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: 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

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