Saturday, January 2, 2010

My Top Products of 2009

Even though 2009 seemed to fly by, I managed to buy and try a lot of new items! Some of these products debuted in 2009, others were just new to me, but all became favorites over the course of the year. I'd love to hear what you loved in 09!
  1. Rock and Republic Snakeskin Eye Shadow- I fell in love with Rock and Republic Cosmsetics in 2009 and am very sad to see that the line is on the way out. My only consolation is that I was able to stock up on some things when they were on sale at Hautelook and the items are so large they'll likely last forever! Their Rumor mousse blush and Call Me powder blush quickly became staples, but Snakeskin stole my heart! It's a gorgeous murky smokey khaki olive green with shimmer that really enhances my green eyes (I'm a big fan of green shadows and liners on green eyes). If you spot Snakeskin, grab it!
  2. Kate Somerville Exfolikate Gentle- I was always a fan of manual exfoliation until I tried this. I initially purchased the regular Exfolikate but found that it really irritated my sensitive skin, leaving it raw and red even if I left it on only a few seconds. I was hesitant to try this but am so glad I did. I hate the price tag ($65 for just 2 oz) but Exfolikate Gentle leaves my skin clear and glowing by gently removing the dead surface layer of skin on my face. Three minutes twice a week and all of my other skin care products work better!
  3. Bobbi Brown Cream Lip Color in Baby- While I'm not the biggest fan of the formula (it's on the thick side and yet doesn't last long), the color is the closest I've come to a Holy Grail. The Bobbi Brown website calls it an "icy nude pink" but I'd call it a warm, natural peachy pink with shimmer. This lipstick seems to go with every look and brightens my face but not in that "I'm wearing lipstick" way. I reach for it all of the time and will repurchase once it's gone.
  4. Nude Skincare Facial Cleansing Wash- Organic, free of harsh and toxic ingredients and leaves my skin smooth, clean, and breakout-free. This cleanser is gently foaming, removes makeup well, it doesn't strip and the bottle lasts forever. What more could you ask for in a cleanser?
  5. Julie Hewett Cheekies- Julie Hewett Cheekies are firm-textured cream blushes that come in pot and palette form. These look so natural on the skin and the Cheekie palette is great for travel. The shades have a translucency to them that makes your cheeks look like the color is naturally coming from within, and they work well on their own and with a powder blush or highlighter layered over top for more color or shimmer. All of the colors are lovely though Destiny is my favorite! (clockwise from top left: Peachie, Jami, Destiny, Natural).
  6. Benefit Fawn Over Me Velvet Eye Shadow- an incredibly textured, highly pigmented dark beige shadow that's perfect alone for a quick everyday look but also makes a fabulous shimmery base for a smokey look. This shadow is super versatile and is an ideal item to pack when going on a trip and space is limited since it goes with so many different looks. This has to be the smoothest, creamiest powder shadow I've felt.
  7. Custom Prescriptives Gloss- I had a Prescriptives lip gloss custom blended for me at Bergdorf Goodman and I have to say it's fabulous. I highly recommend getting this done before the line is gone for good at the end of this month not only because of the ability to custom blend the shade and select a scent, but because the formula is smooth and not at all sticky. I opted for a peachy pink with a tropical fruit scent but the possibilities are really endless when you're blending your own. You can choose the shade, the finish, the scent and from different colored frosts and shimmers.
  8. Red Flower Ocean Body Wash- this body wash in absolutely incredible. The Cove at Atlantis in the Bahamas stocks guest rooms with the Red Flower Ocean line, and when I returned home from my stay there I had to immediately order full sizes of the products, my favorite of which is this body wash. It smells exactly like the ocean--a little salty, a little briny, and very fresh and earthy. I find the scent very relaxing and I can't get enough! It's wonderful to shower with after a long, stressful day (but be careful--it will make you long for the beach!). This scent is also available in a candle, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion. To boot, the product is organic and free of parabens, SLS, petrochemicals, dyes and synthetic preservatives.
  9. Lancome Erika F Shadow- This unusual and elusive shadow never fails to elicit compliments. It's a taupey olivey green with silver shimmer and tiny shimmer particles that are more subtle that glitter but dance and catch the light much more than traditional shimmer. I usually wear it from lash line up into the crease and apply a very very thin line of Lancome Artliner in Star Shower followed by several coats of mascara. It creates the fastest dramatic smokey eye but because it's not a deep dark shade, it's equally appropriate at work. Unfortunately it's not available in the US, but it pops up on Strawberrynet from time to time, both on it's own and in the Escapade Champetre quad.(with flash)(without flash)
  10. Sephora Flat Blush Brush 42- this uniquely shaped brush is perfect if you have a small face or cheek area or just prefer a smaller blush brush more more controlled or pigmented application. It doesn't shed and is very reasonably priced at just $22. It's become my favorite blush brush.
  11. Hourglass Extreme Sheen High Shine Lip Glosses- I always avoided lip gloss until I discovered these this year. The colors are beautiful and the texture is outstanding--completely and totally not sticky but with a decent lasting power. Some of the shades are sheer and others pack more of a punch. I find that 4 of 10 shades are extremely similar (in the pink-beige-brown family) but all are wearable with a delectable cake batter scent. The glosses are paraben-free and very moisturizing. The downside is that they cost $28 a piece but in my opinion they're worth it and can turn even a gloss-phobe like me into a glossophile! (Left to right: Ignite, Truth, Origami, Lush)
  12. Laura Geller Baked Blush and Highlighter in Como/Portofino- I got pulled in by a late night Laura Geller demonstration on QVC and ordered this pretty baked duo. Admittedly I don't use the Portofino Highlighter often (it's the champagne shimmery wedge at the top of the pan) but the Como blush has become a staple. I love that it's sheer and has a luminosity to it so it layers fabulously over cream blushes and the shade is perfection-a subtle warm pink that would be impossible to mess up and has to look great on everyone. The swirls of color are also so pretty just to look at!
  13. Korres Deep Color Mascara- I try to apply mascara as close to the roots of my lashes as possible since I have naturally blonde lashes, but I noticed that in doing so I inevitably get a little bit of mascara right on the underside of my eyelid. Given all of the chemicals and harsh preservatives typically in mascara, I went in search of a more natural, gentle alternative since some was actually getting in my eyes. I purchased the Korres on a whim since I hadn't heard much hype around the line and am so glad I did. For a "natural" mascara, this provides incredible length, color and fullness without leaving my lashes crunchy or spikey. I don't notice any damage or lashes falling out either like I used to with other mascaras. This does not contain parabens, GMOs, sulfates, mineral oil, petrochemicals, propylene glycol, synthetic dyes or fragrances or ethanolomines. It does tend to dry out on the quicker side but it's a small price to pay in my opinion for such a great product.
  14. Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Forest Shimmer Ink- I generally prefer liquid eyeliner to gel liners because I think they're quicker to apply, you don't need a separate brush, and they don't dry out the way gel liners in pots can, but this shade is so fabulous I purchased it anyway. It's a deep dark forest green with gold shimmer with none of the cool blue tones that Bobbi's Hunter Ink has. Once it's on it last all day and really brings out my green eyes. I love the way the gold shimmer catches the light.
  15. Origins Peace of Mind On the Spot Relief- I am definitely a high-stress person! Whether it's work, my personal life or simply the intensity of living in NYC (being packed into subway cars like sardines with icky people you'd otherwise never let near you, trying to get through the throngs of tourists walking slowly and holding hands down 5th Avenue, realizing that you're paying $2.50 for a small can of corn at the grocery store or enduring crazy noisy neighbors above you), I always feel like I need a vacation! This tiny little bottle holds a miracle potion inside that not only relieves stress, but helps with my migraines and creates a cooling tingle on hot humid days. The combination of peppermint and other essential oils is deeply calming and therapeutic. I warm two tiny dabs between my index and middle fingers and apply to the back of my neck and my temples. In just a minute you start to inhale the herbal blend and feel the coolness start to soothe. I keep one at home, one at my desk at work, one in my purse and I even have one for travel. It's inexpensive, the bottle lasts a long time and most importantly, it works!


  1. Hey! I have been craving Benefit's Fawn Over me so badly... every time I swatch it, its love... sigh.. But I feel like I shouldn't just go out and get it, I need a coupon code to justify the purchase-- like I *need* another eyeshadow!!!

  2. LOL Lakshmi! But it is a great neutral and hey, it's cheaper than Edward Bess!



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