Thursday, December 25, 2014

Best of 2014! | BASE PRODUCTS! (My Favorite Drugstore + High-End Makeup Picks)

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate!  Can you guys believe 2014 is almost over??  This was one of the best years of my life.  Just 8 months ago, I was walking down the aisle to marry the best guy I could've ever dreamed up!  We left for a Puerto Rican adventure the next day and the memories made over the course of the wedding and honeymoon were so wonderful, I think of them whenever when I need a pick-me-up.  
My hair had it's own little story arc in 2014.  I cut it in Condado, PR on our honeymoon, went blonde, tried to fix it by going blonder, went back to brunette, and finally, invested in some hair vitamins in an attempt to grow it out long once again.  Biggest thanks go to Stephanie for devising a long-distance at-home hair color fix; my hair would not be the same without you!
2014 was a good year for makeup as well.  I may not have mastered the cut crease or become a pro at doing an ombré lip, but I did discover a plethora of products that made my life easier (and more enjoyabe).  I thought I'd share my favorites with you in a Best of 2014 series.  Today we're focusing on the building blocks: base products!


DRUGSTORE: I didn't find a drugstore primer this year that I loved.  Did you?  What would you recommend?
HIGH-END: Too Faced Hangover Rx Replenishing Face Primer, $32.00 USD.  This silicone-free primer adds hydration without leaving my combination skin an oily mess.  

DRUGSTORE: Lumene Time Freeze CC Cream, $14.99 USD.  I would put this product up against any high-end base product and I believe it would out-perform it.  The silky finish, high-coverage cream leaves my face looking airbrushed. | FULL REVIEW HERE.
HIGH-END: NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF30, $42.00 USD.  What more can I say about this?  The raves are true.  Beautiful dewy finish, surprisingly good coverage, and a solid SPF rating. | FULL REVIEW HERE.

DRUGSTORE: Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid-Touch Foundation, $6.15 USD.  I've literally forsaken all others in favor of this foundation.  Weightless, medium coverage that can be built up to full, and the matte finish is a god-send for anyone with oily or combination skin.  As soon as I finish this foundation, I'll be repurchasing it!  
HIGH-END: Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet, $45.00 USD.  Another beautiful, weightless formula that made my oily summer skin very happy.  Any liquid foundation that allows me to skip finishing powder is a true celebrity in my makeup bag! | FULL REVIEW HERE.

DRUGSTORE: Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller, $12.99 USD.  Caffeine, lemon essence, and mineral pigments combine forces to reduce puffiness while brightening my under-eye area.  The thin, serum-like consistency blends like a dream.  I love putting the tube in the fridge during the warmer months for an even more bombastic cooling/puff-reducing experience!
HIGH-END: NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, $29.00 USD. This thick but fabulously blendable concealer is great for under the eyes and on the face.  Apply it to the tops of the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, chin, and forehead, and blend it out with a brush or wet blending sponge for that certain je ne sais quoi J-Lo glow. | FULL REVIEW HERE.


What were some of your fave base products?  If you could only name one base makeup item as your best of the year, what would it be?

>> Stay tuned for the next Best of 2014 installment featuring my favorite powders, bronzers, blush, and highlighters!


  1. Nice faves! NARS TM has been on of my faves this year too. I need to see if I can find that Lumene CC Cream in California next month! I'm so curious to try it! And if you love it, I know I'll love it too!

  2. Wow your hair did change quite a bit!

    I agree with some of your picks, Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet foundation has been my favorite this year as well and I love that Nars concealer! Looking forward to the next installments of the series!

  3. Hahahah I LOOOOOOOOOVE this post. The pictures are way too fun and exciting, you do look like you had an amazing year! I'm seeing some pictures of the blonde I hadn't seen before.. YOU LOOK LIKE AN EVIL-HOTTIE or something! Like the good guy gone rogue?! Well, I'm super happy that you got it back to how you want it. I think your genuine amazing personality shines with the brunette-ness!! Although, if you ever turn evil... Blonde is your color. I cannot wait for these "best of 2014's". You are a fantastic review-er of anything makeups and I can't imagine my beauty-world without your input! I don't remember if I told you or not, but I bought the NARS radiant tinted moisturizer after seeing your review a while back and I just, AAAAAHHHHH LOOOOOOOOWWWVVVEEEEE IIIIIIIIIIT. When I wear a full-face in a day-setting, that's what I choose. It's perfecto correcto. And that Hangover primer is fantastic. I love that we both found it around the same time. *Telepathic waves or something* It's perfect for my dry skin, and if you love it on combo-skin that means this primer is a win for everyone!!! Super esssssssited for more BEST OF!!!

    Much Love and Day-After-Christmas-High-Fives!!!

  4. Ha ha!! "Good guy gone rogue"!! I am cracking up! That perfectly summarizes the resulting look with the yellow hair and black roots!! :D I will certainly keep that color in mind should I decide to go evil. ;) I'm so glad you fell in love with the NARS PRTM! It is such a great product!! And yes to the telepathy of the Hangover Rx primer! i loved how that happened! Thanks for sharing that it works well for you and you have dry skin! That's very helpful for people to know!
    Merry day-after-Christmas!

  5. Thank you, Agata! Yes, 2014 was like "year of crazy hair ideas". Glad you liked a few of the products I picked, too!

  6. Thanks, T-$! i know you'll love the Lumene CC Cream! I have my fingers crossed that you can find it in Cali! If not, holla and I'll be happy to mail you a tube! :)

  7. Yeah, 2014 was a memorable year for you! :-) If all goes well, 2015 should be 'my' year. Great picks by the way, great make-up starts with a good base. It's all about that base!

  8. Fantastic job chica! Beautiful pic collages. It's amazing the changes we go through in just a years time. I'm actually kind of freaked out it's almost been an entire year you've been married. Hahaha...maybe soon you'll be used to being called a Mrs., and though you've called it a "fix" you looked super dynamic as a blonde! Ok, ok, ok...on to the beauty. Well beauty products that is, we already know you are a beauty. I'm definitely going to try the TF Beauty RX and I super duper adore Garnier Roller, I've been using it for several years now. Cheers to starting out with a clean canvas (face and year) my friend!

  9. Aww what a wonderful year you've had! You actually look great as a blonde, but I like you even more as a brunette! Fantastic product smackdown you did here! My favorite foundation of the year would be Dior Diorskin Star. I also love the Star concealer, but I've been trying MAC Matchmaster and I've been very pleasantly surprised!

  10. Your wedding pictures look so beautiful! 2014 was my special year too! We have that in common! :-) Great picks Kristen! I am going to give the Chanel foundation another go.. didn't like it the first time I tried it! May be this summer would be a good time to indulge! :-)


  11. I love seeing your wedding photos! They make me smile, too! :D You look GREAT in glasses, Kristen! Did you know that? :D

    This is a great series and I can't wait to see what's next! I have been loving the Nars TM, too, thanks to you for giving me that last push. Haha. I tried swatching that Too Faced Hangover Face Primer in-store but couldn't get past the smell! I don't know if it's a bad tester or what but it was awful. LOL. What does yours smell like?

  12. Thanks, Larie! I really did have a great year full of special times. The Lumene CC Cream is definitely worth hunting down! It's amazing!

  13. 2015 will be your year, Melissa! I for one can't wait to see you in your wedding regalia! You're going to be such a gorgeous bride. <3 LOL - you're right, it really is all about that base, 'bout that base! ;)

  14. Thank you, Sarah! You made my day! You're right, this year has been full of change for me and I'm very lucky almost all of it was for good. Yeah, I'm still non-responsive when someone says "Mrs. Bartholomew". In my mind, I'm looking around for Jason's mother!
    Ooh, I'm so glad you;re a fan of the Garnier Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller (always in my mind I'm seeing a super sassy Project Runway contestant rolling their eyes when I think of the name!). I feel like it's such a great concealer/puff-reducer in one and doesn't get enough street cred! I plan to repurchase it for eons. :) And look out for a full review of the Too Faced Hangover Rx Primer - with a giveaway coming in 2015! :D
    Cheersing you back on the clean canvas of 2015! YAS!

  15. Thank you, Sunny D.! ;) I could never get used to the blonde hair, and oh mon dieu, when the roots came in, it looked CRAY CRAY! But thank you - you are a peach!
    2014 was a pretty special year for you, too! Still dying to see pictures of you and Dr. D in all your finery! I still really want to try that Dior Star foundation. Maybe when I finish up one of the Chanels I'm working through! MAC concealers always impress me. They really do feel like they were made for professional artists!

  16. Aw, thank you, Divya! 2014 was your special year as well, and I loved seeing the wedding pictures you shared! Your wedding was so gorgeous; everything just looked like happiness bursting with color and beauty, and you, my dear, were a vision! I definitely think you should give the Chanel PLV foundation another shot when the weather warms up there. And the humidity! It really had a big impact on my skin in the summer months!

  17. Aw, thank you, Jaa!! And thank you for saying I look great in glasses! I still feel strange wearing them so thank you for the much-appreciated compliment! :*
    I'm so glad you enjoyed this post and are looking forward to the next installment! I'm really struggling on the blushes, lol! Choosing only 1 high-end and 1 drugstore has been REALLY hard...I might have to do at least 2 mattes and 2 luminous blushes! There's been so many I've loved this year!
    Girl I specifically went and applied the TF Hangover Rx on my arm in 2 different places and I can detect a VERY faint vanilla mint with coconut for a few seconds before it fades to nothing. I think something bad happened to the tester you sampled! I've never even smelled it when I've used it on my face! Too Faced kindly sent me one for review, and since I already own a tube (and love it!), I plan to use it for a giveaway next month! :)

  18. Thank you Kristen! You're always so generous with compliments! :* I am going to try PLV soon! :-) Will report back!

  19. i really like your blonde hair! now you have me interested in the too faced primer. i like that it has a pump!

  20. Thanks, Hannah! I really wanted "bronde" hair; more like a true light brown with lighter highlights. I love your hair color! The Too Faced primer is fantastic, and yes - it's always a win when something has a pump!

  21. What a hard question! I have bounced around a bit this year in pursuit of the perfect mattifying bases and honestly I'm still looking but a few highlights are Rimmel's matte BB cream and Benefit's Porefessional primer which I only discovered late this year! Lol

  22. I used to love base products but have become so lazy about them. Primers are all but phased out and my foundations are languishing. Your enthusiasm is infectious though. I'm going to slap on as much as I can tomorrow AM, LOL.

  23. Languishing! You're the best, Liz. Tomorrow I need you to apply at least 3 primers and 6 foundations and ENJOY! ;)

  24. Ooh, Rimmel's Matte BB Cream sounds pretty wonderful! Might have to check that out, Vita. I've tried the Porefessional but the silicones make my skin too oily. I know it's a hugely popular favorite for a lot of people though, so I'm glad it works for most! The hunt seems never-ending for base products for oily skin, doesn't it?! :)

  25. Ahhhh babe, your wedding photos look fantastic! You were a glowing bride! SO GORGEOUS! Your husband is such a cutie, too! You guys look perfect together. Your eyes when you both smile look similar! Even your beautiful smiles look alike :)

    I can't believe it's been 8 months since you were married - I remember reading your entry about his proposal! And whoa, you're almost at the 1 year married mark now! :) Time flies quickly!!!

    And AHHHH base products!!! We both love a few things namely the NARS Tinted Moisturizer (looove this so much!) and the radiant creamy concealer (although I'll be trying something new this year since I've finished this up already). Still pining for the Chanel PLV but promised myself to go through a bottle of foundation first before getting a new one! Yup, sticking to it this time! :)

  26. Aw, thanks so much, Shari! I think my husband is pretty adorable, too, LOL! And we were both so happy - the smiles were contagious! :D I can't believe it's almost been a full year either! How long have you and your hubsters been married now?

    I too plan to branch out into something new when I finish the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer! What are you thinking of trying? I know I've got to be close b/c the tube is more and more see-through! I just don't know what to try next. I was leaning toward the MAC Pro Longwear but then several people have said it's very thick and the pump dispense too much product each time. #concealerdilemma LOL

    Ha! No worries on missing the blonde ambition tour this past summer! It didn't last long and I was SO HAPPY to go back to my brunette roots! It looks ok in the photos above, but trust when I say it looked pretty cray in person, ESP. once the roots came in. I seriously felt like a $2 hooker. HA!

    Wait, a bit more snobby looking?! OMG, Shari, I love you!! Ha ha ha!!!! Dying! And thank you - I like me as a brunette too! Tis better to work with what I already have, right? Oh and much cheaper! ;)


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