Every day, new products land on my desk and it’s my job to try them out. The good ones find their way into various roundups and stories across thekit.ca and the OMG-this-stuff-is-amazing ones go on to live right here, in my faves of the moment column. Behold, my latest loves.
Nécessaire The Conditioner, $38, sephora.ca SHOP HERE
The conditioner that also cares for your scalp: I’ve always been taught that conditioner is only meant to be applied from mid-lengths to tips, and as someone with fine hair that tends to get oily quite quickly, I’ve followed this rule religiously. So massaging this conditioner into my roots felt akin to committing some sort of beauty felony. It’s from buzzy bodycare brand Nécessaire, whose whole raison d’être boils down to this: Our skin is our largest organ and yet we often only look after a tiny fraction of it—i.e. our face—and neglect the rest. That’s why Nécessaire packs its shower gels and body lotions with the kind of potent actives you’d usually find in high-end serums. Recently, it expanded into the hair aisle, placing its focus on the skin on our head, which is why even the brand’s conditioner—infused with hyaluronic acid and niacinamide—is designed to be used on your scalp as well as your hair. I was quite sure the added moisture would translate to greasier roots, but not to worry. The formula is super lightweight and actually helps remove buildup while relieving dryness or itching. My scalp felt incredible after—invigorated and clean, but not at all tight. The product performed just as brilliantly on my hair. My normally tangle-prone strands were a breeze to comb through and exhibited tons of shine and body once dry. Guess you could say I’ve been, uh, reconditioned.
Saie Lip Blur Soft-Matte Hydrating Lipstick with Hyaluronic Acid, $31, sephora.ca SHOP HERE
The truly effortless lipstick: The inspiration for this product was that highly sought after “French girl” lip. Picture Parisian style star Jeanne Damas and her signature bouche mordue (a.k.a. just bitten lips): a veil of velvety colour, edges smudged with a fingertip… It’s easy, it’s sexy, it’s the antithesis of lipstick you need to babysit. If it rubs off a bit, who cares? It’s all part of that casual “just slicked this on and went about my day” appeal. The finish is matte but not flat and has a slight soft-focus effect, while the colour can be built up from blurred stain to full coverage. It feels utterly scrumptious on lips—a rarity in the matte category—courtesy of a hearty serving of hydrators like hyaluronic acid and olive oil. Also deserving of accolades is the assortment of shades, each one more gorgeous than the last. My personal favourites are Modern, a medium intensity “nude” that’s not too pink, not too brown; Classic, a true blue red that feels like it fell out of some chic Rive Gauche dweller’s purse; and Dada, a rusty terracotta that calls to mind the Grand Canyon—so good!
Tatcha Hinoki Gentle Exfoliating Body Wash, $52, sephora.ca SHOP HERE
The body wash that reduces stress: Tatcha, the brand beloved for its Japanese-inspired skincare, launched its first-ever bodycare collection and all three products are bliss in a bottle. The brand developed the range with Dr. Qing Li, the world’s foremost expert in forest medicine. Maybe you’ve heard of “forest bathing,” the act of walking through a forest and taking in its wonders. This isn’t about exercise, but rather just soaking in the calming atmosphere and unplugging from technology. Li has studied the benefits of the practice extensively, finding it can reduce the production of cortisol, a.k.a. the stress hormone, lower your heart rate, increase feelings of happiness and boost your immune system. Pretty amazing, right? But because many of us sadly can’t make it out to a forest as often as we’d like, Tatcha wanted to capture the feeling of a tree-lined stroll. That’s why each product—the body wash, body milk and body oil—is laced with a “forest awakening essential oil blend,” headlined by hinoki, a Japanese evergreen Li has found to be the most beneficial of forest oils. The enveloping woodsy smell instantly makes your shoulders relax. All three products are brilliant, but I have a soft spot for the body wash. The combination of a steamy shower and that magical Japanese forest aroma is truly something special. There’s also cellulose in the formula to gently exfoliate. I step out of the shower feeling supremely serene and soft all over—the best way to start the morning.
Attitude Oceanly Phyto-Cleanse Oil-to-Milk Cleanser, $20, well.ca SHOP HERE
The makeup remover that thinks of the planet: This little tube is part of the world’s first-ever plastic-free skincare range. Cool, right? You know what’s even cooler? It’s Canadian! The line is called Oceanly and it’s the brainchild of Attitude, the Montreal company famous for its eco-conscious household cleaners and personal care products. Every last piece of packaging is made from biodegradable cardboard derived from sustainably managed forests. You can simply toss it in the compost bin once you’re done. No more wondering if your recyclable beauty products will actually get recycled. Even better: The brand plants a tree for every product sold. But the packaging isn’t the only great thing the line has going for it; the formulas are really solid. I mean that both figuratively, as in they’re top-notch and chock full of high-performance ingredients like peptides and stabilized vitamin C, and literally, because anything liquid or creamy would have rendered the cardboard soggy. From a radiance-boosting serum and mineral SPF to an anti-aging eye cream and a purifying clay mask, there’s everything you could possibly need in a regimen. (The products are also great for travel since they’re solid—you can just pop them into your carry-on.) I’ve been loving the whole line, but if I had to pick a standout, it’d be this cleanser. As you work the balm in circular motions over a dry face, it melts into a luscious oil. Add a little water and it becomes a creamy milk. It feels really yummy and removes makeup like a dream—even my mascara came right off—without stripping moisture. It’s good for my skin and my eco-anxiety.
Ember Wellness Oil & Water Duo Set, $60, ssense.com SHOP HERE
The super coddling skin duo: Okay, this is really cool. Toronto-based brand Ember Wellness allows you to feel like a beauty chemist and whip up your very own moisturizer. Here’s how it works: There are five “Oil & Water Duos” to choose from depending on whether you want to soothe sensitivity, relieve dryness, balance your complexion, reduce signs of aging or zap pimples. All the duos comprise a cold-pressed organic facial oil and an all-natural flower-water spray called a hydrosol. First, you mist the hydrosol, which acts as a humectant and draws moisture into your skin. Then, you warm up a few drops of the oil in your hands and massage it on using upward strokes. The combination of the two helps prevent moisture loss and maintain a thriving skin barrier. Not only that, but the ritual is a treat I look forward to every time—the textures are decadent, the natural scents divine. I like to kick things up a notch and use the brand’s gua sha stone after applying the oil—so relaxing before bed. I opted for duo number 05, because as someone who once struggled with cystic acne, I’m always petrified of slathering anything thick on my face. (Call it epidermal PTSD.) I’m happy to say there were zero breakouts to report, only supple, juicy, happy skin.
When you make a purchase through the links in this article, we may earn a small commission. Our journalism is independent and not influenced by advertising. Learn more.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION