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?
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…
- Urban Decay Naked3 Eyeshadow Palette — nicely pigmented, rosy-themed palette that I loved and will definitely be traveling with in the future
- Laura Mercier Artist’s Palette for Eyes — it’s no surprise that this was a favorite, given how difficult it was to track it down, but I loved the plummy vibe and mixture of mattes and satins
- Sleek Makeup Sunset i-Divine Palette — this palette was incredibly pigmented; not only is it incredibly affordable, it was fantastic in quality
- Dior Bonne Etoile Eyeshadow Palette — a gorgeous palette featuring five shimmering, earthy shades–wish Dior made this their regular formula
- Too Faced Pretty Rebel Eyeshadow Palette — it’s no surprise that this makes the list as it was bright, colorful, intensely pigmented, and a cinch to use
- Le Metier de Beaute Femme Fatale — an interesting color combination and filled with more unique shades than not–if only LMdB was more accessible and wasn’t so limited
- bareMinerals The Wild Thing Eyeshadow Quad — mint, chartreuse, and blue? shades that speak to my heart, so thank goodness they were of quality!
- Sugarpill Cold Chemistry Eyeshadow Palette — a cool-toned, four-pan palette that’s nearly irresistible
- LORAC Pro Palette — it’s a great option for someone who likes warm-toned eyeshadows and can’t decide between matte and frost
- Guerlain Coup de Foudre Eyeshadow Quad — I loved the unusual color combination
What were your favorite palettes that you tried this past year?
After reflecting on reviews I’ve done over the past year that are more budget-friendly, I definitely need to spend a little more time on cheek color in the upcoming year. Good thing I’ve already gotten a great start on that with some of the upcoming products for spring! (So stay tuned!) Here is a mix of cheek colors, face tools, and a few polishes to round-out our last top ten for budget-friendly products.
What are your favorite budget-friendly cheek/face and/or nail products from this past year?
Here is a compilation of my favorite budget-friendly lipsticks and lipglosses that I’ve tested over the past year! I’m really excited to have found an affordable, high-quality lip scrub this year. Bonus points for being an indie brand to boot! It does seem like 2013 was the year of bright lipstick–fuchsia, red, and orange!
What were your favorite budget-friendly lipsticks and lipglosses from the past year?
I have a whole slew of fun top tens to share with you over the next few days! You may even see some of these pop up again in a few other top tens. I wanted to put a spotlight on some of the best affordable and budget-friendly products that I enjoyed and reviewed over the past year. I hope you’ll take a moment to share your own favorites that you discovered this year.
- Makeup Geek Glamorous Eyeshadow — a shimmering, coppery gold with a frosted finish
- Fyrinnae Because Cats — a cool-toned, bluish-purple with a frosted, metallic finish
- Sleek Makeup Vintage Romance Eyeshadow Palette — a great cooler, smokier palette
- L’Oreal Amber Rush — warm, reddish copper with orange undertones and metallic finish
- Sephora Good Mood Eye Contour Pencil — a shimmery teal for that perfect pop of color on the lash line
- Maybelline Barely Branded Color Tattoo Eyeshadow — warm, creamy beige with a metallic finish
- Makeup Geek Country Girl Eyeshadow — a rosy, warm-toned brown with a pearly sheen
- Sleek Makeup Sunset Eyeshadow Palette — an intensely pigmented, warm-toned eyeshadow palette
- Makeup Geek Liquid Gold Pigment — a deep, dark molten gold
- Milani Perfect Purple — nicely pigmented, purple eyeliner
What were your favorite budget-friendly eyeshadows and eyeliners this year?