I haven't talked about any new beauty products this year, largely because I haven't posted much about anything just yet, but that means we've got some catching up to do! I don't try all that many new products these days, so when I do get new things, I want to make sure I've had a good chance to try them out before I talk about them on here. Not only does it feel more authentic (particularly when calling a product a favourite), but I also feel like it's more valuable for anyone who may be thinking about buying these products. The online beauty community can move so quickly sometimes, and as a slow blogger I'd prefer to be more thoughtful about my content and make sure I've really gotten to know my new products before I talk about how great they are. Everything in this post has been tried and tested and I keep coming back to them, so that's how I know they're my favourites from this year so far.
I've picked up quite a few new primers recently, but alongside trying them out I've also been working on finishing up some older ones, so I don't have my full thoughts on everything just yet. I do have one that I want to mention though, which is the Smashbox Photo Finish Mattify Primer Stick. I didn’t even know this existed until I bought something from Shoppers Drug Mart towards the end of last year and the sales assistant slipped a mini of this into my bag. From my first use I knew I was onto something good. I've tried quite a lot of primers in my time, and as someone with a very oily t-zone, it's always been difficult for me to find ones that help control oil and improve the wear time of my makeup without sucking all the moisture out of my foundation and making it look heavy and cakey. The two that I've always relied on from an oil-controlling, long-wearing perspective are the Hourglass Mineral Veil and the Max Factor Face-Finity, but now this Smashbox primer is on the list as well. It helps my foundation last longer and prevents it from breaking down when my oils do come through, and it doesn't dry out my skin or affect the finish of my foundation. I'm so glad I tried it out because I don't think I would have looked twice at it otherwise. If you're a fan of the Hourglass or Max Factor primers, this is of the same calibre and I don't think you'd be disappointed by it.
While we're on the topic of base products, towards the end of last year I picked up the EcoTools Total Perfecting Blender Sponge and I’ve really liked it. These days I pretty much exclusively use a makeup sponge to apply and blend cream products, so I was glad to find a third option as the only other two brands I use are the Beauty Blender and the orange Real Techniques sponge. I find using a damp sponge makes the biggest difference to the finish of my base, especially because I’m often using long-wearing foundations that have a tendency to look more matte when applied with a brush. Applying them with a sponge helps everything have a more natural, skin-like finish, so I frankly don't even reach for my foundations brushes anymore. This sponge is a bit bigger than the other two so I find it a little quicker to use, but I love all three brands. If you can't get your hands on the others or just want to try something new this is a great one to go for.
I feel like I've definitely got my bases covered when it comes to foundation and I haven't felt the need to try anything new in a long time, but I've been pretty curious about some new concealers. Again, some of them I've only bought really recently, but the one I've had the longest and have really fallen in love with is the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away Concealer in the shade Fair. I've found recently that since some brands have expanded their shade range, I'm often no longer the fairest shade available. I was getting sick of accidentally buying shades that were too light for me, so I went for the third shade down and it's a really good match for my skin. While it doesn't exactly brighten under my eyes, I can combine one of my other (too fair) concealers with it to fix that if I feel I need to, but mostly I just use it on its own and it looks fine. It also works great around the face and doesn't highlight or draw attention to blemishes or areas of redness that I'm trying to cover up. It has a decent medium level of coverage, and a beautiful, lightweight formula that's really easy to blend. It doesn't look dry or heavy on my undereyes, in fact it has a lovely skin-like finish, which is always what I'm after. I was definitely influenced to buy this by all the hype it got when it launched, and as with all Charlotte Tilbury products I've tried, I haven't been disappointed at all.
I mentioned in my makeup favourites for 2018 that I'd finally fallen in love with bronzer, and while I didn't have this product with me while I travelled in Feb/March, I've used it every day since we've been reunited and I'm absolutely obsessed. It's the Chanel Soleil Tan de Chanel, and if you've been a part of the online beauty community for a while, you may remember everyone hyping this up as far back as 2013 (possibly even earlier). This still gets the occasional mention today, and as someone who has recently started using it, I can confirm that it's just as beautiful as everyone has always said.
I had some Shoppers Drug Mart points to use up before we left Canada, so this is one of the things I picked up, and it's just such a pleasure to use. I apply it with large fluffy brush and melts into my foundation seamlessly, while adding a beautiful warmth to my skin. The biggest drawback of this product is the fact that there's only one shade, which has always been a problem especially if you have deeper skin. Personally, I was worried it was going to be too orange on my fair skin, but I tend to be pretty light-handed with my bronzer, so I absolutely love the way this looks and I find the shade looks really natural on me. If you're even fairer than I am, I'm sure you could still make it work by applying it underneath your foundation, but I personally don't feel the need to. For some reason I can't find it on David Jones' website so I had to link to a retailer I've never used, but I'm sure they would have it in stock at a counter if you're interested in trying it out.
When it comes to eyeshadows, I feel like it would be redundant for me to mention the Huda Beauty The New Nudes Palette again, but I'm still loving it. Although since returning to Sydney I finally placed a Colour Pop order and picked up some things I'd been meaning to try for years. I bought one of their empty palettes and a bunch of single shadows to go in it, and I've been reaching for it every time I've done my makeup since then. I know pre-made eyeshadow palettes are absolutely huge in the beauty world, but there's something so satisfying about creating your own palette that's full of shades you love and nothing you don't. I love not having to visually work my way around a matte black or a bright, shimmery blue. I'm a neutral-lover through and through so most palettes don't appeal to me anywhere near as much as this one does.
I've mentioned before how obsessed I am with neutral, dusty pinks so that's mostly what I bought for this palette, as well as a range of shimmers that are all pretty similar but with different undertones. I almost never reach for really deep shades, they tend to be wasted on me in pre-made palettes, so this selection is just perfect for me. Colour Pop single shadows are excellent quality, and I find them to be a comfortably pigmented formula. Meaning they show up on your eyes but you don't have to be super careful for fear of over-doing it. They blend really easily and last all day on my lids when combined with the NARS Eyeshadow Primer. The only thing missing from the palette is a mirror, but that's not the end of the world for me, and I’m really happy with them.
Row 1: Let Me Explain, Liar, Liar, Ready or Yacht, Ringer, Snake Eyes. Row 2: Issues, Lay Low, Wait For It. Row 3: Bel Air, Wake Up Call, Sea Stars. Row 4: Say I Do, Labyrinth, Made To Last
My lipstick preference tends to be matte and mostly opaque. I don't buy many sheer lip products as I don't reach for them as often, and therefore don't need to own very many of them. Typically sheer lip products tend to be glossy and a bit too wishy-washy for me, but I took a chance on these and I'm so glad I did because they have such a unique formula. They're matte but still really comfortable and have kind of a smoothing, blurring effect on the lips due to the light amount of pigment. You can build up the colour pretty easily, and as long as your lips are in decent condition to begin with (as with all matte lip products) I find they wear really well throughout the day and don't bunch up or dry your lips out. None of the other shades really appeal to me but Cake especially is the perfect matte peachy shade that I never knew I needed, but now I can't get enough of it.
I was never really interested in the Glossier Generation G Lipsticks when they first launched. I didn’t care for the packaging or any of the shades, and at $20 (US) each, I felt they were a bit overpriced. I’d heard Anna (and many others) rave about them so many times in the last couple of years, particularly the shade Cake, but it wasn’t until Glossier relaunched the line with a new formula & new packaging that I finally parted with my money. Let me tell you, I’ve been very pleasantly surprised. In fact, I liked Cake so much that while I was in New York in February I stopped by the Glossier store and picked up the shade Like as well, which is more pinky compared to Cake’s peachiness. It looks a pretty deep in the tube, but it translates as a sheer wash of colour on the lips that I think is lovely.
For the longest time I stuck with Batiste's Dry Shampoo and kept repurchasing it even though it’s notorious for leaving a white cast in my dark brown hair, and I hated the way I could feel the product building up. I've heard people talk about the Kloraine Dry Shampoo a lot, and I think I even tried it myself back in the day but I didn't remember it being anything special. I feel like these days my hair is less oily than it used to be, so I wanted to give Kloraine another shot and I'm definitely converted. I think they have a couple of types, but I use the variety with nettle which is geared toward oil control.
It's a little more expensive than Batiste, but it’s worth it for the fact that it basically doesn’t leave a white cast at all. Plus it feels really lightweight and doesn't make my scalp feel itchy or build up anywhere near as much. It does a good job of soaking up the oils in my hair (which some dry shampoos don't), and because I use less product than I used to, I don’t mind spending a little extra because one bottle still lasts several months. I bought my first bottle of Kloraine as we were leaving Canada at the end of January and am only just coming to the end of it now 3 months later. I don’t know why it took me so long to make the switch!
My final favourite at the moment is these reusable cotton rounds. Ever since I started seeing these pop up, I knew I wanted a set. I can get through quite a bit of cotton, so I thought it would be worthwhile investing in a sustainable set to reduce my waste a bit. Obviously I still have some disposable cotton on hand for things like removing nail polish, but for taking off makeup and applying skincare, these are great. Honestly, I found making the switch when applying toner completely painless, and I don’t see myself changing back to disposable cotton for that purpose. When it comes to makeup removal, however, these do a perfectly good job, but they’re prone to staining which is a little frustrating.
If I use them to remove my eye or lip makeup (with micellar water), I’ll then take it to the bathroom with me as I’m always going to follow micellar water with a proper cleanse at the sink anyway. I’ll rinse out the cotton pad with soap & water to try and get out as much of the makeup as possible, and then I’ll leave it to dry in the laundry. I wash them by putting them all in a laundry delicates bag (just to keep them all together) and chuck them in a regular wash. They come up fine after the wash, although it doesn’t necessarily get 100% of the makeup out if you haven’t done the immediate rinse after use. I’m considering buying a darker set for makeup removal as the staining bothers me a little, but I haven’t made up my mind just yet. At the moment I’m mostly using them for skincare (i.e. toner), and have been skipping the eye makeup remover step and just taking all my makeup off with my balm cleanser at the sink. This particular set is soft and comfortable use and although I’m still figuring out what I want to do next, I’m really glad I made the switch.