Top Beauty Finds of 2012

You knew it was comin’. I’ll save my whole spiel about “OMG, I can’t believe it’s already almost 2013″ and whatnot and just get right down to the nitty gritty.

Okay, wait. I lied. Seriously though – can y’all believe how quickly 2012 flew by? I mean, dang! Okay okay…here are some of my top  beauty finds of 2012. Keep in mind that these aren’t ALL of them. I’m far too lazy to list them all. Hey! I’m bein’ honest. Something you can continue to expect in 2013. 😎 Hollerrrrrrr.

Hereeeee we goooo….

Top Mascaras

 

So in this post I listed 6 of my favorite mascaras. Not included in that list are the following…

  • CoverGirl LashBlast Clump Crusher mascara – Because how many mascaras don’t kill your lashes after you’ve applied a good 3 coats to them? Not many. We’ve seen a lot of Lash Blast mascaras but I’m happy to say that this one really doesn’t clump.

 

Top Nail Polish Brands/Collections

 

Piccies

 

  • butter LONDON – I was head over heels in love with this nail polish brand this year. Why? They were always releasing beautiful nail polishes that didn’t look like other polishes that I owned. At $14 a bottle, they are a bit on the higher-end side of nail polishes but who cares. We all need a hobby and one of mine is collection bL polishes until I die. Yep.
  • Cult Nails Coco’s Untamed collection – Oooh boy, I couldn’t get enough of this collection either. Even more impressive is that a 13-year old came up with all of these gorgeous shades. Yuuuup.

 

Top Lippies

 

 

  • I listed 4 of my favorite lippies here. Included in that list is the ever so awesome Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter.

 

 Top Skincare Products

 

 

  • Check out this list of 7 skincare products that rocked my world.
  • Eucerin Skin Calming Dry Skin Body Wash – It’s far from paraben-free and contains more ingredients than I like my skincare products to have but this has been the only body wash that not only soothes but keeps my eczema at bay.
  • Josie Maran skincare products – Okay, I’m cheating here because I haven’t really done a post for her products yet but I’ve been using them for weeks now and I am obsessed. Ob.sessed. Josie Maran drops argan oil in all of her products and I’ve been slathering everything from her hair oil, sunscreen and whipped argan butter allllll over.
  • Clarisonic Aria – This is another product that I haven’t reviewed (or tried) but I plan on getting my hands on it in 2013. I’m just so in love with this version of the awesome Clarisonic face brush that I just HAVE to have it.

Best in Foundations

 

 

  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Liquid Foundation – Oh geez, I love this stuff. I am actually at the bottom of my first bottle and I am thisclose to buying another. This foundation actually turned me into liking foundation. Which says a lot.

I totally didn’t even try to do a “Best in Eyes”. There were just too many products to choose from. Yeah, I know. I suck.

 

 

What were some of your favorite products in 2012?

Mascara Monday: Laura Mercier Faux Lashes mascara

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Man oh man…there are only a few people I need to meet in this world. Queen Latifah and RuPaul top the list but beyond them, I’d love to meet a few great makeup artists. Add Laura Mercier to that list. I love everything about the brand. But then, I would right? It was Laura Mercier’s foundation that brought me out of my “I hate foundation” funk. I guess what I REALLY appreciate about the brand is how they understand that foundations don’t have to come in just 5 shades. Oh. And their mascaras are pretty darn good too.

Price: $24 at Sephora or Sephora.com.
Packaging (brush wand):
3
Overall:
4

What It Claims: “A luxurious, long-wearing mascara created specifically to give eyes the look of false lashes. Formulated with a blend of waxes, not fibers, it delivers an even, glossy finish with buildable volume that lasts for up to 10 hours. This formula is non-drying, non-irritating, fragrance-, transfer- and smudge-free” (source)

The Truth: Wow! This mascara has a nice and rich formula.

What I Loved About It: It really darkened my lashes with only 2 coats.

What I Didn’t Like: The wand is a bit on the large side.

Overall: Faux lashes, uh? Welp. I am of the belief that NO mascara can give you the illusion of false lashes. Unless of course you already have insanely long and thick lashes to begin with. But for the rest of us people with smaller or shorter lashes, finding a mascara that can really volumize AND lengthen to the point that our lashes actually look “faux” is virtually impossible. At least for me. But then again, I tend to take these mascara claims pretty darn literal which makes either makes me seriously naive or a crazed mascara reviewer. And I’ll take that latter. 😎

Anywho, at first glance, this mascara’s wand scared me a bit. I don’t know why I freak out over these larger wands. I should be used to it, right? The good news is, while the wand is on the larger side, the bristles are stiff and spread out enough to really help you sweep through the lashes.

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I am always more forgiving of a mascara’s huge wand when the bristles are close to perfection. And that was the case with this kid. So yeah, even if you’ve got smaller lashes, this and will still be able to help you sweep through your lashes with ease.

Formula-wise, this mascara has a nice one. The opening of the tube is a bit on the large side so you may have to endure wiping off extra mascara.

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I always hate doing this but it seems to be trend with mascaras with larger wands. I’ve learned to stop complaining about it and just rollllll ‘wit it. Application is easy and I found it to be decent volumizing mascara. I didn’t get much length but I was blown away by the mascara’s richness. More than anything, my lashes just appeared darker and more lush. And that was with just one coat. In fact, I didn’t even feel the need to add more than 2 coats of this mascara because I was just so satisfied with what I saw. The 2 coats I applied didn’t clump and the formula felt lightweight. If you’re a fan of having wispy lashes over hard lashes, you’ll love this mascara. However, the problem with mascaras that don’t harden up is that they tend to dissipate after awhile. Not the case with this baby. Hours later, my mascara’d lashes held up pretty well with no flaking. Win! Can I attest to the glossy like finish? Not so much but that’s okay because glossy lashes freak me out a bit. I am definitely a lover of matte lashes. But overall, it’s a darn good mascara.

 

Bare Lashes



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Lashes after 2 coats


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Do I recommend it?: Yep! If larger wands don’t scare you, this mascara will certainly yield beautiful results.

Anyone else obsessed with Laura Mercier cosmetics the way I am?

Elessa Jade’s Cupcake Approved Makeup Brushes!

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My girl Elessa Jade of Pursebuzz is such a show stopper. She is seriously one of the hardest working women I know. Not only does she have a hugely successful YouTube channel, but she is also a makeup artist, travels around the world to speak at events and she has also developed her own brand of makeup goodies, jewelry and accessories. She is one ball of sparkly awesomeness and I am so glad to have crossed paths with her so many times.

We both sat on the same panel for the inaugural The Makeup Show Orlando and right after we finished, I ran straight to her booth where these gorgeous brushes greeted me…

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Okay, okay…pick your mouth up off the floor. These cruelty-free brushes are just perfect for makeup newbies and professionals alike. And they not only feel insanely soft but look…

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Do you see that cupcake? ZOMGGGG! Adorbs, right? Of course I wouldn’t expect anything less from Elessa.

12 Piece Sweet Temptations Professional Brush Set has enough brushes to crank out an entire look and then some. See look…

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The brushes are super soft, cruelty-free and I love everything about how they feel in the hands. I’m so proud of Elessa Jade for launching such a quality and affordable set of brushes. They were insanely popular at The Makeup Show Orlando and it looks like they are still doing fantastic but they are currently sold out online. I know…I hate featuring products that you can’t get right away but I wanted to put these on your radar when they do come back in stock. Because sure enough, I’m sure they’ll sell out quickly again. The entire set goes for $69.99 but you can also buy some of the brushes individually.

And don’t even get me started on some of the other awesome jewelry pieces. I ended up buying THREE at the show. Check out her store and if you make a purchase, tell her B sent you.

Mascara Monday: Pixi Large Lash mascara

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Yay for me reviewing Pixi for the very first time ever on Clumps of Mascara. I’ve seen this brand several times in Target stores and while I’ve always bee captivated by their pretty packaging, I never really gave the products much of a chance because they were a bit of on the expensive side. Even for a budget-friendly place like Target. But alas, here we are with Pixi Beauty!

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Price: $18 at Target stores and at Target.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: “Specialized, buildable formula along with oversized brush delivers extreme volume & intense colour in one sweep. Separates, lengthens, and plumps each lash for a false lash look without clumping. Smudge-proof. Water-resistant.” (source)

The Truth: I wouldn’t call it Large Lash mascara.

What I Loved About It: It’s a very natural mascara. Meaning if you prefer wispy and not so dramatic lashes, it’s a great steal.

What I Didn’t Like: It didn’t give me enough volume.

Overall: From packaging and what little research I’ve done, I like the Pixi brand. I do, however, think their prices are just a tad bit steep for the Target market and I would love to see more versatility in their foundations as they only seem to carry 3 shades. But, the brand fits the au naturale market and I ain’t mad at that. Most, if not all, of their products are cruelty-free and paraben-free and so I know that’s a big perk among many consumers. Large Lash mascara is their most recent mascara and it totes some pretty hefty claims. And a hefty wand too.

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If you know me, you already know how I feel about this wand. But I had a feeling it would be this large. After all, the tube is big AND the name of the mascara was a bit of a giveaway. I’m not a fan of the big fluffy wands unless the formula of the mascara is on the thicker side. Mascaras with thick formulas can handle these bad boys. Mascaras that aren’t as thick generally don’t help the mascara. And that was the case with this baby.

The formula was just so so. It wasn’t thick and it wasn’t thin but it wasn’t thick enough to really sit on that mascara wand. Because of that, I was unable to pick up enough of the mascara. And what I did pick up really didn’t provide much to my already short and stubby lashes. This mascara would likely be a better fit for someone who already has long lashes and just wants a tiny bit of poof to ’em. But for ladies and gents like me who love those drag queen lashes? Yeah no. It just doesn’t make the cut.

I would have loved to see more length as well. It gave me just a little but I expected more after 3 coats. More than anything, I just saw more defined lashes which is great but it was just a subtle definition. But on a good note, despite how lightweight the mascara is, at least it held around for more than a few hours. I always feel like lightweight mascaras seep away off of my lashes for awhile but at least this one stuck around. I admire the Pixi brand and what this mascara is trying to do but it just wasn’t the best fit for my lashes.

 

Bare Lashes



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Lashes after 2 coats


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Do I recommend it?: Sure. It didn’t work for me but I know many mascara lovers can appreciate lighter mascaras like this one. It doesn’t suit my fancy but good thing for options, uh?

Have you tried any Pixi Beauty products before?

Wanna send me to Germany? Vote for me…pretty pleaeeease! Click here

Hello Kitty Say Hello Palette – Wild Thing

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My girl Hello Kitty is still struttin’ her sexy self up and down the beauty aisles. I’ve been super excited about the Hello Kitty beauty line ever since it first debuted at Sephora a good 2 years ago. The brand seems to consistently come out with new products and palettes with adorable packaging. Like this new Wild Thing palette…

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Pretty, uh?

The palette contains 6 eyeshadows. 4 here…

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…and 2 here.

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I’m not sure why the eyeshadows at the bottom are larger. I thought for a second that they were face powders or bronzers but nope, these are definitely eyeshadows. They appear to be best fitted for placing under the brows. Oh, and speaking of the pigmentation of these shadows…

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They aren’t the best. So so quality is the norm with the Hello Kitty beauty line. I’ve learned to deal with it because I am more attracted to the actual packaging of the products than the performance of them. Crazy, I know but hey…only a true Hello Kitty fan would make sense of these things. The line is really best suited for the younger beauty lover as I would imagine that they wouldn’t care much about the quality of the products.

Of course, you could really make these work but packing on the color and using an intense base but the longevity isn’t long lasting. But is the palette adorable to look at? Um yeah. It’s Hello Kitty.

Cost: $38

Where to Buy: Sephora and Sephora.com

Hey Hello Kitty lovers, have any of you tried the HK beauty line?

 

Wanna send me to Germany? Vote for me…pretty pleaeeease! Click here

Mascara Monday: Lancome Hypnôse Star mascara

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I’m usually up on my Lancome mascara reveiwin’ game but man, it took me forever to scoop this one up. I read other reviews that weren’t so glowing and I think that kept me from reviewing this kid for so long. And as a blogger, that’s no bueno. I’m “supposed” to remain neutral until I’ve reviewed a product. Or somethin’ like that. 😎 Anywho, here we are with my very delayed review of Hypnôse Star.

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Price: $28 at Sephora, Sephora.com and Lancome counters.
Packaging (brush wand): 5 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: “This mascara dresses lashes in intense volume, unfolding a new vision of glamour inspired by Betty Boop and top model Daria Werbowy. The formula’s “black-diamond effect” imparts a glossy gel-like finish. The dual-action brush has a flat side for optimizing product deposit at the lash line while the rounded side separates, defines, and lengthens.” (source)

The Truth: I love everything about the tube of this mascara. All mascara tubes should have glitter thrown on them.

What I Loved About It: The wand is some kind of awesome.

What I Didn’t Like: It didn’t provide enough volume.

Overall: This mascara was inspired by the legendary Betty Boop and if anyone knows beauty and glamour, it’s that chick. I’ll tell you one thing, the wand on this baby is just amazeballs.

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I mean, seriously…do you see that? It’s the perfect wand for separating, lengthening and volumizing. It’s also great for getting those inner lashes and lower lashes. It’s just an all around great wand. Other mascara brands should learn from Lancome because their wands are usually always perfection. I love those stiff bristles. So yeah, even if the mascara itself was lacking tremendously, the wand is just great.

Formula-wise, I’m not sure what Lancome means about this “black-diamond effect” but I didn’t notice much of a glossy gel-like finish. And I know a glossy mascara when I see one. The formula is much like traditional mascara formulas except it feels extremely lightweight. Not in a bad way ,but it’s something to notice. The formula does well on the lashes but as with most Lancome mascaras, I was expecting serious drama and volume and I just didn’t get it from this one. But what I did good was decent.

The separating and lengthening power of this mascara is dynamite and if that’s what you’re looking for when it comes to a mascara, you’ll love this one. It’s also a great buildable mascara so even after 3 coats, if you wanted to continue to push it to the limit, you can do so with minimal clumping.  On the down side, I experienced quite a bit of flaking with this baby. Even after a few hours, I would notice bits of mascara flakies under my eyes. No me gusta. So yeah, it’s not my favorite Lancome mascara buuuuut it’s not terrible.

 

Bare Lashes



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Lashes after 3 coats


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Do I recommend it?: Sure. Especially if you love a mascara that lengthens and separates. If you’re looking for extreme volume, you may not find it with this Lancome mascara.

Not a total bust but I’ve seen better from Lancome. Whatcha think? Have you tried this mascara?


Oh snap..it’s the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette!

Many things make me happy. Paydays, surprise visits from friends, sales, Esposo’s good cookin’, glitter…you know things like that. But honey, nothing really gets me all giddy more than a new Urban Decay palette. I mean, honestly… No one makes a bangin’ eyeshadow palette like UD. Nobody. The Vice and Smoked palettes are still sleeping next to me. They’re going to have to scoot over because there’s a new palette in town.

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POW! Do you see that? If you’re hip to beauty news, you have likely already heard about this one. It launched about a week and a half ago and it had us beauty guys and gals in quite the frenzy. Some of us were all like “WTF…who needs another Naked palette?”

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And then there were others who were like, “Crap. I’ve already got both Naked palettes but I must.get.this.one.” And then there’s me. I was just drooling over the images of it online because that’s what I do. Drool over beauty products. Don’t be judgin’ me. Say hiya to the Naked Basics palette.

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She fine, ain’t she? I will not compare her to the other palettes. We will just talk about her awesome features. Fair enough, right?

These shadows are ALL mattes. I freaking loooooove matte eyeshadows. I mean, adore. I got several emails from my brown girls questioning if these mattes were rich enough to pop up on darker skin, and yep…they are!

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Venus is considered a demi-matte. It has very subtle shimmer but still applies just as well as the other shadows. It’s not exactly a white shadow. It leans more on the pearl side to me.

Foxy is a beige/faint almond shade. It is probably the least pigmented of the bunch.

Walk Of Shame is a pale pink. The 3 of these, I’m thinking will best work under the browbone. It seemed to have more chalkiness than any of the other colors.

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Naked2 is taupe. It’s super pigmented so this is the shade that I would likely use on my lid every time I use this palette.

Faint is a rich milk chocolate and it works beautifully in the crease. It is super super pigmented.

Crave is a matte black. And what’s not to love about those?

The last 3 eyeshadows seem to be more pigmented but I’m okay with that as I would only use Venus, Foxy and S.O.S. under my browbone anyway. I prefer not to have super pigmented colors under the brow. A quick look I cranked out… The looks was far more vibrant in person but also note that I had gotten 9-10 hours out of wear time before I snapped this photo.

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OVERALL: Considering I don’t own any of the Naked palettes (I know…how lame), I am really loving this one. This price point is significantly less as it only costs $27. It’s the perfect little palette for quick trips. I love that it doesn’t take up much space yet I’ve got 6 great shades that I can easily work with to crank out a decent work-appropriate look. Would I be THIS excited over this palette if I already owned the first 2 Naked palettes? Yes. Because this palette still contains 6 mattes and I find matte shadows the easiest to work with when I have very little time.

How much and where to get it?: This palette is $27 (original Naked and Naked 2 palettes are $50) and it is currently available at Sephora, ULTA, select Macy’s stores and UrbanDecay.com.

Whatcha think? Are you impressed with Naked Basics? 

Mascara Monday: NYX Le Frou Frou mascara

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Soooo by now you may be sick of seeing NYX mascara reviews but hey – don’t blame me. They’re the cool kids who decided to release an entire collection of mascaras. And I’m the crazed woman that decided to have a blog alllll about mascaras. So it was inevitable. This is my 2nd to last mascara review of the Boudoir Collection. I had high hopes for this one because I consider it to be my ideal mascara. Volume AND length? Yes please!

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Price: $6 at Ulta and at Ulta.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 3.5 out of 5

What It Claims: “Volumize and lengthen lashes. Dense dome brush to reach each lash.” (source)

The Truth: Well…it isn’t half bad.

What I Loved About It: The wand is nice and I’m loving the volumizing.

What I Didn’t Like: It doesn’t seem to be as long-lasting as I’d like it to be.

Overall: Of all of the mascaras from the Boudoir collection, this one is the one that I’d tango with the most. And why? It’s an ideal mascara in that it promises to give me both length and volume. I think if you were to poll most mascara wearers, many would say they’d want the same thing. So I wonder if this mascara is the most popular out of all of them. I’m not sure. But still…this baby came with a ton of expectations. And for the most part, she did okay. The wand is pretty good.

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It’s nothing amazing and it’s nothing terrible. Which I’m okay with. Sometimes you just need short and sweet when it comes to wands. The bristles are tight enough to help with elongating the lashes and providing the length. I also found the bristles to be plush enough to help with sweeping from the base of the lashes to the tips to help with volume. It is also thin enough to get into those inner corners pretty well. So yeah…it’s definitely a full functioning mascara wand that will work beautifully for all eyes.

Formula-wise, it’s got a nice in-between formula. NYX’s mascara formulas are always pretty consistent with me. I never have many complaints about them and this one is no different. Application is easy and I found that I got more length than volume. The lengthening was REALLY nice where the volume was just so so. Well, so so for me. Y’all know how much I need to have those super crazy out there lashes. 😎 But, I found what volume it did give a good enough amount for the average mascara wearer. It isn’t by any means the kind of volume that you’d want if you were out on the town, but it’s do-able.

So while the mascara functioned well, I was little thrown off at its longevity. It didn’t seem to want to stick around long enough for me. I’m not the type to keep re-applying mascara throughout the day. I apply it once and expect it to last ALL day. That wasn’t the case with Frou Frou. Midday after wearing it, I’d notice that my lashes weren’t as WOW-y. I found that to be weird because I didn’t have any issues with flaking. After 3 coats of application, I would not have expected it to disappear on me. Oh boo.

Grr!

 

Bare Lashes




Lashes after 2 coats




Do I recommend it?: It’s a great everyday mascara if you aren’t looking for too much drama but if you are a fan of longwear mascaras, this one may not be up your alley.

 

Have any of you NYX lovers tried this mascara yet?