14 Products that Changed my Beauty Life in 2014


Starting a beauty blog in 2014 was a natural step for me. I’ve always loved recommending beauty products to my family and friends because nothing is more satisfying to me than introducing them to new treasures. So it’s only natural that I take a look back at my beauty year and choose with great preciseness, the best of the best in beauty for you guys, my new friends, and let you know the top 14 products that changed my beauty life in 2014.

I decided not to pick one product from each category (best palette, best cleanser, etc) but rather pick the 14 products that truly made a difference and that if I can help it, will never go without. Some are new products that launched in 2014, others have been around for quite some time. Nonetheless, in my opinion, they are superstars, and deserve just a little more time in the spotlight. This is going to be a bit of a long one so sit back, grab a snack, and take notes!


Coconut OilBy now I’m sure most of you have read or heard the wonderful benefits coconut oil can have if incorporated into your beauty regime; It’s extremely moisturizing, conditioning and has anti bacterial and anti fungal properties. I started using this product around August to remove heavy makeup. Then I began regularly using it as a hair mask and soon an all over moisturizer when it began getting colder in Connecticut. Basically this has become my remedy for any beauty qualms. I say it’s changed my beauty life because I can’t imagine going without it. I’ve even used it in conjunction with organic brown sugar for a facial scrub and it’s left my skin feeling AH-mazing.. let me know if you want a post dedicated to this scrub 😉

Ardell Glamour WispiesI finally listened to all the hype around these lashes and purchased my first pair in 2014. I was kicking myself for not picking these up earlier because they’re gorgeous! Perfect for every day, perfect for a special event, just plain perfect. When in doubt, my go-to’s, 100%.


Tarte Pin Up Girl Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush Palette: I KNOW this palette was limited edition and I promise I’m not trying to dangle an unattainable product in front of you by adding it to this list but I had to, and that’s because though the colors are gorgeous it’s the formula I want to recommend to you guys. These are by far the longest lasting blushes I’ve ever come across. I have the type of skin that eats up makeup and blush is normally the first to disappear but with Tarte’s 12-Hour Amazonian Clay blushes I never have that problem. They’re so pigmented too! This palette was my first introduction to them and I’m afraid I’m hooked; Love these and I can almost guarantee you will too!


Lorac Matte Lip Pencils: I am OBSESSED with these lip pencils!! In my opinion they are formulated to perfection! I loved the matte lip trend this year and these products helped me achieve the look without drying my lips. The colors are beautiful, perhaps some of my all-time favorite and I love that they’re pencils. I get such precision when I apply them. They smell great too! If you haven’t tried these yet please do yourself a favor and go to their website or head to your nearest Ulta and pick one up. I own Merlot, Mauve and Pink Taupe. Between the three I’d recommend Pink Taupe, with Merlot a close second.

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer (Custard): When I say I have dark, deep-set under-eye circles and darkness I’m not exaggerating. These puppies are one of my biggest beauty struggles and no concealer has been able to cover them quite like this one; A lot of it I believe has to do with the color. ‘Custard’ is a yellow-toned shade which makes it great for canceling out my bluish, purple circles. This concealer is also a brightener (Yes my beauties there’s a difference between concealers and brighteners). The formula is creamy which works great for the under-eyes but I definitely need to set it (Check out my favorite setting powders HERE). I know this is a pricey product but I will continue to repurchase until the end of time.. or until a better product comes along.  

Algenist Overnight Restorative Cream: I started using this product at the beginning of the year. Instantly I knew my skin was loving it; It glides on nicely, moisturizes and plumps my skin. Because it’s pricey I use it twice a week and alternate between my Michael Todd Citrus Cream Moisturizer.


Algenist Advanced Anti-Aging Repairing Oil: Another Algenist product.. that’s because in my book this is a standout brand. Everything I’ve tried from them has been wonderful; This oil is no exception. I got hooked on this product around three months ago when I picked it up at Sephora as a 100 point perk. I adore it because it’s completely different from all other oils, and I tried A LOT this year. It absorbs quickly, leaves my skin feeling moisturized, and hasn’t caused my skin to break-out in the slightest (in fact I believe it’s helped calm my skin). Unlike other oils I really feel like it’s helping my skin look firmer and more radiant. A full bottle is 1 oz. and I’ve used half in 3 months so it will roughly last you a good 6 months; not bad for the price. You really don’t need more than 3 drops to cover your entire face and neck.

Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser: I tried something new in 2014; I stopped looking for cleansers that vowed to get rid of my acne, stopped using harsh scrubs, and focused on finding a cleanser that simply cleaned my skin. I wanted to find something that prepped my skin for any serums and/or moisturizers that I was planning on applying topically. Before Cetaphil, I was using Philosophy’s Purity Cleanser, which I really like, but it was too pricey for me to repurchase as often as I was. I felt like I could find something that was more affordable and I could allocate that extra money I wasn’t spending on a high-end cleanser into more powerful anti-aging, anti-acne serums/products. Cetaphil changed my skin. I don’t know why, I don’t know how but it really did cleanse my skin thoroughly without drying or stripping it of essential oils. I will from time to time try different cleansers but I always go back to this guy.

Lorac Pro 2 Palette: Perhaps the most surprising favorite of 2014 was this pretty little palette. I would not have picked it up had it not gone on sale on HSN (Home Shopping Network, ya.. addicted!) for $22!!!! This included their PRO Mascara and a travel primer; I just couldn’t pass it up. Not only have I used this more than the original I’ve taken it with me everywhere I’ve traveled since getting my hands on it. The colors look nice from afar but once you start using them you realize what a wonderful job Lorac did at choosing the combination of shades. The formula is very creamy and highly pigmented as well; I swoon for ‘Rosé,’ ‘Jade,’ ‘Cocoa,’ and ‘Mocha.’

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel: I have a major skincare crush on this product. On the bottle it says it will create radiant, even-toned skin. It will also stimulate collagen production for the appearance of younger looking skin. I’d recommend this product for those of you looking for something that will help stimulate skin-turnover. My skin’s pretty tough so I can use this every other day, but I’d recommend starting off once a week to see how your skin reacts to it.


L’oreal Infallible Makeup Extender Setting Spray: This is a relatively new product but it has quickly taken the spot of all other higher end setting sprays I’ve ever tried. L’oread did an amazing job with this spray because it truly extends the wear time of my makeup. Remember how I said I have the type of skin that eats up makeup? Well by the end of the day I’m lucky if I see traces of my foundation; Not an issue anymore! I will say that if you expect this to also control your oil you’re barking up the wrong tree. This will only set your makeup and keep it there. I love that it’s drugstore and I love that I’m starting to see it available in more stores.

Michael Todd True Organics Citrus Cream Moisturizer: This is one of those products that I didn’t realize what big difference it was making to my skin until I ran out of it and didn’t use it for about a month. During that month my skin didn’t feel as smooth in the mornings and I started to get dry patches. My skin just really loves what’s in this product (DMAE, hyaluronic acid, aloe vera to name a few ingredients). I use it at night to lock in all other skin care products and my skin always feels so soft and moisturized in the morning. I have discoloration from past acne and I believe this product is a huge reason why those spots have slowly begun to fade. My husband has even asked me a few times if I’m wearing any makeup when I wasn’t because my skin has been looking that much better; A true testament to this product and the benefits it’s bringing to my skin.

NYX Retractable Lip Liner in Nude: I know what you’re thinking, how could a lip liner be life-changing? Well, for one, I used this pretty much every single day to outline my lips. No matter the color, this liner worked, and it worked well! The color is simply stunning that I often filled in my lips after outlining them and put a bit of gloss in the center for a gorgeous pinky, nude lip. And second, it’s affordable. There are products I don’t mind splurging on and others I see no reason to; Lip liners are a beauty product I like to keep on the affordable side. I own a lot of lip liners but this one is by far my favorite!

 Smashbox Studio Skin 15-Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation: Finally a foundation I can back 100%! I’ve recommended this foundation to so many people I’ve lost count. Dry skin, oily skin, young skin, mature skin.. this has worked for every single skin type I’ve recommended it to. I’ve never loved a foundation as much as I love this one; It’s a beautiful natural finish, with buidable coverage. It always leaves me with a flawless finish, perfect for every day or special events. Not Pictured: I dropped mine and it broke 🙁

What beauty products topped your list for 2014? I always love hearing other’s favorites.

Besos, Ilse

  • I really appreciate you taking the time to generally share these details with us.

    • You are so welcomed! xo, Ilse

  • Gosh! I just love your blog! You take amazing pictures and write so well. #bloggoals

    • Um just read YOUR blog! You’re amazing! #bloggoals #amazeballs 😉 xo, Ilse

  • I’ve heard a lot of praises regarding that Cetaphil Cleanser, Nars concealer and coconut oil. Great picks, pictures and the post itself.


    • You picked 3 of my absolute favorites! Love those products! And thank you!! 🙂 xo, Ilse

  • beautifulbedlamblog

    Great post! I would absolutely love to hear more about the coconut oil/brown sugar scrub, i am always keen to hear other people DIY beauty successes! The L’Oreal setting spray sounds amazing!! I am going to get that in my life asap xoxo

    • It’s great! Definitely a must-have! xo