Sunday, December 30, 2012

Standouts of 2012

What's more appropriate than ending 2012 with a list of standouts for the year.  I've been a slacker when it comes to posting my favorite products lately, but I think highlighting my overall favorites for the year will make up for lost time.  This is going to be a long one, so make yourself comfortable.

Chanel Perfection Lumiere: After much consideration, I'd have to say Chanel has come on top when it comes to their liquid foundations for 2012.  Although I have to say I do love the Aqua Lumiere, Perfection Lumiere just has that extra bit of coverage that I like.  It's natural finish and silky texture just works perfectly for that flawless look.  But my hunt for the perfect liquid foundation will not stop here in 2012, I will definitely be expanding and experimenting with more luxurious bands in 2013 and report back to you.  Let's see how Chanel holds up to Burberry and YSL.

NARS Pro-Prime: With a great foundation comes with the need for a great face primer (for anyone with combination or oily skin).  You definitely want your foundation to last if you're planning on a long day.  NARS Pro-Prime does the job well, and because of it's gel like texture it's absorbed quickly and feels unnoticeable, making it a great base for any foundation.

MAC Studio Finish Concealer: For me, MAC's Studio Finish Concealer is the perfect spot concealer on the market (within a decent price range).  I'm comfortable with sticking to the Studio Finish Concealer as long as it's still available.  It's extremely creamy and, with worked with the warmth of your fingers, does the job of concealing any noticeable spot.  But definitely don't confuse it as a great under eye concealer, because it will be too heavy for that spot.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Under Eye Concealer: This is my go to under eye concealer and color corrector. It does a two in one job of concealing dark circles along with brightening up the under eye area for that more awake look you might need every morning.  Perfect light formula doesn't seep into find lines and with that price
you can't beat it. I also love the easy on the go packaging, making it perfect for easy application.

Lancome Effacernes Under Eye Concealer: When I am looking for that more airbrushed look, I will definitely reach for my Lancome under eye concealer.  It's perfect for photography and those special evening looks that require extra coverage.  And because it's water resistant, it's a must have for any bride to be on their special day.

Chanel Double Perfection Natural Matte Powder: After spending most of 2012 searching for the perfect face powder for me, I've thus far been quite impressed with the Chanel Double Perfection Powder.  It's a great, natural setting powder over any liquid foundation (with a great smooth and velvety texture), but also is pigmented enough to wear on it's own.  On my lazy days, I'll usually be happy with a little bit of concealer and just buffing this powder all over for that easy going look.  Although I think I'll extend my search for that perfect powder in 2013, if I come up empty handed I will be happy sticking with Chanel.

Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Luminous Bronzing Powder: This was definitely one of my impulse buys from Chanel that I have no regrets about.  I thought the color and finish was absolutely beautiful, and after the make up artist had applied it on my face I already had them ringing it up at the counter.  Although it's probably not a must have for everyone, anyone's that just a big make up love (like myself) will find it a necessity for achieving that more healthy looking skin.

MAC Lush Light Careblend Bronzer: When it comes to powdered bronzers, for me it's important to sticking to natural and matte powders.  There are so many in the market that's it's hard to keep up with them all or find the right one for yourself.  For me, out of all of the ones I have in my collection I have been reaching for MAC's Lush Light Careblend Bronzer most often in 2012.  It's natural, matte, and does a great job with sculpting and contouring without looking muddy against my skin tone.

Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel Bronze Universal: Can't live without bronzing or contouring? This is a must have for any make up user.  At first I didn't understand the hype about the product, but once I had my hands on it I fell in love.  Easily create a natural contour by sculpting with the Chanel Bronze Universal, or use lightly all over the face for that sun kissed glow all year round.  Feels absolutely light and natural on the skin, and definitely doesn't give that Oompa Loompa finish. Just make sure you're using a light hand a a nice synthetic brush.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush - Exposed: I have definitely been enjoying the more natural toned blushes more this year, and the standout for 2012 has to be Exposed.  It's the perfect natural blush with hat slight bit of pink, making it perfect for a hint of color and also works as a contour.  Overall, the Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush line is a standout for it's beautiful color selections, smooth texture, and long wearing finish.

Laura Mercier Eye Basics: For my oily lids, Laura Mercier Eye Basics eye primer does the job at really making the shadows stick and stay in place all day long (I'm talking about 6-10 hour days).  I never have to worry about touching up or fixing any creases, making my day a little bit easier.  What's also great is that the texture is so lightweight and just blends onto the lids like butter.  Now if only that would improve on their packaging (it's quite hard to get all of the product out when your down to your last bit).

Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette: What can I say other than it's the perfect travel and go to palette for me.  I know it's been hyped up and raved about so much, but for good reason.  I do enjoy the original Naked palette, but I find myself reaching for the Naked 2 palette more so for the taupes and cooler neutrals in their shadows.  It's an easy to reach for palette that just has everything I need for a basic every day look to a smokey, sultry evening look.

Maybelline Color Tattoo - Bad to the Bronze: Cream shadows have definitely made a huge splash in 2012, but the standout for me has to be the Maybelline Color Tattoo line.  Yes Chanel, MAC, and Giorgio Armani make amazing cream shadows, the Maybelline Color Tattoo line comes pretty freaking close for a quarter of the price.  Bad to the Bronze is just my favorite everyday color if I just want an easy wash of color all over the lids.  What's even better is that it can be worn alone (without being set with an eyeshadow), so it's an easy one step look.

Lancome Le Crayon Khol & MAC Technakhol Liner: One of my favorite looks for most of the year has been just a smudged liner look.  And for that you need a nice creamy khol liner that smudges well but sets in place so you don't get that raccoon look by the end of the night.  There are so many liners in the market that I have not tried, so I can't say these two are any more amazing than the others available, but I can say that they get the job done.  Creamy enough to smudge out and create that more smokey look, but also long lasting enough to not transfer or smudge once it sets.

L'Oreal Lineur Intense: Blackest black liquid liner, smooth, long-lasting, and affordable. Should I say anymore? It's definitely the best drugstore liquid liner on the market (in my opinion), which is not a surprise because L'Oreal and Lancome are the same company.  So the Lineur Intense Liner is definitely a great drugstore dupe for the Lancome Art Liner.

Chanel Rouge Coco Shine - Boy: I am a sucker for any lipstick with that added shine (makes skipping gloss a lot easier).  My lips tend to be dry, so the Rouge Coco Shine line works perfect for me.  Along with a beautiful color line, I've never tried any line of lipstick that is so moisturizer without feeling too thick or creamy.  Definitely the perfect lipstick with color, only giving that more balmy finish.  And Boy has definitely been my go to shade for the season, the perfect natural pink appropriate for any look and occasion.  It's definitely one of those colors that you apply straight from the tube without a mirror.

Dior Addict Ultra Gloss - Sari Pink: I am definitely a gloss girl.  If I can skip it, I will (and that's usually 90% of the time).  That's only because I hate the feeling of a sticky gloss on my lips.  But after discovering Dior's Addict Ultra Gloss (thanks to Ingrid) I think I'll definitely be giving gloss a second chance in 2013.  I am absolutely in love with the texture and color of Sari Pink.  It pairs well with most of my lipsticks and just gives me that added shine without the tackiness like other glosses.  So for those days where I am feeling like a girly girl, this is my go to gloss.

I hope you're hanging on with my so far! I've got a few more skin care & hair care products to mention before wrapping this all up!

Lancome Bi-Facial Eye Make Up Remover: Removes all traces of eye liner, mascara, and shadows in just one swipe with a cotton pad.  It's very gentle and just does the job so well.

DDF  Glycolic 5% Exfoliating Wash: Thanks to Raeview, I was able to discover this cleansing treatment wash some time around November.  And although I've only started using it close to the end of 2012, I have to say that when compared to all of the other treatment cleansers I've tried, the DDF is definitely a standout.  My skin hasn't looked so healthy and clear, and even with it being a treatment cleanser, it's not drying or harsh on my skin.  When paired with my Clarisonic, it makes the best wash to really purify the skin after a long day.

Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Face Polish: A facial scrub is a must for me.  It's one of those spa like treatments you can achieve at home for about a quarter of the cost.  But instead of making my own facial scrub from things I have around the house, I do prefer the Laura Mercier Facial Polish.  It's an amazing facial scrub that really works at removing any dead skin and underlying dirt on your skin.  Definitely leaves my skin feeling rejuvenating and soft.  I always look forward for that time of the week where I get to give me face a scrub with this (sometimes it's twice a week!).  Do avoid overusing any sort of scrub on your skin though, you don't want to over strip your skin.

Chanel Hydracreme & Korres Wild Rose + Vitamin C Sleeping Facial: Moisturizing is key for soft and supple skin.  I definitely learned that the hard way after experiencing months of flakiness and dry patches.  So I definitely make it a point to moisturize with a hydrating gel in the morning, and a thicker cream at night.  The Chanel Hydracreme is a moisturizing gel that just absorbs into my skin amazingly.  I love that it's so lightweight (making it perfect for mornings), but still gives me a result of a thicker cream.  And then the Korres Wild Rose Sleeping Facial is a great treatment moisturizer that works deep into your skin while your resting throughout the night.  The added Vitamin C works as a brightening agent that gives you that glow in the morning, leaving your skin less dull and more awakened. I have to say that these two have might be my holy grail moisturizers for 2012.

Kerastase Nectar Thermique & Cristalliste Serum: Best pairing I've ever exposed my hair to.  For softer, smoother hair, I've learned to protect and nourish my hair for that just out of the salon look.  For days I plan on exposing any heat to my hair, I make sure to massage in the Nectar Thermique.  It works as both a heat protecting and smoothing lotion.  And for all of the other days, I just massage in the Cristalliste Serum for that healthy shine.  It smooths out and hydrates my hair while being extremely weightless.

Well I hope that wasn't too exhausting for all of you!

Thank you for being with me for 2012. I had such a great time sharing my thoughts on all sorts of products with you all, and I hope to be even more creative in the upcoming year.  See you all in 2013!



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