2014 Beauty Faves

2014 is still fresh in our minds, right? Right! So it’s totally okay for me to post this mid-January, right? Right! I’m really excited because the blog celebrated it’s first birthday on Jan. 11th and because I have been blogging and “doing research” (watching beauty vlogs and buying things I can’t afford), I have really branched out with my beauty regimen, application methods, looks and most importantly – the products! I’ve broken this post down into different categories and yeah, okay I cheated a bit and broke the lip products into six sub-categories but it was hard to choose just one and we all need options! The only thing I wish I could have found this year was a standout foundation, but as my skin has been changing a lot, I don’t feel it’s fair to select any one foundation at this point. I am however crossing my fingers I find a fave in 2015! Also, happy new year!!!

F A C E

Don’t judge me but this is from my semester abroad in London, purchased in December 2013. I think I bought two, maybe three of these and this is the last one so that’s excellent value for money, especially when they retail for about £4! Lately I have been using this in lieu of foundation and just smearing it on my cheeks, blemishes and around my nose – basically anywhere with redness – and then blending. The amazing thing about this is how it’s probably two shades too dark for me but it blends so well that you can’t even tell! Also, the coverage is amazing and while creamy, it’s still quite blendable. It works best when patted into the skin with my finger or with a damp makeup sponge like the one from Real Techniques (SPOILER! review below). Don’t worry, my cousin Kat went to London this past summer so now I have three back ups in the shade Cool Medium, much better for me and they should hold me over until I *hopefully* return to London with Cristina this summer!

Rimmel London Stay Matte Pressed Powder in 001 Transparent
Obviously I had to buy this because Tanya Burr basically convinced me of its magical properties, but it’s seriously a great powder! I used to pair powders with cream foundations and the result was bad cakey coverage so it’s really impressive that I was able to get away from that and use this transparent shade solely to mattify and keep concealer in place. I think I only purchased two this year, but you don’t need much to get the job done. My only complaint is the packaging and how it always gets cracked/bits break off in my bag but for under $5, it’s not a massive complaint!

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
Literally the biggest actual miracle to my entire makeup routine this year. I discovered the beauty of proper makeup brushes last year and expanded my collection, but nothing has been able to compete with a damp sponge. It just blends everything and makes foundation and concealer look like my skin, while eliminating any harsh lines and intense bronzer or blush applications. I haven’t used the Beauty Blender and I’m thinking about possibly investing this year, but this is so good that unless the Beauty Blender can last a year or longer without getting grubby, I don’t see a reason to shell out extra cash on something that needs replacing two, three times a year. Anyway, this is amazing and if you’re having problems with your liquid foundation, try this or any other damp sponge and see how it changes your foundation game!

C H E E K S
POPBeauty Sunkissed Bronzer
Are you sick of seeing me talk about this bronzer yet? Basically I’m pale and bronzers terrify me, but this random bronzer from an Ipsy bag changed my outlook and now I literally can’t leave my house without warming up my skin tone. I think the Pixiwoos women were the ones who said applying foundation makes your base all one tone, so you need to go back in and add color through bronzers and blushers to give you that lively appearance and it is so true! My face has so much dimension when I go back with color and I think a bronzer with the slightest shimmer, or none at all, is the best option, especially when applied with a light hand and blended out with whatever tool has some excess foundation.
Benefit Benetint
Another beauty subscription sample (from Birchbox) that I absolutely fell in love with this year! I was scared of this one too as it’s a stain and it really does set quite quickly! But once I gave it a chance and learned to work with it, I discovered how beautiful and natural blushers could really be. I can’t use powders anymore because they don’t give the natural appearance stains and creams do. I haven’t experienced any skin problems with this, which was another concern, but I don’t use it every day. All in all, natural is the key word for me when it comes to blush, but this is definitely buildable for those wanting more of an impact.

The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighting Powder
Seriously gorge! It catches the light perfectly and gives off the perfect radiance. This literally just highlights my face and entire look! A must-have and while it requires a light touch, I’m all about the more is more philosophy with my highlighters. I do want to try a cream highlight this year though, just because I’m obsessed with creams. (Also, idk what is going on with the highlighter in this photo).

E Y E S

Maybelline Mascaras
I branched out from my Covergirl Lash Blast mascara in 2013 and tried Maybelline’s the Falsies and the Mega Plush. I didn’t get on well with the Falsies, but I absolutely loved the Mega Plush. When I saw the Falsies was on sale earlier this year, I decided to try it again. This time around I loved it so much that I’m obsessed! It probably gives me my most perfect lashes with enough curl, volume and length, definitely making them look like falsies. The Mega Plush is less dramatic but great on volume and SO SOFT to the touch. I also tried out the Rocket this year; it gives a glossy, more spidery look that isn’t clumpy (important to note!) but is quite lengthening. I really don’t think I need any other mascaras ever.

Urban Decay Naked3 Eyeshadow Palette 
This past year was the year of rosy/pinky/mauve shades all over the face, which all started with this beautiful palette. I went out of order and purchased Naked Basics, this one, then the original Naked, was gifted Naked Basics 2 for Christmas, and just got Naked 2 last week. So far this is my fave palette and strangely enough, I use the last half of the palette the most. The colors are tricky because they apply differently than they look in the pan, which is good because I was terrified of them before I actually tried them on the lids. Nooner is my fave shadow and I love how it’s a matte, which means I can use it as my neutral. The palette may be lacking your standard browns and nudes, but that’s what makes it fun! I literally used this most days this year and have just noticed that the shadows look slightly used, so definitely worth the investment.

L’Oreal Lineur Intense Brush Tip Liquid Eyeliner
I’m so boring and haven’t really branched out from my liquid liner. This is my second tube of this liner because they last so bloody long! Seriously though, the last one lasted me about a year and was so good until the very end! It’s liquidy and smooth, stays put most of the time (I do have watery eyes, though) and because I am so used to applying my liner with this, we have a really good connection and it never lets me down! I do want to try the Stila Stay All Day and Kat Von D Tattoo liners this year, so we’ll see how that goes!

L I P S
Gloss: Tanya Burr Cosmetics in Vampire Kiss
Obviously purchased this to support my girl Tanya Burr, but the shades all look so beautiful and I simply couldn’t resist. I’m not a lip gloss girl at all, but something about these drew me in. I have this shade, which is your perfect cherry red, and Aurora, a gorgeous natural pink with slight shimmer. Both are highly pigmented, not overly sticky and last really well. I reach for Vampire Kiss more often because Aurora isn’t as bold and I’m more into the bold shades, but they’re both so good. This is my favorite gloss of all time and I don’t think I ever need to try any others. Only complaint is the scent, but it doesn’t last too long and doesn’t bother me much to begin with. So proud of Tan and I can’t wait to get more colors!

Lipstick: MAC Plumful
Plumful is such an interesting color as it looks different on everyone, while simultaneously complimenting everyone! It’s plum-based and a very “my lips, but better” shade on me because I have darker lips. This is always in my handbag and the lip product I use the most (aside from Rêve de Miel, below) because it’s perfect for using as an everyday, natural shade that still has some depth. I don’t own many MAC lipsticks, but I am glad I have this one. I dedicated a whole post to it here.

Balm: NUXE Rêve de Miel
This one also has an entire post (here) dedicated to its magical powers so to summarize: it’s perfect. Really. This has saved my lips and has lasted me about seven months (it’s on its last legs and I’m depressed – ordering a new one STAT). It’s best for no makeup or no lip product days and for use overnight. When you wake up, it’s still there fixing your lips and you’re just so thankful for it.

Drugstore: Wet ‘n Wild MegaLast Lip Color
And one more with its very own post here. If you aren’t sure about lipsticks, matte finishes, or a certain shade, these are the best way to go. I suggest lip balm underneath because they are quite drying, but they last forever and if you use your finger to blend them out, the finish is lovely. I used these to test out the darker, more vampy lipstick shades that I am now obsessed with, and also for the nudes that still scare me. They’re each under $2 so no judgment when you go ham sandwich and buy the lot.

Stain: Sephora Matte Cream Lip Stain in 01 Always Red
This was in my December Faves because I wore it throughout the entire holiday season. It saw me through mountains of food and drink after drink. I wore it out to dinner or on a Starbs date with friends and never thought twice about it smearing all over my face or fading awkwardly. The finish is so smooth and really lovely. The shade itself is a true red, meaning it will compliment everyone. The best red and the red to end all reds.

F R A G R A N C E
Marc Jacobs Daisy
Ask anybody who knows me what my signature scent is and they will respond with Chanel Mademoiselle. I’ve been wearing it for about six years now and it lingers on all my scarves and coats. In 2013, my friend Kelly introduced me to the Marc Jacobs range of fragrances and I became obsessed with Daisy. I am so obsessed that I have hoarded about 20 samples of the fragrance because I’m too broke to buy a massive bottle, which kills me because that packaging is to divine. It reminds me a lot of CK One, my mother’s signature scent, in that it’s a bit citrusy and fresh. This is a totally different and more youthful scent to my Chanel, but it is similar in that it isn’t overpowering. I don’t really know how to describe scents so all I can say is that I love it and when I wear it, I can’t stop smelling myself, which is always a sign on a good scent.

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