Dec 312012

It’s been quite a year here at Cafe Makeup! We’ve had a huge year–we passed our 3rd blog birthday and we’re very thankful for our amazing readers.

As you might now, we’ve both had a very busy year off the blog as well. Between Amy’s travel schedule (she was on the road almost continuously from June through November), and Liz’s busy work schedule, we’re so pleased that we’ve been able to keep our love of beauty alive on the blog now that we’re reached December 31st. We’ve had a lot of help along the way. Cafe Makeup would like to do a special “thank you” to Sabrina at The Beauty Look Book (her Best of 2012 is here). She’s been so wonderful and and encouraging throughout the entire year. I’d also like to thank all of the lovely readers and other beauty bloggers who’ve kept us alive by linking, retweeting and continuing our beauty conversations. You might also wish to explore The Non Blonde’s Top Products of 2012–I really respect her taste.

To celebrate the year’s end, we’d like to raise a glass of champagne to our readers! As we sip, we’re going to go through our Top Ten Products of 2012.  As you know, we’ve seen many things throughout the year. Here’s a feature which tells you which ones won our hearts, which ones we still depend on, and are truly the very Top Shelf Products of the Year 2012.

1. Tom Ford Blushes: Although released in 2011, I’ve come to love the high quality, beautiful glow of these blushes. As an aside, the brush is incredible as well. The original review is here.

Tom Ford Blush02


2.  Giorgio Armani Maestro Concealer: I can’t believed that a concealer made my top 10 list, but there it is. This is truly an androgynous product–appropriate regardless of gender. I originally bought this on a whim. Over time, I’ve become dependent on the extremely high quality, great coverage, incredibly natural look, and skin care benefits (it contains ingredients to breaks up sun damage and dark spots). The application is incredibly natural–sometimes I cover few spots and under eyes, and skip foundation entirely. This makes this a truly travel-friendly product, as you can leave your liquid foundation at home. The original review is here, I’ve since switched to buying shade #3.

GA concealer

3. Perricone MD Skin Care: I’ve been working on my skin with intensity since February. Last week, I got a few random compliments from strangers–“your skin looks beautiful–what are you using?” As a beauty blogger, I’ve been using several different things, but I’ve added a healthy dose of Perricone MD. My favorites so far are the Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester 15, the Blue Plasma Peel and the Formula 15 serum. Although I haven’t reviewed it yet, the Perricone Face Finishing Moisturizer appears to have some magical ingredients in it as well.


4. 2012 was the year of the BB Cream:  Over the past several months, the term “BB Cream” has entered the beauty vernacular with a vengeance. Although originating overseas with formulas that combine anti-aging, skincare benefits, and sunscreen, in the U.S. some formulas are said to be nothing more than glorified tinted moisturizers. However, there are some that stand above the crowd. Cafe Makeup’s former favorite was Dior DiorSnow BB Cream, a remarkably stable version with serious sun protection(SPF 50) and all-day tenacity (even in the Florida summer humidity).

omorovicza bb cream

The Dior would still be my favorite, except that I was recently sent the Omorovicza Complexion Perfector BB Cream (SPF 20) by the company. I’ll be doing a review soon, but this creamy, light foundation is absolutely perfect is so many ways.

The most startling effect is that my skin looks improved after I remove it at the end of the day. To my eye, it’s noticeable. In 2013, we can expect to see “CC Creams,” which are next-generation products (including one from Chanel). A few have started to land at drugstores, according to Nouveau Cheap. Those new products will have some very stiff competition from Omorovicza’s Complexion Perfector.

5. Tom Ford Enchanted Eye Quad. This one makes me hear angels sing. The original review is here.

Tom Ford Enchanted Quad03

6. Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Intense Lipsticks.  Why should the MAC lovers have all the fun? These are intensely pigmented lipsticks that provide gorgeous coverage with a very thin layer of product. The colors are outstanding–complex, intense, original, sophisticated, and very beautiful. I’ve purchased several, and am eyeing several colors from the Spring 2013 collection (I’ve caved on one already). Swatches of all colors are here (except for the Spring 2013, which were just released).

Chanel Lipsticks new1a

7. Nars Andy Warhol Collection. This highly original collection melded fine art and beauty. This included an incredibly rich and thoughtful array of choices, with something for everyone. I certainly found some favorites among them, including the Flowers palettes with the incredible taupe. At the same time, the collection helped us relive just a touch of the 1960’s makeup era just as Marc Jacobs made it fashionable for clothing. I’ve read that Francois Nars plans to do another artists collaboration next year, and I’m certainly hopeful that he will. Regardless of whether you purchased anything from the collection, this one warrants serious recognition for its attention to detail and creativity, as well as its sweeping scope.

Warhol Portrait 1

8. Le Metier de Beaute CHEM60 Pro-Peel and GLOW10ai Mask Set. Applause for giving busy women truly ingenious results at home. I love this set. The original post is here.

Le Metier Peel 10

9. Dior Nail Polish. There is something about Dior that has been excelling in the nail polish realm lately. Yes, I loved OPI’s Skyfall collection–the colors are fast, fun, and highly affordable. I got a 4-5 of them, and still wear them. Can you think of a Fall on-trend color that wasn’t part of Skyfall? I sure can’t.


Still, Dior’s formula spreads like butter, levels off beautifully, and has a helpful, manageable brush. Unlike OPI’s Skyfall, Dior has been truly cutting edge in its color development this year. Rather than capturing trends, Dior is setting them. I have to love an imaginative industry leader.

Dior Mango Pasteque Lime2

10. Guerlain This traditional French company has done so many things right this year. From its beautiful summer Terracotta Pucci collection, the new Petit Robe Noir perfume, and the development of new formulas of lipsticks. Liz and I both love the new Guerlain Rouge G L’Extrait Lip Color (the review for Paresse is here). I’d love to include more Guerlain in this list, if I could.

Guerlain Extrait Paresse04

Thank you for another wonderful year in beauty, Gorgeous!  And cheers!

What were your favorite products for 2012? We’d love to know!

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  26 Responses to “Cafe Makeup’s Top Ten Products of 2012”

  1. My favorite products:
    – Nuxe lip balm
    -Elizabeth Arden Green Tea Honey Drops Body Cream
    – Demain Nature Argan Oil

  2. What a wonderful list. Many thanks to both of you Amy and Liz for your hard work and dedication this year. You’re a fabulous team. There are a number of things on your top picks list that were lemming induced by Cafe Makeup including the Dior Cruise, Tom Ford Enchanted 🙂 Not to mention a number of other wonderful things you reviewed this year. Thank you so much for your support, skincare advice, blogging advice and everything else.

    Best wishes for a wonderful 2013!!!

  3. My fave products for 2012: Chanel blush Horizon de Chanel, TF Enchanted Quad, and Dior Distraction polish. My best wishes to you & Liz!!!

  4. Happy 2013 from hot and sunny Singapore! I have been a regular reader for quite some time and want to thank you and Liz for keeping us updated with the latest in the beauty world!

    Please keep up the good work! :))

  5. I bought the Armani foundation based on your review. What, what haven’t I bought based on your reviews? 😉 Dior is about my favorite polish. So smooth! I love that little cat’s tongue brush. It fits my fingers so well and applies the polish like a dream!

  6. My list of 2012 loves:
    Tom Ford Wicked Blush
    Tom Ford Burnished Amber Quad
    Bobby Brown Dark Peach Corrector
    Laura Mercier Firming Primer
    Laura Mercier Foundation
    Sheshido’s Bio Essence Skin Serum
    Enzo Lasio Day Serum

  7. How do you think the Tom Ford Enchanted eye quad compares to the new CHANEL spring Raffinement quad? They look similar.

  8. Amy, thank you. I just bought my second Raffinement quad. It’s my favorite ever. But after your glowing review of the TF Enchanted, I’m thinking…..

  9. […] we looked back at some of our favorite products of 2012. Today, we’re going to look forward to create a wish list and observe a few things about the […]

  10. Amy, Are the Chanel Raffinement and the Tom Ford Enchantment quads similar when swatched?

    My faves for 2012 include:

    1. Claudio Riaz Instant Brow Brush, concealer, and face highlighter;
    2. Black Radiance “Screen Gems” lip gloss (hot pink);
    3. Tom Ford Eyebrow Sculptor;
    4. Zelen Resurfacing Pads;
    5. Chanel “Notorious” Sculpting Veil;
    6. Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Lipstick “La Sensuelle.”

    • Ava–In response to your question, I did a quick comparison post in the mid-afternoon California sun (wintry, but still shows the texture). I hope this helpful!

      • Thanks so much, Amy! I appreciate the time you took to photograph the swatches. This is very helpful. Raffinement and Enchantment are amazingly similar. It would be nice if the darkest color in Raffinement was as dark as that in Enchantment – perhaps using a primer do the trick.

        • You know, Ava, I think if you just use more pressure with brush and the Chanel you can get there. Or even a more dense brush. The deepest shade in Raffinement is beautifully pigmented. Enjoy!

  11. Hi Amy
    Here are my top picks for 2012

    Giorgio Armani Maestro Eraser (purchased right after your review-amazing!)
    Chanel Vertigo and Malice nail polishes
    Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Chic
    Le Volume de Chanel mascara (love!)

    Also, I just started using Joelle Ciocco Cerut aux Fleurs, a moisturizing oil treatment on my face to help with winter skin and my broken capillaries. I put a small amount on top of my moisturizer in the morning before my makeup. It is not oily and sinks right in. It makes my skin feel like silk. I really like it.

    Happy New Year to you and thank you so much for your wonderful blog.

    • Thank you Jackie! I see we have similar taste in nail colors! 🙂 I love the new Chanel mascara too–I actually look forward to it in the morning!

  12. I think L’oreal has dupes of two of the Dior polishes out already. Lime is very similar to New Money, and Pasteque looks similar to Members Only.

  13. Happy New Year, Liz & Amy! 😀 I haven’t formulated my best of 2012 list yet, but it’s got a lot of Burberry on it!

    • I love Burberry too–I tried to focus on new releases for the year, and I haven’t played with my Burberry eyeshadow yet. I can’t wait to see your list! 🙂

  14. There is a Perricone MD skincare kit that includes the vitamin C ester 15 previously reviewed by cafemakeup on special today (Sat Jan 5) at QVC. I ordered it and am looking forward to trying it! Your reviews alway sell me on things. Thanks for the great blog!

  15. I’m trying to decide between Perricone’s blue plasma and the LMdB peel mask set. What do you think? Thanks very much!

    • It depends on whether you want dramatic results right away (LMBD) or gradual (Perricone)–they are both quite good….

      • Is there a difference in the duration of results?

        • Both products have skincare ingredients in addition to exfoliating properties. Le Metier’s has some very good antioxidants and other hydrators. Perricone’s has some hydrating properties and then anticipates that you will add a serum over it (for example, Perricone Formula 15).

  16. I really enjoyed reading your list. Gives me a few ideas on what good quality high end makeup to try!

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