I know it’s been quite a while since last my last post here on OBbeauty, but hey at least I’m back, and I’m back for good. To kick off 2014, I thought I’d share my top 13 beauty products of 2013 with you guys! Some of these are new, some are old goodies but all have been absolute essentials to my beauty routine this past year.
1. Maybelline The Falsies Mascara in Waterproof – This is hands down the best mascara I have ever tried. It’s long lasting and waterproof, which means it holds a lash curl like nobody’s business. Additionally, it provides just the right combination of length, volume and separation to make your lashes look twice their size. Although the formula is a little wet at first, after a few days of use it thickens up and is easier to both apply and plump the lashes up.
2. Benefit Watt’s Up - To be honest, at first I wasn’t sure if I would like this product. It has impractical, bulky packaging, and cream products have the tendency to fade on me, however this highlighter came out on top once I had acquired the right method of application. The trick with Watt’s Up is to use your finger to apply a very small, sheer amount on the high points of the face: cheekbones, browbone, cupid’s bow etc, creating a beautiful luminosity. Using a brush or putting the bullet directly onto the skin leaves your face looking too sheeny and oily, however controlled application imparts quite a natural glow. The champagne color is neither too pink or gold, perfect for everyday.
3. NARS Laguna Bronzer - This is one of the most hyped products in the beauty bubble, yet deserves every bit of praise. I always thought Laguna would be much too light for me, however I got talked into purchasing it at Nars’ infamous Bleeker St. store, and ever since I haven’t been able to put it down. People always categorize bronzers into “contour” and “bronze up” shades, however this one manages to fit into both. It has a slight shimmer, making it perfect to create a bronzed, tan effect for the summer, or paler days in the dead of winter, however the shimmer is subtle enough to make it a very natural contour. The shade is also perfection, as it’s neither too orange or too red, like Casino can be.
4. Tarte Blush in Exposed – As you can see, this one has been so loved it’s near death. This was in fact the very first blush I ever purchased, and despite short-lived love affairs with various other blushes along the way, I still find myself going back to Exposed time and time again. Whenever I travel I have to throw it in my bag too – it just goes with everything. The plummy tone really imitates my natural flush, and is perfect to accompany bold lippies in the fall and winter. The only con about this blush is that its super soft, and the moment I hit pan it broke into several large pieces. I can assure you I was not amused.
6. Laura Mercier Pressed Setting Powder – Travel friendly, sheer, mattifying, and not messy in the least bit. A light dusting of this powder all over the T-zone and under the eyes and your makeup is fortified from sweat, oil and that general disappearing act makeup tends to perform by the end of the day. This was especially essential during the intolerably hot summer I endured in New York City this past year, in addition to those fall days when I would rather carefully select which parts of my face would exude glow than just all over. Although I equally love my MUFE HD Powder and my Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder (review coming soon), this takes the cake as most compact and easy to slip into the purse.
7. MAC Eyeshadow Quad – Okay, so this is sort of cheating, but MAC eyeshadows have seriously dominated my 2013 eye looks and I couldn’t choose just one to sum up the entire year! These four have definitely been my most worn shades: All That Glitters (upper left), Ricepaper (upper right), Woodwinked (lower left), and Soba (lower right). All That Glitters is a pinky golden shade that is absolutely stellar all over the lid when I have a tan – other seasons it pulls pink to the extreme that I look a bit sickly. Definitely was my go-to shade this summer! Ricepaper is a sheer champagne with a yellow undertone, perfect for either a subtle highlight or for an all-over lid color. I love Ricepaper for a casual everyday look as it has a definitely sheen, but isn’t shimmery at all, and contrasts great with sharp black eyeliner. Woodwinked is a shimmery golden bronze that almost changes color in different lighting. In the top picture, it appears as a darkened copper, however in different lighting in the other picture, it is a light golden shade. Because of this quality, it makes a perfect one-shade eye look! Finally is Soba, a camel brown with gold shimmer running through it ideal for darkening the corner of the eye or sweeping under the lower lashline for additional definition.
8. L’Oreal Infallible 24-HR Eye Shadow in Eternal Black – This fantastic black shadow was my go-to smoky eye product for 2013 for sure. I already knew I loved these shadows with previous ventures in other colors (review here), but this pigmented black has just the right amount of drama and versatility that has made it a 2013 standout. It’s brilliant silver glitter particles makes it pop when patted on top of the lid, while it can be smudged out to achieve a lived-in, smoky effect for a night out.
9. Stila Stay-All-Day Waterproof Eyeliner – This favorite isn’t pictured here because I actually have to run out and grab a new one, but it has been a holy grail eyeliner of mine since high school. I’ve tried a myriad of liquid liners, but none of them are as pigmented, long-lasting, and easy to use as this one. For more info, my full review can be found here!
10. Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light Bisque - Yet another holy grail product. This pinky-peach toned corrector counteracts blue undereye circles and give tired eyes a lift in the morning. Layered under concealer, I can completely eliminate all the discoloration and fatigue under my eyes. The product is best applied with fingers as the natural heat from your finger will warm up the product, allowing it to blend seamlessly into your skin. I have loved this corrector for years, and this is in fact my third pot of it!
11. NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl (left) – After purchasing this magenta infused red this summer, I have sworn off all other reds and haven’t looked back. This pencil is a breeze to apply and while it’s finish is quite matte, it isn’t drying on the lips and lasts for ages. Additionally, it’s blue undertones whiten your teeth and juxtaposes nicely with my yellow skin.
12. Clinique Chubby Stick in Mega Melon (middle) – This shade was the most surprising favorite of the past year. My own mother actually picked out this color for me, as she was sick of me sporting bright lips all the time, and I’ve found it to suit my skintone perfectly. It has a slight bit of shimmer running through it, as obvious in the swatch above, but looks incredibly natural on the lips. Just one mirror-less swipe of this twistable crayon instantly livens my face, especially in the winter when my lips seem to lose the little pigment they have at all. I would recommend these chubby sticks to anyone without a doubt, the shade range is great and they are moisturizing enough to not need an extra balm before!
13. MAC Lipstick in Crosswires (right) – Crosswires is a cremesheen formula with a shade that’s a step up from a my-lips-but-better. The color is perfect: a lively coral-pink but not bright enough to attract too much attention. It brightens my face and adds needed pigmentation to my lips in a subtle, polished way. Even better, the cremesheen formula is long-wearing and moisturizing on the lips, making it ideal for long work days. When I don’t feel like putting the maintenance into a bold lip but still want to look put together, Crosswires has my back.
Hope you enjoyed my 2013 favorites! What were your most used products from last year?