I’m a beauty product junkie.
And if you could see my overflowing ensuite that’s busting at the seams, you might understand how hard it is to whittle it down to just a few favourites. All but one of these products is new to me in 2016, so while this doesn’t necessarily represent my ALL TIME favourite beauty secrets, they are the best I’ve discovered this year.
A — Tweezerman makeup brushes
I featured these in my recent Mother’s Day gift guide, and with good reason: they rock. If you can get your hands on these, you won’t regret it. Soft and smooth on your delicate skin, but killer at picking up and holding makeup pigment and transferring it all to your face beautifully. I may never go back to real-hair brushes.
B — blinc box discovery collection
While I didn’t end up loving every single product in this pack, I am a huge fan of the mascara and brow mousse. The brow mousse is easy to apply and has a natural, feathering effect. I have eyelash extensions on my upper lashes, and it’s actually pretty hard to find a wand small enough for my lower lashes, which are short and sparse. blinc’s is perfect, and acts waterproof without being waterproof. Let me quickly explain: basically, it stays on if you splash your face with water or, say, went swimming. But super-super cannonballs into the pool or a shower-stream on your face would make the little “columns” of product that form around each lash slip off. No tugging at your lashes with eye-makeup remover to clean your lashes of mascara.
C — fresh Sugar lip shine
This is THE BEST lip gloss I’ve ever used. It has great staying power, a super shine without too much shimmer, but most of all, it’s super-hydrating. I’ve only tried the “honey” colour but I love how natural it is and I’m not sure I’ll even bother branching out.
D — Sweet Prana citrus serum
I’m in the midst of testing out this entire skin-care line, but I already know which one is the superstar. This serum — packed with vitamin C, hyaluronic acid and ferulic acid — packs a powerful punch in a very small package. One tiny pump is enough for your entire face and neck, and I love the way it makes my skin look and feel.
E — TIZO tinted sunscreen
I’ve struggled for years trying to find a facial sunscreen that (a) doesn’t make my skin breakout, (b) isn’t full of chemicals and (c) actually works. This is the first one that I’ve ever bought that I’d buy again and again. It’s a keeper. The tint is very mild and would match with many different skin tones, and the product goes on so smoothly it feels like a primer.
F — Tweezerman mini slant tweezers
I’ve been using Tweezerman tweezers since I was in university (and I graduated in 1998, so that’s a very, very long time). I would never use anything else. I’ve never even had to take advantage of the free sharpening service — that’s how long these suckers stay sharp. The mini slant version is absolutely perfect for travel.
G — Tweezerman Curl ‘N Go lash curler
This folding lash curler isn’t on Tweezerman’s Canadian site yet (hyperlinked above), but it’s on the U.S. site, so let’s hope it’s coming to Canada SOON. Because for those of you who are daily lash-curlers and find the average design of eyelash curlers cumbersome when travelling, this is the ticket. It folds up easily and feels great in the hand.
H — PONi Cosmetics contour kit
This Australian-born cosmetics company ships worldwide, and I can’t say enough about the contour kit and eyebrow pencil (not shown). As you can tell from my close-up photo, I use this palette ALL.THE.TIME. I never would have bought a peach-coloured blush before, but I adore it. And I often use a pop of the pink on the apples of my cheeks right over top of it! In other surprising news, I had no clue that bronzer can be used as a contouring product to create the most fantastical cheekbones imaginable.
I — Giorgio Armani light master primer
So remember when I mentioned that there was an exception to the “new to me in 2016” description? Well, this is the product. I’ve been using it for a couple of years now and consider it an absolute staple in my beauty routine. Even if I’m not going to wear foundation on top of this shimmery primer, I’ll often wear it alone. You know how J.Lo got her infamous glow? It all started with this product. It’s just awesome.
J — fresh Sugar lip serum advanced therapy
If I had to choose ONE beauty product to use for the rest of my life, it would be a tossup between the Armani primer and this lip serum. It provides a massive boost of hydration that lasts for hours, despite the product sinking right into your lips instead of sitting on top like a gloss. That said, pair it with the lip shine (above) and — POW! — your smackers are going to feel ah-mazing all day.
DISCLAIMER: I’ve personally purchased most of these products, though a couple were given to me as gifts or for review purposes. That said, there are dozens more this year that have been sent my way that I didn’t feel comfortable recommending. So…trust me on this one.
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