BEAUTY BEST OF

BEST OF 2014: Makeup Favourites

11:14Alice Grace

best of 2014 makeup products

So, it's that time of year, again. Rather than doing a December favourites post in January, I go through my top products of the whole, previous year. Since last year's Best Of 2013 post, I've discovered some new, holy-grail products that I'm obsessed with and re-discovered old favourites that had been a bit neglected in my drawers. Let's start with makeup, shall we?

best primer foundation concealer powder of 2014 makeup

The stand-out primer for me over the past twelve months, had to be the Laura Mercier Foundation Primer. It's an oldie, but a goodie. Lightweight, it gives the skin an extra, hydration boost, without feeling like it's clogging your pores. Makeup sits over the top of it so nicely and it locks in moisture, to prevent that cakey, powdery look. Plus, it really does improve the longevity of foundation, which not all primers actually do for me.

I haven't actually discovered many, new foundations this year, to be honest. But, my favourite fuller-coverage base is definitely Illamasqua's Skin Base Foundation. Now, I have dry skin and this foundation leaves my skin with a dewy sheen, so it may be too much for oilier skins. I adore how it perfects my complexion, whilst retaining a healthy glow. There's no SPF within the formula, making it a great choice for special occasions, as it photographs beautifully. A little really goes a long way with this one and it can be difficult to blend if you apply too much. For a lighter finish, I've fallen back in love with one of my all-time favourites, the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation, which has a light to medium, build-able coverage. Water-based, the whipped, mousse-like consistency is so light and cooling that skin doesn't feel suffocated. Once blended in, skin looks smooth, even and so believably natural that you could fool others into thinking you weren't wearing anything.

If you regularly read AGB, then you may have already heard me harp on about my adoration for the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, as it's a must-have in my collection. It's a marvelous multi-tasker, tackling blemishes, dark circles and pigmentation, all in one fell swoop. Don't let the word radiant fool you, this concealer has a high coverage. But, thanks to it being so creamy, it never looks dry or heavy on the skin, no matter how much you apply. Instead of drying down to a matte finish, it gives the skin an illuminating glow. So, if you want to pull off that Kim K, concealer trick, this is awesome. I'm hooked on this stuff! 

The Soap & Glory One Heck Of A Blot Powder has graced my makeup bag for the majority of the year. It does everything it should. The velvety-smooth powder absorbs any excess oils, mattifying the complexion without leaving the skin looking dry. There's no chalky traces left behind on the face, as the silky texture blends so easily, whether you use the accompanying sponge or your own, individual brush. As it's transparent, it will suit any skin tone, making it a winner for everyone and the cheap(er) price tag won't break the bank. 

best bronzer blush highlighter of 2014 makeup

My most-reached for bronzer of 2014 was the fuss-free, no frills The Body Shop Honey Bronze Powder. Whether I want to add some colour to the high points of my face, or sculpt my cheekbones, this powder works a treat. As it's totally matte and doesn't have any strong orange or red undertones, it makes the perfect contour, even when I don't have a hint of a tan. The texture is soft enough that it doesn't leave skin looking muddy if you get a bit heavy-handed, either. It's a fool-proof product that can make contouring a piece of cake, for newbies!

I'm sure the Hourglass Ambient Blush Palette will be included in a whole load of blogger's 2014 favourites. Hourglass is such a decadent, luxurious brand, so it's no surprise that their products are amazing. This trio of marbled blushes, a rosy pink, a warming peach and a soft plum, all give the skin a surge of brightening colour. Each blush shade is infused with one of the original, lightening powders to give the skin an illuminating, soft-focus glow. If skin is looking a bit dull and lackluster, these blushes will lift the complexion and bring skin back to life.

For cream blush, I'm still loving my Stila Convertible Colours and, in particular, the rosy-brown, nude shade, 'Camellia'. Technically, this is a versatile, double-duty product that can be used on the cheeks and lips, but I tend to only wear them as a blush. Without being sticky, the creamy colour gives the cheeks a gorgeous, dewy sheen that lasts well throughout the day. The colour is sheer and soft, making it easy to apply and work with, whilst still giving a flattering flush of pigment. If I want a subtle look, then I'll blend it with my fingers, or for something stronger, a stippling brush.

My favourite highlighter of the year is one that I only recently bought, MAC's Soft & Gentle Mineralize Skinfinish. A gilded, peachy, champagne shade, this powder has a frosted finish that gives the skin a gentle, golden sheen. The shimmer running through the veins within the baked powder is so finely milled and not at all chunky, so the highlight isn't overly sparkly. As the light catches any areas that the powder has been used, the skin looks totally flawless and glossy.

best brow eyeshadow liner mascara of 2014 makeup

I recently mentioned the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in my November favourites post, but after discovering a cheaper dupe, it's been overtaken as my top brow product of the year. The Soap & Glory Archery Brow Pencil is practically identical and a fraction of the price. At one end, you get a small spooley to groom through your brows as you go, to prevent them looking too harsh and obviously drawn on. The pencil at the other end has such a small nib that it allows you to add precise definition to the brows and the waxy formula stays in place as long as you need it to. 

When it came to choosing my favourite eyeshadows, I was left in a pickle, as there's so many that I've loved. So, I'll start with powder formulas. For daytime wear, I picked my trusty, MAC neutrals palette. Famous for their extensive shade range, numerous finishes and their option of creating a custom palette, the brand are hard to beat. Patina, Tempting and Era have been given the most attention over the year, from my set. For the evenings, especially during A/W, I constantly turned to the beautiful Charlotte Tilbury The Dolce Vita Luxury Colour-Coded Eyeshadow Palette. This set contains four, complementing shades, a shimmering oyster, a rich russet, a chunky, gold, pressed glitter and a deep, antiqued bronze. Each shade has a smooth, buttery texture that takes minimal effort to blend and the glitter doesn't create a tonne of fallout. Whether I combine every shade into one look or wear them alone, I'm always happy with the looks I create from this palette and that unique, burnt, orange shade rockets the quad up to my number one spot.

The Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colours are my top, cream eyeshadows from the year. I bought the mini collection from Space NK and when I use them up, I will definitely repurchase. The formula is firm, yet creamy, so you can apply them directly from the stick onto the lids, without things getting into a smudgy mess. Once you've blended them, they set into place, so they make a great priming base, or you can wear them alone without worry of creasing or fading. Quick and easy, they're perfect if you're in a rush and need to glam up in a few minutes!

At the end of the year, I tend to wear black, liquid liner most of the time, to go with a bold lip. But, for the rest of the time, I usually stick to pencils and none have impressed me more than the Nars Larger Than Life Long-Wear Eyeliner in Via Appia. Addicted to the warm, shimmery bronze shade, I'd say I wore this liner pretty much every day for months. Whether I use it along my waterline or swiped it across my lash-line, it stays in place all day. The smooth, gel formula glides on easily and if you like, you can blend it out to create a long-lasting, smokey effect.

I was completely wowed by the Bourjois Volume 1 Seconde Mascara when I first tried it and I've repurchased it over and over again. The monstrous, plastic wand can be scary to begin with, but once you've mastered carefully maneuvering it around the eyes, it really give the lashes intense drama. Whether you want volume, length or separation, this mascara delivers the goods. You don't even need to spend hours perfecting about ten coats of it, either.

best lipliner lipstick lipgloss of 2014 makeup

I've really got into wearing lipliner on more of a daily basis over the past year. Whilst I have specific shades that I use when I sport a bold lip, I'm obsessed with using a nude shade to contour my lips and plump my pout a little more. Rimmel's Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Lip Contouring Pencil in 050 Tiramisu is a warm, peachy, brown nude that is only slightly darker than my natural, lip colour. Soft enough to easily trace around the edges of the lips, but firm enough that it won't smudge, I find that the formula rivals some of my high-end liners. 

I thought I'd pick a nude and bold shade for the lipstick category. Even though it costs an arm and a leg, I've fallen in love with the Tom Ford Lip Color in Indian Rose all over again. A rich, rosy-brown nude, this shade looks good with everything and, if you're after that Kylie Jenner-esque pout, then this is a luxe option. There's a tiny dusting of silver shimmer running through the colour, but it's virtually undetectable on the lips and adds a slight, plumping effect. Creamy and super pigmented, the formula is like no other and I find myself topping it up even when I don't need to, just because it feels so good and smells delicious! On the other end of the price spectrum, we have the Maybelline Color Drama Intense Velvet Lip Pencil in Light It Up, which has been my favourite bold shade of the year. Being a true red, with a blue undertone, this is a shade that makes your teeth look whiter. The satin finish gives the lip pencil great, lasting power and the creamy, moisturising texture makes it comfortable to wear. Although, if you're a die-hard, bold lip wearer and you're used to powdery, matte finishes, then this will need more touch ups.

I'm not really a fan of traditional glosses, but I do love a lip stain/lacquer/gloss hybrid. Dior are one of my favourite brands for lip products and their Dior Addict Fluid Stick in Pandore was one of my most-worn, lip colours during the summer. Super-charged with strong pigment, these lacquers pack a punch, but the colour is translucent and looks juicy. Comfortable to wear, the gloss feels light, thanks to a base of water, not wax. As the shine wears down, the lips are left with an long-lasting, even stain, so even if you forget to reapply, your lips continue to look great.


 Which makeup products did you love throughout 2014?

AGB X


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13 comments

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, honey! Happy New Year to you too :) x

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  2. Such fab products! Soft & Gentle is in my faves of the year - I think everybody loves it! Really want to try out the Maybelline colour drama lip pencils & that Charlotte Tilbury palette looks gorgeous!

    My faves are on my blog if you fancy a peek: www.bethanygeorgina.blogspot.co.uk

    Beth x

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    1. I can't believe it took me so long to pick it up, but you're right, it's a beaut! I love your picks - that Clarins Instant Light Complexion Base needs to be put at the top of my 'to-buy' list! x

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  3. Some of these have been on my wishlist for absolutely ages, beautiful photos

    wishing you a lovely 2015 x

    Stefanie | Casualllyawkward | Bloglovin

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  4. Awesome picks! I am definitely adding the Illamasqua Skin Base and Tom Ford lipstick to my wishlist! :)

    Morgan // www.blushingwit.com

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    1. Thanks :) We're such enablers! haha x

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  5. I've the Soap & Glory Brow Archery & really like it - good to know that it's a dupe for the Anastasia Brow Wiz as I've been considering purchasing one! I've been loving the Dior Fluid Sticks too & now have a great many products to add to my wish list! Xx

    Tania | whentaniatalks.blogspot.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. It's always good when you realise a drugstore product is just as good as a high-end one! x

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  6. The Hourglass palette is just perfection! I got it last month, and can't even deal with how pretty it is!! Great faves -

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    1. Totally agree, it took me a while to pluck up the courage to use it, as it's just so pretty! x

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  7. Great choices! We have a few in common :D
    I didn't know Illamasqua Skin Base was for dry skin - I might be able to try it now. Your base always looks amazing so if it is down to this I think I need it in my life :)

    Dannie x
    www.famousinjapan.co.uk

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Thanks for taking the time to read this post and leave a comment! I try to reply to each and every one of them within 24 hours! x

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