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.
To say I love holiday makeup is an understatement. If I could only buy makeup once a year, it would be holiday stuff and these gifts are perfect for any makeup junkie.
Lipstick Queen Smokey Lip Kit
There are actually two of these kits, one comes with Black Lace Rabbit and Pinky Nude Sinner and the other with Black Lace Rabbit and Bright Natural Sinner. I like both options but for this post went with Pinky Nude. You can use both these lipsticks on their own or layer the Black Lace Rabbit over Pinky Nude for a deeper, smokey look. If you’ve never tried Black Lace Rabbit before, this is a great way to try the sheer, transforming black lipstick that’ll at least double you lipstick options. Tarte Color Vibes Amazonian Clay Palette
This palette has been out for months, so it’s getting a little difficult to find, but keep looking because it’s worth it. With twenty eyeshadows in Tarte’s amazing Amazonian Clay formula, there’s a shade for every look you want. I personally love the shades on the Monet, Seascape and Mosaic but there isn’t a single shade I wouldn’t use. Arbonne Midnight Muse Holiday 2016
It’s pretty rare for a holiday kit to give you a complete makeup look but Arbonne’s Midnight Muse does a pretty good job of it. The kit includes an eyeshadow duo, a pencil liner and a matte cream & sheer lip gloss duo. All you really need to add is mascara and some blush (or at least I do) and you’re good for any holiday party. Kat Von D Hello Canada! Set
This really isn’t a holiday kit, but it’s a fantastic way to introduce someone to Kat Von’s makeup. Available only at Sephora in Canada, this kit includes some of my favourite Kat Von D products. It has deluxe mini versions of Studded Kiss Lipstick in Lolita, Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Double Dare and Tattoo Liner in Trooper (everyone needs to try this one) and it’s all wrapped up in a vegan leather bag. Did I mention it’s only $30? Too Faced Grande Hotel Cafe
I look forward to Too Faced holiday releases every year and while they do seem somewhat similar, there’s always something special about them. This year my favourite was the Grande Hotel Cafe. You open up the cafe to reveal three palettes, a deluxe sample of Better Than Sex mascara and a leaflet with three makeup look instructions. Each of the palettes is scented differently (Eggnog Latte, Gingerbread Coffee and Peppermint Mocha). You can also carry around each palette separately or use them together. I can’t wait to see what they come out with next year.
I can’t believe summer is half over and with the heat wave we’ve been having in Toronto, I’m about ready for fall. I went on vacation during July so this month all my picks were what I used the most while travelling. Dermalogica Active Moist
My combination skin tends to go to the oily side during the summer, so finding a lightweight moisturizer that keeps my skin hydrated without making it greasy is really important. Active Moist is oil-free and made for combination skin, plus it absorbs pretty much instantly. It leaves my skin really soft and dewy without looking like you could fry something on my face. Caudalie Beauty Elixir
Flying is pretty much the worst thing for your skin. While some people use masks to keep save their skin from getting dehydrated, I love face mists and Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir is one of my favourites. It comes in 30mL and 100mL, both of which are perfect for travelling. This grape-based mist not only totally refreshes your skin but also minimizes pores, boosts radiance and can be used as a setting spray. Sephora Super Nourishing Lip Balm
My lips aren’t in the best shape from all the matte lipstick I’ve been wearing and this lip balm has been a massive help in fixing them. I love that it applies like a lipstick. It’s really creamy but absorbs quickly and it has a really subtle vanilla scent. There are honestly quite a few Sephora brand products that could’ve made this list but the lip balm edged them out. Stila Convertible Color in Camellia
I’ve tried a ton of Stila products over the years but never a Convertible Color, which have basically been around forever. If you love a multi-use product like I do, this one’s the motherlode. You can use it as a lipstick and blush and I’ve been known to use it as an eyeshadow in a pinch as well. Camellia is the closest thing I’ve found to a decent bronzer on my extremely fair skin. All you need with one of these compacts are your fingers. There’s a mirror built in and they’re creamy enough to blend really well without a brush. Too Faced Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar Palette
I took exactly one eyeshadow palette with me on vacation and it was this one. Considering my trip consisted of a wedding plus a lot of full day walking trips, I needed something that would cover everything and boy did it. There are lighter, neutral shades mixed in with deeper browns and pops of blue. Plus it smells like chocolate! All the shadows blended beautifully and there was a way to use it whatever I was doing. This is probably my favourite neutral palette right now.
I’m not a huge fan of lipstick, or I wasn’t until matte liquid lipstick became a thing and now I wear a lot more than I ever have before. Since I’m loving the formula, I decided to do a series on the matte liquid lipstick world and see which ones worked the best for me. We’re kicking it off with Too Faced’s Melted Matte.
We tried six shades L-R: Miso Pretty (soft pink), Child Star (soft nude), Sell Out (pinky-brown), Feelin’ Myself (peachy-pink), Lady Balls (true red) and Evil Twin (deep black cherry), The lipsticks are a pretty substantial size with a pretty typical doe foot wand that makes it easy to apply. The formula though is a little different. It’s extremely creamy and is infused with avocado oil and vitamin E to keep your lips comfortable. It also has Volulip in it to give your lips a little non-tingly plump.
Melted Matte really doesn’t take long to dry and once it does, it feels like your not wearing anything. I’ve gone a good six hours without even checking if I had to reapply and unless I was doing a ton of eating, I barely noticed a difference. Once these dry down there’s very little transfer as well. My biggest issue is that I wish there were some brighter, summery shades, but I’ve been wearing Feelin’ Myself pretty much non-stop and I’ve gotten a ton of compliments on it.
I started off with Melted Matte because it’s by far my favourite of the matte liquid lipsticks that we’ll be featuring. I’m just hoping they introduce more shades.
Nothing is more frustrated than losing your lip colour minutes after leaving the house. Glossy lip colours seem to be more of a culprit of this than matte products. Enter Too Faced, who clearly feel my pain. For some reason, I’ve had many lipsticks lately that just won’t last. When I start with the Lip Insurance though, they double their wear time. I’m not saying it they last all day, but it gives them a serious boost. I can just imagine what will happen when I pair it with an already amazing lipstick. For now, this is my lipstick saver.
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.
I’ve used a ton of Too Faced products over the year but other than my beloved Melted Liquid Lipstick, I’ve never used their lipsticks. Even though they just launched La Matte Lipstick (and trust me, I’ll definitely get around to those), I was way more interested in the new La Crème shades. We’ve been using so much matte lipstick lately that I’ve almost forgotten what creme lipstick feels like. And with names like Unicorn Tears, I was sold. We got to try eight of the new shades (we’re missing Topless and Sugar Daddy) and one of the originals, Pink Chocolate.
These lipsticks go on ridiculously smooth. They’re soft enough to be able to maneuver but hard enough that they don’t end up all over the place. Because they’re not matte, they’re also not transfer-proof and you really have to reapply pretty often. The upside is, they’re really comfortable and moisturizing and feel fantastic.
The shades are also incredible. I had to try Unicorn Tears first because I was so intrigued. It’s an iridescent shimmer that you can wear on it’s on or over another lipstick and it’s insanely gorgeous. Pink Chocolate might be the oldest shade in the bunch but it’s one of those shades that’ll look great on anyone. WHAM!, however, is my favourite. Too Faced calls it an iridescent raspberry and that’s a decent enough description but it’s really so much more than that. It’s the perfect red for a night out when you want something different. The shimmer just makes it something special.
I might have favourite shades but they’re really all stunning and there’s something for everyone with over twenty colours to pick from. I might have a hard time deciding between the shades and the names, but I’m sure I’m not the only one.
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.