Today we’re chatting about the cream of the beauty crop, I’m highlighting the makeup products I adored most during 2014. I had to whittle all my makeup products down to a handful (ok, 2 handfuls) of favourites, it took me a good couple of days, but I got there…eventually! Looking back at all the items I chose, it looks like I subconsciously chose 1 product from each category (i.e. primer, foundation, concealer, mascara etc) except for blush. I love the Milani blushes but they’re not available in South Africa unfortunately, so I didn’t include them here BUT you can check out this blog post to see which one is still a favourite of mine.
So here are the best of what 2014 had to offer. Before we start, go get yourself a refreshing beverage (and maybe a snack too), and get comfortable because it’s going to be a long one. I make no apologies because this is the one you’ve all been waiting for, right? My top of the pops makeup products!
We’ll go from left to right, although thinking back, I probably should have styled the photo starting with the products I apply first on the left. *derp*
♥ Essence Stays No Matter What Eye Pencil & Shadow in Cute Copper (R 35,00) – what a steal! You can check out a swatch of this pencil in my ‘October 2014 Favourites’ blog post. I love this as either an eyeshadow base or a smudgey pencil for the lower lash line (I used it in this makeup tutorial video). It’s a beautiful copper shade with subtle gold shimmers, it’s also insanely pigmented and does not budge! Available online at Spree, or in selected Clicks & Dis-Chem stores.
♥ MAC Paint Pot in Painterly (R 200,00) – this is by far the best eyeshadow primer I have ever used (and I’ve tested my fair share of primers). I’ve struggled with so many potted eyeshadow primers drying out within a couple of months (I’m sad to say even the Maybelline Color Tattoos dry out a bit too quickly for my liking) but my MAC Painterly Paint Pot is almost 3 years old now and is still as soft & creamy as the day I bought it. Painterly is a classic nude beige with a matte finish, it keeps eyeshadows true to colour, but also enhances shadows when worn as a base. Eyeshadows are easy to blend on top of it, and it makes my shadows last all day (no creasing). MAC products are available at your local MAC counter or in the MAC Cosmetics SA online store (but it’s sold out online at the moment – boo!).
♥ L’Oréal True Match Foundation (R 169,95) – raved about by many, many beauty bloggers and beauty vloggers… Today you’ll hear why I love the True Match foundation so much: It provides light to medium coverage that is definitely buildable in the areas where you need it most, it blends superbly and gives the skin a natural-looking matte finish. It doesn’t settle into fine lines, plus does a great job of keeping an oily t-zone under control. I would say this foundation is most suited for normal, combo, and oily skin types. You can purchase L’Oréal products online at Spree (their price is the best – R 160,00), plus they have the lightest shade in stock too (N1 Ivory), I don’t often see this shade in-store. You can also purchase this foundation at Clicks, Edgars, Red Square and Dis-Chem stores.
♥ Wet n Wild Color Icon Trio in Walking On Eggshells (R 69,95) – this was the first Wet n Wild product I ever owned back in 2012, even before it was sold in South Africa (I bought mine on eBay) and I instantly fell in love with it. Long-lasting, affordable, vibrant, buttery and super blendable. I like to use the bottom shade (which is incidently a great dupe for the Urban Decay eyeshadow in Sin) as an eyelid shade and will blend the middle shade (a spot-on dupe for the Urban Decay eyeshadow in Smog) into the outer V-area and crease. I always receive compliments on my eye makeup whenever I wear this combo, it just really brings out the eyes. You can purchase Wet n Wild products at selected Clicks stores.
♥ Bourjois Contour Clubbing Waterproof Eye Pencil in Ultra Black (R99,95) – this stuff does not budge! It’s an intense black eyeliner pencil with a waterproof formula that is crease-resistant. It’s so soft & creamy, you can use it as an eyeliner to define the upper or lower lash line or you can use it as a dark eyeshadow base (it blends out pretty easy with a brush or the finger). As mentioned before, this stuff is BLACK and very long-lasting, so you will have to remove it with a waterproof makeup remover (I like the Bourjois Express Eye Makeup Remover). I’ll be loading a ‘Face Of The Day’ makeup look blog post on Monday, where you will see this eyeliner in action. I don’t wear super dark eye makeup very often, but when I do, this is the eye pencil I reach for every single time. Bourjois products are available in the Spree online store or in-store at selected Clicks stores.
♥ Catrice Long Lasting Waterproof Lip Pencil in That’s What Rose Wood Do (R 34,95) – ah, I love this lip pencil so much! It’s the perfect matte mauve shade, and although it’s matte, it’s not drying on the lips at all. I sometimes find these old school lip liner pencils (the non-twistable ones) can be a bit dry and almost pull at the skin when you apply them – not this one! It’s soft, creamy and applies like a dream. I’ve used it to outline my lips (then top off with a nude lipstick) and have also used it as a full-on lip product (I filled in the lips completely), and find it lasts for a good 4 hours before it starts to fade. The perfect ‘my lips but better shade’ and such great quality for the price. Spree wins with the best price once again, they sell them for R 30,00 but this specific shade is currently out of stock. Otherwise, you can also find Catrice products at selected Dis-Chem stores.
♥ LA Girl Pro Conceal HD Concealer (R 45,95) – Some of the favourite beauty vloggers such as Nicole Guerriero, Shaaanxo and KathleenLights use these HD concealers in their videos all the time. When they first started popping up in YouTube videos, I really hoped they would arrive in South Africa because a good quality, affordable drugstore concealer is hard to find! I immediately started snooping my local Dis-Chem stores and finally found a stand with only a few shades, I picked up the lightest shade I could find (Classic Ivory) and started using it the very next day. This concealer has quickly become a staple in my makeup routine, it highlights (because the shade is lighter than my natural skin tone, it doesn’t contain shimmer…don’t worry) and conceals so well, plus you can’t beat the price tag of R 45,95. Dark under eye circles are a distant memory for me, and I recently also picked up the shade Almond (which is quite a bit darker than my natural skin tone) to see how it will perform as a contouring product. Will keep you posted! LA Girl products are available at Dis-Chem stores.
♥ MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Powder (R 350,00) – I mentioned this setting powder in my ‘Best Of Beauty 2013’ blog post too and I’m not ashamed to mention it again. This is definitely my ultimate face powder and I’ll keep repurchasing it time & time again. It provides a little bit of coverage, but what I love most about it, is it’s very finely milled (which means it can be used to set your under eye concealer too without caking up), plus it gives your skin that 3D-HD-I’m-airbrushed-in-real-life finish. Yes, it’s a pricey face powder but utterly worth it! MAC products are available at your local MAC counter or in the MAC Cosmetics SA online store.
♥ Sorbet BB Cream (R 99,95) – gosh, I don’t even know how to describe the love I have for this BB cream. We’re in a long-term relationship, this little tube and I… I use this BB cream whenever I film a video or when I know photographs will be taken because it just looks so darn stunning on the skin! I’ve had so many people ask me what foundation I’m wearing and I always feel a sense of pride when I get to say: “Huh-uh…it’s not a foundation. It’s actually a BB cream.” Why? Because BB creams usually lack in the coverage department. This BB cream, however, gives natural-looking, medium coverage with a beautiful satin finish (not too glowy, and not too matte either…the perfect in-betweener). It makes me feel like a million bucks whenever I wear it. I also love that it is a true neutral shade, not too yellow and not too peach. It hydrates the skin but is still suitable for combination skin too (even oily skin, but just make sure you set it with a powder) and the SPF 15 sun protection is such a bonus! Sorbet products are available at Clicks stores and Sorbet salons.
Dear Sorbet – please expand the number of shades available to cater for everyone, i.e. add Light-Medium and Medium-Dark shades to the range as well so that everyone can bask in the glory that is this BB cream!
♥ MAC Fix+ (R 130,00 for 30ml / R 210,00 for 100ml) – I started out buying the 30ml size of this and loved it so much, I bought the full size before I even finished the travel size. I’ve almost run out of my big bottle now and I must admit, I’m getting nervous. I forgot to use it the one day (I was rushing out the door) and I could see a major difference in the longevity of my foundation & eye makeup, plus my skin just looked a little bit too flat and matte for my liking. Fix+ is a fine, non-aerosol mist that both refreshes and sets your makeup, it melts powder and foundation into the skin to give you a natural, slightly airbrushed finish (it breaks down that powdery, flat finish that powder can sometimes create). Green tea, cucumber and chamomile soothe the skin, and unlike some other makeup setting sprays, Fix+ doesn’t contain film-forming agents, so it won’t clog pores or irritate the skin. If you struggle with eyeliner transferring to your crease because you have hooded lids (I know all about this struggle), try Fix+ – it seals your makeup to prevent creasing and transference.
I also use it to foil and intensify my pigments & eyeshadows – just spray your eyeshadow brush with Fix+, dip your brush into the eyeshadow and apply to the lid. It just makes your shadows pop a little bit more! Foiling basically means you are applying your eyeshadow pigments wet, it intensifies and transforms the shadow into a metallic-looking foil on the lid. MAC products are available at your local MAC counter or in the MAC Cosmetics SA online store.
Do yourself a favour, go to your nearest MAC counter and do 2 things: First use it as a makeup setting spray (spray all over the face in an “X” motion) and see how it transforms your makeup. Then, ask one of the makeup artists to show you how it intensifies / foils any ol’ eyeshadow .
OOH! Try this: Stick it in the fridge on those hella hot days and then spritz it all over the face. Talk about taking refreshing to a whole other level!
♥ Maybelline Great Lash Lots Of Lashes Mascara (R99,95) – best thing since sliced bread, trust me… You can take a look at this blog post if you’re interested in seeing what the actual mascara brush looks like. This mascara is the bee’s knees because it’s non-irritating (I have sensitive eyes), it adds length AND creates volume (but still separates the lashes beautifully), the formula is clump-free, AND the brush is small enough to be used on the lower lashes without leaving messy smudges. This mascara is available at Clicks, Dis-Chem & Foschini stores, as well as online at Spree and Zando.
Top Tip: Clicks often has those 3-for-2 promotions on Maybelline products, so if you can, wait until the next beauty sale.
♥ L’Oréal Nude Magique Blur Cream (R 199,95) – it’s like having a permanent Instagram photo filter on your skin, no really… This makeup primer feels absolutely heavenly on the skin, it’s silicone-based so it gives your skin the look & velvet feel of a 20-something Victoria’s Secret model (if you’re in your thirties or forties, you’ll know finding a product that can do this, is like hitting the mother of all beauty jackpots!). It blurs pores, evens out the skin tone ever so slightly, keeps the oil at bay (but isn’t drying at all) and helps your foundation glide on smoothly. If I didn’t know better, I’d think there was magic at play here… Nude Magique is exclusive to Clicks stores.
♥ Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter (R 130,00) – I love each and every single one of the shades I own (and I own a large amount of shades, even the limited edition ones) but if I had to choose only a select few favourites, I would choose: Sweet Tart, Juicy Papaya, Lollipop (pictured above), Wild Watermelon and Strawberry Shortcake. These lip butters are pigmented, hydrating, creamy and gives the lips a glossy finish. Take a look at this blog post to see a full review on these moisturising lippies, some are more pigmented than others but it all depends on the ‘look’ you’re going for. Available in the Spree online store, or in-store at Clicks, Dis-Chem, Edgars, Truworths, Foschini and selected pharmacies.
What are your plans for the weekend? I’m planning on filming a couple of YouTube videos (if the weather permits) and going through my makeup & beauty collection to declutter again. If there’s one thing these ‘Best Of Beauty’ blog posts make me realize, it’s that I need to reorganise, throw out and donate to charity.
I’ll be loading my ‘Best Of Beauty 2014 – Palette Edition’ blog post this weekend (bonus!), so keep your eyes peeled for that!