Top 5 Favorite Products of 2008

It’s always fun to look back on the past year.My list of favorite products from 2008 includes not only new products, but items that have been around a while and I discovered them just this year. Here they are:

5.  Almay Bright Eyes Eye Base + Concealer ($8.99 USD) —  This concealer is fantastic! It not only covers my dark circles and blemishes, it brightens too. It contains white tea and marine extract as brighteners and goes on very smoothly.

4.  L’Oreal Skin Genesis SPF 15 Lotion  ($20.99 USD) — Once you apply this lotion it soaks right in and makes the skin glow. I find myself applying less concealer and foundation when I have this on.

3.  Yes To Carrots C Me Smile Lip Butter ($3.69 USD) — This is the best lip balm I have ever tried! Not too hard, not too greasy, it slides on your lips and stays there! It instantly makes the lips soft and feels really natural on. This wonderful product is 95% organic and is paraben free and comes in carrot, berry, citrus, melon and mint.   

2.  L’Oreal Bare Naturale Mascara ($9.99 USD) — Don’t let the name fool you, there is nothing bare or natural about your lashes once you apply this fantastic lengthening and thickening mascara. L’Oreal does claim that “the innovative formula contains 86% natural-origin ingredients, shine-enhancing minerals and is both paraben- and fiber-free.” 

1.  Philosophy Amazing Grace ($40.00 USD for 2 oz)– When I first tried this perfume earlier this year, I didn’t care much for it.  But the longer I wore it the more I grew to love it. It’s a soft floral with a undertone of musk. I think this would smell lovely on any woman!

What is your favorite product from this year? Leave me a comment.  Also, if there are any products you think I should try in 2009, let me know. I am always on the look out for new products!

Have a fun — and safe — New Year’s Eve and a fantastic 2009!

Polish Your Look on New Year’s Eve With a New Lip Plumper

I was skeptical of lip plumpers for a long time. I have decent lips, why would I need to make them fat. Even worse is the fact that many lip plumpers contain irritants and make your lips sting. Ouch!

Now that they are more popular (and much less ouchier), I have been hearing very good things about some plumpers. One of the claims is that they smooth out fine lines in your lips and make your lips appear smoother.

So I began my research with the queen of all lip plumpers — LipFusion Lip Plumper ($38.00 USD). This lip plumping color shine is formulated with marine collagen micro-spheres that are absorbed by lips and then absorb moisture causing mild-swelling which gives lip a full, plump look. They say results can last for up to 48 hours. I don’t know about that but it did instantly plump and smooth my lips and didn’t sting at all. It left me with a little numbness, but it wasn’t unpleasant, and there are many shades to choose from. If you have $38.00 for lip gloss, I’ll be your friend! And try this gloss, it does live up to the hype!

Another great gloss is bareMinerals Buxom Big and Healthy Lip Polish ($18.00 USD). Sephora’s site states, “This mineral-infused polish imparts a luminous high shine with no sticky or tacky feeling. A deep infusion of antioxidant vitamins A and E help keep lips soft, smooth, and protected, while the tingly and cooling sensation reminds you that your lips are getting an immediate increase in fullness.” This does tingle but doesn’t sting (thank goodness). There are about eleven soft shades of this gloss and half the price of the LipFusion, its a pretty good buy.

But if you aren’t quite convinced about this lip plumping craze, try a drugstore brand.  A really good one is the Maybelline  Volume XL Seduction Lip Plumper ($8.99 USD). This one touts, “Make your lips up to 30% bigger with Maybelline Volume Seduction Lip Plumper. Feel a tingling effect as active amplifiers instantly plump lips for a visibly fuller pout. Available in 10 seductive shades. Not recommended for sensitive lips.” I guess my lips aren’t too sensitive, because it does tingle, but doesn’t sting me.   Definitely a good gloss for plumping beginners.

So have fun with your gloss on New Year’s Eve! Go ahead and try something new.  

Eye Stand Out on New Years Eve! — Flashy Eye Looks to Try

New Year’s Eve is a great time to try out a sparkly look that we wouldn’t wear everyday. As a 40 year old (yes, I own it) I usually don’t wear glitter, I leave that to my 13 year old daughter. But I am drawn to the sparkly around party time!

There are a lot of fun products to try at stores like Sephora and Ulta. The Sephora brand itself has a lot of party options that are fairly affordable. I really like the sparkly Sephora Glitter Eyeliner ($12.00 USD).  The eyeliner is just the right amount of glam. Applied to the upper lid over a neutral shadow, you can get away with almost any of the seven shades if comes in; Gold, Silver, Opal, Black, Teal, Purple and Blue.

Make Up For ever is another fun brand found at Sephora. Their false eyelashes ($14.00 USD) come in many varieties. From different textures and colors to the one above with glitter at the base, you can find the look you want to achieve. Talk about instant glamour!

Another bold choice is Max Factor’s Vivid Impact Highlighting Mascara ($9.99 USD). This is a dual color mascara that combines a traditional solid color base coat with an iridescent highlighting top coat to add a hint of color to lashes.

Remember if you do decide to go glitzy on the eyes, keep the rest of your look neutral. Maybe a nice nude or pink plumping lip gloss? Have fun!

Ready For Your New Year’s Kiss? — Try a New Red Lipstick

Urban Decay Lipstick -- Revolution
Urban Decay Lipstick -- Revolution

The perfect red lipstick is extremely difficult to find. The reason being is there are so many shades of the color. Warm reds, cherry reds, blue reds, fire engine reds. The mind boggles.

I’ve decided to begin my search for the perfect red lipstick, which is a wonderful item to have for a New Year Eve Party. I started my search at Sephora and have found a few good ones. Brands like Urban Decay, Stila, Dior, Nars, and Cargo all have various shades of red to choose from.

Surprisingly to me, the one that looked the best was by Urban Decay ($22.00 USD). The shade is Revolution, a warm classic red. My coloring is light olive skin with dark brown hair and dark brown eyes. I alway thought that cooler colors looked better on me ( I like purples and maroon’s), but Revolution looked very pretty on.

PlantLove Botanical Lipstick - Cherry Bliss - The shade in the center
PlantLove Botanical Lipstick - Cherry Bliss - The shade in the center

I also realized what doesn’t look nice on me. That is a cherry red. I tried on Cargo’s PlantLove Botanical Lipstick ($20.00) in Cherry Bliss. This is a very pretty color, but is too bright for my face. I also tried on other cherry and blue red’s but they made me look like a little girl trying on my mother’s lipstick!

I recommend both Urban Decay and Cargo’s lipsticks if you are looking for quality. They both feel great and are good for you. The Urban Decay Lipstick has vitamins A, C, and E and is infused with a crème-caramel scent and flavor. Hyaluronic spheres (found naturally in the body) are added to stimulate cellular function, prevent dehydration, and fill in lines and wrinkles.
PlantLoves’s packaging is biodegradable and the lipstick is Paraben and Sulfate free. What’s even better is that CARGO is donating two dollars from the sale of every shade to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.    

If you are looking for a red lipstick you are a bold lady! I recommend that you take your time and search for the perfect shade for you. I am not done looking yet. Maybe I will continue my search around Valentine’s Day…

L’Oreal Double Extend Lash Extention Mascara — Longer Lashes, Little Price

L'Oreak Double Extend Lash Estension Effect Mascare
L'Oreal Double Extend Lash Extension Effect Mascara

I hope every one is enjoying a fabulous holiday season. I know I am. And I know the parties aren’t over yet…New Year’s Eve is just around the corner.

Are you looking for lush lashes but are all tapped out? A good choice is L’Oreal’s Double Extend Lash Extension Effect Mascara ($9.49 US).

This intriguing little product is a two step process. First you apply the white primer that conditions your lashes. Next, apply the mascara which forms tubes around your lashes, making them much longer. 

This is definitely a lengthening mascara; it does not thicken much. The cool thing about it is the tubes are very easy to remove. Splash lots of water on your lashes then gently pull the tubes off. If you are too rough, your lashes will come out, too. Be careful!

I think this mascara is fascinating and fun to use. Try it for your New Year’s Eve soiree!

My Christmas List Part 3 — Bath Bliss

I love receiving bath sets as gifts. This is because of my great love for taking baths. I use bubble bath, body scrubs, any sorts of lotions and butters. I don’t have one favorite scent, either. I enjoy new fragrant experiences each time I take a bath.

I believe you can find fun bath products anywhere, from Target and Walgreens to Sephora and Ulta, there are many different price ranges to choose from.

But since this is my wish list, I am going to review three sets that may not be the cheapest (or most expensive), but that I would love to receive!

The first is Philosophy’s Warm By The Fire ($25.00 USD). This set includes a 4.0 oz Double Rich Hot Cocoa Shampoo, Shower Gel, & Bubble Bath; a 2.0 oz Melting Marshmallow Cream Body Soufflé and a 0.5 oz Ooey Gooey S’mores Flavored Lip Shine. I love chocolate and  marshmallows and the thought of bathing in this delicious sweetness…mmm mmm good! Sounds like a cozy evening to me! 

Next is The Body Shop’s Warm Amber Joyful Times (sale price online $17.50 USD). This collection includes 1.7 oz Warm Amber Body Butter, 8.4 fl oz Warm Amber Shower Gel, 2.5 fl oz Warm Amber Body Scrub, Warm Amber Mini Votive, and a two-tone Orange Bath Lily. The Warm Amber notes are citrus, pear, orange blossom, ginger, amber, sandalwood and myrrh. Such a warm, winter fragrance, with a little spice. Very nice!

Last but not least is Bliss The Big ‘Orange’ ($28.00 USD). In this set you get 3.4 oz Orange + White Pepper Shower Gel and 4.2 oz Orange + White Pepper Body Butter. This fragrance contains blood orange, spicy white pepper top notes, and nuances of coriander and white musk. Sweet and spicy, just like us, ladies! 

They say it’s better to give than receive. Whatever. Either way, you can never go wrong with seasonal bath gifts!

My Christmas Wish List Part 2 — Cosmetic Kits

For my second beauty wish, I would love a make-up kit. ANY make-up kit. I love the variety that a case with many colors and products bring. And of course, I love trying new things (hence this blog).

Sephora and Ulta top my list for great places to find fun holiday kits. Companies such as Too Faced, Smashbox, Nars, Urban Decay plus the Ulta and Sephora brands all have kits-a-plenty. Another great place is Target, which now has the Pixi, JK Jemma Kidd and NP Set lines as well as Sonia Kashuk and Boots No. 7.

The fabulous Too Faced World Domination All Access Backstage Beauty Collection’s price has just dropped from $42.00 to 34.00. This is a cute jewelery box that plays The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy while a very stylish little doll twirls around. It contains eight eye shadows, Duo Bronzer, Face Illuminator,  six lip glosses, brow powder, eyeliner cake, and blush.

For lovely lips, Stila’s Shine On Gift of Glaze includes six glosses. The colors are; Vanilla (pearly nude),  Brown Sugar (shimmering golden nude), Raisin (shimmering golden plum), Grapefruit (frosted pink), Apricot (melon nectarine), and Gumdrop (vibrant pink). These glosses are very conditioning and not too sticky, which is very nice!

Finally, as I really love Petra Strand’s Pixi line, I love the Pixi Must Have Kit. This comes in a deluxe wallet and carries a compact of 2 lustrous eye shadows, 2 creamy lip colors, a brightening blush and 4 mini brushes. The colors I saw were cool pinks.

So keep your eyes peeled at the stores you like to shop for cosmetics; I’m sure you will find a fun kit that you would love to give and receive!