It is time for my wrap up of the products that I liked best in 2014. These are products that didn’t necessarily come out in 2014, but that I loved and used in 2014. It’s basically my most favorite of all my favorite products for the year. If you have been paying attention over the last year, all of these products should be familiar to you. I have mentioned all of them in at least one “Favorites” post, though I do try not to be too repetitive in those posts as much as possible. These are definitely the products that I have been reaching for throughout the year, so let me get started.
First up, let’s talk skincare. In 2014 I discovered Derma MD when they sent me several products for review. The product that I have loved most from the brand is the Derma MD Copper CoQ10 Moisturizer. This is my third bottle, and I am sure that I will continue to use the Copper CoQ10 for a while. It has helped reduce my redness so much, which is my number one skin concern. I love the moisturizer because it is not greasy or oily in the slightest, but delivers a ton of hydration that lasts for hours. It is extremely lightweight and absorbs into the skin so easily that you don’t even notice it. I think that it would be appropriate for all skin types, oily or dry. It is a great product, and I recommend it to anyone. Derma MD is often featured on sites like Hautelook and Rue La La to cut the cost by a significant amount. I also have a 50% off promo code at dermamdskincare.com for my readers. Enter code beautybudget at check out to receive the discount.
Moving away from the face to the body is the Honeymania scent from The Body Shop. I love this scent so much. I have body butter, lip butter, and shower gel in Honeymania. It smells like honey and wild flowers, and is just a gorgeous fresh scent. I actually prefer the formula of the body butter more from The Body Shop than from Bath & Body Works. It is less greasy and absorbs into the skin better. Honestly though, I almost don’t care what product it is as long as it is in the Honeymania scent. 😉
Moving on to tools, the Coastal Scents Bionic Flat Top Buffer is a dead-on dupe for the Sigma F80, but for a fraction of the cost. This is my favorite style of brush for blending in foundation. I have a review for all of the details about how the brush performs. The bristles are soft and densely packed, making it a fantastic foundation brush because it feels comfortable on the skin and blends everything out easily and evenly. The handle is shorter than most, so the brush fits much easier into makeup bags than similar brushes. I have washed it countless times, and have had no issues with shedding or bleeding. The Bionic Flat Top Buffer is very well made and a high quality brush. If you are considering getting the F80 you should consider this one first.
One brush from Sigma that is 100% worth the hype and the money is the Sigma E36 Blending Brush. This brush is essential for me. I have hooded lids that aren’t too big, and this brush fits in the cease perfectly. I can lay down dark crease shades without them getting out of control and taking over my look. The E36 is very thin and has long, slightly firm bristles. The small fluffy brush is just perfect for precision blending and I use it all the time. It may be too small for those with really large eyes, but it’s so perfect for me.
When it comes to face makeup, my foundation and powder are repeat favorites that I had from last year. I am combining them and only counting them as one because it is the pair of products used together that is my true favorite. I am talking about the Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 Foundation and the Revlon Nearly Naked Pressed Powder, both of which have me scraping the bottom to get the last bit. The Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous is really great and unique because it works equally well for those with oily or dry skin. Very few products truly are for all skin types, but this foundation really is. CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous is mattifying, without drying out your skin. It has solid medium coverage, but is still lightweight and not cakey. The best part is that it lasts all day long, even in the worst heat and humidity. I definitely think that it is one of the best drugstore options for foundation. Revlon Nearly Naked Pressed Powder is such a good product that if you haven’t tried it yet, you absolutely must. I love how light it is, and the soft focus effect it gives to my skin is lovely. It blurs the imperfections and makes me look younger. Revlon Nearly Naked is (for me) the absolute best powder in the drugstore and definitely one that I will repurchase. It’s tough for me to use up products all the way because I have so much makeup to choose from. It says a lot that both of these products are basically empty. I highly recommend them both.
Hopefully you aren’t sick of me talking about the Coastal Scents Forever Blush in Poetic, because it was definitely a major favorite for me this past year. Poetic is a warm, nude peach with a satin finish that looks good for any occasion and on many different skin tones. The Forever Blush formula is so great in general. The blushes apply smoothly and evenly, and they have great pigmentation and staying power. You can read my full review to see swatches and get more details on the Forever Blushes. Poetic is my favorite, though, because it is such a universally flattering shade. I strongly recommend that you check it out.
I haven’t mentioned the Maybelline Master Hi-Light blush in Mauve since the Spring, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been using it. It is such a beautiful shade, and it wears really well. Mauve has definitely become one of my favorite blushes, especially when I want to skip highlighter and use a blush with some shimmer. It is sort of a plum toned rose-gold shade that is different than any other shade I have in my collection. The shimmer particles are finely milled and do not look chunky or glittery. It gives me a lovely sheen and looks great. A little goes a really long way, so I’ll have this blush for a long time. I really love it.
There is no way that I can talk about my favorite products of 2014 without mentioning the Lorac Pro Palette 2. It is probably my favorite palette of all of the palettes that I own, which says a lot because I have so many of them. For me, the Lorac Pro 2 has such a perfect mix of shades that I can easily come up with dozens of looks that are beautiful and distinct without having to think too much about it. I love that, unlike the Naked palettes, there are plenty of matte shades as well as the shimmers for looks that have more complexity and that wear better on aging eyes. The neutral everyday shades are appropriate for any situation, and the few colorful shades add some whimsy and set the Lorac Pro 2 apart from most other neutral palettes. The mix of warm and cool tones makes the palette universally flattering and a good choice for anyone. All the shades have great pigmentation and blend very well with each other without getting muddy. I personally don’t need primer when I use LORAC shadows to get crease-free wear that lasts all day. I can not recommend this palette enough. Feel free to read my full review of the Lorac Pro 2 with swatches for more information on the palette.
In 2014 I discovered bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow and have been so impressed. I don’t know why it took me so long to try bareMinerals, but I have really been enjoying the brand. I first tried a mini bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 2.0 in “The Epiphany” that I got in a kit over the Holidays last year. I could not get enough of the creamy, silky formula. I reach for that duo all the time. Next, I purchased the bareMinerals READY Eyeshadow 4.0 in “The Soundrack” and that same buttery texture had me hooked. The shadows feel so luxe and expensive on the skin- a real high quality experience. My most recent bareMinerals purchase is the READY Eyeshadow 4.0 in “The Happy Place” that was just delivered a week or so ago. It is absolutely gorgeous, and I can’t wait to play some more with it. BareMinerals READY Eyeshadows are a little pricey, but they are worth it in my opinion.
How many times have I talked about e.l.f. Essential Smudge Pot in Cruisin Chic this last year? I have enjoyed the Smudge Pots in general, but Cruisin Chic is the number one “must-have” of the bunch. The gel formula doesn’t crease, but also doesn’t dry out my lids. It is lightweight and hardly noticeable. It lasts all day long without fading. And the best part is that the e.l.f. Essential Smudge Pot in Cruisin Chic is only $3 (e.l.f. recently raised their prices). Be sure to check out my review of the Smudge Pots. Cruisin Chic is gorgeous brown-based metallic taupe. It is a great everyday option that looks so multidimensional that I can get away with wearing it all by itself, but it still looks like I put way more effort into the look. It couldn’t be easier to apply with either a brush or your fingers. I can’t think of a single reason why you shouldn’t get it. Trust me, you need this in your life.
Another products that should be no surprise to find in my Best of 2014 roundup are the Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments. Though I had tried them before this last year, I became obsessed with them in 2014. I love the way that they make my lips feel. The Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments are so hydrating and have a beautiful sheer wash of color that looks so natural and pretty. My two favorite shades out of the line are Sugar Rose and Sugar Berry. Sugar Rose is very sheer, but still gives my lips some life. The look is almost like my lips have a fresh kiss blush that is quite attractive. Sugar Berry is a plum-toned berry shade that has still has decent pigmentation, despite being a sheer balm. It is what I wear when I want color on my lips, but still want my lips to look natural. I have really fallen for the Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment line. They are definitely a splurge, but I really think that they are worth a go.
My other lip love of 2014 is much more affordable, but just as wonderful. I am addicted to the Nivea Kiss of Milk and Honey and Nivea Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon lip balms. I am a lip balm junkie, and I continue to try new lip balms when I get them in Ipsy bags or something like that, but I keep coming back to Nivea. These balms are so extremely hydrating. I have really dry lips, and am constantly re-applying my lip products. The Nivea balms last longer than most, and the formula is lightweight and silky without being greasy or waxy. They have no noticeable taste, and the pleasant scent is extremely subtle and only lasts during application. They are fantastic, and I can’t live without them.
One of my favorite new discoveries from 2014 are the Water Decals that I’ve been getting from the Born Pretty Store. I had never heard of water decals before Born Pretty contacted me. There was a steep learning curve for figuring out how to use water decals, and the first two attempts were somewhat painstaking. By my third try, however, I had my technique down and they were easy as pie. I absolutely love how professional water decals make my nails look. I don’t go to the salon to get manicures, and I have extremely limited talent when it comes to nail art. Let’s be honest, I can barely paint my nails without making a mess. But the water decals make my clumsy efforts look expertly executed. They are basically a temporary tattoo for nails, and (once you get the hang of it) really easy to use. I have gotten all of my water decals from the Born Pretty Store, so you can either type “water decals” in the search box or just click the Born Pretty category on the right hand side of the page for a closer look at the manicures that I have come up with using water decals. They are really fun and my new favorite way to do nail art.
Finally, my favorite fragrance has been Giorgio Armani Acqua di Gioia. Oh my god, you guys, it smells so good! Acqua di Gioia is a fresh, clean aquatic scent, with light citrus and floral notes. It instantly transports me to a villa in the Mediterranean, and I can’t get enough of it. The image in my head when I smell Acqua di Gioia is of clean blue water and fluffy white towels. The name means “water of joy” and I can’t think of a better and more accurate name for the scent. My husband also loves it and always compliments me when I wear it. In fact, he liked it so much he picked up the men’s version for himself. You have to smell Acqua di Gioia, if you haven’t already. It is truly lovely.
And that completes my Best of 2014 post. These posts are hard to do because I have used so many great products over the year. I do think that I was able to round up the best of the best, so to speak. These are the products that have gotten the most love over the year and that I would recommend the most to you. I hope that you saw something that you like. Let me know what your favorite products have been throughout 2014. Are there items that I really need to try? Tell me about them in the comments below.