I’ve only been blogging since the end of May this year but I can remember my product loves before then so I thought I’d share an edited selection of my absolute essential products of 2013. It’s been agonizing to do so but these products were staples this year that I’d recommend to all!
Boots Beautiful Skin Cleansing Balm for Dry/Very Dry Skin ($10 CDN)
I’ve used this every night since I purchased it in the summer but I’m still on my first bottle of this divine creamy cleanser. It’s beyond gentle, actually hydrating the skin rather than stripping it, soothing and with the aid of a washcloth, removes face makeup. It contains fragrance but does smell luxurious, especially considering the price – an absolute bargain in my book!
Caudalie Vinosource Quenching Sorbet-Creme ($39 CDN)
The 40 mL tube of goodness lasted for five months with daily use and I used it throughout the entire summer and into the fall. I haven’t repurchased yet, but I plan on repurchasing in the near future. It contains Caudalie’s signature antioxidants and is free of drying alcohols (but does contain fragrance) and is a fast-absorbing, weightless but very hydrating product that feels cooling and soothing on the skin. This has made me intrigued to try more Caudalie – to be continued…
Bioderma Sensibio H20 ($22 CDN)
There are only two beauty products that I go through quickly: conditioner and Bioderma. I wear a good amount of eye makeup on a daily basis and use this micellar water every night to remove it. I have uber-sensitive eyes and this is the only product that neither irritates my eyes or clouds my vision and removes my makeup. It feels as gentle as water on the skin but removes makeup well with minimal effort and makes it easier to wear heavier eye makeup on a daily basis.
L’Oreal Professionnel Intense Repair Masque ($30 CDN)
This is easily the best conditioner/masque that I’ve ever tried and I’ve tried many, including others in the line and nothing else compares. In terms of silicones, amodimethicone is high on the ingredient list and I suppose could prevent the ingredients for working their best but at the very least it does not build up and weigh down my hair. The scent is an interesting fake banana scent and the product is coloured to match. The product itself is a thick texture and is intensely hydrating and really helps to detangle hair without weighing it down. I have fine wavy-curly hair but lots of it that tends to split easily and after using this from the start of the year until late fall when it ran out, I can say that it prevented the dry ends from forming that contribute to such breakage. The product is super-concentrated and easily worth the money as many cheaper options tend to run out more quickly and work less effectively.
Pureology SuperSmooth Sulfate-Free Shampoo ($29 CDN)
Sulfates are a nightmare for my hair, both drying it out and causing eczema on my scalp and this is easily my favourite sulfate-free shampoo I’ve tried, however it is very expensive. Luckily I managed to pick up the litre size of this on sale for about $50 CDN very early in the year and I’m still on the same bottle. This is easily the gentlest effective shampoo that I’ve ever tried and is definitely the most concentrated. I always find I go through hair product quickly but this one truly is the most concentrated. The ingredients are really great, the only silicones are water-soluble and do not build up on the hair and it contains high concentrations of nourishing oils like sesame oil and shea butter. This shampoo is one of the rare shampoos that manages to cleanse the hair without stripping it. The smell is to-die for, a luxurious slightly spicy and woodsy scent – easily the best smelling hair product I’ve ever tried.
Rimmel Wake Me Up Foundation in Ivory ($10 CDN)
I started using this foundation shortly before starting my blog and it was one of the products that got me into drugstore makeup – before the blog, I was a diehard MAC girl with a hint of Sephora thrown in there. This foundation I wore pretty much all summer long and never stopped using it afterwards. For me, this foundation is one that I can always wear and feel confident about putting on my skin without thinking about it. I can’t see the shimmer in it and find it slightly glowy with great longevity. It has that medium coverage that can be worn when your skin isn’t looking too great but doesn’t look heavy on the skin. The colour is one of the best matches for me as it’s fair with yellow undertones and sits nicely on my dehydrated skin. It’s weightless on the skin without including harsh irritating alcohol.
MAC Powder Blush in Harmony ($25 CDN)
Although it’s called a blush, this is definitely a contour powder. It’s somewhat cool-toned without being grey and somehow manages to add warmth to the face while providing some shape. I picked this up very early in the year and haven’t looked back as it’s remained a staple throughout the entire year. It’s a matte medium toned mauve-y brown that is difficult to describe and works for me year round regardless of the season.
Maybelline The Falsies Mascara ($10)
If you’re a regular reader of my blog, it will be no secret to you that this is my all-time favourite mascara and I discovered at the beginning of this year and repurchased it recently. It’s nice and volumizing, can be built up and doesn’t clump and the wand deposits the perfect amount of product. I should mention that naturally I have long, curled and wimply lashes and I enjoy volumizing drier mascaras as wetter formulas tend to look less natural and more spider-y on me.
Urban Decay Naked Palette ($62 CDN)
I agonized over whether to include this palette, as for the first few months of my blog I talked about how I didn’t love this palette as an all-inclusive palette for a variety of looks but then I slowly fell in love with it but prior to starting my blog, I wore these shadows on a daily basis – I wore Sin on my lids, Naked in the crease and Hustle in the outer-v- which is still a combination I adore. It has those flattering warm tones and contains a variety of shades of different depths and is easily my most used eyeshadow item of the year. If you enjoy shimmery warm-toned eyeshadows, this is the palette for you.
MAC Charcoal Brown Eyeshadow ($12/18 CDN)
This might seem like a really boring shade to include but it’s proven its value as a staple to me year round. It’s a medium toned slightly-cool toned brown with a matte finish. This was the product that got me into filling in my brows and it’s a fabulous shade for brunettes but it also adds great definition to the crease that cannot be duplicated with a shimmery shade and is the perfect balance of warm and cool for me.
MAC Lipstick in Patisserie ($18 CDN)
I swore I was only going to include products that I wore the entire year but although I’ve only been using this since October, it became my go-to shade and easily my favourite lip product discovery of the year. It’s a lustre so it doesn’t highlight dry patches and is somewhat moisturizing. It’s a darker nude that isn’t all that different in colour than my pale lips — a warm nude with some pink in it that doesn’t wash me out in the least but rather adds some life to my face and looks good with any makeup.
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Rose ($30 CDN)
2013 was the year that I fell in love with the bold lip. Sure I wore red lips to prom but prior to this year that was the extent of my exposure to the red lip or even the bold lip in general. However the particular lipstick was a difficult to decide on as bold lipsticks aren’t something you typically reach for on a daily basis. After lamenting for a couple of days, I decided that I couldn’t put a particular one in but bold lips was perhaps my makeup discovery of the year overall. Easily my most used lip product of the year was this multi-tasking product. I like it as a creme blush as well but the iconic Bobbi Brown product is something I’ve reached for constantly all year for a warm rosy hue on my lips that doesn’t pull brown whatsoever. It’s sort of hydrating but not remarkably so and has the easiest on-the-go application and is that slightly darker but sought-after my lips but better shade on me that wears nicely for a few hours.
MAC Stereo Rose Mineralize Skinfinish ($34 CDN) – limited edition 😦
insert picture of me wearing it on December 13th w/o bold lip
Being the blush hoarder and obsessor – is that even a word? If it’s not I’m making it one…. – that I am, I knew I had to put one in my yearly favourites, however it was incredibly difficult to choose my favourite one that I wore the most throughout the year as I tend to go through blush phases. I know it’s rather evil of me to include a limited edition product but I discovered the hyped but worth the hype product this year and loved it throughout the year even though I didn’t necessarily mention it as much as it deserved. I bought it at the very start of the year when the Apres Chic collection came out. I was not intending on buying it but when I tried it on, the finely-milled glowy rosy coral wowed me. It’s a blush that is the most gorgeous when not too much else is going on with your makeup.
Seeing as I included a product that is rather difficult to get your hands on and I know how annoying it can be when someone rambles on about an amazing product that you can’t get, I’ll include my runner up – Nars Orgasm Powder Blush, a less-corally pinky-coral with gold shimmer running throughout that brightens the face while working with whatever makeup you’re wearing.
What were your favourite products of the year?