Friday, December 23, 2011

My Beauty Must-Haves for 2011

Wow! The last month has flown by so quickly. Christmas is my favorite time of year, but this month was packed with some major events that made everything rush by so quickly. Yesterday was a whirlwind! By the time I sat down on the plane to fly home to Utah, I felt so bleh...and irritated. The morning started out with a conference call with an Italian vendor. For anyone who knows me, I am NOT a morning person. So...even though they spoke English, their accent was extremely hard to follow. And from there I was running trying as always to fit too much into one day. I got caught in a lengthy training on our new office printer (production quality graphics that will totally make my life easier) but I definitely didn't have time for that on my last day in the office for two weeks. From there it was rush of designing last minute flyers and requests until I was packing, delivering Christmas gifts and then rushing to the airport. My shoulder bag was like 30 lbs...I swear! My scarf was totally choking me and my hair was stuck in my lip gloss to make matters worse. I could only sit back on the plane and think that this is just an example of what a day in the beauty life really is:). But now, I am home with my parents and so excited to be here. I can finally take a deep breath and reflect on the year.

I was thinking about the products that I love and would recommend to you all. Since I have been designing products for 10 years now (eek!), I use most of these makeup creations everyday...but what about all of the other beauty products that set the stage for fabulous makeup? I thought I would take a moment to share my favorites of 2011.

#1. One of the biggest issues I faced with beauty over the past years is acne. I went through several dermatologists before I found someone who could help me. So, he gave me different ingestibles and creams for my face which have almost totally cleared it up. However, there was an OTC product that truly made a recognizable difference. Neutrogena Oil-free Acne Wash Cream Cleanser is a very refreshing wake-me-up in the morning. I use it twice-a-day which really made the difference. It refines my skin and totally limits any blackheads or extra oil. The great thing is that this cleanser is super inexpensive. You can find it at any drugstore or online for around $4-6.

#2. Another skin product that makes my skin look amazing is Image Skincare Ageless Total Skin Lightening Serum. Whenever I use this product consecutively, I get so many compliments on how smooth my skin looks. I feel like it minimizes pores and overall provides a brightening effect to the skin. This is a very gentle product and so I use it twice-a-day to really make an impact. It can be combined with most moisturizers or used alone. Image Skincare is a professional line, so it can be found in spas or online for various pricing.

#3. Since I think everyone should wear color on their lips and am a big advocate for lipstick, it is important to not have dry, chapped lips. I recommend Image Skincare Balancing Lip Enhancement Complex. I truly cannot live without this product!!! Whenever I am desperate for something on my lips and I use another chapstick, I instantly regret it as it totally dries my lips out. This lip treatment fixes all chapping and really makes my lips look great!

#4. I don't know about you, but my eyes are very sensitive to many eye creams and eye makeup removers. I have to be very careful. For years I have been using Clinique Anti-gravity Firming Eye Lift Cream. It always make my eyes feel so good and really assists in makeup application.

#5. Over the years, I have come to realize that I am a bar soap girl. Body washes are really just annoying to me no matter how much I try to like them. My absolute favorite soap is Dove Gentle Exfoliating Bar. I love this bar soap because it smells great (not like my Grandma's flowery scented soap) and it doesn't leave residue on my body or in the bathtub. I also use this soap to shave. It protects my skin but still allows a close shave.

#6. Along with Dove Exfoliating Bar, I choose Venus Breeze Razor for my shaving needs. I don't like the disposable razors, instead I like these refillable cartridges. The Venus Breeze has shave gel bars making it great for travel when you don't want to be carrying shave gel or soap. The 3-blade system really provides a close shave. Love it! It is available at any grocery store for around $10 for the razor and then $15-30 for the refill cartridges.

#7. My favorite new brand that I have tried this year is Mama Mio body care. Mama Mio offers products that have special ingredients aimed at addressing different areas of the body. Each area of the body is unique and should be addressed as such. I have received two different products in the swag bags from CEW (Cosmetic Executive Women) events. LOVE both of them! Total winners. First is called Boob Tube Bust and Neck Firmer. I have to say, ladies, that my decolletage has never looked more moisturized and pretty. The next is Get Waisted Body Shaper. This is a 30-day treatment that is said to make your stomach feel firmer. And it does! I definitely felt better when I would use this product over regular body lotion. Plus..both products smell so good. You should definitely try them...but be ready for a hefty price point. Boob Tube is $45 and Get Waisted is $54. Mama Mio offers many other products, but you might break the bank to outfit your entire body.

#8. And finally, my favorite seasonal body butter is from the Body Shop called Candied Ginger. I LOVE anything with ginger in it. It is a scent that truly calls to me. And it feels great on the skin too!

So, that wraps it up! What have been your favorite products this year?

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