Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Best in Beauty

Like so many others have already expressed, 2012 has been a big year for me; I graduated from college, started a graduate program, moved across the country by myself, became a mom to a wonderful little kitten, got a new job, met wonderful new people... and so much more that I can't even begin to list!!

One of the biggest changes in my life though has been creating this blog and my YouTube channel. I have met and gotten to know so many lovely people who share the same obsession and love for all things beauty and thrifting.
I've been loving reading posts about people's favorite products of 2012 so, to jump on the bandwagon before it passes me by, I wanted to share my holy grail products from the past year; it'll give me time to reminisce, babble, and hopefully inspire you all to go out and nab some goodies in 2013!! :)

Let's take one last jump together in 2012... hup!

ORIGINS Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask:
While I only discovered this mask within the past couple of months, I couldn't help but include it in my favorites for the year (as well as my Best & Worst of Beauty video for December and November!). It has been SUCH a lifesaver for my skin now that it's cleared up; it unclogs pores and really gives your skin a deep clean from any lurking bacteria or contaminants. This mask feels great to use at the end of the week to get all of the gunk out of your pores (and, on a nonsensical level, your life)!

I listed this at the top of my pyramid for my Best & Worst of Beauty video in November and I still feel like it has saved my skin time and time again. Whenever I feel a hormonal pimple/deep under the skin pimple starting to lurk, I slap some of this on the hazardous site before I go to bed and voila!! That nasty invader has been put into a coma and will be dead within another day or two.

Olay ProX:
Or, as I like to call it, the best dupe out there for a Clarisonic ever created. I've never used a Clarisonic (because I will never be able to justify the money they want when there are dupes like this out there on the market) but I don't see any difference between the two products other than the price tag; the Olay ProX rings in at a very pleasant $21.97 (at Walmart), has two speed settings, and a very soft yet effective brush head to clean deep down into your pores. 
The main difference is that this is battery operated rather than rechargeable, but I've been using this every day for the past five months and haven't had to change the batteries once! I can't recommend this enough to anyone who has been wanting a Clarisonic (and more importantly: clear skin) in their life; it was at the top of my pyramid in my Best & Worst of Beauty video for September if you want to hear me talk a little more about it!!

Maybelline the Falsies VOLUME EXPRESS FLARED Mascara:
I only discovered this mascara within the past month but I already know that this is going to be a staple for me in the years to come. I did a full review of this mascara here on my blog if you missed it and also included it in my Best & Worst of Beauty video for this month (December). It provides your lashes with the perfect amount of volume and length without looking like you're ready to work (if you catch my drift...). This has become one of my favorite drugstore mascaras by far!!

NYX Liquid Crystal Liner "Crystal Champagne":
The second I read Cinna's character description in The Hunger Games, I was OBSESSED with wearing gold eyeliner. I wore it, essentially, every single day (especially this past summer) and loved the way it looked on my eyes. When I first started experimenting with finding the perfect gold though, I found NYX's "Crystal Champagne" and, though not exactly what I was looking for, it had me by the heartstrings from then on. It is such a subtle way of wearing glitter during the daytime and this liner is flawless when it comes to precision and color payoff.

stila all over shimmer liquid luminizer "pink shimmer":
I gave this luminizer a raving review here on my blog already so I won't go into too much detail on it here. It basically introduced me to the world of highlighters/luminizers and made me fall in love with the glow that it gives to your skin (especially when it goes a bit dead in the winter chill). This is a limited edition shade so I'm really stressing over whether or not to buy the full size before it's gone for good!!

Motives Essential Brow Kit:
2012 was the year that I figured out my brows. I have had so many different brow looks throughout the years (from over-plucked to over-grown) but I think I finally have them how the should be. A big part of that had to do with my mom handing me this brow palette one day in the bathroom; the colors just didn't suit her so she thought I may want to give it a shot even though I had never filled in my brows before. Thank goodness she did!! This little palette fills in areas that have become sparse from over-plucking while also tames the crazy beast hairs with the addition of a pot of wax. I owe my big beautiful brows to you mom (though genetically they're definitely from dad, haha)!!

L'Oreal Infallible 24 Hour Laquer Liner "Espresso":
This was also the year where I feel I finally mastered the cat eye look. I talked about it in my initial review of this liner so I won't go into it too much here. Essentially I had two problems: 1.) my eyes water nonstop and thus liner is usual a no-go for me, and 2.) I already have a b**** face without lining my eyes in black and turning them into green lazer beams (what a combo, huh?). Thankfully I found this little gem; it is TRULY waterproof/smudge-proof and the color is gorgeous for a subtle, but still impactful cat eye. 

benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow "Birthday Suit":
This little pot is my ultimate "I have exactly ten minutes to do my hair/makeup/use the toilet/feed the cat/get out the door without forgetting my keys" savior. I included it in my Best & Worst of Beauty video for September if you want to see swatches and whatnot, but it's essentially a gorgeous nude champagne cream shadow that will stay put all day and give your eyes a nice glow in one easy swoop of your finger.

Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller:
This little concealer and de-poofer (all hail my impressive vocabulary) has saved my eyes this past year. After just a few weeks of use I noticed the effect that the caffeine was having on my swollen under-eyes and now, after almost a year of use, I don't have any swelling to speak of!! The built in concealer isn't much but it's nice on those days when you don't feel like wearing much makeup but still want a little coverup.

tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush "Blissful":
This blush... I have no words (and if you know me even a little, that's saying a lot).
It is my absolute favorite blush for everyday wear no matter what the season. "Blissful" is a warm pink, plain and simple; no glitter, no sheen, no bells and whistles which makes it just beautiful. It lasts all day, is extremely pigmented, and silky smooth. What more could you ask for in a blush? (I'll answer my own question: nothing).

Urban Decay NAKED2 Palette:
Ahhh, what would a yearly favorites be without the inclusion of my NAKED2 palette? Well, it would basically be a lie, that's what. I used this nearly every day for the better half of a year and you can hardly even tell (can I get a loud "cha-ching" for bang for your buck!??!?)!! I originally reviewed it here and I'm sure you've seen and read a gabajillion (my favorite number) reviews of it so I'll lay low... this is a nude eyeshadow lover's dream, plain and simple. I can't get enough of it!!

hourglass Veil Mineral Primer SPF 15:
This primer is my rock. My staple. An absolute favorite for 2012 and all the years to come. While the price is utterly cringe worthy ($52.00/bottle) it is SO absolutely worth every single penny. You only need a small amount to prime your whole face (one pump is perfect) and your makeup will be looking fresh and gorgeous all day long. I can't describe it to you in words so definitely go into your local Sephora and try a bit out on the back of your hand; it's an absolute dream and this one bottle has lasted me about a year and half now!! 

Revlon Colorstay Longwear Nail Enamel Top Coat:
This top coat has quickly become one of my favorites for giving my nails that glossy gel-like coating. It really locks in your polish for chip proof wear (I can usually get away with a week of wear... but that's only on the rare occasion that my nail polish stays the same color for a week straight), applies smoothly, and is a great drugstore top coat overall. The only drawback is that it can't be used for nail art since it causes the different colored polishes to bleed; other than that it's perfect!

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain "Honey":
Choosing a favorite lip product for the year was SO hard for me since I change what I'm wearing on my lips every single day (spice of life, baby!!) but I threw this one in here to represent the Revlon Balm Stain line as a whole. I wear at least one of these shades every few days and "Honey" is one that I find myself reaching for over and over again because it's such an easy choice; it's, for me, a MLBB (my lips but better) shade and one that I feel would suit SO many different skin colors. I did an in depth review of these here if you want to check out swatches and whatnot but overall would suggest them to anyone looking for a new lip product. 

And of course, I had to include Galileo in my favorites!! He seems to have a pretty large fan base here on my blog (which makes me so happy!!) and I am so absolutely lucky to have him in my life; he brings me so much joy and comfort just by napping on my legs while I blog and meowing loudly until I respond just to make sure I'm alive.

So here's to a very happy New Year... there are so many good things waiting in the year ahead that I'm ready to tackle and am so happy to have you all here with me for the ride!!

What were your favorites from this past year?
Are you in love with any of the products I mentioned?
Do share!!

xoxo - Cassie


  1. aww your cat is so cute! i've been wanting to try benefit's cream eyeshadow.

  2. I have a clarisonic and I love it! They olay ones are the exact same because I gifted one to my grandmother!

    I've been wanting to try those chubby pencils from Revlon for a while but am still stuck on the lip butters! I'll have to remember Honey for next time! i love this post!


  3. I've had the Clarisonic on my wishlist for a very long time but could never justify the amount spent on something that could turn out to be average...might have to give the Olay X a try!

    I have some very boring faves of 2012; NARS Orgasm blush being one of them! I really want to try some of the Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes!

    Looking forward to your 2013 posts! :)

  4. I just love coming to your blog and seeing pics of your adorable cat!!


  5. gret stuff dear
    happy new year :)
    x the cookies

  6. jenxxhope: Aw, thanks!! And definitely do, they are absolutely lovely and benefit made some beautiful shades for the line :)

    Katie: Oh wow, that's so great to hear!! Glad I wasn't completely delusional haha :p And definitely check out the Balm Stains from Revlon; I love their lip butters too but they're completely different beasts!! Thank you so so much for all your support *^__^*

    Maria: Definitely check out the Olay ProX first!! It's such an amazing little device. And that's not boring at all!! I actually just got to try NARS' Orgasm myself and have a post planned for the very near future... thank you so much for looking forward to it! :)

    Monica: Haha thanks Monica!! I'm glad he's so loved :)

    the cookies: Thanks so much, you as well!!

  7. What do you think of the Lancôme face cream I gave you? Is it worth it or should I bring the receipt and we can return it? You will have to teach me the cat-eye liner technique when I visit next week! X o x o

  8. i love benefit products so much, and ive recently started using origins and its amazing! x


  9. i bookmarked this post to remind me in a few weeks after pay day because there are some amazing products here i want to try but don't want to forget! i've been wanting to try the charcoal mask for so long. :)
    i love the balm stains.

  10. These are some great picks! We do share some favourites, and I love that Stila blush! xo

  11. Happy New Year girls!! I wish you all the best for 2013 :)

    I really need to try to try Stila illuminiser, it must be amazing!!!

  12. great roundup! i have yet to dig into my Naked palette. I really want to try that origins mask though too! i need to clear my pores! lol

  13. Mutti: So far I'm loving it so nooooo please don't take it away from me haha!! And sure, I can show you next week... I can't wait to see you :)

    Heidi-likes: Yay, I'm glad you're a fan of both of those companies as well... I really think they're both great at what they produce!

    Naomi: Oh wow I'm glad you got some inspiration from this post haha!! It always stinks when you have to wait for payday but, being a student, I completely understand =__=; Let me know if you end up getting the mask and if you love it as much as I do; remember, it takes a little while before you'll notice a difference!

    Catherine: Thank you Catherine!! I'm glad we agree on these things ^__^

    Marina: Thanks so much!! And definitely try it out; I've run out of mine and miss it terribly :(

    Davie+Erica: Thanks, you too!

    Jenny: Thank you so much! And definitely try out the mask if you're looking for something to clear out your pores; it's amazing!! :)

  14. Hi Cassie, Did you get my email? You won the ray_Ban giveaway x

  15. Great picks!
    I would love to try out that clarins clearing mask, I need some product like that because my face is a mess right now...


  16. Sandra: Thank you so much!! I emailed you back earlier today :)

    Hola Flo Beauty and Lifestyle Blog: Oh, do you mean the Origins mask? Yes, definitely give it a go if you need a good pore de-clogging :)

  17. What a fantastic list! Revlon Honey and Tarte Blissful are among my favourites of the year too :)


  18. Jen: Thank you, I'm glad you enjoyed!! And I'm so happy that someone else understands how lovely those two particular products are... they make me swoon just thinking about them haha! :)


Thanks so much for taking the time to comment!! I read and appreciate each one :)
However, please refrain from leaving "follow for follow" comments, contest links, etc. as I will delete them. If you want me to check out your blog though just leave a link and I'd be happy to take a look!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...