Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 favorites & beauty goals


Another year has gone by and boy was it a year of discovery for me. Reflecting back I am happy with the brands I explored, products I tried, and personal growth I gained. I hope you all feel the same with your year. Time for the annual post of my favorites for the year. If you were curious, click HERE to see the post I did last year.


2012 was definitely the year of experimenting with my base makeup. While I still have a long way to go in my exploration in this field, my favorite foundation I tried was Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation. Painful price but it is a wonderful foundation if you prefer breathable and natural coverage.

Concealer is another area that I still need more experience with. I suppose the only concealers I own, DiorSkin sculpt lifting smoothing and Laura Mercier secret camouflage, win by default as my favorites this year. Dior's works well for under the eyes but can crease if you use too much. Laura Mercier's works well for spot concealing.

Maybelline Dream Matte Powder wins for my most used this year. It is inexpensive and not cakey. I would repurchase if I was in a pinch but once this is used up I'll be on the look out for a replacement from another brand.

My bronzers of choice did not change from last year. My most used and everyday bronzer was CARGO Medium Matte Bronzer which I finished up this year and enjoyed. For travel and nights out, NARS Laguna would be my pick as it has a more glowing finish.


I had a love affair with MAC Tenderling since it is a shade that goes with just about anything. For summer CARGO Laguna was my top choice. And during the fall and into winter I was obsessed with CARGO Lyon. This year was definitely the year of CARGO for me.

This was impossible to pick. Really. I stared at my collection trying to figure out which I used most this year and I drew up a blank because I rotated them all so often. So no highlighter favorite this year, I was too mercurial.


I MUST mention my Smashbox PhotoOp Trio in Filter. Seriously, no one ever talks about this trio. I love it so much, as you can tell since I hit pan. The colors are super smooth, pigmented and last forever even without primer. The packaging is so compact making it the best for travel. I can't think of one con about this product. Poor Smashbox, I feel like their eye shadows are kept in the dark and neglected which is a shame since they are phenomenal.

MAC's Cork, Brun, Brule, and Tempting are staple shades for me. This has not changed from last year since they are basic browns and fit into my quad for easy travel. I like to have three matte shades for sculpting the eye and one shimmery shade to blend with my kohl liner.

Also, I went through a taupe craze and my favorite by far is Le Metier de Beaute's Corinthian.

I still love Prestige My Blackest Lashes. It beats all the other mascaras I tried this year (Giorgio Armani ETK Excess, Maybelline Falsies Flared, L'Oreal Telescopic).

For liquid liner I prefer L'Oreal Lineur Intense with the felt tip. For kohl liner it depends. When I was a contact wearer, hands down MAC Feline was my pick. As a glasses wearer and (recent) LASIK patient, Giorgio Armani ETK waterproof liner and Urban Decay 24/7 liner in Perversion work just as well. All are inky black and last on me the same so I now have no preference. When I run out of liner I will pick Feline or Perversion as they are easier to get and not LE.


The year of lipstick as well for me! I had fun trying out different textures and colors this year. But realistically my most reached for shades were the fleshy NARS Dolce Vita and the warm and natural Burberry Lip Mist in Copper. I can't imagine life without either of these shades and urge EVERYONE to check both out if you haven't already. If it helps, I am wearing Dolce Vita in THIS post and Copper in THIS post (fourth picture down).

Initially I didn't care much for Revlon's Colorburst Gloss in Pink Ice. But it grew on me and ended up being something I reached for quite often. I like the Colorburst gloss formula as it is not sticky, smells nice, and doesn't give me the dreaded lip rings.

Blistex Lip Medex, the little blue pot, is the best night time treatment for me so far. Nuxe Reve de Miel is a recent buy but I am half way done with it already if that gives you an idea of how much I am enjoying it.


OPI Ink is a complex dark blurple that looks great on the toes. Essie Set In Stones was my favorite glitter. OPI Cajun Shrimp is one of OPI's best shades and formulas. BUTTER London Blagger is bright, unique and eye catching. OPI Koala Berry is my only repeat from last year. It is such a cheery, beautiful color that I never get tired of for pedicures. I tried really hard to narrow down my list but, as you all can see, I failed. But I tried guys!

I still enjoyed Sally Hansen's Cuticle Remover Gel. For a base coat I loved OPI Nail Envy (like everyone else and their brother). As for top coat, I have not found one I love. I rotated between Seche Vite and Out the Door, both of which turned thick and unusable so I need a replacement stat.


I still love Victor & Rolf Flowerbomb, but I would say I enjoyed Chanel Chance Eau Fraiche the most this year.


I had so much fun with skincare this year it is unbelievable. My wallet sure didn't have fun but I don't regret it in the slightest. I focused more on my skin this year and I predict this is an addiction I won't be able turn my back on.

Clarins Gentle Cleanser with Cottonseed was my favorite cleanser I tried this year. Cleans very thoroughly but gently and smells like fresh cotton. You need the smallest amount for a rich foam. Can be stripping if used too often so I only use it once a day. I must include a cleansing oil as well since I discovered they are a staple in my skincare routine. My favorite I tried this year was Boscia Makeup Breakup Cool Cleansing oil.

No surprise here, my HG CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion. Sinks in quickly, non-greasy, non-scented and easily available at the drugstore.

No change here either since it is also my HG. La Roche Posay Efflaclar Duo. I tried living without it and it was the pits.

I am still in disbelief with how much I love LUSH's Mask of Magnaminty. My skin noticeably loves this gunk. And I am pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed using my Clarasonic Mia. It is fun and cleans thoroughly.

WHEW. I must wipe my brow after typing all that, I hope you all made it to the end. I sense a lot of skimming was done :) Now on to the beauty goals section. Let's reflect on last years first, shall we?

1. Stick with quality over quantity - Check. I didn't go crazy with drugstore OR MAC releases leading to me not having piles of unused makeup.
2. Stop buying so much nail polish - Check. I avoided my cheap nail polish retailers and argued with myself multiple times that new colors looked very similar to old colors that I already owned.
3. Explore brands that I never have tried before Check. I tried Burberry, Becca, Chanel, Koh Gen Doh, Giorgio Armani, LUSH, and various other brands which I had never tried before.
4. Attempt a blog sale - My only goal that was not fulfilled.

So...I followed through with 3/4 of my goals. I am content with that. Perhaps 2013 will be the year of the blog sale. New set of goals for me to revisit in 2013:

1. Attempt a blog sale. I seriously need to suck it up and just do it! Is it weird that PayPal intimidates me?
2. Buy at least one Chanel polish. I've been dying to own a shade. I'm looking at you, Black Pearl.
3. Hit pan on a blush. This will probably be my hardest goal as I rotate my blushes quite often.
4. Organize my makeup station. I already have plans for this so it is a very achievable goal.

What are your beauty goals? Congrats to making it to the end of my post. I hope you all had a happy holiday. Here's to the New Year!

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