Winter Roundup: My Fave Products So Far in 2021!

Hey y’all!

So, as some of you may remember from what feels, honestly, ages ago (even though it’s only been a few months — has COVID really messed up anyone else’s internal timeline or is it just me?) I used to share two weekly posts on my blog page — a post on Sunday, and a post on Thursday (ever-so-creatively dubbed “Thursday Favourites”) where I highlighted one of my personal favourite makeup or skincare product in a segment each week, going into detail about what it was about each product that I loved so much.

These segments were something I came up with when I first started my blog (back when I used to post THREE times a week……. I honestly don’t know how I did it). At the time, I didn’t really know where I was going with my blog, what kinds of posts I wanted to make, or really — what I was even doing. I grew attached to my little segment — it felt like my own little gimmick — even though I found it challenging to write out long, thoughtful and creative reviews on new products every week.

Then, later on, as most of you know — I started falling behind on my posts. Writing out a review to share every week started to feel like a chore — there was absolutely nothing enjoyable about it anymore, it was just a task I had to complete each week. Eventually, the stress of falling behind and the pressure I was putting on myself surrounding my blog simply became too much, and resulted in me going straight up radio silence for almost two months. It wasn’t an intentional break — I just couldn’t do it anymore.

When I finally took the time to recuperate and make my return to blogging, I knew that (at least temporarily), the weekly reviews had to go — they were the part of blogging I had found to be the most grating over the months leading up to my hiatus. I thought that the segment was something I still wanted to keep up with, so my original intention was to delay sharing them until I had built up enough of a backlog that I wouldn’t have to stress about falling behind anymore. However, once I got back into blogging 100%, I started to realize the VERY distinct difference in how I felt writing out my regular posts, compared to how I felt writing out reviews. Honestly? There wasn’t really anything fun about it. What’s more — it often took a lot more time and energy than my regular Sunday posts, as I always wanted to take and edit my own original photos of each product I was sharing each week.

After spending some time writing out only my Sunday posts and seeing my love of blogging slowly begin to return, I realized it was time to bring the Thursday Favourites segment to an end. I thought I would be sad to see it go, but honestly it’s been a bit of a relief. That being said, I still want to share my favourite products with you all — so I’ve come to a bit of a compromise. Similarly to how I’ve shared annual round-ups of all my favourite products of the year in the past, I’m now going to be doing seasonal round-ups of both new favourite products of mine, or old returning favourites I had yet to share. This way, I’m hoping I’ll still be able to share all the products I’ve been loving with you all — without the stress of writing out lengthy, blog-length reviews each week.

So, basically, we’ll see how this goes. That’s the great thing about having my own blog is that at the end of the day, what I share is ultimately up to me (and there’s no reason I should feel the need to share posts that exhaust me just because I’ve decided I’m “supposed to”). Anyway, without further ado — here’s seven of my most favourite products that I’ve tried and loved since my last Thursday Favourites update!

Sulwhasoo’s Bloomstay Vitalizing Eye Cream

My under-eye area has pretty much always been the bane of my existence. I’ve definitely mentioned this before (many, many times) on my blog, but to summarize for those of you who don’t know — for whatever reason, my under-eye area has always had seemingly perpetual dark circles which no amount of sleep or skincare ever seemed to fix. As well, the skin under my eyes has always been very delicate and has always maintained heavy creasing — basically making me look like I’m constantly exhausted (even in the best-rested, most relaxed time of my life). As well, years of trying to aggressively fix these problems basically just ended up with me clogging up all my pores under my eyes, leaving me with seemingly permanent milia (verrryyyy tiny clogged pores, for those of you lucky enough not to know. Essentially, you can’t pop them — you have to solve them with proper skincare). I wasn’t even aware that my skincare routine was causing the milia under my eyes — I thought it was just something that was permanently a part of my face.

I tried out a couple of eye creams over the years, but honestly, I never found what I was looking for. A lot of the eye creams I tried had seemingly no effect — I honestly couldn’t tell what, exactly, I was spending all this money for. However, I finally found one that was worth it. This eye cream has actually made noticeable changes to my under eye area — since trying this cream, my dark circles have mostly vanished, my skin has firmed up, and while I’m still struggling to be 100% rid of all my old milia — this product hasn’t done anything to add to the issue. (It’s taking a while to resolve, but I’m getting there!). Anyway, this stuff is expensive but it really is the best — I’m pretty sure I’ve found my forever eye cream here.

If this sounds like the product you’ve been missing in your life, check it out at Sephora!

Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops

I won’t lie — this product was a bit of an impulse purchase that I was pretty certain I was going to regret, but ended up obsessed with. When this product first launched, all the posts I saw about it and it’s natural, makeup-free highlighting abilities really sold me — but immediately after I purchased it, I began worrying about whether or not it was something I really, truly needed. I figured, ultimately, that I would give it a try and I could always end up returning it if it turned out to be something that was unnecessary (which isn’t something I normally do, ever, because it can be pretty wasteful). However, when I actually got this product and tried it out, all my worries washed away. (I don’t even know why I was stressed — Glow Recipe has never done me wrong). This product has so many uses — it’s hydrating, adds a glow to your skin naturally, and can be worn with makeup to give your skin a little extra boost. As well, niacinamide acts to remove any hyperpigmentation and scarring from the skin — which I ended up loving, since it’s not a skincare ingredient I had used before. Ultimately, this has made a fantastic addition to my morning skincare routine — it leaves me looking fresh, awake, and glow — while also serving a purpose in my skincare. I was so nervous that this product was going to be something that I wouldn’t use or need, but it honestly gives me something new to look forward to every morning when I wash my face.

If this sounds like the product you’ve been missing in your life, check it out at Sephora!

Biossance’s Squalane + Tea Tree Detox Mask

This mask has got to be one of my all-time faves. Before trying this mask out, I’d been going years using harsh charcoal and clay masks to unclog my pores — which can be super useful, but harsh on sensitive skin. While I do love charcoal masks for occasional use, I was really needing something solid help unclog my pores regularly without being too harsh or stripping the oils from my face. For anyone else out there who feels the same way, and has sensitive skin like me — you need to try this mask out for yourself. As the name suggests, it’s purpose is to detox your pores, but it does it without being too harsh — in fact, it actually hydrates your skin as you use it! I always can feel AND see a noticeable difference in my skin after using this mask. Seriously, it’s like I have baby skin after. 10/10, would recommend.

If this sounds like the product you’ve been missing in your life, check it out at Sephora!

Laneige’s Lip Glowy Balm

Laneige is a brand I’m pretty new to, but have been absolutely loving. I already use and love their overnight lip mask, and I’ve tried out a sample of their overnight hydration mask (which I adored). So when I was in need of a new lip balm, I figured — why not give this one a shot? When it comes to lip balms, I often find there are two kinds — ones that double as a gloss, and ones that actually work. This is, honestly, the first lip balm I’ve ever tried that does both. This lip balm has a glossy-like sheen to it, but isn’t sticky or gross. It actually lasts, too — unlike so many lip balms that need constant reapplication. It’s pretty thick, however, that type of thing doesn’t really bother me with balms (and it definitely isn’t the heaviest lip balm I’ve ever tried). Most importantly, though — it always leaves me lips feeling softer after I use it.

If this sounds like the product you’ve been missing in your life, check it out at Sephora!

Glow Recipe’s Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping Mask

This is another face mask I’ve tried in the last year that’s definitely made it into my permanent collection. Retinol is a pretty renowned ingredient in skincare nowadays, and for a lot of good reasons. There’s all kinds of cool benefits to using it — the main ones being preventing (and minimizing existing) wrinkles, brightening and exfoliating the skin at a cellular level by increasing cell turnover rates, help regulate oily skin, prevent breakouts and even help with hyperpigmentation. Which is a lot of benefits! However, it definitely has some downsides too — it can be pretty intense on the skin, and overuse can lead to redness and peeling, as well — it does tend to make your skin more sensitive to the sun. I’m always nervous about trying out hardcore active ingredients in my skincare routine, but I decided to give this mask a shot. This mask is PERFECT for people with sensitive skin, or who are looking to give retinol a go and want to dip their toes in. Not only can it be used as frequently or infrequently as you need, but it can also be used as a wash off OR overnight mask, depending on your needs. Personally, I use this mask as a wash-off, but it’s totally fine to wear it overnight as well — Glow Recipe has a special retinol recipe that helps it release slowly overnight, so it won’t be damaging your skin or anything. No matter what, it definitely can take your skin some time to adjust to retinol — but the benefits really do seem worth it. If you’re new to retinol, though, this mask is 100% the perfect place to start.

If this sounds like the product you’ve been missing in your life, check it out at Sephora!

ColourPop’s Super Shock Highlighter

I recently tried ColourPop for the first time ever, and I have to say, I’m obsessed. All of their makeup has impressed me so far (especially considering the price), but none of them blew me away the same way their Super Shock highlighter has. This highlighter is INSANE. It creates a look that’s so dewy and dimensional — they describe it on their website as “bouncy”, and they definitely aren’t wrong. This stuff is PIGMENTED, and the colour is absolutely stunning. I know I’m definitely going to be buying more in the future — because this really may be the best highlighter I’ve ever used (and that says a lot, coming from a highlighter enthusiast such as myself).

If this sounds like the product you’ve been missing in your life, check it out at ColourPop!

ColourPop Glitterally Obsessed Glitter Gel

This was another one of ColourPop’s products I tried in my recent haul that really blew me away. I absolutely LOVE glitter, but using it in makeup can be a real pain. Loose glitter is nearly impossible to apply well, and you often end up needing special glue or other products to apply it right and make it stay. This gel, however, totally takes all the stress out of glitter — while it may look super pink, the gel itself is actually clear — so you can simply dab this glitter on wherever you’re feeling it. And that’s it! It stays SO well. While I guess I really don’t have many opportunities to wear glitter out lately with COVID and all (this stuff would be PERFECT for festival season), I’m definitely going to find ways to work it into my makeup looks because I just adore it.

If this sounds like the product you’ve been missing in your life, check it out at ColourPop!

Happy Sunday everyone, and happy Valentine’s Day! No matter what you ended up doing today, or who you spent the day with — I hope you all had a great day. Holidays don’t have to be big and over-the-top to be special, after all — I had a great day today, and all I did was treat myself to some bubble tea and watch the latest episode of my favourite show.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post — I’m hoping that this segment ends up working out, and helps me to share my favourite products with you in a way that’s stress-free and enjoyable to me! I’d love to hear your thoughts on the format, so drop a comment below and let me know what you thought!

Much love,

Meredith

2020 Round Up: My Fave Products and Brands of the Year!

Hey y’all!

2020 is finally, FINALLY coming to a close and I, for one, could not be happier. This year has been pretty rough from start to finish for all of us — I think we can all agree we’re looking forward to turning over a new page and starting 2021 with a nice, fresh start.

It’s crazy thinking back on the early months of 2020 now — some parts of it feel like absolute eons ago, whereas some moments feel as though they happened the other week. There’s been some ups (and many, many downs), but it hasn’t been all bad, I guess. I mean, I still got the chance to travel to Mexico this year before travel shut down worldwide, and while I had some hard times, I’ve had a lot of time off to learn to cope and become reacquainted with myself as an individual. I’ve revisited old hobbies, discovered new things I love, and had plenty of time to explore exactly what it is in life I enjoy doing.

However, corny as it sounds, one of the positives of this year is that I got the chance to try all sorts of new products out during lockdowns — many of which I absolutely adored. This year, skincare definitely reined supreme amongst products I both tried and loved — after all, there’s not much of a need to be buying heaps of makeup if you’re never leaving the house.

With all the products I tried, it WAS a little tricky to narrow it down to a top 10. However, I managed to narrow it down (in no particular order, of course). The following 10 products are the best new products I tried this year (not all of them are new this year, but they’re new to me). I really loved each and every one of these products — they’ve all become regulars in my daily routine, and many of them I would say are my fave products of all time. I’ve attached a little reasoning with each product about why exactly I love it so much, so that all of you know exactly what’s so great about them and whether they’d be something you’d love too!

Top 10 Products I Tried in 2020

Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask

Why I love it: I only use this mask a wash off mask (not overnight), but even after 10 minutes it leaves my face feeling brand new. It’s packed full of AHA’s and hyaluronic acid, which always leaves my face feeling soft, fresh, and plump. Plus, it clears up my skin and really makes it glow.

Check out this product at Sephora!

Milk Makeup’s Hydro Grip Primer

Why I love it: This primer basically acts like a glue that holds all of your makeup in place, all day, though anything. It has a smoothing effect, allowing your makeup to apply as flawlessly as possible. Plus, it’s hydrating AF and actually leaves my skin feeling pretty great.

Check out this product at Sephora!

Herbivore Botanical’s Lapis Blue Tansy Face Oil

Why I love it: This balancing oil helps to reduce redness and fix blemishes, leaving your skin looking clear and flawless. It’s not too heavy, and it’s squalene component helps to rebuild your skins barrier and protect it from dirt and pollutants.

Check out this product at Sephora!

Charlotte Tilbury’s Instant Eyeshadow Palette in Pillow Talk

Why I love it: This palette! Ugh. It was love at first use. This palette was my first time trying Charlotte Tilbury, but it’s totally sold me on the whole brand. These shadows are so blendable and produce ZERO fallout. The colours are super cute and delicate, and work well for everyday use. I can’t wait for the chance to try out more products by this brand.

While this palette was limited edition, Charlotte Tilbury still has many great products to check out at Sephora!

Glow Recipe’s Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping Mask

Why I love it: I only tried this mask out recently, but I’ve already fallen in love. I was hoping to add a little retinol into my skincare routine — but only a small amount. I had tried their eye cream version in the past and while I loved it, I wasn’t sure I was ready to commit to daily retinol (since it can do some harm if you’re not careful). This was the perfect medium — it leaves my skin looking FLAWLESS, and I don’t have to worry about using it wrong/mixing in wrong ingredients since I only use it occasionally. Now I get all the benefits of retinol, without any of the stress!

Check out this product at Sephora!

Biossance’s Squalane + Tea Tree Detox Mask

Why I love it: This is the perfect mask for anyone who’s skin is just a liiiiittle too sensitive for charcoal clay masks. I often find that while charcoal clay masks work for me, they leave my skin feeling a little irritated after. This masks clears up my skin while leaving it feeling softer than before — and it’s absolutely one of my all-time faves.

Check out this product at Sephora!

Huda Beauty’s Pastel Obsessions Eyeshadow Palettes

Why I love it: These palettes may be tiny, but they pack a lot of punch. They’re super pigmented and the colours are always stunning. The pastel colours are super on-trend for this year, and each palette comes with enough colours to create a wide range of diverse looks. 10/10, would recommend.

Check out this product at Sephora!

Sulwhasoo’s Bloomstay Vitalizing Eye Cream

Why I love it: I’ve always had issues with my under eyes, but this eye cream has honestly solved a lot of my problems. Since purchasing this cream, my under eyes have been nice and full and bright, and my fine lines and milia have been fading in a big way. This stuff may be pricey, but it’s totally worth it.

Check out this product at Sephora!

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

Why I love it: This stuff is the ultimate cure to chapped lips, IMO. One layer, one night and your lips will be feeling good as new the next day. It works so effectively, it actually lasts all night and the effects last all day. For real — my lips have been brand new ever since I tried this lip mask, and I can’t wait to try out more of Laneige’s products because of it.

Check out this product at Sephora!

Shu Uemura’s Anti/Oxi Skin Refining Cleansing Oil

Why I love it: Double cleansing WORKS. It helps to remove dirt that water-based cleansers don’t, especially SPF and other oil-based grime. My skin has felt so clean ever since starting. I haven’t tried any other oil-based cleansers, to be fair, but this stuff is just fantastic.

Check out this product at Sephora!

My Top 5 Brands of 2020

Since skincare has been the main event of my life this year, my top 5 brands of this year naturally ended up being entirely skincare (unlike last year where I did 5 skincare and 5 makeup brands). Unlike my favourite products of the year, these aren’t necessarily brands I tried for the first time this year, just the brands that topped my faves list by the end of the year (and all amazing brands that I could not recommend more).

Glow Recipe

Credit: @glowrecipe on Instagram

Herbivore Botanicals

Credit: @herbivorebotanicals on Instagram

Biossance

Credit: @biossance on Instagram

Ouai

Credit: @theouai on Instagram

Fresh

Credit: @freshbeauty on Instagram

Top 5 Brands I’m Excited To Try in 2021

This one sort of speaks for itself — these following five brands are all brands that I’m hoping to get the chance to try sometime during 2021! I already got the chance to try 3/5 of the brands on my list last year — and they of all ended up being my newfound faves. Here’s to trying out more brands and discovering new favourite products in 2021!

Tatcha

Credit: @tatcha on Instagram

Melt Cosmetics

Credit: @meltcosmetics on Instagram

Patrick Ta

Credit: @patricktabeauty on Instagram

Supergoop!

Credit: @supergoop on Instagram

Summer Fridays

Credit: @summerfridays on Instagram

And there you have it! What a year it’s been. It’s kinda crazy thinking back on it all — trying out some of these products for the first time feels like a whole lifetime ago. We’re so close to 2021 now, however, and I honestly can’t wait to see what it brings. Maybe it’ll be good, maybe it’ll be bad — but at least it’ll be a fresh start.

Stay tuned for next weeks post, where I detail 20 life lessons I learned in 2020! This year has taught me a lot, and it’s always important to reflect back on what life has taught us in order to ensure we don’t forget. While this year has certainly been a challenge, it doesn’t have to be all bad –it’s important that we all take time to look back on what this year has taught us, and take these lessons into the future to better ourselves and the world we live in.

As well, over the next few weeks I’ll be dropping my review of my FIRST-EVER ColourPop Cosmetics haul (one of the companies on my list of brands to try in 2020 last year!) and my winter FabFitFun unboxing. As well, I have some exciting content planned for new year, so stay tuned!

Much love,

Meredith