Best of 2011 List: Makeup, Nail Polish, Brushes

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy 2012 everyone! I hope your Christmas and New Years went well! I actually spent Christmas holidaying in China, and I also had a fun time on New Year's Eve! Since this is my first post of 2012, I thought I'd start with a retrospective, before we truly bid goodbye to 2011 and embrace the year ahead! I haven't done my Best of 2011 post yet, so here you go - the Top 10 beauty products I discovered in 2011!

10. Ginvera Nude Cover Green Tea BB Cream

I'm not really a fan of BB creams, but this is probably the best BB cream I've encountered not only in 2011, but so far. I especially like that the colour is actually a realistic yellow-beige, isntead of the overly pink and ashy looking shades I see BB creams coming in. If you're looking for a BB cream, this is definitely one to check out. And it's not too pricey too, which makes it a plus. You can also read my full review on the Ginvera Green Tea BB Cream.

ginvera green tea nude cover bb cream

9. MUA Pro Eyeshadow Trio in Innocence

I love cheapie-but-goodies, and this is definitely one of them. A great nifty trio of universal neutral shades. After all, why should you spend a lot for a good basic everyday shade? The colours are great, the pigmentation and blendability are also superb. The full review on the MUA Trio Eyeshadow in Innocence is available for your reading, if you'd like to find out more.

8. The Face Shop Nail Polish in GR502

It may not be an exact dupe of Chanel Graphite, but for us girls in Asia who don't have access to Revlon Carbonite, this is probably the best way to scratch that Graphite itch without spending all that dough. At just a few bucks, it's less than a third of the price of Chanel Graphite. The photo beloww shows a comparison picture between the two. Can you tell them apart? If you want to know which is which, read the full Chanel Graphite comparison post.

7. Liz Earle Deep Cleansing Mask

Hands down, this is my favourite skincare discovery of 2011. Liz Earle had a lot of great products that I've discovered this year, including their Sheer Skin Tints, but if I had to pick, this is probably my favourite product from the company. It's not too expensive, and it really works. I've been using this mask for a few months now, and I swear I really think it actually has helped my skin become less prone to breakouts and acne. I still break out and get pimples, of course, but I think this mask does help to lessen the intensity of my breakouts. It's a great mask for oily skins. If you want, you can read the Liz Earle Deep Cleansing Mask review for more information.

6. Sleek Makeup Au Naturel Palette

Yep, another great cheapie-but-goodie find. You know I'm a fan of Sleek's eyeshadow palettes, and this year, they certainly had fun releasing a myraid variety of palettes. I couldn't decide whether I wanted to include the Au Naturel Palette, or the equally awesome Curacao Palette, but in the end I decided that I really liked my neutrals more. If you're more of a brights girl, Curacao would be your thing. For the neutral girls (like me), the Au Naturel Paeltte presents us with a great affordable palette of neutrals.

5. St Tropez Skin Illuminator

Highlighters are always tricky - how exactly you get that glowy-from-within effect without any discernable big bits of glitter or shimmer is really an art, and so few brands acheive that. I'm firmly convinced that Becca is the brand that makes the bestest highlighters ever, followed by some of the Smashbox Soft Lights (I collected these for awhile, and some are better than others but the great ones are really superb). But St Tropez, the brand more often associated with tanning has put out three Skin Illuminators that are a worthy effort. The three shades (gold, violet, pink) have varying levels of shimmer-obviousness and glowiness, so there's something for everyone - whether you want a subtle glow or an all-out shimmer. Read my review on the St Tropez Skin Illuminators and see a really ugly FOTD post, if you dare.

4. Evil Shades Backtalk Blush

Hey, look, another dupe! Evil Shades's Backtalk Blush is actually pretty darn similar to Rock and Republic's Kinky Pressed Powder Blush. While I love both, and I think they are somewhat, sort of different enough to own both, I do think that unless you're an obsessive, blush-collecting makeup fiend, either of the shades would suit. Backtalk has some shimmer that isn't present in Kinky, but otherwise, they're pretty much the same to me. You can read the full Rock and Republic Kinky vs Evil Shades Backtalk post, too.

3. Sleek Fenberry Blusher

A late entry into 2011, but nonetheless, one of the best, I'm convinced. This colour is a gorgeous matte dusty rose that would look good on anyone, regardless of skintone or undertone. Oh yeah, it's that good. If you still don't have this, you absolutely neeeed it. See my Sleek Fenberry Blusher review to see just how awesome it is.

sleek fenberry blush berry collection

2. Orly Luxe Nail Polish

Again? I know, I know, I'm sorry. I really am. But I don't think I've ever been as enamoured with a nail polish as I have been with Orly Luxe. Okay, so it wasn't exactly a new entry in 2011, since technically speaking I got in 2010, but it's so gorgeous, I have to mention it. As many times as possible. Until I get sick of it. Which is never. Anyway, it's a gorgeous, gorgeous, beautiful shade of universally flattering foil gold. And so unique, too. I don't think I've ever had anything like it in my stash, despite the gazillion other gold polishes out there. This one just stands out. You can see a Orly Luxe NOTD here, if you aren't sick of it yet.

orly luxe foil fx bottle

1. Essence of Beauty Crease Brush Duo

I know, I'm so late to the party. Goodness knows why it took me to wait to 2011 to try this baby, but now that I have, it has acheived you'll-have-to-pry-it-from-my-cold-dead-hands-if-you-want-to-take-it-from-me status. That good. It's perfect for precise blending and colour application, for small eyes, for applying eyeshadow as eyeliner. Any better, and it'll bring you out on romantic dates on Valentines and giving you chocolates. Yep, that good. You have to read my EOB Crease Brush Duo review here to really understand why I love this so much. Best buy of 2011. Hands down.

essence beauty crease brush duo 1

And...because I couldn't leave it at just 10, here are two honourable mentions. You know, just to make the list to 12, in commeration of 2012.

Honourable Mention 1: nubar Purple Beach Nail Polish

Oh yeah baby. You know I love duochromes. But this isn't just a duochrome, it's a triple-chrome, a multi-chrome, an awesome-chrome. You'll need to check out my Nubar Purple Beach NOTD to see more swatch pics of this from other angles. Cause it's just that awesome, you know. (Okay, I cheated, this is another 2010 find. So sue me.)

Honourable Mention 2: Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint

The British skincare brand's firt foray into makeup was a pretty good one. It's actually pretty similar in feel and coverage to a BB cream, so perhaps for consumers who are curious about BB creams but don't have access to them yet can get some idea of what a BB cream is like with the Sheer Skin Tint. Altogether, not a bad effort, and I look forward to future releases from the brand. Want to know what I thought of it? Read the full Liz Earle Sheer Skin Tint review.

That's it - the best of my 2011 (and a couple of 2010s that I sneakily snuck in)! Do you agree with this list? Did I miss out anything? Let me know!


  1. Thank you for the recommendations! Happy 2012!

  2. love this sleek palette! neutral colors is all that I want! xoxo

  3. Oh gosh, everything looks great. I'd love to grab those essence brushes and that duo chrome polish! I love skin food polishes, they have more funky shimmer/glitter colors than face shop. I also own the ginvera bb cream, although i find it a tad oily, definitely works with a powder and is great for yellow toned skin!


Thank you for commenting! I read each and every single comment! If you ask a question in your comment, please check back to this post, as I will reply in a comment to this post as well :) Please note that comments with soliciting links to shops or websites will be removed. Thanks!


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