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

My Spring FabFitFun Unboxing!

Hey everyone!

Hope everyone’s still holding up well! It’s definitely a strange week, but I find one of the best ways to make it through social distancing is making sure you have little things to look forward to. This can mean anything from little FaceTime dates, to special blog posts you’ve been working on forever, or a fancy face mask/spa night you’ve planned out for yourself. But one of my favourites is buying little gifts for myself online. That’s exactly why I love FabFitFun so much — the element of surprise in every box turns it into a little seasonal gift for myself.

I’ve been a FabFitFun member for over a year now, and frankly, they’ve never disappointed. First of all, the quality of the products they offer is INSANE. Not only that, but they really seem to add a selection of staples and items tailored for the specific season. I feel like people worry about receiving items they won’t need or use in subscription boxes, but that’s never been the case for me. Maybe it’s because all the items FabFitFun offers are so universal and great, or maybe it’s just a mix of luck and getting to select a certain number of items per each box. Either way, in the year and a half that I’ve been a member, I’ve used and loved every single product I’ve received.

This season is no exception. I’ve already put so many of my items from this season’s box to good use, and I can’t wait to share each and every one of them with you! Plus, if you love what you’re seeing it’s not too late to get a box of your very own! You can get your first box $10 off by clicking here and using my affiliate discount SPRINGLOVE! It might just be the perfect pick-me-up to get you through this social distancing season.

Donni Ribbed Sweater Coat

When I saw this sweater as an option, I just KNEW I had to get it. Cardigans and sweaters are something my closet is hugely lacking in, which is a huge pain during spring. I always end up struggling with choosing between being cold or having to wear outer layers that don’t really match my outfit, and while the type of weather that calls for that kind of transition never lasts long and I always just scrape by, it really is an easy fix. I’ve already gotten the chance to try out this little sweater jacket once and I’m all about it — it’s casual and classic, super cozy and will go with just about any simple outfit I have stashed away in my closet.

Murad Rapid Collagen Infusion

I’m absolutely in love with this serum. I know I haven’t been using it for that long, but I’m absolutely adding it into my regular routine — even after I use this bottle up. First of all, I’ve already discussed in many previous posts all the benefits collagen offers. I know I’ve shared before all about how much I love Tarte’s Rainforest Of The Sea Collagen Super Serum, and I’d still vouch for it as a product. However, I find the cream-formulation of this serum so be a lot less messy to apply, and it doesn’t leave behind any sort of residue on my skin. Also, the smell of this stuff is just unreal — I’d love to have a candle with the same scent because I really just love it that much.

Wei Two-In-One Purify and Glow Mask Collection

I’ve been trying to use this quarantine time to work through a bunch of face mask samples I have to help refine my collection to products that really benefit my skin the most. While there’s certain masks in my collection that I’m certain are here to stay — such as Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Mask and Fresh’s Instant Perfecting Mask, there’s others that I feel may not be the best suited for my skin compared to newer options, plus I just like to switch it up and see what’s out there. While I haven’t tried out the exfoliating masks in this little package just yet, I can already say I’m definitely repurchasing the golden root clay mask.

This mask left me feeling like I had a whole new face. Even for someone who spends a lot (maybe even too much?) time on skincare, I had never seen my skin looking as good as I had after this mask. The mask itself is so soft and feels lovely to apply (especially with the little brush they include with it) and the deep-cleansing results are immediately visible. If you’re looking for a solid clay mask to add to your collection, I’d highly recommend trying this one out.

Jabonería Marianella Imperial Jade Body Oil

I’m really happy I received this product in my box as it’s definitely something I would have never tried normally. Body oils are something I’ve kind of kept a distance from in the past as they have a tendency to be messy and if they don’t absorb well, will leave your clothes/bed sheets/life oily and stained too. However, this oil is thick enough that it’s easy to apply without worrying about making a massive mess. Not only that, but it absorbs quickly enough you can apply it in the morning and not worry about ruining your clothes, which is amazing. This oil is perfect for mornings, too, because the scent is a) so heavenly and b) really helps wake me up and help me feel energized after I apply it. (Plus, it’s packed with all kinds of vitamins that keep your skin glowing and healthy!).

AG Hair Fast Food Leave-On Conditioner

This is the only product I’ve received in my box I haven’t had a chance to try out yet, but I’ll be sure to report back once I have the chance. I love that FabFitFun often throws in products like this, though, since I’m definitely not as knowledgeable about hair care as I am about skincare and makeup. FabFitFun really has introduced me to SO many of my favourite products/brands over the years, and many of my all-time favourites have been hair care products. Items such as Aveda’s Damage Remedy, DryBar’s Prep Rally, and of course, the entire brand of Ouai, have all remained in my full-time rotation since I first received them. So I’m not worried, I’m sure this product wont disappoint.

This Works Deep Sleep Body Cocoon

FabFitFun has gifted me many of my favourite body moisturizers over the years, and this one is no exception. My favourite types of moisturizers are the kind that are light-weight and absorb quickly, because I hate that lingering feeling so many creams have that you can feel on your skin for ages after you apply it. This cream is both fantastic and lightweight, but the smell really does help me feel relaxed and ready for bed after I apply it. It’s formulated specifically with shea butter, Lavender, Vertivert and Camomile essential oils, and Crambe and Camelina sativa oils to help soothe your body and protect skin from aging. It’s super soothing and I just love adding it into my nighttime ritual, it’s the kind of thing that helps me fully unwind and prepare for a good night’s sleep.

Chic & Tonic Silicone Straws

I am OBSESSED with these. First of all — look at how cute they are. But past that, I’ve really been struggling to find the perfect balance when it comes to not using plastic straws. Metal straws are challenging to carry around, and the silicone-metal hybrid one I had purchased I found challenging to clean and store. Paper straws are kind of gross, too, so I usually end up just drinking directly from the glass (which I kind of hate — maybe it’s just because I’m a klutz, but I always end up spilling drinks with ice all over me when I drink them directly from the glass). Anyways, not only are these straws eco-friendly and adorable, they fold up for easy storage (and they even come with a carrying case) and I personally find them easier to clean than metal straws. So, basically, me and my accident-prone self’s life just got a lot easier.

Avène Thermal Spring Water

I’ve always been curious about this type of product after seeing the Evian version available in Sephora for years, but I’ve never actually made the leap to try it. When I was reading the instructions for this product, I was blown away by how many uses it actually had. Previously, I never saw the point in purchasing “just water”, but the uses of this product range from makeup remover, to sunburn care, to soothing aftershave (and even more, I honestly can’t list them all). As well, this water has been purified and can help to soften skin and doesn’t include any irritants. As someone who’s morning skincare routine consists of a gentle water wash as the first step, I’ve been loving this product for that — but I can’t wait to test it out for more of it’s many uses in the future.

Add On: Calpack Packing Cubes in “Sorbet”

As an avid traveller, one of my biggest pet peeves about packing is how disorganized my suitcase looks after flying — it really doesn’t matter how much effort you put into packing everything as neatly as possible before you fly, by the time you land everything just ends up being a jumbled mess. When I saw these packing cubes as an option, I knew I needed to add them on to my order. While I don’t have any travel plans in the immediate future, the idea of being able to keep my clothes separate and neatly folded already has me excited for my next trip.

And that’s it for my spring box! I’m already obsessing over SO many of the items I’ve received, and I don’t even feel that I’ve gotten the chance to really see how amazing they are in the long run. Everything in this box is not only useful but universal, so while I know I’m definitely going to get use out of everything, I have a hard time seeing how anyone could ever struggle to find use for their items. While I am a little sad I now have to wait a whole three months for my next box, I love the seasonal theme of FabFitFun — it really helps to ring in each season, and it’s always worth the wait!

If you’re still hoping to get a spring box of your own, there’s still time! Don’t forget to click here and get your box discounted with the code SPRINGLOVE — if you were already considering it, the discount is just a bonus!

I hope everyone’s holding up okay while social distancing! The best thing to do right now is keep productive, calm and find little things to look forward to or make you happy. If you need some extra ideas, you can always check out my fifteen tips to get through social distancing — but also just keep in mind to take everything one day at a time and to do your best to stay positive. The more seriously we take this now, the sooner it will all blow over anyway!

Much love, and happy spring!

Xo,

Meredith