Monday, January 6, 2014

Notable Products of 2013!

Happy New Year, everyone! I know this post is a bit late, but I finally got around to gathering up my favorites (and one major disappointment!) of 2013. There's quite a bit to talk about here, so let's jump right in!

Best Hair Product

Tangle Teezer The Original Pink Fizz. This is no ordinary hairbrush. For those of you who haven't jumped on the Tangle Teezer bandwagon, do it ASAP! I have straight, fine hair, that tangles like mad. I'm not entirely sure why it gets tangled so quickly, because most people with my hair type don't have that problem. I also have a skin condition called psoriasis, which I have on small parts of my scalp, so brushing out tangles can become painful since this condition makes my scalp much more sensitive. I have also noticed that my hair has become significantly healthier and less prone to breakage since purchasing my Tangle Teezer!

Best Nail Product

Revlon ColorStay Longwear Nail Enamel Base Coat and Top Coat. When used together, this drugstore duo gives my polish a long, happy life. I use these two polishes no matter what color I'm using, and it helps prolong the wear significantly. As I've said many times, I am very hard on my nails, and I often end up with chipped polish, which is one of my biggest pet peeves. Most of the time, because it bothers me so much, I just don't bother with nail polish. But this year I discovered this Base and Top Coat pair and I will never go back. I have tried Seche Vite, which seems to be a cult favorite, and I couldn't handle paying $6 for a top coat that became goopy and unworkable in just a couple of months. For just a couple dollars more, I could get both a great top coat AND a base coat, which also helps to prevent staining!

Best Brow Product

Inglot 358 Matte Shadow. This product should be no surprise! I discovered Inglot about 2 years ago, and fell in love. Depending on the finish, each Inglot shadow is 2.3 grams to 3.2 grams of product, for only $6 a piece, with comparable selection and quality to MAC shadows, which are 1.5 grams for $10 a piece. A total steal! More specifically, this matte taupe shadow is great for brows, as well as in the crease or as a face contour. I pretty much use this product for everything. I have naturally ashy almost-blonde but almost-brown hair, so this is a perfect shade for me, especially with my current hair color.

Best Face Product

Benefit Watt's Up! Cream Highlighter. I loved this product this year. I got it with my Beauty Insider birthday gift back in May, and I absolutely love it! It isn't shimmery, and it isn't greasy. It creates the perfect glowing effect without making you look oily. It's a beautiful golden tone, which adds warmth to your face. Being as fair skinned as I am, I definitely need some warmth. And it lasts forever! I've had the little deluxe sample size since my birthday and I've still got more product left. But I know that I'm definitely going to be repurchasing the full size in 2014!

Best Eye Product

Rimmel London Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner -- "Nude." This is a total must-have in my collection. I discovered this product this year, after hearing +Fleur DeForce rave about it. I was in the market for a great nude liner, and I couldn't find any in the drugstore, until I heard about this one! Being half Chinese, I inherited my mother's smaller, almond-shaped eyes. They can easily be overwhelmed with lots of dark shadows, but this liner helps to make my eyes pop no matter what kind of makeup I'm wearing! And it's definitely great if you didn't get much sleep and you want to look more awake.

Best Lip Product

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm. I debated whether or not to include this product in this post for quite some time, because I discovered it so late in 2013. I had heard lots of people talk about this lip balm, but I had never tried it myself. When I began working at Sephora, I saw this product on the shelves in the men's skincare section. Finally, I caved in and purchased it on a day when my lips were excessively dry, due to the sudden strange weather change we experienced here in San Diego. I don't think I could ever go back to another lip balm. It leaves my lips feeling so soft and smooth, and doesn't make me feel like my lips are drier than ever before, like many lip balms tend to do (I'm looking at you, Chapstick and Burt's Bees). It's incredible! I have noticed that since using this lip balm, any color that I apply to my lips goes on so much more smoothly. It's $7.50 and worth every penny.

Best Makeup Brush

Real Techniques by Sam & Nic Chapman Expert Face Brush. This brush gives me a flawless face every time. I love using this to apply foundation, or for buffing in concealer. I got it at Ulta earlier this year, and I have completely fallen in love! I have used many different kinds of brushes for foundation, from flat brushes to stippling brushes, and I have found that this brush is amazing for just about anything. It's great because it is dense, and the shape of it makes it so that you can get into all the little nooks and crannies in your face. And it leaves you with an amazing airbrushed finish! 

Biggest Surprise of the Year

Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle Deep Conditioner. I love this conditioner. Last January, I bleached my hair in order to dye it a bright gingery orange. Big mistake. I completely destroyed my hair. I felt so awful, and my hair became very difficult to manage. I was complaining about it on Tumblr one day, when a friend of mine suggested Aussie's 3 Minute Miracle! Back when we were in high school, I think our senior year, she bleached her hair. It looked amazing on her, but she told me that this is what she used to keep it looking healthy! Needless to say, she was totally right. It's super cheap at about $3 a bottle, and I have found that it works better than even some expensive deep conditioners I have tried. My hair is so thankful!

Biggest Disappointment of the Year

Benefit They're Real Mascara. Such a crazy choice for my biggest disappointment, right!? I feel like one of the few people who didn't absolutely fall in love with this mascara. I also received this for my Beauty Insider birthday gift, and I was just so unimpressed by it. At first, I thought I really liked it. But the more I wore it, the more I felt like I was wearing spider legs on my eyelashes. Just everything about it felt bad. It was so difficult to remove that I felt like I was ripping out my lashes. It clumped on me so badly, no matter how I applied it. It also made my eyes incredibly itchy. I tried so many different ways to make this mascara work for me, and I just couldn't do it. I'm so sad to say I don't love this mascara, but I really, really, REALLY don't love this mascara. And at $23 a tube? I'd rather get a great Maybelline mascara from the drugstore for a third of the price.

Most Used/Loved Product of the Year

Tangle Teezer The Original Pink Fizz. Yes, I know this already won under the hair product category, but I honestly could go on forever about how much I love this thing. I was trying to avoid repeating products, but I couldn't help myself. I use this brush every single day, multiple times a day, and my hair has certainly benefited from it. I have never cared much about the kind of brush I use, until I discovered the Tangle Teezer. If you have yet to try one out, I promise you, it will be worth every penny. I've had nights where I was just insanely stressed out and my head was hurting, and +Andrew would sit down with me and brush my hair with this brush. If he had used any other brush or his fingers, it would have just pulled my hair and added to my headache. But instead, it soothed me and put me to sleep! I would be a total, tangled mess without it!

That's it for my Notable Products of 2013! I hope you all have had a wonderful start to the new year, and I hope it just keeps getting better from here.

Keep an eye out for my next post! I'll be continuing on with my Catching Fire series very soon, and I have an awesome surprise!

- d.

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