Friday, December 30, 2011

Favourite Products of 2011: Makeup, Nail and Perfume

Scheduled Post: I'm away on vacation until January 4! See here for details.

Though I played with a lot of new makeup this year and liked most of them, only a few seem worthy of devotion right now. Despite being successful in reducing skincare products, I went the opposite way with makeup and accrued more. Perhaps because I had more choices than ever before, it was difficult to stop and enjoy a product to its full potential before I moved on. Nevertheless, certain items stand out right away and I want to share them with you today.

Josie Maran Tinted Moisturizer

So good that it actually displaces the much-lauded Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in my mind. Refreshingly, it does what the name claims, which is to moisturize and provid a hint of coverage at the same time. Being oily-skinned, I don't need the extra moisture and wouldn't recommend this to those with super oily skin, but it should be nothing short of awesome for the dry-normal skin types out there. The coverage is also excellent for a tinted moisturizer and the shade range seems to run slightly warm in my opinion, which is good for me because Butter is the perfect match to my skin tone.

Laura Mercier Loose Setting Powder

I've been a big fan of Laura Mercier for years but it wasn't until I got sweet-talked into buying this that I realized the awesomeness of a truly beautiful loose setting powder. Click here for the review.

NARS Powder Blush

A gazillion years after everyone has said that it's amazing, I concur. NARS blushes are fabulous. And as an almost-certified blush fiend, I should know. Yet it wasn't until I picked up the Danmari palette that I realized everything good said about NARS Orgasm is true. When applied together with the Hungry Hearts highlighter, something magical happens to my face and my cheekbones start to look almost as good as Rae's or Xiao's. (And by "almost", I mean nowhere near close!)

Dior Vernis Nail Lacquer


The love affair began with Gris Montaigne and continues today as I debate the merits of the upcoming Spring 2012 collection. Dior's formula is near-flawless and the seasonally offered shades are rarely disappointing.


Out of all the nail polish brands I've ever tried, none equals the quality of a-england. The three I tested applied almost by themselves and the complexity of the shades are unrivalled even by designer labels like Chanel and Dior. The full review can be found here. I hear whispers of a new collection to be launched in the new year and look forward to its debut with great excitement!

Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Mandarine-Basilic

I like many perfumes, but this is hands down my favourite of the year. The splash of basil and citrus represent the best of summer time, and sniffing this takes me back to the joy of feeling warm breezes on sun-kissed skin and looking up at clear blue sky with life bursting and buzzing all around. (Yes, I hate winter!)

And that's it for my favourites of the year. Can you believe 2012 is staring at us in the face? I'm going to practice writing 2012 over and over again on a notepad so that I don't revert to 2011 whenever I have to fill in dates next month.

Whether you're out partying or tucked under a blanket in front of the TV, I hope you have a wonderful New Year's Eve and feel joy, satisfaction and contentment as 2011 draws to a close. See you in the new year!


  1. I loved reading your post, Liz! I have to concur on Dior nail lacquers- I'm a Chanel girl but Dior is slowly creeping up in favor. I recently acquired Geisha Pink and Nirvana, and couldn't be happier with them.

  2. Awesome favourites!

    I tried a sample of JM's Tinted Moisturizer before and loved it... Which makes me wonder why I haven't purchased it yet :p. I remember wearing it one day and a friend of mine commented on how my skin looked "flawless."

    ...I should really pick one up now...

  3. Great faves! I really want to try that tinted moisturizer as it sounds so awesome!

  4. I also want to try this tinted moisturizer now, great :P

    And yes, the Dior polishes...they are so amazing! The formula is so amazing. Sigh.

    And I found a Sephora that carried the Mandarine-Basilic! I sniffed it. I wasn't expecting it to be so green! I'm not sure how I felt about it, but it was refreshing and crisp.

  5. I love how organized you are...I'm at home and still can't get my favourites done. I love that perfume too, it's been one that I always gravitate to. I have yet to own it thou. I think I need more NARS blushes, I only own Orgasm and it's my easy no brainer go to blush for sure.

  6. Excellent post. I am so impressed you whittled it down to six favorites! That Guerlain fragrance sounds divine, right up my alley.

    As for Dior ... I think I might prefer them to Chanel. Dior's greys and blues are so incredibly gorgeous.

  7. I am sort of addicted to tinted moisturizers but I still can't find the Josie Maran TM at Sephora. Maybe I'm blind but I'll keep my eyes peeled. The Laura Mercier TM was meh but you're right about the loose setting powder. I finally got it to look less ghostly on me!

  8. maybe i should try the josie maran one. i was not impressed by laura mercier xD breakout city T.T and orgasm is a good one i will branch out onto others :D

  9. Woohoo! A new collection from a-England? Sign me up, please! Very exciting.

    I'm pledging to myself this year to finally try a Dior polish - it's just gotta happen already! Also, I've been seriously eyeing the LM loose powder, so I'll get to see what all the hype is within the next couple months. Can't wait!

  10. I happen to love winter and not be the biggest fan of summer, but still, that perfume sounds amazing! Have never smelled it before, so will have to go look for that :)

    And hey, I should do that notepad thing too! Every year, I write the previous year's date for about two months.

  11. @Carrie - I read your comment during the trip and was so jealous of the Nirvana acquisition! Then a few days later I saw it at a Singapore Sephora and seized one for myself! Hurray! :DDD

    @Dani - Oh wow, yes, you need to get one soon! It's one of those things that I never would have tried on my own, but luckily, now I know how great it is. Nice to have another beauty lover agree!

    @Tracy - You really should! If you're super dry, you might still need moisturizer underneath it but I think it's pretty awesome. :)

    @Larie - Umm... how about you find a foundation for your wedding first, lol. ;) I'm not into true greens but there's something mellow in the finish of Mandarine-Basilic that anchors the scent for me. Maybe it'll be something you find more alluring in the summer? I don't wear it much during the cold seasons but spray it non-stop during summer.

    @Tracy D - I tried not to stress about it and just nailed down the products that first came to me. Yes, I think another NARS blush would be great for you! :)

    @Zuzu - I did a separate skincare post so there was no need to go on and on, otherwise I'd say everything was my favourite, lol. I think Chanel's great with innovative new shades but I prefer Dior when it comes to cremes and basic shades. Love both of course, though!

    @Ashley - I don't think you're blind and it's weird that your Sephora doesn't carry JM! You should ask. Glad you like the LM Loose Powder! It has to be applied sparingly but it works!

    @Isabella - If you're oily, I don't recommend Josie Maran. Try a sample first though! Branch out on to other... blushes? Are you going to be one of those people causing me blush envy??? ;D

    @Toya - I know... I can hardly wait! Adina is a genius. And try samples first! I wouldn't want them to disappoint you the way I hyped up the Hourglass primer. ;(

    @MMorsels - I think you'll like it! I already miswrote 2012 as 2011 on the Canada Customs form on the way back but I'm determined not to do it again, haha!

  12. I love your list. It seems like some really fantastic finds. I've yet to try A-Enlgand, but you girls have been saying such great things I feel I really need to give it a go. I really need to whiff that perfume. To me there is such a beautiful elegant grown up feeling to the act of spritzing yourself. It reminds me of my wonderful Grandma who had a vanity full of perfumes that all smelled so good. She would hug me as a little girl and I would smell like her, like a little aromatic ball bouncing around her house. Lovely memories.

  13. @D - That is a lovely memory. :) Strangely enough, nobody I knew really wore perfume. Not my mom, not my grandmothers, no aunts... maybe one but I rarely saw her. My perfume love goes all the way back to middle school with Exclamation, Tribe and Vanilla Fields. I think it was an older girl who first showed me her Exclamation and my perfume journey began there. :)


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