Now for the fun part, my yearly favorites! These are some of my favorite blog posts/YouTube videos to watch, and considering the time of the year, I thought it would be perfect to kick off my own blog by sharing my own favorite products of 2014!
Here's an overview:
I know I have a lot but oops, I'm bad at narrowing things down. So lets start with hair care:
Suave Keratin Infusion Dry Shampoo
The biggest discovery I had this year in regards to hair care is dry shampoo. Throughout high school, I struggled with greasy scalp between shampooing disorder (don't we all?). I hated washing my hair every day, but I didn't like dumping loose powder in my roots either. Compromise? This little miracle in a can. I don't have a favorite variety or brand yet, but I'm currently trying out this one. It works just like the original, but I don't think I'll repurchase this because the scent is a little strong for me. Further clarification, dry shampoo in itself is the favorite, this is just what I'm currently using.
Clarisonic Mia with the "Normal" brush head
Let's talk about this. Since receiving this as a Christmas present exactly a year ago, my skin has never been better. I've heard mixed feelings about whether or not this really works, or if it makes your skin worse rather than better, but it has made a world of a difference for me. This works better than any exfoliate I've ever tried, it gets my skin cleaner, brighter, and clearer than with any product I've ever tried, and best of all, it has made my acne scarring practically disappear over the past year. I haven't found a cleanser to go with it that I'm absolutely in love with, but I usually use something from the Clean and Clear line and that works perfectly fine.
Garnier Clean+ Nourishing Cleansing Oil
So the bottle in this picture is my 7th since I discovered it earlier this summer. Since receiving the Clarisonic last December, I had been looking for something to remove my makeup before using it other than makeup remover wipes (they irritate my skin and eyes). I was about to cave in and buy the Boscia cleansing oil, and just in time, I found this on a blog and bought it immediately. This is perfect for melting away any makeup (including the ever-so-difficult waterproof mascara). My two favorite things about this product are that it has made my eyelashes longer and healthier, and it is only $5 at the drugstore. I hope other drugstore skincare lines come out with cleansing oils in the near future because I'd love to try more!
Tweezerman Classic Eyelash Curler
Also another Christmas gift from last year, this little guy has changed the life of my lashes. I didn't realize until recently that the reason I probably like this one so much more than any other I've tried (other than that this one doesn't fall apart, which is nice) is because it fits my eye shape better than any other. Also, you know how some eyelash curlers get dull and stop working even if you replace the pads? This one keeps working just as well as when I first got it
Here are some more shots:
Until I find something better, I will forever repurchase this regardless of the $15 price tag. Although I don't think I will have to repurchase often due to its high quality.
MAC Paint Pot in Painterly
Now it's time to talk about everyone's favorite eye primer, the cream of the crop, MAC's Painterly Paint Pot. I bought this two years ago and sadly, it is just starting to die out. It's been a great couple years with this guy though. Considering I can count on both hands how many days (days that I have worn makeup) on two hands that I've gone without wearing this, I'm very impressed with how long it has lasted.
This does a great job of canceling out my veining on my lids as well as setting a blank canvas for any shadows I put on top. I know some people can't use this as a primer without using something else underneath it due to creasing, but I've never had that problem (I guess because I have dry eyes). On days that I don't wear eyeshadow, I'll still use this to make my eyelids look better behind mascara. I'll probably be running out to get this again within the next few weeks.\
Maybelline ColorSensational lipstick in Warm Me Up
I discovered this recently while browsing the makeup section in Walmart. I wasn't looking for anything in particular but found this, swatched it, and had to bring it home. I hate throwing this term around, so I don't do it often, but this my true My Lips But Better shade. I love it. That's all I can say.
Warm Me Up, swatched
The formula of this lipstick is creamy and pigmented, just as most lipsticks from the ColorSensational line. The color is really flattering on my fair skin tone, but I'm sure it would look great on all skin tones. The only thing I dislike about this product is the very slight gritty feeling I sometimes get from the fine shimmer when it starts to wear. However, this doesn't bother me too much and the feeling goes away when I reapply (or take it off, obviously).
N.Y.C. Liquid Eyeliner in Black
Winged eyeliner is my jam. I've tried felt, liquid, and gel eyeliners of all sorts and nothing has gotten the job done like this guy here. I tried it on a whim because it was $3 and my other eyeliner had run out. I tried it, and ended up loving it. The brush and formula of this product makes it so easy to get a perfect, opaque wing.
I also appreciate the length of the wand, its not too long, not too short, and makes it easy to stabilize your fingers before attempting winged eyeliner (this may not be a big deal to some, but its a deal maker for me).
N.Y.C. Liquid Eyeliner, swatched
You can't tell from the swatch because I took the picture immediately after I swiped it, but this dries completely matte. I don't really have a finish preference for eyeliners, but I know a lot of people prefer a matte finish so I thought I would throw that out there. Aside from the irreplaceable $3 price tag, this is an incredible product I will continue to repurchase.
Covergirl+Olay The De-Puffer Eye Concealer in Fair
I'm a concealer junkie. I'm always on the hunt for the next best under-eye concealer for the girl with translucent skin and purpley-blueness that shows through, a.k.a. me. I was initially disappointed with this product because it's not super pigmented, but I found that this works best with a correcting concealer such as NYX's undereye correcting concealer underneath it.
Covergirl+Olay Eye Conclear in Fair, swatched
I have come to appreciate this product for the metal-tip applicator, and unique, serum-like formula. The tip doesn't "de-puff" as it claims, but it sure feels good. And while the coverage of this product is not the best, the formula is thin, moisturizing, and will not crease on my under-eyes.
Maybelline "The Falsies" Volum' Express mascara in Black
This mascara has been my favorite since I was 15. It has several varieties including the regular (as pictured above), waterproof, The Falsies Winged, and Black Drama (my personal favorite). I've gone through probably 15 tubes of this in my lifetime I haven't really found anything I like much better. My new favorite way to wear this is over Covergirl Clump Crusher mascara.
M.A.C. Extra Dimension Bronzer In Aphrodite's Shell
I'm not going to talk about this one too much because, well, you can't get it anymore /: This released in May 2014 with MAC's Aluring Aquatics collection. These bronzers were a huge hit because they were the first of the Extra Dimension kind, and because they're just plain awesome.
Aphrodite's Shell, swatched
This warm bronzer has a slight, satin sheen and glides onto the skin with smoothness I never imagined possible from a bronzer. I don't have any E.D. skin finishes to compare this to, but I love this for what it is, and hope M.A.C. releases more of them in the future.
Covergirl 3-in-1 Stay Fabulous Foundation in Ivory
I'm not a huge foundation wearer, but when I do (and when I'm winter-pale), this is the one I go to. I discovered this about this time last year and (as you can tell) It's gotten some serious love from me.
Ivory, swatched and blended
This foundation has the best coverage I've found at the drugstore, and is the longest lasting product I have besides MAC Prolongwear concealer. I often use this for special events because it photographs well, and it looks just as good at the end as when it first set. The only reason I don't wear this every day is because it has the tenancy to dry out my skin, but as long as I keep up with skincare it's not too big of an issue.
e.l.f. Studio face Brushes
This year, I really dug into some e.l.f. brushes, particularly from the studio line. These are my favorites:
e.l.f. Studio Small Stipple Brush
I ultimately ended up buying this one because Emily from BeautyBroadcast on YouTube has raved about it for so long. I used it for cream blushes at first, then highlighting, and now for cream contouring. The bristles have the perfect length and density for use with cream products!
e.l.f. Studio Blush Brush
I got this one because Marissa from MarissaLace on YouTube recommended it for highlighting. I still use it for highlighting, but also find it good for powder contouring and setting under-eye concealer (the bristles are so soft!). The only thing it's not good for is blush, which is what is intended for...
e.l.f. Studio Small Tapered Brush
Moving along, this one was another Emily recommendation. I love this for setting under-eye concealer, but also really like it for highlighting with powder products. I use the tapered brush and blush brush interchangeably for those two things depending on my mood. Again, love the super soft bristles.
My M.A.C. custom 15-pan palette
And finally, we have my MAC palette. I had all of my MAC shadows in a Z Palette until they came out with their clear palettes and dividers. Then, I bought that and transferred them. I love how nice and organized they all look in here. This collection has been my "What do I want to wear? Not sure, so I'll just get these out" shadows. I'm not going to get into swatches because I may or may not be doing a post dedicated to that (Hint: I am). The important part is that these were my most used of the year and I love them.
Well, that's all for now, but I hope you found this useful/interesting/enjoyable. Thank you for taking the time to read this!