Best of Beauty 2009

by Gio

best of beauty 2009

Hello everyone,

as the year is drawing to a close, I thought I’d share with you the products that rocked my world in 2009. The list includes the products that I tried this year, not those that were released this year, and they are all things that I love very much and use again and again. Curious? Read on:

best face 2009


Pupa Professionals Smoothing Foundation Primer is a silicone-based primer with a very silky texture that applies like a dream. An excellent base for makeup, it diminishes small imperfections, makes skin smooth and helps makeup last longer. And I love that it is also available in a mini size which is a better value for money for people like me that don’t wear face primers often.

The Body Shop Nature’s Minerals Foundation SPF 25. Although it’s not HG material (mainly because it is available in very few shades and doesn’t control oil too well), it’s one of the best foundations I tried this year. It is a pure mineral foundation that provides a light to medium coverage for a very natural finish that lasts long.

best eyes 2009


Barry M Intense Eyeliner Pen is a retractable liner that doesn’t need to be sharpened. The colors are bright and intense, easy to apply, last for hours even on the waterline and don’t smudge.

Unfortunately for my wallet, Chanel Exceptionnel De Chanel Mascara is the best mascara I’ve tried this year. This long-lasting, smudgeproof mascara provides volume, length and separation without clumps. It takes a while to learn to use the wand properly, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll get a dramatic, false lashes effect.

Sleek Eye Dust Pigments are easy to blend, last long and have great color payoff. I wouldn’t say these are the best pigments on the market (although the quality is great), but what I love the most is the size: they are almost as big as MAC pigments (actually I heard MAC is reducing the size of their pigments again so Sleek’s are bigger now) but only cost £2.99. A real steal!

And obviously, I couldn’t forget to mention my beloved Sleek Eyeshadow Palettes. The ones I got these year are Curious (LE, featuring a mix of green, blue and purple shades), Safari (LE, a mix of neutral and colorful shades), Acid (LE, bright and neon shades) and Chaos (permanent, bright and matte shades), but all the others are amazing too. They feature 12 soft and highly pigmented mineral eyeshadows that last all day. And they are super cheap too!

best cheeks 2009


Barry M Blusher comes in six bright shades that, if applied with a light hand, look very flattering on pale skin too. The packaging could use some work, but the blush is very pigmented, soft to the touch and provides a rosy and healthy glow to the cheeks.

E.L.F. Studio Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder contains a pigmented blush that gives cheeks a rosy glow and a pigmented bronzer that is perfect for contouring. Unfortunately the bronzer is not suitable for pale skin, but overall, this duo is a steal!

Lumiere Blushing Bronzer in Sugarberry, a dark mauve that gives cheeks a natural flush. And because it has a matte finish with just the sightliest hint of shimmer, this is perfect for contouring pale skintones. In addition, it is nicely pigmented and lasts all day.

Senna Cheeky Blush was a pleasant surprise. I wasn’t expecting to like this much since I prefer powder blushes cos they last longer. But this cream blush lasts for hours and doesn’t feel sticky at all. The color is pigmented and because it is very shimmery (too shimmer for some people) it provides a nice flush with a sparkly glow that allows me to skip highlighting powder.

best lips 2009


Although I’m a lipgloss girl, my favourite lip products this year are both lipsticks. My favourite is Lancome L’Absolu Rouge Lipstick for its creamy and moisturizing texture. It is available in lots of beautiful and pigmented shades and it’s fairly longlasting too.

NYX Round Lipsticks aren’t as longlasting as Lancome lippies, but they are still a great and much cheaper alternative. They’re also available in a wide selection of shades, are creamy and have a great color payoff. And most importantly, they aren’t drying on the lips.

best brushes 2009


E.L.F. Studio Powder Brush is my favourite brush to apply both liquid and mineral foundation. The dense bristles feel like silk on my skin and provide medium to full coverage for an airbrushed look in just a few seconds. And it’s very inexpensive too!

MAC 219 Pencil Brush is one of those brushes that, once you have them, you wonder how you could have lived without. It’s definitely a must-have. The soft and dense pointed tip is perfect for precise work. It defines the outer V and crease perfectly, deposits eyeshadows on the lower lashline effortlessly and it’s great at creating shapes and smudging colors.

best makeup remover 2009


I’m still on the look out for a cheap and effective makeup remover. All the ones I tried this year are average and the only one that truly impressed me is Helena Rubinstein All Mascaras! Complete Eye Make-Up Remover. If it weren’t for the high-price, I would stick to this and never use anything else. It completely removes all traces of eye makeup, including waterproof mascara and eyeliner, in just a few seconds and is gentle on the eyes.

best hair 2009


I like trying new products all the time, but when it comes to my hair I usually stick to my old favourites. But this year, I had the chance to try Bottega Verde Anti-Age Cream Conditioner and I completely fell in love with it. It conditions hair well, leaving it soft, moisturized and tangle free. And it smells gorgeous too!

Can you see something missing from the list above? Yeah, that’s right, skincare products. That’s because none of the skincare items I tried this year have blown me away. Some of them are great and worked well for my skin, but I haven’t found any HG or must-have products.


What are your favourite beauty products from 2009?

Disclosure: all the products in this post, apart from the Lumiere and Senna blushes which were provided by PR for consideration, were purchased by me. For more information, please see my disclaimer.


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Dee December 28, 2009 - 6:51 pm

I still need to get my hands on Sleek! HAHA. But I totally agree with you. ELF Studio Powder brush is one of the best brushes out there and its so multi-purpose! I love it for stippling liquid foundation. Its works better than a MAC 187 to me.

I heard quite a few good thing about Pupa’s primer, I might just order one on Sasa if they still carry it!
.-= Dee´s last blog ..What’s In My (Travel) Makeup Bag (: =-.

beautifulwithbrains December 28, 2009 - 10:38 pm

Dee, that’s why I got the ELF brush, cos I heard it was a good dupe for MAC 187. I can’t compare the two cos I don’t own the MAC brush but the ELF one has totally killed my lemming for it. It works so fantastically well that I don’t really need nor want to spend so much money to buy the MAC 187 brush.

I love Pupa’s primer! It’s a great base for makeup and the texture is sooooo silky! I love how it feels on my skin. There are also a green and a purple versions available and I’m thinking of trying them next. Sadly they are only available in full size bottles though.

I hope you manage to try Sleek products soon! Did you check out Lipsticks & Lightsabers’ (link in my blogroll) giveaway? Ana is giving away two Sleek palettes and a bunch of other stuff, if you’re interested 😉

Mylanqolia December 28, 2009 - 11:03 pm

Sleek rules!!! I’m gonna order the Curious one thanks to your successful brainwashing, err, great review by the way. 😉
.-= Mylanqolia´s last blog ..Artistic stuff: Jack Skellington bow =-.

beautifulwithbrains December 29, 2009 - 12:33 pm

Mylanqolia, oops, sorry lol. But you’re gonna love the Curious palette, it’s my fave so far. The greens and purples are stunning and it has the most beautiful white shade I have ever seen! I almost only use that one to highlight the browbone now. 🙂

Vonvon December 29, 2009 - 2:20 pm

Like Dee, I am also waiting to lay my hands on Sleek eyeshadow palettes….love their vibrant colors….

I couldn’t think of any product that could be considered the best…(fickle me) but I think Guerlain Meteorites in Mythic would fit the title. Stila Kajal eyeliners coming in 2nd and Stila Convertible Eye Colors would be 3rd….

Happy New Year, gio!
.-= Vonvon´s last blog ..Review & EOTD: Dior 5 Couleurs Designer All-In-One Artistry Palette #408 Green Design =-.

beautifulwithbrains December 29, 2009 - 5:34 pm

Vonvon, I hope you manage to get some Sleek palettes too. The colors are very vibrant and beautiful indeed.

I’ve been lemming the Guerlain Meteorites in Mythic for ages, they look gorgeous! I’m glad you’re enjoying them 😉

Thanks and happy new year to you and your family too!

Dao December 29, 2009 - 5:45 pm

I love that ELF flat top brush as well. It is really soft and applies my mineral foundation very well.
.-= Dao´s last blog ..Dear M.A.C, Part Deux =-.

beautifulwithbrains December 29, 2009 - 7:03 pm

Dao, I’m glad the ELF brush is getting so much love, it truly deserves it. It’s one of the best purchases I’ve ever made.

Dee December 29, 2009 - 7:28 pm

Trust me, there is no need to get the 187. I have it, and it really is a lovely brush, but I find that I go for the ELF powder brush for foundation much more. Oh! I didn’t know there was a giveaway. I think it might be over though, ha! I did find a website that sells sleek for a really good price and ships to the US for cheap! But so sad, all the palettes are sold out so I have to wait for it to restock, lol.

I didn’t see the Pupa primer at Sasa anymore, so I’m going to try EBay! Hopefully there’s not a big markup! Thanks so much for recommending it<3
.-= Dee´s last blog ..What’s In My (Travel) Makeup Bag (: =-.

beautifulwithbrains December 29, 2009 - 9:41 pm

Dee, thanks for comfirming it hun. I think the MAC brush is nice but if the ELF one can do the same job then I’d rather spend the money on something else. Just imagine all the Sleek and Barry M products I could buy for $42! *dreams*

The giveaway is not over, I’ve only just entered myself. It runs until January 20th, if you’re interested. 😉 Aww that’s a shame the palettes are sold out at that shop, but at least now you know where you can get your Sleek fix lol.

You’re welcome, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the primer. If you don’t find it on ebay, I can always get it for you. I will have to package it very carefully though as the bottle is made of glass. Thick glass, but it could still break.

fabulessbeauty December 30, 2009 - 4:15 am

Great post! Great minds must think alike…because my best/worst list will be up soon! =)
.-= fabulessbeauty´s last blog ..New Year Eve Looks with Flirt! Cosmetics =-.

beautifulwithbrains December 30, 2009 - 8:17 am

fabulessbeauty, thanks. Can’t wait to read your picks for best and worst products 😉


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