The Best Products For Prepping Your Lips

DILO Sep 07 - Lipstick
Auntie P / / CC BY-NC-SA

I see a lot of talk about the very best ways to prep your eyes or prep your face for makeup, but not a whole lot about prep for lips. So LET’S TALK ABOUT IT MKAY!¬† [Read more…]

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 – Bior√© 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.