It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Nude Glow Lightweight Foundation + Glow Serum with SPF 40, $53, itcosmetics.ca SHOP HERE
The perfect everyday skin enhancer: I am a longtime fan of It Cosmetics’ Your Skin But Better CC cream, but even I can admit it can sometimes feel a tad thick, especially in the heart of summer or on days when you crave something a little breezier. Well this is that thing. It’s got that great creamy quality of the original yet feels absolutely weightless on skin. It’s also lighter in coverage compared to its predecessor, but it’s not so sheer that it’s useless (we’ve all been there, right?). The finish is probably my favourite part: glowy in a very natural, shimmer-free way. I’d say it’s just the thing to reach for when you’re after that “clean girl makeup look” that’s so big on social media right now. You know how Hailey Bieberalways looks like she just got out of the shower — damp strands scraped back into a bun, skin gleaming yet seemingly bare? That’s the goal. And because we are not all 25-year-old millionaires, we thank the universe for this nifty tube.
Briogeo Don’t Despair Repair Rice Water Protein + Moisture Strengthening Treatment, $54, sephora.ca SHOP HERE
The hair treatment that turns back time: As soon as you rinse this out, it’s like your hair starts singing Madonna’s “Like a Virgin”: “I’d been had, I was sad and blue, but you made me feel. Yeah, you made me feel shiny and new.” That’s the best way I can find to describe this treatment. Once a week, I run a few pumps of it through my hair and leave it on for a 10-minute interlude between my shampoo and conditioner. (Prime time for body scrubbing, leg shaving, heel smoothing or just laying down in the shower and letting the water splash over you — a little dramatic but very enjoyable.) You can also leave it on overnight if you prefer. The star ingredient is rice. Fun fact: Some people use the starchy water left over from cooking or soaking rice to make their hair smoother. This formula goes the extra mile, blending rice water with rice brand oil and rice ferment along with B vitamins and algae extract. Clinical trials showed a single use left hair twice as strong and decreased breakage by up to 60 per cent. I’m telling you: as shiny and new as virgin strands.
U Beauty The Plasma Lip Compound Treatment, $90, ssense.com SHOP HERE
The lip plumper that doesn’t sting: I’ll come right out and say it: I hate that it’s $90. Apart from that, I love every single thing about it. It’s divine, truly. Silky and luscious like heaven descending upon your mouth, and not at all goopy or sticky. The formula is chock full of encapsulated hyaluronic acid and peptides to drench lips in moisture and plump from the inside out. The second you apply it, your lips look smoother, juicier, their natural colour is dialed up ever so slightly and any sign of chapping is rendered virtually invisible. Clinical trials found collagen expression spiked by up to 170 per cent after 72 hours, and elastin by up to 112 per cent after 48 hours. But the even more impressive results were found to occur around the four-week mark. That’s when the volumizing effects become more long-term. You have to maintain them by continuing to use the product, of course, but you can notice a more pillowy pout along with more defined contours. And it does it all without making you feel like your lips are on fire. I’ve been swapping my usual clear gloss for this and my perennially flaky lips have been relishing every slick.
Trinny London Tiptoe In PHA Exfoliant, $56, trinnylondon.com SHOP HERE
The exfoliating lotion that’s über-gentle: I get to interview a lot of dermatologists for my job and pretty much every single one I have ever chatted with has stated they prefer chemical exfoliation over the physical kind, meaning they recommend using hydroxy acids instead of scrubs. The reason being the former can be quite scratchy and abrasive, even causing micro-tears in your skin, which can lead to inflammation and premature aging. No thank you, right? While they may sound more hardcore, chemical exfoliants can actually be much gentler. That’s because instead of “sanding off” dead skin cells, they melt the “glue” that binds them together so they just, poof, lift off. Personally, this has been a huge game-changer in my regimen. I’m talking smoother texture and a brighter and more even skin tone. I’ve tried a lot of great formulas over the years and this one is the latest addition to that list. It’s from British style maven Trinny Woodall who is a total hoot. I once interviewed her over Zoom and she made me do this exercise where you force yourself to laugh for one minute straight. It’s weird in the moment, but you really do feel incredible after. Anyways, Woodall really knows her skin care. She recently launched a brilliant range of not one, but three chemical exfoliants, to suit every skin need and type. I quite like the PHA one (short for polyhydroxy acid), the mildest of the bunch, hence its “Tiptoe In” moniker. It’s suitable for even the most sensitive skin and revs up radiance while also beating dehydration, so you don’t get any tightness afterward. There’s also a salicylic acid version for blemish-prone skin and a more potent AHA one, which targets dullness and fine lines. All three feature refillable packaging and really elegant, effective formulas. Just greatness all around.
Attitude Leaves Bar Dry Body Oil, $20, attittudeliving.com SHOP HERE
The body oil that thinks of the planet: Let’s be honest here. A lot of times, switching to greener beauty alternatives — shampoo bars, natural deodorant, etc. — means sacrificing a bit on convenience or performance. Which can be well worth it in the grand scheme of things, of course. But still, it’s nice when things work the way they promise to and are actually a joy to use, no? Well, allow me to introduce you to this solid body oil from Montreal brand Attitude. It’s vegan, biodegradable and packaged in a plastic-free, fully recyclable cardboard tube. Most importantly, I’d argue it’s actually more convenient than its traditional counterparts. Don’t get me wrong, I love slathering it on a good body oil and marinating in a robe, but it can get messy. Squeeze the bottle a smidge too hard and your bathroom tile turns into a slipping hazard. Put said robe on too quickly afterward and the pretty silk gets oil-stained. You don’t have to worry about any of that with this handy stick. Just glide it over your skin while it’s still a little damp then rub it in with your palms. The fatty-rich jojoba and avocado oils melt right in, making your skin soft and glowy but not greasy. I’m partial to the sea salt version, which is laced with the subtlest seaside scent. It smells like a luxurious beach vacation. I’m sniffing my forearm as I type this and feeling instantly more relaxed.
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