What better way to celebrate the transition into 2015 than by looking back at my favourite products of 2014?
I’ve separated the products into categories in an attempt to keep this list vaguely under control but there’s still a lot to get through, so settle in! Some of these products I used all year long, others were fairly new additions to my life, but they’re all ace & I wholly recommend them.
1. Best Eye Cream – Benefit’s It’s Potent
Starting work after graduating meant my sleep was cut dramatically & Benefit’s It’s Potent Eye Cream worked wonders for keeping dark circles away.
2. Best Cleanser – Liz Earle’s Cleanse & Polish
Despite the fact I only used this for the first time in December I’m already hooked & will be picking up a full size version in my next beauty haul.
3. Best Face Mask – Murad’s Clarifying Mask
I swear by this face mask & would recommend it to anyone struggling with acne-prone skin. Not only is it great as an all-over mask, but you can also use it as a topical treatment for those super painful under-skin spots that just won’t quit, & it’ll sort them right out.
4. Best Serum – Bioeffect’s EGF Serum
The price of this serum is a joke, but if you’ve got the cash to splash, this serum has genuinely done wonders for my skin even after just a week of using it.
5. Best Makeup Remover – Witch’s Naturally Clear Cleansing & Toning Wipes
These are the most effective face wipes I’ve found – they remove even waterproof mascara without leaving behind any oily residue. I’m trying to get more consistent with doing a full cleanse routine at the end of the night, but sometimes a quick face wipe is all you can handle, y’know?
6. Best Dry Shampoo – TRESemmé Instant Refresh Dry Shampoo
This stuff is not for the faint hearted – it’s basically industrial strength dry shampoo. Not for everyone but it has saved me from greasy haired embarrassment too many times this year for me not to include it.
7. Best Hair Tool – The Wet Brush Paddle Brush
You can see from the state of my brush that it’s been well used this year & honestly it was a life changer before I cut my hair during the summer. I’d absolutely recommend picking one up if you’re struggling with thick, knotty hair.
8. Best Face Primer – Benefit’s The Porefessional
I just love the smooth, matte base this provides for my makeup. I strayed a couple of times this year but none of the other primers I tried gave me the results I was looking for. Plus, thanks to Birchbox & my YOU Beauty Advent Calendar, I went all year without having to buy a full size version.
9. Best Foundation – No. 7’s Beautifully Matte Foundation
You can read my in-depth review of this foundation here
, but suffice to say that it gives incredible matte coverage that has yet to be beaten. I may have to switch to something a bit lighter in the Summer but for now it’s my go-to foundation.
10. Best Concealer – Rimmel’s Wake Me Up Concealer
I toyed with a few different concealers this year but Rimmel’s Wake Me Up came out on top, both in terms of formulation & coverage. My only issue is that the shade I currently have is a little too warm for my skin tone but hopefully I can find one that suits me & then I’ll be set.
11. Best Powder – Rimmel’s Stay Matte
I finally tried out this cult classic & it’s just as great as everyone says – a must have for oily skin.
12. Best Contour – NYX Blush in Taupe
I added this to my Christmas wishlist having spent all year watching Nikkie
use it & my boyfriend picked it up for me – win. I’ve been using it ever since & it’s the perfect contour shade for pale & cool-toned skin.
13. Best Highlight – The Balm’s Mary-Lou Manizer
2014 was the year I fell in love with a strong highlight & you can’t beat the luminous glow of Mary-Lou Manizer. Some people might feel like it’s a bit much for everyday use but not me.
14. Best Blush – Sleek’s Blush in Pomegranate
2014 was also the year that I finally conquered Sleek’s Blush in Pomegranate. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved it since I first bought it but it’s so pigmented that I ended up looking like I had serious sun burn every time I applied it. However, I’ve found that with the right brush, a light hand, & the correct placement, it gives a beautiful flushed glow.
15. Best Brow Product – Laura Geller Beauty’s Brown Sculpting Marker in Charcoal
I got a lot braver with my brows in 2014 & a big part of that was discovering cool-toned products that actually matched my natural brow colour. This year I really want to explore some more precise products – like the Anastasia Beverley Hills line – but for now I love this marker for filling out my brows in a way that’s natural & foolproof.
16. Best Mascara – Maybelline’s The Volum’ Express Colossal Smokey Mascara
It may have a ridiculous name but this way my go to mascara all year – not very precise but adds instant volume.
17. Best Eyeshadow – No. 7’s Stay Perfect Eyeshadow in Matte Maroon
For the past year I have defined my crease with this shade on an almost daily basis. It has great buildable colour, blends out beautifully, & barely shows a dent despite all the use it gets. Definitely pick this one up.
18. Best Eyeliner – Soap & Glory’s Supercat Liner
I started off the year thinking the grass was greener – I tried every eyeliner I could get my hands on: gel, liquid, felt tip – but nothing compared to Soap & Glory’s Supercat Liner. This is definitely a holy grail product – if you struggle with eyeliner, buy this & you can thank me later.
19. Best Lipstick – Urban Decay’s Naked & The Body’s Shop’s Berry Me
I went for two shades here – one neutral: Urban Decay & one more distinctive: The Body Shop. Naked is just the perfect nude shade on me, so much so that it makes me a little uncomfortable – I’ve clearly got too used to wearing darker shades. Berry Me on the other hand is a measure of how far I’ve come in my self love travels: it’s a cool, grey-ish purple – unflattering as hell, but #fuckflattering, I love it & it makes me feel like a super cool character in a futuristic cyber-punk thriller.
20. Best Tool – Urban Decay’s De-Slick Makeup Setting Spray
This has been an absolute lifesaver for me on the long work days when the last thing I need is my face slipping off my face. It’s not a miracle cure but it does keep my oil under control & for that I am eternally thankful.
21. Best Nail Colour – Barry M’s Nail Paint in Black
Since starting work, I now paint my nails every Sunday night meaning that whatever product I pick needs to be long-lasting & compatible with a range of different outfits. Black polish may seem a bit goth but if applied neatly & maintained well I think it looks really sheek & polished.
22. Best Nail Care Product – Sally Hansen’s Nail Repair
I was seriously skeptical about this but since I started applying it as a base coat before painting my nails, they’ve become noticeably more healthy, more shiny & less prone to breaking.
23. Best Top Coat – The Body Shop’s Colour Crush Polish in Clear
Now my nails need to last a week in reasonable condition, top coat is a must & the Body Shop’s offering makes a noticeable difference adding shine & longevity. It’s particularly good on top of glitter polishes to stop them from catching on fabrics.
So there are my top products of 2014. I’d love to hear yours & if there are any products here that you’d like more details on, please don’t hesitate to ask.
I hope 2015 treats you & the people you love well.