Best of 2009: Better Late Than Never
You might have been wondering where the devil was my Best in 2009 list.
2009 was not my most favorite year.
In fact, there is only person I know of that had a spectacular 2009.
Her name is Lady Gaga.
2009 can kick rocks. 2010 is already better with some lovely beauty launches and moments.
Still, I want to give props to some of my favorite discoveries in 2009.
I am joined with my usual beauty crew. Please scroll way down to enjoy the lists of MUA's Cavewoman, Jessica M, Angie W, Konkeo, Ceil and Miss Griffie.
Please post your favorite things from 2009 in the comments.
MAC's Feline Kohl Eye Power is a beast and deserving of the title of Best of 2009. It is the deepest and the darkest black. It is true sooty goodness. I will never understand why MAC has not made this permanent. I mean...how many times does it have to sell out? 5 times? 20 times?
MAC's Lavender Whip was a little weirdo. It was a murky, dusty lavender shade that managed to touch the lemmings of the most jaded beauty junkies. I am on my third tube.
Shiseido Makeup Perfect Rouge Lipsticks
Dick Page designed a 20 piece lippie orchestra ranging from the useful nudes to the most vibrant pink of the land. The formula is engineered to perfection status.
Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in Diabolic is wicked cool. It is vampy in a 1920's vibe. It was my "go to" shade for 2009. You could never go wrong with it. A new and true classic for the Chanel nail arsenal.
Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour Cosmic Violine is magnificent. It has a pink shimmer fire that just warms my heart. This polish garners compliments from strangers. You could get hypnotized staring at your nails in the sunlight.
Zoya's Pinta Nail Lacquer is a true violet blue shade. The color is the selling point. How did they manage to replicate and bottle my favorite crayola crayon? It is a creme formula that survives unblemished for two weeks. It replaced my beloved Indigo. If Zoya tweeks this and adds just a smattering of shimmer....I will lose my mind.
MAC's Seriously Hip Nail Lacquer was a sleeper from the Black collection. Mere mortals could not handle this shimmer fire.
Lipstick Queen had a very good year in 2009. I have been searching for the perfect taupe shade since a Paris trip. All the Parisian newswomen wore a smoky eye paired with a cool, shimmery taupe lip. I searched high and low and could not find a decent dupe. My pining was rewarded with Poppy King's Big Bang in Space. This is it! It is so damn good.
How did Poppy know?
La Mer The Radiant Concealer was the most anticipated beauty release. La Mer scientists have been cooking this up for years. It was well worth the pining. It is the best concealer on the market. It diminishes darkness, brightens and avoids any cake issues. Plus it comes in a compact with a mirror!
Lipstick Queen's Pop Art Gloss Fifteen Minutes of Fame
Loved the pigment power and light texture. The plum was perfect for the fall of 2009.
Lisa Hoffman was my favorite discovery of 2009. I can not stress enough the quality of her perfumes and skincare. Do not sleep on this line. Japanese Agarwood is magnificent in all its forms. It will shatter your heart and make you a fan for life. I can not gush enough.
MAC's Via Veneto Dazzleglass. My most favorite lipgloss. A lavender with baby blue glimmer.
Bond's No 9 Andy Warhol Success is A Job in New York
I love the entire fragrance story that began with Chinatown and was furthered in Lexington Avenue. Success adds more amber and sugar.
Chanel Rouge Allure Laque. This is a light lipgloss with the pigment power of a lipstick. Innovative and lemming worthy. A CEW future nominee.
Perfumes The A-Z Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez in paperback
I call them Mr T and Tbone. I also call them good friends. The book has inspired serious debate and death threats. Many of my favorites take a hit, but it would never inspire me to do violence. I appreciate their noses, knowledge, wit, snark and ability to do the kung fu.
Best of 2009 with MUA's Cavewoman
Considering that I hadn't been shopping for the last three months of 2009, I didn't think I could come up with ten great finds of the year. But it didn't take me very long to make my list. Here they are!
1. Bond No. 9 Harrods For Her.
One of the most unusual Bonds! I cannot stop wearing it. The nutmeg note captivates me. A masterpiece by the amazing Laurent De Guernac, who also created another favorite of mine, MAC Stylistics Air Of Style. Oh, and my precious Shawn designed the bottle! It's perfection inside and out.
2. Elizabeth Arden Pure Finish Mineral Powder.
Yeah, there are boards on the internet (which shall remain nameless) where people diss the Arden brand as "old lady." I resemble that remark. Too bad, because this powder gives a perfectly flawless, luminous finish to the face, and it makes my skin look absolutely poreless. It's a miracle in a very clever compact.
3. Illamasqua Cream Blush in Promise.
It's my perfect pink, makes me look like I just had a nice walk outdoors in the Ohio Winter (which could end any time, thank you) -- the texture has a great slip to it, it applies without gripping, and is easy to smooth out. I want to try more colors. Interesting shaped compact, too.
4. Bond No. 9 Andy Warhol Success Is A Job In New York.
The best floral-gourmand I've ever smelled. I never want to be without it. I'm wearing it as I type.
5. La Mer The Radiant Concealer.
I hate to recommend a Lauder brand product because I'm mad at Lauder for discontinuing my beloved Prescriptives line. But this concealer does everything I want it to do, gives a slight glow to the eye area, and it does not sink into the little lines below the eye. You almost can't use a small enough amount, which is great considering the price. The compact is hard to open, though. I'll deal with it.
6. Nanette Eau De Parfum by Nanette Lepore.
I'd rather be adding one of her suits to my closet, but for now I am happy that I caved on her latest fragrance. I'll brag about her Youngstown connection, our home-town girl makes us proud with everything she does. This rose-violet fragrance (you all know that's my favorite floral combo) is womanly and elegant, with a beautiful woodsy-incensey base. The bottle is stunning. I simply cannot rave enough.
7. Clinique Maple Blossom Eyeshadow.
The absolute most perfect taupe ever made. Of course it's a Lauder brand. See #5 above. It was a Limited Edition shade from the Spring 2009 Collection. I'm glad I have two of them.
8. Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Lipstick in #20 Spicy Pink.
It's one of those no-thinking-required colors. This is by far my favorite lipstick formula, and the shade is a lovely muted, mauvey pink shade. It makes me want to throw out all my other lipsticks and just have Rouge Voluptes on my vanity.
9. Sally Hershberger Hair Care.
Every single product I've tried has performed perfectly on my hair. The entire line is a winner. So is one of her star hairstylists. (Hugs to Melissa! I love my new cut!) Get the haircare at Walgreens, and go see Melissa at the salon on Madison. Give her a hug from me!
10. Borghese Nail Color in Rossi Apple.
It just makes me happy. It's the sweetest pinky-red color. I love the bottle, too.
I've already started my 2010 list! But I won't tell you the item that I just discovered, you'll have to wait a year to find out!
Best of 2009 with Jessica M
2009 had its ups and downs for me, but overall, it was a positive year for style and beauty. Here are a few of my favorite new things, which I’ll continue enjoying in 2010.
Anna Sui for Target: Anna Sui’s collaboration with “Gossip Girl” and Target made me positively giddy. The line’s pop-up store in SoHo was a walk-in dream for Sui-lovers. I bought two dresses and I wish I’d grabbed more.
Lipstick Queen Butterfly Ball: Once again, I bow to the Queen for introducing several excellent products in one year. The standout in my own beauty bag is Butterfly Ball Shimmer Treatment Lipstick in Moment, a sheer red that I’ve been wearing everywhere I go.
Strange/Beautiful Library of Color: This is a high-quality collection of nail polishes in colors inspired by art and modern design. All the shades, from bold to subtle, are complex and unique.
Edward Bess Ultra Slick Lipstick in Tender Love: The perfect rosy-nude cream lipstick for someone with dark hair and pale, cool-toned skin; I’ve been looking for this shade for the past decade, at least!
Intelligent Nutrients Anti-Aging Serum: Beneath my makeup, I like to use natural skincare. This organic potion of antioxidant seed oils and botanicals keeps my face feeling smooth and soft.
Kiss My Face Cell Mate: From Kiss My Face’s new and improved skincare line, a light but effective daily moisturizer with physical SPF (titanium dioxide) and a light lavender scent. So useful!
Lancome Teint Idole Ultra: Not a new product, but wasn’t it relaunched this year, with ads featuring Kate Winslet? In any case, I finally tried it. Excellent matte-but-not-cakey, oil-free, long-lasting coverage.
Fyrinnae Fluff: Several companies released silica-based finishing powders this year, but Fluff is my favorite. It’s well priced, and it’s so finely textured that it works even for touch-ups.
Travel size scents from Sonoma Scent Studio and Ayala Moriel Parfums: I’ve already listed some of my top fragrance picks of the year on Now Smell This, but I’d also like to credit these two “indie” perfumers for releasing mini bottles of their fragrances; affordable and collectible!
Audrey Tautou as the face of Chanel No. 5: I love No. 5, but I’ve never been a big fan of Nicole Kidman. I’m glad her No. 5 reign is over. To me, Audrey Tautou seems like a much better “fit” for Chanel.
Have a beautiful 2010!
Best of 2009 with Koneko
This was a wonderful year for me, in terms of beauty/skincare finds. I had been in a rut- I can think of just 1-2 items I was really wild about in 2008- so I think that I made up for it in 2009! In alphabetical order...
Amore Pacific Enzyme Treatment-
I want to get a bottle of this for all my friends... that's how much I love this baby!
My dry, sensitive skin usually cannot tolerate any type of exfoliation: I develop red, irritated patches, broken capillaries, and tight, dry skin. Then I found this lovely gem! Very gentle, non-abrasive, and the end result: silky smooth, brighter skin. My skin doesn't feel tight and dry, nor do I get redness. It's comes in powder form; you add water, create a lather and massage the suds onto your already-cleansed face. In 45 seconds you rinse off. My skin has really improved in texture and clarity. I think it allows treatment products to work better too. I use this 2x a week. (If I use it more than 3x/week, I do get dry.)
Chanel Rouge Allure Laque.
Thanks to the beauty gang, I snagged this up. I was skeptical that I'd like it... I was sure it would dry my lips terribly, since it was "long lasting." So you can imagine my surprise when I got deep pigmentation, a weightless texture, and no drying effect. It sweeps on easily, and keeps my lips feeling fairly supple. Ot lasts a decent amount of time, and it fades uniformly, so no weird dark lines!
Lip chics have a very nice glossy finish, and great pigmentation. They go on smoothly, and have a slight vanilla-ish scent. The finish makes it look like I layered clear gloss on top. They are so easy to use and don't dry my lips. I love the shiny gunmetal gray tubes too!
Dior Backstage Pro cheeks-
I have never been a fan of cream blushes... they never blended well, and the way they "settled" emphasized my dry skin. However, this cream blush is in a league of its own... it blends seamlessly, and the whipped texture feels so lightweight on the skin. It can be quite sheer, but builds up well. They have GOT to expand the colors... there are only 4.
Dior Serum de Rouge lipstick-
I was skeptical about this "treatment lipstick"containing skincare ingredients. After seeing all those gimmicky plumping lip products on the market, I was feeling cynical. However curiosity killed the skincare-lover cat, and I was quite surprised by how smoothly it applied, and also how light it felt on my lips. And to my delight, it seems my lips are softer and don't chap as easily when I use this. At first I thought it was my lip serum/balm, but I think it really is this product. I hope they expand the color range soon!!
I've always been a wash-and -air-dry type of girl. However, I've noticed that my hair lies limply about my face... and it's not a very nice frame. I was quite ignorant of the versatility of the flatiron until I saw my lovely cousin style her hair with one. So fast, so efficient! I decided on the GHD, after discussing w/ my in-the-know friends and family. It heats in a snap, and the porcelain plates don't catch on my hair at all. Now, I pass it through my hair with a few twists, and look much more polished.
Jill Stuart- Jelly Eyes, Blush Quads
Thanks to a very generous family friend, I got some lovely products. The packaging is divine. It's so princess-y and pretty, I have to contain myself from saying, "my preciousssssss." Also, I have to force myself to use the products, and "ruin" their perfection. I adore the Jelly Eyes, it has a unique consistency and feels cool to the touch... and it packs a punch of shimmer. I have to use an eyelid primer, which helps w/ possible sparkle "fall-out." I also am enjoying the blush quads, which have the cutest (functional!) brush attached. I'm still getting a hang of the eye shadows... the palettes are so pretty, but they tend to repeat themselves. Everything seems to have a light fruity fragrance, but it fades away quickly.
La Mer lip balm
I have resisted the idea of the La Mer lip balm for some time. I was convinced it was overpriced chapstick, with the La Mer name on it. Then, one day, I compared the price per ounce of the La Mer w/ my usual Olay regenerist lip treatment, and was shocked that La Mer was more affordable! This minty balm has done wonders for my poor cracked lips. When used at night, I find my lips much softer and smoother in the morning. I do not want to ever be without this!
Lisa Hoffman Skincare: A&C Serum and Lip serum
I owe Annie BIG TIME for this find. During a beauty gang meet-up, she introduced us to Lisa Hoffman's fragrance collection, which was quite nice. Just a week later, I got a gift with purchase from dermstore: a deluxe sample of Lisa Hoffman's A&C night serum. Since I liked the fragrances Annie shared with us, I decided I'd give this a chance. Usually, I put away samples for when I'm feeling adventurous. I'm so glad I didn't wait! This clear, silicone-based serum sinks in quite quickly, leaving skin feeling velvety. I noticed smoother texture and more even tone. I now rotate this with the P&J serum. The day lip serum is also fantastic... it works as an underbase. It sinks in quite well, and keeps lips moisturized and quite soft. I put a layer of La Mer lip balm on top, and the two seem to really work well together.
MUFE Aqua Eyes
I love my gel-eyeliners, but they do take a while to apply (for me, anyhow.) These eye pencils work great! They are super soft. They have long staying power, and they are the first pencil liners not to give me raccoon eyes (it will smudge eventually, under certain conditions: tearing, rubbing.) I can easily tight-line, which I couldn't with the gels. Awesome color selection too!
Mustela Baby products- Stelatopia line. I have terrible eczema flares, and am always searching for something to help. After reading products reviews for eczema/sensitive skin, I learned about this line. I adore the cream cleanser. After using this a couple days, a red, angry eczema patch on my neck faded away. It had been there for months! I can even use this on hair (I get some eczema on the hairline.) It didn't weigh down my thin hair. I now have a pump in the shower as well as by the sink-- it's my new hand soap!
OPI for Sephora Nailpolish:
I'm with Brad. I have no idea why this color is not more popular that it is, but it sure ought to be! It's a sort of inky color w/ an overlay of crimson shimmer which gives it multi-dimensional depth. Quite vampy.
Paul and Joe cosmetics- Eye glosses
The Eye Glosses N are now staples for me... they are so easy to use. They have a nice consistency, allowing for easy blending. It has a lovely pearly (not shimmery) finish. The result is just "pretty." They don't crease on me either, which is a rarity!
Paul and Joe skincare- Serum
I am mad about Japanese skincare, so maybe it's no wonder that the P&J line is actually made by a Japanese company, Albion (another company whose products I enjoy!) The line has a faint orange blossom scent. I love the P&J Whitening Serum- it evens out skintone so well. My forehead/neck were 2 shades darker than the rest of my face (making foundation hunting difficult!) but now it's it's about 0.5-1 shade off.
Shiseido Majolica Majorca mascara
Lash Extender Frame Plus mascara- OMG. I finally found a replacement to my much mourned Stephane Marais comb mascara! It has a comb applicator which separates lashes quite well, while depositing mascara on lashes. No lumpiness. And there appear to be fibers in the formula, so there is a slight lengthening effect. Once it dries, it lasts and lasts! It's not touted as waterproof, but it feels like it! Removal can be a bit of a chore, be sure to used an oil-based cleanser like Shu.
Best of 2009 by Ceil(Tussah)
New fragrances released for 2009:Odin 01 Nomad
Bond no. 9 Brooklyn
Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles
New to Me in 2009
L'Artisan Iris pallida
Guerlain Angelique noir
Nfu Oh "flakies" polishes
Rescue Beauty lounge Scrangie
Rescue Beauty Lounge Frugolista
OPI Suede You don't know Jacques
Mac Lavender whip
Mac Cream in your coffee
Urban Decay Oil slick
Urban Decay Ink for eyes Zero eyeliner
Chanel Les 4 ombres eyeshadow quad 16 Murano
Lancome Erika F shadow
and... I need that Jill Stuart gel eyeshadow that Marianne got :)
I'm still waiting for the lipgloss that will rock my world...maybe in 2010.... I reach for Becca Maraschino most often though.
I also really loved my purple Sam Edelson gladiator sandals....
Best of 2009 with Griffie
Coming up with my top picks for 2009 was tough for me, mainly because while my credit card bill speaks of conspicuous consumption, very little stands out. That statement is more telling than I like to admit. That being said, here goes.
For years my usual routine has been a coat of black mascara and on a high maintenance day a slightly shimmery neutral shadow with a smudge of black eyeliner. In 2009 I stepped it up and found that a little eyeshadow can be big fun.
Mac Plumage eyeshadow-who knew that peacock blue was a neutral? It turns my hazel eyes positively green.
Mac Tealo eyeliner-goes on like a dream and again turns those hazel eyes straight up green.
Chanel Le Crayon Yeux eyeliners –excellent color selection and smooth application. My faves are Brun Cuivre (just a hint of bronzey shimmer makes this a very soft look) and Evergreen (the perfect well, evergreen color).
I am, always have been, and always will be slightly promiscuous when it comes to lipstick. I am actually a lipstick slut. The standouts this year were:
Chanel Rouge Allure Lacque. Love the creamy liquid formula and the big color payoff. I also love the doe foot applicator, I don’t know why, I just do. The lasting power could be better but… I hope Chanel brings out more colors in this formula.
Chanel Rouge Allure in Fatale. I love the Rouge Allure formula, it borders on sheer, at least on my lips and is not the least bit heavy. Fatale is the perfect cherry red (not cherry like those stupid cherries on the god awful Mary Engelbreit cards) but dark, bing cherry cherry. As Fatale wears off it leaves a beautiful, just bitten stain on the lips. Oh how I love this color.
There were a ton of new releases this year. Three stand out to me.
Estee Lauder Private Collection Jasmine White Moss. I love that ELPCJWM is not a patchouli/gourmand, does not smell like jolly ranchers and has no shimmer particles in it. I love that it is green and cool and refined. Unfortunately ELPCJWM took on a distinctly bad breath accord on me, but it smells delightful on others that I know.
Hermes Vanilla Galante will most likely find its way into my stash. I cannot adequately describe it but I get a spicy, sprightly lily (I don’t like lilies but I like this), and I get the saltiness mentioned by others. The only reason Vanilla Galante is not sitting on my dresser right now is because somehow the double strap Cape Cod Tonneu watch made its way into my bag instead. I get so easily distracted.
Issey Miyake A Scent. Green, tropical, fairly simple, not nearly as sophisticated or special as ELPCJWM, but no bad breath note.
Finally my top pick of 2009 is Coconut Oil. Yep, the kind you buy in the supplements aisle at Whole Foods. My curly hair is tamed, the curls are defined and shiny. Seriously, my hair is luminous, I could be a Pantene commercial. I also have been using the oil as a body lotion and so far so good. The only down side is that my dog is also fond of this oil, and if given the opportunity will lick it right off of my calves and hair. I can tell you it is an alarming way to be pulled out of a deep slumber.
Best of Beauty 2009 by Angie W.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios SX Daily Moisturizing Cream with Sunscreen – After years of futile searching for a lightweight, non-greasy moisturizer, I finally discovered this wonderful product. This will be a staple in my beauty routine forever after!
Eve Lom Face Wash – Sure, this has been a cult classic for ages but having only recently discovered it, I was amazed at how versatile this product is. You really don’t need moisturizer or a scrub after using this fab (albeit pricey) product.
Philosophy Purity Made Simple High-foaming Cleanser – A terrific foaming cleanser that never strips my combo skin.
Borba Cashmere Fiber Lip Kix – One of my fav lip balms of all time. Contains Shea Butter, Cashmere Fiber, Vitamin E, Pomegranate Extract, Walnut Extract, Coconut Oil, and Apricot Oil. If you can’t afford a cashmere sweater after the holiday spending frenzy, at least you can afford this little piece of luxury!
L’Oreal Skin Genesis Wet Cleansing Towelettes – Goodbye to Boots wipes and Olay’s face wipes! Thanks to Cavewoman for suggesting these great wipes. They stay moist, take off even stubborn eye makeup, and you don’t even need moisturizer after using them!
Shu Uemura Nobara Cream Cover Stick Foundation – I discovered this backstage at Chris Benz’s recent fashion show where the lead makeup artist was applying this with a concealer brush. Great coverage for dark circles and redness!
MAC Fantasia Lipstick – This wonderful pinky brown lipstick has a subtle shimmer and is a wonderful daytime lippie for work. It’s too bad this has to be purchased as part of a limited edition holiday set (House of Mirth lip bag) since the lipstick is the real keeper. Come on MAC, make this lipstick to be sold individually!
Lipstick Queen Butterfly Ball Lipstick in Moment – This is a lovely, deep red that’s made w/subtle blue shimmer to make teeth appear whiter. It’s one of the most moisturizing lipsticks I’ve ever tried.
MAC Red Pepper Lipstick – An elegant, deep rust-red lipstick in a matte texture that’s not too dry. Too bad it’s only available at MAC pro stores!
Jane Iredale Longest Lash Mascara in Espresso – Darn them for making a terrific, lengthening and glossy, natural looking mascara and pricing it at $32! I was lucky enough to be given a sample to try and I’m here to tell you, if you desperately want the perfect, soft brown mascara, you just might want to splurge on this!