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

My Picks: Sephora Sale Spring 2020!

Photo by Boxed Water Is Better on Unsplash

Hey y’all! Happy Sunday!

This week marked the beginning of Sephora’s Spring sale, and now kind of feels like the perfect time to treat yourself. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve actually been saving a lot of money ever since Social Distancing was enacted, and it’s been a while since I splurged and got myself something nice. Not only did I need to do a little restock on items I had been running low on, but I branched out and got a couple of new products I’ve had my eye on for a while. Honestly, I’m already a little too excited to try out my new stuff — waiting on a package is 100% more exciting when you’re on lockdown with not much else to do.

If you’re not already familiar with Sephora sales, they often happen around the holidays and offer special rewards for members. The sale kicked off on April 17th for VIB Rouge members offering a 20% discount, with VIB sales starting on the 21st offering 15% off, and will be open to all Beauty Insiders on the 23rd with 10% off basically everything in store. These sales end on May 1st, April 29th and April 27th, respectively. If you’re not a Beauty Insider, fear not — you can sign up anytime, earn points, and it’s totally free!

I figured that I’d use this time to make a little list of products I’d recommend trying right now — some of my all-time faves that I feel would be perfect for stay-at-home enjoyment. This list ranges from skincare, self-care to spring makeup that you can play and experiment with to combat boredom during this time (and just about everything in between!).

Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask by Glow Recipe

This mask is absolutely perfect for giving your skin a little extra TLC while working from home. First of all, it is SO lovely to apply — it’s lightweight and smells amazing (it’s made with real watermelon, and you can definitely tell). But past that, it’s gentle exfoliating and hydrating effects help to clear your skin and make it glass-skin level clear and glowy. If you don’t really have a solid skincare routine but have looking to get into the habit, now is the perfect time! If you make a routine now, it’ll be so much easier to keep up your routine when your schedule starts picking back up. Plus, you’ll come out from it all and head back to work with flawless skin, ready to take on anything the world throws at you!

You can buy this product online at Sephora here! (As well, be sure to check out my personal review of Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask)

Pastel Obsessions Eyeshadow Palette by Huda Beauty

One of the activities I’m most looking forward to now that I’m done my studies is practicing and experimenting with makeup. This is especially true when it comes to eyeshadow — it’s not something I wear often in my everyday makeup, and I’ve been dying to practice and improve my skills both in terms of everyday looks, but growing my confidence when it comes to more experimental looks as well. These palettes are SO cute and perfect for spring, and are something I’ve been dying to try for a while. Huda Beauty’s Obsessions Palettes, as you guys already know, are some of my all-time favourites, so I know the quality of these palettes is going to be next-level, and I can’t wait to see what they can do.

You can buy this product online at Sephora here! (As well, be sure to check out my personal review of Huda Beauty’s Obsessions Palettes — post on these ones in particular coming soon!)

Mini Anastasia Beverly Hills Spring Lip Gloss Set

Credit: @anastasiabeverlyhills on Instagram

This is something I purchased for myself this Sephora sale, as they were just recently released. I’m obsessed with these colours and when I saw them, I knew they were the perfect treat for myself as a pick-me-up during these stressful times. I’ve tried ABH’s lipglosses before and the quality of them is insane — they’re so pigmented and beautiful. These are perfect for a cute, nude spring-time look, and I can’t wait to give them a try.

You can buy this product online at Sephora here!

Crushed Amethyst Exfoliating Body Polish by Herbivore Botanicals

I’ve already made about a billion posts mentioning this product, so you guys all know by this point that it’s one of my all-time favourites. I’m going to refrain from saying TOO much right now, as I’m FINALLY going to be writing a proper review on this product soon (I know — it’s about time!). All I’m going to say right now is that this really is the best exfoliator I’ve ever used (and I have used so, so many). It smells heavenly, exfoliates gently but thoroughly, and is infused with all kinds of oils to leave your skin feeling as smooth and soft as it ever has when you’re done. 10/10, perfect way to treat yourself during these times.

You can buy this product online at Sephora here! (As well, be sure to check out my personal review of Herbivore Botanical’s Crushed Amethyst Exfoliator here — it’ll be getting a full post of it’s own soon, I promise!)

Treatment Masque by Ouai

I’d highly recommend this product if you’re looking to come out of Social Distancing with the shiniest, healthiest hair of your life. Similarly to exfoliators, I’ve also used many, many hair masks in my life — they were a real lifesaver back when I was bleaching my hair regularly. I’ve come to learn what makes a hair mask just “good” compared to what makes it great — and this hair mask is FANTASTIC. My hair is healthier than it’s ever been — its so smooth and shiny that it basically reflects light and really shows the depth of my hair colour. It achieves all this without being heavy, too — after all my time using this mask, I’ve never once accidentally ended up with greasy hair or heavy roots by accident. This stuff, no joke, has totally revived my hair and I couldn’t be happier with it.

You can buy this product online at Sephora here! (As well, be sure to check out my personal review of Ouai’s Treatment Masque)

Sugar Hydrating Lip Balm by Fresh

I know I just posted a review of this product, but it really is the best. It’s just so lovely and smooth, and it works wonders on chapped lips. If you’re looking for the perfect lip balm, this is it. And if you were looking for the perfect time to buy it, the time is now! After all, this sale is only on for a few weeks — and this is the perfect little self-care item to avoid dry lips when you’re cooped up in your home all day long.

You can buy this product online at Sephora here! (As well, be sure to check out my personal review of Fresh’s Sugar Hydrating Lip Balm)

Pillow Talk Instant Eyeshadow Palette by Charlotte Tilbury

You guys already know how much I love this palette. It is THE perfect palette for fresh, glowy everyday looks. It comes with four pre-set looks, that range from every day to nighttime looks. Whether you’re looking to experiment with makeup in your newfound new time, or just want to stock up on staples while this sale is on, this is the perfect time to get your hands on this limited-edition palette.

You can buy this product online at Sephora here! (As well, be sure to check out my personal review of Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk Palette)

Lover Rubber Face Mask by Dr. Jart+

If you’re planning an upcoming spa night, these masks are a must. First of all, the rubber mask-element are SO fun. But past that, these really are the best single-use masks I’ve ever tried. They legitimately change your skin within a single use and leave your skin looking brand-new. If your skin is looking a little worse for wear lately, or you’re feeling stressed and just need a little pick-me-up — invest in one of these and take a night off for self-care. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.

You can buy this product online at Sephora here! (As well, be sure to check out my personal review of Dr. Jart’s Lover Rubber Masks)

Solid Brush and Sponge Cleaner Mini by Sephora

If you’re looking to do a little spring cleaning right now and get your life together during this time off, this is the perfect purchase to grab during this sale. This brush cleaner, which is only $10.50 (!!!) will leave your brushes looking brand new. Not only is it a crazy-effective cleanser, but it doesn’t leave behind any residue and has never damaged any of my brushes in the least. Plus, it comes with a little silicone cleaning pad to help scrub out every last little bit of makeup and grime out of your brushes and leaving them in perfect condition.

You can buy this product online at Sephora here! (As well, be sure to check out my personal review of Sephora’s Solid Brush Cleaner)

I hope you’re all holding up well in quarantine, and have plenty of tasks and hobbies to keep yourself busy! While, yes, this is the perfect time to catch up on work and be productive, its also a time to relax and take time to enjoy yourself. If you’ve been looking to unwind, take care of your skin and practice your makeup I hope you found plenty of inspo from this list! Just remember, it’s important to be working towards goals, but it’s also just as important to take care of yourself. Don’t worry about using this time to constantly be working on all of your tasks — it’s okay to take a day off to relax, unwind, and do absolutely nothing at all. This is an unprecedented and stressful time — don’t let anyone tell you how you should be spending it! Just do what’s best for you and be sure that you’re taking care of your mental health.

Love you all!

Xo,

Meredith

Sephora Haul: January Edition!

Hey y’all!

Sooooo, I know I promised a post on my Lash Lift this week, but unfortunately on Tuesday I came down with a terrible case of the flu and I’m still recovering. I really wanted to ensure that I had bomb before and after pics for you guys — and since I’m due for a new lift, it seemed apt to post after I got them done again. So be sure to stay tuned for that post, which I’ll be sharing on Sunday the 9th instead! As well, apologies for posting this post late as well — this flu has really taken a toll on me and I haven’t had much energy to put towards anything at all this week.

However, just the other week I went to Sephora with my friend Erin and did a little haul — and I’ve decided to share with you guys! I’m really excited about all the products I got as almost all of them are new for me — and most of them I’ve been dying to try out for a while. So, without further ado, here’s a look at what I got!

New Nude Eyeshadow Palette by Huda Beauty

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, I don’t even have to tell you how much I love Huda Beauty’s eyeshadow palettes. I already own a number of her Obsessions palettes and many of them are some of my all-time favourites when it comes to eyeshadow. I’ve had my eye on this palette for a while — it just looks perfect for something that could be used to create everything from an everyday look to something much more dramatic. I’ve only gotten to test it out once, but it’s safe to say I’m already in love — these shadows live up to the Obsessions quality and blend seamlessly to create an elegant, stunning look. (Plus, it even comes with its own mini concealer for eyeshadow use!).

Look like something you’d love? Be sure to check it out at Sephora here!

Carli Bybel Palette by Anastasia Beverly Hills

I’ve really been dying to expand my eyeshadow collection lately — I’ve been using many of the same palettes for years now and it’s just about getting to be time to replace them. Eye makeup used to be my favourite aspect of doing my makeup, and certainly my forte when it came to skill — but in the last few years, I’ve kind of dropped the ball on practicing and my skills have taken a hit because of it. This palette, hopefully, will help me get back into the game. I’ve been dying to try more ABH palettes ever since I received the Modern Renaissance palette as a gift a while back. While I still have a few more I’m dying to try (helloooo, Norvina and Soft Glam palette!) this palette is enough to satisfy my ABH palette obsession for the time being.

Look like something you’d love? Be sure to check it out at Sephora here!

Watermelon Glow Mask by Glow Recipe

As some of you may remember, I listed Glow Recipe as one of the brands I wanted to try in 2020 — and just a few weeks in, I’ve already had my chance!

I’ve been seeing this mask EVERYWHERE for what seems like months now — seriously, it feels like it’s being featured somewhere new everyday. I’ve only used it once so far, but I can confirm there’s a reason for it — this mask is MAGIC. I opted to use it as a wash off mask for my first use since my skin tends to air a little on the sensitive side, but after just ten minutes of wear my skin felt brand new. This mask gently resurfaced my skin, and left it feeling soft, glowy and fresh. SPOILER ALERT — I’m saving all the details since I’ll totally be doing a Thursday Favourites post on this mask sometime soon.

Look like something you’d love? Be sure to check it out at Sephora here!

Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Sleeping Mask by Glow Recipe

Surprise, surprise — another Glow Recipe product (I couldn’t resist!). While I haven’t gotten the chance to try this product out yet (I’m still finishing up my last eye cream) I do have a lot of hope for this one. I’ve yet to find the perfect eye cream that tackles all my concerns — which is difficult, considering my under-eye area is one of my biggest insecurities. However, this retinol cream promises to de-puff AND alleviate dark circles, unlike many other creams that only promise one or the other. While it does kinda sound too good to be true, after the results from Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Mask, I definitely have my hopes up!

Look like something you’d love? Be sure to check it out at Sephora here!

Coco Rose Coconut Oil Body Polish by Herbivore Botanicals

Okay, so y’all already know that the Herbivore Crushed Amethyst Body Polish has been my absolute go-to for months now — I’ve featured it in countless posts, and I do promise it’ll be getting a Thursday Favourites post of it’s own very soon. So, when I arrived at Sephora and found they were out of stock, I was a little crushed (no pun intended) — until I decided to give this product a go. I think it’ll be interesting to run a direct comparison on these products so I can share their similarities and differences with you all! While it would be a hard sell to get me to switch permanently from the Amethyst Body Polish — who knows? My sister uses this scrub, and she absolutely loves it.

Look like something you’d love? Be sure to check it out at Sephora here!

Beauty Elixir by Caudalie

Ah, a classic. I could go into depth with everything I love about this product, what makes it so convenient and easy, all the benefits it packs for your pores, and why it’s been a staple in my skincare line up for years now — or I could just direct you to my post from last week where I did exactly that. Seriously though, give it a read — this stuff is the bomb.

Look like something you’d love? Be sure to check it out at Sephora here!

And that’s it for my little haul! I’m so excited to give all of these products a go — so many of them are new to my collection and items I’ve been dying to get my hands on for so long. If you’ve tried and loved (or maybe didn’t!) any of these products, or have been wanting to give them a go for yourself, drop a comment below! I love hearing your feedback — it really means a lot to me when you all take the time to read and comment on my posts, plus I always learn so much from what you guys have to say!

And that’s all for this week! Happy Sunday, y’all — the last week of January is coming up, so let’s make it count! Have you reached your January goals, or do you still have a ways to go? Let me know in the comments below! And don’t fret — I definitely didn’t quite get there this month — but we’re only still 1/12th of the way through the year, and we still have plenty of time to make up for it!

Xo,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: December 26th

Ouai Scalp and Body Scrub

Hey friends!

Welcome to my LAST EVER Favourites post of the year — I can’t believe we’ve made it! I’ve been doing this segment weekly since I started my blog in May and I can already see such a difference in the quality of my writing over the course of the last few months alone. When I started my blog, I was really unsure where to start and what direction to take it in — I actually got my domain back in February and sat on it for a few months out of uncertainty.

However, as this year is coming to an end I’m really proud of how far my blog has come, the milestones I’ve reached, and how well I’ve kept up with a regular posting schedule. Thank you guys all so much for your support so far — every comment, message, post share, and more means so much to me. I really didn’t think this blog was going to take off at all when I started it, so every time I reach a goal of mine I really am touched by all your support. Thank you all so much, and fingers crossed I’m able to achieve new goals in the New Year!

For my last product of the year, I wanted to share a product I recently tried and loved — the Ouai Scalp And Body Scrub. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Ouai is quickly becoming one of my favourite brands. I tried a sample box with my Sephora points a month or so back, and fell in love with all the products it contained (which really is a first for me — usually when I spend my points on a brand box at least one of the products ends up being something I really don’t care for). One of these products was the Scalp And Body Scrub — which I just recently purchased full-size.

Now, you guys already know I’m basically married to my Herbivore Botanicals Crushed Amethyst Body Polish — but for me, Ouai’s exfoliator has had a totally different purpose. Since it’s not just for body exfoliation, when I got the sample, I decided to give exfoliating my scalp a shot. I’m so glad I did, because I never realized what a difference it could make until I did it.

Not only has it had the results you would expect, such as decreased dandruff, it had benefits I never even considered. First of all, as soon as I even started shampooing, I could feel a huge difference. My hair felt so much lighter, and it made shampooing a much easier task. When I went to go blow dry my hair, I really started to notice the change. This scrub had cleared away all kinds of built-up residue I didn’t even notice I had. My hair felt so much lighter, and looked more voluminous that it had in forever.

I’ve since been using this stuff regularly, and I’m so happy I got the chance to try it. Exfoliating your scalp isn’t something that’s wildly discussed, or something you’d really even consider. However, it really made a world of difference to my hair. Now that I’ve tried it, it’s safe to say I’ll never go back. Just for my newfound volume alone, I’m sold on scalp exfoliating for life.

Dandruff and residue getting you down? Check out Ouai’s Scalp And Body Scrub on their website or at Sephora!

I hope you all have a fantastic final week of 2019, and here’s to good vibes for 2020!

Love you all,

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