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.
Benefit Cosmetics is taking away pores forever with their new face makeup. Instead of having to buy a makeup, pore concealer and beauty blender all in one.
Follow the instructions carefully though because there are a few steps that take this makeup from lame to amazing. First of all, shake this makeup up good. It’s really thin and watery, so you will want to make sure that it’s shaken up. If you don’t shake it, you could end up with just a weird clear liquid.
Next remove the sponge from the bottom and apply a few drops of makeup to the sponge. Don’t be tempted to apply it right to your face. I tried it, it doesn’t work as well. I don’t know why it works that way, but it does.
Finally just blot away! Blot this face makeup all over your face the same way that you would your normal makeup. Benefit’s Pore-fessional gives you that beautifully airbrushed look without having to spend a lot on different tools and layers of makeup. This makeup is really simple to use. Anyone can get a flawless look. This is coming from someone who loves makeup, but has minimal skill in actually applying it. It you can dab your face, you can get a great look. I love that it has a really matte finish without “shine” or “glow.” It really does help to eliminate some of those pores. It even dries into a nice smooth feel on your face so your skin looks and feels great!
We’ve had a chance to try out a ton of new mascaras lately. So many in fact that we had so much trouble narrowing down our favourites that we had to split them into drugstore and luxe categories.
Guerlain Cils D’Enfer So Volume Mascara
This mascara is super volumizing without being clumpy. My lashes are a pretty decent length on their own but need help in the volume department and this definitely delivers. It doesn’t hurt that it smells amazing. And unlike typical round mascara tubes, this one is a perfect rectangular pocket size that fits into places better.
Benefit Roller Lash Mascara
If you’re scared of eyelash curler or know someone who is, Roller Lash is the next best thing. It literally curls every lash and gives great length at the same time. If you’re looking for more volume though, you probably want to use a coat of this and then add your favourite volumizing mascara on top.
Make Up For Ever Smoky Stretch Lengthening and Defining Mascara
Smoky Stretch really gives you some serious length but doesn’t clump at all. It’s quickly become my favourite daytime mascara and I love that my eyelashes look super long and defined but subtle at the same time.
Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils
I can’t say enough about this mascara. You want volume? You’ve got it. This mascara is supposed to make your lashes look like you’re wearing falsies and it really does. This is literally everything I want in a mascara. This YSL classic mascara has been reformulated for it’s 15th anniversary and comes in six shades. It might be on the pricier side of mascaras but considering how well it works, I’d say it’s worth the money.
Too Faced Better Than False Lashes Extreme!
If you want to really go all out with your lashes but can’t get a handle on fake lash strips, you need to try this set. First you use the gold tubed primer. Then you follow up with two coats of the white lash extension fibres and finish off with another coat of primer. You end up with seriously major lashes. Calling it extreme isn’t an understatement. And for a night out when I want up up my lash game and don’t want to deal with fake eyelashes, this is what I reach for.
I’ve always been a little sad that Canadians couldn’t get certain subscription boxes like Birchbox and I must not have been the only one because now we can! For $10 a month plus $4.95 shipping (or $159.40 annually) Birchbox sends out five personalized beauty samples. What I love about Birchbox is that they also have an online store with tons of brands and a points program, so for every dollar you spend you get a point. 100 points equals $10 you can spend in the store. This is way better than Ipsy’s point program.
Each box comes with an information card letting you know what you got, how much a full size is and how to use it. This box was a press sample so I didn’t fill out the beauty survey. I’m still pretty impressed with what I got. Here’s what was in the box.
Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Sensitive
This is kind of like a wash off mask that exfoliates. I love that it’s for sensitive skin, I can’t wait to try it.
Cynthia Rowley Beauty Creamy Lip Stain in Heartthrob
This line is a Birchbox exclusive and even though the sample looks pretty small you actually get a lot out of it. I’m loving the shade of this stain and it smells pretty good.
Benefit High Beam
I’ve used lots of Benefit over the years but never High Beam. This is another case where the small sample size gives you more than you think.
Noir Cosmetics Long-Wear Eyeliner
This liner is super creamy and lasts a really long time. I’ve never tried Noir Cosmetics before but I’ll definitely be looking into them.
Amika Nourishing Mask
You’re supposed to use this hair mask once a week and leave it on for 5-10 minutes. This is a pretty decent sample size but I really don’t like the scent of it.
I’m really happy with the box I got and I didn’t even fill out the beauty profile. I signed up so I can see what happens when they get survey info but I have a feeling I’ll be sticking with Birchbox and leaving other companies.
I might be really fair but I have a ton of pink in my cheeks so I was a little skeptical about trying a blush that’s supposed to amplify your natural flush. When Benefit’s Majorette Booster Blush arrived, the first thing I noticed (other than the typical adorable Benefit packaging) was just how orange it looked. Does orange counteract redness?
Majorette is a cream to powder blush and the best and I’m pretty sure, only, way to apply it is with your fingers. That also gives you control on how much you’re using. The shade is also less orange and more of a soft peach.
The first time I tried it, I realized I was scared for nothing. The shade is so flattering on me and looks really natural. I imagine it’ll look good on pretty much anyone. It goes on sheer if you want a really soft look but you can also build it up to whatever look you want to get. Since you’re using your fingers you also have the added bonus of blendability. This cream blends better than most I’ve tried and it has some serious staying power. You can also use a powder blush on top of it for different options and even longer wear.
I love Benefit products enough to know I should’ve trusted that the blush wouldn’t make me look like a clown and I’ll remember that next time I get something in a shade that scares me.
Summer is almost over (already!) and the weather in Toronto has been super crazy. Everything from hot and humid to kind of cold, so these were my picks in August when you had no idea what to do with your makeup.
Marcelle Ideal Skin Perfector
I’ve used this lightweight cream for a moisturizer, a base for makeup and everything in between. it absorbs so fast and feels like you have nothing on your face. I love that it’s a Canadian company and since it’s both hypo-allergenic and recognized by the Canadian Dermatology Association, I don’t have to worry about any adverse effects on my relatively sensitive skin.
NYC Smooth Skin BB Creme 5-In-1 in Light
This is probably the best drugstore BB Creme I’ve ever used. It’s light enough for my fair skin, covers everything it should cover but it’s not heavy at all. Actually, it’s a little runny, which I love, so I use less and can blend more easily. Since it’s under 5 bucks I’ll definitely be buying this again when I run out.
Avon Mega Effects Liquid Eye Liner in Black
Avon makeup is usually pretty hit and miss with me but this is definitely a win. The chiseled tip of this liquid eyeliner is pretty different than most and makes a cat eye super easy. It stays put pretty well, even in humidity, but is a lot easier to get off than most liquid liners.
Benefit Gimme Brow in Light/Medium
I was convinced this would be too dark for my almost white eyebrows but it looks so natural I almost can’t believe it. Over the past few months I’ve tried a number of eyebrow products and this is the only one I’ve stuck to. The tiny mascara brush applicator basically makes it foolproof and it lasts until you take it off.
Annabelle Big Show Waterproof Mascara
I wasn’t really a fan of the non waterproof version of this mascara so I’m not sure what happened to make me love this one so much. It defines, it lengthens and it’s not clumpy. I wish it was a tiny bit darker but for running around in humidity this is the perfect mascara.
Yves Rocher Sheer Botanical Lipstick in Tangerine
This is the perfect orange shade for summer but it’s not too bright and is just a little bit sheer. I love how long it lasts on my lips and is almost like a stain when it starts wearing off. And it smells like cherries which is a bonus.
If there’s one makeup product I won’t leave the house without, it’s mascara. Although my eyelashes are a pretty decent length, on their own their basically white. These are my most wanted mascaras (and a primer) right now.
Clinique Lash Power Feathering Mascara
This is my go to for daytime when I don’t want to up the drama too much but still want great lashes. It really separates and defines my lashes without going volume crazy. I’m not sure anything feathers but as long as it works I don’t care what it’s called.
Cargo HD Picture Perfect Mascara
This is the most recent addition to my mascara collection and it’s quickly becoming one of my favourites. I get volume and length and it looks like I have way more lashes than I actually do. It has a little ball on the end of the brush meant for bottom lashes but I use it to catch all my tiny lashes on top instead. Since my previous favourite mascara has been discontinued, it seems like this is going to be the one replacing it.
Benefit They’re Real! Mascara
This mascara is a classic for a reason. It really gives you great definition and length. I don’t get as much volume as I would necessarily like but with the tiny ball on the end that you use vertically my lashes look amazing when I use it.
Maybelline Volume Express Pumped Up! Mascara
If I’m buying mascara at a drugstore it’s almost always going to be Maybelline. Their mascara seems to always make my lashes look fantastic. The newest part of their Volume Express Line, Pumped Up! is no exception. One coat and I have crazy length and volume. Two coats and it looks like I’m wearing falsies without the work.
Estee Lauder Lash Primer Plus
Although it’s not technically a mascara, if I’m going to be wearing more than a basic coat then I’m definitely using this primer first. It helps my lashes from getting dried out and clumpy and it’s definitely made some not so great mascaras work a lot better. If you wear a lot of mascara you definitely need this.
I’m sure I’ll be adding to this list constantly as I’m always on the hunt for my new favourite mascara but let us know what your fave is!