Here are my favorites from 2014! If you are interested in seeing my past favorites, I have done an annual roundup for 2013, 2012,2011, 2010, and 2009.
Best makeup remover: Shiseido TISS Deep Off cleansing oil (link goes to my review)
I went back to this product this year. It removes every trace of makeup quickly and easily, including waterproof eye makeup, and rinses clean without any residue.
Best sunscreen: Biore UV Perfect Milk sunscreen (link goes to my review)
We all know that we should wear sunscreen religiously, but some sunscreens are just uncomfortable. This product is light, easy to apply, and doesn’t leave my skin sticky… all with SPF 50+.
Best foundation: Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place makeup
I love how this foundation looks and I love how it lasts, but I did not like that there was no pump. Imagine my surprise when I realized that a pump I had lying around the house (from Daiso, no less) was an EXACT match! (photo from my Instagram)
Best BB cream: Martha Tilaar Caring Colours Everlast BB Cream (link goes to my review)
Definitely pick this up if you have a chance to go to Indonesia. Somehow, it makes my skin look good, even though I can see the discoloration on my skin.
Best concealer: Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circles Concealer Treatment (link goes to my review)
I picked this up in New York just because of all the hype online, with the full intent of doing a negative review. Surprisingly, it not only made my under eye circles look better, it also lasted on my skin.
Best eyeshadow: Milani Shadow Eyez eyeshadow pencil (link goes to my review)
Definitely one of the best finds of the year! I went to no less than 5 drugstores before I found them, and they were definitely worth the effort!! Creamy, good pigmentation, and no creasing!!!
Best eyeliner (tie): Dejavu Lasting Fine R Pencil eyeliner (link goes to my review)
Black liquid eyeliner is what most Japanese girls use, hence finding a brown pencil eyeliner already has 2 strikes against me. Not only does this product fit my needs, it even lasts on my lower lashline. Because it is so thin, it also looks incredibly natural.
Best eyeliner (tie): Jordana 12HR Made To Last Eyeliner in Espresso Last
Why did I wait so long to try this? This eyeliner is creamy, pigmented, and only $2.50!!! I will definitely be picking up a few more next time I am in the US!
Best blush: Jordana Color Tint Blush Stick in Blushed (link goes to my review)
Another hit product from Jordana! I remember being in the aisle of a drugstore in US, looking up product recommendations from a trusted blogger who loves cheap products. This year has been the year of cream blushers – I probably wore powder blushes for only 2 months out of 12!
Best lipstick shade: Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in 340 To Nude or Not To Nude?
Most lipsticks make the skin on my lips peel, and I consider it a normal part of wearing lipstick. I was so surprised to finally find a lipstick I can wear without flakey skin coming off throughout the day! Not really a traditional “My Lips But Better” shade, but this warm pink color with shimmer makes my entire face look better.
Other beauty products
Best body lotion: Johnson and Johnson Baby Oil (link goes to my review)
For most of the year, I use many different body lotions, with no specific favorite. This winter, needing more protection, I started using baby oil. I almost never repurchase body lotions, but I have purchased this multiple times already.
Best nail product: Sally Hansen Salon Effects
Another product that I love and that I purchase every time I am in the US. I wear these with a gel topcoat over them. I love how they look and I love the cute patterns! I especially like Misbehaved and Laced Up (shown below).
Best hair product: Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray
I always liked the windblown look, but somehow I could only make it work when I was traveling to a tropical location. Now that my hair is shorter, I use this spray every day to achieve the look!
Best new product: Shirt Cool Spray (link goes to my review)
Japan is hot and humid in the summer, and is also a country where you are expected to walk places. This spray kept me cool for a full 30 minutes after applying!
Best new brush: Real Techniques Expert Face Brush
Why have I not reviewed this product yet? I love this brush and have been using it consistently since this spring. It is great for applying foundation, concealer, and cream blushers! I should purchase another one since I use it so much!!
Best overall tool: Reusable Cotton Rounds (link goes to my review)
If you use cotton rounds for anything, buy these! No more throwing out cotton after one use, no more spending money on expensive imported cotton rounds! (Although to be honest, the Shiseido Cotton pads that are hyped on Youtube are very affordable in Japan!)
Major highlight of my life
I have lost weight… and am continuing to do so
I changed my eating and exercising regiment since late June, and have lost about 8 kg. It is not easy, especially since I easily overeat when I go somewhere. Hopefully I will finally get to a “normal” weight!
Thanks again for a great 2014, and hope you have a wonderful 2015!