Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Top 14 of 2014

Better late than never, here are my top 14 products of 2014! These annual favourites were getting a bit long-winded so I thought I'd whittle it down to a neat 14, which means some mainstays like face masks, cleansers and perfumes are not included in this post, but can be found in monthly favourites posts that I did over the course of 2014. Here goes.

01 Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Lotion
This product really does take pride of place in my annual favourites because it has such a soothing effect on my skin. The deep hydration that Hada Labo's SHA Lotion gives was one of the major catalysts for my skin's transformation from riddled with blemishes and scars to clear, smoother skin. It quickly became a habit to apply a couple of drops after cleansing my face because without it, my skin would feel tight and I could never go back to getting used to that tightness after becoming accustomed to the baby-soft feeling of hydrated skin that a product so weightless and fast-absorbing. I have a back-up ready.

02 MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Bare Again
This lipstick was an acquisition from a MAC store in Ngee Ann City in Singapore and it's been a quiet achiever- out of my relatively small lip product collection, this is the one lipstick I've constantly reached for throughout 2014. I've worn it daily at University, to weddings and graduation ceremonies because it's the perfect shade of rouged-but-not-really for my complexion. Aside from the very occasional impulses to wear vibrant fuschia pink lipstick or graphic eyeliner, I gravitate towards everything in natural shades; a my ____ but better. The search for the elusive My-Lips-But-Better ended when I found Bare Again. The colour and formula are spot-on. Thanks to Tiffany, I found this and it slowly but surely made it to the top of my lip product leaderboard.

03 EcoTools Pure Complexion Deep Cleansing Facial Sponge
I'm onto my third sponge, which I fancy as a testament to my dedication and the prowess of these konjac sponges. They make cleansing a breeze and they may require marginally more time to use than cleansing with fingertips but the sponges really maximise my cleanser and do a fantastic job of facial cleansing. They need to be replaced every 3 months but for the affordable price point and effective scrub for a gentle exfoliation, I think it's well worth it.

04 NYX Blush in Terra Cotta
This blush came with the introduction of NYX to Australian shores and for a girl partial to pinks and corals, I was surprised to find peachy apricot with golden sheen worked so nicely on my skin tone. Although my boyfriend once exclaimed 'Your face is glittery,' upon seeing this blush on my cheeks, I haven't been deterred from wearing it because it's a gorgeous shade that works universally with any makeup look. For the price, the formula of NYX blushes is faultless and the size and packaging are great too.

05 Trilogy Rosehip Oil Antioxidant+
Rosehip oil in general is great, and this is the one that I used for most of this year. The crazy thing is that I rarely finish such products and this is near empty. Rosehip oil is great for balancing combination and oily skin types and I can testify that this is true. My skin was once on the oilier side of the combination type, and after introducing and habitually using rosehip oil in my skincare routine, my cheeks became normal and my t-zone became less oily. The hydration that plant oils such as rosehip provides is essential for winter weather and my skin didn't suffer one bit this winter with the products that I used.

06 L'Oreal Hair Expertise EverStrong/EverSleek/EverCreme shampoo and conditioner range
This was my go-to haircare line in 2014, and despite the EverStrong Hydrate and Reconstruct lines being discontinued I pushed on and experimented with other variations in the range and found some that I loved- the EverCreme shampoo was perfect during the winter months and the Ever Sleek is my favourite for summer because my hair's tendency to become wavy and a little frizzy direly needs some sleeking action. I embrace the waves, but I like to do away with the frizz. I appreciate these because they are sulfate-free, which means less scalp irritation, and the scents of the line are amazing. I loved the mint and rosemary of the EverStrong range, and the camelina of the EverCreme.

07 Bourjois Healthy Mix Correcting Concealer in 53 Dark Beige
I love this concealer for hiding hyperpigmentation, redness and blemishes. It's running out, and I want to try the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer once it does, but it served me extremely well in 2014. The colour match is perfect and the coverage is good. I like the consistency best because it's so easy to blend into the skin.

08 Laura Mercier Mineral Powder in Natural Beige and Real Sand
This was my go-to daily base product because of its powder formulation- the feel is a lot more weightless than liquid foundation or BB Cream. I do have to mix 2 shades together because one is quite pale and one is quite tanned-looking, so depending on my skin tone I adjust to accommodate. I use these on a day-to-day basis, choosing to save my Bourjois liquid foundations for occasions when I know I will be photographed because the mineral powders have SPF15. I look forward to trying out new base products in 2015 because I've run out of liquid foundation. (Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua, please!)

09 Real Techniques Blush Brush
Although I don't have a singular favourite bronzer from 2014, I did come out with a favourite brush to use with bronzer. Sam Chapman's Blush Brush is so good at lightly diffusing bronzer across the outer edges of the face and giving it warmth without making it muddy. I never really saw its merit until I picked it up for bronzer. Now it's the only brush I use for that purpose.

10 Revlon Whimsical over L'Oreal Blue Riviera
Before I say anything about this duo, I want to give props to Rimmel's Oh, Mr Darcy! because I love that too (I layered it under Sportsgirl's Rose Gold glitter top coat for the holiday season), but these two blue shades pair so well together and the effect makes me happy. The lightness of Blue Riviera layered underneath Whimsical brings it some brightness that it lacks, and the sheerness of Whimsical allows the bright baby blue to shine through. Whimsical alone is a pain to apply because it is so sheer, but the varying sizes, shapes and colours of the glitter are cutely assorted and the end result is a pretty blue base flecked with blue, pink and silver glitter that is wholly pleasing to look at.

11 La Roche-Posay Sensi White Essence
This favourite came later in the year but I stand by the praise that I had for it when I first mentioned it- it's the best product I've found for fading acne scarring and I've seen tremendous improvement in my skin's hyperpigmentation since using it. I love that French brand La Roche-Posay, which I know and trust, created something for sensitive Asian skin, because I find Asian skincare to be truly effective for my skin. Whether or not it's because we are genetically different to Caucasians dermatologically, or because it's just an outright good product, I'm a strong believer in this product and it's given me the confidence to embrace my skin for what it is because it's helped to fade scars that I've carried for months and months.

12 Sigma E25 Blending Brush
I'm a bit too poor to indulge in a MAC 217 at this student stage in life but the Sigma eye brushes I ordered in 2012 are proving to be extremely good investments and I love the E25 for applying shadows and blending to soften the edges. It does it all and it does it effortlessly. The natural bristles may indeed be more effective at picking up pigment, but I'm not entirely sure because I love my synthetic Ecotools as well, but I suggest trying a blending brush like the 217, such as the E25, because it is really good.

13 Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette
It wasn't until the second half of the year that I really reached for this palette but I have to include it because the shades Tease and YDK are long-time favourites and this year Chopper and Suspect really got to shine. While I went to Sephora Singapore with the Naked 1 palette in mind, this won me over in the end and I'm so glad I went with the Naked 2 for the shade range and because I do believe that the Urban Decay palettes are great value for money and the formulation of the shadows is as good as everybody gushes.

14 Revlon Brow Fantasy in Dark Brown
This was a wonderful discovery because I'd used pencils and clear brow gels before, but a tinted brow gel was something of an epiphany. Truthfully this was an impulse buy during a Priceline sale but I purchased it knowing full well that I would only get use out of the gel side. My all-time favourite brow pencil is the Lioele Auto Artist Eye Brow Pencil in Grey-Black, but as that one has featured in my yearly favourites for 2 years now, I thought I'd show-and-tell about the Revlon Brow Fantasy's gel instead. The tint is perfect, even for Asian-brand undyed black hair, and the effect is so nice for the ease of application and affordable price point.

One for 2015
15 Chanel Coco Mademoiselle
I've spritzed this perfume almost every time I've set foot in a Myer or David Jones and I love it to bits- I think this year I might try to make it mine.


  1. I only own two RT brushes and one is the blush brush. I love the shape of it, prefect for blush and bronzer! And it's sooo soft!!! I use to have Whimsical a long time ago and I remember how pretty it is over a blue polish, I might have to look into some more L'Oreal polishes! And I cannot be without the E25 brush and I have two!

    xx Kat @ Katness

  2. I love posts like these! Thoroughly enjoyed reading it :)

  3. I stopped using the Hada Labo SHA Lotion for ages but pulled it out again and I've almost finished it! It's so good at leaving the skin feel hydrated but so weightless as if there isn't any product! I don't know about the LRP Sensi range- maybe it's just the essence that's effective, and maybe it's just effective on Asians? I think I picked it up in a 30% off sale. I got it for around $30. I don't like going near Priceline on 40% off sale days because they get ransacked and it feels so rough. I went during their latest 40% Cosmetics Sale and picked up just one MaxFactor Masterpiece Waterproof mascara because I was literally out of mascara. *proud*

  4. I love the RT brushes! I got the Core Collection when I had very few brushes and slowly amassed about half their range. They're so soft and such good quality- I haven't had any shed before! I've generally had quite a good experience with L'Oreal Vernis- I have about 3 and they're not too sheer or bubbly, which is good. And the E25 is so good! I have the E30 as well, which I only use for smokey eyes so the E25 is my main eye brush, accompanied by a couple of EcoTools sets. :)

  5. How good is the Hada Labo Lotion?! I definitely rate the cleanser as well (apparently the one in the pump bottle > tube). I'm definitely missing something in my skincare routine to fade scarring, and I'm breaking out on my chin at the moment as well. :/ Sensi White Essence sounds great, I hear vitamin C serums also work well in that regard.

    I feel a bit regretful choosing Naked 1 over Naked 2. I find that I use the same shades in my Naked 1 palette over and over again because I don't like going too adventurous/dark with my eyeshadow. Naked 2 seems to have more wearable/everyday type shades.

    Have you smelt Chanel Chance (Eu Tendre)? My boyfriend recently bought me a new bottle of it since I've used one up already! I'm surprised I'm not sick of it yet, haha.

  6. The La Roche posay essences sounds amazing, I certainly could use some help in the scarring department. I recently tried a scrub from Hada labo and so far so good, but the lotion sounds good too.

  7. I had scars on my cheeks for months! But the LRP Sensi White line is worth a try because the Essence has really helped get rid of them. It could be a combination of factors like drinking more water and using the Hada Labo SHA Lotion as well! I haven't heard of a scrub from them- I look forward to hearing about it though!

  8. It's amazing! I had my sister buy me a backup bottle on her recent holiday and it looks like they've improved the science because they're boasting 4 different types of hyaluronic acid now when it only used to be 3. The Sensi White Essence is good at fading scars but hormonal cystic buggers take longer to disappear and I've got one on my chin too at the mo- not happy, Jan. I liked the Naked 1 but I would only use the first 5 or 6 shades!
    I did smell Chanel Chance Eau Tendre after you first posted about it about 3 years ago! I thought it reminded me of Clinique Happy. So sweet of him to give it to you- they're SO expensive! I love Coco Mademoiselle- it reminds me of Versace Bright Crystal, which I own, but so much better. Stronger, sweeter. I love. I don't love the price tag though.

  9. Yeah, good thing my new bottle was duty free! :P