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

Aritzia Warehouse Sale Haul!

Hey guys! Hope you’re all gearing up to have a great week!

First of all, I know this post is super late. As I discussed last week, I’ve been feeling crazy overwhelmed lately and haven’t been able to keep up with blogging regularly. But honestly, better late than never!

For those of you lucky enough to live in Vancouver, you may have already heard of, or been to, the annual Aritzia Warehouse Sale. Every year around labour day, Ariztia hosts a multi-week sale featuring 50-90% off an entire warehouse worth of their products, and it’s as crazy as it sounds. People have been known to line up for hours to get in, or even camp outside the venue in the days leading up. It’s THAT good.

Now, unfortunately, I don’t really have the time to sit around in line all day, so my best friend Nylah and I opted to check it out on the last day. Even then, it was still crazy and overwhelming, with thousands of discounted options for offer.

When you arrive at the sale, you have to be ready for the hunt. Chances are, it’ll be near impossible to find anything in your size, or cute things in your size, or anything at all amidst the sea of people without some serious dedication. After a couple of hours, I collected a couple of purchases I was quite happy with. The biggest success, however, is the savings: I managed to buy $400 of clothing for just $170 (plus a couple accessories which lack the original price tags).

So, without further ado, I figured I’d share my findings with you, modelled with a few accessories! (Not too many though, so you can still get an idea of what each garment looks like). I hope you enjoy, and when next year’s sale rolls around, you’re able to check it out for yourself!

**LIL DISCLAIMER** — I’m hoping to get a better camera/photoset up (/photographer?) soon, so I apologize for the quality of these photos (read: mirror selfies in my empty bedroom) — I hope you still get the idea!

Item #1: White Pantsuit by Little Moon

Original Price: $178.00

Warehouse Sale Price: $60.00

Personally, I’m crazy about the bodysuit/pantsuit trend — it looks so classy and professional! This item, more so than any of the others I bought, is clearly a summer piece — but at this discount, it’s worth stashing it away in my closet for a year! I love this because it COULD be worn to a fancier event — but can also make a great everyday outfit as well.

Item #2: Red Bodysuit by Wilfred

Original Price: $50.00

Warehouse Sale Price: $20.00

Okay. I am LIVING for this bodysuit. Hands down, this was my favourite purchase this year. I was a little worried it would be too small, but the fabric is so stretchy it fits perfectly. The best part about this is it has a somewhat classic look to it — I’m not too worried about it looking dated by next summer. Plus, it’s not so strongly tied to summer that I won’t be able to get some use out of it before then!

Item #3: Yellow Dress by Wilfred

Original Price: $138.00

Warehouse Sale Price: $60.00

I’m pretty excited for this dress because as a blonde, I shied away from yellow for so long. It really didn’t suit me all too well, and for years I didn’t own a single yellow item of clothing. But as a brunette, I find yellow suits me much better. I love this dress, both because it’s ADORABLE, something totally new for me, but the mustard shade of this yellow means I may be able to pull off this dress in the fall! It’s all a win-win-win, really.

Item #4: Blue Skirt by Babaton

Original Price: $98.00

Warehouse Sale Price: $30.00

Okay, I know I already apologized for my poor-quality photos, but I really do apologize for this one. I really loved this skirt, so I went ahead and bought it even though it was a little large. It’s super cute, so I’m happy I did, but I haven’t gotten the chance to tailor it yet. No worries, though — I’m sure it’ll be ready in time for spring! Plus, tailoring a cheap skirt is SO much better than buying the same thing full price in a few months.

Item #5: White Shirt by Babaton

Original Price: $35.00

Warehouse Sale Price: $15.00

Lately, I’ve been noticing how my closet is missing a lot of basics. I feel like I’m always losing a battle between having basics and statement pieces — when I have all sorts of one, I have none of the other. This shirt is great because it’s simple, but still super cute! Plus, it fits so perfectly — if Babaton still carries these, I’d definitely be down to buy more. (I really do have a thing for shirts that are meant to be tied, though, so maybe it’s just my bias).

Items #6 & 7: Accessories

And last but not least — accessories! By the last day of the Aritzia Warehouse Sale, the accessories are super picked over — while they ensure that the sale is restocked daily, some items sell out FAST. A lot of people go on the first day and load up on cute accessories (especially the blanket scarves), so by the last day the pickings are awfully slim (compared to, say, the Super Puff jackets, which there was still plenty of. To be fair, it is a little depressing to spend the last days of summer investing in a winter coat).

All that being said, I still found this cap and belt! I love plain caps, especially for when I’m having a bad hair day (we’ve all been there, right?) but I don’t really have a whole lot of them — many of mine are colourful, or come embellished with logos and the like. Needless to say, I’m super glad I found this one!

As for the belt — I’ve recently become obsessed with how quickly you can turn an outfit from average to adorable simply by adding a belt, so I leapt at the chance to add one to my collection! (You really can’t say no when the prices are THAT good).

And that’s my little haul! Overall, I saved about $230 overall at this sale, and I got some super cute stuff. If you ever get the chance to attend this sale, I couldn’t recommend it more! Yes, it’s crazy, and even a little overwhelming — but it’s also pretty much an experience unlike any other and you’re bound to find some amazing steals if you’re willing to dig through the rest.

I really hope you guys enjoyed this post, especially considering how long it took me to prepare it for y’all! In better news, I’m starting to get my life a little more on track and have plenty of exciting posts planned for the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

Much love,

Meredith