Thursday, December 13, 2007
Makeup Junkie's Best Of Beauty 2007!
Wow, I can't believe that in January it will be 1 year since I started Makeup Junkie and what an amazing year it has been! In 1 year, I've tried a lot of beauty products and I'm here to share with you my best of beauty for 2007!
Best Pressed Powder: M.A.C. Mineralize Skin Finish Natural in Medium/Dark. This slow baked mineral powder leaves the skin with a natural matte finish and a healthy sheen. Use to set your foundation and for touch-ups.
Best Foundation (Tie): Face Atelier Ultra Foundation Pro. My personal favourite because I love how the silicone base makes my skin look and feel radiant and flawless. I prefer the Pro line because it's great for transporting whether you are a makeup artist or woman-on-the-go. It comes in a plastic bottle with a pump so no contamination. Don't forget about the 25 % discount at Face Atelier until December 31st! Enter discount code 'makeupjunkie' at checkout!
Best Matte Foundation: I wish I could say there was one perfect foundation for every skin tone but it's not a perfect world! Make Up For Ever's Mat Velvet + Matifying Foundation was a lifesaver on set of Chick Advisor's podcast show "Where'd You Get That?" last summer. It lasted all 12 hour + days and kept the oil and shine at bay. A little goes a long way so it's completely buildable. It didn't dry out the skin either.
Best Concealer Under Eye: I finally got my hands on YSL's Touche Eclat Radiant Touch thanks to my bestest friend in the world! It has the perfect consistency to go under the eye because it's not cakey or heavy. My under eye looks instantly brighter and luminous. My dark circles and tired eyes are banished! If you have dark skin, I recommend using #3 or #4 as a brightner then applying a natural colour concealer or foundation over top. I am medium to tan so I can get away with using #3 as a concealer.
Best Overall Concealer (Tie): I loved when M.A.C. came out with their Studio Finish Concealer SPF 35 Palette because it came with 3 colours to mix and match your skin perfectly. But of course, it was only a limited item. Good news is that the Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer in a pot is the same product. This concealer covers anything from blemishes to tattoos! Another great concealer is Face Atelier's Ultra Camouflage Duet because it comes with 2 shades a cool and a warm to get the perfect match. It's also silicone based and a bit more forgiving than M.A.C.'s concealer (not as heavy). It's very creamy and can be sheer to full coverage. It's also yellow-based so it's great for those dark circles or toning down redness in the skin.
Best Primer: Smashbox's Photo Finish Foundation Primer. I received a few samples of this and was hooked! Your skin just feels so silky smooth after and your foundation glides on flawlessly. I've used this on a few brides and they just loved it. They were picture perfect all day! I haven't had a chance to buy the full size yet, but it's definitely on my lust list!
Best SPF Moisturizer (face): M.A.C.'s Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50. Sunscreen is so important if you want to prevent early aging. Weathered, wrinkly skin is not attractive at any age so make sure you apply sunscreen everyday even when it's cloudy. My face always feels protected when I wear this sunscreen especially with the high SPF of 50.
Best Corrector: Lise Watier Portfolio Professional Corrector. On recommendation of a couple of MUA friends, I picked up both light and dark palettes. This stuff is a miracle worker! It may seem difficult to use but it comes with instructions as well as on the backside. It has heavy coverage but can be sheered out with a bit of moisturizer. I used this on a bridesmaid and her father had just passed away and by the time I was done her puffy eyes, dark circles, and blotchy skin were gone! A bride I did for a wedding had a nasty bruise on her arm which I was able to disguise with the help of the yellow-orange colour and then I used a natural heavy duty concealer over top to blend in with her skin.
Best Tinted Moisturizer: I've tried so many and Stila's Sheer Color Tinted Moisturizer SPF 15 is the only one that was sheer but still gave me coverage. I also love the illuminating particles in it that helps diffuse fine lines and makes the skin look radiant.
Best Powder Blush: For years everyone has been saying that Nars' Orgasm (peachy pink shimmer) is the most universally flattering blush. As much as I love this blush, I have to disagree. I think Orgasm is flattering on every woman that is fair to medium skin tone. On someone like me or darker, you can barely see it. But never fear - I have found the perfect "Orgasm" for medium to dark skin tones! Nars' Deep Throat (don't you just love the names?? a peachy shimmer) is a darker and perfect alternative. I just love Nars blushes because the shimmer isn't sparkly or glittery but gives the skin a perfect sheen.
Best Cream Blush: Pink Beauty Cosmetics' Cream Radiance Rouge. These blushes are just amazing because you can build the intensity of the colour. I also love the cream to powder finish and the healthy glow it gives you. They stay on really well and you can use the blush on your lips to give your pout a nice stain of colour. Pink Beauty is now being sold in the US on www.makeup.com
Best Cheek Stain: I just love Tarte Cheek Stains for many reasons. First, they stay on really well and give the skin a fresh, dewy glow. Secondly, they come in gorgeous colours - Flush, Tipsy, and Tickled being some of my faves. Third, they all come in different yummy scents! The stain isn't hard to blend at all - apply to the apples of the cheeks and blend with your fingers. You can either apply it directly from the big round push up stick it comes in, dab some on your fingers first, or use a synthetic blush brush. A little goes a long way and it'll last you for a long time. It's very portable for touch-ups and you can also use it to stain your lips!
Best Highlighter: Face Atelier Ultra Sheer Pro. Like their foundations these also come in plastic containers which are perfect for transporting. I love the silicone base because it goes on so smoothly and makes the skin look amazing! You can wear these on their own or mix with your foundation for a radiant dewy finish. Use where the light naturally hits you: cheekbones, brow bone, inner corner of eyes, down the bridge of nose, temple, and chin. You can also use it on your body. Perfect for any occasion!
Best Multi-Use Product: Nars' Multiple in Sunset Beach. They come in many fabulous colours but this apricot-peachy shimmer give the skin a warm glow and looks amazing on the eyes, lips, and cheeks. I always get compliments when I wear it. I love pairing this with a bronzer or my favourite blush but it looks great on its own.
Best Beauty Powder: Benefit's Dandelion. I love using this powder over top of my makeup because the satiny pink powder just perks my skin up. I also love using this as a blush when I want a girly pink glow. I usually have to swirl it a few times on my brush to get the right intensity but for fair skinned people it's the perfect pink flush.
Best Eye Primer: I don't use the typical eye primers because I find most are either too drying or too creamy on the eye. My favourite primers to use are M.A.C.'s Eye Paints in either Untitled or Bare Canvas. They're soft neutral eye shadows that can be worn under any colour. They go on creamy then dry to a powder finish. My shadows last all day with no creases.
Best Eye Brightner: I was on the hunt for a while looking for the best eye brightner and tried everything from drugstore to high end. The winner was Smashbox's Photo Op Under Eye Brightner. It is a sheer, light reflective shimmering peach, perfect to help reduce dark circles and diffuse fine lines. I love using this on the inner and outer corner of the eyes. As women age, the outer corners tend to get darker so it's a great brightner. Use this under your concealer.
Best Eye Shadow (Tie): Nars and M.A.C. hands down are my favourite eye shadows. Both brands have a huge variety of colours and textures to choose from. I also love how both lines have a wide range of fun bold colours. If it were down to packaging, I'd have to go with Nars because I just love the matte texture and the little mirror that comes with the shadows. Convenient for when you need to touch up during the day.
Best Inexpensive Eye Shadow: This was a drugstore steal (not literally!) and the value for a palette of 3 shadows is fantastic! NYX Trio Eyeshadows come in a wide selection of colours and textures. The pigment is rich, blends beautifully on the eyes, and has staying power. The brand also has a makeup artist discount!
Best Liquid Eye Liner: Cover Girl Line Exact Liquid Liner. For the longest time I was using M.A.C.'s Liquid Last but when I received Cover Girl's in my swag bag from the Chick Advisor Shop Crawl, I was pleasantly surprised! I actually love how the liner applies because it doesn't look waxy and the felt pen-like tip makes creating bold or fine lines effortless. It's so compact and small that you can take it anywhere. It's smudge and smear-proof but comes off easily with water-proof eye makeup remover.
Best Gel Eye Liner: I've been using M.A.C.'s Fluidline for years now, but just recently I received Loose Lips New York's Indellible Gel Eye Liner in Black Cherry. I actually prefer the consistency than M.A.C.'s because it glides on so smoothly. Plus, the colour is just gorgeous! I don't think I've seen a black liner with red sparkly flecks in it besides M.A.C.'s Eyeshadow Beauty Marked. It's a nice alternative to plain black liner for when you want to add a little fun to your look. The liner also doesn't budge and stays on all day!
Best Mascara: I know this is probably no surprise because I've been raving about it for months but L'Oreal's Voluminous Waterproof Mascara has made me one happy woman! I've been looking for a water-proof formula that actually is water-proof and doesn't smear! I also wanted a mascara that would give me length and full lashes at the same time. This mascara does it all!
Best Pigment Powder: I am a huge fan of M.A.C.'s Pigment Powders because they come in so many great colours and textures. They really are multi-use products but I love using them on the eyes. They can be used wet or dry as liner or on the body. When used wet on the eyes, the colour is intensified and lasts longer.
Best Fake Lashes (Tie): I love using M.A.C.'s #7's because you can cut them to any length you need. And when applied properly, are glamourous but natural. Another brand of lashes I've used a lot this year especially on brides is Shopper Drugmart's Cosmetic brand Quo's #803's. It's a natural version of M.A.C.'s #7's and the length isn't too long.
Best Lip Balm: Murad Soothing Lip Therapy. Ok, so I'm a complete lip balm addict and I've tried so many ok ones but none have come close to Murad's. I just wish it was a little cheaper because I tend to go through lip balms fast. This one actually lasted me a while because a little goes a long way. The coverage is thicker than most brands but it's not sticky. It gives me the hydration these dry lips need! And it actually heals my cracked lips. With most brands I found I had to keep reapplying every few minutes but not this one.
Best Tinted Lip Balm: LORAC's Gloss Stick. It doesn't have an SPF but it is the best moisturizing tinted lip balm I've tried. I was using M.A.C's Tinted Lip Conditioners for a long time but hated how it would give me a crusty white line on the inner part of my lips. LORAC's gloss stick is sheer but the colour is still noticeable. It also has a nice vanilla/apricot scent that I love and comes in a convenient stick form (no dipping fingers!) that is portable.
Best Smelling Lip Balm and Breath Freshner: Ok, so this isn't a real category but I just had to add this in because I absolutely love C.O. Bigelow's Mentha Cinnamint Lip Shine. Both my bro's live in the US now so when they come back for a visit I always get them to stop at Bath and Body Works which is most known for their yummy smelling and inexpensive bath and body products. I had heard rave reviews of this product and wanted to test it for myself and my senses were in overload when I tried this lip balm! It tastes and smells exactly like Cinnamon and is soo sugary sweet! You just can't help but lick it! It also keeps my breath feeling fresh. It comes in a cute pink plastic tube and is under $10. You can wear it alone or over top of a lipstick for a pretty shine. They also come in tinted versions but they pretty much look clear after a few seconds.
Best Lip Primer: Benefit's Lip Plump is actually a lip plumper but it's also a great lip primer. Because it fills in the fine lines and builds the contour of the lip, it enhances the performance of your lip product making it last longer. I used this Ali on set of her podcast show "Where'd You Get That?" everyday and barely had to touch her lips up in between takes.
Best Lip Plumping Gloss: I had never tried Estee Lauder products until this year because I always thought they reminded me of products my mother would use and she does. Well, when I received their High Gloss Plump, I was intrigued and pleasantly delighted. I had tried many lip plumpers in the past and hated the hot stinging feeling on my lips. But this one gave me full luscious lips and left them with a light tingly sensation. I noticed a difference in my lips right away and even into the next day. The gloss is also not sticky or tacky and made my lips feel soft. They come in gorgeous colours - Peach Plump is my fave! Perfect peachy pout!
Best Lip Gloss (Tie): This is a hard one for me because I have too many favourite lip glosses! Since I have to narrow it down it would have to be a tie between Nars and Smashbox's Lip Enhancing Gloss. I love the non-sticky texture of both and all the beautiful colours and finishes they come in. The glosses also never leave a white crusty line on my inner lip and are pretty moisturizing. Honourable mention would be Pink Beauty's Glamour Glaze Gloss. The texture is smooth and shiny and smells delicious!
Best Inexpensive Lip Gloss: L'Oreal Colour Juice. These yummy flavoured glosses give you juicy shine and colour without the stickiness. These little squeeze tubes are similar to Lancome's cult favourites Juicy Tubes (after all L'Oreal does own Lancome!). Perfect size to stick in your pocket or in a dazzling little clutch.
Best Matte Lipstick (Tie): Yes, it's a tie again! M.A.C. has always been known for its matte lipsticks (Russian Red popular with celebrities like Madonna and Dita Von Teese). M.A.C.'s mattes always stay put and last for hours. Another favourite matte formula is Nars' Velvet Matte Lip Pencil because it doesn't dry out the lips and is a lip pencil and lipstick in one. It's also really easy to apply and has lasting colour.
Best Sheer Lipstick: Pink Beauty's Luscious Lip Sheer and Lip Shimmer Lipsticks. These lipsticks are unbelievably moisturizing. The colours go on sheer but can be layered for a deeper effect. Can be worn day or night. Once the colour comes off it leaves the lips with a nice stain. All the colours are gorgeous and because they are so sheer will suit just about any skin tone.
Best Lip Liner: I was desperate for a neutral liner to give to a bride I was doing makeup for but didn't want to spend over $10 on one. I was so happy when I picked up Sephora's line of lip liners! It was under $5! They come in so many great colours but my favourite is #116, Natural Spice, a cheaper version of M.A.C.'s Spice liner. It's just such a great neutral!
Tools and Accessories:
Best Brush: My favourite brush of the year has to be my M.A.C. #109 contouring blush brush. You can use it to contour and sculpt the face or to buff blush onto the cheeks for a natural flush. The blush almost looks like it's coming from beneath the skin. I have many favourite brushes but this is one brush that definitely has been getting a lot of use. You can also use this brush to buff cream blush onto the skin as well.
Best Eye Lash Curler: Where or where would I be without this amazing invention?? I actually tried a drugstore brand this year because I didn't want to dish out the money for my fave lash curler from Shu Uemera, but who was I kidding?? The next day I ditched the dud and hurried to Sephora to pick up my one and only!
Best Breakthrough Product: For me, it would have to be Face Atelier's Transforming Gel. Like its description it really is miraculous. It can transform any loose or powder product into lasting colour that doesn't budge. I actually also used this on my cream eye shadows and was amazed that it didn't crease all day and it deepened the colour! It's also really easy to apply and all you need is a drop. All you have to do is dip your brush in the gel and mix it into your favourite shadow.
Best Brush Cleanser: I love the ease and convenience of Sephora's Makeup Brush Cleansing Wipes. I received this is a birthday gift from my cousin and ever since have taken it with me when I'm doing a job. It's just a fast way to clean your brushes on the job without having to haul around a bottle and paper towel around. And it's perfect for the person who doesn't have time to give their brushes a proper washing. It disinfects your brushes without drying the hairs out.
Best On-the-Go Eye Makeup Remover: Also a gift from my cousin (she knows her stuff!), Bare Escentuals On The Spot Eye Makeup Removers are perfect for those quick touch-ups. These pre-filled cotton swabs come in a portable plastic case of 24 that can be easily thrown into your purse. I love these when I'm in a hurry and make a mascara goof. Before breaking the other end of the swab you can use it to smudge liner into the lash line for a smokey effect.
Best Tweezers: Tweezerman Slant Tweezer. They don't call this the number #1 tweezer for no reason. This tweezer is the only tweezer that can catch every little hair on my brows! I love how it has two sides: slanted for general clean up and flip it to the pointy side for precise shaping and to get those pesky tiny hairs. They also come in assorted colours - I love the colour red so I have the original red. It also has free sharpening but the downside is that you have to mail it in - what will I use in the meantime?? It's a nice perk but not very convenient. But it doesn't take away from its performance!
Bath and Body:
Best Body Butter: I've tried so many body butters this year but my favourite of the bunch has to be Bobe's Silken Cream in Chai Tea Party. It's just so moisturizing and the smell is delicious. And I just love how inexpensive their products are! The line carries other amazing scents that I'm dying to try - next on my list is Frosted Sugar Cookie. Doesn't it sound yummy??
Best Hand Cream (Tie): There were a few months where I was on the hunt for the best hand cream and I finally found 2 that I really love and that really work! The first one I bought was Aveda's Hand Relief . It's incredibly moisturizing and has healing properties that will over time increase elasticity and moisture levels in the skin. I also love the lemony-cinnamon scent it has. Soon after I bought Cake's Milk Made Velveteen Hand Cream which I love because it's also super moisturizing and smells like vanilla heaven! Both are a little pricer than your drugstore brand but are so worth the smooth soft hands!
Best Body Scrub: Bobe's Sugared Frosting Scrub. This has been a life saver during these dry winter months getting rid of my rough patches. The scents are mouth-watering and your skin is left feeling baby smooth!
Best Fragrance (Tie): I love both these scents for different reasons. Aquolina's Pink Sugar is a sugary confection of vanilla-cotton candy sweetness! This is definitely my fave day scent and it's not too sweet smelling that it gives you a headache. The scent totally reminds me of my childhood eating cotton candy at a carnival. The next is Marc Jacobs - a classic, sensuous, feminine fragrance that I love wearing for an evening outing. I always feel so grown up when I wear it.
Best Nail Polish: I love wearing dark nail polish on my fingers because it just looks so chic and mysterious! My favourite is M.A.C.'s Dark Angel, a deep violet. It's been my it colour for the Fall/Winter season!
Best Inexpensive Nail Polish: I love NYX nail polishes because they come in a huge range of natural to vibrant hues. The polish also goes on thick so you only need about 1 coat and stays chip-free for days!
Best Top and Base Coat: Who doesn't love double duty products? Sally Hansen's Double Duty Strengthening Base And Top Coat makes my polish stay on longer chip-free! Its helped improve the strength of my nails and looks great on its own when you don't have time to put colour on.
Well, that rounds out my best of beauty 2007! I didn't include a category for Best Foot Cream, Best Skincare or Best Hair products because a). I'm still on the search and nothing this year really stood out for me or b). I've been using the same products for years. I have so many products that I love but these products are at the top of my list! Can't wait to see what goodies next year brings! I'd love to hear what your faves are for 2007 and what you'll be taking with you into the New Year!