It's been a while since I've done one of these! Usually I'll include whatever beauty bits I'm particularly enjoying in one of my In My Secret Life posts, but I've got quite a few things to mention this time so I thought they deserved their own post. I haven't been wearing much makeup since I've been in Toronto because running errands and applying for jobs just doesn't warrant it, but there are a couple of things that have been floating my boat, as well as some skincare and a few other bits too.
As I mentioned, I haven't been wearing much makeup so rather than pairing a red lip with a bare face, I've been going for something more low-maintenance.
I mentioned how much I was loving the Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil (AU) when I first picked it up, but I think it deserves another mention. I don't really wear lipgloss very often, so I use this as a balm throughout the day if I'm not wearing anything on my lips, or at night before bed. It's nourishing and glorious and it looks like honey and I love it.
So I was pretty excited when I got my hands on a mini in Mint as a gift with purchase because now I can keep one on my bedside table and one in my handbag. Not sure if it's because mine is a mini but it doesn't smell of anything, particularly not mint, but it's got the same formula and I'm happy to have a second one.
Another mini I'm excited to have gotten my hands on (as a GWP) is the Tom Ford Lip Colour in Indian Rose (AU). I've not tried a Tom Ford lip product before because they're so expensive, and I've heard a few people say that their lipsticks have turned bad within about a year of owning them. While a normal person might actually finish up a lipstick in that time frame, most people who read or write beauty blogs don't fall into that category, so I would hate to spend close to $80 on a lipstick and not feel like I'm getting my money's worth, so naturally I was very happy to get to try one out. I'm also lucky that it's in such a nice, neutral nude-pink shade as I'm really picky when it comes to nudes because I don't wear them all that often, so I'm glad this was within my comfort zone. The formula is lovely, it doesn't dry my lips out or end up on my teeth, but then again most of my lipsticks don't do those things either. I'm not 100% sure they're worth the price tag, but if you love a bit of luxury then Tom Ford has it in abundance.
When I have been wearing makeup lately I've surprised myself by being really into using a sponge to apply my base products. I have one Beauty Blender and a couple of sponges from Real Techniques and usually I forget they're even there, or I can't be bothered to walk over to the tap to wet them, but I've been making the effort lately and I'm really enjoying the results. I'm not a Beauty Blender fanatic so if you're curious about them I'd definitely suggest picking up one of the Real Techniques options to see if you actually end up using it over a brush (or fingers if you're that way inclined). Sponges aren't going to replace brushes for me altogether because brushes are a lot more convenient, but they do give a beautiful natural finish, particularly if your skin is dry, dehydrated or just not looking its best.
I didn't bring a brush cleaner over with me in the move, so I decided to pick up the Sephora Solid Brush Cleaner and I think it's fantastic. It comes with little silicone mat, so you run your brush under water, rub it on the soap, then rub it on the mat to lather it up and then rinse. Not only is this easier than using a liquid soap (I'd been using Dr Bronner's for years) because it doesn't leak everywhere, but I find that because it contains argan oil it leaves my brushes feeling soft and conditioned rather than dried out. It also doesn't dry out my hands which is another plus, so I really don't see myself switching back to liquid soap now that I've tried this.
In terms of skincare I've got two favourites from The Ordinary. I'm working on a post about the whole line because I've tried quite a few things from them now, but I definitely wanted to mention the two products that are probably not going to ever get replaced by anything else from now on.
First up is their Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution (AU). I've been using Pixi's Glow Tonic (AU) for years because I love having a gentle glycolic toner in my routine and find that I get great results from it. Glow Tonic was pretty hard to get your hands on for a while there, but it's much more widely available now and I still love it and think it's a fantastic product. It's just that it sets you back around $40-45 for 250ml, whereas The Ordinary are charging under $10 for 240ml (under $15 if you're in Aus).
I've said before that there are some products that I'll happily spend more on because I enjoy the luxury factor, but there are others that I just want to be functional, and I'll go for the most affordable option as long as it does the job. Both toners work just as well as each other, so why would I spend the extra? The same rule applies for The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution (AU) which I use as a spot treatment. Before this I was using the Clinique Acne Clearing Gel (AU), which is $22CAD for 15ml, or $32AUD. Compare that to $4.90CAD or $8.80AUD for the same amount from The Ordinary and the choice is clear. I also prefer the formula of the one from The Ordinary as I felt like the Clinique one dried out the skin around the blemish and The Ordinary one doesn't do that. I honestly don't think I'll ever buy any other spot treatment again.
Now perfume is something I'm definitely happy to spend extra on for the luxury factor, but I do think you get your money's worth (within reason) and I also find that higher end brands tend to have fragrances that are more complex and unique and that spark my interest a lot more. I mentioned Byredo's Baudelaire when I first got it, but I've been wearing it a lot since then and love it even more every time I smell it. It has base notes of black amber, papyrus & patchouli as well as notes of incense and leather, and all of those things are exactly what I want to smell like. It's really warm and deep and strikes the perfect balance of smokey and sweet. I'm not sure if this scent is available in Canada as I can't seem to find it online, but if you can find it in person definitely have a smell. Also my boyfriend notices every time I wear it which is sweet.
Here's a not-so-sexy one, I love this Mitchum Gel Deodorant (AU). Let's quickly lol at that price difference and note that the Aussie version is almost half the size of the Canadian one - I don't understand it but I'm glad I'm getting a good deal. Anyway, time for some oversharing. This deodorant is amazing because it legitimately has no scent. I don't have especially bad BO but sometimes if it's a particularly hot day I can feel like my underarms/clothes start to smell like deodorant. Sure, it's not as bad as smelling like BO, but I still hate it and I find that no matter what deodorant I'm wearing it still happens sometimes. This is the first one I've ever tried that doesn't do that - like my underarms/clothes just smell like nothing!
I will say that I can get sweaty under my arms and antiperspirant or not, I've never found a deodorant that keeps my underarms dry, but this one definitely eliminates any smell without just masking it with the deodorant's scent, and I absolutely love it for that. The only downside is that the gel can sometimes move around, so for example if you travel with it or happen to drop it, some gel can get pushed out and go all through the cap. It's annoying but it's not a dealbreaker for me because it's already so far ahead of everything else. Also it's worth noting that they have a stick version of the same deodorant and I was using that before I decided to give the gel a try, but the stick version does do that deodorant smell thing I hate.
The final thing I've been enjoying is the Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Butter (AU). I've loved Soap & Glory for years and years and I think if you want something a little bit special without breaking the bank, their body and shower products are difficult to beat. I've used the body scrub before and it smells exactly like a mojito, and this time around I'm using both the body butter and the body wash. I find that body butters/moisturisers are the kind of thing that tend to accumulate, and before you know it you've got 5 of them going at a time. I don't know about you but I'm terrible at remembering to use them, so they mostly just sit there and I never get through them. But now that I only own one body butter and I keep it on my bedside I've actually been using it most days and it feels good not only to have moisturised skin, but also to actually make use of what I have and not have any excess hanging around.