2008 was a year that had brought many changes into my life, including cosmetics and makeup. Remember my rant at the beginning of last year bemoaning the fact that we have such limited access to beauty products here in Hungary? Well, the situation could still be improved, but along the way I discovered the miracle that is online shopping, starting with Everyday Minerals and then moving on to eBay and other online stores. So yeah, I guess I could say 2008 was rich in anxious anticipation of much awaited little parcels and boxes, new discoveries and sometimes disappointments, and receiving inspiration and great tips from so many fellow beauty- and fashion bloggers.
Because of the above mentioned changes I did not manage to review all my precious discoveries back in 2008, but that won't stop me from listing them here (with the promise of discussing them later), because I think it'd be an absolute crime not to share them with you.
I would like to thank Grayburn for bringing us fellow bloggers together to do this project and for supervising it all the way. Thank you dear!
To me 2008 rolled by in the spirit of discovering mineral makeup and then taking notice of the unfortunate fact that my skin just won't tolerate mineral foundation in its present state. I've been struggling with PCOS for the better (?) part of my life and I've been dreaming of having perfect skin ever since. (Fine, it doesn't have to be perfect, but one or two zits less would be great...) It seems I won't be able to achieve that until I consult with an endocrinologist this year.
Otherwise though I just love MMU, and will now introduce you to my favorite items from several different brands. I've noticed that most brands excel at producing and prefecting at least one type of product, and it seems to be just as true of MMU companies.
Everyday Minerals - Best Friends
I tend to favor those of Everyday Minerals: they offer a huge selection of shades and produce really unique combinations of different base colors, shimmers, sparkles and whatnot. They're quite cheap and can be bought in small amounts which means less waste of both money and product.
My favorite go-to blush is Best Friends. It looks absolutely scary and unwearable in the jar, but once you blend it into your skin it becomes the most beautiful matte, rosy, just-came-in-from-the-cold shade.
I wear it practically every day now, especially when I don't want anything fancy and just want to create a low-key look.
Pure Luxe eyeshadows
I'll have to vote for Pure Luxe products in this category. Their shadows can't be beaten. They're wearable, vibrant, creative, long-lasting, come in a huge selection of shades and you can buy generous samples for as cheap as 1$. (Not to mention that their shipping prices are very International Customer friendly. ;-)
I have 15 or so colors so far, but I'm definitely planning to order more. The ones I recommend are: Asp, Twinkle, Seashore, English Ivy, Enlighten and Splendor.
Will review them soon!
Silk Naturals lipglosses
You hear raves about Silk Naturals lippies everywhere and with good reason: these are the most gorgeous, wearable and moisturizing lip products I've ever come across, and I have tried many lippies in my life, believe me.
Right now I have seven of them, but I'm definitely ordering more as soon as our currency gets a bit stronger. *blushes*
My review of them can be found here.
Pure Luxe - Cream Eraser
Back to Pure Luxe now: I find their cream Eraser perfect eyeshadow primer ever created, though unfortunately it can't touch my face lest I break out with ever more zits due to the silicone in it...
It's not perfect in that it doesn't contribute anything towards mattifying my skin, but on my eyelids it does real miracles. Try it sometime but make sure to read my review on it before you do!
Clinique - Naturally Glossy Macara (02 Jet Brown)
I have not been impressed with any of the mascaras that MMU companies make, but I do so love my Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara in Jet Brown. I've been blessed with relatively long lashes but I need something that'll lend them some color and volume, and this mascara does the trick perfectly.
It's a favorite of many women who don't want any extra ooomph, but merely wish to accentuate their lashes with a pretty brown tint in a preferably clump-free way.
Bioderma - Sensibio H2O Micellar Solution
I haven't bought the full size version of this product yet, but I received a very generous amount of samples (6x10 ml) from a very friendly SA in my very favorite drugstore, and I'm absolutely certain that I'll invest in this cleanser as soon as I run out of my samples. The first time I used this stuff I was blown away. It removed all the makeup from my face without having to vigorously rub it with the cotton pad, which was definitely a first for me. According to instructions it doesn't need to be washed off, but I prefer to follow up with my regular gel cleanser just to have my skin free of chemicals.
FAVORITE SKINCARE PRODUCTS OF 2008
Clinians Azione Pulizia Viso con Acido Mandelico
(that's sort of Cleansing Foam Gel With Mandelic Acid)
I gushed about this at the end of November and I was amazed at how long-lasting this product is. Well, I bought my first tube in the middle of September and lo and behold, it only ran out the day before yesterday. I say that's pretty good mileage for a facial cleanser; at least I tend to go through them like crazy.
It's a very concentrated gel with a nice aquatic scent and the ability to cleanse your face without drying it. It also doubles as an exfoliant and a chemical one at that which, in my opinion, is far more gentle and effective than physical exfoliants.
Bioderma - Sensibio Light
In all honesty this product was never meant for my oily, problem skin, yet I'm on my second tube now. It's the perfect night cream and the perfect base for when I want to tone any of my serums or skin treatments down a bit. (e.g.: AHA, BHA, retinaldehyde)
It's unscented, contains no colorants, is preservative-free and hypoallergenic. Perfect for people with sensitive skin or anyone who doesn't want to irritate her/his skin more than necessary.
It also doubles as an eye cream for me.
BEST ANTI-AGING TREATMENT
I wish I could say that it's the best acne treatment as well, but I can't, though originally it's supposed to be just that. I mean, who's the idiot who put silicone into an anti-acne product?!?!?
Anyway, I used this for about a month and a half, and though I noticed some improvement first, it soon became obvious that the cyclomethicone in it is yet again making this product useless for me. My zits just weren't willing to disappear and I got those small zits that soon turn into full-fledged cystic acne that I get whenever I put any kind of silicone or mineral foundation onto my face. I hoped it was just what people nowadays call "purging", but sorry, I don't want to "purge" for one and a half months on end, thank you very much...
But (and that's a huge BUT, and the reason why I still mention it among my favorites) I did notice an impressive reduction in my wrinkles on my forehead (you know, the ones you get when your frown) and even around my nose. I guess that means that retinaldehyde (0.1%) and glycolic acid (6%) are capable of successfully fighting wrinkles, so if your skin tolerates silicones, a product with retinaldehyde might just be what you've been looking for all your life.
Be very careful though: retinaldehyde diminishes wrinkles through accelerating the turnover of your skin cells, meaning it's a powerful exfoliant, which leads us to two things:
- Use a strong sunscreen (min. SPF 40 in my opinion, but 50 is better) whenever you use any kind of retinols on your face.
- Be very very patient with your skin in the beginning, introduce it to retinols only very gradually, and never ever start with such a strong product as Diacneal. You'd better try Ystheal first and then slowly move on to stronger concentrations, lest your skin should become irritated by it. (You want to avoid irritating your skin, as it leads to the formation of free-radicals, which in turn results in aging.)
BEST INSTANT ANTI-WRINKLE PRODUCT
A lady I got to know on a Hungarian forum for women mixes her own blend of hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 (ala Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Gel), and she was kind enough to share this miracle product of hers with me.
The results are immediate and simply amazing. Approaching 26 I still have no reason to worry about wrinkles (especially because worrying leads to more wrinkles ;-), but I do have some fine lines under my eyes, next to my lips and on my forehead. They're only visible when I smile or frown, but this product makes them almost invisible in all situations.
My Mum also loves this gel and, unlike me, she has quite a few wrinkles to get rid of, one the one hand because she's 64 and on the other because she'd been neglecting her skin all her life. This is the only product she's been religiously using ever since I introduced her to it, and that says a lot about this gel. She only uses things that really work and give instant, visible results, and boy does this gel deliver...
We also have a wrinkle correcting serum made by Clinians and we've both been seeing the same great results from that one, indicating the effectiveness of hyaluronic acid.
Yves Rocher - Neonatura Cocoon EdP
In this cold and dismal weather my Neonatura Cocoon EdP is a real godsend and though it doesn't smell better than it did in summer (nothing beats warm skin), it sure is even more comforting and pleasant.
This concludes my list of favorites in 2008, but the fun is by far not over. Head over to these beautiful ladies who each have their own favorites to show you:
Beautiful Makeup Search
For The Love of Beauty
Life Of A Ladybug
lily loves mac
Make Do Style
Miss Whoever You Are
Platinum Blonde Life
Searching the Inner Me
Slap Of The Day
The Beauty Alchemist