Top 11 of 2011

Many things that I’ve been using throughout 2011, such as my Covergirl Lashblast mascara, Chanel Joues Contraste blushes, Chanel Rouge Allure lipsticks, and so on, have not changed; so, rather than re-hash staples in my routine, I thought write a post on the top 11 discoveries I made in 2011.

Instead of writing exclusively about products, I thought I’d also regale you with makeup techniques, skincare approaches, lifestyle changes, and so on, that have made the biggest difference to how I look and feel in 2011.

1.  Gel liner, Models Prefer brushes, heated lash curler, Princess Lee false lashes: I used to use liquid liner every day, but somehow fell out of the habit when I found Lancome’s Le Stylo Waterproof in Cafe, which is the only pencil eyeliner which doesn’t end up halfway down my face by mid-morning.

However, when Suzanne kindly gifted me two Models Prefer brushes, I reached for my neglected pot of MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack and never looked back. I love the way winged liner gives a gorgeous almond shape to the eyes. Tightlining on my eyes is also must as my lashes are quite ‘high’, but it’s made so much simpler with the Models Prefer smudge brush which is much more comfortable to stamp onto my eye than a traditional push brush. With practice, winged liner is very quick to do and lasts all day with Blacktrack, which is great news if you have oily lids like me.

I have also rediscovered my heated lash curler thanks to Jen’s post. If you have one of these, get it out and use it. Once you get the technique sorted, you will discover that it curls your lashes like nothing else, and holds that curl all day.

Princess Lee false lashes are still the most natural looking strip lashes I’ve found. Easy to apply and so very flattering to the eye. As I have an allergy to latex I’ve stopped using Duo Lash Adhesive and have been using the Revlon variant instead with no problems. I love how big these false lashes make my eyes look, without crossing into drag queen territory.

For an idea of just how much winged liner and lashes can open up your eye, have a look at Lisa Eldridge’s Audrey Hepburn tutorial here and Valentine’s Day look here. So elegant.

2.  Lighter eyeshadow: Now that I actually have eyelids to display thanks to these exercises, I’ve been enjoying lighter eyeshadows and a return to creasework. MAC’s All That Glitters is such a beautiful shade, and works so well all over the eye or with MAC Bronze eyeshadow in the crease. Fantastic with the aforementioned winged liner.

It is not just for the colour that I love these two shadows (although the colours are lovely), but the formula is about as close to perfection as you can get in eyeshadow. We all know how hit and miss MAC shadows can be, but with these two I think MAC has got it right.

3.  Bronzer: This year I’ve actually discovered how to use bronzer. I apply it with a MAC 134 paddle brush to my cheeks and temples, as a sort of poor-man’s contouring, and I’ve been loving the result. Not only does it add warmth to my face, but it gives me instant cheekbones.

My current favourites are Korres Monoi Bronzer in 01 and Le Metier de Beaute’s bronzer in their Flawless Face kit. Both are excellent for fair skins.

4.  Ellis Faas base: As my skin has improved considerably in 2011 I like to skip base where I can, but when I do reach for something it is always Ellis Faas Skin Veil and concealer.

I only use a tiny amount of Ellis Faas Skin Veil and it evens out my skintone and gives me a healthy glow. It also lasts all day, never streaks, and is so comfortable on my skin. It works well over sunscreen too.

Ellis Faas concealer is just as stellar. The pen is easy to use, and I just twist and apply a tiny amount of concealer under my eyes, around my nose, and on any discolouration I might have. As with all concealers, I leave it for about five seconds on my skin to warm (so I don’t just wipe away the product) and then blend out with my fingers. This concealer blends with my skin seamlessly and never pools in creases or catches on dry skin. Love.

5.  DIY skincare: It probably comes as no surprise that I’m in love with DIY skincare. The difference it has made to my skin in just six months is phenomenal. I urge you to try it.

6.  Food: Finally learning how to eat well and take control over my binge eating has been a revelation for me. I no longer feel like food controls me, and I feel energetic and healthy. Here is an outline of the way I now eat.

7.  Hair: I’m very lucky to have found a wonderful hair salon in Toni & Guy Cottesloe. They get the colour and cut of my hair right every time, and I’m very grateful for their expertise and generosity.

Without doubt, this DIY hair tonic has made a huge difference to the quality of my hair too. Not only does it give me much more volume, but I have sprouted new little hair follicles, and my existing hair has grown more quickly. I actually spray it all over my hair when I get out of the shower, as well as applying it directly to the roots, and I still can’t believe how soft it makes my hair.

8.  Red Lipstick: This never really went away, but red lipstick has become even more of a joy of late. Many red lipsticks can be applied as a stain so that you don’t have to fear it migrating to your teeth or hair during dinner, and something like Dolce & Gabanna’s Sheer Shine #130 is the perfect glossy orange-red to throw on as you’re heading out the door in summer, and wears off so evenly. I love this lipstick paired with little to no base, winged liner, All That Glitters on the lid, and bronzer on cheeks and temples. Very modern. For a swatch of Dolce & Gabanna #130, my other reds, and other lipsticks, see this post.

So happy that I got my hands on the discontinued Chanel Rouge Allure Laque in Dragon too.

9.  Edward Bess cream products: I won these from the delightful LipstickLuvvies (a great blog – go and read it!), and I’ve been using them constantly ever since. The blush in Love Affair and highlighter in All Over Seduction blend with the skin so beautifully and look imperceptable on the skin. They also last much longer on the skin that most cream products. Needless to say, they are always with me. I really must do a post on them.

10.  Head and Shoulders as deodorant: Last summer I could not find a deodorant that kept me stink-free, until I discovered that there is an ingredient in Head and Shoulders that actually prevents the growth of stink-causing bacteria. Now I wash my armpits with Head and Shoulders in the shower, dry off as normal, and go about my day. I have never used such an effective deodorant, and am so happy that I don’t end up smelly by midday any more.

11.  Vintage clothing and Diane Von Furstenburg: Oh how I love vintage clothing. I love the cut, the fabric, and the feminine look of vintage clothes. My collection features dresses from the 40s, 50s, and 60s, and I love them all. My favouite seller is still Nena from JolieVintageShop on Etsy, but she’s away at Law School at present. However, she will be back mid-year on her break, and I’m looking forward to her shop re-opening!

I also adore Diane Von Furstenburg dresses. If you ever see one in a shop, I urge you to try it on. Damn that woman knows how to cut a dress.


This entry was posted in Clothes, Hair Care, Makeup, Skin Care and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

36 Responses to Top 11 of 2011

  1. Jade says:

    Omg I need to try this head and shoulders trick, I’m a stinker but I only like to use natural deodorant (aluminum free) 🙂

  2. Dempeaux says:

    @Jade Definitely give it a try – I don’t know how I got on without it! 😀

  3. I love Mac ATG and Bronze 🙂 Actually quite a lot of the Mac e/s in that color family that are in the permanent line are pretty good, they’re really staple for me.

    I think I missed your discovery on Head& Shoulders earlier but I’m glad I read it now LOL. And as far as DIY is concerned, I’m still feeling lazy even though I KNOW it would be so much better for my skin and my hair. Maybe I’ll start with your hair conditioner. Resolution for 2012, maybe?

  4. Dempeaux says:

    @MusingOnBeauty Oh yay! Yes, there are some really good quality shadows in the permanent collection. Definitely try the Head and Shoulder, and DIY! The hair tonic is a great place to start, because it’s super easy to throw together 🙂

  5. GlossQueen says:

    I love reading these favourite posts, the only problem is they make me want to go shopping 🙂

  6. Dempeaux says:

    @GlossQueen Me too!

  7. OMGWTF I need to try that Head & Shoulders trick!

  8. Dempeaux says:

    @SilhouetteScreams You won’t regret it!!

  9. I loved this post Sarah 🙂

  10. Dempeaux says:

    @Stacey Thankyou!! 🙂

  11. Nat says:

    I love these posts – and I love that you are one of the few who love bronzer like I do!

    I’m also with Jade, I’m going to try the head and shoulders trick. I melt when I get sent outside in summer.

  12. Tara says:

    Great post S.
    I am actually finding I have the same issue with deodorant. I’ve tried a number of them but they don’t seem to live up to their claims. I might try your trick with the head and shoulders.
    Also- I have discovered bronzer more this year too. I love NARS laguna. I am still trying to get my confidence up applying it but I am loving looking less pale.

  13. Dempeaux says:

    @Nat Me too. I’ve got to try that TheBalm bronzer that you recommended!

    I love the Head and Shoulders thing. Such a revelation!

  14. Dempeaux says:

    @Tara Let me know how you go with the Head & Shoulders! Laguna is on my list of bronzers to try. Looks gorgeous. I think the bronzer application is down to the brush: swiped lightly onto cheeks and temples it looks fab!

  15. Lisa G says:

    After reading another great post from you I thought I would let you know how much you have influenced me, this is what I now buy because of your informative and interesting posts:
    Mulondon moisteriser and cleanser
    Too faced shadow insurance
    Head n’ shoulders as a deodorant
    Lancome Renergie neck cream (which I alternate with Dr Brandt)
    Pre-cleanse oil (never knew it existed, now can’t live without it)
    Raw shea butter which I haven’t used yet as I give it to my daughter, it is the best thing ever for her psoriasis.
    If I wasn’t so lazy I would have a go at the DIY products, your instructions look very easy to follow. I still haven’t been game to try bronzers just think I am too old for them.
    I am definitely going to try the facial exercises, this is my new year’s resolution.
    Thanks for taking time out from your PhD and putting so much effort into your blog Sarah.

  16. Suzanne says:

    This is an awesome post! Getting on the smelly kids bus and agreeing that I MUST try this head and shoulders trick…

    And having just tried the winged liner thing – discovery of the year.

  17. Dempeaux says:

    @LisaG That’s wonderful! I’m so glad my blog has been helpful 🙂 Do give DIY skincare a go if you find some time – you’ll never look back! Also, I find that bronzer can look quite subtle and just create shadow and shape on your face if you apply it lightly and with a big fluffy brush, which is what I tend to do most days.

    Facial exercises are great. I’ve cut back to once a day, but I can still see a difference in my facial volume, particularly on my ‘sundamaged’ side. I’m trying to get my hands on a full routine of facial exericises, but you can also find lots on Youtube. I know someone who keeps all her facial exericses from Youtube bookmarked so that she can do them every morning!

    The blog is a nice alternative to the PhD, but there will be less posting over the next month as I’ve just about finished it. I’m trying not to get too stressed!

    Thankyou for your kind comments Lisa xx 🙂

  18. Dempeaux says:

    @Suzanne Let me know how you go with H&S! Also, dying to see winged liner on you. I know it will look stunning!!

  19. Dee says:

    A classy list from a classy chick. I’d expect nothing less. 🙂

    I use Mitchum Unscented and have done for years – it works like a dream. It does bother me that there’s aluminium in it but nothing else works like it and I HATE the thought that I might be walking around smelling less than pleasant. I remember you mentioning the H&S trick once before (maybe on Twitter?) and at the time I thought about trying it but I forgot. Do you get any particular kind? Is the thing that prevents the smell something different from the aluminium in anti-perspirants?

  20. Dempeaux says:

    @Dee Aww thankyou so much <3

    I must try that deodorant. I don't remember seeing it in shops, but perhaps I'm not looking hard enough! I use any Head & Shoulders and they all seem to work equally well. I hate walking around being stinky! :O The key ingredient is zinc pyrithione. You can read about it here 🙂

  21. Jessica says:

    Love this post! And wow to the head & shoulders trick, I’ll definitely be trying that out!

  22. Dempeaux says:

    @Jessica Thankyou! Let me know how you get on with H&S 🙂

  23. I’m so proud that you added your eating here and congrats on making that major breakthrough this year. I really want to try Elle Fass products and you gave me a great false eyelash tutorial this year – 2012 is the year of the lash for me.

    Hope you had a lovely Christmas!

  24. Dempeaux says:

    @StyleOnTheCouch Thanks Sarah! Fueling yourself with good food consistently is certainly a triumph 🙂 The Ellis Faas products are stunning and definitely worth a try, and the false lashes are gorgeous!

    Hope you had a great festive season too 🙂

  25. Jos says:

    Love your take on the top 11. Great intro to your blog. Will be trying out that facial exercises and adding head & shoulders to my shopping list!

  26. Dempeaux says:

    @Jos Thankyou! I’m glad it’s helpful 🙂

  27. I seriously have to get around to making that hair serum.

  28. Dempeaux says:

    @Chloeblue2005 So quick to make, and so effective! 🙂

  29. Claire says:

    Me too, I have to figure out how to make that hair serum. I need it!

  30. Dempeaux says:

    @Claire That has to be one of the easiest to make but most effective DIY recipes. Loving my hair these days 🙂

  31. Pingback: Top 11 of 2011! | Ramblings of a Girl

  32. Kimberley says:

    I love these lists and I REALLY love how this one is slightly different! This year I really want to try some DIY skincare and haircare, and also get my eating under control!
    I’m also totally knocked out by that Head and Shoulders trick, I definitely need to try that!! Great post Sarah!

  33. Dempeaux says:

    @Kimberly Thankyou! Yay for New Year’s Resolutions!! 😀

  34. Great post.

    Jumping onto the smelly camp and gonna say that I need to try that H&S trick. I’ve tried most deodorants available at the supermarkets and have found that the Mitchum one works great. I tried the Rexona clinical one and while it worked fab for the first few times, it just stopped working 🙁

  35. Dempeaux says:

    @BeautySnippets Thankyou! I’ve seen that Mitchum one recommended a few times – thanks for the rec! Hope the H&S works for you! 🙂

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