My Best of 2013 Beauty Picks

Hold on a moment, I need to heave a sigh, my facial cleanser got left on the bed and didn’t make it into the group shot…sigh* will do an insert.  The best facial moisturizer also didn’t make it into the group shot because Mom used all of it up already so that will be an insert, too.  So, ANYWAY, on with it.  I basically realized I needed to do this minutes after a chopping frenzy in the kitchen for New Year’s Eve dinner, and on top of all that, the sun was beginning to set.  Talk about well-planned (not).  Some of these I’ve mentioned and reviewed (the individual review links are in pink) and some I haven’t just yet, so consider so consider those that I haven’t mentioned as quick teasers for upcoming reviews!


Well VSCO helped me along and a photo with flash didn’t seem too bad of an idea, ITG and NYLON make it work anyway.  I didn’t do “high-end/low-end” equivalents for everything but it’s a smashing good mix I think.  I did not trim it down to a significant number like 10 or 20 (happy cackle), I have about 30+ products in here, and they all function differently.  Note, one or two items are not available locally.  Read more (click “more”) to get to the complete list of my best picks for 2013.  Happy New Year!


BEST BODY MOISTURIZER –  LUSH Cosmetics CELEBRATE Body Lotion (A hydrating overnight treat for hands and feet, buttery enough for massaging.),

BEST DRUGSTORE PALETTEBYS “Guilty Pleasures” Palette (Great smooth payoff, minimal fallout, awesome shades)

BEST MAKEUP REMOVER The Body Shop Camomile Waterproof Eye & Lip Makeup Remover (Bi-phase, non-irritating, lovely)

BEST FACIAL SKIN TREATMENTPai Organics Rosehip BioRegenerate Facial Oil (An overnight re-balancing wonder)

BEST FACIAL TONERMoringa-O2 Herbal Facial Toner (Alcohol-free, soothing, and hydrating)

BEST CAKE CONCEALERMAC Studio Sculpt Concealer (Great full coverage for spots, pigmentation, and blemishes)

BEST EYE CREAM Shiseido Ibuki Eye Correcting Cream (works not only as a great eye cream, but as an eyeshadow primer as well!)


BEST FACIAL CLEANSERLe Couvent Des Minimes Gentle Cleansing Milk (Mineral-oil free, non-foaming, hydrating)


BEST HIGH-END FACIAL MOISTURIZER Clinique Dramatically Different Lotion + (Reformulated with more botanicals and hyaluronic acid and when I put this on I didn’t need to reapply moisturizer ’til the next day!  Good for normal to dry combination skin. Non-greasy, absorbs well. It’s that good.)


BEST SCENTBenefit Bathina Body Oil (smells like subtle yet sweet desire, nice as a hair oil too, hair keeps scents longer)

BEST HIGH END FOUNDATION  – MAKE UP FOR EVER HD (No SPF, natural finish, thin consistency, high-coverage, water and sweat resistant, tons of shades, foolproof, reliable for shoots and weddings)

BEST MID-RANGE DEWY FOUNDATIONZa Cosmetics True White Liquid Foundation SPF25 (Dewy but does not look pearly or feel sticky, gives a radiant healthy finish, probably a good local dupe for Bourjois Happy Light foundation)

BEST UNDER-EYE CONCEALER – Clinique Airbrush pen concealer (I’m Light 03, sadly I think it’s only 1 of 2 shades available locally, but Lisa Eldridge wasn’t kidding, this concealer under the eyes is brilliant and does the job, I need to repurchase one and review it, mine’s empty.)

BEST SILICONE-FREE FOUNDATION – Happy Skin Second Skin Creme (There’s none like it, it’s not a sheer base, it’s got more coverage like a BB creme and is therefore really a foundation, it’s got a fresh matte finish)

BEST DRUGSTORE MATTE FOUNDATION BYS Matte Liquid Foundation (light texture, water-based, hydrates with glycerin, fresh longwearing finish, good warm colors up to medium deep shades).

BEST MID-RANGE MATTE FOUNDATION – ROYAL EFFEM Extreme Lasting Matte Foundation (color matches me exactly, is quite photogenic, and feels fresh, Italian brand not available in malls)

BEST BROW PRODUCTBenefit Gimme Brow (This gives me brows that don’t look drawn on.  It gives the illusion of added hairs, nuff said)

BEST MID-RANGE MASCARABenefit Bad Gal WATERPROOF Mascara (Volume, Curl Hold, pretty smudge-proof,bold black lashes. Win.)

BEST LIP LINER – MAKE UP FACTORY lipliner in #80 (great lip cheat shade, plus has a lip brush on the other end, makes my lip edge look perfect.)

BEST LIP BALMHurraw Cold-pressed Vegan Lip balm (natural, organic, no mineral oil, awesome range of flavors, incomparable soothing texture).

BEST NAIL POLISHREVLON “Whimsical” Nail Polish (proof: that bottle got more than half empty in one month)

BEST DEODORANT/ANTI-PERSPIRANT – NIVEA Invisible 48-hr Spray Deo/Anti-Perspirant (the scent isn’t my type, but because of it I am a spray deo convert.  I repurchased this as soon as the one Nivea sent me got to zero.  No more bits in my pits!)

BEST LUXE BRUSHSoffia Opulence Face brush (sweeps on finely milled powder products perfectly, I love using it to finish and set my makeup.)

BEST MID-RANGE BRUSH – Ellana Minerals Angled Stippling/Buffing brush (perfect brush for applying liquid foundation and buffing it in perfectly, I’ve been using it so often now I stick it in the vase with my hairbrushes that are on my vanity dresser.)


BEST POWDER FOUNDATION – Ellana Mineral Cosmetics (They’ve relaunched and I so owe you guys a review, this powder = poreless coverage, intense matte pigmentation. I love using it to set under-eye concealing and correct smoky eyeshadow when it goes overboard, it covers the outer eye corner sins like nothing else. It’s almost like a concealing powder.  They’ve also come out with a pressed version but I prefer loose.)

BEST FINISHING POWDER – Laura Mercier Loose Mineral Powder (Want that angelic glow without looking like a pearl?  Try this, it illuminates the face without looking sparkly)

BEST HIGHLIGHTERBobbi Brown Nude Glow Ltd.Ed. Holiday Shimmer Brick (Gorgeousness in a compact, softly sweep over facial high points for some show-stopping refined glow, quad also functions as an eyeshadow palette.)


BEST ALTERNATIVE USE PRODUCTCure Aqua Gel for manicures and pedicures (the best gentler dry skin and cuticle remover, safe enough for the face which is what it was made for)

BEST BRUSH CLEANING PRODUCT – For spot cleaning nothing beats J&C Super Clean Solutions Makeup spray, smells like peppermint, disinfects, gets most makeup off for your next face job.

BEST TOOL – Kevyn Aucoin lash curlers (around the same price or less at Pure Beauty than the Shu Uemura ones, but gives my lashes a less uptight curl and gives that outer corner flared lift without pinching)

BEST HIGH END PALETTENARS And God Created the Woman Palette (I’ve hit pan on 2 shades and some of the others are headed in that direction, big mirror, compact size, perfect neutral party palette).

BEST MID-RANGE LIPSTICK/LIPCOLOR PRODUCTHappy Skin PH Shut Up & Kiss Me Moisturizing Lippie (a little more matte than Clinique Intense Chubby Sticks, has good hold, goes on like a lipstick but hydrates like a balm, Pinoy pride, love it!)

BEST LIPGLOSS/HIGH SHINE LIP PRODUCTZa Cosmetics Plumper Lips with Collagen in Innocent Rose (If you’re looking for something like the Dior Addict High Shine or Rouge Coco Shine lippies that won’t kill your budget, these are my best find so far.  They give the look of “lipstick underneath lipgloss” in one product and it wears beautifully, instant 3D Kardashian lips, no tingle)

And that is it everyone!  Sorry I didn’t finish this last night, we had guests over, and they were more important at one point :).  Sorry, no pricing, but I’ve linked to the ones that have individual reviews and most likely their prices are there.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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  • What a nice read to start the year! More things to look forward to. Cheers!

  • Super agree on the MUF high def liquid foundation and Benefit Gimme brow ! Didn’t try the Bad Girl mascara but still hooked on MUF aqua smoky lash:) Need make up remover so will scout for that in body shop. Also may try the Clinique airbrush concealer. Love this list. Still on the lookout for a good fresh scent , not heavy and too fruity. Any suggestions? Love your list ! All the best for blessmybag and your family in 2014!

  • Happy new year, Julia! I love how you didn’t reduce your top picks to just 10 since it’s really impossible to love just 10 products in a year. hehe.. 🙂

  • Love this!!

  • I love have listed almost all products from head to toe.. :)))

  • Love the beauty picks! Great list!

  • Love this list! Can’t wait to try some of these, oh and congratulations on the MyLisaLook contest, lucky duck! Happy new year!

  • Addleysmom

    Just discovered your blog and I’ve enjoyed several post so far. I was surprised at the choice of the Ibuki eye cream after reading other posts that included your avoidance of much alcohol in products as I understood. The ibuki eye cream stateside in America contains copious amounts of alcohol as well as so mug fragrance that both are burning when I tried it at the department store. Just curious as to why you choose it with the alcohol. Thanks again as I so enjoy your posts!