I am staring my “2011 Favorites” series. There are just too many categories to fit everything into one post, so I decided to break them up. In this post I’m going to talk about my makeup favorites for the face, everything from primer to blush. (I’ll do skin care separately.) When I say “favorites of 2011,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that the product came out in 2011, but that it has been a favorite of mine this last year. I chose one favorite and one honorable mention in each category. My favorites are all drugstore items (I’m including e.l.f., NYX, and Coastal Scents in that description) and I’ve included the retail price, but my honorable mentions may include high-end items. I also limited my selection to items that I had time to enjoy during the year, so anything I got in November or December is not going to be included (with one exception). Just because a product isn’t listed, doesn’t mean that I didn’t like it. These products are the ones that really stood out to me this last year. I’ve reviewed many of these products, so be sure to click the provided links for more info and swatches. So, let’s get on with it.
Here are my Favorites for 2011: the face edition.
Favorite– Revlon Beyond Natural Smoothing Primer. I featured both of these in my Battle of the Drugstore Primers post, so check it out for the full review. Revlon Beyond Natural Smoothing Primer is a clear silicone based gel primer. It feels smooth and silky to the touch, dries down fast with no wait time, and locks in moisture without making my face oily or too wet for foundation. It’s fantastic for normal to dry skin, as most silicone gels are. I’ve noticed that prices really vary on this one so shop around.
Honorable mention- Hard Candy Sheer Envy primer. Though I sounded a bit critical in my “battle” post, I do really like Sheer Envy. It’s a very good option to try.
Favorite- Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse. Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse was one of my October favorites. I am a liquid foundation girl, so both of my choices fit into that category. It’s a great formula for my dry skin and doesn’t flake up on me at all. It is a medium coverage foundation and I get a beautiful, almost air brushed finish when I apply it. I do not have a problem with staying power, but then again I usually only need 6-8 hours worth of coverage. It retails for around $9.00.
Honorable mention- Revlon Photoready Liquid Foundation. This was my go-to foundation at the beginning of the year, until I found Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse. Overall, I really like Revlon Photoready and it came in at a very close second.
Favorite- Hard Candy Glamoflauge. I covered Hard Candy Glamoflauge Concealer in my October favorites post, but here is the run down. This heavy coverage concealer has a thick and creamy consistency that is best applied with a flat concealer brush and set with powder. I would never recommend that you use Glamoflauge under the eye because it’s too thick, but for trouble spots it’s awesome and lasts all day. A little goes a very long way, and this tube is going to last me forever. Hard Candy is sold exclusively at Walmart, and Glamoflauge retails for $6.00.
Honorable mention- Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer. Because Glamoflauge isn’t good for under the yes, I wanted to include one that is. As you read in my review, this is the only concealer that I have found that works well for me under the eyes, so I had to include it in my favorites even though I’ve only had it since early December. (This is my one exception.)
Favorite- E.l.f. Pressed Powder. E.l.f. Studio Pressed Powder is another product featured in my October favorites. This replaced my L’Oreal True Match powder. It’s just as good for a fraction of the cost. I am not a huge fan of translucent powders, and like a powder to have some coverage of it’s own. E.l.f. designed the studio pressed powder to be used wet or dry for more coverage and I have seen reviews that this makes a great powder foundation. Despite it’s great coverage, e.l.f. Studio Pressed Powder doesn’t come on too strong or look chalky, and is a great setting powder on top of foundation for a natural look. I find it best to press the powder on with the sponge it comes with and then lightly buff with a kabuki, or a large blush brush. This is one of the e.l.f. products available at Target, and of course it’s available at e.l.f.’s website for $3.00.
Honorable mention- L’Oreal True Match. I used L’Oreal True Match for my pressed powder for years, including the front half of 2011, and it’s a really great powder. I switched because I wanted to try to find something that cost less since L’Oreal is kind of pricey for drugstore.
Favorite- Milani Baked Bronzer, and my favorite shade in the line is 05 Soleil. Click here to read my full review of Soleil with swatches. I really like this bronzer. It’s a medium bronze with veins of milk chocolate and shimmery gold running through it that gives a warm golden glow. It’s the perfect golden sheen to brighten up your cheeks. All of the products in Milani’s baked line have been a huge hit this year and the bronzers are no exception. These retail for around $8-9.
Honorable mention- NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder in Sunny. What makes Sunny worth noting is that it is one of the few matte bronzers available in the drugstore. If shimmer isn’t your thing, especially in the winter, give Sunny a try.
Favorite- E.l.f. Golden Bronzer, the lightest shade in the quad. I don’t use a highlight too often, so I don’t have many products to choose from as a favorite in this category. I do really like the e.l.f. Golden Bronzer, which is a quad of four blendable shades for an all-over sheer wash of color, or you can use each shade separately. The lightest shade is a very soft peachy gold, which is a fantastic powder highlight for a subtle sheen. Like all e.l.f. Studio products, this retails for $3.00.
Honorable mention– None in this category
Favorite- Milani Baked Blush, and my favorite shade in the line is 02 Rose D’Oro. Milani Baked Blushes may be my favorite product of all of 2011. They are certainly in the top three. Click here for my full review and swatches of the three shades I own. The product is soft, not chalky at all, and blends like a dream. These super pigmented blushes provide a luminous healthy glow on the cheeks that is simply ravishing. Rose D’Oro is a universally flattering rosy peach shade with golden shimmer, and probably the prettiest of all nine shades. Milani Baked Blushes retail for $6-7.
Honorable mention- E.l.f. Studio Cream Blush, and my favorite shade in the line is Tease. Click here to read my review of the original “bouncy” blush.
That’s it for my Favorites for 2011: the face edition. I hope that you found some good options to try, and stay tuned for more posts in this series very soon.