Happy Monday! I hope your day has treated you well.

I tried filming this video last week and it was a fail to say the least. I’ve finally got it down, though so I hope you enjoy!

I have been noticeably procrastinating on writing this post. My last year’s favorites were done as a series, divided into categories, and was incredibly time consuming. I will be doing a separate post (check for that later this week) of my yearly favorites showing the products I reached for the most in eyes, lips, face and nails. This post, however, focuses solely on 12 products that I not only loved but that were released in 2012, as well as one product failure for this year.

2012 New Favorites 2

Clockwise from left: Guerlain Meteorites Perles D’Azur by Emilio Pucci, Chanel Joues Contraste Brume D’Or , Illamasqua Cream Blusher Zygomatic, Tarte Clean Slate 360 creaseless primer*, Real Techniques Expert Face Brush

Guerlain Meteorites Perles D’Azur by Emilio Pucci(LE)- I cannot tell you how many times I used these since getting them earlier this year (I believe May?). They became a regular part of my daily routine, adding a touch of glow to my skin without being obvious.

Chanel Brume D’Or(LE)- It was hard to decide between this, Notorious and Fleur de Lotus (all three are gorgeous and lovely in their own ways). But I decided on Brume D’Or because it really added a color of blush to my collection that is the perfect neutral when I have a summer tan. I used this a lot last summer and the color it gave was fabulous.

Illamasqua Zygomatic- Along with the powder blush Naked Rose, Illamasqua added to their blush lineup this year with some stellar shades. Zygomatic is a perfect neutral blush that blends into your skin like a dream, and great for those “no make-up” make-up looks.

Tarte Clean Slate 360 Primer*- The best eye primer I have used to date. It’s about 3/4 gone because I have literally not done my eye makeup without it since receiving it. I like that it comes in squeeze tube form vs. a wand (more hygienic) and it really makes a difference in how my makeup applies and how long it lasts (12+ hours).

Real Techniques Expert Face Brush- I’ve been a fan of these brushes created by Youtube Beauty Extraordinaire Sam Chapman of Pixiwoo. They are synthetic and super soft. They don’t shed and they hold up well to use and washing. This brush was a new release this year and was my absolute most used brush of the year. I use it daily for blending tinted moisturizer or foundation and even my concealer.

2012 New Favorites 1

Clockwise from left: Dior Fairy Golds, Laura Mercier Gilded Platinum, Too Faced La Creme Naked Dolly, Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick Empress, MAC Lipglass Revenge is Sweet, BareMinerals Ready Liner 5am, Urban Decay Mushroom

Dior Fairy Golds Swatches

Dior Fairy Golds(LE)- This was released in Dior’s holiday collection along with Night Golds (another favorite of mine). But between Night Golds and Fairy Golds, I definitely used this one the most. It has a slightly cooler tone to it and is a little more wearable for day-to-day use. The shadows were creamy and pigmented and long-lasting.

2012 New Favorites Swatches

Swatches L-R: BareMinerals 5am, Laura Mercier Gilded Platinum, Urban Decay Mushroom, Chanel Brume D’Or, Illamasqua Zygomatic, MAC Revenge is Sweet, Hourglass Empress, Too Faced Naked Dolly

BareMinerals 5am Ready Liner(LE)- What a gorgeous shade! This was released in their limited edition Night Vision set (which I have yet to review). Let me say I’m absolutely hooked on this formula! This shade was the reason I purchased the set, but I was blown away by the staying power of the liners in general. The black that came with the set is super black and stays on my waterline ALL DAY. Through a workout at the gym, my shower, meetings, errands, traffic…! Might be the best liner formula I have ever tried. Super creamy and easy to apply.

Laura Mercier Gilded Platinum (LE)- A gorgeous platinum shade with high shine and a smooth texture. The pattern? Fabulous.

Urban Decay Mushroom- Urban Decay revamped their eyeshadow formula this year and re-released many shades as singles, and added new ones to their lineup. I had always wanted this shade but it was previously (I think?) only available in their larger palettes. I jumped on this as soon as I saw they had released it as a single and wasn’t disappointed. Incredibly buttery in texture and excellent color payoff, this shadow is worth a look if you don’t already have it!

MAC Lipglass Revenge is Sweet(LE)- I am actually not a huge fan of the lipglass formula in general, however, I have been wanting this particular shade since it was released in the Disney Venomous Villains collection back in 2010 (anyone else miss those days of clever collections?!). I was happy to see it being repromoted in a collection this past November. The formula is actually more tolerable than I remember, not quite as sticky as it once was. The color is sheer, but lovely on the lips adding just a nice kiss of pink.

Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick Empress*- 2012 was the year of the liquid lipstick with several companies coming out with their own variation on the trend. This formula was my favorite. My favorite shade is actually Muse, but I seem to have temporarily misplaced it! The three shades I have all perform the same: long lasting, highly opaque coverage and smooth texture. As with any liquid lipstick/matte lipstick you need to be wary of dry patches on your lips as they will inevitably make those look worse and more obvious.

Too Faced La Creme Drenched Lip Creme Naked Dolly- Actually Naked Dolly is a new purchase for me, prompted by Tiffany of Will Work For Makeup. I originally purchased the shade Juicy Melons back when these lipsticks first launched last summer. It was a go-to shade for me well into the fall. I’ve been into nude lipstick lately so when I saw Tiffany feature this I knew I had to pick it up. Creamy, opaque in one swipe and super comfortable wear this has to be the best new lipstick formula released in 2012 for me.

And lastly, the one product fail for me this past year:

MAC vs Sigma F25 Brush

Sigma F25 Tapered Face Brush- I cannot tell you how much I dislike this brush. I used it and washed it for months before finally giving up on it. It is supposed to be like the MAC 138 (both pictured above). After realizing I would NOT be able to continue using the F25, I purchased the 138. The reason? It sheds… ALL OVER THE PLACE. In my products, on my face, on my clothes, on my counters. Literally every time I used it 5-10 hairs would fall out. I have no idea how it has any hair left at all. Do yourself a favor and skip the F25. The MAC version is softer, much less shedding (only a few hairs when I first washed) and has a better feel on the face. I wouldn’t even give this brush away, let alone sell it in a blog sale. I wouldn’t want anyone else going through the frustration I experienced with it.

Well, after that rant I think I can end this favorites post. Thanks for sticking with me and I hope you have a wonderful week! Feel free to share your favorite new products of 2012 below!

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

I promised I would give you some FOTDs (face of the days) with the two new blushes I featured on Wednesday from Illamasqua’s latest collection. I took my inspiration from Mad Men and created some looks based on January Jones character Betty Draper and Christina Hendricks character Joan Holloway. I am madly in love with the show from the plot down to the makeup and costumes. If you haven’t seen it, you are really missing out. ;)

My eye makeup is the same in both, but I switched blushes and lipsticks. I’m not wearing any bronzer either because I wanted to show the blushes on their own. I kept the eyes simple, like they do in the show. I actually read a few articles about the makeup that was used on set for the first 2 (maybe 3) seasons and it was mostly NARS. I picked up some of the products so I could try to replicate the color scheme pretty exactly.

On Eyes:

 

Cheeks:

Lips:

I really like how all of these products work together. It’s a face-brightening look and while it’s defined, it’s also quite subdued. Very easy for day-to-day wear. It’s exactly the kind of look that Joan or Betty would sport during the day to the office or horseback riding. ;)

Cheeks:

Lips:

My heart belongs to both Zygomatic and Red Square. Perfect alone and sublime together. I have seen both Betty and Joan sporting a neutral blush and a bright red-orange lipstick on many occasions throughout the seasons and I admire it every time. It’s bold, but classic.

Both looks are easy and timeless and I feel like they capture the styling and essence of the show quite well. Also, you may need NARS Red Square in addition to the blushes- it’s gorgeous!

I have a little preview for you all this evening of the two new blushes that recently launched with Illamasqua’s tongue-in-cheek Naked Strangers collection. I give them a lot of credit for being so, dare I say… ballsy.

Naked Rose and Zygomatic

Naked Rose is a powder blush and Zygomatic is it’s cream counterpart. I say that because these two colors naturally compliment each other so well. I have tried several Illamasqua blushes in the past (both cream and powder) and these feel the same in their formula as their “older” sisters do. I can’t speak to the wear time as I only just received them but if they are true to form the cream will last 6-8 hours while the powder will last around 7-8 hours.

Naked Rose is a beautiful nude-pink shade. The formula is velvety both in the pan and on skin.

Clockwise from left: Tarte Exposed, Illamasqua Naked Rose, NARS Douceur, MAC Pink Tea, MAC Pink Cult

As you can see, nude blushes with a pink undertone have been done before. However, Naked Rose does offer something a little different to the table.

Swatches L-R: MACPink Tea, Tarte Exposed, NARS Douceur, Illamasqua Naked Rose, MAC Pink Cult

Naked Rose is the most pink of the group and therefore the least brown. In terms of pigmentation it is similar to Pink Cult. Both have a similar payoff and texture.

Zygomatic is a cream blush that is a natural brown-pink shade.

Clockwise from left: MAC Pleasureful, Illamasqua Zygomatic, NARS Penny Lane, Inglot Cream Blush #90

In pan it looks most similar to Penny Lane but in actuality they are quite different.

Swatches L-R: Inglot #90, MAC Pleasureful, Illamasqua Zygomatic, NARS Penny Lane

Zygomatic is the lightest of the three and the formula is not sticky. Penny Lane is significantly more brown/peach while Pleasureful and #90 appear much darker and peachier as well. I did apply this to my cheeks this evening (I’m about NW30, maybe a bit darker atm) and loved how natural it looked on me. It showed up easily, which surprised me based on the lightness of the swatch.

Overall the blushes are divine in shade and texture. Keep in mind that while these are my initials thoughts that I have had plenty of experience with the blush range in the past, and every experience was a positive one. These retail for $24/each and can be found at Sephora.com.

Will be inviting the Naked Strangers blushes home with you? ;)