Wow, it’s officially the last day of 2014 and I’m not going to lie, I’m not even sad to see it go. Sure, I had good times this year but it also had a lot of heartbreak with the death of some family and friends. However, I am very thankful that my kids, fiancee and I have been healthy and happy through this year and I hope it continues into the new year!
On the “public” side of my life with this blog, things have been great. I finally moved to a self hosted site and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done! I also got a bunch of new subscribers (thank you!) and my stats have more than doubled since October. So, that always makes me feel good knowing that people are reading my stuff, I put a lot of hard work into this little blog LOL! I have also had a lot of fun meeting and interacting with new bloggers *hi friends*!
I’ve decided to do a big year end wrap up of a lot of my favorite products throughout the year. I don’t have time to list them all, but the ones I’m going to show you were staples and “must-haves” for me. I separated the items into groups, so I’ll list the things in each group and tell you why I love em’ so much! I *tried* to limit myself to 4 products per category, but a few got out of hand. 😉
I am a super low maintenance hair girl…IDK my hair just sucks so I don’t bother wasting my time on it! haha But, for the days when I do my hair, these products make it a whole lot easier.
- Nexxus Color Assure Shampoo & Conditioner– (My conditioner is gone first, isn’t that the way it always works?!) Anyway, this is a great line for those of us who color our hair. It’s sulfate free, cleans and conditions well and smells great.
- GK Thermal StyleHer– This thermal styling cream is fantastic for a sleek blowout and protects your hair from heat styling. Plus it smells nice.
- Amika Dry Shampoo– I got the scent Sea Buckthorn Berry in a Birchbox last month and OMG it smells awesome! (Are you getting the sense I like yummy scented hair products?) It’s not the best dry shampoo I’ve used, but its certainly the best smelling. 😉
- Kiss Instawave– This automatic curler takes a bit of getting used to, but it delivers great “lazy-girl” curls. I can curl my hair in about 10 minutes! 🙂 I did a full review & video of it here.
As someone who is struggling with adult hormonal acne I can tell you I’ve tried just about every product under the sun…yes, even the sun itself! However, I’ve noticed “less is better” and this combo seems to be working great for me as of now!
- Olay Total Effects Blemish Control Cleanser– This creamy cleanser removes most of my makeup and leaves my skin feeling soft and hydrated.
- Befine Skin Care Daily Moisturizer– I got this sample in a past Ipsy bag and it has been the only moisturizer that doesn’t make my skin go crazy, and it has SPF 15 which is a plus.
- PureCeuticals AHA Apple Exfoliating Serum– God, I love her skincare! I feel that this AHA has contributed in helping to clear my skin. I use it every other night before I go to bed and I notice my skin is brighter, more even and less acne…win, win, win!
- Auromere Ayurvedic Mud Bath & Mask– This has been my secret weapon as of the last few months! I use it in the shower after cleansing and rub it all over my face for about 5 minutes. I also use it as a overnight spot treatment for stubborn cystic acne. I’ll do a thorough review on it soon because it’s quite an interesting product!
Favorite Face Makeup:
I love top quality foundation (from the samples I’ve tried) but I just can’t afford it. So these are my favorite drugstore foundation picks!
- Covergirl TruBlend– This gives medium coverage and a nice dewy finish. I love using this in the summer.
- Revlon ColorStay– I just recently bought this and I don’t know why I waited so long! It offers medium-full coverage and gives a soft satin finish. I love it.
- Loreal Visible Lift Concealer– This concealer covers great and lasts all day. My only complaint is the tube always spits out too much product because of air, so I have to keep it standing upside-down.
- Too Faced Primer & Poreless Primer– I will never go back to liquid primer after using this! You can use it under makeup, and over makeup. It is so soft and fine and it blends in flawlessly.
Favorite Makeup Brushes:
I have quite a few brushes, but these are ones I use almost every time I do my makeup.
- Real Techniques Sponge– I like this RT sponge better than a beauty blender. (There I said it.) I just like the shape better, the slightly bouncier texture and of course, the price! I use it when I want a more dewy look.
- Crown Brush Tapered Blush (from the HD set)- This is the best brush ever for applying cream blushes. I’ve tried many others but this one seems to pick up ad distribute cream blush better than any others. Plus its a breeze to clean!
- EcoTools Brush– I think this is their standard face or blush brush (it came in a 5 pc set.) But its my favorite for applying powder blushes.
- The Body Shop Face & Body Brush- This brush is SO soft & fluffy! Its my favorite for applying my Too Faced primer powder and powder highlighters.
- Crown Brush Crease/Shadow– I usually don’t prefer dual ended brushes just for storing purposes but this one is really nice. Its soft and it’s a nice size for my eye area.
- Real Techniques Setting Brush– This is my favorite brush for applying concealer or cream highlighter. It picks up a perfect amount and distributes it beautifully.
- Sigma F80– My holy grail foundation brush. Its gives such a flawless finish and you don’t even have to put much effort into it. The only down side is that it sucks to clean because it is so dense. Good thing I’m also going to show you my FAVORITE brush cleaner…:) I forgot to include it in the pic, so I’ll just give you a link.
I think blush is a staple makeup item (along with mascara) even of you don’t wear foundation. It just really brightens your face and helps you look alive and put together. I know the Well People highlighter isn’t technically a blush, but just go with me here!
- Be a Bombshell Blush– I have a few of their other blushes but the shade Sweet Cheeks is my absolute favorite. Its a lovely rose pink with subtle shimmer. It’s very pigmented so you only need a tiny bit and its fairly priced at $16.
- Julep’s Glow Pore Minimizing Blush– Julep started venturing more into makeup this year and I have to say for the most part they are pretty great! I have their blush in the shade Peach Bellini and it gives a soft glowy look with slight shimmer.
- Tarte’s Cheek Stains– I have 5 of these but Exposed (a pink/nude) and Tipsy a shimmering coral are my 2 faves. These cheek stains smell great, add a dewy blush look and stay put all day!
- Well People Bio Brightener– I received this in my past Birchbox and its for sure my new favorite highlighter! It gives a beautiful soft sheen without being overdone or obvious. The full size comes in a stick form.
It was kind of tough to narrow down my favorite lip products to 4 brands, but these are ones that are consistently great in my opinion.
- Tarte’s LipSurgence– You really can’t go wrong with these. The formula is always fantastic and they have a great range of colors and finishes. One of my favorites is Carefree!
- Revlon Balm Stains & Lacquer Balms– These are like the drugstore version of Tarte’s LipSurgence. The pigmentation is always great and they have nice consistency. One of my favorite everyday shades is the Balm Stain in Honey.
- NYX Lip Products– If you want great lip products at a great price, you really can’t go wrong with NYX. My favorite lines are the Chunky Dunks and Butter Glosses. You can always get a great deal at Ulta when they are on sale and you pair it with the $3.50 off coupon.
- Too Faced La Creme Lipstick– To be honest, it was a toss up between these and the UD Revolution lipsticks. Both are equally awesome, insanely pigmented and long lasting. (I Reviewed 2 here!)
I am a simple kind of eye gal, so I prefer products that I use alone or for a quick makeup look.
- Philosophy Just Release Me Eye Makeup Remover– This eye makeup remover is great! It removes all my makeup and doesn’t sting my eyes, which a lot them do.
- Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette– First of all, this palette smells like delicious chocolate. Second of all, they array of soft shimmering shades make it easy to create pretty eye looks. (Full review here!)
- BareMinerals Lash Domination– All I need in a mascara is to not smudge and to not look clumpy. This fits the bill on both so it has been a winner for me!
- Be a Bombshell Eye Bases– These creamy eyeshadows are so easy to apply and add a nice pop of color that lasts all day. They can also be used as a “primer” to change the look of your shadows. My 2 favorite are Submissive & Chrome Sweet Chrome.
This is another category that got a little out of control. There are just so many great nail products I loved in 2014!
- Pacifica Nail Polish– Pacifica released “7-free” nail polish this year and they are fantastic! So smooth and opaque, the only bad thing is that they aren’t readily available and I can only find them online. However, the runner up is The Body Shop’s new nail polishes which are also very nice and easier to find in store. (Full review of them here!)
- Revlon’s Nail Polish– Revlon is a great drugstore brand for nail polish. Lately my 2 favorites are their Classic and Parfumerie lines.
- Ulta’s Mani & Pedi Sticks– These come in so handy to help push back my cuticles and clean up my nail polish edges. A pack of 3 is $5.
- Sally Hansen No More Mistakes Pen– This little gem gets my mani’s looking great! I am not prefect at painting my nails and clean up with this gives a professional look. 1 pack will last me a good 4 months.
- Julep Vanish– This stuff is amazing. It literally melts away your cuticles so fast! (It works best if you soak your hands in warm water for a minute or so first.) I use the Ulta mani sticks with this and I’m done in 5 minutes! The bottle will literally last you forever, and right now Julep has a 2 pack on sale for $14.99! Gift one to a friend, she will love it!
- Zoya Nail Polish– Zoya consistently has unique polish shades and textures with great formulas. Im always looking forward to their new releases. You can also find them in store at Ulta.
- Orly Nail Defense– (not pictured) This had really helped my nails stop peeling and become stronger. I use it as a base coat every time I polish.
There’s no denying I have an obsession with The Body Shop’s body butters, but there are a lot of other moisturizers I love as well! 🙂
- The Body Shop Body Butters– Their body butters are so moisturizing and come in pretty much every scent you can think of! My absolute favorite is the Honeymania line!
- Nubian Heritage Lotions– These natural lotions provide superior hydration in heavenly natural scents. (Their body washes are equally amazing.) My favorite scent is the coconut & papaya. They are also a company that gives back to the people and communities that provide their supplies, which is a wonderful business standard.
- Crabtree & Evelyn Body Soufflé– This lotion has a wonderful silky whipped texture and Tarocco Orange is the most wonderful scent on earth (to me anyway.) It is kind of pricy so I treat it like gold and use it sparingly and when I’m feeling fancy!
- FAB Ultra Repair Cream– I got this for Christmas and It has done wonders for helping my dry/cracked hands. I think you can use it on your face, but it’s too rich for me to do that.
Phew! So thats my huge roundup…do you love any of the products I mentioned?
I thank you all for reading, sharing, following and I hope 2015 brings you health and happiness!
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