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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Makeup Favorites for 2011: A Year of Amazing Products

It's been a good year for makeup. I've tried some really great products this year and as we say hello to 2012, I thought I'd share with you my favorite products of 2011. The following products are broken up into individual categories.

Skin Care Best of 2011:
Philosophy On a Clear Day Clarifying Lotion

I can't be without this product. If you have been scared of retinol in the past for fear of it tearing your face apart, this product is a way for you to reap the benefits of retinol but through a gentle and lightly moisturizing formula. And if you are over 30 and aren't using retinol, you really need to be. I did a whole post on the benefits of retinol so go read it! This product is amazing for keeping your skin clear while the retinol goes to town on your anti-aging concerns. It can be used day or night under your moisturizer. I use it both day and night! When I go without this product, I notice a big difference. The #1 skin care item of 2011 in my book. 

 Hope in a Jar (tube) for Dry Skin SPF 20:

 Unlike the original Hope in a Jar which I didn't care for, this lotion is pink. It  contains a peptide complex and antioxidants to fight off those pesky free radicals. Although it contains an SPF, I use it both day and night. This is the only moisturizer I've found that keeps my dry skin hydrated ALL day long and also wears very nice underneath my foundation. That deserves to be commended.

Hands down, Estee Lauder Doublewear. I wont go into it much because I've written a separate post about it. Suffice it to say its extremely long wearing and doesn't transfer and can pretty much cover up anything on your skin that you aren't a big fan of. The only drawback is that it contains SPF. Why would this be a drawback you ask? Because of the SPF, it can leave a white cast in photos if you have your picture taken.

I have yet to find a concealer that works really well for covering up spots, breakouts, etc. but I have a few that I love for under eye concealing. The #1 under eye concealer in my opinion has been my Hourglass in shade Pearl. It's a stick concealer but its fairly creamy and blends very easily. Honorable mentions go to Tarte Creaseless Concealer and Maybelline Age-Rewind brightener. 

Both products come from Anastasia. The first being the most amazing of the two and its the Anastasia clear brow gel. This stuff really holds the brows in place and feels like it has some kind of glue in the formula because I've tried her tinted brow gel and it didn't work nearly as well. My next pick is the Brow Whiz in shade "medium ash" which is slightly darker than the blonde ash. I like my brows to appear a bit darker than the natural shade of them so this color works well. I despise a brown brow pencil that has a red undertone and this one does not. Plus, the Brow Whiz is different than the original Anastasia brow pencil because it has a fine fine tip and it isn't waxy like the other. 

Eyeshadow Primer:
Photo Credit
A rather boring category but my favorite product of this type is the Urban Decay Primer Potion in Greed, that works like the regular version but has a very subtle gold shimmer that livens up your shadow or works nicely all by itself. I happen to prefer Urban Decay over the Too Faced Shadow Insurance after using them both interchangeably for a while now. 

This is a toughie because there are so  many. But since we are talking about my picks for 2011, I chose the Bare Escentuals Ready eyeshadow as my #1 pick. These shadows are unlike the other loose minerals that BE released first in that they are pressed and in a compact like "normal" eyeshadows. The formula is so nice, and SO easy to blend. For an added bonus, the formula is supposed to have anti-aging properties. I am not quite sure how to measure whether or not that is true but its a nice concept. 

There is no doubt in my mind that Lorac Baked Matte Satin blush takes this category. The colors are beautiful and they are so insanely pigmented. My favorite shades are Velvet Rope and Exposed but they make a super awesome bright bubblegum pink that I adore as well. This blush will seriously last forever because you need only the tiniest amount. 

Every single bronzer I've ever used has broken me out with the exception of Bare Minerals Faux Tan or Warmth (which is too red on me). It's so frustrating. But if I had to pick a favorite that I wish I could use if it didn't break me out, it would definitely be Too Faced Chocolate Soleil, the perfect matte chocolate brown bronzer also smells like chocolate. But the scent is quite funny because it doesn't smell like actual chocolate but rather, a scratch and sniff sticker that smells like chocolate. It brings back fond memories of when I was a kid collecting stickers and I had one that was a Hershey Bar. You probably won't be familiar if you aren't at least 30. 

Smashbox Halo powder. I know, its not a highlight product exactly but since it breaks me out like crazy when I use all over the face (which saddens me because I absolutely love it), I can at least tolerate it on my forehead and cheekbones. It leaves quite a nice understated glow when using it in this way. I had to find another use for it because I truly love it and couldn't give it up completely. 

Lip Primer:
Although it doesn't taste or smell great, I really enjoy the Too Faced Lip Insurance. Simply because, it works. It really provides a great base for your lip product to stick on to and stay put. Honorable mention goes to MAC Prep & Prime Lip primer. It smells much less offensive and does the trick. 

Lip Liner:
I have so many lip liner loves! Being a lip junkie, I have a rather extensive collection of lip liners. My number one favorite is Chanel "natural" which is a beautiful formula and includes a lip brush AND a separate sharpener. My second choice is a drugstore pic, Rimmel Lip liner in East End Snob, the perfect pink. Other favorites include: MAC Subculture, Revlon Colorstay Rose.

Lip Gloss:
The lip categories are the hardest because there are so many favorites. In sticking with the best of this year, I choose MAC Plushglass in Nice Buzz. This is the perfect gloss because it works with everything! It's a very lovely champagne with subtle shimmer but nothing overpowering. If you don't want to change the color of your lipstick, but rather just accentuate if, try Nice Buzz. It's a must have! Another that I love equally is Mally High Shine Lipgloss in Mally's Look. Mally lipgloss is amazing, so shiny and the colors are gorgeous. Not to mention, she won the QVC beauty award for best lipgloss of 2011. Mally's Look is the color that Mally wears daily, its a basic no frills pink but its pretty enough to wear on its own. 

I've saved the best category for last. As you can imagine, I have more than one winner. I've limited myself to five and even that was hard. My favorite all time lipstick, for the fact that it can be worn in so many different ways, is MAC Myth, a very pale nude that may frighten some but if paired with a good liner and gloss is amazing. I wear Myth almost daily. My next pick is Hourglass Velvet Creme Rouge in Grace, the first lipstick I've actually used down to the bottom. This formula is heavenly, so creamy and delicious! And Grace is the kind of warm pink nude that will work on almost everyone. My last pick is Too Faced Centerfold, a pretty mauve shade. The formula on this one is really nice and hydrating and includes shea butter which I enjoy. I've worn the heck out of it this year so it is fitting that it be in my 2011 picks. 

Miscellaneous Picks:

Best of the Drugstore:
-Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Pore Scrub: if my skin gets off track, I use this 2x per day to bring it back on track and clear up clogged pores. Really perfect for sensitive skin because its chalked full of natural ingredients.

-Biore Blemish Fighting Ice Cleanser: A big time love for me. This stuff really wakes you up in the morning and helps to keep breakouts at bay. Also an Allure beauty award winner!

-Revlon Lip Butter in Sugar Cookie: I admit I didn't go hog-wild over these like some people but I really like the Sugar Cookie shade. It's kind of a frosty pale pink that can work as a nude with a dark eye look. Plus, the lip butters do feel pretty good and hydrating which serves as a practical purpose as well. 

-NYC High Definition Volumizing Mascara: I did a post on this a while back if you're interested. I am really impressed by this little under $5 gem because it really does it all!

-Wet N' Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio's: These almost made my eyeshadow winner category for 2011. I have used these so often and am rarely disappointed. These shadows are the softest and most pigmented that the drugstore has to offer and they last just as long as any of my more expensive ones, sometimes longer! WnW never disappoints on shade selection and whether you're looking for a natural look (Walking On Eggshells is my fave) or a wild look, you can find it in these trio's. I have been with WnW since I was around 15 years old, and they've come a LONG way in the quality department. 

That's all for now! Thanks for reading and sticking with me in 2011! As this year comes to a close, I want to thank all of my readers for their support and comments. And if you aren't signed up to follow me, get to it because I have a fantastic giveaway coming up around the corner for one of my followers! 

Want some great new eyeshadow? Enter to win the brand new, sold out, Urban Decay Naked2 Palette! Sign up to follow my blog, and click the link below!

Unnatural Beauty: A Humorous and Opinionated Beauty Blog: Kicking off 2012 With A Giveaway.. The Urban Decay Naked2 Palette! 


  1. Excellent choices! When I need a new eye primer, I am going to go for the Urban Decay primers. Also, I love the new photos you added to your side bar!