Holiday Gift Guide #2: Skincare Edition!

Hey everyone!

Happy December, and welcome officially to the Holiday season! This week I’m going to be sharing the second instalment of my Holiday Gift Guide series — Skincare Edition! For anyone who follows my blog regularly, you’ll already know I’m huge on skincare. Not only does it have the obvious benefits of giving you a clear, smooth complexion — it can also be an act of self-care, a nighttime routine, and a way to boost your confidence.

This is exactly why skincare makes such a great gift — it can have so many purposes! Whether its splurging on something someone else wants but doesn’t want to spend loads of money on, putting together an at-home spa night, or just sharing a product you love with others, there’s a skincare product out there that will make a great gift for anyone in your life.

All of the products below are some of my tried-and-true, all time favourite products. Many of these I use every day, and none of them have ever failed me before. As well, all these products are generally suited for all skin types, so if you don’t know the specifics of the person you’re gifting for, that’s okay! You may already recognize a few of these from my weekly “Favourites” segment, but I’ve also incorporated some products I haven’t gotten the chance to post about yet. Either way, I hope this post helps give you some great gift ideas, or inspire new ideas for gifts you’d like to gift to others in your life! (Or, you know, just products you want to try out for yourself. There’s no shame in that!).

For Someone Looking To Moisturize And Rebuild Their Skin’s Natural Barrier

Biossance Squalene + Vitamin C Rose Oil

This product right here is probably my all-time favourite skincare product. For those of you who’ve been following my blog since the beginning, you’ll probably remember that this serum was my very first ever product featured in my weekly Favourites segment. The Biossance Squalene + Vitamin C Rose Oil is a great product for almost everyone, as it both helps to hydrate and firm the skin — as well as rebuild it’s natural barrier. Squalene, an ingredient found in every Biossance product, it vital to the skin’s protective barrier that keeps pollution and dirt from entering into our skin. However, as you age, your body begins to produce less and less squalene naturally, which is why it’s important to reintroduce it via your routine. Don’t let its price deter you — one bottle lasted me an entire year. While this product is pretty universal in terms of skin types it works for (as it is a rather lightweight oil formula), Biossance has a whole line of products that contain Squalene. If you’re looking for something a little better suited to the person you’re gifting for’s personal needs, be sure to check out their whole line for more inspo! (I’ve tried two other products from their skin care line that I personally adored, so I’d say no matter what you end up purchasing it’ll likely make a fantastic gift).

Feeling inspired? Check out the Biossance Rose Vitamin C + Squalene Oil here! You can also check out the entire Biossance line at Sephora here.

For Someone Who Wants To Add A Little Brightness To Their Complexion

Caudalie Beauty Elixir

Know someone hoping to add a little brightness to their complexion? The Caudalie Beauty Elixir spray is the absolute perfect gift. This spray makes a great addition to any skin care routine, and can also be used periodically throughout the day to help freshen up your skin! I’ve been using this product for years now and love how fresh it keeps my skin feeling and how simple it is to use. Dull skin has never been much of an issue for me, and I definitely have this spray to thank for it. As well, this spray works on all skin types (even sensitive) so if you’re worried about not knowing the specific skin type of the person you’re gifting it to, it shouldn’t be a problem. As well, this product can double as a makeup setting spray for anyone trying to avoid harsh chemicals in their makeup routine!

Feeling inspired? Check out the Caudalie Beauty Elixir at Sephora here!

For Someone Looking For A Gentle Toner

Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Facial Toner

While toner is a vital step in many skin care routines, a lot of toners can include alcohol or other ingredients in their formulation that causes them to dry out skin. If you have someone in your life who’s totally over toners only causing them to break out, consider gifting them to Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Toner! This toner is incredibly gentle and super moisturizing, making it a great solution for just about any skin type. This toner is formulated with so many fantastic ingredients that help moisturize your face, rather than irritate and strip the skin of it’s natural oils. Some of these include Rose Fruit Extract (known for its toning abilities), soothing and nourishing Rosewater, and Angelica Leaf Extract to help retain moisture. If you want to know more, be sure to check out the Favourites post I wrote on this product!

Feeling inspired? Check out the Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Toner at Sephora here!

For Someone Who May Be A Little Tired After The Holiday Season

Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks

Look, while the Holiday season is an incredibly fun time full of joy, giving, and family, it can also be incredibly exhausting. The month of December is often jam-packed with travel, shopping, exams, deadlines, and more — it can really take it’s toll bay the time January rolls around. For those of us (since I definitely relate to this) who struggle with dark circles and under-eye bags, we can end up looking a little rough by the time we arrive back to school and work. If you know someone who’s got a lot coming up this month, consider the Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks as a gift! I received these in my fall FabFitFun box this year, and I instantly fell in love. These little masks do absolute wonders for brightening your eye area, so if you know anyone who’s going through it this Holiday season, treat them to a little self-care with these masks to help get them through this month looking their best.

Feeling inspired? Check out the Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Gold Eye Masks at Sephora here!

For Someone Who Wants An All-Natural Spa Night

Lush BB Seaweed and Brazened Honey Masks

For the environmentally conscious/vegan lovers in your life, look to further than Lush for the perfect face mask gift. Not only are these masks formulated all-natural (and truly stellar) ingredients, they absolutely work wonders on your skin. For a few years, I avoided purchasing these masks due to my busy student lifestyle and the inconvenience of these masks short shelf-lives, but when I reintroduced them into my skincare routine I was really blown away by the results. Not only do these products pack all-natural, vegan ingredients — they have serious results too. These masks come in all kinds of different formulas for every skin type, but my personal favourites are the Brazen Honey and BB Seaweed. The best part about these masks is that if you save up five containers, you can take them back to Lush for recycling and they’ll gift you a free mask! What more could you ask for?

As a quick side note — these masks DO require refrigeration, which is something to keep in mind before you gift them. (So don’t wrap them up and leave them under the tree for weeks before Christmas!)

Feeling inspired? Check out Lush’s face mask line on their website here!

For Someone Who Wants To Try A New Skincare Trend

Dr Jart+ Rubber Lover and Shake and Shot Masks

As far as single-use face masks go, the Dr Jart+ Rubber Lover and Shake and Shot masks are hands-down my favourite of all time. Now, I don’t wanna give away TOO much info on these products, since I have upcoming Favourites posts scheduled for both of these coming soon. However, I will say these make incredible gifts because between the two of them, there’s a formula for every skin type and skincare concern. As well, no other single-use mask, or really any mask for that matter, has given me as strong and immediate results as these two have. These masks will make a perfect gift for just about anyone in your life, as they’re super on-trend (who doesn’t love a good rubber mask?), effective, and fun. Plus, they’re a bit of a splurge, so I personally never really buy them for myself without a big event coming up — making them a great gift for anyone who needs a little extra pampering who wouldn’t indulge in something like this for themselves regularly.

Feeling inspired? Check out the Dr Jart+ Rubber Lover and Shake and Shot masks at Sephora!

For Someone Looking For A Little SPF

Origins A Perfect World SPF 40 Age-Defense Moisturizer With White Tea

I only just recently purchased this product, but it too already has a Favourites post being released soon. However, I still wanted to share it in this post because I believe it would make a FANTASTIC gift. The Origins A Perfect World SPF 40 Age-Defense Moisturizer with White Tea makes a pretty great present as it really helps add a little SPF to your morning skincare routine, which is something all of us need. It can be a challenge to remember to wear sunscreen every day, especially since it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking we don’t need it during the cloudier months. However, UV rays can cause a lot of damage to our skin, causing premature aging and hyperpigmentation; and of course, some very serious health concerns. For anyone in your life who hates face sunscreen, or needs a way to incorporate sun protection into their daily routine — look no further! This cream is also super luxurious and moisturizing; it feels lovely, smells amazing, and is guaranteed to make anyone excited to apply it every morning!

Feeling inspired? Check out the Origins A Perfect World SPF 40 Age-Defense Moisturizer with White Tea at Sephora here!

For Someone Who Knows Healthy Skin Comes From Within

Active Collagen Supplements

For anyone really looking to up their skincare game, consider gifting some collagen supplements! While many skin care products contain collagen, the best way to boost your body’s collagen production is to ingest it, rather than let it absorb through your skin. For anyone who doesn’t know, collagen is one of the most important components in retaining our skin’s elasticity. With time and aging, wrinkles begin form from decreased collagen production. Therefore, collagen intake is vital to retaining youthful skin, avoiding wrinkles, and any anti-aging skincare routine. However, these pills do tend to be a little pricey, which can deter people from purchasing them for themselves. If you know someone who’s been considering trying them out but a little put off by the cost, they can make an amazing gift! As well, they really help to add to the routine for anyone who’s all about adding skincare to every aspect of their life.

Feeling inspired? Check out some Collagen Supplements online here! Alternatively, you can find them at your local health and wellness pharmacy or food store.

And that’s it for this week’s ideas! Hopefully you all got a little something out of it — whether it’s for others or yourself (once again, no judgement here). Skincare can be a tricky gift to give as it’s obviously all super personal and varies hugely from person to person. However, all the ideas I’ve shared here are gentle on the skin and work for all skin types — so they should make a great gift for just about everyone. As well, if you didn’t find the inspo you were looking for from this post, you can always check out my first Holiday Gift Guide: Skincare Edition!

Happy December guys, I hope you all have a great month ahead of you! It’s the last one until we start the new year, so be sure to hustle towards finishing any goals you have left for the year before it ends. You can do it!

Xo,

Meredith

My Sephora Wishlist!

Hey friends!

As promised last week, here’s my Sephora wishlist. Currently, all the products I’ve had my eye on are either clean skin care (since you all know skin care is about 75% of my beauty routine) and eyeshadows.

I’m not always one to branch out in terms of new products — if I love something I tend to repurchase it until the end of time. Honestly, If I had endless money to justify having like, 15 different bronzers, blushes, highlighters and foundations God knows I would — but I’d probably end up sticking to the same products for daily use anyways.

However, there’s some products that I find having a range has more of an impact — you know, things where colour comes a lot more into play such as lip products and eyeshadow. While I buy new lip products a lot more spontaneously, eyeshadow is a much bigger commitment for me — it’s so expensive and I don’t do crazy eyeshadow looks all that often, so it has to be worthwhile.

Anyways, enough with my rambling — here’s all the clean beauty and eyeshadow at Sephora I’m dying to try!

Neon Obsessions Palette in Pink
Credit: Sephora.com

Okay, I’m really not one for crazy eye shadow looks — as much as I adore them, I find they often are challenging to execute (especially if I’m running late) and often look not so great on me. Even when I do experiment with eyeshadow, I usually stick to smoky or gold tones. That being said — this palette is GORGEOUS. If I ever was going to go totally crazy with colours, I’d definitely go for neon — and I love the shades in this palette. Even the two other colours in green and orange I’d be down to give a try. Plus I’ve owned some of the Huda Obsessions Palettes before (in Smoky, Topaz and Sapphire) and the pigment and quality of these shadows are amazing, don’t let their small size deter you. Find it at Sephora here!

Pat McGrath Labs Eyeshadow Palettes
Credit: Sephora.com

Okay, I’ve been dying to try out some of Pat McGrath Labs products since, like, forever. I’ve swatched a couple of their products at Sephora every so often and they are absolutely to die for. Seriously, everything from this line is just about the most high-quality product I’ve ever seen. However, at $170 per eyeshadow palette, it’s definitely a bit of a commitment. Fingers crossed I’ll get the chance to test some of these out soon, though. Find them at Sephora here!

Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadow Palette in Soft Glam
Credit: @loveofburgundy Instagram

If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll already know I absolutely love ABH. I’ve tried out so many of their products and honestly? I’ve yet to find one I didn’t like. I’ve already tried out a number of their eyeshadow products in the past, but I’m dying to get my hands on the soft glam palette. I think the colours are just gorgeous, and have been super inspired by my long-time friend Erin to try out more of their eyeshadow collections. (BTW, you should go check her out! Her instagram is @loveofburgundy and it’s absolutely fabulous). Also, be sure to check out the product at Sephora here!

Like, Everything By Herbivore
Credit: @herbivorebotanicals IG

Herbivore is a brand that I’ve only recently been introduced to but absolutely ADORE. I haven’t yet gotten the chance to test out any of their facial products, but I have countless on my list for when I finally get the chance. In particular, I’m hoping to test out their facial oils — I love their whole “mix and match” concept. The Bakuchiol Retinol Alternative definitely has my eye as I haven’t tested out Retinol-based products in my skincare routine yet. As well, I’m certainly looking to give the Lapis Balancing Facial Oil, Phoenix Cell Regeneration Oil, and Orchid Youth-Preserving Oil a try! You can certainly count on me testing these out soon and I’ll absolutely update when I do.

Biossance Squalene + Marine Algae Eye Cream
Credit: Sephora.com

I really didn’t want to name an entire brand I’ve been hoping to try but let’s face it, I’d love to test out everything at Biossance as well. You guys already know I’m crazy about this brand and have seen amazing results from their products, particularly their Squalene + Vitamin C Rose Oil. However, as I’ve totally mentioned before, my under-eye bags have always been a huge concern of mine. While I’m currently loving the Dr. Brandt No More Baggage gel, I’d love to test this product out as well. Plus, Biossance has their own Phyto-Retinol Serum that I’d love to try as well — also featuring Bakuchiol which is supposed to reduce irritation. Check out the eye cream at Sephora here!

Have you tried out any of these products? If so, drop a comment below and let me know what you thought! If you guys have any products you love or are dying to try drop me a message since I’m always looking for new suggestions (as if my list of products to try wasn’t already long enough!).

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!

Tuesday Favourites: May 7th

Biossance Squalene + Vitamin C Rose Oil

Hey friends! I wanted to start up a little weekly segment where I share some of my favourite products every Tuesday! To start off I thought I’d share one of my all time favourite face products: Biossance Squalene + Vitamin C Rose Oil!

My skin is combination but way more on the dry side, so I absolutely love this stuff. I put it on right before bed and let it absorb overnight. I have to say, for the first few days I was using it rubbing oil all over my face felt just plain wrong, but this product really does work wonders (and you only have to use a few drops!).

The product itself is mostly meant to brighten and firm, which it certainly does well. My skin looks WAY more radiant and fresh ever since I started using it. HOWEVER, the part I love the most is the squalene. I’m no scientist, but from what I understand squalene is something your body produces naturally, as a barrier to protect your skin from dirt and pollutants. However, you produce less and less of it as you get older. While at 22, I no longer seem to get the same type of hormone-related skin issues I did in high school, I still occasionally struggled with breakouts — until I tried this. Even at such a young age, the protective barrier against my skin was clearly starting to fade away and I swear I felt the effect of this product immediately.

On the whole, I gotta say I really love this product. 5/5 stars, will probably purchase it until the end of time, so it seemed fitting for my first Tuesday Favourites! Hope you guys liked this review, check back next week for my next review!

As long as I use it regularly, I swear I never get zits anymore. It’s THAT good. While I was hesitant to buy it, as it is pretty expensive (it’s $90 at Sephora), I’ve had it for months and still have most of the bottle left. Furthermore, the line carries other squalene-based products that are cheaper, or may be better suited to other skin types.