Best of 2008 Picks from Blogdorf Goodman and Friends.........
Blogdorf Goodman Best of the Year Picks
1. Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Lipstick
This lippie might be the best formula in the land. It has an ultra creamy yet light texture that has high intensity pigment. They feel and look like nothing ever produced in the cosmetic industry. I have called them the Cadillac of lippies but they are more in the league of a Bentley. The packaging has a vintage feel with a built in mirror and Besame- worthy case. The bullet shape makes use simple and mistake proof. The selection of reds is smart and impressive.
Besides the first rate quality, the ad campaign was clever and cool. The price is around $35 and is available at YSL counters.
2. MAC Dazzleglasses
I consider these lippies to be a personal gift to me from the gods. They were introduced this year and were violently coveted by any self respected shimmer junkie. The colors were fairly sheer but the shimmer power that MAC managed to harness was unparalleled. I love these tubes of happiness.
MAC has whispered that these would become permanent in 2009.
3. Kanebo's Sensai Fluid Finish Foundation
It would take a lot to dethrone my beloved La Mer foundation. This formula managed to deliver the goods. It is a light texture that manages to provide superior coverage without looking like a mask. The formula is 55% water and translucent powder. The Sensai line can be explored at Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys. This foundation retails for $50.
4. Bond 9 Lexington Avenue
I have finished one bottle and 2 large size Bon Bons. I have never had to slow down on reaching for a bottle since Parfums DelRae Bois de Paradis. Lexington Avenue takes the idea of Chinatown and adds roasted almonds and creme brulee. In all my years of wearing perfume from niche to ultra expensive, no fume has garnered more compliments than this scent. It stops everyone in their tracks from crushes to the entire staff at the post office. To put it in perspective...no one has ever said a darn thing about my JAR Diamond Waters.
Lexington Avenue can be found at your local Saks or at Bond boutiques. It retails for $135 and $195.
5. Lipstick Queen Medieval Lipstick
I am an unofficial member of the Poppy King fan club. I just love everything from her lippie vision to her cool packaging. Medieval is a lip balm with pigment. It gives the appearance of a just kissed, slightly flushed lip. The effect is gorgeous and flattering to every wearer. Medieval is available at Barneys and Henri Bendel and retails for $20.
6. Chanel Exceptionnel de Chanel Intense Volume and Curl
The reviews have been mixed on beauty blogs and with my own gang of friends. Personally this mascara worked wonders for me. Maintaining a curl has been an issue for me. It is part technique and part genetics. This mascara manages to work even though I have no wrist coordination and have been blessed with short stubby lashes. This is the closest I have been to having "fans". This mascara is available at your local Chanel counter for $28.
7. La Mer Hydrating Infusion
This product is a "primer for moisturizers". I know it sounds far fetched but just remember how the masses reacted when makeup primers first came onto the scene. Now everyone is on the primer bandwagon from Lancome to Kanebo.
Hydrating Infusion manages to hold onto your moisturizer and curb away all the negative issues from mid-afternoon dryness to those tiny acne flareups that happen with too rich of a moisturizer. It changed my life and I predict that this will be a new skincare trend for 2009. This retails for $95 and is available at La Mer counters.
8. Lancome Peut Etre
If you look up the meaning of lovely in the dictionary or wikipedia, a bottle of this scent should accompany the entry. It is ultra pretty and the most feminine in all my perfume arsenal.
It is a relaunch of a Lancome fragrance from 1937. This perfume has already been discontinued and is hard to find. Lancome has a horrible habit of discontinuing my favorite things.
9. The Beauty Blender Sponge
It offers the most perfect coverage and application of foundation. I have ignored all my foundation brushes since Beauty Blender came into my life. It can be purchased at beautyhabit.com for $18.50.
10. L'Oreal's Skin Genesis Multi-Layer Cell Strengthening Daily Treatment Eye Serum
Another skin care product that changed my life. This formula might feel light to the touch but it packs a powerful punch. It hydrates and soothes like no other. Corner dryness is eliminated. The light formula also is such a welcome relief to testing heavy eye creams. I developed two skin tabs around my eye area and have blamed heavy creams for the appearance.
11. Sally Hansen's Carmindy Foundation
12. MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator from the Future Earth Collection
13. Estee Lauder Perfectionist [CP+] Wrinkle Lifting Serum Corrector for Lines/Wrinkles/Age Spots
14. MAC Pleasantry Mineralize Blush from the Sonic Chic collection
15.Veet In Shower Hair Removal Cream
16. Byredo Parfum's Pulp
17. MAC's Style Minx Lipglass from The Heatherette collection
18. Bobbi Brown's Metallic Eye Shadows
19. MAC's Smoke & Diamonds and Mink & Sable from the StarFlash Color Collection
20. OPI's Parlez-Vous OPI? nail polish from the France Collection. Special nod to the new
Play ’Til Midnight polish from the Holiday in Toyland collection.
Top Ten of 2008, for Blogdorf Goodman
As we reach the end of 2008, Annie has invited me to share my own “top ten” list of favorite new beauty products. Looking back, I realize that I added quite a few rave-worthy products to my routine this year. In no particular order, they are:
1. Lipstick Queen Medieval. I’ve been smitten with my Medieval lipstick ever since Angie and I met Poppy King, the Lipstick Queen, back in early November. It feels like a balm, it colors my lips a transparent cherry red, and it has such magical-looking packaging.
2. Oscar Blandi Riccia Curling Serum. Sometimes, you get what you pay for. This high-end styling product enhances the waves and curls in my hair, without any “crunch” or greasiness, and keeps them looking stylish all day.
3. Jane Iredale Dream Tint. I have oily, fair skin, and this oil-free tinted moisturizer with titanium dioxide gives me sheer, smooth coverage plus security against the sun. It seems a bit pricey, but one tube lasts for months on end.
4. On10 Schweppes Club Soda SPF 15 Lip Moisture Stick. This stylish-looking balm contains coconut oil, beeswax, olive oil, and cocoa butter, protects against sun damage, and tastes like sugared lemons—for less than half the price of Fresh’s much-touted “lip treatment.” Hah!
5. Naturopathica skincare, especially Protective Moisture Cream and Neroli Toning Serum. I’m cheating, because these aren’t actually new products, but I only recently started using them in earnest. My skin loves these effective, natural formulas: the oil-free cream for day, and the serum at night. And then there’s the gentle Cleansing Facial Scrub, the Calming Seaweed Mask...
6. Six Scents No. 6 (Teen Spirit). I recently reviewed this fragrance for Annie and Blogdorf: it’s a crisp, modern rose with notes of salt air and green leaves, and I adore it. The only drawback? It’s a limited edition. Get it while (and if) you can.
7. Herban Essentials Peppermint Towelettes. I bought a package of these all-natural “wipes” one steamy summer afternoon, and I’m still using them whenever I’m on the go. They eliminate all traces of grime or stickiness, and their mint essential oil clears my sinuses, makes me feel more alert, and even helps with motion sickness!
8. Korres Lip Butters in Quince and Wild Rose. Finally, someone has created moisturizing, petrolatum-free balms that actually contain enough pigment to work as stand-alone lip color. I’ve been wearing these two for months, and I have my eye on the new Plum shade.
9. OPI We’ll Always Have Paris. This deep wine shade falls midway between two of my older favorites: the inky eggplant of Lincoln Park After Dark and the creamy blackberry of Boris & Nastasha. It works well for both office and evening wear, and who can resist the Casablanca-inspired name?
10. Enfleurage Roll-On Relief in Sanctuary. I relied on this aromatherapeutic blend for stress relief all year. It includes soothing and clarifying essential oils of chamomile, ylang ylang, black pepper, and clary sage. (It can be purchased at the Enfleurage boutique or by phone; see http://www.enfleurage.com/ for more information).
Cavewoman's Top Ten List for 2008
It was a great year for beauty and fragrance, that's for sure! When Miss Blogdorf asked me to choose my top ten best new products of the year, I grabbed a piece of paper and a pen, and started going through my beauty and fragrance stashes. I came up with so many great things I'd discovered, but limiting it to ten was not as hard as I thought it would be. Here are the standouts for me in 2008:
1. Bond No. 9 Solid Perfumes. How beautiful is this presentation, with the heavy matte gold compact in the same style as their candle covers, and the sweet little leatherette zip-around pouch with the Bond token on the top in gold. The presentation is perfect, totally Bond, and the Chinatown inside is exactly true to its scent.
2. Chanel No. 5 Eau Premiere. I'm breezing through this bottle faster than I imagined. I've always loved Chanel No. 5, but found it difficult to wear. The Eau Premiere takes away all those metallic "in your nose" notes off of the top, and gets down to everything I love about the original. Needless to say, I'm heading for a second purchase soon.
3. Love & Luck for Ed Hardy by Christian Audigier. The surprise "department store" scent of the year for me, this delightful scent has staying power, attractive packaging, and the most lovely and womanly blend of fruits, florals, and woods. Pink peppercorn and patchouli add a little kick. Sandalwood smooths everything out and gives a beautiful depth to the finish. I can't believe how much I like this one. Stay away from the men's new Hardy, though, it's a bad knockoff of Bond's Wall Street.
4. Dior Moonlight Quint. Another beautiful offering from one of my favorite houses, this quint has such soft and pretty shades that are totally wearable day or night, blend easily, and stay on all day. The range of shades is neutral without being the least bit boring.
5. YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick. Flat out the best formula lipstick I have ever tried. Eighteen gorgeous shades from beautiful nudes to rockin' reds. #3 is my go-to pinky beige, and #9 is my prettiest pink. The formula seems to melt as it touches the lips. I showed the lipstick to my buddy Shawn, a makeup artist who's seen it all, and he tested it on his hand. His eyes flew wide open and he was amazed! That was the seal of approval for me!
6. Givenchy Phenomen'eyes Mascara. Call it the medieval torture device, call it the prickly-ball, but whatever you call it, it really is phenomenal. The innovative design of the brush makes coating every teeny lash an absolute breeze. The formula gives great volume too. It's just genius.
7. Chanel Glossimer in Delight. The most lovely sparkly mauve gloss ever made.
8. Dior Flower Blossom Pressed Powder. Not just beautiful in the compact, with its floral design and shade gradations (with a touch of white and mint just for fun!) but stunning on the face. This powder can be used as a blush, or with a light hand and a good skunk brush for an overall pretty glow. I hope Dior does more of these in the new year!
9. MAC Mineralize Shadow Duo in Sea & Sky. Who else but MAC could bring back blue with such gorgeousness! The cobalt side is perfect as an eyeliner, it makes my eyes look sparkly and bright even in the dead of Ohio Winters. And the marble side is a great highlighting shade. Take that, Paula Begoin!
10. Bobbi Brown Square Pans And Palette System. Hooray! This new square pan palette system has made a Bobbi Brown Believer out of me! I never even cared to stop at the counter before, all those dull round shadows looked, well, dull to me. Thank goodness Bobbi has discovered that a little shimmer can be a good thing! You can choose three, four, or six items from shimmering or metallic or matte shadows to glosses and blushes, and configure the perfect palette. I am insane over not just the system, but the colors too. Bobbi has the prettiest mauves and taupes in her collection, and it is easy to pop out one shade and replace it with another, or refill when you have an empty pan. I made a shadow palette as shown, and a three-pan with blush shades. I'm sure more are in the future for me. I can't wait to go see James at our Bobbi Brown counter to play with more color combinations and make another palette!
Best of 2008 picks from Angie!
1. Lipstick Queen Medieval lipstick - the perfect rosey/wine lipbalm in the form of a chic lipstick!
2. BeeCeuticals Bee Line Free Revitalizing Eye Cream - A fab, eco-friendly eye balm that moisturizes, lessens fine lines, without being greasy
3. ZuZu Luxe Vegan Mascara - This is a gorgeous mascara, especially in navy. Another eco-friendly product endorsement (but I seriously don't
care if a product is healthy or vegan - just that it is great and this mascara is a fab, thickening mascara.)
4. Yes to Carrots Body Butter - yummy body butter w/just the right texture to treat dry winter skin.
5. Blow Shampoo in "Make My Day" - a fab clarifying shampoo that works daily on my oily hair and the conditioner rocks too (another eco product! sulfate-free)
6. OPI Sephora Nail Polish in Metro Chic
7. Jane Iredale Longest Lash Mascara in Espresso for a really natural, dark brown
8. Jane Iredale lip crayons - I squealed w/delight when I opened these moist, lush lip crayons, divine!
9. Peace Keeper Cause-metics Lipsticks - Great, moist lippies in lots of wearable shades and the profits support women's health advocacy and human rights issues (OMG am I turning green?).
10. Tokyo Milk Perfume, esp Ex Libris Parfum smells like figs and old books! And the divine packaging with illustrations you can see through the juice are fab, as is the $28 price tag!
2008 Picks with Melanie Parker
1. Wet n Wild i-Sparkle shadow palette in Twilight - This clever little eye shadow palette features a dusty lavender flower with an incredible blue violet center. The rest of the palette is a wash that resembles MAC Seedy Pearl. I use the blue violet center of the flower as a liner and in the crease, and then tone it down with the light lavender wash on my lids. The lower-corner flower is a fabulous shimmery taupe that looks great on its own with a black liner. As with all great drug store cosmetics, i-sparkle palettes are limited edition and each display only had 2 of each color story. Twilight was my favorite as it has cool tones, but there was a great warm palette, too.
2. China Glaze Sleigh Ride Collection - There were so many great nail polish collections introduced in 2008, but my favorite is one that I never even reviewed for this blog. It's China Glaze's Sleigh Ride, which features a re-release of the popular glittery red Ruby Pumps, a whiteish silver glitter called Tinsel, and low and behold, the most beautiful deep green glitter polish I've ever seen in Emerald Sparkle. This green base with green glitter nail polish was worth the wait! China Glaze heard the pleads for deep, saturated sparkly green polish and responded the most triumphantly, but honorable mention goes to the shimmery Sally Hansen's Emerald City and Barielle Shades Date Night.
3. Neutrogena Wave - This hand-held vibrating cleanser kit comes with the device, pre-soaped pads, and the necessary AA battery. I've found that I need to take the pad off the device to clean around my nose, but other than that, this gadget has improved my skin's texture and quenched my desire for the pricey Clairsonic. My skin feels baby soft when I use the Wave for a minute or two and then rinse the cleanser off. I think it is a great value at $15 for the starter kit, and have not had trouble finding replacement pads since Ulta started carrying the Wave.
4. CHANEL Kaleidoscope - This polish from the CHANEL Fall 2008 collection is a highly metallic (also known as a foil finish) molten gold color with a distinct green hue that gets cast in indirect light. This color is unique and is like a chameleon shifting shades depending on the wearer's skin tone. CHANEL also deserves an honorable mention for the Moscou collection's Nuit de Russie (blue) and Feu de Russie (red) sparkling lacquers, which were recently reviewed here.
5. Philips Sonicare FlexCare with UV Sanitizer - I love polishing my pearly whites with this electric toothbrush several times a day. It features a UV sanitizer with an integrated charger, as well as a travel kit. Much like an autoclave at the nail salon, the UV sanitizer kills bacteria on the head of the brush with ultra violet light. You just pull the head off of the handle and put it in the chamber and close the door. With the push of a button, you can sterilize your toothbrush and keep it clean until your next brushing. I got this toothbrush after hearing horror stories of gum disease and the problems that skipping flossing have lead to in some of my co-workers as soon as they hit their 40s. The price tag may seem steep at $170, but that is a small price to pay for good oral health in the long run.
6. Sephora by OPI Metro Chic - This smoky plum crème is sophisticated and unusual. It can sometimes appear lavender and other times gray. It covers well in 2 coats and dried several shades darker than it appears in the bottle. The only problems with this polish were that Sephora had trouble keeping it in stock, and it is a high price than the standard OPI line. Both formulas wear the same on me, so it seems like you are just paying more for the Sephora name. The regular OPI salon formula line had some great plums that deserve an honorable mention here. The deep Eiffel for the Color, the mid-tone Parlez-vous OPI?, and the pale and delightful Tickle My France-y were all winners for 2008.
7. Bath & Body Works Lambie Blanket - There is no better beauty ritual than relaxation and sleep. So, I had to include this lambie blanket in my best of 2008 list. This blanket is so ultra soft and cuddly that you feel the warmth of a hug every time you use it. I like to curl up with it on the sofa to read a book, flip through a magazine, or take a nap. It even has a little lamb's smiling face stitched into one corner. Who could resist that? I died a thousand deaths when a recent house guest lathered herself up with lotion and then reached for my lambie. These little critters are sold out at most stores now, so I really covet mine.
8. Helmer Storage Unit - Never have I seen such love for a storage solution than I have for the $40 Helmer cabinet from Ikea. This metal cabinet measures just 11 in. wide and 16.75 in. deep, but each drawer can hold 85 to 100 bottles of nail polish. That's a lot of storage for such a tiny footprint. I took out a shelf in my linen closet and rolled it right in there to house my entire polish collection in one place. If your collection expands beyond polish, just imagine using a drawer for pigments, another for palettes, another for lip products, and then just rolling it neatly into a closet or under a vanity. It comes in red, silver, or white and you can decorate it with magnets for a little flair. It's a great way to get organized, which is why the Helmer has developed a cult following among beauty addicts.
Let us know what your top ten picks for 2008 were in the comments!
Graphic Credit: Melanie Parker