I’m finally back with a beauty post and this time I’m going to talk to you guys about my 14 favorite beauty items from 2014.
Here’s a sneak peek:
I had a full list in multiple categories but I knew it was ambitious and I probably wouldn’t be able to share my thoughts about all of them since it will need to be divided into a series of posts. I have to be honest, I’m horrible at series posts. I can’t finish them, so I scaled the list down to bare minimum to show you the ones that I constantly reached for last year.
Let’s start with face products.
Chanel Creme Blush not included in the photo
One of my biggest makeup dilemmas last year was finding the perfect foundation match. I never had this problem when I was just starting to use makeup because I was fair-skinned and practically any BB cream and light-tone foundations I’ve tried matches me well. That changed when I started getting more and more tanned. It was a struggle looking for a yellow tone foundation that would match me. Most of the drugstore ones I’ve tried (and I accumulated a number of them while searching) were either too ashy or orange once it sets.
Then, along came Shu Uemura The Lightbulb foundation. I’m not gonna lie, the price made me wince. It retails for P2350.00 here in the Philippines. But since it landed on the top of my Holy Grail list, you already know that it is worth the hefty price tag.
This foundation claims to give you good coverage, glowing complexion and comfortable to wear on the skin. For once, here is a product that does everything that it claims to do. I love the lightness of this formula. It almost feels like you don’t have any foundation on but the coverage is really good. I don’t have any issues with my skin and I mainly use foundation to even out my skin tone. I only use half a pump of this foundation but the coverage is really good, so I can even skip the concealer whenever I use this. I have it in the shade Moderate Beige (744) and it’s a perfect match for me when I’m really tanned.
One more thing that I like about The Lightbulb is the hydrating formula. I have dry skin, so I love makeup bases that also helps hydrate the skin. The formula is a tad more watery than most foundations but it really packs a punch. It sets into a really nice dewy finish that makes your skin look like it’s glowing from within. Literally a lightbulb effect! I like to set this with MAC MSF Natural powder (which I will talk about in a bit) and it lasts pretty much all day long on my skin without blotting or retouching. This foundation is heaven sent. Good job on this foundation Shu Uemura!
P.S. I saw some reviews on this foundation and because it has oil in it, it probably won’t work for you if you have oily/combination skin. If you’re planning to check the Shu counter for foundations, check out the Face Architect range instead. They have a nice shade range and it works well with normal to oily skin types.
After falling in love with the Shu Uemura The Lightbulb foundation, I started looking for a drugstore alternative with a similar formula and finish. I found my match in the L’oreal Lucent Magique Light-Infusing foundation. Do you notice all the reference to the lighting with foundations these days?
Anyway, I have this in the shade G4 (gold shell) and it retails for P845.00. This shade is a little bit lighter than the Shu Uemura foundation that I have, which is perfect because my tan is starting to fade so I need something that will match my skin during the transition. I love being tanned but it can be such a pain in the butt!
But I digress. Let’s talk about the formula of this foundation. Like The Lightbulb, this foundation feels really light and wears comfortably on the skin. Coverage is a tad bit lighter but you can build it up to medium coverage. I’m fine with just one layer of this. I just apply concealer in problem areas like the redness around my nose and my dark under eye circles. This foundation sets into a dewy finish.
Once I set this foundation with powder, I don’t even need to blot or retouch but it lasts pretty well throughout the day. Love the stuff! This is the foundation that I am using at the moment.
This Revlon Photoready Skinlights face illuminator (P875.00) is one of the many unsung heroes in the brand’s makeup line. I haven’t tried any of the lighter shades but this one in the shade Bronze light is a life saver!
When I was struggling to find a foundation that would match me, I usually end up with a foundation that was just wrong for my skin tone. The good thing is, nobody noticed because I always used this handy little product to correct it. Since it’s a liquid formula I use a stippling brush to apply this like you would apply a powder bronzer and it single-handedly transformed all of my flop foundation shades into something that actually works for my skin. You might think I’ll look like a shiny bronze ball since this is an illuminator but the shimmer actually fades and is barely visible once the product is blended onto the skin. It’s like a temporary face tanner.
It stays on well throughout the day, although I usually wear this underneath a setting powder then layer a bronzing powder on top to maximize the staying power.
Chanel Cream Blush in Presage – I’ve been hearing so many good things about Chanel Cream blushes but I never tried it because boyyyyy it’s esspensiiive! haha! I’m not sure how much this would cost if you buy it in Rustan’s but I’m pretty sure it will be a little over P2000.00.
I got mine from a blogsale so it was half-priced and barely used. I actually got two shades but I really prefer this one. It’s a really nice peachy coral shade that reminds me of the cream blush that Mac came out with for the Prabal Gurung collection.
It’s a shade that is universally flattering and while I will remain loyal to more affordable makeup options, I cannot deny that designer brand makeup are expensive for a reason. This cream blush has a very unique velvety feel and it is not tacky like most cream blushes are. Chanel Cream blushes are known for are their cream to powder finish, incredible pigmentation and lasting power. You only need a tiny bit of this, so swirl your fingers on the pan real lightly, dab the color on your cheeks and blend. I like to apply this before setting my foundation so I can diffuse the color intensity when I over apply. It also lasts longer when worn beneath setting powders.
Will I pick up more of these? Well, maybe. I love my drugstore stuff (and prices) too much, but I love this product so much I just might shell out 50 dollars for one if this runs out.
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural – I know everybody and their mom has been long over the hype of this powder, but man, that doesn’t make this any less amazing.
I love this powder because it doesn’t look cakey no matter how much you pile on your face. This is something that I’ve been reaching for EVERYDAY since I bought it last August. If you have dry skin like I do, I always struggle with products that are too drying on the skin (yes MAC Prolongwear foundation, I’m looking at you). What I really like about this powder is it makes matte foundations look glowy/dewy as well.
I was lucky enough to score this at a beauty outlet store in Canada last year. I think I only paid CAD 32.00 for it. I’d pay full price for it and repurchase when this one runs out. Which it probably won’t do for a loooong time because MAC products just seem to last forever. I think this retails for P1700.00 or P1800.00 in local MAC stores.
MAC TRACE GOLD – this is a blush but it looks more like a rose gold highlight that is bordering on the bronze territory. It might look intimidating for some people, but it’s actually a really nice product. I like to use it on its own as a blush when I have heavy eye makeup on, but if it’s not dramatic, I like to use this either as a highlight or a base color for more pigmented blushes.
MAC blushes retails for P1350.00 in local MAC stores.
So now that we’re done with the face makeup, let’s talk about the eye and lip products.
Happy Skin Eye Love View Double Duty Eyebrow Duo – Can I just quickly mention that I love love love Happy Skin? It’s such an amazing local beauty brand! ❤
This Eyebrow pencil is dual ended. One end has the retractable pencil, the other one is a liquid brow pen similar to k-palette brow pens. While I love the K-palette ones as well, I chose this over that because (hello, support local!) you get more value for your money. The K-palette brow duo (pen and powder combo) retails for P1059.00 if I’m not mistaken and it just dries up so quickly. The powder also turns sticky and pasty for some reason. Boo.
So going back to Happy Skin this is only P799.00 and the pencil part of this duo is just amazing. I pick this up every time I am in a hurry to do my brows because it’s just so easy to work with! The pencil is soft enough that it makes filling your brows in a total breeze, but it’s also hard enough that it will not give you scruse brows. It’s amazing!
The liquid pen on the other hand is great if you want your eyebrows to look really precise without looking too drawn on. You can use it to draw brow hairs so it looks more natural. Did I mention that it claims to be waterproof? I’ve tested it out and it really is! I also noticed that my brows looks a whole lot healthier when I use this because it has argan oil and it nourishes your brow hair while it’s on your face. Amazeballs right?
I bought this on impulse but it now has a permanent spot in my beauty arsenal.
Dolly Wink Brow Tint in Dark Cocoa – I bought this on my last trip to Hongkong last year after reading a review that it is similar to the MAC Brow Set. Well ladies, it’s even better than the MAC one and the best part is, you only have to shell out P300.00 to P400.00 for it. I’ve been using this every. single. day. since I opened it March last year and it still feels the same and works the same way it did when it was newly opened. Amazing right?
Lucky you, you don’t have to go all the way to Hongkong or Japan to get it anymore.
You can order it at beautymnl.com or from Dolly Wink booths in SM Dept. Stores, Watsons or The Ramp.
Try not to buy this from other online stores or bazaars because most of the Dolly Wink stuff sold in bazaars are fake. I like a good bargain as well as the next person, but if it’s makeup, I am never going to use counterfeits. I’ll buy from dirt cheap brands because at least, they really declare the stuff that goes into their products. With fake items, you just don’t know what’s in it.
Heroine Make Long & Curl mascara – This mascara is amaaaaazing. Seriously one of the best mascaras I’ve ever tried! It’s dirt cheap (buy it in Japan or HK) at just P300.00 per tube. It’s rather liquidy when it’s new so it’s a challenge to keep it from making your lashes clump. I usually wipe off some of the excess on the lid then brush it on. It’s a really jet black mascara that wouldn’t smear or flake off. It dries really fast so make sure you work quickly and if you accidentally smudge it on your eyelids or under eye area, it’s best to remove it right away because this mascara is stubborn and it’s a total bitch to remove.
Does it sound like a troublesome mascara to work with? Honestly, it takes a bit of adjusting to get used to this mascara, but once you get used to it, you will love it. I got the lengthening one but it still gives an incredible amount of lift and volume to my lashes. Even with the watery formula, this mascara keeps my lashes curled all day, which is no mean feat. I have a hard time looking for mascaras that keeps my lashes curled. I have found quite a number of them over the years but none of them keeps my lashes curled all day like this mascara does.
The Japanese makes some really amazing beauty products even if it’s just for the drugstore.
Heroine Make is available in select SM Department stores and the prices are a bit higher.
Maybelline Color Tattoo Cream Eyeshadows in Barely Branded and Bad to the Bronze
I’ve been hearing so many good things about these cream shadows for years, however due to my aversion to cream makeup anything, I haven’t tried these amazing pots of goodness until November last year.
These eyeshadows are amazing and they seriously deserve every rave review. I am going on a limb and say that these are even better than those overpriced MAC paint pots. You guys know how much I love MAC. You only have to scroll back up to look at the evidence, but man, why do they make the paint pots that dry?
The color tattoos cost about a third of the price of a MAC Paint Pot but they are really lovely to work with. It’s easy to pick up the product from the pot (I like to apply these with my fingers) and it just blends so easily on the lids. Pigmentation is a hit and miss for the brighter colors, but the neutral colors are pretty much solid.
If you’ve been hesitating about picking these up like I was, well girl, better get them now. You won’t regret it.
Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Pencil Liner in L2
I guess you can already tell that I love this eyeliner because it’s already super short. haha! It’s one of those eyeliners that doesn’t smudge or budge no matter how sweaty you get. It fades gradually but you will not notice any smudging, which is why I aways bring this with me on vacation trips. The dark brown shade makes this eyeliner look more natural than regular black but it still gives your eyes definition. This eyeliner has an almost gel-like feel. It glides on smoothly and once it sets, it is not budging until you remove it with a waterproof makeup remover.
I’ve had this for a while so I can’t really remember how much it was. I think it’s a little over P1000.00 now.
Jack Black Lip Balm in Mango & Mandarin – I know this is a lip balm for guys but this is hands down the best lip balm I’ve ever used. I love that it’s not greasy but it’s not too thick either. It can be a bit heavy if you’re not used to the texture but once you get used to it, you will love how it gives your lips an almost velvety feel.
It has SPF 20 which is really handy if you’re going swimming or heading to the beach because this baby is waterproof. We tend to forget about putting sunblock on our lips, so this is something that can keep your lips hydrated while giving your lips protection from the sun. I wore this lip balm the first time I went wakeboarding. I was at it for 8 hours, and even without reapplying and I could still feel it on my lips afterwards.
Jack Black is now available in major SM Department Stores.
Rimmel Lasting Finish By Kate Matte Lipstick in 107 – Ah, where do I even begin? I love my MAC lipsticks, but when something as inexpensive as this comes along I have to take notice.
This is available locally but it is rather hard to find. It’s usually priced between P220.00 to P350.00 depending on the online store. I got this on a trip to Canada for CAD 5.00. This lipstick is very affordable but it is the best drugstore lipstick I’ve ever tried. I love the black ones from this range as well, but I have a soft spot for matte lipsticks and this shade. 107 is a subdued blue toned berry that I think will go well with almost any skintone. It pops nicely against darker skin tones and it also looks wonderful on people with lighter skin tone.
All of the lipsticks from this range have really nice texture. It’s smooth and the lipstick glides on the lip with full-on opaque color in one swipe. It’s also very hydrating and it stays on very well. They really meant it when they said it’s a “lasting finish” lipstick.
And finally, we’re on the last item on the list. This is the Bite Beauty Lip Pencil in Rhubarb. This is a lipstick that you will buy because of it’s really unique texture and all-natural ingredients. This smells really delicious. It smells like fruits and this will make your lips feel smooth and hydrated like lip balms do while giving you the color and lasting power of a lipstick. It’s just an outstanding lip product plus they have a really wide range of shades. You just can’t go wrong with Bite lipsticks.
This post was like, 2 months late because I’ve been doing a lot of traveling and not enough writing. Even I have to admit that, so I hope that this post will get the ball rolling so I can start posting more this year.
I know this is really long post, so if you stayed with me up to this point, thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I hope this was a helpful post somehow.
I will talk to you guys again on my next post!