I began my beauty journey over a decade ago, and since then, both myself and the products available on the market have come a long way. Whereas 11-year-old me discovered joy of turquoise eyeshadow and the beauty industry was reeling from the popularization of Proactiv as a miracle product. 2021 sees the much more sophisticated options and there is a lot more variety available to ensure that you are putting self care first. Some of the products on this list are as tried, true, and old as time (e.g. Indian Healing Clay, Olaplex No. 3, and the Mario Badescu facial spray), others are newer. I have also become more interested in what is in my beauty drawer and tend to lean towards more products which are clean and organic. So from a quality flat iron to sort my frizz to castor oil for growing my eyebrows, the products in this list are sure to help both newbies and the more experienced.
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Repair Your Hair from the Root With Silk Infusion Repairing Complex
I love this silk infusion from Chi to keep my hair looking and feeling its best. The silk and wheat proteins in this complex strengthens your hair, while adding shine, softness, and manageability. That it’s made in North America is another plus for me, and I’ve definitely seen improvement since I started using it. Definitely pick up and add to your hair styling arsenal.
Miracle Hydrocolloid Pimple Patches Keep Pimples At Bay
These invisible pimple stickers are 100% one of the three things coming with me to a deserted island (even though there would be no one else around to notice the spots). While they don’t get rid of the acne completely, they definitely stop me from picking at them, in a futile attempt to rid myself of the unsightly blemishes faster. The hydrocolloid patches suck out some of the grossness while healing the area. They also work well both under and on top of makeup, so you can stay looking the bomb.
Beauty Influencers Use Olaplex Hair Perfector to Tame Their Tresses
Ah, Olaplex, my old friend. Since the pandemic started, this little bottle keeps selling out in droves- and for a reason. I bleach and dye my hair so much that I keep a steady supply of No. 3 in my apocalypse survival kit. The formula works to repair broken bonds in the hair that you keep ripping apart with harsh chemicals. There’s a lot of science involved, but basically what it comes down to is this: it gives us the ability to go from dark brunette to a cool, platinum blonde without having to walk around with what looks like a wig you accidentally ran through the dryer.
Everyone Needs a Good Economical Makeup Blender Sponge
Beauty blenders have been a thing for a few years now. I appreciate their popularity and I do enjoy using sponges to apply my makeup. However, you won’t catch me in this lifetime dropping 30 bucks on a single sponge that I will lose and/or forget to wash and inevitably ruin. That’s why I picked up this pack of six blending sponges, so that I could feel like a Youtube makeup guru, while staying true to myself and my ways. It’s also a great way for those of you who have never used beauty blenders, and want to give it a go before you splash out for the name brand.
Leave-in Tonic Reduces Breakage for Dry Hair
Similar to the Chi complex, this color shampoo by Biolage renews your hair’s strength. Buyers swear by it for its salon-level effects that also protect your tresses from environmental damage. Personally, I find it’s great for extending the life of a salon color and smoothing the frizz that I always, inevitably wake up with.
Get This Pro Style BaByliss Trimmer For The Man in Your Life
I love this electric trimmer for both its functionality and its design. It’s a great gift for the man in your life. It looks great on the vanity and my roommate even bought one for facial hair shaving.
Bioderma Intensive Balm is the Solution for Itchy, Sensitive Skin
My skin gets so dry, so fast, and not just in the winter. It’s also particularly sensitive (just like me), and suffers from contact dermatitis to boot. I tried out this ultra-smoothing balm as an alternative to the harsher hydrocortisone cream, and found it to be very effective. It definitely lives up to its “intensive” name as a repairing balm, and I can also attest to the anti-itch property. Definitely give it a try if you’re a fellow sensitive, eczema-ridden individual.
Vitamin C and Witch Hazel Toner Minimizes Pores and Calms the Skin
The Canadian climate is harsh on the skin but one of the more annoying downsides is how dull my complexion gets. During the cold months especially, I rely very heavily on this vitamin C toner. It contains witch hazel, lavender oil, and geranium to calm and soothe, while the vitamin C does its job of brightening and making me look less like a full-blown zombie.
Dual Purpose Black & Gold Masks Rejuvenate the Face
Black charcoal masks became quite popular a few years ago, and I’m happy to report they’re here to stay. They go on your face as a viscous liquid, and then slowly dry up and harden into a shiny, skintight mask. The mask works to pull gunk out of your pores, similar to nose strips, and when time’s up, you can have fun trying to pull it off your face in as close to one whole sheet as you can. This kit comes with a matching peel off gold collagen, for when you want to firm up your visage while looking like you just angered Drogon by insulting his Khaleesi. Are those references old yet?
Intensely Hydration Cream is Ultra Soothing on Dry Skin
Another thick, hydrating cream, I like to use this one on particularly rough patches of skin such as those around the elbows, knees, and back of the feet. It’s particularly good in the colder seasons, and when living in Canada, those make up a large portion of the year.
Reusable Bamboo Pads Are An Economical Alternative to Cotton Wipes
I am a true stan of removing all of your makeup before bed, to give your face a chance to breathe and relax after a long day of looking its absolute best. However, I’m not a fan of using dozens of cotton pads per week, even if they are compostable (are they?) So, I decided to invest in a set of these bamboo pads. These sustainable alternatives are machine washable and also work with micellar water and toners.
Beauty Spatulas Save You Spreading Germs
I wish more jarred creams and serums came with those little spatulas. They’re handy for keeping the bacteria from your fingers from touching the product, as well as for scooping out any precious remnants of that jar of La Mer you received as a gift and have now sadly used up. The good news is you can pick up these silicone ones and use them with different products (provided you wash them in between jars).
Carbonated Bubble Mask is a Tik Tok Face Mask Sensation
Bubble masks are such a fun addition to spa night with yourself and the homies. They work just like regular clay masks, with bentonite clay and other cleansing ingredients, to clear out your pores while you make funny faces with a bunch of bubbles on your face.
Cake Whipped Hair Mouse is Made in Canada and Made to Last
I love Cake Beauty for their sweet, bakery-esque scent and cruelty-free products. This whipped mousse for curls is no exception. Without weighing down my hair, the mousse adds softness, shine, and oomph, helping my hair look its best even on the frizziest of days.
Cake Leave-in Conditioner Detangles and Hydrates for Luscious Locks
Another genius product from the guys at Cake. This leave-in conditioner is a three in one miracle product where on top of adding moisture and nourishment, it works as a heat protectant. I don’t like having more bottles than is necessary when it comes to beauty, so I love that this one product can effectively do the jobs of multiple.
Organic Cold-Pressed Castor Oil Gets Hair to Lashes Growing
Castor oil has got to be one of my favourite oils, when it comes to hair and skincare. Its nourishing properties make it a fantastic serum for lashes, brows, and hair. Moreover, it’s also a great carrier oil for those such as coconut and sweet almond. I’ve been mixing it into various DIY concoctions, and reaping the rewards.
Ceramic Titanium Flat Iron is Effective and Doesn’t Destroy Your Hair
Everyone needs a good quality flat iron in their inventory. Mine is this G2, by Chi, has titanium-infused ceramic plates and sleek design. Its 1-inch plates are wide enough even for my thick hair, and has an LCD screen that lets you know the temperature reached. This one goes up to 425 degrees F, which is more than hot enough to tame coarser.
Mustela Cold Cream Stick Works Well for Baby and You
For those of us that medical balms still aren’t strong enough to prevent cracks in the lips, there’s the nourishing stick with cold cream from Mustela. It’s made for babies and toddlers, and contains beeswax to lock in moisture. I always leave one in my purse and in my kid’s backpack.
Surgical Steel Foot Filer Removes Dead Skin from Feet
I definitely have a bad habit of neglecting my feet when it comes to caring for my skin. I swear my callouses and dead skin buildup will outlive me. I’ve since bought one of these stainless steel foot filers that has worked miracles on the cracks in my heels given me a glance into a potential world where my feet are actually smooth. It doesn’t take too much effort, and when you’re not using it, you can keep it in the cute little storage bag it comes with.
Herbal Body Lotion for Sensitive Skin is Calming and Soothing
Sometimes, my skin gets so cranky that it only responds to the soothing song of oatmeal and hemp. This particular lotion doesn’t contain any artificial fragrances or dyes, making it perfect for scent-sensitive folk (… scentsitive? No?).
Over Plucked? Eyebrow Trimmers Shape Your Brows to Perfection
Once you’ve used an eyebrow shaver, it will be very difficult to go without it in your beauty box. It lets you trim and shape your brows with precision, without the bulk and uncontrollability of a traditional razor. I use these when I’m desiring the straight brow look, as I find they work particularly well for that shape.
Supermodels Swear By This Aztec Indian Healing Clay
As an avid DIY masker, this Aztec Indian Healing Clay is an absolute must-have in my arsenal. It’s 100% natural bentonite clay (the kind found in most commercial clay masks). I’ve also used it in my hair, and discovered that it gave way to sleek, soft locks once washed out.
Jade Rollers Help Your Serums and Moisturizers Sink In
I picked up one of these jade roller sets to gift to an auntie. The cooling stone is great for massaging serums and creams into the skin, or it can be used on its own for a relaxing facial massage. The set is said to stave off the development of wrinkles, as well.
Go Deep With Body Cleansing With This Himalayan Salt Body Scrub
Himalayan salt is not just pretty to look at, but has many beneficial properties that make it a popular ingredient in skincare. It is said to work with the body’s PH, promoting balance and general wellness. This particular scrub is made with a lychee oil complex and sweet almond oil to give a deep, exfoliation of dead skin cells, while simultaneously providing moisture and nourishment.
Go Matte, Or Go Home With These Waterproof Liquid Lipsticks
Matte lipsticks are an integral part of any makeup bag, as is having multiple shades to match any outfit or occasion. These waterproof liquid lipsticks come in one of my favourite sets. The shades are nice and versatile, and they all dry to a beautiful, matte finish.
Pocket Sized Electric Hair Remover Makes Styling Brows Easier
I love the design of this electric eyebrow trimmer. It works great at removing those little hairs that tweezers and flat razors have a hard (impossible) time getting to. The device is smooth and quiet, and fits handily into my makeup bag.
Mario Badescu Facial Spray is Kylie Jenner’s Favorite
There’s a reason that this facial spray from Mario Badescu is a cult favourite. The aloe, herbs, and rosewater that the toner is composed of give your skin a refreshing boost. I carry it with me in the summertime to regularly give my face a boost of hydration and love. I also love how subtle the scent is, as well as the minimalist design of the bottle.
The Natural Option for Styling Tresses The Layrite Matte Cream
Finding a decent hair styling cream that works with your hair is not easy. Finding one that works for medium to coarse hair without turning the strands into crispy, veggie straws is even harder. Thankfully, I stumbled upon this one and gave it to a friend with wavy hair to try out. They reported back that it left their hair soft and natural, while giving a nice hold and shape to their tresses.
Get Started With Microdermabrasion At Home
Microdermabrasion is a hugely popular treatment but in a salon it costs a fortune. Of course, that doesn’t mean we can’t do a mini treatment for ourselves from the comfort of our homes. This popular starter kit uses a standard diamond tip to remove dead skin without damaging it, minimize acne scars, and clear out pesky blackheads. Who says I can’t look my best even during a global pandemic?
Nioxin Thickening Spray Increases Hair Volume in a Natural Way
This thickening spray from Nioxin is so good for those with thinner or thinning hair. I have a few people in my life who have benefited from this product in a(n successful) attempt to add body, texture, and lift to their tresses. That further leads to an increase in self-confidence and feel-goodness.
Moroccan Rosewater Facial Spray Tones the Face and Smells Heavenly
I love, love this 100% rose water toner and use it daily both AM and PM after washing my face. It comes with a spray nozzle, which is great because it saves me from having to use more cotton/bamboo pads. I also spray it on after makeup to give a soft, hydrated glow.
Keep Your Blonde Brass-Free With Milk Shake Silver Shampoo
Having bleached blonde hair is awesome, but it definitely requires upkeep. One of the things I have to do regularly is keep away the brassiness from taking over my look. I’ve tried many different purple shampoos, and this milk_shake silver shine shampoo is one of my favourites. It cuts the brass very well, and never leaves any purple undertones.
Top Rated Green Tea Shaving Soap Helps Get a Smoother Shave
While not an owner of a beard myself, I know plenty of people who do grow and rid themselves of facial hair. A popular product among that crowd is the Proraso shaving soap for sensitive skin, infused with green tea. It gives a smooth shave without the irritation, while smelling really nice on top of it (that part I can attest to).
Keep A Winning Smile With This At-Home Whitening Kit
Take care of your teeth and your smile. Having bright white teeth can make a huge difference to your appearence; I know it has for me. Whitening my teeth at home with this MySmile kit really helped with the fluctuations in my self-esteem. It comes with three treatments and is super easy and low effort to use.
Canadian Made Vitamin C Serum Brightens the Complexion
Another Vitamin C product I swear by is this serum infused with hyaluronic acid and vitamin E. It’s advanced anti-aging formula reduces the appearance of lines, while keeping your complexion bright and happy-looking. I use it in conjunction with the vitamin C toner, and can happily report that it does what it promises. My skin looks plumper and healthier, and even my makeup appears smoother.
Mustela Micellar Water Especially Soothing for Sensitive Skin
This micellar water has become one of my favourites. It’s gentle enough for babies, but I find it perfect for the skin on my face – particularly around my eyes where the skin is thinner and more delicate. I also use it on my décolletage (fancy term for neck and chest area), since those areas generally collect sweat during the day. It’s a refreshing way to end my night.
At Home Lash Lift Kit Make Your Extension Dreams Come True
Long lashes are my weakness, and I did not want to be an exception. I treated myself to this at-home lash lifting treatment kit and am pleased to report that I have noticed a difference. I love how they complement my eyes, making them appear bigger and brighter.