Tagged: Fresh

Favorite 13 Beauty Products of 2013

Well folks, another year has gone by!  For the year-end survey of favorite beauty products, I decided to force myself to pick my 13 favorite products of 2013.  The question I posed to myself to get the edit was this: if I didn’t use these products this year, would I miss them?  And for all 13 products below, the answer was a resounding YES.

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Cosmetics & Tools

1. Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15 in Natural Beige, $38 – I’ve had this for a couple of years now, and for whatever reason, I pulled this out one day earlier this year and have been unable to choose another powder to use.  It imparts a healthy glow and is just BEAUTIFUL. More importantly, it’s easy and fast – I slap this on over a tinted moisturizer or BB/CC Cream with a brush I mention below and I’m good to go.

2. Le Metier de Beaute Peau Vierge Correcteur Concealer in Shade 1, $95 - Another product I’ve had for a couple of years and finally discovered its full potential – it just DELIVERS.  Under eye concealer?  Check.  Covers redness and discoloration on my face?  YES. It’s emollient yet still stays put on my combo/oily skin.  I like this much better than the cult-fave Cle de Peau Concealer (mine is in the color Beige), but I guess at $20 MORE than the Cle de Peau, it should be better.

3. CHANEL Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour SPF 15 in 40, $57.50 – Who doesn’t want some of that bonne mine glow that French women have perfected?  Love this for a subtle bronzing effect.  Applied with brush mentioned below.

4. Burberry Eyeshadow in Almond, $29 - The most perfect blending color EVER.  Get this – it will make any of your eye looks better.

5. Laura Mercier Artist Palette #2, $48 - I just discussed this in my Perfect Palette post, so I’ll keep it short.  Great palette; really happy I got it.

6. Giorgio Armani Waterproof Eyeliner Pencil in #2 brown, $28 - SO glad I tried this – it’s creamy yet stays put once you set it with an eyeshadow.  The brown is perfect for everyday AND dramatic looks.

7. Giorgio Armani Rouge Ecstasy Lipstick in 100 Androgino, $34 - I think this lipstick has replaced my previous favorite nude, Tom Ford Lip Color in  Blush Nude.  Formula is creamy and comfortable, and unlike Tom Ford Blush Nude, I don’t have to top it off with a gloss – it imparts a shine on its own.

8. Bobbi Brown Bronzer Brush, $52 - I just want it to be clearly documented that I know spending $52 on a brush is ridiculous.  That said, this brush is definitely worth getting – just wait for a Sephora VIB sale or on the Bobbi Brown website when there’s a discount code going around. It is PERFECT for easy application of face powders as well as bronzers – I use it with items #1 and 3.  I use this brush almost everyday.


9. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15, $22.50 - I picked up my 4th tube to take on my expedition to Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania earlier this year.  I like that it is moisturizing, the tube has a nice weight to it, and it has SPF.  I like the clear one better than the tinted ones I’ve tried.  Can’t be without it ever.

10. Clinique Super Rescue Antioxidant Night Moisturizer in Dry Combination, $45 – I talked about this in my 3 items to add to your skincare routine post.  Best night-time moisturizer for my combo skin ever.  I like the Dry Combination version even better than the Oily one, despite having very oily skin.  Won’t ever be without this either.

11. SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.5, $55 – Retinol is a must for anti-aging.  Another product I talked about in the 3 items to add to your skincare routine post.


12. Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Shampoo, $6-$8 – I get asked quite frequently how I keep my hair so healthy since it’s pretty long (it was down to my waist before I chopped 6 inches off).  It’s probably because I don’t color treat it or use heat on it very often.  I can ALSO tell you it is NOT due to the shampoo I use.  I’ve used very expensive shampoos (e.g., Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo, $57 and Shu Uemura Muroto Volume Pure Lightness Shampoo, $47), and my hair looks exactly the same as if I had used inexpensive shampoos.  So now I just use whatever inexpensive shampoo I like, as long as it is more natural (no sulfates or parabens) and has peppermint in it.  This Giovanni one is my fave, and I also like the Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle Shampoo.  My husband also likes to use these shampoos, so it’s a win-win.

13. Wet Brush, $8.99 – My hair is prone to getting massive tangles, and this brush is AMAZING at getting the tangles out without tugging on my hair.  I like it even better than the Tangle Teezer (I have 2) for getting knots out.

What were your favorite beauty products of 2013??

Holiday Gift Sets to Split

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I love all the holiday sets that come out around the holidays, but even as a huge beauty lover, receiving 15 lip glosses or 9 hand creams all at once is a bit overkill.  As the gift giver, what I like to do is to split up these gift sets and spread them out among multiple recipients, so they get can try a variety of my favorite products.

I listed 5 of my favorite gift sets to split up below – what I’m going to do is mix and match a few items from each set to give out to each recipient and package them in a cute pouch.  I personally think this shows more thought as you can pick out the colors/scents that you think each person would like best.

Buxom Shimmer and Shake Show-Stopping Collection of 15 Lip Polishes & Creams, $59 - I LOVE Buxom glosses – they are tingly, minty, and offer a beautiful shine.  And at $59 for 15 of the most popular colors, this set is a steal.

Laura Mercier Luxe Caviar Stick Set, $98 – These Caviar Sticks are AWESOME eye color bases or can even stand alone as easy swipe-and-go shadows.  Even ladies with oily lids (like me) can use them – once they set, they are almost smudge-proof.  Normally, the retail price is $26 per Caviar Stick, and since these are full size and come with SIX, this set is a great deal to split up among multiple recipients. My favorite colors are Amethyst, Cocoa, and Khaki.

Deborah Lippmann Big Bang, $78  - I was totally on a Deborah Lippmann kick for the longest time, then I got over it, thinking that the polishes weren’t all that unique, and now I’m back on.  The polishes really wear beautifully and last quite a long time, and Deborah Lippmann offers innovative colors and finishes for people who like daring polishes.  A full-size polish will run you about $17-$19, and even though these are smaller, few people actually finish a full bottle of nail polish, so this is a great way to gift out a few cool colors to each recipient.

Fresh Sugar Treasures, $50 – I tried to not like these since they are pricey, but I can’t even tell you how many tubes of Fresh Lip Treatments (in various shades) I’ve gone through.  They are just so easy and are moisturizing.  It was also my SPF  lip treatment of choice when I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro a few months ago.  Fabulous set to split and gift to multiple ladies.

L’Occitane Hand Cream Soiree, $92 – I’m not one of those people who obsessively applies hand cream – I’m just too lazy.  However, even I will go to the effort during colder months of making sure I have a tube on me, and I really like the texture and scent of the L’Occitane Hand Creams.  My favorite scents are Mango Flower, Lavender, and Honey.

Are you giving out beauty gifts this year?  If so, please share!