This month has been one to remember thanks to amazing makeup from these four brands!
Strivectin Hair All Smooth Collection
This might be the best smoothing and frizz controlling hair care line I’ve ever tried. I’m not joking at all people! The shampoo and conditioner don’t foam up in the shower the same way your other favourite products do, but just believe. I think I ended up using a bit too much on my hair in every shower, but it still worked. Post-shower I have been getting even more protection power with the Strivectin Hair All Smooth Frizz Control Mist. It doesn’t matter whether I air dry or blow dry, my hair has been looking amazing afterwards no matter what. The mist does make my hair a bit stiffer than I would like, but it is worth it. It’s not just one day of frizz protection, but multiple days of amazing looking hair. I’m not done yet folks, because there is also the Overnight Frizz Serum. This is the best to apply a few days after your wash when frizz is threatening to return. You just apply it all over your hair before bed. When you wake up, you have nice smooth bed head without the morning frizz fight. It’s hard to describe when something just works exactly like it promises and fulfills all of your dreams. Strivectin has done that.
NYX Ombre Blush
I love ombré blush. I wish all blushes were ombré. I love ombré blush because my face isn’t one colour. It has different tones and levels. It needs products with that same feel. Regular blush is good, but sometimes you have to apply it specially to get it to be different tones on the different areas of your cheek bones. Ombre blush has depth, that same way that my face has depth. This NYX blush in Mauve Me has the rich mauve tone that moves into a shimmery light pink. It’s like combining your highlighter and blush all in one. It isn’t one colour, because I’m not one colour.
The Face Shop Multi Stick Contour
In all my time using contouring makeup, I have rarely come across a contouring stick. I was worried that it would be too harsh or wouldn’t blend enough. The Face Shop’s Multi Stick is actually a really easy to use contour tool. The makeup is somewhere between a grey and beige. It should be versatile enough for many skin tones. Unlike a lot of contouring makeup, The Face Shop contour stick is quick and easy to use. Simply swipe it under your cheekbones, jaw line and nose for contouring in seconds. I used to save contouring for special occasions only, but now it’s an everyday thing. For just $15, this is an amazing investment.
Maybelline Master Camo Color Correcting Kit
While you are getting your skin all beautiful with blush and contouring, why not finish the job with a great concealer too. This set has 6 different creams to ensure your skin looks amazing. There are two correctors, two concealers and two highlighters. I really liked the concealers best. In all of my time using this little palette, there wasn’t a single blemish that I could find that didn’t give in to the colours. Blemishes were no match.
Since this is an eye cream post, I should probably start off by mentioning that I don’t get dark circles or bags under my eyes, but I just turned 35 and I’m starting to notice tiny lines so eye cream is my new obsession. I find most eye creams a little on the heavier side and super moisturizing, so I went on a hunt for something a little lighter for summer.
Fresh Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream
Fresh makes some great products for sensitive skin and rose infused gel cream is great for someone with sensitive eyes. Since it’s a gel cream, it’s really light and you don’t need a lot of it. It doesn’t absorb as quickly as some of the others but that makes it feel like you’re getting moisture for a long time. It’s also great if you want to brighten up your eyes a bit.
Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Eye Cream
If you need more of an anti-aging eye cream but want something a little lighter, I love this Absolutely Ageless Eye Cream. It comes in a tube that looks like a lip balm and absorbs almost instantly which works extremely well under makeup. Even though it has a blackberry complex, it doesn’t have a scent at all. Honestly, it just feels really nice.
MyChelle Fabulous Eye Cream
Stephanie recently did a post on a bunch of MyChelle products that happened to include her new favourite eye cream. Well we both tried different eye creams and it looks like we each got the right one for us, because the Fabulous Eye Cream is hands down my favourite eye cream. It’s not heavy but feels substantial and has a gorgeous botanical, floral scent. The best part though, are the results. When you apply it, you can literally feel it firming up the skin around your eyes. I’m going to be using this one year round.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Eye
If you’re like me and overheat in the summer, take this gel cream and throw it in the fridge. Applying it cold will be the most refreshing experience of your life. If you want to leave it in your bathroom, it’ll still cool you off and the hyaluronic acid in this cream will give you a ton of moisture without being too heavy. But trust me, cold is the way to go. This is called fragrance free but I still get a hint of a light, fresh scent and it leaves my eyes feeling moisturized for hours.
Skyn Iceland Brightening Eye Serum – This eye serum isn’t just small in size, but also price. It’s unique, in that it is more like a gel than any other eye product I’ve used before. It feels really moisturizing around my eyes. Skyn Iceland says it’s meant to relax the skin and boost collagen, all meaning you can say goodbye to lines. I’ve had such success with Skyn Iceland in the past, I don’t doubt them at all.
Dermalogica Phyto Replenish Oil – If you want a little splurge that will last a long time, try this face oil from Dermalogica. You already know and trust the brand when you get a facial. Get that same moisture with this little oil. You can wear it alone or add it to your daily moisturizer to add a massive boost of hydration to your skin. This face oil is a little bit oily on my skin when worn alone, but you don’t notice it as much when mixed with other products. It does feel refreshing and give my face that nice dewy feel that I just want to touch.
Garnier Skin Active Clearly Brighter Gentle Smoothing Scrub – Garnier’s Skin Active Smoothing Scrub is everything my face wants in a daily face wash. It’s gentle enough to use every day, but tough enough that I feel really clean afterwards. I like that it’s not heavily scented. It even uses sustainable argan, so I can feel a bit better about using it. I do find that it dries out my face a bit, but that just gives me the opportunity to use some of those really super moisturizing creams. For this price, it’s just what my wallet wants for skin care too.
Strivectin Overnight Replenishing Moisture Mask – When in need of a burst of just straight moisture, this Strivectin Overnight Mask is an easy solution. Apply a generous layer on your face before bed and you are sure to wake up feeling extra moisturized. If you are like me, you might worry about getting cream all over your pillow. The Strivectin cream does absorb enough that by the time I was actually putting my head down, my fears were pretty much gone. I feel like this mask is the perfect secret skin care weapon. Personally, it’s not something that I need to use 2 or 3 times a week, but maybe once a month I could get my moisture on with Strivectin.
Thanks to going on vacation and Passover, I’m super behind on a lot of my posts but now that things have slowed down, I have a lot of new products that I’m using on a regular basis and in April, these ones were used more than most.
Batiste Dry Shampoo in Lotus
Before I cut my hair in March, using a dry shampoo was a tricky thing for me but if I used one, it was generally Batiste related. We received a couple new scents just in time for me to start using dry shampoo on a regular basis and Lotus is hands down my favourite Batiste dry shampoo yet. The description is pretty and opulent but all I can say is that it smells completely amazing. It’s a little fruity, a little floral and I really want to use it as a room spray (but I won’t waste it). It also works at giving me major volume, while freshening up my roots.
Vichy Idéalia Smoothness & Glow Mattifying Sorbet-Cream
I loved the original Idéalia line, but Vichy recently reformulated and added new products to it. While, I’ve noticed most people pick the Night Peeling as their favourite, mine is this lightweight moisturizer. Smoothness & Glow Mattifying Sorbet-Cream is pretty much the perfect description for it. It comes out really soft and refreshing like a sorbet, melts into your skin instantly and keeps me pretty matte. It also gives me a really nice, subtle glow and has the same gorgeous almost raspberry like scent that I associate with the Idéalia line. This is going to be a great moisturizer for my combination skin this summer.
Garnier Fructis Moisture Lock 10-In-1 Rescue Leave-In Detangler
Now that my hair is shorter, it’s much easier to style, especially since I generally let it air dry. But it’s still curly and frizzy and this leave-in treatment from Garnier Fructis helps me detangle it gently and starts to minimize frizz. I do use other styling products with it but I can use it on it’s own and still like how my hair looks. The matching Moisture Lock shampoo and conditioner are good too but I like this detangler the most of the three. Using it on dry hair to refresh my curls also works, but if it’s too close to when I have to wash my hair, it gets a touch greasy.
Yves Saint Laurent Kiss & Blush Duo Stick in From Prude To Nude
I’m really a big fan of multi-tasking makeup and the Kiss & Blush Duo Stick from YSL gives you a ton of options. The YSL website alone has twelve suggestions for cheeks and lips, not to mention you could totally use this as eyeshadow in a pinch. From Prude to Nude is a rose nude/mocha nude combo that combined gives me both a nice blush shade and a great nude lip for my complexion but I generally use it as a blush. It’s super tiny but you really don’t need to use a lot and it’s so easy to throw in your purse for touchups. And you’ll probably need a couple touchups in the summer because of the super creamy formula. The price is a little steep at $40, but not surprising considering it’s YSL, but you can get a ton of uses out of it, so it might actually save you from buying a couple other things in the long run.
We’re halfway through spring and I’m just getting into the lighter makeup that’ll continue into summer. Maybelline has released a bunch of new products in the past few months that are perfect for getting an easy spring look.
Dream Cushion Fresh Face Liquid Foundation On-The-Go
This easy to carry compact was much more than I was expecting. It gives a medium-to-full coverage when I was expecting more of a sheer one. Because the Ivory shade is a touch too dark for me in the winter, it’s only now that I can get a lot of use out of it. It’s extremely easy to apply and keep in your purse for touchups but if you have a shine issue, you’re definitely going to want to keep a powder on hand with you. This is definitely not mattifying but it also doesn’t dry out my skin and it’s really comfortable to wear.
FaceStudio Master Blush Color & Highlight Kit
Contouring and I don’t get along, but give me a blush and I’m happy. This blush palette is definitely my happy place. With four blushes (one that can also be used as a highlighter), you get a ton of options. You can use each blush separately, or mix them up to make a new colour. The darkest shade is way too dark for me but I’ve been playing around with the other three a ton. I love how bright the shades are and the pigmentation is great. You don’t need a lot to get good colour.
Color Sensational Shaping Lipliner in Pink Coral
I haven’t been using a lot of lipliner in the past couple years but this colour is basically what I’ve been wearing for the past month lipstick-wise and this shaping lipliner is so easy to use. Since it’s a twist up, you don’t need to worry about sharpening and it’s precise tip gives you a ton of control. Don’t feel like going the whole lipstick route? Just add a lip balm on top of this.
Volum’ Express The Colossal Big Shot Mascara
Do you see that brush? It’s massive! Maybelline mascara has been my go-to since high school, I love nearly all of them and the Colossal Big Shot is right in there. The huge, soft brush gives you a ton of volume and some length and when I layer it with another Maybelline mascara for extra drama, it plays well with others. I find this one just slightly not dark enough for me for night time but during the day, it’s perfect.
The 24K Nudes Eyeshadow Palette
This was the only palette that came on vacation with me last month and within the twelve shades, there’s a colour for every look you want. It’s not the most pigmented palette I’ve ever used but it’s really soft and buildable, plus there’s very little fallout. It includes a little foam eyeshadow brush but I use my brushes instead. This is a great palette if you want pretty nude shades but don’t want to spend a fortune.
I’ve used all of these for a good number of looks without any extra products, which makes them perfect for spring makeup in a hurry.
Spring into a new season with these March makeup products that I have been obsessed with this month.
Covergirl Outlast All-Day Custom Reds Lip Color – I have tried a lot of lipsticks that said they were going to last a long time, but Covergirl has finally done it. This two-step lip color is the longest lasting lipstick that I’ve ever tried. It’s really simple, you just apply the colour first, wait a minute and then apply the clear coat over top. Boom! You have lipstick that will last all day. I even had a hard time getting it off of my lips. I fell asleep with lipstick on one night and it was still on the next morning! This lipstick is UNREAL! The red shades that I tried were quiet bold, but really beautiful.
Rodial Baking Powder – I’m not going to lie, I don’t really get the idea of baking. I also don’t have time to bake my makeup before leaving the house. That doesn’t make my love of this powder any less. Instead of baking my makeup and dusting it off later, I have been using it as a finishing powder. I just dust a light layer over my foundation before I leave the house for a minor bake. Forget the long lasting powder of the bake, I love the matte finish that my skin gets when I use it. Clearly this powder is super versatile, making it key in my makeup bag.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream – Finally, a super moisturizing gel cream for extra dry skin that doesn’t feel heavy on my face. I fell in love with gel moisturizers because it is perfect for my skin. I get dry skin, but I also have acne. I need all the same anti-aging and boosting properties, but my skin can’t handle heavy thick moisturizers. I get greasy very easily. Neutrogena lets me get a major moisture boost without that issue. It absorbs into my skin leaving it feeling dry and matte, but also soft. This one is for anyone who is sick of fighting with moisturizers and their skin. Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost is the saving grace this winter.
Sebastian Volupt Spray High Impact Volume – I used to love spray gel in high school. It was probably the only product that I used, and I used it every day. Since then I’ve moved on to other products, but getting this newer product was like meeting an old friend. I love this product because it gives you hold without making my hair stiff. It’s really nice on curls or beach waves to get a hold without the crunch of mousse.
Herbal Essences Bio:Renew Shampoo & Conditioner – Herbal Essences new hair care collection Bio:Renew sounds very fancy in the description. It’s made with a special blend of antioxidants, aloe and sea kelp. It’s supposed to bring your hair back to life in 21 days (although it doesn’t say how many washes that is). I love it because, while it has all of those great properties, it still feels like classic Herbal Essences. The Coconut Milk scent smells amazing. My hair looks great, it’s shiny and easy to manage. I can’t ask for anything else!
Sometimes a girl just needs an at-home spa day for a little pampering with all of your favourite new bath, body and beauty products, candles and a glass of wine. Here are a few products to add to your supple for the perfect spa day at home:
Live Clean Dead Sea Salts – Soothe tired muscles on your at-home spa day with a long bath with these Live Clean Dead Sea Salts. They have Epsom salts, green tea extracts, aloe vera, Eucalyptus essential oils and Ginger. All of this combines for soothed muscles. The scent is strong, but really relaxing at the same time. It’s perfect for helping you forget that busy week.
Avon Foot Works Clay Mask – A spa day wouldn’t be complete without a little foot pampering. Short of having someone to give you a pedicure in your living room, this foot clay mask is the best thing to do. I’ve tried lots of clay masks for my face, but never for my feet. The feeling is pretty similar. Be sure that you are sitting somewhere good, because you won’t be able to walk around. You will need to clean your feet off wherever you are. The lavender smell is nice and relaxing while you wait. I didn’t expect much in the way of results, but my feet were very soft after just 10 minutes or so with this on.
Arbonne Tahitian Coconut Lip Therapy Set – You don’t usually get to pamper your lips, but it feels so good when you do. The Lip Smoother is a coconut exfoliator that will help clean up all of that dead skin from winter. The Lip Salve is an oil based balm that softens and moisturizes. It’s a nice treat for your lips to feel soften and fresh.
Claus Porto Soap Gift Box – This is the MOST beautiful soap that I’ve ever owned. The white box with the art deco logo is the first signal that you are in for a treat. No matter how many times I opened it to see the three soaps inside, I was never not in awe. The packaging for each of these German soaps is a work of art in itself. Almost too beautiful to use. When you have had your time with the box, be ready for a nice treat with this soft smelling soap in the tub. Spoil yourself, or someone that you love a lot, with these soaps for every occasion.
Skyn Iceland All Eyes On You Treatments – Skyn Iceland has some of my favourite eye products. They always make them nice and cooling and soothing so that my eyes feel relaxed. This set includes an Icelandic Relief Eye Pen, Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels and Glacial Cleansing Cloths. This means you can pamper yourself with the gels now and have the cloths and pen for your regular everyday use.
I might usually say I can’t believe how fast a month went by but for some reason I feel like I completely missed February. Maybe it’s because Toronto’s weather was so unseasonably spring-like but it’s almost like it went from January to March in one day. Luckily I did actually use a bunch of new stuff during February and some completely blew me away.
Shiseido IBUKI Smart Filtering Smoother
Everyone is all about selfie filters (except me, I *might* have a total of 3 selfies on my phone) and this lightweight lotion is supposed to give you the appearance of a filter on your face. I don’t know how Shiseido came up with this but I’m going to need it in my life forever now. In the week or so I’ve been using it, my pores look smaller, my skin is matte and I have a little glow. While it’s mattifying, it doesn’t dry out my skin. I’ve used this on it’s own and as a primer under makeup and I absolutely know I’ll get another once I run out. It’s pocket size, so it’s great to keep in your purse or to travel with but I wish there was a larger sized option as well. I might start keeping these everywhere just in case.
Tarte Lifted Sweatproof Mascara
I might not work out as much as I should but I go to a lot of sweaty concerts and I’ve been looking for a mascara for years that won’t melt off but won’t be horrible to take off when I get home either. Tarte finally gave me what I was looking for. This sweatproof mascara only comes in brown-black and while I love my mascara blacker than black, I actually really like the shade of this. It’s a dark enough brown that it can pass for black without the harshness. It does a great job giving me a lot of volume and it doesn’t clump while I’m layering it on. I do find it can get a tad flaky but not enough to really bother me. Plus it’s actually sweatproof but comes off easily with makeup remover. I’m used to still seeing waterproof mascara the next day, after I’ve tried to scrub it off for half an hour, so this is a nice change.
Redken No Blow Dry NBD Airy Cream
I basically never heat style my hair so I’m a huge fan of the new air dry trend, mainly because I’ve been doing it that way for years. Redken’s newest release is three air dry stylers. Airy Cream for fine hair, Just Right Cream for medium hair and Bossy Cream for coarse hair. I’ve been using Airy Cream and I flat out love it. I wash my hair at night, add this cream, throw my hair in a braid or a bun and wake up to nearly perfect hair. It does a great job of getting rid of my frizz without weighing my hair down and you can’t feel it once it dries. Did I mention it smells amazing too?
Beautycounter Desert Sunrise Palette
Beautycounter is a fairly new brand for me and I love that they’re making great products while taking out things that are bad for you. Their spring collection is called Desert Sunrise and it was love at first sight for me and this palette. With six eyeshadows (two are brand new) and three blushes, I’ve done quite a few looks with this palette already. I don’t get any fall out with the shadows, but I wish they were a touch more pigmented, especially the lighter shades. But they’re fairly buildable and I’ve worn all the shades and can’t pick a favourite. The blushes on the other hand are amazing. I automatically gravitated towards Bloom (the middle shade) and I love the pink shade on my skin. It just screams spring to me. The blushes seem to be a lot more pigmented than the shadows and you really only need a tiny but. I’m definitely going to be using this palette a lot more and I can’t wait to try more from Beautycounter.
My skin takes a serious beating in the winter. All the forced heat indoors and extreme dryness outside, I get extremely dry, cracked skin. Even the combination skin on my face dries out completely during winter. These products have saved my skin this year and given me some major relief from dryness.
Dr. Roebuck’s Ultimate Hydrating Serum
This serum has an almost gel-like texture and a few drops goes a long way. It absorbs into your skin instantly and doesn’t leave you with that greasy feel that you can get from some serums. I definitely feel a moisture boost when I use this one and when you add your moisturizer on top of it, it’s amazing. This is the only Dr. Roebuck’s product I’ve tried but I like it enough that I want to try more.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Deep Moisture Balm
When this first showed up, I was convinced it would be too strong for my combination skin. I mean, the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial was almost too strong for me and this sounded much richer. But I had a week where my skin was so dry, nothing I had was helping, so I tried this out and it worked. The texture is a little like butter, fairly thick and spreadable. But it absorbs much quicker than I expected. Plus the moisture lasted hours and hours. I don’t need to use anything else for a full 24 hours when I use this. I also didn’t have any issues with my sensitive skin and it didn’t make me break out, but if you’re concerned, get a sample first.
Aveeno Gentle Scent Skin Relief Body Wash and Lotion in Chamomile
The skin on my body gets much more dry than the skin on my face and I’ve used numerous things over the years that didn’t really help. Aveeno’s Gentle Scents line comes in Chamomile and Coconut options and the Chamomile smells amazing. It’s not a strong scent but it’s really fresh. The body wash doesn’t make my skin feel stripped of moisture and is soap and dye free and allergy tested, so it doesn’t irritate my skin. The addition of Colloidal Oatmeal gives you a boost of moisture. The matching lotion has the same scent and absorbs quickly and isn’t greasy. The combination leaves my skin feeling hydrated and way less itchy.
L’Occitane Intensive Hand Balm
I honestly don’t know how many L’Occitane hand creams I’ve gone through over the years and I was convinced that nothing would work better on my dry, cracked hands than their classic Shea Hand Cream. Well when this hand balm arrived, it was clear I was wrong. This is quite a bit stronger than the hand cream but not much thicker. It takes a little longer to absorb but in under a minute, I can go back to whatever I was doing. I find if I use this before I go to bed, I don’t have to use hand cream until the next afternoon and it’s healed the cracked skin in my hands and cuticles. It might be a couple dollars more than the regular hand cream but if winter is killing the skin on your hands, it’s worth the money. I would actually go so far as to say, if you only buy one thing for winter skin, L’Occitane’s Intensive Hand Balm is what you need.
2016 didn’t have me branching out a lot makeup wise. I found some favourites and stuck with them and found some new loves along the way.
Philosophy Take A Deep Breath Oil-Free Oxygenating Gel Cream
Finding a good moisturizer that works on my combination skin can be a bit difficult and I was hooked on this one the first time I tried it. It balances out my oily and dry areas and keeps my skin really soft. I’ve taken the travel size with me on vacation and it works for me every season except winter, when I need to reach for something a little stronger. This is quite possibly my favourite launch of the year.
Clinique Super City BB Cushion Compact
I don’t wear a lot of foundation and when I do, I’m really picky. I’m really pale so I have a hard time finding foundations light enough for my skin tone that also work with my combination skin. This little cushion is amazing. I can build up to whatever coverage I want, don’t have to use my fingers or a brush and I can take it with me anywhere. I recently cleaned out my foundation drawer and this was pretty much the only one I kept. Clinique is a frequent addition to my Most Wanted lists and there’s clearly a reason for that.
MAC Cosmetics Matte Lipstick in Chili
Last year I went on a hunt for my perfect red lipstick and I finally found it in MAC’s Chili. It’s not a true red, more of a brown-orange brick red but with my complexion, it’s absolutely perfect. The fact that it’s matte is an added bonus and when I thought I had lost it, I replaced it, found the original one and now both my bathroom and purse have one so I can always have it with me.
Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Palette in Rock Chick
I don’t think there’s a Charlotte Tilbury product I haven’t loved. But there’s something special about the Luxury Palettes. I have three and any one of them could be on my list but Rock Chick is the one I really wanted and bought. The grey-toned shades are great with my blue eyes and my go-to night time smokey look. The combination of both powder and cream shadows in one palette is such a great idea and I have a feeling I’ll end up with all the Luxury Palettes by the time I’m done.
Clarisonic Aria Mia 3
I’ve tried a lot of facial cleansing products over the years, but somehow, never a Clarisonic. I honestly don’t know how I ever lived without it. I don’t use it every day but when my skin feels icky or dried out or just not clean, I use my Aria and my skin ends up feeling amazingly clean but not irritated. I’m still playing around with different brushes but I’ve been pretty happy with the couple I’ve tried.