Let’s kick off the new year with some of my favourite products from last year! These products made it onto the list because they were either launched in 2018 or I tried them for the first time in 2018. I’ll share a mini review of each and why it was a staple for me over the last year!
I tried a lot of skincare products in 2018 and I would have to name Drunk Elephant and Youth to the People as my stand out skincare brands. Although Drunk Elephant was not new to me (I have been using DE since August 2017), they released some big hitters this past year, including D Bronzi and Umbra Tinte.
Drunk Elephant Umbra Tinte
Okay, okay… I know this product was not new for 2018, however, it was new in Canada. Canada tends to have tougher regulations on approving sunscreens than the US, so it usually takes longer for products to be released here. When Umbra Sheer and Umbra Tinte launched in Canada, they quickly sold out. I don’t think Sephora was prepared for the demand because these were hard to get a hold of for the better part of the year. So much so, that I asked my husband to pick one up for me when he was in the US on business because I had been waiting months for it to come back in stock on sephora.ca! Anyway… Umbra Tinte is a broad spectrum mineral sunscreen with SPF 30 and a subtle beige tint. I have used this almost daily since getting it. It gives just enough hint of colour to even out my skin tone and has replaced day-to-day face makeup for me (in conjunction with D-Bronzi mentioned below). Many people think it’s too oily, but my dry skin drinks it up! I find the best way to apply this is to pat/dab it all over the skin rather than rub it in like a lotion. Think of pouncing it onto the skin using your hands the same way you would use a beauty blender. This helps to press the oils into the skin and make sure the mineral coverage is evenly distributed!
Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi
Another favourite was DE’s bronzing serum called D-Bronzi Anti-Pollution Sunshine Drops. I have a thorough review with swatches on the blog, click here to read. Basically, it’s a highly concentrated antioxidant serum that adds a slight bronze tint to the skin. It gives you the most beautiful warm glow and totally perfects the complexion when worn underneath or mixed-in with Umbra Tinte. As I said above, these two really replaced everyday foundation for me this year.
I absolutely love makeup, but this year saw a more minimal approach to what I wore on my face. I noticed myself going for products that achieved a more dewy, natural look that was all about the skin. I purchased a lot more cream products and was drawn to products with radiant as opposed to matte finishes. While I tried out a lot of products, these are the ones I always kept in my makeup bag and continually reach for!
Milk Makeup Kush Mascara
This mascara is amazing! I usually switch up my mascara quite frequently, but this is one I continually went back to! I like BIG lashes with lots of drama and this mascara helps you achieve just that. If you like the look of 5 coats of mascara, but want to get it with only two, this is the one for you!
Urban Decay Born to Run Palette
This was all around just a really good palette. It comes in sturdy packaging with a huge mirror that is great for travelling. It has a complete range of shades, tones, and finishes, from light to dark, warm to cool, and shimmer to matte. The shadows are pigmented, blend out well, and wear beautifully. There are just so many looks you can create with this one! A+
Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Flawless FIlter
The bottle claims that this product gives a “Superstar Glow” and boy does it ever! I have this in the shade 3 Light-Medium. It is the perfect match for my summer skin and a touch too deep for my winter skin, but blends out nicely on top of D-Bronzi. What I love about it is that you can wear it as a primer, mix it into your foundation, wear as a highlighter, or even just on its own as a foundation. It really works well for all of these purposes. I love it mixed with my Dior Forever foundation when going to special events (like the 7 weddings I attended this year!). My favourite way to use this product though, is on top of the Umbra Tinte + D-Bronzi combo mentioned above. I blend it on the high points of my face on days I want a little extra coverage and a lot more glow, and wow it makes you look lit from within.
Glossier Cloud Paint
Let me just start by saying the hype is real. While this is not a new product, it was new to me. I picked it up at the Glossier showroom while traveling in New York to visit a friend. I wanted to swatch everything in person before making a purchase. I chose the shade Storm, which is their deepest offering. It is a beautiful warm brick rose. This blush blends out beautifully. You really need the tiniest amount for the perfect blush, and it’s very easy to build up. Love it!
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick
This was the year of Bite Beauty for me. I went to the Lip Lab twice and created 4 custom shades, I discovered my love for the Agave Lip Mask, and I tried their lip liner and liquid lipstick formula. My favourite, however, was the shade Virgo from the Astrology collection. I have a full review with swatches, which you can read here. It is the perfect wine-red lipstick to accompany a LBD. I wore it to 5 of the 7 weddings I attended in 2018!
Elizabeth Arden Plush Up Gelato Lipstick
I received this lipstick in a gift bag from the Dave Lackie “Thank you Followers” City Line event. This lipstick did not leave my purse from the day I got it. I have the shade 18 Red Velvet. It is a sheer lipstick that has a gel-like consistency and a slight cooling effect on the lips. It gives such a beautiful tint and feels like a balm. Its so comfortable to wear! A perfect everyday lip product! Plus, the packaging is really cool!
After growing my hair long for my wedding, I decided to cut it pretty short in 2018. First to my shoulders, then above my collar bone. I also got a blonde ombré after years of having it deep brown, almost black. With shorter hair, and more damage from lightening, I found I had to style my hair a lot more than usual.
Ouai Air Dry Foam
This product is incredible! I used it all summer to let my short hair air dry and rock my natural waves. This foam helps to enhance your natural wave pattern, eliminate frizz, and add beachy texture, so you can let your hair dry naturally and avoid heat damage. Best of all, it doesn’t leave a crunchy or gritty feeling in your hair. I don’t like to let my hair air dry in the winter, simply because I don’t have the time to let it dry before going out in the cold, but I have found a way to make this work still. I have been rough drying the moisture out of my hair, then scrunching the foam into almost-dry hair, and letting it wave. Makes me feel like it’s summer time again!
Matrix Biolage R.A.W. Haircare
I tried two lines from Biolage RAW, their Colour Care line and their Uplift Volumizing line. All of these products were sent to me for review purposes, but I totally fell in love. The brand boasts ingredients that are naturally derived and free of silicones, parabens, sulfates, and dyes, as well as being vegan. I have a review on the blog of the colour care line which you can read here and a review of the Uplift line on instagram, which you can read here. My favourite product that I tried was the heat styling primer. Since I found myself curling my hair more to go out, I used this to help protect from heat damage from my styling tools! Great product line!
I had my nails done professionally with a gel manicure or Shellac for much of the year, however I did take a few breaks from it. During these breaks, my nails were often brittle, peeling, and felt damaged. I needed something to help keep them strong and healthy. My favourite at-home nail polish was CND VinyLux system.
CND VinyLux Weekly Polish and Top Coat
This system is fantastic. I received the shade Unearthed, along with the top coat, in January 2018 in a gift bag from the WedLux bridal show. I tried it and was shocked at the performance, it was so good! It wore well for over 10 days! The application was easy and the polish itself was quite thin on the nail, yet kept them feeling strong. I also purchased the shade Hypnotic Dreams because I loved it so much. When I wear these polishes, my friends always think I had a fresh Shellac manicure, and are shocked to hear I did it myself! The best part is that it wipes clean with normal nail polish remover, no awful filing and soaking process like with Shellac.
Last but not least, fragrance. While I spent much of the year wearing favourite scents like Byredo’s Pulp or Maison Margeila’s By the Fireplace, I made a couple new additions to my fragrance library.
Bvlgari Goldea The Roman Night Absolute
I was gifted this fragrance at the Bvlgari Elegance dinner hosted by Dave Lackie in the fall. This fragrance is incredible! With notes of plum, Madagascar vanilla, Jasmine, and Patchouli, it is a sultry companion to an evening out. It is feminine and mesmerizing. I get so many complements wearing this scent. While it’s not something I would normally choose for myself, I am so glad to have discovered it! To read a full review, visit my Bvlgari Elegance Event Recap here.
Thanks for reading along! Did you try any of these products? Let me know what your 2018 favourites were down below!