Friday, January 11, 2013

Favorites of 2012

Last year, I started my blog with three posts on my favorite products of 2011. I'm having a much harder time coming up with my favorites for this year for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that a lot of my favorites are still the same. The second reason is that I tried out so many new products this year that I don't feel like I've used many products very consistently.

To see my favorites for 2011: Best of Face, Best of Cheeks and Lips, and Best of Eyes.


I didn't even think to include hair last year. I'm not a huge hair person. I don't experiment with my hair very much, but I do have some standout products that are such staples that I'm not even going to include them in my finished product posts anymore.

Nature's Gate Tea Tree Shampoo, Pomegranate Sunflower Conditioner, and Biotin Conditioner (not pictured) - These are my staple haircare items (I didn't like the Henna one all that much, but I pulled an old picture). The Tea Tree Shampoo keeps my scalp from flaking, and the conditioners do a great job of helping detangling my hair. I buy them and finish them consistently. Oddly enough, I am listening to a YouTube video by NYCGeorgette, and she said she hated the Pomegranate Sunflower conditioner and said it made her hair really greasy. Maybe my hair is just really dry...*shrugs*

SalonGrafix Conditioning Cleanser - This is another product that I recently saw a terrible review on while watching YouTube. Jen from the channel From Head to Toe hated it. She said it wasn't anything like the Wen Cleansing Conditioner. I've never tried Wen, so I can't compare the two. I will say that I tried using this once when I had product in my hair (currently a rare occurrence), and it didn't work very well. However, for lazy days when I just don't want to have to mess with a separate shampoo and conditioner, this works great. I plan on keeping a bottle of this in my stash at all times.


 Silk Naturals Kiss Cleanser - This has been my regular face wash for several years now, and I love it. It removes all but the most stubborn eyeliner (and possibly waterproof mascara - I haven't had a waterproof mascara in a while). It's a really basic cleanser. I had no qualms about having my 7-year-old niece us it over Christmas when we were playing with her makeup that she got as a Christmas present. I recently resolved to stop testing other cleansers because I always go back to this one. I don't need to search for anything else.

Essential Oils - I started adding essential oils into my skincare routine around November-ish after Christine from the PinksoFoxy YouTube channel and her Beauty Travel Channel blog did a couple videos and blog posts about them. I use a mixture of tea tree oil, lavender oil, sweet orange oil, and rosehip oil. For carrier oils, I have just been using Tarte's Maracuja Oil, Josie Maran's Argan Oil, and grapeseed oil that I purchased at WalMart. The place that I have noticed the biggest change is actually on my legs. I get ingrown hairs on my legs all the time, and I have a lot of scars. I feel like both have been reduced after starting to use these oils.  

Warning!!!! If you want to experiment with essential oils, please check out Christine's information and do some research. Essential oils should be used sparingly (I only have a few drops of each in the two dropper bottles in the picture). The underside of my arms broke out in bumps this week, and I think it was because I used a body scrub with essential oils and then used my regular oil mix after my shower, so I ended up using too much overall. Please be careful!


Nars Sheer Matte in Siberia -  This is probably the best match I have ever found for my skintone. It hasn't quite reached Holy Grail status yet, but it is a really nice foundation. Sadly, I wasn't able to wear it for several months because I got too much of a tan over the summer (which is why there isn't a lot gone from the bottle).

Physicians Formula Healthy Wear SPF 50 Powder Foundation in Translucent Light - This was my go-to foundation for the summer months (it's too dark for me during the winter). It was quick and easy, and it gave me just enough coverage. I actually went through two of these during the course of the summer and fall. My main compliant is that I couldn't wear it on days when I knew I would be sweating a lot because it started to feel really gritty and gross on my face. It was fabulous though for days when I was just making a quick run to the store or something like that.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Shimmering Powders in Rose and Champagne - When I grabbed for a cheek highlighter this year, it was likely one of these two. They are both subtly beautiful. I even used Champagne a lot as an inner corner highlight for my eyes and on the browbone.

Wet n Wild Eyeshadow Trio in Walking on Eggshells - This was my go-to trio for when I didn't know what I wanted to use. It has become an cult classic for a lot of people because it is such a basic, easy palette.

Lorac Pro Palette - This is a relatively new purchase for me. I bought it in December. I'm going to repeat what a lot of other people say about it. I love the versatility and the mix of shimmers and mattes.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils - I'm showing the Ocho Loco set here, but I'm talking about the liners in general. I bought the Naked set of mini pencils last holiday season, and I enjoy them all. It took me a while to get used to how soft and creamy they are, but now I'm comfortable using them and grab for them most days.

Prestige Waterproof Eyeliner in Suede - This liner is on-par with the Urban Decay ones. I particularly love this color because it is a great soft brown for my pale skin. It works really well with Walking on Eggshells for a subtle look. I will eventually pick up more colors in this line.

Urban Decay Pocket Rocket Lip Glosses - I'm really sad that these have been discontinued! I love them. I love the creme brulee scent and the non-sticky formula. This is the gloss that I reach for the most. The one thing I would change is having the guys on the top. It is a cute, novelty thing, but I don't like having them there when I'm subbing at a school. Having a lip gloss with a guy in his underwear on the top isn't exactly school appropriate.

Real Techniques brushes are the first, third, fifth, and seventh brushes from the left.

Real Techniques Brushes - I have bought quite a few of these over the past year. The brand has a good variety of brushes. I use the Expert Face Brush, Stippling Brush, and Deluxe Crease Brush every day. I use the other brushes that I have consistently.

I'm sure I've forgotten some things from my list, and I'm going to kick myself the week after this gets posted when I grab for something that I love. *shrugs* That's how these sorts of things go I guess. I also want to mention again that nearly all of my favorites from last year are still favorites and/or Holy Grail items for me.

What were your favorites from 2012? Is there something I HAVE to try this year?


  1. I love many of these products! I need to try Nature's Gate, I am trying to stop using sulfates and parabens altogether and I'm still on the hunt for my perfect hair products.

    This post just reminded me how much I need the Ocho Locho set! I tried my first UD liner this year and I adore it. Like you said, it took me a bit ot get used to using it because it's so soft and creamy, but now I rarely reach for anything else!

    1. I hope you enjoy Nature's Gate if you give it a try.

      I really like the Ocho Loco set. It's got a good variety of shades. I haven't reviewed it on here because I think it is probably pretty hard to get at this point. I like that it's about half-and-half with neutrals and brights. I hope you can still find it!

  2. Nature's gate is one of my favorites! The scent drives me nuts but the final result of the silly hair is totally worth it! I really need to try those brushes! xx.

    1. I'm glad you enjoy Nature's Gate too! I haven't noticed the scent. Then again, I've probably just stopped noticing the scent since I've used it for so long.

      Yep. you definitely need to try the Real Techniques brushes. My absolute favorite is the stippling brush.

  3. Great list - we share quite a few favorites. :) I'm going to check out the Silk Naturals Cleanser too - I still haven't found a HG yet, so this looks promising. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I hope you really like the Kiss cleanser! They have a sample size if you want to test it out before buying a full size. If you just go for the full size, make sure you pick up a foamer bottle too. It is still really effective when diluted, and your bottle will last much longer.

  4. I was lucky to win the Real Techniques Core Collection last month, and im loving the brushes!

    I have an international giveaway on my blog, hope you will enter;

    1. The Core Collection is one I haven't tried yet. I've heard fabulous things about the Buffing Brush, but I don't think I'd ever use the Pointed Foundation Brush. Do you use it at all?

  5. Awesome list! I heard so much about the Lorac Pro palette and still contemplating on whether to get it or not. But new year new resolution, I'm trying to be good at not splurging on makeup for a while.

    new follower from the blog hop. You have a lovely blog here!

    1. I waffled on getting the Lorac Pro Palette for months before finally biting the bullet.

      I'm trying to be better this year about my makeup spending too. Good luck!

      Thanks for following!

  6. What a great list of favourites! The UD liners are what I reach for in the morning and I also love effortlessly they glide over the lid. I also want to add more Real Techniques brushes to my collection as I have really grow to love them!

    1. They are really nice, and thankfully UD regularly puts out really good value kits for their liners. I don't know that I could bring myself to spend $18 on one liner.

      I think I've gotten all of the Real Techniques brushes I'm interested in for the time being. I use at least one of them (but usually several) every day.

  7. Newest follower from GFC Blog Hop. Great list of favs.

    Bunny Girl Blog
    Love of Reading