From the perfect summer blush to a sensitive skin-approved moisturizer.
When it comes to beauty, there’s no shortage of options; seemingly each day, there’s a new makeup, skincare or haircare product to swipe, blend, dab and lather. It’s my job to put them all to the test and vet them against my tried-and-true favourites to see what’s worth the hype—and the money. Here are the new beauty products I’m currently using on repeat.
Summer Fridays Blush Balm Lip + Cheek Stick in Dusty Rose, $36, sephora.com
I recently, tragically, hit pan on my all-time favourite blush (the Merit Flush Balm in Cheeky, in case you’re curious) and after trying out a few potential replacements, I finally came across this new multi-use cream stick by cult skincare brand Summer Fridays, who now dabbles in colour cosmetics. The sheer, swipe-and-go formula contains hyaluronic acid and glycerin to plump skin up and give it a juicy, dewy look. It glides on like a dream and melts right into skin for a pretty, natural-looking pop of colour. I’ve been using the shade Dusty Rose—one of four—on my cheeks, dabbed in the centre of my lips or even swiped across my lids (a word of warning: the brand doesn’t advertise it for use on the eyes) whenever I need to look put-together.
Shiseido Urban Environment Vita-Clear Sunscreen SPF 42, $48, sephora.com
A good sunscreen is hard to find, and with so many options it’s hard to even know where to start. There are many formulas I love and use regularly, but ever since this little—and let’s be honest, it is shockingly small for the price—bottle of SPF landed on my desk, I’ve been using it non-stop. The weightless, milky consistency feels like a serum, and it goes on completely clean with no trace of the telltale sunscreen scent. It also contains vitamin C to brighten skin over time. But the biggest selling point? It doesn’t feel like I’m wearing sunscreen at all when I use it.
Tower 28 SOS Daily Barrier Recovery Cream, $33, sephora.com
Made with a cocktail of hydrating hyaluronic acid, replenishing ceramides and soothing allantoin, this cushy, fragrance-free moisturizer is sensitive-skin approved. I put it to the test after a recent rosacea flare-up that left me with inflamed, rough and dry skin, and I was impressed at how quickly it soothed the burning sensation and calmed redness. The most gentle formulas out there tend to be more clinical than cool, but this is the exception: from the neon packaging to the texture, it’s a pleasure to use.
Benefit Cosmetics Fan Fest Fanning & Volumizing Mascara, $38, shoppersdrugmart.ca
Benefit has a whole roster of excellent mascaras, but one application was enough for me to know I had found a new favourite. The curved fibre brush makes it easy to coat every single lash—even in hard-to-reach corners—to create the voluminous, fanned out effect the mascara is named for. And it doesn’t clump, flake or smudge—a rarity in a non-waterproof formula.
Ghlee Mango-Papaya Lip Balm, $16, ghlee.com
Canadian brand Ghlee launched just three months ago with a small collection of ghee-infused lip care rooted in South Asian tradition, and it’s fast becoming one of my go-to homegrown beauty lines. A new addition to my favourite lip balms list, this mango-papaya concoction is made from ghee (the star ingredient), mango seed butter and vitamin E. I’ve been reaching for it over and over again, and my lips have never been smoother.
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