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

SKIN

Moisturizer 

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.

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.

Corrector 

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.

Concealer

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.

CHEEKS

Bronzer

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?

Blush

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!

Highlighter 

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.

EYES 

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.

Mascara 

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!

LIPS

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. 

NAILS 

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

SKIN

FOUNDATION

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.

CONCEALER

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.

CHEEKS

BRONZER/BLUSHER/HIGHLIGHTER

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.

EYES

EYE SHADOW

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!

EYE LINER

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.

MASCARA

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!

LIPS

LIP LINER

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.

LIP COLOR

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.

NAILS

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!

BOOK

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.

Summer Nails – My Top 3!

We are dead in the middle of summer here in Northern California, and although I’ve dabbled in a handful of fun summer colors, I’ve come to love these three in particular.  It’s a bit more difficult for tan girls to find colors that complement their skin tone – a lot of colors tend to make the skin around your nails look discolored. However, I think these three colors would look lovely on anyone, but particularly nice on tan skin. All three of these colors are perfect for spring, summer, or fall, and their formula lasts 4-5 days before chipping.

Summer Nails 1

Summer Nails 2

1) 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.

2) Revlon Nail Enamel in ‘Siren’ – This is a personal favorite. I LOVE this color. It’s a rich red-orange that is the perfect summer and winter color for tan and darker toned women. It brightens up your hands instantly. In fact, I use this in lieu of a red as well because I haven’t found a nice red for my skin tone. It takes two coats for an opaque finish and takes about 5 minutes to dry completely.

3) Maybelline Color Show Nail Lacquer in ‘Rose Mirage’ – Wow! This is an eye-catching nail color that is chic and beautiful. This is my first glitter polish, and I am sold on the idea. Beforehand, I associated glitter polish with children, but recently, I saw someone wearing an opaque glittery polish on their nails and I was sold. I ran out and got this color. It takes three coats and some patience to apply for an opaque look, and it dries in about 4 minutes.  Since this is glitter, your nails do become rough to the touch, but a clear top coat minimizes the roughness. I’m wearing this right now and I can’t stop looking at my nails!