Saturday, December 29, 2007

Favorite Things 2007


In what has become an annual tradition, a group of beauty, fashion and perfume bloggers have joined in this little project of bringing you lists of our favorite things from the year that's coming to an end. Not all of these were actually launched in 2007. A few are a bit older, but these are the things that made my year, got me excited and helped me stay pretty. Links to the complete original reviews are provided whenever available.

In no particular order:

1) Zoya Nail Polish- The colors are fabulous, the seasonal collections are gorgeous, but in a very saturated market, what stands out most is the quality. Add to that a much less toxic formula, free of several scary chemicals you usually find in nail colors, and this is a winning product. No one else could have made me try on a green polish and fall in love with it.

2) Chanel Hand Cream- Since we're on the subject of beautiful hands, Chanel Body Excellence is not just a fabulous hand cream that makes skin softer, it's also a shielding cream that forms a thin but powerful barrier and it has anti-aging ingredients. My aging skin rejoiceth.

3) Chanel Nail Color in Tulip Noir- While nothing beats the quality of Zoya, the color that mesmerized me most this year was the limited edition Tulip Noir from the fall collection. With all due respect to the black nail craze (and the much talked about navy and Tiffany's blue), nothing is sexier than red, and Chanel did it the best possible way with this deep metallic color.

4) Bobbi Does Metallics- Yes, limited edition palettes are starting to annoy everyone. So does shimmer. Yet, in a year full of both, Bobbi Brown Metallics were a huge hit and deservingly so. The colors in all four palettes were beautiful and surprisingly wearable. The "metallics" is just a light finish for a wonderful texture, making it classy and elegant, as you'd expect from a line known for its natural, non-painted looks. My favorite was the Velvet Plum set, a good choice that has become part of my regular rotation.

5) Chanel Red Lips- There are many excellent brands who make wonderful lip colors. Some have better textures or stay put longer. But nobody makes bold colors like Chanel. Between Hibiscus and Catalina from the Garden Party fall 2007 collection and the Rouge Allure in Garnet Fire, my lips have barely seen a nude color in months.

6) Bobbi Brown Eyeliner Gel- This was the year I stopped being afraid of an eyeliner brush, and it's all because of Bobbi's gel eyeliners. The texture is really of a gel, which makes it unlikely to run, drip or smudge, even at the hands of a certified klutz. It's easy to apply and control, and the result is movie-star-perfect. It stays put until you go after it with a makeup remover without fading or flaking. The large selection of colors doesn't hurt, either.

7) Benefit Silky Finish Lipstick- It looks like a lipstick and feels like a gloss. This was the lip product that made my mother start wearing lipstick, which is nothing short of a miracle. We both wear Dessert First, a pretty plum.

8) Tauer Perfumes- It's been exactly a year since I discovered Andy Tauer and his perfumes, all of which were love at first sniff. 2007 has seen Andy launch the beautiful and delicate Reverie au Jardin, a scent that has seen the husband and me competing over who gets to wear it on hot summer days. If I were into a signature holy grail scent, I'd live in a cloud of L'Air du Desert Marocain. But since I'm happily promiscuous when it comes to fragrance, I can't wait till January 23rd, when his new Incense Extreme is launched.

9) Serge Lutens at Bergdorf and Barneys- My other favorite perfume mastermind. Loving Serge can be very frustrating, because he doesn't take us, American perfume nuts, seriously enough, and keeps half of his creations as non-exports. These scents are exclusive to his Paris boutique at Les Salon du Palais Royal Shiseido, and while they can be purchased online if you live in Europe, they will not ship to the US no matter how much you beg or what bribes and sexual favors you offer. This is why I'm thankful for every limited release they do here. Currently you can get Fumerie Turque, Chene and Chergui exclusively at Barneys, Vetiver Oriental (see below no. 14) at most authorized Lutens seller (I got mine at Aedes), and the biggest surprise of the year was the sudden appearance of two bell jars at Bergdorf: Un Bois Sepia and Bois et Fruits. Let's hope this is only the beginning.

10) The Perfumed Court- Speaking of hard to find fragrances: Once upon a time, if you wanted to sample a scent that isn't sold at the usual niche suspects (Luckyscent and Aedes both sell samples of almost everything they have in stock), or if you wanted to buy a decant of something fabulous you love but can't afford to pay the three-figure price of a full bottle, you could head to eBay and buy it from several excellent and reputable sellers. Then eBay decided they'd rather profit from the huge volume of sales made by perfume counterfeits and other crooks, while at the same time they shut down the decanting business. This has lead four of the most successful and knowledgeable eBay sellers to unite and open a store together: The Perfumed Court. The selections and possibilities are beyond anything I would have imagined and the service is close to perfects. The price for samples is higher than what you'd pay for the same things elsewhere, so stick to the really rare stuff (JAR and non-export Lutens, to name a few, as well as vintage and discontinued scents), and they have no competition when it comes to decants in several sizes.

11) Boots No. 7 at Target- Drugstore cosmetics will never be the same. The products of British company Boots, from their No. 7 and Botanics lines, were first introduced to the American market by Target, now also available at CVS. There are many hyped products in these lines, some so popular they made Matt Lauer go investigate them. My personal favorites are the excellent self tanner (no stink, no George Hamilton) and the makeup removal wipes, that are not only extremely effective, but also soft, thick and luxurious.

12) Laboratoire Remède Super C Serum- This year I greatly simplified my skin care routine, with two principles in mind: a product must make my skin feel great and it has to show clear results. My goal was to even out and brighten my skin tone. I saw the first results within weeks, and continue to be impressed of the serum's performance. I didn't let the faulty packaging of my first bottle keep me from repurchasing, and don't see myself switching products any time soon.

13) Laboratoire Remède Double Oxygenating Booster- This isn't a new discovery. As a matter of fact, this is the third year I've been using this cream. However, until recent months I've only applied it topically about one week a month to get rid of an existing blemish or to prevent one from actually forming. It's the most effective zit zapper I've come across. It made a huge difference for me, as together with the Super C serum it helped get rid of past sins. After reading that the cream may be used all over the face, I started doing it about once a week. The results were immediate: Smoother skin, less visible pores. No irritation and no dryness.

14) Men fragrance: Serge Lutens Vetiver Oriental- A 2002 release that became available in the US this year in the regular export bottle and won my husband completely. I adore this scent just as much, and suspect that a backup bottle might be a good idea at this usage rate. Vetiver Oriental is an unusual sweet and rounded vetiver, deepened by a chocolate note. Sounds horrible, but in reality the rooty, earthy vetiver mates well with the chocolate for an exotic but surprisingly comforting aroma. A labdanum and mossy green drydown makes it irresistible to my nose, and apparently to my husband's who made the choice in this category.

15) Biotherm Homme Ultra Confort -My husband's holy grail skin care product was a recent discovery. It does everything: comforts, replenishes and moisturizes. His experience (and mine) is documented here.

Please visit the other participating bloggers and see what they loved this year:
  • 15 Minute Beauty Fanatic

  • Afrobella

  • All About The Pretty

  • All Lacquered Up

  • Beauty 411

  • Beauty Blogging Junkie

  • Beauty Talk

  • Beautiful Makeup Search

  • Beauty Hatchery

  • Beauty Jones

  • Blogdorf Goodman

  • Canadian Beauty

  • C'est Chic

  • Coquette

  • eBeautyDaily

  • For The Love of Beauty

  • Give Me Your Eyes I Need Sunshine

  • Getting Amped

  • Grayburn

  • HauteMommaStuff

  • Koneko's Beauty Diary

  • Makeup Bag

  • The Makeup Girl

  • Miss Whoever You Are

  • My Life,My Words,My Mind

  • Perfumista

  • Periodic Style

  • Platinum Blonde Life

  • Product Girl

  • Shop Diary

  • Slap of the Day

  • Steeping Beauty

  • The Beauty Alchemist

  • The Daily Obsession

  • The Life Of A Ladybug

  • Urbane Girl

  • Victoria's Own

  • We Love Beauty


  • Also worth reading, a few perfume bloggers have done their own "Best of 2007" project, and it's worth reading:
    ::Aromascope :: Bois de Jasmin :: Now Smell This :: Perfume Posse :: PerfumeSmellin’ Things ::Scentzilla ::
    As did GreenEyes of Sweet Diva and Helg of Perfume Shrine.

    18 comments:

    1. G,

      I loved reading your list. Every time I discover something new product that I need, on your blog. Clearly, I need Laboratoire Remède Super C Serum :-)

      Happy New Year!

      ReplyDelete
    2. Hi Gaia! Wonderful list. I still have to get my hands on that Chanel Hand Cream...still have some money left over from Christmas. Perhaps I will splurge! I also want to try that Remede serum. I started using serums this year on your recommendation, and it's made quite a difference in my skincare routine.

      Happy New Year to you! I hope you and the Blonde have a terrific 2008!

      ReplyDelete
    3. Oh I am all over that Chanel hand creme and the Benefit lipstick! Thanks for the tips!
      Happy New Year,
      Victoria

      ReplyDelete
    4. Marina- I'm glad that you liked the list. I tried to make it as useful as possible, and fill it with nice things that work.

      P.- What serums have you tried? I'm so happy to hear my recommendation worked for you. I only became serious about using a serum this year, but now I'm a convert on a mission to spread the word ;)

      Victoria- It's great to see you around again. I've missed you. I'll be happy to hear how the hand cream and lipstick work for you.

      ReplyDelete
    5. loving the items on your list! Gotta go out and try some of this stuff now. Thanks and a wonderful 2008 to you!

      ReplyDelete
    6. Hi G!

      When I spotted the bell jars at Bergdorfs I did a double take. I literally thought it was my overactive imagination. I took a picture because I was so floored and could not believe it. I hope they let Bergdorf carry all the bell jars. Maybe it is a test run! LOL

      Now if we can get Linda at Ormonde Jayne to cross the pond......

      Your list is as spectacular as always. Zoya was my #1 pick too. You know I was a massive navy nail fan. I also forgot to mention Tulip Noir(that was so damn good) and BB's metallics. I have added the laboratoire name to my lemming/must try list for this year. You sold me with the booster!

      Have a great New Year and thanks again for participating!

      ReplyDelete
    7. I want to try the Remède Super C Serum you mentioned and I like your dedication to a good skincare regime. I think the Remède line is worth the $ for sure.

      ReplyDelete
    8. Nice list! There have been so many good fragrance recs that I have to try this year. Must add yours to the list.

      ReplyDelete
    9. I loved your list because of all the perfume entries it had! I plan on talking about the Serge Lutens line later this year, and it was good to know what some of your favourite picks were!

      ReplyDelete
    10. Oh my the C serum sounds fabulous! Thanks for this great rec and a smashing 2008 to you!

      Grayburn

      ReplyDelete
    11. Grayburn- Thank you! I'd love to hear what you try and how well it'll work for you.

      Annie- Thank you, again, for organizing this project.
      I'm with you on Ormonde Jayne. If Serge is taking the leap, so should she.

      I can't wait to hear how the Remède will work for you.

      Natalie- Thank you. I always appreciated good skin care products, and as I grow older I no longer even consider any other option. It's a necessity for me, and definitely worth the money.

      Beauty411- You're going to have a lot of fun. Discovering new scents is a wonderful, sensual experience.

      Henna- Another Lutens lover! How exciting. I can't wait to hear about your favorites.

      Grayburn- Yes, it's a fabulous serum. I'm on my second (or is it third?) bottle.

      ReplyDelete
    12. Your list from last year was amazing and this year you did it again. Sometimes I feel like reading your blog is like an educational experience in perfume. Teach me, teach me. :)

      Happy New Year!

      ReplyDelete
    13. What a completely FABULOUS list!! I'm so excited you listed these ... I've never tried the Zoya polishes, but putting at the top of my list for '08; those fragrances sound divine so will be lemming those (thanks a lot ;-) ) and for sure will have to give lab remede a try, the serum in particular ...oh, I don't know, that oxygenating booster sounds awfully grand as well .... darn you, Non-Blonde ... too many good things on your list, girl!!! Happy New Year!!! xo

      ReplyDelete
    14. Happy New Year and thnaks for you comment on my list. Yours is a good one too. I also love the BB Metallics Plum set. a staple here too.
      You will love neil morris, and he's at Takashimaya now.

      now to try that Chanel hand cream. I have had my eye on it :)

      ReplyDelete
    15. looks like I need to try the Bobbi Brown Eyeliner Gel..I, too, am a certified klutz (I just started using eyeliner period for fear of poking my eyes out) but this is kind of encouraging me to go ahead and get this.

      I love this blog and your list!

      www.misswhoever-you-are.blogspot.com

      ReplyDelete
    16. thank you for bringing up the Perfumed Court! i should have thought to add that as well. you've constructed a truly wonderful list!

      ReplyDelete
    17. This comment has been removed by the author.

      ReplyDelete
    18. I've heard so many wonderful things about Bobbi Brown Gel Liners. This year I think I will go to the counter and select one!

      I'm so lost when it comes to perfumes as I just recently got back into them but your list has so things that sound wonderful, I'll have to give them a spritz!

      Happy New Year!

      ReplyDelete

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