'We are creatures of habit and when things go wrong we play the blame game, whether it be directed to ourselves or others. The coming year will be shaped by an increased sense of personal responsibility and rising numbers of people divided on critical issues related to our food supply, our water, our medicine, our health and the planet itself.'
All nations on Earth are now living in the times of change and accelerated chaos. Nothing is the same any more. The past few years alone have been a thorn in the side of Mr and Mrs. Consistency. In fact, the only thing that has been consistent is change. As each year passes, we see a greater contrast in shorter period of time.
Those who want change are putting their neck out and standing up for what they believe in. Others are satisfied with following the blind. Some claim the difference is being awakened while others suggest it's just our time for a major shift to shake what we believe to be normal.'
It's been a great blogging year for me and enjoyed every moment of it. It's been the most prolific so far, my blog reached 1 million views in July and perhaps the biggest surprise to me has been that my followers numbers have almost doubled, which I greatly appreciate, so thank you all who read me regularly. Thanks for every comment, save on Bloglovin', pin on Pinterest and like on Facebook as well as Instagram - you're all awesome!
All images bellow are links to reviews, so feel free to click away and if anyone is interested in last year's post you can find it here.
Top 5 Most Read Posts
My Favourite Top 5 Posts
Top Search Entries
Some of my favourite posts and bloggers in 2014
You can find more of my favourite posts on Pinterest and under my likes on Bloglovin', while the bloggers are under the Blog I Heart Page.
I wish you all the best in 2014!
I've dealt with the makeup bits in the first part and now it's time for all the rest. You can find posts from previous years here: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Part 1 (make up) and Part 2 (skincare, hair and fragrance).
This is without a doubt one of my favourite shades ever in my entire nail polish stash. I love such dark vampy colour especially in colder months. Sole Mate is a beautiful plum-bordeaux shade (supposedly a dupe for Chanel's Rouge Noire) with an amazing quality formula and that fabulous Essie brush. In general Essie's have been knocking my socks off time and time again this year.
You have no idea how long I've been searching for a fully opaque nude shade that would suit my complexion. I think I started looking for it when I was fourteen and there have been many missed purchases in these years until I found this perfection in a bottle. Spin the Bottle is the perfect peachy nude nail polish and the formula is just spectacular. You wouldn't believe you're applying a pastel-like nail polish, in fact it behaves almost like a crelly red or something similar. Such a shame this is a limited edition because I've been wearing it loads and I fear the day it will run out.
A classic red that I've been wearing a whole lot this year simply because people around me love it when I wear red on my nails. The formula is again amazing and even though all nail polishes last ages on me, I do notice that Essies perform better than cheaper ones.
Firstly I'd like to say that I'm a simple girl who doesn't like to stray away from the classic creamy or jelly finish when it comes to nail polish, so for a glittery nail polish to impress me it needs to be truly spectacular to justify the lengthy removal process. And Aurora is exactly that - spectacular. It's a rose gold/light pink glitter polish with densely packed differently sized glitter. I love the effect on the nails as it looks so glamorous and pretty, almost like crushed diamonds on the nails.
Obviously this was going to be in here, I have, after all, been talking almost non-stop about it since I got it. This has an amazing galaxy effect on the nails. It has a duo chrome blue-purple base that turns the black nail polish into a navy blue and here are also different sizes of glitter and flakes that give a starry sky effect. For some reason that I can't fathom, Essence decided to discontinue this in their newest line revamp, so if you want it, be quick about it.
I know, it's a regular black nail polish, so what? But there is a good reason it gained its place in this post and it is all due to the formula. It's really, really good and miles away from that rubbish Essence's black nail polish I owned years ago. The formula is super smooth with a crelly finish and opaque with two easy coats. The shine of these is amazing even without a top coat. I must say Essence really did a great job with these.
I've finally found the perfect morning cleaner and for a ridiculously cheap price (it's 1.51 €!). It looks like those whipped creams in a can and the mousse actually resembles whipped cream a bit due to the super dense texture. The fluffy mousse feels so lovely on the skin and I find it not at all drying, which is a rarity since most mousses cause dry patches on my skin. I also adore the scent of it, which is a big plus for me.
The best moisturiser I've had the pleasure to use so far and it really is so good. It's light, yet properly moisturising and it sinks in super fast leaving behind a velvet semi-matte finish making it an excellent base for makeup. The skin looks so healthy after using this and in general the skin improves over time in terms of hydration levels. The only "problem" , besides the eye watering price of course, is that it's stored in a pot and I feel a tube would be more hygienic. My pot is all but empty and I will miss this so much.
As a frequent waterproof mascara wearer, a good remover that would do the job as quickly and effectively as possible is something I highly covet. This removes my eye makeup with such ease and what I really appreciate is that it doesn't make my vision foggy nor does it leave my skin quite as greasy like every other duo-phase remover does. Unlike most other cheap ones I've tried, when I shake this so the two parts mix, the lighter part actually stays suspended and both fluids are mixed meaning they don't just separate after a second as most do. If only it weren't so expensive, but at least my sample size has been going strong for quite a while, as due to effectiveness, I get to use a lot less than other removers.
This is the perfect sunscreen as far as my preferences go. It's incredibly light, not at all sticky or gross feeling on the skin and due to the sheer neutral-toned light tint, there is no white cast whatsoever. It also protect really well. It's a fantastic product, but I fear they won't re-release it next year as it was this year' LE (I've still seen some bottles in certain DMs).
Though I was initial unimpressed by this cleanser, its long term effect won me over. In those months that I've been using it, my skin looked so healthy and there wasn't a blemish in sight. Only Balance Me Cleanse and Smooth Face Balm kept my skin in such good condition. As the name suggests it's a creamy cleanser, so great for skin that is prone to dry patches like mine.
My favourite shower discovery of the year, even though I'm not amazed by its scrubbing abilities (I like mine harsh). It's the texture that sold me, since it's something quite unexpected for a product that is so affordable. For me this is a luxurious-feeling every day body wash and it starts off as a gel with sparse scrubby particles which then transforms into an oil-creamy foam. So basically it feels lovely to use, smells great and it's affordable.
I've never before actually used up a deodorant before it stopped working on me, let alone repurchase one, rather I kept swapping them very frequently for years. However, much to my astonishment I'm already using my third Rexona stick deodorant and it's still doing its job. I think I've found my HG. The only bad thing are the white marks, however, I can forgive that.
I always double my deodorant meaning I use a stick or a roll-on one and then a spray on top. It's my technique to make sure that deodorant don't lose their mojo on me too fast and it keeps me fresh longer. Pearl & Beauty is my absolute favourite spray deodorant for two reasons - 1. it actually works because there is some sort of a powder added in it, so it absorbs moisture and 2. it smells so lovely - powdery floral and just very feminine. I really like it and it works fantastically in combination with Rexona as it keeps me dry (enough) and fresh super long. By the way, this one leaves white marks as well if you spray too much.
Universal cream with cheery scent
This is one of the best cheap thrills (1.17 €) I discovered this year and definitely one with the cutest packaging featuring a retro design. Though it's a universal cream, which brings associations of thick, greasy creams, this is actually very light, fast absorbent and yet still very moisturising. Due to the fact it sinks in within a minute, I use this as a hand cream and I'm a person who dislikes hand creams, therefore avoid using them. It smells like cherry cola and can be used on the body, face or lips. Love this.
Jana from Small Bits of Loveliness hooked me on this whole body brushing business. I actually bought it for one purpose and that is to exfoliate the skin as I have a huge problem with ingrown hairs on my legs. The brushing "massage" is almost a bit addictive because it just feels so nice. It exfoliates the skin, assists in improving vascular blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, but you should google it you want to read more about it because that is all I know. I really love this particular brush because it's the smallest I could find and it fits into my child-size hands well, not to mention how soft (but not too soft) the bristles are.
a.k.a. L'ORÉAL Elvive Smooth Intense Anti-Frizz Shampoo
I always get excited when I find a good drugstore shampoo and I think this one beats all of them, even some high-end shampoos I've tried. It's like a cousin shampoo to my beloved Kérastase Oleo-Relax, it also promises the same things as that one and it does indeed have a similar effect in terms of that it feels like some conditioner was added in it and the hair feels a bit silky when you're rinsing it off. It doesn't leave my hair so squeaky clean that's it's dried out and it smells nicer than Oleo-Relax. I'm really enjoying using this.
I bought this just for fun and didn't expect to like it a lot, since my hair hardly needs any additional texture due to dryness and coarseness. And yet it was love from first spray. I really like to use it just after curling the hair as it just makes the curls look a bit better. It's like a dry shampoo on steroids, meaning it gives a lot of grip and a bit of hold, so it's like a dry shampoo-light hairspray hybrid or a dry version of a salt spray (it does have sea salt in it). I used it on my profile picture on the right.
This is a very similar product to the VO5 Dry Texturising spray, I don't even know if I really notice a difference between the two, but maybe this one gives a bit more hold. Again it's like a dry salt spray mixed with a light hold hairspray meaning it gives a bit of grip, texture and hold, and yes it does make your hair a bit "hairspray stiff" if you use a lot, however, if you use a small amount it feels like nothing is on your hair. In combination with a hairspray it helps a lot the curls to last longer. I used it here.
I call this my ultimate frizz taming little helper. It really makes a noticeable difference on rebellious hair and helps tame it, but it's light enough that you don't feel in on the hair. It's also a pretty good leave-in conditioner and it helps the hair fight off dryness for longer.
These are so awesome! I could never find decent sectioning clips for a reasonable price here, so I ordered these from eBay and they are so good. They feel so professional and well made with the matte rubberised texture, you'd never think they were so cheap. I use them all the time when I blow-dry my hair to clip the hair out of the way or to create volume or curls - just brilliant stuff.
I'm a huge fan of Hugo Boss Nuit pour Femme and this is a cheap dupe for it. To me it smells pretty much the same and I utterly adore this scent even though it's so unremarkable. It smells like peaches from the start and then turns into an expensive fabric softener scent. So it's a clean, but a sophisticated scent. Considering the price (I actually paid just 4 €) the staying power is very decent.
Vineyard Peach is my favourite scent ever, so I was exhilarated when I heard about the launch of the body mist in this scent. It took a lot of effort to finally track it down, but I couldn't be more pleased. It smells so much like the real ripe peaches mixed with just a bit of peach yoghurt, but since it's a body mist the lasting power is poor.
Oh, me and my penchant for Refan fragrances. This is a wonderful scent for someone with a sweet tooth like me. It smells like an expensive box of pralines with a fruity filling, but not completely gourmand because of the floral notes and patchouli. These imitations don't really differ from the originals as far as I can tell and I've had tons of them, but they do go bad after three years.
These are so good, especially considering the price (5 €). They are the perfect size, shape and density for blending concealer under the eyes, applying a base eyeshadow on the lids and setting powder under the eyes. They especially shine at concealer blending as they perform so much better than foundation brushes or even fingers.
I never expected such a brilliant brush for such an affordable price (3 €). It's an excellent super soft blending brush that I use also for applying a gentle wash of colour in the crease or on the lids, but it obviously performs best at blending and softening the eyeshadows.
This brush is ridiculously soft, softer even than Real Techniques brushes, but still dense enough to pick up enough colour and apply it on the cheeks. I tend to use it sideways, meaning that I use the narrower part of the tapered brush and it works with most blushes, except if they are exceptionally light as it's quite a fluffy brush and in that case it doesn't pick up enough colour.
This became my powder brush that I use for applying Bourjois Pudre the Riz. I never liked finishing powders because they made my foundation look so cakey and obvious, but this brush is so soft and fluffy that it deposits the perfect thin veil of product. It also works great for applying a touch of bronzer (especially if you're pale and fear you'll over-apply) and pigmented blushes.
This just may be one of the niftiest and innovative beauty tools there is. I'm still over the moon that I got this from the people at Glossy (thank you again). It's so handy and it protects the brushes from getting ruined because it makes sure that all the water drains off vertically and makes sure that it doesn't stagnate in the ferrule where it may dissolve the glue. It holds 14 brushes, but I can easy put two or even three into some of the bigger openings. It's collapsible, so it doesn't take a lot of space and you can keep it stored in a drawer or some place else and can be quickly assembled together.
I tackled my problem with stubborn straight lashes head on and shelled out for this little wand. It really only works after the lashes have already been curled and mascara was applied, so it only makes a slightly better curl, but more importantly it makes it last longer. I find it really helps to give the outer lashes that fluttery look since it lifts and combs them so they point outwards (these are the lashes that are squashed on the edge when using a regular eyelash curler). It also fixes all of those stray lashes that the eyelash curler didn't catch. It heats up in about a minute and its not that hot, at least I never got burned and I just place it on the lashes, wait three seconds as merely combing doesn't do anything and it just perfects the curls a bit more and makes it last longer. I should warn you that this drains batteries like nobody's business (it uses AA ones).
Have a great day!
As my yearly tradition dictates, here is the first part of my favourite buys in 2014. The second one will feature nail polishes skincare, hair products and fragrances. You can find posts from previous years here: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Part 1 (make up) and Part 2 (skincare, hair and fragrance).
I've never been much of a primer person because they always flaked on me until I discovered this. It's very lightweight and has none of that almost greasy-like silicone finish like for example Garnier's Perfect Blur, rather it feels like nothing on the skin and yet it keeps the makeup in place all day including light coverage dewy foundations. I also love using this as an eyeshadow primer and it does its job admirably. The added SPF 20 is another bonus as is the great packaging with a pump.
Another little helper when it comes to prolonging the staying power of makeup, but this one is used after the makeup is applied to seal everything in place. It's like a hairspray for the face and it feels super light, not sticky, basically you can't feel it on the face once it dries. It's a great product when you need your makeup to last as long as possible, especially in combination with the Max Factor Primer.
Man, does Bourjois have the skin-like finish down or what? This is without a doubt the most undetectable base, it literally looks like your skin and it's very hard to see that you're even wearing anything. The coverage is light-medium, but more on the light side, which is enough for me. However, unfortunately the colour range excludes really pale shades, which is annoying, so I mostly need to mix it with a lighter foundation, but I really appreciate that the lightest shade isn't as yellow as at Heathy Mix Serum.
This was my first ever Catrice foundation and boy was it a hit. Unlike my previous foundation choices, this has a matte finish, but it's a long way from the draining, heavy caked-up matte finish. This is actually, just as described, a luminous matte effect, so the skin looks radiant, but without the creamy-dewy shine and it actually keeps the oils at bay. The level of coverage is medium, which is enough for me - as long as it doesn't look obvious on the skin I'm a happy camper. The shade is a bit disappointing, since the really fair people have been left out again, but it is comforting to know that the lightest shade is neutral.
My last year's birthday gift (from me to myself, lol), but it was an instant hit. It's actually very similar to the Collection's Lasting Perfection concealer, maybe it's a bit creamier, but I honestly don't notice much of a difference. The real reason why I love this is the shade. Finding a proper neutral light shade is pretty much impossible, not to mention expensive, but I found it in Chantilly. The coverage is fantastic, almost full and it still looks nice enough to not describe it as heavy and cakey.
I don't have this any more, since it was one of the products that ran out ridiculously fast, so that's the bad side of it, but all the rest is great. I must admit that I wasn't a huge fan of this concealer from the start and the fact that it only contains 1.5 ml was the main reason. I also wasn't impressed by the medium coverage, but my opinion changed dramatically with use and now I consider it one of the most natural looking concealers I've ever found and that's a feature I value a lot. It's very similar to the CC Cream with that awesome my-skin-but-better finish, but the shade is far better for me because it's lighter and again neutral, so it suits me so well. I really need to repurchase it.
It's no surprise this is here. After last year's success with the Naked Basics, the second one was bound to be a winner as well. It's a collection of taupe-brown shades that are excellent for neutral looks which I tend to wear every day. It has a larger variation of medium toned shades instead of pale bases and dark shades as well as it's more cool toned than the original, so it's the perfect complement to the previous palette and definitely different enough to justify owning both. The quality of the eyeshadows is again amazing - they are smooth, super pigmented and blend well.
A budget palette that completely blew me away. I've said in my original review that as far as I'm concerned, the quality is very similar to the UD's Naked Palettes. The eyeshadows are just a bit "dustier" and the shades are like a Naked Basics and Naked2 Basics were merged together bringing the best of both into one palette, the only thing missing is the pitch black shade. It's a fantastic palette for 5 €.
It's been a year of felt tip eyeliners for me and they literally changed my life if I'm being a bit dramatic, or at least my makeup routine. I was given this by an online shop I used to work at, since I admit my prejudice would put me off from ever trying it, but it's probably the best liner I've tried so far. The formula is so smooth and the applicator allows very precise creations and flicks. It's super pigmented, very black and lasts all day on my normal lids. The only thing is that it dries out faster than L'Oreal's or at least the fluid doesn't saturate the nib through and through, but its performance when it's new is almost addictive. However, I will try some more liners and Stila's is the next I want to try.
Yet another felt tip liner and this was my first ever, which remained my favourite for a long time and I also repurchased it. It's similar to the Kardashian one, so again super precise, pigmented and long-lasting, only less fluid meaning less liquid liner like and the tip doesn't stay saturated as long as at the other one, however, the base of the nib stays saturated with the product longer. I really love both liners and I would repurchase them, maybe this one faster because it's cheapest of the two.
Essence created a nice eyeliner? Did I accidentally enter a parallel universe? But in all seriousness, this is brilliant. Everything works so well at this liner- the slightly pinky brightening colour, the creamy smooth formula that transfers so well on the waterline and can be used in the inner corner or under the brow. Even the staying power is nice. It completely replaced my old faithful Max Factor Khol in 090 Natural Glaze. Well done Essence!
I have been very faithful to my Tana eyelash curler for years and I actually owned two, but I wanted to see if the grass was greener on the high-end side and I wasn't disappointed. I often complain around here about my stupidly stubborn lashes that are ridiculously hard to curl, so eyelash curler is an essential tool in my life. Compared to Tana's Shiseido's are a bit bigger, flatter, feel lighter and they fit my eye shape a bit better, so I don't accidentally pinch myself in the corners if I'm being careless. Another plus is that refill pads are very easy to find.
Let me present to you (again) the best eyeshadow I ever tried in terms of formula. And it's matte. I know, madness. It's a classic taupe shade that is excellent in the crease as well as on the lids and it has a soft, smooth and pigmented formula that blends so well.
I put off buying this for so long, even though I knew it's brilliant as I already owned and love Permanent Taupe. I wasn't too sure about the shade at the beginning, but now I wear it every day either on its own or mostly as a base. It's such a gorgeous neutral bronze shade with a metallic finish that is easy to apply, blends well using fingers and has a great staying power. This has been one of the stars in December for me and a part of my every day makeup.
I'm a huge fan of these and I have quite a collection already. They convinced me with their superb pigmentation, shimmery-metallic finish and staying power. Tender Caramel is a taupe-brown shade that is similar to Satin Taupe, but with a lot more shimmery, glamorous finish and it's a cool toned version of my favourite shade from the Infallible Sahara Treasure. I've been wearing this shade basically every day since I got it over On and on Bronze and I always apply it with fingers for best effect.
I adore this blush. I've been wearing it pretty much non-stop since I got it a few months ago, especially when I need to look good because I know this shade works for me. It's a natural - pink shade that just looks amazing on the skin, way better than any coral blush could ever on me and best of all it goes with any look. It's not particularly illuminating, but I don't mind.
Before I'm Nuts About You there was Rose Royce. These are similar shades, though Rose Royce is a tiny bit more pink, but it's again a natural-rose shade that goes with everything. The quality of Defining blushes is spectacular, these are my favourite blushes ever and they convinced me with their excellent pigmentation, staying power and easy-to-work-with formula.
A product that has renewed my faith in powders, though it's more like a super sheer highlighter than a powder. For years I put up with the cakey finish of powders in the name of keeping the makeup in place and shine at bay, but this powder actually makes the foundation look better. It works like a light blurring tool, fixing the weird looking parts of the foundation and setting the makeup in place, while giving a super subtle radiance to the skin.
Words cannot describe how good these two are. The formula is outstanding with an excellent pigmentation, creamy-matte finish and staying power. Blake is an incredible ruby/cherry red with a blue undertone that to me is prettier than Ruby Woo and has better formula, so it became my favourite red ever. Laetitia is shade I wanted to find to years as it's as proper deep red with very little purple tones, so it actually looks dark red on my lips - such a striking shade.
Here is a comparison of both with Ruby Woo, Russian Red and Rimmel's 107. I'm wearing Laetitia here.
This is such a me colour and I was so pleasantly surprised when I first put it on the lips as it look completely different in the tube than on the lips. It's a warm deep pink-red, a colour that is close to my heart and I just adore this shade. The pigmentation, staying power and finish is great as well, actually better than the other shade they released at the same time - MATTador. This is one of those lipsticks I just instinctively grab when I'm in a hurry because I know I'll look good with it, so it's no surprise it's one of my most worn shades. A fabulous drugstore lipstick.
2014 is the year that when one of my favourite brands finally released their version of matte lip creams. Being a huge fan of such products I was elated at the news of the launch of Velvets and grabbed the darkest Grand Cru the moment I saw them. Though the formula of this shade is difficult to work with, I was gobsmacked at the final result as it has the most perfect velvet matte finish ever. The staying power is spectacular as well and it's the most long lasting lip product I own because it survives everything, even teeth brushing. I latter bought two more shades - the absolutely stunningly gorgeous rose-red-pink Frambourjoise, which became one of my favourite shades ever and Olé Flamingo a warm super bright pink. The formula of the latter is the best out of these and in general excellent, while Frambourjoise also has a much better formula than Grand Cru. They need a bit more work because the first layer isn't fully opaque, but the final result is stunning once it dries.
The packaging is just drop dead gorgeous, isn't it? Despite the slightly deceiving advertising, it's a very pigmented lip gloss, so it's not like Apocalips, which is an actual liquid lipstick, but closer to L'Extraordinaire Liquid Lipstick, just even more pigmented and a bit better quality. The colour is a very wearable coral-pink with a very glossy finish, so looks quite glamorous on the lips.
I picked a true winner when I bought this shade. It still remains the lip colour choice when I need something that is less bold than my usual choices or when I want to give my lips a bit of a break from matte finishes. Basically, I wear it a lot, also because it such a stunning shade that suits my complexion and I feel that it makes my eyes appear more blue. I even love the glossy finish of it and I'm a true lipstick girl through and through. I also need to mention the delightfully peach scent, which is divine and just up my alley.
Catrice decided to shamelessly copy Clarins' Instant Lip Perfector and we should all be grateful that they did because they nailed it. This is without a doubt the most comfortable lip product ever. I described it as a cushion for the lips and I think it's way better than a lip balm when it comes to soothing the lips. This was my choice to treat my poor lips when I was ill once this year. All the shades are very similar and provide very little colour, but mine is a nude peachy shade and it smells gently sweet.
As a massive fan of peach scented products, this lip balm was bound to end up in my shopping basket and I was not disappointed as this has one of the best peach scents out there. It has a nice light natural peach tint, however, as far as the quality and moisturisation goes, this one is as average as it gets, but my lips are almost never dry and I don't need intensive care.
I hope you enjoyed reading part one and part two with nail polishes, skincare, haircare and tools will follow soon.
Have a great day!