Top 10 Beauty Discoveries of 2014

Earlier in the week I summarised and shared the ups and downs of my 2014 beauty experience, discussing the lessons I've learnt and the motivations behind my looks and purchases of 2014. In today's post I'm delving a little deeper into the details. After much deliberation I've narrowed down my favourite brands and products of the year in order to present to you an edit of just ten items. Think of this as your New Year sales shopping list, without the deliberation - the following come with a soundTGG seal of approval.

The glow-getting foundation : Nars Sheer Glow Foundation in Siberia It's been almost a year since I picked up my first bottle of this cult favourite - beloved of bloggers, beauty editors, and MUAs worldwide. With a medium coverage, luminous satin finish, and a bounty of skincare benefits, this bottle presents all I could ever require of a base product. Its non-comedogenic formula is perfectly suited to my sensitive skin, and does an amazing job of reducing the appearance of redness and masking imperfections without feeling heavy or mask-like.

The wearable red lip : Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Satin Lip Colour in Captivante Firstly, let's discuss that packaging. Simple, chic, and innovative - Chanel, you did it again. Luxe packaging aside, I truly did not expect to love this product as much as I do. A warm and subtle copper-red, it presents the perfect low-maintenance red lip. Ideal for applying sheer on an everyday basis or for building into a bolder look come the evening. The formula itself is light, but moisturising and durable with a natural luminous finish.

The Holy Grail brow product : Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade in Medium Brown Whilst some brow products only really work/succeed when applied to good, well-maintained brows, here is one which will spruce up even the most neglected brows, leaving them with a finesse usually only observed immediately post-threading. Whilst I like to maintain a level of neatness in my own, on those days when I've run out of time Dipbrow comes to the rescue. It's easy to apply, lasts all day long, and looks way more natural than your short-lived brow pencil.

The easy-peasy eyeshadow : Laura Mercier Caviar Stick in Sand Glow 2014 saw me rediscovering eyeshadow (with a little more finesse than my previous (teen) experience), and I've gone from being a 'liner and mascara ONLY' kinda-gal to one who happily blends 3-4 shades across her lid on a daily basis. Aside from the importance of blending, and using good brushes, I've discovered that eyeshadow is an area of beauty where you really do get what you pay for. The obsession started with eyeshadow pencils - they're easy to use, the perfect travel companion, and last exceptionally well. I adore the light buttery formula of Laura Mercier's offerings  - as well as the shade range (a metallic lover's dream).

The face mask to rule them all : Aesop Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque* Ever wondered whether it's possible to have baby-soft skin, and a thoroughly cleansed complexion from the use of just one product? Of course you have - and here is the answer to all of your skincare woes/musings. This list would not have been complete without an Aesop addition (undoubtedly my favourite and most explored brand of the year), and this mask is the star of my collection. It really is quite amazing - decongesting the skin without leaving it stripped of moisture.

The perfect morning cleanser : La Roche-Posay Physiological Cleansing Gel I love nothing more than a gel cleanser in the morning - nothing else leaves my skin feeling quite so clean and refreshed, but they are notoriously drying. Enter this gem from La Roche-Posay - formulated for very dry skin, it presents all of the benefits of your favourite gel cleanser without stripping skin of moisture. My complexion always feels super soft and balanced after using this, and it's brilliant when paired with my Clarisonic.

The skin-saving SPF : Radical Skin Perfecting Screen* I don't quite know how I coped before this skincare-makeup hybrid entered my daily routine. A do-it-all product if ever there was one, this lightweight lotion provides all of the benefits of an SPF day cream with an added boost of skincare goodness, and brightening effects to rival even a dedicated highlighter. It preps my skin perfectly for makeup, helping my foundation (and my glow) to last all day long.

The do-it-all hair oil : Bumble & bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil* When it comes to haircare you could travel with an arsenal of sprays and serums - each catering to a different ailment or style. Or you could opt for one single bottle. If you choose the latter, then I'll save you the hassle of shopping around. This sweetly scented oil softens, detangles, smoothes frizz, nourishes dry ends, and adds shine without leaving hair feeling weighty or tacky. Truly, (aside from that scent) you'll forget you even used a product.

The luxe hair rescuer : Sachajuan Leave-In Conditioner* Effective haircare which doesn't weigh down my locks was top of my agenda for 2014 (a requirement which will continue into the new year), and was met most effectively by the luxe and divinely scented offerings of Sachajuan. Their leave-in conditioner has fast become a favourite in my haircare repertoire, leaving my hair soft, weightless, and tangle-free. The combined beauty of the minimalistic packaging, the instantly effective product, and the clean, fresh scent, makes this the ideal product for maintaining happy healthy hair.

The Sunday essential : Cowshed Lazy Cow Shower Gel This year my bath/shower-time product choices took a dramatic turn. Gone is my penchant for sweet (read : edible) flavours - replaced instead by a love of all things natural. Rich, complex scents based around zesty fruits, herbs, and essential oils have become my go-to flavour combinations when it comes to bodycare, and Cowshed's Lazy Cow scent is the clear winner. A potent blend of chamomile, jasmine, and sandalwood - the ultimate relaxer.

What were the standout beauty products of your 2014?


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*PR sample