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. :cool: 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

 

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  • 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?

My newest obsession: Josie Maran Argan products

It takes a lot for a skincare brand to woo me. I am so beyond picky that it’s not even funny. I’m serious. Between all of my chronic conditions and issues (you know, like not being able to handle strong fragrances), I’m like the worst person in the world to please when it comes to skincare. But Josie Maran? ZOMG!

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First of all, why haven’t I heard of this brand? It has been sold at Sephora forever and a day and yet I’ve never made attempts to dabble into. This is more of a introduction to the brand. I’ll be back with formal reviews. I’m just so overwhelmingly excited to have come across Josie that I just, I just…I could seriously name my first child Josie.

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Okay, I’m kidding. Not really though because Josie is actually an adorable name. So anyway, a while back Sephora was selling a Josie Maran Moroccan Bazaar Argan Skin & Hair Bestsellers kit. It’s not at Sephora anymore, but you can get it from Amazon through Josie Maran. Quick tidbits about the brand:

-Cruelty-free
-Paraben-free
-Free of synthetic dyes
-Quality packaging…most are housed in glass bottles
-Higher-end brand with a conscience

Let’s just do a quick run through of what came inside…

Whipped Argan Oil in Vanilla Apricot

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Sweet, decadent, gently fragranced and moisturizing. This stuff is such a pleasure to use.

100% Pure Argan Oil

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The star of the show. I’ve been known to use this oil everywhere; for face, body, hair and nails. It’s such a great oil because it isn’t super greasy but still settles into the skin nicely.

Argan Oil Daily Moisturizer SPF 40

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It’s my current moisturizer and it’s wonderful. It doesn’t leave a white cast over my skin and doesn’t feel heavy either.

Argan Oil Hair Serum

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I can’t believe I actually fell for this. I choose my hair products wisely and would have never looked at this (because I would assume that it wasn’t made for my hair type) but this serum has all natural fragrances and sinks into my locs nicely.

Argan Cleansing Oil

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Haven’t actually given this a spin yet so only time will tell how great it is. I’ve got high hopes!

Argan Balm

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A fragrance-free and solid version of the oil. What’s to hate about this. It feels just as great as the oil and I’ve been loving it on my lips.

The dream team…

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You can get this set here for $69.99 but stay tuned, I’ll be back with a closer look of some of these products. All I know is Josie Maran = LOVE. I have seen the light, y’all.

Amor de Lacquer: Diosa nail polishes

A few months ago, I was asked to be a be a featured Diosa. What’s a Diosa? She’s a woman in her 20’s or 30’s who inspires her peers and the girls in their lives who are in need of positive role models. The vision comes from Diana, a New York City native who wanted to create a brand of nail polishes that could also tell a story. You can learn more about Diana here. She’s pretty awesome. I wanted to show off some of the pretty Diosa polishes. If you love supporting indie nail polish brands, I think you’ll love this one.

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See what I mean?

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Puff Pastry is a super sheer jelly that would probably work best on an American manicure. I like it by itself though. Because it’s so sheer, it’ll take a good 3 coats to achieve some kind of opaque finish.

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Dawn Over Provence is a pale lavender. It’s got a dusty finish and while it looks great on solo, it’ll really shine with some kind of sparkle or glitter on top.

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Dime Piece is a grey. Can’t go wrong with grey nail polishes!

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Bali Blaze is a super bright red that leans more on the orange side. It’s goooorgeous.

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Somethin’ Extra is a holographic glitter. It’s a stunner!

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Fuchsia Plans photographs funky but this is a gorgeous fuchsia. It dries down to a semi-matte finish. Of course a top coat will make it glossy but I actually really like the semi-matte finish.

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I Sea You is a bright blue that reminds me a lot of Nubar’s Blueberry nail polish. Which happens to be my favorite blue nail polish evahhhh! I Sea You is a close second. And as beautiful as it is, I love that it doesn’t stain the nails. Woot!

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Purple Reign is a dark purple polish that actually LOOKS purple on the nails instead of black. I love when this happens!

Diosa nail polishes apply beautifully. Some of the shades were a bit on the watery side (namely Puff Pastry and Dime Piece) so thin and even coats are the best way to apply these polishes. I’m lovin’ these inaugural shades. Diosa nails officially launched in July 2012 and I think this is a great intro to the nail polish world. You can buy these babies for $8 online.

Oh! And check out my Diosa feature here.

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. :cool:

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.

Sephora Houndstooth Mani Kit

‘Tis the season to start scooping up gifts and as a beauty gal, I can confidently say I know what other beauty girls want. Okay yeah, so not everyone is into nail polish. Fine. But nobody wants to walk around with raggedy and jagged nails. Which is why this Sephora Houndstooth Mani Kit is such an adorable stocking stuffer.

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Oh, and how lame is it that my current home doesn’t have a mantle? I move just about every year (one day I’ll settle in one place…one day) and most of my places have had mantles but not this one. *tears* Ahhh yes, but where was I? Oh yeah…this darling kit as a stocking stuffer.

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Who doesn’t love the classic houndstooth design? I mean, honestly…the packaging is everything. And what’s inside ain’t too shabby either.

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Ideal for tossing in a cosmetic bag or in some luggage for travel, this is just a nifty and uesful little kit. And uh, if you’re like me some of those tools can also be seen as multi-purpose. Like the little scissors? I would totally use those for grooming the brows. Or clipping my ‘stache. Yeah, I said it. I know I’m not the only one with a bit of fuzz on the upper lip. Such a sweet little kit. And it’s only $20 so there’s no bank breakin’ here. I scooped one up for a friend. You know…that friend that is also wanting something super useful and fancy and awesome just because you happen to be a beauty editor.

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Way to go, Sephora! Scoop this up at Sephora stores and at Sephora.com.

Beautiful Red Lips from the Laura Mercier Art Deco Muse collection

Have y’all seen Laura Mercer’s Art Deco collection? O.M.GGahhhhh. I’m not even exaggerating when I say this one spectacular makeup collection. And this is coming from a gal who doesn’t get excited about many collections. I know, I know. That’s a horrible thing for a beauty editor to say but a brand has to really impress me for me to get all giddy over a collection. I’m just sayin’. But let’s face it…I’m halfway there when a beautiful red lippie is the mix.

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Giiiiirl. I know, right? I KNOW! Lemme tell you something, if you have an affinity, obsession or even slight liking to red lippies, you’ll never stop getting excited over them. I mean, never. Trust me. I’ve tried. This is one of the 2 lippies that debuted in the Laura Mercier Art Deco collection and I’m running circles around them both. Say hello to the Lip Lacquer in Lacquer Rouge ($24).

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Laura Mercier’s version of lipgloss is like an experience. I have never used such a pigmented and moisturizing gloss EVER. And it lasts for hours on end between eating and drinking. Very impressive! I find it works beautifully with my warm complexion. This is the kind of red lipgloss that I live for.

And then there’s the other red lippie in the collection, Deco Rouge.

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It has more orange in it and I always feel like orange-based red lipsticks aren’t the best for me, but somehow Deco Rouge ($26) works. Plus, I never mind warming up orange-based red lippies with a plum or wine lipliner. But I think I can actually rock Deco Rouge solo, yo.

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Both red lippies from this collection are phenomenal. In fact, the entire collection is. Laura Mercier wins.

That is all.

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