So, for my first post instead of looking forward to the all the great places I'm going to go with this blog, I take a look at the past year and the great and the good products that made 2009 a little better for me.
1. Benefit's Posietint ($28)
Everyone raved about Benefit's Benetint, the sweet little liquid blush that started out as nipple tint (what, you didn't know that? Yes, of course you did!). But who knew that Posietint would take the basic concept and make it prettier, more natural, more "wow, you look really healthy, happy, and glowing" than the original? This blush is the perfect natural color, with no shimmer, and super easy application (three daps from the brush, a quick rub and you're done), that it literally goes with every look you can do. It's you, but a little better.
2. The Miracle Worker ($85)
Yeah, I know what you're thinking. $85? Really? Do you think I'm made of money, that I can go dropping that kind of cash on skincare? But I swear, I can convince you. Firstly, it's good value - the whole kit is valued at $156, and you get a bunch of full sized products in the kit. Secondly, it is the best skin I've had in my life. No joke, The Miracle Worker truly lives up to it's name. The first time I used the microdelivery peel, I had the most amazingly baby soft skin I actually asked random people to feel my face because it was so smooth. And I'm a shy British person - we don't do that! The Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash helps keep that skin silky smooth all week, and Hope in a Jar is a great balanced moisteriser - easily absorbed but rich enough to look after my skin even in the cold weather. I'm already considering getting a back up of this kit in case it truly is limited edition as Sephora says.
3. Kiehls Soy Milk and Honey Body Scrub ($27.50)
This product has been around for decades, I'm sure, but I only discovered this last year, hence it making my hits of the year list. It has a thick, gritty paste consistency, and smells absolutely heavenly - milk and honey. I use this once a week with Kiehls's Creme de Corps and it makes my skin feel so amazingly silky smooth. I actually look forward to "scrub day" (Saturday mornings, since you asked), when I get to rub myself all over with this yummy paste.
4. MAC's Style Black Collection
I have to admit that this MAC collection had me counting down the days until it launched, and I actually went to two different MAC stores during NY's Fashion Night Out so I could preview the products. I'm a sucker for black smokey make up anyway, with messy black eyeliner being my default night time look, and this collection took that to the next level. The Greasepaint product made a rocking black base product, but actually I like it best for a thick, messy, smokey eyeliner. For an amazing look that requires frequent checking, add some gloss (MAC have a gloss product, but I also like Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Cream) for a slick, rock chick eye. I picked up three out of the four shadows - Young Punk, Blue Flame, and Cinderfella which were black with purple glitter, blue glitter, and gold respectively. Yes, the mineral factor meant that they had major fallout issues, but mixed with water, oooooh, the black, the glitter, the intensity. Swoon. Angry teenager all the time. And, maybe even most surprisingly, the black lipgloss proved to be surprisingly wearable, adding a neutral darkness to your natural lipcolor. Two products let me down though - though the rest of the beauty world adored the two Volcanic Ash skin products (a thermal mask and scrub), they kind of left me cold (boom boom!)
5. Essie Chinchilly ($8)
Wow. It's not often a nail varnish really captures my attention. Until I came across Chinchilly, I had worn navy or dark red almost consistently for the last year. Chinchilly is concrete gray, and makes for a perfect edgy neutral. I know, neutrals aren't really edgy by default, but this is awesome - it demands a second glance without dominating or detracting. I can wear this confidently to the office or or a glam night out, certain that my nails are both appropriate and memorable at each.
6. Anastasia Tinted Brow Gel ($21)
Since we're new here, I guess I shouldn't give away too much about myself just yet, but let's just say that my eyebrows and my attention to brows is not my strong suite. In fact, this year was also my first visit to a brow salon. But this product has taken my terrible, patchy, weird bush brows, and made them look sleek and strong. For that, I am ever thankful.
7. Sephora Double-Ended Winged Brush ($18)
I am not talented at that gorgeous sleek cat eyes winged liner. But somehow, this brush takes over my hand and makes it happen for me. And the thick end is great for smoking out your liner, or, as I frequently use it for, drawing thick shadow liner on my upper and lower lashline.
8. MAC Limited Edition Eye Shadows in Smoke and Diamonds, Silverthorn, and Style Snob ($14 each)
I bought a lot of eye shadows this year, but I'm picking these three out as my favorite limited edition picks (Style Black aside). Smoke and Diamonds is this amazing grey taupey color which is super rich and pigmented. It can used to darken the crease on a neutral work safe eye, or to make a super glam dark eye. Such a sophisticated color. Silverthorn, from what I remember, didn't get a lot of attention when it was released as part of the Rose Romance collection, but I just adore the greeny sheen to this mid tone grey - it just makes it look a little different to your standard grey shadow. I picked it up on a random impulse the day before my wedding when I had no idea what make up to do (I know, don't ask!), and though I didn't use it on my wedding, I use it a lot with Satin Taupe (everyone needs this shadow) as a gorgeous simple but stunning eye. My last limited edition pick shadow is Style Snob, which is a light taupe from the Starflash collection. Like Smoke and Diamonds (same collection), it is super rich, super dense, and a lot of fun to play with. It is a lighter taupe than Satin Taupe, and makes a great memorable neutral eye. It has a slight pink tone to it, and so I haven't done this yet, but I'm sure it could work well with a pink eye to make something rosey and fun.
So there you have it, my top 8 of this year. I'm sure you have some favorites too, some things you've discovered which you absolutely cannot live without, and I'd love to hear about them. Add them in the comments, and I'll be sure to check them out.