Monday, December 31, 2012

The Best of 2012 - Makeup

I have agonized over writing this feature - even procrastinated. I know that as soon as I click on the "Publish" button, I will think of products I should have included. I will feel many emotions: guilt, annoyance with myself, inadequacy, you name it. It's hard to edit a banner year - one in which I've discovered some amazing beauty products - into a few favorites. Plus, I ask the question, "Who am I to judge?" I'm just one person among millions who loves makeup. I have peculiarities others may not share. Isn't it a bit arrogant to list the "Top 10" or "Top 20" like I'm some kind of expert? Trust me, I'm not.

I decided to separate out makeup, skin care, fragrances, and other (nails, hair, etc). I can't make comparisons between Guerlain Météorites and niche fragrances. They don't compute for me. Today, I'll start with makeup, and as the week progresses, I'll feature the other categories. I encourage you to add your favorites from the year in the comments - if you didn't already do it on the Friday Forum, or if you forgot something you should have listed.

In the category of foundation and concealer, prepping the canvas, my selections were not difficult. Giorgio Armani's Maestro Fusion Makeup and Maestro Eraser Concealer are without peers. This new wonder-foundation and concealer are really a new makeup category - as light as water, but waterless, imparting no makeup feel, but a moist sensation. If you try one thing on my list, the Maestro Fusion Makeup should be your selection. It won't give you heavy coverage, but it will give you the signature Armani glowing look and light-as-air feel. If you want a concealer with more coverage, try Chantecaille's. For an eye primer, nothing beats the Edward Bess Illuminating Eye Shadow Base.

In the illuminator category, Guerlain's Météorites Cruel Gardenia Illuminating Iridescent Powder was a standout among the hundred or so illuminators I purchased. Others must have agreed. It sold out in a flash.

For face powders, I could not select only one. I adore Chantecaille's Les Pétales de Rose and Guerlain's recently introduced Perles du Paradis Météorites. I am also smitten by Poudre Signée de Chanel. Chantecaille's HD Perfecting Powder should be in everyone's makeup bag.

I've got a similar problem in the blush category. I need different blushes for different seasons, outfits, and mood. My favorites include  Chantecaille's Elephant Fun Cheek Shade, Chanel's Fleur de Lotus Joues Contraste Blush, and Chantecaille's Cheek Crèmes. I also adore Bobbi Brown's hybrid Rose Gold Shimmer Brick. It's not strictly "just a blush." It's a highlighter, eye shadow, cheek shade, and overall brightener. For a blush collection in one kit, you can't beat Le Métier de Beauté's Kaleidoscope Blush Kit.

Lipstick is just too hard. I'll mention a few of my favorites, but for each I select, there's another one I love equally. Surprisingly, I've nearly worn out Chanel's En Vogue Rouge Coco Shine. It's not a traditionally "me" shade, but it's enormously flattering. I also love Chantecaille's Lip Chics in Nocturne, Sunrise, and Amour. I am totally smitten with my new Le Métier de Beauté Lip Envy by Tina West Kaleidoscope Lip Kit.

If I thought lipsticks would be too hard, lip glosses are even harder. I use lip gloss so many times each day, they tie with mascara for that don't-leave-the-house-without honor. I cannot possibly name all the lip glosses I fell for this year, but I will share some highlights. Guerlain's two KissKiss Lip Glosses for fall, Sable Snow and Grenade, are gorgeous. Chanel's Rouge Allure Extrait de Gloss in Troublant is a keeper. I love the subtle shade of Rouge Bunny Rouge's Sweet Excesses Glassy Gloss from the Mistral Collection. All four of YSL's Golden Glosses for summer are on my list: Golden Shell, Golden Pebble, Golden Pearl, and Golden Sand. Plus, where would I be without Le Métier de Beauté's Jan's Jewel or Cebu or All About Me? When the limited-edition Le Métier de Beauté Lip Crèmes are announced, jump, pre-order, and do it quickly.

How on earth will I showcase just a few eye shadows, particularly when my favorites are often one from this palette, one from another, and many singles? My favorite new palettes of the year are Giorgio Armani's Eyes to Kill Eyeshadow Palettes. There is at least one for every complexion. My favorite of them is #3, Pantelleria. Other favorites are Chantecaille's Coral Reefs Palette and Le Métier de Beauté's Eagles Envy Kaleidoscope Eye Kit. I just can't keep going on eye shadows, or I'll be writing all afternoon. You can add in every rose gold shade introduced (e.g., by Trish McEvoy and Bobbi Brown).

Most of you know that I use Maybelline's DEFINE-A-LASH Mascara. I tried several fabulous new mascaras, including Chanel's Le Volume de Chanel, which is extremely nice. I keep going back to Maybelline. It's not new, and I will be heartbroken if the company ever discontinues it.

Best of the new eyeliners? My favorites are Chantecaille's Gel Liner Pencil, Chanel's shimmering, pastel liners, one of which was Khaki Platine, and the Giorgio Armani Waterproof Eyeliner Pencils for spring.

There were so many other fabulous products this year. I'm already feeling guilty for neglecting to mention tens of them. Isn't it a joy that we had so many fabulous choices?

Top photos courtesy of atlargeinc; other photos by Best Things in Beauty or courtesy of the brands


HRH Paula said...

Great job! Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Agreed! Maestro Fusion Makeup is the best product of the year, across the board, hands down. I wear it on top of a light layer of Diorsnow BB Cream. A perfect combination for me.

elizab-tch said...

Agree 1000% about the armani maestro foundation. I don't even understand how it's so good. I forget I have it on, and I look supes faboosh. It's other-worldly!!!

sunnlitt said...

Well,I totally agree with you about the Chanel Fleur de Lotus blush. I am happy every time that I brush it on my cheeks!!! I just love it!
I hesitated for weeks and finally bought it online, and I am so glad that I did.
Now, it looks as though I will have to try that Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup!
Have a wonderful New Year!

Mamavalveeta03 said...

Your posts and reviews (plus, the fabulous job you do at swatching!) got me to try several brands that I have never tried before. And now I'm HOOKED, of course. More Le Metier! More Edward Bess! More Armani! (Please?) Thank you and Happy New Year!

Unknown said...

This post is extremely useful for me. Thank you and happy 2013!

Dafne Ortiz said...

Hola CG!!!! Happy new year from Mexico!!! I am so glad about you saying all those wonderful things about Armani Maestro Fusion Makeup because I was in Las Vegas for Christmas holidays and I bought it!!! Cannot wait to try it!!!
Have a wonderful 2013!!!

Charlestongirl said...

Happy New Year, HRH Paula!

Charlestongirl said...

Hey everyone,

Without a doubt, Armani hit the ball out of the park with Maestro Fusion. When Tim tells me I'm going to love something, he's right. :)

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, MamaVal.

EB doesn't make enough, and his last pink palette was underwhelming (if not awful). I hope he picks up his game in 2013.

Charlestongirl said...

Happy New Year, all!

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, Anne. Happy New Year to you too.

Charlestongirl said...

Hi Dafne!

I am so glad you got it. I'll bet, like the rest of us, you love Maestro.

Becca @ The Beauty Sample said...

I so loved reading your picks, CG--this is really the best of the best roundup post I've seen yet! Every single item is to die-for--you really have exquisite taste! I kept meaning to go and get the Giorgio Armani Maestro foundation to compliment the Maestro Eraser concealer that I have, but I procrastinated and procrastinated and STILL haven't done so. That will be one of my first foundation purchases for 2013, for sure! Also LOVE the Giorgio Armani Waterproof eye pencil. I got one as a GWP and fell in love! Overall, Giorgio Armani and Burberry were probably the 2 high-end beauty brands that most impressed me in the past year.

Charlestongirl said...

Thanks, Becca!

I keep waiting for Nordies to open a Burberry counter for us. Until then, I continue to "not buy much."

BooBooNinja said...

Great work in narrowing down from all the excellent products you acquired in 2012. I don't envy the deliberation process, though it must have been fun sorting through your treasures. :) Happy New Year, CG!