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Best of 2014 – Skin Care, Body Care & Hair Care

Well, 2014 has come to a close and if I’m completely honest, I think I’m really glad about that. It’s been a bit of a rough year. It started strange and ended equally odd, though there were plenty of highlights in the middle. But now is that time where we put all that to the past and look ahead to the fantastic future that must surely be awaiting, right? J However, the year wouldn’t be complete without a roundup of the Best Products of 2014 now, would it?! Because it’s so hard to include everything in a single blog post without it becoming an epic novel, I’m going to break this up a bit. Today I’m going to share my favorite picks for Skin Care, Body Care & Hair Care. I am trying not to repeat things from previous years (all of which are linked at the bottom of this post), but if I do it will be noted and it will only be done because I really haven’t found anything better. I don’t have items to fit into specific categories either – for instance, I don’t have a favorite foundation for 2014 so you won’t see one. I have just stuck to products that truly stood out to me regardless of their categories. So, without further ado, I bring you the Best Skin Care, Body Care & Hair Care of 2014! J

Something that I’ve actually never ever mentioned that has become a definite staple in my routine is up first. It is the Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil from The Body Shop. It is by far the best makeup remover I’ve tried. I use it for my entire face, including my eyes, and it makes everything disappear with the littlest of effort. Of note for quick touch-ups is the Camomile Eye Makeup Remover. Works like a charm as well, but without any oil left behind to ruin further makeup application. The Body Shop is definitely a fantastic choice for removing makeup.

I have discovered an eye cream that I absolutely adore this year as well. It is from Ole Henricksen(which is cruelty free to the best of my knowledge, but I cannot get a response from the company directly). Their Total Truth Vitamin C Eye Cream SPF 15 is everything I needed in a daytime eye cream. I am such a fan of the fact that there’s SPF included because it seems so rare that eye creams include it. I don’t need sun damage and wrinkles around my eyes when they’re already prone to such ailments! If that’s not enough for you, I swear it immediately brightens and lightens the insanely dark circles under my eyes. It’s a fantastic cream – a bit on the thick side, but it blends beautifully. I definitely recommend the Total Truth Vitamin C Eye Cream from Ole Henricksen!

Moving on to body care, my absolute must have, cannot live without find of the year has to be Coconut Oil. Any brand will do, just give me some Coconut Oil if you expect me to have smooth, hair-free legs! I cannotshave my legs without it. That’s really the main reason I use Coconut Oil, though it has about 1 million additional beauty uses. For me, shaving my legs is just a no-go without Coconut Oil (I wrote all about it here).

Another fantastic find this year has been the Hang Ten Sunscreens. I mainly use them in the summer because I’m super lazy in the winter, but Hang Ten makes the best sunscreens I have ever found – and I’ve tried all of their variations, each with fantastic results. They are just so easy to blend, non-greasy, no white cast, great protection, and so on. If you’d like to read more about Hang Ten Sunscreens, I have written more about them here, here and here.

My favorite body moisturizer this year comes from Deep Steep. It’s a product that I wasn’t at all sure I would like using, but it has proven to be the nicest, quickest way to hydrate and soften my skin! What is it? It’s the Dry Oil Body Spritzer! They come in the most amazing scents – my favorite is the Brown Sugar Vanilla – and are so easy to use. Just spray, rub in and go. They actually are dry oils, so no grease here and I can’t say enough great things about the Deep Steep Dry Oil Body Spritzers (for more about them, check out my full review here).

Perhaps the weirdest find of the year comes from a brand called Flexitol and it is the Diabetic Foot Balm for Rough, Dry & Cracked Feet. Yup, you read that correctly. I still have not actually tried this on my feet, but I love it for my insanely dry and flaky elbows. It works wonders. If you want to read my full rave, check it out here and then run out to find the Flexitol Diabetic Foot Balm for all your troublesome dry spots! J

Sticking on the dry skin train, I have a hand cream love of the year. It’s not a new find this year, but I definitely fell in love with it this year. It is from Out of Africaand it is the Pure Shea Butter Hand Cream. I love the Verbena scent because it’s light, fresh and clean with a bit of zest. The cream itself is a nice thick and nourishing texture that manages to melt into the skin nicely without leaving behind a lot of grease. If your hands are dry and even cracking, the Pure Shea Butter Hand Creamwill soften them right up! It’s fantastic stuff!

Lastly, we have a lonely hair care item. I would add a couple more, but check my December Favorites here if you’d like to hear more about them and the reason I didn’t really want to include them just yet. But back to the definite hair go-to for 2014 – Giovanni’s Don’t Be Flaky! Soothing Anti-Dandruff Shampoo. Since I seem to get a touch of the white flakies now and then, I add a bit of this Anti-Dandruff Shampoo in with whatever other shampoo I may be using at the time to nix the white bits. I like to combine it with another shampoo because my hair is heavily bleached and I try to stick with color care type products for the best results (lately it’s with a purple color-correcting shampoo). I find that even without using this full strength, it does a great job at controlling dandruff. Plus it is mighty difficult to find an affordable cruelty free anti-dandruff shampoo! But this fits all bills. JIf you’re suffering from dandruff, or even just a dry or irritated scalp, definitely look into the Giovanni Don’t Be Flaky! Soothing Anti-Dandruff Shampoo.

I think that’s going to do it for my 2014 Skin, Body & Hair Care Favorites! There are a few other mentions I could add (I’m looking at you Trader Joe’s Coconut Body Butter!), but I don’t want to repeat too many prior annual favorites. Should you be interested in what some of my picks were in prior years, they will be linked at the end of this post and should open in a separate window. Anyway, I hope you found this enjoyable, as I always love writing these types of posts. It is so interesting to go back through the year and see what I’ve loved and forgotten and what’s stayed a diehard favorite day in and day out. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for other Annual Favorite Categories because more are headed your way soon! JThank you so much for joining me in 2014, and I hope to see you again throughout 2015!!! J

February Favorites 2014 – First Aid Beauty, Ole Henricksen, Bite Beauty, Giovanni, Tarte, Hourglass, NYX & Urban Decay

Well, well, well. Another month has passed and it’s time for another Favorites post! I feel like I’ve been snowed in, or at least anticipating such an occurrence, all month. Hopefully the white stuff has finally given up and some warmer weather will soon be here because I am freezing! J I’m also looking forward to all the new spring products that have been released recently! And tank tops. Please warm up so I can wear tank tops. Oh how I love summer. J But back to dreary, snowy, nail-bittingly cold February and my Favorite products of the month. I feel like I have a lot, so let’s check out what they were! J

I’m going to start with my new morning face moisturizer. I loved my Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 50, but since it has been discontinued, I’ve been desperately searching for something to replace it. I’ve tried quite a few over the past few months, plus my skin has dried out a bit due to a new acne cream, but I think I finally found one that I really like! It’s from First Aid Beauty, which seems to be popping up in reviews everywhere lately, but I haven’t seen a mention of my favorite which is the 5-in-1 Face Cream SPF 30. It has a decent SPF, it’s hydrating without being greasy, it has a lovely texture that blends like a dream, it doesn’t break me out, and I really couldn’t be more impressed. It may not be my beloved Josie Maran, but the First Aid Beauty 5-in-1 Face Cream SPF 30 is a pretty damn fine second! J

Sticking with skincare, I found a daytime eye cream with SPF!!! I always find it troubling that eye creams never have SPF in them, though I can see why whenever I get just a dab of regular sunscreen near my eye. This one is from Ole Henricksenand I feel I need to point out that I haven’t been able to 100% confirm from the company that they are cruelty-free, but their website does state that they never engage in animal testing. Google searches seem to indicate the same. I’d like something more concrete, but I just went with it and tried the Total Truth Vitamin C Eye Cream SPF 15. Not only does it protect my delicate eye area from the harmful rays of the sun, it’s also a really nice eye cream! It’s thick, but blends in nicely – I use gentle patting motions to apply it. It actually seems to brighten under my eyes and makes my dark circles look a little less dark too! So, well done Ole Henricksen, although some confirmation on your animal testing policies would be fantastic.

I have also been loving my Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask for soothing and healing my dry, chapped winter lips! I recently reviewed it here, so I won’t go in to too much detail. Aside from tasting insanely delicious, although it kinda grosses me out to realize what that taste is disguising (lanolin), it feels really conditioning and protective on the lips. You put it on at night and it’s still there in the morning! Excellent stuff if you are ok with wool by-products (I know some are not)! It’s also a pain to get out of the tube, but it’s worth the effort for Bite Beauty’s Agave Lip Mask.
A hair favorite for the month is from Giovanni. It is their Don’t Be Flaky! Soothing Anti-Dandruff Shampoo. As I mentioned a little while ago, the nasty white itchy flakies have been gracing my scalp recently. I love the other tea tree-based shampoos I’ve tried as well, but this one works even better! It uses Salicylic Acid to treat the dandruff, with Tea Tree and Oatmeal to soothe the scalp. Not a white flake in sight and it smells really nice! It has kind of a mildly fruity scent that seems a bit tropical to me. It’s not terribly strong, nor does it linger and it’s a nice change from the standard tea tree-eucalyptus-mint hybrid in many standard tea tree shampoos. The Giovanni Don’t Be Flaky! Soothing Anti-Dandruff Shampoo has been a scalp saver in February! J

Agh! This is already long! Hurrying on to makeup, I’ve been using the Tarte Colored Clay Liquid Foundation pretty much daily. I reallylove this foundation! Again, I recently reviewed it here, so I won’t blab on about it. At the very end of the month, I tried using it with a Beauty Blender, and I finallyget the Beauty Blender hype! JThe two work fantastically together! I hope Tarte releases this widely soon so everyone can try it because the Colored Clay Liquid Foundation is suburb!
Another recently reviewed product that I have rarely been without is the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Ethereal Glow. I will say that this shade is very subtle, but it actually does make my cheeks glow! You can read more about the blush and see it swatched here. It’s not for everyone, and if you’re looking for a huge pop of color, check out another shade. But personally, I love the subtle glow that the Ambient Lighting Blush in Ethereal Glow gives my cheeks.
The eyeliner I’ve reached for every day is the NYX Slide-On Eye Liner in Jet Black. Nothing fancy here, although it is a fantastic liner. I’ve mainly just been tight-lining my upper waterline with it, adding a bit of mascara and I’m out the door. It’s a wonderful, deep black that’s still really soft and creamy while remaining budge-proof. How it does all of that is beyond me, but it’s absolutely perfect for my recent purposes! J Love, love, love the NYX Slide-On Eye Liner in Jet Black!
Much to my own amazement, I’ve been reaching for eyeshadows from the Naked Basics Palette from Urban Decay this month. I’m amazed not because it’s a bad palette, but because I neveruse it! I find it most useful for crease colors and a brow highlight, but rarely do I only use this palette. For some reason though, it was pretty much all I reached for in February. So I guess I’m finally on the Naked Basics bandwagon! J

Last, but not least, I’ve been constantly reaching for the NYX Butter Lipstick in Fireball. I never would have thought I would like this shade, let alone be constantly reaching for it! But, as they say, never say never! J The lipstick itself is not really all that special. It’s a good lipstick, but nothing revolutionary. It’s comfortable and it wears well, but it’s the color that I’m constantly drawn to! I almost didn’t order it, but I kept seeing swatches of it online, and it looked kind of fun and different…for me anyway. It’s basically a bright orangey-coral. It’s not terribly opaque, which I think makes it more wearable. It’s a great way to tiptoe towards orange lips. J For whatever reason, I think it’s pretty and it seems to work well with the simple makeup I gravitated towards in February! Fireball, you were my Valentine! J

Finally, I’m finished! So many Favorites for such a short month! J If you stuck through me with this, thank you! You are a patient sole…or simply a beauty junkie that lives for Favorites posts as much as I do! J Let me know what you’ve been reaching for over and over again the last month because I’d love to know! Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you again next month…well, hopefully sooner, but you know what I mean! JI hope you’ve had a fantastic February and may March be even better!!!

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