Sunday, 1 January 2012

Eleven things I went GAGA for in 2011

Pinned Image

I am loving all the 'Top Eleven 201" posts I am reading. I am always a sucker for a top anything beauty list.

I thought this would be quite an easy post to do but when I sat down to tackle it I realised I was gaga for so many awesome little beauty ditties this year I may have to do genres.

Yes I am a flaky fence-sitter but what can you do?

So I bring you the top eleven types of products I've been muchos, muchos hearting this year.

Pinned Image
Mascara that holds tight for hours, survives the gym, rain showers and hormotional outburstsbut washes off cleanly with little or no rubbing with warm water at night and not a panda to be seen. To good to be true right? Wrong! Tubular mascaras are the Bradley Cooper of the lash worls. They have it all baby, it all.

My two favourites: Mac Opulash & Clinique Lash Power.

Mac Opulash offers all the beefiness of my old favs YSL Le Faux Cils and Christian Dior DiorShow. The brush is J-Lo esque, fat and curvy in all the right places and pimps out your lashes with fullness, volume and separation. Holds well and washes off down the plughole, almost unnoticed. My only regret is not ever getting the Wonderwoman special edition. Waaaah.

The Clinique Lash Power took a little getting used to - slimline brush with only a delicate curve and the formula feels wetter than the usual thickening kind. However it gives great length, total separation and holds as good as a waterproof and never flakes. Two tricks. One; acknowledge that this needs to set. Work fast layering a wet layer on a wet layer and getting it how you want than leave totally alone until set. Two; You need to get this warm to remove it - hold a warm cloth over your eyes for a few seconds each, you will reach the point where it just sludges and slides right off but it needs to get to a certain temperature point to do that.

2012 New Years Resolution:
Finally get around to trying these tubulars; Bobbi Brown's version Perfectly Defined Mascara and Kevyn Aucoin's The Mascara.

Pinned Image

2. Cheek & Lip Stains
Not usually a word that has a positive connotation "stain" but when it comes to lips and cheeks I can't be stained enough!! On cheeks nothing blends more seamlessly plus I find they behave themselves with my no.6 Mineral Powder Foundations, particularly the more liquidy ones like Benetint.

Lip stains are my lipstick loophole, I am not a bright lipstick gal but stains have allowed me to wear coral, fuchsia, berry and red this year. Previously uncharted territory for my smackers.

I've upped the anti from Benefit's peachy Posietint to Benetint, the rosy original and I am having a full blown love affair with it on lips and cheeks.

For lips the texta, marker style stain are ingenious as you can carve out a perfect lipline with it first before filling in the middle. A godsend for us uneven lined lip girls. They are also an amazing base for another lipstick on top and will have your back and peep through as the lipstick layer fades. Covergirl Outlast in Teasing Blush is the perfect natural pinky nude on my lips.

The Smashbox Limitless Lip Stain and Colour Seal Balm offering is also really clever as you can keep topping up the stain with the matching tinted balm. I like Petal a fresh and girlie pink.

2012 New Years Resolution: 
Push the boundaries, go wild with colours. Try Tarte's Cheek Stain version and Daniel Sandler's raved about Watercolour Fluid Blush (Cherub is the bestseller). Bourjois also offer some good strong colours worth a try and, and, and....

3. Tinted Balms
Hot on the tails of cheek and lips stains are tinted balms. Another lipstick loophole for me the lipstick lightweight. Two standout releases in 2011 and firm favourites of mine were Burt's Bees Tinted Balms and Clinique Chubby Sticks. I have every colour in the Burt's Bees as it is true love. Rose, Pink Blossom and Hibiscus are my three most favourite shades. As for my Chubby Sticks. I seem to get a compliment everytime I wear Whopping Watermelon, the blue-based pink suits my skintone I think. I've also been playing with it's coral sister Mega Melon lately and think I need Super Strawberry and Whole Lotta Honey in my life too.

2012 New Years Resolution: 
Never be without one in my handbag. They are perfect for throughout the day and layering over no.2, le stain.

Pinned Image

4. Spritzers
Yes I have become partial to a Sauvignon Blanc in a tall glass with soda water for a sneaky way to avoid the horror next day but I have been even more partial to a facial spritz or ten in 2011. Gone are the days of toner on a cotton pad. If it ain't got a spray nozzle I don't want to know. I have one on my desk , one for after I cleanse in the am, a different one for the pm, one for setting my make-up and one by my bed.

My favourites are Sodashi Calming Mist for night time , it is soft and rosy and relaxing, Mukti Refreshing Hydrating Mist for the evening after I cleanse as it rebalances and is astringent plus the sunny citrus mist can't help but make you feel good and Kosmea Hydrating Rosewater Mist is a great all rounder and a big bottle with a dense but super fine mist.

2012 New Years Resolution: 
Don't be a ditz and forget to spritz. Sometimes I forget to set my make-up with a spray and often in work when busy I neglect to use one even though in the air-con it is probably when I need to most.

Pinned Image

5. Face Washing Routine
Washing my face has now become such a ritual. It sadly excites me. I start by either using Audra Jame's Skin Cleansing Oil on dry skin then hold a warm cloth up to my face a few times before rinsing or I use a few drops of Jurlique's Lemon-Lime Hydrating Essence in a sink full of water and do a few warm compresses with a washer using the pre-cleansing aroma treatment designed to soften the skin surface and opens the pores and get me all zen with its limey/lemony hit.

The cloth in either of these processes is paramount. Audra James and Mukti's cleanser accompanying cloths are plush and soft but my favourite is the Kosmea Five Minute Facial  Muslin Cloth. A huge quilted cloth that holds the temperature brilliantly for compressing but used with a bit more pressure removes product and buffs skin beautifully.

Then in the morning I've been using my Clarisonic Mia and it is all that. We had a bumpy start literally when my skin purged a bit followed by I think an unrelated acneic outbreak where I ditched it until my skin healed. Now I love the feeling this gives me in the morning and I am finally oohing and ahhing at the more refined texture and tighter pores everyone raves about.

2012 New Years Resolution: 
Use this time to relax and refresh and enjoy the aromas and stay away from that magnifying mirror that makes me want to pick my pores!! Uncover a few more cloths so I have plenty in stock that I can change every second day.

Pinned Image
6. Mineral Make-up
This was probably my biggest revelation in 2011, all thanks to a make-under at Kit Cosmetics with bareMinerals and a Starter Kit. I have used my old liquid foundations twice since that day in October! TWICE!! I've been delving into mineral eyeshadows and blushes too for every day wear but the foundation is here to stay

2012 New Years Resolution: 
Branch out and try some other brands mineral powder foundations such as Inika, Eles, Youngblood, Bloom. There is so much to discover. Plus track down a great mineral based liquid foundation starting possibly with Inika.

Pinned Image

7. Spot & blemish treatments
These have always been in my beauty cabinet but those arrrrrggggh few months mid way through the year when my skin chucked a major mental meant I was calling on spot-busters more and more. However my philosophy has changed slightly.

Gone are the benzoyl peroxides and the "burn this bastard"off my chin approach. I surrendered to the gently-gently rebalancing approach during Natural November with some salicylic action when required for the big guns and I got off with a good skin behaviour warning.

Mario Badescu Drying Cream & Lotion were two winners for badly congested areas and coming to a head whoppers respectively. Dermalogica's Concealing Spot Treatment was great to use during the day as a top up to promote healing.

Mukti Sebogel takes the kid gloves approach and relies on a cocktail of natural spot fighting herbs and plant extracts which over time really does rebalance and clear.

Then to work slowly in the background unplugging, clearing and rebalancing Be in Awe Clearing Serum and Super by Dr Perricone Green Apple Acne Treatment are both gentle but effective salicylic based treatments that progressively work over time to get your skin back in shape. The Be In Awe transformed my skin dramatically over 8-weeks while also still being a natural product. I'll post more on that soon.

2012 New Years Resolution: 
Try to keep my skin rebalanced and not over work it or use anything too harsh plus get to work healing all the scars left from the crazy breakout with some vitamin c treatments and lightening serums. I am currently getting good results from a mini-sized Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus Wrinkle & UV Damage Corrector and want to try the Be In Awe Lightening Serum and Ultraceuticals Even Skintone Sensitive Serum

Pinned Image 

8. Oils - namely Rosehip, Coconut  & Argan
My three heroes this year. Give me rosehip oil in anything and my skin will adore it. BOD 
Organic Moroccan Rose Face Oil is the best I've tried results and also smellwise.

Kosmea Eight Wonder Facial Serum loves my skin and I love it back for the noticable glow I can see the next day. 

There hasn't been a week that has passed since August that I have not done a natural coconut oil mask in my hair and it is really improving the condition and my Audra James Bespoke Hair Elixr with Argan oil wears so well in my hair, never lank or greasy and makes me feel like I am nourishing it daily.

2012 New Years Resolution: 
See what other wonder oils are coming through the ranks. Borage and carrot seed seem to be popping up frequently. I also want to try Mukti's Antioxidant Facial Serum after using a delightful sample and start using oils on my body more often starting with a regular application of KORA Luxurious Body Oil.

Pinned Image

9. Sulfate free washing
I've lost all the sulfates and gone SLS free across the board. My hair is in better condition and my skin behaves itself. There are no spots around my hairline or at the back of my neck anymore. Now it's just a matter of finding which products work for me best.

Fun fun.

O&M Maintain The Mane shampoo and conditioners are firm favourite, I've been liking Burts Bees Green Tea & Fennel lately too and Sukin and Yes To Carrots shower gels are great value natural substitutes.

2012 New Years Resolution: 
Fake suds are for duds buds!Keep going SLS free and discover some more great products that work just as effectively without the fake foam party.

Pinned Image

10. Big Hair Products
2011 was the year of big textured hair for me. I ditched the straighteners and grew out my layers and replaced with blunt choppy ends that need texture and oomph.

Dry shampoos were being used by the can-full particularly Batiste in Boho. Redken Wool Shake gave me a boophy, fluffy long lasting texture to ends that I've never experienced before and Aveda Abundance Potion gave me the same at the roots. 

O&M Atonic Thickening Spray and TRESemm√© 24HR Body Root Boosting Spray were used on wet hair to take me to new heights. VS Sassoon Big Hair Styler was scary at first but took no getting used to at all before I could call on sky-high, lasting , never been seen before volume in my rootage! Must don a vid & some photos.

2012 New Years Resolution: 
Keep the ends blunt with regular trims to add to the volume and find a good mousse for special occasions. I want to pick up some large velcro rollers to give another go, last befriended in the early 90s!

Pinned Image

11. Natural Skincare
After Natural November I have continued with mostly natural skincare. At least for my regular daily routines. My skin looks and feel so different and I want to see how far I can take it with my new natural friends.

There are so many Australian Brands offering great products it makes it so easy. Burt's Bees, Jurlique, Mukti, Kosmea and Sukin are favourites but there are still so many to discover.

2012 New Years Resolution: 2012 is the year of good skin. Did you hear me?
I will try to make sure that I work on the 80:20 rule and use clean products MOST of the time but still have fun with the less holistic versions at weekends and when going out etc. Cleanish, greenish 2012 here I comeish!

Whats been your product "monsters' this year?

Any product "bad romances"

Beauty New Years Resolutions??

Happy New Year Gorgeousnesses xx

Looking forward to another year of crazy, sexy, cool :)


  1. Let me just tell you how much I love your blog! One of my goals for 2012 is to explore organic, and possibly find something there that I love. Oh, and I totally had the same change of attitude towards dealing with acne issues - I find it that when I'm harsh on my skin, all it does it fight back but when I focus on being nice to it, and taking good care of it, it becomes better every day!

  2. I always forget to spray my face. But yet I think it may not make a difference at all.

  3. Great list, this year I'm just going to go naked apart from weddings/parties :) my skin is just happier when I don't put makeup on it :)

  4. Thanks to you for introducing me to Be In Awe! I'm also a fan of the natural skincare approach mixed with 20% of other. :)

  5. @IMHOStyle- Thanks and snap!! Good luck with the organic thing- thats my goal too

    @Melissa I need to strategically place my spray where I will see it otherwise I do too!

    @Jade wow - you are braver than me!! You will glow!

    @Dana ur welcome , glad its working for you, im keen to try more!


So kind of you to drop by and comment. I will do my best to respond.