Happy New Year!
Picking out the best beauty products of the year is even more complicated than doing the same for perfume (which actually required a second post in 2012). Last year I couldn't even be bothered to go through my notes, files, and older reviews to come up with a list, but this time I decided to keep things short and sweet and not to bother with release dates. I'll just list the products I added to my routine in 2012, and loved/used most often.
I tested and experimented more than was good for me (and had the chemical burn to show for it), but three things made the most difference for my skin:
1. Best Face Forward Natural Serum Oil - I don't ever want to be without it.
2. Paula's Choice Resist series, and especially the Retinol Serum (which can be used over the BFF oil).
3. Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Sleeping Mask- This clear mask fights dryness like nothing else.
1. Tom Ford blushes. Despite my initial resentment towards the branding and marketing I couldn't ignore the exquisite texture and finish of Tom Ford blushes. I bought two: Love Lust and Wicked, and now hope for more. Add to that the wonderful Tom Ford cheek brush and you're all set.
2. Dior Grege eye shadow quint. Many palettes and eye shadow sets competed for attention and storage space. It's hard, but if I had to choose just one it'd be this set of elegant neutrals.
3. More Dior: the resurrection of the Diorific lipstick range. I love everything about it, from the packaging to the revamped formula.
4. YSL Effet Faux Cils Long-Wear Cream Eyeliners might have been released in late 2011, but they've dominated the scene in 2012. I've been collecting them.
5. Serge Lutens Compact Foundation. Like nothing else I know.
Dior makes an appearance again with the colors from Le Grand Bal holiday 2012 collection. I also bought and loved several of the re-releases from Rescue Beauty Lounge. I promise to show and review them soon.
Favorite Multiple Item Release:
1. Ellis Faas added seven new shades to her Creamy Eyes range. All of them are exceptional and inspiring, with E117 (navy blue) being my favorite.
2. Shiseido Lacquer Rouge- Velvet finish liquid lipsticks were one of the biggest trends of 2012. Shiseido's nearly perfect formula and range of flattering colors made Lacquer Rouge a favorite.
Most Fascinating Collection:
While not all the items in NARS Andy Warhol Collection for Holiday 2012 were of excellent and even quality, the collection itself from concept to packaging was nothing short of stunning. There's no doubt that NARS took it too far in terms of size and distribution (too many items, too many store exclusives), it was wonderful to see a company do something so ambitious and cohesive.
Quality and performance of makeup brushes has finally become an important topic of conversation for cosmetics aficionados. Several big companies redesigned their existing lines (Chanel in 2011, YSL and Dior in 2012 and lately even Sephora), and Tom Ford set a new standard for luxury brushes. Japanese brush maker Hakuhodo increased the number of products offered online and has gained a cult favorite status. Hakuhodo Kokutan is probably my favorite brush range from the company that's been my chosen indulgence for some years now, and I admit I cannot get enough. In 2012 I also added a bunch of other Japanese brushes to my collection, Suqqu and Chikuhodo. I adore both and wish they were easier to obtain online and in the USA.
Which brings us to my beauty dreams. After all, two of my biggest fragrance wishes came true in 2012 as Dior Collection Privee arrived at Bergdorf Goodman and Serge Lutens exclusive bell jars became available at Barneys and online. So, why not dream big when it comes to beauty?
1. Suqqu. If I could get only one luxury Japanese cosmetics brand to open a counter in NYC it would be Suqqu. Yes, we can jump through a hoops and /or pay a substantial markup to import the makeup and brushes from either Japan or the UK; however, the privilege to visit a counter, play with the treasures in person and get a makeover from a specialist is priceless.
2. A direct online channel to purchase Chikuhodo brushes. Don't they realize there's a hungry market here?
3. Shu Umeura. Baby, come back! I'm willing to forgive the awful Dora the Explorer collection if I can get a Shu makeup artist to do my makeup again.
4. A local brick-and-mortar store that stocks French pharmacy/drugstore products. We can get just about everything online, but one of the main draws of French pharmacies are availability. They can be found on every street corner in Paris, so for the French there's no need to plan ahead and stock up on Bioderma.
What were your favorite beauty discoveries in 2012? What are your beauty wishes?
Wishing you a happy New Year, full of happiness, health, love, and kittens (if you want them).