I cannot believe I’m already saying this: Bloomin’ Beauty has turned two!
Aside from inserting the expected pink fireworks (call me corny; I couldn’t resist), I wanted to say a HUGE thank you to each and every one of you. This second year of blogging saw some major changes: my first Youtube video, a major move to a different state and all of the changes that entailed and several weeks at a time of no posts. I know it hasn’t been easy to stick with me when I don’t post or tweet regularly and the fact that I have had to all but abandon commenting other blogs (I usually read posts on my iPhone now- but I assure you- I am still reading) that I love. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate everyone who has supported me; continued to visit my site, link to me, email me, tweet me, etc. It’s truly inspiring and uplifting. As I enter this third year of blogging I wanted to share with you some advice, and some of the favorite posts I have done along the way- including reader favorites, the posts that have gotten the most traffic in the last two years.
First, a few things I have learned. (I’m not an expert at blogging and it’s something I do as a hobby, so keep that in mind. All of this is based on my personal and individual experience)
Now, on to the good stuff. Here are the posts that have received the most traffic since I started my blog on Dec. 9th, 2010. (these are in order of highest traffic received to date)
Now that I have shared my top 5 traffic posts, I’d thought I’d share my personal top 5 favorite posts. Believe me, this wasn’t easy!
Number 5: NARS Mandchourie- This post is solidified in my top 5 because the eye look I created with the duo is one of my all-time favorites.
Number 4: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfectors- The reason this post ranks high for me is again because of the level of time it took for swatches but secondarily because I love looking at so many pretty highlighters in one place!
Number 3: Tango With Tangerine- It was Pantone’s color of the year in 2012 and I loved doing this color palette post.
Number 2: The Look for Less- Dupe posts are some of my favorite posts to photograph and write, especially when the dupe is from the drugstore or significantly lower in price.
And…. *drumroll* my Number 1 favorite post of all time….
Burberry Eyeshadow Collection- Comparisons and swatches galore this is probably the most comprehensive post I have done to date. I still enjoy referencing the swatches when I’m trying to remember how close a color is to another. It features most of my favorite brands for eyeshadows, including Rouge Bunny Rouge and of course, Burberry!
I hope you enjoyed these posts as much as I enjoyed making them!
To make it just a *little* more interesting I thought I’d also share some of my most favorite products of all time. I thought long and hard about what I would be really torn up about not having in my collection. As in, you go to look for something and suddenly it’s disappeared! Here is what I would desperately miss:
Guerlain’s limited edition Parure de Nuit Pressed Powder (the peacock design!!!) It adds the most ethereal “lit from within” glow to the skin. I admit I got it for the peacock design- incidentally peacocks are my favorite bird and the current wallpaper on my phone
My love for these shadows has my collection about 22 shades strong- this one is probably my most favorite shade.
Sadly, also limited edition, the Ombres Perlees de Chanel palette is one of the best ever created in my opinion. The shimmer and the creamy/buttery texture has never been duplicated in any other palette I have tried.
The entire line of the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blushes. I believe I own every shade ever made- and that’s not a feat I have accomplished with any other brand or type of blush. My favorite.
One of the prettiest packaging designs and amazing color combination palettes ever. 2 years later it’s still a top pick for me.
Estee Lauder Modern Mercury- I missed out on this elusive highlighter when it initially launched but was able to obtain by swap later on. Amazing and I wish it was permanent.
Burberry is probably my top brand for designer beauty. The packaging and formulas are top notch and the colors are all wearable. The lip mist in Feather Pink is one of my most used lipsticks of all time.
NARS Mexican Rose Lip Pencil is probably one of the best bright lippies I own. Long-wearing, comfortable and highly pigmented. The entire Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil range is not to be missed.
Burberry’s Rosewood eyeshadow is one not to be missed. It was the first shade I owned and spawned a huge addiction for me.
My collection has grown since Urban Decay has released more shades, but their 24-7 liner is something I reach for on a weekly, if not daily basis. It lasts the whole day on my lids and they are constantly coming out with unique shades.
Zoya FeiFei polish surprised me. It’s sparkle factor cannot be denied, and it’s color-changing properties are some of the best I’ve ever seen in a polish. My other top polish pick was Butter London All Hail the Queen, but for some reason I don’t have a picture of a swatch…I must never have featured it individually! For shame. The formula and color are pure perfection.
I could go on and on….I have so many favorites but I think I need to stop here. I want to say thank you again to everyone who has made the last two years of blogging something I have enjoyed immensely, and hope to have many more of in the future. Look out for a giveaway in the next week, as well as my 2012 favorites! Cheers!
Back with another video- my favorites for the month of April! Enjoy!
Even though I know many people do their favorites posts around now, I couldn’t help adding myself to that group. I don’t usually do a favorites every month because frankly my routine doesn’t change that often. Wearing something 2-3 times in a month isn’t enough to warrant mentioning it. However, if I wear something a dozen times it’s probably safe to say I was really into it. So, that’s wear this post comes in (intentional grammatical misspelling for horrible pun purposes).
It was kind of a month of rediscovering old favorites.
Estee Lauder Sea Star Bronzing Blush- I got this a year ago. It’s such a smooth powder, very finely milled and it’s one of those blush/bronzers in one that were so big last spring/summer. It’s been great because when it saves time in the morning just using one product
NARS Oasis Gloss- One of my most favorite glosses ever. I got it last fall and it’s been my go-to gloss ever since. I feel like it looks nice when I wear it alone, but I can also top ANY lipstick or lipliner with it if I want some extra shine. Not sticky at all!
Fresh Sugar Rose- I got this in a 500 point perk sometime last year. I never touched it until I think January. I believe all the hype I heard about these lip treatments now. I prefer to my Jack Black balm by far.
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill #9- The perfect lid color by itself or as a base. Doesn’t budge all day (I don’t use primer with it) and it is so eye brightening.
Urban Decay 24-7 liner Demolition- This was a new shade to the Urban Decay line and I picked it up in January. I love the staying power on this and it’s the perfect color of brown that I was looking for. It’s creamy and smooth.
MAC Embrace Me lipliner- I believe I got this at the end of January or early February. It’s been my staple color this month. You can wear it sheer or heavy for a highly pigmented lip (I wore it in this FOTD here). I have also been preferring lipliners to lipsticks. I pair them with a light balm or a gloss. Longer lasting color than most lipsticks I own.
Guerlain Cruel Gardenia- If I used highlighter at all it was this. When I am short on time highlighter is usually something I skip. The Estee Lauder blush I showed above is kind of glowy in and of itself so most days I didn’t need it.
MAC Everyday Palette- I first showed this palette in my 2011 year end favorites, and you can see swatches of all the shades here. Again, I was short on time so many days this month and I tend to reach for something that doesn’t involve a lot of thought. I used Moleskin and Charcoal Brown everyday for brows (second row left and middle shades), and Moleskin just about everyday for blending.
Swatches L-R: Guerlain Cruel Gardenia, Giorgio Armani #9, NARS Oasis, Estee Lauder Sea Star, Urban Decay Demolition, MAC Embrace Me
Most of the month I wore coral or nude polish.
Laura Mercier Cabana- Part of the newest collection. It’s a lovely shade and smooth formula. Very glossy looking. It might be the color I have chosen to wear for vacation
Essie Topless & Barefoot- Although this was the nude I wore most this month, I have found a new favorite shade like I much more prefer over this one. More on that soon.
OPI Guy Meets Gal-veston- This was from OPIs collection last summer I believe. It’s what they call a ‘sorbet’ but that’s just their fancy way of saying ‘jelly’ polish. It’s shiny/squishy looking and the color is bright coral, perfect for spring and summer. I still have this on my nails right now.
L-R: Laura Mercier Cabana, Essie Topless & Barefoot, OPI Guy Meets Gal-veston
I also had a few favorite posts I wanted to share with you that I have come across recently:
J. from Lil Lady’s Life always has the most amazing pictures of her daily life in NYC (among all the beauty and skincare) and this post was no exception.
I always admire the FOTD posts that Jenny from My Funny Valentine does. She is so gorgeous! This post made me want to rush out and buy a new NARS lipgloss!
When the always amazing Karen from Makeup and Beauty Blog posted about the new Estee Lauder Mad Men collection it made me feel secure in my decision to pre-order the collection (arrives tomorrow, eeek!)
What were your favorites this month? Anything that you really clung to or were you all over the place? Speaking of clung to, I think I found a new favorite hair oil (no, not Orofluido). I am still testing it, but expect a comparison to my favorite-cling-for-dear-life hair oil Moroccan Oil soon.
*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.
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.
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 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 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 in 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.
Oh, and I have one honorable mention:
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?
It has been forever and a day since I wrote up a favorites post. It’s not something I do monthly because in reality, my favorites don’t always change month to month. Since it’s been several, I feel like I have plenty of new ones to share this time. Also, I totally forgot when I decided to do this post yesterday that it was the end of the month and therefore you would be seeing LOTS of monthly favorites…but hopefully you are like me and lurrrve seeing favorites posts
First up, skin care:
Clarisonic Mia (Berry color)- I purchased this during the first Sephora Friends & Family sale back in…I think the end of September. LOVE this. I feel like I’m finally a “true” beauty lover owning one. It has had an incredible effect on my skin’s overall even-ness and softness. Dry patches begone! This will be a winter lifesaver. Nothing, absolutely nothing I have tried makes the skin on my face and neck softer or smoother. I am talking out of the womb softness. Clarity of my skin (i.e. blackheads) is noticeably improved. I am using the deep pore brush and it seems to be a good fit for my skin. I will have a more in depth review of this in the future. I want to use it for several months before I share my final thoughts.
Proactiv Revitalizing Toner*- I received this in my Cosmo VoxBox from Influenster several weeks ago. I don’t always use it daily (oops) but I use it a couple times a week and if I feel a spot coming on. It works amazingly well for preventing spots if you use it in time. Feels refreshing too.
The Body Shop Seaweed Deep Cleansing Facial Wash- I purchased this after seeing J from Lil Lady’s Life talk about how much she enjoyed the Seaweed line (her review is here). Mine is almost gone (!!!) and I have really enjoyed using it with my Clarisonic. I purchased the toner as well, but find that I like the Proactiv one better when it comes to spot treatment. I will be repurchasing this as soon as it runs out! Although, as a 100 point perk from Sephora when I picked up the Clarisonic I got a full size Murad cleanser, which if I was any kind of practical, I would use that up first. We will see…
The Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Cream- Thank goodness for J of Lil Lady’s Life again, because this was a total skin care win for me. Again, this tub is almost gone. It worked wonders on my combo/oily skin and it’s almost gel-like in it’s consistency. Most creams/lotions are too heavy for my skin and clog my pores or break me out. This is lightweight and smells fresh.
Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel- I found this in the bins at the checkout line in Sephora a few weeks ago. I have heard good things about this and since my Seaweed moisturizer was almost gone I thought, “Why not?” Although my intention was not to try it until my TBS one was finished, I tried it right away. It gives a similar feel/finish actually. I like it. I haven’t used it enough to say if I like it more or less than the Seaweed one…only time will tell!
Loreal Studio Secrets Magic Perfecting Base- I am pretty sure I bought this in fall 2010. I wanted to use it up because again, it’s almost gone. I surprised myself by falling in love with it again. It really helps create a nice base to apply my foundation over.
Skindinavia No More Shine Spray- I have talked about this before, but I am still loving it. My first bottle is gone, and I’m about 1/4 through this one. I will continually repurchase this. It’s refreshing and really does make a difference in the oiliness of my T-Zone. I can tell if I’ve forgotten to use it.
Chanel Perfection Lumiere Foundation Beige 30- I have really been enjoying this foundation. Those who suffer with oily skin will like this more than those with dry skin. It’s a drier foundation. It lasts so well on me throughout the day and melts into my skin so nicely. I have been applying it by spraying MAC Fix+ on my Tarte Foundation brush and buffing it into my skin. You can expect a full, in-depth review soon.
Loreal Magic Smooth Souffle- An unexpected favorite. On days when I’m not bare-faced or wearing Perfection Lumiere, I wear this. It has a very similar texture to the primer I talked about above. It makes my skin look airbrushed! I tweeted a twipic with this on half of my face, while the other half was bare (you can see that picture here) and it really does wonders. It wears well. I actually won this in a Beautylish Twitter contest along with lots of other Loreal goodies. Yay for contests—I rarely ever win!
Collection 2000 Lasting Perfection in Medium- I got this in a swap with 25FLondon and have love love LOVED it. It’s a great concealer for under the eyes or for on the face. Also, I miss her blog posts.
For nails I have been loving sparkly metallics. I will be doing some polish posts in the very near future with swatches, so be on the look out for that.
L-R: OPI Designer…De Better!, SOPI Keep Me on My Mistletoe, SOPI Already Famous, SOPI Chestnuts About You, OPI Warm & Fozzie
ItCosmetics Nail Love Pen*- I have been using the heck out of this. It’s a twisty pen full of nourishing goodness for your nails (technical). All the same, this is an amazing and handy item to keep by your bedside, by your desk, in your purse. I have not been suffering from the usual seasonal nail issues because of this.
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill #9 Rock Sand- Rock Sand is a peachy shimmery shade that is so wearable for everyday use. I originally liked #8 Champagne better (see my review of that here)and didn’t purchase this shade. But, I actually prefer this one at the moment. Go figure.
Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill #19 Gold/Silver Mix- I wish they had named this shade instead of just calling it gold/silver mix or whatever the websites all have it listed as. It gets the point across, true enough…but still. *moving on* I freakin’ love this shade..see the dent already forming?? Yeah. I love it that much. I will weep rivers of tears when this pot is gone….maybe I will purchase my first backup product ever, since this shade is limited edition for the holidays this year.
Bobbi Brown Long Wear Cream Shadow Black Pearl- I can’t help but think of Pirates of the Caribbean every.single. time I wear this. It’s great as a base and I have DelytefulSpeaks (who posted about this many months ago) and J of Lil Lady’s Life (who sent this to me many months ago) to thank. It’s a gorgeous ultra-shimmery shade that reflects so many different colors. It’s beautiful!
Ellis Faas Creamy Eyes E103*- I just reviewed this a week ago, it’s my favorite black eyeliner right now. So pigmented and creamy!
MAC Pro Longwear Eyeshadow Keep Your Cool- I bought this when the Styledriven collection came out. It’s a nice shade and it lasts all day on my eyes–not that regular MAC shadows don’t. It has a nice formula, not too dry not too creamy and it blends well. The shade is totally me.
Urban Decay 24-7 liner in Uzi- I have had this for probably about a year but scarcely used it. For some reason it’s been my go-to liner the past few weeks. It’s a nice deep grey with shimmer. It verges on black, but it’s much brighter.
Tarina Tarantino Sparklicity Pure Palette- I purchased this around Christmas time of last year after seeing how gorgeous it looked on Michele1218. I have been reaching for it again. I did a review on this palette waaay back here and did a FOTD with it here.
Covergirl Pure Romance Quad- This was another Youtube recommendation. I believe it was MissGlamorazzi that used this in a look ages ago and I fell in love with it. I love that it’s soft and feminine.
LASH EM Measurable Difference Lash Gel*- Measurable difference is right! My lashes have never looked better. They feel softer, look better without mascara and I have noticeable growth! I will follow up with an in-depth review and before and after photos when I feel like I’ve tested it long enough!
Benefit They’re Real Mascara- I didn’t like this mascara at first. Now, I am really enjoying it. I changed how I was applying it and now it’s an excellent mascara! It gives volume and length and is very black. It doesn’t flake but it is one tough cookie to remove. I am still trying to find the right makeup remover for this mascara…I will be testing out the Klorane one I got in my Birchbox next.
Burberry Copper Lip Mist- When I visited the Burberry counter in October I was told this was their best-selling shade. SOLD! lol. It’s a great neutral, highly wearable and of course, the enviable Lip Mist formula and packaging.
Chanel Triomphal Extrait de Gloss- I already reviewed this shade, but I have been loving it on days when I want a bit more bolder lip. The texture is divine!
MAC Mattene Deliciously Forbidden- I got this from the Posh Paradise collection. It’s my favorite matte lipstick formula that I have tried. It’s not drying, it wears for several hours and the shade is beyond.
Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter Peach Parfait- You probably already saw my other shades of these Lip Butters here, but this is a new addition and it’s a nice wearable shade. I got the idea for this one from Youtuber Emily Noel as it looked stunning on her in one of her videos.
Chanel Rose Ecrin- An unexpected favorite. I would never EVER have given this a second glance.. until I was getting foundation matched for the Perfection Lumiere and the SA put this on me so I wouldn’t have to wander the mall all pale-faced. As soon as I looked in the mirror I practically barked at her “WHAT IS THAT SHADE?!?!” Luckily, she calmly responded with “Rose Ecrin.” ‘Nuff said.
Milani Baked Blush Fantastico Mauve- On the days that I have been wanting a bit of glow or shimmer, I dust a bit of this on. I purchased it what seems like eons ago (May?) and this fall am starting to get good use of it.
NARS Deep Throat- I never thought I would like this shade based on swatching it at Sephora. Putting it on the cheeks makes ALL the difference. I can see why so many people have raved about this. So natural and glowy.
Giorgio Armani Sheer Bronzer #1- This bronzer is amazing. It’s also the first powder bronzer in years I am making a dent in. The powder is sooo soft and finely milled, possibly the finest of all my bronzers. It’s sheer so it’s easy to work with. It looks scary dark in the pan, but it’s not. It has a slight sheen to it, which I enjoy this time of year…goodbye dull cheeks, hello facelift!
Yankee Candle Christmas Cookie- Probably my all-time favorite candle EVER. I remember my mom burning this same scent at Christmas time and now I do the same…but actually I burn it all year round, because I’m a rebel like that. Smells like freshly baked sugar/vanilla cookies!
Benefit So Hooked on Carmella- My favorite perfume for September/October. It’s the essence of fall. According to Benefit it’s a “floral vanilla” which is a pretty accurate description. I usually don’t like vanilla-y perfumes but this has just the right balance. It has notes of Lemon, Grapefruit, Rhubarb, Cyclamen, Peony, Tiare Flower, Vanilla, Sandalwood and Amber. It’s warm and not over-powering.
Chanel Chance- Words cannot express how much I am IN LOVE with this perfume. I have like a dozen samples so while I impatiently use those up, I am dreaming of the full bottle of this. It’s fresh and Chanel calls it “decidedly young.” Which, I happen to agree with. I resisted even trying all the samples I had because I equated Chanel perfume with something my grandma would wear. It has notes of white musk, hyacinth and citron, pink pepper, jasmine, fresh vetiver, orris absolute and amber patchouli
Christmas Decorations- I have been loving getting in the spirit with Christmas music and decorating my house.
Wow, congrats if you made it this far. Quite possibly my longest post EVER. Favorites FTW!
What have you been loving lately? Favorite perfume, candle, lipstick? Do tell!