Tips Best Buys in 2014: Makeup

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As my yearly tradition dictates, here is the first part of my favourite buys in 2014. The second one will feature nail polishes skincare, hair products and fragrances. You can find posts from previous years here: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Part 1 (make up) and Part 2 (skincare, hair and fragrance). 

I've never been much of a primer person because they always flaked on me until I discovered this. It's very lightweight and has none of that almost greasy-like silicone finish like for example Garnier's Perfect Blur, rather it feels like nothing on the skin and yet it keeps the makeup in place all day including light coverage dewy foundations. I also love using this as an eyeshadow primer and it does its job admirably. The added SPF 20 is another bonus as is the great packaging with a pump.

Another little helper when it comes to prolonging the staying power of makeup, but this one is used after the makeup is applied to seal everything in place. It's like a hairspray for the face and it feels super light, not sticky, basically you can't feel it on the face once it dries. It's a great product when you need your makeup to last as long as possible, especially in combination with the Max Factor Primer.  

Man, does Bourjois have the skin-like finish down or what? This is without a doubt the most undetectable base, it literally looks like your skin and it's very hard to see that you're even wearing anything. The coverage is light-medium, but more on the light side, which  is enough for me. However, unfortunately the colour range excludes really pale shades, which is annoying, so I mostly need to mix it with a lighter foundation, but I really appreciate that the lightest shade isn't as yellow as at Heathy Mix Serum

This was my first ever Catrice foundation and boy was it a hit. Unlike my previous foundation choices, this has a matte finish, but it's a long way from the draining, heavy caked-up matte finish. This is actually, just as described, a luminous matte effect, so the skin looks radiant, but without the creamy-dewy shine and it actually keeps the oils at bay. The level of coverage is medium, which is enough for me - as long as it doesn't look obvious on the skin I'm a happy camper. The shade is a bit disappointing, since the really fair people have been left out again, but it is comforting to know that the lightest shade is neutral.

My last year's birthday gift (from me to myself, lol), but it was an instant hit. It's actually very similar to the Collection's Lasting Perfection concealer, maybe it's a bit creamier, but I honestly don't notice much of a difference. The real reason why I love this is the shade. Finding a proper neutral light shade is pretty much impossible, not to mention expensive, but I found it in Chantilly. The coverage is fantastic, almost full and it still looks nice enough to not describe it as heavy and cakey.

I don't have this any more, since it was one of the products that ran out ridiculously fast, so that's the bad side of it, but all the rest is great. I must admit that I wasn't a huge fan of this concealer from the start and the fact that it only contains 1.5 ml was the main reason. I also wasn't impressed by the medium coverage, but my opinion changed dramatically with use and now I consider it one of the most natural looking concealers I've ever found and that's a feature I value a lot. It's very similar to the CC Cream with that awesome my-skin-but-better finish, but the shade is far better for me because it's lighter and again neutral, so it suits me so well. I really need to repurchase it.

It's no surprise this is here. After last year's success with the Naked Basics, the second one was bound to be a winner as well. It's a collection of taupe-brown shades that are excellent for neutral looks which I tend to wear every day. It has a larger variation of medium toned shades instead of pale bases and dark shades as well as it's more cool toned than the original, so it's the perfect complement to the previous palette and definitely different enough to justify owning both. The quality of the eyeshadows is again amazing - they are smooth, super pigmented and blend well. 

A budget palette that completely blew me away. I've said in my original review that as far as I'm concerned, the quality is very similar to the UD's Naked Palettes. The eyeshadows are just a bit "dustier" and the shades are like a Naked Basics and Naked2 Basics were merged together bringing the best of both into one palette, the only thing missing is the pitch black shade. It's a fantastic palette for 5 €.

It's been a year of felt tip eyeliners for me and they literally changed my life if I'm being a bit dramatic, or at least my makeup routine. I was given this by an online shop I used to work at, since I admit my prejudice would put me off from ever trying it, but it's probably the best liner I've tried so far. The formula is so smooth and the applicator allows very precise creations and flicks. It's super pigmented, very black and lasts all day on my normal lids. The only thing is that it dries out faster than L'Oreal's or at least the fluid doesn't saturate the nib through and through, but its performance when it's new is almost addictive. However, I will try some more liners and Stila's is the next I want to try. 

Yet another felt tip liner and this was my first ever, which remained my favourite for a long time and I also repurchased it. It's similar to the Kardashian one, so again super precise, pigmented and long-lasting, only less fluid meaning less liquid liner like and the tip doesn't stay saturated as long as at the other one, however, the base of the nib stays saturated with the product longer. I really love both liners and I would repurchase them, maybe this one faster because it's cheapest of the two.  

Essence created a nice eyeliner? Did I accidentally enter a parallel universe? But in all seriousness, this is brilliant. Everything works so well at this liner- the slightly pinky brightening colour, the creamy smooth formula that transfers so well on the waterline and can be used in the inner corner or under the brow. Even the staying power is nice. It completely replaced my old faithful Max Factor Khol in 090 Natural Glaze. Well done Essence!

I have been very faithful to my Tana eyelash curler for years and I actually owned two, but I wanted to see if the grass was greener on the high-end side and I wasn't disappointed. I often complain around here about my stupidly stubborn lashes that are ridiculously hard to curl, so eyelash curler is an essential tool in my life. Compared to Tana's Shiseido's are a bit bigger, flatter, feel lighter and they fit my eye shape a bit better, so I don't accidentally pinch myself in the corners if I'm being careless. Another plus is that refill pads are very easy to find.  

Let me present to you (again) the best eyeshadow I ever tried in terms of formula. And it's matte. I know, madness. It's a classic taupe shade that is excellent in the crease as well as on the lids and it has a soft, smooth and pigmented formula that blends so well. 

I put off buying this for so long, even though I knew it's brilliant as I already owned and love Permanent Taupe. I wasn't too sure about the shade at the beginning, but now I wear it every day either on its own or mostly as a base. It's such a gorgeous neutral bronze shade with a metallic finish that is easy to apply, blends well using fingers and has a great staying power. This has been one of the stars in December for me and a part of my every day makeup.

I'm a huge fan of these and I have quite a collection already. They convinced me with their superb pigmentation, shimmery-metallic finish and staying power. Tender Caramel is a taupe-brown shade that is similar to Satin Taupe, but with a lot more shimmery, glamorous finish and it's a cool toned version of my favourite shade from the Infallible Sahara Treasure. I've been wearing this shade basically every day since I got it over On and on Bronze and I always apply it with fingers for best effect.

I adore this blush. I've been wearing it pretty much non-stop since I got it a few months ago, especially when I need to look good because I know this shade works for me. It's a natural - pink shade that just looks amazing on the skin, way better than any coral blush could ever on me and best of all it goes with any look. It's not particularly illuminating, but I don't mind.

Before I'm Nuts About You there was Rose Royce. These are similar shades, though Rose Royce is a tiny bit more pink, but it's again a natural-rose shade that goes with everything. The quality of Defining blushes is spectacular, these are my favourite blushes ever and they convinced me with their excellent pigmentation, staying power and easy-to-work-with formula.

A product that has renewed my faith in powders, though it's more like a super sheer highlighter than a powder. For years I put up with the cakey finish of powders in the name of keeping the makeup in place and shine at bay, but this powder actually makes the foundation look better. It works like a light blurring tool, fixing the weird looking parts of the foundation and setting the makeup in place, while giving a super subtle radiance to the skin. 

Words cannot describe how good these two are. The formula is outstanding with an excellent pigmentation, creamy-matte finish and staying power. Blake is an incredible ruby/cherry red with a blue undertone that to me is prettier than Ruby Woo and has better formula, so it became my favourite red ever. Laetitia is shade I wanted to find to years as it's as proper deep red with very little purple tones, so it actually looks dark red on my lips - such a striking shade. 
Here is a comparison of both with Ruby Woo, Russian Red and Rimmel's 107. I'm wearing Laetitia here.

This is such a me colour and I was so pleasantly surprised when I first put it on the lips as it look completely different in the tube than on the lips. It's a warm deep pink-red, a colour that is close to my heart and I just adore this shade. The pigmentation, staying power and finish is great as well, actually better than the other shade they released at the same time - MATTador. This is one of those lipsticks I just instinctively grab when I'm in a hurry because I know I'll look good with it, so it's no surprise it's one of my most worn shades. A fabulous drugstore lipstick.

2014 is the year that when one of my favourite brands finally released their version of matte lip creams. Being a huge fan of such products I was elated at the news of the launch of Velvets and grabbed the darkest Grand Cru the moment I saw them. Though the formula of this shade is difficult to work with, I was gobsmacked at the final result as it has the most perfect velvet matte finish ever. The staying power is spectacular as well and it's the most long lasting lip product I own because it survives everything, even teeth brushing. I latter bought two more shades - the absolutely stunningly gorgeous rose-red-pink Frambourjoise, which became one of my favourite shades ever and Olé Flamingo a warm super bright pink. The formula of the latter is the best out of these and in general excellent, while Frambourjoise also has a much better formula than Grand Cru. They need a bit more work because the first layer isn't fully opaque, but the final result is stunning once it dries. 

The packaging is just drop dead gorgeous, isn't it? Despite the slightly deceiving advertising, it's a very pigmented lip gloss, so it's not like Apocalips, which is an actual liquid lipstick, but closer to L'Extraordinaire Liquid Lipstick, just even more pigmented and a bit better quality. The colour is a very wearable coral-pink with a very glossy finish, so looks quite glamorous on the lips. 

I picked a true winner when I bought this shade. It still remains the lip colour choice when I need something that is less bold than my usual choices or when I want to give my lips a bit of a break from matte finishes. Basically, I wear it a lot, also because it such a stunning shade that suits my complexion and I feel that it makes my eyes appear more blue. I even love the glossy finish of it and I'm a true lipstick girl through and through. I also need to mention the delightfully peach scent, which is divine and just up my alley.  

Catrice decided to shamelessly copy Clarins' Instant Lip Perfector and we should all be grateful that they did because they nailed it. This is without a doubt the most comfortable lip product ever. I described it as a cushion for the lips and I think it's way better than a lip balm when it comes to soothing the lips. This was my choice to treat my poor lips when I was ill once this year. All the shades are very similar and provide very little colour, but mine is a nude peachy shade and it smells gently sweet.

As a massive fan of peach scented products, this lip balm was bound to end up in my shopping basket and I was not disappointed as this has one of the best peach scents out there. It has a nice light natural peach tint, however, as far as the quality and moisturisation goes, this one is as average as it gets, but my lips are almost never dry and I don't need intensive care.

I hope you enjoyed reading part one and part two with nail polishes, skincare, haircare and tools will follow soon.
Have a great day!
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