Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Favourite Products of 2010

What were your beauty faves/discoveries of 2010?  Here are some of mine.

1.  Bobbi Brown Modern Classic Lip & Eye Palette

I went through buyer's remorse after purchasing this, but it's turning out to be perhaps the best beauty buy of the year.  The quality of both the eye shadows and lip gloss are excellent, the colours are wearable neutrals appropriate for any occasion, and the packaging is sturdy, portable and luxe.  It's an excellent product for those who work in conservative office environment (as I do, on a part-time basis).  It's still available at your local Bobbi Brown counter, so check it out before it disappears forever.

2.  The Original MoroccanOil Oil Treatment

I rave about this product every chance I get.  First of all, it smells divine.  Secondly, it's a reductionista dream product because it eliminates the need for an anti-frizz, heat protectant and straightening potion.  Rub a quarter-size drop between your palms and work it through wet hair before heat styling.  Your hair will look and feel soft, shiny and healthy.  Love love love.

3.  Deborah Lippmann Nail Lacquer in "Across the Universe" and "Bad Romance"

Possibly two of the most gorgeous nail colours ever.  I delved heavily into sparkles and shimmer this year, and while the price tag of these two were daunting, I took the plunge with the aid of a giftcard and don't regret the choice at all.

Across the Universe
Bad Romance

4.  Philosophy Purity Made Simple One Step Facial Cleanser

A skincare product that actually does everything it promises -- it's a miracle!  Some skeptics claim it's overhyped, and some claim it's a more expensive version of Cetaphil.  I love Cetaphil and still rely on their daytime moisturizer, but Cetaphil and Purity are two completely different products.  Purity will actually remove makeup and cleanse your skin in just one step.  Cetaphil does not remove heavy makeup and you'll have to wash and scrub twice and tone to get the same effect as Purity.  Purity is also great for all skin types (oily, dry, sensitive, normal, combination).  It will not dry out your skin and you're left with soft and clean skin in just one simple step.  It took me a while to realize the greatness of this product as well, as I, too, thought it was just a hype over nothing at first.  But it saves the hassle of the double-cleanse process for heavy makeup wearers.  Another reductionista win!

5.  Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel (Full Strength)

I introduced this product into my weekly skincare routine in early fall.  Wish I had tried it earlier, but I was afraid of peels for a while.  This is an at-home peel which can be used once a week to chemically exfoliate the face, leaving your skin smooth and glowing the next day.  It's a little alarming at first because your face will turn very very red -- it should be used at night before bed and never just before you have to leave the house to go somewhere.  Despite the temporarily scary red face, its true effect is visible almost right away.  Slather it all over your face (avoiding sensitive areas like eyes and around the mouth), wait 10-15 minutes, then just wash it off with warm water.  For those with sensitive skin, I recommend the sensitive version rather than the full strength.

6.  Makeup Forever Mat Velvet + Matifying Foundation

Oily-skinned girls, rejoice!  And by "oily" I mean really oily.  Even if you have combination skin with oily tendencies, this product will be too drying for you.  As much as I loved it during warmer seasons, I had to retire it for the winter.  However, in late spring and all throughout the hot summer months, this foundation is a lifesaver.  It took me forever to find a mattifying foundation that actually works, and luckily I discovered it just in time for my sister's wedding in steaming August.  A lot of people rave about MUFE's HD Invisible Cover Foundation, but I literally sat with a MUFE makeup artist and conducted a direct comparison of both foundations on my face by applying HD Foundation on the left side of my face and Mat Velvet on the right -- and the makeup artist and I both agreed that Mat Velvet worked better for my oily skin.  It's full coverage, though, so a little goes a long way.

7.  TheBalm Hot Mama

I use this solely as a blush, but the claim is that it's both a blush and a highlighter.  When the famous NARS Orgasm Blush ended up with no colour and just sparkles on my light-medium cheeks, I was supremely disappointed.  When I came across this blush at a drugstore for half the price sold at Sephora, I had to snatch one up. The pinky-peach hue with shimmer is exactly what I imagined NARS Orgasm should have looked on me.  It can be worn very softly or built up in layers for more impact.

8.  Benefit Cosmetics Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow/Liner

I was a huge Benefit enthusiast in 2006.  But since then I had tried so many of their products that I just decided to ignore the Creaseless Cream Eyeshadows for a long time after their debut.  Thanks to Sephora's VIB points, I scored a sample of this product in "R.S.V.P." and became an immediate fan.  It applies, blends, and lasts beautifully.  It's the perfect product to swipe quickly over eyelids in the early morning rush.  I definitely prefer this over MUFE Aqua Cream which is terribly difficult to blend.

9.  YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils Mascara

The price tag on this mascara is scary, but I had read so many rave reviews that it had to be tried.  I went to a YSL counter and basically challenged the makeup artist to give me that false eyelash look.  Well, she definitely rose to it with this mascara.  Thanks to a giftcard, I scooped this up in "High Density Black" and enjoyed a good three months or so of luscious and voluminous lashes without smudges or clumps.  I don't know when I'll gather enough courage to spend so much on a mascara again, but when I do, I'll be turning to this one for sure.

10.  Makeup Forever HD Invisible Cover Concealer

Some of the acclaim for MUFE's HD Invisible Cover Foundation should be transferred over to its counterpart concealer.  This is the first concealer that I've purchased twice.  It's a dream if you manage to find it in the exact same shade as your skin.  The texture is creamy and soft, appropriate for both undereye and over blemishes.  I have to admit that there isn't a lot of product in the package, but just a small dab does wonders for me.  There are some complaints about the strange applicator, but the solution is to not apply the concealer directly with the rubbery tip.  Instead, twist the knob at the end slowly so that very little concealer emerges, then squeeze out more product by pressing down on the rubbery pad and pat on face with fingertips.  Apply sparingly at first and build up as necessary.

11.  TheBalm Shady Lady Palette Vol. 2 (shadows/liners)

I was never one for shimmery eyeshadows, but this is the product that caused me to cross over to the dark side.  During a YouTube browse, I watched a few rave reviews about this palette and curiosity overcame me during the subsequent Sephora visit.  After testing a few swatches, I was sold.  The shadows are highly pigmented, applying and blending beautifully.  The shades look amazing layered together and I always receive compliments when I use these shadows.  Bonus?  The darker colours can be used as liners with a wet brush.  This palette is another reductionista dream come true.

(For those who are already fans of this palette, did you know that Shady Lady Vol. 3 is now available at Sephora?  I haven't made a dent in Vol. 2 yet, so purchasing Vol. 3 seems unnecessary at the moment, but I will have to test the product firsthand as I always do before making any decisions.)

There you have it.  I meant to post only the top 10 products of the year but Shady Lady slipped in right at the last minute.  Do you agree with me that some of these products are worthy of acclaim and devotion?  What were some of your favourite products of the year?


  1. Awesome choices! I am very interested in checking out the MUFE foundation, as my skin is fairly oily too. I have been wanting to try the YSL mascara for ages too but you're right, the price tag is a bit daunting. However, I might just give it a go, at least once :) I'm still desperate for Across the Universe too, so I think I might ring up Holt's and order myself up a few things!!

    Happy Holidays!

  2. Ooh so many lovely things - especially that Bobbi Brown palette. Her shadows always look stunning, but I can't bring myself to pay the price so I'll have to remain a from afar admirer for now.
    I think my absolute favorite new product from this year is the Naked palette from Urban Decay, but I almost feel bad for naming it since it seems to be impossible for people to get ahold of now.

  3. @toyarosie Happy holidays! Sounds like a lot of fun testing for you in 2011. Good luck with "Across the Universe" - if it gets difficult to obtain, let me know.

    @Caitlin I wouldn't have dug deep for the BB palette if the Naked Palette had been available. The shades are actually quite similar. But good news on the Naked front - it'll be available from Ulta and Urban Decay starting at some point in January.


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