Favorite Things: 2011 edition

2011 delivered some nice discoveries for me: Let’s take a look back at my favorite finds…


I’ve been using Chanel’s Vitalumiére (10 Limpide) for a few years, but in 2011 I discovered the Vitalumiére Aqua (B30 Beige Sable), which I really love. It touts the original’s great blendibility, but has a drier finish, and better lasting power. I find with the Aqua version, I’m less likely to use a setting powder. I still love the original, but the Aqua version has been getting a lot more skin-time!


I tried several new mascaras in 2011: Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real, The Body Shop Divide & Multiply, Dior DiorShow, Dior DiorShow Extase, and Chanel Inimitable. Each of these was excellent, but the one I find myself reaching for almost every morning? The Body Shop Divide & Multiply, with DiorShow Extase coming in as runner-up.

Skin Care

Josie Maran Argan Oil Daily Moisturizer with SPF 40+ is my top facial sunscreen choice of 2011, and that’s saying something, as I consider myself quite the connoisseur of facial sunscreens. It blends effortlessly, and serves double-purpose as a primer under make-up. Added benefit: my skin glows when I wear it, making foundation truly optional.

Body Products

Experiencing Honeycat Cosmetics Rub My Tummy Hand & Body Cream for the first time was a revelation: it’s whipped texture, superior absorbancy, and great smell make it an absolute steal at twelve bucks. It smells of honey and buttermilk, and is so gentle I occasionally indulge and use it on my face.


When I was a kid, I went through phases where I’d eat one particular food exclusively for periods of time. For example, the Macaroni & Cheese period, where I ate boxed mac & cheese for months on end. There’s a lot you can do with mac: add peas, add peas and tuna, add hamburger, add tomatoes… the possibilities are endless. As an adult, I still go through food phases, and 2011 saw me addicted to curries, lentils, mini-peeled carrots, and grapefruit. Yum!

16 thoughts on “Favorite Things: 2011 edition

  1. I’m sad: I can’t think of a single new thing from the last year worth sharing. Not even food-related one! 😦
    Now I’ll wait for others to share their findings, try them and maybe discover something interesting for myself.

  2. I go through food phases too! Wok dishes have been my favorite this past months. 🙂
    The Chanel foundation is really nice, isn’t it? I wear it in B10.
    Lovely things, I’d like to try the Josie Matan sunscreen too…

    1. The wok is a much loved tool in my home too! When Matt first discovered it last year, I swear we had stir-fry for six-months straight… it was a good six-months! 🙂

      Yes, that Chanel is very appealing! It’s just easy to wear– very quick application yields an even, flawless, finish. Something I need more often these days.

      I really, really like the Josie Maran sunscreen. The Estee Lauders have been a long time go-to for me, but I think I may have found a permanent replacement with this argan stuff!

  3. Lovely selection, dee. I’ve heard good things about that Chanel foundation for a long time. If I invest in a bottle this year for “special occasions”, that’ll be the one. I already love Argan oil for my hair so the Daily Moisturizer sounds good to me. The Hand and Body Cream also sounds lovely.

    On an everyday basis I’m wearing the Garnier BB Cream that Vanessa posted about. I think it works well for me because I have very dry skin.

    For my curly hair, this year I’ve found Frederic Fekkai Luscious Curls Curl Enhancing Cream, which is the best I’ve tried.

    Over Christmas I made spicy cauliflower soup which I read about on Lavanya’s blog. It was fantastic and right up your street I would have thought. You can google the Alice Waters recipe though I think it’s a little heavy on the chilli – despite my Indian heritage, I’m a wimp!

    1. Forgot to mention that I got a Parlux hairdryer for Christmas and though pricey, they are the best EVER for blow-drying curly/wavy hair straight.

    2. I’ve been wanting to try some of Lavanya’s recipes! You are spot on– that is RIGHT up my alley 😉

      Indian heritage? I didn’t know this about you!! Hopefully you have delicious secret family recipes to share with me… 🙂

      I’ve had my eye of the Fekkai stuff for a while, and I’m glad you mentioned it. I still haven’t found the right balance here in Texas (my Oregon routine most decidedly does NOT work in Texas) and am ready to try almost anything!!

  4. I’m that somewhat rare and elusive bird, the frugal perfumista, so I save my pennies for my perfume habit, and scrimp on most over things – I am the thrifting queen. Two of my three finds this were drugstore brands, but I’m still happy with them.

    I’ve been wearing sunscreen on my face everyday for about 15 years now (and reaping the benefits as a 40yo), and I just discovered Neutrogena’s Healthy Defense Liquid Moisturizer SPF 50. It’s one of the few 50 SPF products that doesn’t leave a white mask, and less expensive that the Athelios line by La Roche Posay (also great stuff.) It’s very dry where I live, and this product is so lightweight I need more moisturizer than it offers, but a nice feature is it can be applied after something thicker.

    Second drugstore find is Maybelline’s Dream Liquid Mousse, lovely coverage without getting masklike, and it’s the closest match to my skin I’ve ever used.

    Being a drugstore girl, I think it says something that my switch to Nars Orgasm blush was worth every penny. (And boy, a bit goes a long way, so in the long run, not such a splurge.) Man, that stuff is fabulous.

    Food wise, I can’t seem to get enough of anything with cilantro in it, especially homemade pico de gallo. So yummy! So nutritious!

    1. Dionne, that Neutrogena is a favorite of mine! I think I even wrote a post about it… I completely agree, it’s good stuff! I really like it on it’s own, but I don’t like it as much as a primer under foundation– that’s where the argan stuff comes in 🙂

      I’m fond of quite a few drugstore products— it’s the Maybelline Fit blush (it’s a plum, can’t remember the name) that is my absolute go-to favorite! Even above the designer lines…

      Pico is SO GOOD!

  5. This year I have discovered Clarins sunscreen with organic melons, a little tester I received with purchase from Nordstrom’s — have you tried this one? I am making note of your favorite sunscreen (I bet you need a vat of it in Texas!) to make sure and try it.

    Another one — via Carrie Meredith — pumpkin body butter, unscented, although I tried some with scents, and shower products from Haus of Gloi. Lovely!

    No new food this year as far as I can tell. I might remember and come back to report it, LOL!

    1. Olga, I have not tried that particular Clarins— I’ve had mixed luck with them: I particularly love that awakening balm, but their cleansers hate my guts. It sounds like this one is worth testing though. I’m always on the look-out for great facial sunscreens!

      Haus of Gloi has been on my radar too— I need to get sampling! 🙂

      1. You know, if you send me your postal address, I might be sending you a Haus of Gloi care package — if I ever get to ordering, that is! I have the unscented pumpkin butter just run out though, so I guess I will by the end of the month (new collection and by that time I’ll use the scented ones too!)

  6. Considering you are the one that “opened” my eyes to the use of sunscreens and the importance of them especially on my face, I am excited to try the Josie Maran Argan from your 2011 favorites list.
    I am also following your advice and leaving a comment to let you know – “I have read your blog”. 🙂
    Loved the list and will try a few of them!

    Happy Running

    1. Yay Tracey! It’s so nice to “see” you here!

      That Aryan oil sunscreen is freaking divine; each day I use it, I’m a little surprised again by how much I like it 🙂

      I now belong to the cult of running. I thought of you yesterday, when I spent the day sick in bed, then crawled out to run four miles. I will not be stopped! I remember telling you, “one day off won’t kill you…” and now I get it. Happy running to you!


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