Get ready it’s time for my yearly favourites roundup, likely the most redundant and dull – or redundantly dull perhaps? – post of this year as well as the most laborious for yours truly. For the last month or so, I’ve spent many minutes agonizing over and agonizing over the products that would make up my top fourteen products of last year and I’m excited to share these loves with you all. To state the obvious, these are all ridiculously good and I would get on them pronto if their description sounds appealing…
Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet Smooth-Effect Makeup ($48) | review
Knowing my foundation buying slash hoarding problem, you shouldn’t blink at the fact that I’m mentioning at least one foundation — I may or may not have also had to include another, (see below) — and this decision required little to no deliberation. I’ve had the lightweight velvety foundation in my possession for over half of the year and I went through a solid couple of months this summer when I rarely reached for anything else in the foundation department. This foundation is remarkable because despite its velvety texture, it’s flattering on texture concerns and general skin dehydration (bar severe dry patches) and has some lit-from-within kind of luminosity to it. I rather enjoy just how invisible it feels and looks on the skin whilst providing medium and build able coverage.
Diorskin Star Fluid Foundation ($50)
I might have only discovered the radiant brightening foundation early in the Fall as soon as I spotted it here on Canadian shores but it could not be left out. I love just how hydrating yet lightweight the alcohol-free formula is, how much coverage it provides while providing that glow that is generally associated with sheerer foundations, its ridiculous longevity and just how flattering it is on my winter dry patches.
Bobbi Brown Corrector in Light to Medium Bisque ($30)
During this spring’s Sephora VIB Sale, I finally bit the bullet and purchased this salmon-toned corrector for a rather large sum of money and ever since I’ve never turned back and now that I’m running out, I actually plan on repurchasing and the thought doesn’t even make me cringe. It has pretty full-on coverage and can crease if you don’t make sure that it doesn’t settle in creases prior to application so its kind of ideal for my hereditary dark circles.
NARS Contour Blush in Paloma ($46) | review
I enjoy a good neutral taupe-leaning finely milled contouring powder and the rosy-taupe hue in this compact surpasses even MAC Harmony in these respects and is even more foolproof to apply. There aren’t too many days that go by that I want to put on makeup that I don’t reach for this contouring powder – and the ivory-hued matte highlighting powder is nice and brightening for underneath the eyes.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Ethereal Glow ($41) | review
I do enjoy a good blush far more than I should and I might actually own more blushes than foundation and have a similar unhealthy love for and buying addiction and this cool-toned light pink has definitely been my pick for the year. Just like everybody else, I love the smooth and pigmented long-wearing formula that imparts glow to the skin without obvious shimmer and this shade is perhaps the only cool-toned pale pink shade that I like and its a bit different than the usual.
Dior 5-Colour Eyeshadow in 734 Grege ($61) | review
Although it has come to my attention that with the introduction of numerous new shade variations to Dior’s quint line-up, they have discontinued their entire previous range including this versatile and practical beauty, I couldn’t leave out this essential five shade neutral palette. I’ve said numerous times before that Dior eyeshadows have my favourite formula on account of the very little fallout and creamy texture and this palette is impeccable, especially for an everyday all-in-one kind of small palette with its variety of textures. It has a shimmery ivory, a satiny pale taupe shade, another soft-matte caramel shade that suits the crease particularly well, a shimmery grey and a dark matte greyed brown.
MAC Eyeshadow Quad with All That Glitters, Soft Brown, Coquette & Smut ($12/18 each)
Over 2014, I indulged in a few more MAC eyeshadows which I remember fondly as the first beauty products that I fell in love with but among the most used were my smaller palette of everyday shades. In it, I kept All That Glitters, my favourite peachy champagne lid shade, Soft Brown, a nice warm-toned crease shade, Coquette, the grey shade that I adore for my brows and to add depth to the crease and finally Smut, a burgundy-tinged black shade that excels at adding some depth and smokiness.
L’Oreal Lineur Intense Felt-Tip in Carbon Black ($9)
In the last year or so, I have fallen for this easy to use felt-tipped liner pen and have raved about it countless times over here on my blog so regular readers wont be surprised by this inclusion in the least. Nevertheless, I have loved this simple pen-style liner that has brought me over to the realm of liquid liner, from the gel and pencil formulas that I enjoyed in the past and its what allowed me to get a hold on the whole kitten flick thing.
MAC Lipstick in Kinda Sexy ($19) | review
Although I didn’t discover the peachy-neutral matte shade until this summer, there was no doubt in my mind about what was the one lip product that I was going to include. It’s a creamy matte formula that is not particularly drying or unflattering on my perpetually chapped lips, wears nicely throughout the day and lasts for ages and ages, especially considering that its a lighter neutral shade. It’s another one of those shades that looks great regardless of the whole makeup situation that is going on at any given time.
Biacna Prescription Topical Gel ($80)
Ever since the end of the spring, I’ve brought this alcohol-free prescription gel product, containing 1.2% clindamycin – which is a topical antibiotic to decrease and prevent bacteria-based blemishes – and 0.o25% of the standard prescription retinoid, trentinoin for a good four nights a week at the least and this is perhaps the primary reason that I credit that my skin has remained so much more clear and even. This is definitely a pricy product, if you do not have insurance or if like me, your insurance does not cover the product but its manageable and it does require a prescription. However, I’ve had great results with this product despite having highly reactive skin that does not like to tolerate harsher ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide and drying alcohols. During the first six weeks, I definitely did experience some skin purging because of the rapid turnover effect that the trentinoin has. By some miracle, this does not make my skin flake or peel.
Indeed Laboratories Pepta-Bright Intense Brightening Treatment ($39.99) | review
Throughout the year, I enjoyed using gentle acidic products and this AHA-containing cream-textured serum was among the most intense of those offerings and provided impressive brightening results. The serum isn’t something I can use every single day but with my use, I could see a visible difference after merely a couple of months and I don’t say that often in terms of the usual brightening and texture improvement.
Caudalie Vinosource Riche Intense Moisture Rescue Cream ($40) | review
Although I didn’t try this rich but lightweight moisturizer out until the end of the summer, I couldn’t imagine leaving this moisturizer out of my yearly favourites — it’s an intensely soothing treatment and moisturizer at the same time and not only contains gentle ingredients, but also has antioxidants and all that jazz as well. I credit this for my skin keeping so hydrated during this lovely Canadian fall and winter without any freakouts in sight.
Pureology Precious Oil Softening Hair Masque ($50)
At the very beginning of the year, I picked up this oil-rich silicone-free deep treatment and for the entire year, I used the tub with a great deal of frequency – I might not have used it each and every time, but it was used more often than not with great results. It smells amazing – as Pureology products do – and more importantly has a concentrated formula that detangles and nourishes hair like nothing else without adding any sort of weight to my curls. One jar lasted me the entire year so the price might just be justifiable…
DevaCare Arc AnGel ($25/55)
In 2014, I found my ideal standard hair product and its this concentrated, non-drying and lightweight gel that I purchased in the huge litre size and I’ve been using it for months and months with success – and I’m pleased to report that I’m no more than halfway done. This is definitely a gel that controls the hair and doesn’t require a ridiculous amount of product because I suppose the hold is quite strong. However, my wavy curls seem to eat up product and they never get crispy, so I don’t always notice, but this has been responsible for my defined wavy curls that have lasted days on end. A curly-hair gel might sound like a really boring product but it’s a staple that I have come to really enjoy and appreciate.