Happy New Year! I wish you all an amazing 2015 filled with love, happiness and lots of laughter!
I wanted to share my favorite skin care, perfumes and make-up of 2014. I discuss my favorite high-end and drugstore make-up products from each category. There were a few categories where I didn’t have a drugstore or high-end alternative which means that I didn’t try any that stood out to me in 2014. I already uploaded a video on my YouTube channel which you can watch below:
MY BEAUTY FAVORITES OF 2014…
FACE CLEANSER: LUSH Let the Good Times Roll Face Cleanser – Initially, I purchased this cleanser purely based on the scent (it smells just like caramel popcorn!) but it actually is a good cleanser. There are small popcorn pieces so it exfoliates my skin leaving it silky smooth and the scent lingers on my skin.
FACE SCRUB: LUSH Ocean Salt Face & Body Scrub - I fell in love with this scrub from the first time I tried it. The sea salt in this scrub really exfoliates my skin really well and it makes my face as soft as a baby’s bottom!
DAILY SHAMPOO: LUSH I Love Juicy Shampoo – This is my all-time favorite clarifying shampoo. It has a nice fruity scent and it helps absorb oil in your hair. I have thin, fine hair and it tends to get oily quickly, so this shampoo really is my savior.
VOLUMIZING SHAMPOO: LUSH BIG Shampoo – This is my favorite volumizing shampoo. It’s made out of coconut and sea salt and when you massage it into your roots it helps add volume to your hair. I’ve tried numerous volumizing products and this is the only one that doesn’t disappoint. I love using the BIG solid conditioner after using this shampoo. I don’t use this shampoo on a daily basis, just when I have an occasion and I want my hair to look more voluminous.
TONER: La Roche Posay Serozinc Toner – You’ll recognize this toner if you read my Paris Beauty Haul. I literally found the last two cans of this toner at the famous busy City-Pharma Pharmacy in Paris. I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with toners. I just never understood their purpose. Most of the toners in the market have alcohol, which is bad for your skin – it will definitely dry out your skin. Even with my oily skin type, I never liked using toners. But this toner is the exception. First, it’s the most gentle toner I’ve ever used. Second, alcohol isn’t listed in its ingredients – which is probably why it’s more gentle on my skin. This toner has become a cult favorite in the beauty world – it’s known to zap breakouts before they even appear. I haven’t broken out much this year (Al Hamdillah) but if I feel like a blemish might appear, I spray this toner onto my face and it stops it from forming! If you’re curious about my skin type, click here to read my Acne Story.
MOISTURIZER: Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre – Another product purchased in Paris (I’m sorry I know most of my favorites can’t be found in Bahrain – but what can I say, the French know their skin care!). When I first tried this moisturizer, I thought it was just an average moisturizer but for whatever reason I fell in love with it this year. It’s very moisturizing and it’s great to apply onto your skin before your make-up. I especially love to use this moisturizer on days when I know I will be photographed because my other moisturizers have SPF (Random tip: make sure to avoid products with SPF if you know you’re going to be photographed so the flash won’t make your face look white).
BODY SCRUB: Sabon Mango Kiwi Body Scrub – Sometimes I use LUSH’s Ocean Salt when I need a little more scrubbing – but on a weekly basis I like to use Sabon’s Mango Kiwi Body Scrub. The smell is ah-mazing and I like that Sabon scrubs come with a cute wooden spoon to help scoop out the perfect amount of product!
DAY PERFUME: Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede Cologne – My friend gifted me this scent in a candle form and I fell in loooove with it. So naturally, I had to purchase the perfume. And oh my, it’s my perfect day scent. It’s floral but not too sweet and I always receive compliments on this perfume.
NIGHT PERFUME: Jo Malone Velvet Rose & Oud Cologne Intense – Am I cheating for choosing a favorite perfume from the same brand? Probably! But honestly this has been my favorite perfume for years and it has become my signature scent. I love rose and oud scented perfumes – and since this combines both, it’s a match made in heaven! I have to repurchase this whenever I’m running low on it!
FOUNDATION PRIMER: Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer in Luminizing – I have reached out for this primer the most this year. I love the original oil-free foundation primer from Smashbox and this one too. I’m not sure if it actually makes my skin look luminizing, but I’d like to think it has some sort of brightening effect. Nonetheless, it makes my foundation last all day and doesn’t break me out!
HIGH-END LIQUID FOUNDATION: Estee Lauder Doublewear Maximum Cover Foundation – I’ve always been a fan of the forever loved Estee Lauder Doublewear Foundation, but when I came across this foundation I decided to try it as I felt it’s more lightweight. It definitely is more lightweight with the same amount of full coverage. I really love using this foundation for special occasions.
DRUGSTORE LIQUID FOUNDATION: Catrice Photo Finish 18 Hour Liquid Foundation – This foundation is really excellent – It’s full coverage and perfectly mattifying. I like that it doesn’t feel too heavy on my skin and it lasts a really long time!
POWDER FOUNDATION: Art Deco Hydra Mineral Compact Foundation – I have been gravitating towards this powder foundation a lot this year. I like that’s a pressed mineral foundation and it helps mattify my skin. I normally use this on top of my liquid foundation. I did try using just this foundation on its own without any foundation or concealer underneath and it surprisingly covered really well – around medium to full coverage. I might try applying this on its own more often.
MAKE-UP TOOL: Beauty Blender – I purchased this several years ago but for some reason I only started using it this year. This tool has changed the way I apply my foundation and it really makes my foundation look flawless. All you need to do is dampen the sponge and apply your foundation onto your skin. It gives you the best full coverage without making your skin look cakey. It also is great for blending cream contour lines.
DRUGSTORE CONCEALER: Maybelline Fit Me Concealer - I love using this concealer for underneath my eyes – it really brightens up the area. I still have to set it with powder though. It also still creases throughout the day (as most concealers do!)
HIGH-END CONCEALER: Vichy DermaBlend Corrector Stick – Okay, so I’m not really sure if Vichy is considered high-end or drugstore. In Europe you can find it at pharmacies so that might make it more drugstore. Anyway, Vichy’s DermaBlend range is made for people with problem skin such as acne. I really love that range and this concealer doesn’t disappoint. I like using this concealer to conceal acne scars and any redness on my skin.
BB CREAM: Dr Jart BB Cream in Platinum – I love using BB Creams on a daily basis. I came across this BB Cream brand at Boots in London. I really like how lightweight it is and how full coverage it is. It is lighter than my skintone but if I blend it well, once it dries it somehow adapts to my skintone which is pretty neat. It is slightly shiny upon application, so I definitely need to set my face with powder.
HIGH-END BRONZER: NARS Laguna Bronzer – This bronzer is really pigmented and great for bronzing and contouring. I like how the effect of it as a contour.
DRUGSTORE BRONZER: ELF Bronzer Quad in Warm Bronzer – I really like this bronzer quad. I like that it comes with two bronzer shades, one blush shade and one highlighter shade. I mainly use the brown bronzer shade and I like how natural the peachy blush looks. I love using this on a daily basis. However, the bronzer shades are not for contouring.
HIGH-END BLUSH: Illamasqua Blush in Naked Rose – This is my ALL-TIME favorite blush! I have used this blush the most this year and can’t get enough of it. It’s so pigmented and it’s the perfect natural pink that matches any make-up look. I also love that it lasts on my face all day (yes even after a long work day!). Sadly, this blush fell on the floor and broke so I need to repurchased it ASAP! (I asked my mom to pick it up from Kuwait but it was sold out!)
DRUGSTORE BLUSH: NYX Blush in Mauve – Fortunately for me – this blush is a great dupe for the Illamasqua ‘Naked Rose’ blush. I use this almost everyday!
HIGH-END HIGHLIGHTER: Illamasqua Gleam Highlighter in Aurora – As most people with oily skin, I was always afraid to try highlighters. I keep trying to mattify my skin instead of add shine to it so I never understood the purpose of highlighting. However, I decided to try a good quality highlighter this year and I must say, this was a great choice. I like that it’s a cream highlighter because I can easily blend it into my skin if I added too much. It gives me the perfect sheen and makes my skin look super glowy and not at all oily!
DRUGSTORE/HIGH-STREET HIGHLIGHTER: H&M Highlighter Powder – This was one of the first H&M products I started trying. I couldn’t believe how pigmented it was. I used this highlighter a lot in 2014!
DRUGSTORE LIP LINER: Rimmel Lasting Finish Lip Liner in ‘Wild Clover’ – I was never really was a ‘lip liner’ kind of person until this year. I never knew how significant lip liners can be and I noticed how I really need to shape my lips with a lip liner before apply lipstick. Not only will my lipstick last longer, but I can perfect my not so even lip shape! It also ensures your lipstick won’t bleed out and make you look weird. This is the perfect neutral lip liner – it’s darker than my lips yet it goes so perfectly with many of my lipsticks. It has been my most used lip liner in 2014 and I use this almost everyday!
HIGH-END LIPSTICK: Illamasqua Lipstick in Minx – It was really difficult to choose one favorite high-end lipstick this year. However, as soon as I tried this lipstick I really fell in love with it. This is my perfect ‘Kylie Jenner’ lipstick shade (and yes we’re still obsessing over her lipstick even in 2015). I like the new formula of this Illamasqua lipstick – it’s more moisturizing than the older lipsticks and it still lasts all day as well!
DRUGSTORE LIPSTICK: Catrice Lipstick in Berry Bradshaw – I have been gravitating towards this berry lip shade a lot this year (especially during fall and winter). I l love that it’s super moisturizing and it still has good lasting power.
DRUGSTORE LIP PENS: H&M Lip Pens in Cherry Lips and Passionata Pink – Earlier this year I really got into the Clinique Intense Chubby Sticks and these H&M lip pens are a perfect dupe of them! I didn’t expect this lip pen to be so pigmented – but it truly is! It’s also super moisturizing. These two lip pens were my go-to lip products of the summer – because I don’t like anything heavy on my lips during hot weather.
DRUGSTORE LIP GLOSS: NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brulee – I’m not a big lip gloss person but I really love this lip gloss. It’s the perfect pinkish nude and it’s perfect to pair with a smokey eye.
HIGH-END EYESHADOW PALETTE: LORAC Pro Eyeshadow Palette – It’s no surprise this is my favorite palette of the year. I really love how pigmented the eyeshadows are and this is the perfect eyeshadow palette for numerous eye looks. It’s also perfect for travelling! I fully reviewed this palette in my video here.
DRUGSTORE EYESHADOW PALETTE: Coastal Scents Revealed Palette – This palette is a dupe of Urban Decay’s Naked 1 & 2 Palettes. I couldn’t believe this is considered a dupe because it’s actually much better than the Naked 1 & 2 palettes. The eyeshadows are more pigmented and easier to blend! I also love that it comes with twenty eyeshadows, which makes this the perfect palette for travelling!
HIGH-END EYESHADOW PRIMER: MAC Paint Pot in Painterly – This is an eyeshadow base but it just makes the perfect primer. I love applying this all over my lids whether I’m adding eyeshadow on top or not. It’s truly worth the hype!
DRUGSTORE BROW PRODUCT: Catrice Eyebrow Duo Set – I love this duo brow powder! It comes with a light and dark shade – which both suit me very well. I love using the lighter shade on a daily basis as it’s really natural!
HIGH-END BROW PRODUCT: Tom Ford Brow Sculptor in Espresso – This was probably one of the first brow pencils I’ve ever purchased. I really like this eyebrow pencil but I must admit I prefer using my Catrice powder now.
HIGH-END MASCARA: Benefit They’re Real Mascara – This is the best mascara I’ve ever tried and the only mascara that makes my lashes look the longest!
DRUGSTORE MASCARA: L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara – This is an old favorite mascara of mine that doesn’t disappoint!
CONTOUR PRODUCT: Kryolan TV Paint Stick – I use a dark shade in this foundation stick to contour my face. I learned how to contour with this cream foundation stick and I must say I love how it looks. However, I don’t use this on a daily basis because I get small bumps in my skin from it
HIGH-END EYELINER: YSL Babydoll Liquid Eyeliner – This is an old favorite of mine. I like that the brush is super thin so I can really control the thickness of my eyeliner.
DRUGSTORE EYELINER: Catrice Liquid Eyeliner in Dating Joe Black – I didn’t expect to like this eyeliner so much because it’s a sponge applicator. Surprisingly, it really works for me. It’s a nice matte black and it really makes it easier for me to apply my eyeliner. I must say Catrice has really impressed me this year! It’s an inexpensive German drugstore brand and most of the products I’ve tried are really great!
I wanted to add that I love the products I mentioned so much that I’m constantly repurchasing them! Leave a comment below letting me know which products stood out to you in 2014!