Um, is it really that time again? My mind is still in November and my body wishes it were on some tropical island! But here we are, on the precipice of 2014 and I’m reflecting on what products have really knocked my socks off. Admittedly, I get pickier with each passing year…about ingredients, performance, scent, value. And yet, when I find something really, really incredible I’m just as giddy as the day I discovered mood lipstick or what blush can do. No product, however, compares to the joy of knowing all of you and the love + support you’ve given me since launching this blog in 2009. I’m so very grateful! Wishing you all your hearts’ desires in the year ahead. —Bets
(clockwise) I can no longer leave the house without Tarte EmphasEYES Inner Rim Brightener ($19). I makes my eyes look brighter, bigger, more awake. // I carry this little pot of RMS Living Illuminizer ($38) wherever I go for instant dewification. // Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin B Cleansing Oil ($38). Is it tacky to talk about my own product line? Does it matter when this is seriously the most brilliant cleanser I’ve ever used? Here’s why. // Sigma Beauty brushes are as good if not better than much pricier department store brands, and I love that the company is based in MN! // My skin wouldn’t look half as good without BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector SPF 25 ($41). It also doubles as my daily sun protection and makeup primer. // I didn’t get on the BB/CC cream bandwagon until I tried SuperGoop’s ($32). The color and pigmentation are perfect, the formula is creamy not matte, and the sunblock is mineral-based. // Essie Cashmere Bathrobe ($6) strikes the chicest balance between hard and soft—and is a welcome alternative to the usual reds and vamps. // I fear I may never use another haircare line after Aveda’s Invati system ($27 and up). Although designed for thinning hair, it actually makes mine feel, for the first time, thick and full yet magically moisturized and bouncy. Boom. // The award for most surprising product goes to Soapwalla Deodorant Cream ($14). People still comment to me about it, usually because they are completely hooked—and because it works. // My devotion to all things Bobbi Brown is nothing new, but discovering that I can wear berries and plums this year was a revelation. This gloss in Aubergine ($20) is one of my favorites.
What made your beauty best of list this year? Please share!
For the past year my hair has been a testing ground for all types of regrowth products and remedies. It’s been quite the journey, and I’m sorry to say that I didn’t discover a miracle product that will give you a Rapunzel-like braid before summer. I did, however, discover how to grow out a healthy head of hair at an above-average rate.
1. Pay attention to what you’re consuming. That truly is the best remedy. I started juicing in January and it felt like I woke up the next day with longer hair. I bought the Breville juicer and read this book to get started. For a dose of vitamins without juicing try Biotin. I’m still taking 5000 MCG per day. Also, hydrate! I try to get in 100 ounces of H20 daily.
2. Invest in good shampoo and shampoo less frequently. I didn’t find a “magic shampoo” but I’m a fan of MoroccanOil, Aveda Invati and Wen. It’s important to use something gentle with high-quality ingredients. In between 4-5 washes a week, I love Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo to keep roots clean.
3. Give yourself a scalp massage at least once a week (2-3 times is ideal). I typically use about 2 tablespoons of coconut oil with a few drops of peppermint essential oil. The peppermint is supposed to help stimulate hair follicles. Massage the mixture into your scalp, leave it on for at least 10 minutes, and then shampoo as usual. If you have extra time, wrap your hair in a plastic bag and then in a warm towel for 15-20 minutes.
Late! I’ve been so busy with my detox and finding new + exciting things to do with KALE that this list didn’t come together quite as timely as I’d hoped. But the best of the best don’t expire! I give you my absolute most favorite, life-changing products of 2012. What were yours?
Skincare obsession:Kate Somerville Clinic-to-Go Resurfacing Peel Pads: If I have a big event. If my skin is PMS-dull. If I’m traveling with TSA-approved products. This is the treatment I reach for time and time again. It leaves my face smooth, shiny and taut—just like post professional peel. And it takes, like, 60 seconds. I’m sort of at a loss for words!
Haircare: We’re all enamored with Aveda’s new Invati line, which Danielle credits for her epic hair regrowth. I just appreciate how thick and full and healthy my hair feels when I use the shampoo and conditioner. Addictive Aveda scent included.
Mind-blowing makeup: Most BB creams are made for girls with oily skin, which I am not. So it was with skepticism that I tried Jane Iredale Glow Time BB Cream. Result: totally glow-y skin that stayed that way all day. The secret is in a sheer yet waterproof finish, and the bonus is SPF 25.
Red lipstick: My search for the perfect matte, not too orange, not too pink red lipstick officially ended. Behold: MAC Ruby Woo.
Sun Protection: It’s about time, people. A broad-spectrum, mineral facial sunblock that has it all: high SPF, water-resistant, paraben-free, residue-free, faintly tinted to (no, really) match all skin tones. Ladies and gentlemen, SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50!
Handiest tool: Have we talked about Q-tips? I mean, really talked about them? I can’t live without. And if I accidentally travel without, it’s the first call I make to the front desk. For my Bobbi Brown Long-wear Gel Eyeliner just doesn’t come off without a Q-tip or look as nearly as neat without ye old cotton swab. The new Q-tips Precision Tips make all this and more wildly more enjoyable and definitely more precise. (Total Beauty editor agree so I can’t be too cray cray)
Nail polish:Butter London anything. One coat often does the trick and stays put. Plus, the chemical-free hues keep getting better (currently obsessed: Royal Navy).
Surprise hit:DevaCurl Flexible Hold Hairspray. The only hairspray I’ve ever written about, because it’s the only one that keeps a blow-out fresh and waves in place all day—without that awful sticky, crunchy nonsense—AND doubles as a root booster in a pinch. Don’t even get me going on the lavendar scent . . .