It's that time of the year =DD (actually it's wayy past that time of the year... but it's still January!! So I consider myself doing good wahaha).
For the year 2014, I actually don't have that many items to share. But I am extremely happy with the list that I came up with! :) it's kind of hard to do this list because I discovered so many awesome products in December, but I didn't want to include those because I haven't been using them for long enough time. Instead I'll just talk about those in a January favorites, so you guys can look out for that :D Without further ado, here come my favorite products of 2014~~~
Favorite Products of 2014
1. Diorsnow White Reveal UVB Protection Sunscreen
My number one, top product of 2014, without a doubt, is this Dior sunscreen. Why? Because this sunscreen transforms any foundation that I have, making them look 10x better!
Here I'm wearing my SK-II foundation with my Dior sunscreen. If you want to see what the SK-II foundation looks like on its own, click here. Actually if you look back at my foundation reviews from August 2014 on, I am wearing the Dior sunscreen underneath for the *most* part (I think I did try to point that out every time if I do have it on).
PS: Notice anything different? I AM WEARING COLOR LENSES OMG lol.
I think it makes my foundation looks pretty freaking HD. Seriously, I was feeling quite ambivalent toward my SK-II foundation after using it for a while, but this Dior sunscreen made me fall in love with it, hehehe.
What this sunscreen does for me:
1. It acts as a primer. It does have a thicker consistency so you have to rub/work it into your face. Since it's slightly thicker, it fills in the lines and pores and makes your foundation go on VERY smooth. Hence the HD effect :D
2. It controls oil. I still get oily at the end of the day, but I notice I don't get oily as fast. It's really interesting because this sunscreen is very thick and dewy (when I first used it I even thought it felt kind of oily), but it does not make me oily at all.
3. It's super dewy and glowy. No highlighters needed because the glow just work its way through the foundations. This is especially awesome when I am wearing powder foundations, because my foundation wouldn't look as matte... in fact, it would still have a soft, luminous glow :D I guess this could potentially be a bad thing because if you have the glow all over your face, it can make your face look wider. But you know, nothing a little bit of bronzer/contouring can't fix.
4. It's slightly sticky. For me it's a good thing because it provides a really good grip to my foundations, especially my powder foundations.
The only downfall for this sunscreen for me, is that because you really have to work it into your skin, it doesn't look too great if you have major flakeness going on. It tends to accentuate that. Other than that, I have absolutely no complaints about this sunscreen. To me, it's a primer and sunscreen in one.
Reasons I think ppl might not like this sunscreen would be of its thick and slightly oily consistency. Also wearing this sunscreen on its own can make you look like a shiny mess (especially in the summer lol). Personally I don't find this sunscreen to be heavy, but I strongly suggest getting a sample and testing it out before purchasing, since it is very pricey and quite an investment.
2. Coconut Oil
My number two recommendation would be coconut oil as a facial treatment/moisturizer :D (it was a close tie with the Dior sunscreen lol).
I am kind of obsessed with coconut oil now. I never talked about it on my blog, but I have mentioned it a couple times on my Instagram. I think it works even better than natural yogurt and oatmeal. It is very anti-inflammatory (calms my skin and helps with breakouts), and of course, nourishing. When I first tried it, I paired it with this massaging routine from Lisa Eldridge:
Nowadays I just do whatever massage/whatever I feel like. I use coconut oil in place of my normal skincare routine on weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) when I have the time to indulge in some facial massage. And whatever is left over on my hands, I just rub it all over my hands, and some into the ends of my hair. Seriously, cheapest and most awesome skincare you can find out there.
3. Aveda Shampoo
Doesn't matter which Aveda shampoo. I think any Aveda shampoo is really good. My favorite is the Pure Abundance one, but that one is more expensive. I think Shampure is the cheapest out of all Aveda shampoos. I have used Aveda on and off for the last several years-- off mainly because it's really expensive so I was trying to get back drugstore shampoos/try out other shampoos like the WEN cleansing conditioner. Earlier this year I had a hair crisis (from using the Wholefoods brand shampoo called "365"... the lavender one. Nasty stuff. STAY AWAY). There was SO MUCH residue that I couldn't get it off. I rushed to Aveda to buy a shampoo to save my scalp because I just could NOT take it (hence the one on the left for Scalp Benefits). Man, I never want to stop using Aveda shampoos anymore. What's more, I noticed after I started using Aveda shampoos again, my hair started growing out thicker O_o it was very noticeable for me this time around because my hair is still in the process of growing out since I went through that hair loss process from losing about 20lbs. Really recommend you guys trying them out! I have no intention to switch back to drugstore anymore lol nor am I tempted to try out other high end shampoos. At least not at the moment :P (I do use drugstore conditioner since I only condition the ends of my hair, so it doesn't touch my scalp. Don't really recommend the Aveda conditioners-- they don't do much).
4. Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask.
I love this mainly because it does an AMAZING job at tightening my post-blackhead-squeezing pores. On my nose. Lol. For me, it does not extract blackheads. That pretty much says it all lol. Here's a little review I did on my Instagram if you'd like to read more:
The innisfree super volcanic pore clay mask is good stuff 🙊 I remember the first time using it I was unimpressed, and thinking what was all the fuss about? But the more I use it the more I fall in love with it. I doesn't extract blackheads (but my pores aren't big so it might work differently for others), but I noticed it is REALLY good for shrinking pores. Whenever I squeeze out my blackheads my pores are usually left a bit "open" for a couple of days before they recover. But if I follow up with this clay mask... What pores? 😆👌👌👌 leaves my pores feeling super clean too. Shrink pores much better than the Origins active charcoal mask! Although the Origins mask has this cooling effect that I LOVE for summer, so I don't think I will be giving it up entirely. For now, loving the innisfree mask ❤️❤️❤️ sorry I keep posting about innisfree 😆 went cray-cray on the brand last month lol #innisfree #supervolcanicporeclaymask #supervolcanic #claymask #mask #origins #clearimprovement #activecharcoalmask #charcoalmask #skincare #koreanskincare #review #beautyblogger
5. Chloe Perfume
I am rubbish at describing scents. The notes of this perfume listed on Sephora: Pink Peony, Freesia, Lychee, Magnolia Flower, Lily of the Valley, Rose, Cedarwood, Amber, Honey.
Basically: OBSESSED. It started with a free perfumed body lotion sample from Sephora, and now I'm hooked <3 comment-3--="">3>
6. Clinique Smart Custom Repair Serum
I discovered this pretty late in the year, but I feel the need to include this. As I mentioned my last post, it managed to make it to my holy grail list within a very short period of time ;) I already talked about this on my Instagram (as well as my last post LOL). So I'm not gonna elaborate. Really does repair the skin :) One thing I will add though is make sure you use a generous amount (a full pump). For a while I was using half a pump cuz I noticed it was pumping out air O_O and I was trying to save the product by using less. I noticed when I used less, the effect was pretty much unnoticeable. So don't be stingy on this product!
I have no idea what's in this stuff... But it's AMAZING 😳 Currently having a lot of flakey/peeling skin going on on my nose because I squeezed my blackheads 🙈 but when I smoothed this over... It literally smoothed EVERYTHING DOWN. Like you can't even see the slightest flaking 😳 how does it do that???!?!??? Usually I have to use a stickier moisturizer to pat down the flaky skin but the texture of this serum isn't even runny or sticky. The finish is matte, which is completely mind boggling LOL. Tried it again this morning (only used it twice so far) and got the same results!! 🙌🙌🙌 granted the flakey skin is still there, but just no longer visible. Makes makeup application 100x easier 🎉🎉🎉 I NEED to pick this up while the VIB sale lasts!! So glad I got a sample of this ❤️❤️❤️ #clinique #cliniquesmart #customrepairserum #serum #amazing #skincare #beautyblogger #sephora
That was all for my top picks for 2014 =) 6 items, really not that many eh? I really recommend all those products from the bottom of my heart. ^____^
But I have more to share! =P
Best Investments of 2014
1. Superfeet Orthotics
So... I sustained some feet injury throughout last year. Which was stupid cuz I never hurt myself while I was exercising -_- actually hurt myself while I was walking... walking down the stairs... etc. Anyway, it never got better so I finally went to see a sports medicine doctor. He recommended me to buy these shoe inserts/orthotics. Not gonna lie, I was HIGHLY SKEPTICAL. In my mind, I was all like... yeah... like shoe inserts are gonna help. But I was desperate enough to try anything LOL. These babies made ALL THE DIFFERENCE. What happened was, I have very high arch in my feet, so when I walk, the arch of my feet "collapse" because I put weight on my feet funny. With those orthotics, they filled the space between the arch, and basically forced me to redistribute my body weight when I walk/exercise/whatever, so it takes the stress off my arch. These were around $45 a pair. Not cheap, but I am so so grateful for them. I no longer have issues and pain in my feet :) If you are interested in seeing if orthotics are right for you, you can go to a sports store that does orthotics fitting. They will be able to recommend you ones that suit your needs the best! (My doctor just recommend the stores for me and told me to look for orthotics. The sales person at the sports store was the one who picked out these particualr orthotics for me).
Mine is from Braun, but I have never used other brands so I don't have any point of reference for comparison. But if you're still shaving your armpits/legs, girllll you need one of those!!! One of the best decisions of my life XD My biggest advice will be to MAKE SURE you exfoliate your armpits the day before and after you epillate. I use the St. Ives scrub, which contains salicylic acid (it's the same one I use for my face, heyy why not). This helps prevent ingrown hairs. This is very important because if you don't exfoliate, you WILL get ingrown hairs, just like shaving.
Now... on to honorable mentions of 2014 :)
Honorable Products of 2014
In the blushes department:
I really couldn't pick a favorite blush for 2014... cuz I didn't really have one lol. But I can tell you my top 4 :) It will be Benefit dandelion, which is a rediscovery :D Benefit Rockateur, Canmake Cream Cheek Blush in 01, and Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in 15. I didn't really try out that many new blushes last year I guess O_o well not until the end of last year, so not gonna mention those here.
I do have a post dedicated to the Canmake Cream Cheek blush, if you want to check that out, you can click here.
Sorry not that exciting XD
2. LUSH Fresh Face Mask.
I tried everything except the garlic one. That one I COULD NOT stand the smell. It was revolting. It was so bad that I had to exchange it. I have a review for all of the LUSH Fresh Face Masks... somewhere lol. Need to dig that draft out. But anyway! My favorite is the BB seaweed :) makes my skin very soft and plump. Like like like!!!
3. Innisfree Long Wear Cushion
See my review here. The reason why it only made it to the honorable mention, is because I noticed when I tried this when I have breakouts/dryness on my skin... it accentuates them LIKE CRAZY :( it would look very dry and powdery on top of my blemishes. Not pretty at all. So basically, only good when my skin is perfect. But other than that, I did love it very much. Although I'm not gonna lie I'm getting over cushion foundations... for two reasons:
1. My Innisfree cushion smells kind of funny now. I think I have to throw it out :/ Not the most hygienic application.
2. SO BULKY. Not friendly for travel at all.
4. Favorite winter lipsticks go to...
1. MAC lipstick in Media. See swatches here.
2. Maybelline Super Stay 14hr Lipstick in Ravishing Rouge.
I never mentioned the Maybelline Ravishing Rouge because I was waiting to mention it when I write about my red lipsticks collection O____O but it never happened. Anyway, this is a repurchase, cuz I have no idea where the old one went (probably in one of my purses when I brought it out but I couldn't find it anywher T__T). Maybelline Ravishing Rouge is my favorite red lip color ^___^ it complements my skin tone the best. Super flattering. Every time I wear it I get compliments :D One time I was wearing this and I was at the MAC store, and someone asked me which lipstick I was wearing XD awkward when it actually wasn't from MAC, ha ha ha...
The formulas of these lipsticks really aren't the most hydrating (in fact, on the drier side), but I love the colors so much that I can overlook that little flaw ;) especially Ravishing Rouge, hehehe.
5. Tanya Burr lip gloss
I have to give this a shout out... cuz I remember being obsessed with them (I have no idea where the "Heart Skipped a Beat" went T___________________T prob lost it when I took it out with me... couldn't find it... sob sob). Anyway, the novelty had worn off and I haven't been reaching for them, but they are worth checking out! See my review here.
6. Za Ever Brows
I had this much left :D I could've used it up a long time ago but I chose to dye my hair... hence... cannot use grey anymore -____-|||
Was trying hard to use it up and it really grew on me lol. Good for areas when you have sparser hairs... in fact, now I appreciate wax formula on my bald spots. They do cling on better than powder. Have to give this a shout out because it's a nice brow product, but just not my favorite. I think I remember mentioning it fading... I notice when I use a slightly heavier hand then it doesn't really happen, haha. But don't worry it won't make your brows look unnatural :P
7. Hot Tools Deep Waver
Was using this a lot cuz I love the result from it... but then noticed my hair got so damaged -_-"
I would recommend using a wetter heat protectant so your hair will come out less frizzy. I found that my Aussie Hair Insurance works really well with this Waver.
Most Used Products of 2014
Left: Lancome Teint Miracle Natural Light Creator Bare Skin Perfection Compact Foundation (Asia edition). This is my second Lancome powder foundation that I hit pan on (I used up the other one). This one I got it in the summer and it's too dark for me now, so I use it for shading, which works fantastically :D
Right: Paul & Joe Compact Foundation. I am really lazy and most days I just reach for powder foundations, so that is pretty much why this is one of my most used product LOL. It's pretty good, I like it, but I think I like Lancome more.
Favorite liquid foundation remains YSL Touche Eclat!! What else?! LOL. Think this was also on my favorites list for 2013. Review here. Also did a comparison review with the Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, you can check it here.
Most used powder... Aveda Mineral Loose Powder. It's the only powder I'm using pretty much LOL. I feel like this product deserves more attention. Really good stuff. I think this will last me a life time XD But it really does set my foundation beautifully, and is somewhat oil controlling (I say somewhat because I still get oily at the end of the day).
Most used eye shadow goes to L'oral Infallible eye shadow in Bronzed Taupe! I mainly use it to line my eyes before layering liquid eyeliner over it. It really helps my eyeliner stay on all day (yes, all day). And it softens the eye look as well :) Also, I found avoiding using liquid foundation around the eyes/applying a light dusting of powder foundation over the eyes also help my eyeliner stay on all day long. Please note: a thin layer of eye shadow or powder foundation will do. Applying too much eye shadow/powder foundation thinking that it would keep the eye area drier/keep your eyeliner from smearing even more... it doesn't work like that lol. In fact, that will also make your eyeliner smear more easily because there are too much powder sitting there, so it can crease and clump. Remember, less is more. Of course, the type of eyeliner you use matters as well. I don't think I have to mention them here on my blog again... all my long time readers know I only use MAC Liquidlast in Coco Bar and Milani Infinite Liquid Eyeliner in 06 Unlimited.
You've already seen those a million times... Majolica Majorca mascara and primer. Can't live without.
Have to give a shout out to the Benefit They're Real mascara. Even though it has no curl hold, and smudges on my lower eyelid (need to dust some powder over my lower eyelid to prevent that from happening). The lengthening is impressive and I do miss it when it's gone. Check my review here.
Most used lip product goes to YSL Glossy Stain in 29. See swatches here. Actually, for a better swatch, go here LOL. The second link is more true to color. I guess I should've crowned it my favorite lip product of 2014 :) want to give a shout out to Etude House Kissful Tint Choux, cuz I did use it quite a lot and I adore the color, but the formula is just not as good as YSL (mainly because when the stain fades it doesn't do so gracefully). Check review here.
Most used beauty tool goes to BeautBlender! Honestly... I think this was all I used in 2014 O_o didn't touch my foundation brushes. But toward the end I started just using my fingers LOL. Now using my own finger is my favorite way to apply foundation. All back to the basics huh? =P
Whew! That concludes my best of 2014 products! I hope it was worth reading O_O I know there are a lot of repeat products... but that's just what I like lol. What are your favorite products from 2014? Hope you guys are staying warm and sheltered and not too affected by the snow storm (there is no storm where I live... even though the news kept predicting it to be catastrophic... lo and behold IT WAS SUNNY TODAY wtf LOL).
That's all guys! Need to go sleep. Will catch you guys in my next post ^_~