Best Beauty Products of 2014: Makeup, Nails & Fragrance
There were so many amazing makeup discoveries for me this year. With a trip overseas and even just interstate to Sydney, I got to try things from brands inaccessible to me at home here in Perth, so I definitely did quite the bit of splurging! On the nails and fragrance front, things were quite well-restrained and overall, my money definitely did not go to waste this year as all the products mentioned here are just wonderful. In my final roundup, here is the best of the best in makeup, nails and fragrance 2014 had to offer.
Starting with lips, I've really been loving stepping out of my comfort zone and experimenting with all sorts of lip colours. From nudes to pinks and even vampy lips, I really don't shy away from anything. I didn't think much of the Hourglass Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipsticks when they started making the blogger rounds, but it was love at first swatch when I tried out Icon. A deep, sultry red, it's easy to apply and looks absolutely stunning. When I was on holiday, I made a quick stop to a Sephora store in Singapore and picked up the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Sugar Honey. Not originally on my wishlist, I was sucked in by the gorgeous sweet smell and I couldn't be happier that I decided to buy this. It's super moisturising and comfortable on the lips, yet provides a lovely coat of colour, making it the perfect product for a lazy day when you can't be bothered to fuss about your makeup. As I had depotted a lot of my MAC eyeshadows, I was able to Back 2 MAC for a couple of lipsticks, my favourites being Snob and Diva. Snob is a blue-toned pink, while Diva is a red/burgundy colour. I love pairing Snob with my YSL Baby Doll Kiss & Blush Lips & Cheeks in #9 Rose Epicurean together, though apart, they're lovely too. The YSL Kiss & Blushes didn't seem to get positive reviews from bloggers, but as a quick and easy to apply lip product, I love them. With lots of different lip colours in my collection now, it would be a waste to buy a lip liner for each one, so instead, I bought the Lipstick Queen Invisible Lip Liner, which works wonderfully to adhere the colour to the lips. Saving my favourite lip product purchase for last, I got myself my very first Chanel lipstick! I was after a classic, so I decided on the Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick in #54 Boy. With a name that has significant meaning to Coco Chanel herself, I bought this with birthday money from my nanna. Swatches online don't do this pinky nude justice as it's by far more beautiful when seen in real life. It's universally flattering on any skintone and I believe every girl needs this lipstick in her life.
In eyes, an exciting purchase I made was the Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette. When it was first released, I didn't think I needed it, but funnily enough, with the hype surrounding the Naked 3 Palette and swatches online comparing all three, I fell in love with those cool-toned shades. Another purchase I made overseas as Urban Decay is a brand unfortunately not sold in Australia, the eyeshadows are such great quality and the palette has helped me to step up my neutral smokey eye game. Also while overseas as there are no MAC Pro stores in Perth, I got the MAC eyeshadow pan in Charcoal Brown. It can be worn as an all-over-lid colour, but I love pairing this with lighter shades and using it in the crease or outer lid area. While on holiday in Sydney, I paid a visit to the Burberry counter at David Jones where I purchased the Sheer Eye Shadow in Midnight Brown. Housed in packaging with Burberry's signature check print and with a magnetic closure, these eyeshadows are so velvety and smooth, it's easy to understand the hype surrounding them. The By Terry Ombre Blackstars were another product I didn't think much of, but I simply adore these now. They come in an a variety of shades, but Bronze Moon is my absolute favourite. It's a shimmery taupe/bronze colour and looks oh, so dreamy on the lids.
2014 was the year I discovered my favourite mascara ever. After using a sample I received, I've since purchased the full size of Chanel Le Volume de Chanel Mascara three times already. I love it so much, I did a full review here. After umm-ing and ahh-ing for years whether to try this out, I finally gave into the Clinique Bottom Lash Mascara this year. It's a lovely little product that coats the lashes really well, though isn't anything too dramatic for an everyday look. I'm someone who's pretty poor at applying liquid eyeliner, but I'm slowly getting better at it and the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Intense Black has really helped with that. It's by far the easiest eyeliner I've ever used, making those cat flicks more precise and sharp. I forgot to include this in my photo, but another eye product that I just can't go without mentioning is the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil. Bold or natural, this product perfectly fills in the brows and the brow groomer on the other end is so soft, yet works wonders to tame them and evenly distribute the product.
I tried out a few new bases this year and I loved them all so much, I couldn't leave any of them out of this post. Starting with primer, the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer seems to be a favourite amongst everyone, but when you see the pores literally disappear from your skin, it's unsurprising why. I don't use this too much during the day (unless I'm going out later), but I love this for nights out and special occasions. Another base I love for nights out is the Laura Mercier Silk Crème Foundation. It's the thickest and most high coverage foundation I use, yet somehow never looks cake-y or like it's too much. As for lighter bases, the NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser and YSL Le Teint Touché Éclat Foundation work amazingly to provide the skin with a youthful glow and actually last quite well throughout the day too. If you'd like to read more in-depth reviews on the bases I own, you can do so here. To conceal blemishes, the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer works a dream, and for under the eyes, I have taken to the Marc Jacobs Remedy Concealer Pen. With its metal tip applicator, it further perks up the skin and I really can't wait to try more from the brand in 2015 now that it's available in Australia.
I'm a sucker when it comes to blush, so naturally, I have a few to mention here. First up is NARS Madly, which is a shimmery peachy pink that I think would suit most skintones. Then there's Benefit's Rockateur Blush, the NARS Blush in Douceur and the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Exposed, which were all bought on my holiday overseas. Rockateur is a gorgeous pinky rose gold shade, which has probably been my most reached for blush this year and one I love pairing with red lips. Don't let the tacky packaging fool you, it's what's inside that's important! Douceur and Exposed are more or less the same pinky nude colour, but you can justify splurging while on holiday and I'm so glad I did as NARS have sadly now discontinued Douceur. Exposed, on the other hand, is a great dupe and much to the delight of us Aussies, the brand is now stocked in Australia's first Sephora store.
As I already own a considerable amount of nail polish, there weren't too many I bought this year. Dior Gel Coat replaced Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Anti-Chip as my favourite top coat of all time and even though I'm coming to the end of my first bottle and it's a little gloopy, it's by far a less considerable amount compared to the Sally Hansen counterpart and is still actually useable. It's super high shine with a wide brush for easy application and while it isn't cheap, you really do get what you pay for with this one. My two favourite colours of the year were the Nails Inc. Nail Polish in Baker Street and Essie's Maximilian Strasse-Her. Baker Street is a beautiful bright royal blue, while Maximilian Strasse-Her is a more subdued cool-toned grey/green. Both look really elegant on the nails and my mum especially loves the Essie colour so much, she had to borrow it from me straight away! I think she's more cut up about me not living at home anymore because now she can't borrow all my nail polishes!
The last product I have to mention here is a special one as my beautiful friend, Jennifer, and I bought our very first bottles together as Valentine's Day presents to ourselves. We got hand massages done at the counter and it was such a lovely girly day! The Jo Malone Cologne in Blackberry & Bay is the most perfect fresh, fruity and sweet scent, I'm absolutely loving it for this time of year. The hype surrounding Jo Malone is definitely lived up to with such luxurious, unique scents, you'll just want them all. Next on my list? Peony & Blush Suede!
Another long post, but I had so many favourites this year I just had to share with you all and to me, it's important to be informative too! With Sephora now in Sydney and hopefully coming to Melbourne soon, I have no doubt 2015 will be filled with many more amazing beauty buys!