Thursday, December 29, 2011


Hey everyone! Today is the fourth day of my "Best of 2011" series! I'll be sharing my favorite/must-have products of the year with you. Some of them are new, some of them aren't.. they're just products I've discovered in 2011. Either way, I'm super excited to share them with you!

Each day will have a new category: hair, skincare, nails, makeup, and fragrance. Are you excited to see what makes the lists?! Let's get started!


Smashbox's Photo Finish Foundation Primer
I had to give this one a few tries before I discovered my absolute love of it. Even though it's expensive, I strongly believe it's worth every penny. My makeup glides on so smoothly, and it helps keep oily skin at bay. Plus.. a little goes a long way so you'll actually end up saving money in the long run! Read my full review here.

ELF's Golden Bronzer
A very subtle bronzer that is great for contouring. The price is great ($3!!) and the packaging is similar to NARS. I've had mine for over 4 months and it is still going strong. Plus I like that you blend the four colors to create the perfect shade. It's not too dark and not too shimmery.. It's absolutely perfection. Read my full review here.

ELF's Mellow Mauve Blush
This is a new favorite for me.. and I'm sad that it took me this long to discover it! Mellow Mauve is the perfect healthy flush. Plus it's the same price and has the same packaging as the bronzer listed above. I used to switch my blushes up for different seasons, but I think I love this one enough that it might become my new year-round staple blush!

ELF's Liquid Liner
I love everything about this liner: the pigmentation, the line it leaves, and the price! It's only a dollar! They also have a ton of fun colors and it lasts all day once it's dry. I can confidently proclaim that this liquid liner trumps my former tried-and-true $7 liner. If you try it, you'll be sure to see why! Read my full review here.

I think essence is one of the most under-rated beauty brands, and I wish we got more of their products here in the U.S.! These glosses are only $1.99, come in a wide variety of colors, and aren't drying or sticky. I absolutely love them. I have duplicates for my makeup bag at home and my purse. 

MAYBELLINE's Color Sensational Lipstick #140 Fuchsia Fever
2011 is officially the year that I mastered both the true red and bright fuchsia lips. While I originally only bought this lipstick for my Katy Perry Halloween costume, it quickly became a staple in my makeup bag when I realized how gorgeous it is! The Color Sensational line is smooth, long lasting, and non-drying. Read my full review here.

MAYBELLINE's "Lots of Lashes" Great Lash Mascara
Great Lash is a love affair that has lasted over a decade for me. The iconic pink and green tube.. It's the mascara my mom used, and the first tube I ever bought for myself. It doesn't hurt that the formula is also amazing.. But the newly redesigned "Lots of Lashes" brush has made me fall in love with it all over again! Now it's so easy to get each and every lash and into every corner with the tapered wand. I'm officially in love!

NYX's Eye Shadow Base
While I actually prefer the flesh-toned base to the white for daily use, I love that they offer 3 varieties: flesh, matte white and white pearl. These and the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils make the best long-wearing non-creasing shadow base and it's inexpensive and lasts forever! I never go a day without using this little miracle!

PALLADIO'S Waterproof Herbal Eye Liner
FINALLY. A waterproof liner that is inexpensive and stays put... even on your bottom water line! The pigmentation is superb, and I've always been partial to crayon liners. These come in an array of colors, but I use the black one practically every day. Read my full review here.

TARTE's LipSurgence Crayons
These are another "higher-end" makeup discovery I've fallen in love with this year. The crayons are convenient, super-hydrating, and smell like peppermint! Yummy! Plus they have such a wide variety of colors and finishes (matte, shimmer, and shiny). They last a long time, and I love wearing them over coordinating lipstick to get a brilliant shine and make my lips feel moisturized. Read my full review here.

WET N WILD'S Eye Shadows
Instead of picking one palette, I decided to just include all of WnW's shadows in my favorites. They're so buttery smooth, blendable, and pigmented! I always get compliments when I wear them and people are shocked when I tell them it's Wet N Wild. If I had to pick a favorite palette, it'd be the soon to be discontinued Vanity Palette. I wear that practically every day. But Walking on Eggshells (pictured above) is amazing too.

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Alright.. we're almost done! Come back tomorrow to wrap up with week with the Best of Fragrances!


  1. Great picks, Mandy! I need to try that Smashbox primer... grr *curses missing the Black Friday deal*

  2. Seriously... the Smashbox primer will change your life. Also, I'm going to take my advice to you and start on Pur Minerals! :D

  3. You won't regret it! Besides my normal hormonal breakouts, it's made my skin sooo much clearer and softer!