Beauty Talk: Top 10 2013 Beauty Finds

I meant to have this post up earlier today but I had family over and when everyone left I crashed. This week has been so busy that I feel like I need a few days off to recover from my week off! It was also a good week, filled with lots of family and Christmas and a birthday celebration for my mom. Last night my family and I went out for dinner to celebrate my mom’s birthday. We had a lot of good food, but my favorite part of the night was definitely talking to my nephew. There was a time when he wasn’t exactly chatty or interested in hugs, but that’s changing now. We sat next to each other at the restaurant and he talked to me all night. So much fun! My niece arrived with two books in her hands, which I got a kick out of because I had one in my bag. She and I are definitely related.

Anyway, onto the purpose of this post. I wanted to share a few of my favorite beauty finds from 2013. I don’t know that I necessarily discovered all of these products in 2013, but this is the year that I really came to love each of them.

1. Urban Decay’s Naked 3 palette. I know that some people are tired of it, but I definitely love Urban Decay’s Naked line so I was super excited when I heard about the rose-toned Naked 3. I bought it when it was first available from UD’s website and fell in love as soon as I received it. It’s more beautiful in person and I love all of the shades. Ever since I bought Naked 2 last year it’s become my most used palette and I think this one will be one of my most used of 2014.

2. MAC Contour Brush (160). This brush… I think it’s become my favorite make-up. Okay, probably not my favorite. If I had to choose between this brush and my MAC eyeshadow brushes I’d choose my eyeshadow brushes, but this brush is definitely high up on my list of favorites. I use it for powder, blush and bronzer–but not all at the same time, of course! This brush is so comfortable to hold that it’s nice to have as part of my make-up routine.

3. The Balm’s Mary Lou-Manizer. When The Balm had a great flash sale–with some of the proceeds going to charity–a few months ago I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try this highlighter and Nude Tude palette as I’ve heard so much about them online. I personally thought the palette was a dud (though a lot of people rave about it) but this highlighter is my favorite. It’s really easy to overdo it so you need to apply it with a light hand, but I also love it for that. It’s the only highlighter I’ve tried that actually adds a glow.

4. MAC Harmony Blush. This blush is the perfect shade to use as a contour on my complexion. (I’m an NC20, if you speak MAC.) I can use it without worrying that I’m overdoing it, which is nice for hurried mornings.

5. Milani Bushes. I don’t have a specific shade that I love (the one in the picture is the one I’ve been using lately, Berry Amore) but I really like the brush. The blushes are nice and pigmented and they’re cheaper than other make-up brands that I like.

6. Benefit’s Erase Paste. I don’t have bad under eye circles, but this concealer still brightens up my eyes and makes me look more awake than I actually am–which is really nice for this night owl! I wrote a post about this back in September and talked about a Clinique concealer that I have. Since writing that post I have compared the two and decided that I definitely like Benefit’s better. I should do a comparison post on both of these one day.

7. Maybelline Color Tattoo. I fell in love with this product in 2013. I still use my MAC Paint Pots as an eyeshadow base but these have a permanent place in my make-up bag because I can use them as both an eyeshadow and an all over wash of color for lazy day make-up–the Paint Pots don’t last as well as these if I don’t use eyeshadow.

8. Zoya Nail Polish. Nail polish doesn’t last long on my nails, which is why I change it up often, but I recently purchased a bunch of Zoya polishes. With a top coat, these polishes typically last for three to four days–which is a long time for me! I don’t have a favorite shade, but lately I’ve been reaching for Isla and Raven (pictured).

9. Sally Hanson Insta-Dri Top Coat. I know, I know, the Seche Vite top coat is supposedly the best but the warning label on it is keeping me away. This top coat dries in less than five months, is shiny and is the only one I have found that truly helps my nail polish last a little bit longer. I paint my nails right before bed most of the time and this also prevents the sheet marks that I always woke up to in the morning. The only downside is that I thought it thickened up a lot when I started to reach the bottom of the bottle, but for $5 a bottle, I can live with that.

10. Skindinavia Setting Spray. I never thought setting sprays were worth the hype, but after seeing a few frugal beauty YouTuber’s proclaiming the wonder that is the Skindinavia setting spray I decided to give it a try. This helps my foundation and concealer last longer. As soon as I spritzed out the last of my first bottle, I ordered a second and anxiously twiddled my thumbs as I waited for it to arrive. This is definitely a winner!

What are some of your favorite beauty finds from 2013?

Note: I purchased all of the products listed in this post.

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