I’m definitely not the most adventurous when it comes to make-up, but I do know what I like and what works for me on a day-to-day basis. Here are the staples that have stayed the course over the past year.
Whilst I may still be searching for the perfect foundation, I think I have the concealer angle covered (groan). Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer (£22.00) in Chantilly is excellent. It comes in ten shades, covers blemishes and redness perfectly, you’d have to apply half a tube for it to look cakey, and it lasts almost all day. I also use it on dark circles, although it can need a little smoothing out halfway through the day. I’m on my second tube an I don’t see the love affair ending any time soon.
My search for an eye shadow primer that actually works might also have ended with Nars. The Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base (£19.50) actually does stop most of my eyeshadows creasing, something which both the Urban Decay and Smashbox versions failed to do (you had one job, people…) It’s expensive but worth it.
Kiko Long Lasting Stick Eyeshadow in 05 (£6.99) and L’Oreal Colour Riche Mono Eyeshadow in Cafe St Germain (£5.49) have been my two shadows of choice for the past year. Both are a great everyday taupe that’s shimmery without being glittery. I love the creamy texture of the L’Oreal but the Kiko is great for convenience – scribble it on, blend with a finger and when it sets, it’s there all day.
My great eyeliner love has been Smashbox Waterproof Shadow Liner in Luminous Fig. It’s brilliantly easy to use, is a lovely shimmery brown which makes my eyes look super pretty, lasts all day without smudging and…they discontinued it. So. Rude. I think they did briefly bring them back after an outcry but they seem to be out of stock on the website again. Grab one if you see them because they’re ace.
My mascara of choice is Boots No 7 Stay Perfect in black (£12.95), which doesn’t give much volume but is great for lengthening. It’s also tubing so it never smudges, which almost all non-tubing mascaras do on me, but it comes off easily (for me at least) with warm water. I bought it when it came out last April and am currently on my fourth tube – it might be love.
2014 is the year that I discovered lipstick properly. I might not be wearing the boldest colours on a daily basis quite yet but I’ve been loving Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution lipstick in Amazing Grace (£23.00) for daytime and Maybelline Colour Drama Lipstick in Red Essential (£4.99) for evenings*/ special occasions. The Charlotte Tilbury is pure luxe, with a square tip, gorgeous rose gold packaging, and a matte finish which manages not to be drying or powdery. The Maybelline is a brilliant dupe for Nars Velvet Matte lip pencils, for less than a third of the price. Great pigmentation, non-drying, long-lasting, and easy to apply. Winner.
*in reality, most of my evenings are spent in my pjs watching Homeland with a mug of tea, but in my head, I’m often off gallivanting around in bright red lipstick.
Finally, the Nars Virtual Domination palette was my go-to for blusher for the latter part of the year. It was limited edition and I’m really glad that I picked one up on a whim. Laguna bronzer is a little dark for me, although usable with a very light hand, but it’s two limited edition blush colours – Sex Fantasy and Final Cut – that I’ve been turning to the most. Both look a bit sugary in the pan but are great for just perking up my (very) pale winter cheeks.
Honourable mentions go to Essie nail polishes in Sole Mate, Luxedo, and Chocolate Cake – all lovely, all worn loads.
Well done if you’ve made it to the end – that was a bit of a marathon, sorry!
What were your best makeup discoveries of 2014?- Any product marked with an '*' is a PR sample. All reviews are 100% honest regardless of whether I bought the item myself or was sent it. Links may be affiliate, which means that I get a small commission if you use them -