Sunday, August 12, 2012

Best Beauty Products of Past Year

I love my friend J for a lot of reasons, but one of the reasons relevant to this blog is our shared love of beauty products. She's not as manic as I am about it, but she's always interested in scoping out new things and discussing new trends, which many of my other girlfriends don't seem to have patience for. For the past few years we've been giving each other beauty products as gifts. And as thanks for her bringing back some treasures from Singapore for me, I gifted her with the following things in response to her question: "What was the latest and the best in beauty this past year?"

Hybrid Textures

Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush


J likes elegant neutrals and lives in a tropical climate, so the shade Peach seemed like a good pick for her. Though I haven't tried these cute little blushes for myself, they make fun gifts and I'm fairly certain that I'll cave for these eventually. The shades I want for myself are Hot Tamale and Plum Wine.

L'Oreal Infallible Shadows


The so-called dupes for the Armani Eyes To Kill. I reviewed a shade called Black Star here and noted its longevity and startling opacity. For J I got the shade Sahara Treasure, reviewed by Makeup Morsels here. It's one of those "swipe and go" shades that I love and I also plan on adding this to my collection eventually.

Beautiful Bronzers

Physicians Formula Happy Booster Glow & Mood Boosting Powder Bronzer


Okay, they really need to do something about this name. TOO LONG. I think most of us refer to them as "Happy Boosters" whether it's the highlighter, bronzer or blush. J thought this was really cute and pretty, so I was happy that she was happy and all three of us including the bronzer was happy happy happy.

New Lip Products

Revlon Lip Butter


J said a few years ago that she wanted to try wearing classic red lips. Upon quizzing her over the holidays, I found out that she never did get herself a red Chanel lipstick as was the plan. I had picked up Revlon Lip Butter in Candy Apple as a red lip starter, to begin with a sheer application and work my way to a more opaque coverage. Since then I've recommended this shade to a lot of people with excellent feedback. J thought it was a great idea.

Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm


When we were shopping in Singapore together, I noticed that J kept picking this up and putting it down. Weirdly, Burt's Bees products are sold in Asia Sephoras like a higher brand, and the price is inflated accordingly. I have and like the shade Red Dahlia and got the same one for her.

EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm


Last year I pulled a Boromir and stole this from a child I was planning on gifting it to. The guilty feeling has long since dissipated and I like the balm well enough. I wouldn't buy it again but it's one of those things that make a fun gift for those who have never tried it. I got one for J in Summer Fruit.

Micellar Water

Bioderma Sensibio Micelle Solution for Sensitive Skin


Though I think these micellar waters are not a big deal, others swear by them. And this cute little travel jug is freaking adorable. I figured J could use it on the return flight and see if she likes them. She had heard of the micellar water craze as well as the brand, so the curiosity is now properly satiated.

Face/Hair/Body Oils

The Body Shop Beautifying Oil


When it comes to hair, J and I happen to be the same weird breed of Asians with curly hair. We agreed that serums and oils work well for our hair type and so I knew she was friendly to oils in general. I got her the non-offensive scent in Shea and explained the oil craze infiltrating everything from skin care to bath & body. The Body Shop Beautifying Oil can be used on both hair and body and she was eager to give it a test.

Honourable Mentions

Obviously there were many other beauty news that had the community buzzing, such as: UD Naked 2, the comeback and rise of Estee Lauder (notably, the stunning Estee Lauder x Mad Men collection and their gelee shadows and highlighters), endless stream of BB creams by all the major brands both high and low, entrance of Burberry makeup, Guerlain x Pucci, and etc.

What were some of your favourite beauty launches and trends from the past year or two?

36 comments:

  1. You got a lot of great drugstore products--yay! Love the Burts Bees tinted balm! The EOS balm was a great pick too (even if you DID steal them from a child a la Boromir...Boromir!!! *sob*). I didn't like the Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blushes though--I got 4 of them and hadn't used them once since I tested them, so I gave them to my mom. I just thought they were too powdery and not creamy enough, so the application always seems a little dry and patchy on my cheeks. Plus, the whole bouncy texture thing was such a gimmick and made it really hard to pick up any product without mangling the whole thing...

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    1. Lol @ the sobbing - He died with great dignity and honour and much bad-assery. May he rest in peace!

      I've sort of punched the pad of a finger into a tester for those bouncy blushes once or twice and thought I could work with it. Maybe I'll pick one up only when it's on dirt cheap sale.

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  2. Nars Larger Than Life (Rue Bonaparte)

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    1. Did they make that much of a splash? I actually had to google it to remember it...

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    2. Maybe in my side of the world it did :p

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  3. Yay, there's a lot of drug store items on your list! I've been meaning to pick up at least one of the Lip Butters and some BioDerma. I recently picked up a Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze. It's my first cream eyeshadow and I'm quite happy with it. The L'Oreal one you picked up is gorgeous, and does look similar to one of the Armani Eyes To Kill. I may have to add some more to my collection.

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    1. I'm on a drug store budget for the most part, and I wanted to get her a bunch of fun things rather than one small expensive item. I keep getting recs for the Maybellines so I might have to cave and pick one up eventually! I hear certain shades of the L'Oreal Infallibles are a nightmare to find as they're sold in different countries or carried under different shade names... hope you can get a hold of this one!

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  4. What a lovely selection of products! And such a thoughtful gift :) I definitely approve of the lip butter and L'Oreal Infallible (even though they didn't really work for me). I haven't tried the bouncy blushes yet, because I fear they wouldn't last on my oil slick of a face, but they're so darn cute!

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    1. Thanks, Amy. :) I love shopping for gifts and really try to tailor it to the recipient. The Infallibles didn't work for you??? Whaaaaaaaa-t.

      I'm loving all the bouncy, spongey textures. So fun!

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  5. I think the L'Oreal Infalliables are nice, though I wish all the colors were the same everywhere. When I go to Canada in October I'm picking up Sahara Treasure, as I really want that one! I haven't tried the Bouncy Blushes because they aren't pigmented enough for me, and I don't like the Revlon Lip Butters, but I want to try their new twist-up pencil thingees. I don't know if I've discovered anything else this year!

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    1. I know, right? Why can't they just sell everything everywhere?!?

      I wish you could make a cross-Canada trek and come this way, too! And I think of you whenever I see something marked paraben-free. :)

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  6. I didn't realize you could use the body shop oil on both body and hair! I'll definitely have to pick one up. I was eyeing these last week when I went in to try those new fruit mists.

    My fave of the past couple years is liquid lipstick (my fave is Korres) and the hybrid lipstick/lipbalms (specifically those Revlon lip butters!)

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    1. That's what they say though I haven't tried it on myself to see how well that works! I was tempted by the Moringa mist but managed to quell it.

      I wanted to include liquid lipsticks as I just fell in love with the new Hourglass ones, but maybe that's for next year's presents. :)

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  7. Hi Liz! I love your drugstore picks and I fully agree with many of them well, except the ones we can't get here of course :) I'm intrigued by the Body Shop oil now. I wasn't too keen because some other friends reviewed the coconut one but I'm going to take a sniff and see which scent I can live with. I love body oils!

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    1. Thanks, Paris! I see that you're in Malaysia. :)

      I usually steer clear of scents with coconut as the main because they tend to be quite overpowering and very very sweet, which was the case with TBS oils as well. Shea was much quieter and warm and kind of toasty sweet. I'm tempted to get myself one as well, though I don't know how well they actually work (on both body and hair). I love oils lately, too, so the more the merrier!

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  8. This is like the who's who of best drugstore picks. L'Oreal Infallibles are excellent (though a bit on the flashy side), Candy Apple red was a color I even liked a lot, surprisingly, I'm love the dream bouncy blushes, and the burt's tinteds are great too! Basically, I'm saying I agree with your list! :)

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    1. I think that I was on the verge of writing off the bouncy blushes until I saw how much you were enjoying them!

      I'm scared of a lot of the Infallible shades but Sahara Treasure is a very safe neutral we can both enjoy. :D

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  9. I agree with everyone-this is like a best of drugstore list! I'd add the Maybelline Tattoo shadows to it and the Revlon Lip Stain Balms as well.

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    1. Drugstores are getting rather exciting. I wish they'd stop coming out with new things! lol I have to investigate those Maybelline Tattoos... so tempting!

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  10. Very beautiful products here, lucky J! I have a dream bouncy blush that I gained in a swap but am yet to use it- will have to remember to bust it out soon! I love the Sahara Treasure shade, it is seriously amazing

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    1. She did have a big smile on her face by the end of it. :D

      BUST IT OUT! BUST IT OUT! Then write about it. lol

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  11. Oh wow! A 'Lemming Liz' post! I have the Dream Bouncy blushes front and centre on my beauty radar and I'll cave as soon as they arrive down here. I have a few of the Infallible eyeshadows and love them too. Great selection Liz :)

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    1. Lol! I think we're all lemming enablers. I feel bad when I create them but I figure the readers are mostly masochistic anyway. ;) Hope the bouncies get there soon. Thanks, Vita! :)

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  12. I really enjoyed this post, hope your friend J loves all of these products =D

    xoRosie
    http://teacupsanddresses.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks, Rosie!

      (Please leave out the link next time - mind the comment policy!)

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  13. Ah, that lipstick from revlon! I've always found it so cute, since the package looks like a really expensive purse!
    My fav of the past year was the finding of sugarpill! A total colour crazy brand which has never disappointed me! We did a favs post just after new years so search for it on our blog if you want to know the rest of the list, can't remember them all!!/Azure

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    1. I actually find the packaging slightly annoying as the bottom is too shallow to grasp and open the lid properly. I always have trouble with it but never heard of anyone else complain about it. :<

      I'll give it a look some time! You have some amazing eye looks on your blog and I'm in awe. :)

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  14. Nice selection! Bet J is going to love everything in here :) And there's a few things I'd like to add to my own list haha. It really ticks me off that L'Oreal has to sell different shades in different countries, and MOST OF ALL THAT WE GOT STUCK WITH ALL THE NOT-AS-AWESOME-SHADES HERE. Ok, rant over. You definitely need to add Sahara Treasure to your collection, it's lovely.

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    1. Haha, for once Canada has the good stuff. >:D (But you let me know if you need a shade, okays?)

      I shall add Sahara Treasure as soon as it goes on sale for less than $8... I am such a cheapo when it comes to drugstore stuff.

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  15. Love, love this list! I totally agree with you about hybrid products, and high tech products in general. I think Mally Beauty's Face Defender (sadly LOST either in a purse or somewhere else far far away) was a stand out to me. It's this crazy non-powder mattifying face product... it's this crazy-magic-howdoesitwork-oil KILLER and I love it very much.

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    1. Sadly I don't know where to get Mally around here. I know you're a big fan of the brand. And I'm very VERY sad about your lost face defender. :(

      I love that kind of magic stuff. Why hadn't I heard of this before? I NEED AN OIL KILLER NAO!

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  16. Great list! I actually don't think I've tried anything *new* this year except for the Maybelline tattoo eyeshadow thingies [you can tell I really tried to look that name up, eh? ;)] and I fell in love with that. I actually lol'd at your "pulled a Boromir" line. I definitely need to add that to my everyday sayings.

    Have you ever watched the Sean Bean Death Reel on YouTube?? It's filled with spoilers from different films, but it makes you feel better about Boromir since Sean Bean is just destined to always die.

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    1. Haha, I just call them the tattoo stuff, too. These names are getting crazier and crazier.

      OMG!!!!!!!!!! You just made my day! Is this the one?

      http://youtu.be/zEhtsgu6bJg

      No wonder it takes a hundred arrows to kill him by the time he's Boromir. Hilarious! (But ewwww at the drawn & quartered scene - it's worse than GoT, whatever that was!)

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  17. Hmm fave beauty launches/trends...yea, definitely a huge fan of Burberry (the aesthetic is just so outrageously appealing!), and Giorgio Armani's ETK obviously rock my world...I dunno though, I've been spreading my interest all over the place so I'm not sure what I've really been impressed with! Like, I'm blown away by everything and nothing - maybe I've spread myself to thin! LOL

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    1. LOL! Maybe that's the proper way to do things. Everything and nothing - LOVE THAT.

      I'm scared to own Burberry and Guerlain because the packaging is so luxurious I'd be afraid to ruin them somehow! Silly, I know.

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  18. The bounce blushers from Maybelline are really cool. And what a coincidence - I have Hot Tamale :D What I like and some people hated about these - they are quite sheer and the colour does not transfer that well from fingers to cheeks. I personally like it as it allows me building up the colour to the result I like. It is far from being a favourite of mine, but it is fun. And I actually think it needs more love so will try playing with it a little more.
    I have a wonder, though. The Infallible eyeshadows from L'Oréal... I have tried two shades and they just seems so overly shiny that they actually make my eyes look really old by accentuating every single fine line. They also tend to kind of crack on my lids, no matter whether I use a base or not. Am I doing something wrong? I have tried appliying with brushes and fingers. Maybe the European and US/Canadian versions are different?

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