Thursday Favourites: February 20th

Hey y’all!

Sooooooo, I’m back at it! After a couple of the most stressful weeks I’ve had in a while I’m healthy, happy, and relaxed so cheers to that!

Bear with me for any mistakes in this post — I’m writing it via mobile (which is also my reason for the little delay). I’ve been spending all my time poolside, so bear with me. I just wanted to take some time out of my (not very) busy vacation to share with you all my new fave lip balm!

When it comes to lip balm, I’m a bit of an addict. Who can say no to lip balm, right? I mean, it’s kind of a necessity. Especially during Canadian winters, when it can get particularly dry, it basically gives you a reason to buy as many lip balms as you want guilt-free. (It’s not even like I’m not using them until the end — I am! I’m just super sensitive to dry weather). Basically, what I’m getting at is that by this point in my life, I know what makes (or breaks) a good lip balm.

Ever since trying (and loving!) Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, I’ve been dying to try more of their products, and this lip balm gave me the perfect opportunity. Since it also has their watermelon formulation, I was sure I would love it — and I wasn’t disappointed.

Not only is this lip balm ultra-hydrating, it comes with a gentle scrub exfoliant aspect that wears away after a few minutes, allowing you to keep your lips extra soft throughout the day. It’s very gentle too, which is great — it’s really easy to take lip exfoliating too far and cause damage.

What I love most though, is the gentle tint it leaves behind. K-Beauty is known for its natural, glowy style and gentle pink lip looks — like their ever-popular gentle pink lip ombré. This balm gives a perfect pink tint that looks incredible natural, it looks more like you have on a clear gloss and are otherwise au natural. I just love the luscious, glossy look it leaves behind — all while making sure your lips are soft and hydrated!

If this sounds like the step into K-Beauty you’ve been looking to try, you can check out Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Lip Pop exclusively at Sephora!

I hope you’re all having a lovely week — I know I am! Be sure to stay tuned this weekend for my post about my week in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico — I’m so excited to share it with you guys!

Have a great week, y’all!

Xo,

Meredith

Thursday Favourites: February 6th

Hey y’all!

So, as many of you may remember, Glow Recipe was one of my top 5 brands I was dying to try in 2020. Well, if you’ve been keeping up with my latest Sephora haul, you’ll know that I’ve already gotten the chance — and needless to say, I’m obsessed. If you’re into skincare, you’ll already know it’s just about impossible to not find posts all over the internet absolutely raving about Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask. After seeing this product (and it’s numerous glowing reviews) all over the internet, I knew I just had to try it out for myself.

This uber-lightweight mask lists it’s benefits as “a skin-smoothing, radiance-boosting nightly sleeping mask with watermelon, hyaluronic acid, and AHAs that gently exfoliate and refine the look of pores” on Sephora’s website. Not only does it note it’s suitability for all skin types, it also notes that it is gentle enough to be used as an overnight mask, but also has the option to be used as a 10-minute wash-off mask for those with more sensitive skin.

I won’t lie, I was pretty nervous to test this mask out — not only were my expectations very high, but I do have sensitive skin so I was worried it would impact my complexion negatively. For this reason, I’ve only ever used it as a 10-minute mask — which so far, has worked perfectly for me. I was a little skeptical of the idea of an overnight mask starting out — I absolutely despise sleeping on my back, and I didn’t really see how any mask (save for those that are really just extreme moisturizers) could last all night and still require a wash-off in the morning. However, for those of you who’d be interested in using this mask overnight, fear not — it dries into a gentle layer of non-sticky, non-tightening solution, meaning you can sleep on your face and not worry about this mask rubbing off all over your pillowcase.

Now, it’s only been about a month since I purchased this mask, but it really does live up to the standards and rave reviews that drew me in to trying it in the first place. Not only does it do an amazing job of gently resurfacing (meaning you don’t have to worry about exfoliating as often!), it leaves my skin feeling bouncy, smooth, hydrating and fresh. Seriously, my skin was SO soft and glowy, even after the very first use — it honestly blew my mind a little.

Overall, I have to say, I adore this mask. So far, none of my concerns about it have come to fruition, but all the benefits have worked their wonders exactly as everyone says. The texture is so bouncy and lightweight, making it easy to apply and lovely to wear — and as an added bonus, the watermelon scent is to die for. My only remaining concern is that it DOES contain alcohol in it’s formulation; however, as the last ingredient on the list, I have to believe it’s only the smallest amount. So far, it’s had the opposite of a drying effect on my skin, so I don’t think that there’s enough alcohol in this product to cause any harm — but of course, I’ll keep you updated if I notice any changes!

Sound like the face mask your skin has been needing? Be sure to check out this product on Sephora’s website here!

Have you tried Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, or anything else off their line? I’d love to hear any and all opinions you guys have — especially if you’ve tried their other products! I’ve been eyeing a couple other items their brand offers for a while now, so I’d love to hear some reviews before I take the leap and try them!

I hope you’re all having a fantastic week, and your first week of February is going well! Personally, I have a crazy busy week ahead — I have a term paper due and I’m preparing for my upcoming trip to Mexico (!!!) so it’s safe to say it’s going to be a long week. Buuuuut, when it’s over I do get to go away on vacation, so it’s all worth it in the end.

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

Tuesday Favourites: August 16th

CoverFX Custom Enhancer Drops

Happy Tuesday guys!

This week I’m going to be covering one of the most versatile products I’ve ever seen: The Cover FX Custom Enhancer Drops. I had literally been dying to try these for YEARS, but always felt that they were something I merely wanted, but didn’t need. Finally about a month ago, I just decided to go for it. Can I just say? Best choice ever.

First of all, if you use these in the classic highlighter sense, they will give you the most blinding and fantastic highlighter ever. They blend with make up super easily too, making them easy to use and ensuring a natural glow. Plus, if you’re looking for something a little more natural and a tad less intense, it can be applied beneath foundation to really give that “glow from within” look.

But the best part is, they can be used for so much more. Not only can this product be used as a highlighter, it can be used as an eyeshadow, mixed with foundation or lipgloss for an added glow, or honestly whatever else your heart desires. It can be incorporated into just about any makeup look, and unlike other liquid makeup formulas, can blend well over powdered makeup as well.

This product has a serious shade range too. While I opted to get the shade “Sunlight”, I know I’ll be back to purchase other shades in the future. They have seven shades, ranging from holographic white to deep bronze, with shades of pink and silver thrown in the mix as well.

Seriously, if you’ve been thinking about testing this product out, GO FOR IT. It’s a little pricey, but a little goes a long way. I haven’t ever needed more than two or three drops, no matter how glowy of a look I’m going for, because it’s just that powerful. Try it for yourself, seriously, you’ll be sold on it instantly.

If you’re ready to glow like you’ve never before, check out the product on Sephora here!

Much love y’all,

Meredith