Best Purchases of 2013

Looking  back, 2013 wasn’t a big spending year for me. I was living off my last bits of loan money for the first half of the year, and during the second half of the year I had all sorts of expenses associated with moving to a new city and starting a new job. That said, I still made some quality purchases. These are the ones that top the list:

best makeup 2013

Makeup & Hair

Alterna’s Cleanse Extend Translucent Dry Shampoo Mango: How did I ever live without this stuff? I will often go three or four days without washing my hair (I still shower, I swear), and with this magical dry shampoo, I’m still able to wear my hair down and not feel gross. Actually, I get more complements with my dirty-dry-shampooed hair because it has so much more volume! Right now I’m loving Alterna’s Cleanse Extend Translucent Dry Shampoo Mango Coconut. Its the best I’ve ever tried, but its expensive!

Dior’s Hydra Life Pro-Youth Skin Tint: I tried to get on the BB/ CC cream bandwagon, but it just didn’t work out for me. But with the cold, dry winter upon us, I really needed something less drying than my go-to mineral foundation. Dior’s Hydra Life Pro-Youth Skin Tint was the winner for me (in #1). My skin feels so good with this stuff on. It has light coverage, looks totally natural and doesn’t break me out, which is nearly a miracle in itself.

Illamasqua Cream Blush: I pick up a new shade of blush every year, and this year I picked up Illamasqua’s cream blush in a tan-peachy-beige color called zygomatic. This stuff is gorgeous! The color is subtle and brings life to my winter skin. I’ve been using it with the tinted moisturizer every day and my skin is happy as can be. When it warms up one day I’ll grab one of their power blushes, which seem just as amazing (check out the reviews!). I never thought I’d find a blush that I liked better than Nars.

stuart weitzman 5050 boots

Shoes & Boots

Stuart Weitzman 5050 boots: I haven’t had these for long, but I already know they’ll be worn to death. They are so comfortable and flattering… somehow the OTK look elongates my legs! I justified the price (on sale) because they are quite versatile, so I can wear them to work or casually. I’ll be on the lookout for more SW boots when winter sales hit!

Attilio Giusti Leombruni flats: I did a glowing review of these after I bought them, and I’ve been loving them ever since. Comfort is this shoe’s biggest selling point (just check out the reviews!). Additionally, they’re slim and flattering on the foot. A great, basic flat that would fit in any wardrobe.

Sorel Cate the Great Boots: It took me ages to pick a winter boot this year. I was tempted to get another pair of classic tall Uggs, but with the constant salty-snow we have here, I was certain they would be ruined quickly. These Sorel boots, though? They’ll be able to withstand just about anything. They’re warm and cozy, too. They’re not slim and sexy, but they’re cute and appropriate. I picked mine up for 30% off from Sierra Trading Post.

Most versatile coffee maker

For the Kitchen

BUNN MCU Single Cup Multi-Use Home Coffee Brewer: I had to get a new coffee maker after mine took a tragic fall during my move. I researched coffee makers more than any sane person should, and ended up getting BUNN MCU Single Cup Multi-Use Home Coffee Brewer. OMG. Love. It can use coffee grounds, K-cups or pods. I use all three, but find pods most cost effective (I buy in bulk from amazon).  Everything tastes perfect.

Contigo travel mug: Essential to life. I put my wonderful hot coffee in my Contigo travel mug every morning. It stays hot for hours, which is perfect because I rarely am able to just sit and drink my coffee in the morning (constant on-the-go…). Best mugs ever.

How to stay healthy

Keeping Healthy

Yogitoes mat towel: Hot yoga is likely one of the main reasons I don’t feel super depressed this winter. I’ve been practicing regularly, even when I’m on nights. Having a good mat is relatively important (I use a JADE mat), but I’ve found that having a good mat towel is even more important. The yogitoes ones are amazing. If you know any yoga lovers, this would be a great gift.

Green superfood: I don’t like to recommend any health stuff, but I do want to share my experiences with my green juice that I drink whenever I need a little extra energy (like transitioning from days–>nights–>days). I’m admittedly not great at getting all of my servings of fruits and veggies in. I try to drink green smoothies, but sometimes I’m just too lazy to keep up with it. This juice is quick and easy to mix up and drink in 30 seconds before work. I don’t drink it every day because “supplements” make me nervous, but its a good boost for those busy times. I’m trying the lemon-lime version next!

Aromatherapy: Its amazing that something as simple as a fragrance can really alter your mood! For me, especially this time of the year, the smell of pine immediately brings a smile to my face. I fill my car and home with a variety of relaxing aromas (not at the same time ;)) to help me relax and unwind. I have many favorites, but I’m currently obsessed with Aveda’s Caribbean Therapy.

What were your best purchases this year?