This year I decided to take my annual “must-have prod­ucts” round-up and punch it up a notch. Thus, I intro­duce to you…dun dun dun…

The First-Ever2011 Epic Beauty Awards.

I know there will be some miss­ing cat­e­gories this year (i.e. foun­da­tion primer, lip pen­cils, lip stain, etc.). The only rea­son for this is that there are cer­tain cat­e­gories I did not try, and I did not want to put up any prod­ucts I haven’t per­son­ally tested. If you have any cat­e­gory or prod­uct sug­ges­tions, leave a com­ment so I know what to check out!
FTC Dis­claimer
This should go with­out say­ing, but I’ll men­tion it any­way – no com­pany can buy their way onto this list. Some prod­ucts may have been given to Epic Beauty Guide to review at some point, but this in no way favors the prod­uct to win an Epic Beauty Award. All prod­ucts have been orig­i­nally pur­chased or repur­chased by me with my own cash dol­lahs. Some affil­i­ate links are used when they are avail­able, which sup­ports Epic Beauty Guide as a free resource for every­one, but in no way effect the win­ner selec­tion. Thank you for your support!

2011 Epic Beauty Awards – Makeup

WINNERSMAKEUP

Tog­gle the tabs to see all the winners.

Best Con­cealer
Best Under-Eye Concealer
Jane Iredale Enlighten Con­cealer, $29

Even though this is dark orange in the pot and I thought it would never work with my fair skin, it turned out to be fan­tas­tic for cov­er­ing under-eye cir­cles (includ­ing the blue/purple type). I learned that a lit­tle goes a long way, and that it looks even more amaz­ing when you add a lit­tle Jane Iredale Active Light on top of it (I use color #3).

Best Eye Primer
Tarte Lifted Eye­lid Primer, $20

This was the only paraben-free, non-toxic eye primer I tried that felt great, allowed eye­shadow to blend, and did its duty of com­pletely pre­vent­ing creasing.

Best Foun­da­tion
Real Purity Healthy Foun­da­tion, $24

I tested this as a con­cealer on my cheek and since it’s not meant to be a con­cealer, it was not very opaque, mak­ing this an excel­lent light-to-medium cov­er­age foun­da­tion. It has a nice tex­ture, was a great color match (mine was Honey Beige), and didn’t dry my skin out. See their color chart here.

Best Eye­brow Pencil
Tarte emphasEYES Ama­zon­ian Clay Water­proof Brow Pen­cil, $19.50

I have it in medium brown, even though my brows are red-blonde, they are thick and don’t need any “fill­ing in.” I wanted some­thing just to color my exist­ing brows darker for a bit of added def­i­n­i­tion. Looks nat­ural, easy to apply, doesn’t smudge or flake off.

Best Mas­cara
Real Purity Mas­cara in Black, $13

Great col­ors and no flaking.

Best Lip­stick
Real Purity Lip­stick , $13

Beau­ti­ful, rich col­ors. Click here for their color chart.

Best Lip Gloss
100% Pure Fruit Pig­mented Lip Gloss, $14

Sev­eral great shades from which to choose.

Best Eye­liner
Jane Iredale Eye Pen­cils, $11

I have them in a few col­ors. I like to round the tip and get it started by warm­ing it on my hand first before apply­ing it my water­line and lashline.

Best Brushes
Sigma Beauty, $9 and up

These are my go-to brushes. Excel­lent qual­ity and super inexpensive.

Best High­lighter
Jane Iredale 24-Karat Gold Dust in Cham­pagne, $12

Use it wet or dry for an awe­some shim­mer anywhere.

2011 Epic Beauty Awards – Hair Care

WINNERSHAIR CARE

Tog­gle the tabs to see all the winners.

Best Sham­poo
Acure Organ­ics Sham­poo Pure Mint + Echi­nacea Stem Cell, $12.99

Great for all hair types, par­tic­u­larly fine hair.

Best Con­di­tioner
Ama­zon Beauty Rahua Con­di­tioner, $34

Best daily con­di­tioner I’ve ever used. Doesn’t weigh the hair down yet deeply mois­tur­izes. Plus, a bot­tle will last me at least 6 months.

2011 Epic Beauty Awards – Skin Care

WINNERSSKIN CARE

Tog­gle the tabs to see all the winners.

Best Cleanser
ARCONA Cleans­ing Bars, $38 each

These last forever­rrrr (a bar will eas­ily last you a year). I have tried the Rasp­berry Bar and Kiwi Cream Bar – both smell amaz­ing and are won­der­ful cleansers.

Best Cleans­ing Pads
ARCONA Triad Pads, $30

Great for cleans­ing, espe­cially if you don’t wear makeup. Also per­fect for travel, camp­ing, and pre/post-gym clean up.

Best Spot Treatment
ARCONA AM Acne Lotion, $38

One lit­tle dab in the morn­ing and at night, and your spot is gone.

Best Exfo­li­at­ing Scrub
Skin Apotheke Ubtan Scrub, $15.95

A long-time favorite and turn­ing out to be quite irre­place­able. Super sooth­ing, super gen­tle, and is a seri­ous weapon against black­heads and blem­ishes. In love.

Best Exfo­li­at­ing Mask/Peel
Natur­o­path­ica Pump­kin Puri­fy­ing Enzyme Peel, $56

The best exfo­li­at­ing peel I’ve used so far – no irri­ta­tion, no red­ness, and when it’s all washed off, no more flakes! Yum yum.

Best Eye Cream
TIE: Skin Apotheke Vit­a­min C Reju­ve­nat­ing Eye Creme, $6.50 and up & Natur­o­path­ica Vit­a­min K Bright­en­ing Eye Serum, $72

I tried many eye creams this year, and these two were the cream of the crop (har har pun intended?). I have seen sig­nif­i­cant improve­ment of under eye cir­cles (I have the type that comes from the show-through of veins under the eye). Skin Apotheke’s is bet­ter under eye makeup. Naturopathica’s is great if you are for­go­ing any con­cealer, or are going to wait a while before apply­ing it.

Best Mois­tur­izer
Face Nat­u­rals Daily Mois­tur­izer, $17.95

They have sev­eral vari­eties to suit dif­fer­ent skin types, such as Purify for oily skin and Soothe for sensitive.

Best Sun­block
Marie Veronique Organ­ics Mois­tur­iz­ing Face Screen SPF 30, $40

Comes in three tints and does not con­tain tita­nium diox­ide, which is irri­tat­ing and dry­ing to my skin.

Best Anti-Aging Treatment
ARCONA Youth Serum, $87

Evens out skin tone, helps reverse sun dam­age, and gives you a porce­lain look. It also leaves a nice sub­tle sheen on the skin for a beau­ti­ful bare-faced look.

Best Scar & Pig­ment Treatment
Tril­ogy Rose­hip Oil, $24

This gor­geous rose­hip oil sig­nif­i­cantly faded a 3-month-old pink scar on my cheek in only 1 week, and totally removed it by the 4th week. I found that it’s also great for mois­tur­iz­ing around the eye area and get­ting rid of dehy­dra­tion lines/fine lines.

2011 Epic Beauty Awards – Body Care

WINNERSBODY CARE

Tog­gle the tabs to see all the winners.

Best Body Wash
Every­day Shea Mois­tur­iz­ing Body Wash Unscented, $10

I add a few drops of laven­der essen­tial oil for some scent and it’s per­fect – great tex­ture, per­fect for all-over wash­ing or just the pits, and per­fectly priced.

Best Body Lotion
100% Pure Nour­ish­ing Body Cream Honey Almond, $15

Comes in a vari­ety of deli­cious scents. Vanilla, honey almond, and cof­fee are my favorites.

Best Self Tanner
Choco­late Sun Cocoa Glow Sun­less Tan­ning Cream, $40

Smells like chocolate-vanilla-sugar good­ness and leaves a com­pletely nat­ural, build-able tan. No orange, no streaking.

Best Body Scrub
Tril­lium Organ­ics Body Pol­ish Organic Warm­ing Cin­na­mon and Clove, $19

The laven­der gera­nium scent is also amazing.

Best Deodor­ant
Ele­gant Rose Bou­tique, $8.25

Lots of scent options, which last all day. My favorite is pep­per­mint vanilla.

2011 Epic Beauty Awards - Beauty Tools

WINNERSBEAUTY TOOLS

Tog­gle the tabs to see all the winners.

Best Skin Cleans­ing Brush
Clar­isonic PLUS (for face and body), $225

For those in the UK, check out the Clar­isonic here.

Best Blem­ish Tool
Tweez­er­man No-Slip Dou­ble Ended Extrac­tor, $10

Squeez­ing your skin with your fin­gers to pop a pim­ple is a recipe for scar­ring and fur­ther break­outs, since bac­te­ria can go deeper and travel into the neigh­bor­ing pores. Yum. An extrac­tor tool has been in my “toolkit” for over 10 years, and this is the best one I’ve used.

Best Hair Removal
TRIA Hair Removal Laser, $395

Just. Frig­gin’. Bril­liant. Great if you tend to get razor burn or have dark hair that still shows up as black dots when shaved.

Best Hair Treat­ment Tool
Hair Ther­apy Wrap, $25

The eas­i­est thing I’ve used for deep con­di­tion­ing treat­ments. Just throw the whole wrap in the microwave and go about your per­sonal spa day.

Best Free Tool
Tanaka Mas­sage

Use your own hands to de-puff your face and bring a nice glow to your skin.

2011 Epic Beauty Awards Winner - Beauty from the Inside

WINNERSBEAUTY FROM THE INSIDE

Tog­gle the tabs to see all the winners.

Best Tea
DoMatcha Green Tea, $17 and up

I have been drink­ing 1–2 cups of matcha tea every day for 2 months and it not only tastes amaz­ing (not bit­ter at all), but it has reversed sun dam­age and con­tributed to a porce­lain look in my skin even when I have a late night work­ing or lit­tle sleep. Comes in organic and non-organic ver­sions. I have a sub­scrip­tion to have it deliv­ered once a month so it’s only about $17 per tin. Each tin lasts about a month.

Best Cook­book
Make it Paleo, $22

This tome con­tains over 200 amaz­ingly deli­cious recipes that are easy to pre­pare and sup­port the Epic Beauty Guide clear skin dietary recommendations.

Best Water Filter
Essen­tial Three-Stage Fil­tra­tion Sys­tem, $344

You all know by now that I rec­om­mend a healthy diet and fil­tered water as a cor­ner­stone to nat­ural beauty. I love this fil­ter – super high qual­ity, and pumps out totally clean, deli­cious water. Def­i­nitely not the cheap crap you see that requires replace­ments every 3 months. This one gets a replace­ment once a year.

Best Work­out
Kun­dalini Yoga Ulti­mate Stretch Work­out, $15

This yoga work­out is just one part of a great work­out rou­tine you can make for your­self. This work­out is relax­ing and keeps your entire body flex­i­ble. When blood flows eas­ily and tis­sues are soft and pli­able, your body and skin will look healthy and glowing.

Best Free Workout
BodyRock.tv

I love Body­Rock and have incor­po­rated the rou­tines into my work­out reg­i­men since ’09. They’re fast and dif­fi­cult, and will whip you into shape incred­i­bly fast. Work­ing out like this, in addi­tion to yoga and/or Pilates is amaz­ing for the skin and over­all beauty.

I’d love to hear what you think about the Epic Beauty Awards! Any sug­ges­tions for next year? Post ‘em below.
~Steph  x
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