Monday, December 30, 2013

My Picks for Best Makeup Items of 2013

It's the last few days of 2013, and I thought I'd share with you the items that I thought were the best of the ones I reviewed this year.  I'll be breaking up the "Best Of" lists into makeup, body/facial care, and nail polishes.  Today are my favorite makeup items I acquired and reviewed in 2013, in no particular order.
  • Estee Lauder Pure Color Blush in Sensuous Rose  (full review here):  I love the Pure Color blush formula, and Sensuous Rose is my favorite shade of the 5 I've now acquired.  It's a soft neutral color that I use a lot, especially when I want to focus more on my eyes or lips and need something that will not compete.  I realize that doesn't sound particularly exciting, but this blush makes my skin look better than it really is and gives me a realistic looking glow that I adore. 
  • Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Pencil Vault (full review here):  I guess technically this is 40 different eye pencils, but the Vault ($295) was my big ticket item of the year and remains something that I'm glad I splurged on.  Urban Decay brought the Vault back right before the holidays and it's still available at Urban Decay, although it's sold out again at Sephora.  I'm seeing prices on ebay upwards of $500, crazy.  
  • The All Natural Face Cream Blushes:  I was on a cream blush quest this year, and my favorites were from The All Natural Face.  They feature all natural ingredients, are easy to apply, wear well, and are inexpensive at $5.75.  Seriously, if you like cream blushes, these are worth a look.  Here are reviews on Bubblegum, Really Red, Touch of Rose, Terra Cotta, and Peachy Rose.  Which reminds me, I need to get a review up on the perfect for cold weather color Bordeaux. 
Olive Oil and Clay
  • Ulta Gel Eye Liners:  Having the Urban Decay pencil vault has not kept me from seeking out other pencil eye liners, and I've discovered a few good less expensive alternatives this year.  One are the Ulta house brand Gel Eye Liners.  I've gotten 3 now - Halo, Clay and Olive Oil, and I'm impressed with the price ($8) and color selection (23).  If you wait for one of Ulta's many BOGO sales, you can usually get them for $4.  Well worth it, IMO. 
Vivid Rose
  • Maybelline Colorsensational Vivids Lipcolors:  These are sensational, period.  I'm not even a vibrant lip color kind of girl, and these converted me.  Intensely pigmented, creamy, comfortable to wear and long lasting, all at a reasonable price ($8).  I picked up all the colors I thought I could wear, and here are reviews on Vivid Rose, Vibrant Mandarin, Pop of Cherry, and Shocking Coral.   
  • Revlon Colorstay Whipped Cream Makeup (full review here):  This has become one of my go to foundations, and aside from the rather awkward and potentially unhygienic packaging, I like everything about it.  It's a great formula for oily skin, the coverage is good without being cakey, and it wears well in Mobile's hot and humid climate.  
  • Mattify! ULTRA (full review here):  This versatile translucent powder acts as both a primer and a setting powder.  I've got oily skin and this has been perfect for helping to reduce shine and prolong the wear of my foundation.  It's become a staple for me and it's reasonably priced at $12.99. 
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light (see full review here):  Another powder made my list, this time the more expensive but oh so lovely Dim Light by Hourglass.  It's hard to capture what the Ambient Lighting powders do in photos, but once you use one, it becomes more obvious.  I've since acquired Diffused Light and the Ambient Lighting palette that contains Dim, Incandescent, and Radiant.  Another item I use everyday, making Dim Light worth it's price ($45) to me. 
  • Ladybird True Romance Eyeshadow Palette by Kat Von D (see full review here):  I'm a fan of matte eyeshadow for a variety of reasons, and Ladybird is the best all matte palette I've tried thus far.  It's the only eyeshadow palette that made my list this year and one I use frequently.  Available from Sephora for $36.
  • Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques Creme Foundation (see full review here):  I originally received 3 sample pots of this in my Eco Emi subscription box, and I liked the finish on this foundation so much I've since gotten a full sized jar.  It smooths over my pores the best of any foundation I've tried, and now that I use the Mattify! ULTRA powder, I can wear this more 'dewy' foundation without becoming an oil slick.  I love that it's a natural ingredient liquid (really more of a dense cream) foundation, one of the few I've seen.  It's become part of my foundation rotation and a full sized jar is $27.  
  • stila Smudge Stick in Turquoise:  I'm a fan of stila's Smudge Sticks, and this one made the list because of it's lovely jade green/turquoise color.  It was limited edition and if you didn't get one last spring, you're out of luck.  Or are you?  I see one that looks suspiciously like Turquoise on beauty.com, although it's called Teal.  Hmmm. 
  • Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer in Precious Gold (see full review here):  Rimmel makes some seriously good eye pencils, and Precious Gold made my list for it's gold color that I did not have in my largish collection of gold pencils.  Plus, I've heard it's a good dupe for the discontinued and iconic Honey by Urban Decay.  Great drugstore find at $5.50!
  • Noir Precision Liquid Eyeliner by Le Métier de Beauté (see full review here):  My other splurge of the year was the VIP subscription service by Le Métier de Beauté, and the Noir Precision Liquid Eyeliner was part of the first month's box.  I love how thin and precise a line I can get with these felt tip liquid eyeliners and Noir has become part of my regular eye makeup routine to darken and define my lash line.  To be fair, Lorac's Front of the Line Pro liquid liners are every bit as good and are more reasonably priced ($23 vs. $42), but Noir still has a place in my heart. 
Tomorrow I'll have my picks for the best in body and facial care, and Wednesday will feature my favorite nail polishes of 2013.  No end of the year list would be complete without a "worst of", and I'll show you my three least favorite items of the year as well.


  1. Amazing list! I am very much looking forward to your worst of the year list, those are always more fun lol

  2. Ha, I'm working on it right now!

  3. wowzah! That pencil vault!!
    haha great post! I need to pick up that Vivid Rose lipstick! It looks lovely :)

    1. Vivid Rose is so worth getting, you won't regret it!