For my final instalment of my 2014 beauty favourites I'm talking about base and face products! You can read the other parts here and my more lifestyle-y favourites will go up on Sunday. But for this post I'm all about that base...
Starting from the bottom, we have the Benefit Porefessional Primer (£24.50) which does an amazing job of concealing my large pores and readying my skin for foundation. It feels so silky and has a slight, pleasant fragrance.
Going a layer up; I've chosen the Nars Sheer Glow Foundation (£31) and the Nars Pure Radiance Tinted Moisturiser (£29). This year was the year I discovered Nars products and their bases have been amazing! The Sheer Glow (review here) was definitely a slow burner for me but I love how it gives a flawless, build-able finish and leaves skin glowing but not shiny. Pure Radiance is just a really hydrating, breathable light coverage that I've been rocking since summer (review here).
There was only one winner when it came to concealer; the Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer (£22, review here). It works for blemishes, under the eyes, doesn't cake, isn't overly hydrating and worth every penny! Repping the powders is the Bourjois Healthy Balance Powder (£8.99). I did have a dalliance with Rimmel's Stay Matte but ultimately it whitened and caked when I re-applied it. No such problems with Healthy Balance! It gives a little courage and reduces shine without making your face look flat; it's perfect with the Nars Sheer Glow foundation.
On to tools; e.l.f. is the perfect brand for those buying their first set of 'proper' brushes and there are a few of their tools I still regularly use. I love the e.l.f. Studio Powder Brush (£3.95) for applying foundation quickly and flawlessly. The e.l.f. Small stipple Brush (£3.95) is my best brush for applying cream or liquid blushers (and yes, I own the Real Techniques one!) as it's small enough that you can control where the product goes, creating a natural look. Finally, a real revelation for me has been the Nanshy Gobsmack Gorgeous 5-Piece Face Brush Set (£34.95). You can see my full review here but I use the flawless foundation brush pretty much every day and the blusher brush is another favourite. They wash well, don't shed, apply my makeup just how I want it and they're such a good price. My favourite brush for applying powder is the Real Techniques Duo-Fibre Face Brush (from Nic's Picks, £25.40 reduced from £29.99, review here) as it's so easy to just get that nice, light dusting that you need in the morning without going overboard.
For blushers I've picked two powders, a cream and a liquid! My high-end pick is Nars Orgasm (£22.50, swatch here); my first ever blusher from them. It's so hyped up for a reason! It just suits everyone and you can wear it day or night; a total classic. Another really adaptable one I reach for all the time (representing the budget end) is Sleek Suede (£4.49 review and swatch here). It's a gorgeous, muted orange-peach shade that would look perfect on any skin tone. It's the one I go for without thinking or when I'm not sure what to wear or want to go for a bold eye or lip. My cream blusher is the KIKO Velvet Touch Creamy Stick Blush in Geranium (£7.95, review and swatch here). It's this lovely deep rose shade I think is perfect if you want to dip your toe into darker blushers and the formula is amazing; it also doesn't make your face shiny at all!
I knew I'd mess up with photographing my favourites at some point; I missed my highlight and contour products so here's what they look like:
The Sleek Face Form Kit (£10, review and swatches here) would be holy grail status if Medium had the gorgeous Rose Gold blusher instead of the bronzer like the lighter shades. Although the bronzer is virtually un-touched the golden (glitter-free!) highlighter is just perfect for me and the contour is so easy to use and doesn't look orange in the slightest. I also love Makeup Revolution's Radiant Light in Breathe (£5, review and swatch here). I'd given up on finding an alternative to the Sleek but this came along at the end of the year and it's perfect for me, even converting me to wearing highlighter during the day!
What do you think of my picks and what were your standout face products in 2014?