Our favorite beauty products of 2010 – Stef’s picks

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Though Tyna is no slouch in the beauty department, I am definitely the more beauty product obsessed half of this duo. Seriously, when I say I live and breath cosmetics, I’m only slightly exaggerating. I’ve tried just about every item that passes through wht headquarters (hence the reason for my own list, in addition to the review team’s picks). These are the products that had me the most excited…

In the makeup category, my picks are as follows…

Hourglass Femme Rouge with a red shade

Hourglass Femme Rouge – The review team chose Prodigy gloss as one of their top picks, but for me, Femme Rouge had me at first glance. It’s hard to deny the beautiful case, but it’s what inside that really got me. It’s one of the smoothest, most velvety formulas of lipstick I’ve ever tried. The icing on the cake is that it’s long lasting too. This is one gorgeous product, inside and out!

tarte smooth operator – I am a tinted moisturizer connoisseur, and prefer it to foundation any day. Smooth operator has easily become my all time favorite. The perfect amount of coverage, a light as air feeling, oil-free and spf 20 (that I, an spf hater, can not detect at all). Absolute perfection!

Peter Thomas Roth Lashes to die for, The Mascara

Peter Thomas Roth Lashes to die for, The Mascara – I have to admit, I rarely get excited about mascara. Because I have more brands that I don’t like then I do, I go into a new mascara expecting to be let down. How excited I was to be proven wrong! I love the brush, with it’s tiny, spiked plastic bristles. And the formula gives me exactly what I want: long, separated, defined lashes.

e.l.f. small Smudge brush

e.l.f. small Smudge brush – This little piece of perfect will set you back exactly 3 bucks. And what will that give you? Why, an eye shadow brush that I don’t think anyone should be without! Perfect for smudging liners/shadows, laying precise, bright pops of color, filling in brows, and even applying concealer. I reach for it every time I apply makeup. EVERY time.

MAC Fabulous Felines collection

MAC Fabulous Felines – It was hard to pick between this and To the Beach, but the Burmese Beauty quad took Fab Felines into the lead in my eyes. Oh, this palette! It’s just so pretty. Not to mention Jealous lip glass taking my nude lip looks to a whole new level. Plus, the concept of the collection just couldn’t be beat. Me-ow!

Benefit Velvet eye shadows

Benefit Velvet eye shadows – Like the adorable packaging, LOVE the smooth, highly pigmented product within. I already thought Benefit could do no wrong, Velvet eye shadow proves it. And taupe lovers, do yourself a favor and pick up Where There’s Smoke. I still say “ooh!” every time I apply it!

OCC Lip Tar

OCC Lip Tar – The only makeup item to make both mine and the review team’s favorite list. This product is like nothing I ever tried. One tiny dab of color covers your lips and wears for hours. Not to even mention the rainbow of available shades! I’m fighting the urge to run out and buy every one.

In the skincare category, my picks are as follows…

M Lab serum set

M Lab serum – This product is as luxurious as it gets. Sleek black packaging filled with a thick serum that is formulated with 74% clinically active ingredients that work, actually work! My skin has looked better (firmer, brighter, dare I say younger) ever since.

EmerginC Protocell cream

EmerginC Protocell cream – Here’s another item to make mine and the review team’s favorite list. Actually, this made everyone’s list who got to try it (the only product that did!) Oily, dry, young or old – this cream somehow magically figures out what your skin needs and delivers it.

In the haircare category, my picks are as follows…

Leonor Greyl Shampoo Reviviscence

Leonor Greyl Shampoo Reviviscence – Oh, this shampoo makes my heart skip a bit! It’s a rich consistency I liken it to creamy honey, and in envelops your hair in moisturizing, sweetly scented bubbles, leaving it looking so richly nourished that I may actually shed a tear when I use the last drop.

Living Proof Straight Making styling creamLiving Proof Straight Making styling cream – This product has cut down on the time it takes to style my hair so much, I want to kiss the scientists who developed it’s key ingredient (polyfluro ester) right on the mouth! My hair gets so silky straight, I can skip the flat iron.

Anyone agree with my picks? Disagree? Let me know what you loved in 2010!

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • Stef Andrews

    Stef is a plethora of things. Amongst them: co-founder of we heart this, photographer, condiment connoisseur, Philly girl in the California desert, borderline hoarder and a hardcore beauty junkie. She also has a touch of wanderlust and, arguably, the cutest dog in the whole world... skin tone: NC 25/30 skin type: oily with a fear of rosacea favorite beauty product: high end skincare and lip products


  1. I can’t comment because I am too busy scribbling down these products in my beauty notebook!
    Tarte tinted moisturizer, M Lab and Leonor Greyl….I’m sold!

  2. I didn’t try many of your beauty choices, but as far as skincare and haircare, I’m with you 100%! For instance, I’ve become increasingly rabid in my love of M Lab. I’ve been using the cream version of the serum you described, and I can honestly say it’s worth every penny of its obscenely high price. My skin has never looked better!

    Ditto for EmerginC Protocell cream. It’s the best all-purpose moisturizer I’ve ever used. I’m on my second jar and fully plan to go back for more.

    And I have not used my flat iron once since discovering Living Proof Straight Making cream! A little dollop, a blow dryer and a round brush, and my hair is straight as a pin.

    P.S. LOVE your nails in the e.l.f. pic!

  3. I’m dying to try M Lab! I’m saving my pennies for sure. I’m also so excited to see a mascara on this list. I’m definitely trying it. In the meantime…I’m off to Target for that elf brush! ;-)

  4. The OCC Lip Tar that I received was great! … It’s like paint, practically.

    I love your nails in the elf picture too!!

  5. Oh Peter Thomas Roth mascara, I am so in love with you! It does such a great job of giving long, lush eyelashes. I’m still loyal to this one. Totally kicked my old brand to the curb!

    And M Lab…love this stuff! It’s especially great now since the winter weather is so hard on the skin.

  6. As the beneficiary of Stef’s vast knowledge of all things beauty since my early teens, I must say I’m so happy she can share her wisdom with everyone! If Stef truly loves a product, you know it’s good. I did not test a number of these products, but the ones I did rocketed to the top of my list too.

    Number One with a Bullet is the EmerginC Protocell – I had tucked my half used jar away for winter use and pulled it out thinking there was no way it could live up to my memory – but it totally did. This is totally lush and soothing lotion that works with oily skin – my dry winter skin is loving it.

    Also must second the adoration of the tarte smooth operator and PTR Mascara – both top notch products – great formulas, packaging, staying power etc that have become regulars in my beauty routine.

  7. I agree with so many of these! I haven’t tried Tarte Smooth Operator or the Emergin C, but want to really bad. I, too, am a big fan of the Living Proof Styling Cream…it has my naturally curly hair looking straighter and sleeker whenever I blow it out, love it!

  8. Great pics @Stef. Love Tarte’s Smooth Operator and the Living Proof Styling Cream. Your testimonial for EmerginC Protocell just made me break down and buy some. I’m out of moisturizer and have been hunting for a new one to try. Skinstore has 20% off all products right now so it was a good time to give it a try.

  9. Ooo….most things for the wish list. (The lip tar and EmerginC Protocell cream have been on it since the first posts!)

    I’m ALSO loving the nails, I had that same mani last week! :-)

  10. I maintain my love for the Living Proof styling cream products, they’re amazing! Once the summer humidity hits I NEED the wave shaping anti-frizz cream. It works wonders for my hair, the kind I’ve never experienced with another product.

    I think ELF brushes are a relatively undiscovered treasure. Who knew that such an inexpensive brush could be so great?! I own all the ELF brushes now (it’s such a small investment, how could I resist?) and they’re mainstays in my beauty routine. Love it!

    Now spill @Stef – what are you wearing on your nails in that picture? It’s beautiful!

  11. I was late for work when I saw this go up and I STILL took the time to read it – I respect Stef’s picks so much! I didn’t try many of these but sure wish I would have! I can speak to the Benefit shadows being velvety and pigmented and the lip tar being very long-lasting. I didn’t have as great of luck with the living proof cream, as I need some silicone for my super-thick hair, but it still did help my frizz and I know works wonders on more normal hair. Great-looking list – thanks, Stef!

  12. My nails in the e.l.f. pic is Sally Hansen Salon effects, peel and apply strips.
    Cute right? Very easy to apply, long wearing. Post coming soon…

  13. I completely agree with the Lip Tar. I hadn’t included it in my “top” list but should have. It is an absolutely amazing product–literally paint for your lips. It wears forever and takes just a drop for opaque awesomeness!
    And I don’t know about the shampoos but the Leonor Greyl magnolia oil was a def top pic of mine. I just ran out so I gotta get me some more.

  14. @Stef, your nails look so cool in that photo! :)

    I’m a huge fan of MAC’s To the Beach collection… I have one of the lipglasses with the seahorse on it and it’s just too cute. And one of the eyeshadows (it’s practically neon green haha).

    And I love ELF’s studio line of brushes. They’re cheap, and frequently on sale, and they’re pretty decent brushes.

  15. The price is a bit high for me for the EmerginC stuff but it’s totally haunting me. I might have to keep it in mind for then I have a bit extra money on hand :)

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