Mask-Friendly Makeup Tutorial!

Hey friends!

Can you believe it’s almost the end of August? This year has absolutely been flying by — its crazy to think back to how different things were even a month ago, yet alone back at the beginning of this year. One of the biggest changes to our world this year is requiring (and possibly normalizing) wearing masks in public. Wearing masks in public has been popular in many countries for years as an act of courtesy if you’re feeling sick, and while it wasn’t entirely uncommon in Vancouver, going forward I think it will become more normalized than ever.

Personally, I’m all for it. If you’re feeling sick, it’s only polite to protect others and limit spreading illness. I don’t find wearing a mask to be that much of an inconvenience, plus, you can get some pretty cute and custom ones to complete your outfit and express yourself! You can find all kinds of different masks anywhere nowadays, but for really unique designs and essentially unlimited options, RedBubble has you covered — I’m waiting on an order of masks I put in from them recently and I couldn’t be more excited! They really have something for just about anyone, given how many artists are active on the site.

The only things I find tricky about masks are 1) wearing them with glasses (which of course, I can always just wear my contacts — but it’s a pain if I don’t want to) and 2) wearing them with makeup. While you can get away with wearing a full face of makeup under a mask if you’re only wearing it for a short period of time or are careful not to exert yourself too much (and you know, end up fogging up the inside of you mask) — you really can’t get away with wearing a full makeup look if you have to wear the mask for a while. It’s pretty much impossible to not have your makeup get at least a little messed up under there, especially when you’re wearing foundation and a full cheek look. It’s impossible to keep your mask from wearing away your makeup when wearing it long-term, which can leave your makeup looking pretty rough after a while.

So, yeah. Masks can be a bit of a pain. But what’s a little inconvenience in the grand scheme of things? It may be a pain, but it’s better than the alternative of spreading disease and accelerating the pandemic. While you can easily choose to go makeup-free, I’ve also come up with a simple makeup look that’s a lot less prone to smudging under your mask for anyone who’s determined not to let their masks stop them.

I’ve found, personally, the trick to having your makeup stay relatively intact under a mask is to forgo foundation. I know this probably sounds unappealing to a lot of people, especially if you were looking for a tutorial to maintain your makeup under your mask exactly as you wear it normally. Sure, you may have to go a little more ~au natural~ for this look, but it still ends up looking like a full face in the end.

Step One: Prime

This is the first step to most people’s makeup looks, but given the mask (and thus the increased likelihood your makeup is going to wear off over the course of the day), it’s more useful than ever. I’ve been using (and loving) Milk Makeup’s Hydro Grip primer, however, whatever your go-to is works best for you!

Step Two: Conceal + Set

Next up, dab a little concealer of your choice underneath your eyes. My holy-grail under eye concealer is Tarte’s Creaseless Concealer, but once again — whatever your favourite concealer is works perfectly as well! I apply my concealer under my eyes in a triangular shape, and then blend it as best I can into my skin. The line between concealer and your face doesn’t have to be flawless — blending that out comes next. However, you’ll want to get it as diffuse as possible. Once you’re done, use a powder to set your concealer and keep it locked in before moving on to the next step.

Step Three: Bronze + Blend

Once your concealer is set, take a matte bronzer and apply it all over your face. Try to choose one that’s a more natural shade and isn’t too dark compared to your skin tone (this way, you’ll avoid turning out orange). You don’t want to use too much — it’s more meant to give you a little glow and blend the line between your concealer and your skin rather than acting as foundation. Make sure to get your eye area, too — you want it to look uniform with the rest of your face, after all! My go-to is Too Faced’s Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer — I haven’t made a whole post for this one yet since I’m waiting to finish and repurchase it, but it’s one of my faves. (After all, I want it to be all shiny and new and looking it’s best when I show it off to you guys!).

Step Four: Blush + Highlight

This step is kind of up to you, and whatever you want your finished look to be. If you need to blend your concealer a little more, you can add some more bronzer to your cheekbones. If you want to look fresh and glowy, feel free to add a little highlighter to the look. And if you want a cute and rosy glow, throw on some blush! It’s really up to you. I’d recommend keeping it as natural looking as possible, though — since this is where your mask sits, it’s the more prone to getting smudged throughout the day. Whatever you end up going for, be sure it won’t be too noticeable if it ends up being wiped away.

Step Five: Eyes

This step is totally up to you — feel free to style your eyes however you please! Whether you’re just looking to stick with your go-to everyday eye look, or go big and bold, or stick to simple and natural — the choice is yours! De to the natural look of this makeup, I like to stick to something simple and light — which I love the Charlotte Tilbury Pillowtalk Instant Eye Palette for.

Step Six: Set + Complete!

For the final step, you’re going to throw on whatever finishing touches you normally add and finish up with a setting spray! My go-to, of course, is ran Decay’s All Nighter Pollution Protection. This step is pretty crucial, since it really helps to hold everything in place — making your makeup more resistant to being worn off over the course of the day. As a final note, if you want to wear lipstick/gloss, I’d recommend bringing it with you and applying it after you’ve taken your mask off — at best, it may stay in place under your mask but it’ll probably feel pretty gross all the while. Save yourself the stress and just bring it along with you!

And there you have it! A simple, easy, six-step makeup look that will keep looking fresh, even if you have to wear a mask all day. The feeling of taking off your mask and having NO idea how messed up your makeup looks underneath is the worst — but with this makeup look, you can avoid the stress altogether. Even if it does get a little damaged after long-term mask wear, it’s simple enough that the difference won’t be noticeable. As well, after step three its more a less up to you how you want to finish the look — so while I often pair my natural every-day eye makeup to achieve a natural look, you can still go all-out on the eyes for something more bold — or go no makeup on the eyes, if that’s what you love. No matter what look you’re going for — this tutorial leaves your options open!

I hope you guys are having a good wrap-up to this summer season! I can’t believe we’re so close to September, but I adore fall, so I’m not mad. I can’t wait for fall to get into full-swing, after all, I’ve been needing a bit of change lately. August has me feeling super burnt out, which is pretty fair considering what a rollercoaster this year has been. I’m hoping to be able to shake things up this September and get back on track for all my goals for 2020!

Much love,

Meredith

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

Holiday Gift Guide #3: Makeup Edition!

Hey y’all! Happy Sunday!

Today I’m sharing my third and final segment of my Holiday Gift Guide series with you guys. Holiday season is officially in full swing, so if you haven’t gotten the chance to start your Christmas shopping — now is the time! If you’re still feeling a little lost on what to gift this year and need some inspo, I’ve got you covered. I put so much effort and care into this series, and I really hope you all have gotten some great gift ideas out of it!

This week, I’m going to be sharing some of my all-time favourite makeup products. A lot of these products haven’t even been featured on my Favourites segment yet, but Holiday season is here, and I personally think a lot of these would make fantastic gifts for any makeup lover. I just decided I couldn’t wait and had to share — but stay tuned for more in-depth posts on a lot of these products coming in the new year!

For A Makeup Lover Who’s Always On The Go

Huda Beauty Obsession Palettes

For any of your travel-savvy makeup loving friends, consider gifting them a Huda Beauty Obsessions palette! Not only are these eyeshadow palettes compact and perfect for travel — they’re all absolutely stunning. The best part about these palettes is that there’s a colour story for everyone. They have all the classics such as warm brown, mauve and smoky for a classic bold look. Nude colour stories for every skin tone. Neon for anyone who loves a bold, trendy look. Gem toned palettes in five different colours for whatever colour preference anyone may have. AND they’re all super pigmented, smooth and stunning. What more could you ask for from the perfect gift?

Feeling inspired? Check out Huda Beauty’s Neon, Nude and Classic Obsession Palettes at Sephora!

For Your Favourite Lipstick Fanatic

Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kit and Glosses

No makeup look is complete without adding your favourite lip product as the final step. Ever since I took the leap and finally purchased myself some Kylie Cosmetic lip products, I’ve been obsessed. The Lip Kits in particular make great gifts, as they come as a complete set (lip product and liner) and come in a variety of formulas — such as matte and velvet liquid lipstick. As well, for any gloss or classic lipstick fans in your life, Kylie Cosmetics offers a large range of both products that are absolutely FANTASTIC additions to any makeup collection. Their lipsticks are smooth and creamy, and their lip glosses are SO pigmented it’s insane. As well, you can ensure any gift is on-brand for the holiday season by checking out Kylie’s stunning holiday collection!

Feeling inspired? Check out Kylie Cosmetic’s Lipsticks, Lip Kits and Lip Gloss online!

For Someone Who Loves To Splurge On The Staples

Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara

Mascara makes a great gift as it is a solid staple as far as makeup goes. While sometimes it can be tricky to gift makeup if you don’t know someone’s preferred products, colours and formulas — you really can’t go wrong gifting a classic black mascara. If you’re looking to gift someone makeup but are worried about buying the wrong colour or product — consider gifting the Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara! Splurging on an expensive mascara makes a great gift for anyone as they may not necessarily get to spend as much on a mascara for themselves regularly. I’ve written about this mascara a little more in depth previously in my Favourites segment, but this mascara really is fantastic at creating a flawless, natural look. It does an amazing job at curling and lengthening lashes without clumping up or getting “spidery”. Plus, you can feel good about buying a makeup gift that’s pretty universal and just about anyone could enjoy!

Feeling inspired? Check out the Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara, or Dior’s Mascara Line at Sephora!

For Someone Who Can’t Leave The House Until They’ve Perfected Their Liner

Tarte Clay Pot Waterproof Liner

Eyeliner is another makeup product that makes a great gift for someone when you’re unsure about their specific makeup preferences. Just like mascara, though, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with a classic black eyeliner. For any winged liner fans in your life, or anyone looking to experiment but struggles with drawing on the perfect wing, consider gifting Tarte Cosmetic’s Clay Pot waterproof liner! I just recently received this liner in my Tarte Cosmetics custom makeup kit, but I’m already conviced it would make a fantastic gift. First of all, winged liner tends to be a lot easier to apply with a brush than it is with a felt-tip marker, making this great for beginners. As well, this stuff isn’t kidding about being waterproof — once it’s on, it’ll last all day. No smudging, nothing. No matter who you’re gifting for, eyeliner newbie or pro, there’s really no going wrong with this classic black gel liner.

Feeling inspired? Check out Tarte’s Clay Pot Eyeliner on Tarte or at Sephora!

For Someone Who Loves To Highlight EVERYTHING

CoverFX Custom Enhancer Drops

For any highlighter addicts in your life, CoverFX’s Custom Enhancer Drops are a must-gift. These drops are so versatile and can add a stunning glow to just about any aspect of your makeup. You can mix them in with foundation for a dewy all-over glow, add them below or above foundation for either a natural sheen or high beam highlight, and they can even be mixed into lip products, eyeshadow looks, body makeup — you name it. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone OBSESSED with highlighter, you really can’t go wrong with these. They come in so many colours, there really should be one to fit anyone of any skin tone. Plus, these really are the most pigmented highlighters I’ve ever come across — so they last forever (a little goes a REALLY long way). As well, their multi-dimensional glow is absolutely stunning. You can’t go wrong

Feeling inspired? Check out CoverFX’s Custom Enhancer Drops at Sephora!

For Anyone Looking For Perfect, Bushy Brows

Benefit Gimme Brow Gel and Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz

Natural, bushy brows have been all the rage this year. If you’re looking to gift brow makeup to someone, I’d absolutely recommend Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Pencil + Benefit’s Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel. If you have someone who’s been looking to up their brow game while also maintaining natural looking brows, this really is the perfect duo. I’ve been using it myself for ages now, and it never fails me. The Brow Wiz pencil is perfect for shading in sparse areas, lining the brows and even adding in hair-like strokes. Benefit’s Gimme Brow Gel tops the look off perfectly by defining brow hairs and locking them in place, ensuring they don’t stray. They come in a wide range of colours, making them perfect for just about anyone too.

Feeling inspired? Check out Anastasia Beverly Hill’s Brow Wiz Pencil and Benefit’s Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel at Sephora!

For Someone Looking To Up Their Brush Game

Eyeshadow and Blush Brushes from MAC Cosmetics

You can have all the best makeup in the world, but it still won’t apply well if you don’t have great brushes to go with it. A lot of people avoid spending too much on brushes as it can be hard to see the point — however, it really is vital to flawless makeup application. There’s all kinds of benefits to spending a little more on brushes too — they last longer, shed less and stay soft (as long as you care for them properly). For someone who’s in need of a couple good brushes to add to their collection, consider gifting them some brushes from MAC! I’ve had many of these brushes for years now, and haven’t needed to replace them.

If you need suggestions on a couple staples, I’d definitely recommend:

  • #217 and #221 for blending eyeshadow
  • #239 for packing shadow onto the lid
  • #150 for setting and face powder
  • #168 for bronzer application
  • #116 for blush application
  • #184 for highlighter application
  • #263 for winged liner or lipstick

These are some of my favourite and most commonly used brushes — I use so many of these every day, and they’ve lasted me so well. They apply makeup flawlessly too — so if you know someone just starting out with makeup, or in need of a couple new brushes, they’d make the perfect gift.

Feeling inspired? Check out MAC’s brush collection on their website! I’ve also linked each specific brush on the list — just click the number to view it on MAC’s website!

For Someone Who Likes To Go Au Natural

Glossier Balm DotCom

For anyone you’re looking to gift for who likes to keep their makeup a little more on the natural side, Glossier’s Balm DotCom’s make the perfect gift! These lip balms are super hydrating and effective — they’re one of my all-time favourites. They make a great gift in the winter to help stop chapped lips in their tracks (and they come in a wide range of colours!). They help give a fantastic, natural tint — making them a great gift for anyone looking to keep things cute and simple. Whether it’s for some who likes minimal makeup 24/7, or someone who just likes a natural look for everyday matters, you can’t go wrong with these. Just for their hydrating aspect alone, they make a fantastic little gift collection or addition to any gift!

Feeling inspired? Check out the Balm DotCom line at Glossier’s website!

I hope you all enjoyed this series — I really enjoyed writing and sharing it with you. Christmas shopping can be challenging, and coming up with ideas isn’t always easy. The holiday season can already be busy enough as is, so I really hope I managed to share some great ideas with you guys and take a little load off so you can spend your time and energy enjoying the holidays, rather than stressing. (If you need more inspo, be sure to check out Part One and Part Two of my series as well!)

Don’t forget to stay tuned for next weeks post — after all, it’s my favourite part of the start of each new season! While it is a little delayed (as I received my box two days ago), I’m going to be unboxing my Winter FabFitFun box for y’all! I’m super excited about the winter box — I really loved the products I received last year and am VERY much looking forward to whatever self-care and cozy vibes this box brings.

Happy Sunday y’all, hope you guys all had an amazing weekend and are gearing up to have a great week!

Much love,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: November 28th

Tarte Creaseless Concealer

Happy Thursday everyone!!

Hope you’ve all been having a great week! Personally, I’m super excited about today — it officially marks 24 days until I’m off to Toronto for the start of my winter holidays! Which, most importantly, means I’m starting my advent calendar!!! This year, instead of counting down until Christmas, I’m counting down the days until my vacation — both because I’m so excited for it and because it seems a little silly to waste valuable suitcase space carrying it around for the four days before Christmas.

This is so off topic but I just wanted to show you how cute this advent calendar is!!! While I do love coffee a whole lot, if I had to choose, I would pick tea over coffee any day. I’m just loving this David’s Tea advent calendar, both because I get to test out 24 new flavours AND count down the days until my winter getaway! I love getting David’s Tea packages like this, since it allows me to test such a wide range of their endless flavours. If you’re feeling inspired to forgo daily chocolates this year, you still have a few days before December starts to grab a calendar of your own! (You can check them out online at David’s Tea here!)

Anyways, back to the star of today’s Favourites post — the Tarte Creaseless Concealer! Okay, I know I promised this post so, so long ago, but it’s finally here! (Better late than never, right?). I’ve gone through a whole lot of concealer brands in my lifetime, and every time I swore I had found the best brand ever and I’d never switch. However, this time around I’m actually serious about it.

Tarte is incredibly well known for their concealers, especially their Shape Tape concealer — which surprisingly, I’ve never tried. (I’m probably going to at some point, since it’s Tarte’s most popular concealer. I just love their Creaseless Concealer so much I don’t feel the need to waste money on any other concealer products — but we’ll see). However, I can vouch for the fact they’re considered “America’s Number One Concealer Brand” for good reason — this stuff is unreal. As much as NARS is one of my all-time favourite brands, I resorted to buying their concealer (once a go-to for me) a few months ago when Tarte was fresh out of stock, and the difference was insane. (NARS does have great concealer, for the record — it’s just that Tarte’s concealers are REALLY next level).

This concealer, while rather thick, is incredibly lightweight. It covers absolutely ANY blemish or discolouration with a single coat, and it really lasts. They aren’t joking about it being creaseless, either — I know I’ve complained about my naturally dark and baggy under eye area countless times on my blog, but I’ve never found a product that conceals them as seamlessly as this one does. Plus it blends fantastically — I often use tinted moisturizer instead of foundation, and even though my concealer is so much thicker in consistency it blends flawlessly.

If you’re worried about having a very textured under eye area — don’t worry, I struggle with this too. This concealer does do a good job of concealing textured areas, and certainly doesn’t define them as some products can often do. Basically, this stuff is magic — I don’t even know how else to put it.

If this sounds like the perfect concealer for you, check it out on Tarte or at Sephora!

I hope you’re all having a fantastic week! Be sure to stay tuned for the second part of my Holiday Gift Guide series coming this Sunday. I’m so excited about this weeks theme, I can’t wait to share it with y’all!

Xo,

Meredith

My Tarte Custom Makeup Kit Unboxing!

Hey y’all! Happy Saturday!

As I mentioned in last week’s post, I initially intended this post to be shared last Sunday, but unfortunately the package didn’t arrive in time. Sooooo, instead, I’m doing two posts this weekend! Tomorrow evening at 7pm, I will be sharing the first segment of my three-part Holiday series: My Holiday Gift Guide! Stay tuned to find out what this week’s theme will be, and read all about my best gift suggestions for this holiday season!

But for this post, I’m going to be unboxing my Tarte Custom Makeup Kit for you! For those of you who don’t yet know, every so often Tarte releases their Custom Makeup Kits for 24 hours — they generally announce this sale in advance via email a few days prior. When the sale hits, it only lasts for 24 hours — but you get this time to pick 6 full size products +1 makeup bag for only $84 ($63 USD) with an overall value of over $200. While I’m honestly not too sure how often they happen/if they happen a set amount of times a year, I do know they’ve certainly done many of these releases before. Every time, I hit their website and create a kit, only to hesitate at the last minute. This time, though, I finally went through with it!

As many of you already know, Tarte is one of my all-time favourite brands. Their mascara, collagen super-serum, and primer are all part of my daily skincare and makeup routines (as well as more products that I haven’t even gotten the chance to share with you all yet!). Plus, as a brand, they’re 100% vegan and cruelty-free — and all their products are dermatologist approved and hypoallergenic. All this on top of being incredibly high-quality products. What more could you ever ask for from a brand?

The only thing that held me back from purchasing these kits in the past was the fear that the sale was incentivizing me to buy products I didn’t need. Every time I would make it through to the end, but before I would send in the order, I’d stop and think if I really needed most of the products — and the answer was usually no. While such a fantastic deal was hard to skip out on, if most of them were products I didn’t truly need, it DID feel like I was wasting money and makeup for no good reason. This time, however, everything aligned perfectly so that all the products I ordered were either things I adore, was running low on, or were products I own from different brands that I was looking to switch for something new.

There are seven steps involved in creating your own custom kit — their website takes you step-by-step through choosing a foundation, cheek product, eyeliner, mascara, lipstick and makeup brush before selecting a makeup bag for your products to arrive in. However, some of the sections have a little variation in what exactly you can choose, so if you’re not in need of, for example, a new blush, there may be other options that work better for you.

For my kit, I selected the:

  • Amazonian Clay 12-hour Full Coverage Foundation
  • Smooth Operator™ Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder
  • Clay Pot Waterproof Shadow Liner
  • Lights, Camera, Flashes ™ Statement Mascara
  • Color Splash Lipstick
  • Paddle to Perfection Foundation Brush
  • and packaged it all in the Glitter Half Moon bag!

Many of these products I’ve actually never tried before, so needless to say I just couldn’t wait for them to arrive so I could test them out and share my first impressions with you guys! So, without further ado, lets get into it! (And while we’re at it, can we just appreciate this super cute makeup bag? I’m obsessed.)

Amazonian Clay 12-hour Full Coverage Foundation

Honestly, I haven’t worn full-coverage foundation in YEARS, so I was both incredibly excited and a little nervous to try this product out. I’ve gone through multiple foundation stages in my makeup career — I started off with a VERY full coverage CC Cream by Peter Thomas Roth that was (rather unfortunately) matched quite poorly to my skin tone. However, since then I’ve mostly only ever used light-weight and low coverage products (MAC Face and Body, my current NARS tinted moisturizer, as well as a foundation-free phase). I’ve done a couple testers of full-coverage foundation here and there — but I often find heavy foundation looks cakey, tends to wear off and settle into fine lines. The last few I’ve tested all made me look worse — which is unfortunate, considering I do have relatively nice skin.

My first impressions of this foundation, so far, is that it is incredibly smooth an easy to apply — and it certainly is incredibly long lasting. It doesn’t have the heavy feel that many other full-coverage foundations have, which is also nice. It certainly covered up any blemishes or discolouration in my skin tone, though it did seem to somewhat amplify small flaws and other features of my face (ie. peach fuzz, dry patches, texture etc.). However, I’m starting to accept that may just be how full-coverage foundation is. Overall, I’d say I’m pretty impressed with this foundation — it won’t necessarily be my every-day go-to, but for nights out when I want a full-glam look it’ll definitely be exactly what I need.

Product: Amazonian Clay 12-hour Full Coverage Foundation in shade 16N (Tarte|Sephora)

Smooth Operator™ Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder

This one was a real blessing to find as an option for this kit as I’ve been DYING to try a new setting powder. I’ve been absolutely married to my Laura Mercier powder ever since the very first time I ever set my makeup, meaning I’ve actually never once tried another product. It was working for me, so I didn’t really see the point in switching — finishing powder is invisible, so what difference would it make? However, especially since I’ve begun baking my makeup, I’ve really started to notice how drying it can be — it can be rather unflattering as I already have skin that airs on the drier side.

Unfortunately, my first impression of this powder is that it is, sadly, even more drying than my other one. That being said, I’ve only been able to test it out once. When it came to baking, not only did it seriously dry out my under-eye area, but the excess powder stuck right on and took a whole lot of effort to wipe away. Even once I thought I got it all, I stepped into the dimmer lighting in my room I realized there was still a load of powder stuck to my concealer. Overall, sadly, my first impressions weren’t great — but I’m going to give it another shot, and I’ll be sure to update this post if anything changes!

Product: Smooth Operator™ Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder in shade White (Tarte|Sephora)

Clay Pot Waterproof Shadow Liner

This was also a godsend find as I’ve been really needed a good gel liner. I’m going to be covering this a little more in future posts, but as I’ve been getting back into doing winged liner I discovered (by suggestion from my friend Amanda) that winged liner is much easier to apply with a brush than it is with a felt-tipped pen. After struggling to draw wings on well with one of my old high-school favourite products, Amanda mentioned how she could never do winged liner (which she wears nearly every day) with a pen — brushes really help to create a smoother line and draw on a lot more easily.

Now, I’ve only used this liner once, but I’ve got to say — I was pretty blown away by it. It’s smooth, dark, and applies super easily — I got my wings drawn in in record time. The only downside is it seemed to be a little thick, making it hard to apply in delicate areas. However, for the actual winged part of may liner it was incredibly easy to use (and I just drew the other areas I struggled with in with a felt tip liner pen). As well, this may just be a bit of a learning curve for me and less so a flaw in the product, so overall I’d definitely have to recommend this liner to anyone who loves their liner winged out and extra AF.

Product: Clay Pot Waterproof Shadow Liner in shade Black (Tarte|Sephora)

Lights, Camera, Flashes ™ Statement Mascara

Okay, we all know how much I love the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 mascara. I could go into it all over again, but I think you guys have heard me rave about it enough. While it was an option in this section, I decided to branch out to a different mascara for once, which I know I mention I often regret — but considering the deal I was getting in this package combined with the fact that it’s just a different version of the same product, I felt pretty safe trying something new.

Since I actually just bought a brand new mascara only a month ago, I’ve actually decided to save this one for a little and test it out at a later date as to not waste product. However, I can say with confidence it should work out just fine, considering it’s simply a modified version of one of my all-time favourite mascaras.

Product: Lights, Camera, Flashes ™ Statement Mascara in Shade Black (Tarte|Sephora)

Color Splash Lipstick

While I wasn’t in any sort of dire need for a new lip product, I’m certainly not one to ever turn one down. As well, I’m a huge lip gloss type of girl — its been a while since I bought a proper nude lipstick. I was THIS CLOSE to just getting another gloss, but I figured this was a staple I’d get more use out of — especially since I don’t really have many lip sticks.

I do have to say, I was really happy with the variety of products they offered here — there was matte liquid lip, matte lipstick, regular lipstick, gloss — and maybe more that I don’t even remember. This was great for me as I’ve never been too much of a matte fan (sometimes I’ll jump for a matte lipstick, but I’m awfully specific about the formula and would need to try it in person before purchasing). However, whether you’re a matte, gloss, or just plain lipstick fan — this kit had a product you’d be content with.

I’m glad I decided to switch it up and get a lipstick, too, because this lip stick is AMAZING. First of all, the colour is just perfect. As well, it’s seriously pigmented, not at all heavy or sticky, and incredibly long lasting. 10/10, could totally get me back into lipsticks.

Product: Color Splash Lipstick in shade Set Sail (Tarte|Sephora)

Paddle to Perfection Foundation Brush

This was another product I’ve just been dying to satisfy my curiosity on. I’ve been seeing these paddle brushes all over the internet for years now, but I’ve never gotten the chance to test one out. I absolutely love Beauty Blenders, and especially since I don’t ever use full-coverage foundation, I’ve never really needed a brush to apply foundation. However, both because this kit gave me the option, AND the foundation to properly test it out with, I’m finally getting the chance to give this brush a go!

Let me just say, if you don’t have one of these brushes in your life, go out and get one ASAP. This brush applied my foundation SO smoothly and seamlessly in a record breaking short period of time. It’s so soft and smooth too, it feels like heaven blending your makeup into your skin. I’m not 100% ready to give up on my Beauty Blenders just yet, but just trying this brush one time has me considering it.

Product: Paddle to Perfection Foundation Brush (Tarte)

Overall, I’m super happy with this kit and I’m so glad I finally decided to purchase one. At just $84, it would be pretty hard for it to be disappointing, but this kit introduced me to so many new products I will 100% be purchasing again in the future. While some of the products may not have had mind-blowing results the first try, it may just take some getting used to with stepping out of my comfort zone and trying things I don’t usually incorporate into my makeup routine.

If you got a Tarte Custom kit recently, I’d love to hear what you chose to add to your kit and how your products worked for you! If not, I hope this post inspires you to try out one of your own next time around.

Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend, and be sure to stay tuned for my new post tomorrow! I’m so excited to share it with you all!

Xo,

Meredith