08 December 2010

holiday 2010 beauty picks

Welcome to my 2010 holiday beauty guide! Today's picks are the best products I've tried over the last few months, and plan on keeping handy for the holidays this year.

First up, Today was a Fairytale nail polish by Deborah Lippmann. I bought this to wear on my wedding day (and not because of the cheesy name, I swear - it matches my shoes), but I've kind of started wearing it already. You've got to test things out, right? Deborah Lippmann's polishes are generally quite fun, and many of them contain loads of glitter. Several of her polishes have been created with or inspired by celebrities (e.g. Bad Romance for Lady Gaga and Believe with Cher).  The thing I like about the glittery shades are that they give great coverage with only one coat. I find this shade in particular to be really festive, and great for the holidays.

I've been meaning to buy MAC paints for years. After bemoaning melting eyeliner and disappearing shadow, I finally picked some up to prevent both effects. Paints are silky creams that can act as powerful eyeshadow primers, or will stay put as long-lasting shadows. When I was doing theatre, I saw a lot of makeup artists and other performers use these paints as stage makeup, as they hold up even under hot lights. I love the easy-to-squeeze tube format, and I am impressed with how little you need to get great results.

I had never heard of Pixi until my mom brought me back a bunch of wonderful makeup treasures from Target after a recent trip to Georgia. This brand seems to be aimed at a younger market, but its products are of really good quality. I enjoy this Wakeup kit, as it's great for travel (hello, Christmas holidays) and has a good balance of natural and more dramatic shades. The shadows and blushes are highly pigmented, and apply really well. The lipstick shades are current and suit a range of skin tones.

Another Pixi product, Lip and Line, is not a particularly new product idea, but the execution is good. The colour of the product in liner and lipstick is an exact match (to avoid that dreaded lined look) but it provides the shaping and staying power of liner with the creamy, heavier coverage of lipstick. The pale pink shade has a great matte finish and looks awesome when worn with a smokey eye and a bit of bronzer.

Benefit's Magic Ink liquid liner is the BEST eyeliner I have ever used. It it jet black, beautifully fluid, and should win awards for its incredible staying power. It even lasted through a snow storm, with my awkward "fight the wind" face and resulting tears. It is practically indelible, but does come off easily with makeup remover, or even soap and water. A lot of my clients and friends look at liquid liner suspiciously, as if it might hurt them or force them into looking like a post-bender Amy Winehouse. Liquid liner is best when applied with a light hand, and although it takes a bit of practice to master, is definitely worth the effort. I actually only use liquid and gel liners now, but more on that later.

My new hairdresser used Aveda's Volumizing Tonic on my fine, straight hair after my last cut and it worked wonders. It is made with aloe and wheat protein, smells incredible, and it really does pump up the volume. This is a great product for dramatic hairstyles for holiday parties. It's also what I used to get Sara's hair up to such great heights for her recent photoshoot.

Mannequin Skin by Jemma Kidd was another one of my mom's Target treasures. A small palette containing four different concealers (green to neutralize redness, a beige to prime eyes and lips, yellow to lighten dark circles, and shimmery shell pink to highlight), it is a great fix-all kit. It's also a good tool to keep handy for days where you may not be feeling your most glowy or may have had a few too many holiday cocktails the night before.

Similar to Mannequin Skin, Smashbox's Photo Op Under Eye Brightener is all about making you look fresh. What sets it apart from most other concealers is its consistency. It relies on light-reflecting particles to deflect darkness from under the eyes, rather than heavy pigmentation to cover darkness. This is particularly effective, because it just floats gently on top of skin, rather than sinking into any fine lines around the eyes. A definite winner.

Last up today is my final Target treasure, Dramatically Defining Long Lasting Gel Liner by Sonia Kashuk. As I previously mentioned, I now only use liquid or gel liners. This is mostly due to my eye shape, and the fact that my eyelids move eyeliner all the place. Unlike kohl liner, liquid and gel dry and stay where they're supposed to. I also find the colours to be richer and more vibrant in gels and liquids, and for eye shadows to pop more dramatically when applied next to them.


paiiige said...

Today Was A Fairy Tale is on my nail polish hit list! I have Boom Boom Pow (the gold version) and looooove it--so good to know the silver is just as impressive!

steph said...

Ummm that's so funny you just wrote this blog post, 'cause I just wrote a post about the worst NHL holiday presents :)