we really heart this – review team’s top 10 picks

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Our we heart this review team is a lucky bunch! In our quest to offer wht readers thorough and honest reviews from real life women, they get to experiment with the latest in beauty and test products for the home and kitchen; all in the name of science (as long as you consider comparison shopping and testing beauty products science – which we do!)

After a year of thorough examinations and over 135 reviews, we asked our review team to share their top picks for the best reviewed products of the year 2009. This list is in no particular order, however two reviews shone a little bit brighter and claim the top two spots:

Jo Malone’s Kohdo Wood Collection
First up, the Kohdo Wood Collection from Jo Malone, a limited edition relaunch of two heavenly scents; Lotus Blossom & Water Lily and Dark Amber & Ginger Lily in a candle, bath oil and perfume for each. Tester Christy exclaimed “I can’t even believe how amazing the Lotus Blossom & Water Lily Bath Oil is. Not only is it the prettiest bottle in the bathroom, it makes you and your bathroom smell heavenly for hours on end.” And Lesley says “The Dark Amber & Ginger Lily Cologne is exotic without being overpowering, and, because it’s light, it works just as well in summer as in winter.”

Julie Hewett Camellia Balm
Proof that great things do come in small packages and don’t have to break the bank, Julie Hewett’s unassuming little pots of balm had all of our testers singing its praises and joyous over its many uses. Krista tells us “I reach for it everyday and it’s great on lips and cheeks” (and even cuticles and dry skin). Sherri claims, “There are not enough “amazings” to say how I feel about it. I’d buy it just for the scent, but I love the ruby shade for a natural color on the lip and the just pinched look and dewy-youth-y glow on my cheeks. Super.”

And the eight highly praised reviews that rounded out our testers top ten picks are…

Zelens Skin Science
This line of high-end skin care had our ladies at first try. Says Pam of the Zelens Day Cream “I gave it five stars on my review, and would give it 10 stars if allowed today! I fell fast and hard for this because it is beyond amazing. It’s light, yet offers amazing long-lasting protection from the elements and the most favorable hydration to my face and neck. It really gives my skin continuous hydration, which is a big deal for my dry skin. My skin feels healthy and full of vitality.”

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab
Did you discover the world of BPAL oils through we heart this this year? This gigantic collection of signature oils enchanted our test team. Mel fell hard for the Shub Niggurath scent, “this is my favorite cold weather scent. So warm and comforting, it makes me want to sit by a roaring fire and eat some pumpkin pie!” Cori started to explore the vast library of fragrances “I ordered Miskatonic University after we did the review. It is an Irish coffee smell that fades to a dusty book smell. Love at first scent! And this oil last all day and lingers on my phone so when I forget to wear it I still get to enjoy the scent.”

Fiberwig Mascara
Trust me, our team gives every item a complete examination and this stay-put mascara impressed each and every tester. Krista shares “it doesn’t smudge or budge and makes my lashes look fabulous–one of the best mascaras I’ve ever used.” High praise indeed from one of the biggest makeup junkies we know!

Kusmi Teas
Our review team flipped for these lovingly packaged, uniquely blended teas. Mel says they are “absolutely delicious and are wrapped in beautiful and smart packaging. I love drinking them and am so proud to serve them to company.” Rakisha adds the teas “are so delicious, flavorful, and beautifully packaged. I finished my box a month ago, and I still think back longingly to it. I hope my hubby gets me a set for Valentine’s Day.”

Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
Here’s one of my all-time favorite wht reviewed products; this face wash penetrates oil clogged pores and exfoliates dead skin cells while thoroughly cleansing my skin and leaving it super soft. Susan share my delight and says “I’m addicted to it. Best face wash I’ve tried in years. I panic when I get to toward the end of the tube.”

Silvermark Kitchen products
If you love to work in the kitchen, you will adore this line of colorful, top-notch kitchen tools. Every Silvermark item is fun and functional and will be reached for over and over again (not stashed in the back of a cupboard and sold at the next yard sale). Tiffany agrees “Sometimes I buy kitchen gadgets that just sit there unused, but all my Silvermark products get lots of love.” Foodies, take note, we’ll have more from this brilliant company in the New Year!

Benefit Smokin’ Eyes Palette
This genius little set has all you need to create a flawless smoky eye and perfectly groomed brows to frame them. Throw in the high quality brushes and teeny tiny tweezers for on-the-go portability and you get our review team raving! Stef enthuses, “This palette is sheer genius. I’m pretty good at a smoky eye; I’ve practiced. But even I learned a thing or 2 from this. And the color selection is great. This is one of those rare palettes when everything is usable.”

Smashbox Holiday 09 Collections
These collections rocketed to the top of our review team faves with offerings like the Wish for the Perfect Tools set which helped make up novice Bronwen apply “real grown up eye makeup.” She explains “I’ve always wanted to be able to put on eye shadow but could never really do it right because I didn’t know what brushes to buy. When I tested this set, I followed all the directions to make sure I was using the correct brush for each step. I can now line my eyes over and UNDER! I have never been able to do that without it looking like a total mess! I use every brush and and I no longer have makeup anxiety knowing I have everything I need.”

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.


  • 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. It was so hard to narrow down.. so many amazing products! We testers are one lucky bunch!! Thank you WHT!!

    Julie Hewett, BPAL, Jo Malone.. all of them..it’s like the showcase showdown of goodness :)

  2. First off, I was very honored to be a wht guinea pig. I think testing a reviewing products is a science. (Can we get a government grant? lol.) The Smashbox eyeshadow brushes are the best, hands down, eye shadow brushes I’ve used. They’re so soft, I just found myself layering and layering. :-)

  3. Christy, you hit it on the head.. It was so hard to narrow down soooooooooooo many amazing products.
    The love we have for this site is huge! We are REALLY beyond grateful to play a small part in such a big deal at WHT! We heart you guys!

  4. @lucia – welcome to we heart this! And thanks for your kind words on loving we heart this!

    As you could imagine, “How do I get to be wht tester” is one of our most asked questions. Well, you are in luck!

    We put the call out for new testers once or twice a year by posting the openings on the site. Keep your eyes peeled because we will be adding to our lucky review team very, very soon – look for a post with all the details on applying to the wht Review Team with in the next 2 weeks.

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