Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My favorite products for 2011!

They are my favorites definitely from 2011 but I'm not sure when they all began as 2010 and 2011 are sort of blurred together while I was in nursing school.  And what a year it was! 

So I know this was highly anticipated!  ha ha  I don't think I have ever done a monthly favorites because I don't know, everyone else does i?.  But I like to read/see what everyone else is using so why not ?  :)  Who knows, maybe I will try for a monthly favorites post this year.

Let me start out by saying that this year was the year of John Frieda shampoo, conditioner, go blonder lightening spray, full repair, root awakening, you name it, I tried all their products this year and yeah, they are awesome.   It seemed that every drugstore had a $5 each sale or a 3 for $15 with $5 back, Rite Aid had a spend $20 get $10 back and then offered Single Check Rebates.  There was also $2 coupons as well as $5 coupons throughout the year and within 3 months I had a year's supply for practically nothing! 

The "purple" tone correcting shampoo became a staple of mine as well as the Go blonder lightening spray as I decided to get highlights in April.  The Go Blonder Spray and Shampoo and Conditioner just give my hair the perfect blonde color.  Well it's not "perfect" but for shampoo I got for free or nearly free, it was pretty good.  The John Frieda tone correcting shampoo keeps the brass out which is something I have always struggled with.  I have beauty guru TiffanyD to thank for this because I don't think I knew what a purple shampoo was until watching one of her videos.  Oh and coupons, as those purchases wouldn't have been possible!

By the end of the summer, which here is pushing the beginning of October, my hair did get a little fried.  First summer in North Carolina, first summer in near 100 degree heat for weeks on end, tons of a/c.  This lead me to the discovery of my second favorite product of the year...

Virgin Coconut oil! 
I use it everywhere.  Hair, lips, body, hands, cuticles, feet, on my daughter's eczema outbreaks...  Which has happened twice since we moved here :(  but it works to soothe her skin and bonus, it doesn't sting!  Do you want soft skin, silky hair?  Do yourself a favor and get some virgin coconut oil.  You won't regret it.  I had meant to grab it forever it seemed after reading lots of Amazon.com deal posts by Collin on Hip2Save.com and finally after watching youtuber NikkiPhillippi sealed the deal!

And speaking of oils...  Castor oil, jojoba oil and olive oil have been my go to face wash.  Now when I use something else, a weird breakout ensues.  I've used cleansing oils before, but this mix is economical, free of chemicals, so natural and works amazing for my skin.  And believe it or not, straight up Castor oil is too drying!  I had to mix a lighter oil like jojoba oil ( I believe it's called a carrier oil?) and olive oil to provide hydration.  I'm not sure exactly how I started this but I picked up the Jojoba oil at a local Health Food Store that a good friend of mine brought me to.  The owner, pushing late 70's or 80 or maybe well into her 80's, hard to tell because her skin is so beautiful used olive oil to cleanse her face for years.  Sold!

Of course I need to talk about nails...
I really added to my nail polish collection this year with a vengeance.  I discovered the lovely Erika of Chloesnails.blogspot.com (this may have been in 2010).  Her photos, nails, cuticles, manicures and nail art were always flawless.  I miss taking a break from studying at 6am (crazy right?) to take 10 minutes to look at her daily post.  Though she is on an extended break right now, I do still check her site every once in a while hopeful to see something new!  Fingers crossed!  Please come back Erika!  And of course her swatches introduced me to...  ZOYA!

It was for sure the year of ZOYA for me whereas 2010 was the year of Revlon.  I have Neeka on right now which I have worn several times this year and just a few days ago I wore my second favorite Kieko which lasted a record 4 days on my nails!  All the colors I have are amazing.  I think there is one nude that I'm not that crazy about with my skintone.  I took a gamble buying it anyway!  But they are an amazing company, really cares about their fans, they take customer service to the next level for sure.

And of course CULTNAILS' UNICORN PUKE!  Totally obsessed!!! Enough said!

So I did hair, body, nails...

So 2005-2010 were the years of mineral eyeshadows, and 2011 was definitely the year of Urban Decay and Wet n Wild.  I have an obscene amount of eyeshadow palettes!  My obsession with UD began with the Naked Palette which I postponed purchasing for a while because I thought it was too warm for my skintone.  It just looked so beautiful on youtuber/blogger Jen from Frmheadtotoe.com.  I mean, everything looks amazing on her...  lol  When I was finally able to catch it back in stock at Sephora, it became an instant favorite and my love to UD began.  They are shimmery, buttery goodness!

My Wet n Wild affair began with a coupon, and the rest is history! No seriously, I clipped a $5 off $10 purchase from an All You magazine, combined it with a BOGO free sale at CVS and that was it.  The pigmentation of the shadows is just incredible, the colors are fabulous, and they are dirt cheap! 

Tati, the GlamLifeGuru and her Madness Monday videos that my sister introduced me to really fueled a great obsession with the drugstores. Sure I could grab cheap dish soap and cleaning products, but makeup for free? Sign me up!  It certainly helped that drugstore makeup really has improved and now with the recent L'OREAL infalliables, it is being taken to a whole other level!

Though the Revlon Lip butters practically just hit the shelves, they are by far my favorite lip product of the year, which I rarely buy.  They are a lipstick to me, a nice non-drying one with just enough color that I like.  Bright lips feel unnatural on me and awkward.  I'm sure it has to do with my Cherry Chapstick staple for 20+ years.  Which was broken after I tried an AVON Smooth Minerals lipstick.  Revlon Lip Butters have the same feel to me and totally in my comfort zone.

Next up, FACE!
I played with a lot of primers.  One that had a repeat appearance was L'OREAL Face Perfecting Primer.  I can't use it in the summer as it seems to be a little heavy for me, but Spring and Winter it works like a charm!

Another product I dived right into were BB creams!  Lioele Beyond the Solutions BB cream will be the first ever foundation type product that I will actually finish and under a year at that.  Though I have tried other BB creams (Garnier, Missha) and dabbled in trying other foundations (Neutragena Healthy Wear, Maybelline Age Rewind, Revlon DNA), Lioele is the one I keep going back to.  It was a little dark for me in the Sunless Southern Tier but now that I am a wee bit darker due to the endless North Carolina sun, it is the best match I can find for my unmatchable skintone.

Oh and I can also thank Tati for my ridiculous Physician's Formula collection and that certain coupon that we won't ever talk about again...hahaha  Remember that $5 coupon that went viral?!  And thankfully it did.  PF was way too expensive for me without it. I certainly did not abuse the coupon, I used it 3 times (?) and combined it with spend $10 get, $7 ECB sales etc, etc, but I was able to try so many products that have become staples in my daily makeup routine.  

Especially PF Healthy Wear Foundation! Thank you G from NouveauCheap.blogspot.com for pointing out this little gem earlier this year or was it late last year at CVS during their semi-annual clearance event and then again just earlier last month!  I'm stocked up for at least 3 years?  I've never finished a powder in recent memory, I have no idea how long they last  but I know I have plenty. :)

Wow it really was a great year for makeup!

So that's what I thought of off the top of my head.  If I went through my collection I know I would pull out more "favorites" so I will leave it just to these and I'm sure they will still be favorites for 2012 as I work on sticking to my New Year's Resolution!

Link back your favorite product post or let me know what you were obsessed with in 2011!