Makeup gifts are literally my favourite beauty anything. I love to see the different sets and minis. I find a ton of new favourite products this way every year and if I could only get makeup once a year, I’d choose December.
Too Faced Boss Lady Beauty Agenda
People constantly ask if I get certain products and if they can have them. This hands down the most requested thing all season. Everyone wants one of these pretty palette/agenda combinations. I actually think it’s such a great idea and a nice change from Too Faced’s holiday products from the past few years. The agenda is useable and the palette has some great shades. Plus you get a mini lipstick and mascara.
Benefit Eye Heart SF
Benefit released a bunch of these trippy snow globe shaped gifts this year, but this one is my favourite. It includes three full sized products (They’re Real! Mascara, Goof Proof Brow Pencil and Gimme Brow – both in shade 3) and two minis (the POREfessional and They’re Real! Tinted Primer). This is a great way to try Benefit for the first time and I love how fun the packaging is.
Artis Brush Craft The New Classics
These might not be makeup but you definitely need good brushes for your makeup. If you know someone who really wants to try Artis’ brushes but can’t afford them, Brush Craft is their more affordable sibling. For $100 you can get this brush set as well as the cleaning pad and cleansing foam, and if you’ve never tried cleaning brushes like this, it’ll change your life. These Brush Craft brushes are a little different from what we’re all used to but once you get the hang of them, you’ll never go back.
Kat Von D Everlasting Mini Liquid Lipstick Set
This is one of the few things I’ve bought myself this year. There were at least three shades I wanted to try and I figure why not try the minis so I know if I like them. With eight shades including one exclusive (Madrid), you get a ton of shade selection. Just keep in mind, these are all on the darker/neutral side of things. If you’re looking for bright lipstick, skip this one but there are some great winter colours in here. Also, Madrid needs to be a permanent shade.
Tarte Treasure Box
As far as I’m concerned, this might be the best gift set that Tarte has put out. With 24 eyeshadows, 2 blushes, 2 bronzers, a highlighter, a full size Sex Kitten eyeliner and a mini mascara and lipstick, you could be set for the whole year. I really love the shades in this box and if you know someone who’s just starting to use makeup or doesn’t know what colours to use, this is a great way to try things out.
It literally feels like it was just yesterday that I was writing my Most Wanted of October and now I’m onto the November list. We have a ton of posts coming up this month with all things holiday, so it was fairly hard to narrow down the list of what I used in November, but it turns out these have been taking up space next to sink for quite a while and that means I’ve been using them a lot.
Matrix Biolage R.A.W. Frizz Control Styling Spray with Lavender
I’m constantly looking for anything that’ll take away my frizz and this lightweight spray does a good job of minimizing it without making my hair crunchy or sticky. I find I need to use this one with another product for various styling issues but I can use it to touch up dry hair and it smells really really good. That said, if you’re not a fan of lavender, I’d stay away.
nia Sunday Detox Whipped Clay Peel-Off Mask
nia is StriVectin’s millenial friendly skin care line that’s available at Ulta in the U.S. or Shoppers Drug Mart/Murale in Canada. All the products have really cute names and better yet, they work. This mask has a definitely learning curve. It starts off as a foam and dries down so that you can peel it off. You need enough product that you’re able to peel it off but the foam makes that tricky. The best way I’ve found to do it is layers. I do about three thin layers of foam (you’ll have to wash your hands between each one) and let them dry for about 30 seconds before adding more. Once it’s dry though, it’s the gentlest peel-off mask I’ve ever used. I can get the whole thing off in one piece and even if I get a bit in my hair line, I don’t feel it tugging off. If your skin is on the drier side, you might need a richer moisturizer after.
Glossier Cloud Paint in Dusk
As someone who generally prefers a powder blush I was really surprised at how much I love this cream one. I shouldn’t really be too surprised though, I haven’t tried anything I haven’t loved from Glossier. I prefer the Dusk shade, it’s a peachy shade that’s really neutral, even on my super fair skin. You really only need a tiny bit of Cloud Paint. Squeezing the tube is going to get you way too much, so I just gently shake it over my finger. Layering is super easy and it’s extremely blendable.
Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes Palette
I am really not a fan of this red/pink eyeshadow trend, so I wasn’t sure if I would love this palette as much in person as I did online. But I really do. Peach Butter makes the perfect base shade, while Fresh-Picked and Peach Cobbler are great crease shades for me. I still haven’t really gotten into the darker shades yet but I’ve been using this delicious peach-smelling palette exclusively for daytime. As usual with Too Faced, the shadows are really creamy, blendable and have zero fallout that I’ve seen.
I’ve used so many new products in the past month that this list could be massive. Which makes these five pretty great considering how much they stood out to me. June is always a weird month for my skin and considering how humid Toronto has been, it’s needed all the help it could get.
Olay Ultra Moisture Body Wash with Shea Butter
I’ve been using this body wash since winter, sometimes in other scents but mostly this one. The super creamy formula works for both winter AND summer. It’s really hydrating, doesn’t leave me sticky and just makes my skin feel really smooth. We have a couple body washes to test out but this is probably always going to be the one I buy when I run out. I particularly love the Shea Butter scent but there are really so many options.
Yes To Cotton Comforting Facial Wipes
I haven’t used a ton of Yes To products before, but I’m completely obsessed with these facial wipes. They might actually be the softest wipes I’ve ever used, but I guess that’s where the cotton comes in. Made with recycled cotton and cottonseed oil, these wipes are great for sensitive skin and for people who have a ton of allergies. There is a scent but it’s pretty faint and these get all my makeup and grime off. I definitely need to try more of this line.
Too Faced Sweet Peach Glow Peach-Infused Highlighting Palette
I don’t do contouring or highlighting as a general rule. I’m so fair that all bronzers look muddy or dirty and most highlighters just make me shinier or disappear into the redness of my cheeks. So I was mainly using this palette for the peachy blush in the middle (my favourite blush shade right now). Until I decided to try contouring with it just to see. It worked! Sweet Peach Glow is officially the only palette that I can use for contouring. Both the highlighter and bronzer are subtle enough for my fair skin but are also buildable. Everything just looks natural. And it smells like peaches!
Vichy Mineral 89
If you’re like me and you live off of Vichy’s Thermal Water all summer, you definitely need to try this gel version. Vichy calls it a skin booster, I call it a refreshing gel version of the water. It’s basically just Vichy’s Thermal Water with some hyaluronic acid. A skin brightening, hydrating gel if you will. You can use it on literally any part of your face including the eye contour and lips. I tend to use it right after I wash my face, before I use anything else. You can use it with a cotton pad, but I use my fingers. I still use the spray throughout the day but I find this much more effective as part of a skin care routine.
Since my skin is a bi-polar version of combination, the moisturizer I use for my super dry skin in winter, does not work for my mostly oily skin in summer. This moisturizer is light enough to help my oily skin, while still balancing out my dry spots. It absorbs really quickly and is great for sensitive skin. It’s also fragrance-free for those of you who need it. This is a seriously great summer moisturizer for me.
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.
I don’t celebrate Christmas but my favourite time of year is the holiday season because of all the great gifts that get released. tarte’s Holidaze collection is one of my favourites this year and the value for their gifts are pretty insane for the price you pay. We received two pieces of the Holidaze collection and I have to say I’m pretty obsessed with both of them. Bling It On Amazonian Clay Blush Palette
The packaging alone for Bling It On is gorgeous. Who wouldn’t want a black sequined palette? But the blushes inside are what make this palette special. It’s so rare to find a blush palette that I get excited when I find one.
With four limited edition blushes; Fetching (rose), Prim (plum nude), Smashing (coral pink), Beaming (shimmery apricot pink) and a permanent shade Dollface (cool pink) there is literally a shade for every skin tone. These are just as creamy and blendable as any Tarte blush and these last all day. Perfect for any blush fan. Home For The Holidaze
Home For The Holidaze isn’t your typical palette. You get four palettes that each contain four Amazonian Clay eyeshadows and an Amazonian Clay Blush. You also get a full size LipSurgence Lip Creme in Ravishing (rose) and a deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara. But the best part is that you get a portable collector’s compact.
This compact allows you to take any of the four palettes with you wherever you want to go.
The shades of the palettes are all pretty neutral but give you lots of look options; whether you want a light daytime look or something more dramatic for night. Home For The Holidaze has a $396 value but it’s selling for $49. That’s really impressive for what you get.
From the packaging to the unique ideas inside, tarte’s Holidaze is one of my favourite holiday collections this year and people seem to be agreeing because it’s selling out everywhere.
Kat Von D always has great gift sets for the holidays and this year is no exception but these two are my personal favourites this year. Lolita Lip Duo
If you’ve never tried Kat Von D’s Lolita lipstick, there’s a reason the chestnut rose shade is a cult fave. In the Lolita Lip Duo you get two mini Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks in both Lolita and the newer Lolita II (terra cotta nude).
While these are considered mini, they still hold quite a bit of product and you really don’t need to use much (the swatches are one swipe). So you could, in theory, give this as a gift but you’re really going to want to keep these for yourself. Mi Vida Loca Remix Eyeshadow Palette
While everyone obsesses over the Naked palettes, I’ve always been a much bigger fan of Kat Von D’s palettes. The shades are always extremely pigmented and there’s a lot less fallout. Not to mention there’s a whole lot more choice of colour. Mi Vida Loca Remix has 24 shades.
I love this palette because it has every shade I could ever need. I don’t have to get my neutral shades from one palette and bright shades from another. Plus because they blend so well, there isn’t a single shade I won’t try. You can make a bright shade more subtle by blending and make a neutral shade more intense.
My only issue with Mi Vida Loca Remix is how huge it is, storage will be an issue and it gets stored in a sleeve, so you can’t technically close it. The shades though, are enough for me to love it anyways.
Sometimes we need just a little more makeup choice than what a regular palette offers and while we see a lot of gift sets for the holidays, these blockbuster makeup kits will give you more options than you’ll know what to do with. Avon Makeup Studio Palette
This makeup palette doesn’t look all that big in the box but when you open it up there’s 24 eye shadows, 12 lip glosses, 2 blushes, 2 bronzers and a couple brushes. The colour options are great and give you lots of choice and while I would probably use other brushes than the ones in the kit, the fact that they’re even in there is great.
This is a great gift for someone just starting to use makeup or don’t want a lot lying around. It’s also small enough that it’s great for travelling. Sephora Color Wonderland
I always look forward to seeing what huge makeup palette Sephora will pull out every year. This year’s Color Wonderland is for every eye shadow junkie you know.
The 78 eye shadows, 2 eye pencils and a dual-sided brush are split up into a neutral side and a vivid side.
The neutral side is perfect for day looks or a neutral smoky eye.
The vivid side is great for experimenting with colour and there are literally endless combinations between both sides. The packaging is great, nothing is going to pop apart like previous years and it’s folded into a slim book that makes it easy to carry or store. Another added bonus is that the shades you’ll use more often are significantly larger than accent shades.
If you know anyone that loves makeup and really wants to play around, one of these palettes would make the perfect gift.
We love trying new companies so when we were offered a chance to try Velvet 59 By Paris Manning, we were definitely interested. Then we found out that Velvet 59 is cruelty, gluten and paraben free and vegan on top of that and our interest level went way up. The first thing we got to try was The Exotic Lotus Palette. Just the packaging alone was enough to make me want to love this palette. Isn’t it gorgeous?
This palette has eight shades ranging from pinks to oranges to browns and there are different finishes as well (satin, matte, sparkle). The texture to these shadows are pretty incredible, they have a velvety feel (which is fitting considering the brand name) and the pigmentation was fantastic. Also, almost zero fallout.
I honestly haven’t seen another palette recently that’s more perfectly suited for fall (Tiger Lily is a personal fave) and I can already tell I’m going to get a lot of use out of this palette. I really can’t wait to try more products from Velvet 59 and see what other palettes they come out with.
When I am talking about eye shadow it’s usually bold colours, but there is something so beautiful and classic about a grey eyeshadow palette. From a subtle look that you can wear to the office all the way to the smoky eye, grey eye shadow palettes are the best for going from day to night. Christian Grey doesn’t have anything on these 50 shades.
Essence Smokey Eyes Set – If you want a small little grey set that suits the casual makeup lover, try this little set build for helping you create a smoky eye without too many overwhelming shades. With four pretty shades of grey, you can get everything you need to highlight those eyes.
Quo Shades Of Grey Eye Palette – Quo’s new palette is perfect for creating a wide range of looks. This palette has eight shades in total. It’s great because it’s not just eight shades of grey. It’s got everything that you need to create a beautiful look with those greys. While half of the palette is varying shade of grey, there are also white, pink, taupe, and smoky purple eyeshadows. It ensures that you can create a look for any time of day with just one palette.
Clinique Wear Everywhere Neutrals All About Shadow Palette – Who doesn’t love a palette full of eye shadows that can give you a look from day to night. With white, black and every shade of grey shadow in between, this palette is perfect for mastering the art of subtle shadow and the smoky eye. Thanks to all of the different hues, this grey palette is great for making a variety of different looks and any skin tone.
We don’t usually do a ton of reviews on products we buy. Partially because we already have tons of press samples to review and partially because, well, we don’t buy as much as we used to because of previously mentioned press samples. But when I saw the Naked Smoky palette in person, I needed to buy it.
I love Urban Decay but unlike what seems like everyone else, I don’t love the Naked palettes. I own Naked3 and use it quite a bit but I need more diversity in a palette so I usually stick to palettes like Vice3 . Naked Smoky has so many more options than the other Naked palettes I’ve seen and it’s by far my favourite one. Just the packaging alone is gorgeous.
The twelve shades range from pink to taupe to silver, purple and black. I love that there are multiple finishes in one palette (satin, shimmer, matte). Each eye shadow is so pigmented that you really don’t need to use a lot but like most Urban Decay shadows, there’s a lot of fallout. Especially with the non-matte shades. But they’re extremely blendable and there are unlimited look options. Urban Decay also included four smoky look instructions. All the shades go well together and even if you don’t want to go smoky there are so many other ways to play around with this palette.
I never seem to like brushes that come with Urban Decay’s palettes but I actually really like this one. The bigger side is really fluffy and great for a base shade and the smaller side is perfect for blending and smudging to get that perfect smoky look. It’s been a really long time since I’ve bought a palette but I’m glad I picked this one because I love so many things about it, especially since the shade will be perfect for fall makeup and that’s coming up sooner than we think.