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

Thursday Favourites: May 14th

Hey y’all!

Soooooo……. it’s finally happening. For those of you who’ve been following my blog for a while now, you’ll probably already know what this post is about. I have one certain product that has made it’s way on to countless self-care, best product and gift lists without ever having an official post all to itself. Seriously, post after post I find myself mentioning this product — its ended up being mentioned in more of my posts over the last year than I can even keep track of. However, when I tried this product for the first time ever almost exactly a year ago, I wrote a sort of mini-review and it made me feel as though I had already covered it. For a while, I thought giving it a slot in my Thursday Favourites segment was a little redundant. However, it’s become clear over the last year of my blogging journey that not only does this product deserve a post of it’s own on account of how much I rave about it constantly, but at this point the original post was shared so long ago that I’m sure you could all use a little refresher. Plus, with both some improved writing skills and a much deeper familiarity of this product under my belt, I’m hoping this post will do it more justice.

If you haven’t already figured it out, the product I’m referring to is Herbivore’s Crushed Amethyst Body Polish — a staple in my collection and one of my all-time favourites. This was the product that launched my Herbivore obsession, and finally gave me a holy-grail body exfoliator after years of constantly testing and tossing different products with no success. I never had an exfoliator I had purchased more than once — every one I tried had either been too expensive, ineffective, hard to find or just kind of meh overall. Each time, after I used one up, the hunt was on for which one I would try next, which for someone who exfoliates regularly, got pretty exhausting.

While I mentioned in my original post that after just one (yes, seriously) use of Herbivore’s body scrub not only was I in love, but I was fairly certain I was sold on it for life, I don’t think I really realized how true that was. But now, nearly a year later, a brand new jar just arrived in my latest Sephora order and I’m just as excited to start a fresh jar as I was when I first tried it. This stuff is hands down the best body scrub I’ve ever used — but don’t feel the need to just take my word on it blindly, because I’m about to tell you all the reasons why.

First of all — the actual scrub aspect of this product is amazing. The scrub particles aren’t too big that they’re ineffective or painful, but aren’t too small either. Never once has this product left me with little scratches all over my body, which I can’t say for every exfoliator I’ve tried. However, something I really love most is that the particles don’t really dissolve — something I’ve noticed with many other body scrubs is how the “scrub” element melts away as soon as the product mixes with water — meaning you have to use a lot more of the product to get the job done. As Herbivore’s Body Polish is actually made with real crushed Amethyst, the scrub doesn’t melt away, meaning you waste less and get your money’s worth.

Another thing about this product that has me obsessed is how HYDRATING it is. Something that I find to be an important aspect of an exfoliator is ingredients, such as oils, that soak into your skin as you use the product, which help both to keep the exfoliator from being too harsh and leave your skin feeling soft AF. My skin has never felt softer than it does fresh out of the shower when I’ve just used my Amethyst scrub — between how effective it is at exfoliating away everything it should and how incredibly hydrating and absorbent it’s ingredients are, my skin feels baby-smooth every time.

Lastly, I just wanted to give a little shout-out to how amazing this product smells!!! Because I’m absolutely obsessed with the scent. This product smells EXACTLY like lilacs, which is one of my all-time favourite scents. It’s fresh and calming, and for myself — very nostalgic as it reminds me of the lilac trees outside of my home in Toronto. For those of you who aren’t crazy about scented products, don’t worry — it isn’t super strong. It’s not anything overwhelming or heavy, just the lightest amount of perfume that really makes this product absolutely heavenly. (Plus, everything Herbivore makes is both vegan and cruelty-free, so you really can’t go wrong).

If this sounds like the body scrub you’ve been needing, you can check it out online at Sephora here! As well, Herbivore also carries a Coco Rose body scrub if that sounds like something you’d prefer. However, as someone who’s tried both, I’d definitely the Amethyst scrub — the Coco Rose’s scrubbing particles are much finer and dissolve a lot more easily, plus I MUCH prefer the scent of the Amethyst scrub. Not to say the Coco Rose isn’t fantastic as well — but between the two, the Amethyst scrub is the clear winner to me.

I hope you guys are all doing well! I’m finally starting to feel like I’m beginning to get back into a good rhythm with blogging, so hopefully I’ll be more active again soon once I get ahead on my blogging schedule. Just in time, too — we’re going to start lifting restrictions in BC soon! Fingers crossed I’ll be able to keep up all the good habits I’ve started once we start to return to normal life.

Much love,

Meredith