March was a weirder month than usual for Toronto. It warmed up significantly and then got really cold. It really ended up affecting the products I used the most, so here’s what I couldn’t live without last month. Vichy Liftactiv Serum 10 Supreme
This serum isn’t new, but it is recently reformulated. I’m slowly starting to incorporate more serums into my skin care routine now that I’m almost into my mid-thirties. Liftactiv Serum 10 Supreme is helping me prevent some of the bigger aging issues while keeping my skin glowing. It’s also not too harsh for my sensitive skin and absorbs instantly. REN Skincare Evercalm Global Protection Day Cream
I’d been wanting to try REN for a long time, especially their Evercalm line which is for sensitive skin and protects against environmental pollution. So to say I was excited to try the Global Protection Day Cream could be considered an understatement. Luckily, this cream more than lived up to my expectations. It’s a little thicker than you might expect from a day cream but it absorbs really well and I did actually notice a reduction in redness and sensitivity. It has so many amazing ingredients in it that I’m not surprised at how well it works and the scent definitely has an herbal tinge to it but not enough that it bothered me. I’m definitely going to get my hands on the rest of this line. Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in L.A. Sunset
March is one of those transitional months where it’s so hard to decide what shades of makeup you want to wear. And while I wasn’t completely ready to ditch my red lipsticks, I definitely needed something brighter some days. Enter L.A. Sunset, which is a gorgeous creamy coral red. It’s a perfect in between shade, not too red and not too coral. The formula is super comfortable and even though it was a cream lipstick, the wear time was better than most. I’ll be wearing this shade long into the summer as well. John Masters Organics Lip Calm Collection
When I wasn’t wearing the Smashbox lipstick, I was wearing a ton of matte lipstick which really did a number on my lips. If you know me, you know I live off lip balm. My desk is covered with about 8 different kinds and I leave them everywhere, purses, my car, my nightstand, etc…The Lip Calm collection comes with the original citrus Lip Calm and three new flavours, Raspberry, Vanilla and Peppermint. While I would normally gravitate towards anything mint, I’m actually completely obsessed with the citrus and raspberry and have really only been using them. The lip balm is really soft and smooth, easy to apply and kind of melts into your lips and leaves them really hydrated. These never get hard or drag on your lips and they’re probably my new favourite lip balm. Too Faced Candlelight Glow in Rosy Glow
I’m not into the contour/highlight thing at all. Partially because I’m so pale everything is too dark for me. But when people start telling me I look paler than usual, I need to do something. Rosy Glow is perfect because it makes me look like, well, I’m glowing. I use it with a really light hand and it makes my skin look amazing and not like I’m halfway to being a ghost. The Warm Glow shade is nice as well but Rosy just looks better with my skin tone. This is the only highlighter I’ve used on a regular basis and I’m ok with that.
2015 had a lot of products I was obsessed with, but not that many that I used on a daily basis. That means picking my favourite products of 2015 was a little easier this year. These are my absolute faves of last year. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cream
I’ve tried so many moisturizers over the years that I’ve lost count but the second I tried Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost, I was hooked. This gel cream literally saved my crazy combination skin. It moisturizes for hours, melts into your skin in seconds and completely balances out my oily and dry areas. It also gets rids of my flaky patches and it smells amazing. If they ever discontinue this I’m in big trouble. Clinique Chubby Lash Fattening Mascara
Mascara is the one piece of makeup I won’t leave the house without wearing but my eyelashes are hard to work with. One eye has perfect long (though pale) lashes and the other eye has a couple little empty patches. Clinique’s Chubby Lash was the only mascara this year to give me extreme volume on both eyes. This is one of the biggest, straightest brushes I’ve ever used and it works every single time without clumping. Jumbo Jet is a perfect dark black but I’ve also been using Bodacious Black Honey during the day. It looks reddish brown in the tube but it’s a dark brown on my lashes. MAC Studio Waterweight SPF 30 Foundation
I’ve tried a lot of foundations in the past year and a lot of them dried out my skin so much I thought my face was going to crack. MAC’s Studio Waterweight SPF 30 Foundation gave me great buildable coverage while still being hydrating and comfortable. Smashbox Brow Tech Matte Pencil in Blonde
I’ve always hated doing my eyebrows. They’re extremely pale, so I know I should give them a little colour on a regular basis, but it always seems like such a pain. Until I tried Smashbox’s Brow Tech Matte Pencil. From the first day I tried this dual ended pencil, I’ve been doing my brows a lot more often. It takes me less than a minute to get perfectly penciled in brows and it really does make a difference. Plus, Brow Tech stays put until I take it off, even without the addition of a clear brow gel. Too Faced Melted Metal in Metallic Dream House
Too Faced was basically my brand of the year. I could’ve included at least four different products on this list but 2015 was the year I went out of my comfort zone with lipstick and I mostly ended up wearing different shades of Too Faced’s Melted and Melted Metal Lipsticks. Metallic Dream House was in my purse at all times during the summer and I got so many compliments on it that I lost count. This lipstick is so easy to apply, has a great selections of shades, lasts forever and smells like candy. I can’t wait to try the new Melted Chocolate shades.
Since it first starting hitting stores, I have been a huge fan of BB Creams. Smashbox surprised me when they reinvented the idea with their new BB Water.
As you can gather from the name this face makeup is thin, very thin. The makeup in the dropper really does have a water-like consistency. When you rub it into your face it’s impossible to notice just how thin and light it is. You will also notice how moisturizing it is.
This Smashbox BB Water is more like a moisturizer or primer than it is a foundation. It rubs into your face easily and is absorbed right away, but it doesn’t cover blemishes, or redness, or any other skin issues. It doesn’t give the proper coverage that you would expect from a BB cream.
If this product was positioned as a primer, I might have fallen in love with it. As a BB Cream though, I’m not entirely sold. After applying this product, I felt like I needed to apply my regular BB cream over top. If you don’t usually wear foundation, this could be the product for you. It is the perfect middle ground for something to bridge the gap between makeup, primer and moisturizer.
There’s really nothing more quintessentially fall than a red lip and there are a ton of them to choose from. These are our Most Wanted reds for fall. GOSH Velvet Touch Lipstick in Matte Classic Red
This red is definitely what I think of when I picture a classic red and I love the matte formula. It’s not drying but does a good job of staying put. It’s a gorgeous shade for a timeless look. Cover Girl LipPerfection Lipcolour in Hot
Another classic red, Hot is a little on the creamier side and is really flattering on even my very fair skin tone. You might want to use a lipstick primer with this one, it doesn’t have the greatest staying power but I expect that from a lipstick this soft. L’Oreal Colour Riche Collection Exclusive Pure Reds in Julianne’s Red
Of all the shades in the Pure Reds collection, I was instantly drawn to this coral-red and it makes sense considering I have relatively similar colouring to Julianne Moore. If you’re on the fair side and a classic red is too much for you, this is a great alternative. Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Canadian Flare
A collaboration between Smashbox, Flare Magazine and artist Donald Robertson; this coral red was inspired by the Canadian flag. It’s a little on the sheer side, so you can layer to get the effect you want. Canadian Flare is really moisturizing and comfortable to wear. byTERRY Terrybly Velvet Rouge Liquid Velvet Lipstick in My Red
For the liquid lipstick fans, My Red is a classic matte red that smells like roses. The unique ergonomic applicator takes a little getting used to but the payoff is huge. It lasts for hours and while it’s not transfer proof, you don’t have to reapply constantly. It’s also a lot less drying than I expected from a matte, liquid lipstick.
Is your Most Wanted red lip on our list? Let us know what red lipstick you can’t live without this season.
If I’m being totally honest, I never remember to do anything with my eyebrows. I don’t have to pluck them and they’re so pale people have asked me if I bleach them. I have a ton of brow products and they just sit there and only get used once in a while. My mother has been using Smashbox’s Brow Tech for years and always goes back to it but I just don’t have the patience to do my brows everyday. Until we received Smashbox’s new Brow Tech Matte Pencil.
If we hadn’t received this in Blonde, chances are I wouldn’t have thought twice about it and handed it over to Steph to review. But since it came in my shade I had to give it a try. I’m so happy I did. This is literally my favourite thing I’ve ever used on my brows. It’s extremely easy to use, just fill in with the colour and use the spoolie side to even the colour out and make things smooth. The shade is so natural on me that I can’t even tell I have makeup on my brows and that’s my biggest issue with brow products, even blonde ones.
The Brow Tech Matte Pencil comes in four shades and once it’s on, it stays put. It doesn’t sweat off and lasts all day but comes off easily with makeup remover.
It was just luck that we were sent my shade and I’m so happy we were. I find myself doing my brows more often and it doesn’t take me more than thirty seconds. Who knows, maybe this will become a daily thing.
Smashbox have always been great with innovation (their Water Primer is carrying me through summer), so when they recently released three new products this summer, we had to try them. Smashbox introduced a matte version of their Be Legendary Lipstick (we received Femme Fatale), L.A. Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Colour (Malibu Berry) and the Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liner (Jet Black).
I’ve been using Smashbox’s gel liner forever, it was the reason I got an eyeliner brush and it’s been my go to liner for years. It’s so easy to apply and it lasts for hours and hours, so I was really excited to try this version (no brush required!). I’ll start off with a warning, this is not for eyeliner beginners and it does take some practice to get the hang of. This isn’t a gel pencil like other liners, when you twist you get pure gel. Once you get the hang of how to drag it to get a smooth line, it’s the same pay off as the traditional gel liners. Huge wearability payoff, it won’t budge until you take it off.
When I saw the lipstick and L.A. Lights shades I was sure they weren’t for me, luckily Smashbox surprised me again. The L.A. Lights in Malibu Berry was really flattering as a cream blush and was extremely blendable. It was slightly lighter as a lipstick but looked just as good. I love two in one products because you can just throw it in your purse or makeup bag and get a whole look with less stuff. It also looked pretty good as an eyeshadow.
I’m loving all these new matte lipstick formulas and Smashbox’s Be Legendary Lipstick in Femme Fatale Matte was no exception. While I probably won’t be wearing this shade much in summer, it’s perfect for fall and winter. I don’t wear a ton of plum lipsticks but this one is definitely sticking around. I got a perfect matte lipstick with crazy pigmentation and it didn’t dry out my lips.
Smashbox is one of my go to brands for a reason, I honestly can’t think of a time where I’ve been disappointed by one of their products and with this new lineup (of which I may have to get more shades), I don’t think it’ll be happening anytime soon.
March is a weird month for me makeup wise. It’s still cold but technically spring so I always want to pull out my spring shades a little early. These are the products I couldn’t live without this month. Smashbox Photo Finish Water Primer
Smashbox is known for their amazing Photo Finish primers and the newest addition is just as amazing but so different. This water based primer is so refreshing to spritz on but does an amazing job of getting your skin ready for makeup. I like to let it sit a few minutes before I apply anything over it and I can’t wait to use it in the summer when the less stuff on my skin the better. Make Up For Ever Mist And Fix Setting Spray
This is the first setting spray I’ve ever used that I’ve actually liked. I can literally feel it setting into my skin but once it’s dry I don’t notice it at all. Except hours later my makeup is the way I put it on. Cargo Limited Edition Gel Lipstick in Soho
I love everything about this lipstick. From the packaging to the shade (a perfect neutral pink) to how it feels. This is one of the lightest lipsticks I’ve ever used. You get full coverage but it feels like butter. Royal Apothic Scrubby in Marshmallow
I love a good lip scrub and this one gets the job done without being too harsh. Even though it’s called Marshmallow, the scent isn’t too sweet but just smells amazing. And it’s not drying on my lips. Quo Face Palette in Contessa
Part of the Quo Cosmetics spring line, Contessa is the perfect face kit for someone who’s a little more fair like I am. There’s a blush, a highlighter and a bronzer and they’re pretty generous sizes. The shades are perfect for me whether I want a little colour or want to do some contouring.
When summer hits, most of us don’t want to wear a ton of makeup that’ll melt off, let alone carry around a huge makeup bag for touch ups. Here’s a list of summer makeup essentials that will make it just a little easier to look done without a ton of products. Smashbox 24 Hour Photo Finish Shadow Primer
This is my number 1 necessity for wearing any eye makeup during the summer. This primer seriously works. Anything you put on top of it whether it’s shadow or liner or both will stay put until you take it off, even through humidity and sweat. Put a small amount where your bottom liner goes and it won’t wear off. Also, if you want to blend work fast because once something sets, it’s not moving. Laura Mercier Sheer Creme Colour in Golden Pink
This gorgeous pink shade can be used as a highlighter, blush or luminizer. You can use your fingers for application or touch ups on the go. It’s really creamy and blends well. Quo Gold Rush Eye Palette
This neutral palette has everything you need to go from day to night. You can use the darkest shade as an eyeliner and the gold tones are perfect for summer. LORAC AfterGlo Eyeshadow Palette
I bought this on a recent trip to Ulta (my first!) and it’s not available in Canada as far as I can tell, but the colours in this palette are amazing. The pigmentation is fantastic and if you’re a fan of bright colours for summer, this is the palette you need. Gorgeous Cosmetics Liquid Lips in Malted
Everyone has hopped on the bright pink or coral lips for summer bandwagon but if you’re going with super colourful eyes, a more neutral lip is probably a better idea. Malted is the perfect ‘your lips but better’ shade and the formula is similar to MAC’s Lipglass. It feels really smooth on your lips and wears well.
What are your must haves for making summer makeup easier?
Spring is about starting fresh, so here are my most wanted makeup and beauty products for this month that will give you a fresh start whether it’s clean skin, pampering yourself or looking hot.
1. philosophy Vanilla Coconut set – This little three product set has me totally transported to a tropical island. The body lotion, shower gel and lip gloss trio has an intoxicated scent that I can’t get enough of. It’s perfect for summer’s coming long days and makes me feel a bit of the summer when it’s cold out.
2. Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm – Every girl should have a perfectly pink lip balm in their purse at all times. One that gives you a hint of colour and softens your lips. My new go to is Pixi Beauty’s Ripe Raspberry lip balm. It makes my lips feel so kissably soft.
3. Smashbox Santigolden Age Collection – This Smashbox collection is only for the real cool girls. Even the packaging screams super cool. The eyeshadow palette is full of dramatic blue and orange shades, while the eyeliner is shocking blue and glam gold. Of course the nail polish strips are the icing on the cake with those super funky wraps that no one will ever forget.
4. Dermalogica Clear Start – I wish I had this acne skin care collection when I was a teen. It’s like getting a Dermalogica spa facial in your home. The face wash smells light and fresh, while the Daytime Treatment is easy to use and really effective on nasty breakouts.
5. Avon Ideal Flawless CC Color Corrector Pencil – I have a love/hate relationship with concealer, but this corrector pencil made all of my hate go away. This little pencil is the perfect on the go concealer for any issues. It is easy for breakouts, dark spots or under eyes to make you feel confident in seconds.
6. Sanctuary Spa Me Time Spa Treats – I wish I could head to the spa every week, but unfortunately I can’t. I love this little set to save until you have a night alone to take over the bathroom for serious pampering. It has a body wash, scrub, butter and hand cream that have the smell of your favourite spa. Perfect for you or for a gift if you can part with it.
One of my biggest pet peeves about makeup is how long it lasts. You spend an hour getting every inch of your face looking perfect, leave the house and then when you hit the bathroom, your eye shadow seems to have magically disappeared or been absorbed into your skin. Now you can get the new Smashbox24 Hour Shadow Primer to stop all that.
The new Smashbox Primer promises to keep your eye shadow smudge prof, crease proof and fade proof for a full day. It’s even sweat resistant, so it will totally work in the club or at a wedding where you can put your makeup to the test.
The new Smashbox 24 Hour Shadow Primer hits stores in April and we can’t wait to try it.