Best of Beauty 2010

Hello ladies,

as 2010 is fast coming to its end, I thought I’d take a look back at all the products that I tried this year and share with you the ones that have completely blown me away. They aren’t necessary items that were released this year, but I only got to try them in 2010 and they have all become staples in my stash. Let’s get started:


Fyrinnae Arcane Magic Eyeshadows: these loose eyeshadows are among my favourites ever because of how complex they are. In fact, they change when hit by the light: Conjuror for instance changes from dark to burgundy while dragonmagic is a charcoal shade that becomes mid-green and even purplish blue! Isn’t that cool? They are pigmented and fairly longlasting too.

Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy: I can’t rave about this product enough. If you wear eyeshadow, you absolutely need it. It improves the color payoff of eyeshadows, making them look like they have been foiled, while bringing out the shimmers, glitter and duochrome effects in them. It also minimizes fallout, although it doesn’t work that well with most matte eyeshadows.

Layla Sparkle Eyeshadows: can’t believe I haven’t posted a review about these eyeshadows yet, but I will remedy that soon. These eyeshadows are very pigmented, bright and shimmery with a silky texture that’s not chalky nor powdery at all. They need a primer to last all day but their excellent color payoff more than makes up for that!

Michael Todd Long Wear Creme Shadow: I usually avoid cream eyeshadows because they crease horribly and fade fast on my slightly oily lids but not these. These last all day even without a primer, have great color payoff and a smooth, creamy texture that’s easy to apply and can be used as a base for powder eyeshadows too.

Too Faced Shadow Insurance: my HG eyeshadow primer. It performs just as well as UDPP at improving the color payoff of eyeshadows and helps them stay put from morning to night as well. But where this wins is the texture: it is so smooth and lightweight, blending into the skin effortlessly and you feel like you have nothing on. Yet, it works so well!


Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer: finally a concealer that’s pale enough for my skintone but still completely covers dark circles, blemishes and other skin imperfections. It provides medium to full coverage with a natural finish that last for hours (all day if set with powder). I just wish it wasn’t so expensive!

Fyrinnae Finishing Powder Oil Control:I have combination skin and this transparent finishing powder provides a matte but not dull finish and keeps the shine at bay for the entire day! It doesn’t cause break outs, it doesn’t dry skin and it’s so cheap!

Milani Minerals Blush in Luminuous: a dupe for Nars Orgams. The packaging is ugly, but the blush is gorgeous. It is pigmented, very shimmery (maybe too much for some people), finely milled and lasts a few good hours on me. It’s not a HG product but I love it nonetheless and it’s one of the blushes I use more often as it is so flattering.

Sleek Blushes: these blushes are very, very pigmented (you need to be extremely careful when you apply them), have a silky soft texture and last all day. My favourite is Rose Gold, another dupe for Nars Orgasm at only a small fraction of the price.


Estee Lauder Pure Color Gloss: I never thought one day I would fall in love with high-end lipglosses considering I’m a cheapskate at heart but these are awesome. They provide a sheer (but not too sheer) coverage so that even dark shades are very wearable and easy to pull off. The texture is moisturizing, the finish shiny and they have a delicious fig scent! I wish they lasted longer on the lips though.

I Provenzali Stick Labbra al Karitè (Shea Butter Lip Balm): this is the most moisturizing lip balm I have ever tried and since I first got it, I have hardly used anything else. The ingredients are almost all natural, the texture is smooth and moisturizing and it keeps lips soft and hydrated for hours on end!

Sleek True Colour Lipstick in Rose Petal: I’m not a lipstick gal but I wear this almost daily, it’s gorgeous! The color is very pigmented yet soft and complements any looks from crazy bright to smokey to natural ones. Its creamy texture is quite moisturizing and it lasts about 6 hours on me.


Layla Ceramic Effect Nail Polishes: these have become some of my favourite nail polishes simply because they are pigmented and dry so fast! All I need is one or two coats and less than 5 minutes later my nails are already completely dry! They are available in lots of shades, last about 4 or 5 days without chipping if you don’t use a top coat and are cheap too.


Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser: I haven’t tried a lot of new skincare products this year but this cleanser I adore. It has a creamy texture that removes all traces of makeup (including waterproof makeup), dirt and everything else on my skin. The muslin cloths also provide a gentle exfoliating action. The result is bright, soft and smooth skin. In addition, it is very gentle and doesn’t irritate skin.


Gosh Flat Eyeshadow Brush: its soft and dense bristles are perfect to apply eyeshadows as they pack a lot of color on the lid. It can be used to blend eyeshadow as well. Doesn’t shed, doesn’t blend and it is inexpensive too!

Gosh Round Eyeshadow Brush: an inexpensive dupe for MAC 219 Pencil Brush. If you have small eyes like me, this brush will be even better than MAC for you. It has soft and dense bristles that don’t scratch skin and its head is smaller than MAC’s so it applies eyeshadows more precisely in small areas and on the lower lashline. It also works well at creating shapes.

What are the best beauty products you’ve tried this year?

Disclosure: the Layla, Liz Earle, Estee Lauder and Michael Todd products were provided by P for consideration, the Milani blush I got in a swap while the rest of the products were purchased by me. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

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  1. says

    Oggi ho un po’ di tempo, per cui credo finalmente di poter stilare la lista. Abbiamo un prodotto in comune e anche io ho deciso di ripartire occhi, bocca etc perché altrimenti il post mi verrebbe parecchio confusionario.
    Ti invidio tantissimo la parte occhi, sai quanto io desideri il pixie epoxy e con le nuove disposizioni della fyrinnae non è possibile. Spero a breve di impossessarmi però dei long wear cream di Michael Todd.
    Buone feste Gio. 😉
    Marguerite N.´s last blog post ..Buon Natale!My Profile

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Marguerite, non vedo l’ora di leggere il tuo post e sapere quali sono i tuoi prodotti preferiti di quest’anno. :)
      Spero che la Fyrinnae riprenda presto a spedire in Italia, ci sono ancora tante cose che voglio da loro. Fanno davvero dei prodotti stupendi! Non so se hai visto i nuovi prodotti che Too Faced farà uscire in primavera, ma ce ne è uno chiamato Glitter Glue che dovrebbe essere, almeno a quanto dice la cartella stampa, molto simile al Pixie Epoxy. Ovviamente è più costoso, ma io sono comunque curiosa di provarlo. Sarebbe fantastico se altri brand facessero prodotti simili. :)

      Grazie e buone feste anche a te! :)

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Nikki, you’re welcome. I only have one Milani Blush but I love it. It has great color payoff, is very shimmery and gives that healthy, glowy flush that is so flattering!

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Connie, I haven’t tried the Gosh face brushes, but I adore their eye brushes. The bristles are dense but so soft and don’t shed. And they pack on a lot of color too! If you ever get the chance, do try them! :)

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Phyrra, I love Fyrinnae products and those two are the best they make in my opinion. I love how unique the Arcane shadows as and the Pixie Epoxy is simply awesome! :)

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Trisha, I’m glad you did and that you like it too (not that I had any doubt you would 😉 ). It’s such an useful product, isn’t it?

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Vonvon, do try the Too Faced Shadow Insurance, it’s awesome! I waited ages to try because I thought it would just work like any other eye primer (which is does) but it has the best texture ever! So smooth and lightweight! :)

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      LatestGirls, I’m glad you stumbled on my blog and enjoy posts like these. I hope to see you around often. :)

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      rosejaejoong, I kept reading lots of rave reviews about it but it took me a long time to try it cos I couldn’t think how it could have been different from UDPP and other primers but it is so much better. The texture is amazing. I wish I had tried it sooner now and I’m sure you’ll love it too. :)

  2. says

    I still have to try the Pixie Epoxy and Finishing Powder Oil Control, they sound so good ! :) Milani and Sleek Blushes are really nice, I love them! Oh the Sleek lipsticks are good? I’ll keep them in mind! :)

    Can you please do a Fyrinnae must haves? I wanna know what’s absolutely worth getting before placing an order! :)

    I’ll do my 2010 favorites in the next few days 😉 x
    Stavroula Plag´s last blog post ..TAG – 15 Random FactsMy Profile

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Stavroula, I love the Sleek lipsticks. I bought one just to see how it was, without expect much, but it is so good that I went from hardly wearing lipstick to using it almost daily. It has a lovely creamy texture that doesn’t dry lips and it is so pigmented.

      As for Fyrinnae, I have only tried their Pixie Epoxy, a bunch of eyeshadows (The Arcane are my favourites) and the Oil Control powder and they are all amazing! I wanted to try a lot more of their stuff but for some reason, Fyrinnae isn’t shipping to Italy at the moment. I hope it’s only temporarily or I’ll have to find another way to get my hands on their products. But if you have never tried anything from them, the Pixie Epoxy and Arcane eyeshadows are definitely must haves.

      Can’t wait to read what your favourite products of 2010 are! :)

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