Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Few of My Favorite NEW Things in 2013

For those of you that know me well, you know I always love trying new things.  Some things I love, some things I loathe and others end up being a like that I may or may not repurchase.  As we close out the year, I thought it'd be fun to share with you the new things that I tried and LOVED this past year.  Some of these were brand new products this year, some were just new to me and others were new "rediscoveries" (products I'd used in the past but had forgotten about).  I've categorized the items into three groups: 
Makeup
Bath and Body/Skincare
Miscellaneous

I didn't do an in-depth review on each product but rather listed just a few bullet points about why I loved each product.  If you'd like to see a more in-depth review on anything, please let me know! 

Now, without any further adieu, let's get to it!

Makeup - Favorite New Things

Matte Foundation ~ Light by bareMinerals
Why I love it...
*All natural and my skin loves it
*Have decided after 9 years of being a loyal user of the "Original" that I'm now a "Matte" convert :-)
*Provides great coverage and I feel it disguises my pores just a little more than the "Original" formula did
*Combination skin remains free of shine for 8+ hours

Hoola Bronzer by Benefit
Why I love it...
*Completely matte bronzer - makes it great for contouring
*Perfect neutral shade....not too orange or pink

Shimmer Strips ~ Malibu Strip/Pink Sand Bronzer by Physicians Formula
Why I love it...
*All the colors swirled together make the most beautiful warm golden highlighter for the top of the cheeks
*No glitter....just a nice glow
*Colors can be used separately to highlight the top of the cupid's bow or the browbone (see swatch below).  


All Over Face Color ~ Rose Gold Radiance by bareMinerals
Why I love it...
*Provides a beautiful, rosey glow to the cheeks (see swatch above)
*Doesn't emphasize pores and skin imperfections like most shimmery blushes do (technically it's an "all-over face color" but I wear it as a blush)
*Build-able color that is still neutral enough to wear with dark smoky eyes

Naked 3 Eyeshadow Palette by Urban Decay
Why I love it...
*Gorgeous, unique shades that all have a tinge of pink or rose to them
*Great mix of matte and frosty shades
*All the colors work so well together....there doesn't seem to be any bad color combos!
*Complete eye looks from subtle to dramatic with just one palette

2000 Calorie Dramatic Volume Mascara by Max Factor
This was a wonderful re-discovered product that I used years ago.  Until recently, it was not available in the US but now can be found on Amazon or on drugstore.com.  I used up the tube and threw it out before photographing....oops :-)
Why I love it...
*Great volume and length without clumping
*No flakes or smudges!!
*Fairly affordable 

Moxie Lipstick ~ Make Your Move by bareMinerals
Why I love it...
*Super smooth, richly pigmented formula
*Moisturizing yet color lasts on the lips for hours
*This particular shade is a perfect neutral, "my-lips-but-better" shade
*Cool, sleek packaging

Fine Liner Brush and Stippling Brush by RealTechniques
Why I love them....
*Fine Liner Brush - applies gel liner smoothly and I can create a line that is super thin or build up a thick winged line
*Stippling Brush - makes applying and blending cream blush a cinch!

Face Brushes by Sedona Lace
Why I love them...
*Synthetic, super soft bristles that do NOT shed
*Pink and black bristles...need I say more :-)
Specifics on each brush are as follows (from left to right in the picture above):
*Kabuki Brush - LOVE this super dense, soft brush for applying my powder foundation...blends to perfection!
*#480 - Synthetic Round Top - blends in liquid foundation beautifully; super dense bristles but they don't soak up all the foundation
*#376 - Synthetic Powder Brush - favorite for applying pressed powder over foundation
*#928 - Synthetic Flat Top - also blends liquid foundation beautifully

Nail Art ~ Zebra Bling #1708 by Avon
Why I love it...
*Very easy to apply...stick on and file off the edge
*Super long wearing!  Lasted a week with only a tiny chip on the end...probably from the weed pulling I did!
*Great to wear as an "accent" nail
*This design is slightly textured adding the right amount of "bling" to the nails

Parfumerie Scented Nail Enamel ~ Bordeaux by Revlon
 
Why I love it...
*The color is a beautiful, deep cherry red
*Applies evenly - full color with just 2 coats
*SUPER long wearing!  Still looked good after a week that included a day of yard work, pulling weeds!
*And how cute is the bottle?!
PS - Can't wait to try more colors! :-)

Bath and Body/Skincare - Favorite New Things

Most of you know that I loved all of my coconut scented things this summer.  I thought about adding several of those products in here as well but thought that would be a little redundant so if you missed that blog, click here to see those products. 

Body Lotion and Shower Gel ~ Yellow Alluriana by Sonia Kashuk
Why I love them...
*Scent - grapefruit, verbena, musk - a happy, refreshing and invigorating scent
*Lotion is super moisturizing....thick but soaks in quickly and keeps skin soft through the day
*Shower Gel foams well and only a little amount is needed

Hydrate Body Lotion ~ Hazelnut Vanilla by Giovanni
Why I love it...
*Wonderful, rich vanilla scent
*All natural
*Provides great, long-lasting moisture throughout the day
*Pairs wonderfully with Caress Body Wash in Vanilla Sandalwood

Monoi Tiare Tahiti  Eau de Toilette Natural Spray ~ Vanilla
Why I love it...
*Rich, sugary vanilla scent - LOVE!
*Long lasting

Crystal Body Deodorant Stick
Why I love it...
*Aluminum Free
*Only natural deodorant that I've tried (and I've tried a lot!) that keeps the stink away!
*Completely clear...don't ever have to worry about any residue transferring onto clothes
*Product lasts forever!  I've had this for several years and it's still 3/4 full!
*Fragrance free - doesn't interfere with any other scents I'm wearing for the day :-)

Pure Essential Oils ~ Lemon and Sweet Orange
Why I love them...
*Add a bright, refreshing scent to my DIY toner!  Just add 1-2 drops of each, per 1 oz of toner.

Miscellaneous - Favorite New Things
 
Bolthouse Farms Juices ~ 100% Carrot and Green Goodness
 
Why I love them...
*These have 2 servings of vegetables and/or fruit per 8 oz. serving
*Let's face it....I always need more fruits and especially vegetables in my diet and there's nothing easier than pouring them into a glass and drinking them down!
*Taste GREAT!  No sugar or sweeteners of any kind
*Ingredients are mostly just juice from vegetables and/or fruit
*A great way to stave off hunger pains before a meal :-)

Farmer's Garden by Vlasic ~ Bread and Butter Chips
Why I love them...
*Truly taste like they are fresh from the farm :-)
*Great "crunch" and perfectly sweet
*The addition of carrots and bell peppers are a nice addition for snacking on too!
*Bonus is that they come in a wonderful mason jar, perfect for re-purposing!

Worthington Mixed Fabric Jacket ~ Mocha
Why I love it...
*The softest "faux leather" jacket that really looks like the real thing!
*Has knit panels at the sides and under the arms that add a little more stretch and "give" when needed
*Light enough to wear in-doors but still keep you warm outside on cooler days
*Perfect laying piece....love wearing it with jeans, a turtleneck and scarf!

Downy Un-Stopables ~ Fresh Scent
Why I love it...
*Adds amazing, "freshly laundered" scent to clothes and towels
*Scent remains on stored clothes/towels for weeks!
*No fabric softener....just scent
*Can choose the level of scent you want in each load
*Safe to use on all machine-washable items

Favorite Song Performed
As the Music Coordinator and Pianist for our church, I'm responsible for coming up with a special song to play every week in church.  Each year for the past 11 years, I've tried to learn/arrange a few new songs to gradually build up my repertoire so I don't have to repeat any songs for more than a year.  This year one of my favorite songs I added was an old classic, "What A Friend We Have In Jesus", but I gave it a new little twist.  So sit back, relax and enjoy! (Click on the song title to play)

Thank you so much for joining me on this little adventure!  I look forward to seeing what fun new things are in store for 2014 :-)  Happy New Year!

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