Ideally this post would have gone up a few days ago, but better late than never, right? This past year has been great for beauty discoveries – and not just products either, but entire brands too. I feel like I’ve found some lifelong favourites in amongst this bunch, so of course I had to share them with you.
In my skincare stash…
One of my 2017 highlights was discovering Jordan Samuel Skincare. Jordan himself is so genuine and charming and his products are really great. His approach to a skincare routine is very pared-down and refreshing. The other amazing thing about Jordan Samuel Skin is that it is shipped directly from Jordan to you with no middle-man, allowing the costs to stay pretty low. For such high-quality products I was a little shocked at how reasonable the price point is! The Plie cleanser (now called The After Show Treatment Cleanser) was my initial love, it has the dreamiest gel to oil texture that literally melts away your makeup and the Hydrate Serum is undoubtedly my most repurchased product this year. Packed with hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C, soothing plant extracts and firming peptides— it’s basically a drink of water for your face; it’s what I use AM and PM for my serum-step. A hero product for sure.
2017 must have been the year of cleansers, because I also discovered Mun's Akwi Purifying Cleanser. Since discovering this yuzu-scented cleanser, the days it wasn’t used were few and far between and it has taken a rather permanent spot in evening skincare routine. It has a hybrid oil/cream texture that lifts dirt, impurities and makeup without stripping the skin. I use it every night by massaging it onto my face and neck with circular movements and removing it with a warm wet towel. It does emulsify, but I always get better results when I use it with the MŪN Organic Face Towel (my favourite cleansing cloth, by the way). Together my skin is feeling pleasantly soft, moisturized, and most importantly clean.
I was nowhere near as diligent with sunscreen as I should have been until the Suntegrity Natural Face Sunscreen & Primer SPF 30 came into my life this year. It’s a great natural sunscreen that uses only zinc oxide as it’s active sunblock. I like the texture compared to other physical sunblocks in that it’s easier to apply without leaving white streaks over my skin. One tip is that the initial white cast does fade within 2 minutes, so don’t let that scare you. In fact, it wears incredibly well to the point that it “blurs” imperfections. For those with sensitive skin, I highly recommend it because it’s not greasy or pore clogging and the zinc-oxide actually has anti-inflammatory properties that calm skin irritations. There's a reason this baby is always in my bag!
Surely there were several great masks this year, but if I was only to choose one, I must go with the Resurfacing Mask by Tata Harper. I received a tiny sample of this mask from Sephora at the beginning of 2017 and I was hooked from the first use! As soon as my sample ran out I ordered the full size version. What I absolutely LOVE about this mask is that when it says "instant glow", it's true. It works similar to a peel (if you have ever had one) to provide an instant solution for dull skin without any irritation or burning that goes along with a traditional peel. The skin immediately looks revitalized, feels soft and most importantly looks refreshed, glowing and even. I like to apply it 2 to 3 times a week or whenever I have a special event and want glowing skin! Pro tip- keep it in your refrigerator. You won’t regret it.
Then finally I have to mention the infamous Blue Cocoon by May Lindstrom because despite the price tag, I don’t think I’ve ever used something that’s so calming, soothing and nourishing on my skin. From under-the-skin painful spots to waving goodbye to sunburn in less than 12 hours; I can’t see me ever being without this. Plus, I'm addicted to the scent (chocolate, herbal, mint), I carry a mini pot with me everywhere just to calm me down and take deep breaths. The price is daunting, but only a pea sized amount is needed per use - 10/10 worth it if you're feeling splurgy.
The makeup must-haves:
Honestly, I haven’t had much luck with Glossier's skincare, but their makeup offerings are the bomb-dot-com. I've been using their Perfecting Skin Tint for a couple years now, but as soon as they started shipping to Canada I took it upon myself to try a few other makeup bits. There’s been so many gems, but the Boy Brow is a total standout in my opinion. I have weird eye brows that grow downwards, and they’re thick. This product is like pomade for your brows so it keeps them in place all day. It also gives your brows more fluffiness and definition in an effortless sort of way. I use it every single day.
The foundation that captured my heart was Vapour's Atmosphere Luminous Foundation. It offers light to medium coverage, depending how much product you use, blends easily, and there is very little creasing (especially if using a setting powder on top). The finish is natural and dewy without being cakey. I wear the shade 115 and it’s a perfect match unless it’s the middle of the summer and I’m tan. (Which is a rarity, frankly.) I love that it covers the redness around my nose and mouth, but you can still see my freckles and such. It’s great for everyday wear, plus it is so quick to apply being that it’s a stick formulation.
I’ve tried quite a few W3ll People products this year but the stand-out product for me was the Bio Correct Multi-Action Concealer. This stuff literally blow me away from the first application. It starts off very pigmented, then gradually sheers out as you apply it, creating very natural looking coverage. It also provides a little extra hydration for the eye area. If you’re looking for a high-quality, naturally formulated concealer that conceals and brightens while also nourishing the eye area, this is definitely worth a try.
I’m still a crazy fan of Kjaer Weis makeup, and I added two new additions to my everyday favourites this year – first, the most stunning highlight in the shade Ravishing. I cannot express into words how much I love this highlighter. I don’t think any photos do it justice. Once you see this in person, you’ll be taken by it’s pearlescent sheen. Hero piece for sure! Then there's the cream blush in Desired Glow, which is the most amazing shade - part bronzer, part blush - and perfect for giving a healthy, sun-kissed glow to fair skin.
Lipstick-wise there are no surprises. I have been banging on about Kosås lipsticks for a good few months now. The whole line is amazingly wearable for every complexion, and they are super soft. The formula varies between colour but they are all buildable and it's fun to layer! The packaging steps it up a notch from a typical lipstick with a matte black square tube that features a magnetic closure. The little details are everything to me and make this product feel that much more luxurious. Stardust is my daily nude, while I love Fringe for a slightly more dramatic touch.
The haircare heroes:
Haircare discovery of 2017 goes to Evolvh. I’ve been using their products for the past 10 months and love how my hair looks and feels! I’ve been using their UltraShine Moisture Shampoo & Conditioner, which work together PERFECTLY, but also do well when used on their own. The packaging is gorgeous, the delivery system is spot on, the scent is divine, and the way my hair looks when I use them is amazing! The genius behind the products is their ingredient containing a pHytoBlend (proprietary concentrate blend of 20 herbs in an aqueous base) that gently cleanses and is safe for colour treated hair. More recently, I discovered their SmartStart Leave-in Conditioner and let me tell you I have fallen in love with this product! I have hair that gets knotted easily and when I spray this on my hair after I get out of the shower it makes brushing my hair ALOT easier. Not only is it great at detangling my locks but it also leaves my hair shiny, manageable, and smelling delicious for days! If you’re like me and don’t wash your hair everyday this leave in conditioner is also a great hair refresher. I can’t even put into words what amazing things this does to my hair! Definitely recommend checking this product out and I certainly look forward to trying more from this brand.
As for everything else…
For me, Vapour Beauty's AER Next Level Deodorant was hands down the most exciting launch of 2017. Seriously, this deodorant completely blew me away, it really is NEXT LEVEL. It keeps me fresh but also really dry- this is not an easy thing for a clean deodorant to do (vs antiperspirant). It is super creamy (it actually has a gel-to-powder consistency), but it comes in a twist-up tube with holes that allows the product to come out evenly, with no unnecessary waste. Plus, you only need the teeny tiniest amount, so it lasts. It does have baking soda, but it’s at a low concentration and doesn’t bother my sensitive skin like other deodorants with baking soda. The deodorant comes in 3 scents (I wear the ginger grapefruit!), and if you aren’t sure which one you should buy, Vapour has a trial set for 10 dollars which allows you to test all three.
Last, but definitely not least, is perfume. I've been using natural, essential oil-based perfumes for so long now that mainstream scents smell weirdly synthetic to me! Recently, I added Lina Hanson's Satori Perfume Oil to my collection and love it. Not only is this perfume 100% natural, made from luxurious and aromatic oils, it holds up well and even comes in a cute and convenient little roller ball application. This perfume truly smells great, awakening the senses with its warm vanilla, sandalwood, and refreshing Japanese yuzu and ginger scent! Satori is one of those fragrances that I could wear day after day, winter or summer, and only grow more fond of it.
Aaaaaand that’s finally it – I told you it had been a good year! My favourite finds from the 2017, all rolled in to one. Have you tried any of these? Have you found any long-time loves this year too?