Check below on a "few of my favorite things" from my collection. I had added a picture and a direct link to the products. Please note all products are bought and tried by me. No one has paid me or given me free stuff to review! However that be just awesome if they did!!
Some people believe that the eyes are the windows to the soul. If that be true, its best then that your eye don't seem like curtains are falling upon them. One of the most neglected area are the eyes. The older we get, the first signs of aging and wrinkles for many appear here. This fabulous product was made by a company called Ageless Derma. This eye cream not only has retinol but vitamin K in it which is essential for the eye to combat against wrinkles. And while we know nothing can stop you from aging (don't buy that hype), however it can help you look good by diminishing the look of wrinkles as you get older.
Everyday Minerals Itahake Brush- $9.59 (Normally $15.99) US
Ever since I heard about highlighting and contouring, I have never looked back. While I will admit it does takes some time and practice to do, the makeup AND tools are everything to achieve this look. Part of contouring is knowing how to angle the brush properly on your face in order to draw those deep lines. The Itahake Brush by Everyday Minerals does just that. Its rectangular shape allows you to draw that "Kardashian" line on the hollows of your cheeks. This brush is currently on sale for $15.99 and always sold out. Buy it while you can.
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Luminous Light- $52 CDN ($45 US)
When I first heard of this product I was so skeptical it wasn't even funny. Like come on, please...a powder that can give you a candlelight like glow without being photoshopped?! I was so skeptical that I knew I had to buy it. So I ran (not walked) to my nearest Sephora and bought it with my Christmas gift card that I just received because I don't believe in waiting till Dec 25 to open up my gifts! Upon arriving home, I tried it right away. I was SHOCKED to see that standing under my bathroom light in the mirror my face looked flawless. I think I admired myself so long that I lost track of time (seriously). I could not believe this product actually lived up to the hype. This comes in six colors. I currently only have it in Luminous but I sure as hell plan to buy all the other five compacts. However do note, all these colors do not work on every skin tone. Please try them out before buying. They are pretty expensive so you want to make sure you get the right one that works for you!
Guerlain Lingerie De Peau Foundation- $65 CDN
Guerlain Lingerie De Peau Invisible Skin Fusion Foundation SPF 20 is by far the best foundation I have ever tried that actually gives you a no foundation look. This foundation goes on smoothly and dries quickly. It seems like you have a second skin only just flawless and nothing like Hannibal Lecter type freakish! This also has SPF 20. However with that being said, don't rely on this or any SPF in makeup to protect you from the sun. You would need to apply this VERY heavy in order to actually receive the benefits of an SPF 20 protection. Don't believe me!? Read the medical journal articles on makeup with SPF protection in them and how well they do (or more like don't) protect you. The only thing I don't like about this foundation is that it does contain alcohol and fragrance in the bottle. Two things which are not good for your skin and I hope Guerlain realizes this and eventually removes this from their formula. However if you are not allergic to these two ingredients, then I do recommend this foundation if you truly want that flawless finish!
Prescriptives Magic Liquid Powder- $39.50 US
Prescriptives Magic Liquid translucent powder is truly magically! This little powder, looks like powder but feels like a watery mist when applied. I first tried this 15 years ago at Bloomingdales in NYC and was sold...until they discontinued the line in 2009. However in 2011 they relaunched exclusively online and once again I was able to feel the "magic" of this powder on my face! However the only draw back is that they only ship in the USA! So every time I run out I need to have it ship to my sister in NYC who in return ships it to me. Nonetheless, its free shipping within the US when you buy anything from their website. So if you have someone who can ship it to you, then by all means go buy it and go magically for the year!
E.L.F. studio 11 piece brush collection is truly a bang for your buck. These brushes are professionally made and don't cost a fortune to buy. While I complete agree that a good brush is needed to apply makeup and foundation, nonetheless I sometimes can't swallow the crazy price tags some come with. I bought this for half the price on a sale E.L.F. was having on 50% of everything for those few days. If you are looking into buying good brushes, but don't want to invest just yet in really expensive ones, then give these a try. E.L.F. does ship to Canada for a $15 flat fee. It might seem high, however E.L.F. balances itself out with the money you save when buying their products.
Moroccan Oil Treatment-$16.60/$43.00 US
Hair is very important to me. Hair can tell a lot about your health and how well you do or don't take care of it. 3 years ago while I was getting a hair cut, the stylish put this in my hair and I swear it was like a little miracle in a bottle. I have used it ever time I wash and set my hair. This not only smells amazing, but it leaves my hair shiny and healthy looking. The bottle is made of glass and can become slipper once the oil touches your hand. Your best bet is to pump it while it stands on your bathroom counter in order to avoid a spilled mess all over your floor when you drop it and break it! Don't say I didn't warn you!
When I hit 30 (a few years back) I realized I was no longer living in a teenage dream like Katy Perry sings it. I also realized that my skin after years of grad school, 3 kids and the harsh winter weather had seriously hit a "OMG how old are you again" theme. Upon speaking with my knowledgeable friends about skincare, one clearly told me "girl, if you ain't using retinol at your age, then you ain't using anything at all." Needless to say I was stunned. I did my research and found that Cosmetic Skin Solutions was offering a retinol creme with 1.0%. The most effect is between .05% and 1.0%. However if you have never tried retinol before, its best you start off with a lower percentage until your skin grows tolerance to it. Also, if you are new to this product, then use it every 2-3 days until your skin can handle the retinol in any amount. Lastly, you NEED TO USE a UVA/UVB Broad-Spectrum Protection SPF 30 and up when using retinol. If not you run the risk of getting a sunburn when expose to the sun. This stuff is truly amazing and would highly recommend it!
Chantecaille The Coral Reef Palette- $79.00 US
I love makeup! And the one thing I love the most is beautiful makeup! So when I saw this palette on a youtube video that someone did, I just needed to have it. This palette is so beautiful that you feel guilty using it. However with the price tag it carries, you will feel even guiltier if you don't!! This palette goes for a hot price of $79. If you ask me I think its way to overpriced. However they donate 5% of their sales of each palette to the wild life conservation that their palettes are currently themed after each year. I bought this palette on Amazon for $39. I had a gift card for $30 so in fact all I really paid was $9! STEAL! So I would shop around the web and see if you can get a good deal before cough up $79 bucks!
M-A-C Cosmetics Blankety Lipstick- $15 US ($20 CDN)
I love anything neutral in color! Neutral eyeshadow, bronzer blush and neutral lipstick. While watching youtube (again) I saw someone use this lipstick by MAC in the color Blankety. I went to the MAC counter at Fairview Mall in Toronto, ON and bought this. This was my first ever purchase at MAC in my whole life. I had never until one month ago ever bought something from this cosmetic line. Nonetheless this lipstick is awesome! Goes on smooth and creamy and when used with their lip primer it last for a few hours! Just love love this color!
Sigma Extended Wear Eye Liners-$9.00 US
I just LOVE Sigma. They had for 2 days a free shipping anywhere in the world event! So I decided to jump on that and order their eyeliner in the color 'balance' (brown). The day I received this eyeliner, I was actually giving a small talk at a medical seminar that night. So I decided to try this eyeliner out. This eyeliner is awesome. It is smooth, creamy and does not smudge. It held out all night while I spoke at the conference. I just love the color. It does have some small sparkle to it which I was not too crazy about. However unless you are standing very up close to me (hello personal space!?) you can't see it at all. I would highly recommend this company!
I bought this palette after watching a yet another youtube video (I really need to get off youtube) with a girl who was contouring and highlighting with this palette. She did such an amazing job that I google the product and found it online. This company is based out in Ireland however they have amazing shipping rates which are actually cheaper then some of the products mentioned here in this blog. It arrived to my house in less then two weeks and was nicely packaged to avoid damage in the mail. This palette is big and true to form. The colors work well when contouring and highlighting your face. I highly recommend this palette (and a youtube video) for beginners who are interested in learning this makeup technique.
I love ANY mascara made by L'Oreal. Their mascaras are awesome and hold their weight in well...mascara. I have never bought any other type of maraca but only the L'Oreal brand. This mascara extended my lashes like crazy. I will admit it didn't give me the fullness I was looking for, however it did make up in the length factor. It was easy to apply, never smudged, flaked or moved! I would highly recommend this mascara for anyone who is looking for length!
I love bronzer and anything that gives you a hit of shimmer with it. I bought this bronzer from Sephora when it was on sale in the summer. This bronzer comes with two shades. The bronzer side in a deep chocolate brown and the shimmer side in a nice medium pinkish. You can use these two colors together by swirling them around or separately to contour and highlight. However you decide to use them, this is one beautiful compact to have. This is a must have for me!
EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm- $3.49 US
Tis the season for the holidays and with that comes chapped lips!! I remember the first time I saw this lip balm I was in awe of its shape. I ran to my nearest Sephora looking for it, but realized it was not sold there. One day upon walking into Shoppers Drugmart, I realized it was in their chapstick section. I bought this first in their Sweet Mint flavor and then went back and bought their Christmas ornament pack of 3 for $9.99 CDN. I am in love with these sphere like eggs. I carry this everywhere I go in my purse! They have a great taste and sooth your dry lips. I highly recommend this for anyone who wants to protect their lips again the cold weather and carry around a sphere like egg lip balm in their purse (or pocket).
Elta MD UV Pure Broad-Spectrum SPF 47- $14.69 US
No amount of makeup will make your skin look better if you really don't take care of it. Out of everything I own in my makeup draw, this is the one thing I would never trade or leave the house without it on. Skin cancer is very serious and it keeps rising year after year. Before applying my makeup but after doing my skincare routine every morning, I apply this. This sunscreen has 10.0% Zinc oxide, 5.5% Titanium dioxide which are the active ingredients needed to protect yourself against the sun and its UVA/UVB rays. While yes I will admit it does leave a white cast on your face, however if you properly rub it in and use a small amount to make sure it covers your whole face and neck then you will be ok. Moreover, if are going to wear makeup after applying this, then no need to worry as the makeup will cover it with no problem. Remember nothing says beautiful skin then when you properly care for it.
Beauty Blender- $26.00 CDN
Out of all the tools I have used in my life to apply my foundation and concealer, nothing has worked as well as my beauty blender. I cannot say enough about this product. This sponge works like magic. It makes my foundation go on smoothly, leaves no streaks behind and blends so amazingly. You can buy this online from the company directly or go to your nearest Sephora and pick one up there. This sponge is very easy to clean and works well when applying concealer and powder foundation or powder in general. This is my HG tool for foundation. And yes while I still do my have my foundation brush, this sponge is the first thing I pull out every time!
E.L.F. Studio Baked Eyeshadow Palette- $10.00 US
The E.L.F. Studio baked eyeshadow palette in California looks a lot like Sephora's Moonshadow baked palette in nude. This E.L.F. palette has beautiful hues of colors in nude shades. They work well when blended and look lovely when applied. For a cool $10 they are a lot cheaper then the Sephora ones for the same amount of colors and palette size. I love this palette and love playing with it when dressing up to go out. I highly recommend this palette if you are into nude shades but don't want to pay twice the amount for the Sephora one.
When Prescriptives (PX) decided to close down their production line in 2009, out went with it their Prescriptives Magic Potion. I was beyond devastated let me tell you. On the days I didn't wear makeup, I would just apply that Magic Potion and out the door I went. It gave such an amazing look to my skin in the sunlight. Nonetheless when they relaunched in 2011 the Magic Potion sadly didn't relaunch with it. After years of searching for something similar to it, I think...no I know that I found it. VS currently is selling a product that for me looks and feels identical to PX Magic Potion. VS Pro Magic FX cream works just like the one PX use to make. However the good part about it is that it cost less then the PX one and works just as well. You simply apply this after your primer but before your foundation. It gives your skin a lovely glow that looks almost holographic. You can also wear this by itself! This is my HG when it comes to 'magic potions'. I was so excited when I saw this that I bought the last two left at the VS store in the Eaton Centre!
Ben Nye Bella Luxury Powder- $10.59/$14.82/$27.52 CDN
Enough cannot be said about this banana powder so I will try to keep it small so that I don't bore you with the details. This banana powder was created for people who work on stage and in front of the cameras. However when Kim Kardashian's makeup artist posted a picture of her with this powder on, it became an instant hit. This powder works wonders for those who contour and highlight their face. You apply this powder on your highlighted areas and wow what a difference it makes. This powder can also be used to set your concealer. However a word of caution, this powder does not look good on all skin types. Therefore Ben Nye Bella Luxury powders come in different colors. Its best to find the shade that work for your skin color before you end up looking raccoon eyed. Camera Ready Cosmetics currently sells these products at an amazing deal. If you are not sure how to use this powder then youtube (yes I said it) and you will see many different people showing and explaining the advantages of this powder.
Beautee Fiber Lash Mascara- $40 AUD
I bought this after seeing yet another youtube video with a girl who applied it on her lashes. I was amazed on how this transformed her lashes from small to lush and full. When it didn't arrive to my house almost two weeks later, I contacted their customer service to see if they could find me a tracking number. They replied to me in less then an hour and were so incredibly helpful. It arrived in exactly two weeks and I tried it on right away while at home. It made my lashes fuller, thicker and longer. I was in awe on just how well it worked. The only downside to this, is that it flakes. Not a lot, but enough to bother me. While I do plan to use it again because on how amazing it is, however I have been reading everywhere that fiber mascara does flake in general. I recommend trying it if you don't mind having to wipe underneath your eyes here and there throughout the day. This company is based out in Australia so hence why it took so long to arrive.
Paula's Choice Resist C15 Super Booster- $36 US
One of the best things you can do for your skin is to take care of it. I have for a long time been using 15% vitamin C & E with ferulic acid. However when Paula' Choice came out with a version of their own that included all the above plus peptides, I knew I had to try it. This serum brightens your complex, stimulates collagen growth and helps protect your skin from the environment. I use this everyday and apply it on last after my skincare routine. However if you are going to be using this product then you MUST USE SPF 15 or higher in order to be protected from the sun as this does make your skin sensitive to the rays. This by far is the best thing I have every use for my skin. I highly recommend this or any Vit C & E with ferulic acid serum for your everyday skincare routine. Lastly, you NEED TO USE a UVA/UVB Broad-Spectrum Protection SPF 30 and up when using vitamin C. If not you run the risk of getting a sunburn when expose to the sun.
Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion- $24 CDN
I have been a fan of UD eyeshadow primer potion from the first day I tried it. Nothing has held my eyeshadow makeup in the same way this does. This goes on smoothly and doesn't allow your eyeshadow to crease, flake, move or disappear. It comes in a few colors, however I like the original version as you can't really see the ones with color once you apply your eyeshadow. I highly recommend this product if you want your eyeshadow to last all day without a touch up needed.
Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer- $35 CDN
I have extremely dark undereye circles due to my many years in grad school, late nights, having babies and overall just not sleeping! I have tried just about every concealer from drugstore brands to high end and nothing has worked...until recently. I went to Sephora a few days back to pick up my Hourglass Ambient powder when I decided to ask one of the girls about concealer. She recommend this one by Laura Mercier. While yes many people complain about having to mix it, however once I did and applied it my dark circles it just disappeared! I was truly amazed on how well it worked. This concealer is pretty thick so you need to warm it up well before you use it. I either blow hot air on it, or heat the back of my hand for a few seconds with my blow dryer to make it creamier so it is easy to blend and apply it to my eye area. Once that is done I blend it in with my beauty blender, apply my Guerlain foundation and then set it with my Ben Nye Banana Powder or my Prescriptives Magic powder. Either way, this concealer is a life saver and I plan to use it and re-buy it unless something else better comes along!