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Lisa Xu

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Star Products of 2011

And here goes to another year over! 2011 went by super fast, and well quite frankly I haven't done much to this blog this year at all besides give it a face lift. I think I have lost the spark in my motivation to keep up this blog, but I don't have the heart to let it go either. Sometimes I feel like beauty blogging is just not the way it use to be. I hope I will find some way to relight my passion that started this blog in the first place in the upcoming year. For now this blog will remain, and I will still blog when I find the time to. Who knows what the future has in store!

Anyways, today what I really want to focus on is the annual post I do on my favorite products of the year! I try a lot of products throughout the year but only so many become worthy of this mention at the end of the year, so without further a do....

Let's start with skincare. This year has been not so great for my skin, and I have had many problems with breakouts and scarring. Midway through the year, I changed my skincare entirely, and I couldn't be happier now because my skin has improved so much.

*DDF Blemish Foaming Cleanser - For most of 2010-2011 I went through a phase where I had some serious breakouts on my chin area. It really stressed me out and for the longest time I could not find anything that would calm my skin down. This was one of the first products that started helping me salvage my skin. I had gotten a deluxe sample from Sephora awhile back, and I had it in storage for the longest time. On a whim when I was cleaning out my skincare products, I found the sample and decided to start using it. Immediately after a week of using it, I noticed that the acne on my chin was subsiding. I used it for a couple of months, and my skin is much  better now. It contains 1.8% salicylic acid, so it can be a bit drying for some but it totally works wonders for me! Although now I have stopped using it daily, this is still my go-to product for when I break out during that time of the month!

*Clinique Clarifying Lotion 3 - This toner picks up dirt like no other but also stings like no other! I started using this also because of a deluxe sample I had gotten from Sephora. At first, this toner stung my face so bad, and I seriously considered to just stop using it because it was seriously painful....but I pushed through it! Now, it doesn't sting my face at all. I am not sure if it is because I am use to it now or it is because my face just isn't so irritated anymore. Either way, I actually quite love this toner, and after my sample I went out and purchased the full size (which btw, is half gone now!). I use it at night after I cleanse my face and it picks up every little bit of dirt left off my face. I think this has definitely helped make sure there isn't any dirt and oil clogging my pores.

*Lancôme Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate - This has got to be the most expensive thing I purchased ever in terms of skincare. I have heard so much about this serum, and when Sephora had a sample of it for 100 points, I went ahead a redeemed one. I was hesitant to even try it just because it was so expensive but I am so glad I did. This has changed my skin! It has helped blemishes and scars heal so much faster, and the texture of my skin has become so much smoother. It has improved the tone of skin and it just looks more radiant overall. This is definitely a must have if you don't mind the steep price.

*Mario Badescu Drying Lotion - This is an awesome spot treatment! When school started this past September, I was, as usual, breaking out due to stress. I saw this at Ulta, and decided to pick it up because a lot of people said it was good. Low and behold, this stuff zaps zits like magic. It dries up pimples (even cystic ones) in half the time it takes for them to heal on their own. I have gone through almost all of my first bottle, and I have one stored away as a backup already.

Along with my skincare products, I have been in love with washing my face with oatmeal. I first saw this on Bubbi's youtube channel ( click for the video). It's cheap and effective and all natural! I usually do it once in the morning and sometimes once at night. It has helped tremendously with my acne and the texture of my skin. Although it does get a little messy, and it is probably best if you have a drain stopper to stop all the oats from going down the drain, it is definitely worth it.

Next up is the makeup and some hair products...

*Makeup Forever Duo Mat (#120) - This was the first powder foundation I have ever used. I have always stayed away from powder just because I thought it would be too cakey for my skin. However, during Sephora's F&F sale I decided it wouldn't hurt to try since I can always return it. Well, I ended up not returning it because I absolutely love it! It's so quick and easy, and it definitely doesn't take any time away from my rushed mornings before I go off to class. Coverage is excellent, and it doesn't feel like a mask on my face. It actually feels more comfortable than liquid foundation to me. I love how the powder is so finely milled and I just can't say enough good things about it. This is definitely a HG product for me now.

*NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Face Powder (#720 Sunny) - To be honest, I have never been the bronzer type of girl. I just find that they never quite fit my skin tone and it's an extra step I don't feel makes a difference. Discovering this has definitely changed my mind though. I bought this on a whim, and at such an afforable price I couldn't ask for more. It just warms up my face and gives me such a nice healthy glow. Definitely a must try!

*Lioele Artist Auto Eyebrow (#3 Gray Black) - My go-to brow pencil. Since I reverted back to my natural hair color, my old eyebrow pencils and powders don't match anymore. It just looks very unnatural in my opinion when I have black hair and brownish eyebrows. Lioele's gray black shade is perfect for those with black hair. It's not too dark or light. It just looks natural, which I love.

*Revlon Lip Butters - Everyone and their grandma has these and many have raved about them. I am one of those who love them so I am not going to say much because I know everyone has heard about enough them. All I have to say is that I love these for the price. They remind me a lot of the Dior Addict Lipsticks which are 3x the price. If you haven't tried them, definitely try to pick one up if you see them at your local drugstore. There are 20 shades so you are bound to find one you like!

*Sigma Beauty SigMAX Brushes - These brushes are amazing! I have all of them except for the tapered face brush since I brought the face set and the precision kit separately. All three of the Sigmax face brushes that I have applies foundation and any liquid products like a dream. As for the precision kit brushes, I love using them for concealer and creme bases for my eyeshadow. I can't imagine not having these now.

*Panasonic Heated Eyelash Curler- This is a must for stick straight asian lashes. My lashes usually don't stay very curled no matter what mascara I have used, whether it be American or Japanese. However, if I curl them with this after I put on mascara my lashes are actually visible and curled. Definitely makes a huge difference on my lashes.

*Essential Nuance Airy Hair Mask - Ever since I dyed my hair a couple of years ago it has not been as healthy as it used to be. Even though I eventually grew it all out and cut it off, my natural hair didn't have the shine that it did before. I tried quite a few hair serums, but it was always just a temporary fix which was not satisfying at all. This hair mask, however, has made all the difference upon the first use. It has made my hair silky smooth, and it has restored the shine and luster to my hair that was missing before. I usually use this once a week.

*Essential Nuance Air Hair Treatment- Along with the hair mask, I also use this whenever I feel like my hair needs a boost but it hasn't been a full week after my hair mask. This one a bit a lighter, but does the job just as well as the hair mask! Both are super affordable, and if you are able to get your hands on either treatments, it will be the best thing that has happened to your hair! 

Well that about wraps it up. I hope you all enjoyed reading this ridiculously long post. Props to whoever made it to the end! Thank you to all of you are are still sticking around. I hope everyone has a great new year with friends and family, and may the upcoming year bring lots of love and joy!

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Lisa Xu

Location Los Angeles
Favorite Tv Shows Gossip Girl, Glee
Hometown Los Angeles
Relationship single