My three must-haves for dealing with winter skin

Left to right: Make Up For Ever Lip Booster in 01, Rodan + Fields SOOTHE Moisture Replenishing Cream, and Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream.

Winter is murder on skin—especially my fair, sensitive skin. Just when I think I've almost got it balanced out, colder weather hits, and sometimes it's back to the drawing board. When you find just the right products for you, they're like gold—am I right?

Here are three of my must-haves for staying happily hydrated this season, and they cover the three key problem areas: lips, face, and body.

1) LIPS: Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Lip Booster in 01

I briefly mentioned Make Up For Ever's Lip Booster in a favourites post several months ago, and it still holds up! I use it every single day. I used to get uncomfortably chapped lips seasonally. My lips and the skin around them would get raw, red, and uncomfortable. I'd carry traditional, waxy balm with me and re-apply regularly, but I felt like it would just wear off and never really sink into my lips. Lip Booster is totally different. It has a more liquid texture than balm—almost like a thin gloss, but without the high-shine and stickiness. I apply it in the morning, and it sinks into my lips, plumps them up, and keeps them feeling healthy all day. It comes in clear (00) and pink (01). I have the pink, which I love—it adds just a hint of shine and colour, which is all I need most days. I repurchased this recently at the Sephora VIB sale so I'd have a backup when it runs out. It's THAT good.

You can find Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Lip Booster at Sephora for C$29.

2) FACE: Rodan + Fields SOOTHE Moisture Replenishing Cream

I'm always on the hunt for the perfect skincare regimen. My skin is pretty good, but sometimes, balancing my oily nose with the rest of my normal/sensitive/dehydrated face feels impossible. I posted earlier this year about a regimen consisting mostly of Avène products that came as close to ideal as I've ever found.

But is a beauty enthusiast ever really satisfied? No. No, she is not. So when I kept seeing Rodan + Fields pop up (my husband's cousin sells it and swears by it), I thought I'd give it a try. It's pricey, but they offer you your money back if you don't love it within 60 days, so it seemed worth the risk.

I tried the SOOTHE line, which is meant for sensitive skin. I was nervous about not including acne products in my regimen, but I get even fewer breakouts  with this than I did with my Avène products—and I didn't get many! It seems my calmer skin is less acne-prone.

My favourite product in the SOOTHE line is this Moisture Replenishing Cream. Combined with this hydration serum (which I'm currently out of—sob!), it leaves my skin as balanced as it's ever been. I barely need to touch up my makeup mid-day, and my skin looks great. It's pricey, true, but I think it's worth it. I'm on my second tube.

You can find Rodan + Fields SOOTHE Moisture Replenishing Cream online for C$64.

3) BODY: Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

I can't get enough of Brazilian Bum Bum Cream, which I reviewed recently. I just repurchased it at the Sephora VIB sale, and I'm so glad I did! It's my favourite body cream, hands-down. I use it all over, and it sinks in beautifully, leaves my skin feeling soft, hydrated and silky-smooth, and smells like Hawaii. Unfortunately for my wallet, I'm not planning to be without it anytime soon.

You can find Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream at Sephora for $57 (full-size, pictured above).

What are your winter skincare must-haves? Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: Make Up For Ever's Lip Booster was provided by PR for my consideration. Other products were purchased by Eyeshadow Addict.

My June 2017 Beauty Favourites

A few things I've been loving, clockwise from the bottom left: Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Lip Booster, NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer, Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher Pen, and Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette - Beauty Glow.

It's summertime in Vancouver, and with it comes simpler, dewier, bronzier makeup. Also, I always seem to be running 10 minutes later than I want to in the mornings, so makeup that's quick, foolproof, and easy is a must.

To that end, here are a few things I loved in June.

1) Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Lip Booster
I'm a slap it on and forget it kind of girl when it comes to lip products. I can't be bothered with a complicated lip combo in the morning, and I hardly ever remember to re-apply during the day. So I love the fact that I can apply Ultra HD Lip Booster with my eyes closed. I also love that it adds a whole bunch of hydration that really seems to plump up my lips, as opposed to some balms and glosses, which just kind of sit on the lips. The true test of its hydration value is the fact that I have not dealt with chapped lips at all this spring/summer.

The list of loves goes on: Ultra HD Lip Booster comes in both clear (00) and this perfect rosy shade (01), which adds just a hint of natural colour to my lips. It's gorgeous. When I first popped it on at a Make Up For Ever event, I got compliments right away.

Finally, my favourite quality of Ultra HD Lip Booster is that it's not remotely sticky. I can't stand it when the wind blows and my hair sticks to my lips. Raise your hand if you've walked down the street with your lips pursed for protection. Not cute, right? So thank you, Make Up For Ever, for saving me from such trials. This was a PR sample, but I'll definitely be replacing it for $29 when it runs out.

2) NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer
The best thing about NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer is the texture, which reminds me a lot of a MAC Paint Pot. A tiny bit will get you a ton of coverage without being drying. Under my eyes, that is everything. I like to tap this into the darkest part of my under-eye circles and blend. Here's a quick tip: I'm a Beauty Blender girl, but the texture of this product really doesn't love the Beauty Blender. It kind of just moves around. The warmth of your finger is much better for blending it into the skin. Overall, it's a good investment, even at $37.

(Aside: This came out around the same time as Tarte Shape Tape Concealer, and a few folks have compared them. I like NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer MUCH better.)

3) Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher Pen
Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher Pen has eclipsed NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer as my favourite under-eye concealer of all time. Yes, it's very over-priced at $48. Yes, it has that annoying click/brush packaging. But it's such a beautiful, effective product that I don't care. As I get older, my under-eye area seems to be more and more dehydrated and sensitive to drying concealer formulas. I need something with decent coverage, but that's also both hydrating and glowy. This is it. You should try it if you haven't. Love.

4) L'Oreal Lash Paradise Mascara
A drugstore product on this blog? WHAT? I freely admit to being a luxury makeup snob. Typically, the quality is better, and I just truly enjoy the experience of luxe makeup. But there are exceptions to every rule. I bought L'Oreal Lash Paradise Mascara on a whim after seeing a couple of solid reviews online, and I have to tell you, I am IMPRESSED. I bought a tube of Lancome Hypnose Drama mascara for a whopping $34 about a month before I got the L'Oreal, and the Lancome has completely gone by the wayside. I much prefer L'Oreal's $10 product. It's incredibly volumizing—in fact, it gives my beloved Le Volume de Chanel a run for its money. It's also quite lengthening. What makes it so much better than the Lancome Hypnose Drama, though, is the separation. Lancome Hypnose Drama gives me spiky, clumped-together lashes. L'Oreal Lash Paradise gives me luscious, fluttery lashes. Also, it lasts quite well, smudging only if I wear it on my lower lashes.

(Aside: My lower lash go-to mascaras are MAC Extended Play and Clinique Lash Power, which are perfect because they have teeny-tiny brushes and NEVER smear thanks to their formula: they're soluble only with a lot of warm water. Keep this tip in your pocket for next time you find a mascara that you love, but smears. Could it work on your top lashes only?)

5) Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look in a Palette - Beauty Glow
Beauty Glow is the latest in Charlotte Tilbury's Look in a Palette series. In my opinion, it's also the best. The first, Natural Beauty, is just a little too natural for me. Very no-makeup makeup, which just isn't usually my jam. The second, Seductive Beauty, is gorgeous. It's smoky and cool-toned, and it's fabulous when I want to look a little extra. It's not what I reach for on the daily, though. Beauty Glow is a (very) happy medium. It can be natural or smoky, and you can pull together a polished, glowing, beautiful eye look in just a few minutes. And that medium brown shade may just be the most perfect, beautiful, easy-to-blend crease shade of ALL TIME. You need to trust me on this one, lovelies.

Besides the shadows being beautiful, what I love about this palette is how quick and easy it is given everything is in one spot. I always seem to be in a rush in the morning, so being able to slap on an easy face quickly, without having to think about which colours go with what, is amazing. Two blush shades and the contour and highlight are right there. And they're AWESOME.

I'm not a bronzer queen, but in the summer, when I get a bit of a tan on my arms and shoulders, I like to bronze up my face a little more than usual and pretend I'm not naturally white as a sheet. Charlotte Tilbury's Filmstar Bronze and Glow, duplicated in this palette, is literally the best bronzer/contour highlight pair I've ever tried. The bronzer isn't too warm, and it has a tiny bit of a sheen. The highlight is somewhere in the middle of dramatic and natural, and adds a bit of golden glow (not glitter) to the skin. GLOW is what Charlotte does best, in my opinion.

Then there are the two blushes: A bronze and a pinky peach. If you're like me (read: pasty white with pink undertones), the bronze blush shade freaked you out a bit when you first saw it. I'm here to tell you that even on fair skin, a light "swish" over the cheekbones is gorgeous. Even if it's not for you, it doubles as a beautiful eyeshadow shade.

The pinky peach blush shade is designed to be "popped" onto the apples of the cheeks after you've swept the bronze shade up your cheekbones, and it does look beautiful that way. But when I'm in a rush, I skip bronzer, highlight, and blush layering, and just pop this onto my cheeks for a bit of freshness that I know will complement the eyeshadows perfectly. *swoon*

All in all, it's amazing. Well worth the $85. (I know it hurts, love. I'll hold your hand while you add to cart. )

What are you loving this summer? Have you tried any of these? What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

Disclosure: All of these products except for the Lip Booster were purchased by Eyeshadow Addict. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Lip Booster was provided by PR for my consideration.

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Top Ten Best Makeup Products: 2016 Edition

Enabling or not, I've been loving watching and reading everyone's 2016 round-ups, so I thought I'd add mine. I've used dozens of different makeup products over this year (many of them new to me!), and here are the ones I keep coming back to and can't be without.

Note that I didn't bother trying to come up with one thing for each category—I just stuck to 10 simple favourites. Here we go!

1. Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder Compact in Highlight 01 Golden Nude

I thought long and hard about ordering Laura Mercier's Matte Radiance because I'm not actually a highlight fiend, and I already had several. But after I finally caved, this quickly became my favourite. This is the highlighter I reached for most days this year. I'm 32 years old, my skin has some texture, and I work a job in a fairly conservative office, so I don't want my face to look like a disco ball on the daily. Laura Mercier's highligher offers the perfect soft, glowy, champagney golden highlight that isn't too shimmery. When I want something more intense, I'll reach for Charlotte Tilbury's Filmstar Bronze and Glow or for one of Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfectors (pressed) such as Opal or Moonstone. But for every day, this is hands-down my favourite highlighter.

2. Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette (the OG)

This was a tough one. Choosing a favourite eyeshadow palette is tough when you're me! I'm not a particularly loyal eyeshadow wearer; I change it up a lot. And if I'm being very honest, a few of the Charlotte Tilbury quads (round-up of Charlotte Tilbury quad looks at the bottom of this EOTD post) DO make my heart go pitter-patter more than this—but I have a hard time choosing one little quad over a full palette with so many different shades. The Chocolate Bar Palette is just so beautiful, foolproof, and, importantly, versatile. Love it. Here is an EOTD I did with the Chocolate Bar Palette earlier this year.

3. By Terry Ombre Blackstar in Misty Rock

I traveled to Toronto for a work trip in April, and made a special point of stopping by Saks Fifth Avenue so I could purchase this shimmering beauty, which I can't get in Vancouver. It's the perfect mix of taupe and purple, it glows, and it's so easy to apply and blend. I reach for it when I want a special eye look that doesn't require a special time investment. As long as I use a good primer, such as the NARS Smudge-Proof Eyeshadow Base, and don't layer on too much, it lasts very well. These days I like to draw it all over the lid and slightly into my crease and blend the edges with a Real Techniques Deluxe Crease Brush, which is perfect for cream shadows because of its density. Then I blend some brown mattes from the Viseart Neutral Matte Eyeshadow Palette into my create to balance the look out. Done! Have a look at Misty Rock as part of a look in this post.

4. Charlotte Tilbury Air Brush Flawless Finish Powder in Fair

I have a mild obsession with getting my base to look flawless and natural, and last most of the day. This powder gets me as close to perfect as I may ever get. It sets makeup and mattifies without looking too matte, and blurs pores and imperfections just so. Whenever I wear Charlotte Tilbury's Wonderglow paired with one of her foundations (I confess, I have both), I use this powder to set. I love it so much that I've long since hit pan! That's rare, given how many products I have to rotate through. My previous favourite was the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder, but I now prefer Charlotte's. It's less messy, and even more natural-looking.

5. Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic Swish and Pop Blusher in Love Glow

Sorry for all the Charlotte Tilbury in this list—sort of. (I can't help it if her products are perfect now, can I?) I have five of her six blushers—all but the bronzey Climax, which I think is better suited to deeper skin tones anyway. Love Glow is the one I keep reaching for, again and again. It's just the perfect, glowy, warm pink, and it's absolutely foolproof. I never have to work to blend it like I do with some other blushers. And unlike her powder, which I go through quite quickly, this blusher just keeps on going. I barely see a dent in it. Love. (Glow. Heh.) You can see Love Glow as part of a look in this post.

6. Rosie for Autograph Lipstick in Lady Rose

I hope adding this one isn't cheating—it's the newest item (to me) on this list. Lisa Eldridge's makeup video featuring the stunning Rosie-Huntington-Whiteley  sold me on this lip colour. Apparently it's Rosie's favourite from her line. (Lips like Rosie's? Yes, please!) I tried in vain to arrange a swap with a British beauty enthusiast so I could try this. Eventually, a couple of months ago, I caved and got it on eBay, and I'm glad I did. The packaging is a gorgeous rose-gold, reminiscent of Charlotte Tilbury's packaging—but rosier (ha!). The formula is beautiful, creamy and smooth. It smells lovely. And the colour is a perfect, pinky-brown nude that isn't too light. I typically don't even like nudes—they typically wash me out. But I love this. It's the only lip colour I wore on my recent vacation to California.

7. Make Up for Ever Pro Bronze Fusion in 10M Natural Matte Honey*

I wasn't really a bronzer person until Make up For Ever sent me this to try. I'm so fair that most bronzers make my face look dirty or orange. Not this bronzer. It's mostly matte with just enough sheen to look natural. The colour is a perfect, honey-golden brown—essentially exactly the colour my skin would be if I tanned. I can't explain how perfect the formula is. Don't try to swatch; it's misleading. You need to apply this formula with a brush. It's so genius that I barely need to blend. I brush it along my cheekbones, jawline and hairline, and voila—soft, subtle warmth and dimension. You need to try it. See Pro Bronze Fusion in action in this post.

8. Charlotte Tilbury Rock 'n' Kohl Iconic Liquid Eyeliner Pencil in Barbarella Brown

This eyeliner formula made me put aside my beloved black gel eyeliner for the first time in years. It's that good. It is so soft, creamy and pigmented that it really is like a gel or liquid liner in pencil form. I can soften the line if I work quickly (apply, then smudge on each eye, before it sets), but then it doesn't budge. And can we talk about this colour? I never thought I was a fan of brown eyeliner until I tried Barbarella Brown. It has all the oomph and drama of black eyeliner, but with a little more warmth (not too much) and softness. I think it helps make the green in my eyes pop. You can see Barbarella Brown in action in this post.

9. Charlotte Tilbury The Retoucher Conceal and Treat Stick in 2 Fair

There are so many concealers I enjoy that I came to this product late in the game. I confess, the purchase came from my well-documented Charlotte Tilbury obsession. I figured if I loved her other products, I'd love this one. And sure enough, I do! This concealer looks surprisingly flawless considering it's not the highest-coverage concealer around. It's not my favourite for blemishes, particularly given the packaging, but I love it under the eyes. So glowy and, well, perfect. If you're darker under the eyes like I am, pair it with a corrector such as the Giorgio Armani Master Corrector or the Chanel Éclat Lumière Highlighter Face Pen (reviews here and here), and you'll be set.

10. MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation in NW20

This powder is an old friend I became re-acquainted with this year. MAC Studio Fix was my first high-end makeup product, and I wore it as my foundation—exclusively—for over 10 years. I switched to a liquid-powder combo when I was 25 or so because I wanted a more flawless look, and I was getting more into makeup. Then, this summer, I really wanted something easy and fast for no-fuss weekends when it was hot and sticky and I didn't want to deal with liquid foundation in Vancouver's humidity. MAC Studio Fix checks all those boxes and so many more. I apply it with a brush on bare or primed skin for a light coverage, no-fuss foundation, and a sponge for heavier coverage and touch-ups—though this is rare for me. (Applied with a sponge, it provides a very matte, high-coverage base. Very 90s. Very reminiscent of my high school days.) My favourite way to use it is as a setting powder, applied with a fluffy brush. It makes my base virtually bulletproof for the day, and yet it always looks good—never powdery or cakey. You can hear a little more about Studio Fix in my "Ride or Die" tag video.

There you have it! Have you tried any of these? What are your favourites from this year? Let me know in the comments, or link to our own post below.

Disclosure: Products marked with an asterisk were sent to me by PR for consideration. All other products were purchased by Eyeshadow Addict.