In addition to raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, there are a handful of things I found to be especially delightful in 2013! After spending a good long while pondering on the beauty, perfume, and skincare products I've used this past year, I've compiled a list of the ones that really came through for me in a big way. Without further ado, I'm excited to present A few of my favorite things (thirteen to be exact) from 2013!
1. Harper's Bazaar Sarah Jessica Parker
My favorite part of receiving new glossies are seeing the covers; they really set the tone for the entire magazine! My favorite cover this year had to be SJP on the cover of Harper's Bazaar (though the Southwest cover came close). I surmise the headdress was a nod to her attire at the Punk-themed Met Gala this year, which was one of my favorite fashion moments of 2013!
2. NARS Larger Than Life eyeliners
Though I've recently reverted back to my liquid liner ways, the NARS Larger Than Life pencils were my major workhorses this year, especially Via Appia and Via de Martelli (reviewed here). They have great lasting power, however they do tend to dry/tug over time. It was a worthwhile tradeoff for busy days without much me-time!
3. Hermes Jour d' Hermes perfume
This, hands down, has to be my favorite personal perfume purchase of the year. This ethereal lemon-y green bouquet has serious signature scent potential (good thing I got the 2.9 oz bottle!). I've become quite the Hermès fragrance devotee. I can't wait to see what Jean Claude Ellena whips up this year!
|I love, love, love Hermès perfumes, especially Jour de Hermès!
I remember the first time I saw JCL speak on a BBC perfume clip. It was before I even knew who he was or had ever caught a whiff of his work. His scientifically exacting, yet artistically oriented approach to perfume left a lasting impression on me. I've been thumbing through a few perfume reads this year (see here for my recs), and I have to say those that I enjoyed most were his Perfume: The Alchemy of Scent and Diary of a Nose. The former is a bit dry and technical, while the latter has more of a diary format. While I personally loved them, I should mention that they'd probably appeal more to folks who prefer scientific structure over well-woven narratives.
5. CHANEL Lipsticks
This year, my heart was with CHANEL Beauté. The two carefully curated colors I added to my collection were CHANEL Radieuse (reviewed here) and CHANEL Indécise (reviewed here). There's nothing like a great basic lippie to add new life to your routine!
6. Butter London Nail Foundation and Hardwear Topcoat
8. ghd 1" straightener (not pictured, but still a favorite!)
The truth about naturally wavy hair: it's overrated. With careful styling it might look great for a minute, before devolving into a frizzy mess (and then the dreaded triangle-head). Last year, I went for a more 'natural-to-me' effect with a few passes of a curling iron to tame the frizz. This year, I went for simply straight, and I couldn't be happier. My ghd is so easy to use and has quite literally made every day a good hair day. I think straight fits my minimalist aesthetic better, anyway.
|CHANEL compacts aren't supposed to separate into two pieces (but I still love mine anyway)!
As you can see, I loved my CHANEL Double Perfection Lumière compact to pieces, quite literally. While I can't say much for durability of packaging, the stuff inside was great; I used it every day for months! I recently restocked with CHANEL Perfection Lumière (reviewed here), the liquid foundation, which I'm already loving again. It's been a CHANEL foundation year for me, as I've found it's the only brand that doesn't irritate my super-sensitive skin.
I was ecstatic when MAC came to its senses and reduced the exorbitantly expensive prices on their new customizable palettes. They're bulky, but I like the see-through window so I can view all the colors within. I really rediscovered my love for MAC eyeshadows this year. I'm very particular about my color combinations, so I've realized that premade quads aren't for me. I love the versatility that MAC custom quads provide.
|I've filled my new MAC 15-pan with my MAC neutrals. I need to pick up another one for my brights!
I learned about this gem from working in clinics. It's a skincare staple for those with eczema and truly sensitive skin. As someone who fits squarely in that category, I carry around a tube at all times. It's great on lips and hands, and shines pretty much anytime your skin needs a strong barrier against the elements (think Chicago winter).
11. McDonald's Despicable Me2 toys
Just too cute. Loved the movie and had to get my own minions.
12. Clarisonic Mia2 in Peony
I actually got my Clarisonic Mia 2 a while ago, back when it was a relatively new model. However, I didn't end up using it much until this year. Once I discovered how sensitive my skin was to even simple skincare products, I cut back as much as possible, including on scrubs and exfoliants. I've been relying on Clarisonic instead, and I've been quite pleased with the results!
|Who can't use a minion or two...?
I've mentioned once or twice (probably more) how much I love Avène products, especially the Avène Cleanance Cleanser (reviewed here). I make it a point to pick up a little Avène whenever I'm in NYC. (It's available in Chicago too, but to a more limited extent). The French skincare brand is a lifesaver for those with a list of ingredient sensitivities like me.
I hope you enjoyed the year's list of A few of my favorite things. I feel like I've settled into a good routine to start off the year --- but there are always new products to be tried and improvements to be made. I'm looking forward to seeing what makes it into my A few of my favorite things series at the end of 2014!
Thanks for reading! Did we have any favorites in common? What brands or products did you love this year? Do you have any product recs for me?