Want to know what I absolutely ADORED in 2009? I’ve gone through every skin care item, makeup product, trend, and ounce of hair care that I tested, or discovered, over the past year and came up with Bionic’s Second Annual “Best of Beauty” awards. And just for fun, I included some stuff at the end that’s not beauty related, ’cause you know… we’ve got to keep it balanced!
And the winners are… in no particular order…
- YBF Skincare’s Boost – I’ve covered and discussed the benefits of YBF’s products on Bionic Beauty many times; they just keep churning out the winners. Boost is geared towards those of us with “problem skin”. It helped decongest the pores around my nose, dramatically reduced a breakout cycle on my cheeks, and really helped to balance my combination skin. And since I have very sensitive skin, it didn’t burn, irritate or create any redness. Yippee! It’s $65 for a bottle (at ybf-skincare.com), but that will last you 3-4 months with daily use.
- Purely Cosmetics’ new Diamond Perfect Finishing Powder – I adore PC’s mineral makeup, but this finishing powder should be in every woman’s makeup case. Even if you only use it on “special occasions”. It softens the look of lines and pores, and even makes your skin feel softer to the touch. If you splurge on one item, this IS it. $18.50 at PurelyCosmetics.com, and it’s now available in a tinted version! (Full review and photos are coming soon!)
- Purely Cosmetic’s Fiber Optic Duo Brush – It’s a synthetic and goat hair combination so get best of both worlds, plus it applies the above Diamond Perfect Finishing Powder (or any powder for that matter) in a swift, easy, and non-clumping manner. Definitely worth a spot in your makeup brush stash! $18 at PurelyCosmetics.com.
- L’Oreal HiP Kohl eyeliners – These powdered, highly pigmented kohl eye liners are my eye makeup obsession. I can’t stop wearing them! Granted, it does take some time to get the hang of the application method, but it’s truly worth it. Smokey eyes, smudged lines, cat eyes, waterlines that *stay* lined, rocker eyes… it’s all possible. And the colors are simply gorgeous! If you’re on a budget, keep your eyes open for a “Buy 1, Get 1 50% off” sale at your local drugstore.
- Lexli Skincare – The majority of skin care these days is full to the brim with water and other fillers, Lexli is different. It’s aloe-based and developed by a wonderful physician (Dr. Abdullah who I had the honor of meeting in person- he’s a true pleasure to chat with!). Every ingredient is well-thought-out. For cleansing, I rotate between the Aloe-based Cleansing Lotion and the Acne Cleanser (I’ve got a full review on the Acne Cleanser upcoming); for day- Day Moisturizer with SPF 15; in the evening- the exfoliating AloeGlyC and 15 minutes later the Night Moisturizer. If I have a breakout, I use the Acne Clarifying Lotion. During winter, dry spells, airplane travel, etc- I use the Moisture Intensifier Serum, which is also handy patted under your eyes after makeup. It keeps concealers and powder for settling into lines!
If you try one Lexli product grab their AloeGlyC- especially if you are looking for the results of a chemical peel, but with the ease of at-home use. It’s shrunk my pores, helped reduce discolorations and works great as an all-over treatment (including under eyes!). My full review is here; and you can view all the products at Lexli.com.
- Jeune D’age Organic Skin Care – There are many, many skin care lines out there that call themselves “organic”… Jeune D’age is the rare breed that actually IS organic and WORKS. Bionic Bronnie put the whole line through a very rigorous test and she’s a huge fan. I have their Toner and absolutely adore it! If you’ve been on the hunt for a natural and organic skin care regimen, Jeune D’age is new, but it’s making giant waves in the industry.
- White Sand’s 24/7 The Cure hair treatment – White Sand’s makes some of my favorite hair treatment products like ER Fusion and Porosity The Fix. I guess it’s no surprise that I’m a fan of 24/7 The Cure. I use it after flat-ironing or styling to seal any split ends, tame any frizz, and keep encroaching humidity at bay. It does come in a glass bottle, so it’s not perfect for travel, but that’s easily remedied by squeezing a few pumps into an old lip balm tin. ($29.99 at WhiteSandsProducts.com)
- Launch of the new makeup brand PRIIA Cosmetics – PRIIA’s mineral makeup is grand, but their Skin Complexion Enhancers absolute blow me away. I call them the tinted moisturizers of the mineral makeup world. I wear them alone or mixed with my regular mineral makeup. And one of the best eye shadows colors this year, PRIIA’s Sea Turtle is a mix of blue, green, and gray. Absolutely stunning!
- Cactus and Ivy Skin and Body Care – Not only are all Cactus and Ivy products hand made, natural and cruelty free, but they smell delicious, offer superb customer service, and are actually darn affordable. Come on, venture outside Bath & Body Works and get something unique. One of my favorites is the Body Bath and Massage Elixir which I use on my feet before bed, my nails and cuticles, my legs after shaving and even lightly on my hair for a bit of extra conditioning and to tame flyaways!
And then there are the Body Scrubs with sugars, oils and cocoa butter… yumtastic. Here’s my super secret hint for sunless tanner application: Use one of the Body Scrubs in the shower to really get your dead skin cells off. You’ll end up with a smooth and prepped skin surface for a streak-free tanner! Cactus & Ivy also has face lotions, sampler packages, lotions, souffles, and even products for horses!
- Lancome La Vernis nail polish in Indigo Paris – Dark polishes are my favorite, but I still like to see some color. Lancome’s fall release of Indigo Paris swept me off my toes. It’s a deep shimmery blue that seems to be lit from within!
- L’Oreal EverPure Sulfate-free Shampoo, Conditioner and UV Protect Spray – Finally drugstore hair care has caught up with salon/spa/luxury brands!! EverPure has dramatically reduced my color washout, really keeps my hair smooth and shiny, which reduces my need to flat iron. EverPure is a must-have in my shower and I recommend this line to all my family and friends. You can’t beat the price either, and the scents are even better than those pricey brands, in my opinion. If you’ve ever longed to try Pureology but the cost is prohibitive, this line is modeled almost exactly after that. Want more info? Here is my review of the UV Protect Spray and the Shampoo and Conditioner.
- New Herbaria Soaps – Just like last year, Herbaria makes this year’s Best Of Beauty list with their new soap additions: Shaw’s Garden, Licorice (if you are a fan of black licorice, this is the best scent ever!), Coffee (Percolates me right up in the AM! $7.50), Ginger Neem, Lycopene Tomato, and Lime Coconut Aloe (my in-shower island getaway). All bars are $5.95 unless I noted them otherwise. If you’ve heard the rave reviews of Neem Oil for your skin, but found the scent uh… yucky… then Herbaria’s Ginger Neem soap is the way to go. It’ll give you all the benefits with a fantasmic scent! This is one of those few brands that I’ll 99% guarantee you’ll love. But be warned, they are incredibly addicting!
- Anatomicals’ Another Bloody Shower Gel – Perhaps it’s because I’m a Twilight fan, or because I’ve always liked classic horror flicks, but this shower gel rocks! It dispenses a deep, blood red and is scented with blood oranges! Plus the entire Anatomicals marketing campaign makes me giggle.
- Discovering Rescue Beauty Lounge nail polish and actually getting to order some! I saved up some fun money and ordered four bottles of their nail polish. I’m wearing Scrangie in the picture above: it’s a unique frost duochrome that shows purple or blue depending on how the light hits. The wear is incredible and the coverage is full in one coat… so I’m using a third less polish than with other brands! I’ll post a full review soon…
- Ultra cheap and ultra awesome Hot Topic eyeshadows – Want further proof? Check out my Under the Sea and Sunny Citrus eye makeup looks. These shadow palettes are full of color, accessible to most anyone near a mall (or online), give you an easy way to try fun colors!
- The Matte Nail Trend – I know some dislike this trend, but I really can’t get enough of it. I used to put glow-in-the-dark or matte basecoats on top of my polish to cut down the shine. Now there are top coats designed specifically for the matte look!
- Three Custom Color’s lipgloss in Whisper – Three Custom Color lip glosses are full of amazingness in any color, but 2009’s Whisper gloss is one of those colors that flatters pretty much any skin tone and won’t ever leave my makeup bag.
- Dermelect Launchpad Anti-Aging nail polish base coat - I’m really not sure if this base coat has anti-aging properties, but it certainly makes nail polish cling! I typically lose my polish within a day to peeling, but with Launchpad everything seems to just stay put! I make my bottle last by only using when I want extended wear (i.e. not while swatching multiple colors in an afternoon), and also by using a cheaper drugstore basecoat on my pedicures. I haven’t posted a full review yet, but some of my thoughts are listed in my matte nail trends article. Launchpad base coat is $18 at SkinStore.com.
- John Frieda’s Root Awakening “Health Boosting Detangling Spray” – Here’s another drugstore hair care winner! I love the entire John Frieda Root Awakening line, but the real standout is the Detangling Spray. It provides light leave-in conditioning properties, a bit of shine, cleansing essential oils (great for your non-shampoo days), UVA/UVB protection *and* it amps up your volume! Not to BIG hair status, but enough to make your hair full and bouncy. The fresh scent is another bonus, not to mention the cheaptastic price! If you haven’t tried this hair care line yet and you’re love bargains, pick it up on your next drugstore run!
- Target gets invaded by e.l.f. cosmetics – Yeehaw for $1 makeup at your local Target!!! Let’s all party, shall we? And maybe we can finally put those darn “Nordstrom’s is selling makeup for a dollar” rumors to bed… I mean come on, it’s been over a year, and I’m still getting those dang emails!
- Beauty Blender sponge – Ahhh the Beauty Blender. I love my beauty gadgets, that’s for sure! This pink, egg-shaped, spongy wonder applies powdered makeup, creamy concealers, blush, liquid foundation. My highlights: Keep it clean (I wash mine weekly) and it’ll last you at least 6 months; you can send it back for recycling; and it gives your mineral makeup that flawless “I’m not wearing any makeup” look.
- Tubing Mascaras – I adore Blinc Mascara even though it’s a bit pricey ($23.50 at PurelyCosmetics.com), totally worth it, in my opinion. While “tubing mascaras” are nothing brand new, I’m thankful I discovered Blinc mascara this year. It’s my special occasion mascara… giving me uber-long, separated lashes that don’t flake or smudge. Especially handy when you know you might be crying a bit… (trust me on that). If you haven’t heard about tubing mascaras, basically they create little socks on your lashes. It’s like a polymer that wraps each lash rather than your typical “cover up” mascara-goo. To remove the socks, you soak your eyes with lots of water and rub gently with your hands. The little strings will slip off once they are saturated (and are kinda funny to look at too!).
Outside of beauty, things that made my 2009 memorable…
Seeing the New Moon movie with my sister… Our collective consensus: this movie was SO much better than Twilight.
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince- I loved going to a midnight premiere, even though the company could certainly qualify for a “Worst Of” list. Humpfh! They almost ruined it for me. Almost.
Star Trek – Ahh… my geektastic love of J.J. Abrams (or as I call him, Jbrams) continues. His movies and TV shows are layered with action to please the masses, and plenty of below-the-surface goodies for obsessive fan-girls like me. Mentions of the Slusho drink, the number 47, and Rambaldi’s “red matter” had me bouncing!
The musical musings of Lily Allen – Feeling a bit angsty? This girl’s surface-sweet voice will amp you up with her snarky lyrics. My favorite album is “It’s Not Me, It’s You”.
Starting a new life – If you had asked me in early 2009, I would’ve said I had lost every bit of Powerful Beauty in me. Some of you saw the destruction via my posts on Twitter and Facebook. Your messages and letters (thanks for the cupcake lipbalm Yvonne!!) brightened my days! Once things settled, I knew my life changes were certainly for the better (divorce, big move, splitting up my pets, having barely any budget, etc). It’s made me stronger, and I realized how much I had let myself become smothered. Now I’m getting back to loving my slightly quirky, very g33ky, creatively writing, animal-adoring self. I’m spending more time with family; spent a week horseback riding in the Georgia mountains; and I’m 100% happy!
A successful Halloween! Even though many people didn’t know who I was dressed as, I adored my handmade Jill Valentine costume (she’s a character from the Resident Evil video games, and general bad-a$$ zombie killer). Plus my fog machines, spooky music, grave yard and other decorations got mentions as “best they’d seen” from the adults, children and even the local police!
What were your best beauty finds of 2009? And what were some of non-beauty things that rocked your year?
Interested to know which products made Bionic’s Best of Beauty in 2008? Check out last year’s results!
I didn’t get any compensation/kickbacks/backrubs/brownies/etc for listing any of these products on Bionic’s Best Of Beauty list. They are honestly my favorites from the past year. Just wanted ya to know. *grin*