|Sasquatch Swatch's Top Makeup Discoveries of 2012|
1. Yves St. Laurent Glossy Stains: These were a complete game-changer for me. When I was a teen, I was a lip gloss-only girl, but I gravitated away from gloss and toward lipstick in my early twenties because I hated having to touch up so often. I've always loved the look of glossy lips, though, so the idea of a lip gloss that can actually last for hours held instant appeal for me. I haven't swatched my collection of them yet, but I plan to soon. L'Oreal, who owns YSL, recently expanded the range of shades to include some more natural-looking options (and at a lower price point) via their own Colour Caresse Shine Stain line, which has a very similar formula. However, the L'Oreal shades are sheerer on average than YSL's, so overall I prefer Glossy Stains. I own 12 shades, and will probably get more when the six new colors I've read about online appear at my local YSL counter.
2. Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation: I tried this for the first time back in July, and between then and now, I've used it more than any other foundation. I love everything about it - how it looks and feels on my skin, that it has a pump and you can easily tell how much is left in your bottle as you use it, how it wears, that I get zero breakouts or clogged pores from it, that it contains no SPF (so it photographs well), etc. I frequently get complimented on my skin when I'm wearing Healthy Mix, and I've already repurchased a bottle through a friend in the UK. I just wish this was easier to come by in the US! I wear shade #51, Vanille Clair, which is a little warm for me but I make it work.
3. Cle de Peau Stick Concealer: I held off on buying this for the longest time due to its outrageous price, but I finally caved and bought it in early 2012. I'm so glad I did. I still have a few other concealers, but to be honest, I ignore them 95% of the time. Swatched on my hand, Ivory (the lightest shade) looks like it should be too dark for me, but in fact it works amazingly well both under my eyes and to cover blemishes. Application couldn't be easier, either - it works best on me applied with fingers! This is highly pigmented and a tiny amount goes a long way, so I'm not nearly out of my first tube yet. Regardless, I've already purchased a backup to ensure I have enough to last me a while just in case it gets discontinued, or the Cle de Peau production facility gets destroyed in a natural disaster, or everyone who sells Cle de Peau gets eaten by zombies. You can never be too careful.
4. Shiseido Lacquer Rouge liquid lipsticks: Swatched and reviewed here. I just love these! They are so comfortable to wear, come in a well-edited range of colors, and last hours on me without touch-ups (except for during meals). The rosy shade, Nymph, has been one of my most-used lip products since I bought it months ago, and Nocturne has become one of my favorite reds. I am dying to get my hands on the Asia-exclusive shades!
5. Clinique Age Defense BB Cream SPF 30: Prior to trying Bourjois Healthy Mix, this was my #1 foundation product, and it remains near the top of my list today. When you first swatch it, it looks to be an odd pale pink-gray color, but as you blend into the skin, it melts in beautifully and turns into something that is very flattering on my skin. When I wear Clinique's BB cream to work, people say things to me like "you're glowing!" and ask what skincare I use, and when I walk through cosmetic departments, sales associates stop me to ask what foundation I'm wearing. It holds up incredibly well through a long workday, even on my oily areas. I realized after buying the MAC BB cream that their formulas are virtually identical, and from the buzz online, it sounds like other brands under the Estee Lauder corporate umbrella sell their own versions of this same BB cream as well. I prefer the Clinique packaging to others I've seen, though (it's easier to get the last little bits out of the tube), and you get more per ounce for your money, so I'd still recommend the Clinique version over the others. Please note that while this is amazing on my combination/oily skin, I do not think it would work well on dry skin. I wear this in the lightest shade, #1.
6. Burberry Sheer Eyeshadows: I haven't swatched these yet, but I need to. These are not for lovers of bright, bold color, but they are hands-down some of the highest quality neutral eyeshadows I own. My favorites are Trench, Pale Barley, and Midnight Brown. I have not been as impressed with the quads Burberry recently released; for some reason the formula doesn't seem as good to me as the formula of the singles, so I'll stick with those for now.
7. Smashbox Halo Hydrating Perfecting Powder: I received a miniature size of this as a swap extra in early 2012, and after using the entire jar down to the last bit of powder dust, I purchased the full size. It melts into my skin and leaves a natural-matte finish, not flat. It has just the right amount of coverage so I can use it by itself with no foundation on a good skin day, or layer it over foundation on a not-so-great skin day and it still doesn't look caked on. It comes with a dinky little kabuki brush, but I use a fluffy powder brush or a flat-top kabuki brush to apply, depending on the level of coverage I want. The packaging is nice in that it effectively turns the powder into a loose powder from a solid as you twist the inner circle, so it's handy to throw in your purse if needed. The only downside is that you can't tell how much is left inside. I've gone ahead and purchased a backup so I have it ready to go when I run out of my current one, which for all I know could be tomorrow or six months from now! I feel like the price of this one is a little high for a Smashbox product, but I love the powder so much I'm willing to pay it. (Fortunately, I can at least buy it from my work and get an employee discount on it!) I wear this in the shade Fair.
8. Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows: Swatched and reviewed here. I adore these for a simple wash of color over the eyelid and blended up into the crease, whether I'm going for a soft natural look or a bold smoky eye. I apply them with fingertips and blend the edges with a brush if needed - super easy. The colors are beautiful and complex. I also love L'Oreal's answer to these, the Infallible eyeshadows, swatched and reviewed here. The Infallibles are generally less complex, but there are some stunning colors in that lineup as well.
9. Fyrinnae Pressed Eyeshadows: Swatched and reviewed here. The quality and complexity of these shadows, combined with the ease of using a pressed shadow - all of Fyrinnae's other products are loose powders - and my adoration for the small, independent company itself, make these an instant winner in my book. I hope they continue to release more of their unique and fabulous colors in this pressed format. In the meantime, I will continue to press their loose powders on my own as needed using this method. (I also just realized I haven't swatched the several other colors I've bought since I got those first five. I will have to do that soon!)
BRAND - Guerlain: This brand has been on my radar for years, but I never really understood their appeal or got into their products until mid-last year, and since then my life has been one non-stop Guerlain love fest. I have completely fallen for their eyeshadows (Les Ombres Turandot is easily my favorite palette of 2012, maybe of all time), swatched and reviewed here, as well as their Rouge Automatique lipsticks, swatched and reviewed here. I also adore their Meteorites illuminating powders. I have a few different types of loose Meteorites (the ones that look like little balls), and two kinds of pressed Meteorites, the discontinued Poudres de Perles and the current Mythic Voyage powder (of which I'm on my third refill pan). Another Guerlain love of mine that I intend to review once I've tried a little more of the selection is the Super Aqua skincare line. I've tried and adore a couple of products from it and would like to try more of them eventually, after I get to using up some of the other skincare products I already have. There is so much to love in this line, and I still have more to discover!
BRAND - Rouge Bunny Rouge: This brand came onto my radar only recently, in mid-2012. It's based in London and Moscow, and its products can only be purchased online for those of us in the US. I bought a few products during a sale, aided heavily by the excellent swatches and reviews on my friend Kate's blog Drivel About Frivol, and loved them so much that I sort of went crazy and bought a ton more. Fortunately, I love absolutely everything I bought. How often does that happen? Now that the "craze phase" has passed, I remain sure that Rouge Bunny Rouge products are among the highest-quality products in my makeup stash, and I still adore them. I have swatches and reviews of my RBR blushes here, liquid highlighters here, liquid bronzer here, loose pigments here, and pressed eyeshadows here.
BRAND - Revlon: Specifically, I have been very impressed with Revlon's face products in 2012. In just that one year, they came out with two incredible foundations, ColorStay Whipped Creme (another one of my top picks for foundation, and one I really need to review) and Nearly Naked, swatched and reviewed here. I have already used up probably 75% of my Colorstay Whipped Creme foundation and will need to repurchase soon, and can definitely see myself using up Nearly Naked, as I've been wearing it a lot. I wear the shade Ivory in both foundations. I purchased the Nearly Naked powder in Fair as well just before New Year's, and from the playing I've done with it so far, I'm very impressed. Additionally, I re-discovered my love for Revlon's Super Lustrous lip glosses in 2012. They are one of the only non-staining lip gloss formulas I am still willing to bother with these days! My favorite shades are Coral Reef and Pink Pop.
WHEW, that was a long post. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think - have you tried any of these? Do you love them as much as I do? Are there any products on here you think you'll try now that you've read my glowing review? :) Once again, Happy New Year to all of you!