This post actually started as an "Ask The Non-Blonde" thing, as a reply to many similar emails asking the same question about different brands: What is the one product I should get to fully appreciate the line? As I was compiling my list and looking over my notes and your comments, I realized this would be a better subject for an open thread. Here are my own suggestions (and, yes, I'm cheating by recommending more than one item when applicable), but I'd really like to hear from you, so please chime in and tell us which products represent the best of the best- what would make someone new to the brand a true convert?
In alphabetical order:
Armani- Eyes To Kill Mascara, Rouge d'Armani lipsticks (avoid the lip wax).
Aveda- It's been years since I've bought anything Aveda, but I used to love their hair care line.
Bliss- Everything foot related.
Bobbi Brown- Long Wear Gel Eyeliners, brushes
Burberry- neutral colored eye shadows, lipstick and lipgloss
Cargo- palettes (great value, great quality, lovely presentation)
Chanel- foundation, single eye shadows, Rouge Coco lipsticks
Chantecaille- the beautiful palettes
Cle de Peau- skin care (and then some), lipsticks
Dior- eye shadow quints (the singles are also gorgeous)
Dolce & Gabbana- lipsticks, eye shadow duos (the quads are a bit oddly edited in my opinion)
Edward Bess- brushes, lips products, eye shadows... absolutely everything just skip the mascara for now (the new formula will be out soon, though)
Estee Lauder- skin care
Guerlain- Meteorites, anything Terracotta, Rouge G (skip the mascara)
Hourglass- Film Noir mascara, lipsticks
Julie Hewett- Cheeky cream blush
Kanebo Sensai- skin care (best in the known universe), body care, lipstick
Lancome- mascara, skin care, blush, Artliner
Laura Mercier- brushes, palettes
Le Metier de Beaute- the eyeliner pen is phenomenal, but also you will want to start at the top: Kaleidoscope kits and Peau Vierge tinted moisturizer. You'll never be the same again.
L'Occitane- hair products, body products (be suspicious of their face creams)
Lorac- palettes, single eye shadows
Makeup For Ever- Aqua Creamliner
Nars- Soft Touch Shadow Pencil, brushes (skip the lipsticks)
Paula Dorf- brushes, Transformer
Shiseido- skin care, lip crayons
Shu Uemura- blushes
Sisley- skin care, eyeliners and lipsticks
Smashbox- brushes, Limitless Liquid Eyliner Pen, Soft Lights highlighter
Sue Devitt- Intensifier Eye Pencil
Trish McEvoy- brushes
Urban Decay- eye shadow primer, liquid eyeliners
Yves Saint Laurent- eye shadow duo and singles, luminizing powders