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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  1. January 2, 2015 / 8:53 am

    Their are too many products here that I'd love to try! I'm definitely eyeing the YÜLI serum, Odacité, La Bella Figura's Brazilian Denise highlighter, and the Gressa Skin Minimalist Corrective Serum Foundation. The latter of which I've been hearing nothing but glowing reviews. Happy New Year!

  2. January 2, 2015 / 11:35 am

    Oh my god, I can literally copy and paste over half this list on my wish list! I'm this close to order the Gressa Serum Foundation, but a bit torn between shades. I though I'd be an 02, but now you're making me doubt whether I'd be better off with 03… Oh, and I just wanted to let you know that I too have finally taken the plunge and ordered my first Odacité oil!

    find me on 9outoften.com

  3. January 2, 2015 / 8:19 pm

    Gorgeous pic! Many favorites here, 2014 was certainly a great year for green beauty. I'm really intrigued by the Kabuki brush, looks so fluffy ;). Happy New Year, Jade! x

  4. January 2, 2015 / 10:23 pm

    I wore #likeaboss almost every single day in December! Now i'm thinking they should be on my toes… For the rest of the year! 😀 Does the Pa+G help in overall brightening too?

  5. Neha
    January 2, 2015 / 10:46 pm

    I want everything on the list! The Gressa Serum is pretty good for everyday but I need something a little more coverage for formal gatherings, any tips? Yuli's line is everything you've said and more, I got 3 of their products recently, Halcyon, Cocoon and Liquid Courage and all 3 just wowed me the moment I opened the packaging. All smell sooo sooo good and you can tell they're fresh. My skin is so smooth and even. Thanks for your recs!

  6. January 2, 2015 / 11:19 pm

    Love reading your favorites from this year! Haha I was the exact same way with #likeaboss. I think I had it on my nails for 2 weeks straight until it was looking pretty nasty and then I just reapplied it all over again. It really is the best color ever! I'm getting more into perfumes too and I'm definitely intrigued by SIP…Fair Verona sounds like my kind of scent 🙂 Happy New Year Jade!

  7. Geeta
    January 3, 2015 / 2:33 pm

    Hi! My faves are mostly from the So Pure Skincare line from the UK.
    Antioxidant Eye Balm, Intensive Facial & Rejuvenating Concentrate, with stable vitamin C & E with Co-Q10. I also love the unique Honey & Propolis Healing Facail. It's like nothing you have ever tried. 🙂 http://www.sopureskincare.co.uk

  8. January 4, 2015 / 4:13 am

    Can't wait until you give them all a try 🙂 Happy New Year!

  9. January 4, 2015 / 4:15 am

    :DDD Gressa in 02, I have to warn you, is really quite light–even 03 veers a little light for me. 02 and 03 are also on the cooler side–I believe Ru took a picture comparing 03 and 04 and 04 seems a lot yellower than 03 (which is okay for me, since I'm a bit more pink than yellow). Which Odacité oil did you get??

  10. January 4, 2015 / 4:15 am

    Thank you Liz! 2014 was a beautiful year for green 🙂 Happy New Year! xx

  11. January 4, 2015 / 4:16 am

    #likeaboss all day every day!! Hm. By overall brightening do you mean lightening skin tone overall? (sidenote: I remember seeing on Citrine Beauty's insta that the Tata Harper Brightening Serum actually has a tendency to do that)

  12. January 4, 2015 / 4:18 am

    I agree! I use Gressa on my good skin days since my blemishes tend to peek through–I like to spot conceal with a mineral foundation, like Alima Pure's or W3ll People's 🙂 For neutralizing redness, I like to also layer Ilia's concealer underneath Gressa. Those are three of my top YÜLI favorites!! I'm so glad to hear you love them too 🙂

  13. January 4, 2015 / 4:18 am

    Thanks Kasey! My nails look soo silly at this point, but now they have almost chipped clean. Fair Verona is sooo good–hope you give it a try sometime 🙂 Happy New Year!!

  14. Ju lie
    January 4, 2015 / 6:38 am

    Hi Jade, what a beautiful list! I ordered gressa foundation last week, can't wait to use it! Happy new year beautiful, i send you my best wishes for 2015! i'll continue to read your amazing blog in 2015 🙂 xo

  15. January 4, 2015 / 3:33 pm

    Oh thanks for the heads up! Taking that into account, I think I should go for the 03 instead. I've checked Ru's swatch, and I think 04 may be a tad too warm for me. I got the Papaya oil! My skin has calmed down so much and only a few active spots have remained, so now it's time to tackle the hyper pigmentation spots ;-).

  16. January 4, 2015 / 4:20 pm

    Yes, that's what I meant. TH serums are way out of my budget right now, but I have heard their stuff is potent and super effective!

  17. Vik
    January 4, 2015 / 7:18 pm

    Uhhh.. isn't that your OWN line? hm.

  18. January 6, 2015 / 1:06 am

    Same for me–hopefully in a couple years? Not sure how much Pa+G brightens overall–mostly have been staring at acne scars. I feel like it is possible, but probably on a much slower pace than TH.

  19. January 6, 2015 / 1:07 am

    Hi Julie, thank you!! Oh, I can't wait to hear what you think about the Gressa foundation 🙂 Happy New Year lovely, the best wishes are mutual and looking forward to what wonderful things you bring to your blog in 2015 🙂

  20. Garcy
    January 6, 2015 / 5:54 am

    Thanks so much for including us in this incredible list Jade! 2014 was beautiful! Wishing you an even brighter 2015! xo

  21. January 6, 2015 / 2:59 pm

    Love your photo! I want to try Gressa foundation this year, I ordered Sappho and I'm loving that but got to see if Gressa is worth the hype! Also going to get more from Odacite, haven't tried the Pa+G but sounds lovely and I like Jo+L! Happy new year 😀 x

  22. Greta
    January 7, 2015 / 3:16 am

    I've been loving the YULI line thanks in no small part to you and your reviews. Skin Fuel took my breath away with how good and fresh it smells and it's like a slip on my skin, just makes all the small imperfections disappear.

    Is the Indie Lee blemish lotion better than Dr. Alkaitis Soothing Gel for breakouts?

  23. January 7, 2015 / 6:19 am

    Right back at you Garcy! xo

  24. January 7, 2015 / 6:20 am

    Thank you Amber! Ooh, I tried some Sappho samples I ordered a couple months ago and enjoyed it, though I didn't stick with it. Off the top of my head, Sappho is definitely thicker than Gressa, but I think coverage is comparable but probably with Sappho leading slightly. Love Odacite! Happy New Year!! xx

  25. January 7, 2015 / 6:24 am

    I'm so glad you've been loving YÜLI, Greta! M.E. Skin Fuel is definitely a good one though I love Liquid Courage just a bit more 🙂

    Ooh that is an interesting comparison. So, I typically use the Soothing Gel underneath a moisturizer for healing popped pimples (put some on a Q-tip, try to stop the bleeding and disinfect the area) and it seems to help the healing process. The Blemish Lotion I use more as an overnight treatment over moisturizer for shrinking pimples. I would say the Soothing Gel is probably a more gentler, healing treatment and I wouldn't reach for it if I wanted to get rid of pimples fast–I'd reach for Blemish Lotion. However, if I wanted a gel layer before my oil to gently treat my breakouts over time, I'd reach for Soothing Gel. I hope this helps!

  26. Laurie
    January 10, 2015 / 1:30 am

    Hi Jade. Always love your informative posts. Would you recommend the Odacite Pa+G serum over Yuli's Cell Perfecto PM For acne scars?

  27. Lynne
    January 11, 2015 / 5:15 pm

    Hi Laurie, my two cents coming from using both is Odacite Pa+G is great for fading the acne marks you get straight after a breakout so it doesn't leave a bigger mark while Cell Perfecto PM is really great for those marks and scars that are left. I apply Odacite after a zit fades and Cell Perfecto on where my older scars are if that helps any!

  28. January 11, 2015 / 8:24 pm

    Thanks for your help on this Lynne! Laurie, I agree with Lynne. Pa + G is a quicker treatment–red marks leftover from acne lightened within weeks on both my sister as well as myself. Cell Perfecto is a slower treatment that both healed my physical scars (pits and whatnot) as well as red marks. If you're looking to lighten up marks quickly, I would say go with Pa + G, but if you're a little more patient, try Cell Perfecto (but you may have to be patient for results). I have a review for Cell Perfecto with skin pictures in the drafts that will be up soon–hopefully that will help!

  29. Kelly
    January 13, 2015 / 7:59 pm

    How does the josh sunscreen compare to pratima's?

  30. Sherri
    January 14, 2015 / 12:55 am

    Do you recommend Liquid Courage for dull skin? I am a new mom and just need something to add some shine back to my sleep deprived complexion. Thank you

  31. January 14, 2015 / 8:53 pm

    Hi Kelly! The two of them are my top two sunscreens at the moment. Pratima's sunscreen has a lighter texture and has fewer ingredients. Josh Rosebrook's sun cream is a little thicker, but when applied after misting the face with a toner, it sinks in easily and feels quite light. It also has more ingredients–it has a plethora of herbs that are beneficial for combating inflammation. It is also more expensive than Pratima's sunscreen ($80 ish vs. $30 ish), but is more widely available at various shops, whereas Pratima's is sold exclusively on their own site. Both don't make me feel dry and layer nicely under makeup for me. I hope this helps!

  32. January 14, 2015 / 8:59 pm

    Hi Sherri! Congratulations on your new bundle of joy–how exciting! I would recommend Liquid Courage for any skin. I've found this to make my sleep-deprived and acne-prone complexion look much healthier.

    For shine…I know Odacité makes targeted serums for dull skin (Green Tea + Lemongrass for radiance, Passion Fruit + Orange for dull skin)–I haven't tried these two specifically, but I am a big fan of Papaya + Geranium for hyperpigmentation.

    Usually when I have a good shine going, I'm really well hydrated thanks to constantly sipping water as well as a good moisturizing routine–Osmia Organics' Active Gel Toner + Marula Oil + Flight Skincare's Floating Hydration Serum have been working like gold for me lately.

    If skincare-wise you're doing well, I love a good cream highlighter by Kjaer Weis or rms beauty. I hope this helps!!

  33. Racheal
    January 24, 2015 / 4:22 pm

    So conflicted – see a lot of good reviews on the LBF makeup line but REALLY do not like these women for all the petty stuff they engage in with anyone who doesn't write favorably.

  34. January 29, 2015 / 8:30 pm

    I hear you 100% on the conflictedness because I felt exactly the same. We could talk more about it offline (email me?) if you'd like.

  35. February 5, 2015 / 11:35 pm

    Hi Stacey!! I am so happy to hear you've been enjoying my posts 🙂 High-five to you–it's never too early to be thinking about sunscreen. I really enjoy both sunscreens–Pratima's and Josh Rosebrook's are definitely my top two. Neither leave a whitecast. Pratima's does have fewer ingredients and is less expensive so it may be a safer first bet–though Josh Rosebrook's many more ingredients are great for battling inflammation and such. I believe you can try JR's as a sample-with-purchase from Integrity Botanicals while Pratima's sunscreen is strictly sold from their site only. Good luck!!! I hope this helps!

  36. Stacey
    February 13, 2015 / 6:42 pm

    Thank you! I'm still so torn. 😉 I think I'll try Pratima first since I'm really enjoying the facial serums and oils I've been using. And try JB as sample and go from there.

  37. April 15, 2015 / 11:44 pm

    Which is better for hyperpigmentation is your opinion, the Odacité Pa+G or the YÜLI Cell Perfecto P.M.?

  38. April 17, 2015 / 3:37 am

    Hey Megan! I would say it depends on your timeline. If you're in a hurry, Odacité Pa+G. If you don't mind a gradual wait and are also looking for more physical healing, I'd say Cell Perfecto PM.