Monday, December 31, 2007
My Favorite Beauty Items of 2007
2007 was a big year in beauty for me! I started this blog in early 2007, and since that time I have rediscovered my love of nail polish (my collection of colors has grown from about 7 to well over 200), tried a huge number of new products and these are the ones that I've fallen in love with over the past year.
Skin Care was a big thing for me this year, I reviewed the anatomy and physiology of skin as well as reviewing how many product categories work in the Skin Series, and I have to say that my skin is much better now that it was this time last year (with the exception of my Kinerase review).
Bioelements Flash Foam Cleanser is a fantastic gentle cleanser. I use this every morning in my shower. It's gentle enough to apply all over, it doesn't dry out my skin and the citrus scent is fantastic.
This year I was lucky enough to find 2 facial scrubs, where previously I had thought a product appropriate for facial skin did not exist! After using both products, I feel the Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion with it's finer grains is better for those with sensitive skin but Bioelements Pumice Peel would be better suited for those with combination or oily skin.
The new Neutrogena Wave exfoliating machine has just been released, but already I love it! This little hand held machine has quickly integrated itself into my routine, I've been using this machine a few times a week with great results. Simply place the little pads on the velcro surface and run it over your face for a few minutes. It does feel like you aren't doing anything, and should be scrubbing your face harder. However, the results speak for themselves: smooth, radiant skin without redness or irritation!
The Lip Scrub by Sara Happ is one of the ultimate products in terms of pampering and decadence. This scrub works much better than simply brushing your lips, tastes great, and that cute little box doesn't hurt either!
Bioelements Quick Refiner is a gentle gel packed with alpha and beta hydroxy acids. It is a perfect alternative to scrubs, and is gentle enough to use everyday! A little bit goes a long way, and I especially recommend applying it after the Power Peptide to improve application and decrease the amount of product used. This product was definitely the reason I saw such fast results with the change to Bioelements products, and it is always the first one I recommend to friends.
Prevage Anti-Aging Night Cream- This cream is my new favorite night cream. It contains multiple ways of preventing aging, is wonderfully (but not overly) moisturizing. I love the package, this jar prevents exposure to sun and air prolonging the life of the cream. The only downside is the $125 price, but I do feel it is well worth it!
It's easy to add peptides to your nightly routine with Power Peptide, which I love! Just a few spritz on my face and that is it! I particularly love using this before any treatments, since I'm sure to get a more even application and use less product.
Dr. Brandt's Pores No More is likely my favorite new to me product of the year. This is a great primer that not only lessens the appearance of pore, but also dramatically decreases the amount of shine I develop on my skin by the end of the day! This is one of my everyday products and definitely a holy grail product for anyone with a bit too much shine on their t-zone by the end of the day.
This Cetaphil Cream is likely the best moisturizer for anyone with a skin issue, such as dry skin, ezcema or other issues. I find that it works best when applied right after a shower to really help seal in moisture and with it my skin has dramatically improved! There's a reason it is so often recommended by doctors...
Neutrogena's Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask- For years I had used the same deep conditioner, but this Neutrogena product completely blew it away! The mask was fast, really helped strengthen my hair and increase the shine.
Kiehl's Heat-Protective Silk-Straightening Cream- Over the past year or so my hair has become more and more curly, but not quite enough to look good. So, I've had to find ways to help straighten my hair. This cream has been incredibly helpful. When applied to damp hair, it helps my hair stay soft, silky and non-frizzy without creating stickiness. I'm on my third tube already!
The New Max Factor- After my visit with Jake Bailey, Celebrity Makeup Artists for Max Factor, I have to say that I am loving the new revival of the Max Factor Brand. The new glosses, including Secret Rendevous (the perfect red, pictured here), are amazing! The eye liners (I love Green & Bare It and Jean Jacket are both exceptional) are soft enough to use on the entire lid to create long lasting, fast looks. I'm especially looking forward to the Vivid Eyeshadow release in January!
Magic Lash is truly the most versatile of any eye lash product I've ever tried. These little fibers are applied like mascara, and can create incredibly thick and long lashes that are amazing! For me this is not an every day product, but it really delivers when you want to make a statement.
For days that I don't need the Magic Lash lashes, this year was a great year for length and thickness created by a single mascara! My favorites were MAC Plush Lash, Prescriptives False Eyelashes, and Cover Girl Lash Blast.
MAC Studio Fix Foundation came through in a pinch for me earlier this year. I became too pale for my previous foundation, and when I ran to my nearest MAC store I discovered not only a foundation that was the correct color but one that saves me a lot of time each morning. I use this foundation with my Elizabeth Arden Kabuki Brush, and with a few quick sweeps I have perfect skin!
Bobbi Brown's Stonewashed Nudes Palette may look like just any basic eye shadow palette, but I assure that it is not! The colors are buildable, have just the right amount of shimmer when needed and best of all, these shadows go with everything! I find myself using one of these shadows nearly every day.
This year I also finally found a lipstick that I could call a "perfect nude" for me, it is MAC's High Tea, and I have to tell you that I have already used up about a quarter of my tube, so thank goodness this is a "regular" shade, and not limited edition!
The OPI Hollywood Collection was especially fantastic, I bought nearly all of the colors and they rank among my favorites. The Pro-Wide Brush makes the perfect three stroke application possible, while the wear, application and color depth of OPI can not be beat by other brands.
The undisputed favorite cuticle remover of the Makeup Alley Nailboard is Sally Hansen's Instant Cuticle Remover, which only takes about 15 seconds to give you the cuticles of a hand model, no cutting required!
I rediscovered fragrance this year as well! While I used to be a girl that owned many different fragrances, and rarely wore the same scent two days in a row. I'm especially loving scents with amber, bergamot and white floral notes. While I thought that I had issues with patchouli in scents, I've found that as a base note I love it!
A few of my favorite scents this year:
Badgley Mischka Fleurs de Nuit
Bond No. 9 Chinatown
Bond No. 9 Andy Warhol's Silver Factory