Friday, December 30, 2011

The Friday Forum - December 30

As we approach New Year's weekend, I thought about writing a Best in Beauty for 2011 feature. After struggling to contain the list of items that might merit inclusion, I realized that I tried all year to feature the Best Things in Beauty. I seldom took the time to tell you about products that disappointed me (high end and low), although I did occasionally when they were "hot," and I wanted you to pull out your wallet "fully informed."

This was actually a banner year for makeup, skin care, fragrances, tools, hair care, and everything beautiful. Never mind that it was also a banner year for weather events we'd all like to forget. We focused on what's beautiful in our worlds. I had fun. I hope you did.

So, today, we'll use the Friday Forum for you to name the Best Things in Beauty for 2011. What were your favorites? Which products or colors knocked your socks off? What new products or brands became your stand-by's, the ones you reach for almost every day? If you had to limit your selections to no more than 10, what would they be? I think we'll have fun learning from one another. Just leave your faves in a comment.

Naturally, we can also start our usual weekend conversation. Do you have a question others might be able to answer? Want to talk about skin care? What's new in your life? Just use the comments. Don't be shy. Just make sure to ask any question you might have over the weekend. By early the next week, most (not all) readers have moved on.

Don't forget to enter this week's giveaway contest! Benefit's POWda WOWza portable box offers two cheek colors and a bronzer to make you gorgeous on the go. Just leave a comment at this link to enter.

If you don't come back before the weekend ends, Happy New Year!

iStock photo


Viking Beauty said...

Butter London nail polish
Paula's Choice skincare
Diamancel foot files
Revlon Vision tweezers
Balenciaga Perfume

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Viking Beauty!

I must go look for those tweezers this weekend. I'm still using the best pair I ever found: Revlon that must be 35 years old. No others will grab my fine eyebrow hairs!

Viking Beauty said...

They're here:

They are the only tweezers I've found that are made for glasses wearers. They have a small point and a long flat side so I can grab everything.

Eileen said...

I am not a fragrance collector, but this year brought three fragrances into my life that knocked my socks off: Tom Ford's Violet Blonde, Guerlain's Sous le Vent, and Chanel's Cuir de Russie.

For eyes, I fell in love with Guerlain's new quads and acquired several. I love the texture, the variety of finishes, the ease of blending, and the impeccable color coordination that is prevalent in these new quads. Everything that is needed to create a casual to dramatic eye look is right there. And, being Guerlain, elegance is the hallmark. I just add a swipe of mascara and I'm good to go. And, although technically for Spring 2012, an honorable mention must go to Chanel's Éclosion. Gorgeous!

In the category of face powders, there were way too many new loves to mention, but these were some of my very favorites. Bronzer: Chanel's Bronze Rosé. Finishing powder: Guerlain's Vol de Nuit Météorites. Highlighter: Chanel's Lumière Perlée. Blusher/highlighter: Chantecaille's Biwa. Blusher: Chanel's Rose Écrin with another honorable mention going to Chanel's Spring 2012 Horizon.

Although I purchased many lovely lipsticks and glosses this year, I don't get real excited about those so it's hard to name a favorite. If I had to pick just one, though, it would probably be Guerlain's Rouge G in Brenda.

I definitely prefered the spring and summer collections in 2011. Autumn and winter collections seemed nice but rather pedestrian to me. As for 2012, I really like what I have seen so far.

Kate said...

Some of my favorite products of this year:

1. Tom Ford lipstick in Nude Vanille;
2. Tom Ford's Shade & Illuminate in Intensity One;
3. Elie Saab's fragrance;
4. LMdB's Silk Road eye kaleidoscope;
5. Chantecaille's eyeshadows in Sel and Rose Gold;
6. Laura Mercier's Lip Glaces in Nude Lilac, Pink Tulle and Bare Pink (I think LM's lipglosses go overlooked by many - I adore this formula!)
7. Dior's Roige Dior in Or Etoile (literally kicking myself for not buying a backup);
8. LMdB's lipstick in Thailand; and
9. LMdB's Fresh Tint in Poppy - such a lovely color.

I am still awaiting the arrivial of the additional Antiquite Poupees so I can get my hands on it. I feel like I have been waiting forever. Sigh. I am sure it will be one of my favorites, though.

Also, I definitely plan to get a bottle of Violet Blonde. It really surprised me.

I can sincerely credit BBiB for MANY cosmetic purchases in 2011. Thanks for all the hard work and wonderful reviews. I always feel confident buying something that received a favorable review on BBiB!

Happy New Year! May 2012 be happy and healthy for all!

Charlestongirl said...

These are great lists! I want to comment too, but I'm heading off to PT now. I'll be back. :)

lovethescents said...

I love lists :-) Well this is the first year I started using higher end beauty products on a regular basis, fragrance not included. My favorite buys this year:

Several I Profumi di Firenze bottles
l'Artisan's Mon Numero 1
Chantecaille Biwa
EB Brush
EB Storm and Mirage eyeshadows
Chanel Rose Envolee
LMdB Peche Creme gloss
Chanel Mademoiselle lipstick
Armani lipgloss in Plum
Dolce & Gabbana eyeshadow palette in Vulcano
Guerlain Rue de Rivoli quad

Happy New Year!

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Eileen!

Such good choices! You are definitely a Guerlain gal these days (followed closely by Chanel). :)

The three fragrances that you loved this year are all perfume blogger favorites. Nice selections! To be on your second bottle of TF already is remarkable. I really wish I could love that one. Everyone else seems to. :) I have a sample here. I'm going to give it another go.

I can't wait to get my hands on the other spring collections! So much to look forward to.

Did you see Mishka on the Today Show? Such a cool dog, I "liked" Mishka on Facebook so I could see all the clips that are released.

Happy New Year!

Charlestongirl said...

Oh Kate, such good selections! BTiB readers have great taste!

As soon as I can replenish my bank account, I absolutely MUST order Shade & Illuminate in Intensity One. I really want it. Maybe I need to go buy a lottery ticket before tonight's drawing. Why not?

Your Chantecaille picks are two of my favorites also. Such amazing colors! The LMdB cream blush is also fab..u...lous. I have every shade. Think I loved them too?

Check eBay for the Dior. Sometimes, eBay sellers have new in box makeup for sale. It's worth a search.

Thanks for the kind words! I hope you can continue to trust my features. Happy New Year! Let's toast to another beautiful year.

Charlestongirl said...


I don't know how I missed the Mon Numero series! I bought a bottle that's coming from SE Asia, but that's all I've been able to find. Right now, I can't even remember which one I bought. I have to go check. What is Numero 1 like?

Love your choices too! Aren't those EB eye shadows the best?

Happy New Year! May it be a fragrant year - and please remind me if a line releases something I must have. It seems like L'Artisan's series sold out in a heartbeat.

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks for the link, Viking Beauty! I need to go find those tweezers. I'm going to check CVS this weekend.

lovethescents said...

C-girl, Mon Numero 1 is a soft pear....a must-try for you! Let me send you a sample. I know someone selling a PB. I'll send the sample next week, along with others we might have already discussed?? I also have some Numero 10 which I don't like, and I know you won't either. Medicinal incense is not your thing....

I have some Numero 8 which is gorgeous and citrussy. I'll send a touch. Please mark things down as I'm so forgetful. I think I know someone that has some if you need it.

Which one did you buy?

Now launches? Best place to check is NST! If you follow them, at least to check the headings, you'll be on TOP of the fragrance world <3

Charlestongirl said...


I purchased #6 (I think). It was posted to me from Asia about two weeks ago, along with a small sample of #8.

Thank you for the offer of samples!! I'm thrilled. AND, if you can put me in touch with anyone selling a PB or FB, I'd be really excited.

What I don't understand is why I didn't order. I saw that they were available, but I thought I had plenty of time. Oh so wrong!

Anonymous said...

my list

Chanel - Bronze Rose
Burberry shadows- all, but mostly Pearl Grey, Khaki ans Rosewood
Burberry lip mists- Blueberry and Stormy Pink
Rouge Coco shines
Chanel Rose Ecrin
Chanel Morning Rose polish
Chanel Lilium quad, love Eclosion as well

Anonymous said...

forgot to add very important product

LMdB- Antique Poupee

Eileen said...

Hi Kate,

I first began wearing makeup in the early 1960's so I am perfectly at ease with shading and sculpting and have Shade and Illuminate sitting in my cart. I have a question for you, though, before I submit my order. Do you use the TF brush that was designed to be used with the product or do you use something else?

Hi Charlestongirl,

Yes, I saw Mishka. I adore that clever little girl. Huskies are very socialble and communicative dogs as Mishka so clearly illustrates. She's the greatest!

Hi Lovethescents,

I'm glad you were able to track down Rue de Rivioli. It's such a beauty. I probably should have mentioned that particular Écrin 6 Couleurs in my favorite list because I wore it constantly last spring :-)

Aren't beauty lists fun? I hope some more you ladies will post your hits from 2011.

lovethescents said...

Charlestongirl, from now on, I'm going to bother you about fragrance's that? Speaking of which, two new Profumums are being released! I can't wait, particularly for Dolce Acqua: Coconut, heliotrope, almond, vanilla, tonka bean ( You KNOW I have trouble resisting coconut, especially if it isn't the ultra sweet variety (ick).

I think you'll love both 6 and 8. Let us know.

I've emailed my contact on the PB. I'll be in touch when off the 'grind' tonight :-)

mary ann said...

Le Metier All About Me Lipcreme
Clea De Peau Foundation
La Praire Holiday Eyeshadow Quad
and Lipgloss

I love you your website, just when I think I do not need any more makeup.
There you are tempting me again.

Swathi Narumanchi said...

Hi CG ,

This year has been an amazing year makeup wise for me.

My top ten would probably be:
1. Burberry rosewood lipstick
2. Guerlain rouge automatiques in nahema, fleur fe feu and bal de Mai
3. Dior amber diamond
4. Dior celebration eyeshadow palette
5. Dior smoky khaki
6. Mac eyeshadows in sable , satin taupe, amber lights
7. Mac paint pots in indianwood and constructivist
8. Mac gel eyeliner
9. LMdB eyeshadows in nutmeg and Bordeaux
10. Dior gloss in apricot cloche and Dior rouge dior allegro pink and pisanelle pink for perfect nudes

I haven't yet gotten into perfumes much as availability is low here. But I do love my Burberry touch and chopard wish . They keep me smelling good 😊.

Evelyn said...

Hi Charlestongirl!

Happy New Year to you and all your readers too. May we have a lovely makeup and perfume filled 2012 to look forward to (as well as world peace). Had to get a less materialistic thought in there. :)

My surprises of the year:

1. Guerlain Lingerie de Peau in 02 is a dead on match for my skin, looks natural and lasts all day. I am very impressed. I was getting frustrated with makeup artists matching me to foundations in which I looked yellow or peach. I am neither yellow nor peach is that not obvious?!

2. Meteorites. So quiet, so unassuming, yet dust them on and step back to see that my not so great skin suddenly looks like porcelain.

3. Gloss d'Armani. love!

4. Rouge Bunny Rouge. I love the shadow but was even more surprised by the blush Gracilis I bought which is subtly lovely.

5. As Eileen reminded me, Chanel's Bronze Rose. I never wore bronzer until I tried this which looks natural on me. No oompa loompah or Jersey Shore!

I'll be off to Montreal soon and will explore a Canadian perfumer the Non-Blonde suggested so my 2012 adventure starts early.

Ylesuin said...

Oooh, I'm going to have to delurk for this . . . I love "Best of" lists!

-LMDB Penelope kaleidoscope - I love all the shades and together, they're pure magic
-Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua - Finally a foundation that looks gorgeous, stays in place, and is pink enough for me
-LMDB nail polishes - I realize they've been around a while, but I only just discovered them. The Silk Road polishes are truly drool-worthy
-NARS Afghan Red lipstick - Deep red plum and utterly gorgeous
-Chanel Prelude eyeshadow quad - probably the most versatile quad I own. I can go from a nude look to heavy evening smoke and everything in between

Fragrance-wise, I've discovered some truly beautiful scents this year, including Serge Lutens Douce Amere, Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyante, and Francis Kurkdjian's Lumiere Noire.

Northerngirl said...

Two of my favorite purchases this year that knocked my socks off was from Chanel...
Rouge Coco; Rouge Orage
Levres Scintlliant Glossimer
I wear these two red shades together and I get tons of compliments.

Chanel; Sweet Beige
Chanel; Sycomore
Rouge Coco shine;Deauvolle
Rouge Coco shine; Bel-Ami

Julie Hewett; Nude

Chanel Bronzing Powder; love this product! It doesn't make your face look orangy.

Prevage night cream; I won this expensive face cream (160.00 in Canada) last month and so far I love it!

Clinique Even Better dark spot corrector; got rid of a lot of sun spots on my face.

Murad Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel; you'll laugh at this...this product works great for ingrown hairs.

Mary Kay oil free eye makeup remover; doesn't burn my eyes and I can wear my contacts while taking my eye make up off.

Reversa anti-puff & dark circles.

Mary Kay love lash mascara; why, oh why, is mascara like the antichrist for most of us. I spend so much money on mascara every year.

Macadamia rejuvenating Shampoo; I really like this product. I only use it once a week as I have fine hair.

Yonka Nettoyant Creme for very sensitve skin; I adore this face wash.

Charlestongirl said...

Anonymous, you have me wanting to go find my Chanel Bronze Rose!

Charlestongirl said...

Mary Ann,

I flipped over All About Me. I bought quite a few of them! :) I hope LMdB brings out the shade as a permanent part of the line.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Swathi!

Glad to see that Nutmeg and Bordeaux made your list. :) All of you have picked such great colors!

I missed those paint pots. Around here, you blink, and the latest MAC is gone.

Charlestongirl said...


You MUST get in touch with Lovethescents. She's in Montreal, and she can give you great info on where to shop! Just send me an e-mail, and I'll forward it to her. Maybe you two can "talk" before you go.

Rouge Bunny Rouge...I want one (or more) of everything! I'm seriously smitten by that line.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Ylesuin, so glad you "de-lurked"! :)

What super choices! Yes, those LMdB Nail Lacquers for fall were drool-worthy. I still have one I haven't featured. I guess I need to get cracking! I'm not sure, though, if there are any left anywhere. They were very popular.

Nice fragrance selections!

Charlestongirl said...


I used Prevage for many years, and I think it made a huge difference in my skin. I fell away from it, but you've reminded me to go back.

I think Rouge Coco Shine was one of the best lipstick introductions Chanel has had for many years. When you want every one, you know it's great!

Charlestongirl said...

This is so much fun! I'm enjoying your lists. Please keep 'em coming!

Evelyn said...

I'm emailing you (evangelia is me). I'd also like to give an honorable mention to:

Chanel's Mousse Douceur and its matching toner which have really helped my skin calm down without drying it out like every other cleanser I've used both cheap and expensive. Also a plus, these bottles/tubes last for months, in fact most of a year so definitely worth the money.

Unknown said...

It was a banner year for makeup, wasn't it? The products (some new, some old) I reached for most frequently were:
1. LMdB Flawless Face Palette
2. LMdB Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe Tinted Treatment;
3. YSL Noir Radical Mascara;
4. Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Color (new love!);
5. Chanel Nail polishes in Graphite, Mimosa and Khaki Vert;
6. Chanel Illusion D'Ombre eyeshadows, particularly the black Mirifique and pink Emerveille;
7. Chanel Kaska Beige Eye Shadow Quad;
8. Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint;
9. Burberry Sheer Luminous Fluid Foundation; I only got a sample of it, but it was a generous one and I scraped every bit out of the little jar. I will purchase more.
10. Vera Wang Cologne
It was hard to narrow the list to 10!

Charlestongirl said...

Ava, can you believe I purchased my first Peau Vierge last month when Erin was here? I held out that long!

Great list!

Unknown said...

Weren't you concerned about having a reaction to the retinol in Peau Vierge? How is it working for you?

Zeynep said...

I would have to say the following:

1. Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara
2. Chanel Pearl Glow Highlighter
3. Chanel Illusion d'Ombre (specifically Mirifique)
4. YSL Top Secrets Pore Refining Brush
5. LMdB Peche Creme Lip Creme

1. Roger Piguet Paris Calypso
2. Bottega Veneta Eau de Parfum
3. Prada Candy for the summertime

Kate said...

Hi Eileen,

So sorry it took me so long to see your comment! I actually use my finger to blend the product. I apply the contour shade with one finger and blend, and then apply the highlight shade with another finger and blend. Occasionally, I use my MAC "skunk" brush to blend the contour shade a little more thoroughly- I think it's the 188. But I like the contour shade to be pretty noticeable, since I don't use a separate bronzer anymore.

My only complaint about the product is that some of the contour shade or my foundation finds its way into the highlight shade because my fingers usually have remnants of the contour shade on them when I go to apply the highlight shade. So you may want to use a separate brush for this reason. If you do order the brush, I would love to hear your thoughts!

Hope this helps (and that you see it before you buy)!