My Best Discoveries of 2014: Makeup Edition

A few of my favourites from 2014

A few of my favourites from 2014

So much beautiful makeup, and so little time to write about it all! Truly, 2014 has been a year where I've branched out (peach blush? Say WHAT?) and discovered tons of products I love. (So much for shopping my stash. Oh well! Onward!) As 2015 begins, I thought I'd share a list of 14 makeup products or tools that have become favourites I reach for often.

1) Illamasqua Neutral Palette

I grabbed Illamasqua's Neutral Palette during a clearance sale at Hudson's Bay. With the brand pulling out of North America (what a loss!), this baby was seriously discounted—and I was stoked! This palette contains four mattes and an antique-gold shimmer. I'm not a fan of Illamasqua's awkwardly shaped, slightly cheap-looking packaging, but that's where the complaints end, my friends! I've never seen such soft, buttery, blendable mattes in a makeup line. Yes, they rival even Make Up For Ever's famed Artist Shadow (which I reviewed earlier this year). They're so easy to wear, and they pack a pigment wallop (seriously—Obsidian, a rich black, puts MAC Carbon to shame). My favourite look is a smokey brown eye with Vintage (the antique gold) layered over Wolf (a matte chocolate brown). Mmmmmm. This palette is still available at Illamasqua.com.

2) Bobbi Brown Smokey Nudes Palette

I caved and bought more Bobbi Brown palettes this year. I couldn't help myself. Her colours are wearable and stunning, and the combinations she creates truly inspire me. The Smokey Nudes Palette is a gorgeous combination of pinks, taupe-y browns, and a few other shades. Love. Unfortunately, this palette was limited edition.

3) Bobbi Brown Sand Palette

I know, I know. Bobbi's palettes start to look repetitive after awhile, but I couldn't resist the Sand Palette either. So many warm, shimmery browns! Hands-down my favourite shade is a metallic called Golden Copper, which I featured in this Eye of the Day post. This palette is also limited edition, but it looks like it's still available online at Sephora.

4) Laura Mercier Enlightenment Eye and Cheek Palette

Last palette in this post, I promise! This review from Tracy over at Beauty Reflections Blog pretty much made me run out and buy Laura Mercier's Enlightenment Eye and Cheek Palette. SO PRETTY, right? Four soft, neutral, shimmery shadows and two blushes made this a palette I travelled with several times. I also reached for it often for a quick, work-appropriate eye. Gorgeous. Unfortunately, also limited edition. Boo. 

5) Lise Watier Blush Creme Satin in Rose Eden

Lise Watier is a Canadian brand that gets nowhere near enough love, in my opinion. Seriously, everything they make is amazing. I picked up Lise Watier Blush Creme Satin in Rose Eden earlier this year (and reviewed it quickly several months ago), and I've reached for it again and again. It's incredibly easy to blend with a couple of fingers—even over powder—and sets to a powder-like, natural finish. Plus, it's gorgeous—and much more natural than it looks in the pot. I've seen several beauty bloggers rave about of Make Up For Ever's new HD cream blush in their 2014 round-up posts, and I do love it—I sang its praises here. But my friends, this Lise Watier beauty is even better. Trust me. You must try it. 

6) Bobbi Brrown Smokey Eye Mascara

The very-black Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye Mascara performs very much like Clinique High Impact Mascara, but lasts without smearing or flaking. I love the volume and separation this mascara gives my lashes. My favourite thing is layering this under Clinique Lash Power for an extra shot of length and wear time. 

7) NARS Audacious Lipstick in Fanny

This one was a struggle. $37 for a lipstick is stupid. I don't care how good it is. So I waited for the VIB sale to justify picking up a tube of NARS Audacious Lipstick. I have the shade Fanny, a muted, rich berry that is a beautiful balance between wearable and vampy. I love everything about it, including the luxe packaging, the creamy, moisturizing feel, and the easy opacity. Well done, NARS. (Except for the price. Who do you think you are, Chanel?)

8) Lise Watier Rouge Fondant Supreme Lipstick in Stella

I discovered Rouge Fondant Supreme in Stella late in the year—it's part of Lise Watier's Aurora Collection. (But I believe it's permanent! Wahoo!) The colour is stunning—a muted fuchsia with a metallic shine. And I kid you not: I've never tried a more moisturizing, comfortable lipstick. I'll definitely be shopping this formula again.

9) Lise Watier Imagine Blush

Lise Watier Imagine Blush is the perfect, natural pink, and the formula is so soft and pigmented. And just look at that mosaic pattern. Love. Unfortunately, this blush was limited edition, but if you're new to Lise Watier, keep an eye out for other products! You can find them at LiseWatier.com, London Drugs, and several Shoppers Drug Mart and Sears locations. 

10) MAC Face and Body Foundation MIXED with MAC Pro Longwear Concealer

These aren't exactly new in the makeup world, but I believe I've found my HG for an everyday base. Mixing these two products gives me the beautiful, skin-like finish of Face and Body Foundation AND the longwearing power of Pro Longwear Concealer. I use the smallest dollop of foundation in N1 mixed with one pump of the concealer in NW20, and it's more than enough to cover my entire face, and build if necessary. If you're a fan of light-to-medium coverage and your skin isn't too extreme, you MUST try this. (Note that I have combination skin—oily-ish in the T-zone, and normal/dehydrated in the rest of the face.)

11) Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow (all of 'em)

No biggie—just the best eyeshadow on the market at the moment, in my opinion. The pigment! The texture! The colours! Just try it if you haven't.

12) Clinique Cheek Pop Blush (Plum and Berry Pop)

I loved the formula of Clinique Cheek Pop Blush so much I bought two. It's satiny, soft, blendable, and not at all powdery. There's just a hint of shimmer—enough to make your skin look glowy. It's sheer, and it's not the longest-lasting blush I own, but I love it—it's perfect for every day. Plus, those daisies are SO cute, no? (I reviewed it briefly here.)

13) Armani Master Corrector 1

After much searching, I found a more cost-effective alternative to my beloved Chanel Eclat Lumiere Highlighter Face Pen. As you know if you read my review, I LOVE the stuff, but $40 for about 1 mL of product is just criminal. And the packaging was prone to wastefulness. (Sorry, Chanel.) Armani Master Corrector 1 offers a salmon-coloured, brightening formula that is VERY similar, but with better packaging and four times the product (4.4 mL) for approximately the same price! The tiny, thin brush allows me to deposit a very small amount on the darkest part of my eye and blend over my concealer, which is all I need. Thank you, Armani! 

14) Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

The Miracle Complexion Sponge is Real Techniques' answer to the Beauty Blender. I haven't tried the original, so I can't compare, but I do really like this little orange sponge (I reviewed it here) for quickly blending face products to a natural finish. I reach for it daily to finish blending my under-eye concealer. 

What are your favourites from 2014? Please post your lists/links in the comments; I'd love to read them!

Disclosure: Most of these products were purchased by Eyeshadow Addict. Some Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow and the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge were provided by PR for my consideration. Opinions, as always, are my own.

Blog Sale featuring MAC, MUFE and more!

Welcome to my little blog sale! I'm hoping these neglected items from my collection will end up in a more loving home.

Note: Some of my product photos may not represent colour accurately, so I suggest Googling the products before you purchase. Items are for sale as-is.

Here are the how-tos:

1. First come, first served. 

2. To reserve your items, email me at vancouvereyeshadowaddict [at] gmail [dot] com with  "Blog Sale" in the subject line and the following in the body of the message: The items you want, your Paypal name, and your name and mailing address. I'll reply with a confirmation.

3. Please send your payment to my Paypal account within 24 hours of confirmation from me. If you don't meet the 24-hour deadline, I will release the items to the next buyer.

4. Don't like a price? Make me an offer.

Shipping:

$4.50 (Canadian dollars) within Canada (plus $0.50 for each additional item)

$6.50 (Canadian dollars) to the U.S. (plus $0.50 for each additional item)

If you're local and would like to arrange pick-up, specify this in your email.

Note: I will sanitize items before mailing and  package them in padded mailers. I can't be responsible for items that are lost or damaged during shipping, nor any customs fees you incur with the arrival of the products. You will be notified when I have shipped your items. Items sold are not returnable, refundable or exchangeable.

Thanks for shopping!

Caramel Sundae 2.jpg

MAC Archie's Girls Caramel Sundae Palette. Gently Used. $26.

Clinique Lid Smoothie  Antioxidant 8-Hour Eye Color in 11 Currant Affair. Used a couple of times. $6.

Body Shop Kabuki Brush. Used, but clean and in perfect condition. $8.

Body Shop blush brush. Used, but clean and in perfect condition. $4.

Maybelline Define-A-Brow in Dark Blonde. Used a few times. $2.

Clinique Different Lipstick in Tenderheart. Gently used. $4.

Clinique mini palette featuring Strawberry Fudge Duo and Mocha Pink Blush. Never used or swatched. $9.

MUFE Artist Shadow in S-234. Used a couple of times. $10.

MAC Ruby Woo lipstick – SOLD

Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick in Minx. Used a couple of times. $10.

Beauticontrol BC Color Lip Perfecting Pencil in Nude. Gently used. $6.

My Favourite Blushes: Spring 2014

My favourite blushes for spring, clockwise from the left: Lise Watier Imagine Blush, NARS Coeur Battant, Illamasqua Laid (cream), Make Up For Ever 210 (cream), Clinique Berry Pop, and Clinique Plum Pop (centre).

I've fallen in love with blush lately. For years, it was an afterthought—I focused on skin and eyes, then popped something super subtle, like MAC Tenderling, on the apples of my cheeks to avoid looking like a corpse. Perfectly fine, but a little dull—am I right?

It all changed around the holidays last year. Fair-skinned beauty bloggers started singing the praises of NARS Coeur Battant Blush, which was part of the Guy Bourdin collection that came out in the fall of 2013. Honestly, when I saw it advertised at first, I didn't give it a second thought. It was the craziest pink blush I'd ever seen. Surely it would make me look like a clown! Not for me. Nope. But then fair lovelies including Kate over at gh0stparties and Jessica over at Beautezine both said they LOVED this blush. Something clicked. I HAD to try it. "If they can, I can!" I thought. And I tracked down the second-to-last one at the NARS counter in Vancouver. 

You know what? I fell in love. Suddenly I needed more, more, more options for creating a healthy flush on my cheeks—it was like an instant dash of pretty. I wasn't scared of pink cheeks anymore—I figured if I could pull off the crazy magenta, I could pull off anything. The secret was in the application and blending. 

And so, my friends, that's how my blush collection ballooned this spring. I'd like to share my favourites with you:

1) Lise Watier's Imagine Blush. This incredible mosaic blush is a gorgeous blend of peaches and pinks. Muddying the design with your brush or finger hurts a little, but I promise it's worth it! Have a look at my full review for details. This one is limited edition (sorry!), but you should still be able to find it in stores such as London Drugs as well as online at Sears.

2) NARS Coeur Battant Blush. This LE blush will be very hard to find—but how could I skip the blush that started it all? It looks scary in the pan, but I dot it on my cheeks with a small stippling brush by Sonia Kashuk, then blend, blend, blend with my Real Techniques blush brush. The result is so pretty and flattering, and, of course, the quality is amazing. It lasts the day, no problem. If you must have one, try eBay; I saw a few when I checked this evening. If you're not an eBay fan, let this be your inspiration to try a big bold, beautiful blush colour. My lovelies, I'm an NW20 and I can wear this. If I can, you can. 

3) Illamasqua Cream Blush in Laid. This was my first introduction to cream blush, and I fell hard. The colour is stunningly beautiful, and the finish is incredibly natural without being too dewy or at all tacky. It dries down to a powder-like finish, and my lovelies, it lasts ALL DAY. It also packs a pretty crazy pigment wallop, just like Illamasqua's other products, so you'll want to apply this one in stages. I suggest dabbing a bit on with fingers or a stippling brush, then blending with a clean brush (or clean fingers). A bit more work than powder, but worth it. As a bonus, you can also wear this colour on the lips!

4) Make Up For Ever Cream Blush in 210. This blush is the perfect warm pink, and it applies, blends and wears like a dream. Unlike Illamasqua's cream blush, MUFE HD blush is buildable—it's easy to start sheer and work your way up. Have a look at my full review for details. 

5) Clinique Cheek Pop Blushes in Berry Pop and Plum Pop. These beauties were so amazing I couldn't stop at one colour. I started with Plum Pop, but I couldn't rest until I added Berry Pop to my arsenal. Plum Pop is a lighter, candy-pink, and Berry Pop is darker and brighter with a slight amount of warmth. But the texture, my lovelies…the texture. I've never seen or touched anything like this blush. It almost literally melts into the skin—just like a cream—but it's powder. It has the subtlest bit of sheen, it looks incredibly natural, and it's very buildable. If you're going to add one blush to your collection this month, it should be one of these. I swatched these at the same time I swatched the new Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blushes, and honestly, Cheek Pop put Ambient Lighting Blush to shame. I wanted to love Hourglass' blush as much as I loved their powder, but I just couldn't—Cheek Pop was everything Ambient Lighting Blush wasn't. Cheek Pop was luminous and silky while Ambient Lighting Blush was flat and powery-looking. Boo. Bottom line: You've got to try this stuff.  

Have you tried any of these? What do you think? Do you have any spring blush favourites? Let me know in the comments.

Disclosure: Most of these products were purchased by Eyeshadow Addict. MUFE 210 was provided by PR for my consideration.