As a makeup artist and skincare addict I just so happen to try new products A LOT. And if you know me, you know I'm also quite picky. Like, really picky when it comes to what goes on my skin or in my professional kit. This month I've noticed an influx of products that I've actually enjoyed rather than throw in the maybe-I'll-use-it-for-a-makeup-project-drawer. So I made a list of new products (or at least new to me) that I learned to love during love month. Let me know if you love them too!
1. Neutrogena Oil-free Acne Wash
I know what you're thinking; "She bought these because they're pink, didn't she?" Well, I am here to tell you that you're absolutely right. Guilty.
Luckily, my love for pink fell in my favour this time. My skin has been tortured with the bitter cold, February air and on top of that my skin is going through a hormonal phase which is causing me to breakout. *tear falls onto keyboard* Most acne washes I've used have made my skin a little dry so giving the current polar vortex I needed something a little more gentle. These acne washes worked wonders on my skin and kept my blemishes at bay. Plus they leave a lovely, natural scent in the air (and the Instagram aesthetic is maintained).
I found the cleanser at Walmart and the foaming exfoliator at Marshall's for only $5:
2. Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir Primer and Major Volume Mascara
I was generously sent these Marc Jacobs Beauty products from Influenster Canada in honour of National Lash Day (Feb 19). I have actually never used a lash primer before so, I was hesitant about adding another step to my routine. I actually love the Velvet Noir Primer. I had heard really great things about Marc Jacob's mascaras so, I wasn't surprised that I loved the Velvet Noir, Major Volume Mascara.
While using these together, my lashes were longer and fuller without the nasty clumping or bottom-lid transfer. These may be a new staple in my personal collection, however, I cannot justify adding a luxury brand mascara to my professional kit (I go through way too much mascara for that).
Buy them here:
3. Essence Cosmetics Metal Shock Cream Eyeshadows - KIT
**DRUG STORE PRODUCT ALERT**
I am a makeup snob, I really am. I only use products that I know will work for me rather than against me. I have this prejudice in my head that drugstore products are lower quality versions of their sister brands (for example, Too Faced's Better Than Sex Mascara vs. Loreal Paris's Lash Paradise). This is obviously not always the case. I have a few drugstore products in my kit but, I'm extremely picky about which brands make it to my Mac bag.
Recently, I tried this product in the shade "solar explosion" (aka gold) because I needed coloured lipsticks for Halloween. Since realizing that they were actually cream eyeshadows, I have purchased five of the seven available shades; two are in my personal stash and four are in my professional kit. I am obsessed.
This is the perfect (and fool-proof) product for those who want to try a cut-crease but, don't know how to start. And because of the high glitter/metallic pigment of the cream, you don't have to use concealer first or put a powder pigment on top. Oh! Did I mention that they're only $5?
My favourite colour right now is a pink tone called "Stars and Stories." You can buy them at Shoppers Drugmart or online.
4. The Ordinary
I have been intrigued by this skincare brand for quite some time now. I've noticed some of my favourite Instagrammers (including @j3nnabragg) using their serums and I definitely noticed their amazing price points. The only problem was that they were always sold out at Sephora. Luckily they came back in stock while I was using my $100 bazaar reward. I picked up the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% and the Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG serums. I use the Niacinamide in the mornings with my moisturizer to help further combat dryness and blemishes, and I use the Caffeine on days where I didn't get enough sleep (or have puffy eyes from crying). Now that I'm hooked, I want all of their other products too.
The science behind them:
Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% - is a high-strength vitamin and mineral blemish formula with 10 percent pure niacinamide and one percent zinc PCA. Niacinamide (vitamin B3) reduces the appearance of skin blemishes and congestion. A high 10 percent concentration of this vitamin is supported in the formula by zinc PCA to balance visible aspects of sebum activity.
Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG - a concentrated serum with high-solubility caffeine and green tea cathechin to visibly reduce eye contour pigmentation and puffiness. This lightweight formula contains an extremely high five percent concentration of caffeine, supplemented with highly-purified epigallocatechin gallatyl glucoside (EGCG) from green tea leaves. Studies have shown that topical use of caffeine and EGCG can help reduce the look of puffiness and dark circles around the eye contour. Credit: Sephora
5. KISS Ever EZ Lashes - Medium Combo
I have to give a huge thank you to my friend Nikita for introducing these triple individual lashes to me. They save so much time for me when I want a little extra pop on the eyes without the weight of a strip lash. Plus, they are way easier to clean than normal individual false lashes so, you can wear them over and over again. Great find, Nikita!
6. Tartelette in Bloom Palette
I've had this pretty palette for a while now but, I recently just added it (as well as the Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Palette) to my professional kit. These perfectly pigmented shadows blend effortlessly and come in super flattering shades. I use these palettes every single day whether I'm using them on myself or on clients. I cannot say anything negative about these palettes.
Pro tip: use the matte palette's plum shades or the Tartelette in Bloom's pink tones with the Metal Shock Cream Eyeshadow (mentioned above) in the shade Stars & Stories. Finish the look with a wing and a bold lash, and you've got my current go-to look.
7. Lush *Sugar Plum Fairy* Lip Scrub
First of all, YUMMMMM. This is the best tasting lip scrub I have ever used. It's like the perfect snack that makes your lipstick look 100x better. What's not to like?
Second, you can use this low-cost lip scrub with a good conscience because its made by the vegetarian, ethical and cruelty-free brand Lush.
SIDE NOTE: this flavour was seasonal (thanks Sam and Thomas for the bday prezzie) but, there looks to be a ton of delicious flavours on their site. I should be running out of my jar just around the time the St. John's location opens up. Can't wait.
8. Water Balm - KIT
I have been using Water Balm for about 2 years and I love it. I thought it deserved a shout out because it is, in my opinion, the best moisturizer on the market. Period. Seriously. Go buy it as a late Valentine's day gift for your skin.
P.S. It goes on sale a lot.
9. BECCA Ultimate Coverage Long Wear Concealer
Holy crap. I did not expect to love this concealer. I also didn't know that it had such high coverage. I bought this product after not being able to get my hands on Shape Tape. I still want to try Shape Tape however, I am still pretty excited about my purchase. This concealer is super pigmented and thick; my blemishes won't be seeing the light of day. Plus, it's formula prohibits it from melting off or creasing throughout the day.