It has been a full year of beauty exploration and I have been lucky to find some products that I absolutely love. Here’s a Top Ten (in no particular order) of products that have stood out. Some have become part of my daily routine, some have become little treats to myself and all have become something I would highly recommend.
1. Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. If I haven’t raved about this enough, I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. This is such an effective cleanser that literally all you need is a dime-sized amount to take off a full face of makeup. And because you need so little, one bottle can last you at least four months. And it is so gentle on your skin that you can use it whenever you need to.
2. Bare Minerals Foundation and Concealer. Melissa and I discovered Bare Minerals together during an M-n-M Revue of their Beyond Basics set and I haven’t been able to live without it since. My skin looks so much more polished and beautiful when I use it and their Summer Bisque concealer is the only concealer I’ve found that can completely cover my burst capillary.
3. Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler. This was a recent discovery when I used it on set. My lashes were so curled after five seconds that they were touching my eyelid. If you need curl in your lashes, I haven’t found a better curler and I’m not sure if there is one.
4. Mani/Pedi Gift Certificates. Ok, so it’s not really a "product" and I rarely treat myself to a full mani/pedi, but when I do, I always remember how much I love them. And then I try to justify how to get one every week. The cost adds up quickly though, which is why I added "gift certificates" to the end of the description. It is a relatively inexpensive way to pamper yourself and your loved ones. A little luxury goes a long ways these days.
5. Dark Nail Polish. Whether it’s a do-it-yourself day or a trip to the nail salon, dark nails are still hot. And while black was all the rage, now it’s colors with a black base that are stealing the show. I absolutely love this trend - from O.P.I. to Laura Mercier to Chanel, you can find the prettiest shades of dark which somehow brightens my mood.
6. Tweezerman. These tweezers are really worth it - they have the perfect angle, perfect sharpness and perfect tweezability. They make maintaining my brows so much less of a hassle that I get oddly excited when I see a stray hair. I should calm the pluck down…
7. Neutrogena Advanced Solutions Facial Peel. I really liked this product from the first time I used it and now, after using it once a week for over a month, I can tell you that it really does work. My pores seem smaller and the fine lines around my eyes are less noticeable. My skin looks the best it has looked in quite some time.
8. Natural Instincts by Clairol. The second my hair starts to look a little lackluster or dull, I head to the store to pick up some Natural Instincts. I don’t think of it as dying my hair so much as it more like bringing my hair back to life. It adds vibrance and conditions my hair beautifully. And I have much better hair days after using it. And since it’s not permanent color I can really use it every six weeks or so to liven things up.
9. Fresh High Noon Bronzer. Another relatively new discovery of mine, this magically evens out my skin tone and makes using my Bare Minerals foundation unneccesary. It is perfect for when I’m going for a very casual makeup day, like on the weekends, or when I’m running late and only have time to smooth on some High Noon and go. I still have to use my Summer Bisque concealer on trouble spots, but this really cuts down on my "getting ready" time.
10. Vaseline Cocoa Butter Deep Conditioning Lotion. This moisturizes my skin brilliantly and leaves behind the most subtle yummy scent that even my sensitive nose can handle. I keep it in my shower so that it is slightly warmed and so that my skin is slightly damp when I apply it, which helps the lotion to seal in any and all moisture. An everyday staple.
So there you have it! I’d love to hear what your favorite products are - whether they are something you just discovered this year or you’ve been using them since you-can’t-even-remember-when. And if you love or loathe any of my Top Ten, I want to hear about that too!