Monday, January 5, 2015

2014 MVP: Most Valuable Products

Here it is, as 2015 is just beginning I come to you with my best of 2014 list. I have scoured all my favorite posts as well as empties to pick out those special products that just kept popping up on either list. I didn't cover every category because let's be honest, there are some things I don't use enough to have a real favorite. I also feel like I hopped on the whole highlighter train too late in the year to really proclaim one item the best of the whole year. These will be items that I have used basically from start to finish through the year or at least a good portion of a year. If you're interested you can check out my list for 2013 too! Okay I'll stop rambling now and just get into the list!
Benefit The Big Easy Better Than BB. I rarely go for a full coverage foundation, or even put something all of my face but this stuff is freaking phenomenal. It blends well with my skin and leaves it matte for the whole day! Added bonus it also has SPF so this is a great product for the summertime that also photographs well!
Maybelline Define A Brow. 2014 was the year of the brow game for me and I tried a whole bunch of different products and while I claim a different favorite right now (Etude House), the one product that has stuck throughout the year and just keeps coming back is this one. I think it would be a more firm favorite for me if they still made the dark brown color, but the medium brown still works for those days I want a softer brow look. What is so great about this pencil is that it has very easy buildable color and the fact that you can't twist the pencil down! It's an annoying feature for someone who is unaware of it but the truth is too many twist up brow pencils have very loose swivels so in the process of filling out your brows it could twist down and pull out hairs! This happened to me with the Anastasia Brow Wiz which was a fantastic product aside from the fact that it was slowly thinning out my already thin brows!
NYC Bronzer in Sunny. I have an entire drawerful of bronzers but this one in particular is fantastic because it is not only affordable ($3!) but also because it works great as a bronze all over as well as for contouring. The color is very buildable and natural for many skin tones so this is an easy winner in my book.
Rimmel Stay Matte Powder. I can't even count the number of times I have raved about this product. Again affordable ($5!) and it is a genius at keeping my ultra oily skin matte. I'm on my second one of these powders which is a feat since it only takes a little to set your whole face. The only drawback is the limited range of color which are 7 fairly light shades so I used the transparent color which is 100% invisible but it works if I warm my face up with a little bronzer.
Benefit They're Real! Mascara. This mascara. It definitely should have made the list last year but here it is now. I promised myself I would never fall in love with a high end mascara but it happened and my wallet cries softly because of it. This is the best mascara in the world to make my lashes look long and luscious which is definitely what I aim for over volume. I also love the design of the brush because the little spiked ball at the end really helps to fan out lashes and as a bonus is great for doing the lower lashes too.
Stila Stay All Day Liner. This year I really loved liquid liner over pencil liners simply for the fact that I perfected my cat eye. This liner has lasted me an incredibly long time, I think I might need to throw it away in fear of bacteria not because it has ran out, and that impresses me. There definitely isn't a liner out there for me that can compete with the longevity and smudge-proof-ness of the Stila and it stays a dark true black the whole time you are using it. You can really tell that I love this thing since all the words are completely rubbed off!
TheBalm Hot Mama. I'll admit it was difficult to pick just one blush for the list but in the end I settled on this gorgeous rose gold shade from TheBalm. This is very similar to Benefit's Rockateur but it's a deeper more shimmery bronze shade so it works well to highlight the cheeks too. It's just an all around flattering shade that I think is great for year round.
Lorac Pro Palette. This is one of those rare items that has now made the list two years in a row now just because it's such a winner. This is the best eyeshadow palette out there containing the perfect mix of shades and finishes, as well as fantastically slim and secure packaging that makes it incredibly travel friendly. Overtime I've collected quite a few different palettes but this is the one I always end up reaching for and I don't think that will ever change!
Rimmel Match Perfection Concealer. I just can't say enough good things about this concealer. It is creamy with good coverage making it great for under the eyes or spot treatment over the face. Some days I will use just this concealer and set it all with a powder and be done. I'm not crazy over the packaging, the built in brush is kind of gross but it's easy just to squeeze it out onto a finger or a brush. Also one note, this stuff does oxidize so keep that in mind and I would suggest buying one shade lighter if you want to try it out!
Juicy Couture Couture La La Malibu Perfume. Fragrance of the year just has to go to Malibu for the delicious blend of citrus and soap. Yeah that doesn't sound the most appealing so I'll steal the fragrance notes off Sephora's website: "Sparkling Mandarin, Pink Sugar". Sadly I just learned this is a Limited Edition scent so now I'm torn on whether or not to pick up another bottle!
Essie Nail Polish. I couldn't pick just one so I went with a whole line of polishes! Without a doubt Essie nail polishes were the star this year and most of my manicures featured at least one of these guys. 
Garnier Cleansing Oil. I will never go back to makeup wipes ever again! Are you starting to see the theme of affordable products on this list? This stuff is cheap and easily found in drugstore and gets off every bit of makeup! Ignore the part where it says dry skin because I have oily skin and I don't have a problem with this breaking me out or leaving me oilier. Just be sure to follow up with a gentle facial cleanser afterwards to not leave any residue behind and you'll be good!
TheBalm Kiwi Facial Scrub. My holy grail scrub, we will never be apart. It just works so amazingly well and even better when paired with a konjac sponge. It leaves my skin feel squeaky clean but not stripped, and it smells amazing too.
Jergens BB Body. When nothing else, not even pure coconut oil would help, this cleared up my itchy dry patches on my legs. It is slightly tinted so it will rub color off on clothing if you don't let it dry completely so just keep that in mind!
L'Oreal Erase Balm. This works just as well and possibly even a little better than my $40 hair mask! It is an incredibly thick paste that really clings onto your hair and leaves it feeling so soft and looking so shiny. I go through tubs of this but when it costs only $5 I don't have a problem using it all the time!
St Ives Oatmeal & Shea Butter Body Wash. This made the list again, it is still my favorite body wash that leaves my skin feeling so soft while having a very light scent that doesn't clash with any perfumes. I've tried other scents like the coconut one but this oatmeal & shea butter one is still the best.
Garnier Dry Shampoo. It was a long hunt to find an affordable dry shampoo comparable to my beloved Klorane but I finally did and this one smells like a delicious fruit smoothie! My biggest complaint with dry shampoos is that a lot of them make your hair really stiff and stuck together. I don't have a problem with this, it keeps my strands soft and separate and looking fresh all day.

And that was my 2014 product round up. What were some of your MVPs this past year?


  1. Awesome list! I haven't really browsed the drugstore beauty section in awhile, but you've featured some products I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for!

    1. Thanks! Drugstore is my life, such a thrill to find a high quality product for a cheap price!

  2. I want tk try the Benefit products you mentioned!

    1. It's amazing! My only complaint is the limited shade selection but if you find one that works for you definitely go for it!!