Sunday, January 6, 2013

Top 12 Beauty Shout Outs and Flops of 2012

Whew - 2012 was here and gone! And to commemorate, I thought I'd share my top beauty products of the year - these include items that were released in 2012, as well as products I found/rediscovered that stand out above all of my other beauty products - both good and bad. In no particular order...

Beauty Shout Outs of 2012

#1. Real Techniques brushes
I cannot rave enough about how much I love and adore my Real Techniques brushes. On my Christmas vacation to the States with my in-laws, I picked up a few more additions to my collection. They're affordable, the design is ingenius, and they are - by far - the best brushes I own. I feel like a princess every time I get to use them.

#2. Uniq One All in One Hair Treatment
I don't know if I can ever turn back now - I've tried this fantastic product and I feel like nothing else will ever suffice. The way it makes my hair smell and feel, not to mention the numerous ways it benefits my hair and increases the ease of styling... One of my most treasured beauty products.

#3. Wet N Wild ColorIcon Eyeshadow Trio in Walking on Eggshells
One of my makeup staples. I love everything about this palette - including how easily the shadows blend, the rich pigmentation, the combination of colors, the affordability...

#4. China Glaze Nail Polish in Flip Flop Fantasy
Who doesn't love a little neon pink happiness splashed across their fingertips?! I know I sure do, and I cannot get enough of this color. I'm so happy I finally went out and picked up a bottle to add to my collection!

#5. Urban Decay's Original Eyeshadow Primer Potion
I haven't branched out yet to try any other eyeshadow primers that are available on the market. I'm just so in love with Urban Decay's version - I keep going back for more. I think I'm on my fourth or fifth tube since I first bought it, back in 2008.

#6. L'Oreal Infallible La Rouge Lipstick in Unending Kiss
I recently picked this up from Shopper's Drug Mart when they were having a sale. This is one of those "my-lip-color-but-better" shades. It's long-lasting without being too drying, the packaging is tres chic, and I feel like it's a lip product I'll actually keep reaching for.

#7. Sally Hansen Gem Crush Nail Polishes
Totally blown away by the amazing quality of these polishes. It's like a unicorn pooped glitter all over my nails - absolutely stellar. A pain in the patooty to take off, but when your nails look that good, who cares!? My favorites are Big Money and Be-Jewelled.

#8. Essence Powder Blush in Renesmee Red
From the limited edition Breaking Dawn collection. I didn't think I'd be able to pull off a 'true red' colored blush, what with my being so fair skinned and all, but I absolutely adore this powder. It's pigmented and smooth, blends like a dream, and gives me this healthy flush of color that I don't seem to get from pinks and peaches. On another note, it was dirt cheap. Heck yes.

#9. Cetaphil Barrier Cream
Best hand cream ever. Hands down. The only downside - the price. Why can't great products just be free!?

#10. NYX Single Eyeshadow in Black
I got so much use out of this shadow after I started doing smoky, sultry, smudgy black eyeshadow looks. This is one of the best matte black eyeshadows I've ever had the pleasure of using - it only takes a little bit of powder to achieve the look that you want, so this little compact will last you forever and a day.

#11. Torrid Skinny Sophia Jegging
Probably the comfiest pair of jeans that have ever hugged the curves of my lower half. Yes, I paid a little more money for them, but I think it's definitely worth the investment when you feel like a goddess in your jeans. One of my most beloved purchases of the year.

#12. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Lip Balm Stains
I'm actually pleasantly surprised with these. I found myself reaching for them more often than I expected, and quite often I found myself wandering back to buy more shades. I love how I can pull off a red lip without breaking out a lipstick - I get color payoff without being WHOA BABY matte-opaque-lipstick-face. There are colors for every day wear, and then some brighter fun colors for the bold and daring.

Beauty Flops of 2012

#1. Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters
These were a huge let down for me, and I'm not sure why. I don't know what exactly I was expecting from this product, but I picked one up and hated it. Not a product I'd ever see myself using or repurchasing.

#2. Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm
An overpriced, underachieving product, in my opinion. Another one of those things I really regret purchasing, because I never reach for it and I feel like it was a waste of money.

#3. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment
Whew, another lippie flop! I got these as a free birthday gift from Sephora for being a Beauty Insider. I was thoroughly underwhelmed. Not worth the price tag, at all. They're definitely taking up space in one of my makeup drawers, begging to be thrown in the garbage. The only redeeming quality of these balms, in my opinion, is the cute and unique packaging.

#4. L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes (Carbon Black) Mascara
This is actually a fantastic product, but my eyeballs are ginormously allergic to something in the mascara itself. I'm so sad that I can't wear this mascara - it was so wonderful.

#5. Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips
So I guess I'm one of the few people who doesn't like these at all. I felt like they peeled right off, the wear time was total crap. I'm also of the mentality that getting one, maybe two, uses out of a stick on polish isn't really great bang for your buck - especially when you change your nail polish as often as me. Disappointment.

#6. L'Oreal Elnett Hairspray
I heard so many great things about this hairspray. I first tried a sample bottle (the scented version) and just about puked my brains out after spraying it once. Then I tried a large bottle of the unscented version, and I just didn't get what all the hype was about. Sure it's brushable, but it doesn't do crap for holding my hair anyways... a waste of my money, fo shizzle.

#7. L'anza Healing Smooth Thermal Defense Treatment
This product created a build-up in my hair, not to mention how drying it was as I used heat on my hair. I've never experienced such dry, dull, unmanageable hair, especially from a styling product. Sad face, especially since my hair stylist recommended it to me.

#8. Essie Good to Go Top Coat
And I heard such great things about this product - it's not very glossy or shiny, I found that it bubbled my nail polish a lot, and it's expensive - especially when it does virtually nothing that a $2 clear polish couldn't do. I also found that it didn't extend the life of my nail polish at all. Now it's just taking up space in my collection.

#9. Tender Tootsies Now! Alexis Boots
Picked these up from Army & Navy, and they literally lasted me two weeks before the heel of the left boot had given out. It pretty much disintegrated, so every time I step, the heel collapses in on itself. I am heartbroken and crushed, as they were the first affordable boots I found that actually fit around my large ham of a calf. There's a very sore spot in my heart right now.

#10. Milani's 3D Glitzy Glamour Glosses
I picked up two colors in Designer Label and Stylish. I'm not a huge lip product person, but I found these glosses uncomfortable on my lips - too sticky and thick. Wayyyy too glittery, and I didn't particularly care for the scent either.

#11. Revlon Scented Nail Polish in Lemon Meringue
Such a beautiful buttery yellow color in the bottle, but man, is this polish a pain to apply. It's sheer, and the application is streaky and uneven - even gloopy at times. It takes forever to dry, and you need (literally) five coats to achieve a flawless finish - but then it smudges as soon as you think it's actually dry (3 hours later). And while you might think that scented polish is the bomb-diggity, I don't know that I particularly love the lemony after-scent on my nails - it sort of reminds me of household cleaner. I only used this polish once, because I was so disappointed in it.

#12. ELF Contouring Blush and Bronzer Duo
This is supposed to be an affordable dupe for the NARS Orgasm and Laguna face powders, but I feel that the quality is somewhat lacking. They're beautiful colors, and super affordable, but the amount of glitter in these powders is unreal. I feel like a disco ball immediately after application. Not to mention the horrendous wearing time - I don't think I even get a few hours out of this powder before it's completely disappeared from my face - minus the glitter stuck in my pores. How I wish for a matte alternative of this product...

So those are my shout outs and flops of the year. There were some products I tried that I was neither here nor there about, but they weren't worth mentioning as the 'absolute best' or 'horrifically worst' products of the year. Here's hoping 2013 is full of new fun and exciting products that don't leave a sour taste in my mouth (figuratively or literally), haha.

Let me know: what were your stand-out beauty items from 2012!? They could be products in the makeup, hair, jewellery, personal hygiene, or clothing categories... I'd love to hear about what products got your motor running last year!

Happy New Year, you guys! Can't wait to see what this year holds!

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