2013 was the year that I bought more make up than ever before, the year that finding the perfect make up storage became a priority, and the year that I realised that a trip to Boots just to buy shampoo hardly ever results in buying just that. With an abundance of products tried and tested, some loved and some abandoned after just one use, and with hundreds of more products set to hit the shelves this year, I thought it would only be fair to acknowledge the products that stayed true to me all year, that I always turned back to and that I will certainly carry on using throughout 2014. While there are, of course, other products that I’ve loved throughout the year, the ones I selected have really stood out to me as products that are worth the price and that work really well. It’s not very often that you find just one product that you keep turning back to, when there are fifteen other similar ones in your drawer, after all.
Who knows which products will be the ‘holy grails’ of this year? I think the answer lies in only buying and trying more products 😉
1. Naked 2 by Urban Decay – After all the hype that surrounded the first Naked palette , Urban Decay set expectations high for the creation of the Naked 2. The palette, in my opinion, is just as good as (if not better than) the original Naked palette. With 12 gorgeous shades, and a double-ended brush, this palette has everything you need if you like brown/yellow tones. Each and every shade is wearable, and so many looks can be created for both day and night. No longer do you need to carry around multiple eye shadows – this palette conquers all. I used it all year long, for nights out, going to work and going to college. I usually find myself using only one or two shades when I buy a new palette, but with the Naked 2 each shade is wearable, making it true value for money. Naked 3 review coming soon.
2. Ardell Demi-Wispie false lashes – When I heard Tara from tarmartales.com rave about these eyelashes in one of her YouTube videos, I knew I had to get them. I picked them up in Ricky’s in New York for less than $5 – I loved them already! I’ve been using MAC lashes for years, and as much as the quality of them is fantastic, and you can use them over and over again, €13 for one pair of lashes is a bit steep for me. The Demi-Wispies give a ‘your lashes but better’ effect and they are not sharp or plastic-y at all. They apply really easily with Duo lash glue, and when you peel them off carefully, they’re as good as new. The quality of the lashes is much better than what you’d expect to match the affordable price tag. Luckily I picked up a few pairs while I was over there, so I know I will be using these for a long time! Here‘s a link to buy them on eBay if you’re interested.
3. Laura Mercier Silk Creme foundation – This foundation was my first purchase from Laura Mercier, after reading great reviews of the product I finally decided to bite the bullet, but expected a lot from the high price-tag. I’m glad to say that this foundation exceeded my expectations and was true value for money. It gives a flawless finish and covers all redness and imperfections, you only need a pea-sized amount to cover your whole face. I love high coverage foundations, this one provides just the right amount of coverage without looking cake-y. I’ve never used this foundation during the day as it is a bit too rich for daytime wear for me, but it is the first foundation I turn to for nights out and special occasions. It leaves a smooth finish on your skin and lasts all night on a night out, I never have to reapply. It blends seamlessly into your skin and doesn’t cling to dry patches or wear off in oily areas – this foundation does it all! I’ve repurchased this foundation and I know I will do so again and again. If you’re looking for a long-lasting high-end foundation, I would really recommend this.
4. MAC Mineralise Skin Finish Natural in light – I can’t praise this powder enough. I first used it for my debs: I needed something to complete my makeup, to ensure my foundation and concealer lasted all night (and the next morning), to prevent oily-patches and to make my skin photo-ready. This powder was really put to the test. I’ve tried loose powders, translucent powders, mineral powders, but nothing has worked like this MAC one has. It leaves a matte finish on the skin, but doesn’t cover up any highlighter or make your face look 2D. It also provides a little bit of coverage, which makes it perfect for using on its own. I never have to reapply my make up during the day or on nights out when I use this powder, it holds everything in place and the light colour blends well to make sure you don’t end up looking like Casper the Ghost if you apply too much. It gives a really natural finish and doesn’t rub off or leave a powdery residue on your skin. This is the only product I bring with me on a night out, apart from lipstick, incase of make up emergencies, but I never find myself needing to use it. I know I’ll be carrying this powder with me and using it for all of my nights out, and during the day, in 2014.
5. Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer in fair – If you haven’t heard of this concealer, I’m afraid that you’ve been living under a rock away from the beauty world. It is drugstore make up gold. This concealer is talked about by nearly every beauty guru and blogger, and preferred by many to even high end concealers. It is around €10 and is worth about €25. This stuff is an essential in my everyday make up routine, it covers under-eye circles, conceals spots and redness and can brighten areas too, if applied in the right places. It conceals the reddest, worst spots in one dab and doesn’t dry or irritate the skin. I was afraid of using the concealer on blemishes as most drugstore foundations and concealers break me out, but this doesn’t at all. If you pick up one thing next time you’re in Boots, let it be this concealer, you won’t regret it.
6. Maybelline The Falsies Volum’ Express mascara – Maybelline always produce the best drugstore mascaras in my opinion, from Colossal Volume to Megaplush, every mascara is better than the last. And the same applies to the Falsies. My eyelashes are naturally straight and brown (thanks, genetics) but this mascara lifts them, lengthens them and thickens them. People always ask if I’m wearing false lashes when I’m wearing this, so I think Maybelline really got it right with the name. The thick, bristly brush grabs onto every lash and pulls them upwards and outwards, leaving a nice, heavy coat of mascara on each lash. It gets right into your corner lashes and doesn’t smudge when applied to the bottom lashes. This mascara works best for me when I use an eyelash curler first, but if you have naturally curly lashes, this mascara will work amazingly on its own. The formula doesn’t dry out quickly and doesn’t leave your eyelashes feeling flaky. It’s perfect for everyday use and if you don’t want to wear false lashes on a night out. I love trying new mascaras but when this one runs out, I know which stand I’ll be heading straight to in Boots.
7. Revlon Colorburst Lip Butters – These lip butters changed my views on lip products completely. They proved that it is possible to have a lip product that is creamy and moisturises your lips, and that it is possible to wear bright lip colours during the day. My two favourite shades are Berry Smoothie and Raspberry Pie, Berry Smoothie being a darker, reddy-purple toned shade and Raspberry Pie being a reddy-pink toned shade. They are so easy to apply that you don’t need a mirror, and you needn’t worry about sharp lines or getting lipstick all over your face, these babies blend seamlessly and smoothly. They have fantastic colour pay off, and I only find myself reapplying to moisturise my lips, not to touch up my colour. They’ve taken me from my comfort zone of wearing nude lipstick everyday to wearable colour. Plus, no lip liner is needed. I hope Revlon continue to make more shades of these lip butters, ’cause I can’t wait to add more to my collection!
8. L’Oreal Infallible The Super Slim liner – Liquid liner. Those two words can create panic, stress and self doubt, ‘How am I supposed to apply it?! Won’t it smudge everywhere?’ But this L’Oreal liner changed everything. I’ve moved from MAC liquid liner, to gel liner, to just plain pencil liner, and I had just about given up on liquid liner until I tried this. It is around the same thickness as a pencil, making it easy to hold onto and grip. The nib is tiny, it goes from thicker to smaller, allowing you to create whatever your desired effect. I love a thin line along my upper lashes, and while I still haven’t mastered the perfect flick, this liner makes it possible. The colour pay off is dense and black, it dries quickly enough to allow you to blink within applying, but not too quick that you can’t erase any mistakes you made. The small tip allows for a precise finish and allows you to get right up to your lash line. I prefer this liner to the MAC version as you don’t need to dip it into a pot, it works as a pen, meaning you get the task done quickly and easily. So, if you feel like giving up on liquid liner, give this one a try, you might feel the same.
9. MAC Brow Pencil in strawberry blonde – Thanks to Cara D., eyebrows hit the beauty world with a bang in 2013. I’d never even considered filling in my eyebrows as part of my make up routine before, so finding the right product to give them shape, but not look permanently angry, became a beauty mission of mine. I used powders, eyeshadows, waxy formulas, and even considered getting them dyed, but nothing worked the way I wanted it to. Although some people like the ‘Yes, I drew on my eyebrows’ look, it’s not really something I was going for. I hadn’t tried a pencil before, so when I was in New York, and because make up is much cheaper over there, I thought I’d trust the make up professionals and try a MAC pencil. This pencil is perfect for me. I’ve quite thin, fair eyebrows, so I needed something that wasn’t too harsh and didn’t pile on the colour. The pencil allows you to apply as much or as little colour as you like, and gives you control over how heavy you apply it. The nib allows you to fill in the shape precisely and create strokes with the pencil to create the effect of eyebrow hairs. I’m glad my search for the perfect eyebrow product is over, but I’ve heard good things about a Soap and Glory product, so I might have to give that a try. All in the name of beauty…
10. Real Techniques make up brushes – Real Techniques brushes were the products (or tools) of the year for me. No longer do you have to spend a fortune on make up brushes to get a perfect application, these beauties are affordable and, in my opinion, work just as well (if not better) than some high-end brushes. I love every Real Techniques brush I’ve tried, they are dense, apply the product flawlessly, blend make up easily and wash as good as new. The bristles don’t fall out and they are soft on your skin. Samantha Chapman really got it right by creating these brushes, they’re loved by beauty fanatics everywhere. I can’t wait to try the new retractable range, and can see my collection expanding in 2014.
So, there you have it, my 2013 favourites and 2014 trustees. Fair play to you if you have read this far, I know I tend to ramble quite a bit 😛 I can’t wait to see what great products 2014 has in store for us, because 2013 really brought some amazing ones.
What products are you carrying with you into 2014? Have you tried any of the products before?
*Failure is success in progress*