Not everything released in the past year was impressive, and some products were downright disappointing! When I worked on compiling this list, I thought about cringe-worthy products; ones that I can’t wrap my head around at all. These are products that truly disappointed me with their performance and quality. Every single brand mentioned below has products I love but not every product can be a winner.
- Make Up For Ever Technicolor Eyeshadow Palette — a brand famous for intense pigmentation yet this palette was released with sheer, chalky, powdery color galore
- Estee Lauder Steel Pure Color Stay-on Shadow Paint — how Estee Lauder managed to bungle a cream eyeshadow formula when there are several cult favorites within the ELC family is beyond me–and Steel was so, so intriguing
- Illamasqua ESP Lipstick — talk about a cool color done so poorly–dry, drying, and patchy
- Chanel Mystere (43) Eyeshadow Quad — a sheer, powdery, dry mess of an eyeshadow palette
- Laura Mercier Longwear Creme Eye Pencil — a new eyeliner formula that I tested and the majority of the shades were so sheer and stiff to work with
- Marc Jacobs Beauty Irresistible Shameless Bold Blush — an extremely poor showing for such a highly anticipated brand (and one that does have high quality formulas, just not this one)
- MAC Pastelluxe Veluxe Pearlfusion Eyeshadow Palette — I have no idea how this made it past teesting at all, let alone why MAC made the entire formula permanent from the very beginning (why didn’t that happen with Megametals? Those were awesome!)
- Sugarpill ElektroCute Neon Pigments — as much as I love Sugarpill, I was beyond excited for these and highly anticipated the release but was sorely disappointed with their performance
- Chanel True Blue (57) Stylo Yeux — one of the more painful eyeliners I’ve had tried
- Benefit Fine One One — disappeared after three hours and was difficult to apply; made my lips shrivel up and cry it was so drying as a lip product
What were the most disappointing beauty products you tried this past year?
I went through all of the blushes I’ve reviewed in 2013, which was around 200 in total, and these were some of my very, very favorites. I could have given you a much longer list, so when there was just a really amazing formula, I limited myself to picking just one shade, but I’ve included a link to the formula itself where you can also check out other shades available! Naturally, as these are my personal favorites, you’ll likely notice a warmer tone to most, plus an inclination towards coral… I cannot tell a lie: I love coral blushes!
- Chanel Presage (62) Le Blush Creme de Chanel — a warm-toned, medium-dark orange with a hint of pink, but I loved every single shade released in this formula (see them all here!)
- Illamasqua Peaked Velvet Blusher — an amazing cream-to-powder formula in a cool-toned berry-pink
- Kevyn Aucoin Natura Pure Powder Glow — or take your pick, as the formula was incredibly consistent and fantastic; Natura is a soft, medium brown with rose and peach tints
- NARS Boy Don’t Cry High Voltage Blush — an intensely pigmented coral-red that was as gorgeous to look at in the pan as it was applied
- Burberry Coral Pink Light Glow Natural Blush — a dark pink with a hint of coral and warmth and a soft, satiny finish
- MAC Ripe for Love Blush — a medium coral-orange with a satiny sheen
- Chanel Accent (84) Joues Contraste — a softened, medium-dark rosy brown with neutral-to-warm undertones
- Givenchy It-Girl Purple Le Prisme Blush — a light-medium, cool-toned pink with a hint of lilac and a barely-there satin finish
- Benefit Rockateur Box o’ Powder — a mix of pink, beige, and brown with warm undertones and a satiny finish–almost rose gold as described
- NARS Taj Mahal — bold, vibrant orange with a hint of red and a golden sheen–one of many choices as I reviewed most of the permanent shades from NARS this past year
What were your favorite blushes this year? What makes your top ten? (Or top five!)
I love a good finishing powder. I love an ethereal, lit-from-within glow. There is a very high likelihood of me trying any new formulas or shades that hit the market–I’m just a total fiend for them. I can’t wait to see what 2014 brings in this department!
- Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder — easily one of the most talked about new formulas this past year, it delivered as a beautiful finishing powder–plus, 50 users reviews and still maintaining a 4.5 average!
- Kevyn Aucoin The Celestial Skin Liquid Illuminating Emulsion — since I first started testing it, I’ve been reaching for this nearly everyday to mix with foundation
- Illamasqua Supernatural Gleam Highlighting Cream — a gorgeous, shimmering bronze highlight
- Tom Ford Fire Lust Skin Illuminator — absolutely love this peachy-pink mixed into foundation or patted onto high planes of the face
- Kevyn Aucoin Candlelight The Celestial Powder — a pale, golden beige with soft warm undertones and an ethereal glow
- NARS Nico Blush — a pale, subtly warm-toned beige with a satiny sheen–perfect for a subtle highlight
- Giorgio Armani No. 10 Fluid Sheer — a warm, golden bronze with very, very fine shimmer to give a dewy sheen on the skin
- Becca Rose Gold Shimmering Skin Perfector (Pressed) — a rosy, golden copper with a frosted, slightly metallic sheen for a pronounced highlight
- Guerlain Crazy Meteorites Radiance Powder — fell in love with this holiday’s finishing powder–and I fell hard!
- NARS Translucent Crystal Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder — for a smooth, flawless canvas
What highlighters and finishing powders have you been reaching for in 2013?
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.
- Cult Nails Masquerade Nail Lacquer — so, so multi-dimensional with its gold to rose gold to magenta to green coloring and micro-glitter
- Chanel Taboo Le Vernis — a striking, dazzling deep, dark purple that sparkles and catches light like crazy
- Marc Jacobs Beauty Petra (140) Enamored Hi-Shine Lacquer — a cool-toned, purplish-gray taupe with copper and bronze metallic shimmer
- Dior Diablotine (643) Vernis — something about this bold, warm-toned red and its flecks of sparkle captured my attention so, so fiercly this year
- OCC Black Metal Dahlia Nail Lacquer — it’s a ridiculous deep, dark metallic red with so much depth
- Illamasqua Facet Nail Varnish — taupe with flecks of copper and molten gold sparkle and shimmer–couldn’t even come close to duping this
- Cult Nails Faded Nail Lacquer — a flawless, pale cool-toned gray cream–so difficult to this well
- Color Club Beyond Nail Lacquer — a soft black with holographic shimmer (and all of the accompanying Color Club holographic shades were beyond fantastic, too)
- Urban Decay Zodiac Nail Color — I fell head-over-heels for this smoky, forest green with flecks of sparkle and shimmer
- Zoya Amy Nail Lacquer — a glowing–truly, it just felt like it was illuminated from within–reddish-orange with molten gold sparkle
What were your favorite polishes you tried this past year?
One of my favorite colors of all-time is emerald green. It has so much depth, and I love that it can be cooler or warmer and be so, so different.
- Zoya Logan — a very cool-toned, glittering emerald green polish
- Milani Green Safari — an amazing emerald green cream eyeshadow that can be used as eyeliner or as a base
- Illamasqua Violate — because I can’t have a list that doesn’t include an emerald green lip color
- Zoya Holly — vibrant, warm-toned emerald green
- Make Up For Ever #80 — a smoky, slightly blackened emerald green eyeshadow
Have you worn any emerald green beauty products before?
If I had to pick one product, Illamasqua’s Nail Varnish would be my very, very favorite, but I really like quite a few of their formulas. Their polishes wear exceptionally long on me (fourteen days with just minor tip wear) and come in a variety of shades.
- Illamasqua Velvet Blusher — long-wearing, highly pigmented cream-to-powder blush; can’t wait until they have more shades
- Illamasqua Nail Varnish — one of the best nail lacquers on the market; favorites include Obsess (pictured), Raindrops, Creator
- Illamasqua Intense Lipgloss — for really opaque lipgloss, this is a good bet! Love shades like Belladonna (pictured), Hermetic, Move
- Illamasqua Eyeshadow — they have a particularly lovely matte formula that’s richly pigmented, blendable, and soft; recommendations include Sadist (pictured), Burst, Fledgling
- Illamasqua Cream Blusher — cream blush with a lovely, natural finish and nice color payoff; one of my favorites is Seduce (pictured)
What are your favorite Illamasqua products?