Best In Beauty: 2014

2014 was the year I became a full-fledged beauty addict; these are some of my favorite buys of the year.


Photo Courtesy of Alexa Geidel

Popular for a reason, my top ten beauty tools of 2014 will shine next year too.

Alexa Geidel, Editor-In-Chief

Sephora became my safe-haven in 2014. I was basically reborn in that store – it is a truly magical place. I discovered so much more than just makeup; I discovered the enticing power of identifying as a full-blown beauty addict. I even became a Very Important Beauty Insider based on my spending habits. I’ve never been more sure of my love of cosmetics, so, without further ado, here are my top ten beauty tools of 2014.

Lemon Drop Daily Detangler (Drybar; $15) This little brush is a must-have for anyone with long, fussy hair. My hair is broken, battered, and sad from constantly pulling it into ponytails and buns full of hairspray for dance, so brushing my hair is no easy feat. This brush is mighty but fierce. It sweeps right through wet or dry hair without a hitch and is super easy to clean. It is kind to your hair and scalp but gets the job done right.

They’re Real! Push-Up Liner (Benefit Cosmetics; $24) With this eyeliner, a little bit goes a long way. The flexible applicator end makes for an eyeliner experience like no other. The tip doesn’t drag or pull your skin as you go and the flow is always even and sharp. The staying power is also something worth noting – this pen is for the serious eyeliner buffs but easy enough for beginners to use.

They’re Real! Mascara (Benefit Cosmetics; $23) The matching mascara to the Push-Up Liner has been considered a cult-classic since it came out, and for good reason. I’m a total believer that a great mascara can change a girl’s life and this one continues to reaffirm that notion. It has a domed tip for uber-precise application and the non-waterproof formula has the perfect amount of staying power.

Watt’s Up! (Benefit Cosmetics; $30) Cheeks that look like they’ve been kissed by champagne bubbles? Yes, please! That’s exactly what you’ll get with Watt’s Up! It’s a highlighter miracle that’s impossible to get wrong. It’s subtle enough for everyday use but light-catching and striking enough to be an essential in any nighttime look.

HD Microfinish Powder (Make Up For Ever; $34) Meet one of the winners of Allure’s Best Of Beauty 2014, HD Microfinish Powder. This invisible powder is the be-all and end-all for a nevermelting look. It blends flawlessly into any skin color and provides a long-lasting veil of insurance that will last you through sweating, rain, heat, cold, you name it. Dust it all over or after a coat of lipstick for the perfect matte finish.

Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation (tarte; $36) This incredible powder foundation is available in 16 shades and can be matched to your skintone in stores. The Amazonian clay doesn’t clog pores and can be layered using different brush techniques for varying levels of coverage. It stays on weightlessly all day and blends in easily. An added bonus of the company is that they put out brilliant products, like this one, without the inclusion of talc and parabens.

Limitless Waterproof Brow Definer (Smashbox Cosmetics, $28) 2014 was undoubtedly the year of the eyebrow, and this little Brow Definer kept mine in the game. It comes in a little glass pot like cream or gel eyeliner but is so much easier to apply. The key to natural-looking brows is short, feathery strokes of color – completely achievable with this little guy. Eyebrow expert note: never use anything but waterproof for eyebrows, so this is the perfect choice.

Duo Eyeshadow in Golden Pink N.10 (Sephora Collection; $16) Many beauty addicts complain that the Sephora Collection’s eyeshadows and eyeliners lack pigmentation, but this perfectly-paired duo proves them wrong. This shadow pair is one of the essentials I can’t leave the house without. The pink is perfect for under the eyebrows and in the tear-ducts and the gold can even be used to liven up cheeks.

Lip Gloss (Nars; $26) Nars is the epitome of an addict-producing brand. Their products have adaptability, versatility, and wearability, bar none. The Lip Gloss in particular is a knock-out. It goes on smoothly and evenly and can survive any encounter. You could walk into and out of the eye of a hurricane and still look irresistible in this gloss. It’s conservative enough for daytime wear but flirty enough for nighttime wear also.

Rouge Artist Natural (Make Up For Ever; $20) This lipstick hugs your lips and isn’t going anywhere you don’t want it to once it’s in place. It doesn’t get dry and cakey like some drugstore brands do after hours (or even minutes) of drinking, talking, or eating. Pigmentation is never compromised for longevity and moisturization with this lipstick; it truly is the best of both worlds.