we really heart this – Stef’s beauty picks of ’09

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collage featuring la mer lip balm, extreme sheen lip gloss, tarte lip gloss and blonde woman with an orange flower in her hairphoto: we heart this

Though Tyna is no slouch in the beauty department, I am definitely the more beauty product obsessed half of this duo. Where as she can leave the house without any makeup on, I put on a minimum of 10 products to go get milk. Sitting down at my vanity every morning and pondering what lip gloss I’m going to wear is sometimes the best part of my day, seriously. These are the review products that had me the most excited his year.

In the makeup category, my awards are as follows…

Best new red – Hourglass Extreme Sheen lip gloss in Siren
This metallic red, with a hint of coppery orange, has been my go-to red ever since it’s arrival. The bonus? Extreme Sheen is one the best lip gloss formulas on the market!

Palette I can’t seem to put down – Julie Hewett Twilight
Well, bite my neck and call me Bella! This palette is versatile, stunning and one of my new favorite products.

Product I never thought I’d own – Benefit That Gal primer (from the Bright Lights, Big City! kit)
Until now, I have never met a primer that my oily skin liked. But Benefit changed all that for me. That Gal creates a smooth, bright base that sometimes makes my skin look so great, I skip everything else!

The “Can I marry an eyeliner?” award – Face Stockholm Precision Eyeliner
I love a good cat eye, and have tried just about every liquid liner out there in search of the perfect one. Found it!

Well worth the splurge – Crème de la Mer The Lip Balm
I will buy this pot of deliciousness again and again now that I know of it’s joy. The best balm I have ever used.

Favorite Holiday set – tarte Crown Jewels
This was a tight race, as we got the chance to try some really amazing collections this year. But I have to go with Crown Jewels. You can’t give a gloss addict a set of 15 glosses and not get an award! And my god, every one of these is more gorgeous than the next.

Product that changed my life – Anastasia Perfect Brow Pencil
How’s that for a curve ball; I picked an eyebrow pencil! But no ordinary pencil, one that is my exact shade, is easy to use and stays put all day. I actually love doing my brows now, and used to despise it.

The “Overall fabulous” award – Smashbox
For wowing me collection after collection, I give a big shiny award to Smashbox. From the beautiful earthiness of Untamed, the regal and utterly gorgeous Reign, and the stunning diversity and philanthropic nature of the Wish Holiday collection, Smashbox rocked it this year, and hard!

In the hair category, awards go to…

The “How did I live without this?” award – Kérastase Bain Oléo-Relax
How do you turn sad, overworked hair into a thing of down-right beauty? Why, I just told you!

Most fun – Rsession Tools Pin-up Girl hair kit
The kit has a foam donut that you hide in your hair to create height. Enough said!

And in skincare, the winners are…

The “How to look like you just got a facial” award – Kate Somerville Exfolikate
Beautiful skin in 20-30 seconds. Yes, seconds. Get 25 facials for the price of one. Brilliant!

The “Too good to share” award – Jurlique Purely Age-Defying Hand Treatment
I treat this like gold because it turns my dry, creature looking hands into pretty lady hands in an instant. Just ask Tyna, she used about half the tube last time she was here (before I hid it)!

My favorite product of the year – Zelens Advanced Luminescence Serum
Hands down, this is my absolute favorite item I reviewed this year. My skin loves it and it shows. It’s like magic in a bottle!

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’m with you on your picks Stef! I will bow down to Zelens right beside you! Love your fancy do too! Great lips! Must be Hourglass Extreme Sheen lip gloss in Siren?? Happy New Year!

  2. Great picks Stef. I loved the Zelens moisturizer and can only imagine how good the serum is.

  3. Such good picks, all top notch..I need to start a fund to save for that Zelens serum!! :)

  4. I just tried the Benefit That Gal primer and wow, it really does brighten up my complexion and perk me up a bit. I have a slight fear of primers, but that one is really lovely.
    Everyone knows I agree about how fabulous Smashbox is—I kinda love them :)
    I found the pin-up girl kit at Ulta a few months ago and I was really excited about the foam donut–I just need my hair to grow about another inch so I can use it to put my hair in a full bun…it is so much fun to play with!

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