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Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Beauty Purchases... My personal hits & misses

The end of the year is a time of reflection for a lot of people, so I got down to thinking about what 2011 was about for me and it all came down to... BEAUTY. (Well, you know - besides all that mushy, gushy stuff of family, new baby, loving my kids, etc. - it came down to beauty. Ha!) And by beauty, I mean that 2011 was the year of getting my beauty regimen in order.

I tried new products, found some favorites in hair care, skin care, perfumes, nail polish, and makeup - and also had a few misses along the way as well.

I can say that I'm coming out the other side of 2011 with a much better understanding of the types of beauty products that work best for me, some new favorite products, and a developed passion for all things in the "beauty" segment. The year started with a bang, with the Zoya "3 free" promotion and it got me to thinking... what if I took a different area of beauty and focused on it each month. Really honing in on the products and techniques that work best for me, and trying to find my signature pieces.

In the middle of the year, my sensitive skin on my face flared up (because of pregnancy hormones), so one month was focused on my skincare routine, another month I focused on finding great hair products that improved the look of my hair, other months were devoted to nails, eye makeup, lips, etc. I found that I started to gravitate towards the brands Mario Badescu, NARS, MAC, Alterna, and Make Up For Ever - just to name a few. And although it was tough to narrow it down... I came up with a list of beauty purchases that I made throughout the year, that were a definite "don't regret buying it - HIT" or "regret buying this - MISS"...

*~*~* 2011 Beauty Purchases Hits & Misses *~*~*

Top 5 Purchases that "I could have skipped buying this" - Total MISSES!

5) Bare Escentuals Flawless Definition Mascara - It was really hard for me to think of a fifth item that I could totally put in the "regret" category... so this one only gets an honorable mention. In my pursuit to find the perfect mascara (Diorshow won) I tried BE's Flawless Definition mascara - it wasn't horrible. Just nothing great. Nothing to write home about. I found it to to be a perfectly "adequate" mascara... meaning it didn't flake and drive me nuts, but it didn't really do anything for my lashes either. After the first few uses, even its magical lash separating powers didn't really seem to work quite as well, so it just became a regular mascara - with a really annoying applicator.

4) Sephora's Hello Kitty Perfume with atomizer - Sigh. I wanted to love it. I really did. The adorable bottle, the great smell, the fantastic atomizer (of which you can read about my obsession with HERE)... it was the total package. I ordered it online after we moved to our new house in an area that does NOT have a Sephora conveniently located near by, opened the box... only to find - the stupid atomizer didn't WORK! Not cool. 

I realize this isn't exactly "designer" perfume, but for the price - you expect at least working parts. I didn't want to go through the hassle of either driving to a store to return, or having to return by mail (it was right around the time I was due with the new baby)... so the adorable bottle sits on my dresser and when I want to wear it, I unscrew the bottle top and put it on. Lame.

3) Maybelline Falsies Mascara - This mascara gets hype that it works great, even from people that have tried higher grade mascaras... so I fell for it and decided to give it a try, even though I KNOW that drugstore brands mascaras just don't work for me. (I wear contacts and have really sensitive eyes... I can't have any sort of flakage with a mascara, otherwise it just kills just my eyes & contacts.) This was clumpy, thick, and flakey for me... Nothing positive to say about this one. Well... I guess other than at least it wasn't more than $6 or $7...

2) MAC Evolution Revolution lip glass - The color doesn't really do anything for me and I found the colors Prrr, Cultured, and Nymphette after buying this - that are much more suited to my skin tone and lifestyle. ER stays in my makeup drawers, but I could have probably taken a pass here...

MAC lipstick in Blankety & MAC lip glass in Evolution Revolution

1) Urban Decay's 15th Anniversary Eyeshadow Palette - I wanted to love it... I really, really did. This one fell flat on me or just couldn't live up to the hype that the Naked palette fulfilled. The colors were long-lasting, but I found them to be totally unwearable. I'm much more of a neutral gal for every day makeup and don't ever particularly have a need for makeup that is "out of the ordinary"... this was the biggest purchase regret of 2011.

Top 5 Purchases that "I Love!" - Were total HITS! 

5) Marc Jacobs Oh, Lola perfume - I ended up buying the largest size of this when my Sephora was out of all other sizes except the large size during a beauty event, even though I typically always get the medium sized perfumes. I was skeptical I could use it all at first, but now I'm so glad I ended up with the larger size! It's a beautiful scent that works for everyday as a stay at home mom, or is nice enough for a night out with hubby. Plus the bottle isn't too shabby to look at either.

4) MAC Fix+ - Took a gamble on trying this product and I'm glad that I did... I find that it does work to help "set" my makeup and gives me a soft finished look. I don't use it everyday, but I do feel like it gives me a little boost on the days that I do use it.

3) NARS Douceur Blush - A beautiful brown with pink undertone blush that looks great against my fair skin. This is my every day blush right now. 

NARS Douceur blush is pictured in the bottom right corner, with some of my other favorite beauty items.

2) NARS Crusing Lipstick - Another hit from NARS... This IS the perfect nude lipstick on me. Practically the same color as my natural lips, works with almost any makeup color scheme... This one is going into permanent rotation!
MAC Blankety on left, NARS Cruising on right

1) Urban Decay's Naked Palette - This is my go to eye shadow palette that I use practically every day! This was such a great investment for me and I'm actually one year later getting ready to purchase my second replacement one. I started off the year trying out this palette, and it quickly became a favorite. Wearable colors, travel friendly, and long-lasting formula... what's not to love?!?

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