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. MommyTime

    December 1, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    For Caroline: I love my Bare Minerals powder foundation, which for me (a makeup very very minimalist) is all the powder I want/need on my face. It evens out the complexion while still looking fairly nude and natural, and I can put my Tarte cheek stain or cream blush over it. If that and a splash of mascara and lip gloss is all I have time for (which is most days), I still look put together.

    Which leads me to my question: what is the best hair product you’d recommend to tame that baby fuzz look to which curly hair is prone? I find that at the end of most days, even when my curls (hair is long) still look all right, the top of my head has a halo of fuzzed-up hair. To be fair, I spend about five minutes on my hair in the morning, so I need something that won’t add substantial time. I LOVE the Bumble & Bumble curl creme for soft hold (also the Sebastian molding mud, when I’m going to dry my hair), but neither controls that fuzz. Do I need a smoothing cream? Somsthing else? Any suggestions, both of product and how/when to use it?

  2. Molly

    December 3, 2011 at 7:43 am

    Hi Sarah,

    Awesome list–your makeup always looks flawless. What shade are you using in the Luminous Silk foundation?


  3. KH

    December 3, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Thanks SO MUCH for this!

    Another question: any recommendations for make-up remover?

  4. Lisa

    December 7, 2011 at 1:43 am

    love the post, thank you so much! I just got the oribe texturizing spray and am struggling to achieve the kind of volume that you got. Could you please tell me how you get it to work so well for you?

  5. wing_lee

    December 8, 2011 at 12:07 am

    hi, i like

  6. Sarah

    December 8, 2011 at 11:32 am


    I wear shade 4.75. :)

  7. Sarah

    December 8, 2011 at 11:33 am


    Bioderma Crealine is wonderful, but a little hard to find.

  8. Sarah

    December 8, 2011 at 11:34 am


    Flip your hair over and spray while blowing your hair around with a dryer. Flip back over and and scrunch and run fingers through your hair. (I have a video that will be on Style United soon doing this exact trick. Hang tight!)

  9. Liz

    December 12, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    You don’t color your hair do you? I need a drug store or semi affordable shampoo/conditioner for color treated curly/dry hair and my hair girl said not to use anything pantene.

  10. hairb

    December 20, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog a few times and this is the first time
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