Friday, December 27, 2013

Best Beauty Buys of 2013

The year 2013 is now drawing to a close; I hope you spent your Holidays well with your loved ones and now that you're slowly emerging from a food coma, it's time to think about the glamour of New Year's Eve! I might be able to help in your party preparations with my selection of best make-up products I've tried in 2013. These are not actually items that were newly released in 2013, just bits that I personally started using or rediscovered this year - basically, a yearly favorites of sorts. Majority of these products have been previously reviewed, so if you're interested in more details and swatches, please click on the provided links. Let's get cracking!
Starting with base make-up, this was actually the hardest part to include in my favorites. I suppose that throughout the year, I used my Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation the most and now I've very nearly finished my bottle, but I came to the conclusion that it's a very difficult product to get right; if my skin is too much on the oily side, it slides right off, if it's a bit dehydrated, it clings to all the dry patches. So, contrarily, for its ease of use, the 2013 award goes to Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15 (review and swatches of my shade, Tender Rose, here). This mineral foundation is quick and easy, gives good coverage and disguises both enlarged pores as well as dry flakes. I only wish they made a travel jar as well!
Onto the eyes (I know, no blush in my round-up; quelle horreur! I just wasn't very loyal to any particular formula or brand although I've tried some lovely ones this year... Maybe a blush favorites post in the future?): I actually have two eyeshadow formula favorites. First up, and it's no surprise, bareMinerals READY Eyeshadows. My favorite all-round color combo is this palette in The Finer Things (LE, sorry! But... click here anyway?), although you can also find great neutral choices in The Power Neutrals palette or Truth quad.
Secondly, nothing can beat the price point and unique shade selection of Fyrinnae loose eyeshadows (swatches here and here, eye looks here and here, notes on pressing samples here). Admittedly, they require a bit more effort if you wish to save space and application time by pressing them, but for me the payoff is absolutely worth it. I can also credit Fyrinnae shadows for more colorful eye make-up experiments this year. I undoubtedly see myself expanding my collection of their shades in the future. As a side note, I love using my Z Palettes for all the loose eyeshadow and blush pans and much prefer them to any other free form palette I've tried thus far.
Eyeshadow sticks and eyeliners: Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colors (especially the shade Grey Pearl, swatched and reviewed here) and Sephora Contour Eye Pencil 12HR Wear respectively (shades Flirting Game and Surfer Babe here). 2013 was a grand year of cream eyeshadows for me, which I'm sure some of you noticed from the abundance of posts on the subject. Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks still stand out as overall winners, and the Sephora Contour pencils are the best pencil eyeliners I've tried in a long time; the available shades of both products are beautiful too. You just can't go wrong with either formula.
This past year was a jolly good time for my lashes, mostly due to the amazing thickening and lenghtening powers of LiLash Eyelash Serum (full review here). I'm still clinging to my first tube and scraping up the bottom for the very last bits; as you can see in the photo, I do have a back-up, but I want to get the most mileage partly because of the price, but mostly because it's sadly no longer in production. I might cry when it runs out. As for mascara formulas that worked the best on my full fringe, Laura Mercier's Full Blown Volume Lash Building Mascara ($24 for 0.4 oz) was a very pleasant surprise (I have another deluxe sample here in the photo), but honorable mentions should also go to Bobbi Brown's Everything Mascara ($25 for 0.2 oz) and Buxom's Buxom Lash ($19 for 0.37 oz).
 Aaaah, lip products. I have to say this year I turned to more high-end formulas and generally, as my lips got a lot drier, became significantly more picky about the formulas. Three that emerged as comfortable, line-filling, hydrating winners: Guerlain Rouge Automatique (the only shade I own, Shalimar, photographed and swatched here - but I'm already scheming to purchase more shades) for a proper, pigmented lipstick, Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments (older review here; my favorite shade was Rose but I also really like Passion) for a sheer, juicy formula, and lastly Buxom Lip Cream in Cherry Flip (clickety click!) for a gloss.
For nail polish favorites, my regular rotation of OPI and Essie polishes was joined by Zoya Professional Nail Lacquer (no links, but you can look up swatches in my 'Month in Nail Polish' posts). I came to really enjoy their solid 5-free formula and I can't blame the shade range either. I especially like Zoya's more adventurous approach to finish; you can find creams, duochromes, subtle pearls, holos, sand texture and even bar glitter in their line-up. I like!
Wow, congratulations if you got this far! That was quite a bit of overly enthusiastic make-up musings, wasn't it? You might notice that I featured a lot of these favorites in my recent 'What's In My Make-up Bag?' post; what can I say, I really do like have my favoritest and trustiest products with me when I travel. I also decided to exclude any skincare or haircare products from this list for a variety of reasons, most of them having to do with the fact that it's a more difficult subject matter to evaluate objectively and thus, probably less helpful to you. Anyway, I do hope you enjoyed reading about my best beauty buys of 2013 and stay tuned for 2013 in review post!

17 comments:

  1. NO BLUSH????? hahahaha
    I like LM Full Blown Mascara too! I should get it again.

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    1. LOL Tracy!

      Love your faves, Monika. Beautiful pics too. Hope you're keeping warm and well!

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    2. I know, Trakee! But... I'll redeem myself with a separate post I think. And thanks for your good wishes Liz, same to you! <3

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  2. Oh my LM loose powder is amongst my worst this year. :( It just didn't work for me. I really must take the plunge and try a Guerlain lipstick soon! :)

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    1. That's so interesting! I still want to explore more mineral foundations, but for now the Laura Mercier is my favorite. Do try the Guerlain lippies, they're amazing!

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  3. I'm more captivated by your photos :-) Love the lights and fluffy background!

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    1. Who doesn't like the fluffy, hahah :) I call it my 'pimp' fur vest... very snuggly.

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  4. I love LM shadow sticks. I'll have to check out those Sephora eyeliners.

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  5. I really need to try out some of Sephoras eyeliners. I have heard good things about their Jumbo Liners as well! :)

    Elise
    Unpolished Experiments

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  6. Amazing post!! I love how you took the time to capture everything in detail and yes I read everything!!!!! I love Zoya Nail polishes they're the best! <3

    I've just followed you via GFC, looking forward to your next post love!

    xoxo, Mango ❤
    MangoRabbitRabbit's Blog | Sephora Rose Gold Eyeliner: Before & After!

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  7. Hi

    I'm a frequent reader of your blog, but I've just realised that I've never left you any comments.. so here it is!

    Great choice of products. I love bareMinerals Ready Eyeshadow too. My favourite is "the vision" duo. You should totally try it! :)

    xoxo,
    Natália - nemtaomulherzinha.com

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    1. Hi Natalia, thank you for reading and well... commenting for the first time! I need to check out that bareMinerals duo, thanks for the recommendation! :)

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  8. Those LM shadow sticks have made my list this year, too. I bought the mini set but I want the holiday shade - Twilight!

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  9. Beautiful choices but seriously exquisite photos! Your shots are always lovely but these blew me away <3

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    1. Thank you Kate, I really appreciate it :)

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  10. the LM shadow sticks are on my list too :) I'm a fan of those guerlain lippies and also like the hourglass and rouge d'armanis. OH also TF. How are those formulas for you? :)

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    1. I actually haven't tried the Hourglass ones even though I really like their Ballet shades, and I only have a Rouge d'Armani Sheer, which I like but it's very sheer... So thanks for your recommendations Bunny, I'll check them out!

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