The Best of 2011: Nail Polish, Nail Art, Makeup, Skincare & Fragrance

Swatch And Learn The Best of 2011It’s been quite a year, hasn’t it?

I’ve tried all sorts of new beauty products including nail polishes. And I’ve had tons of fun coming up with nail-art designs!

Now that it’s the last day in 2011, it’s time to reflect upon the year.

I’d like to share with you my Best of 2011 list!Β I still have a ton of favourites from last year, so these picks are strictly new ones that I’ve blogged about in 2011.

You’ll see it broken down into the following categories: nail polish (duh), nail art (double duh), fragrance, makeup, and skincare.Β All lists are in no particular order. (It was difficult enough to whittle down my picks for the nail polishes!)

Feel free to click on the links – they’ll take you to the blog post with the swatches, reviews, and tutorial (where appropriate).

Now I’m so curious about what you think!

Is there a lacquer that you feel I sorely missed including? Have you found your Holy Grail facial cleanser? What nail-art design have you worn in 2011 that you would consider wearing again in 2012?

Please weigh in with your picks! We’re all different, but our love for beauty products brings us together. πŸ™‚

Top 10 Nail Polishes of 2011

Clarins 230 Unicorn Pee Review & Swatches

Clarins 230 (aka Unicorn Pee)



Top 10 Favourite Nail-Art Designs I’ve Done in 2011

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Nail Art Tutorial & Pictures

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Nail Art



Best Fragrances of 2011

Slatkin & Co. Frosted Cupcake Candle Review & Pictures

Slatkin & Co. Frosted Cupcake Candle



Best Skincare of 2011

Shiseido Sunscreen Review & Swatches

Shiseido Ultra Sun Protection Lotion SPF 50 for Face/Body



Best Makeup of 2011

Urban Decay 24-7 Glide-on Eye Pencils 15-Year Anniversary Collection Review

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencils 15 Year Anniversary Collection


What are your favourites for nail polishes, nail art, fragrances, skincare, and makeup that you’ve tried in 2011?


16 thoughts on “The Best of 2011: Nail Polish, Nail Art, Makeup, Skincare & Fragrance

  1. maddy

    You have included lots of my favorite candles, skincare products and polishes. I love all the nail art you included there too. How are you going to spend New Year’s? My family and I are just going to stay at home, get organized and maybe watcha movie. The holidays have been busy and I just need to relax.

    Happy New Year’s Eve!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey maddy!

      HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE to you, too! πŸ˜€

      Your plans sound really relaxing. I’m sure that you’ll have fun. After all the hustle and bustle with Christmas, it’s good to just chill out sometimes.

      I’ll be going out with my boyfriend to a restaurant – probably I’ll get a steak. (I was a vegetarian for years, but have recently started eating meat again. I don’t eat meat every day yet, though, but I’m craving a good steak!) Then we’re going to have some drinks and just relax. No crazy plans.

      (Actually, I’ve never really had an over-the-top celebration for the 31st. Every year is just really down-to-earth, and that’s what I prefer. Although, I do like hearing about wild New Year’s Eve plans because they sound fun.)

  2. Vivian

    Happy new years Mary! I hope you had a great 2011! I love your skincare list. I swear by half of those products, especially the cuticle cream and shiseido sunscreen which I use daily no matter the occasion. As for your nail art list, I can’t believe you didn’t include your candy corn nails! Those were my favorite! πŸ˜€ I hope you have a good new years, and see you in 2012 πŸ˜€

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Vivian!

      Happy New Year to you, too! πŸ˜€ 2011 was pretty good, but I hope that 2012 will be even better.

      Hehe, a lot of people loved those candy corn nails. I was so flattered at the positive response they got! Thank you! πŸ™‚

  3. karen

    Hey, Mary!

    Looks like we have quite a few shared favourites πŸ˜€ Loved those pengy nails and Burts Bees Cuticle cream is my all-time favourite skin care item.

    Barely scraping a new nail design in on the last day of this year, but will definitely be practicing more til I get it absolutely perfect. Sis gifted me with a nail stamping set…so tonite we’ll be ringing in the new year together watching movies and painting nails. First on the agenda, Finger Paints ‘Laugh My Art Off’ with OPI DS Radiance stars stamped on it!

    Happy New Year!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey karen!

      I’m so excited for you getting that nail-stamping kit! You’re going to love it so much. That was really thoughtful of her. πŸ™‚ I remember when I bought my first Konad supplies and tried them out – you realize that there are SO MANY untapped designs and that you can easily put your creative spin on so many manicures!

      Your design with Laugh My Art Off and DS Radiance sounds like such a fun combination. Hope you had fun!

      Happy New Year! πŸ™‚

  4. CupK8

    Happy New Year, Mary! I hope 2012 is good to you!

    While I love all your nail art designs, I think your Candy Corn nails belong on the best of list too. But then, I’m biased, because those were the nails I wore that got the most compliments this year. xD

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey CupK8!

      HAPPY NEW YEAR! I also hope that 2012 brings you a lot of success – personal, professional, etc. May it be a happy year!

      Wow, I’m flattered that you liked the candy corn nail design so much! πŸ™‚ It’s interesting how I almost didn’t share that design on here because of my weird insecurity about my ring finger’s shape. (It sounds silly…) But when that nail looked like a real candy corn…hehe, I had to suck it up and put it out there. It was a huge relief that you and my other wonderful readers received it so positively. The support made me feel better about my odd nail!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Marisa!

      HAPPY NEW YEAR! πŸ˜€

      It’s such a shame that Clarins 230 isn’t still made…and for a reasonable price. That’s a polish I feel like every nail-polish collector needs to have. It totally transforms colours in a way that’s unlike anything else. And I’m crazy about multichromes!

  5. Kevin

    Happy New Year to you, Mary. I’ve been reading your Slatkin candle reviews since receiving a Twisted Peppermint candle as a Christmas gift this year. I had that candle burning whenever I was home until it was completely gone. Now I’m haunting both the Bath & Body Works store and website and cashing in on their Semi-Annual Sale. I’ve purchased about 15 candles and 30 assorted Wallflower fragrances. So far, my favorites are Twisted Peppermint, Sticky Toffee Pudding (smells more like warm maple syrup, but still delicious!), Gingerbread (you’re right, more of a ginger cookie smell), Cranberry Pear Bellini and my favorite by far, Marshmallow Fireside. That last one is featured in three rooms in my home and it smells wonderful. A very subtle, warm, happy fragrance that is perfect for chilly Winter days and evenings.

    Keep those candle reviews coming; they are very informative, well written and very much appreciated!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Kevin!

      HAPPY NEW YEAR! πŸ˜€ I really hope that 2012 will be an outstanding year for you!

      Wow, you’ve built up a great collection! πŸ˜€ (I’ve never tried any Wallflowers before, but I’ve been tempted to. The little plug-in designs are so cute!)

      The Sticky Toffee Pudding scent you mentioned sounds yummmmmy! I don’t think I’ve smelled that one before, but if I see it in the store, I’ll have to grab it. Sweet scents are usually right up my alley.

      Hmm…and I’m beginning to think now that my Marshmallow Fireside candle was a dud. So many other people are raving about the scent. My candle hardly smelled even after I burned it for a long time. And I wanted to love it, too! Maybe, if I’m lucky, I’ll be able to get my hands on another one…one that hopefully isn’t a dud.

      Thank you sooooo much for saying what you did about my candle reviews. πŸ™‚ It means a lot to me (and it also makes me feel normal about hoarding so many Slatkin & Co. candles…hehe). I will definitely keep those reviews coming, especially since I know how much you appreciate it. πŸ™‚ It makes my day knowing that you find them helpful!

      1. Kevin

        Hi Mary,

        Your ‘Best Of’ Product Reviews inspired me to share a few personal favorite fragrance finds with you and your readers. I hope you’ll be inspired to check out a few of these:

        Antica Farmacista Linen Sprays (Peony/Gardenia/Rose, Champagne)-These are ridiculously pricy, indulgent items for those times when (reasonable) money is no object. Both fragrances are highly concentrated and are basically perfume for your ironed items. I sprayed my pillow cases with the Peony fragrance undiluted and the aroma lasted for about four washings! The former fragrance is a heady, over-the-top floral that’s beautiful whereas the Champagne fragrance is very fresh with pronounced green notes added to the light champagne scent. Is there anything nicer than nestling your head on a fragrant, ironed pillow case at the end of a long day?

        Lush Soap (Honey I Washed The Kids)-OMG, the equivalent of bathing with an oversized toffee bar, this soap is THE BEST. The aroma is buttery sweet and really explodes in a hot shower while the soap itself is gentle and leaves your skin ultra-soft and smooth. Expensive here in the States, it’s a great holiday gift or splurge.

        Neutrogena Deep Moisture Body Cream (Butter Cream)- When I was a little kid growing up in suburban Chicago IL, we always had a box of Fanny Mae butter creams sitting in the living room of our house at Christmas time. This rich body cream replicates the scent of those candies spot on! I could just sit and sniff the opened jar all day. If you love BBW’s Slatkin Frosted Cupcake candle, this will keel over with pleasure. Yes, it’s that good!

        Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Extreme Eau de Toilette- This is basically a Tahitian Vanilla mainline straight to the pleasure center of your brain. It’s a very rich vanilla fragrance that smells great on a hot Summer evening when lightly sprayed on your sheets. (FYI the first luxury scented candle I ever bought was from this line. I got it at Fred Segal, a trendy department store in L.A. about 30 years ago, when these types of candles were hard to find. It was around $100USD and was my most prized possession for years. It smelled WONDERFUL!).

        Thank you again for your entertaining, informative blog. Here’s wishing you and your site much luck in 2012!

        1. Mary Post author

          Happy New Year, Kevin!

          Thank you for sharing these favourites! πŸ˜€

          I’ve never tried any linen sprays before, and that Champagne one sounds luxurious. I can just picture myself calling it a night and smelling the scent as I drift off to La La Land.

          Okay, you sold me on the Lush soap. Once I read “the equivalent of bathing with an oversized toffee bar”, I was a goner. That sounds like it smells absolutely delicious!

          I also need to try the Neutrogena Deep Moisture Body Cream. I want to keel over with pleasure! πŸ˜‰ Ever since I smelled the Slatkin & Co. Frosted Cupcake candle, I wished that there was bodycare products that smelled like it.

          Oh my – $100 USD for a candle? You do know how to live it up! Haha, I feel like a cheapskate buying Slatkin & Co. candles and waiting for the 2 for $30 CAD sales here! One day when my pocketbook has more cushioning, I want to splurge and treat myself with something absolutely decadent.

          Thanks again for your encouragement! And, by the way, you are a fantastic writer – I appreciate you putting in the time and effort to leave me such a thoughtful comment.


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