Editors’ Picks: The Top 10 Products We Loved in 2014
This is one of our favorite posts to write, as we round up the beauty, wellness, fitness, and spa products we couldn’t live without during the year. Enjoy the slideshow and don’t forget to tell us your favorite items of 2014 in the comments section!
Jackie’s Pick: Too Faced Cosmetics
This year I finally stepped up my eye makeup game and I have Too Faced Cosmetics to thank!
Better Than Sex Mascara ($23) takes my lashes from drab to fab in three coats, using a collagen-boosting formula that lengthens and thickens to falsey status.
The Too Faced eyeshadow palettes make blending colorful and flattering smokey eyes a breeze. I especially love the cocoa-scented Chocolate Bar palettes in original and Semi-Sweet ($49, each) which feature antioxidant-rich cocoa powder and 16 shades that vary from matte to shimmer finishes.
Jackie’s Pick: Babor
I have two small wrinkles on my forehead that annoy me to no end, but Babor’s Advanced Biogen Mimical Control Cream ($89) makes them disappear for the entire day. My skin looks youthful, plump, and radiant.
When used with the Babor Fluids FP collection, a collection of small active ingredient concentrate ampoules that are skin-specific, this cream has helped my skin look better than ever!
Jackie’s Pick: Mists & Sprays
This year I found I had a bit of a love affair (read: obsession) with sprays and mists. I keep them in my bag, at my bedside, and on the top shelf of my desk. From relaxing sprays to hydrating mists here are the ones I couldn’t live without in 2014.
- Olivine Atelier’s Love + Roses Beauty Mist ($36) – this mist is always in my bag for those times my makeup needs a little refresher and my skin looks thirsty. It smells amazing and the rose scent is a great way to uplift the spirit!
- L’Apothecary’s Wisdom Mist by Lotus Wei ($40) – Sedona’s L’Auberge teamed up with Lotus Wei to create this amazing mist that includes pine, juniper, and even the essence of the creek. I love to spray it to start my day and focus!
- NYX Makeup Setting Spray ($8) After my former fave setting spray discontinued their dewy finish spray I gave NYX a try figuring $8 wasn’t going to kill me if it didn’t work out and boy am I glad I gave this spray a shot! It keeps my makeup put for the entire day and gives my dry skin an instant dose of moisture it needs. For ladies that prefer a matte finish NYX has that too!
Jackie’s Pick: Sedu Shampoo and Conditioner Duo
After a recent Viviscal (favorite product for life) purchase on folica.com, I received a sample of Sedu’s Shampoo and Conditioner ($40) and I don’t see myself using anything else for awhile. My hair is left shiny, silky, and smelling so, so fresh. Since using it I feel like my hair is much thicker, since my strands aren’t being stripped by harsh sulfates and the lightweight conditioner doesn’t weigh down my locks.
Jackie’s Pick: Aromaflage
My skin doesn’t just get a great tan in the summer months, it also gets dotted with red, blotchy, and incredibly itchy bug bites. Since I cannot stand the smell of bug spray, this was pretty much an inevitable fact of life until I found Aromaflage. Aromaflage is a botanical fragrance insect repellant that not only works to keep away those blood-thirsty pests it also smells nice! If perfume isn’t your thing there are also candles that perform better (and smell WAY better) than citronella. The on-the-go Purser spray ($30) and candle ($40) feature a combo of citrus, cedarwood, and vanilla to keep the bugs at bay.
Kate’s Pick: Amarte Ultra Veil® Sunscreen
What’s the most important product in any person’s beauty arsenal? Sunscreen, of course! Gone are the days when I was lackadaisical about sunscreen—I’ve really amped up my slathering-of-SPF habit this year, and Amarte Ultra Veil® ($45) is my new fave. It’s super light so I don’t mind applying it (most days more than once) and feel comfort in the fact that it provides broad-spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 50+—ideal protection. (And the caviar and botanical plant extracts in this product don’t hurt either.)
Kate’s Pick: Amala Detoxifying Body Oil
Amala’s Detoxifying Body Oil ($58) may just be the saving grace for all of us lazy types with thirsty skin that know we should lather on heavy cream after showering…but don’t. This lightweight natural oil, rich in jojoba and apricot kernel oils, dries super quick yet moisturizes super thick. Terese Linke, Amala’s global spa training and education director, recommends putting a few pumps of the oil onto a damp cloth and running it over the body; I suggest simply using your hands for application and giving them a quick hydrating treatment at the same time.
Kate’s Pick: Crabtree & Evelyn Nud-est Nail Collection
Crabtree & Evelyn rolled out its Nud-est nail polish set ($6 each) July 2014. Subtle and sophisticated, the four colors comprising this classic collection— Alabaster, Peaches & Cream, Almond, and Mocha (the latter is my fave)—polish off any look I’m going for (the light-hued Alabaster is a good option for a business meeting or luncheon, while the bolder Mocha with a bit of shimmer is perfect for date night), though the biggest bonuses are that the lacquer dries quite quickly and doesn’t chip as fast as most nail polishes I’ve tried (even when I’ve purchased a manicure!). My nails now feel naked without it.
Side note: I’m also addicted to Crabtree & Evelyn’s nourishing Nail Polish Remover Wipes ($4.95), made from an eco-friendly soy-based formula; they’re so light I toss them in my purse in case a quick nail cleanup is necessary.
Kate’s Pick: L’or D’afrique Pure Luxury Argan Moisture Repair Mask
I’ve wrote before that daily use of argan oil has completely changed the texture of my skin, so I decided to make a serious effort and see the potential effects oil may have on my hair as well. Years of blow drying, curling, and coloring have turned my locks rather lackluster and, well, in serious need of hair rehab. In enters L’or D’afrique Pure Luxury Argan Moisture Repair Mask ($34.95). Made of organic argan oil bursting with Vitamin E, antioxidants, and unsaturated essential fatty acids, the sulphate-, phosphate-, mineral oil-, and paraben-free mask has totally repaired my tresses with twice-weekly uses. My hair’s hydrated, and I can go longer periods between coloring stints. (Quick tip: I know all hair products typically say this on the bottle, but this mask really does work even better if you use L’or D’afrique’s shampoo and conditioner beforehand!)
Kate’s Pick: Yoga for Belly, Butt, and Thighs Workout DVD
I don’t know about you, but I’m not the best at working out (let’s just say I exercise on a sporadic basis). So Gaiam’s Yoga for Belly, Butt, and Thighs’ DVD ($14.95) is the perfect option for me: It targets those pesky problem areas in 20 minutes or less (hey, even I can do that) with noticeable results. Led by Chrissy Carter, a yoga instructor and anatomy teacher at NYC’s Yoga Works, the workout DVD delivers four options: belly (15 minutes); butt (20 minutes); thighs (20 minutes); and total body tone (20 minutes). With those various timeframes, I pick and choose whatever one I’d like to do that day or, if I’m feeling really ambitious, I do all four.