Products come and products go, but these ten(ish) things are permanently clutched to my heart. I found them all this year alone and trust me, they've managed to elevate my makeup and skincare routine to heretofore unheard of heights. Yes yes I think you get it. These things are awesome and I'm soooo lucky I got to "discover" them!
Here's my list! (Warning: crazy, gibbering raves are about to explode in your face.)
Shiseido Ibuki Skincare Line. Are you tired of me talking about this yet? I owe the niceness of my skin now to Ibuki. I mean, guys, last night I just went out with just a dab of concealer on my face. I didn't need to powder or apply any foundation anymore. Those blessed with awesome skin may think that it's no big deal, but for someone like me who breaks out every so often, this is like, science fiction.
This is the single best thing that happened to my face.
Cure Natural Aqua Gel. Aaand this is pretty much the next best thing that happened to my skin this year. Seriously, the Japanese have the best skincare products! If you haven't switched to Japanese brands yet (at least for your face) then you are missing a ton.
Dead skin is actually one of the top causes of our problems - acne, blackheads, even whiteheads. Cure keeps away dead skin like the plague.
Bifesta Sebum Cleansing Lotion. This is the best makeup remover I've tried. It's water-based but still super effective in melting off the thickest, most long-wearing makeup. It stops short when it comes to waterproof mascara but everything else, it can wipe off within minutes. (I use the Shiseido Instant Eye and Lip Makeup Remover for long-wearing mascara).
My skin feels clearer whenever I use this. Plus, it's inexpensive and can be found in most Watsons.
Lancome Visionnaire Yeux, Advanced Eye Contour Perfecting Corrector. I've had a healthy skepticism of eye creams for the longest time. I thought they were the biggest hoax perpetrated by the beauty industry. I didn't expect them to do much other than moisturize and maintain whatever is left to maintain...but then I tried the Lancome Visionnaire for eyes. It's like a slo-mo moment.
When I wear this regularly I can even get away with not wearing under eye concealer. When I stop, my eyes start to look terrible again. This stuff WORKS. Hear that, an eye cream that truly, truly works? It lightens my bags and de-puffs my eyes within a week or two. But man is it expensive - P3,295 to be exact. I better start putting money in envelopes. Or take a step further and start a bank account just to fund my expensive skincare addiction.
Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream. If you force me, under extreme torture, to name my best makeup product this year, it would be the Clinique CC Cream. I've kept out of touch with it for a while, but then I started using it regularly again a couple of months back. Oh, what a reunion. This is my default base, even more often than the Bobbi Brown BB Cream.
The Clinique CC Cream moisturizes, brightens, and just makes my skin feel healthier whenever I have it on. My skin also feels nice when I take it off. It's the perfect everyday base for me! I do believe that it has some effective skincare properties in there; it's not just makeup.
Shiseido Natural Finish Cream Concealer. Some concealers excel only in covering blemishes OR eyebags. This Shiseido concealer is great at doing both. It has medium to heavy coverage, but also a creamy, buttery texture that sets completely. It's hard to find a concealer that can cross between two worlds like this!
MAC Fluidline Brow Gelcreme in Dirty Blonde. You might hate me for including this but I felt that the list won't be complete without this (unfortunately limited edition) product. Eyebrows are important to me after the perfect base, and the best eyebrow find for me this year is the MAC Brow Gelcream. I've almost hit pan on this one! It makes my brows look handsome and polished without me having to layer pencil, powder, and mascara.
I wish that MAC would put this out again in 2014 - permanently!
theBalm Instain Blush. If you can only afford to buy one blush for the whole year, I highly recommend you try this one. It can be a trifle challenging to learn how to apply properly, but you won't find anything more long wearing, smooth, and flattering under a thousand bucks.
The best blush brand for me is still NARS, but there aren't many people who would want to splurge P1,500 on one pan. This is the next best thing, IMHO.
Max Factor 2000 Calorie Dramatic Volume Mascara. It was a tough call between this and theBalm What's Your Type? The Body Builder Mascara, but I'll go with this simply because it's more affordable. But it's still pretty much the same thing as theBalm's. ;) The 2000 Calorie mascara is my favorite everyday lash BFF. It thickens and lengthens my lashes, barely smudges, and is super easy to remove. And is only P600.
I would have cheated and included my HG Fairydrops Platinum Mascara - it has a NEW formulation, okay! - but let Max Factor have its well-deserved moment.
MAC Rebel Lipstick. Another tough call. I'd say that Rebel defined my lip color for 2013. It's bold and brash yet still weirdly elegant. I love it. It's my fave party lipstick.
Fine, NARS Lodhi can share the spotlight too! It's a fun and flattering day color. It somehow brings out the golden tones of my warm skin, and works with pretty much any look due to its pink-coral mashup.
So there you go. My ten favorite finds this 2013. ^_^ I just spent almost a thousand words on this, but I hope this helped you in some way. See you again in 2014! But don't forget to share your absolute best finds first, okay?