Best of 2011 – My Hair and Beauty Favorites

I’m always mentioning a product or two in passing, but I’ve never put together a comprehensive list of my very favorite hair and beauty products until now. A few days ago, I sat down on my bathroom floor and spent a good amount of time going through my cabinets and makeup case, making sure not to forget anything. Every single product on this list is something that I currently use and love. (Um, obviously NOT AT THE SAME TIME.) Enjoy!

Blow Dryer: Sedu Revolution Pro Tourmaline Ionic 4000i Hair Dryer

Travel Blow Dryer: BaByliss ProTT Tourmaline Titanium 1500 Compact Dryer

Flat Iron: Sedu Pro Ionic Ceramic Tourmaline Flat Iron

Curling Iron: Hot Tools 1-inch curling iron

Clipless Curling Iron: Sedu Revolution Clipless Curling Iron (My thoughts on the Sedu vs. the Enzo Milano here.)

Everyday Brush: Mason Pearson

Round Brush: Sephora Large Round Brush and Marilyn Brush Tuxedo Pro

Paddle Brush: Wigo Straighten and Shine Paddle Brush

Ponytail Holders: Emi-Jay Hair Ties and Goody Ouchless Elastics

Shampoo and Conditioner: Redken All Soft

Drugstore Shampoo and Conditioner: Pantene Medium to Thick Solutions – Breakage to Strength

Hairspray: Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Working Hair Spray

Mousse: Pureology Colour Stylist Silk Bodifier Volumizing Mousse

Smoothing Cream: Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream

Smoothing Balm: Pantene Restore Beautiful Lengths Smoothing Balm

Curl Cream: Pureology Real Curl and Bumble and bumble Curl Conscious Defining Creme

Curl Prep: Aveda Be Curly Style-Prep

Setting Lotion: Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Color Hold Styling Tonic

Protective Serum: Macadamia Oil Healing Oil Treatment

Leave-In Softening Serum: Kerastase Chroma Riche Luminous Softening Essence

Texture Spray: Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray

Texture Creme: Bumble and bumble Texture Creme

Dry Shampoo: Klorane Extra Gentle Dry Shampoo

Drugstore Dry Shampoo: Batiste Dry Shampoo

Foundation: Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (Seriously, ladies. Nothing compares. Quit the elusive search for the perfect tinted moisturizer and just plunk down the cash for this foundation. I apply it with a light touch, and my complexion has never looked more radiant, FOR REALS. Compliments all the live long day.)

Undereye concealer: Clinique Airbrush Concealer

Powder Blush: Chanel Blush Duo Tweed Effect

Drugstore Powder Blush: Neutrogena Sheer Highlighting Blush in Fresh

Cream Blush: Illamasqua Cream Blusher in Promise

Drugstore Cream Blush: Maybelline Dream Mousse Blush – Soft Plum

Pencil Eyeliner: Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil in Brown Copper

Drugstore Pencil Eyeliner: CoverGirl Perfect Point Plus Eyeliner in Espresso

Cream/Gel Eyeliner: MAC Paint Pot (I use Blackground as a liner, and I love the Groundwork shade as a daytime look on my lids.)

Mascara: Laura Mercier Full Blown Volume Lash Building Mascara

Drugstore Mascara: Prestige My Biggest Lashes Mascara in Very Black

Eye Primer: Kat Von D High Voltage Eye Primer in Skin

Can’t Live Without Eye Shadow Brush: MAC 217

Red Lipstick: NARS Sheer Lipstick in Flamenco

Nude Lipstick: MAC Viva Glam V

Lip Gloss: NARS, Chanel, Dior, Kiehl’s, Korres…too many to count!

Everyday Lip Pencil: Boots No. 7 Line and Define in Nude

DUDE. That’s a lot of links. If you have any specific questions in regards to any of these products (or if I’m missing a product category you’d like to see), let me know in the comments!

Disclaimer: I have received some of these products as samples over the years, but would (and do) spend my money on all of them.

  1. Lindsey

    November 30, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    I love and use a lot of the products on this list!!! How do you think texture creams/sprays would do in fine straight hair?

  2. Annette

    November 30, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    I keep seeing recommendations for the newer Pantene lines but in the past everytime I used them my hair would turn to straw for some reason. Not sure what formulations they were before or if I had at the time a sensitivity to any of the ingredients (too much protein?) so I was wondering if you noticed a difference between now and before

    Also big thumbs up for the aveda curl prep, i borrowed my sisters the other day and loved it!

  3. Sarah

    November 30, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Hey Annette!

    Yes, I think most of the new Pantene formulations make my hair feel much better. (Opposed to the ones from years ago.)

  4. berlin hair baby

    November 30, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    damn, this is a good list. I feel like we could have a few martini’s and really get in depth on it! Sadly though I have to ask my ?s on the internets…..

    what’s your favorite blow-out lotion/spray/creme? I just got layers & started dabbling in blow drying. I feel like I need a special product that creates the perfect blow out.

    wow, Kat von D primer? Intrigued! I also love the Macadamia oil so ditto on that!

    Would also love to see a list of your favorite inspiration websites (professional & amateur) and you tubers.

    xo berlin hair baby

  5. Steph!

    November 30, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    I just misread this quote: “..and I love the Groundwork shade as a daytime look on my lids.)”, as ‘on my KIDS’. I was SO confused and couldn’t figure out why you were using the eyeliner on them… ;)

  6. Sarah

    November 30, 2011 at 2:37 pm


    Oh my goodness, I DIE over the Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream. DIE. It’s all you need – smells amazing, makes hair super shiny and totally frizz-free. The best!

    Yes, Kat Von D! Trust me, it was not even on my radar, but a Sephora associate told me about it, and I love it. I have some pigmentation around my eyelids, and it completely covers the discoloration. Plus, it doesn’t budge or crease once on. (I had tried MANY primers before this one, btw.)

    You know, that’s a great question about websites. I’ll put that on my list, but I will say that the one thing I’m lacking in knowledge about is YouTube! I rarely spend time on YouTube, even though there are so many phenoms on it. (You included!!! In fact, you and Lisa Eldridge are my very faves and I don’t ever miss a video… but I need YOU to tell me who I should be watching!)

  7. Liz

    November 30, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Please add your skin care products to this monster list. Do you use a Clairsonic? Considering adding it to ye olde Xmas list…

  8. Jillian

    November 30, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    What about a hairbrush? I have an older paddle brush that I purchased at a Sephora in Italy that I love. It is old though and some serious wear and tear on it. I went back to Sephora and bought a new one that I hate. So I’m back to square one.

  9. Sarah

    November 30, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    Hey Liz! I did a post about that a few weeks ago. Here you go!


  10. Sarah

    November 30, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    Jillian, Oh no! All of my brush links had disappeared, but they’re back. Hope they help!

  11. Kristin

    November 30, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Great list! I’m bookmarking this for later! :)

  12. christina

    November 30, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    I’ve been wanting to try the Giorgio Armani foundation for awhile. Would it hold up on oily skin? I have oily skin and work with kids all day so I’m moving around and never have time for touch ups.

  13. Caroline

    December 1, 2011 at 7:33 am

    I am wondering about pressed/loose powder. Any drugstroe recs come to mind?

  14. Sarah

    December 1, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Christina, I don’t have oily skin, so I’m not sure on that one. However, there might be a GA foundation for oily skin….have you sampled the GA Face Fabric? I tried it and it leaves a nice, matte finish.

  15. Sarah

    December 1, 2011 at 7:41 am

    Caroline, good question! Anyone have a good rec?