, very close to my new favorite movie. It’s definitely my favorite movie of 2018. A sequel is already in the works, and I can’t wait until it’s released {even if that release date is in 2020}.

TRAVEL

PARIS

For as long as I can remember, there’s been two places tied for the #1 position on my travel list: Paris and Vietnam. I had the opportunity to visit Paris in February, and I absolutely fell in love from the moment I stepped off the train from the airport and into the city. The city is beyond beautiful, and filled with culture. It’s definitely somewhere I could see myself living one day, and I can’t wait to go back. Read my Paris travel guide here, a guide to French pastries and how to order at a bakery in Paris here, and the Paris myths debunked during my trip here.

TOKYO

The opportunity to go to Tokyo completely came out of left field. I would’ve NEVER guessed that Tokyo would be one of the locations I’d end up going to this year, but I’m beyond happy and thankful that I did. The Japan series kicked off with my guides to Harajuku and teamLab Borderless, but there’s more in store for 2019 that I can’t wait to show you.

BOULDER, COLORADO

I went to Boulder to visit the bestie this summer, and it completely surprised me. I rekindled my love for rock climbing and had an amazing time in the small mountain town. Boulder was a fun way to get out of the busy, fast pace of NYC. Watch my Boulder vlog here and read A Single Girl’s Guide to Boulder here.

RADISSON BLU AQUA CHICAGO

Staying at the Radisson Blu Aqua in Chicago was such a dream. The beautiful Park Suite at this hotel was easily the nicest, most light filled hotel room I’ve ever stayed in. I can’t recommend this hotel enough for their rooms, amenities {um, rooftop pool!}, and fantastic service.

GEORGIAN HOUSE HOTEL LONDON

I adore this charming boutique hotel in London not only because its got a convenient location and adorable decor, but also because it easily has the best breakfast of any hotel I’ve stayed at. You would never guess that you’re eating a complimentary breakfast when you stay there with their full menu, attentive waitstaff, and food better than honestly any restaurant but one that I’ve been to in London.

FOOD

ANGELINA

If you’re a chocolate lover, you better get yourself to Angelina ASAP. Angelina is a café/tea room in Paris that has easily the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had in my life. While the cup may look small, don’t be fooled. This hot chocolate is so rich that you’ll be struggling to finish it.

LE FOURNIL DE LÉA

Le Fournil de Léa is a neighborhood boulangerie located in the 9ème in Paris. The best bread I’ve ever had was purchased here for only 1.5 Euros. It’s a bare bones place, unlike bakeries in the States with no seating. Like many neighborhood establishments in Paris, this boulangerie is cash only. Once you’ve got your baguette, head down the road and purchase some cheese from the fromagerie to go with it!

STAX CAFÉ

Annie and I stumbled upon Stax Café in Chicago completely by chance, and I’ve been missing the grilled cheese there ever since. Never would I have ever guessed that blueberry lemon jam belongs on grilled cheese, but at Stax, it does.

PICCOLA

This. This is the best Italian food in NYC and by far the best Italian food I’ve had to date. I can’t get enough of Piccola, and the best part is that it’s ridiculously affordable by NYC standards {think intimate Italian restaurant, Michelin Guide, but has a lunch special where everything’s $10 like what. That’s Piccola for ya}.

CHA CHA MATCHA’S PINK DRINK

Cha Cha Matcha’s Pink Drink may be ridiculously overpriced, but it’s my favorite. It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of all things roses, the actual flower, the smell, the taste. Cha Cha Matcha’s Pink Drink has rose hips in it, and you can actually taste the rose.

NYC fashion, style, and travel blogger Eva Phan of Eva Darling sitting at Cha Cha Matcha on Broadway in NoMad in a Vineyard Vines seersucker ruffle asymmetrical top, white skinny jeans, and gold comfortable affordable block heel sandals

DIG INN

Dig Inn has become my favorite place in New York when I need a quick bite. All the food is sourced locally, and the menu rotates with the season to reflect what is actually in season. I don’t think I’ve ever had food that tastes as fresh as it does at Dig Inn, Sweetgreen included.

DOC WATSON’S

Doc Watson’s is a cute little spot on the Upper East Side in NYC that pretty much makes the list solely because I love their Spinach, Avocado, and Goat Cheese Wrap. The atmosphere of the Irish inspired pub is fine and the service is less than perfect {typically dismal}, but if I could order that wrap on Postmates weekly, I would.

CURRENTLY ON REPEAT

There’s way too much music for me to pick just a few favorites off this massive playlist, so I’m going to keep it short and sweet. These are the songs I listened to and loved the most this year. I’ll probably put this master playlist on repeat for the next month, and I’ll probably lose my voice singing along. My neighbors are definitely going to hate me. Click here to follow the playlist on Spotify.

xx,

E

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2 responses to “That’s Darling – Best of 2018 Favorites”

  1. Love your photos & this post! I really like how you broke down each category! Easy to read & many of your favorites are mine too! 💕

  2. lora says:

    ah i love everything in this post (especially queer eye!). such a cute idea for a year end round up!
    – lora / http://www.mylifeaslora.com

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