2019 Round-Up: The Best And The Worst!

Hey y’all!

2020 is quickly approaching, and I’m not sure about you guys but I am SO ready for it. I love fresh starts, and New Years is the ULTIMATE new beginning.

To wrap this year up, I wanted to do a little round up of all my favourite and least favourite products of the year. I love discussing all the products that worked best for me on my blog — but until now I’ve avoided discussing what didn’t. I was trying to avoid being too negative in my reviews and content — but at the same time, I feel it’s important to discuss what doesn’t work. If nothing else, hopefully I can save others from learning from mistakes I’ve made.

So before we get into it, this is going to be a two part post: the first part is going to cover my ten favourite and five least favourite products of the year, and the second is going to be my top five favourite skincare and makeup brands, as well as the top five brands I’m excited to try in 2020!

One last little disclaimer — all my reviews, obviously, are personal to me. If one of my “least favourite” products is a product you use and love, or were hoping to try, don’t let my opinions stop you! Some things work better for some people than others, and just because I didn’t like something doesn’t mean it is inherently bad. As well, I do not have any bad will for the brands I’m discussing — many of them are brands I love, and while they’re other products are absolute favourites of mine, some just didn’t cut it for me, and that’s okay! The brands I’m discussing, overall, are still wonderful.

So, let’s get into it!

The Best (And Worst) Of 2019

The Best: Biossance Squalene + Vitamin C Rose Oil

Biossance Squalene + Vitamin C Rose Oil

This product single-handedly changed my skincare. Not only is this the most mega-hydrating serum OR product I’ve ever seen — the squalene content in it really helped to rebuild my skin’s protective barrier. The amount of clogged pores and breakouts I’ve had since starting this product has gone down so significantly that this is officially a staple in my nighttime skincare routine until the end of time. While I do find it a little too heavy to apply in the mornings, I do find applying it before bed and letting it sink in overnight is perfect — my skin feels so soft the next day AND there’s no residue. A lot of heavy moisturizing products won’t absorb fully and leave behind traces the next day, but not this one. Plus, you know that feeling you get when you’re using a new skincare product for the first time and you’re always excited to apply it? A year later, and I still get that feeling every night.

Read more about this product in my review here!

The Best: Peter Thomas Roth FIRMx™ Peeling Gel

Peter Thomas Roth FirmX Peeling Gel

There are very few products, no matter how much I love them, that I would deem “perfect” — but this one is one of them. I love everything about this exfoliator; from how gentle it is, to how easy it is to apply and remove. No harsh scrubbing or long mask wait times required — this stuff exfoliates your skin instantly and effectively, and leaves your skin soft and clear.

Read more about this product in my review here!

The Worst: Biossance Squalane + Bamboo Deodorant

Biossance Squalene + Bamboo Deodorant

It really hurts me to add anything by Biossance to this list, they’re one of my all-time favourite brands. Sadly, this product was a serious let down. I bought it on a bit of a whim in the Sephora check-out line, thinking that a) Biossance could do no wrong and b) I should really switch to natural deodorant anyway. When reading up on reviews after I purchased this product, there were a lot of fairly low ratings, however, there were also a lot of people saying that these comments were from people who didn’t wait out the two week “detox period” you have to go through when switching to aluminium-free deodorant. So I waited out the two week period, smelling absolutely terrible but waiting to love this product once my detox was over. And then the two weeks were up, and I kept waiting. However, I kept sweating through this product within an hour; as well, the scent — which I can only describe as very weird and a little earthy — only made me smell worse when mixed in with my natural body odour.

Finally, my manager at work literally had to confront me about how bad I smelt — which was incredibly embarrassing but also a wake up call that after a month, it was time to call it quits. This deodorant simply did not work for me (and honestly, actually kinda made me smell worse). I wasn’t quite ready to give up on natural deodorant, however, so I switched brands and now find aluminum-free deodorant works better than any other I’ve used in the past. Plus, as Biossance’s product was $17, I was saving a lot of money by switching, so win-win, right?

My recommendation? Instead try: Tom’s Of Maine Natural Deodorant!

The Best: Herbivore Botanicals Crushed Amethyst Exfoliating Body Polish

Herbivore Botanicals Crushed Amethyst Exfoliating Body Polish

Okay, I know I’ve already discussed this product so, so many times before, but it really is amazing. First of all, it smells like lilacs — one of my all time favourite scents. Second of all, it does a fantastic job of exfoliating, and unlike many other exfoliators, the grains do not melt away as you scrub. One of my largest pet peeves with salt- or sugar-based exfoliators is how quickly the exfoliating elements of the product simply dissolve as you use it, meaning you use a lot more product. With this product, I guarantee you, you won’t have that problem. Not only that, but it exfoliates evenly and isn’t too harsh — plus it’s packed with all kinds of hydrating oils, leaving your skin feeling soft as every when you’re done.

Read more about this product in my review here!

The Best: Function Of Beauty Shampoo + Conditioner

Function of Beauty Custom Shampoo

You guys already know how much I love this product. After years of bleaching out my hair, I had resigned myself it would likely be damaged beyond repair until I grew it out. I already put so much effort into caring for my hair that I couldn’t imagine what else I could do to revive it. Function of Beauty totally changed that. Not only is it super fun getting the chance to totally customize your own shampoo and conditioner — but it shows real results, too. My hair is SO shiny and smooth now, seriously, it feels healthy for the first time in years. I actually can’t remember the last time, if ever, my hair felt this healthy. Give this product a shot, healthy hair or not, and trust me — you won’t regret it.

Read more about this product in my reviews here and here!

The Worst: Lancôme’s GRANDIÔSE Extreme Wide-Angle Extreme Volume Mascara

Credit: @lancomeofficial on Instagram

As I’ve discussed before, I rarely branch out from my select few favourite mascaras, and when I do — I tend to regret it. I’ve made this mistake one other time this year with Milk’s Kush Mascara, however, nothing has ever been as much of a disappointment as Lancôme’s GRANDIÔSE Extreme Wide-Angle Extreme Volume Mascara. It’s advertised as some kind of magical all-in-one product that will lengthen, curl, and volumize your lashes — but I really didn’t find this to be the case. Frankly, not only was this the clumpiest mascara I’ve ever tried, but it hardly did anything to accentuate my lashes whatsoever. With it’s fancy curved applicator and incredibly steep price, you’d think this mascara would be a godsend. I really hate to say it, but I found it the complete opposite — it was honestly the worst mascara I’ve ever tried at any price point.

My recommendation? Instead try: Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes or Dior’s Diorshow Iconic OverCurl Mascara!

The Best: Huda Beauty Obsessions Palettes

Huda Beauty Neon Obsession Palettes

My idea of “living my best life” would be owning one of each colour of all of these palettes. They are hands down THE most beautiful and pigmented eyeshadow palettes I’ve ever tried. They’re creamy instead of powdery, allowing them to blend seamlessly. My favourite aspect is how they cover every shade you’d need to blend out a full look in each specific colour set in only nine shades. I’ve seen a lot of people who get offset by how “small” these palettes are for their price — but they’re absolutely worth it. Not only are they pigmented enough to give you enough bang for your buck — but they also contain just about as much shadow as any nine pot palette. They’re just arranged in a way to make them purposely compact — making them perfect for travel.

Read more about this product in my review here!

The Best: Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Skinstick

Fenty Beauty Match Stix Matte Skinstick

This year, I finally got back into contouring. I fell out of favour with it back when it was hugely popular, as I often found that powder contour did not give me a natural look — it fact, it often looked muddy. However, after seeing enough videos watching artists use cream and stick contour instead of powder, I felt inspired to try again.

This contour stick is absolutely perfect for getting a seamless blend and natural look. I’ve not once had it look muddy or fake, it applies SO easily and flawlessly creates contour anywhere you apply it. I’m so glad I took the leap to get back into contouring with this product, it’s really upped a lot of my makeup looks!

Read more about this product in my review here!

The Worst: Kylie Cosmetics Glitter Eyes

Kylie Cosmetics Glitter Eyes in “Eat Cake”

After my first ever Kylie Cosmetics haul earlier this year, I was incredibly impressed with the quality of so many of the products I tried. This one, however, was incredibly disappointing. I absolutely adore liquid eyeshadow products for their incredibly pigmented look and easy application — but this product did not live up to others I had tried. It was dry and flaky; it didn’t even last until the end of my eyeshadow application before it had managed to flake off entirely. Not only that, but it took absolutely ages to dry and washed off with only the smallest amount of water. Even if you manage to apply this product well, it would never last a day without flaking or melting off in rainy weather. I’m sad because it was so beautiful, but definitely not at all worth it.

My recommendation? Instead try: Stila Glitter and Glow Liquid Eyeshadow! (You can also read my review on this product here).

The Best: Lilly Lashes

Lilly Lashes in “Miami”

Lilly Lashes, along with Sephora’s Luxe Lashes, are one of my two all-time favourite lash brands. If you know me, you know no look is complete without lashes — I literally feel naked without them. While Sephora’s lashes do give an incredibly flawless and real look, Lilly Lashes are bold and long-lasting. Seriously, so long as you take good care of these lashes, they’ll last you forever. For something as delicate as lashes, that’s pretty impressive.

Read more about this product in my review here!

The Best: Cover FX Custom Beauty Drops

CoverFX Custom Enhancer Drops

I’m sure I’m not alone in this when I say dewy skin > matte skin makeup. For the ultimate dewy skin look, I love Cover Fx’s Custom Beauty Drops! Not only do they give THE most natural yet blinding highlight — they’re extremely versatile. These drops can be added to foundation for a natural glow, applied underneath or on top of your makeup for a subtle or bold look, used as an eyeshadow, inner corner highlight, mixed into gloss and more! The possibilities are pretty endless — you can really use this product however you want. If you ever get the chance to test this product out, you’ll be sold in a heartbeat — they have so much depth to their colour and blend so flawlessly. They’ve become an absolute staple in my makeup routine.

Read more about this product in my review here!

The Worst: Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint

Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint

This might be a hugely unpopular opinion, but I’m not crazy about Glossier. While some of the products I’ve tried have been pretty great, it’s certainly not my all-time favourite brand or anything. While I do adore the Balm DotCom, and I do find the Cloud Paint/Haloscope duo gives me a great little glow if I’m in a rush to do my makeup — I really was not a fan of their skin tint product. This product really doesn’t do anything at all for your skin — I honestly couldn’t even tell where I had applied it or not as it made such a little difference. Nothing else about it is inherently bad, per se, but I feel like I would have been better off saving my money and just not wearing any kind of product on my skin, as it looked the same either way.

My recommendation? Instead try: Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer! (You can read my review on this product here).

The Best: Urban Decay All-Nighter Setting Spray

Urban Decay All Nighter Pollution Protection Setting Spray

Urban Decay has been my go-to setting spray since I started even using setting spray at all. Seriously — I’ve never used another brand. I have, however, tested out just about all their setting sprays (and even some of their spray-on primers) and I have to say, this one is the best. While their other setting sprays are all wonderful — there’s a reason All-Nighter is their most well-known (and yes, its because this product will literally make your makeup last all night). However, when I decided to branch out and try their “Environmental Protection” spray instead, I was pleasantly surprised. It lasts every bit as well as the original All-Nighter spray, but I did notice an improvement in my skin after use. This product is designed to help keep out harmful pollutants in the air we all come into contact with every day — and based on my skin’s appearance alone, it definitely holds up to that promise.

Read more about this product in my review here!

The Best: Tarte Cosmetic’s Creaseless Concealer!

Tarte Cosmetic’s Creaseless Concealer

This concealer has been my holy grail under-eye product since I first ever started using it. I chronically suffer from dark, baggy under eyes — seriously, no matter how much sleep I get and how much stress I avoid, they always look like I haven’t slept in weeks. Not only is this concealer super pigmented, it has a thick yet creamy formula that helps to hide all discolouration and dark circles — no colour corrector required. On top of that, this concealer does a MUCH better job of not settling into fine lines and creases than any other product I’ve tried. It lasts all day without wearing off even a little, so once you’ve got this applied your under eye area will look as flawless as if you’ve just gotten back from a month-long uber relaxing spa get-away. Seriously, this stuff is that good.

Read more about this product in my review here!

The Worst: Kat Von D Tattoo Liner

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner

Liquid eyeliner is another trend I’ve really started to get back into this year. Back in high school winged eyeliner was literally my “thing” — my friends even coined a nickname for me because of it. (It was “Nike” if you’re wondering). I kind of stopped with the liner for a few years, but this year I was ready to give it another shot. Back in high school, I had two go-to liner brands — Stila and Kat Von D. When I went to Sephora, however, they were out of Stila’s liquid liner, so I went for the latter. I know Kat Von D may not be the best role model, but I honestly didn’t even know which other brand to try. The result? I honestly cannot remember why I loved this liner so much in high school. It’s strange brush-type tip makes it incredibly hard to achieve a sharp point at the end of your wing, and it easily gets overwhelmed with eyeshadow — causing it to apply unevenly, dry out, and appear more of a dull grey rather than a nice, black line. Maybe I just wasn’t good enough at makeup in high school to really notice, but this product was a major let down.

My recommendation? Instead try: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Liner (or, my new favourite — Gel Liner and a brush)!

My Top Five Skincare Brands

Biossance

Credit: @biossance on Instagram

Herbivore Botanicals

Credit: @herbivorebotanicals on Instagram

Ouai

Credit: @theouai on Instagram

Fresh

Credit: @freshbeauty on Instagram

Dr. Jart

Credit: @drjart on Instagram

My Top Five Makeup Brands

Anastasia Beverly Hills

Credit: @anastasiabeverlyhills on Instagram

Huda Beauty

Credit: @hudabeauty on Instagram

Kylie Cosmetics

Credit: @kyliecosmetics on Instagram

Nars

Credit: @narsissist on Instagram

Tarte

Credit: @tartecosmetics on Instagram

Top Five Brands I’m Most Excited To Try In 2020

ColourPop Cosmetics

Credit: @colourpopcosmetics on Instagram

Glow Recipe

Credit: @glowrecipe on Instagram

Charlotte Tilbury

Credit: @ctilburymakeup on Instagram

Jeffree Star Cosmetics

Credit: @jeffreestarcosmetics on Instagram

Farmacy

Credit: @farmacybeauty on Instagram

And that’s a wrap on everything from 2019! It’s crazy to think we’re officially two days away from the new year and a WHOLE NEW DECADE. I, for one, could not be more excited to see what the new year will bring. This upcoming year should be one of new beginnings, and it’s definitely for the best! I can’t wait to see what goals I accomplish and what changes will be made by this time next year.

Do you agree or disagree with my reviews? I’d love to hear it — especially if you love something I didn’t. As well, I’d love to hear all of your favourite brands of 2019 and what you’re hoping to try in 2020 — I’d love a little extra inspo!

Stay tuned next Sunday to hear all about how to make the perfect, maintainable and achievable New Years Resolution! A lot of people feel all kinds of pressure to completely redo themselves come each new year — which can have a lot of negative impacts. If you’re interested, I’m going to be sharing next week how I set attainable goals for each year that help push me in a positive direction towards being the best version of myself.

Happy end of December, y’all, hope the holiday season has been treating you all well!

Xo,

Meredith

Fall FabFitFun Unboxing!

My Fall FabFitFun Box!

Happy first day of September y’all!

So, to start off, I’d figured I’d give a little life update — after a couple of the most hectic weeks of my life, I’m finally moved into my new apartment! I’m far from being done and probably have a few more crazy weeks ahead, but after that things should hopefully settle down. However, I’ve survived it all so far so cheers to that!

Now, onto today’s blog (which I am so excited to share) — unboxing my fall FabFitFun box! These boxes are absolutely my favourite thing in the world, I look forward to the start of each new season just to see what’s inside. Not only is every product I’ve received so far amazing; I swear FabFitFun knows what I need in my life before I do.

In this particular box, I received so many items I had just run out of/was looking to go purchase, so needless to say especially with the move this makes my life A LOT easier right now. Keep reading to see what I received in this season’s box!

Amika Strand Perfect Ceramic Straighter

Ceramic Straightener by Amika

This is the PERFECT example of FabFitFun seemingly knowing my needs before I do. For years, I’ve only had a cheap old drugstore straightener which did a terrible job of straightening my hair. It felt damaging, caught and tore my strands as I used it and took forever to use even on the highest setting — and my hair is naturally pretty straight. I am SO excited to give this fancy new straightener a go — maybe I’ll even be able to master flat iron curls!

Twine Cheese Board And Plate

Twine Cheese Board

This plate is so cute and perfect for if you ever have guests over! It’s incredibly high-quality and looks super classy for wine nights with your girls. It is 100% what I was looking for in terms of kitchen gear and I cannot WAIT to get some use out of it!

Cosmedix Pure C

Cosmedix Pure C

I cannot wait to give this stuff a try! It seems like such a simple way to add some extra Vitamin C to your skincare regimen. Simply add the powder to your serum or moisturizer, and it adds a boost of Vitamin C to your skin! Cosmedix is a fantastic brand as well — we carried it at the spa I used to work at and the whole line is incredibly high-quality. So while I haven’t tested this one out yet, I know I’ll be in for a treat when I do.

AfterSpa Hair Towel Wrap

AfterSpa Hair Towel Wrap

Yet another great example of FabFitFun having my back — this hair towel is SO cute and just what I needed! I’ve had the same cheap towels since I first moved to Vancouver, and over the years they’ve began to fall apart. Moving seemed like the perfect time to replace them, but now I’ve been saved a trip. I’ve had a towel in this style before; it’s designed to fit over the back of your head, wrap up your hair and then fastens with a button to keep it all together. While I haven’t had one of these since high school, these towels are amazing for your hair — they’re comfortable and convenient. Onto of that, the towel fabric is clearly high quality AND it’s pink! So cute!

Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks

Wander Beauty Eye Masks

FabFitFun has introduced me to a whole bunch of amazing eye masks since I started receiving their boxes — but these are my favourites so far. They’re packed with all sorts of amazing ingredients, including hyaluronic acid. Within one use, I already noticed a significant change in my dark circles and eye area. You guys already know how much I struggle with my under-eye area, but these actually seemed to fix up all sorts of issues in just minutes. Plus, they’re super cute so when I had a surprise guest it wasn’t even embarrassing to be seen wearing them!

Aveda Damage Remedy Daily Hair Repair

Aveda Damage Ready Daily Hair Repair

Again, an example of FabFitFun knowing my needs. I had just ran out of my beloved Ryo hair mask, but this one arrived just in time for me to have to go mask-less. After one use alone I have to say, I’m pretty sold on this stuff. At first, the idea of leave-in treatment had me a little stressed — it sounded like something that would just leave my hair oily and gross. However, this stuff is non-coating and light, and I couldn’t believe how fantastic my hair felt after use.

Human + Kind Body Soufflé

Human + Kind Body Soufflé

While I haven’t had a chance to give this product a try, I’m beyond excited to! The ingredients in this moisturizer sound lovely, and I love a nice, light body cream — I’m really not a fan of heavier stuff as it often lingers and leaves a residue on my skin. I just used up the last cream I received in a FabFitFun box and it was one of the best products I’d ever tried, so I can’t wait to give this one a shot!

Harper + Ari Exfoliating Sugar Cubes in Juice Cleanse

Harper + Ari Exfoliating Sugar Cubes

The last item in my box — these exfoliating sugar cubes — are just another example of FabFitFun knowing exactly what I need. (See what I mean now? Out of seven products, four of them filled a direct need I’ve been having lately. I don’t know how they do it, but I’m impressed!). As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of exfoliating, however I just ran out of my Herbivore exfoliator and haven’t had the time to purchase a new one. These cubes are pretty cool — while I’ll admit I probably wouldn’t repurchase them myself, they’re small and make it easy to ensure you don’t overuse and waste product. They smell amazing and are packed full of ingredients to leave your skin moisturized. While I’m still pretty married to the Herbivore Amethyst exfoliator, this is certainly better than many other products I’ve tried and would definitely recommend it!

And that’s it for this season’s box! I love these boxes so much, not only do they introduce me to so many amazing products and brands, but they’re like a little gift to myself every three months. On top of all the amazing products they sent me, they come packed with all sorts of other little goodies such as gift cards, free boxes to send to your friends, and a magazine detailing all the products in your box! All in all, you get your money’s worth so many times over with these boxes as so many of these products are full-sized and quite expensive to purchase. I’m already beyond excited for next seasons box — my only complaint is that I have to wait three whole months to see it!

Happy fall, everyone!

Love,

Meredith

Tuesday Favourites: August 20th

Remington Face And Body Epilator

Welcome back everyone!

This Tuesday, I’m starting off with a bit of a weird confession: I have never shaved my legs in my life. Not once.

That being said, I personally prefer to keep just about all my body hair removed — save for my lashes and brows, of course. (Side note: does anyone else feel like a totally new person every time they get their brows done? It’s one of my favourite feelings in the world).

So, basically, I’ve been waxing my legs my whole life. Since I’ve started waxing, I’ve kept up with it routinely — which for those of you who like smooth, hairless legs is a great way to go, as waxing eventually thins out your leg hair (or stops it from growing entirely!).

However, constantly going in for waxing appointments is time-consuming and expensive. Especially once I started high school, and especially in University, it just wasn’t realistic anymore. I tried out all sorts of other methods — Nair Cream, which I disliked for the smell and the irritation it caused me, as well as waxing strips, which I found to be an okay solution, but not phenomenal.

Which is where the epilator comes in.

Basically, if you’ve never heard of an epilator before, it’s a little machine that works as hundreds of tiny tweezers to fully remove your body hair from the root. It gives the same results as waxing, without the effort of heading over for monthly waxing appointments (or the costs!). I actually tried one of these out a few years ago, back when the technology was fairly new. At the time, I wouldn’t have really recommended it — it was an awfully expensive and clunky machine, and the hair removal job was just so-so.

However, a few weeks ago my friend Amanda asked me to grab her one of these off of Amazon and I was shocked by how cheap it cost — only $50, warranty included. For those of you keeping tabs, that’s easily the costs of two boxes of Nair Wax strips, or a couple packs of razors. The big difference here being — an epilator is a one-time purchase. There’s no refills or replacements, after you purchase it you should be good to go for a few years.

So I dropped two into my shopping cart — one for Amanda and one for myself. I was skeptical at first, honestly, since it was a fraction of the cost of the machine I’d owned in high school. How good could it really be? Luckily, when it arrived the next day, I found my answer: it blew the old tech out of the water.

This epilator painlessly and easily removes leg hair. It’s very gentle, and I’ve yet to have any sort of irritation come from using it — even with my sensitive skin. While I’m pretty unbothered by the pain of leg waxing by now, this hurts even less. To me, in fact, this machine doesn’t hurt at all. There’s no pinching, no ripping, just flawless, easy hair removal whenever you need it. Plus, like waxing, it’s upkeep is minimal — it doesn’t require any sort of daily upkeep that shaving requires.

If you’re like me, and enjoy keeping your legs smooth and clean-shaven, give this product a try! It may seem a little expensive up-front, but I swear if you’re buying razors or waxing it’ll save you money, time AND effort in the long run. If this sounds like the product you’ve been looking for, be sure to check it out on Amazon here!

That’s all for this week! Be sure to check in next Tuesday for more of my favourite products!

Much Love,

Meredith

Sephora Haul: August 18th

Samples At Sephora!

Hey everyone!

So, recently, I took a little trip down to Sephora (classic, I know). However, this time around I figured I’d do a little Sephora Haul post of everything I got and share with you some returning favourites, as well as some new things I just got to try out!

On top of all that, my list of stuff I want to try out from Sephora is both a) completely unrealistic to buy at once and b) expensive. I was going to include all the products I’m dying to try here before I got into my whole haul and realized that added my Wishlist was going to turn this into the longest post of all time, so stay tuned for that next week instead. I have a couple of products that caught my eye that I’m excited to try in the future — after I’ve used up whatever equivalent I’m currently using or when I can justify the purchase a little better. If you’ve tried any of them and have some feedback, good or bad, I’d love to hear it!

So, let’s get into it!

Returning Favourite: Tarte Creaseless Concealer!
Tarte Creaseless Concealer

I’ve tried out sooooo many concealers in my time, but this one is my personal favourite. I haven’t gotten the chance to make a Tuesday Favourites post about it just yet, but trust me, it’s coming. I suffer from some serious under-eye circles and while I’ve tried out many a concealer, none of them last all day and cover everything up like this stuff does.

New And Exciting: Biossance Squalene and Bamboo Deodorant!
Biossance Squalene and Bamboo Deodorant

Okay, maybe this is TMI, but I tend to be a pretty sweaty person and it’s the bane of my existence. I’ve tried out so many deodorants, from VERY all natural (read: Lush T’eo Deodorant, which sorry, I totally hated), to Dove aerosol spray, to men’s Old Spice (yes, seriously). While I usually go for Secret’s gel formulas (which are great since they don’t leave any obvious white residue) I sometimes find they don’t work all that well, especially around the end of the tube. On top of all this, I’d like to have something natural — we’ve all heard about the dangers of aluminum in deodorant, and since I’m a pretty frequent user, I’d like to limit the chemicals I’m applying daily. I saw this stuff at the checkout line and immediately grabbed it and threw it in my basket. Sephora offers a bunch of all-natural deodorants, but I love love love Biossance, so this one immediately caught my eye. Fingers crossed it works, I’ll be sure to update you all if it goes well!

Returning Favourite: Lilly Lashes (Miami)
Lilly Lashes in Miami

Y’all already know I love lashes, and I promise a post on Lilly Lashes is coming soon. While I’ve already done a post on my other favourite lash brand, Sephora’s Luxe Lashes, these ones are a favourite for totally different reasons. They still look pretty natural, however I don’t find them as easy to apply or as flattering as the Luxe Lashes. The big upside here is that these lashes can last forever. Seriously, they are so well made — as long as I don’t lose them I can use them forever. While I tend to spring for the Luxe Lashes for specific events as I do like their appearance just a little more, these ones are also stunning and make a great lash for weekly use.

New And Exciting: Farsali Rose Gold Elixir
Farsali Rose Gold Elixir

If you’ve ever seen an Instagram makeup tutorial, like, ever, you’ve probably seen Farsali elixirs before. They’re super popular amongst make-up influencers for application under makeup, or even mixed in, for a fresh and dewey look. I’ve never been ready to commit to a whole bottle, as I wasn’t sure it was really something I really needed — but I was always curious. When I saw this sample sized bottle, I knew it was the perfect opportunity to give it a try!

Returning Favourite: Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes!
Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara

Alright, you guys already know I love Tarte. This product has always been one of my favourite mascaras and frequently in my rotation. Mascara is one of those products that I actually switch up pretty frequently; I’ll admit I’m pretty married to most of my other makeup items and rarely stray from what I always buy. With mascara, however, I’ve always had a couple of favourites that I switch out, and I’ll try out new products that catch my eye every so often as they only last three months anyway. This one reigns as one of my favourites, as I find the brush a great shape and the formula pretty fantastic — as well as the added eyelash conditioning bonus. Be sure to stay tuned for a post on all my favourite — and least favourite — mascaras I’ve tried!

Returning Favourite: The Beauty Blender!
Blender Sponge by Beauty Blender

I won’t go too deep into this one since I’m sure most of you are at least a little familiar with it. I’ve never met a better makeup applicator, and have pretty much been married to this sponge since I bought my first one. I seriously can’t remember a time I’ve purchased a different sponge or foundation brush since.

New And Exciting: ABH Matte Lipstick Set!
Anastasia Beverly Hills Matte Lipstick Set

Anyone who knows me knows I have never been a matte lipstick gal. From the start of the matte lipstick boom a few years ago, through its peak, it was never a favourite of mine. While I tried to hop aboard the trend, I always hated the dryness of it, how it looked when it wore off and was re-applied, and even the look — I just never personally never found it attractive. (This, along with straying from the bold-brow and contour trend, was actually a huge turning point for me in learning that I don’t always have to follow what’s trendy and a product’s popularity doesn’t mean it’s what looks best on me). Through and through, I’ve mostly stuck to gloss or non-matte lipstick through the years until they started to finally come back in style this last year. However, I occasionally spring for the occasional matte lipstick — I find at least non-liquid matte isn’t as drying and doesn’t give as extreme of a matte look which I indulge in sometimes. This product (and the surprising low price of it) caught my eye near the checkout, and I decided to give it a try as most of the colours have a shimmer and the sample size of them is fairly low-commitment. I’ve never tried ABH Lipstick but the brand is one of my favourites, so I’m sure these won’t disappoint.

Returning Favourite: Hello Fab Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer!
Hello Fab Coconut Skin Smoothie Priming Moisturizer

Okay, this product’s name is a bit of a mouthful. But this stuff is fantastic — it can double as a moisturizer even when you’re going out sans-makeup and has a lovely glow to it that illuminates your complexion. My skin is generally on the dry side, so I find this product works wonderfully to give my skin a little extra moisture before I start my makeup routine. While I’m not 100% married to it like I am with many of my other products, I’ve used it consistently as a primer for about a year now.

Returning Favourite: Benefit Gimme Brow Mascara!
Benefit Gimme Brow Mascara

I won’t go too deep into this one since I already made a whole post about it here. However, if you’re one for a more natural brow look, brow mascara is a product worth looking into — it helps define your brows while also holding them in place all day. Plus when it comes to brows, Benefit is one of the best.

And that’s all for my haul! Stay tuned to read all about my wish list of Sephora products — I have so many things I’m dying to try and I’d love any feedback before I go out and purchase them!

As always, much love,

Meredith

BONUS: Inside look at the Farsali Elixir — I’m already in love!

HERBIVORE HAUL: Love It or Leave It?

Herbivore Botanicals Crushed Amethyst Body Polish and Rose Quartz Body Oil

Hey friends!

So, to start off, sorry I’ve been a little quiet this week. My parents were in town visiting, as well I’ve been preparing for my trip to South East Asia (more on that later!) so I haven’t had much downtime lately.

However, I wanted to introduce a new segment to y’all: Love It or Leave It! In these posts, I will be reviewing new products I’ve bought and share my first impressions of them. To kick it off, I’m starting with two new products I got from Sephora this week from Herbivore Botanicals!

I’m gonna start off by talking about the Crushed Amethyst Exfoliating Body Polish. I’ve had my eye on this one for a while, it kept popping up on my Instagram feed so I followed Herbivore and checked out their products. Absolutely everything they carry looks amazing, but this one in particular caught my eye. I consider exfoliating to be one of the more important parts of my routine — it helps to keep your skin fresh and soft, while also avoiding clogged pores and any other gross excess build up on your skin. However, I’ve never managed to find an exfoliator I’ve both loved and been able to purchase continuously, as many of the products I’ve tried came from subscription boxes where I couldn’t purchase the product in Canada, or were discontinued.

I was kind of worried I was getting too excited about trying this product and it wouldn’t live up to the hype. But the moment I opened it and smelt it, I was already pretty sold. It smells of lilacs, which is a super nostalgic scent for me and a personal favourite of mine. My mom was there when I opened it, and without even trying it the scent alone pretty much sold her on buying her own.

However, the real test obviously comes with the results it gives, but boy does it ever give them. This stuff left my skin SO soft and smooth, I’m already pretty convinced this product is going to be my go-to for life. It has fairly large granular particles in it, which exfoliate super effectively. One of my biggest pet peeves with exfoliators is ones that are too watery or soft, meaning you really have to scrub to see results — but this stuff was SO effective without rubbing harshly on my skin. Furthermore, it has some oil component to it which helped moisturize my skin, but it wasn’t so oily that it was overwhelming or gross. I could go on and on about how perfect this stuff is, but I think you kind of get the point. Overall, the verdict is: LOVE IT.

The other product I tried was the Rose Quartz Illuminating Body Oil. I’ve tried a super similar product once in the past that I had been so excited to try and ended up hating it — so I was kind of hesitant to purchase this. The last body oil I tried was heavy and greasy, while also providing a ver oily looking “illumination” that came from the oil and not from the glitter/bronzer of the product. However, this stuff seems pretty legit. I’m not 100% sure I’m totally sold on it — time will tell if I give up my regular moisturizer for this stuff. However, I have to say it definitely left a good first impression. The illumination factor isn’t insane — which is actually kind of nice. I’ve yet to try it out before going out in the day but it seems to give a more natural, healthy glow rather than looking super glittery or oily. Also, compared to the other oil I tried, it’s pretty lightweight and absorbed pretty quickly, so I felt moisturized instead of greasy. On top of all that, it has an AMAZING floral scent to it, and the bottle makes application pretty easy. The pump gives a good amount, while not making you pour out oil by yourself (which is super challenging to do with oily hands) or drip out small amounts in a dropper. So, overall, so far so good. I’m gonna give it a few more weeks before I decide if it’s something worth purchasing again, but so far the verdict is: LOVE IT!

So, there you have it! You can find the exfoliator on Sephora here, as well as the body oil here. And be sure to check out Herbivore Botanicals here! Not only are their products amazing, but they’re all vegan, cruelty-free, as well as only using organic and active ingredients! These are the first two products from their line that I’ve ever tried, but I can say without a doubt they won’t be the last. If you’ve ever tried their other products yourself and have any recommendations, drop them in the comments below!

That’s all for now!

Much Love,

Meredith