2014 Beauty Favorites with Vani!

Vani & Manali

*Wearing our 2014 beauty favorites*

2014 has come to an end, and this is by far the most experimental year I’ve had with makeup. I thought I would take a look at my collection and pick out my most well-loved items of 2014 and share them with you.

Let me take a moment to say that this post is extra special, because I’ve asked my really good childhood friend, Vani, to collaborate with me on this post. She’s a beauty fanatic as well, and if there is one person’s recommendations I take seriously, it is hers. Vani has picked out her favorite items from 2014 as well, and we’ve both respectively written about the products that we’ve brought to the table.

Please keep reading for a list of high-end and low-end beauty products that we’ve adored in 2014.

What’s been your one “can’t live without” beauty product of 2014?

Vani’s List

Vani Beauty Faves 2014 1

Vani Beauty Faves 2014 3

Vani 2014 Beauty Faves 2



Aveeno Ultra Calming Daily Moisturizer Regardless of whether I plan to wear makeup or not, I like to moisturize my face with Aveeno’s Ultra Calming Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15. This product keeps my skin incredibly hydrated and moisturized throughout the day. It also has a refreshing and non-overbearing scent, which I am obsessed with. I have been using this product for a few years now and definitely plan to keep using it.

Face Primer 

Urban Decay Pore Perfecting Complexion Primer Potion – I  recently bought this face primer, and let me tell you, I am obsessed. I am in love with the formula and am amazed at how well my foundation stays put when I use this, and it really minimizes the look of pores and fine lines. The velvety formula is to die for, and upon application, turns to a soft-matte finish that allows your skin to become the perfect canvas for foundation.


Kat Von D Lock-it Tattoo Foundation (Medium #54) – My skin does not need a lot of coverage, but when I do my makeup, I prefer to have a flawless matte finish, and this foundation does exactly that. My girl, Kat Von D, has created a thick formula for girls who need & love a high-coverage, matte foundation. My foundation routine includes a pump of this and a pump of Make Up For Ever’s Mat Velvet foundation.

Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet +(No. 45 in Soft Beige)I bought this foundation before I bought KVD’s Lock-it Tattoo Foundation, and was very impressed with the formula. It  evens out your skin tone and creates a matte finish that you can build on. When I would like a more natural finish, I gravitate towards this foundation.


Bobbi Brown Corrector (Peach) (Not Pictured)This peach/pink based concealer is designed to neutralize dark under eye circles. The formula is extremely thick so it creases quickly, however, I have not found or used anything that rivals the longevity of this product on skin.


Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit (Warm Natural with Pale Yellow Powder) – After I apply the corrector, I move on to this creamy concealer duo as this concealer blends easily to instantly cover and brighten my dark circles. After applying both the corrector and concealer, I use the Pale Yellow Pressed Powder and apply it underneath my eyes to set the concealer for long-lasting wear.



Smashbox Bronze Lights (Suntan Matte) – This is hands down one of the best bronzers I have ever used in my life. I am obsessed with how soft it is and I love bronzers with a matte finish. At the time, I did not want something too dark so this was perfect. However, now that I have gotten more interested in contouring and highlighting, I am in search for another bronzer with similar qualities to this product’s formula, but just a bit darker. Any suggestions?


Lorac Pro Powder Cheek Stain (Plum Passion) – Sometime back, Manali and I made a trip to ULTA. I was in search of a plum colored blush and was directed to the Lorac Pro Blushes. I fell in love with this color. In the pan, it’s a deep plum, but upon application, it is more of a rich fuchsia. It is incredibly pigmented, so beware, and use a light hand!


Maybelline Face Studio Master Hi-Light (Nude) – For those of us who are not into the overtly shimmery look on your cheekbones, this highlighter/blush is definitely for you! Looking forward to trying this product in the color Mauve.


Eye Cream

Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream – You may not be able to realize under all this makeup, but one of the biggest skin concerns are under eye dark circles. To prep for concealing, I like to moisturize the skin around my eyes with this cream. After having used this product, I’ve noticed that my concealer creases less because the thin and sensitive skin around my eyes feel intensely hydrated. This formula is both hydrating and lightweight. A little goes a long way!

Eye Shadow

Urban Decay Vice 3 Eyeshadow Palette – Although I bought this Palette in December 2014, this is definitely the sexiest one I own. The palette includes 20 never before seen UD shades that are to die for. The shadows are velvety and buttery and each shadow has a different finish (metallic, shimmer, matte). Some of my favorite shades include: Truth, Undone, Downfall, DTF, Dragon, Lucky, Reign, Bobby Dazzle, Alchemy, Bondage, Sonic, & Last Sin.

Eye Liner (Liquid & Pencil) 

Eyeko Alexa Chung Lash Enhancing Eye Do Eyeliner (Carbon Black) – Anyone who knows me well, knows that my signature look includes a winged liner. For most of 2014, I have been forever faithful to Stila Cosmetics Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner (Intense Black). However, I recently came across several makeup gurus raving about the Eyeko Liquid Liner, so I had to get my hands on this baby! All I have to say is, “YES, I HAVE FOUND THE HOLY GRAIL OF ALL LIQUID EYELINERS!” This formula is exquisite. It is jet black and does not easily fade away like most liquid liners, and the applicator allows for great precision. This is definitely a product I plan to repurchase in 2015.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil (Perversion) – If you love black pencil eyeliner and you like it dark, then Perversion is definitely for you. This is the blackest eyeliner you will ever come across. The formula is velvety and soft which allows for easy smudging.

L’Oreal Infallible Silkissime Eyeliner (Highlight) – This pencil eyeliner is neither white nor nude, but more so a subtle highlight to apply on your lower waterline that allows for a really sultry glow.


Benefit Cosmetics They’re Real! MascaraAn excellent mascara that does everything you need a mascara to do. The mascara brush and wand shapes my lashes beautifully, and preps my lashes for coats of my two other favorite mascaras (listed below).

BareMinerals Lash Domination Volumizing Mascara (Intense Black) – I love the formula of this mascara. It volumizes, lengthens, thickens, and separates your lashes. The reigning quality of this mascara is its deep black color payoff!

Origins Ginzing Brightening Mascara to Lengthen & Lift (Black) – This mascara is amazing, but not for everyone. I am obsessed with how long this mascara makes my lashes look, but the application can be difficult because the applicator itself is large and very thick. Please note that this is a messy product – have cotton buds at hand!


Lip Plumper

Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme – My lips are not as full as I would like them to be, so I purchased this item, and I must say that this product does what it claims to do. You must be very careful using this, as too much can cause serious irritation and redness around the mouth. A little goes a long way!

Lip Liner 

MAC Lip Pencil (Whirl)I have always loved the Kardashians, but 2014 was the year I fell in love with the their little sister, Kylie Jenner. Now, I’m not going to start talking about how Kylie’s lips magically became larger overnight, but let me tell you this, she’s not just over lining her lips. Kylie’s selfie game is strong, but the color on her lips looked even stronger to me. After browsing through beauty blogs, I found out that Kylie’s staple lip color is MAC’s Lip Pencil in Whirl. If you asked me what my favorite beauty product from 2014 was, I’d tell you that it is this product right here. 


Nail Color 

Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer (Better In Buff) – I do not wear nail polish often, but when I do, it’s ALWAYS this color. The most perfect nude/blush for my skin tone!

Manali’s List

2014 Beauty Faves 2 2014 Beauty Faves 1



I have incredibly dry skin that stays consistently dry throughout the year, and there are very few foundations that seamlessly glide over my dry patches. I started out the first half of the year with pretty clear skin, and during that time, I would use NARS Tinted Moisturizer in St. Moritz, but in the past 6 months, the quality of my skin as declined, and in addition to breakouts, I’ve had a lot of scarring. This has called for a bit more coverage and the two products I love to use in conjunction with each other are NARS Sheer Glow in Stromboli and Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum in Light Beige 53 – a pump of each and a beauty blender is all I need!

NARS Sheer Glow in Stromboli – I’ve had great difficulty finding my perfect foundation match in other foundation lines simply because they don’t have enough of a yellow undertone in their medium color range. This is my perfect foundation match and I love the coverage it gives.

Bourjois Health Mix Serum in Light Beige 53 – A pump of this serum not only brightens up my skin, but it also injects that extra moisture into my skin that NARS Sheer Glow doesn’t provide on its own.


Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 20 – I had heard loads about this concealer and that a few beauty bloggers liked this more than the NARS creamy concealer. Though I haven’t tried the NARS concealer, I don’t feel like there is much of a need because this product does a great job concealing and highlighting under my eyes. I set it with a translucent powder and it stays put all day.



2014 is the first year in which I really experimented with blushers and bronzer. I love using bronzers and every now and then, I enjoy softening up my look with a blush as well. Now, I must share that this palette that I am going to be talking about is a new addition to my collection, but since it has put all of my other cheek products to rest, I decided to include it in my 2014 favorites. I’m talking about the Sleek Contouring and Blush Palette in Light 373.

Sleek Contouring and Blush Palette in Light 373 – This palette includes a matte bronzer, a champaign highlighter, and a pink blush with gold shimmer running through it. Let’s talk about the packaging for a second. The only word I can use to describe the packaging is sleek. The product comes in a thin, firm, black, matte casing that includes a large mirror. It’s functional and it helps that all three shades are on point. I really like that the bronzer is matte and that it has an ashy undertone for a more natural finish. The blush is a sophisticated golden-pink that reminds be a lot of the NARS blush in Orgasm. I don’t use highlighters very often, but this is a nice one that doesn’t leave a glittery finish, but rather a “lit from within” glow.



L’Oreal Infallible Eye Shadow in Amber Rush – Hands down my favorite formula and color of 2014 and beyond! I included this in my Bronze/Taupe Eyeshadow Collection post a while back. Out of my eye shadow collection, this one takes the cake. I LOVE this peachy-gold-copper metallic color and I wear this day or night. I pack this stuff on real good for an opaque copper shine on my lids for nights out and I sheer it out for the day time. It has received a lot of love in 2014!


NYX Slide On in Golden Bronze – Holy Smokes. If you’re looking for an eyeliner that complements your bronze/taupe eyeshadow, you NEED to get this. I love this color to line my bottom rim. This is a creamy eyeliner that is a reddish-golden-bronze that finishes off a bronze/taupe look perfectly.


MAKE UP FOR EVER Mascara in Smoky Extravagant – This is a late comer to my collection, but my goodness, how did I ever live without this stuff?! It’s the most black and volumizing mascara that I’ve found and the cone shaped applicator lets me get down to the roots. It’s nice!



NYX Lip Liner in Currant/Raisin – This liner in addition to the Revlon lip color I talk about below has been a combination I’ve worn the most this year, and I kid you not, I get compliments every time I wear this look. The NYX liners are smooth and effective, and they help make your lipstick last longer.


Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Black Cherry – This lipstick is a deep black cherry and gives me that winter plum look during the colder months. I love that I can sheer out this lipstick for summer nights and layer up for those dark winter nights. A nice perk is that this color makes your teeth look a few shades brighter! The formula this line is so moisturizing and comfortable. Revlon does do well with their lip products.


Nail Color

Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer in ‘Lust for Lilac’ –  This is a deep, bright pastel lavender that is perfect for spring, summer, or fall. It takes about three coats to get an opaque finish, but the formula is thin, so it doesn’t feel like you’ve added a gooey layer of paint. It’s takes about 8-10 minutes for three layers to completely dry. This formula lasts between 4-5 days before chipping. It’s really lovely and would look great on any skin tone!


Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil – A compelling tale about the opium trade in India, and the web of characters that lust for the narcotic. It is an addictive novel.


[Wearable] Indian Makeup Look

Happy New Year! I’ve been away, but never mind that. I am back!

We recently had a small gathering in which there was a call for traditional Indian clothes. I don’t typically go all out with a winged liner, lashes, and a bold brick-red lip; all of which are associated with Indian makeup. I prefer a more natural, a more “wearable,” Indian makeup look.

Red Bronze 3

Red Bronze 1

Red/Bronze 2

*All products have been linked to their own pages for more product information.*


Indian Makeup Look Skin

Origins ‘A Perfect World’ Moisturizer – Dabbled a little bit of this goodness into my skin. I have incredibly dry skin to begin with, and it’s exacerbated in the winter time. Perhaps it is because it is winter time, but I’m finding that this moisturizer alone just isn’t cutting it. I’d say this moisturizer is suitable for normal skin.

Bourjois Healthy Mix Foundation [N 54, Beige] – I was in Istanbul for two weeks this December, and of course I was excited, but my oh my, was I excited about my two hour layover in Heathrow Airport! I dashed into Boots and went on a shopping spree between Bourjois and Sleek. European product reviews coming up soon!

NARS Sheer Glow Foundation in Stromboli – I mixed a pump of this and a pump of the Bourjois foundation to get my desired color and level of coverage. Both foundations serve different purposes – NARS aids in coverage, and Bourjois adds moisture and a sheer coverage.


Indian Makeup Look Eyes

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk – I used this all over my lids as a primer.

Visine *[Tip]* – If you would like to enrich your eyeshadow pigments and give them a metallic finish, mix Visine and the pigment together. This step also helps with longevity!

Milani Eye Shadow in Bella Bronze – I mixed a drop of Visine and this eye shadow on the back of my hand and then applied it all over my lids. Making sure not to go above the crease.

I then dragged whatever was left on my brush along my lower lashes.

Victoria Secret Eye Shadow in Gold School [discontinued] – I mixed a drop of Visine with this eye shadow and applied it on my inner tear ducts and blended outward into Bella Bronze.

Benefit Cosmetic’s Watts Up – I added a bit of this on to my brow to add a bit more sparkle and to brighten things up!

Clinique Eye Liner in Intense Ebony – Love this stuff! I tight lined my upper eyelid and added small dots along my top lashes to give some depth and fullness to my eyes.

NYX Slide On in Golden Bronze – If you’re looking for an eyeliner that complements your bronze eyeshadow, you NEED to get this. I love this color to line my bottom rim. This is a creamy eyeliner that is a reddish-golden-bronze that finishes off a bronze look perfectly.

Make Up For Ever Mascara in Smoky Extravagant – I’m not quite sure what to say about this mascara. It adds volume, lengthens, and doesn’t go crispy. I actually like this more than my go-to Josie Maran mascara!


Indian Makeup Lips

Beessential in Lemon & Lavender – I like to moisturize my lips while I do the rest of my makeup. It turns out my sister is allergic to this balm, and I was happy to take it off her hands! First impression – it leaves my lips feeling more chapped than before. Not the biggest fan!

Kiko Smart Lip Pencil in Rose Mauve, 712 – For me, THIS is definitely a ‘my lips but better color.’ This lip pencil is highly pigmented and goes on smooth. Would highly suggest these if you can get your hands on them!

Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Precious, 050 – I added this to just the center of my lips to add a bit of dimension and sheen. On its own, this comes off as almost silver, but it’s useful when I am mixing lip colors.

Code Red – Daytime

How many of us have noticed that the girl with the boldest lips in the room also commands the most attention? Red is always a bit scary to wear no matter what your skin tone is, but there comes a day where you just got to try it and own it. Red lips are unapologetically in your face, and I like that!

Here’s my casual, daytime appropriate red lip look. A tip I have to really tie together and clean up a bold lip is a nice clean base and lip liner. Spend a bit more time moisturizing your skin and working that foundation into your skin, and pull out a magnified mirror for a precise trace of your lips.

Daytime Red

Daytime Red 2

Eucerin Daily Protection – I have really dry skin that can get flakey if I’m not consistent with my morning and night skin care routine. I’m always in a mad rush to push back moisture and nutrients into my skin after washing my face. I love that this face lotion is hydrating and has SPF 30. Two in one, always a winner!

Jan Marini Antioxidant Daily Face Protectant– My sister just gifted this product to me for my birthday. Today is my second time wearing it and this stuff is amazing for sunscreen! It’s been incredibly sunny lately, so I am happy to layer this over my Eucerine moisturizer for extra protection. It has a yellow tint to it and smells like bananas to me. Unlike other sunscreens, this feels like a thin moisturizer that does not go on streaky. I’ll be reporting back with a full review in a few weeks!

NARS Pure Tinted Moisturizer in St. Moritz – This has been my base for the past year, rain or shine. I like the light coverage it gives me. It lets my spots and freckles show through, but it completely mutes down the redness in my skin which is my main concern.

CLINIQUE Quickliner in Intense Ebony – I use this to tight line my upper eyelid to give the illusion of thicker lashes.

Josie Maran Argan Triple Volume Mascara – This mascara is a nice everyday mascara that elongates, thickens, and lifts your eyelashes. It doesn’t clump and your eyelashes just look incredibly lush.

NYX Lipliner in Hot Red – I use this to line my lips and fill them in as well. It’s an orangey-pinkish-red that is pretty just on its own for the daytime. It really lightens up the look and does a nice job locking in my lipstick.

Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate #107 – This is a matte, deep red/maroon lip color. It’s not the most hydrating lipstick I own, but it also isn’t uncomfortably dry either. I enjoy wearing it and I think it is the perfect tone for day or night. If you have olive/tan skin, this is a really nice drugstore color for you!