I can’t believe we are at the end of 2014, but I hope the year has been as good to you as it has to me! To wrap up the year, I have compiled a list of my favorite beauty products- the must-haves that I found myself reaching for all year!
Disclaimer: These are products that I have found work best for my needs and preferences, but we are all different! I’ll do my best to concisely explain why it works well for me and for whom it will also work well!
Best Foundation Primer:
Benefit the POREfessional – Sometimes my skin is oily, and sometimes it is dehydrated, but no matter what, I have larger pores. This primer not only smooths them out, but it also leaves my skin silky smooth, perfectly primed for makeup. This formula also gives a nice lightweight base for allowing any foundation to adhere to it for enhanced wear (even though some days I wear this alone for flawless, natural skin!)
Best Natural-Looking Foundation:
MAC Studio Sculpt – This highly concentrated, hydrating foundation is my favorite for a more natural looking face. Only the size of a chocolate chip is needed for a whole face, so I work a very small amount of product into my skin for flawless, natural coverage. It is buildable, so on days I need a little extra help, I work a little more onto just the areas I need it. Use a fluffier brush for a more skin-like look, or use a more dense or flat brush for a little extra coverage. On days that I’m oilier, I make sure I set it with a translucent powder (my fave is MAC Prep & Prime Translucent Powder, and with this, just like the foundation, less is more!)
Best Full Coverage Foundation:
Laura Mercier Silk Crème Foundation – This foundation is great when for when I am going out or going to be in a lot of photos. It provides fuller coverage without looking heavy, but I have to make sure I only use a small amount!
Best Foundation Brush for a Natural Look:
MAC 159 Brush – This fluffy duo-fibre brush is fantastic for buffing foundations into the skin for a natural look. The longer, white bristles are perfectly spaced apart to ensure the most natural makeup application!
Best Foundation Brush for More Coverage:
Sigma F80 – This large, super dense brush is a must for anyone’s more-than-natural coverage needs! The bristles are super soft, but because the brush is jam packed, they firmly work product into the skin. I work in small, circular motions to buff makeup into my skin for a flawless, airbrushed look.
Best Brush-Free Makeup Applicators (EVER):
MAC Pro Performance Sponges (or Beauty Blenders) – These dense sponges provide the most skin-like makeup application possible. They are not as porous as the typical makeup sponge, which means they don’t absorb and waste product! Dampen them and squeeze out any excess water before using, then use them to lightly “pounce” the makeup into your skin. I love using these with everything from my foundations to my concealers to my creamy contour products. There is NOTHING like the way these products melt makeup into your skin!
L.A. Girl Pro HD Concealer – This super-concentrated, long-wearing concealer is one of my favorite finds of the year! The formula is completely comparable to MAC Prolongwear Concealer, but for a fraction of the price. I never sacrifice performance for price, and these are the best of both worlds! My favorite way to use these is to swipe some on (less than you think you’d need) and work in with a damp beauty blender. Using this method allows me to maintain coverage without it looking heavy. When I use it under my eyes, I make sure to dab just a little translucent powder to prevent it from creasing.
Best Top Lash Mascara:
Benefit they’re real – Yes, I do use separate mascaras for my top and bottom lashes. Do I expect everyone to? No. Do I know a lot of other artists and enthusiasts that do? Yes, so I wanted to break mascara down into two categories for those as choosy as me! Benefit’s they’re real delivers the perfect amount of product to volumize my lashes without applying too much so that they’re not clumping together. My lashes look super long and super separated without looking “product-y”!
Best Bottom Lash Mascara:
MAC Extended Play Lash – This mascara is my holy grail for bottom lashes. The brush on this mascara is super small so I don’t end up getting mascara on my skin. It also makes my bottom lashes super long and separated- it almost looks like I’m wearing false bottom lashes! It’s flake-free so I also don’t have those little black dots under my eyes halfway through the day!
NYX Studio Liquid Liner – Once a gel liner loyalist, I’ve recently converted to liquid. I’ve tried a few, and this is my favorite one so far for few reasons. I love the applicator- its very slim so that I can get a thin line when I want one. The wear is incredibly long- I don’t know if it claims to be waterproof, but from personal experience I can say that it is for me! Also, on the nights that I don’t wash my face (big no-no, don’t tell anyone!) my liner is still on perfectly when I wake up.
Best All-Around Shadow Palette:
Morphe 35W – This palette has it all! The super wide range of colors are gorgeous, and there is a variety of finishes from matte to satin to shimmery- it has everything you could need for almost any look. The shadows are super pigmented and super blendable, even the matte shades blend like butter! Oh, and have I mentioned that all 35 of shadows are only $20??
Best Brow Product:
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duo (pictured is my pro palette) – If I had to choose only ONE product to put in my brows (because sometimes I use 3 or 4 at a time!), it would most definitely be this powder. Pigmented and long wearing, these duos allow for the most natural brow all the way to the most dramatic, defined brow. I use a thin, angled brush- my fave is a MAC 263!
Best Everyday Blush:
MAC Mocha Blush – This powder blush has a pink undertone but is still neutral enough to be versatile! It’s not too light and it’s not too intense, so if I’m in a hurry and just need to grab something for some color, this is my go-to!
NARS Laguna – I love this bronzer because it is a golden-bronze without the orange. It’s pigmented enough so that I don’t have to apply several layers but still soft enough to not look harsh. It’s on the deeper side, so if you’re lighter than an NC30, it may not be the best for you. If you have a little color like I do, then chances are you’ll love this as much as I do! My favorite way to wear this is wear the sun would hit me first- lightly on my forehead, nose, and a little under my cheekbones with a MAC 150 brush (softer application) or a MAC 168 brush (deeper application).
Best Everyday Lip Combo:
MAC Whirl Lip Pencil & MAC Honeylove Lipstick – These neutral shades have a slight pink undertone but still look natural. I call this my “lip color but better” combo. It gives me just enough color to not look washed out, but it does not call attention to the lips since they don’t look “done.” This lip combo is my favorite way to pull together a soft, everyday look.
Best Bold Lip Combo:
MAC High Energy Prolongwear Lip Pencil, MAC Lady at Play Mineralize Lipstick, and L.A. Girl Glazed Lip Paint in Tango – I found myself wearing this bright coral lip combo anytime I wanted to wear a statement lip. This tone didn’t feel played out, and I got compliments every time I wore it. I always paired it with a soft, neutral eye, sometimes with winged liner and lashes.
Velour Lashes – These mink lashes are everything. The quality is phenomenal- when taken care of properly, these lashes may be worn up to 35 times! For a more natural lash look, I opt for “Are Those Real?” When I want a little extra drama, I love “You Complete Me.” Wink, wink 😉
Dolce & Gabbana Rose The One – This limited edition, rose-scented version of The One has been my obsession. I adore anything with a rose scent, but this one is my favorite because it’s not an “old lady” floral (sorry!). It’s fresh and lightweight while sultry at the same time. The first time I wore it, my fiancé asked as we were walking out of the house if the flowers were blooming- no joke! I also use the matching shower gel and body lotion because I just. can’t. get. enough.
That rounds out my favorites for the year!
What have been your favorites? Comment what you have loved because I love trying new things!
Have any questions? Please ask because I love to help!
Until next time, xoxo