Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Best Beauty Finds of 2012

I thought it would be fun to do a recap of my top five favorite beauty finds of 2012. We all know how much I enjoy trying new products (incidentally, this year I am going to be using up and/or swapping my stash of products in the name of frugality), and so here are the best of the bunch!
  1. Bare Escentuals Matte Foundation: I'll admit that mineral foundation has never really interested me—call me a makeup snob, but I never could bring myself to really buy into the mineral craze Well, after trying it out last year,I'm a convert now! I need to do a proper review, but I have found mineral foundation to be an excellent fit for my skin type and coverage needs—and, believe it or not, Bare Escentuals Matte foundation photographs really, really well! It's been my go-to foundation for the past several months, so much so that I've actually tossed a lot of my foundation stash. It may not work for everyone, but it's a definite 'win' for me!
  2. Bare Escentuals Ready Eyeshadow Duo in The Nick of Time: I tried out this pressed shadow duo at the same as the BE foundation, and found it to be a real winner too. Both shades have a fabulous buttery texture, last incredibly well, and are non-irritating. The shades really make my green eyes pop—Chance is a creamy pinkish white (similar to MAC Vapour), and Kismet is a rich, plummy brown (similar to MAC Haux.) As a side note, Kismet closely resembles the foundation shade Max Factor created for Lena Horne (named Light Eygptian), which supposedly was used as an eye shadow on Caucasian actresses in the 40s.
  3. Kiss Me Blinc Mascara: This is a tubing mascara, which means that it stays on until you are ready to remove it with warm water-no flaking or smearing ever. I have sensitive eyes prone to irritation (which means they water like crazy until the offending product is gone), and being pale, I like to wear brown mascara instead of black. Blinc mascara comes in a great medium brown shade perfect for blondes and redheads (it comes in black as well), and doesn't bother my eyes at all—it's a must-have for anyone with sensitive eyes.
  4. VanityMark Brow Pencil in Blondie: As someone with nearly colorless brows, a good brow product is a must-have for me. I prefer pencils to powders, but regardless of product type, I have always had a hard time finding the right shade. Most products marketed for blondes are too dark, too taupe/ash, or too orangey for my coloring, making for a frustrating search. VanityMark Blondie is the perfect neutral beige shade, easy to apply, and long lasting too. So, unless I happen to be lured by the siren call of another magical brow product, I'll be sticking with this!
  5. Natural Calm: Now, this isn't technically a beauty product—but it is health-related, and health plays a role in appearance. For years, I have suffered from migraines, and over time, the number of migraines I was getting each month, as well as the length and intensity of the headaches, increased. I've tried several prescription medications, but found the side effects were much worse than the cure, and so I was resigned to suffering through three to five migraines a month. That is, until I read that a magnesium supplement can help reduce or eliminate migraines. I ordered a bottle of Natural Calm, a flavored powder you mix with water, and started taking a dose every day. In the past four months, I've had a total of three migraines—a huge improvement! If any of my readers also suffer from migraines, you may want to check this one out.
Well, these were my top five finds of 2012! What were your favorites?
Amanda Lee


  1. Bare Escentuals Matte Foundation was my beauty find 2012 too, really a great product! now I have to try the eye shadow too xxx

  2. Oooohhh, what a wonderful sounding list! Like yourself, I have nearly invisible natural brows and much, much prefer pencils to powders (interestingly, I've found that powders often trouble my sensitive skin, whereas I've had far better luck in that regard with pencils, so that's another big point in their favour for me), so I'll definitely be looking into VanityMark's offerings. Thank you for introducing me to that brand.

    ♥ Jessica

  3. I am definitely going to look into that brow pencil. I have nearly colorless brows as well and have been using powder for years but would love to try something new! Thanks for sharing those beauty finds :-)

  4. In the Ruins of Berline--the new Ready shadows are wonderful, I think you'll really like The Nick of Time duo!

    Jessica--I hope VanityMark's pencil works for you! It's a lovely product, very long lasting (no worrying about it wearing off unevenly) and it comes in a great shade range--I think they offer two different shades of red, in fact!

    Elisa--I like the pencil as it is quick and easy to apply, but if you prefer powder, I have tried VanityMark's and it is equally nice!

  5. Magnesium deficiencies can cause all sorts of health problems - glad your migraines have lessened! I will definitely be checking out Natural Calm. :)

  6. I am glad you are feeling better. Migraines are so tough to deal with. I started using that foundation too a few months ago and love it.
    I also use their foundation primer and it seems to work well.
    I went back and forth with different liquid formulas, but they always dried out my skin towards the end of the day. This one does not seem to do it.
    I have to try VanityMark pencil - it sounds promising.

    Take care,


  7. I will have to try the BE foundation.Loreal has quit making the one I used and all their other ones suck and the packaging is getting smaller and smaller.I used to use a pencil for my brows and then it started not wanting to apply I tried NYX brow kit and I love it.The mascara sounds good.I wear contacts and usually anything I use makes them itch or water and I end up in my glasses.I also suffer from migraines and have been using advil migraine.It's ok.will have to try what you use.I get them and they last days or I have to wear sunglasses all dayy.migraines are horrible.xx