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

Holiday Gift Guide #3: Makeup Edition!

Hey y’all! Happy Sunday!

Today I’m sharing my third and final segment of my Holiday Gift Guide series with you guys. Holiday season is officially in full swing, so if you haven’t gotten the chance to start your Christmas shopping — now is the time! If you’re still feeling a little lost on what to gift this year and need some inspo, I’ve got you covered. I put so much effort and care into this series, and I really hope you all have gotten some great gift ideas out of it!

This week, I’m going to be sharing some of my all-time favourite makeup products. A lot of these products haven’t even been featured on my Favourites segment yet, but Holiday season is here, and I personally think a lot of these would make fantastic gifts for any makeup lover. I just decided I couldn’t wait and had to share — but stay tuned for more in-depth posts on a lot of these products coming in the new year!

For A Makeup Lover Who’s Always On The Go

Huda Beauty Obsession Palettes

For any of your travel-savvy makeup loving friends, consider gifting them a Huda Beauty Obsessions palette! Not only are these eyeshadow palettes compact and perfect for travel — they’re all absolutely stunning. The best part about these palettes is that there’s a colour story for everyone. They have all the classics such as warm brown, mauve and smoky for a classic bold look. Nude colour stories for every skin tone. Neon for anyone who loves a bold, trendy look. Gem toned palettes in five different colours for whatever colour preference anyone may have. AND they’re all super pigmented, smooth and stunning. What more could you ask for from the perfect gift?

Feeling inspired? Check out Huda Beauty’s Neon, Nude and Classic Obsession Palettes at Sephora!

For Your Favourite Lipstick Fanatic

Kylie Cosmetics Lip Kit and Glosses

No makeup look is complete without adding your favourite lip product as the final step. Ever since I took the leap and finally purchased myself some Kylie Cosmetic lip products, I’ve been obsessed. The Lip Kits in particular make great gifts, as they come as a complete set (lip product and liner) and come in a variety of formulas — such as matte and velvet liquid lipstick. As well, for any gloss or classic lipstick fans in your life, Kylie Cosmetics offers a large range of both products that are absolutely FANTASTIC additions to any makeup collection. Their lipsticks are smooth and creamy, and their lip glosses are SO pigmented it’s insane. As well, you can ensure any gift is on-brand for the holiday season by checking out Kylie’s stunning holiday collection!

Feeling inspired? Check out Kylie Cosmetic’s Lipsticks, Lip Kits and Lip Gloss online!

For Someone Who Loves To Splurge On The Staples

Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara

Mascara makes a great gift as it is a solid staple as far as makeup goes. While sometimes it can be tricky to gift makeup if you don’t know someone’s preferred products, colours and formulas — you really can’t go wrong gifting a classic black mascara. If you’re looking to gift someone makeup but are worried about buying the wrong colour or product — consider gifting the Dior Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara! Splurging on an expensive mascara makes a great gift for anyone as they may not necessarily get to spend as much on a mascara for themselves regularly. I’ve written about this mascara a little more in depth previously in my Favourites segment, but this mascara really is fantastic at creating a flawless, natural look. It does an amazing job at curling and lengthening lashes without clumping up or getting “spidery”. Plus, you can feel good about buying a makeup gift that’s pretty universal and just about anyone could enjoy!

Feeling inspired? Check out the Diorshow Iconic Overcurl Mascara, or Dior’s Mascara Line at Sephora!

For Someone Who Can’t Leave The House Until They’ve Perfected Their Liner

Tarte Clay Pot Waterproof Liner

Eyeliner is another makeup product that makes a great gift for someone when you’re unsure about their specific makeup preferences. Just like mascara, though, it’s pretty hard to go wrong with a classic black eyeliner. For any winged liner fans in your life, or anyone looking to experiment but struggles with drawing on the perfect wing, consider gifting Tarte Cosmetic’s Clay Pot waterproof liner! I just recently received this liner in my Tarte Cosmetics custom makeup kit, but I’m already conviced it would make a fantastic gift. First of all, winged liner tends to be a lot easier to apply with a brush than it is with a felt-tip marker, making this great for beginners. As well, this stuff isn’t kidding about being waterproof — once it’s on, it’ll last all day. No smudging, nothing. No matter who you’re gifting for, eyeliner newbie or pro, there’s really no going wrong with this classic black gel liner.

Feeling inspired? Check out Tarte’s Clay Pot Eyeliner on Tarte or at Sephora!

For Someone Who Loves To Highlight EVERYTHING

CoverFX Custom Enhancer Drops

For any highlighter addicts in your life, CoverFX’s Custom Enhancer Drops are a must-gift. These drops are so versatile and can add a stunning glow to just about any aspect of your makeup. You can mix them in with foundation for a dewy all-over glow, add them below or above foundation for either a natural sheen or high beam highlight, and they can even be mixed into lip products, eyeshadow looks, body makeup — you name it. If you’re looking for the perfect gift for someone OBSESSED with highlighter, you really can’t go wrong with these. They come in so many colours, there really should be one to fit anyone of any skin tone. Plus, these really are the most pigmented highlighters I’ve ever come across — so they last forever (a little goes a REALLY long way). As well, their multi-dimensional glow is absolutely stunning. You can’t go wrong

Feeling inspired? Check out CoverFX’s Custom Enhancer Drops at Sephora!

For Anyone Looking For Perfect, Bushy Brows

Benefit Gimme Brow Gel and Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz

Natural, bushy brows have been all the rage this year. If you’re looking to gift brow makeup to someone, I’d absolutely recommend Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Pencil + Benefit’s Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel. If you have someone who’s been looking to up their brow game while also maintaining natural looking brows, this really is the perfect duo. I’ve been using it myself for ages now, and it never fails me. The Brow Wiz pencil is perfect for shading in sparse areas, lining the brows and even adding in hair-like strokes. Benefit’s Gimme Brow Gel tops the look off perfectly by defining brow hairs and locking them in place, ensuring they don’t stray. They come in a wide range of colours, making them perfect for just about anyone too.

Feeling inspired? Check out Anastasia Beverly Hill’s Brow Wiz Pencil and Benefit’s Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel at Sephora!

For Someone Looking To Up Their Brush Game

Eyeshadow and Blush Brushes from MAC Cosmetics

You can have all the best makeup in the world, but it still won’t apply well if you don’t have great brushes to go with it. A lot of people avoid spending too much on brushes as it can be hard to see the point — however, it really is vital to flawless makeup application. There’s all kinds of benefits to spending a little more on brushes too — they last longer, shed less and stay soft (as long as you care for them properly). For someone who’s in need of a couple good brushes to add to their collection, consider gifting them some brushes from MAC! I’ve had many of these brushes for years now, and haven’t needed to replace them.

If you need suggestions on a couple staples, I’d definitely recommend:

  • #217 and #221 for blending eyeshadow
  • #239 for packing shadow onto the lid
  • #150 for setting and face powder
  • #168 for bronzer application
  • #116 for blush application
  • #184 for highlighter application
  • #263 for winged liner or lipstick

These are some of my favourite and most commonly used brushes — I use so many of these every day, and they’ve lasted me so well. They apply makeup flawlessly too — so if you know someone just starting out with makeup, or in need of a couple new brushes, they’d make the perfect gift.

Feeling inspired? Check out MAC’s brush collection on their website! I’ve also linked each specific brush on the list — just click the number to view it on MAC’s website!

For Someone Who Likes To Go Au Natural

Glossier Balm DotCom

For anyone you’re looking to gift for who likes to keep their makeup a little more on the natural side, Glossier’s Balm DotCom’s make the perfect gift! These lip balms are super hydrating and effective — they’re one of my all-time favourites. They make a great gift in the winter to help stop chapped lips in their tracks (and they come in a wide range of colours!). They help give a fantastic, natural tint — making them a great gift for anyone looking to keep things cute and simple. Whether it’s for some who likes minimal makeup 24/7, or someone who just likes a natural look for everyday matters, you can’t go wrong with these. Just for their hydrating aspect alone, they make a fantastic little gift collection or addition to any gift!

Feeling inspired? Check out the Balm DotCom line at Glossier’s website!

I hope you all enjoyed this series — I really enjoyed writing and sharing it with you. Christmas shopping can be challenging, and coming up with ideas isn’t always easy. The holiday season can already be busy enough as is, so I really hope I managed to share some great ideas with you guys and take a little load off so you can spend your time and energy enjoying the holidays, rather than stressing. (If you need more inspo, be sure to check out Part One and Part Two of my series as well!)

Don’t forget to stay tuned for next weeks post — after all, it’s my favourite part of the start of each new season! While it is a little delayed (as I received my box two days ago), I’m going to be unboxing my Winter FabFitFun box for y’all! I’m super excited about the winter box — I really loved the products I received last year and am VERY much looking forward to whatever self-care and cozy vibes this box brings.

Happy Sunday y’all, hope you guys all had an amazing weekend and are gearing up to have a great week!

Much love,

Meredith

Tuesday Favourites: July 16th

Glossier Balm Dotcom in Birthday, Rose, and Coconut

Welcome back friends!

This Tuesday I wanted to share my absolute fave lip balm with you, Glossier’s Balm Dotcom. This was the first product I ever bought from Glossier, and immediately I was sold. I have a couple other fave lip balms that I may share a post on that work just as well as these, but these ones really are my favourite.

First of all, since purchasing these my lips have almost never been chapped since. Even when they’re completely dry, they feel smooth. On the rare occasion my lips do get chapped, this fixes it up 100% within a few hours. No more fighting chapped, painful lips for days. Seriously, these lip balms have your back.

Second of all, the tube makes them super easy to apply. While I do love solid lip chaps that come in a lipstick tube, I kind of struggle with ones than come in a pot as I always have acrylics on that make it hard to remove the product. But something about the somewhat-liquid form of this product makes it work soooooo much better than other lip balms I try, plus you can apply as much or as little as you want.

Even better, although this may be kind of “meant” for lips, it does work anywhere on your skin. I’m often prone to getting small, super-dry patches on my upper arms, elbows and knees, but this stuff helps moisturize these areas as well.

AND, on top of everything else, they have 7 flavours/tints to pick from! I personally generally like to stick to neutral colours for lip balms, but if tinted is more your vibe, they have you covered. Plus if you order three, they’re discounted!

Anyways, enough ranting from me. You get it. These lip balms are amazing. It’s probably dramatic to say they were life-changing, but they kind of were. If this sounds like something you’re looking for, you can buy them on Glossier here!

That’s it from me for now! Hope y’all are having a great Tuesday.

Much Love,

Meredith