This has been a very difficult post to write. I must have tested hundreds of products and brushes over the past year, so to narrow it down to only 12 was a very difficult task. This list is not about products that were released in 2012, but products that were new to me in 2012. Some of my most used of the year were actually repurchases, so I tried to keep the list to only products I purchased or used for the first time this year.
These twelve items have made some sort of a lasting impression on me, and more than likely have showed up in past posts. I did not include skin care products, and tried to keep the list only makeup and makeup tools.
Without further delay, here are my top 12 makeup products from 2012 (in no particular order):
Above: Swatch of Exposed Blush
#2 Stila In The Light Eye Shadow Palette - Anyone who knows me knows brushes are my thing. However, if I had to choose a second love, eye shadow palettes would be it! After testing tons of palettes this year, I keep coming back to this one. I have even recommended this to others, who have purchased it and love it just as much as I do. Why it made the list: Kitten is one of the most famous eye shadows of all time. It's the shade I use most from this palette. Stila did such a nice job choosing the colors for this collection that I find myself reaching for this palette more than so many others. Bare works amazingly well as an allover base color. Bubbly is a beautiful champagne shade that looks amazing as an inner corner highlight. All of the shadows are smooth and pigmented, plus they included a waterproof eye liner in the color Damsel.
#3 Hourglass Veil Fluid Makeup - This was my favorite foundation of the year. I tried so many this year, and none make my skin look as flawless as this does. Why it made the list: It's oil free so it doesn't break me out. Plus, it contains an SPF of 15 for added sun protection. For swatches you can check my prior post here: http://makeupmattersbylnc.blogspot.com/2012/12/spotlight-hourglass-cosmetics.html
#4 Too Faced Tinted Beauty Balm - When I first mentioned this in my Beautylish Haul post ( http://makeupmattersbylnc.blogspot.com/2012/12/beautylish-haul-featuring-too-faced.html) I talked about the coverage. As I continued to use this product, I realized the coverage can actually be sheer, but it is very buildable. My first application was a heavy one, leading me to believe the coverage was heavier than it actually was. However, the more I use this product, the more I love it. Why it made the list: The coverage is not only buildable, but it contains light reflecting pigments, which help make the skin look perfected. This two in one has been a time saver for me in the morning, and I really like that it comes in multiple shades, unlike so many other BB creams on the market.
#5 Royal & Langnickel Revolution Brush BX-30 - You know I can't possibly write a post about favorites without mentioning brushes. This synthetic brush picks up powders so beautifully, yet still works well at blending out creams. This is an amazing brush for professional use and it yields professional results every time. Why it made the list: The size of this brush is ideal for blending blush along the cheekbone. So many blush brushes are too long, or the wrong shape. This one is just perfect. Full review here: http://makeupmattersbylnc.blogspot.com/2012/11/spotlight-royal-langnickel-revolution.html
#6 Bdellium Tools 925 Green Bambu Duet Fiber Fan Brush - Dewy, glowy skin is part of my signature look. One of the best ways I've found to apply highlighters is with this handy little fan brush. Why it made the list: This is a professional grade eco-friendly brush with a bamboo handle and soft vegan bristles. This little brush has so many uses for me. It's great for sweeping away eyeshadow fallout, adding a light application of liquid or powder highlight to the face, or even polishing foundation.
#7 100% Pure Cosmetics Cruelty Free Contour Brush - Everyone knows the key to blending eye shadow well is good technique, and a good brush. This white bristled favorite is an absolute lifesaver when it comes to blending out crease color. Why it made the list: I know so many people who have all synthetic brushes, except for their eye shadow blending brush. It's hard to find a synthetic brush to do the job. This one does it quite well. Full review here: http://makeupmattersbylnc.blogspot.com/2012/09/spotlight-100-pure-cosmetics-vegan.html
#8 Ecco Bella Shimmer Dust in Moon - To see my original review, click here:
This product is so versatile. It can be used as a face highlight or as eye shadow. Why it made the list: It is very hard to find a good quality highlighter that is not only cruelty-free, but also vegan. These come in 4 colors, and easily pop into a Z-Palette, or the Ecco Bella Paperback Duo Compact.
#9 Milani Nail Lacquer - Nail polish is not my thing. In fact, I kind of suck at doing my own nails to be honest. However, this nail polish from Milani is absolutely amazing. It's one of the first polishes I've used that really lasts on my nails. The colors are true to the bottle, and these are super affordable. Why it made the list: I really like the color choices and how they are executed. Milani Signature Gold the most amazing metallic polish I have ever used. This product is made in the USA and is DBP Free.
#10 Armour Lip Gloss - The shade Diana was sent to me as a sample by the good folks over at Beautylish. I was immediately impressed with the opacity and shine of this product. Original thoughts and to view shade click here: http://makeupmattersbylnc.blogspot.com/2012/12/beautylish-haul-featuring-too-faced.html
Why it made the list: Never before have I been so impressed with a lip gloss that I ran to order more immediately after trying it once. This gives the lips the most full, sexy appearance you can imagine. I have tried countless glosses in my lifetime, and this one really blows me away.
#11 Too Faced Lip Insurance - Another gift from the folks over at Beautylish, this product truly improves the staying power of your lip product without drying out your lips. Why this made the list: While I've always been a big advocate of primers for special occasions, I never used anything more than a concealer or concealing type lip primer before this product. Lipstick feathering is a huge issue, especially with mature ladies and this product prevents that from happening. For more on primers, click here: http://makeupmattersbylnc.blogspot.com/2012/12/primer-primer-primer.html
#12 Tarte Glamazon Lipstick in Playful - I have several shades from this line, and love them all. Pure is a great everyday shade, Bold is an amazing bright coral. However, Playful was my go to lipstick shade this fall. I recommended it to everyone and anyone who would listen. Why it made the list: Even without priming the lips first, this long wear formula lasts all day without drying out the lips. This is my favorite color out of the 8 available shades. This applies so smoothly, and the packaging is super cute.
Above: Swatch of Tarte Glamazon Lipstick in Playful
That's it! I hope you enjoyed this peek into my personal favorites for the year. I wish everyone a wonderful rest of the year and a great start to 2013! I want to give a special thanks to my readers, followers and all those who supported me this year. There will be many new exciting things to come from Makeup Matters By LNC in 2013 including a new look to the site, more reviews and maybe even some giveaways!
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*Some of the products in this post were sent for consideration. This in no way alters my review. All of my thoughts and opinions are 100% honest, and I only share them with you in hopes of helping you make informed purchasing decisions.