Well here is the second up in my series of favourite launches in the beauty industry for 2014. You can see my previous post on those that made it into the skincare category here. You may recall that I had little debate when it came to finalising my skincare list, but not so for this one: it very nearly turned into a top 10. After having a word with myself over it, I have just about managed to narrow it down to 5… well, nearly! So let’s get started.
In at number 5, we have a product developed by one of my favourite makeup artists, Charlotte Tilbury: the Rock’n’Kohl Pencil in shade ‘Eye Cheat’.
I have followed Charlotte’s career for years: the smoky, cat-like eyes she created for Tom Ford’s shows at Gucci used to mesmerise me. Here we have one of the newest additions to her line: a flesh-toned pencil that awakens eyes that did not even know they needed awakening! Seriously, try it. Eyes look amazingly fresh, even after one hour of sleep – needless to say, my pencil was putting in overtime during the party season!
Just apply to the waterline, blend around the lash-line, and use in both* corners of the eye, to instantly reawaken and enlarge the appearance of the eye. It is also a great time eraser, giving your eyes a more youthful appearance!
Yes, I know the idea of using a flesh-toned pencil around the eyes is not new, but this buttery smooth and long-lasting formula, in a beautiful and flattering shade, outperforms its rivals. So well, in fact, that it stays put even on the waterline for hours. A must-own quick-fix that you will wonder how you ever survived without!
* do not forget the outer corner – a tip Sophia Loren always used to her advantage!
See Charlotte’s informative video for further application techniques – I highly recommend subscribing to her excellent YouTube channel for further tips and tricks:
Best Cheek Product: Becca Beach Tint Shimmer soufflé
At number 4, we have this little baby: a pot of magic that quickly transforms a tired or dull complexion. It is a combination of two of Becca’s cult best-sellers: the Beach Tint and Shimmering Skin Perfector™.
Its lightweight formula packs four must-have qualities into one formula: a powder to add a pop of colour, a stain to give staying power, an illuminating highlighter, and a cream to deliver a flawless finish. It not only provides a luminescent wash of colour for the cheeks, but also hydrates, smoothes and softens the skin with the addition of skin-conditioning active, brown algae extract.
It was a tough decision in this category, with two stand-out contenders for best cheek product of 2014: the Becca Beach Tint Shimmer Soufflé and the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush Palette. Both deliver a beautiful and healthy-looking glow to the cheeks, but one is a gel-type product, and one is powder.
For me personally, I decided the Becca product just edged in front at what was, admittedly, a photo-finish. My primary reason being that I will always go for gel or cream products over powder on the cheeks: they look more flattering, luminous and youthful. Admittedly, they can have the downside of not lasting as long as powder products, but not so with this product: Becca have nailed it with a long-lasting, water-resistant finish too. The result is gloriously glowing cheeks that last! My personal favourite? Lychee/Opal.
Best Lip Product: Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipstick
In at number 3, we have yet another product from Ms Tilbury’s excellent range. The newest addition, in fact: the Matte Revolution Lipstick range.
Matte lipsticks are certainly trending again, and in my humble opinion, there is nothing chicer than a beautiful, bright matte red lipstick. The problem with matte lipsticks of old was that they were usually very drying. What’s more, they could often deaden the lips, making them look flat and lifeless, thereby thinning their appearance and sometimes leaving them looking flaky. New cosmetic technologies, however, brought to us a whole host of beautiful matte lipsticks launching last season in the run up to Chrimbo.
My favourites were, far and away, the offerings from the two cosmetic kings, Tom Ford and Charlotte Tilbury, with the Matte Lip Color and the Matte Revolution collections respectively. Both have produced formulas that are intense in pigment, non-drying, long-wearing and very comfortable on the lips. The real cleverness comes in that they have a kind of glow or radiance to them, whilst remaining matte. So the lips still appear full, avoiding that thinning, tight-lipped look of mattes gone-by.
I would love to be cheeky and put both TF’s and CT’s in at this spot in my top 5, but if I am forced to choose, on price-point only, I have favoured Charlotte’s offering, even if some of Tom’s colours may be slightly more comfortable/creamy to wear.
Best Eyeshadow: Gucci Magnetic Color Shadows: quads, duos & monos
At number 2, we have a product from what was, for me, probably the most anticipated cosmetics event of 2014: the launch of the Gucci Beauty line. This is primarily because of the involvement of legendary makeup artist, Pat McGrath, who teamed up with Gucci’s Creative Director, Frida Giannini, to create the range. It was almost certainly one of the most, if not the most, ambitious beauty launches of the year, debuting an entirely new and vast 200-piece range of cosmetics!
Of the range, I think the buttery-soft, highly-pigmented, jet-milled eyeshadows are the stand-outs – they are the absolute gems amongst the collection. The ‘Magnetic Color Shadows’, as they are called, are a palette of vibrant, beautiful hues, with lavish textures and finishes, from matte, to satin, to high shine. They come in quads, duos and monos, are all manufactured in Italy, and I’d take a punt that it may well be the same manufacturer that Burberry work with.
The quads, particularly, blend absolutely beautifully, with the gorgeous vibrant colours and textures in each palette complementing each other well. Each palette contains base, highlighter and contour shades. The colour pay off is excellent and buildable, the formula blends beautifully and is a sheer pleasure to work with. It has an amazing grip on the lids, with an intensity that stays put and lasts, and very little drop, if any, during application.
The colour choices in the duos work very well together too, and the monos make great accent colours, with some gorgeous jewel-like tones that no collection should be without! As you would expect with any brand, the more metallic colours amongst the monos that contain glitter particles, the iconic gold and bronze most notably, are a little less smooth to work with. But they are still excellent and give very little drop, if any, compared to other metallic formulas I have used, and have the most stunning shine! All in all, for the eyeshadow lover, they are an absolute must!
Best Mascara: Dior Addict IT-LASH Mascara
And now to my favourite on the list, and probably the one that I get the most compliments on, believe it or not: the Dior Addict IT-LASH mascara This one has proved itself to literally be a conversation-stopper of a product. Really. My eyelashes look like they are on steroids with this excellent mascara, and I am asked what I am wearing on my lashes pretty much every time I wear it.
With the first coat, this mascara applies smoothly, no bumps, no lumps, no powdery finish. The colour is a radiant, intense black, and the curl is held perfectly; better than any other mascara I own… and I own a lot! One coat creates the perfect daytime look, I think. But this is a buildable formula, and with subsequent coats, volume can be ramped up for a more dramatic evening look.
The specialised tip is efficient at catching and coating lower lashes – and those pesky smaller, corner lashes. Volume is buildable using the tip to build product at the root before combing out. While I find that this mascara’s strengths lie in its lengthening, separating and curl-hold ability, it is buildable for volume, particularly if the brush head is used in this way.
As Dior promise, this formula really is water soluble, making it a breeze to rinse and remove. Super impressive in the length-of-wear stakes, not only does it resist flaking and smudging better than most other mascaras, but it holds a curl better than any I have come across – for hours and hours. It really is an impressive formula. Put simply, my new HG mascara!
And one final sneaky one that I had to shoe-horn in, just because it is such a great drugstore-dupe for some great luxury equivalents out there…
Best Budget Buy: Bourjois Rouge Edition Velvet lipstick
I am a huge fan of long-wear matte lip colours. They are just the best for a night out when you want to wear a bright lip colour, but do not want the faff and bother of constantly remembering to touch it up. Hourglass’s Opaque Rouge Liquid Lipsticks and Lime Crime’s Velvetines were always unsurpassable for me in formula until this little baby came along.
Although a little drying on the lips, they are nothing worse than the long-wear mattes from the aforementioned luxury brands. They pack the same great, long-lasting matte pigment, in a gorgeous range of colours. My personal favourite is the bright pink, brilliantly named ‘Olé Flamingo’. At this price point, you can afford to collect the entire range, and they are worth it!
And there we have it: for me, these were the highlights amongst the makeup launches of 2014. Cosmetics technology is moving at an incredible pace, so I look forward to an even more exciting and innovative year ahead of us in beauty for 2015!
Please do add your comments below. Do you agree with my choices? Are there any other new cosmetics products that have been exciting you over the last year that you think I’ve overlooked? Or are there any upcoming product launches in 2015 that you simply cannot wait to get your hands on?
Check back again soon for full reviews of all the items in this list. Also look out for the next in this series: ‘My Top 5 Hair Care Launches of 2014’… Don’t forget to click the ‘follow’ link below, and you’ll be the first in the know!
Posted by Jill
I am a skincare and beauty aficionado, and the founder of Nameless Grace. I aim to be your friendly guide through the minefield of marketing claims and the latest beauty trends.