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Best of Spotlight!

2012's Beauty Highlights

From local style stars (like star-studded designer Azeeza Khan to the c/fan for cityblue collaborators Mallory Ulaszek and Christina Fan) to national crushes (like BirchBox founder Katia Beauchamp to Ivanka Trump), the G&F Spotlight is an explosion of unique perspective and stunning inspiration. Each week, our spotlight subject weighs in on her top beauty picks and—while we love that each and every one is totally individual—we’ve noticed a few recurring characters. We’re linking through to our favorite G&F Spotlights by way of our most useful beauty finds. Here is our (somewhat abridged) cosmetics dossier from the best and brightest in beauty from 2012.


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The overwhelming crowd favorite was ESSIE, with 15 people choosing the brand. Interestingly, though, no two people choose the same shade. But we don’t blame them: with literally hundreds of options, how could they?! We’ve highlighted a few of the hottest hues from 2012 from a few of our hottest spotlights. Click through each of their spotlight for more information on their favorite beauty products.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT ROW ONE: Vermillionaire (Birchbox’s Katia Beauchamp), Russian Roullette (Michelle Pretekin), A List (Eternamé Fine Jewelry’s Sarah Besnainou), Glamour Purse (Jo Levy), Hot Coco (Milk Handmade’s Hallie Borden), Luxedo (Nate Berkus Design’s Lauren Gold), Licorce (Nate Berkus Design’s Sasha Adler); ROW TWO: Midnight Cami (Sarah Sebastian), Bobbing for Baubles (DJ Megan Taylor), Merino Cool (Neat Method’s Ashley Murphy), French Affair (Actress Nicole Ari Parker), Mademoiselle (Tiffany & Co’s Liza Zito), Ballet Slippers (Bridget Halanski), East Hampton (Dana Rebecca Designs’ Dana Levy).

Whether it’s a shiny pink gloss or a powerful red lipstick, it’s NARS all the way for our luscious-lipped ladies—8 chose it, and the majority of those went for scarlet shades. Rightfully so, because we’ve never met a group that could rock bold red lips better.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Belle Du Jour (Nordstrom’s Laksmi Sam), Super Orgasm (Rue La La’s Rachel Solomon), Dolce Vita (Photographer Maria Ponce), Cruella (Nordstrom’s Laksmi Sam), Gipsy (StyleForHire’s Marlisa Sailer), Jungle Red (Former LA Times Beauty editor Melissa Magsaysay), Easy Lover (Park Hyatt Chicago’s J. Lynne Bredfeldt), Dragon Girl (Photographer Maria Ponce), Heat Wave (CityBlue’s Mallory Ulaszek)

When it comes to coverage, the results spoke true: there were only a few tried and true products that these lovely ladies swore by. NARS was a favorite time and time again for its bronzer in Laguna; ladies love concealer by Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier; and Kiehl’s killed it in the polls for go-to moisturizer.

FROM TOP LEFT CLOCKWISE: NARS Laguna Bronzing Powder (a favorite by Nordstrom’s Laksmi Sam, Rad + Refined’s Jacqueline Rezak, Photographer Maria Ponce and Element Collective’s Mel Muoio); Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage (a favorite by former LA Times beauty editor Melissa Magsaysay, Dana Rebecca’s Dana Levy, Make up artist Jo Levy and Fit Girl Studio’s Michelle Pretekin); Kiehl’s Creme de Corps (a must-have from Coach’s Carolyn Angel, StyleForHire’s Marlisa Sailer, Factor Models’ Bridget Halanski and Nate Berkus Design’s Lauren Gold); Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit (a have from DesignTripper’s Meghan McEwen, Element Collective’s Mel Muoio and actress Nicole Ari Parker).

The women we spotlight generally have access to the most top-notch cosmetics, but when it comes to their lashes, they stick with the tried-and-true drugstore favorites. In a three-way tie for first (with four votes each): Maybelline, L’oreal, and Covergirl. And sandwiched in between above is an honorable mention (with three votes each): Girgio Armani Eyes to Kill.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara (a favorite from DesignTripper’s Meghan McEwen, Milk Handmade’s Hallie Borden and DJ Megan Taylor); Covergirl Lashblast Mascara (never-leave-home-without from former LA Times beauty editor Melissa Magsaysay, chef Camille Parker and Dana Rebecca’s Dana Levy); Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Mascara (lotta love from Bright Pink’s Linsday Avner, Sigma Beauty’s Simone Oliveira Xavier and Neat Method’s Ashley Murphy); L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara (a favorite from designer Azeeza Khan, Ivanka Trump, make up artist Jo Levy and Rent The Runway’s fashion director Lucy Sykes)

And out of 52 weeks and nearly 52 women spotlighted, G&F has had a heck of time trying all of their must-have products. While some are well-known, we love the fab finds that these style stars share with our readers.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Boscia Make up Breakup Oil (from Rad + Refined’s Jacqueline Rezak and BirchBox’s Katia Beauchamp); Chantecaille Rosewater Spray (from Nordstrom’s Laksmi Sam); Rodin oil (from former LA Times beauty editor Melissa Magsaysay); Josie Maran Argan Oil (designer Azeeza Khan); Cle de Peau Concealer (Coach’s Carolyn Angel and Nate Berkus Design’s Sasha Adler)