2014 was definitely a different year for me. I spent almost half of it travelling which, aside from the obvious major life changes, also had a pretty big impact on my beauty routine. So much so that I wasn't going to do a favourites post this year because I felt like it would be too skewed towards what I had available to me while I was travelling and wouldn't necessarily be an accurate representation of my favourite products overall. Not only did I not have the vast majority of my makeup with me, but I also got to try out so many new products that I'd not been able to get in Australia before (or that I didn't want to pay exorbitant prices for.) But despite only getting home in time for the last two months of the year, I decided to round up my favourite new discoveries along with a couple of old staples and when I take a look at my whole makeup stash these products are the real standouts. It's also worth noting that I won't be doing a 2014 skincare favourites this year because even though I've tried new products, since getting home I've been making a big effort to finish up products I had open before I left so it really hasn't changed much from last years favourites.
The newest entry by far is the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer which I only picked up a couple of weeks ago in Melbourne (thanks to Tenneil's exceptional enabling skills), but this just blows every other primer I've ever tried out of the water. It smooths over the skin seamlessly and really extends the wear time of foundation which is what I need a primer to do. It may be super expensive but it's gorgeous and it works. Another super expensive, much hyped product that I've fallen for is the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation in 2. After trying a sample from Sephora while in the States I knew I'd have to pick up a bottle before coming home. From the first time I put it on my face I could see what all the fuss was about, it literally makes your skin look like silk and the finish is the most beautiful of any foundation I've ever used. Unfortunately it's not the most long-lasting of bases but combined with the Hourglass primer it's a dream team that I've reached for on all special occasions over the Christmas/New Years period. However, for fellow oily-skinned girls it's the kind of base I'd apply if I had a special occasion on during the day or at night, I wouldn't expect it to last perfectly through both.
When I know I'll need a foundation that's in it for the long haul I'll turn to the Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Foundation in Fair Sand. Now available at the Sydney Sephora store, this is a beautiful, moussey textured medium coverage foundation (that can be built up to full if that's your thing.) It feels weightless on the skin, has a beautiful finish and is housed in great, travel friendly packaging. If all my makeup disappeared these are the two foundations I'd need back in my life ASAP. For concealer the standout has to be the Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer in 1 which is great for pinpoint concealing blemishes and scarring. You only need the tiniest little dot of product and it's matte, full coverage and waterproof - I just don't own anything else as good as this. For powder I've got to mention a staple which is the Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder in Transparent. I've found a lot of transparent powders don't do much for oil control, and a lot of oil controlling powders or those with coverage tend to look cakey, but this one ticks all the right boxes. Plus it's super affordable and available everywhere. The only downside is the packaging isn't great for keeping in your bag for touch ups but I always use this to set my makeup in the mornings before leaving the house.
The prettiest blush of the year award has to go to the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes in Dim Infusion and Radiant Magenta. I've still not tried the ambient lighting powders because of my aforementioned need for oil control, but when these blushes were launched they were right up my alley. Super smooth and finely milled with great pigmentation and completely luxe packaging, these blushes blur pores and imperfections and leave you with glowing skin in the best way. The Anastasia DipBrow Pomade in Dark Brown has been my go-to brow product for the later part of the year and I really can't say enough good things about it. When you first use the product it's got a wet texture but soon it develops a firm kind of skin which sounds gross but I actually think it makes the product even better. The pigmentation isn't as intense so it's a lot easier to work with and there's less chance of looking like the monobrowed baby from The Simpsons. The result is polished brows that still look natural, what more can you ask for?
The best and most versatile eyeshadow palette I've bought this year has to be the Urban Decay Naked Basics 2. Although it's not the most exciting looking palette out there, it's completely invaluable because you always need good matte crease shades, and this is full of them. This year has seen me experiment with eye makeup a LOT, and while I'm not giving up daily winged black eyeliner anytime soon, this has really helped me try some new things and made smokey eye looks less intimidating. For mascara I've really enjoyed the Maybelline The Rocket Mascara which annoyingly isn't available in Australia just yet. I picked it up when I was in London and I've really enjoyed it ever since. I'm no mascara pro, but this lengthens, thickens and holds a curl without clumping so it's been keeping me pretty happy.
For lips I can't possibly go past my old favourite, the Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm which is still the best lip balm I've ever used. Because of the heavy glass packaging I didn't take my original pot away with me but by the time I reached Paris I knew I couldn't last the rest of my trip without it, so I picked up a second one. I use it every night before bed and I love dabbing it on top of lipstick because it stops your lips from drying out but keeps the matte finish. And I'm sure the NARS Audacious Lipsticks will be on 2014 favourites lists far and wide, but that's because they're incredible. Unlike any other formula I've tried, these are rich, creamy and fully pigmented and they come in an incredible range of shades - pictured above are Rita & Annabella.
My favourite hand cream has to be the Jurlique Rose Hand Cream which is an old favourite of mine. Jurlique make my favourite rose scent of all time - warm and creamy and not at all sharp like cheap rose scents can be, this hand cream is rich and luxurious, sinks in quickly and both feels and smells amazing. I'm not much of a hair product person, but I was thrilled to discover the Batiste Dry Shampoo XXL Volume - let me tell you, it's not kidding about the XXL volume. Now I just use this when I'm doing a beehive and I hardly have to tease my hair, it does all the work for me. And finally for fragrance my favourite has been Guerlain's La Petite Robe Noire. I actually decanted some of this into a little bottle and took it overseas with me so now this perfume reminds me of my trip. On the surface it's a sweet, fruity/floral hybrid with notes of black cherry and Bulgarian and Turkish roses, but underneath that it has a real warmth and depth to it that really sets it apart for me. The notes that deepen the fragrance include licorice, vanilla, patchouli and smoked black tea and I think they give it a much more grown up feel which I adore.