So here we are at the end of 2014 already. I find it really scary to think I'll be 30 next year! I've got so many things I wanted to do by that age so 2015 is going to have to be the year of putting things into action! Really that means not shopping as much too since the things I want to do involve saving lots of money! Anyway... enough of this saving talk, let's look at my favourite products of 2014!
My favourite hair products were both by Bumble and Bumble and are the Bb Thickening Full Form Mousse and the Dryspun Finish. It was inevitable that I would buy the Dryspun Finish as it was one of the most raved about hair products about a year ago! I was feeling a bit spendy that day so thought why not have the mousse as well! The mousse is great at adding lots of thickness and body to my hair during the blow drying stage of styling my hair and the Dryspun Finish is great at adding extra texture and fullness after straightening my hair. No doubt there are cheaper products on the market that do the same thing but I'm not much of a hair person and only really use these for nights out so they have lasted me a long time!
After years of peering through into the Jo Malone concession at Fenwick, on another 'feeling spendy' day I finally bought a candle and a fragrance from there. The fragrance has turned out to be one of the best purchases of the year! I was quite original with my choice and chose one that I've never seen on a blog before. I went for the Blue Agava & Cacao one and it's simply amazing! It has a lot of sweetness to it, which is my ideal type of scent, but it also smells a bit musky and smoky so it's not like a cheap, young scent! It smells expensive and my fiancé always compliments me when I have it on.
My favourite type of cleanser is a balm cleanser and I've tried a few different ones this year as well as revisting some old favourites but the standout product in this category has to be the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel. It's a pink (awesome!!) balm that turns into an oil when you massage it into the skin. It has the beautiful aroma of rose and it feels very luxe. It leaves my skin feeling hydrated and clean. I thought this was going to be pipped to the post by the Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm which I thought was even more luxurious and moisturising but I realised it was giving me really bad spots on my chin! They disappeared when I went back to my trusty Oskia cleanser.
The Sarah Chapman Morning Facial and Overnight Facial were late entries to my stash this year but they immediately became my favourite serum/treatment type products of the year. They are both incredibly hydrating but sink in fast. They have a herbal scent that smells really nice and they both manage to leave my skin glowing! I really, really love these!
The Lush Tea Tree Water Toner* has been a real treat for my skin over the last few months. Having dry, dehydrated skin, I wasn't sure this product would be for me as tea tree tends to be targeted at oilier skins but I've found this to be perfect for my skin. It's very refreshing on the skin and I love the fresh smell. I like how you can spritz it directly on to the face or on to a cotton pad first like I do. This doesn't dry my skin out at all and it's great for the hormonal blemishes I get on my chin. It really helps to calm them down.
The NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadows were released this year and the shade Callisto has become my favourite single eyeshadow this year. In my Modern Autumn Makeup post, I described this as a grown-up silver colour. It has a metallic finish with finely milled shimmer running through it. It's very pigmented and that's just using it dry! I love wearing this for nights out.
The Body Shop All-in-One Instablur Eye is a brilliant eye primer that can be used all around the eye to prep the skin for concealer as well as eyeshadow. I use it more for eyeshadow but it's fab at making your eyeshadow more intense and it helps it to last longer too. This is as good as the Urban Decay eyeshadow primer but cheaper!
For years I'd wanted to try the MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural powder so I bought it this summer. It's definitely my favourite powder now and I like that it comes in a variety of shades so you can get one to match your skintone. It does a good job at getting rid of shine and setting your foundation. It doesn't look cakey if you use a light hand too.
My favourite foundation of the year is the YSL Le Teint Touche Eclat Foundation. I'd wanted this for a while but always thought even the lightest shade looked a little dark for me. After swatching it quite a few times, I decided that B10 was actually a good match for me and I am so glad I made that decision. This probably has the best finish of any foundation that I've ever tried on my skin. Foundation can end up looking a little patchy on my dry areas, especially on my nose but I don't get ANY dry patches with this foundation. It has a really good medium coverage and leaves the skin looking dewy and radiant. I absolutely love this stuff.
This year I've got through 3 tubes of the wonderful NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Chantilly. When I first tried it, I actually wasn't that impressed but then I went back to it and it's been love ever since. This concealer does EVERYTHING! It covers dark circles, redness and blemishes. It goes on the skin really smoothly, doesn't cake up and is easy to blend in. There's been so many occasions where I've just put little dots all round my face and buffed it in and it's really improved the look of my skin! It doesn't feel heavy despite it being full coverage too.
Thanks to Sephora.com starting to ship to the UK at the beginning of the year, I discovered the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blushes (plus over £1000 worth of other products! Gulp!) and I haven't looked back. I think I now have 9 different shades of these as I love them so much. I love the shade range, they are super pigmented and they are long lasting. I love the cute packaging too! My favourite shade of all has to be Tipsy - the coral shade on the right! (I have a spare one in my blog sale if you have been wanting this too).
Since the summer, I've been dabbling with a little bronzing and contouring which led me to discover an amazing combo. I've got a full post on them here but I love the NARS Bronzing Powder in Laguna, applied with a light hand to contour my face or just as a subtle bronzer all over the cheek. In the pan this looks way too dark for my skin but it really does work on me! The MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft & Gentle is the perfect champagne highlighter that adds a wonderful glow to the cheekbones without looking glittery. The shade is perfect for pale skin tones as well.
I've been a fan of Lush lip scrubs for a while now but the Santa's Lip Scrub from last Christmas has been my favourite one. It's cola scented so it smells so tasty and it does a great job at gently removing dead, flaky skin from the lips. I managed to pick up another one from this year's sales but they aren't on the website anymore. The Bubblegum and Popcorn ones are amazing too though.
The Cherry Carmex Lip Balm has been the most effective lip balm I've found this year and it's really inexpensive too. This really sorts out dry, flaky lips and it smells lovely. It has a slight tingling sensation but I really like that as it feels like the product is working!
My two favourite lipstick formulations of the year are the YSL Rouge Pur Coutures and the newly launched NARS Audacious lipsticks. They both have a satin finish and are extremely long lasting. They are so good for nights out where you are planning to eat and drink quite a lot! I love that they both have extensive shade ranges. The YSL packaging is amazing as always, who doesn't love gold packaging?! The NARS packaging is also great. It isn't their usual matte rubber packaging that attracts lots of fingerprints, it's a sleek metal casing with a satisfying magnetic lid! My favourite shade in this line is Janet, a gorgeous berry shade I've been wearing a lot lately but I've added another two shades to my collection already.
I couldn't not include Makeup Revolution in my favourites. They only launched this year but they have such a large range of high quality products at low prices. They have a lot of dupes for high end products too so definitely check them out! I've included them in my favourites for their fantastic palettes. I love every single one that I've tried. They have so many eyeshadow palettes that contain extremely pigmented shadows that feel like they are so much more expensive. If I had to recommend one, I'd go with the Flawless palette as it contains 32 gorgeous, very wearable shades for only £8. I've tried one of their blush palettes too and they have the same quality, pigmented shades. They are such great value for money and you can really afford to experiment with lots of different looks. They have so many new launches that I'm keen to try as well, including their Golden Sugar and All About Pink palettes.
My final and favourite favourite of the year is a non-beauty one. I became an auntie to my gorgeous nephew Jack who was born in early November and he's the best thing ever! He's super cute and I love him so much. I could honestly spend hours just staring at him! I bought him a little Newcastle United kit for Christmas so he could be just like my brother. I think it was my brother's favourite present for him!
So that's it for my 2014 favourites. There were a lot of things I loved this year!
Here's to 2015! Hope it's a brilliant year for everyone :)
Happy New Year!