Hi guys! Guess who’s late again with making a post. Me! 4 days into January and I’m just now posting my 2013 favorites.
Now that I have eliminated a lot of makeup from my makeup stash (see my decluttering blog post), I am able to safely determine which products I truly love. The products that survived my ruthless decluttering are the products I love the most. Chances are that these are the products that will stick with me through 2014 after being loved throughout 2013. With that being said, let’s get onto the best of beauty 2013 items!
Hands down, the best palette is the Lorac Pro. It has 8 matte shades and 8 shimmer shades. With 16 shades to choose from, I can get almost an entire look with just this palette alone. Aside from using this palette for eyeshadow, I can use the matte brown shades for eyebrows and contouring the face. I use Espresso for brows and Taupe for contouring. I can also use Nude to add highlight to my nose and cheeks. There are also several dark shades to use as eyeliner. On top of that, I have even used this palette to create a blush shade. I mixed a little bit of Garnet with Mauve and Lt Pink to create a very pretty rosy colored blush that also highlighted the cheeks. This palette has EVERYTHING I could ever want.
EYE SHADOW (BRAND & COLOR)
I had a hard time trying to decide which brand of eye shadow I liked the most. After countless amounts of swatches, I finally decided on Stila. Stila eye shadows are super pigmented, buttery, very blendable, and have very little fallout. I really love Urban Decay, MAC, Coastal Scents, and various other shadows for their pigmentation and blendability. But when it came down to it, Stila won because it had the least amount of fallout when used with a brush or with my finger. If I had to pick a color, it would be the color Soft Violet which coincidentally is also made by Stila. It’s a beautiful mauve shade that compliments almost any eye color. I wear colored contacts and I think that Soft Violet looks great with green contacts, hazel contacts, amethyst contacts, grey contacts (natural grey and sterling grey), and my natural brown eyes.
Also, apologies for the wrong palette name in the picture. This is the Artful Eye III Palette.
You guys are going to hate me for this one because my favorite brand is discontinued. Surprisingly, my favorite nail polish was the Dollicious collection sold exclusively at Fredericks of Hollywood. Why they discontinued it, I don’t know. But the pigmentation of these polishes is AMAZING. I only need one coat of the polish to reach full opacity and even without a top coat, the polish will last weeks. I’ve have managed to find one dupe for a Dollicious polish and that’s Glitzerland by O.P.I. The quality of O.P.I is similar so it’s the brand I’ll go to first when I need to replace my Dollicious polishes. However, I haven’t found anything to compare to the Dollicious polishes (but in all fairness, I haven’t tried very hard). The swatches above are only one coat of the polishes, except for O.P.I which had two coats since it had the biggest nail. Even then, it didn’t quite stack up to a single coat of Dollicious.
I have quite an extensive collection of mascaras and I have been able to limit my favorites down to three. One is high-end priced, one is mid-range priced, and one is drugstore. My high-end choice of mascara is The Balm’s Body Builder which costs $19.00. My mid-range price mascara is Clinique’s High Impact Mascara which costs $16.00. My drugstore mascara favorite is Maybelline’s Lash Stiletto. All of these mascaras do a great job at lengthening my lashes, volumizing them, and defining them. These mascaras also don’t smudge or flake.
If I had to choose one, it would be Clinique’s High Impact Mascara. The High Impact Mascara has the cleanest finish out of all of the mascaras. Each lash is coated evenly and it gives me the appearance of true false lashes. All of the mascaras I chose gives me the “false lash” effect (in a way where my lashes look plush and long) but Clinique’s mascara is the most realistic. People question me about wearing false lashes all the time, and often times they will get in my face and stare at my lashes because they think I’m lying when I say I’m not wearing falsies. Now THAT’S a good mascara.
I’m almost embarrassed to say this but I think my most loved fragrance of 2013 is Taylor Swift’s Wonderstruck Enchanted. I’ve gone through three of the refill sprays and am currently about 75% through a fourth one, and I have used up 1/4 of the big bottle spray. I don’t use the small spray anymore though because you can’t refill the spray or buy just the refills, you have to buy new refill sets with a new twisty holder. I don’t think I could stomach throwing away the holder again (this is my second refill set). It’s sweet and youthful yet awkwardly mature and sexy. It’s a fragrance that I can wear casually, on a date night, for a party, etc. It’s a fragrance that suits any occasion and is perfect for anyone. It also has great lasting power for a cheaper celebrity fragrance. It’s a fragrance that I get complimented on regularly by men and women of all ages. To make things even better, the bottle is absolutely BEAUTIFUL with a red iridescent bottle adorned with gold charms, gold font, and a gold cap. The photo I took does the bottle no justice. The best part? This perfume is on the cheaper end of the fragrance spectrum. You can usually get the 3.4fl oz bottle set for around $30 on fragrancenet since they regularly have discount codes.
No surprise here. My favorite skin care product is hands down Up & Up Cocoa Butter Lotion (Target generic brand). There are too many things to love about this product – the price, the scent, the formula, the packaging, and the results given. My bottle of cocoa butter lotion cost me less than $3.00 and has lasted 3 months. The scent is to die for because it smells lightly of sweet, decadent chocolate. The formula is fast absorbing, non-greasy, and very moisturizing. The bottle comes with a convenient pump so there is no mess whatsoever. And lastly, in the few months that I have been using this lotion, my skin has improved drastically. My skin went from dull and uneven to radiant and toned.
Another product that goes hand-in-hand with the Target Cocoa Butter Lotion is The Body Shop’s Cocoa Butter Hand & Body Lotion. While I am annoyed that this is the only lotion that The Body Shop didn’t put a pump on, I am very pleased with the formula. Cacao seed butter ranks as the second ingredient in this lotion yet it is fast absorbing and non-greasy. I have been using this all over my tummy, arms, chest, and even my face to help with stretch marks and even out my complexion. There is no mineral oil in this product so I feel safe using this on my face to help treat scars and discoloration. This product definitely beats applying Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula all over my body (it smells great but it is SUPER sticky and takes forever to absorb). The Body Shop’s Cocoa Butter Lotion doesn’t smell like typical cocoa butter products but that’s okay because it’s highly concentrated in cocoa butter without the sticky feeling.
Hands down, my favorite blush of 2012 and 2013 has been the Ulta Gel Cheek Stain Blush. They’re a cheaper version of the Tarte Cheek Stains and it does the same thing as Benefit’s Benetint (but it’s easier to use). The gel stick is the same size as the e.l.f essential color/cover sticks but the product packs a punch despite the size. I purchased two sticks mid-2012 and they are STILL usable. I’d say that I have used the sticks over 100 times and still have half of the stick left to use up. I just need to apply one swipe per cheek, blend it out, and then I’m left with a natural looking flush that will last ALL DAY LONG. The only thing that I dislike about this blush is the fact that they only have 4 colors to choose from. I would love if they would add some berry shades and soft pink shades to the line. They look scary in stick form but they blend out to a very natural blush.
I am a hair serum junkie and I have dozens to choose from. Out of the many serums that I own, I have narrowed my favorites down to two – Chi Keratin Silk Infusion and Sexy Healthy Hair Soy Renewal. These babies are some of the best hair serums I have ever owned. The Chi Keratin Silk Infusion adds silkiness and shine to my hair. In the long run, it also makes my hair significantly softer. The best part about this serum is that it smells very similar to Secret Charm from Victoria’s Secret. Next up is Sexy Healthy Hair’s Soy Renewal. This serum adds silkiness and shine to my hair like the Chi serum does, but it also helps strengthen my hair and reduce frizz in the long run. My hair doesn’t snap off at the root anymore so my little frizz hairs have grown out without more hair breaking. My hair has made a significant transformation from the beginning of the year thanks to these products. My hair is the healthiest that it has ever been. I would also like to point out that I use these hair serums once every week or every two weeks. Using a serum regularly can actually damage your hair. I learned that the hard way with BioSilk’s Silk Therapy. I used the serum daily and the protein made my hair look amazing the first few days, but then my hair started to break whenever I finger-combed it.