My husband walked in and saw the title of my blog post and said, “Is your top ten beauty product ‘Love yourself and feck all the rest of that stuff out there because it’s all marketing and superficial’?” I told him he’d get an honourable mention for that. He’s right, but I still like to look nice.
Sarah suggested starting 2018 with a review of some products that we love (go Sarah! Her post is excellent). A lot of these products I’ve been using for a few years and several I discovered in 2017. I haven’t made any big changes to my beauty routine, but I have learned a few things: I enjoy taking the time to apply make-up now, and under no circumstances do I go to bed without removing my make-up and washing my face.
Listed in no particular order, here are my ten favourite products I’ve bought more than once or would buy again if and when I run out:
Shellac by CND – I bought a UV lamp almost two years ago, and my husband, who doesn’t think much of my nail polish collection, actually told me it was one of the most useful purchases I’ve made through the duration of our relationship.
CND’s formula works well with my body chemistry, is a lot more forgiving than some other UV cured polishes that I’ve worked with, and lasts a solid week or more on me (versus the 2-3 days I’d get out of going to a salon to get a UV-cured manicure…oops). I’m pretty hard on my nails, so it’s rare that I’ll get more than 10 days out of it. I’m also prone to nail colour boredom, which makes it great that the colours are easy to change out with acetone and a cuticle pusher.
If you love manicures and are considering investing in a UV lamp and UV-cured polishes, hit us up (Sarah’s also got DIY skills in this department). We might post a tutorial later!
Tip: you can’t buy Shellac, save online (in my experience), or unless you’re buddies with a nail tech. I buy mine here.
Honey Potion Mask – I recently bought a full-sized version of this product after I purchased the trial-sized version with my points at Sephora. I managed to get 5-6 uses out of the trial-size, (bearing in mind the instructions suggest using a large quantity; I was sparing with the amount I applied). My skin looks magnificent, dewy, and hydrated every time I use this mask. It’s warm and tingly on your face, too!
Bonus: the packaging is adorable and well-thought out. The lid is magnetic and attaches to a metal spatula meant for scooping the mask out of the jar (reducing bacteria transferring into the jar). The glass jar is also hexagon shaped.
Seaweed Bath Co Unscented Shampoo – I’ve been using this shampoo for the last two years, and I looooove it: my hair is nothing less than shiny, weightless and voluminous. Think eternal Pantene commercial hair. If you aren’t crazy about unscented shampoo, you can always add a couple drops of essential oil to scent it however you like. It’s also safe to use on coloured hair.
Evo’s Love Perpetua – aka Love Drops as they’re called at the hair salon I frequent. Love these (hehe) for a little heat protection, added shine and frizz control. You can apply it to wet or dry hair, though I typically apply it to wet hair then comb it through before blow drying, and mix it in with Evo’s Easy Tiger for added heat protection. A whole bottle of Love Drops will last me over a year, and it’s the perfect travel size. It’s also grapefruit scented, yum.
Two Faced Better Than Sex Mascara – I’m picky as heck about my mascara, down to brush and formula. This brush works wonderfully without giving me clumpy, spidery lashes, and the formula applies smoothly overtop of itself. I’m seldom picking or fussing with my lashes after I’ve applied this mascara, and love it for that reason. On days that I’m feeling lazy, this is my only product that I’ll apply outside of my regular skincare regime.
Drugstore runner-up: L’Oreal’s Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black (I bought 4 tubes of this before I moved to Israel for a year).
Australis Banana Concealer – This beautiful and affordable line from Australia has made it to the list of the only concealer I can use that 1. banishes my perma-tired purple-y undertoned Middle Eastern dark eye circles, 2. doesn’t cake, and 3. is easy to apply. I brush it on with the applicator brush, then tap it in gently with my fingers. I highly recommend using a foundation primer underneath to get better / longer wear out of it.
You’ll notice that there isn’t any text on the product in the picture: it rubbed off after a couple of weeks.
Australis Lip Primer – I’ve only used this product a couple of times, and it’s amazing! It applies smoothly and definitely saves you from reapplying your lipstick too often or from running into butthole lip. I’ve heard it works better with liquid lipsticks, but so far I’ve only tried it with Bite Beauty’s natural lipstick and have had positive results.
Shiseido Urban Environment Sunscreen – I’m a bit of a skincare freak (a huge skincare freak), so sunscreen falls high on my list of beauty items that 1000% need to be in my toiletry bag / on my counter. Yep, I even wear it in the winter.
This formula is virtually weightless – the bottle is tiny, and I only need a dime-sized amount to cover my whole face. It’s lightly scented and doesn’t leave an oily residue. It’s also easy to apply make-up over top, and not a pain in the ass to reapply! I’ve only gone through half a bottle from this summer (using it every day) through now. I expect a year-long shelf-life per bottle.
In conclusion, this product is mighty but small.
Naked Kitty Naturals’ Deodorant (Particularly Proud Mary) – This is actually my own company! I make all of my deodorants by hand, and damn, are they amazeballs. They’re amazing at absorbing extra moisture (they’re arrowroot powder and bentonite clay based) and come in a variety of scents (six to be exact, plus one unscented version).
I’m bragging here, but I want to illustrate the efficacy of this product. A friend of mine bought a stick for her boyfriend before they went on a trip to Vancouver. She calls it “Metallica Tested” because he put it on before the concert, sweat like a beast for six hours (we’re talking full-on pit stains all the way down his sides). She decided she’d risk smelling him, and discovered he didn’t smell. She now tells everyone this story and convinced a prospective customer to buy it by telling them this experience.
This is also one of my most popular products, and I highly recommend it for those transitioning to natural deodorant, as it does not contain fillers (water, aloe) or ingredients that would help breed bacteria and pit odour (see water and aloe…).
Urban Decay Waterline Eyeliner in Legend – Sarah actually recommended this eyeliner pencil when I complained that the soft eyeliner pencils by Urban Decay would pool in the corners of my eyes when I’d apply it to my waterline. This was the solution I was looking for!
If I’m slightly feeling slightly less lazy than just a swipe of mascara, I’ll slap on the Waterline Eyeliner.
I recommend sharpening it before you use it, otherwise, it won’t apply enough colour to your waterline. I’ve been quite happy with this product, and while it’s pricey, it works like a dream.