Top 10 of 2014: Best Eyeshadows

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?

Top 10 of 2014: Best Highlighters for Cheeks & Face

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!).

What were your favorite highlighters you tried this year? Are they new holy grails?

Top 10 of 2014: Best Blushes

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?

Top 10 of 2014: Best Nail Polishes

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?

Top 10 of 2014: Best Budget-Friendly Blushes

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!

What were your favorite budget-friendly cheek products this year?

Top 10 of 2014: Best Budget-Friendly Eyeshadows & Eyeliners

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!

What were your favorite budget-friendly eyeshadows and eyeliners this year?