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14 Favourites from 2014

0 Posted by - February 2, 2015 - Body Skincare, Eye Makeup, Face Makeup, Face Skincare, Fragrance, Hair Products, Lips Makeup, Makeup Tools

I’ve been procrastinating over this post a little as very few of my stand out products of 2014 are particularly new or ‘exciting’. Last year was almost entirely about trying (and often failing) to fit everything in and, in terms of skincare, getting my newly turbulent skin under control.

As a result, my favourites are the true, reliable workhorses of my makeup bag and greatest skincare heroes when it came to calming and healing my skin.

skincare_2014

NUDE Perfect Cleanse Nourishing Oil
I love cleansing oils for speedy makeup removal, but NUDE’s remains the best I’ve come across. It has almost no scent, is the perfect texture to break down easily with water and never irritates my eyes or skin. The price point can feel a little steep for daily use, but I’ve not found anything that leaves my face feeling quite as clean or balanced post-cleanse.

Garnier Cleansing Water
When I don’t fancy smearing liquid liner around my face, panda-style, by breaking it down with a cleansing oil, Garnier’s micellar water has become a firm favourite. It’s cheaper, gentler, less fragranced and (I find) more effective than Bioderma and other micellars I’ve tried.

Suti Purity Balm*
I have a lot of time for this brand (co-founder Suzannah’s facials are pure magic) but the Purity Balm, with calendula, chamomile and lavender, is a particular favourite. Facial oils are great, but I love the process of warming a little of this balm between my palms before massaging it in for a few minutes. I like to be liberal with this in the evening (usually before a hair wash morning as it can migrate a bit) to let it really sink into my face. It leaves my skin feeling comforted, speeds up the healing of old blemishes and soothes any dry patches.

Pai Copaiba & Zinc Perfect Balance Serum*
Trust Pai to finally come up with a blemish treatment that calms, clears and prevents blemishes without excessively drying the skin…or leaving behind an angry rash five times the size of the original spot. This super lightweight serum (it smells like slightly sour buttermilk to me – but not unpleasant) sits nicely under makeup during the day to keep my skin soothed and balanced. It can also be dotted on as a targeted treatment, but don’t expect the overnight drying action of harsher products; instead it calms inflammation and helps the skin to heal more cleanly and effectively.

makeup_2014

MAC Tenderling Blush
Ostensibly the most uninspiring looking hue MAC offer, but Tenderling is the ultimate lazy girl shade for instant cheekbones on paler skintones. A light tan-pink, it’s like a long-lasting, slightly more matte version of NARS Douceur.

Bobbi Brown Perfectly Defined Gel Eyeliner in Chocolate Truffle*
Brown gel liner was a feature of 2013‘s favourites too, but the, now discontinued, ByTerry shade has been replaced with one of Bobbi Brown’s brilliant gel eyeliner pencils. Although I tend to gravitate towards all-black-everything, you can’t beat a nicely smudgy, but ridiculously long-wearing, cool dark brown shade for just about everything else. As an added bonus, there’s no sharpener required.

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer
Secret Camouflage has been around for years, but it was only in the midst of a skin-crisis that I sought it out. The dual-shade compact is great for customisation year-round to properly disguise blemishes and the oil-free formula won’t exacerbate angry skin – but it can be a little drying when used alone. It’s worth it though as this is (probably) the longest wearing concealer around. 

RMS Living Luminizer
Living Luminizer makes the cut for a second year running; there’s simply not another highlighter I own that comes close to faking an ‘alive’ look, without unnecessary glitter and sparkles. Full review here.

NARS Yachiyo Brush*
The most versatile brush I own; the slight point at the end makes it precise enough for soft highlighting, targeted application of setting powder and it’s also a firm favourite for contouring. Full review here.

Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Pink Blossom*
I always have some kind of tinted balm in my bag/coat pocket/drawer, but Pink Blossom is the one I’m usually trying to find. A sheer, raspberry pink, it works nicely as both a lip and cheek colour.

hair_2014

Avalon Organics Lemon Clarifying Shampoo
I’ve finished multiple bottles of this sherbet-y and (reasonably) affordable shampoo. It easily rinses away product and hard water residue, without leaving my super sensitive scalp or hair feeling stripped.

Sebastian Potion 9
Almost solely responsible for making 2014 the year I became ‘at-one’ with my hair; like a less greasy version of Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream, this magic stuff is a taming leave-in conditioning treatment without any of the associated slipperiness, residue or weight. Full review here.

Muji Body Towel
I discovered this ridiculously simple, but also kind of genius, shortcut to smooth skin late last year. It’s just a long strip of nylon fabric (long enough to wrap around your back) that’s slightly scratchy when dry, and the perfect gentle body exfoliant when wet combined with your favourite shower gel. 

perfume_2014

Bella Freud ‘Ginsberg’*
For me, the best launch of last year. A harmonious combination of my favourite fragrance notes; resinous woods, leather and incense. Full review here.

*PR samples


22 Comments

  • Lilly February 2, 2015 - 3:10 pm Reply

    So much love for this, Meg! The wait was worth it and you’ve got me excited for the Pai serum which I ordered last week :) might have to pop to Muji after work to invest in one of those body towels! Lots of love from Berlin xxx

  • Emma de Paor February 2, 2015 - 4:21 pm Reply

    Do you use the Pai serum everyday Am and Pm?

    • Meg February 2, 2015 - 6:12 pm Reply

      Hi Emma, yes I do most days (sometimes just in specific areas depending how my skin is feeling).

      • Emma de Paor February 2, 2015 - 7:15 pm Reply

        That’s great thank you! Love your blog!

  • Marta February 2, 2015 - 4:39 pm Reply

    Thank you for reminding me to get the Garnier micellar water! My current one is almost gone, and I’ve seen people raving about this one :)

    martberry.blogspot.com

  • lbbsteph February 2, 2015 - 4:49 pm Reply

    ah so many products that I need to try out featured here!!
    great post meg!

    http://www.lbbsteph.com

  • Alexa February 2, 2015 - 6:13 pm Reply

    Awesome list! I would love to know what your favorite product is for for contouring these days?

    • Meg February 5, 2015 - 6:32 pm Reply

      Hi Alexa – I tend to just use a bit of bronzer (I like the very pale matte L’Oreal one) or angle Tenderling in such a way that I don’t bother with anything else. But I like MAC Harmony too.

      I have my eye on the Anastasia and Laura Mercier palettes though!

  • Ellie February 2, 2015 - 8:54 pm Reply

    My skin has also gone crazy this past year, just ordered the Pai serum! Cannot wait, absolutely love everything you recommend.

  • Rachel Ho February 3, 2015 - 12:21 pm Reply

    Ah we’ve missed you, Meg!

    • Meg February 5, 2015 - 6:30 pm Reply

      Ah, thanks for reading!

  • Jennifer Monforton February 3, 2015 - 2:09 pm Reply

    Beautiful picks! Living Luminizer is one of my favourite highlighters ever and I need the Pai blemish serum, pronto! xo

  • Kelly February 3, 2015 - 3:17 pm Reply

    Meg! I’m a long time fan and I’ve been (impatiently) waiting for this list! Thanks so much for sharing it. (Also, you should really try the One Love Organics/Elizabeth Dehn cleansing oil. Definitely my favorite skin care find of 2014. I think you’d love it!)

    • Meg February 5, 2015 - 6:30 pm Reply

      Oh thanks for the recommendation (and for reading)!

  • Vilte February 3, 2015 - 4:48 pm Reply

    I love garner micellar water and I would love to get that brush! x

  • daisycandle February 3, 2015 - 7:41 pm Reply

    Great selection of products, I love Pai, but I haven’t tried any of their serums yet. Would you recommend the Avalon Organics Lemon Clarifying Shampoo for coloured hair?

    Cheryl
    http://daisycandle.com

    • Meg February 5, 2015 - 6:30 pm Reply

      I would *think* it would be ok on coloured hair (it’s not harsh at all – I use it almost daily) but I can’t say for certain, sorry!

      • daisycandle February 6, 2015 - 6:01 pm Reply

        Thanks for your reply :) xx

        Cheryl

  • Amy February 18, 2015 - 12:24 am Reply

    The Garnier Micellar Water was a favourite of mine too this year, I love the fact that it is so easy to find whilst at the same time it doesn’t cost a small fortune. I wouldn’t mind having a look at the RMS Living Luminizer myself, that sounds like a beautiful product.

    It was lovely to read this post Meg, I hope 2015 is being good to you :)

  • SteffR March 3, 2015 - 2:47 pm Reply

    I have been wanting to try Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner for awhile, sounds like good stuff! The MAC blush, I am pale and know what you mean – sometimes the most boring looking shades in the pan do me the most favours too :-)! I like the Garnier Micellar water too, and the other skincare picks sound lovely thanks :-)

    • SteffR March 3, 2015 - 2:48 pm Reply

      Oh and the Ginsberg is God perfume sounds right up my street, must have a sniff somewhere!

  • Matchlessmila June 28, 2015 - 5:14 pm Reply

    Loving the burts bees lipbalms as well, they are such versatile products! This Nars brush seems to be worth it´s money as I´m constantly seeing people raving about it. I doubt whether I will really take the splurge however..
    xx Mila
    https://matchlessmila.wordpress.com/

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