The Review Team’s Top 12 Beauty Products of 2012

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Our group of beauty junkies shares their faves of the year

The Review Team's Top 12 Beauty Products of 2012photos: we heart this

Happy New Year we heart this readers! We’ve got lots of great posts and events planned for 2013 that we can’t wait to share with all of you. But today, we’re taking a look back at the year that was with one of our favorite posts – a beauty list!

We asked our seen-it-all review team to share the top beauty products that they tested over the last 12 months. We couldn’t whittle it down to a Top 10, so to honor 2012, we’re going with our Top 12. Once again, three items on our list distanced themselves from the pack for a top spot on our beauty podium:

1.Too Faced La Crème Color Drenched Lip Creams ($21)
Too Faced grabs the gold medal with their exquisitely golden packaged, rich and moisturizing lip colors. We got a look at all 16 shades and fell for each and every one. As tester Krista said “These fulfill my love for tinted lip balm, but with more tint and more balm. These are the most moisturizing lipsticks I’ve ever used – they have the feel of a balm, but the color payoff of a lipstick. What’s not to love?” (buy it hereicon)

MAC Marilyn Monroe Limited Edition Collection
2. MAC Marilyn Monroe Limited Edition Collection (various prices)
MAC always has a few stand out collections every year, but this Marilyn inspired grouping surprised even MAC with its popularity and instant sell out. Our testers swooned over its old Hollywood glamor and gorgeous hues. Amanda exclaimed “This collection not only had awesome packaging but it celebrated classic red. Whether that be on your nails or lips, there was a perfect red for everyone in this bunch!” (sold out)

BPAL Fraggle Rock Collection

3. BPAL Fraggle Rock Collection ($26)
There’s always something magical inside the distinctive brown bottles from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab (BPAL), and this muppet themed collection enchanted our review team. As Kari explains “I think BPAL is quite ingenious with not only their fragrances but also with the themes behind each one, so when I got the Fraggle Rock bottle I flipped out! Fraggle Rock was one of my all time favorite shows as a kid. So when two companies that I think are both smart and fun collaborate on such a high quality product, then there’s no way I could not love this one!” (buy it here)

The following products (listed in alphabetical order) narrowly missed the medals and round out our Top 12 of 2012:

Aveno Pure Renewal Dry Shampoo

4. Aveno Pure Renewal Dry Shampoo ($7.99)
Our busy and sleep deprived team knows the value of a great dry shampoo, and the affordable price of this drugstore fave from Aveeno makes it a true winner. Melinda tells us that the green bottle “has become a staple in my hair care routine for the day after wash to give volume, style, and clean smelling hair.” (buy it here)

Dixie Bits Bath & Body

5. Dixie Bits Bath & Body (various prices)
This cruelty-free and vegan line is an up-and-comer you should discover now – and then you can claim you’ve been a fan forever when the brand is on everyone’s must-have lists. Stef and I flipped for the intoxicating scent and foamy goodness of their Rave In Body Wash, while Lucy shares that “out of all the lotions I’ve sampled this year, hands down my favorite is Whippa Peel. It has a lovely scent and is so moisturizing.” (buy it here)

FAB First Aid Beauty cleanser
6. FAB First Aid Beauty cleanser ($18)
Great beauty products don’t have to be complicated, as this frill-free cleanser proves. The unscented, dermatologist tested face wash cleanses all types of skin with its simple and creamy formula. Marilyn claims “this is one of the all time best cleansers I’ve used – a pea sized amount gets my face squeaky clean, it’s helped clear up my acne, and it’s affordable. You really should try this, especially mixed with a little baking soda! (buy it here )

It Cosmetics Hello Lashes! 5-in-1 Volumizing Mascara

7. It Cosmetics Hello Lashes! 5-in-1 Volumizing Mascara ($24)
The makers of our fave concealer (Bye Bye Under Eye) had us at ‘Hello” with this multi-tasking wonder and ingenious wand that combines a comb brush with a ball wand. A giddy Alyssa exclaims “The wand! This baby conditions, lengthens, volumizes AND gets to even my babiest of baby lashes. I love it!” (buy it hereicon)

Le Métier de Beauté CHEM60 Pro-Peel and GLOW10ai Mask

8. Le Métier de Beauté CHEM60 Pro-Peel and GLOW10ai Mask ($265)
In 2012 our team learned that everything from this line delivers high quality, luxurious beauty that is well worth the splurge. And the latest skin enhancing treatment from LMdB wowed us with just one trip to the counter. Sherri shares that the set is “clearly, my number one pick for the year. I only used this once as an in-store demo but it kept my skin new and glow-y for a week. I was blown away. I have never experienced any product that transformed my skin so thoroughly and so noticeably. Redness decreased dramatically in the hours after the peel, while my skin’s texture transformed to a smooth, pliable, youthful look and feel.” (buy it here)

Milani Shadow Eyez Pencil

9. Milani Shadow Eyez Pencil ($6.99)
While we may lust for expensive beauty, we’re just as big of fans of drugstore items that don’t break the bank. This past year, we’ve been impressed with every affordable Milani product that’s gone through our testing process, but none more so than these vividly hued and long-lasting pencils. Marissa admits “In the packaging, these look a little scary and quite bright. However, the Shadow Eyez stick in Winter White is perfect for brightening the inner corners of eyes. These get an A+ for their bright hues and lasting eye formula!” (buy it here)

Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Prime

10. Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Primer ($39)
Stef and I first got a look at this water-based primer at IMATS LA and were wowed with the formula; so we were thrilled to find the wht testers agreed it’s one of the very best on the market. Instead of silicone, Auto Pilot relies on chamomile, yarrow and vitamin E to prep skin for make up. Kellie gushed it is “one of the best primers that I have ever tried. It provides just enough slip without overwhelming and without an oily or silicone feel. No irritation and excellent staying power for your make-up.” (buy it here)

tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush

11. tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush ($25)
Known for their natural formulas and flattering hues, our review team found plenty to heart with tarte’s Amazonian Clay Blushes. With 16 sweetly packaged shades to choose from, there’s one that’s perfect for you too. Our resident blush fiend Krista first laid her hands on the Shimmer formula and says it was “love at first swatch, folks. The shimmer gives an etherial glow and the Amazonian clay formula imparts a color payoff that lasted for hours – miraculous on me, I assure you. These created an addiction and I’m on a mission to collect them all, with shimmer or without…*insert maniacal laugh here*” (buy it here)

The Organic Pharmacy Skin Care

12. The Organic Pharmacy Skin Care (various prices)
Eco-friendly beauty junkies take note: this line will bring you joy. The British company offers a range of organic skin care crafted with highly active extracts in luxurious, effective formulas that look good and smell great. Melissa claims “their Antioxidant Face Firming Serum was the first product I fell in love with this year, and my usually fickle heart isn’t budging. The serum smells like oranges, and just a few drops a day leaves my skin clear, firm and glowing.” (buy it here)

we heartsters – what were your favorite beauty discoveries of 2012?

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. It also contains an affiliate link, a link that gives us a small commission if you purchase the item. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • tyna

    Tyna is a former editor of we heart this that worries about becoming a crazy cat lady, reads at least a book a week, checks in at a Flyers fan forum every morning and is forever organizing her closets and drawers. skin tone: NW 20/25 skin type: combination favorite beauty product: eye shadows and lip balms

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  1. Is our team smart or what? Love your picks, ladies!

    1. They’re totally smart @Stef – I love the variety of picks on this list!

  2. FAB’s cleanser is a definite win in my book–it’s pretty hard to impress me when it comes to skincare, but this one absolutely does. I’m also a huge fan of MAC’s Marilyn Monroe blush in “The Perfect Cheek,” which may be the perfect blush, and Tarte’s Amazonian Clay blushes! We’re lucky girls to get to test out so many awesome products!

  3. I second what @lipglossandspandex said: we testers are lucky girls indeed! I love these Best Of lists, which always remind me to try things I missed during the year ( It Cosmetics Hello Lashes! 5-in-1 Volumizing Mascara is one thing I plan to pick up).
    Too Faced La Crème Color Drenched Lip Creams are high on my list of favorites this year, as was the MAC Marilyn Monroe Limited Edition Collection for the packaging alone. Of course, I’m happy the Organic Pharmacy Skincare made the list, too!

    1. Me too @lipglossandspandex! Seeing the Too Faced Lip Creams decisively take the top spot in our testers Top 12, and make @Stef‘s list as well, has me so wanting one.

  4. I add my top picks into the testers results as well (and as co-editor I cheat and allowed myself an extra pick, heh) and was thrilled to see so many of my faves adored by the wht testers. For 2013 my picks went to:

    – The Perfect Cheek blush from the MAC Marilyn Monroe Limited Edition Collection – this pink nude stunner really is perfect for my light to medium skintone.

    – Dixie Bits Rave In Body Wash – I’m a bath and body product junkie and this incredibly lush and foamy, yummy scented wash was my favorite shower product of the year. Loved it to bits – hee.

    Le Métier de Beauté CHEM60 Pro-Peel and GLOW10ai Mask – One test at the LMdB counter was all it took; this at-home treatment shocked @sherrishera and me with its results. Visibly better looking skin – all glowy with no redness and smaller pores – that felt great too. And the results lasted for days, not just the few hours or even minutes of some of my other masks and peels. I just wish the price wasn’t so steep.

    Napoleon Perdis Auto Pilot Primer – ever since Imats this has been my my go-to primer. Love the water base formula – it feels lighter than any other primer I’ve used, but works so well to even out my complexion and keep makeup in place. It’s become a staple in my beauty stash.

  5. This is one of my favorite types of wht posts! Some of these I tested and voted for :) Makes me super happy to be a part of this awesome team. I need to check out the others on this list too.

  6. Still loving that wand! :-)

    I love this post every year because it reminds me of the fun things I wanted to try. I’d forgotten that Too Faced’s Honey Bear and Divine Wine were on my list! The same goes for the tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush; Buff, you should be mine!

  7. You can never go wrong with BPAL Scents. I was in love with several of their collections this year. The Dixie Bits lotion is still one of my favorites, moisturizing and smells amazing on. I’m using it again this winter to keep dry skin at bay.

  8. I have tested, tried and love so many of these and I’m very happy to be a part of a great team of testers for WHT. Thank you @Stef and @tyna for the opportunity to test so many fabulous products, many of which I would never otherwise find on my own!

    The Too Faced Lip Creams are amazing and were at the top of my list for lip formulas this past year. I also voted for BPAL, the Fraggle Rock collection took me right back to my childhood and was fun, fresh and whimsical. I forgot all about Milani’s eye pencils but I love mine and use it daily in the corners to brighten my eyes. The formula is so creamy it’s amazing. I agree that this list reminds me of what I missed so I will definitely be checking out the It Cosmetics Hello Lashes and would LOVE to try the Le Métier de Beaute Chem60 Pro Peel and mask, but I will have to save for that one!

  9. Too Faced Lip Creams and those Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes are addictive, y’all. Seriously, you can’t buy just one, they’re THAT fabulous.
    I would love to try the LMDB peel and mask, but I’d have to sell one of my kidneys first. *pouts*
    I do wish that MAC would make the Marilyn Monroe collection items permanent. The complexion powder in it is so much better than my standard face powder…So. Much. Better.

  10. These are great picks for sure! I’ve tested and tried some of these and really liked or rather loved so many of them. Thanks for another great year at WHT! The finest ladies I know! I’m very happy to be a part of a great team! Thank you @tyna & @Stef!
    The one I am dying for is the The Organic Pharmacy Skin Care.. It is calling my name!

  11. I am a huge fan of IT Cosmetics and love all of their products. I was excited to see their mascara made the list. The Dixie bits body scrub is amazing. It literally smells like sunshine and perks me up when I am having a down day.

  12. Great list! All the ones I got to test are for sure some of the best, and the ones I didn’t get to try I am definitely planning to. Love being part of such an outstanding team. Thanks @stef and @tyna for another great year!

  13. A great list and a great group, indeed! I’ve only tried the Aveeno dry shampoo and the FAB cleanser, but both are must-haves and part of my regular routine. I’d love to get my hands on the tarte Amazonian clay products and the MAC Marilyn line! Heck, I’ll check out all of them next time I’m in the stores!

  14. The Marilyn collection was definitely one of my faves this year. That orangey red, super-smooth, long-wearing lipstick still makes me swoon. Of course I loved that LMdB peel, and, yes @tyna, I too wish the price wasn’t so steep. Unfortunately, you really do (usually) get what you pay for. Lots of great stuff tried this year…looking forward to 2013!

  15. What a great list! We sure are lucky to try these great products! I must get me some of those Too Faced Lip Creams ! They sound amazing!
    Thanks Stef and Tyna for a great year of products!!!

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