14 Things of 2014

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In keeping up with my annual year-ender post (which I only started last year ha ha!), here’s a throwback to bits and pieces of how the past year looked like in terms of beauty products. A hodgepodge of my 2014 beauty favorites, most-used, things I’ve tried and all else. It’s a smorgasbord because I’m spontaneous  like that I’m the least organized blogger in the history of blogging. Now there’s a resolution I should work on this 2015.
Vamp Time
2014 was Year of the Vamp for my lips. I was obsessed with the deep dark reds – the more ‘old, dried blood‘-looking, the better. I’ve had Guerlain L’Extrait in Orgeuil since 2012 but I added MAC Frank ‘n Furter and Lipstick Queen in Entourage this year to that list.
New Nail Polish Love
A brand has ousted Chanel in my favorite nail polish formula category and it’s none other than YSL. I’m glad I didn’t hoard these like I did Chanel’s because they’re not available in the country I’m older, wiser and know better. But the formula is even easier to work with and the wider brush is perfect for application. Not to mention the bottle cap is much more durable than Chanel’s.
All About that Base
My go-to bases for the year were – Koh Gen Do Aqua FoundationEllis Faas Skin Veil and Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation for luminous, light-medium coverage, dewy/semi-matte finish. Clinique Anti-Blemish Foundation for the more matte finish and Diorskin Nude BB Creme when I’m just not in the mood to think of what to wear.
Powder Power
The past year also drew me closer to powders more than ever. Not pictured is my Ellis Faas Powder which I’ve been using almost daily for blotting and touching up. I don’t know if my skin got oilier but I found myself dusting powder often this year. Used most is MAC Mineralize Skinfinish for very light, almost no-coverage finish and the Ellana Minerals Mineral Powder for when I need slightly more coverage. The Bobbi Brown Skin Weightless Powder is a latecomer but I liked using it as a medium-coverage foundation on its own.
Easily Emptied
Most used-up product: CONCEALER. The By Terry Touche Veloutee and NARS Radiant Creamy are completely used up, while the Collection 2000 one probably has 10% left. The Ellis Faas Concealer is fairly new but I feel like I may run out of it in the next 3 months (maybe even less) and is my probable repurchase among these (Collection 2000 as well as it’s cheap and I feel like I need to have at least two concealers at all times). I guess this product is my can’t leave the house without.
Coral Crush
My cheeks weren’t flushing pink this year, they were most of the time coral. I love how my Dior Coral Cruise looks unused but it’s one of my most reached-for blushes the past year. I may have consciously patted my brushes lighter than the usual as to not ruin the ‘Dior’ embossing. But my top coral has got to be Tom Ford Love Lust.  TBH, I used to think this wasn’t worth the $$$ – but then I always get asked about this blush when I wear it.  Also, it cemented its worthiness when my husband commented he liked this on me (which is very rare for him to notice these things). I even almost logged on to Nordstrom.com and bought a back-up.
High Time for Highlighters
The highlight of my 2014 makeup adventures? The magic HIGHLIGHTER, of course. I explored the world of contouring during 2013 (like it for when photos will be taken at an event or something but for day-to-day wear.. MEH) but it was only last year I really got acquainted with highlighter (by that I mean learned to use it properly!). I then maybe got addicted and have used it every single day even if I was just going to the throw the garbage out or pick up the mail. It was instant “good skin day”! My no-fail compliment magnet (and forever my favorite highlighter) is Burberry Nude Radiance.
Eye Loved it
The first half of the year I was completely an eyeshadow freak! Never left the house without it, always looked forward to eyeshadow application during my makeup sessions. The NARSissist palette failed to impress me when I first tried it, but I found myself reaching for it often afterwards mainly because of Fez. Dolce and Gabbana Smokey Quad was my favorite and most-used neutral quad before I discovered Tom Ford Cocoa Mirage. Burberry Midnight Brown is my no-brainer favorite complex brown. While the NARS Voulez Vous palette travelled with me the most this year.
K for K-Palette
One of my most-used brands in my FOTDs this year is K-Palette. I looked back on my blog and social media posts and I’ve noticed that almost every look included a K-Palette product – be it their eyeliner, eyebrow pen or mascara (which you’ll see later on). Which, to be honest, I didn’t expect to really love (because I felt like I wasn’t a liquid eyeliner & liquid brown pen kind of girl) but apparently I’ve used them more often than my other options the past year!
Hi there, Hybrid
Other than my lips looking bloodier than ever the past year, they were also wetter than the usual (not the most delightful sentence I’ve ever created LOL).  My aversion to lip glosses were completely overturned this year thanks to the Dior Fluid Sticks that changed the game for me. No more raves necessary, I believe my review summarizes all the feels I’ve had for these.
Lashes on Fleek
Mascara isn’t one of my favorite makeup products to wear mostly because I could never find one to hold my curls and volumize my sparse lashes. I think I’ve only reviewed a grand total of one mascara in full length on the blog before! Last year, I’ve used mascara more often than the prior two years combined thanks to two very dependable products – the K-Palette 1-Day Magic Fiber Mascara and the Clinique Lash Feathering Mascara. The former makes me look like I’m wearing falsies and the latter gives me more of a natural-looking yet full effect.
Makeup Removal BFFs
I’ve also converted to micellar waters for removing makeup this year as compared to my oil cleansing method which I was a loyalist of prior to last year. I found that oil still leaves residue on the skin, doesn’t matter if I’ve double/tripe/quadruple cleansed. I got bad breakouts last year most probably from build-up which I haven’t encountered since I switched to micellar water. I’ve tried a few brands (too few to name the best) but Bioderma is still my top choice – it does the job well sans the stinging and the residue.
Skin SOS
It’s no secret that these two are my skin saviors for 2014. Bobbi Brown Advanced Brightening Serum exfoliated and completely faded my extremely bad (almost beyond-saving) scars and blemishes from the onslaught of acne I battled with last year. When I finished that one up, the Dior One Essential serum sort of ‘tightened’ my skin, making it look extremely smooth and poreless. After a year, I can now go out with only concealer on! I owe my clear skin to these two. Hands down.
Asian Invasion
One of my beauty resolutions for 2014 was to explore more Asian brands and I’m so ecstatic to share that I was able to follow through with that resolution. I’ve gotten to know amazing Japanese brands by way of K-Palette, Heroine Make (their eyebrow pencil and liquid liner are also my favorites!) and Pixy Cosmetics; and Korean brands through Etude House, Tony Moly, The Face Shop. I will push through with this resolution only this year, I’d like to focus more on LOCAL Philippine brands.
Hair, I Care
I also switched to sulfate-free shampoo during the last quarter of 2013 and I’m glad that I was able to follow through with it during 2014. I finished up my Human Nature Moisturizing & Clarifying shampoos and then used Pureology mainly while alternating Keratin Complex & Kerasilk for my keratin after-care treatment. I saw major improvement on the state of my hair using these hair care products – reduced dryness, frizziness and brittleness!
How was your 2014? What were your favorite, most-used, least favorite products? Which release was your favorite? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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  1. January 4, 2015 / 7:49 pm

    You, you, you!!! Now I have to get Love Lust!!! It’s even more expensive here in Europe even with the current 10% discount on the price tag, but dammit I love Ravage and now I just can’t stop thinking about Love Lust!

    • January 6, 2015 / 6:32 pm

      And I want to get Ravage! I’d have to wait til I physically visit a Tom Ford counter though because I want to swatch all the shades and figure out which one to get – it’s down to Wicked, Ravish and Savage!

  2. January 4, 2015 / 8:49 pm

    All of these are amazing picks! I love the vampy lip on you, I really like it as well. I just find it to be SO flattering! All of your highlighter faves are so gorgeous and luxe! I loved the NARS concealer as well this year (even though I only got it in October!) 🙂

    Tasha // shiwashiful.

    • January 6, 2015 / 6:33 pm

      Thank you Tasha! I’m glad you like the vampy lip on me! My husband is growing into it (STILL) but still gets a bit of a mini heart attack every time he sees me with a bloody lip :)) And I’m glad you’re loving the NARS concealer!

  3. January 4, 2015 / 11:18 pm

    Ah, these are some lovely picks and you’ve photographed them so nicely! You look great in a vampy lip- I must try some Lipstick Queen lippies this year 🙂 Some of my most-used makeup of the year were the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes, Chanel’s Perfection Lumiere Velvet foundation, and the Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvets 🙂

    • January 6, 2015 / 6:35 pm

      Thanks for the kind words, Jen! Taking photos is one of my favorite parts of blogging, tbh 🙂 I hope you do get to try Lipstick Queen (Velvet Rope, in particular) this year – it’s such a beautiful formula! 🙂 Ahhh, another Chanel PLV recommendation, just saw it from another beauty blog this morning – it’s a sign! 🙂 Hope I get to try it soon – but have to finish up a bottle of foundation first!

  4. January 4, 2015 / 11:34 pm

    2014 was actually a great year for Asian brands coming into the Philippines. I’m glad you took notice!

    • January 6, 2015 / 10:54 pm

      Because they’re worth the notice! 🙂 Thanks Tellie! Hope to see more of you (online & offline!) this 2015!

  5. January 5, 2015 / 1:21 am

    Great selection of products! Those liquid eyeliner pens sound fantastic. One of my favorites of the year was Dior’s lipgloss in Fairy Pink too. It’s just so fun to apply and feel super girly <3


    • January 6, 2015 / 10:56 pm

      Ahhh! Someone who likes Dior Fairy Pink too! It’s not so talked about in the beauty world (or maybe I’m late to the parade) so I find it pretty cool that someone likes it at the moment, too! I’ve never had more fun applying lip gloss!

  6. January 5, 2015 / 5:06 am

    Oh! I’d love to hear more about the brands in Philippines! However, I really do love The Face Shop’s BB and CC creams.

    • January 7, 2015 / 1:53 pm

      I will make it a point to feature more of them here, Shayne! 🙂 Which TFS BB/CC creams have you tried? 🙂

      • January 7, 2015 / 8:29 pm

        I’m a big fan of the Clean Face Oil Free BB and the Face It Oil Cut dual BB. I switch between the two and use them often like a concealer. Their pure CC works and feels a little bit like Benefit’s Porefessional with the way it smoothens out the skin and minimizes the look of pores. But I think TFS Pure CC is a lot less cakey than Porefessional.

  7. January 5, 2015 / 5:20 am

    Such lovely picks you have here! And the photography is to DIE for. I really need to pick up the Ambient Lighting Powders, I’ve heard so many fantastic things about them. My best discovery this year has been Nars products, I’ve been loving Nars a lot more then I had last year and I plan on purchasing more from them!

    <3 Pauline, ­­Addicted to Makeup

    • January 7, 2015 / 1:55 pm

      THANKS SO MUCH, PAULINE! I appreciate you appreciating the photos – it’s a back-breaking process! But I love styling them 🙂 Also, NARS is my favorite brand so I’m happy you delved deeper into the brand last year! 🙂 Excited to hear your new picks from them this year! What were your favorites from them last year?

      • January 9, 2015 / 9:53 am

        Photography is definitely a back breaking process but the end result is SO worth it. I really enjoyed the Anastasia DipBrow, Benefit Hoola, Benefit Rockateur, the Balm’s Hot Mama, Sleek Face Contour Kit and Bite Lipsticks!

  8. January 5, 2015 / 1:25 pm

    Yay! Burbs Midnight Brown! That’s one of my favorites ever. Wore it to get married in, actually! 🙂 And girl, thank you. Your post reminded me that I have a barely used MAC MSF sitting in my drawer! I just hit 100% pan on my YSL powder and have been fretting over what to get next. I can go back to my old standard MAC MSF! I love the natural finish, it’s such a skin pretty-fier. 😉

    • January 7, 2015 / 1:56 pm

      AWWW yes, I remember you sharing that!!! Must be pretty special for you to pick that amongst your extensive eye makeup collection, K! 🙂 I love the MAC MSF, very very natural and doesn’t look powdery! But yes, your YSL powder pan porn is just WOW! NO WORDS. If I ever come across that one, I’ll have to swatch it and see the ‘magic’ myself! 🙂

  9. January 5, 2015 / 8:30 pm

    WOW so many great products in here that I love and so many that are on my whislist! Though I must confess that your beautiful photographs make them even more appealing! Congrats!

    • January 7, 2015 / 1:57 pm

      Awww thank you Tiru!!!! 🙂 Means a lot!

  10. Raven Ang
    January 5, 2015 / 8:43 pm

    2014 wasn’t the best year for me. I didn’t try anything new that really WOWED me. 😐 Oooohhh more reds! More reds!

    • January 7, 2015 / 1:59 pm

      Awww Rayray, that’s okay! That means more $$$$ saved and more opportunity to play with what you have which is what I want to do this year – I’ll probz be doing a lot of Makeup Graveyard posts! Wawa mga loved but overlooked beauties in my drawers because I keep on eyeing the NEW! the LATEST! :))

    • January 7, 2015 / 1:59 pm

      THANK YOU AISHAH!!! And yes, I love that it’s silicone-free but manages to nourish the hair and not just mask it 🙂 Definitely repurchasing the Moisturizing shampoo soon!

  11. January 6, 2015 / 3:08 am

    What a great post 🙂 I looooove your coral crushes, I’m a huge coral lover myself. I’m a big fan of that Bobbi Brown foundation as well, when I use foundation, 9 out 10 it’s that one.

    • January 7, 2015 / 2:00 pm

      During the very humid and hot days, the BB skin foundation doesn’t last long on me but I love the very skin-like finish! 🙂 And thank youuuu babe! I’d love to know your favorite corals!! Lips, blushes, etc 🙂 Do you have a post on them?

      • January 7, 2015 / 10:59 pm

        I never made a post on all my favorite coral products but I DID make an all-coral look once 🙂 Just type in ‘crazy about coral’ in the search function and you’ll find it (I don’t wanna spam links).

  12. January 6, 2015 / 8:22 am

    Definitely checking out those Human Nature hair products! and oh, will get myself one of those K-Palette liners. hahaha
    Happy New Year Shari! Random Beauty by Hollie

    • January 7, 2015 / 2:01 pm

      The K-Palette liners are super nice – I also like their new eye pencil, although it does transfer by the 6th hour or so. Pero jet black and very pigmented! The liquid liners though – no qualms! Happy new year dear!

  13. kyaruandbunnies
    January 6, 2015 / 9:48 am

    I’m not ashamed to admit it, I am OVERWHELMED by the makeup you’ve gone through this year. I can’t even fathom having more than one foundation because I get so confused T.T

    I haven’t yet had a Vamp year. Was that the trend last year? I wonder what year’s will be?

    This blog and Tellie’s are my best discoveries of 2014 😀

    • January 7, 2015 / 3:02 pm

      Awww Jill!! Thanks for the thought 🙂 Hihi. I’m overwhelmed (and quite embarrassed TBH) at the amount of makeup I have too 🙁 I’ll stick with what I already have this year and just share different looks, siguro 🙂

      Not sure if vamp trended last year but I think every year it trends naman esp during the Fall/Winter seasons abroad, we just don’t catch on because FIlipino society = conservative, all for the no-makeup makeup look. BUT every year I find the local beauty industry (the MUAs who do celebrities esp) pushing the boundaries even further kaya brights & vamps are starting to be conventional 😉 Excited for this year as well! Happy new year Jill!!!!

  14. Makeup With A Heart
    January 6, 2015 / 2:58 pm

    I see a lot of items that I’m now putting on my wishlist 😉 I still want to try the NARSissist Palette but I might go and swatch that first. I also listed 20 of my favorite discoveries this year and 4 unfavorites but Tarte was my favorite brand this year 😀 I want to try out more drugstore items to strike a balance!

    • January 7, 2015 / 3:03 pm

      The NARS palette isn’t a must-have, but it’s good to have! Like if I’m generally lost as to what eye makeup I want to do for the day, I seem to reach for it mindlessly :)) Ahhh what were your favorites from Tarte?!

      • Makeup With A Heart
        January 8, 2015 / 11:11 am

        I really love their Cheek Stains! I tend to go heavy on my blush but these blend out to a very natural finish and are quite long lasting. I wish they were cheaper/had more colors but so far, they’re all I’ve been using this dry winter 😀 I also love their pencil liners because they’re so creamy, blendable, and glide on like butter! The twist up shadow sticks are pretty cool too but I think they’re getting discontinued D:

        I think I’ll ask that for a present instead of buying it myself xD I have too many eyeshadow palettes as it is and my favorite no-brainer palette is Lorac Pro anyway…

  15. January 6, 2015 / 8:46 pm

    I love the name of the each categories you mentioned so quirky n unique
    I see there r few common favorites – dior bb , fluidstick, Nars concealer
    N few wishlists 😉 – bb skin foundation , Tf blush

    • January 7, 2015 / 3:04 pm

      Yay so nice to hear we have the same favorites, Krithi! 🙂 And thank you for appreciating the corny names 😛 LOL!!

      • January 7, 2015 / 5:49 pm

        Yay Shari.
        even i like YSL nail polishes,I only have one color but the shades what u have is so pretty and I want to see if i can get it

  16. January 6, 2015 / 10:01 pm

    I’m a bit in awe of the coral blushes, they’re absolutely beautiful! Love your picks Shari! ^_^

    • January 7, 2015 / 3:04 pm

      Thank you Xuvi!! HAPPY NEW YEAR! :*

  17. January 9, 2015 / 4:46 am


    YAS TO CORAL!! YAS TO THE NARS CONCEALER! YAS TO HIGHLIGHTING!! I actually picked up the NARS concealer mid last year, and I’m already sad that I’ve already (nearly) out of it, because it’s one expensive repurchase. But this is obviously what happens when a product is well loved! I really got into highlighting this year too–I love a subtle glow on the daily face!

  18. Bb
    January 10, 2015 / 5:06 pm

    Shari, where can I buy Ellis Faas make-up? 🙂

    • January 11, 2015 / 4:41 pm

      You can buy them at Beautybay.com, Ellisfaas.com 🙂 They ship internationally:)

  19. belle
    January 13, 2015 / 11:49 pm

    drooling over your collection…hope I could try them this year especially the foundations.
    did mine here stuffedmind88.blogspot.com 🙂

  20. January 15, 2015 / 10:12 am

    Great collection! Love them all 🙂

  21. expatmuaddict
    February 13, 2015 / 11:07 pm

    Such great products Shari and so many that I own and love too!

    Stacey | Expat Make-Up Addict

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