When I think about “Most Disappointing,” it doesn’t always mean all the Fs, because it can also mean formulas or products that you’ve come to expect A-level quality from that end up C-level (or worse!) quality, which is possibly more disappointing than a product that was never great to begin with. There were also some new formulas that were introduced this year that had little to no ability to be saved!
- MAC Techankohl Liners — the majority of the shades in the new-for-2014 shade extension release were disappointing with poor color payoff and wear
- Stila Body Eyeshadow Palette — beyond disappointing and gets a place as one of the worst palettes I’ve ever dealt with
- Gucci Potent Violet Lip Lacquer — by “intense color,” they must have meant “barely there”
- Tom Ford Ice Queen Eye Quad — difficult to apply, shorter-wearing, subpar color payoff
- bareMinerals Lasting Line Eyeliner Sets — a painfully stiff, dry, and poorly pigmented formula
- Kat Von D Star Studded Eyeshadow Palette — though it didn’t get the lowest score overall, it had some beyond dismal shades, like Gothica, which was like purple sand and introduced me to a texture I had never seen (and hope never to see again)
- Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick — another formula with mostly disappointing shades in what could have been a real winner (still kills me how bad these were/are)
- Urban Decay Shadow Box Palette — a major departure from Urban Decay’s signature formula left me majorly disappointed with this one
- NARS Night Series Eyeliners — so much potential, but lacking in color payoff
- Chanel Sweet Star — there are so many stellar teal eyeliners to choose from, how a brand can charge $29 and put out a poor performing one leaves me utterly confused
What were your big beauty disappointments this year?
A lot of new favorite formulas were launched this year, like Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy and NARS Audacious, which certainly made it extra challenging to narrow down favorites to a list of ten. As much as I love coral lipsticks, I found several non-coral colors that made my heart sing, too
What were favorite lipsticks to wear this year?
I tend to like my lipgloss to be rather pigmented, and for the rare occasions I fall in love with a gloss that isn’t pigmented, it’s usually ridiculously sparkly. This list definitely reflects those preferences! I hope to hear from you about your personal faves!
- Chanel Crazy Fuchsia — a slightly muted, fuchsia-raspberry with shimmer and full color coverage
- NARS Corisca — a muted, rosy pink with subtle gold shimmer and mostly opaque coverage
- MAC Clear Water — a dazzling, ultra-sparkly gloss
- Chanel Audace — a muted, plummy brown with fine gold shimmer
- Marc Jacobs Beauty Gone Bad (216) — a bright, neon orange-red with opaque color coverage
- Illamasqua Touch — a bright red with light shimmer and mostly opaque pigmentation
- Hourglass Ballet — a brightened, light-medium pink with blue undertones and a creamy, glossy shine
- Marc Jacobs Beauty Boom Boom — a bright, fuchsia pink with shimmer
- Chanel Affriolant (13) — a light-medium, coral-pink with very fine shimmer
- OCC Aurora — a light-medium, yellow-toned pink with a subtle shine (I loved it, despite it not quite living up to claims)
What were your go-to lipglosses this year? Which shades did you discover?
It was tough, but here’s my list of favorites for individual eyeshadows (which means they aren’t only available in duos, quads, or palette — see Best Makeup Palettes of 2014 for those!). As you might expect, it was hard to narrow it down, and I’m a fan of variety and spreading the love around, so I chose favorites across brands and formulas (though some got two picks!). Some of the formulas where I felt like I could have picked another dozen favorites out of, I linked below so you can see the full range and explore options that might better align with your personal tastes, too.
I’m not sure exactly how many individual eyeshadows I reviewed this year and often review three or more in a single post (eyeshadows from palettes are all in the same category), but I have 306 posts categorized under “eyeshadow” and 26 for “cream eyeshadow,” so probably in the neighborhood of 1500 eyeshadows for the year (including palettes). I like to reflect back on what was covered over the year, because it helps me compare year over year how productive I was Numbers like that always fascinate me!
What were your favorite eyeshadows you tried this year? New go-to combinations?
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?