Make Up For Ever Pro Finish Foundation First Impressions

mufe pro finish

I’ve mentioned that I absolutely love Make Up For Ever HD and Face & Body foundations. I love pretty much everything I’ve tried by MUFE actually…so naturally I was very excited when I was given the opportunity to try their latest addition to the MUFE foundation family – Pro Finish.

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Lazy Girl Makeup Look

I promised I would try to do more FOTD posts. The problem is I haven’t been wearing much makeup lately because I just want to get out the door quickly in the morning! This is what I wore on my face to work today and I thought I’d share it as an example of a typical ‘me’ makeup look lately. I basically do enough to look better than a zombie and avoid comments of “you look tired” or “are you feeling okay?” – you all know what I mean. Aren’t those awesome? So here’s what’s on mah face —

Face: Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse BB Cream, set with MAC Studio Fix Powder in N3 – this was a new combo…lately I’ve been using just Studio Fix, but I wanted to try this out. I thought maybe I could get the coverage I wanted without as much powder on my face. I’m not 100% sure how I feel about the combo yet. It’s not holy grail but it’s pretty good. The coverage was so good that I didn’t need any concealer, but that’s partially because my skin has cleared up really nicely since my previous breakout issues earlier this spring! More on how that happened later. ;)

Cheeks: NARS blush in Luster – this has become my go-to blush lately. It’s described as “golden apricot” and that’s exactly what it is. I wear a light application for a quick neutral cheek that just adds color without being all “HEY I’M WEARING BLUSH!!!!”. I didn’t contour this morning but sometimes I use my MAC beauty powder blush in Personal Style (this was LE with the All Races collection I believe, but I have a backup because it’s my favorite contour ever in the history of life!).

Eyes: Today I just swiped some of the NARS Luster blush over the entire eye area very lightly. When I had my makeup done by Napoleon Perdis once, he swiped some bronzer over my eyes before the eye shadows, and I thought he was nuts. However, he explained that bringing warmth to the eye area draws attention to your eyes, so when I am going more or less bare, I still swipe some bronzer (or in today’s case a neutral blush – other times I use my contour) over my eyes. And you know what? He’s freaking brilliant. I love this tip! It’s not even necessarily noticeable, it just adds a little “je ne sais quois” that keeps me from looking as tired as I feel at 7:45. I forgot to do my mascara until after this photo, but I use Great Lash Lots of Lashes in black. My eyebrows are filled in with the Senna Sketch-a-Brow I use so often.

In this photo my lips just have Aquaphor, but I keep a supply of lip colors in my purse that I can add later. Right now these live in my purse and I use them all at various times depending on what I’m in the mood for that day–

NARS Bolero velvet matte lip pencil
Tarte LipSurgence lip stain in Achiote
Revlon Lip Butter in Peach Parfait
Revlon Lip Butter in Pink Truffle

Also in my purse is Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow in 20E, taupe. These crayons are magnificent for on the go. I probably shouldn’t admit this but I have applied this in the car many times on my way to work. It’s so fast that at a red light I can scribble on my eyelid and smear it out with a finger, and then do the other eye at another red light – bam, eye look, done.

What’s your go-to quick makeup look?

Stuff I’m Trying Out

Helloooooo everyone! Just wanted to do a little update about stuff that I’m trying out right now or have tried recently. Sometimes products aren’t worth writing an entire review about but I still want to give you some quick thoughts in case you are considering them. But I will also have full in-depth reviews coming on a few of these as well.


I just got a bunch of Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadows – their new shadow pencils. LOVE so far!! I received 3 and they’re all lovely shades but I’ve really only had a chance to play with one of them, so a full review will come once I have been able to play with them all. But these are awesome!! If you’re thinking of trying one out, do it. :)

Earlier this month I randomly decided to buy some goodies from Tarte. I’ve been really into their Lipsurgence pencils lately, and I plan to do an overview/review of the ones I have soon (I have 3, soon to be more since I swapped for some). I also have a couple of new Amazonian Clay blushes to review, and one of their new (?) maracuja blush tints. Reviews reviews reviews!

The folks at Blanc to Noir sent me NYX‘s glide-on pencil in Jewel to review, and I quite like it. When I get a chance to take some pictures of it, I’ll have a review up. *crosses fingers* I really hope I have time to take product pics this weekend. Don’t worry poppets, they’re coming soon!!!!

Also going to be trying out a couple of lipsticks from Beauty Without Cruelty. I’ve only swatched these so far but the colors are lovely. And last but not least in the makeup category, I’m reviewing a lip product from It Cosmetics that I adore. 


Oooooohhh you guys. I have recently had the joy of receiving the HANAair Professional Hair Dryer to review from Misikko. The peeps at Misikko are SO nice, and so is this hair dryer. Holy cow. I believe with tools that you do get what you pay for, and though this dryer is expensive, it’s AWESOME. Definitely watch out for a full review coming soon! I’ll also be reviewing the HANA Shine Shield Thermal Protectant at the same time.


I bit the bullet. Big time. I don’t know if I’m an idiot or just brave, LOL. But during the Lancome Friends & Family sale I decided to finally break down and try Visionnaire. Visionnaire is their advanced skin corrector that claims to target wrinkles, pores, and uneven skin tone. It retails for a whopping $84 though, so uh who wants to shell out that kind of cash?! For 20% off though I thought okay, fine. I’ll give it a shot. My first impression is that it seems to have a calming effect on my skin, which I like. It’s way too soon to tell if it’s doing anything for me though. I also got a large sample of their Clarifying Toner, which I really like even though it’s kind of “stingy” – do not get this stuff in your eyes – FOR REAL. It’ll hurt! But it makes my skin feel really clean and fresh.

Recently I tried Beauty Without Cruelty aromatherapy AHA lotion, which is said to be for face or body. I have a love hate relationship with the product, so I’ll be reviewing that in full later – too much to talk about now. It deserves its own review.

Of the things I mentioned I’m reviewing soon, what should I do first? Tell me!

MUFE Opens First US Academy

It’s not often that I wish I were in NYC. I mean, I love the place and all to visit, but I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to live there. That may change.
Make Up For Ever has just announced the opening of their very first U.S.-based academy location in NYC. It opens January 2012, and is intended for those who are serious about their makeup education. The programs are designed for students or professionals looking for additional training. There are three modules that range from seven to twenty weeks. Curriculum topics include Beauty & Fashion, Film & TV, and Artistic & Stage. 
They’re accepting applicants for the first series of classes now, and the deadline to apply is December 1st. To apply, or for more info about the academy and a full schedule of 2012 classes, visit this page, email or call (212) – 377 – 3960.

Make Up Forever Holiday 2011

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but this was enough to bring me out of blogger hibernation. If it’s not obvious by now, I love Make Up For Ever. The products are of the highest quality, and every interaction I’ve ever had with any member of the MUFE staff has been perfection. Their holiday collection this year is free of gimmicks, silliness, and fleeting trends and gets back to what makes this brand fantastic: great makeup. Whether you’re a makeup artist, makeup artist to be, or just someone who appreciates a really nice beauty product, you’ll want to send your friends & family to Sephora to do their x-mas shopping for you this year!

MUFE’s holiday offering is 4 collections. I have two of them that I will be swatching and showing off, but for now I just want to give you the low-down on everything.

Wild & Chic Aqua Eyes Collection – $36 ($70.50 value) – in stores & online

The Aqua Eyes Collection comes with 5 travel size Aqua Liners and one full size Aqua Liner. The travel size guys are pretty little, but will still be plenty to get a lot of good use out of. I like the fact that the black one is full size, since that’s most people’s workhorse color. The other colors included are dark metallic grey, navy w/ sheen, blue-green, pearl brown, and metallic purple. I have my fair share of Aqua Liners and these babies are fantastic. They were developed for water ballet performers and they do perform up to task! If you’ve struggled with so-called waterproof liners in the past, try these out. I think you’ll love them.

Wild & Chic Best of Make Up For Ever Collection – $55 ($103 value) – in stores & online

This collection would make such an awesome gift. There’s a little bit of everything; all of MUFE’s best (except the foundation, which would make a really great companion gift to this kit!). There’s mini sizes of the HD powder and primer, a mini black Aqua Liner, a full sized Smoky Lash mascara, and a pinky pearl beige lipgloss that is sure to flatter just about anyone. And then there’s the Aqua Cream. Oh Aqua Creams, how I love you. Aqua Creams are similar to MAC paint pots in the sense that they’re potted cream shadows that you can use as a base, but overall I find them much better as far as wear. The shade included here is a warm champagne shimmer, easily one of their most popular and universally useful shades. (It was also the first one I decided I needed to have!) One thing about this kit too is if you already have one of the items (like me, I already have that Aqua Cream), nothing in the kit would be a bad thing to have two of. They’re all “workhorse” products that having more than one of would actually come in handy.

Wild & Chic Aqua Cream Collection – $175 ($242 value) – not available in stores

When I saw this kit I think my reaction was somewhere along the lines of “…oh my god“. This is Aqua Cream HEAVEN, people!! I know the price tag might seem steep, and this is definitely a high-ticket item, but keep in mind you get 10 Aqua Creams that normally retail for $22 apiece, and a brush. It’s not a flimsy little travel brush either! It’s a full size artist quality brush. These can be shadows, shadow bases, eyeliners, or even blush/highlighter. The versatility of what’s included even further adds to the value. They also come in a nice tin type case (the copy on the Sephora site refers to it as a clutch, but it’s hard-sided so I don’t think that is quite right to say– it’s closer to a pencil case). The whole thing is portable so you could easily slip it into a bag. Cream shadows are so great because you don’t have to worry about them spilling like pigments, or shattering like pressed shadows. The case is designed to hold them upside down, so you can open it up and find the color you want easily. What’s also good about that is when stored upside down cream shadows last longer. I just tested it out, and there is room to slip in an eyeliner or lip pencil comfortably as well (or maybe even a lipgloss in a slim enough tube). I’ll be interested to see if I could fit a mascara in there for the ultimate “on the go” case.

Wild & Chic Collector Case – $330 ($616 value) – not available in stores

Shut. The front. Door. This beautiful traincase comes packed with all of the products in the picture. This would probably be the Best Gift Ever for someone in cosmetology school, or your favorite beauty blogger on your holiday shopping list. ;) It has a little bit of everything to get you started (or further your love affair). Screw blockbuster palettes; this kit blows them out of the water. Of course, the price is substantially higher than most big blockbuster palettes, but I can tell you whoever receives this kit will use everything in it way more than you would use a big huge honkin’ palette. These are professional products that will perform and last– a much wiser buy.

Make Up For Ever Lip Line Perfector

Last week I asked if anyone wanted to see a review for this new product from MUFE, and I’m really glad I decided to review it because it’s actually really cool! For me, lip liner has never really been an essential part of my beauty routine (that doesn’t seem to stop me from having a bunch though, hmm…). When I first came across the info about this pencil from MUFE I kind of shrugged it off as just another clear lip liner. I already have Urban Decay’s lip liner in Ozone and a couple of others – I kind of figured nobody was reinventing the wheel here.
Wrong! Bad blogger. While I don’t really have issues with feathering or bleeding lipcolors, I do often have products that settle into all the lines on my lips. I have what my friend’s mom lovingly referred to as “lip cleavage”.
The particular lip I’m wearing in that photo doesn’t settle much (yay!), but many of them do. Especially in the line down the center of my lower lip. And if my lips are on the dry side? Forget it. Line city. I am reduced to wearing tinted lip balms only in those situations. By the way that’s NYX’s jumbo lip pencil in Hera, lightly applied. It’s a pink that flashes purpley blue. BeautyJoint has it for just $2.99!
Instead of using the MUFE lip line perfector as a traditional lip liner, I fill in the entire lip with it before applying a lipstick that I knew settled into lip lines. BAM! Huge difference. This pencil contains hyaluronic salt to help fill lines in your lips as well as waxes and silicone to for a smooth application (and smooth surface for your lipstick to glide right on!). Because of the wax, matte properties of the pencil, it can also double as a brow wax. I haven’t tried it for that yet, but I love products that do double duty!
The Make Up For Ever Lip Line Perfector is available at Sephora and retails for $18. I’d definitely recommend it as a lip primer if you’re looking for something to help your lip products go on smoothly. This pencil is great!
Sample provided for editorial consideration.

Window Shopping – Sephora

Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this? I like to go to my favorite sites like Sephora, Ulta, etc. and just browse. Sometimes I even fill up shopping carts and “pretend shop” – I don’t actually order the stuff (I’d spend thousands of dollars lol…) but it’s just a fun thing I like to do. I’m not alone, right??? 

Anyway, I thought…this might be fun to share! Here are the things that made me go “ooo” when I was browsing Sephora tonight.

Oh hello there. What have we here? It’s the new Smoky Palette by Makeup Forever. It’s not yet available; it has the dreaded “coming soon” on the Sephora website. However, it’ll be just $45 which is a steal for 8 MUFE shadows. This went immediately on my Amazon wishlist!
And then there’s this new Sinner palette from Kat Von D. Kelsey (BalmaholicTV on youtube) told me about this baby. It looks really pretty, and apparently none of those shadows are those godawful cream shadows! This one is $35, and also not yet available – but that won’t stop me from putting it on my wishlist too. I will say that even though there are purples in this palette, I think I like the looks of the MUFE palette better.
This caught my eye a few days ago but I went back to look at it again and it’s still just as beautiful. Josie Maran has released 3 new eye quints (4 shadows and 1 shadow liner). The one pictured above is my favorite, called Beautiful Nudes. Don’t they just look like they’d be soft and buttery to apply?! They’re $36.
I have been wanting to try this since I heard of its release – the Philosophy Purity Made Simple cleansing oil. I have so much skin care that I’m trying to finish up though, I haven’t justified it. But I will get my paws on this eventually! Just you watch. I LOVE Purity Made Simple (the original, not the foaming or the wipes), so I’m anxious to see if I love this as much. 
Behold, the cuteness. A Hello Kitty shower cap. I’m not a huge shower cap person; I usually just use disposables. But this is adorable. The reviews say it’s sturdy and not a throw-away type thing, which is good since it’s $16. But what really caught my eye about this shower cap is the memory I have associated with shower caps. I used to have a white one with rainbow polka dots. My cat Sienna was just a baby at the time, and every time I’d put on my shower cap she would FREAK OUT, arch her back, and run away from me sideways while hissing with all her mighty kitten-ness. I wonder if she’d like this one better?
…plus bonus picture of Sienna, who is much more grown up and less afraid of shower caps now. ;)
A couple of other observations while browsing on Sephora:
WTF? Why is this Stila palette $75? This is coming from the makers of the blockbuster palette that was $20 at Costco? I are confuse.
Ooo, pretty shiny things – Nails Inc. is now available at Sephora. PRETTY. Have you tried any of these polishes? I’d love to know your thoughts. They’re a UK brand and I haven’t tried them before.
Did any of you pick up the Urban Decay 15th Anniversary palette? I did. I haven’t played with it much yet, but I wanna know what you guys think. Do you love it? Do you notice a difference in the new eye shadow formula?
That’s it for now! What have you been eyeing at Sephora lately?

Make Up For Ever at Nicolita

It’s no secret I’m not that into fashion shows, but every so often a look comes across my inbox that I have to share with you all. This look, created by James Vincent (working with Make Up For Ever) for Nicolita at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim is just gorgeous. It’s everything that summer makeup should be! Here’s the face chart (click to view larger!):

Actress and former Cheetah Girl Adrienne Bailon walked the Nicolita show, and this makeup look on her is so stunning!
By the way, I’d totally steal and rock that necklace!
Here’s how to get this look:
Complexion & Cheeks: James wanted the skin to look classically flawless. He used MAKE UP FOR EVER Sculpting Blush in #8 (Satin Indian Pink) to highlight the apples of the cheeks and then applied MAKE UP FOR EVER Super Matte Loose Powder #12 (translucent) all over the face for a modern, matte complexion.
Eyes: Thick outer lashes were the focus of the eyes. James paired MAKE UP FOR EVER Eye Shadows in #17 (espresso) and #165 (dark taupe brown) with Diamond Shadows #312 (dark copper shimmer) and #306 (beige shimmer) and applied to the entire eye. He blended everything deep into the crease and smudged it around the lash line for a soft smoky look. He finished by lining the eyes with MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Liner #13 (black) and MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Black to bring a nostalgic feel into fashion, and coated the lashes with MAKE UP FOR EVER Smoky Lash Mascara.
Lips: The mouth had a bright pop of pink. James lined the lips first with MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Lip #16C and then applied MAKE UP FOR EVER Rouge Artist #36 in fuchsia on top.

Top Splurge Purchase Picks

This is kind of a different “top picks” post. Yesterday I wrote about Renee Rouleau’s Anti-Cyst treatment, which at $38.50 for .5 oz is pretty expensive. However, for skincare that works, I feel it’s worth spending the money if you have it. This post is all about the expensive stuff that is completely worth it. I’m not saying that all cheaper options suck, I’m just saying that these products are awesome, worth the money, and if you have the means to try them out you might enjoy them just as much as I do.

Alterna Moisture Caviar hair care products – Geez have I raved about Alterna enough yet? I love the shampoo, conditioner, and overnight hair rescue treatment. I’m playing with the working hair spray too and it’s not bad at all (I’m not a huge hair spray person). The rapid repair spray is also in occasional rotation as needed, too. Sephora has a little set that has travel sizes of my favorites from Alterna for $30.

LeAine Dehmer skin care – everything I’ve tried is phenomenal! I love the Maximum Daily Requirement moisturizer, Skin Breather exfoliating peel, and the basic gentle cleanser. I’ve also reviewed the completely awesome eye makeup remover. The downside? The price! That’s it! But if I could afford it I’d use this stuff like crazy. Instead I hoard what I have. ;) Available at LeAine Dehmer.

Clarisonic skin care brush – This is hotly debated in the beauty community. Worth it or not? Yes. There are less expensive “similar” products, but they aren’t sonic like the Clarisonic. It’s like comparing a budget electric toothbrush to a Sonicare electric toothbrush. Or comparing a VW to an Audi. I have no regrets about my Clarisonic. If you have an issue with keeping your pores clear, you won’t either. Note: I use the delicate brush heads and always use it with a gentle cleanser. Available from a variety of retailers – Sephora, Ulta,

T3 Pro Hair Dryer. Yes, there are many cheaper hair dryers that work, but I still have no regrets about splurging for the T3 pro. I’ve had it for several years and it has never done me wrong. My hair dries faster and with less frizz, the dryer is very lightweight, and quieter than others. And it’s pink. So, come on.

GHD Flat Iron – When I started flat ironing my hair, I started out with a very cheap Revlon flat iron. It didn’t matter too much to me because I flat ironed my hair maybe once every other month, and used heat protector. But when that one died an untimely death I decided to upgrade to a Sedu. When my Sedu went missing mysteriously in a move, I was heartbroken. The difference between an extremely cheap flat iron and a higher end iron was already cemented in my habits. I didn’t spend full price on my GHD as mine was a salon demo model (it had only been used on a doll head), but it was still $100 so it was a significant purchase. I freaking love this flat iron. It heats up so fast and it takes me about 15 minutes to flat iron my hair. I don’t have that horrible tearing sensation as it glides over my hair, and my hair stays straight for a long time. GHD irons are available from Sephora. Please do not buy them on ebay as there are many fakes out there and they are DANGEROUS. Also try for a lot of really nice straighteners (including Sedu!).

Makeup Forever Foundation – $40 is a lot to spend on a foundation for most people, but if you’ve got the money it just can’t be beat. I really adore HD foundation as well as Face & Body. It doesn’t hurt that both have perfect matches for my skin, either. ;)

Beauty Blender Sponges – This is another one I see discussed all the time. I admit, when I saw this I had the reaction that most of you do: “$20 for a sponge? WTF?” but, alas (for your wallet) it’s worth it. I first tried the cheaper alternative by Sonia Kashuk (available at Target), but then when I had a gift certificate I splurged on the set of 2 Beauty Blenders. They are so much sturdier than the SK version. If you wear makeup often, or do makeup on others, it’s worth having a tool that is of a higher quality that will last. My SK sponge already had a couple of chunks missing that tore out from washing/use. Beauty Blenders are going strong! Note: While I love the sponges, I don’t think the Beauty Blender Cleanser is worth it. Just use your regular brush cleanser or what you use to break down foundation on your brushes. Dawn soap works great too.

Alright. Capitalismfest is over. Going back to saving money posts after this. But if you get that bonus you’re hoping for, I hope you’ll refer to this list of splurges. ;)

2010 Favorite Beauty Products

I know a lot of bloggers are doing posts like this, but um…oh well! Deal with it! lol. Since we’re all different, we all have our own opinions and experiences of products. So maybe you’ll learn something new. :)

Best in Hair

Win – Alterna Caviar Moisture Shampoo/Conditioner
Um, have I ever shut up about this product the last few months? No. I have tried a lot of shampoos & conditioners. Some I like, some I hate, some I even loved. But none of them compare to this. None. I started using it in October and immediately started singing the praises. Then it made my November favorites post, and it’s still love. To give you an idea of just how much I love this, I had 1.7 oz travel tubes. When I couldn’t get any more product out, I took scissors and cut the tubes at the top so I could scrape every last bit of product out. Then when I discovered I couldn’t reach the very very bottom of the tubes, I cut them again so I didn’t leave any bits out. Um, that’s love. That’s rabid obsessive love.
Alterna is available at Apothica.

What? Another Alterna product? Oh yes. Alterna’s magic is not limited to shampoo & conditioner. Alterna’s Caviar Anti-Aging Overnight Hair Rescue is just what the doctor ordered if you need a little extra care. For example, color treated hair, extra dry hair, etc. I just put some of this in my hair and go to bed. I wash out in the morning (with Alterna shampoo & conditioner of course!!) and boom! hair of a goddess. I was kind of skeptical about leaving something in my hair overnight, but they claim it leaves no residue. And honestly? It doesn’t leave a thing on my pillow. I can feel it soak into my hair long before my head after hits the pillow case. My hair just drinks it up! It doesn’t feel like it’s sitting on top of it as a gooey mess at all. How do they do that? No idea.

Show – Biolage Thermal Active Repair Cream 
It’s been a few months since I reviewed this gem of a styling product. This is a sleek-ifying gel-like cream that activates when you heat style to help keep your hair strong and fend off damage from the heat styling. It has ceramide to strengthen your hair and mango seed oil for moisture. The light hold it provides also helps keep your hair sleek and shiny, too!

Best in Skin Care

Win – LeAine Dehmer Daily Cleanser Formula II
Okay before you ask me “Alyson, how can a product you haven’t even reviewed yet be the best cleanser of the year?”. Simple: it’s awesome. It’s not this cleanser’s fault that I didn’t try it until near the end of the year. It’s also not this cleanser’s fault that I haven’t made time to review it yet. But this cleanser is fantastic. LeAine Dehmer designed her cleanser so that it a.) doesn’t change your skin’s pH, b.) is completely water soluble. What’s special about that last one? That means no residue. None. No toner necessary. It dissolves makeup like a champ, too. My breakouts have been significantly reduced, my clogged pores are seeing improvement, and I have less redness in my cheeks. At first I just thought it was like any other simple cleanser. But when I started seeing results I was convinced. And then when I got lazy and skipped a few days and saw my skin start to go back to its old habits, I was even more convinced. LeAine Dehmer skin care products are available at

Place – Bioré Dual Fusion Moisturizer SPF 30
For the very first time, I found a moisturizer that combined everything I was looking for with a decent SPF. It is not too heavy, wears well under makeup, doesn’t break me out, and protects my pallor. What more could a girl want in a moisturizer? Oh yeah, it doesn’t break the bank either at only about $15. Available at drugstores.

Show – Neutrogena Acne Stress Control Power Clear Scrub
Even though my skin is no longer experiencing breakouts, I’ve sworn by this product for so long that I couldn’t not recommend it as one of the best of 2010. I’m well into my third tube of the stuff. Why I like it is it has salicylic acid (chemically exfoliates your skin) as well as some very gentle little scrubby beads. It also contains cucumber extract which keeps it soothing and non-irritating. It’s an absolutely brilliant product, works great and helps dry up breakouts in a flash. Available at drugstores.

Best in Body Care

Win – Kiss My Face Moisture Shave
I know Gianna of Nouveau Cheap will agree with this one! Kiss My Face Moisture Shave is a product I have never strayed from because I just see no reason to ever try another shave product again. This one is perfect. It’s literally life changing. Shaving used to be something evil for me. I suffered from the most horrible, irritated legs ever. There’s no point in shaving your legs if you can’t show them off afterward, and red itchy bumps after shaving aren’t cute to show off! This product is the single-most life improving beauty product I’ve ever added to my routine. If you decide to try just one product from this post, try this one. Available natural food retailers such as Whole Foods, and some drugstores.

Place – Bath & Body Works Classics Rice Flower & Shea Body Lotion

Sometimes certain parts of your body (for me it’s my feet, fingers near the cuticles, elbows, and sometimes my shoulders, which were severely damaged by sunburn many years ago and often quite dry) require a little extra TLC. It’s no secret that I’m a Bath & Body Works junkie, but this is my favorite B&BW product. The shea butter is so nurturing and soothing on cracked feet, ravaged cuticles, anywhere! I also love the soft scent of the rice flower. I have several bottles of this in my house at all times. In fact, I even keep one in the car. Available exclusively at Bath & Body Works’ website.

Show – Mitchum for Women Clear Power Gel
Raise your hand if you were expecting me to rave about deodorant. If you hate smelling, you use deodorant. But what if you hate smelling like deodorant? Then you use Mitchum for Women Clear Power Gel, that’s what. Even unscented deodorant often has this awful powdery smell. You will not find it with this one, and it does the job. It’s alcohol free, so it doesn’t sting or irritate if you apply it on freshly shaved pitties. It’s cheap, and it doesn’t leave deodorant marks on your clothes. What more do you need?

Best in Makeup – Eyes

Win – Revlon Grow Luscious Mascara
Mascara is another product I have tried just a ton of. Revlon Grow Luscious offers that perfect combination of lengthening, volumizing, and definition without clumping up, flaking, or smudging. I have tried a lot of mascaras that I like, but what gives Revlon the extra edge is that it’s a drugstore mascara. Other mascaras that have impressed me this much are all quite expensive.

PHOTO FINISH … it was so close…
Place – Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes & Urban Decay 24/7 Pencil Liners
My two favorite liners. This year was the year of the pencil liner for me. After messing with cake, liquid, gel, and pencil I have decided pencil liner really is my favorite formula. And with such great pencils at my disposal, why not? Both of these formulas are amazing, and the color choices are incredible. MUFE and UD are available at Sephora.

Show – Billion Dollar Brows Brow Powder & Brow Brush
This is hardly new to my makeup arsenal. I’ve been using it for well over a year already. I use the brow powder in Taupe and their Brow Brush, which is an angled brush with a spoolie on the other end. To pick up both will set you back $31 plus shipping, but it’s 100% worth it and a tremendous value. Like I said, I’ve been using my powder since Summer 2009. I haven’t even hit pan on it yet, and I use it in the same spot every time. It’s so pigmented that you only need a little for brow perfection. The brush is the perfect application tool, too. The bristles are the perfect length. Also, a kind of random thing I like is that the brush itself is red-brown. It stands out in my makeup brush cup so I can find it easily. Doing my brows takes only seconds, and even if I skip brow gel it lasts all day without smudging or fading. BDB products are available at Billion Dollar Brows.

Best in Makeup – Lips

Win – Vasanti Cosmetics Tinted Lip Balm
Never before have I enjoyed a tinted balm so much! I love that these seem to be more lipstick than balm at first glance. They have the bullet packaging of a lipstick, which makes them so much easier to apply than balms in squeeze tubes or pots, which seem to be the favorite packaging of many other tinted balms. I also love how very tinted it really is. You can get real color payoff with these without losing any of the benefits of good-for-your-skin lip balm. If you want a bit of shine and color but hate the feel of gloss, you should definitely try these. They’re so good. Vasanti really nailed it with these! Available at Vasanti Cosmetics.

Place – MAC Lipglass in Perennial High Style
This gorgeous coral lipgloss came out with the Give Me Liberty of London collection this past spring. I completely wasn’t expecting to buy it when I saw the collection online, and it looks kind of scary in the tube. But when I swatched it in the store, I was just kind of taken with it. Since then I have also purchased an additional tube, because this has been my signature lip of 2010. It’s the perfect coral pink. It brightens my whole face and goes with everything. Wearing it with cool looks brings out the pink undertones. Wearing it with warm looks brings out the coral. This one practically has permanent residence in my purse. Since of course it was limited edition, you’ll have to try CCOs, Ebay (carefully!), or other communities where MAC lovers sometimes sell their stashes, such as Specktra.

Show – SoftLips Pure Lip Balm in Chai 
I previously reviewed SoftLips Pure in Honey Dew, and loved everything except for the melon scent. When I found a Chai flavor in Rite Aid, I flipped. This has everything I love about SoftLips Pure and the scent of delicious spicy chai tea. It’s 100% natural, and 95% certified organic by the USDA. But mostly, it smells so freaking good. I’ve finished one and am half way through another, and I gave these out as gifts! I’ve seen it at Rite Aid, but you can also get it from Softlips‘ new online store, which has 99 cent shipping right now.

Best in Makeup – Face

Win – Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer
Want flawless skin? Yeah, me too. I’m getting there, but nobody’s perfect. But you wouldn’t know it with this concealer in my arsenal. It’s very pigmented so only a tiny bit is needed to cover even the most stubborn, heinous, red spots. Admittedly it’s a bit pricey up front at $32, but my tube has lasted well over a year. Make Up For Ever is available at Sephora.

Place – Purely Cosmetics Diamond Perfect Finish Powder
Now, I love me some Make Up For Ever. But their HD powder? Forget it. Diamond Perfect Finish blows it out of the water. Endorsed by makeup artists such as Kevin James Bennet (who used to work for MUFE!) and Koren Zander, this is the most perfect finishing powder I’ve ever used. Diamond Perfect Finish will give you that airbrushed, flawless look everyone is striving for. There’s almost a full karat of diamond in every jar! Diamonds really are a girl’s best friend. Diamond Perfect Finish is available at Purely Cosmetics.

Show – Make Up For Ever Face & Body Foundation
At the MUFE boutique opening, MUFE MUA Cat told me I just had to try Face & Body. She was right. What took me so long? F&B offers sheer (but buildable to about medium) coverage that looks like your skin, and feels completely weightless. It’s a very easy to work with gel formula, and comes in a gazillion colors. Last year I discovered MUFE HD foundation. This year it’s F&B. I love them both so much! If I could afford it, I’d replace every foundation in my kit with just shades of those two foundations.

Best in Makeup – Cheeks

Win – Rock & Republic Pressed Powder Blush
These guys are supposed to retail at $40 a pop, which puts them right up there with Chanel. But unlike Chanel I actually like them. ;) They’ve been on sale for $20 all year, so I picked up a few. They are so finely milled and so pigmented. They apply and blend so beautifully, and are very long lasting even when my skin has a tendency to get a little oily. The color Tease is possibly the prettiest pink in my collection. The sold-out color Call Me sold for well over $100 at the Charity Auction. I think that means it’s pretty good. Rock & Republic is available at their website but also pops up on sale sites like Hautelook.

Place – NARS Bronzer in Laguna
As a pale girl, I have to be careful with bronzer. I’m always leery when people say “oh X bronzer flatters everyone”. Well, I don’t know about everyone, but Laguna sure flatters me! It’s a delicate golden shade with shimmer that isn’t too over the top. The result is a soft glow that does not resemble dirt at all, like many other bronzers do. It doesn’t make me look tan, it just adds some warmth and life to my complexion. NARS is available at Sephora.

Show – Hard Candy Blush Crush in Living Doll
The return of Hard Candy brought us many bargain beauty gems, but among them my favorite is definitely the blush in Living Doll. It’s such a delicate and flattering shade of pink, and the mineralized formula is a breeze to work with and apply. At $9, this is an attainable piece to add to any makeup lover’s collection, and you should add it to yours! Hard Candy is available at WalMart.

Some of the products in this post were provided by PR for editorial purposes, but that did not influence my decision or opinion in any way.