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Now that 2012 has come to an end, I’ve had time to reflect and consolidate my thoughts on the many pretties I discovered over the past year. For the most part, I love my purchases (not an accident, obsessive researcher here) so this post could be as long as a piece of string- but I’m going to try keep it to the absolute minimum.

Here is my final verdict! I’ve confined this list to pieces I’ve discovered in 2012 and omitted old favourites/Holy Grails (that textbook length list for another day).

Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Lip Stains

Favourites of 2012

This entire line blew me away. Opaque? Check. Fades evenly? Check. Directional applicator? Check. Long lasting despite my absurd lip touching habits? Check.
The formula is beyond phenomenal and I really enjoy the jelly texture. Kudos to YSL for creating a lip product that stands out among the masses.

Click here to see the Yves Saint Laurent Lip Stains in action.

Inglot 40 Eyeshadow Palette

Favourites of 2012

Inglot eyeshadows have filled a much sought after niche- an incredible range of colours (particularly mattes) with impressive pigmentation at a more affordable price. Although Rouge Bunny Rouge still win first prize for my favourite eyeshadow formula, the variety of colours in my 40 palette has been refreshing!
It’s an inspiring piece that challenges me to produce unexpected colour combinations.

Click here for swatches of my Inglot 40 Palette.

Chanel Ombre Contraste- Notorious 

Favourites of 2012

I admit; I purchased this based on the fact that I didn’t want to fall victim to ‘limited edition regret’. I’m thanking my lucky stars- out of all the contour powders I’ve tried, Notorious creates the most realistic chiselled cheekbones.
Texture wise, I probably prefer the buttery goodness imparted by Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder but truth be told, the taupey shade of Notorious provides a more realistic looking shadow.
I apologise for this favourite as I know it’s becoming hard to find but should you be lucky enough to stumble across it- BUY IT. Karima insists.

Click here for Chanel Notorious comparison swatches.


By Terry Touche Veloutee Concealer

Favourites of 2012

A relatively new addition to my collection but I’ve been eyeing this concealer since my days working in makeup. It was a strange instance of role reversal; customers would walk in and sell me with their glowing reviews. Almost every single time I applied this onto a client, they purchased it.
With good reason, Touche Veloutee is the ultimate illuminating concealer- providing remarkable coverage and the perfect amount of illumination (a tricky ratio to pin).
The best undereye concealer I’ve tried to date.

Click here to see the haul where I purchased this product.

Hakuhodo Brushes

Favourites of 2012

I can confidently announce that I will never return to MAC brushes. Hakuhodo are the Rolls Royce of makeup tools- incredibly soft while boasting a large range of shapes and sizes (the website is rather overwhelming, like burying yourself in goat hair).
I was delighted with all the Hakuhodo Brushes I purchased at IMATS Sydney 2012, the fluffy crease brushes (pictured above) in particular. I plan on replacing all my MAC/NARS/Chanel brushes with the Hakuhodo counterparts.

Click here to view all the Hakuhodo Brushes I purchased in 2012.

Chantecaille Vital Essence Serum

Favourites of 2012

Can you believe that I used an entire bottle of this on my HANDS? 3 drops from empty and I had a bright idea… I should try this on my face!
Turns out, I was using it incorrectly. 3 pumps on a dry face results in a sticky, shiney mess. However, 2 pumps on a damp face delivers a hydration superior to any emollient moisturiser I’ve encountered.
An additional surprise- should I be suffering from flu induced flaky skin, this acts like a primer by concealing any dehydration that would otherwise ruin my base.

Stridex Maximum Strength Pads

Favourites of 2012

I purchased this based on the recommendation of (the utterly amazing) JoshCollierMUA. These damp pads provide gentle chemical exfoliation to prevent any congestion and dullness with no redness, peeling or downtime. They’re also alcohol free (APPLAUSE!) and cost 4 freaking dollars!
The real genius here lies in a tip provided by Josh- run the damp pad on the face and wash off after 5 minutes. I’ve found this technique to deliver all the exfoliation benefits with no irritation whatsoever.
Mastermind. Why didn’t I think of that?

Click here to watch the JoshCollierMUA video review of the Stridex Pads.

LUSH Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter

Favourites of 2012

Rewind three months. My cuticles were in such poor condition that it even appeared to disgust my significant other. Now, when a mere male is raising his eyebrows at the sight of your hands, something must be done.
Lemony Flutter to the rescue. Applied every night before bed, this balm eradicated my every hang nail, dry patch and cuticle misdemeanour. Nothing short of a miracle.
One word of warning, the scent is horrid (his words- ‘Darling, you smell like a bandaid’).

What are your favourites of 2012? Tell us in the comment section below and help me build favourites of 2013!


Complete list of products mentioned

Strength Pads
Strength Pads
Vital Essence Serum
Vital Essence Serum
Highlighting Concealer
Highlighting Concealer
Glossy Lip Stains
Glossy Lip Stains
* Denotes products sent for consideration. Iā€™m always honest with my reviews :)

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  1. You’ve made me sooo intrigued about the Chantecaille Serum! Also, I did pick up the Touche Veloutee and I’ve been enjoying it too! And I’m so glad to hear you love the Stridex! They are amazing and such a cheap thrill! šŸ™‚

    1. Happy New Years, Josh šŸ˜€
      The Vital Essence is crazy hydrating yet so light! My hands were receiving royal treatment for a year LOL.
      Also, I’ve tried Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Pads but the Stridex are far gentler yet just as exfoliating! A case where the dupe exceeds the cult favourite šŸ™‚ And 4 dollars! *headdesk*
      Looking forward to your videos!

  2. As per your advice I have to try that chantecaille serum! I also like most of the haku brushes. The best cuticle cream I’ve tried is the Dior one so far (it is a bit expensive but I don’t need that much). I am still thinking what would be my best 2012 products, I think RBR e/s and RMS Beauty lip2cheek + skinbalm and their beauty oil are on my list already. Happy new year btw!! šŸ™‚

    1. Hi Claire! Happy New Year šŸ™‚
      Can you get a sample of the Chantecaille Vital Essence? If so, I definitely recommend trying it!
      I actually discovered Rouge Bunny Rouge eyeshadows in 2011, so I thought it might have been a bit of a cheat if I included it here (but definitely the best find EVER for eyeshadow!). I’m thinking I might venture into RMS! Any suggestions for RMS makeup?

  3. I think I used more makeup products in 2012 than ever, weird but true, lol. Hence my RBR dedication, hehe. RMSBeauty saved my dry skin (aka, I could wear makeup without worrying that my dry patches will show up – blush:cheeks, etc..). I highly recommend their lip2cheek products and the concealer. The cream e/s are also very nice and won’t accentuate my uneven, dry lid ‘but’ if you have normal lids they may crease. For skincare, their beauty oil makes my dry patches disappear and is a great makeup base as well. I also use their skinbalm (in cocoa, I don’t really like vanilla that much) as a mixer for my ‘lipstick blushes’ (I dab a bit of lipstick on my hand and mix it with the rms skinbalm = moisturizing and glowy blush).

    1. Hmmm I don’t have dry skin per se, more normal. I’ll take a look at the cream eyeshadows and the lip2cheek products, though!
      One last question: what are you favourite RBR products? šŸ™‚

  4. Well now I’m unsure about buying the Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Powder– I’m very warm-toned but also rather pale. In your opinion, should I go for it or Notorious?

    1. Hey Suz!
      Josh (who I mentioned in this post) is warm toned, I believe, and loves the KA Sculpting. You’d have to use a light hand, though. Is Notorious available to you right now?

  5. Good to know, thanks! I’m used to using a light hand by now *sigh*. You know what, I tried to track down Notorious last night but it might not be available anymore anyway.

  6. Karima I just discovered your blog through one of my faves, My Lucite Dreams, and I love love love it! Your vidoes are awesome and your pictures are fantastic.

    I’m a big fan of Lush Lemony Flutter too! Happy new year! Looking forward to reading more from you!



    1. Hey Arantha!
      My Lucite Dreams is a fantastic blog! Welcome to Shameless Fripperies šŸ™‚
      I can’t get over how Lemony Flutter has changed my hands!

  7. Karima! Ive typed a couple of the Haku names into the seach bar on the Hakuhodo USA website and they are coming up not found! What do??!!

    No, really — I need that third brush from the left and and and *gasp*

    I bought GA Luminous Silk because of you! Still trying to work with it, my sunscreen and it dont get along too well. It has brought me to Armani, though. Have you tried any of the Eyes To Kill shadows, the ones that come in the pots? I bet you could do some amazing looks with them šŸ™‚

    — Tracey

    1. Hello Tracy šŸ˜€
      I think perhaps I’ve offered a little too much information (LOL, I typed everything on the sleeves they came in). For example, I wrote G5526BkSl but it can be found under G5526. Let me know if you still can’t find them so I can go back and change everything.
      Luminous Silk is such a winner, I’ve been using it for…over 5 years! I have a few of the Armani Eyes to Kill eyeshadows but I seem to forget about them :-/ Thanks for reminding me, I shall dig them out of the drawer!
      Happy New Year!

  8. the lip2cheek products should be good though, they are amazing! My fav RBR products: the highlighter, eyeshadows and blushes, definitely those three šŸ™‚ but I guess you already have them, haha <3

    1. Ohk, lip2cheek it is! Watch this space!
      LOL I own almost every type of RBR product except for blush- I’m thinking maybe Starina might be an option for a blush phobic lady like me.

  9. OMG, Karima! We have 2 of the same favorites (YSL Glossy stains) and Hakuhodo brushes! I absolutely fell in love with those two things this year. But now I need to try the Stridex pads because I’ve been looking into chemical exfoliation myself. EEEK!

  10. Hello I just discovered Your blog and I have to say that I am living it!!
    So jelous of Your brushes!! I want the ones that you dont want anymore! Becausebof where I live I do not have access to ANY brush company šŸ™


  11. Hello,

    I’m a french girl, and I love your blog and the product you show in it. Unfortunately I can’t buy a lot of this product because they aren’t available in France. I tried to buy them on the internet but every time the website “can’t ship to france” … I would love to come in US to buy some of these product.
    I thought about something. If someone could buy them and send i to me it would be great. So, I ask you, if maybe you would do it ? .. please ? šŸ™‚
    I know it’s so much to ask, you don’t know me at all. But I’m desperate. I spend hours to find a website which can ship to france. But they aren’t a lot.
    Of course if you accept I will pay back all your expenses.
    In exchange I can send french product to you if you want to.

    So, I hope you will accept.

      1. Yes I know these website. But for example I really want to have Chantecaille Vital Essence Serum but they don’t sell them.

      2. Correct, you won’t be able to get it all at one site. I also purchase online at many different sites, unfortunately that is the only way!