After testing a gazillion makeup, hair and skincare products last year and over 1,100 post and reviews, I discovered some fantastic products that reached Holy Grail status for me. Some were newly introduced in 2011, some were just new to me. The following is my “best of” for 2011. These products are not just things I liked but that made a real difference in my hair, skin and beauty routine, I hope you’ll find some things that may work for you too!
BareMinerals Ready 2.0 & 4.0 Pressed Eye Shadows – Debuting in October, bareMinerals the undisputed leader in loose mineral eye shadows launched READY, a new line of cold-pressed eye shadows in 2.0 duos ($20) and 4.0 quads ($30). These eye shadows do not disappoint! There is a good selec tion of shades, the shadows have3 great pigment, last all day and blend easily. If you haven’t already, you HAVE to check them out! P.S. Look for Hue pressed blushed in February!
BB Creams – Commonly refered to as Beauty Balms or Blemish Balms, BB creams became a GLOBAL beauty trend this year, making their way to the US. BB creams are like tinted moisturizers on steroids! Most brands contain moisturizer, sunscreen and anti-aging ingredients making them a one-stop-shop foundation and skincare treatment in one product. Two of my favorite BB creams are Boscia BB Cream SPF 27 and Dr. Jart+ Premium BB cream. I’m currently test driving a BB cream from 3Lab, review coming soon! Using a BB Cream is a game-changer beauties!
Hello Lashes! by IT Cosmetics – a 5-in-1 treatment product designed to eliminate the need for a lash conditioner, primer, lash comb/curler, lash growth serum and tint. I like my lashes Drag Queen long and full and Hello Lashes! delivers! The wand itself has a ball ‘detailer’ on the end to ensure every teeny tiny inside and outside lash is attended to. I use the ball detailer to add a little extra to the ends of my lashes too because BIGGER is better! Hello Lashes is available at QVC and QVC.com priced at $29 for two tubes. Read my full review here.
This category is a tie–another fabulous mascara new last year was Benefit They’re Real. The rubber brush does an excellent job of lengthening and separating and the neck of the tube gets the glops out before you touch the brush to your lash. The brush is meant to be used 2 ways: the regular horizontal way and then the tip is designed to be used vertically to capture every tiny lash. The result is long, full lashes. Read the full review here.
Inglot Cosmetics – I was introduced to Inglot cosmetics last summer on a visit to California. The brand quickly became an all time favorite after seeing the humongous selection at IMATS LA and the Inglot store. Eye shadows, foundation, concealers, blush, lipstick, gloss all in a ridiculous amount of colors–it was like being inside a rainbow! Everything is so affordable and the quality is outstanding. I purchased a fw eyeshadows and two “freedom” palettes, you can read about the freedom system and see pics and swatches here. I have to mention Inglot’s fabluous YSM foundation too–it performs like a much more expensive brand. I will definitely be buying more and more from this brand in 2012.
Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment– Now I get it! I’d been reading fabulous reviews of this product but had never tried it. I admit it, the word intensive scared me–I imagined red itchy skin and…pain. HOLY GLOW was I wrong! Carla from Product Girl recommended it me, giving it glowing (heh heh) reviews. No need to let the name intimidate you–this stuff is amazing! Yes, it’s a chemical exfoliant and yes, it has enzymes in it–that’s why it’s so effective!! The beads are gentle enough not to rip or tear your skin and it’s gentle enough to use twice a week. I’ve been using it twice a week with excellent results. If you have sensitive skin, start with the ExfoliKate Gentle. Ingredients include Papaya, Pineapple, and Pumpkin Enzymes to clean pores, Rosewood and Cinnamon Extracts to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and Aloe Vera, Honey, and Vitamin E smooth and soften skin. The ingredients make the difference with ExfoliKate over regular scrubs; it’s almost like a scrub and peel in one. I use ExfoliKate in the shower–after gently scrubbing over my skin, I leave it on for a few minutes to let the enzymes go to work to disolve the dead skin cells. My skin is super super soft and glowing AND, the glow lasts for a good 3-4 days! ExfoliKate is pricey (2.0 oz for $85) but worth every penny for the awesome results it provides. I never want to be without it!!
Le Métier de Beauté Kaleidoscopes – Two of my blogger friends introduced me to the Le Métier de Beauté brand. I thank and curse Carla from Product Girl and Marcia from Beauty Info Zone for my addiction. I now own several eye shadows, a few blushes and an eyeliner. I honestly cannot remember when I have been so impressed and infatuated with an eye shadow collection. The kaleidoscopes have four eye shadows that all compliment each other–two warm shades and two cool shades. I won’t explain the layering technique here, but trust me it’s genius! My first purchase was the Splendid Frost kaleidoscope, then came my beloved Penelope followed much later by Come One, Come All. At the risk of trying to pick a favorite child, I think Penelope is my favorite so far.
Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner Liquid Eyeliner – back in May, MUFE launched the newest edition to the Aqua line-Aqua Liners. These smudgeproof, budgeproof, waterproof, liners are available in 15 gorgeous shades and three finishes. Pictured here are Navy Blue, Iridescent Anthracite and Diamond Black Purple. Read my full review here.
A close runner-up are Stila’s Sparkle Waterproof Liquid Liners. Nine glitter shades ranging from neutrals to bright blues and greens. My personal favorite is Sequins– black with silver sparkles.
Mirenesse Twin Heated Lash Curler – I adore this eyelash curler–it’s another game-changer beauties. I can honestly say I haven’t used any other curler since trying this. With two heated silicoine heated pads, you get a curl that actually lasts all day no matter what mascara you use. What I really like about this curler is the perfect curl you get–it curls lashes at the base and the midshaft so no more straight up stand-at-attention lashes, but the ideal fluffy rounded curl. As the pads heat up–in just 10 seconds, they change from red to clear. The curler never gets too hot, plus it’s the most comfortable curler I’ve ever used! It takes 2 AAA batteries and retails for about $35.
Tarte 12-hour Amazonian Clay Blush – one of the best blushes to hit the market in 2011. If you have trouble with your blush fading during the day, you MUST try this! The pigment is unbelievable, the colors lovely, the lasting powder unbeatable! Formulated with Tarte’s miracle ingredient, Amazonian Clay, there were eight shades in the original launch. There have been more shades added, some exclusive to kits or collections. See my full review here.
WEN by ChazDean Cleansing and Conditioner – my hair has NEVER been this soft, shiny, full and the color is spectacular. I am constantly asked if I have jsut had my hair re-colored and the answer is “no, I use WEN.” Aside from a few shampoos I’ve tried for review purposes, I haven’t used anything else on my hair and it is really thanking me by looking bouncy and healthy. 2011 saw the addition of limited edition seasonal collections–love this idea! Last fall was Ginger Pumpkin and the winter offering was Vanilla Mint (it smells like a York Peppermint Patty)! What amazes me about WEN Cleansing Conditioner is that it truly works for all hair types–my fine hair as well as my friends super thick wavy hair. WEN by Chaz Dean can always be found on QVC (there might even be some Winter Vanilla Mint left). If you take nothing else away from this list, but this product you will be thank me! Make sure to follow the directions explicitly for the results you want. See my full review and before and after pics here. WEN Haircare is available on QVC and ChazDean.com