As a girl who loves a neutral palette, 2008 took me by a complete surprise. Where I might have thought it best to leave runway trends well, at the runway, I found myself in awe of the vividly painted faces at John Galliano and the enchanted silk prints at Prada.
2008 was a year when many memorable mascaras debuted on an already cramped market. So it was no easy feat that these newcomers managed to stand out amongst the well-tested veterans. Do you remember in the beginning of the year when drugstore brands took us by a storm and said "the bigger the better" when it came to the mascara brush? And what about the innovative designs (brushes with motion) from the department store counterparts?
On the fashion front, Spring was bursting with light and fantastic fabrics, in flowing proportions. But near the end of the year, a blackout of materials and structural shapes took over. During the year, we even saw the comeback of ruffles and lace in every way and, the one-piece jumpsuit. And remember all the floral prints and tartan?
For me, the highlight of 2008 was finally being able to attend the Amsterdam International Fashion Week!
I think 2008 was even more challenging than Favorite Things 2007 in having so many products to choose from. But here it goes; my personal Favorite Things of 2008!
Category - Blusher
Pure Luxe Cosmetics blush in Berry Sexy
This cool, grape-y shade looks as if it doesn't belong on the cheeks but it does! On medium skintones, it turns into an incredibly sophisticated and unique shade of berry. It is a hybrid of MAC Emote blush and Stark Naked. This blush seems to melt into the skin.
I almost fainted back when MAC released an entire collection of Beauty Powder Blush. In Amsterdam, the collection was shown alongside Fafi, whose blushers pale next to these. The one that caught my eye was Sweetness because of its hot fuchsia color. But the sheerness and smoothness (read: very blendable) texture of the blush keeps it from looking clownish. Instead, it is a sweet but grown-up pink. Previous post here
MAC Beauty Powder Blush in Stark Naked
Another LE Beauty Powder Blush from MAC in 2008. This one just makes one look naturally flushed without any hint of peach. The raspberry/mauve color is warmed up with fine specks of gold shimmer which disappears into the skin leaving a candlelight glow.
Everyday Minerals blush in Nick Nack
I do love mineral blushers but because of their loose powdery nature, it can be tough to find a color that goes on lightly. This comes in a no-brainer-hard-to-over-do-it shade of matte cool medium pink. I can even run out of the door while brushing this on because it is such an easy color to wear. But when I have more time, a whisper of this over the temples does miracles at brightening the complexion. Previous post here
Peter Thomas Roth Un-wrinkle Peel Pads
These pads are heads above their Complexion Correction Pads because these ones are softer and, you can feel and see results quicker. Even though the Un-wrinkle Peel Pads are designed for daily use, I only use these twice a week. One or two swipes with a pad at night over my face, neck and the back of the hands prepare my skin for what's to follow. The 'un-wrinkle' solution (made up of 20% complex alpha, beta, gamma exfoliators & amino acids, vitamins A, C, D, E & F, chamomile, green tea extracts) feels slightly tacky and looks shiny on they skin. But after 2-5 minutes of leaving it to work, the treatment can be deactivated with a simple splash of water.
Pure Luxe Eraser powder
As a mineral foundation advocate, foundation primers are an absolute daily necessity. I searched high and low for one in 2008 and found it finally in this powder form. I love that I can apply this with a powder brush (not a brush for liquids that I have to wash daily or fingers). It smooths out imperfections without emphasizing dryness and it provides the perfect canvas for long-lasting foundation application. But use it sparingly!
As this is not available where I live, I took a chance and bought a salon pump size when I was visiting Toronto. The risk of not being able to return it if I did not like it didn't matter because I heard both Naomi Campbell and Kate Beckingsale adore this. I must agree with the two beauties because I too am in love with this conditioner. It tames frizzies and puts the shine back with only 2 pumps for my long hair.
Nars Makeup Your Mind
I received this as a gift for Christmas and it is the most useful and beautiful makeup book that I have come across. This book illustrates with a transparent sheet over a before-and-after photo of a model's face, the products used and where to apply them. It will turn anyone into a Nars addict if you aren't already one!
Silk Naturals Lip Gloss - organic
I vow never to be without this one. The talented owner of this brand (which started her business online but has opened a pilot store in 2008) creates magic when she sits down to hand-make these slim sticks. The result is the most moisturizing yet comfortable lip products I have ever experienced. Since a majority of the colors are built from a sheer brownish base, they are extremely flattering and easy to wear. I still have many to sample but my favorite so far of the bunch is in Skinny Dip (previous article here).
Zelens Intensive Triple Action Eye cream
If only you splurge on one eye cream this year, it should be this one! The packed ingredients list is too large to repeat here but just to mention a few: Acetyl Tyrosine (amino acid which aids in color distribution in skin), allantoin (aids in healing), carnosine (potent anti-oxidant), coenzyme Q10 (controls oxidative DNA damage to cells), hyaluronic acid (restores vitality/hydration to skin), rosehip (powerful anti-oxidant). I find the application elegant and I use a spatula to scoop out the product every time I use it. The cream resembles apple compote but applies without a spec of grease. I feel simply spoiled every time I use it because of the packaging and, I hear that models fight over this backstage!
MAC lipstick in 3N
I found the perfect nude shade of lipstick for me in MAC's N Collection. This is the shade which had me hoarding tubes at both MAC stores in Amsterdam and bidding away on ebay. This was also the shade all over the runways, and if worn with gloss, it is perfect with dramatic eyes. More on MAC N Collection here
Weleda Cold Cream (Europe)/Everon Face Balm (North America)
When retinols and wintry dry air has me down with flakies and irritated patches, this is the cream that comes to my rescue. I have since replaced my Creme de La Mer when I found this sucker for 12 euros at a local health food store. This cream has the soothing, sleep-inducing scent of geranium and has a short list of ingredients which means it works for times when our skin just cannot tolerate a longer list. Note that the same product has different names depending on where it is purchased!
L'Oreal Elnett Hairspray
I finally bought into the hype in 2008 over this slim bottle of fine misting hairspray. Even though the smell is noticeably "hairspray", the hold is brushable. Of all the different versions, I like the flexible hold the best. Btw, did any of you see the piece written in Allure magazine about this?
Redken Velvet Gelatine (part of Redken's Urban Experiment line)
I was introduced to this during Fashion Week in July and am so glad that we met. Its soft, gel-silicon texture tames hair and softly styles it to hold it in place. The finish is slightly 'velvety' as the name implies which I find particularly modern and low-key.
You might have read my story about how I wished for this when I was in Cuba (here). This makes a great finishing toner after cleansing and before the application of skin creams. Its greaseless texture (read: feels refreshing), and cleansing power means this doubles as a light-makeup remover; sans blurry vision.
Paris Berlin Le Teint HighTech
For days when I know I will need long-lasting waterproof coverage, and that I might need to appear in flash photos, I use this instead of my mineral foundation. I discovered this fantastic foundation in Paris (More on that fantastic makeup store here and on the foundation here) and will always return for more when I am in town.
Make-up Studio Professional Make-Up
A great find for me in 2008. The company was formed by a local group of professional makeup artists and is a line which rivals that of MAC for me. Since it is from the Netherlands, their prices are slightly less than MAC. I have purchased items from the line since I first discovered them but you can see some of the items I have played with this year here.
MAC Paintpot in Soft Ocre
A basic that I never want to be without. Any eyeshadow will stick to this for the duration of the entire day. The creamy texture applies like slightly melted chocolate. It is medium skin hue with more yellow in it than pink or peach. More on MAC N Collection here
Bourjois Ombre Stretch Courleur ultra stretchable colour in brun nylon
Such a big name for a small shadow! I reach for this one quite a lot since red and orange toned eyeshadows are difficult to use on me. The cool taupe hue forms the base for a nude yet shimmery eye. The product is pigmented and has a velvety blend (never chalky) that doesn't crumble under the dip of the brush. The packaging of the shadows in this collection all come in a rectangular box that encases a medium-sized natural hair shadow brush and a wide mirror. One of few best eyeshadow picks from June 2008
I want to thank everyone who took part in Favorite Things 2008. Please take a moment and drop a hello to all these wonderful Bloggers to see what their favorite picks of 2008 are. I also want to thank Annie of Blogdorf Goodman for Favorite Things 2007. She's written an amazing piece on her favorite things of 2008 which you can find here. So please excuse me while I go ogle over everyone's lists ...
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