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Koh Gen Do

A Bit Obsessed: Best Of Beauty 2013

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 photo b2bff0fe-274f-4ad0-bd0c-2f229e2e9cd3.jpg Another day, another list of beauty favorites, right? Well not exactly – these are THE best products that I have used in the past 365 days.  For something to keep my attention that long is quite a feat, and for many of these products, it was love at first use.  Skincare, makeup and fragrance – these are the items that rocked my world this past year.  But a little word of caution before you read the list – I am not responsible for the buying spree that may result at the end of this post.  I am simply the beauty messenger.  Got it?  Good.  Let’s get started:

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1. Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light – So much hype for a product, yet is it worth it?  Most definitely yes, yes, yes. This particular one I use on my cheeks and hair line to give me a “lit from within” glow to my complexion.  Frankly it’s a miracle I have not bought every single shade – but there is always 2014 for that.
2. Le Metier de Beaute Classic Finish Flawless Foundation –  What’s in a name? Everything when it comes to this foundation.  Flawless finish is exactly how this looks on the skin – with buildable coverage and a natural finish that keeps my skin matte and perfect all day long.
3. Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation – I oscillate between this and my Le Metier for best foundation, but I simply can’t choose.  This is designed to deliver a high definition finish and it does.  Perfect for pictures and perfect for daily wear.  And no matter how many other layers I put on top (powder, finishing powder, blush, highlighter), it blends perfectly.
4. Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara – Is it possible to pick one mascara that rocked my world this entire year?  Yes it is.  It was hard but this formula really made quite an impression on me….and my lashes.  A thick, voluminous, lengthy and perfectly separate lash look sums it up.
5. Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Pepper – It’s not only the color that I loved with this lipstick, it was the formulation, the packaging – the entire brand.  This and the next color have taken up permanent residence in my makeup bag, and it’s only a matter of time before the entire line takes over my makeup vanity.
6. Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Fig – The perfect natural pink lip in a tube.  See swatches here and decide for yourself (though I’m sure you will agree).
7. Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil in Soft Brunette -I have said it before and I will say it again – how a brow pencil made it to my yearly favorites is beyond me, but when something is good, it is GOOD.  Texture, application, color – everything with this product is perfection.  My brows have never, and I mean never looked better.

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8. Nest Fragrances in Midnight Fleur – If there was just one fragrance I wanted to smell like forever and ever, it would be this.  So unique, rich, warm and quite the conversation piece I may add.  Almost every single time I am wearing it, I get compliments and questions asking me about the scent.  I am almost hesitant to tell them for fear everyone will begin wearing it, but then I realize that if I walked around and smelled nothing but Midnight Fleur on everyone, it would be a perfect world.
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9. Dermalogica Oil Free Matte SPF 30 Lotion – Best darn daily moisturizer for my oily skin.  Hydrates, keeps me matte, wears well under makeup – do you need it?  Yes you do.
10. Dermalogica Multi Power Recovery Masque – Not sure how I lasted this long in my life without this masque.  THIS. MASQUE.  The short version is this stuff makes my skin instantly perfect.  The long version is it uses powerful concentrated vitamins to help erase any signs of damage to the skin.  Either way, buy it now and thank me later.
11. Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion – Let’s face the facts, no matter how well I treat my skin, I will forever break out.  I have quite oily skin and my hormones like to go off on tangents without my prior approval.  Thus resulting in nasty blemishes that must be stopped.  Enter this Buffering Lotion.  Under makeup or alone, I simply cannot live without it.  It is the only thing that helps me treat the blemish fast and without completely drying out my skin.
12. Perricone MD Blue Plasma – In all fairness I discovered this product last year, but I used it so much this year I had to include it.  My glow, even skin tone and smooth texture can be credited to this daily peel that helps to chemically exfoliate the skin without ever irritating it.  It is so good, I am giving one away.  Yup, you are welcome.
13. Perricone MD Blue Plasma Orbital – All the amazingness from the face version, but for the eye.  Project ‘stay looking young forever’ is in full effect.
14. Tatcha Deep Rice Enzyme Powder – Again a product I have been using for a long time, but I had to include in this year’s favorites.  Add water and this powder exfoliant turns to a soft paste-like cleanser that gives an effective, yet surprisingly gentle exfoliation.  I always have a back up. Always.
15. Neal’s Yard Remedies Beauty Sleep Concentrate – The name threw me off initially and I was not sure what to expect, but this cult-classic (google it and you will see exactly how crazy people are about this product) has become the best thing to help my skin rejuvenate as I sleep.  I don’t know if it’s the aromatic scent or the immediate calming effect it has on my skin, but this product has become a holy grail night moisturizer for me.

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Beauty Bits: Brands You Need To Know About

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I have said this time and time again – one of my favorite aspects of blogging is having a reason and subsequently a platform to experiment with products and brands that I may not have otherwise tried or been exposed to.  Even as avid a beauty lover as I am, I used to get myself stuck in a beauty rut and didn’t explore brands that were unfamiliar to me.  Blogging has forced me to take more of a (for lack of a better term) guinea pig approach to trying new things, so that hopefully I can share my findings with others, and take away the guess work for them.  The selflessness just abounds on this blog if you didn’t know ….it’s a wonder I haven’t received a Nobel peace prize yet.  But goodwill acts aside, there have been 4 brands that stood out to me over the past year and that good news must be shared with all of you.  You. Are. Welcome.
1. Koh Gen Do – It began with the Cleansing Spa Water, a cult classic, and the love affair has blossomed from there.  After trying a few other skincare items (Gommage spa gel and Macro Vintage Essence Mask just to name a few) and being blown away, I ventured over to the makeup side and never looked back.  Their Aqua foundation was the immediate stand out with a finish and wearability like no other – I always say that if I had known about this foundation when I got married, I would have worn it for my wedding.  It deserves that high of an honor.  In the winter I reach for their Maifanshi Moisture Foundation to keep my skin looking hydrated and protected, and recently discovered their Triple Lighting Powder Foundation and rarely go a day without it.
2.  Le Metier de Beaute – Another makeup brand, another holy grail foundation.  I was introduced to this brand a few months ago after admiring them from afar for years.  I have watched them grow and expand their product line, to the accolades and praise of beauty insiders and experts.  My first love from the line was the Classic Flawless-Finish Foundation in shade 2 – a product that felt like it was made for me – both in color and in texture.  Perfect skin all day is inevitable when wearing this makeup.  Coming in at a close second were the eye palettes with colors so rich, pigmented, butter soft and effortlessly easy to blend that I understand why they are such a hit. Experimenting with their skincare has yielded just as astounding a result, with their Ultra Hydration Eye Mask Duo redefining decadent and products like their Replenishing Daily Solution give new meaning to the words luxury skincare.
3. Tatcha – If you have been reading my blog for a while now, it should come as no surprise that I included this skincare brand.  Inspired by the beauty secrets of the ancient Japanese geisha, these products are some of the best investments you could ever make.  Their Deep Rice Enzyme Powder (my favorite product and one that I will never live without again) is one of the best out there and allows for a daily exfoliation that will leave your skin neither irritated or stripped, but rather soft, smooth and glowing.  Also included in the range is an eye cream worthy of the splurge, a cleansing oil that is superior to all others and a range of creams and serums that will leave your skin looking the best it ever has.
4. Hourglass Cosmetics – Now it may seem odd that I included this brand, since it has gained so much momentum over the past few years, but I still feel like it deserves more attention and needs to be in the hands of everyone!  Their Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipstick was my gateway product, and it only snowballed from there.  Between the Ambient Lighting Powders which are some of the most unique and alluring products on the market, to the luxurious Lip Treatment Oil that has made my lips softer than ever, to my recent discovery of the Nude Lip Stylos that give great color and coverage – there is not one product that this brand doesn’t knock out of the park.

Have you entered my MAC lipstick giveaway??!!! Click here to enter! 

Shop all my favorites from each brand below:


Past Posts

Beauty Bits: Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation Review

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“Where has this foundation been my whole life?” was my exact sentiment the first time I tried the Koh Gen Do Aqua Foundation. Since I am a