31. 12. 2011

I broke my Best of 2011 products into 4 different posts, so I thought I would compile them all into one wrap-up post.

Powder Blush

2011 was a big blush year for me. You can read about all of my favorites and see swatches here.

Face Products

It was a year of trial and error, and try again for face products. You can see which ones ended up at the top here.

Eye Products

I fell in love with several different formulas this year. I used plenty of neutrals, but also added pops of color here and there. Check out my favorites and swatches here.

Lips & Nails

I really loved lipstick and lipgloss hybrids this year, in addition to bright bold hues. My nails were ever-changing but I managed to select a few that stood out from the rest, and you can see swatches here.

I can’t possibly name ALL of my favorite blogs this year. I loved so many I simply cannot choose. If you want to know what blogs I read regularly, check out my “Link Love” tab, it’s what I use to check out blogs daily instead of Google Friend Connect or other services. πŸ™‚ I want to say a special thank you to those girls who have named me as a favorite blog of theirs this year. I am honored and flattered!

I had some random favorites this year as well:

Thank you all for making 2011 so unbelievably awesome, and here is to all the wonderful things waiting for us in 2012! Cheers!


2011 was the year of glossy lips for me, but not so much with lipgloss. I preferred a lipstick-gloss hybrid because this year I decided I didn’t like lipgloss that much anymore. I have gotten much more selective about what formulas I like and won’t touch anything that is too sticky. I also went bolder and brighter than I ever have, thanks in part to several Lipstick Bandits. πŸ˜‰ I also OBSESSED over nail polish this year. It was hard to narrow it down, but I stuck to just the ones I wore a lot.

Shiny lips!

L-R: MAC Sheen Supreme Gotta Dash, 17 Mirror Shine in Peace (UK product), Hourglass Ignite, Revlon Super Lustrous Coral Reef, MAC Viva Glam Cyndi (disc), Tarte LipSurgence Lip luster in Adored*, Burberry Lip Mist Copper

L-R: Revlon Coral Reef, Hourglass Ignite, Tarte Adored, Burberry Copper, MAC Viva Glam Cyndi, 17 Peach, MAC Gotta Dash

I also wore some bright, BRIGHT lipsticks this year:

So bright! L-R: Joe Fresh Fuchsia, MAC Impassioned, MAC Vegas Volt, MAC Neon Orange ( I have to thank Arianne of Glitter Geek because 2 out of the 4 came from her,. Thank you, Lipstick Bandit!)

Swatches L-R: Joe Fresh Fuchsia, MAC Impassioned, MAC Vegas Volt, MAC Neon Orange

I went nail crazy this year and it was *really* hard to pick just a few, but somehow I managed!

L-R: Butter London All Hail the Queen, Sephora by OPI Sugar Plum Fairies Gone Wild, Sephora by OPI Go With the Flow-er, OPI A True Ab-Original, OPI Mermaid’s Tears, 10 Moonlight #458 (a brand I found at CVS here in the US), Deborah Lippmann Believe, Orly Rage

Well, that’s it! I was going to do brushes/tools but I just don’t have the wherewithal to do it, maybe in early January of 2012.

What did you wear on you lips and tips the most this year? Was there a particular color you went for more than another?

*Items with a ‘*’ were provided by PR for review only*


31. 12. 2011

Welcome to my favorites of 2011! I love these posts; I can’t wait to read what everyone else loved this year too! This edition is all about eyes.

Some of my most used liners and shadow pencils for the year (clockwise from left):

UD 24-7 liner Stray Dog, MUFE Aqua Liner #14*, Stila Sparkle line Electric, Tarte Amazonian Clay liner in Rich Green, MUFE Aqua Eyes #9L, Inglot Gel Liner #86, Mally Shadow Stick in Champagne, UD 24-7 Shadow Pencil Midnight Cowboy, MAC Fluidline Avenue(LE)

Swatches L-R: Midnight Cowboy, Champagne, Avenue, MUFE#14, Electric, MUFE #9L, Stray Dog, Rich Green, Inglot #86

All of these proved to have excellent lasting power and were budge proof throughout the day, some were even waterproof! πŸ™‚

Favorite Singles/Duos of 2011 (clockwise from left):

Chanel Fauve, Burberry Midnight Brown, NARS Galapagos, NARS Habanera Duo, Illamasqua Ore, Illamasqua Furore

Swatches L-R: Ore (dry), Furore (dry), Habanera Duo, Galapagos, Fauve, Midnight Brown

I had three favorite palettes of 2011, this is Chanel’s spring 2011 release, Ombres Perlees de Chanel. It is stunning in every possible way. Unfortunately, it was limited edition.

Chanel Ombres Perlees Swatches

Tarina Tarantino Sparklicity Gold PaletteThis wasn’t purchased in 2011 but I brought it on two trips I took and wore it endlessly in January, February and March. It was also limited edition.

Tarina Tarantino Sparklicity Gold Swatches

I know the orange-y looking shade looks scary but on the eyes it is so warm and amazing. I bought this palette after seeing Michele1218 do a look with it, you can see that video here.

Ahh, my everyday MAC Palette. I reach for this a lot. I swap the shadows out from time to time as well, but these are the ones I used most regularly.

Top Row L-R: Blanc Type, Nylon, Phloof!

Middle Row L-R: Moleskin (LE), Charcoal Brown, Quarry

Bottom Row L-R: Mystery, Copperplate, Satin Taupe

Swatches L-R: Satin Taupe, Copperplate, Mystery, Quarry, Charcoal Brown, Moleskin, Phloof!, Nylon, Blanc Type

I fell in love with sooo many cream shadows this year and if I had to pick one stand out formula it was Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense. I love every shade I have tried. But, I coudn’t go without mentioning some other stellar creams I used this year (clockwise from left):

Buxom Stay There in Collie, Chanel Mirifique, MAC Soft Ochre, Giorgio Armani #6 Khaki Pulse, Giorgio Armani #19 (LE, no shade name to my knowledge)

Swatches L-R: Mirifique, GA #6 Khaki Pulse, GA #19, Buxom Collie, Soft Ochre

And lastly, the mascaras or lash products I used the heck out of this year:

Givenchy Phenom-eyes False Effet (I have posted about this here) and Lancome Hypnose Drama were top picks for me this year. Both give me volume and length and dark black lashes. Lancome is a bit more dramatic so I usually save that for evening wear. I also loved testing the LashEm Measurable Difference gel* this year. It has made my lashes feel so soft and I have noticeable growth. <3

What were your favorite shadows or lash products this year? Anything strike you as being really, really special? Dish!

*Items marked with ‘*’ were provided by PR for review only*


Happy New Year’s Eve everyone! I thought I would finish up my favorites of 2011 (I did one post on my favorite powder blushes of the year already, here).

These are all of the face/skin products I couldn’t get enough of this year. πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

Skindinavia No More Shine Spray, DDF Moisturizing Dew and The Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream. I used all three of these so much this year. I have oily/combo skin and if you do too, you should really look into these products. They were life-savers!

I am not going to go into these because I have talked about ALL of them before, most several times. For concealers the Collection 2000 lasting perfection concealer (medium) worked wonders for the face and I used the Garnier Anti-Dark Circle Roller under the eyes. Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer in nude and Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation in Medium were the two bases I used like crazy. Both are close to being depleted, about 25% left. Chanel’s Soleil Tan de Chanel was my first Chanel product early this year, and it is a divine base or bronzer (can be used either way). I used it this summer to help deepen too light foundations. I adore the smell!

These are the bronzers I reached for the most (clockwise from left):

MAC MSF So Ceylon (disc.), Giorgio Armani Sheer Bronzer #1, MAC MSF Give Me Sun,Β  Dior Aurora (LE), Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Powder in bronze*

Swatches L-R: GA Sheer Bronzer #1, Dior Aurora, Tarte Smooth Operator, MAC So Ceylon, MAC Give Me Sun

Easiest way to fake glowing skin? With these amazing highlighters that I couldn’t stop using this year (clockwise from left):

Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow Rose Gold, Laura Mercier Rose Rendezvous (LE), Benefit Watt’s Up, MAC MSF By Candlelight (LE), Lorac Perfectly Lit in Spotlight

Swatches L-R: Laura Mercier RR, MAC By Candlelight, Lorac Spotlight, Benefit Watt's Up, JK Rose Gold

I already shared my favorite powder blushes, but I didn’t mention my favorite creams, which I can’t go without sharing (clockwise from left):

MAC Joie-de-vivre (disc.), Joe Fresh Melon, Illamasqua Dixie, MUFE HD blush #12

Swatches L-R: MUFE #12, MAC Joie-de-vivre, Illamasqua Dixie, Joe Fresh Melon

That’s it! *whew* stay tuned for Eyes and Lips & Tips next! πŸ™‚ What your favorite face products of 2011? Any of the same ones that I had? Do tell!

*trumpet fanfare* It’s the time of year when all the beauty lovers search their stashes and reminisce on all the products we loved, loathed and lusted over for the past 365 days….well if we are being precise it’s more like 349 =P but who’s counting?

Since blush was one of my most purchased products of the year, I thought I would start with that first (also, blush is my favorite). I decided to delegate cream products to a different category so cream blushes aren’t included here. Also, I am not sticking to a set number per say, it just so happens that this time it’s ten.

Drugstore Favorites

Physician’s Formula Happy Booster Blush in Natural

Physician’s Formula Happy Booster blush has such a cute design and I ADORE the scent it gives off…someone help me…it’s not lavender, what is it? I have both of the colors but the one shown above is shade Natural, which gives (you guessed it) a gorgeous natural flush and glow. It’s super soft and a lovely powder.

Milani Baked Blush in Lumioso

Milani’s baked blushes have gotten a lot of cover time on my blog this year, and for good reason. They are fantastic. My favorite shade far away has to be Luminoso. It gives a nice glowy look to the cheeks without being gritty or frosty. Plus, it leans peach….my favorite of all blush shades (ok, tied with coral).

NYX Powder Blush in Raisin

NYX Raisin was not a new blush or shade for 2011, and I purchased it in 2010. But, I got a lot of use out it in January and February of this year, and have done the same this fall. It’s my go-to shade when I want a plummier cheek because it’s so easy to use. I have a number of highly pigmented plum shades, but they take too much work. This is swipe and go kind of color and why I adore it so much.

NARS & Illamasqua

Illamasqua Powder Blushes in Lover and Hussy

I thought NARS was the best blush in the mid-high range until I tried Illamasqua. The formula is so much more smooth and finely milled that I cannot actually compare the two in the same league. I still love my NARS (see below) but Illamasqua’s formula puts NARS to shame. My two favorite shades this year were Lover (a bright peachy apricot) and Hussy (a bright, slightly peached pink).

NARS Blushes in Mata Hari and Desire

NARS does have a strong blush formula. There is no denying their amazing color variety and the awesome pigmentation of most of their range. Their formula is excellent, until you compare it to Illamasqua…then it’s sort of old news (Sorry NARS lovers!). But don’t fret, I still have a special spot in my heart for NARS blushes. Mata Hari (Mauvey-Rose Pink) and Desire (bright cotton candy pink) are two stand out colors for me. In terms of wear time, I get a little more out of Illamasqua (7-8 hours), but NARS stays strong for most of the day (6-7 hours).

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes in Exposed and Tipsy

This was a new product this year. You already know I feel like this is the best blush formula ever. I have oily skin, and these beauties last longer on me than any other blush. The formula is smooth and silky and the blushes have just the right amount of pigmentation. I hope they will continually expand their color range as well.

Burberry Russet

Burberry Light Glow Blush in Russet

Again, I don’t feel like I need to explain this as I just did a post about there fabulous blushes. The packaging, the design, the quality of the powder and the shade all make this blush one of my favorites EVER. Like, of all time. The reason I felt like I couldn’t name it as my top blush of 2011 is the staggering price. I realize that this is a luxury brand and that not everyone can or wants to pay those kinds of prices. With that inΒ  mind, this is the runner up right behind the Amazonian clay blushes. For me personally, though, it’s my number one. The color looks kind of dark and scary in the pan and the swatch but on my cheeks it imparts such a nice glow of peachy/nude that kind of makes it one of those dual-purpose blush/bronzers in one.

Swatches L-R: NYX Raisin, Tarte Exposed, Burberry Russet, Illamasqua Lover, Tarte Tipsy

Swatches L-R: NARS Mata Hari, NARS Desire, Illamasqua Hussy, Milani Luminoso, Physician's Formula Natural

Oh, and I have one honorable mention:

MAC Mineralize Blush in Nuance

You will notice that not a single MAC blush made it in to my top ten. The reason is that although I think MAC does make a nice blush (as evidenced by my collection here) and has the most extensive range of colors, their formula doesn’t usually ‘wow’ me. Nuance, however, is a great blush. It’s a peachy-brown shade with a light golden shimmer. It is gorgeous….but it’s also discontinued. You may still be able to find this at a CCO, though. I have swatched this blush in the same link above.

What made it to the top of your list for blushes this year?