As 2012 nears, it is time to look back at all the lotions, potions, and polishes we bought this year — the ones that actually went to use and didn’t sit in the medicine cabinet in an unopened pretty box. While plenty of people undoubtedly picked up grocery store favorites that didn’t involve a computer query, Sephora topped Yahoo!’s most-searched online beauty resources for 2011, followed by Avon, Ulta, Chanel, Sally Beauty Supply, Mary Kay, MAC, Clinique, Proactive, and the Body Shop. Here are these megasuppliers’ 10 best-selling items that everyone stockpiled in 2011.
1. O.P.I. Nail Polish
Sephora’s best-selling O.P.I. polish in “Only Gold for Me” is a clear polish with chunky and micro gold glitter. It gets big points for not chipping. Reviewers brag that they can wear the $9.50 polish for two weeks or more without problems or peeling.
2. Anew Ultimate Age Repair Day Cream SPF 25
This $34 Avon lotion promises to restore youthful vitality and offer results in three days, with more impressive benefits with four weeks of use. There are believers, who gush that their skin looks “flawlessly smooth” and “silky soft,” and claim they could indeed see the results after the first application. In terms of popularity, stack up the number of bottles sold in 2010 and they would top the Empire State building 2,509 times.
3. Philosophy Hope in a Jar
This $38 daily moisturizer rose to the top at the superstore ULTA Beauty, which carries more than 20,000 products. Hope in a Jar is known for a “whipped, fluffy texture” that seems to “just melt into skin.” Along with hydration and antioxidant protection, it improves skin tone and does “wonders for acne,” fans say.
4. Chanel Glossimer in Spark
Chanel’s top seller is a $28.50 lip gloss that is heavy on shine and has built a devoted fan following on makeup review sites for its ability to provide a sheer berry hint of color. In addition, “it isn’t sticky” and has a “fine glinty gold shimmer that is absolutely perfect.”
5. Ion Keratin Smoothing Treatment
The formula makes hair smooth and soft and reduces frizz and curls. The treatment combines wheat germ and argan oil and lasts about six weeks. Curly-haired consumers rave because at $19.99, it protects hair and refines texture without the use of formaldehyde. They say the time-intensive treatment is worth it.
6. Mary Kay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover
The gentle eye makeup remover works on waterproof mascara, and no one loses any lashes in the process. The $15 Mary Kay product also won a 2011 Allure magazine award, which certainly must have boosted sales. Reviewers say that it “removes the toughest eyeliner and mascara” with a single cotton-ball swipe, conditions lashes, and doesn’t irritate sensitive eyes.
7. MAC lipstick in Snob
This lipstick leads MAC’s calculations for 2011. It is described as the perfect pale counterpart to a smoky eye — “gorgeous, cool-toned pastel pink.” Reviewers love the satin finish with “subtle sheen” that “lasts for ages.” It’s available online for $14.50.
8. Clinique High-Impact Mascara (Black)
Addicts of this $14.50 thickening mascara say it won’t leave mid-day raccoon eyes and swear it volumizes, lengthens, and creates “false lash” effects. Those with sensitive eyes also say it isn’t irritating.
9. Proactiv 3-Step System
The 30-day system ($19.95) includes an oil-free cleanser, toner, and a repairing treatment. The formulas rely on micro-crystal benzoyl peroxide to clear acne. It probably doesn’t hurt sales when you have a little marketing help from Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, and Jessica Simpson.
10. The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector
This $19 super moisturizing hand cream is designed to provide 12 hours of softness and contains skin-conditioning beeswax from Cameroon. The hemp seed oil is said to be nature’s cure for dry skin, and users say it works for “sandpaper hands” and “does not wash off like most of your moisturizers.”
Kwala Mandel is an editor for Yahoo! who works on special projects ranging from the royal wedding to the remembrance of 9/11 to the latest “Twilight” premiere or live-streamed Decade of Difference concert. She’s contributed to omg!, TV, Movies, Shine, and News. Kwala has written for People magazine, In Style magazine, Sunset, Fortune and the Los Angeles Times.