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Favorite Things 2007 - The Finalists

This is probably one of my most difficult posts yet. I spent some time scribbling a list of my Favorite Things of 2007 on a note pad before I dozed off one night. Each one of them had an emotional component to it as well and reflecting on them was quite satisfying. It was easy because I hold dear in my heart my must-haves products I discovered in 2007. However, it was extremely difficult because I had to limit the number of items on my list to the finalists (or else the list would be too long). I may post the other items at a later time but for now, these are the finalists and why:

1. Imju (Dejavu) Fiberwig Mascara

Because of my wimpy lashes (The 3 S's - straight, sparse & short), mascaras have always been such a struggle for me. Maybe this is a little dramatic, but if you have small eyes like me, you would understand!

Good lashes frame the eyes and open them up to make them appear larger. The tools you need for this is a lash curler, a good mascara base and a good mascara. This takes up the first place on my list because this is
that incredible mascara I have searched for all my life! Read my previous post here .

2. Kanebo Kate Mascara Base

I never attend a party without armour on my lashes. I never attend a party without pretty lashes as well. So this one here is my lashes' new found love of 2007. I used to deal with flaking and white peep-through with mascara bases. No longer. You can read more
here from my previous post on this.

3. Alqvimia Cleopatra Body Oil

I discovered this one when I visited a dear friend in Barcelona, Spain; who could not wait to show me this brand when I got off the plane. It was a damn hot summer there and beach hopping was the main event. I needed good skin to show off in! We went in and me not speaking a word of Catalan, my friend did all the talking. We walked out of there with 2 handfuls of samples each. She is such a smooth talker!

This body oil is the most feminine in texture and in scent I have ever encountered. Incense and Myrrh in an almond oil base gives it such deep femininity. The liquid is golden in color and has a way of nourishing my skin that I have not seen before. The scent lingers all day until it is showered off which I love for lazy days. I posted in November about Alqvimia
here if you are interested.

Alqvimia's website

4. Rituals Hammam Body Mud nourishing shower mud

"Oh wow" was all I could say when I felt
this touch my skin as the SA applied it to my dampened skin. I quickly imagined my simple shower at home filled up with this refreshingly energizing scent as it transformed into a Turkish hammam! By the way in case you don't know, a hammam is a Turkish steam bath where for a long time religious cleansing rituals and social gatherings were held.

I bought the box set earlier this year and have been in love with it since. The lady at the shop told me that this is the best selling product line from
Rituals (among others such as the Rise and Shine and their new makeup line which I also adore).

5. MAC Emote Blush

MAC brought our attention to their smoldering side in their Smoke Signals collection. I did not want to know anything about contouring my face before I was introduced to this contouring powder called Emote. I thought they were only for Dynasty ladies (see my post in November on this
here). Believe it or not, this is now my blush/bronzer for my "natural day" makeup. Who knew such a humble shade can win my love?

6. Chanel Lèvres Scintillantes Chanel Glossimer #108 Constellation LE

My heart holds dear this Levres Scintillantes from Chanel; which has landed itself on #6 on my 2007 Favorite Things List! This was a birthday present from my boyfriend who not only managed to go to the Chanel counter by himself (no arm-twisting or bribery involved!) and surprised me with what turns out to be my favorite lipgloss of the year! This was the limited release item that Chanel so expertly introduced. The ads were everywhere; a pair of shiny shimmery lips clasping a pearl and diamond gold chain got many writing about it. Many of us already knew how elegantly Chanel Glossimers wore. This one however has a big punch of shimmer that is not gritty or over-the-top. Chanel has a special place in my heart for creating such elegantly wearable products.

You can find more Chanel products online at FragranceX.com

7. MAC Heirloom Face Brush Set

This was another surprise from my boyfriend who now at the end of the year have the courage to go to makeup counters by himself (the second time this year). He was tipped off by me a few weeks back that I had liked the look of this brush set. He arrived at the MAC counter and saw that there were only 3 left on the shelves at MAC in the Bijenkorf of Amsterdam. Without hesitations, he purchased it.

I opened my present and found this lovely treat! The cute ivory/gold clutch holds 4 travel-size MAC brushes with gold handles; 194SE, 190SE, 187SE, 168SE. Now I know these are not handmade like the MAC full-sized brushes are, but who said handmade is always better anyways? All the essentials for the face in one set makes it great for traveling and touch-ups. That is why
this is my favorite brush set of 2007.

The full selection of MAC brushes can be viewed

8. Weleda Seabuckthorn Creamy Body Wash

I bought my bottle when I visited Germany (where
Weleda is based) this year. The scent is uplifting and the creaminess is so soothing. Did I mention that this is also good for your skin? I step out of the shower with a smile every morning!

9. Tigi S Factor Creamy Molding Wax

I have lazy hair days on most days. I look at my colleagues and alot of them are always impeccably well tressed. Amsterdam is known for our tulips amongst other things as well as the wind. I find that using this fruity-smelling finishing wax gives me hair that looks well-managed and full yet soft and casual. I wrote about it in my December post

10. Kamillosan

I have sensitive skin and I hate using cortisone creams to suppress irritations. I believe in balancing rather than suppressing. This ointment from Kamillosan is a life-saver for parched, irritated skin. I often have this with me to bring my skin back to balance.

11. Opi Russian Navy Nail Polish

Simply the best blue shade made this year. Deep indigo blue with fine purple shimmer. Many compliments (from men) about my nails came from wearing
this shade.

12. Sabon Body Scrub in Lavender/Apple

Their stores have popped up everywhere this year in the Netherlands. I walked into the store with my shopping buddy and we were instantly offered hand scrubbing/massages. How could we deny them of giving us pleasure?
This particular scent is our favorite so we both bought one each. I have since gone back for another large-sized jar because I like it that much!

13. Bourjois Effect Metallise #53 Feuille de cuivre

Glides on with ease, comes in exciting colors, metallic finish, and is inexpensive. How can I argue with these people who also produce makeup for Chanel. What more can I ask for?

This shade is warm and shows up just enough to highlight the eyes. Perfect day or night.

14. Pop Beauty Eye Class Blue Eyes

Looking back on 2007, makeup palettes have really done a turn for the better.
POP Beauty's palettes are fun and applies smoothly (read: doesn't settle into lines). Looking at my Eye Class Blue Eyes palette sometimes is like looking into my closet; too many choices and possible combinations.

15. Frizz-Ease Moisture Barrier Firm-Hold Hair Spray

I have impossible hair which doesn't like to hold a curl; much like my lashes.
This if used sparingly (hold the nozzle far far away from your hair while spraying!) holds my heat-created curls. I can even sleep in it and wake up the next morning with sexier wavy hair!

16. i.d. Weather Everything liner sealer

I learned the trick with this one while I was in Chicago (what a great city for shopping!) earlier this year. We don't have a Sephora here in the Netherlands (can you imagine that?) so when I entered the store on Michigan Avenue (inside a mall), I shed tears of joy!
This little bottle of clear liquid converts all my powder eye shadows into liquid liners and seals them in - so nothing moves until it is washed off.

17. Shiseido Tsubaki Shampoo & Conditioner

The panel of Japanese celebrities that joined forces to promote this new line of Shiseido haircare was gigantic! The red camelia flower oil takes main stage for this line. Check out my post
here for more on this.

18. Viktor & Rolf Flower Bomb

Viktor & Rolf are from the Netherlands, I rushed out to Douglas (Europe's version of Sephora) to check it out right away. At that time they only sold it at the one in the center of Amsterdam. I fell in love with it right away and bought the largest bottle. This remains consistently my favorite fragrance. Top notes: Bergamont & Tea, Middle notes: Jasmine, Freesia & Orchid, Base notes: Centiflora Rose & Patchouli. Victoria from Bois de Jasmin sums it up perfectly:

"everything about it is cashmere and pearls—poised, sweet and pretty." Victoria of Bois de Jasmin.

19. Gianna Rose Atelier Le Chouette

A scrumptious lychee scented
soap shaped into a grumpy-faced owl. Cheers up anyone that visits my bathroom!

20. L'oreal Sunless Sublime Glow Daily Body Moisturizer + Natural Skintone Enhancer

2007 was the year of gradual self-tanners! Every brand from high-end to the lows jumped onto this bandwagon. My favorite is the one from
L'Oreal. Although it is not sold here in the Netherlands, I get mine by begging my friend in the US (if you are reading this, hello and thanks!) to ship them over to me. It smells of mango and makes my skin glimmer. No nasty tanner smell or the common streaks.

Available at drugstore.com

21. Claus Porto of Lafco New York soaps

Another soap I love. Loved by Oprah and produced by a Portuguese family. This was in my November post which you can read

22. Shiseido Automatic Lip Crayon in LC3 Rose

Carrying around a big purse isn't my thing; I am proud of the fact that I travel light. When I go abroad I pack up all the little packets of samples I have been collecting (they are all in a large shoe box) so I never worry about spilling anything. This lip crayon takes the 3-step process of lipstick application down to 1 (see my post from November
here to read more).

So there we have it, these are the finalists for my Favorite Things of 2007. I hope you enjoyed my list and don't forget to tell me some of your favorites as well. These are my greatest finds which I cannot imagine living without. Wise words from a wise man (my boyfriend) are: "When you find something exceptionally wonderful, don't let it go!". Advice taken.

Thank you Annie from Blogdorf Goodman for organizing this event and please also visit the following bloggers who also participated in this event:

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Annieytown said...

I love your list!

Out of everything I read so far on the blogs... my top lemming is now for the Alquimia Cleopatra Body Oil. You had me at "incense".
The Rituals body mud also went on my list.

I am stunned that there is no Sephora in the Netherlands. We(beauty junkies in Ohio) also lived without a Sephora for several years. It was a big deal when we finally received one. One of my 2008 wishes will be that you get one. I usually post my wishes on the 1st or 2nd of January. It sounds crazy...but my wishes generally come true if I write them on the blog. So you will get a Sephora in 2008!!! LOL

I was excited to see the MAC set on your list. I also loved them but forgot to list them. I am also a huge fan of the ID sealer. I should have listed that one too!

Thanks again for participating and putting up with the tech glitches.

Have a wonderful and amazing New Year!!!!

Teri said...

What a great list!

I need to get back into the Chanel glosses, haven't used any in quite sometime (could be years!. And the MAC Face Brush set is perfect, isn't it? I actually prefer them with the shorter handles making it a must-have kit for the MAC brush lover.

Happy New Year!!!

Beauty411 said...

Loved your list! I completely agree with the MAC brushes; that collection was stunning. Happy New Year!

Gaia, the non-blonde said...

This list is one of the most interesting I've seen so far. Many products I'm barely familiar with. I will have to get my hands on the body oil. It sounds beyond fabulous.

I'm in total agreement about Chanel glosses. I can never get enough.

Happy New Year!

thedailyobsession said...

Wow! That's such a fantastic list...lots of products to try! What do you think we should start with?

Grayburn said...

Wonderful to hear such lovely comments from you. It's amazing how this event has turned out, so thank you for making my newbie experience so much fun! LOL.. Yes there WILL be (crossing my fingers!) a Sephora in Amsterdam in 2008!

Thanks Teri! I feel quite "grown-up" whenever I use Chanel. I remember when I snuck into my mom's makeup bag at 11yrs old and used my first Chanel item (which was this orange-colored blush). Makeup has the power of bringing back memories!

Aww, thanks! MAC really has been super brilliant this year, haven't they? All those amazing collections and to end the year with all the brush sets. I have to go and see if they have any more of antiquitease left on the shelves at bijenkorf.

gaia, the non-blonde,
Lovely to hear that! If you manage to get a bottle, try out the other oils as well (they have many) and they are all wonderful in their own ways.

Grayburn said...

Thanks! LOL I think I will start with the Essie nail polish from your list!

SteepingBeauty said...

what a great list of things to try this year! very interesting AND tempting! I live in Maine without a Sephora... I would bet you get one before I do.

Henna said...

I am so glad that you picked the Flower Bomb - I love that perfume too! And I am going to try the Shiseido hair care next year and see if I love it like you do!

Carla said...

I spent part of my childhood in Porto and never tried those soaps, shame on me. :) The Gianna Rose soaps are indeed scrupmtious. Great list and Happy New Year!

Beauty Alchemist said...

Thanks for stopping by my site. Your list is fab, and as Annie said, i too loved those MAC brushes and almost included the 168, it's amazing, and Flowerbomb rocks.
Happy New year to the Netherlands

Victoria said...

Oh my you have sent me over the top in "I wants"!

Great list!

Happy New Year,

shopdiary said...

what a fab list! you've listed a few of my faves to (fiberwig and flowerbomb) and lots of interesting products to try out in 2008. thanks for sharing them!

Roxy said...

After reading that piece on the Rituals Hamman Body Mud I HAVE to have it!! What a fab list ... so many items I'd not heard of; can't wait to check out that Cleopatra Body Oil as well ... Happy 2008!

Grayburn said...

Thanks very much! I have been known to drag my man on a train with me to get to our nearest sephora which is in Luxembourg (6 hours by train from Amsterdam)! I wonder what it would be like to have as abundant of sephora's as there are starbucks :)

It's funny because the flower bomb perfume is quite different from V&R's clothing (which is totally unwearable). I have just begun to explore the possibilities that are in Shiseido again and have discovered such lovely products not only from their line available worldwide, but also the ones mostly exclusive in Japan.2008 will be such a fun beauty year!

Wow you lived in Porto! That must have been amazing. You can buy Claus Porto soaps online; online shopping is great! There are so many different and interesting scents to choose from and the packages are scrap-book material LOL!

******So Glad to have met all of you. There's so much to learn from all of you!


Grayburn said...

Beauty Alchemist,
Thanks for your comments! It's really good to know that MAC's brushes are still much loved even with all the brush choices out there. My first one was the #208 for the brows which I still have today. It tells me that spending the bucks on a good brush will last for ages!

Thanks very much and great to have met you! I think I will have to sell lemonade to save up because of all these wonderful recommendations from everyone :)

I was so excited when I discovered fiberwig. Have you tried the sniper version? If you have, please let me know what you think. No problem, take care!

Grayburn said...

You must get the hammam box set because it's a great way to try all of them. I hope you enjoy them and let me know what you think :)

AMPlifier said...

Okay, this is the 5th time I've read about Claus Porto soaps in the past week. Is the Universe trying to tell me something?

In addition, love the owl soap (I'm redo-ing my bathroom and that would be a cute decorative addition); need to try the Kamillosan because I tend to have sensitive skin irritation too; and the Weather Everything liner sealer sounds like an ingenious product. Sigh. This is gonna be an expensive year!

risa said...

your list is amazing! i'm totally enchanted with the Alqvimia site. :)

Grayburn said...

Soaps are so much fun! Gianna Rose make so much to choose from; so now the hardest part is choosing which one! If you have trouble finding Kamillosan (because it is made in the Netherlands), then you could probably find something similar that also contains chamomile. Weather everything has saved me my headaches with purchasing too many eyeliners. Hope these work for you!

Grayburn said...

Hi risa,
I stay for hours on end when visiting their store. There's really nothing quite like it! Thanks for dropping by!

Storybookheroine said...

Excellent list! You have so many interesting things I'd like to try now! Alqvimia Cleopatra Body Oil sounds amazing. I think I'm going to look into that today. I've heard of Fiberwig Mascara and I have to say it really intrigues me.

My Best to you in 2008 and I hope that includes a Sephora list Annie mentioned!

Hillary said...

I think it's devastatingly sexy that your boyfriend bought you makeup brushes for a gift!

Grayburn said...


Believe me, he had a pretty special Christmas as well!