I’ve been reading “best of 2013” posts on a few friends’ beauty blogs, so I thought I’d join in by posting a short list of my own. These are a few “new-to-me” products that I used for the first time in 2013, often as samples or gifts-with-purchase. Of course, I’ve enjoyed (and reviewed) many other makeup, skincare, and haircare products over the past year, but these are seven highlights that that have left an especially positive year-end impression on me.
Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser: I received a trial-size tube of this facial cleanser as part of a Birchbox set, and I was hooked by my second or third use. It’s a creamy, non-foaming cleanser that you massage onto skin and then remove with a muslin cloth dampened in hot water. It takes off all my makeup (even long-wear foundation) and leaves my skin feeling soft and healthy. (Liz Earle, Birchbox)
Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Invisible Skin-Fusion Foundation: Speaking of foundation, I was looking for a new one this year. I must have sampled ten different brands in the process, from Armani to Tarte to Bobbi Brown and beyond, and this one left the others in its dust. Shade 02 gives my skin a layer of even, natural coverage that lasts all day without clogging my pores. (Sephora, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, et al.)
Laura Mercier Artist’s Palette for Eyes: I splurged on the 2013 edition of this limited edition palette as a reward to myself for finishing a big work project. I don’t usually bother with palettes, but this one seemed exceptional to me: twelve high-quality shadows in mix-and-match shades that all suit my coloring (light, cool-to-neutral, dark brunette with some grays). I feel bad about recommending it, because it’s already sold out!
Laura Mercier Stickgloss Lip Colour in Peony: I can’t even estimate the number of lipsticks I tested this year, but I’m certain that this was one of my favorites. It’s a deep, slightly shimmery plum shade, and it’s really a sheer-to-medium lipstick, not a gloss, despite the name. It’s buildable and versatile; I’ve been wearing it for all kinds of occasions. (Laura Mercier)
Alima Pure Lip Tint in Mulberry: This tinted lip balm (which also has more pigment than I expected) is my favorite “indie” lip color of the year. It’s a neutral plum with a creamy finish and a moisturizing feel. I received it as a GWP, and it’s supposedly a limited edition, which is a shame. I hope that Alima can be persuaded to add Mulberry to its permanent collection! (Alima)
Elizabeth Lamott It’s So Big Volumizing Mascara: I hate the name, and it’s somewhat overpriced, so I probably wouldn’t have tried this product on my own. But when a trial-size tube came my way, I gave it a spin, and I have to admit that it’s excellent. It it has the kind of traditional bristle-brush that I prefer, it applies with no clumping (seriously), and it lasts all day without smudging or flaking. (Elizabeth Mott)
Sephora Formula X Transformers Top Coat in Over the Moon: I really couldn’t care less about the whole “nail art” trend, but one evening I stopped into Sephora looking for something to spruce up my slightly chipped manicure, and I tried out this glimmery top coat. It’s the kind of opalescent shade that I love, and it looks pretty either on its own or over a pink or taupe creme polish. (Sephora)
Long story short, I’ll be purchasing and/or continuing to use all of these items in 2014. Did you find any products that really fit your needs (or just your desires) in 2013? Do share!
Image: Gustave Léonard de Jonghe, Vanity, via Wikimedia.