My beauty resolution for your future smirking and I-told-you-so-ing pleasure is to buy only twelve new beauty products in 2012.
If the blog still exists a year from now, it will be interesting to see whether I manage to stick to it, and if so, which things I regret buying or not buying. I've applied this one-a-month rule (staples and basics excluded) to clothes for the last four years out of five, with such success that I needed to relax it so that laundry day didn't roll around quite so tyrannously often...
In the meantime, here's my jump on the 'best eleven of 2011' meme bandwagon. All products were new to me this year, and the colour products were all released this year. Brushes/tools excluded as a separate 'favourites' post for those is in the works.
Odd to have a gimmicky impulse buy turn into an essential staple, but this volumising, glossy black topcoat (v)amps up any mascara for night-time or more dramatic looks in a few slicks, without clumping, smudging or making my curl droop. Dispenses with the need to faff about with falsies, and easier to remove too.
Shu Uemura Stage Performer Instant-Glow
Magical pore-minimising, skintone-evening, kind-to-flakies, glowy-but-not-dewy-or-god-forbid-sparkly potion. Nominally a 'skincare' product and usually marketed as a primer-with-benefits, in my opinion it is a platonic base that replaces foundation for everyday looks.
Suqqu Nuancing Loose Powder Natural
Single-handedly converting this lifelong powder-shunner, this blurs all the pesky minor flaws and textural issues (pores, fine lines) which it's not worth or even possible to hide using foundation/concealer. Setting to a natural skin-like finish, it is genuinely translucent, as undetectable on my skin as my NC40 friend's, and from what I hear, does a bang-up job at controlling oil too. Airbrush in a sleek black jar.
(The Glow version contains micro-shimmer, which makes it less flattering on flaky or bumpy dry skin, despite the tempting name.)
Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer SX-1
This is the best blemish concealer I've ever tried, and it helpfully runs pale enough for me to wear without mixing. Creamier and lighter in texture than other products offering comparative coverage (Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage, Dermablend), it is therefore much easier to work with and more flattering to blemished skin which usually needs texture- as well as colour-correction.
blah favourite multi-purpose cream blush / matte lipstick ever blah
Suqqu Creamy Glow Lipstick 12 Hiwada 檜皮
Technically released in 2010 in Japan, this new lipstick formula only made it to the UK in spring. I had impossibly high hopes as the Blend and Creamy Lipsticks it displaced were two of my favourites, and this exceeded them. Emollient enough that I can skip lipbalm underneath even in winter and so richly pigmented that my very pink lips barely skew the shades, these were easily my favourite new lipstick in a year which saw so many new releases, such as Guerlain Rouge Automatique (an honourable mention), Chanel Rouge Coco Shine and Rouge Allure Velvet, Dior Addict, Shu Uemura Supreme Matte, Shiseido Shimmering Rouge, Burberry Lip Mist, Laura Mercier Gel Lip Colour, Bobbi Brown Rich Lip Colour, Clinique Chubby Stick, Revlon Lip Butter, NARS Velvet Glossy Pencil...
I was forced kicking and screaming into this warm peachy nude by the Suqqu International Makeup Artist Kazumi Obayashi (who had learned from past makeovers of my deathly fear of such shades) and months later, a continent away from her sweetly evil grin, I still love it and the new colour-options it's opened up.
My love for unique, complex glitters waged a long and bitter internecine war with my strong dislike for loose pigments before I finally succumbed to the lure of Fyrinnae earlier this year. Five orders and an overflowing drawer later, the first shade I added to my basket remains my favourite -- a complex blackened teal shimmer that shifts to bright violet at different angles. Honourable mentions go to Sacred, Bastet and Newcastle (the first golds I actually liked on me), Conjurer and Velvet Vampire (ditto, reds), Damn Paladins (cool taupe with icy blue duochrome) and Dokkálfar (blackened golden green). Their Pixie Epoxy primer is an essential.
2. Sonia Rykiel Quatre Eyeshadow 10
Blah blah again. Leapfrogged over my first purchase, no. 9, to become my favourite. The unusual colour combination of cool lilac, neutral silvery pink, warm blackened green and bronze compose my favourite neutrals-with-a-kick look.
3. Addiction Eyeshadow Concrete Jungle
and blah. You thought I was going to go for a glitter, but nohoho! Those who love grey shadows as I do will know just how elusive the perfect warm-grey-with-a-lavender-undertone is. Factor in Addiction's excellent texture (this time in a silky satin) and we have Instant Holy Grail.
4. Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Cream Eyeshadow Mirifique
Back in character now: glitter + cream = win! This is the sparkly black liner I've been searching for, like, forever. If I could revisit my angst-ridden teenaged self, I would bring much wisdoms regarding Boys, and a few pots of this.
5. Suqqu Blend Colour Eyeshadow 07 Komorebi 木漏日
Released in Autumn 2011 and joining the permanent line-up along with its sister 08 Mizuaoi, this features two sheerish iridescent shimmers (the top left adding depth despite that, the top right functioning more like a traditional light-reflecting highlighter), a very pigmented satin liner (bottom left) and the standard matte powder primer shade (bottom right). While I love both quads, Komorebi's unusual pairing of clear orange-peach and soft leaf green with rich sepia is a better reflection of Suqqu's refined and consistently inspiring approach to colour.
For those familiar with the old Suqqu line, Komorebi and Mizuaoi seem to be updated versions of the 2008 Kirari collection quads (06 Touryoku, 07 Sousei and 08 Koucha).