Tuesday, January 27, 2015

2014 Beauty Favorites



Since we’re all sick of “It’s-Been-A-Great-Year” montage on Facebook, I would not harp on and on about how 2014 has been for me. There were distinct highs & lows in my life – as were in everyone else’s. The bads taught me that I am strong enough to survive such falls, the goods made me feel grateful of the countless blessings :-)

On an unrelated note,
Space rovers meant for Mars could have mistakenly landed on me.
Why?
Because of the uneven “surface” I got as an aftermath of adult chicken pox.
AND the huge fatty mass that I have become.
:-D

2015 Resolutions are definitely aimed towards countering these effects. The first few weeks have not been a good reflection of my resolve, but I intend to focus on my health & well-being this year, not just the vanity.

Steering the direction towards Beauty & Makeup – 2014 began as the year of hauls & hoarding, followed by the months of rationally-imposed bans. 
I did, however, indulge myself in violating the ban here & there :-D

Comparing with my previous record, I used makeup the “most” this year - post-wedding dinners & travel <3 It didn't however change my "homeless-druggie" look at home with flyaway curly hair and loose marquee of clothes. Skin care was largely neglected – which was a bad choice, for sure. 
Even when the camouflage makeup for blurring or concealing imperfections is the new rage; everyone will agree that having a good skin is very important. I'll be a good girl and treat my skin right from now onwards!

It was a tough task filtering it down to the 'favorites'. Some products were used throughout the year, while others impressed me as instant hits. I have tweaked my format a little and tried to pick expensive and not-too-expensive choices, where possible. So, without further ado, let me introduce the biggest beauty product WINS for me:




Illamasqua Powder Blush - HUSSY - My first Illamasqua product. It's the best pick-me-up pink blush that looks very natural on my skin. Very easy to overdo, so I keep a light hand while applying this. Love how well it lasts on me. I've been grabbing it often the whole year.

Makeup Revolution Powder Blush - If you haven't checked my Makeup Revolution blush reviews, you MUST! They're some of the best pigmented cheap blush options you can find in Pakistan. I'm smitten by them all <3

The Body Shop All-in-One Face Base - I use it more as a foundation in Summers when my skin turns oily and I want a lighter coverage. It doesn't do much of oil control, but I love how nice it feels on my skin. 

Rimmel Stay Matte Pressed Powder - It has been my best foundation topper in Translucent shade. I've been reaching for it to set my concealer and makeup. It has not disappointed me yet.

Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade - OMG! This has been what my brows were looking for. Perfect for lightly filling your brows or even turning them into arched awesome-ness. I use Dark Brown which is a fail-safe color for all. It is amazingly waterproof, so hell yes, it is my favorite.

Diana of London Eyebrow Pencil - Fueling my brow obsession on-the-go, I have been loving the local brow pencil which isn't too creamy or hard. It helps in lightly filling my brows with Dark Brown shade into more defined form. I find it better than using a matte brown/black eyeshadow.

Lorac Behind The Scenes - I got a generous deluxe size of this baby with my Lorac Pro palette. It has made my eye makeup last through 12 hours and be as good as new. I have become a fan!

NYX HD Eye Primer - When I got this, I didn't think much of it. For less than Rs, 1000, this amazes me with its ability to make my eyeshadows pop! Not only that, it helps wonderfully in their longevity too :-)

Kryolan TV Paint Stick - I can write a sonnet in its praise. These have been lying in the back of my stash for long. I rediscovered FS45, FS38, and 508 (Orange Corrector) for concealing problematic areas on my face, It is prone to slight creasing, but I carefully layer it and set it with powder. It lasts through sweaty days and frozen nights - with proper priming & moisturizing, of course. Now I know why this is a MUA favorite.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer - I was not impressed with this, initially. For nearly a year, I didn't reach for it - thinking it gives me reverse racoon eyes. Boy, I was wrong. Just pick the right shade and use little quantities, you will see the best results at such cheap price tag! My next target is to try Maybelline Age Rewind :-)

Benefit They're Real Mascara - A repeat from 2013 Favorites, but this mascara is the singular most potent mascara that can transform my non-existent brows into falsies worth batting. Although it is not completely waterproof, but I find it fairly water-resistant when applies. My undying love for it shall remain!

Essence Get Big Mascara - I have used both waterproof and non-waterproof versions of this and I find these to be amazing for a cheap price tag. The waterproof version is something I don't ordinarily opt for, but I gave it a shot because I've read that the waterproof formula helps hold the curl. I can somewhat agree to it with this one. It's definitely not a contender to Benefit's, but still a cheap thrill I like!


Lorac Pro Palette - The Pro 1 grabbed my attention when it was released, but I was blinded by my quest to get NAKED... palette :-P Trying different formula and finishes, I went back to having this baby. I am NOT disappointed. Amazeballs!All colors are buttery with good color payoff - even better than the UD ones I have tried. Plus, it has awesome mattes too!

Coastal Scents Revealed Palette - I have declared my love for this palette in the full review. I'd simply restate that this is worth the price for its quality of eyeshadows. The black isn't the best one, but the shimmers are awesome. You must try it!

MAC Studio Fix Foundation - My skin matches different MAC products between NC20-30. When I got Studio Fix foundation, I went for NC25. It was yellow enough to match my skin well, the damp sponge application made it last so well on my skin. I do have certain qualms with it in terms of transferability, but it sure is an allrounder for me!

Covergirl Outlast 3-in-1 Foundation - I never thought I could love this more than my high-end foundations. I have worn this time and time again in summers, sweat, winters, rain, and every possible scenario. It has not disappointed me at all! It does have its dips and twists. Still, I'd pick this over any other foundation for now!

Real Techniques Core Collection - Brushes were an "extra" for me, until I tried RT ones. This is the only brush collection I use often. Not just one or two, but all brushes - for powder, foundation, concealer, lipstick, and contouring - this truly has it all!

Essence Blush Brush - Another repeat from 2013 picks, I have yet to find a cheap compact blush brush that doesn't shed AND performs wonderfully with all types of blushes. My most-used brush would be this one!

The Balm Mary Lou-Manizer - My signature highlighter that works with my complexion so well! I wore it on my Mehndi and Baraat as well, so you can believe my love for it knows no bounds. It surely is very flattering & pigmented on fair-medium skin tones.

Makeup Revolution Golden Lights - I have reviewed it in detail on the blog and this is the cheap highlighter that does WONDERS, trust me. Its texture and color was unlike anything I owned. I cherished using it every time ever-so-lightly for a glow-from-within. Became my instant favorite for sure!

Benefit They're Real Push Up Liner - Gel eyeliner in a pen, that's the dream. I have been reaching out for this baby ever-so-often and I love how it stays on me for 24 hours, if need be :-P

Bob Kill Black Pencil Eyeliner - A dirt-cheap black eyeliner for whom I had no big hopes, this has seriously WAOW-ed me! It glides to give intense color payoff and doesn't smudge in the least over my eyelid, ever so slightly on the lower lashline. I keep it in the office bag for touchups!

MAC Fix+ - It's a multi-purpose MAC product featured in several blogs. MUA, bloggers and vloggers rave so much about it, but I didn't expect it to become my makeup staple! It is NOT for making your makeup last longer, but that doesn't limit its usage! Let's count the ways I use it - (1) Before/After applying moisturizer and primer to keep a hydrated base for the foundation (2) After foundation/compact to let the face be slightly dewy if it appears powdery or dry (3) Before applying blush or highlighter for making its pigmentation last longer (4) After few hours of makeup, just to freshen my face (5) As a finishing touch on my face after applying all makeup - to remove the overly powdery feel. (6) On brush that applies Kryolan as concealer to melt it for better application under eyes (7) On eye makeup brushes for the wet application of eyeshadows that enhances color payoff and longevity.

Stageline Makeup Fixing Spray - Best 600 bucks I ever spent! Just spritz it from a distance and have the makeup be lasting and (somewhat) dewy till you wish to wear it. I have yet to try it in the scorching heat of Karachi/Lahore, but it did help in the mild weather to keep my face intact. Bonus, it makes my eyeshadows pop more & last longer, Yayie!


Shiseido Eyelash Curler - Getting an expensive eyelash curler was never a part of my plan :-D It was just something I splurged on as a part of my wedding haul, and BOY I have never regretted it! Compared to Revlon, Trimm, Avon, and Oriflame curlers that I have tried, this one was the best! I just can't explain it well, but it frames my difficult eye very well and I love it :-)

Sleek Face Contour Kit - Medium - For most part of the year, this has been lost in the stash. Never had the patience or skill to contour. Recently, I have been trying subtle contour which nobody except me can tell about :-/ I love how this gives me control to pick right amount of product and slowly build up on my face. Good pick for a beginner.

Diana of London Mattifying Primer - Well well well, my friend indeed! I got it from a local shop, expecting sub par performance. It worked very well in making my makeup last longer and control oil to an extent. It has been as good as my Smashbox primer - which I have been using less often since this one!

Essence All About Matte Primer - An impulse buy that paid off VERY well. Instead of being a silicone-feel primer, this one is almost like a moisturizer which glides beautifully on your skin and keep it matte well enough. With this price, you can't go wrong and the best part is, it will last you a LONG LONG time!

Ardell Demi Wispies - Although they're more exaggerated for my eye shape/size, I simply adore these eyelashes. Oh-so-natural and comfortable to wear. Every girl must own a pair of these - if you're into luscious lashes. And I have been able to get multiple usage out of a single pair, so good value for your money spent.

Artmatic False Eyelashes - If Demi Wispies are out of your range, these Artmatic lashes can be a good bet for a rare formal usage. This is being used by all salons & MUAs as well - even the bridal makeups. For less than 100 bucks, you can definitely try a pair for yourself!

MAC Prep + Prime Lip Primer - It has been in my wishlist for so long and I am more than happy to admit that for a lipstick-fanatic like me - this is a dream come true. It primes my lips to naturally soften the lip lines and hold the lip color on me longer. With some lipstick formula, it even makes my lipstick last through drinks/food/licking as if nothing changed :-)

DUO Lash Adhesive - I have been using the transparent version of this lash glue for over 6 months. It has neither dried nor failed me in keeping my lashes in place. For someone who uses falsies quite less, this might be towards more expensive choice. However, you will not be disappointed by its performance :-)


My love for the lip products deserved a separate post :-P I have omitted quite a few picks out of these because of limited space. You can find matte, creamy, satin, and glossy finishes in these ones. Also, you can see a wide variety in the price point and shades of these lip products. I must reinstate that the price of a product does not always ensure its performance. So, that's why, I give due credit to the local gems as well :-) There is a bunch of Medora shades missing from these picks :-P Feel free to check online swatches of these and let me know which one you have tried and liked/disliked :-)


Flora by Gucci - A gift from my beloved Dad. I am smitten by its ability to last on my clothes for so long and the scent, of course, is amazing! I love how this does not overpower me with its scent, yet it stays fresh for a long time!

Topaz by JJ - For less than 600 bucks, you get a small sized perfume that has better scent and lasting power than most of my body mists. I have been keeping it in my handbag for travel and finished it quickly - you must try one of the fragrances from this economical range.

The Body Shop Camomile Waterproof Makeup Remover - My Holy Grail makeup remover can get rid of the toughest waterproof makeup on my eyes and lips. I keep adding it back to my stash. Just finished the 2nd bottle and topping up the 3rd. Good stuff.

Nivea Visage Waterproof Eye & Lip Makeup Remover - It is like a cheaper dupe of the TBS remover that I love. I have been using this one regularly as well. I alternate between TBS and Nivea; you can definitely try this one if you are looking for an affordable makeup remover for yourself.

L'Oreal Exfoliating Gel Wash - With my 3rd tube of L'Oreal finishing, you can imagine how much love exists between this face wash and me. It will not completely remove your blackheads, but once you get rid of them - this face wash helps in delaying their return. Plus, I am a fan of the glow it gives me.

Noxzema Deep Lathering Cleanser - I have been using this "cooling" cleanser face wash along with my Olay Pro X for best results. It purges my skin of residual makeup and dirt. The minty coolness is a plus for summers too! You can find it locally and it lasts so long that I have yet to finish my first tube after regular usage.

Dermalogica Active Moist Moisturizer - This has been my go-to moisturizer under makeup in Summers when I wanted to keep a light layer of moisture - but not have the greasy residue. It doesn't do much oil control, but keeps my skin hydrated enough to last through the day.

The Body Shop Vitamin E Aqua Boost Sorbet - My Holy Grail moisturizer! I cannot emphasize enough how good this is. I have been comparing it to my last year's favorite - The Body Shop Seaweed Day Cream. It is equally light in texture, but gives even better hydrating without making your face oily. I have been loving it in Winters and Summers - everyone must give it a shot!

LUSH Dark Angels - It is an exfoliator + cleanser which leaves my skin baby soft after its weekly usage. The fresh fragrance and minty choco feel of it is a bonus! With a coarse cleanser/exfoliator, I expected my skin to react, but it never caused any rash or zits. The short shelf life is a bummer, though!

La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Gel-Creme SPF 50+ - Since I grabbed this from Dubai, I have been using it regularly while mixing with my daily moisturizer. It simply vanishes in my skin and there is no residue or greasy feeling afterwards. I have been using in relatively cooler weather, so I have yet to experience true Pakistani summers in it.


The Body Shop Moringa Body Sorbet - Like I am TBS sorbet formula fan, it was only natural that I will incline towards the sweet moringa fragrance sorbet. I don't think using excess sorbet is good for you because it balls up a little when you tend to apply more. Beyond that, I have no complaints from it and it hydrates my body wonderfully in winters and summers. I like this formula more than the body butters, personally.

The Body Shop Seaweed Clarifying Toner - In Summers, I would always tone my face before applying moisturizer. Not only does this make my face stay matte for longer, but also purged my skin of the dirt. For all those beauties with combo/oily skin and noticeable pores, you must try it in hotter weather for best results.

Noxzema Anti-Blemish Astrigent - Although I am relatively new in using this one, but I am liking the results so far. It cleans my skin and I haven't had breakouts since I started using it to clear my skin :-)

LUSH Mask of Magnaminty - My favorite minty mask which truly gives me bliss to just apply, sit back, and relax. I love the strong minty cooling feel of it on my skin, which might irritate the sensitive skin. However, I never had any redness from and it cleans my skin the best.

Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque - Nothing quite works overnight on my itsy bitsy zits and large blackheads like this baby. It has been my 3rd repurchase and I simply can't give up on this - no matter how many others I try :-)

Paul Mitchell Shampoo Two - It is not your average-joe shampoo which you can use for daily/routine usage. I have been using this one for over a year to get rid of buckets of pre-shampoo oiling that I do. No other shampoo cleanses my scalp as well as this one. If you use it too much or too frequent (without its cleansing needs), it might make your hair stiff by stripping away the moisture. If you limit the usage, this is a must-have for you if you are an oiling-freak as I am!

Sunsilk Perfect Straight - For a curly-haired lady like me, this seemed too good to be true. While this doesn't straighten my hair at all, it does help them get baby soft and manageable. No frizz, nothing. It's like what you get after applying a good conditioner. I like it very much for daily cleansing. I always dilute it in my hand before applying since I feel my shower isn't complete without proper shampooing :)

Lolane Natura Hair Treatment - I have used different kinds from this range. Among these all, the Olive treatment for Dry Damaged hair has been the most nourishing. It gives you the smoothness of a conditioner as an outcome, but with a good bounce in the hair - not the weighed down post-conditioning hair.

Oh, and something I forgot to include in my 2014 Favorites post - OLAY PRO X ADVANCED CLEANSING SYSTEM - It has made my skin care so much better. I cleanse and exfoliate with any product I like and the end result is soft glowing skin. It was a baby step towards Clarisonic, but I have been so pleased with its performance that I can safely delay buying Clarisonic for now :-)

Phew! Here it goes, y'all. I have been sleep-deprived and 30% in my senses, so a lot of it would be blabbering which I might need to edit. Since I have some eager readers waiting for these picks, you can skim through my text and just see the pictures in their full glory!

My most favorite thing about 2014 would be getting such an amazing audience at Facebook, Blog, and Instagram. To cherish your love, I am having a Grand Giveaway on my Facebook. Don't forget to participate!

Do share what have been your 2014 favorites and what product(s) should I try this year?

Cheers,

Bia

27 comments:

  1. Thanks for a detailed post Dear!! Each and every product is just Wowwww...!!

    Love XoxoX

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  2. Aham Aham, what a long and detailed post. :)
    It really help out others to select things carefully :)

    Hugs :)

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  3. Can the Stageline Makeup Fixing Spray be used for loose pigments and loose shimmer shadows?

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  4. really nice & detailed post!
    I love your editing skills bia <3

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  5. Great post. Very well coordinated. I've used some of your mentioned products and no wonder they made it to your favorites list.

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  6. Loved every bit of it <3
    Thankyou so much. Your blogs always help in making the right choice with easy going on the pocket as well :*
    Mostly products end up as my all time favourites. Xoxo

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  7. Thanx dear for such a great nd detailed post...queen helene mask is my favourite too get it on ur recomendation...gonna buy some stuff from ur favourites now...thanx luv.asrhnoor

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  8. That's one thorough list. I have found so many of my personal favourites here, it's good to know there are other people enjoying them as much as I do! :D Specially Topaz by J., I've been wearing it to the university everyday since I got it. xx

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  9. What a great list of products, i really enjoyed reading your detailed post. Love the way you write and describe things :)

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  10. Love this post :D such an detailed and informative post :D i can see your hard work :D And love your picks :D

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  11. Certainly a big detailed post, still plotted in a very comprehensive manner...Great Job & nice Product selection :)

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  12. Such a nice, detailed list to choose and to relate... I wana ask is Lolane Natura Hair Treatment maintains the after shampoo shine of hairs ?

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  13. wow wow wow... MashAllah you have the yummiest list of 2014 favorites... The products in lip segment are ah-mazingggg... Have all of these on my wishlist. Enjoy ur stuff and wish u an even greater 2015 :)

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  14. God this is such a great list!
    I am just imaging ke agar he fav list hai to total 2014 haul kitni Bari hogi.

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  15. So many of your favourites are my faves too! :D The sight of Ruby Woo got me hopping! :P what shade are you in Maybelline Fit Me concealer? xx

    Jadirah Sarmad | Jasmine Catches Butterflies ʚϊɞ

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  16. what a long and detailed post. :) and what a huge list of favorite products <3

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  17. Oh My! Amazing picks. I love each and everything in this list.

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  18. such an honest detailed post with great picks .. thanks for sharing ..
    do visit my blog dear
    Makeupoholics

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  19. Love your picks and the detailed post !
    Much love xx

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  20. Phew!! that was detailed. Love your lipstick picks. Have tried many of those myself. Essence All About Matt is an amazing budget buy....

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  21. Such a detailed roundup. I love it.

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  22. Zabardast! Have a great 2015. I m ur Phan!

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  23. Beautiful pics and very well explained :)
    Loved every bit of this post! I am eyeing on most of your favourites now :P

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  24. Amazing just amazing!! I have no words to describe how much i loved this post and the work behind it.... You are definitely my HOT favourite blogger bia God bless u

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  25. Your blog posts are always so thorough! Love them :D
    xx
    Maliha Rao / Red Alice Rao

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  26. Just looking through these I feel like I do not use enough products! :$

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  27. this is totally awesome!wILL Certainly try some essence products mentioned here :)

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