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Top 10 of 2013: Best Eyeshadows (Cream & Powder)

When it comes to eyeshadows, by and large, most of the ones covered these days are found in palettes! There are definitely plenty of reviews of singles, but palettes outnumber them easily. To compile this list, though, I only think it’s fair to focus on the singles (that’s why there’s a whole top ten for palettes, so they’re not left out!) that made my heart pitter-patter and go all aflutter.  As always, I tried to go across formulas and colors, picking the best of the best, though I couldn’t help myself from choosing two from Dior’s new cream formula.

What eyeshadows captured your attention this past year?

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Top 10 of 2013: Best Nail Lacquers

I have to admit: this was a complete challenge. In fact, it felt unfair trying to narrow down favorites to a mere ten when I was considering around 300 different shades from the past year. As what tends to happen when I start to feel indecisive, I went for favorites across brands and weighted uniqueness slightly more heavily than other factors. But there were some really outstanding formulas released this year! At year-end, I have to give major props to Cult Nails and OCC, both of which had a lot of contenders.

What were your favorite polishes you tried this past year?

Top 10 of 2013: Best Makeup Palettes

Choosing my top ten favorite palettes from the ones I tested and reviewed in 2013 was a lot more difficult than I anticipated! To give you an idea on how stiff the competition was, there were 128 reviews filed under “makeup palettes,” so you can see there were plenty to choose from! (And if you were curious, I have 1,261 posts filed under “reviews,” and the majority of those posts feature more than one shade, for the past year.) I considered which ones gave me warm, fuzzy feelings, that were high quality, and that I could really reach for over and over again. With those things in mind, here are my favorites…

What were your favorite palettes that you tried this past year?

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Dior Darling (653) and Trafalgar (657) Vernis Nail Enamel

Dior Darling (653) Vernis Nail Enamel
Dior Darling (653) Vernis Nail Enamel

Dior Darling (653) Vernis Nail Enamel ($24.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is a medium-dark pink cream with cool, blue undertones. It was opaque after two coats, and the consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin. The formula applied evenly without pooling along the edges or streaking. It dried down to a naturally shiny finish, though a top coat would give it extra glossiness. Formula X A+ (P, $10.50) is a touch darker. Cult Nails Morning Glory (P, $12.00) is matte. MAC Toco Toucan (LE, $16.00) is bluer-based. MAC Girl About Town (LE, $16.00) is also bluer-based. L’Oreal Members Only (P) is very similar. See comparison swatches

Trafalgar (657) Vernis Nail Enamel ($24.00 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is a medium-dark orange-red with a cream finish. It was intensely pigmented and fully opaque after two coats. The formula was easy to work with, and I didn’t have any issues with it streaking, bubbling, or pooling along the edges. The consistency was slightly thinner than average but worked well. NARS Tomorrow’s Red (LE, $19.00) is similar. MAC Kid Orange (P, $16.00) is a touch lighter. MAC Ablaze (LE, $16.00) is similar. Guerlain Nahema (P, $23.00) is lighter. Chanel Holiday (LE, $27.00) is more orange. Rescue Beauty Lounge Poppy (LE, $20.00) has pearl. China Glaze Life Preserver (LE, $7.50) is similar. Essie Meet Me at Sunset (LE, $8.00) is also similar. See comparison swatches.

Both shades applied well to the nail, and I didn’t have any issues with achieving smooth, even, rich color. If you want to invest in excellent basic shades, you couldn’t go wrong here. On the other hand, if you prefer to purchase more unique shades at this price point, then these two are easily skipped–there are numerous dupes and similar shades on the market. I normally get seven days of wear with very minor tip wear with Dior’s formula. The brush is wider, slightly domed, so if you have narrower nail beds, it may feel too wide. Whenever I use it, I find it to be very easy to use, and the only nail that I have to watch a bit more is my pinky, but it still fits well there.

Dior Vernis Darling (653)
Dior Vernis Trafalgar (657)

5 Dior Beauty Must-Haves

The first Dior product I can remember falling head-over-heels in love with was their Diorskin Shimmer powders, specifically Amber Diamond. I spent a few hours yesterday reorganizing, and after seeing Amber Diamond, plus three others, I was left wondering why Dior hasn’t released any additional shades in so long.

  1. Rouge Dior Couture Colour Voluptuous Care Lipstick is a long-wearing, hydrating, nicely pigmented formula
  2. Diorshow Fusion Mono Eyeshadow — these are my new favorite cream eyeshadow for their pigmentation, shimmer, finish, and wear; favorites include Aventure and Millenium
  3. Dior Vernis — their more recent shades have a wonderful glossy shine and nice color coverage (most of my favorites are limited edition, unfortunately!)
  4. Diorskin Nude — lightweight, light-medium coverage, natural-to-dewy finish
  5. Diorskin Shimmer Star — a lovely all-over highlighter available in a bronze shade (Amber Diamond) or pink shade (Rose Diamond)

What are your favorite Dior products?

Dior Minuit Diorific Lipstick

Dior Minuit Diorific Lipstick
Dior Minuit Diorific Lipstick

Dior Minuit Diorific Lipstick ($36.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “sparkling cool red.” It’s a lightened, medium red with cool, blue undertones and a pink tinge, along with a soft, metallic shimmer. The shimmer is faint, so it has more of an overall effect of giving it a frosted sheen than over-the-top shimmer. MAC Prepare for Pleasure (LE, $15.00) is redder. MAC Relentlessly Red (P, $15.00) is more matte. NARS Luxembourg (P, $25.00) is slightly redder. MAC Love Goddess (LE, $15.00) is a touch pinker. Dior Marilyn (LE, $36.00) is quite similar–just a little darker/redder. See comparison swatches.

The Diorific formula is lightly creamy, richly pigmented, and comfortable to wear. The texture is creamy enough that it won’t pull or drag on the lips, but it stays put and doesn’t bleed or feather outside the natural lip line. Minuit is long-wearing, topping in at seven hours of wear, plus it leaves behind a residual reddish stain. It’s somewhat hydrating while worn, and it’s a really nice formula overall. It is lightly floral scented but has no discernible taste. I wish it wasn’t so close to last year’s holiday release Marilyn, though!

Dior Diorific Lipstick Minuit


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