Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Best New Products of 2012 (and One Big Disappointment)

If I sat down and tried to write a post about my favorite products of this past year, it would be a novel.


There are tons of products that I loved in 2012, but some of them I've loved for years now and I've already mentioned them more than enough times on this blog anyway.

Instead, I thought I'd focus on new products that I found this year that really knocked my socks off.  Now, I've probably blogged about some of them plenty of times but this will be my last word on them, I swear.

1. Revlon Colorstay Whipped Creme Makeup

Revlon Colorstay Whippsed Creme Makeup
In general, it's hard to find a good foundation when you've got super fair, often flaky skin - it's even more of a challenge to find a good foundation at the drug store.

That's why I was pleasantly surprised by Revlon's Colorstay Whipped Creme Makeup. It's a formula that works for most skin types (except the extremely oily and extremely dry, I'd say), has a lovely natural finish and lasts like nobody's business.

And the Ivory shade (110) is definitely the best match that I've ever found at the drugstore for my uber-pale skin.

You can find my full review and swatches here.

2. Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup

Urban Decay's Naked Palettes are hugely popular - and for good reason (that's why the newest one made this list just down below!) - so it's no wonder that UD decided to expand the Naked line.

Enter the Naked Skin Makeup.

It's a genius concept, really.

A foundation that feels light and looks totally natural on the skin, but still delivers medium coverage - and fortunately, UD's Naked Skin actually delivers on those pretty lofty claims.

I love the way this foundation looks and feels.  It's got such a lovely natural finish - UD refers to it as demi-matte - and while it doesn't cover everything, you can pair it with a good concealer and look totally flawless without looking like you're wearing a mask.

I wear the Naked Skin in shade 0.5 and it's a pretty good match for my fair skin.

You can find my full review and swatches here.

3. Urban Decay Naked Basics Eye Shadow Palette

It may seem like a simple, almost boring concept - a palette of nothing but neutral, matte shadows - but the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette is the kind of essential item that every makeup fanatic can use in her bag of tricks.

I've only had the palette for about a month, but I've already gotten so much use out of it.  The colors are plain but extremely flattering on pretty much all skin tones.  UD's matte formula is also one of the best out there - smooth and creamy, with plenty of staying power - so these shadows are a dream to work with.

If you're low maintenance when it comes to makeup (an utterly foreign concept for me but ....), you could probably get by with this palette and a few shimmery colorful shadows easy.

The Naked Basics is simple, but it's versatile, handy and pretty much perfect.

 You can find my full review and swatches here.

5. LORAC Pro Palette

As much as I love my Urban Decay Naked and Naked 2 Palettes, the limited number of matte shades in them is kind of a drag.  The same could be said for my beloved The Balm Nude'Tude Palette and Too Faced Naked Eye Palette.  UD has remedied the situation with the introduction of the Naked Basics Palette (and the Balm is coming out with a new Meet Matt(e) Palette with nothing but natural shades in the next couple of weeks) but it would be nice to have plenty of shimmery and matte shadows in a single palette.

Enter the LORAC Pro Palette.

With 8 shimmer and 8 matte shadows in natural colors that correspond to one another, there's no look that you can't really pull off with this palette. 

Whether it's a soft daytime look or a bold, smoky eye for evening, the LORAC Pro Palette has got you covered.

If you've been in the market for a natural/neutral palette and can't decide between the two Nakeds, the Nude'Tude, or any of the others out there, I say go for this one.  It really delivers the most bang for your buck.  

You can find my full review and swatches here

So those are the products that really stood out to me in 2012, and while I didn't love everything I tried this year, there's only one item that really sticks in my mind as a huge, colossal, staggering disappointment.

The bareMinerals Ready Foundation.

I have always been a fan of the original loose Bare Minerals Foundation, and in the past year or so, I've become a big fan of the Ready pressed mineral line - the shadows are fantastic, as are the blushes and highlighters - so it's safe to say that I had pretty big expectations for the Ready Pressed Mineral Foundation.

Sadly, it didn't really meet a single one.

The formula is surprisingly sheer so I don't find that it provides much coverage. And yet, despite the sheerness, I haven't yet found a way to apply it without winding up with a cakey mess on my face.

Total bummer.

You can find my full review and swatches here.

What new products did you love in 2012?  Were there any big disappointments?


  1. My loves from this year are probably almost identical to your list. I need to sit down and figure them out for a post soon though. There might be a hidden gem in the mix that I've forgotten about.

    As for a disappointment, the one coming to mind is the Wet n Wild liquid liner pen in the brown shade. I didn't have super high hopes for it, but when the swatch looked almost red and was really streaky, I was pretty horrified. It was appallingly bad.

    1. Your story about the WnW liner reminds me that I also tried an absolutely terrible mascara from them. I believe Megalength Mascara. I only paid $2 for it because it was on sale but it was still a terrible waste of money. The formula was way too wet and the wand was so flexible that I kept whacking myself in the eye every time I applied it. Just awful.

  2. I really wish we had Revlon here. :/ You´re making me really curious!

    My absolute highlight this year were some of the seemingly boring single eyeshadow in the drugstore. Lucky finds if you will^^

    .... and the "leading lady" nailpolish from essie. I LoveLovelove the colour even though I dislike red nails on me.

    1. Hey, I'm jealous of some of the brands you have in Europe too! :)

      Leading Lady looks gorgeous! I love red nail polish (and glitter too) so I may need to add it to my shopping list.

  3. I've only been using it for a few weeks, but I absolutely LOVE "The Return of Sexy" eye shadow palette by Too Faced. My favorite features are the illustrated day and night "get the look" cards that are included for each of the three color collections.

    My disappointment? I still haven't gotten used to my Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting Primer being in a squeeze-tube. I loved the older pump design - it gave me the perfect amount each time and was a lot neater/cleaner.

    - Laura

    1. I've only played with Return of Sexy Palette a few times (yes, I wound up getting it for Christmas after swearing that I didn't need it ... LOL) and I'm loving it too! But I'll save the details for my review...

      I hate face products that don't come with a pump. So much less user-friendly.:p


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