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Paula’s Choice Gentle Touch Makeup Remover: If you have sensitive skin and/or find that most makeup removers tend to irritate your eye area, definitely give this one a try. I usually have a hard time finding makeup removers that don’t burn my eyelids, so this has one has been a lifesaver for me all year long. It’s super gentle and works really well at removing makeup, including waterproof and long-wear products as well.
Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser with Cottonseed: I’ve talked about this product quite a bit, however it really is the best cleanser I’ve used for my combination skin. It’s cleansing enough to get rid of the excess oil in my t-zone, while still being hydrating enough for my cheeks. If you also have a normal or combination skin type and are looking for something gentle, I definitely recommend giving this a go.
Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser: To be frank, I didn’t really start routinely exfoliating my skin every week up until this year, but I’m so glad I got around to it. I don’t get as many breakouts anymore and my skin always has a much healthier, smoother appearance after using this.
Saturday Skin Featherweight Daily Moisturizing Cream: This is such a great lightweight moisturizer to use year round. It always leaves my skin feeling hydrated, fresh, and balanced. It also works great under makeup, but one of the most impressive things about this product for me is the airless pump. You simply take the lid off, push on the “roof” of the product, and it dispenses the cream out of an adorable flower shape.
Tom Ford Illuminating Primer: If you’re a natural, lit-from-within highlighter kind of guy or gal, this primer is a must-have in my opinion. It works amazingly at creating a flawless canvas for smooth application, as well as looks great when mixed in with a foundation, as it gives the skin a beautiful glow, without any glitter. This primer is housed in luxe packaging that comes with a hygienic twist-up pump and it also comes with a cool locking feature that allows you to lock the bottle from accidentally dispersing any product (which is especially helpful for those who travel often). One downfall to this product is that it doesn’t smell the greatest, so if you’re someone that would be turned off by that, this may not be for you. I personally just feel like this primer is so unbelievably unique in its glass-like finish, that I don’t even notice the way it smells. It’s so beautiful!
Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation: The name of this foundation is spot on to how it both looks and feels: luminous and silky. It looks nearly undetectable on the skin and has a really lightweight texture to it as well. I like applying it onto my face with a damp makeup sponge as I find it gives the skin an ultra dewy, airbrushed finish. If I happen to need more coverage that day, I then follow it up by using a bit more product on the red areas of my face with a dry makeup sponge, as this will pack on more opacity.
Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick: This has been my go-to contour product this year! I use a shade a few shades darker than my own skin tone and simply swipe it under my cheekbones for a sculpted look. I love it because it’s creamy so it doesn’t dry out my cheeks like some powder contour products can do.
Hourglass Vanish Flash Highlighting Stick in “Champagne Flash”: This is my holy grail highlighter. It’s a cream formula that comes in a triangular bullet, which makes it really easy to highlight across the cheekbones in one swipe and get all of those smaller areas of the face using the point. The highlight is bright and noticeable yet still sophisticated which is what I love about it most.
Pat McGrath Mothership III Subversive Palette: This palette is super expensive but it’s worth every single penny. The formula is creamy and incredibly pigmented, so whether you’re opting for a simple one eyeshadow makeup look or packing on several different hues, these eyeshadows are really easy to work with and always create a beautiful, unique look you just won’t find anywhere else.
Guerlain KissKiss Matte Lipstick in “M348 Hot Coral”: I feel like people don’t talk about these lipsticks enough! The formula of these are incredible. They glide on like soft velvet and have such a chic, luxe, matte finish to them. In particular though, I love shade M348. It’s a vibrant bright coral pink that always livens up my mood when I put it on.
Kevyn Aucoin Eyelash Curler: I was totally one of those people that didn’t believe there was a difference in between drugstore eyelash curlers vs. high-end ones, until I came across this. The drugstore lash curlers would never fit over my eye properly, leaving one end of my eyelashes crimped down the middle. I also found that the pads were too soft and spongy, so it would result in my eyelashes bending, but not being able to hold a curl. Then the Kevyn Aucoin eyelash curler came into my life and I saw the light. It’s almost like I had to try this one in order to see how much the drugstore ones were underperforming. The rubber in this Kevyn Aucoin eyelash curler is very dense, so it allows for a very strong, long-lasting hold. It also perfectly fits over my eye and gets the job done in one clamp. Definitely lives up to its hype, so if you can get your hands on it, I definitely recommend it!
Beautyblender Blendercleanser Solid: I love this stuff and I’m so happy I discovered it this year. It makes washing my beauty blenders and makeup brushes so easy and I don’t actually dread doing it as much anymore. All I do is swirl them around into the soap, get a good lather, and rinse off. Super simple and quick.
Yves Saint Laurent Nail Lacquer in “Blanc Arty”: It’s no secret that I love a good white nail polish all. year. round. A crisp white nail colour makes you look more tan and they complement almost every outfit — I mean, c’mon, what’s not to love? Because I wear white nail polish so often, it’s important for me to pick a high quality one because sometimes the lower quality ones can really look like Wite-Out on the nails. This YSL one has a sophisticated, glossy opaque finish that lasts a whole week on me before starting to chip. Love!
Tom Ford Nail Lacquer in “Plum Noir”: Tom Ford nail polishes are one of the fastest drying nail polishes I own, as well as being one of the longest lasting ones as well. The depth and richness of this range’s colours are astounding, however Plum Noir is really something else. It’s a sophisticated plum colour that looks nearly black in low light settings and has a very glossy, glass-like finish. The colour is flattering on all skin tones and works beautifully on any nail length (I especially love how it looks on short nails with tons of rings!).
Living Proof No Frizz Nourishing Styling Cream: I love this stuff. It gets rid of frizzies, smells great, and makes your blowdry look glossy and silky smooth. It has a very fresh scent that lingers for a couple of days too, which I absolutely love. I use about a quarter size amount all over my long hair, mainly focusing it on my mid-lengths and ends to really nourish and smooth down those areas prior to blow drying.
Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Hair Oil: I naturally have very frizzy hair, so a good frizz-fighting product that works to smooth flyaways is a must for me. It’s not just a product that solely works on my hair type though (2A-2B), it also works great in curly, thick hair too, as my girlfriend who has a 3B hair type likes to use this oil as well. It’s simply the perfect consistency — not too heavy and not too light. I like to apply this to my hair while it’s damp and then again after I straighten it to amp up the shine. It also smells really good, which is always a plus in my books.
Drybar Texas Tease Teasing Brush: My hair tends to fall a bit flat at my roots, so it’s important for me to have a high quality teasing brush to give them a boost. This one in particular is perfect because it requires minimal effort and a very light comb to achieve the volume I want. It never leaves my hair looking matted or tangled; only bouncy and full.