Best of Beauty: 2014

If you have followed my blog for the past year or so, most of the products listed in today's round up of the best of 2014 won't come as much of a surprise. Nevertheless, I think its fun to look back and rifle through my makeup drawers and figure which products really knocked it out of the park for me this past year.

Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm
I feel like 2014 was the year that I really pulled my act together in terms of skin care, especially when it came to cleansing. Long gone are the days that I use cleansers that make my skin feel "squeaky" clean or I resort to using a wipe on my lazy nights. I love this cleanser because not only is it incredibly effective at removing makeup, but it is also really gentle, very basic in terms of ingredients, and relatively reasonable in terms of cost.

Dior Crème De Rose Lip Balm
Now if there's any product on this list that leans towards the unnecessarily extravagant it's the Dior Creme De Rose Lip Balm. I mean $28 is a bit steep considering its just a lip balm, but I still absolutely adore it. For one, it is incredibly nourishing and has gotten my dry winter lips to a much better state, and even though it is pretty expensive, I've found that the pot actually lasts for quite a bit of time, especially because I usually only use it before I go to bed. Oh and did I mention, if you love the smell of roses, then seriously head to your local Sephora/Dior counter ASAP and get a whiff of this stuff, it won't disappoint!

Burberry Pale Barley Eyeshadow
This year was all about one-wash eyeshadows for me and Burberry Pale Barley is the epitome of the one-wash wonder. It is a really unique shade, something in between a gold and a taupe (think MAC Patina, but golder and prettier), but it looks incredible on the eyes! It is the absolute best shade for when your stuck and you want to wear eyeshadow, but you don't want to put a whole lot of effort into doing an entire eyeshadow look per se. It also can be worn with darker colors to create a gorgeous smokey eye.

Benefit Gimme Brow
I was really torn when it came to choosing my favorite brow product of the year because the Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil really is incredible, but in the end I decided to go for the Benefit Gimme Brow. If you have relatively good brows and just need some tint and a little bit of shape, this is definitely the one to try. Although I do love the Hourglass offering, Gimme Brow is just so easy to use and I can do my brows in about a minute. The only downside is that it only comes in two shades and if you have extremely light brows/hair, you might find the lightest option a tad too dark.

MAC Teddy Eye Kohl 
If I only could use one eyeliner for the rest of time it would probably have to be Teddy from MAC. It sits somewhere between a bronze and a chocolate brown and it works with practically any eyeshadow. The formula is also incredible because it is smudgey when first applied but then sets and doesn't budge for the entire day.

L'Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions Mascara
I went on and on and on about this mascara this past year so I'll save you a paragraph long rave. But to put it simply, this mascara is great if your looking for a bit of everything: length, definition, and volume. It's definitely a mascara for those of you that like a slightly more natural look to your lashes, but for those of you that like a whole lotta drama when it comes to lashes, this one can be layered up and give you some pretty incredible lashes.

Stella by Stella McCartney 
2014 was most definitely the year that I started wearing perfume on a regular basis. That's not to say that I didn't like perfume before this year, quite the contrary, but I did finally find a perfume that was suitable for everyday wear and that is Stella by Stella McCartney. This fragrance errs more on the side of floral, but it doesn't smell too much like something your granny would wear. It's fresh and clean, but once it dries down the amber note definitely comes out, making appropriate for nighttime wear as well.

Tarte Exposed Blush
My obsession with Tarte blushes is well-documented on this blog, especially Exposed. It is easily the most universal blush shade I have come across, because it goes with almost every single makeup look. Since I've been a bit braver with wearing bold lipsticks this year, this blush has been used many a times because it adds life to the face without distracting from the lipstick or making things look to clown-like. Oh and since it is more brown than most blushes it almost doubles as a contour and gives you some pretty amazing looking cheekbones.

Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation
I think this foundation is my Holy Grail when it comes to foundation/tinted moisturizer. It is so quick to apply, looks practically invisible on, but somehow manages to cover minor imperfections. So basically if you like light coverage foundations, this is the one for you.

MAC Patisserie Lipstick
I never thought I'd see the day where I'd found a nude lipstick that actually looks good against my complexion. Usually they're too light/beige and completely wash me out, but Patisserie by MAC is a perfect mix of a peach, a pink and a nude. I hate to say it, but it truly is a "my lips but better" color.

Kiehl's Skin Rescuer
Last winter was the first winter that I experienced having really dry skin and this moisturizer really helped to get my skin back on track. It's a really nice light-weight texture but it brings it in the hydration department. I still use this even when my skin isn't uber dry and I find that whenever my skin just looks angry, whether its redness or a breakout, this stuff seriously helps to calm my skin down and make it look a helluva lot better.

NARS Cruella Velvet Matte Lip Pencil 
You know how I mentioned I kinda had a thing for bold lips this year? Yeah well Cruella by NARS is really what kickstarted that whole phase. Not only is it the BEST red lipstick, purely in terms of color (close runner up would be Ruby Woo by MAC), but its also the best formula because it is already in pencil form, so no need to use lip liner, and it stays on for ages. Pretty much the best bold lip? I sure think so.

Nail's INC Porchester Square
If you told me a few years ago that my favorite nail polish would be a light grey/neutral/lavendar I would have probably laughed, because before Porchester Square came into my life, the only nail polishes I wore were dark ones (that's still pretty much the case, but hey I'm making progress). There's something about this nail polish that just makes the nails look so damn good and I don't even know why. I especially love that its a neutral but its not a nude, so you don't look like you have mannequin hands. The new gel formula is also pretty incredible, super glossy and long-wearing.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
Last but not least is the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer. I don't know of many concealers that can do it all, meaning, covering under eye-circles, redness, blemishes, etc. But this one can and I have yet to find one that rivals it.

What were your favorites of 2014?

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