One comment I get, without fail, is, "you must get A TON of beauty products to try!" I do. But that's a perk to my job. I get sent several products a week, hoping that the product will get a mention in a video or gallery online. It sounds glamorous, until you realize that your skin is going into crisis mode from trying too many products within a month. You've got to be selective, and honest. Because some products? They don't work. Some will break out your skin. Some should be illegal — that's how bad they are.
But let's not discuss those products. I have had the pleasure of testing some of the most amaaaaazing products this year. The best of the best. The holy grail. The wham-bam-thank you MAM products. And you know that if a beauty editor is going out and actually buying a product, it's worth the splurge (or steal, in some cases). Here are my favorites from the past year.
Tangle Teezer | Bumble & Bumble Thickening Spray | La Prairie Compact | Magic Marc'er | Jordana Mascara | Lip Tar | NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer (click to purchase)
1. Jordana Mascara, $3
I've read and read and READ, what seems endlessly, about Jordana. The $3 "Miracle in a Tube." People raved about how it enhanced their lashes better than anything else they'd ever tried, and all you had to do was hop on over to the drugstore to pick it up. For some reason, I could not find it at all in Los Angeles, and had read I'd need to order it from the UK, so that made me want it more. Until I went to Texas for Thanksgiving — and my best friend's little sister, Lily, had amazing lashes. They looked long, full, and most of all, CLEAN. No clumps. Her bottom lashes looked fake — that's how good they were. And sure enough, it was Jordana! So I drove myself to the nearest Walgreens to pick up a few tubes (that cost me less than $10) and voila! So whenever people ask me if my lashes are real, I pull out Jordana and tell them to thank me later.
2. Harry Josh Pro Tools Hair Dryer, $300
If you're choking on your latte, I understand. $300 for a hair dryer? NEVER WOULD I EVER. In the teeny bop words of Bieber, never say never. Never, that is, until I tried the Harry Josh Pro. I had heard all about this guy from celebrity stylists (and celebrities themselves — Miranda Kerr, Gisele, Karlie Kloss) and I loved the adorable mint green color. The barrel of the dryer wasn't longer than the handle, which appealed to me, and it looked compact. But I never really took the time to blow dry my hair because I tried to keep things natural, especially with my overprocessed blonde highlights. So a blow dryer wasn't necessary for me.
Then Kirbie met Harry. For real. As in, Harry Josh. We worked with him on a video about how to achieve Rose Byrne's disco waves from the EMMYs, and he used his magical dryer on me. I fell in love, and when he learned I didn't own one, well, the rest is history.
Would I buy this? Yes. In a heartbeat. And I've single-handedly gotten six of my friends to purchase this as well. One thing I've learned about women is that if there is a product that will make their lives easier, they'll invest. And this guy not only dries your hair in half the time, but eliminates frizz, thickens your hair (if you need it), and looks great while doing so.
3. Redken Quick Tease 15, $18
Everyone makes fun of me because, during the earlier portion of this year, I carried a giant TeaZe brush in my purse. Because I wear extensions from time to time, I like to make sure they aren't showing, so I'd pop into the bathroom, give my hair a fluff and be on my way. Problem is, teasing your hair is like going back to your ex-boyfriend: it feels good for a minute, but ultimately is contributing to the larger problem. (Your larger problem being broken, ratty hair.)
My mom introduced me to Quick Tease by Redken. It's a backcombing spray that gives your hair the fullness and lift without having to pick up a comb. And for that, I am grateful. Mom knows what's up.
4. Tangle Teezer, $22
On the teasing note, the Tangle Teezer was also a lifesaver this year. The brush, which allows you to backcomb your hair, then brush it out without breaking any of your hair, has been in my purse, in my bathroom and my shower for about three months now. I have the travel size, which comes with a lid, as well as the regular size and the AquaSplash, which is used in the shower to better work your shampoo and conditioner through your hair. Victoria Beckham is a huge fan, and every person I've gifted this to is obsessed.
5. Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Lip Tar, $14
My makeup bag has been stocked with Lip Tar of all shades: bright fuschias, reds, nudes, and moreso than anything else, deep burgandy and almost-black violet shades. The pigment is gorgeous, and I love that you have to paint it on with a brush. It adds that element of glamour that goes missing when you apply a regular gloss or lipstick. It's a stain more than anything, so lightly dab it on for a wash of color, or load it up for a creamier look.
6. Bumble & bumble Thickening Hair Spray, $28
You might see a trend here: I like THICK HAIR. My hair is fine, but I have a lot of it, so a few spritz's of Bumble & bumble's Thickening Hair Spray gives my hair that fuller, lovelier look.
7. La Prairie Eye Anti-Aging Eye and Lip Perfection a Porter, $150
La Prairie was a staple in my beauty regimen this year, from their Caviar creams to this lovely compact. It's double-sided with an eye cream and a lip balm, and the eye cream is the most luxurious I've ever used. It has a balm-like consistency with reflective qualities, so it masks dark circles and you can wear it over your makeup, which makes it perfect for flying. I've used it for every wedding trip and family vacation I've had this year.
Jojoba Oil for the win! Some people are obsessed with coconut oil — which is fine, because it has countless uses — but I learned from Sharon, the creator of MV Skincare, that jojoba oil is the only oil that simulates sebum, the oil your pores produce. So chances are, if you're too oily or breaking out, jojoba oil can help to stabilize it. She uses a pure, all-natural form, and all you need is 3-4 drops. I use it as a moisturizer and to remove my eye makeup at night too. PLUS, it acts like a barrier on your skin against wind and extreme weather conditions.
9. Marc Jacobs Beauty Magic Marc'er, $30
I love a great liquid liner pen, and I've tried them all. Stila was my favorite for awhile, but since Marc Jacobs debuted his beauty collection in August, I've been obsessed with his! It goes on fluidly, which is key, and I've had it about 4 months and it STILL HASN'T RUN OUT.
10. NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, $28
True life: I've been battling adult acne the past 12 months. Honestly, there are days I don't want to get out of bed. Many of you think I'm overexaggerating, but this month especially, my skin looks like I'm on the Varisty football team. It's embarrassing, and I've tried everything — pills, diets, skin treatments, creams, face washes — all except Accutane. I'm bound and determined to find a cure, because too many of my girlfriends are going through this hormonal acne thing at 26.
However, one of my gifts is being to paint my face like the Mona Lisa, and one concealer I swear by is NARS New Creamy Concealer. Gives my skin the coverage it needs without drying it out, and matches my skin tone perfectly.