The Best Beauty Products of 2014 (In My Opinion), Because It Was The Year of Really Good Makeup

Ah, 2014 — you were many things, but for the purposes of today? You were the year of a lot of makeup. It's truly been a great year for finding new products — I've met many new beauty superstar favorites over the last twelve months, and I'd love to share them with you. I wouldn't dare to say these are the definitive best beauty products of 2014, but they certainly earn that title in my personal collection.

It's funny; I may spend a good portion of my life writing about fashion and beauty, but I'm actually relatively new to the beauty game. I didn't wear anything (not even a swipe of mascara, lipgloss, or the concealer I so desperately needed) until college. There was no particular reason for my makeup reticence, other than the fact that I'm superlatively lazy and even more superlatively a late bloomer. At first, I dabbled in taupe eyeshadows and sheer berry-toned lip glazes; worked my way up to gold eyeliners and matte reds — and this year, it all snowballed. Suddenly, it was all about trying trendy new Korean BB creams, aggressively neon lip colors, and winged liner like what (if I do say so myself).

That all makes me sound a lot more exciting than I actually am... but it's all to say, I think this is the year of beauty for me — and to celebrate, here's a sampling of my favorite products of the year, in no particular order:

1. Dior Rouge Baume in Garden Party

I very rarely splurge on makeup, and when I do, it's usually on super utilitarian staples like the Naked Palette — things I really know I'm going to get my money's worth out of. But you know, the other day I had a total "treat yo self" moment, and bought this perfect rosy mauve on a whim — and now I'm head over heels in love (I constantly dream of buying more shades from the ultra-luxurious line, especially Diorette and Lys Rouge).

Dior Rouge Baume in Garden Party, $35, Nordstrom

2. IOPE Air Cushion BB Cream

I'm a lazy girl first and foremost, and cushion BB creams definitely cater to that side of me: It contains primer, SPF 50, and moisturizer, and I'm done patting it onto my face in a matter of seconds. Plus, this particular product is fairly high coverage, and it has that oft-coveted dewy finish.

IOPE Air Cushion BB Cream, $45, Sokoglam

3. Revlon Colorburst Balmstain

Remember how I said earlier that I very rarely buy high-end products? Well, that's partly because I'm too busy stockpiling drugstore lipsticks like there's no tomorrow. I own more Colorburst crayons (in all three finishes) than is seemly to admit — the other day, I fished five shades out of my purse (to the absolute horror of my cousin), and that's a mere fraction of my complete collection.

In the summer, you'd have been hard-pressed to pry Smitten and Lovesick from my cold dead hands, but now that it's winter, I've been heavily favoring Crush — it's a gorgeous, deep berry that fades perfectly, and can be sheered out or layered on, depending on the level of drama you want. It's basically perfection in a tube for less than $10.

Revlon Colorburst Balm Stain, $6.89, Target

4. Origins Out of Trouble

This mask has slowly but surely been repairing my adult acne-beleaguered skin — it's got zinc oxide and sulfur for absorbing impurities, and camphor to calm everything down. I love the way it feels when it's on, and the results it yields once it's washed off.

Out of Trouble Mask, $25, Origins

5. China Glaze in Tantalize Me

I got this color as a birthday gift, and it's been the MVP of my nail polish collection ever since. It's sheer in a kicky, casual way, and the duochrome finish is just drop-dead gorgeous. I love it so much, I chose to wear it to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which is a bigger deal than it sounds.

China Glaze in Tantalize Me, $5.75, Amazon

6. Benefit Blush in Rockateur

Another total "treat yo self" moment (there's a Benefit store right near my grandparent's house in Northern California, and I suffer a higher incident of splurges whenever I visit them). I find it to be the perfect shade — it's grown-up without being mumsy; it's got a kick. Plus, if you happen to own Urban Decay's Naked 3, it matches the rose gold toned shadows wonderfully (I pair the two almost daily).

Rockateur Powder Blus, $28, Benefit

7. L'Oreal Professional Pro-Keratin Refill

I don't want to sound too dramatic or anything, but this stuff has kind of changed my life. I didn't even realize my hair was protein-poor until a hair stylist told me as much, and firmly instructed me to purchase this product. I'm glad I did, because my hair is suddenly fluffier, shinier, silkier — and perhaps most importantly of all, it doesn't feel like a large animal has taken up residence atop my head anymore.

L'Oreal Professional Pro-Keratin Refill, $16.99, Amazon

What were your favorite products of the year? Did you meet your makeup soulmates? Either way, here's to an even more beauty-filled 2015!

Image: Rosie Narasaki