It was hard to decide on my "Best" list. I've used many products that I like a lot, so I decided to hone down the list to those things I reach for automatically and most frequently.
Le Metier de Beaute Flawless Face Palette: I've hit pan on three out of the four products contained in this palette: the powder, highlighter and blush. It's so convenient and fast to swing each of these products out of the barrel, I reach for it most mornings when I'm in a hurry, and use one brush. It’s also brilliant for travel. I only used the bronzer in the summer, but lately I've begun to use it for contour more often than not. The convenience of this palette is under rated. I hope LMdB will consider routinely selling this palette as a customizable one; magnetized trays would make it easier to insert the colors that suite various skin tones.
LMdB Peau Vierge Anti-Aging Complexe Tinted Treatment: I immediately loved the glow this product gave my face and have used it almost every day since I won it in a Neiman Marcus drawing. At the time of my review, it had not lived up to its claims to lessen dark circles, smooth fine lines, blur blemishes and tighten pores within a week of once-daily use. It took longer than a week, but my skin looks much better now, most noticeably my skin tone has evened out, and fine lines smoothed out. It's expensive at $125 for 1 oz., but a little goes a long way: 1oz. lasted six months.
YSL Noir Radical Mascara: Can I say it's L'Oreal Voluminous on steroids? It volumizes as promises, and it's subtly blacker than its cousin YSL Faux Cils. It doesn't crumble at the end of the day like Voluminous, and though it isn't advertised as waterproof, it doesn't run as easily as some (Eyes to Kill, I'm thinking of you!) You do have to be careful to close the tube tightly, as it does have a tendency to dry out quickly. Since it's expensive, I like to buy it during Nordstrom's one-day Mascara Madness event in which you buy two tubes and get one free. I go in with a friend if I can, or I buy when Nordies offers double points.
Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Color: I love this lipstick more than any other! First of all, it's not completely matte. It's just not so shiny that your lips proceed you into a room! The brighter colors looked odd (to me) on my medium skin tone, but I fell in love with the darkest red, Le Sensuelle. It has incredible staying power, so I don't have to worry about looking totally washed out after a business lunch if I can't get away to re-apply. It's perfect with the Topkapi quad and Rouge blush from the Byzance collection, better than the lipstick in that collection, in my opinion.
Chanel Kaska Beige Quad: The colors are the perfect neutrals for me. I even use a little of the second darkest color to fill in my eyebrows if I'm in a real hurry. Since I learned this little trick from a Chanel national artist, I've been surprised at the range of colors I can use to fill them in. I'm not talking about primary or secondary colors of course, but muted browns, taupes, including those with a hint of purple could be considered. The Chanel artist used the darkest purple-toned shadow in the Prelude quad on me.
Chanel Illusion D'Ombre Longwear Luminous Eye Shadows: I especially love the black Mirifique. I haven't worn it as an eye shadow, but as a most glamorous eye liner. The small, curved, brush that comes with each shadow is the best I've ever used. Chanel should add an standard-sized version to its permanent collection. Emerveille, the pale pink/peach shadow is beautiful, a great everyday color for many skin tones; it is notably good for medium-to-dark skin tones in that the color really shows - it's not just ashy. The color pay off for the green-colored Epatant was not as good unless used over a primer.
Chanel Nail Color in Mimosa and Khaki Vert: I'd have never thought that yellow and green nail polish would become my regular "go to" colors! I love Graphite too.
Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint: The last impossibly humid weeks of September 2011 gave me a new appreciation for what a workhorse this tinted moisturizer is! It’s oil-free, fragrance-free, buildable, and water-resistant. It never budged, lasting at least 15 hours with no fading. For women of a certain age, all foundations should be water-resistant.
Vera Wang and Dolce and Gabbana Rose the One scents: Rose the One obviously smells like roses - warm roses, if that's possible. I don't know how to describe the Vera Wang; is it "cool" since it appeals to me primarily in spring and summer? I'll learn how to write about scent as the year progresses. For now I'll just say that these provoke a visceral response in me.