For my favourite products of 2012, I tried to pick items that were representative of what I consistently loved throughout the year. I attempted to be selective (in everything but the lip products it seems), which has meant a few items were excluded that probably should've been featured, mainly eyeshadows. If it's not here, it'll be in past monthly favourites.
Top lip products of 2013:
- Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in Primrose
- Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in Melonade
- Revlon Super Lustrous lipstick in Pink in the Afternoon
- Revlon ColorBurst lipstick in Soft Nude
- Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Strawberry Shortcake
- Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Peach Parfait
- Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Berry Smoothie
- Maybelline Baby Lips in Relieving Menthol
- Blistex Lip Conditioner
Okay, so I've gone overboard with the lip products. It was impossible to select just a few things. I can't live without Maybelline Baby Lips — if I ever did an empties post, it would just consist of 6 of these. Blistex Lip Conditioner is another essential. It's basically a more potent version of the menthol Baby Lips in a pot. I'm big on mintiness in my lip balm, but more than that, these two provide instant hydration and leave the lips feeling smooth and soft.
Korres Lip Butters are now a handbag staple. These live up to their name in their butteriness and the darker tinted shades double up as a cream blush. The release of Revlon Lip Butters brought me back to the excitement of getting my first Lip Smacker in primary school. Revlon and MAC made my favourite lipsticks of the year. If it was pink, nude or coral, I probably bought it.
Top blushes of 2013:
- NARS blush in Douceur
- NARS blush in Deep Throat
- Benefit Hervana
- Bourjois blush in Rose D'Or
- Rimmel 3 in 1 Powder Blush in Autumn Catwalk
Before my New York trip in September, it was all about Bourjois Rose D'Or for blush and Rimmel Autumn Catwalk, two pinks that (most importantly) didn't pull too red on me. I didn't start wearing blush regularly until the second half of the year, as it wasn't something that enthused me very much. I thought it was a tricky, unnecessary step that always tipped my makeup into "unnatural" territory. How times have changed. In the past three months, I've become blush crazy. NARS has won my heart in the blush department — I love Douceur for a more neutral, polished, slightly sculpting look, and Deep Throat for an easygoing peachy flush. Benefit Hervana is also a foolproof, everyday pink that goes with anything.
Top bronzers/highlighters of 2013:
- Stila Sun SPF 15 Bronzing Powder in Shade 01
- Benefit Hoola
- Models Prefer Highlighter in Glitz & Glamour
- Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow All Over Radiance Crème in Rose Gold
At the beginning of the year, I was highlighter obsessed. My pick for powder highlighter is the affordable and very glowy Models Prefer one in Glitz & Glamour. I prefer it to the much hyped theBalm Mary-Lou Manizer, as I find the yellowish gold clashes with my skin tone. My favourite for the year is the Jemma Kidd cream highlighter in Rose Gold. I initially wasn't too thrilled with it, but I've now come to love the long-lasting, subtle gleam it imparts. The texture is very creamy but non-greasy and it just melts into the skin.
I'm not a huge bronzer user, and I didn't start experimenting with contouring until later in the year after buying the Napoleon Perdis Ultimate Contour Palette. Benefit Hoola is now my go-to contouring shade. I like that it's not too dark or orange and it's easy to sweep onto the face with my Real Techniques Multi-Task brush. I've also been reaching for the Stila bronzing powder when I want to subtly warm up the face with more of a soft apricot tan, rather than the cooler, slightly darker and more brown Hoola.
Top eye products of 2013:
- Benefit They're Real
- L'Oréal Lash Architect 4D
- Maybelline Define-A-Lash
- Bourjois Liner Feutre in Noir
- Shiseido eyelash curler
- Essence Eye Soufflé in Pas Des Copper
- Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow/Liner in Busy Signal
- Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze
Benefit They're Real was my first foray into high end mascara, and it lived up to the hype for me. Earlier in the year, I found the L'Oréal to be a good all-rounder, though the wand does tend to get a bit clumpy. I'm returning to Maybelline Define-A-Lash once my They're Real runs out, as I think the two are very close. Of course, no mascara would be as effective without my trusty Shiseido eyelash curler.
Cream eyeshadows really drew me in this year. I'm thrilled with Essence Pas Des Copper, which I came across by pure chance on a casual trip to Target. It was the main eyeshadow I relied on while travelling and it never let me down. On days that I could be bothered with makeup, I managed to get ready in record time due to the ease and versatility of the product. Most days, I use Maybelline Bad to the Bronze applied over the lid, both as a flattering everyday shade and an incredibly effective eyeshadow base. Benefit Busy Signal is almost the only thing I wear now to define my lower lashline.
Top eyeshadow palettes of 2013:
- Revlon CustomEyes Shadow & Liner in Naturally Glamorous
- Sleek i-Divine eyeshadow palette in Storm
- Revlon Illuminance Creme Shadow in Seashells (or Khaki Suede, or All-over Palette in Passion Fusion)
- Urban Decay Naked
- Urban Decay Naked2
Before any powder eyeshadow, I always prime my eyes with a light shade in one of the various Revlon cream eyeshadow palettes I own. I actually prefer them to Urban Decay Primer Potion, as they're easier to blend eyeshadows on top of and add a touch of extra luminosity to shimmery shades. Revlon Naturally Glamorous was the other eyeshadow product I packed on my New York holiday, along with Essence Pas Des Copper. The colour next to the darkest liner shade is perfect for a single shadow, smoky look. Revlon can make disappointing eyeshadows, but this palette is smooth, buttery and pigmented. I think it's very underrated. The bronze in the Sleek Storm palette is my most used eyeshadow and what I use on top of lighter neutrals to add more depth and definition to the eye. This chocolatey, rich bronze with a gold sheen is nothing short of stunning. The price of the palette is worth it for that one shade alone.
Urban Decay Smog, Darkhorse, Toasted, Hustle
My favourite shades from the original Naked palette are a combination of Smog/Darkhorse, and Toasted/Hustle. I usually apply the lighter shade over the lid, then the darker one starting from the upper lashline and ending so that when my eyes are open, it's just barely visible. I then blend the two shades together.
Urban Decay Snakebite, Suspect, YDK, Busted
YDK is perhaps my second favourite eyeshadow shade, next to the bronze in Sleek Storm. Like my four picks from the original Naked palette, I usually wear a combination of Suspect/Snakebite and YDK/Busted. I also like Busted over Maybelline Bad to the Bronze, or to darken up any lighter purple shadow.
Top foundations of 2013:
- Missha M Signature Real Complete BB Cream in 23
- Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in 52, 53
- NARS Sheer Glow in Fiji
Before acquiring NARS Sheer Glow, I alternated between the Missha and Bourjois for my base. I don't remember having any major complaints about either, as I used them contently for months. The Missha is higher coverage than the Bourjois and a touch dewier (good for slightly dry skin), but both give a natural, brightening finish. NARS Sheer Glow has now become probably my favourite foundation, though it can get a bit cakey (mainly if applied with a brush). It blurs imperfections, smooths out uneven pigmentation and gives a softly illuminated glow.