I think I did quite well last year resisting beauty releases (especially those of the limited kind) and impulse buys. As such my 2014 Hits won’t be exclusively on products that are released this year but include things that I’ve (re)discovered, have impressed me and constantly reached for. I’ve made a top ten post back in August and the items mentioned in that post are still very relevant. Think of this as more of a Favourites / Most-used of 2014 post.
1. Urban Decay Pulp Fiction eye palette
One of the LE collections this year I fell for. Love this palette even if I do wish the packaging is a little more travel-friendly – tested its portability on a short trip and found it to be a real PITA to pack. It just takes up so much room! I’m not sure if I’ll take it with me on trips again but being a neutral palette it really makes life easy and goes with everything. The texture and quality is amazing. Reviewed here.
2. Tom Ford Orchid Haze
If I could only bring one quad with me on a trip this will be it. It pulls quite neutral and by controling the darkest shade you can adapt it to any day/night look. This is my favourite palette out of everything at the moment (HG?). Also featured in the mid-year top 10 post.
3. Urban Decay Naked 3
I picked this up early in the year 2014 when Sephora France had it back in stock (and it was promptly sold out again). This is my first palette in the Naked series and really my first go at Urban Decay eyeshadows. I resisted 1 & 2 but something about the pink and rose called to me. I have enough browns at home already and thought 3 would be a nice change. I admit I was worried the pinks wouldn’t look good on me (rabbit eye/cried-all-night) but it’s surprisingly easy to wear and versatile. I’m used to quads and at most quints so the size and choices are overwhelming. I’m still on the learning curve with this but it’s been nothing but pleasure each time I reach for it.
4. Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer
I won’t go into how amazing this is. You can read my review here.
5. Bourjois Lip Velvet
A new discovery in 2014, I picked up two colours (Peach Club, Frambourjoise) and love them both. They’re comfortable to wear. Granted not moisturising but not drying either. Doesn’t feather on me and are very long-lasting.
6. Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Boy
There’s a reason this shade is so popular. This was what I grabbed when I need to get out the door NOW and don’t know what to wear. Pop it in your bag for touch-ups.
7. Cargo Catalina blush
The other blush I used a lot of in 2014, a girly bubblegum pink. I don’t usually wear this kind of shade, I’m more of a peach/coral kind of gal (they look better on my light/medium skin tone) but this looks so fresh on the cheeks and gives an extra boost of femininity. You have to be careful and not over do it otherwise it risks looking chalky and unnatural.
8. theBalm Frat Boy blush
I caved and bought this in 2014 after having my eye on it since 2013. theBalm isn’t sold in France so during the time deliberating I did my research, look at swatches and read reviews. When I held it in my hand I thought ‘damn, I think I have dupes of this’ but what gives it an edge is its texture and pigmentation. It’s also very easy to blend and I like how slim the packaging is (theBalm’s packaging in general). An excellent blush at this price point.
9. KIKO Vibrant eye pencil in 603 Chocolate Brown
When I’m not wearing my kate gel liners which I tend to save for work because it’s fast and wears like steel on me, I was reaching for this KIKO one. KIKO has like 10 kinds of eyeliners and I spent one afternoon playing with every one of them in the shop and liked this one the best. I wanted a good texture that’s not too waxy nor too soft, and it had to be long-wearing. This reminded me the most of the eyeliners you find from high end brands. Nowadays I always wear an eye primer no matter what just because my lids tend to get oily and melt everything on them. Some eyeliners still manage to transfer with primer but this KIKO one doesn’t.
603 is a deep brown with bronze shimmer.
10. Fasio slim eyebrow pencil in BR300
Another happy new discovery. The diameter of the tip is 1.5mm, quite fine and is the selling point of this pencil. I no longer have the Anastasia Brow Wiz to compare it with so I don’t know which of them is finer (have a feeling Anastasia is though) but honestly I find the Fasio adequate for my needs – I can still draw in my brows hair by hair if I want to. It’s got a good balance of wax and pigment, and is also a lot cheaper than Anastasia.
I’ve found brow products to be similar in general and I haven’t met one that completely blown me away. The MUFE Aqua brow came the closest but it does take more work and time, which I lack in the morning. I have just purchased Benefit’s Gimme brow but it hasn’t revolutionized my world just yet.
11. Hakuhodo brushes
Such a joy to use, I’m finally in the ‘club’ and know what everyone is raving about. If you’re in the market for some brushes, please look at Hakuhodo. I know MAC is held in high regard, but I’ve read the quality isn’t as good as it once was. I myself don’t own many MAC brushes and am nowhere near qualified to attest to this. But that, plus the fact that MAC prices are high in France were the reasons why I went for the J5523 instead of 217; J242G instead of 242. Whichever brand you go for, and we’re spoilt for choice in this department, with makeup brushes I agree to buy the best that you can afford. You don’t need a spoolie from shu uemura, but you might want to put your budget on eyes and face brushes. It will save you loads of money down the road. You might also be surprised to find that the blush/eyeshadow you previously deemed unworkable and over-hyped actually do perform.
12. Rae Morris brushes
I bought a few of her brushes this year and while I enjoy them all the ones I consistently used were the 8 medium point shader and 9 detail point shader. My eyes are small and the #9 in particular just makes the work easier. Not really for packing on colour, it’s slightly fluffy but sturdy at the same time, the shadows blend as you apply.
*whew* So glad I managed to upload this post before the end of January!