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.
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.
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.
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??
1. Face SPF: COOLA Unscented Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 – It’s been incredibly sunny here in San Francisco, and it needs to be said that wearing SPF is THE key preventative measure for anti-aging. I first heard about COOLA on Youtube, and it was exactly the sunscreen I had been looking. It’s made with physical sunscreens (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) with organic ingredients, unscented, slightly tinted, and provides at least SPF 30. I use it over my day moisturizer (which in itself has SPF 15), and it does not feel heavy at all for my oily skin. It also doubles as a makeup primer since it leaves a great matte, slightly tinted finish (VERY similar to Benefit The POREefessional).
2. Body SPF: COOLA Sunscreen Spray SPF 35 – Who would have thought I would get sunburned just walking around San Francisco?? I’m not one to burn easily, but since that happened I’ve been trying to be judicious about applying sunscreen to my shoulders and arms. I originally bought this to use for outdoor activities, but since I don’t have an SPF lotion at the moment, I’ve really been enjoying this. I got the pina colada scent, and it smells like I’m on vacation. Non-sticky.
3. Tinted Moisturizer OR Powder Foundation: Jouer Matte Moisture Tint SPF 15 or Laura Mercier Mineral Powder SPF 15 – I am trying out the Jouer Matte Moisture Tint in Nude (for color reference, I am MAC NC25, Chanel B30, NARS Sheer Glow in Pubjab), and I think it’s ok. It’s definitely not shiny upon application, but it does need to be set with a setting powder since it can slide around on my oily skin. Surprisingly, I’ve been reaching more for the Laura Mercier Mineral Powder in Natural Beige – the coverage is buildable and does not look cakey. I like applying it with the Bobbi Brown Bronzer brush, which at $52 IS an expensive brush, but it is my FAVORITE face powder AND bronzer brush of all time. And I have a lot of brushes.
4. Powder Touchup with SPF: Shiseido Sun Protection Compact SPF 34 PA+++ – SPF is one of those things that should be reapplied, and since face makeup wears off when you are outside sweating, why not do both at the same time? I bought the shade SP70 (the darkest shade available) a few years ago when I was SUPER tan, so I’m using it now as a bronzer on the perimeters of my face, on my cheeks, and a bit on my nose – just where the sun normally hits. I need to pick up SP30 to use for the center of my face since it’ll be a better match for my norma skin tone. I like the use the Eco Tools Retractable Kabuki Brush with this on the go.
5. Bronzer: NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna – Despite having ~20 bronzers, I still reach for this the most for a subtle bronzed, sun-kissed glow. No better time than the summer to apply liberally.
6. Bright blush: Dior Rosy Glow in 001 Petal, MAC Blush in Style (or any peach shimmering blush) – Any bright pink or peach blush will do, actually. It really livens the complexion and complements a bronzed skin nicely. I’ve been reaching for these two recently as you can see from my blush collection, I should really rotate this more often.
7. Setting Spray: Skindinavia Makeup Finishing Spray – A makeup setting spray is A MUST to help your makeup last longer and also to give you that dewy glow. I spritz this liberally as the last step before I step out the door. The Urban Decay ones are great as well (and also made by Skindinavia).
8. Smudgeproof or Waterproof Mascara: Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus – In the summer, I’m all about simple, fresh makeup. As you can see from the items above, I think the core to this is a glowy, healthy base. Mascara will be generally the only eye makeup I wear, if I’m wearing eye makeup at all. I’ve gone back to the Majolica Majorca Lash Expander Frame Plus after finishing some other mascaras.
9. Bright nail polishes – I’m really drawn to bright, warm colors for the summer. Nothing beats a vibrant, warn-toned polish with tanned skin. My current favorites are (from L to R): Butter London Trout Pout, Chanel 617 Holiday, Dior Riviera, and Le Metier de Beaute Red Hot Tango. Wet n Wild Megalast Nail Color in Heatwave looks like it would be a great cheaper alternative since it falls in this color category, and it has good reviews on wear.
10. Tinted Lip Balm with SPF: Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 – Again, with the SPF – it’s important to protect your lips! A light tint of color is nice too, and I really like these Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments in Rose, and Honey. It’s easy to throw these on without a mirror, and they are decently moisturizing. I want to try the Coral and Petal colors next.
What are your summer beauty essentials?