It’s that time of year again, when everyone likes to compose their ‘top 5/10/20′ etc. lists which sum up opinions of what made an impact on them during the outgoing year. I like reading these a lot, but am not fully sold on composing them myself; my lists tend to be quite small, as I’m terribly discerning when it comes to what constitutes as a favorite – and also because I rarely love a product consistently enough and get bored quickly (I’m a fickle beast, I know). However, when I develop a loyalty to someone or something, it truly sticks. The following list is dedicated to my absolute favorite beauty blogs, which give me such pleasure to read and are well-deserved of recognition (not that they need my help, mind you, but I always love to give credit where credit it due!). And so, without further ado, here are the blogs that rocked my world in 2012:
1) Best Makeup Swatches
- Bloomin’ Beauty
Danielle’s swatches are of perfect clarity, and her makeup collection is large enough that she easily has some of the best comparison swatches I’ve ever seen. She took a well-deserved hiatus in the fall, and is STILL one of the best resources I’ve found online for product swatches!
- The Beauty Look Book
Sabrina’s swatches are a great reference point for any beauty enthusiast, and she also has a vast high-end makeup collection, which is invaluable when you don’t want to waste your hard earned money on duplicate shades (and she almost always does comparison swatches). Also, she has the good fortune to live somewhere that seems perpetually sunny, and is able to capture the nuances and sparkle of the shades in the sunlight.
2) Best Polish Swatches
- Ommorphia Beauty Bar
I have the proud honour of being one of the first readers of Eugenia’s blog – I don’t recall how I stumbled upon it, but I am SO thankful I did! Even looking back to her first photos, her swatches were still perfection, and have impossibly improved even since then. She is, bar none, the very first resource I go to when I want to see shots of the newest collections, and somehow can turn even a ho-hum shade into something I should desperately covet.
- Burb Beauty
I came across Lola’s blog while looking for comparison swatches of some random shade (I habit I have of doing before I buy any new polishes!) – she had been posting a series called ‘Purge Wars’ in which she swatched potential dupe shades within her collection, and instantly I was hooked. She has exceptional swatches and a HUGE collection of shades, writes concise reviews, and is an all-around lovely person Plus, an additional bonus for me is her skintone is similar to mine, which make choosing shades that much easier!
3) Inspires the Most Lemmings
- Bloomin’ Beauty
For the reasons I noted above, plus Danielle’s exuberance when describing her own particular favorites and seeing her pretty face wearing the products, she easily makes almost every item she shows lemming-worthy!
- Ommorphia Beauty Bar
Again, same reasons as above – honestly, this gal KILLS me every day with another new polish to add to my wishlist. On top of her fantabulous swatches, her way with words will hook you in Every. Damn. Time.
4) Best for Brown-Skinned Gals
- Makeup and Beauty Blog
If a product catches my eye that I’m unsure will look good on my skintone, I needn’t go any further than Karen’s blog, as she generally has reviews of any new product coming out, and is very close in color to myself. With my penchant for online shopping lately, having a reference point helps immensely as not all shades will work for everyone, and some are less pigmented than others, which can render them almost useless to me. Karen most definitely saves the day!
- Weekend Ramblings
As a relative newcomer to Radhika’s blog, I was so pleased to discover it in my search for shade swatches, as it gives me such a better idea on whether or not certain colors will work for me / show up on my skintone. As there aren’t a lot of blogs featuring darker skintones, I am so grateful to find another that reviews current, department store products (as we all know I’m a snob)!
5) Most Likely to Have You Laughing Out Loud
- Makeup Morsels
The very first time I read MM’s blog, she had drawings she made of a stick figure doing lunges – how can you not love a gal who can get silly like that? I laughed my ass off, and continue to do so each and every time I read a post – her witty humor and hilarious geekery are SO up my alley. I came to realize that her stick figures are one of her signatures, and every time she pulls them out my day is made that much better.
- Beyond Just Beauty
Sometimes I can get pretty wordy with my posts, but Amy beats me hands down in that category! What makes her posts so much more worthwhile to get through though, is her self-depreciating humor and her natural ability to tell a story. Add to that her insanely fabulous vocab and you’ve got one excellent read on your hands! Her blog title really tells it all – it’s not just beauty reviews that I keep coming back for!
- Beauty Reflections
I adore a good quirk in a person, and Tracy’s got quirkiness in spades! She’s got to have one of the best imaginations out there (hello, Zombie Apocalypse!), and infuses every post with comic phrases and a huge dose of fun. She’s the one you KNOW would be the life of the party and you just can’t help but absorb her cheerful energy every single time.
6) Best FOTD
- Messy Wands
Every single face shot that Xiao posts is just so insanely gorgeous that you essentially feel like buy everything she’s showing right on the spot. She always uses makeup in a unique way, pairing colors and using techniques I’d never even think of, and is fearless when it comes to pretty much any look. When I’m in need of inspiration, this is one of the first places I turn to.
- Drivel About Frivol
I almost feel unworthy even trying to sum up Kate in a few words, because she is just in a league all her own. I have yet to come across another blog that manages to showcase incredibly unusual yet still beautiful looks – the way she pairs what seems like odd color combinations together and manages to look amazing nonetheless is a skill I’d LOVE to learn!
7) Most Original Content
- Eye Heart It
While I can appreciate a structured post in which you can scan the goods in mere seconds and move on, true enjoyment when I sit down to go through my RSS feed comes from those posts you can really get into; the ones you can relate to and which feel a bit more ‘real’. The beauty of Larie’s blog lies in the fact that she doesn’t follow a formula – she marches to her own beat, and nails it every single time, without feeling scattered (as I sometimes can be). I always feel like what she has to say carries weight to it – you want to listen to what she has to say, and it always feels authentic.
- Beauty Reductionista
In the original sense, a blog was a tool to use in which you could discuss your opinions and personal reflections on your life and interests. To me, Liz’s blog is the epitome of this. Her interest (one of them, anyway) is makeup and beauty (and candles!! LOL), and in between we learn about her life and gain insight into her personality. There’s a reason she has a strong following: because while reading her blog, she becomes someone you want to know, and someone you care about. Her personality BLAZES through, and the fact that she writes about makeup is just an added bonus, because she could write about dust bunnies and I would keep coming back for more.
8) Most Thorough
Rae’s reviews are, simply put, perfect. She has the perfect combination of information, photos (arm and face swatches), and personality, which makes for endlessly good reading. It can be a fine line between detail and becoming detached, but she manages to pull it off and make it look easy in the meantime!
- The Beauty Sample
Becca’s blog style reminds me the most of my own in the fact that her enthusiasm for makeup mirrors mine – and we can both get a bit chatty It’s a pleasure to read what she has to say, as she takes the time to truly evaluate a product and explain each nuance. With the hoards of cosmetics I accumulate, this is important to me as I want to know exactly why *this* product is not like another product I own and thus is justifiable in purchasing (word of caution – you WILL find yourself enabled! lol).
9) Most Refined
- Glossed in Translation
Ack! Elizabeth has truly got to be ‘the fairest of them all,’ and this doesn’t just refer to her porcelain looks. I’m certain she’s much younger than I, yet when she writes I feel as if I’m hearing from an expert in the matter. Her choice of products is always enviably sophisticated, and I feel that when she makes a purchase she uses exceptional judgement and taste. I always feel that her reviews are well thought-out and each opinion is not made lightly!
- My Lucite Dreams
Aside from Taylor’s flawless skin, which could sell just about any product, she presents herself in a way that always makes me feel calm, cool, and collected. She is the epitome of sophistication and has a well-edited stash of cosmetics that are always presented beautifully and tastefully. She rarely features anything but the very best!
10) Most Flawless Technique
- Call It Beauty
I’m fairly certain Dani could just have a lipstick blog and I would be just as satisfied – girl can WEAR some color on that gorgeous pout! – but she’s also got a serious talent for eye makeup as well, and when she puts it all together, it truly is stunning! With her sweet features, the contrast between them and the touch of edginess she has with makeup makes for an absolutely fabulous juxtaposition which I always find myself trying to recreate (to no avail, sadly!).
- Glitter Geek
~sigh~ Those dimples! Arianne has an unfair advantage because of her chiseled features, of course – but even despite her lovely genes, she clearly has this makeup thing DOWN. Even the most basic look turns into something magical, and at the same time, she makes it feel achievable. She is a perfect example of someone who knows her face and coloring well, and uses that knowledge in the best way possible (which is, to make us all terribly jealous!).
…And now you all know what I spend my time doing most hours of the day! Reading all of these blogs, ogling over makeup, laughing at their hilarity and commiserating when they have a bad day. For someone who doesn’t really have any friends who share my love of cosmetics, discovering beauty blogs several years ago was like coming home. Even though my spending has been somewhat curbed, beauty is still in my blood and this is how I get my fix – living vicariously through all of these lovely ladies! So, if you haven’t already, I highly suggest you start reading them all, stat! I promise you won’t be disappointed!
Happy New Year to everyone – I hope you all celebrate the end of another year in the very best of ways!! See you in 2013!