12 Things for 2012!

1 Jan


I was inspired by Paris’ 12 Best Things of 2012 post, so I decided to do my own in honor of the new year. My list is mostly beauty-related, but there is one oddball in there. Take a look and see! :)

1. Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum

Whenever someone asks for skincare recommendations, this is always the first suggestion on my lips. It’s a truly amazing, light-yet-moisturizing oil-free serum that has done absolute wonders for my skin. Growing up, I did struggle a bit with acne but when I finally had it under control (for the most part), I then had to deal with the aftermath of scarring and a generally uneven skin tone. I started using this serum almost 2 years ago and now, I can’t ever be without it! I was skeptical at first but this serum truly does give your skin a noticeable radiance and glow. Love love love!

2. Essie polishes

I’ve always loved Essie polishes, but in 2012, I just about tripled my Essie collection. I find that the formula is (generally) really nice and easy to work with, there are so many fun shades to choose from and most importantly, it’s affordable. I love playing with nail polish and change my nail color quite often, so having many options is important to me. But that can really start to add up and who can afford to buy several new polishes a week at $15-25 a pop?! Not me. Essie is the happy medium. It’s a salon-quality brand that is offered at drugstore prices–I love it.

Also, they do blue polish really well–blue being my preferred mani shade for the last few months. A few favorites are (clockwise from left): She’s Picture Perfect (a pale blue-lavender), Lapiz of Luxury, Beyond Cozy (not blue but it’s my favorite glitter), Where’s My Chauffeur, Boxer Shorts, Turquoise & Caicos, and Bikini So Teeny.

3. Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25

Jack Black’s lip balm heals my cracked, chapped lips and stays on for hours (the first balm I’ve found that could do that!), feels amazing on the lips, is nice and thick but in a really comfortable, non-sticky way, and comes in a delicious variety of scents. My two favorites are Blackberry & Black Tea and Grapefruit & Ginger (I have never tried a lip balm that smelled so bright and fresh before! My boyfriend loves to kiss me when I’m wearing it because it smells so good). All in all, perfection in a tube.

4. Jasmine Dragon Soy Latte

Tired of hearing me rave about this drink yet? I know it is really out of place in this list, but I am so obsessed with this drink that I just couldn’t leave it out! It’s sweet but not overly sweet (like most Starbucks drinks can be) and is warm and creamy and light but rich–amazing! If you have a CBTL (Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf) near you, you must try this drink!

5. Pure + Simple

This was a skincare brand that I discovered in 2012 and fell in love with. I can’t say it enough good things–this brand is awesome! It’s natural, gentle, and immensely effective. Everything I’ve tried has immediately become a staple in my routine, but some standouts were the Lactic Acid Original 5%, Collagen Elastin Plus serum, Collagen Elastin Eye+Lip Concentrate, Purifying French Clay Mask (not pictured), and the Eye Brightening Cream.

If you’re curious to try this brand, enter my Pure+Simple giveaway by tomorrow night at 11:59 PST. It’s really an awesome set and I think it will be perfect for all skin types and all seasons! :)

6. Sonia Kashuk Blending Brush

I love this brush and use it every single day (I really need to buy more). I don’t know what the actual name of the brush is because I find that Sonia Kashuk tends to change her brushes/the look of her brushes often, but it may be comparable to the Large Crease Brush on the Target site (can’t confirm that though). It’s the perfect size for my rather small crease and blends out my shadow like a pro. I’ve had it for several years and it’s held its shape really well. It rivals similar brushes out there but at half the cost–it’s really great!

I should have included a picture of the Smudge Brush as well (I have the older version) because I love that thing and use it daily, as well. It’s absolutely teeny-tiny and nice and soft, so you can use it to set your eyeliner/line your eyes with ease. It’d be great for anyone but as someone with very small eyes that has trouble finding brushes that aren’t too large, it’s an especially good find. I’ve had this one longer than the blending brush and it’s like brand new.

7. Highlighter

Would you believe that prior to 2012, I only owned ONE highlighter? Seriously–one. And that one was a Physician’s Formula one–their Mineral Glow Pearls in Translucent. I  know it’s hard to believe, especially for someone who is a beauty blogger and self-professed beauty addict, but it’s true. I’m sure if I had realized the importance of highlighter sooner, I would be up to my neck in them by now but such is life.

A few of my favorite highlighters of the year (clockwise from left): LORAC Perfectly Lit Oil-Free Luminizing Powder in Spotlight (review to come soon), Chanel’s new Poudre Signée de Chanel Illuminating Powder (review to come soon), Jouer’s Tiare and Camellia Highlighters, Physicians Formula Mineral Glow Pearls in Beige (yes, I still use these and they are awesome!), and Giorgio Armani’s Fluid Sheer #2 (review to come….sometime in the future :P).

8. Guerlain Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder in 02 Brunettes

My favorite bronzer of the year was definitely Guerlain’s Terracotta Light Sheer Bronzing Powder in Brunettes. I used it year-round as a blusher/bronzer and it was just perfect that way! It’s very subtle to the point where no one knows that you’re wearing it, but your face just looks a million times better. This will continue to be a staple for me in 2013 and I also plan to pick up a few other bronzers from the Terracotta line.

9. RapidLash

****UPDATE: okay so I just wanted to warn you guys that RapidLash made almost every single one of my eyelashes fall out. Beware!! I loved the effects at first but when I got to the end of the first tube, I kept forgetting to repurchase and went a couple of weeks without it. I then started noticing my eyelashes on my right eye were starting to fall out. I panicked and went out and bought another tube immediately and started using it again, only this time I didn’t get any results. My eyelashes continued to fall out on my right eye til I was left with literally about 5 lashes and a little bit of sparse, downy growth.  Meanwhile, the lashes on my left eye started to thin out. They were getting longer but there was no fullness at all. After a few weeks, the lashes on my right eye were somewhat recovered (though still much, much sparser than before) when the eyelashes on my left eye started to fall out! Needless to say, I stopped using RapidLash immediately. I know some people who say they love it and have had no problems but I just wanted to tell you guys about my own personal experience. It was awful waiting for my lashes to grow back in–I felt so naked and unfeminine without lashes to flutter! :P So use at your own risk!****

I was very, very skeptical of this product but it seems to get good reviews online, so when I saw it on sale at CVS, I decided to purchase a tube. I was still so skeptical that I didn’t even take a “before” shot! After about 2 weeks of use, I began to notice a hint of length and fullness in my lashes. After a month, my lashes were noticeably longer and fuller. These days, I am much happier with my lashes. I have the typical short, sparse lashes of many Asian women but this stuff made me feel like I had long, wispy, flirty lashes for the first time. After my lashes are curled and I apply mascara now, my eyes are like boom!!! :D

10. Burberry Lip Mist

Burberry’s Lip Mist is another product that I’m constantly harping about. I adore a balmy, sheer lipstick formula and Burberry’s is tops. It’s lightly moisturizing, perfectly balanced between pigmented and sheer, and has a nice, slightly shiny finish–in other words, perfect. You’d be surprised to learn that despite loving it so much, I still only own one (Field Rose) but I have tried several samples of other shades and have a mini tube of Copper as well, so I can attest to the fact that they are all really great. I definitely plan on growing my collection in 2013 because, if you’ll recall from my Field Rose review, my goal is to collect them all. No, seriously. :)

11. Make Up For Ever Aqua Black Waterproof Cream Eye Shadow

This cream shadow/liner is an absolute godsend. Before I found this stuff, I was resigned to the fact that any liner, no matter how smudgeproof/waterproof/bullet-proof it was for other people, would always-no-matter-what smudge on my eyes. But then I tried this stuff on a whim and was absolutely floored. Honestly you can cry, rub, scuba dive, whatever–this stuff is NOT moving for anything! I use it to tightline but you can also use it to line the upper or lower lashline or as an eyeshadow or a base. The product is smudgeable for about a minute before it sets, so you are able to create a really nice, smoked-out eye with this. It’s fabulous! So don’t give up hope; if you’ve tried everything under the sun and have yet to find something that works for you, try this! You won’t be sorry!

12. Giorgio Armani Smooth Silk Waterproof Eye Pencil #2

This eyeliner was a very recent discovery for me–one that I got it as a GWP during a Neiman Marcus Beauty Event. This has got to be the most creamy, buttery, silky-smooth pencil that has EVER grazed my eye–it’s sooo soft. Almost too soft…I find that the tip breaks/smooshes easily, so you have to be really careful when using it/sharpening it. But still, it feels incredible gliding across the lids and sensitive waterline.

I thought there was no way something this soft would stay put but I was proved wrong. I find that this wears even better than my beloved Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes liners do–an amazing feat, seeing as how it’s the only pencil liner I’ve found that lasts more than an hour on my small, oily lids. It does start to fade after 6-7 hours, but it fades evenly and never smudges. I’ll take fading over smudging any day of the week! It’s amazing stuff and I will definitely be repurchasing in both black and brown!


…and that’s it! Now I want to hear your picks for 2012, too! You don’t have to do 12 and it doesn’t have to be beauty-related, but do share! :D

43 Responses to “12 Things for 2012!”

  1. Larie January 1, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

    I am going to have to look at the Sonia Kashuk brushes. I want a few new eye brushes but I can’t break the bank, you know? :P All of these are lovely things!

    • becca January 1, 2013 at 7:00 pm #

      I know how you feel, Larie! It’s always nice to see those reviews of luxury face brushes on other blogs but for me, something affordable while still good quality is a must. Sonia Kashuk has some really great brushes–I think you’ll be pleased with the quality. Granted, there are some duds in the collection but there are also some really, really good ones, too! Fyi: avoid the small pointed pencil brush (SO sharp and scratchy…at least the version I have is) and the kabuki brushes (shed a lot and aren’t very soft, imo. EcoTools’ are much better). Oh, and the Flat Top Multi-Purpose brush is really soft and really nice for foundation! Good luck! :D

  2. Liz January 1, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

    OMG. Now you’ve completely convinced me re: Armani pencils. I had heard they were good but was never convinced, esp. after swatching it on hand and seeing how soft it was.

    And yay – you got the Chanel! :D Lovely favourites and I especially love the blue Essies!

    • becca January 1, 2013 at 10:11 pm #

      Oooh the Armani pencils are just dreamy! I know, I was sooo skeptical–especially after trying it and having it melt almost like butter across the skin. But once it set man–wow!!! :D

      And yes–LOVE that Chanel highlighter. It’s my new baby!! :P

  3. Emi at Project Swatch January 1, 2013 at 9:19 pm #

    I love this round-up, you’re making me want everything on the list!

    • becca January 1, 2013 at 10:13 pm #

      Haha yay! All of these items are SO amazing, I really hope you do check out at least one or 2 :D

  4. Tracy@Beauty Reflections January 1, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

    Happy New Year Becca!
    Nice list for sure ! You’ve got great taste! I love that Armani Pencil as well! I wish I had the brown one you have too.

    • becca January 2, 2013 at 1:59 am #

      Aw thanks Tracy–Happy New Year to you, too!!

      I know, I just LOVE that Armani pencil and want the black one that you have :P it’s such an amazing formula! I really want to try that gold one that they have online too, as well as the blue. Sooo pretty! :D

  5. Angela @ The Unprofessional Beauty Blog January 1, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

    The Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum is amazing. I’m already on my second bottle.

    • becca January 2, 2013 at 2:03 am #

      That is one skincare product that I constantly gush about–I LOVE that stuff! Everything that I’ve tried from Caudalie is amazing too, for that matter–especially the Beauty Elixer (though I don’t use it daily anymore because of the alcohol content), Day Perfecting Fluid (LOVE that stuff!), and SOS serum (very hydrating but still light and refreshing and doesn’t break me out). I plan on getting the Mattifying Fluid and Divine Oil very soon and I just know I will love them too! :D

  6. Lily January 2, 2013 at 12:44 am #

    Oh, I used RapidLash twice and with consistent use, it DOES work. I stopped for about half a year already, and my lashes are not as full anymore. However, it’s still better than BEFORE I ever used it.

    • becca January 2, 2013 at 2:03 am #

      It’s amazing stuff, huh? I was so surprised! I don’t even have to use it nightly anymore I just use it to maintain the beautiful lashes it’s helped me grow! :D

  7. Sunny January 2, 2013 at 12:50 am #

    Happy new year, Becca! I need to get some more Burberry in my life! The problem is there is ONE counter in the entire country, and I tend to forget about it and spend my money elsewhere before I can actually make the trip. Bad me ;)

    • becca January 2, 2013 at 2:06 am #

      Happy New Year, Sunny!!! :D

      yeah Burberry and Giorgio Armani were the 2 high-end beauty brands that blew me away the most in 2012. I have a Burberry counter about an hour and a half away from me which, in the grand scheme of things, isn’t TOO bad i suppose but still, it’s such a hassle to drive that far :/ But I guess if there were one brand that was worth it, it’d be Burberry for sure :) I REALLY need to get my hands on some of those new palettes STAT!

  8. Icaria January 2, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    Nice review of RapidLash! I will have to find this. The Aqua Black just might be one of the next eye liner I will try since I’m on a quest to find the one that will stay put on me. :)

    • becca January 2, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

      Oh you will LOVE the MUFE Aqua Black, then. It’s like an industrial-strength eyeliner–amazing!! :D

  9. Catherine (@bcrueltyfree) January 2, 2013 at 10:19 am #

    AHH so many gorgeous looking products in one photo! I loved the Jack Black Lip Balm this year too, my favorite was the minty scent/flavor. I was just the beach and relied on it for my lip-spf. RapidLash totally transformed my eyelashes – and actually my mascara preferences, as well. With most things in makeup, I tend to gravitate toward subtle/natural, but with lashes – the bigger the better! :D Aaand that Burberry lipstick sounds & looks amazing. I was looking at all of Temptalia’s top 10 posts and everytime a Burberry product/shade was included, I was drawn to it. I was like – hmm I’m starting to notice a pattern here haha.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! xo

    • becca January 2, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

      You know, I haven’t tried the mint Jack Black balm yet–I generally don’t like minty balms that much but I’m sure if anyone could do one that I loved, it’d be Jack Black for sure! :)

      And yeees you need some Burberry in your life!! I need some more Burberry in my life too. Burberry is just the best! :D

      Happy New Year, dear Catherine! <3

  10. Taylor January 2, 2013 at 11:03 am #

    All great picks. I want to try everything. I think yo finally put the Rapid lash on my list, mine are so sad and also blonde. I will definitely be picking up the Caudelie serum once my current runs out! Thanks

    • becca January 2, 2013 at 2:15 pm #

      Haha you have GORGEOUS lashes, Taylor!! You have NOT seen sad til you have seen mine! Mine are doing much better now because of the RapidLash but they will never even come close to yours! :(

  11. fairytalesandcoffee January 2, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

    unbudgeable, smudgeproof eyeliner? Ok – we needs to get…ditto on rapidlash. I’ve tried the insane xxx priced ones and I am not willing to commit that much to it unless it’s latisse.

    • becca January 3, 2013 at 1:22 am #

      oohh really?? Which one did you try? Yeah RapidLash was surprisingly good and conveniently found at the drugstore, so big plus!! :D (I’m so darn lazy :P). Let me know if you do get that MUFE liner–it’s incredible!! :D

  12. Toya January 4, 2013 at 7:21 am #

    Ok. ALSO want to try the G.A. eye pencils now! I’ve heard good things before but now I’m sold :) I want to try the MUFE liner now too, I don’t have anything that tightlines successfully, so I’d love to check this out! Thanks for the recommendation, Becca!

    I love Bikini So Teeny, probably my top 5 polish of 2012! I used to have Lapiz of Luxury but swapped it if you can believe – I wasn’t used to ‘crazy’ shades back then :)

    As for highlighters, I am still in the dark ages like you were, and I only own one – Burberry’s Fresh Glow (at least it’s a good one to start with :P). I want to buy a powder one and considered Chanel’s but I just can’t justify the cost right now. Maybe I will be able to spoil myself one day!

    Great list my dear!

    • becca January 4, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

      Yay! I hope you do try those liners–tell me how you like them! The GA is the most luxurious you will EVER try and the MUFE is the most budgeproof. It’s amazing!

      And the Burberry Fresh Glow is definitely an awesome single highlighter to own, I imagine–I want it SOOOOO bad! Was this a recent purchase, Toya? Or did I just miss the review?…I will go search now :D

  13. Popblush January 5, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    Lovely faves Becca!

    I remember it only took one application of my sisters highlighter on my face for me to then become obsessed! Haha. I had so many highlighters in my collection until I did a huge clean out at the end of last year and I think now I only have a few.

    I might try out the Physicians Formula one you mentioned! xx

    • becca January 5, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

      Haha I know–highlighters are SO addictive!! :P They’ve become one of my most-craved beauty produts, right up there beside blush! :P

  14. Beauty Box January 5, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

    All stellar choices. Can’t wait for your Chanel highlighter review. That one looks like a real beauty to have :)

    • becca January 6, 2013 at 5:58 am #

      I love the highlighter SO much! I almost don’t even want to post the review because I’ve had so much fun taking photos of it–it’s so stunningly beautiful!! :P

  15. Meryl @ Memoiselle January 6, 2013 at 3:22 am #

    Hello Dearie,
    I love this post a lot! I agree on Burberry Lip Mist; it’s indeed amazing :)

    Looking forward for more posts in 2013 :)

    • becca January 6, 2013 at 5:59 am #

      Burberry Lip Mist is really my all-time favorite lipstick. Everything about it is just perfection–the finish, the range of shades, the feel, the smell….I can’t wait to get more!! Which shades are your favorite, Meryl?? :)

  16. Joyce (bronzerbunny) January 6, 2013 at 7:15 am #

    ahhh i want that armani pencil!! tracy posted about it recently i think too and now i’m desperate to have it! that’s a nice gwp you got yourself, anyhow! also, i can’t wait to see your burberry lip collection if you’re gonna get them all! hehe.

    • becca January 6, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

      yeah it was on Tracy’s best of 2012 list too. I’m glad because it definitely deserves the recognition!! It’s AMAZING, Joyce–you MUST try it.

  17. Kate January 9, 2013 at 4:29 pm #

    Yay for hopping on the highlighter express :D
    The most thrilling thing for me was the jasmine soy latte! I NEEDS.

    • becca January 9, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

      Haha I know it’s about time!! :P Even though I must say, learning about the art of highlighting and all the subtle nuances between different formulas/finishes has been quite exciting for me! Do you have a favorite you would suggest, Kate?

      Oh and YES–you NEED to try the jasmine soy latte. Do you have a CBTL where you are? I believe it’s really just jasmine green tea pearls steeped in soy milk that’s been frothed using a milk frother (whatever that means…that’s what the guy told me anyway) and a dash of vanilla powder. Simple but OH-so-amazing and *addicting*!! :D

  18. OPI Addict January 12, 2013 at 5:56 pm #

    I’ve been wanting to try out that Caudalie serum for so long! It looks amazing :)

    • becca January 13, 2013 at 2:16 am #

      It’s seriously a must-have–I could NEVER be without it again!!

  19. Libby January 17, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    I’ve been using the Caudalie serum for a few months now and I’ve been in love with it. It’s gotten to the point where I’m only half-way through the bottle and already, I’m telling myself to get another one! I definitely want to try the Pure+Simple line, it looks really interesting!

    (And as a tidbit, I’m really sad but I bought a Jack Black lipbalm a few months back and didn’t realize it then but am severely allergic to lanolin, which is the 1st ingredient. Needless to say, I had a very bad reaction to them!)

    • becca January 17, 2013 at 6:07 pm #

      yay! I get so happy whenever I hear people raving about that serum! I love it so much and could never be without it again! The Pure+Simple line is really, really good too. I think you’d like it a lot! I was so skeptical before because many natural or organic brands i’ve tried in the past are either too rich and break me out badly or not very effective. But I’ve had NO problems with any of Pure+Simple’s products. They contain such amazing ingredients, too–love it! You’ll have to let me know if you do ever decide to try something from them :)

      And sorry to hear about the Jack Black balm. I know many people are sensitive to lanolin so that’s too bad. Did you purchase from somewhere with a good return policy, at least? Have you tried Fresh’s Sugar Lip Treatment? It’s lanolin free and REALLy really nice and moisturizing. It heals my cracked lips really well and contains SPF15 too! :D

      • Libby January 17, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

        I love Caudalie as a brand too! Pretty safe to say that anything they put out, I’ll try without hesitation! I’m also using their SOS serum in the mornings and it’s fantastic for dehydrated or just winter skincare regime :D

        I was just looking at your reviews for Pure+Simple and they sound really good so far. I’m definitely going to need to give them a try. The lactic acid is definitely appealing to me!

        Oh, yes! I have tried Fresh! I love them a lot. I had two free tubes from Sephora last year and I bought one myself as well (who can resist the tinted ones, not I!). I’m currently sticking to good old Nivea though simply because it’s cheaper and I eat my lipbalm like it’s candy xD

        • becca January 17, 2013 at 11:30 pm #

          Oh I LOVE their SOS serum, too–and I have OILY skin! It’s amazing, I didn’t think it’d work for me at all. But it’s oil-free and while it’s very hydrating, it’s also so light and refreshing! I can’t wait it year-round but I use it during the winter and whenever my skin needs just a bit more moisture! :D LOVE their Perfecting Day Fluid too–have you tried it? It’s unbelievable! :D

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