1. Awake All Direction Mascara Stardom (3150yen): I did not expect this mascara to be a winner due to the unusual shape of its brush but it impressed me even more than my staple, Opera MyLash mascara. It gave me glossy, lush long lashes without any clumps at all. Most mascaras start to clump or the fibres cling and stick out in a grossly unnatural fashion after the second or third coat. With this mascara, no matter how many coats I apply, the extremely smooth, wet consistency just kept adding length to my lashes in a smooth curve.
2.Jill Stuart Brilliance Eyes (5250yen): Yes, the glitter fallout from these does get a bit annoying but the elegant princessy packaging, gorgeous sparkle that reminds one of wet crushed diamonds and the lovely color combinations make the Brilliance Eyes series a truly outstanding product. My favourite is still the limited edition #5 Mauve Pearl which was released in Summer '07.
3.Lunasol Geminate Eyes (5250yen): One has to see these in person at the counter to truly appreciate how stunningly gorgeous they are with a beautiful pearl shimmer that shows up beautifully when applied without any chunky glitter bits (except for the shade in the centre of each palette). The excellent shade combinations makes it truly difficult to pick one over the others and one just wishes that one can bring all of them home!
4.Awake Reflectance Eyes Stardom (5040yen): E-3 Always Blue is one of my favourite blue-themed palettes of all time. Blue can be a tricky color to pull off without looking garish but this palette makes it super easy for me. Awake has also released a new palette series, Star Illusion Eyes, which is quite similar to Reflectance Eyes. I would recommend checking out both if you have the chance.
5. Cynthia Rowley for Avon All Over Face Color: I have my dear friend, the Muse, to thank for helping me to lay my hands on these pretty babies. The lovely whimsical packaging had me hooked the minute that I saw these online and when I received them, I just found them too pretty to use as I don't want to mess up the flower pattern embossed on the surface. So I've just been taking these out to admire from time to time! I'll probably get around to trying them eventually but now I'm just happy to keep them in their perfect condition :-)
6.Giorgio Armani Fluid Blush (4200yen): First off I have to say that I think Armani's makeup range is just too overpriced for the quality that you get and it's annoying that the prices keep going up. Still, the line has some winners that I don't mind shelling out for. The Fluid Blushes from the Berry collection in spring '07 are easy to use with good color payoff and work well over both liquid and powder foundations. Best of all, the hygienic pump bottle packaging means that they don't 'sweat' and leak messily all over the place like the Tarte Cheek Stains which I find myself having to clean up every couple of months and store in little ziplock bags.
7.Kiss Mat Chiffon Powder (1680yen): I love the extremely silky and finely milled texture of this powder. It makes your skin look dreamy and soft just like a baby's skin. The powder puff included in the tub is also velvety soft and far superior to some of the powder puffs that I've tried from more expensive brands. This is meant for oily skin tones but I've used it without any problems even in winter months when my skin is more dehydrated on the surface.
8.Kiss Moist Angel Powder R (1680yen): Another excellent face powder from Kiss except that this comes in two beige tones and not white like the Mat Chiffon Powder. This powder gives a more natural finish and is meant for dry skin tones but I've used it without any problems. I highly recommend this if you're looking for a good quality, affordable loose powder.
9.Kiss Mat Chiffon UV Whitening Base (1680yen): This is excellent for oil control on my T-zone and cheeks which tend to get very oily. Sometimes I use this with just a light dusting of loose powder on top to set and skip foundation totally. But I can't use this when the surface of my skin gets dehydrated as it will just exacerbate any flakiness in my skin. It also dries down fast so one has to be quick in applying this evenly.
10.Jill Stuart Powder Foundation (5250yen): I like this for its natural color and smooth texture that helps to cover up the redness in my skin as well as reduce the appearance of my pores. It does not oxidise or streak even when my skin gets extremely oily. The lovely packaging is also another big plus.
11.Visee Aqua Shine Eyes GY003 (1890yen): This is a unique complex metallic dark dirty grey with some flashes of purple that I haven't seen duplicated in other brands. The Aqua Shine Eyes are my favourite liquid/cream eyeshadows as they dry down nicely without any clumping, creasing or fading. It is very easy to apply as it goes on evenly and can be built up for greater intensity. I like these even better than Jill Stuart's Eye Jellies which are a bit trickier in terms of applying evenly.
12.Visee Jewel Crush Eyes (2415yen): Another hit product by Visee which underwent a brand revival in 2007 with a high profile advertising campaign featuring top Japanese pop star Koda Kumi and the deployment of an army of young beauty advisers known as 'Visee Girls' to promote the brand. Jewel Crush Eyes are always on the top of my list of Japanese drugstore picks for eyeshadow palettes as they are affordable (Visee is usually discounted by 25% in Japanese drugstores) and excellent quality that can easily match more expensive brands such as T'Estimo.
Finally, I would also highly recommend checking out the Muse's 2007 Favourites List!