Oh, boy, there were some beautiful highlighters released this year (I reviewed a little over 50). Of all products, highlighters seem to be a weakness for me. They’re often products that I stow away in my basics drawer, which is really the most coveted of all drawers (for my makeup stash, that is), as it is where my go-tos live. Every single product mentioned below has found its way into this drawer (consequently, I have no room any more and need to pare it back!).
- Kevyn Aucoin Starlight — a light-medium peach with warm undertones and champagne shimmer
- Burberry Gold Glow No. 01 — a dirty, light-medium antique gold with a luminous finish
- Chanel Camelia de Plumes — the closest I’ve seen to cool-toned gold with a luminous finish
- Cle de Peau Sand Beige (13) — golden beige with hints of peach and a luminous finish; this is the shade I use most in the range, but I loved all the shades
- Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar — a highlighting/bronzing duo that has gained popular for good reason; superb textures, delicate finishes
- Chanel Dentelle Precieuse — a light, golden beige with a soft sheen
- Kevyn Aucoin Sculpting Medium/Candlelight — another duo, but this cream highlighter looks so glowy and luminous on the skin (hope they make it available alone, too!)
- Tom Ford Stroked — the texture of the highlighter is off-the-charts divine; it’s soft, silky, blendable, and buttery; another formula I hope will be find its way into permanence
- Burberry Nude Radiance No. 01 — a luminous, champagne-beige liquid highlighter perfect for mixing with foundation (my preferred usage)
- theBalm Cindy-Lou — a lovely rosy peach with a luminous sheen
What were your favorite highlighters you tried this year? Are they new holy grails?
Bringing down my favorites to a mere ten–TEN!!–from over 200 blushes that I’ve reviewed this year was painful. There were so many amazing formulas and shades released this past year! To that end, I wanted to make sure to share the love (and not just choose ten from the same formula!), but I urge you to check out these formulas in general as they perform well consistently and have a great selection of shades: Clinique Cheek Pops, Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow (Blush), and Make Up For Ever HD Blush. Given that these are my favorites, they all tend to lean warm and closer to coral/brown tones as those are the types of colors I find most flattering on myself.
What were your favorite blushes you tried this year?
I think there’s a trend in my favorites this year: shimmer, dusty/faded/muted shades, and anything but classic red creams. I found myself loving quite a bit of Formula X and Zoya this year, and NARS’ revamped formula had some nice shade offerings. I’m glad MAC reformulated their polish with a new brush and a much more palatable price tag, too.
What were your favorite nail polishes you tried this year?
It really shouldn’t be a surprise to see so many of Makeup Geek’s blushes on this list, because from the first one I tried to the last, they were stellar. They really nailed the formula; it’s not just good for the money, but it’s a fantastic powder blush, period. The texture was soft without being powdery or chalky. While many categories at the drugstore are comparable to high-end products, blushes and highlighters are an area that I find tends to miss, so I’m thrilled to see Makeup Geek enter the space and do budget blush justice (and then some). I really hope to see more shades next year! I’ll be studying your favorite finds this year for products to make note to review in 2015!
- Makeu p Geek Love Affair — a medium-dark, pink-coral with subtle gold shimmer
- NYX Dusty Rose — a light-medium, rosy pink with subtle, warm undertones and a matte finish
- Makeup Geek Romance — a coral-orange with warm undertones and a soft, golden frost finish
- Milani Bella Rosa (11) — an intense fuchsia-magenta pink with rich color payoff
- Makeup Geek Rendezvous — a softened, cool-toned pink with a satin finish
- Milani Delizioso Pink (10) — a brightened, cool-toned pink with strong blue undertones
- Makeup Geek Bliss — a soft, peachy-coral with a satin finish
- Makeup Geek Summer Fling — a brightened, medium orange with warm, red undertones
- Makeup Geek Spell Bound — a neutral-warm pink with a soft sheen (a very wearable, everyday shade for me)
- Makeup Geek Head Over Heels — a shimmery, cool-toned lilac-pink
What were your favorite budget-friendly cheek products this year?
I feel like this was the year of the eyeliner when it came to choosing my favorite budget-friendly eye products. It was hard not to make a list just for eyeliners, because there were so many amazing shades to choose from!
- Makeup Geek Moondust Eyeshadow — medium-dark, warm-toned taupe with a metallic finish
- Sephora Surfer Babe Eyeliner — a rich, medium-dark blue with a pearly finish (looks SO good on the lower lash line for a pop of color!)
- ColourPop I Heart This — a sparkly light-medium gold with a metallic, glittering finish (very appropriate for a New Year’s Eve post!)
- Sleek Arabian Nights Eyeshadow Palette — from rich, bold, and deepened shades from beige to cobalt to burgundy, there was a lot to love in this palette!
- Sephora Flirting Game Eyeliner — shimmering taupe eyeliner? I’m there, there, AND still there! Great alternative to black and brown eyeliner
- L’Oreal True Teal Eyeliner — one of my new favorite teal eyeliners (and I am a true connoisseur of teal eyeliner!) for its rich color payoff and intense vibrancy
- Makeup Geek Barcelona Beach Eyeshadow — a soft, muted, medium brown with subtle rosy tones and a satin finish
- Sephora Go For a Ride Eyeliner — a deep, forest green with a subtle, pearly sheen
- Makeup Geek Mesmerized — a rich, medium-dark taupe brown with a metallic finish
- L’Oreal Cobalt Blue Eyeliner — one of the most intense blue eyeliners I’ve ever come across, period
What were your favorite budget-friendly eyeshadows and eyeliners this year?
There’s little sweeter in beauty than when a product performs exceptionally well and comes with a wallet-friendly price tag! These lip products prove you don’t need to spend a lot to get bold, bright, or unique colors. I love seeing brands put out better and better budget-friendly alternatives so that anyone and everyone can find the right products for their budget! Here are my favorite shades of lipstick and gloss that won’t break the bank from 2014:
What are your must-have budget-friendly lip products that you tried in 2014?