Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Wrapping up the Year: Favorites, Lightbulb Moments, and More

I wasn't going to write a post for the end of the year, because I didn't really think anyone wanted me to get all reflecty and shit.

But then I decided, too bad. Ha!

The post is a mish-mash of things; I'll showcase category favorites, brands I love, revelations throughout the year, and some beauty (and personal) goals and resolutions for the new year. And there will be some reflecty shit. (For a greater, much more eloquently themed post, read the wrap-up at NST).

First, I'd like to say thank you to all of my blogger friends and readers. This is only fun because you guys make it fun, so many happy returns to all of you.

Now, beauty!

Favorites first. I did some exploring of brands and products this year, but at the same time, I stuck to items that I knew I loved. For example: for lip gloss and nail polish, Dior is king. This isn't to say that I won't buy other brands (although I have sworn off drugstore polish - formulas are never consistent and nothing lasts on my nails, so that's over and done with), but since I've used up a Dior gloss in the past, I think it's safe to say that I actually get great use out of these, and I refuse to feel guilty.
L-R: Paradise, Bed of Roses, Bal d'été, Étoilée.
L-R: Lucky, Spring Ball, Exquis, Silver Lake, Shadow, St. Tropez, Galaxie, Electric Blue (not shown is Tuxedo).

Other brand favorites include Shiseido for eyes (their eyeshadows are exquisite and never look over the top; find reviews of YE406 here, BE231 here)
The BE231 trio and the Color Bar palette. Review on that soon, perhaps - it's still available in some places.

I also like Laura Mercier Caviar Sticks for eyes - they make great bases, and I haven't bought a primer since I picked one of these up. (My review for Sandglow is here).
These mini caviar sticks came in a little set; unfortunately, I think the set has sold out at most retailers, although you might be able to find one in stock at an actual physical store. The set has Sugar Frost, Pink Opal, Amethyst, and Rose Gold. I believe all of these shades are permanent.

It's also been a year of cream/liquid blushes and pretty neutrals.
Guerlain Sun Shimmer in Sunny Pink (about 2/3 full now, actually!), Illamasqua Zygomatic cream blusher, and Dior Capri
Neutrals for a natural face. Illamasqua Zygomatic, Shiseido BE231, Dior Garçonne, MAC Whisper of Gilt.

And I also explored perfume; I returned to scents that I initially wrote off (like Prada Candy and Infusion d'Iris), discovered that I like Prada scents quite a bit, and also just got braver, all around. I tried perfumes that I would have ignored in the past due to their list of notes. I didn't like them all, but at least I tried them. I think I'm getting better at identifying fragrances that I will like, as well.
Prada Infusion d'Iris and Candy.

Speaking of being braver, I finally went ahead and dyed my hair for the first time - and dyed it red. I have always wanted to be a redhead, and you know, I quite like it.
Gone red.

Other lightbulb moments include: tubing mascara and the realization that what I've wanted all along was a curling mascara rather than a volumizing one, Solstice Scents Burnishing Glacé, facial masks, learning how to really multi-task products, and a new-to-me way to wear eye liner.
Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara is a tubing mascara - other High Impact versions aren't.

Finally, some goals and personal thoughts. 2013 was a pretty fantastic year, actually. S. and I completed our respective doctorates in chemistry, I started a new job (which, while temporary, is still pretty cool), we celebrated our first wedding anniversary, I attended my best friend's wedding, we moved, and many more fabulous things. I'm excited to see what the new year will bring.

And I'm also trying to better myself. Personal goals:
1. Try to stay positive and be less critical, and above all, think before I speak.
2. Learn to take it easy and go with the flow, sometimes. I can't control everything in life.
3. But there are some things I can manage, and I can't be afraid to take action.

And then there are all the usual things: stay on the fitness ball, try new fun activities and foods and hobbies, don't get caught up in ALL THE THINGS, explore my city, and make plans for the future - fun plans that include travel.

Well. For a post that I didn't intend to write, this has turned out to be quite the extensive monologue. Thanks for reading, and have a happy new year! Feel free to share your favorite things or future goals with me, as well!