14 Favorites from 2014

Happy 2015, all! While there were some favorites from 2013 that remained stapes throughout 2014 (YÜLI Halcyon and #ED4OLO Cleansing Oil, looking at you, reviews here and here), there were also many delightful new discoveries in 2014, including new friends, new shops, and new products. Let’s take a look:


Oils that keep my skin healthy and hydrated – tie between YÜLI and Roiel
YÜLI’s Liquid Courage is like a healthy shot of vitamins for my face. There is at least a month straight in the fall where I was using this that is legendarily burned into my mind where I had exceptionally clear and healthy skin. Roiel Cosmetics’ Marula Oil has been wonderful as a heavier oil as the weather has sunk into winter. (YÜLI: Spirit Beauty Lounge, YÜLI; Roiel: Roiel Cosmetics)

Quick and delightful treatment for post-acne marks – Odacite
Here is another legendary several weeks burned into my mind where one day, I had some pretty red post-acne marks (popping may have been involved) and a week or two later, I was squinting in the mirror wondering, “Where did they go?” Pa+G Serum Concentrate, you rock. (The Detox Market, Odacite)

Extraordinary eye-depuffing gel – SkinOwl
I yearned for Eye+ months after this was applied on me during skin prep at the W3ll People Launch at Beauty Cirque (recap here). When I finally got my hands on it (birthday present from mum, as requested from me, thanks mum!), I thought, “Why did I wait so long?!” The cooling sensation feels incroyable and these puffy eyes that see many a late night are nearly instantly depuffed upon application. (Pemberley Jones, SkinOwl)

Intoxicating perfumes that won’t alter my hormones – tie between Strange Invisible Perfumes and Lotus Wei
This was the year I got into perfumes. On a whim, I asked the fellows at the SIP table at #ANFG to perfume match me to something jasmine-y (May Lindstrom’s Jasmine Garden got me hooked)–they sprayed Fair Verona on me and I walked around for the rest of the night telling people to smell me and then bought the perfume (my visit to their flagship store recapped here). Another one that’s really grown on me (just as it’s run out, too) is Lotus Wei’s Infinite Love Perfume. Small but mighty, I never fail to get comments on it whenever I wear it out, from girls and guys. Intoxicating, I tell you. (SIP: Spirit Beauty Lounge, Integrity Botanicals, SIP; LW: The Detox Market)

Highlighters that give my eyes a glow and make my cheekbones pop – tie between Kjaer Weis and La Bella Figura
Move over, Living Luminizer, there’s new boys in town. Kjaer Weis’s Radiance highlighter is gorgeous. It’s the most obviously sparkly highlighter I’ve used, but it makes my eyes sparkle and cheekbones pop like no other. For something a little more subtler (think twinkles when lights shine) plus a little sensory experience, I’ve enjoyed La Bella Figura’s Brazilian Denise highlighter, whose rose flower wax sometimes has been dabbing it on my wrists as a perfume. (KW: The Detox Market, Spirit Beauty Lounge, Eco Diva Beauty; LBF: The Detox Market, La Bella Figura, Eco Diva Beauty)

Softest kabuki brush that makes putting on foundation a joy – W3ll People
After Shirley Pinkson applied the Altruist mineral foundation using this brush at the W3ll People Launch at Beauty Cirque, I was like, boom, need to have this. I semi-liked Altruist before, but after this I really liked Altruist. Awesome brushes, i.e. incredibly soft kabuki brushes, make a difference. (The Detox Market, Spirit Beauty Lounge, Eco Diva Beauty, Integrity Botanicals)

The nail polish I won’t take off – Aila x BeauTeaBar
I’m not allowed to wear nail polish on my fingernails because of piano. Or rather, if I wear nail polish, other pianists will severely judge me for being flippant/not-serious/ridiculously whimsical. So after lessons finished for the semester, I doused my fingernails and toenails in this. Now, several weeks later, it’s slowly chipping off but I don’t want to take it off completely…the rose gold is gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. And I shine like a diamond. (BeauTeaBar)

Revolutionary serum foundation that dries to a powdery finish – Gressa Skin
I’ve had this annoying problem with foundations where after application, my skin looks dry–like it seems like there are flakes on my skin but I’m not always feeling as dry as I look. (Now that I think about it, sounds like pilling.) I don’t get that with Gressa’s Corrective Serum Foundation. Also I don’t break out with this, which before only happened with mineral foundations. And it dries to a powdery finish even though it starts out like a serum. What? Yeah. For reference, I wear shade 03. (Gressa Skin)

Go-to blemish eradicator – Indie Lee
Go to bed looking like you have pink chicken pox, wake up, wash it off, and blemishes will have shrunken down. I ran out of the Blemish Lotion before #ANFGB, bantered with the delightful Indie Lee at #ANFGB, thought about buying it there, didn’t, severely regretted it, and caved in and bought another several months later with no regrets. (Follain, Indie Lee)

Delicious, buttery cleansing balm with a sensory experience – de Mamiel
Softer than butter, smells like a bouquet of flowers, works perfectly with a massage to wipe away makeup, and makes my skin happy. Restorative Cleansing Balm: wins all around. (Seed to Serum)

Best-smelling and volume-inducing dry shampoo – One Love Organics
Because second-day hair actually smells pretty bad. Healthy Locks dry shampoo gives my gravity-loving Asian hair some grit and volume while also a nice smell. (Integrity Botanicals, Eco Diva Beauty, One Love Organics)

The gel that scares away dry skin – Osmia
Active Gel Toner is, I think, exactly what my skin needed last winter, instead of futile different layering combinations of oils and moisturizers. The skin feels miles more hydrated this year. (The Detox Market, Osmia Organics)

Favorite as an SPF AND a day cream – Josh Rosebrook
This has got me hooked with its amazing scent (a common factor for all of Josh’s skincare products), its complete lack of white cast and all that makes sunscreen abominable, and its really awesome performance as a cream moisturizer. I don’t typically like cream moisturizers, but I love the Nutrient Day Cream with SPF 30. (The Detox Market, Follain, Josh Rosebrook)

What changed my mind about setting powders – Ilia
I am a sweaty person and I used to let my oil run free. Then I dotted Fade Into You over my T-zone and realized what a mistake that was. The very convenient application doesn’t hurt either. (The Detox Market, Spirit Beauty Lounge, Follain)

What were some of your favorites from 2014? See any here?

Disclaimer: Affiliate links are included. All thoughts and opinions are my own. All products were purchased by myself except for YÜLI Liquid Courage and Roiel Cosmetics Marula Oil, which were both kindly sent to me.
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Beauty Routine Tag

Thanks Asti from Skjonnhet for tagging me–my very first tag! Hope you enjoy~

1. Name a beauty routine you rarely do.

Filling in my brows. I am lucky to have inherited my dad’s caterpillar eyebrows, and while I could do some filling in where my eyebrows trail off, I am a bit lazy. I also just tell myself that it gives my eyebrows character.

2. Is washing your makeup brushes something you do regularly? 

I try to do it weekly or after I’ve dropped enough brushes on the floor by accident (I hate floor germs!!). But since I’ve been using more finger-painting makeup products (rms beauty, Kjaer Weis), I have barely touched my brushes, and thus have barely washed them in the past month.

3. How long will you last with chipped nail polish? 

As long as I am lazy about it. I usually only paint my toenails (#pianistproblems) so especially in the winter when my toes are hiding half the time, I can last up to a month before I get fed up with the chips. But now that I’ve started using nail polish remover cloth wipes (priti NYC, RBG cosmetics) which are totally ingenious, fuss-free, and not messy, I will probably be more proactive when it comes to chipped nail polish for the upcoming season.

4. How long do you put off buying/replacing a product even if you really need it?

Like negative time…if I really need it, I am going to preemptively restock. Sometimes I am too late (ran out of OLO x BeautyBets oil cleanser and was distraught for a couple days) and other times I am way too early (preemptively restocked Consonant’s The Perfect Sunscreen and my current bottle is still going strong).

5. What is your worst beauty habit?

Popping pimples…when they come to a head and just sit on my face all day, they are asking for it! Luckily this doesn’t happen too often, and when it does, I make sure to treat it with Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel or lavender oil, and be very gentle with it afterwards.

6. Name something non-beauty related that you put off all the time.

Homework? Just kidding. Cleaning and organizing. I go back and forth between needing a bit of clutter or complete spotlessness in my room for optimal performance. There is something comforting about a little bit of mess, but I am also a total sucker for a nicely-made bed.

7. When going out somewhere, do you leave getting ready to the last minute or not? 

I give myself plenty of time to get ready to minimize stress and because I enjoy getting ready (I love love love slowly getting ready while listening to beauty-related YouTube videos), but I’ll do last-minute touch-ups before leaving, like re-curling my eyelashes and wiping away any smudges.

8. Can you commit to spending bans? 

Sometimes…though admittedly, I am a bit impulsive, especially when everyone is raving about a certain product, and when something like my birthday rolls around and No More Dirty Looks is running an awesome Friday Deal, I just can’t resist…and then they run two awesome Friday Deals in a row…my bank account sighs…

9. How organized are your make-up/nail polish collections? 

Fairly organized. I don’t have many nail polishes, so they all hang out in a acrylic tray together. I just got this silly cat-face-shaped dish that mostly houses my rms beauty and other beauty pots, and the rest of my makeup is currently chilling out next to it. I’m on the lookout for more silly dishes to keep my cat face company.

10. What is the longest time you’ve gone without writing a blog post? 

Probably about a month…not without good excuse! I really want to give whatever products I am using the best, unbiased chance to wow me, so I tend to use products for months or until they are empty before talking about them. Or sometimes homework or piano takes over my life.

I tag Marcella from Naturally Marcy, the girls at Call It Vanity, and you, dear reader!

The rules are:
-this tag was created by http://thebeaubow.blogspot.com
-tag other bloggers
-title  to show what the tag is about

Wednesday Wishlist: Head to Toe

Yarok Feed Your Volume Shampoo & Conditioner Duo
I love my Acure shampoo and conditioner, but tl;dr, this Yarok duo contains marshmallow root in the ingredient list. Marshmallows! Also loving the purity of ingredients, the globally responsible sourcing, and the founder, Mordechai Alvow, is an editorial stylist for celebrities, glossies, and runways. Like a boss.


Kjaer Weis Mascara
I have to stop myself from lusting after the beautiful blushes–curse you, acne scars–but the natural mascara hunt is well on. I love the beautiful packaging, the beautiful, beautiful, beautiful ingredients, and the refill system. Between this just coming back in stock on Spirit Beauty Lounge and fast, free shipping from Eco Diva Beauty, I really might just have to spring for this one before I hit the 3-month mark on my current Zuzu Luxe mascara…

Chocolate Sun Cocoa Lite Sunless Enhancer
I’ve never been a self-tanner, but 1) this smells like chocolate, 2) doubles as moisturizer, and 3) is meant for self-tanning noobs. Okay, you pasty gams, you can come out now, it’s time to glow.

Kure Bazaar Nail Laquer Afrika
I refrain from painting my fingers for piano, but my toes are fair game. Even people not obsessed with green beauty love these polishes. I’m covered on a red, a yellow, and a mint, but I would totally love a bright orange.

Have you tried any of these products? What are your thoughts?

*Image credit in links