Without further ado, here are my top favorite products that I actually tried or have discovered in 2011. This is in no particular order. These products made me feel excited to do my makeup or nails these part 12 months. Here goes!
1. MAC Kissable Lipcolour in Flaunting It
MAC Kissable Lipcolour in Exxxhibitionist, So Vain, Scan-delicious, Flaunting It, Super
Wearing Flaunting It Kissable Lipcolour
The Kissable Lipcolour actually came out late last year as part of the Peacocky collection, but it was early this year that I started to really enjoy these. I like this new formula because these operate more like liquid lipsticks- they have real nice pigmentation and are opaque - and they are not sticky at all! They pamper the lips and they don't give too much tacky shimmer - just nice creamy formula that also imparts shine. When these dry on the lips, they look and feel like lipsticks. I am so in love with Flaunting It, a rose-purple color, that I got a back up of it. Super duper love it to bits.
2. MAC Mehr Lipstick from the Mickey Contractor Collection
Mehr lipstick (center)
Mehr is one of just a handful of lipsticks that I can remember truly loving in 2011. This suits my complexion very well. It is described as a dirty blue pink, but it looks like there's a tinge of old rose tones in it. Beautiful shade. I hope to get a back up of this, but this is very hard to find, as not only was it limited edition, but it came out in a collection that was not widely available and only launched in a few select MAC stores.
3. MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder/Pressed
This is my everyday staple. I use it all over my face after I apply my foundation and concealer. It sets the makeup and makes me look fresh and seals the foundation in place. It feels really light and it looks great in photos; it makes my pores appear smaller and it also blurs imperfections. I also like that it is a pressed powder. I usually use loose finishing powders, but this is a godsend as it is in a compact so it is less messy to use.
4. Bare Escentuals READY Pressed Eyeshadows
Dream Sequence quad, Grand Finale duo
If you love eyeshadows, you gotta try these, really. These are super buttery, very pigmented, and glide like a dream on the skin. You will fall in love with how saturated these shadows are. They also last a really long time on the lids with pretty good staying power with a good base. These shadows are infused with Bare Escentuals' proprietary Sea Nutritive Mineral Complex, composed of positively charged sea minerals from nutrient-rich algae and seaweed. As with all Bare Escentuals shadows, these new READY shadows are free of binders, fillers, parabens and harsh chemicals.
5. Orly Mineral FX Nail Polish
These are just 3 of the six nail polishes from this collection, but you can see how beautifully saturated the shades are, and they are truly outstanding in color and finish.
6. Fingerpaints Special Effects Flakie Topcoat Collection
Flashy, Flecked, Twisted, Asylum, Motley
Flashy, Flecked, Twisted, Asylum, Motley over Wet n Wild Black Creme
Flashy over black creme
Flecked over black creme
These will come out January 1st at Sally Beauty Supply stores, but I got these early so this is part of my 2011 faves. They all have the flakies (hence they look very similar in the bottles), but the colors of the flakies differ once applied over a base, and the darker the base, the better you can see the nuances of the flakies. They are great for layering and the flakies look different depending on the color of the flakies and the background polish. They sometimes look like glowing embers, or fall leaves, or glowing crystals. Very pretty.
7. XL Nail Stamp Image Plates
XL plate A
XL plate D
XL plate B
XL plate D
If you don't know what these are, these are image plates that you use for Konad or any other system of nail stamp art. As you can see, these image plates are HUGE. They have amazing patterns and will fit even the longest of nails (provided they're not the extremely long ones!). I LOVE the fact that these can be used to make funky French tips (see the half-moon edges), but the huge images let you apply the designs on the entire nailbed as well. I got these at magnonails.de (It's in German but just have Google translate it; they ship to the U.S. and they can do Paypal transactions).
8. Tarte Amazonian Clay Brow Mousse
Amazonian Clay Brow Mousse in Medium Brown (left)
I bought the Amazonian Clay Brow Mousse as part of the Tarte Amazonian Clay 6-Piece Passport to the Amazon set from QVC.com. This is what I've been using on my brows the entire 2011. This is my holy grail brow product. First of all, I have never heard of a brow mousse till I came across this set. This stuff is amazing. It easily fills in the brows, glides like butter on the hairs and gives a very natural-looking color and texture. The wax in the product also sets the hairs in place.
9. Estee Lauder Modern Mercury Pure Color Eyeshadows and Illuminating Powder Gelee, and Pure Color Cyber Eyes
Platinums, Black Chrome
Modern Mercury Illuminating Powder Gelee
Pure Color Cyber Eyes in Cyber Teal
I like the Modern Mercury eyeshadows because they are quite rich and pigmented, and the color-coordinated duos are great for travel. As for the Modern Mercury Illuminating Powder Gelee and Pure Color Cyber Eyes, Estee Lauder revolutionized the modern powder eye shadow and highlighter. The new, limited edition Pure Color Gelée Powder EyeShadows include a first-to-market, “tribrid” system that changes the way makeup can be worn, wet or dry, for an application and wear that revolutionizes the current eyeshadow category. The “tribrid” Prisma Shine™ technology is an all-in-one liquid, powder and gel that creates a texture that is bouncy and malleable for an eyeshadow that smooths on like molten metal for an extreme sheen. The shadow retains its unique structure and texture after coming into contact with a wet or dry brush. I like that I can use a powder shadow both wet and dry, as we know that moisture usually ruins a pressed powder shadows. Not so with these new products from Estee Lauder.
I love the Modern Mercury Illuminating Powder Gelee because it is so breathtaking both in the compact and when worn. The wave pattern in the compact is downright mesmerizing, and the product provides a beautiful glazed sheen on the skin that is both subtle and dramatic.
10. China Glaze Eye Candy 3-D Glitter Collection
China Glaze Eye Candy 3-D Glitters Collection
Lorelei's Tiara, Material Girl, Blonde Bombshell
Material Girl, Blonde Bombshell, Marry a Millionaire, Some Like it Haute
Some Like it Haute, Love Marilyn
Somewhere deep in all of us lies a craving for bling. China Glaze satisfies this through their Eye Candy 3-D Glitters collection. This is a collection inspired by Marilyn Monroe, and I love the contrasting hex, round, and micro glitters in each bottle.
11. Maybelline Lasting Drama by Eye Studio Gel Liner
As I mentioned in my review, I didn't think that drugstore gel liners would be on par with department store ones, but I was sorely mistaken. I tried Maybelline's Lasting Drama gel liner and I was impressed by how saturated it looks on the skin. It rivals really popular gel liners in quality and ease in application. It glides like butter on the skin, doesn't apply patchy or splotchy, and does not budge for hours.
12. MAC Sonoran Rain Lipglass
Wearing Sonoran Rain
Wearing MAC Sonoran Rain
And of course, last but definitely not the least, the pièce de résistance. My baby, my pride, my joy, my creation- the MAC Sonoran Rain lipglass from the MAC Bloggers' Obsessions Collection. To make a long story short, last January, I was invited by MAC Cosmetics to submit a creative concept for an eyeshadow and/or a lipglass for an upcoming MAC Bloggers' Collection. We were asked to fill out the submission form outlining shade concepts for the eye and lip products. In addition, we were also encouraged to submit images/collages to accompany the submission form to further depict the inspiration for the shades. I knew what I wanted to create - a shade that would depict the wonderful golds, reds and corals of the lonely and majestic desert landscape which is my home.
I submitted my lipglass and eye shadow creative concepts and in late March, I was informed by MAC Cosmetics that my lipglass shade was chosen as part of the MAC Bloggers' Obsession Collection! I was over the moon with excitement. In mid-April, I flew to Toronto with eight other beauty bloggers to tour the MAC production facilities, and also to confer with the MAC chemists as we created our own shade. It was like a Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory experience for us - truly magical. I am grateful to the MAC team for warmly welcoming us, and just for the amazing opportunity of creating our own MAC product.
So there you have it, my Top 12 products of 2011. It has been an amazing year, and I am looking forward to more beauty blogging in 2012. Happy new year to all!
Note: some of the products have been provided by a representative of the brand for consideration. All opinions are completely mine.