Friday, January 9, 2015

Harlot Beauty 2014 Favorites: Makeup and Hair

2015 is finally here! That means it's time for my very first Yearly Favorites Post! I have so many favorites that I've broken it down into 2 separate posts: Makeup/Hair, and Skincare. I could keep breaking each section down into smaller and smaller categories (liquid/gel/pencil liners, or multiple shades of lipstick for example) but a post like that would be exhausting to compose and to read! So I'm doing my absolute favorite/most used products.

I may not think these products are the best overall in their category, but I have chosen products that are my personal favorites. I don't like making "best of" lists because as we all know, some products may not work for everyone.

So let's get down to business! I have forced myself to be as brief as possible, just to spare you pages of my rambling off-topic banter!

Lips

Lip Liner
While I like Starlooks makeup and I've subscribed to their monthly box in the past, I've never really thought any of their products were mega standouts or holy grail status until I got this lip pencil. I have repurchased this (even at full price) multiple times because it really creates a super-sexy nude/mauve lip. I line my lips and fill them in with this beauty, and then apply one of my similar-colored lipsticks on top, and my lip color says put for hours and hours, even through eating and drinking. Definitely one of my most-used makeup products!

Lipstick
I've been obsessed with the Bite Beauty lipstick in the shade, "Pepper" for quite awhile. It's nice rosey tone, and super wearable. However, a few months ago, I went to Sephora to pick up another tube and they were completely sold out. I really love that Bite Beauty lipsticks have all natural / food-grade ingredients, so I poked around a bit until I found the shade, "Shiraz." It's similar to "Pepper" in that it's a rose-tone, but it's really more of a mauve-berry, and slightly deeper in tone. I've had this shade for a few months and it has completely taken over the top spot as my go-to lipstick shade. If you're not into this shade, I would still highly recommend the Bite Beauty lipsticks in general. They have a fantastic, creamy formula that is incredibly long lasting.

Lip Gloss
You might be wondering why I have a lipstick listed under the lip gloss category! This Nars lipstick has a sheer, glossy formula that actually feels more like a balm/gloss than a lipstick. Dolce Vita is a cult favorite because it's such an incredibly flattering shade on so many people. It kind of looks different on everyone, but on me it has a rose-nude tone that achieves the famous "my-lips-but-better" look. It really enhances the look of my natural lips with a little punch of color to make my whole face look more awake. This is one of my all-time favorite products to toss in my purse when I know I'll need to reapply my lipstick. Rarely do I finish a lipstick, but I've plowed through at least 3 tubes of this shade. No one wants to fuss with a lip liner or a dark shade of lipstick on the go, so this is a great option for that.

Lip Treatment
Once you get past the initial weirdness of putting snail secretion on your lips, this is a very inexpensive, super fantastic lip treatment! I have used the "Honey" and "Mixed Fruits" flavors, and I really like both. These are intensely thick and rich in formula, so I wouldn't recommend this as a lip gloss that you apply throughout the day. It can get very sticky and goopy-feeling. What I can say, is that this is one of the best lip protection/moisturizing treatments I've tried. I apply it pretty heavily on my lips before bed and remove it when I wake up, and I can immediately feel the difference in the softness of my lips. Long term use of this product has completely eliminated and chapped or peeling skin on my lips, which is pretty impressive considering how dry my lips get during the Winter months! 

Lioele All Night Moisture Lip Essence
This was my go-to nighttime lip treatment before trying the Pure Smile, and I think it's still evenly matched which is why they're both listed here. I love this product because it not only feels incredibly moisturizing, but it's also less sticky than the Pure Smile, so if you have issues with snail secretion or sticky-feeling balms on your lips, this would be the one for you to pick up. This treatment smells like melted down jolly ranchers, or something equally as sweet and delicious! This has really kept my lips incredibly moisturized while I sleep, and I have even noticed less fine lines on my lips with continued use of this!

Eyes

Brows

Since I have naturally blonde hair, I also have very thin, blonde eyebrows. Because of that, I absolutely have to pencil in my brows so that they match my darker hair. I used a brow pencil for years, and while they do the trick if you're in a hurry, nothing makes my brows look more perfect than this brow powder duo. Even if you've never used it before, it somehow makes you into a professional with it's magical brow powers. I use an angled brush to apply this, and start at the middle of my brow with the darker shade and go outward. Since the inner part of your brow should be slightly lighter, I then apply the inner part of my brow with the lighter shade, and then use both shades to blend the two together. I haven't purchased another brow product since picking this one up and I don't think there's anything that can top it! I do have very thin brows however, so if you have thicker ones that need some taming, you might want to try the wax from the same line.

Eye Primer
Lorac Behind The Scenes Eye Primer
This primer does not get enough attention! So many people will direct you straight to Urban Decay Primer Potion, and while that is one of my favorites as well, this Lorac primer beats it out by miles. Not only does my shadow stay in place all day and night, but the eye looks I create appear more vibrant. This stuff will keep my liners in place longer as well! My favorite thing about this primer that differs from all others I've tried, is that it's creamy and glides on my eye without tugging the skin. I've tossed all my other eye primers because none of them come close to this one!

Eyeshadow
I know this really isn't an eyeshadow on it's own, but I use palettes almost exclusively when applying my eye makeup. I'm not really a makeup artist, so I prefer having all the shadows I will need in one compact. When I have a ton of single shadows, I get overwhelmed at the thought of all the looks and combinations I could do. Palettes narrow the choices down a bit and help me focus on a look that I want. I already love Tarte and own many of their palettes, but this particular one has me under it's spell. I reach for this again and again, and it's quite possibly my most-used palette of 2014. I have green eyes, so the beautiful purples and browns in this palette really look great on me. The shadows are beautifully pigmented too. The only complaint I have is that there really isn't a decent highlight shade, so I use what is supposed to be the face-highlight on my eyes, and that seems to do the trick. I was under the impression that this palette was sold out, but I did find it for sale at Ulta.com if you're interested!

Eyeliner
I probably have more eyeliners in my makeup collection than any other type of makeup. I don't really buy them, but somehow they just magically multiply in my drawer. I have quite a few pencils and gel liners that I really love, but there is one particular liner that I reach for day after day, and that is the Maybelline Line Stiletto. I don't think this is the most amazing eyeliner in the entire world, but I find it to be the absolute easiest liquid liner to use in the business. Even better, it seems to last forever. I will use this daily for months and months before I start to feel like it's beginning to dry out. It produces a nice, deep black line, and dries with a little bit of shine to it, which looks really gorgeous. The felt tip applicator is very forgiving and super easy to use, so if you're like me and you wear winged liner frequently, this is a low-priced, fantastic liner to pick up at the drugstore.

Mascara
Mascara is another type of makeup that produces a lot of favorites over the year. I have quite a few drugstore mascaras (Rimmel makes some great ones!) that really do the trick when you're on a tight budget, but none of my mascaras beat Lights Camera Lashes. I love classic brush and how it separates my lashes and doesn't leave a single clump behind. It lengthens, it thickens, it last through the day without flaking or smudging. It's everything you could ever want in a mascara. Plus, it's damn classy-looking, isn't it?

Face

Primer
This primer is relatively new to me, as I only started using it a few months ago. I love that it's not just a weird silicone-feeling layer on my skin, but it's actually fortified with botanicals and age-fighting antioxidants that do good stuff for your skin while protecting it and creating a smooth canvas for your foundation. This has more of a cooling, creamy feel on the skin and doesn't leave any residue behind. It dries quickly so I can almost immediately apply my CC cream without having to wait for it to set. This does a fantastic job filling in fine lines and larger pores, and the best part is it's not loaded with a ton of chemicals and weird ingredients.

CC/BB/Foundation
Hanhui  Anti-Wrinke and Whitening CC Cream
It pains me to put this on my list because it's not easily found around the internets. I did see a few for sale on ebay, but that's about it from what I can see. As I've mentioned before, you can request specific products to be carried on Tester Korea, so if you can't live without a product and can't find it anywhere, that's where you can go to get it! I have had this CC cream in my pile of "to use" products for months and never bothered to try it until a few months ago. The very first time I used it, I was blown away. This is a typical CC cream in that it comes out looking white, but turns to a light-skin-tone shade when massaged into the skin. This CC cream has SPF 50 built in which I love. The amazing thing about the product is that it looks like I'm literally erasing imperfections when I apply it to my skin. It doesn't look like I'm wearing anything on my skin at all, but my acne and redness almost disappear with just a small amount of this product. I can't say that this covers really large breakouts very well, but dabbing on a bit of concealer will do the trick on those. There is truly no other foundation/BB/CC cream that I've tried that works as well as this one. I will cry a river when this runs out!

Concealer
I'm super picky with concealers. Some of them are way too thick and look cakey on my skin. Others are way too thin and greasy-feeling and don't cover dark circles and breakouts the way I need them to. Benefit makes some of the best concealers on the market in my opinion, and while I love the Benefit Erase Paste for under my eyes (this one tends to crease under my eye) The Boi-ing concealer is absolutely fantastic at covering my redness and breakouts while staying put. I have read quite a few conflicting reviews on this product though, so if you're interested in this I would swatch it at Sephora or ask them for a sample before splurging on the whole sh-bang.

Powder
A lot of people hate powder because it can settle into fine lines and can sometimes age the skin in appearance when not applied properly. But there is nothing worse than not setting your makeup and having humidity, heat, sweat or just time break down all your hard work! If you find the right powder and use it sparingly, you can really create a fresh look that will last through the day. Jane Iredale's Amazing Matte loose powder is fantastic at mattifying the skin without making you look powdery. It doesn't settle into fine lines, but it does mask them flawlessly. Jane Iredale products are also made with ingredients that are good for your skin, and this powder contains pine bark and pomegranate extracts and vitamin C. My favorite way to use this is to put it into the Jane Iredale refillable powder brush. It's a mess-free way to apply powder and gives you plenty of control.

Blush
I'm sure everyone is pretty tired of seeing Nars Orgasm on everyone's favorite lists by now, but I was pretty late to the game with this one, and got it in my collection for the first time this year. I could never bring myself to spend the money on this blush before, but I had a gift card earlier this year and decided to pick it up. While it looks way more orangey/shimmery than I usually like, it applies beautifully bright and rosy-peach. It may not be my all-time favorite blush shade on the planet, but it's hands-down my most used and enjoyed of 2014. It's a beautiful shade on every skin tone, and is easily blendable while staying put all day. Definitely a cult-favorite for a reason, although I could admittedly do without the glitter/shimmer.

Bronzer
While I love my pale skin, I do like to have a good matte bronzer on hand that is easy to blend and use as a contour, and my absolute favorite is the Chocolate Soleil Bronzer. Not only does it smell delicious, it's super pigmented and blends out beautifully, making it the perfect choice to contour with. I use this in the hollows of my cheeks, on the sides of my nose, under my chin and occasionally around the edges of my face if I want to do is full-on contour-job. It's amazing how natural this can look when blended well and applied with the right brush!

Highlight
I wish I had a lifetime supply of free samples of this highlight so I could pass it out to everyone in the world. I love it so much. Love it. I have used every single highlight that has had any sort of "buzz" behind it, and I find all of them either look too shimmery, not shimmery enough, not natural enough...I've just never been 100% satisfied with any highlight. This one looks like glowing skin in a compact, and that's exactly how it looks on. It's a super natural-looking beige-pink tone, and does a beautiful job making my cheek bones pop and my skin look lit-from-within. I don't know why this product doesn't get more attention, because I have yet to find any other highlight that comes close to this one. They could charge $100 for this and I would probably save my pennies so I could buy it. The good news is, it's not even close to $100, and since it's baked, it seemingly lasts forever. I have a sample size of this product that I got in a Sample Society box back in July and I'm not even half-way through it!

Hair
Shampoo
I received this shampoo in a Hair and Body Memebox, and kind of disregarded it for awhile. However I ran out of my favorite shampoo, so I tossed this into the shower as a back up until I could get more of my old favorite. There is something really amazing about this shampoo. It has the weirdest consistency- sort of stringy and thick like a snail mucin cream-pudding combo. It's best applied to the hands and lathered up before being worked into the hair. But what I love about this product is that it has helped SO much with my hair loss. Since my surgery, I have been losing a lot of hair, especially in the shower. This shampoo has done wonders for my hair and has made it look thicker and healthier. I am in love with the scent of this product as well. No western brand can compare to the scent of Korean haircare products. I can smell this shampoo for hours and hours after my hair has dried, and I constantly get compliments on my "perfume" even when I'm not wearing any!

Conditioner
Mise En Scene Perfect Repair
Here's another product that I wish I had a lifetime supply of. I have very thin hair, so hair packs and treatments tend to feel greasy or weigh my hair down. This Perfect Repair conditioner not only smells ah-ma-zing, but it makes my hair look soft, shiny and split-end free. Seriously it's magic in a tube. It's touted as a hair "treatment," but it's not super-thick like one, and can easily be used as a daily conditioner. This is also a product I've had a hard time finding online, however it can be requested from Tester Korea if you're super-interested in trying it!

Hair Treatment
I have purchased this product so many times that I've lost count. I have a drawer full of unused hair treatments and sprays because this one covers it all. As far as I know, it's only available through birchbox, but it's worth every penny. The entire Beauty Protector line has a really fantastic smell (similar to Aquolina Pink Sugar perfume) and this spray is a serious multi-tasker. It weightless, so it doesn't weigh my hair down, detangles, heat protects, seals cuticle and smoothes the hair, adds shine and moisturizes, and locks in color for dyed hair. I have a few other products I use, but I can honestly say that this replaces almost every hair product I use.

Hair Tool
Conair Infiniti You Curl
While I'm a pretty high-maintenance gal, It only takes me 10-15 minutes tops to fix my hair. I have naturally wavy hair, so I occasionally straighten it or curl it into more defined waves/curls, although ususally I let it air dry and finish with a little hair spray. Because I'm not really "into" my hair, I didn't want to spend a ton of money on a curling iron, but I wanted one that would be fast, effective and easy to use. This curling iron is in the $20 range, is widely available, and kicks butt at making long-lasting curls/waves. There's no weird clamp that leave a kink at the ends of your hair, and it's very comfortable to use!

Other
Nail Polish
I didn't want to pick just one shade of polish as my favorite, but butter LONDON is by far my favorite brand of polish. Not only do they have a huge variety of unique shades, but they also have beautiful packaging, a 5-free formula, and a long lasting performance. I have always said in my blog posts that I'm not really a polish person, but I make an exception for butter LONDON. Almost half of my polishes are from this brand, and for good reason: They're awesome.

Perfume
My signature fragrance! I don't think any other perfume will ever beat this one on my favorites lists. I wear a few other perfumes that should be mentioned (Betsy Johnson and Tokyo Milk "Tainted Love" to name some) however this is the perfume I've been wearing since high school. Dior Addict is ridiculously expensive for me (over $100 for the large bottle) but one bottle will last me over a year. It's a deep, smoky, oriental scent that mostly smells of sandalwood, vanilla bourbon, and Queen of the Night Flower. It's a stunning fragrance that I receive constant compliments on wherever I go, which is more than I can say for any other perfume I own.

Beauty Tool
This is another product I avoided buying for quite some time due to the hype. I mean, how could a makeup sponge cost as much as this one and actually be any better than a drugstore sponge? I don't know what kind of sorcery the makers of beauty blender need to do to make these work the way they do, but there is no better makeup sponge on the market. Even using this with a BB/CC cream it makes any face makeup blend completely flawlessly. I don't use this as often as I would like to, because it adds time to my already complicated makeup routine, but when I'm going somewhere special and want my makeup to look extra amazing, this is my secret weapon.

BONUS: Cutest Makeup Product
Holika Holika "Hello Holika" Blusher and Highlight
 Of course, my favorites wouldn't be complete with a cute cosmetic! Korean brands know what they're doing when it comes to cuteness, let me tell you. It's not easy choosing just one item that made me die from the cuteness. This blush was one of the first Korean cosmetics I purchased, and it still remains as one of the cutest. I can't think of a better gift for someone who is a makeup/cat lover like myself! While it's not the best blush in the world, it's still creates a subtle, bright peachy-pink shade when your brush is swirled in all the colors. It applies well, stays on through most of the day and will look ridiculously cute in your makeup bag!

I hope you enjoyed my Makeup and Haircare Favorites of 2014! I'd love to hear about any of your favorites too! Recommend me something you can't live without, and maybe it'll end up on my 2015 Favorites! Stay tuned for the much-anticipated Skincare Favorites!!
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All thoughts and opinions in this blog post are genuine and belong to Harlot Beauty. No monetary compensation was received, although goods and/or services may have been provided and accepted for purpose of review. Post may contain affiliate or referral links.

19 comments:

  1. Great list! I spotted a few things on it that are things I have in my stash so now you're motivating me to finally try them out! Can't wait for your part two :)

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    1. Yay I'm glad! Hope they work as well for you as they do for me! ;)

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  2. Thanks for the suggestions! Do you have a favorite everyday face sunscreen you can recommend?

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    1. Hi Jeni! I will be posting my favorite sunscreen in my Skincare Favorites post that is coming soon! Although it works best for me because I prefer a whitening effect as well as a light consistency. :)

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  3. I love so many items on your list! Beauty Protector is amazing, their products smell SO good (and work really well, too)! I'm going to have to try out the Lorac primer, too. And the cat blusher is adorable!

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    1. Thanks so much Danielle! :D I totally agree Beauty Protector is LIFE! I hate that it's so pricey (I'm such a cheapskate lol) but I keep buying it over and over again with my points! I can't get enough! The Lorac primer was such a lucky moment for me because it came with my Lorac Pro 2 palette, and I just decided to try it out one day and I'm so so glad I did! And yes the Holika Holika cat blush is the cutest thing ever. I want to buy a bunch of them and give them to have on hand for gifts because they're so stinking adorable. ;)

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  4. I had to look up that Milky Dress shampoo as soon as you mentioned the interesting texture and it helping your hair look thicker, and I found it on sale at KoreaDepart for $12 + shipping! Much cheaper than TesterKorea if you're desperate to get a backup. I really want to hunt down that Lioele lip treatment now too, ahhh! I love the Beauty Protector spray too. It just smells so darn delicious.

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    1. I am DEFINITELY looking for a backup. I'm a little over halfway done on my second bottle which I luckily bought from another memebox fan, but I need to find a place I get can it regularly where it doesn't cost a ridiculous amount of money. Thanks for the heads up! The Lioele treatment is usually available through beauteque, although I've seen it on ebay quite a bit as well!

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  5. Yes!! I love the Hanhui CC cream! It's tied for my Missha Perfect cover as my favorite BB/CC cream. And I guess I better dig out my Lorac primer and start using it.
    I've lined up the Lights, Camera Lashes as my next mascara to use to see if it compares with my incomparable Hope Girl 140 Super Lash :D

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    1. Hanhui CC Cream is EVERYTHING. LOL Seriously I have so many BB/CC creams waiting to be used and I just can't bring myself to use anything else. And I love the Hope Girl Mascara too- so maybe you'll like Tarte's LCL just was much! :)

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  6. OMG your picks are absolutely mouth-watering--and I haven't encountered most of these things at all, so thank you for sharing such cool stuff. I literally added half of it to my shopping list even though so much is new to me because wow, I just really need these things in my life now!

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    1. haha you're so welcome! I'm glad I could inspire you to try some new stuff! I was planning on doing just a favorite skincare post, but this blog was originally makeup-based, and even though I love makeup as much as skincare, I don't feature it as much as I probably should anymore (thanks a lot memebox lol) I hope you love everything as much as I do! ;)

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  7. I just ordered a tube of that lip balm from Japan Gift Bay, mostly because you raving about it. XD My lips are such a mess right now, so I need something. you convinced me. I'm a terrible vegetarian - using snail mucous on my lips. XD Whatever! They hurt so bad and I need something. D:

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    1. Do you know if it is anything like the Julep Luxe Treatment? That's the only thing I've ever really used, but the Pure Smile is much cheaper than Julep (and more fun...)

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    2. Oooh I really hope you love it as much as I do!! Don't feel like a bad vegetarian! From what I've read- the snails are not harmed during the "extraction" process! They're apparently just guided along a sandpapery-type surface which causes their glands to create the mucin to heal their skin without actually harming their skin- if that makes sense? haha I did a lot of reading on it because I felt so bad that I loved snail products so much LOL
      And I actually haven't tried the Julep Luxe Treatment, and while I'm not a member of their monthly service, I used to be for a long time and I loooved their products! Hint- one of their products is on my favorites in skincare list that's coming up tomorrow! I might have to check out some of their products that have come out over the years that I've missed out on!

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  8. The CC cream is my absolute favorite and I do not use BB creams! haha I have been singing praises of it since I got it in the Oriental Medicines box :D

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    1. It really is fantastic! I wish I had tried it right when I got the Oriental Medicine box, but I threw it aside until I finished CC cream I was using and I totally regret it now LOL

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  9. Great comprehensive list. Do you know if any of the ingredients from the Korean skincare products are okay to use in conjunction with other products? Like bee venom, mucin or whitening products.

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    1. Thanks so much Mary Jane! I can't tell you for sure if anything isn't OK to use with other items as I have extensively researched it, but I can tell you I have used everything and anything in all kinds of combinations and I have never had any issues with ingredients interacting negatively. I have a 13+ step skincare routine and all the products I use have very different ingredients, and my skin has never looked better!

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