Saturday, December 17, 2011

My Top 7 in '11 (and the 7 HG products I'm still on the hunt for)

This year I've truly been a blush and eyeshadow hoarder... I've loved so many and amassed such a collection of palettes that I could probably do all the makeup for NYFW 2012.
That said, here are the Top 7 products that have made the biggest difference in my beauty life in 2011:

Yes, I bought all of these... please don't do the math!

Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips - I am all thumbs and have ZERO patience for drying my nails! So unless I was going to be absorbed in an activity which doesn't use my hands (Gemini = Ruled by Mercury = cannot NOT use my hands!) my stained nails would have shown all year!  I love lime green and yellow polishes and managed to stain my nails several times, necessitating constant cover.  Enter Sally Hansen Polish Strips, and suddenly a girl without the patience for nail art can have snazzy tips that fit her eccentric personality <3 It's true love <3 The only improvement I could imagine is if the glitter ones would not dry out and peel off too easily, but I had no problem with the regular "creme"-finish patterns.

I cut the tube open and depot what's stuck inside when I can't get anymore out - it's about another week's worth!

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo - I've suffered with moderate-to-severe acne since I was 10 years old (yucko, I would only wish this on a truly heinous enemy ;) ).  I've used every brand and strength of antibiotic pill, lotion, Retin-A cream, you-name-it that can be prescribed by dermatologists.  I went through uncomfortable microdermabrasion and laser treatments.  I've been willing to try just about anything for years.  I did have luck with a daily antibiotic pill back in college that kept me clear for about a year but it has since been pulled from the market for turning limbs blue (I had to quit it after that year when the blue spots began to appear... luckily, they disappeared several months after I stopped!).  So basically, NOTHING has worked... until I decided to be a bit spendy and give another pricey drugstore brand a go on the recommendation of Tiffany from Will Work for Makeup and Lil Lady's Life.  The change in my skin was swift and dramatic! While it hasn't cured my acne completely, I don't get all the nasty whiteheads and clogged pores that I used to. I still have leftover red spots and some other inflammation, but the pores on my cheeks have gone MIA and I swear to you I look much younger!  Even though mild acne remains (as well as scarring), I will seriously cry if I have to be without Effaclar Duo!  It has refined my skin in a way my Clarisonic Mia and various peels promised but failed to do.  I've been using it for about three months, since October of this year.  One tube lasted me two months applied once daily (though I think I'll want to step it up to twice daily soon) and it can be found for around $30.  If you're oily and spotty you MUST try it!

My third tube

Origins VitaZing - Thanks to thorough reviews from Jessica of Getting Cheeky and Vivianna Does Makeup, I decided to give Origins another shot after years of avoiding them because of a spoiled mascara episode.  This is what a tinted moisturizer should be - so many in the past have required another moisturizer underneath and as much blending as foundation, but not VitaZing! I can slap it on in a rush and it self-adjusts and gives me a wonderful, lively glow.  It also has enough coverage that I can simply spot-conceal and run out the door if I need to. Bonus - it smells lovely. Total win, people!

You know you love it when you buy every color

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Enhancing Gel Creamliners - This has been featured as a favorite already recently, so I don't think I need to go on and on.  Check out my previous mentions here and here for some swatches and a breakdown of their sweet, sweet HGness.

TBH this is a mere fraction of the Colorburst lippies I've got...
You know you love it when you've got a pile of it!

Revlon Colorburst Lipstick, Gloss, Lip Butter - Not one of these disappoints.  The lipstick alone made me believe in drugstore lipsticks again (and made me brave enough to try some of the more-raved Cover Girl LipPerfection, Maybelline Color Sensational, and Wet n Wild Megalast shades).  The glosses' packaging looks just as chic as Chanel Glossimers, IMHO, and I love that they are non-sticky and pigmented.  The lip butters, released so recently, were really the coup de grace and I have little desire anymore to invest in anything more expensive than MAC's $14 lipsticks (I must confess a moment of weakness, though, in a recent purchase of Chanel Rouge Allure Lacques in Dragon and Empire... but I have a little bit of buyer's remorse about them). Save for Wet n Wild eyeshadows, I don't usually find bargain shadows to be worth it (conversely, neither have I found $32 shadows to be worth it), but I really feel Revlon can do no wrong with their affordable, amazing Colorburst line!

My workhorse - tube #2

Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara - One of the few items I use all the time, you can find my original review here.  Now I never want to be without a dedicated bottom-lash mascara!  It's not pricey at $10, but I'm still hoping drugstore brands will roll out versions of this in 2012 for me to eagerly try ^.^

Shu Uemura Lash Curler - I've had tons of other curlers, but since I got this one I don't bother with them.  It lives up to its hype, but its so annoying that it's more difficult to find in the U.S. these days! I got mine from

 HG Products I'll be hunting for in 2012:

1.Makeup remover wipes that are extremely effective (ala Lancome Bi-Facil) and affordable
2.Eye cream that is highly moisturizing but won't cause milia
3.Foundation that looks as good as Chanel Perfection Lumiere in photos, too!
4.Concealer opaque enough to cover zits but won't crease under my eyes
5.Face cleanser of Philosophy Purity -quality at a more affordable price
6.Hair Styling Product - I love Ojon Damage Reverse Serum and other oils I've tried, but my hair needs a bit more control along with the frizz-fighting
7.Primer that works well enough to justify the extra step and expense (recently I tried a sample of Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer, and this might be The One... I'm going to have to get my hands on a bottle to find out for sure!)

What products attained HG status for you in 2011? 
What products will you be seeking in 2012?


  1. I really want to get more revlon lip products - I was introduced to them this year, and I'm in love with them! Neutrogena Healthy Skin became HG for me this year!

  2. I am loving the nail strips! They are so easy and so cute!

  3. Hey Kelly, I tried that foundaton years ago, but I think I should try it again! It could have been reformulated since then and I remember thinking it wasn't bad.
    Hey Eugenia, yay! I adore 'em :)

  4. I'm also on the hunt for the perfect moisturizing eye cream that won't cause milia! I quite liked the Radiance one from Burt's Bees but the milia, ARGH! I'm currently really liking the one from KORRES that I'm crurently using though, I'll be on the look out at the slightest hint of milia though.

    I really want to try those lip butters and yes, Revlon lipsticks are awesome!

  5. nice favourites!! the Effaclar Duo sounds great! It sounds very similar to this La Roche Posay Effaclar K cream that i really like! I'm still seeking the perfect 'my lips but better lip colour' so will be looking for that in 2012.

  6. Hi Gaby, thanks for the tip about the Korres :) I had a sample of H20 plus eye mender that I thought was all right, so I might buy that next. Currently I'm using Avalon Organics Lavendar eye gel and it doesn't cause milia but it also doesn't moisturize nearly enough!
    Hi Penelope, it seems La Roche-Posay puts out wonderful products. And in spite of being available at drugstores is branded rather posh, imo :) I hope you find your MLBB in 2012!

  7. Nice choice dear :)
    In this year I fell in love with Golden Rose lipsticks and Avon calming effects foundation, amazing products ;) :*

  8. Oh my goodness! You're a Salon Effects addict!!! Haha!

    That Revlon lip gloss (not sure the exact's the one in the skinny, long tube) is my favorite!

  9. @yellowvoices, indeed!
    @Psycho Cat, is Golden Rose a brand? Or is it made by Avon?

  10. OMG you weren't kidding. You do really love them. I love the Revlon lip butters. However I have yet to try the gel liners from Phyiscan's formula. Great picks. :)

  11. Hey Mara, definitely try them! Pick up a pack when they're on sale, and then try to resist buying more ;)

  12. Great picks! I couldn't be without the Effaclar Duo either - that stuff is HG material forreal.


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