Laura's 2017 Favorites
It’s been a hot minute since my last article, right? Going back to work after baby #2 was a bit harder than expected and the chaos of two working parents + daycare + kindergarten + nanny + a lot of late evenings and travel meant articles got moved to the bottom of the priority list. One of my goals in 2018 is to not let that happen, as this is my absolute favourite creative outlet that gives my life some balance and sparkle, even if it is rather harsh on the bank account.
Anywho, it’s officially the first day of the new year, and therefore time to break down my standout products for 2017 both in skincare and makeup. Let’s get this party started, shall we?
S K I N C A R E
$127 USD/$140 CAD
I’m trying to convince Mr. L2L to leave something in our will for this moisturizer because it’s pretty deserving. I demolished not one, but two jars of this in 2017 which says a lot, as I only started using it around April. This has been my go to daily moisturizer for months: it leaves me with hydrated, plump skin that over time, has honestly bounced back from a multiple-year perpetually dehydrated state. It wears well with any SPF I’ve tried over it, and has never pilled under makeup. This was hands down my overall winner for skincare in 2017.
My relationship with retinol is pretty dysfunctional and reads like this: starts retinol, believing it will cure all problems. Goes slow at first, noticing subtle negative changes in skin, still believing it will eventually work out. Skin becomes red, oily, and unhappy, never reaping the promised benefits of the “ultimate” anti aging ingredient. Breaks up with retinol, skin returns to normal, promises of “never again” are uttered. Three months later, reads of new retinol on market, repeats entire process with same results. No lie, I’ve tried to have a healthy relationship with retinol for almost TEN years and had never met my match, until April of 2017 when the ever so charming Jordan released his Etoile with Retinol - a .2% concentration of pure retinol housed in cranberry seed, argan, and marula oils. I’ve been able to use this consistently for months with zero irritation and finally have the smooth and bright skin I’d tried so desperately to get for years. I love this on its own as the last step in my nightly routine, or mixed with Hydrate or his latest launch, The Performance Cream. A definite winner in my 2017 books.
I know, I know. It’s pricey, BUT I love using it and when you add up the money I’ve spent on other eye creams that are still sitting ¾ full in my drawers, it actually balances out. This is the only eye cream I’ve actually seen results with: subtle, but after consistent use for about 5 months, my lines are softer and the skin around my eyes is definitely tighter. I also feel extremely chic applying this every morning, so that helps, too.
Full disclaimer, this was generously gifted to me to test and now I can’t imagine my mornings without it. I had seen good results using an LAA serum every morning but they are generally expensive and notoriously unstable. Enter this do-it-all morning serum designed to tackle free radicals, pollution, and advanced glycation end products (A.G.Es) all which contribute to skin aging. This powerhouse includes a stable vitamin C and a plethora of peptides and antioxidants, is lightweight, and sinks into skin easily, making it my daily must-have for mornings.
This is the second generation of this mist and it’s definitely gotten better with age. I’m currently blasting through my second bottle and will order a third as soon as I near the end so I don’t have to go a day without it. There was a time this year when I counted the mists I owned and that number was double digits and started with a 3. I loved rotating them and took great pleasure in carefully selecting my mists for the day. Fast forward to the release of SDSM2 and the majority of these mists are collecting dust in my drawers, neglected and begging for attention. I do feel bad for them, but at the same time, how can you compete with the antioxidant, hydrating, and anti inflammatory powers of SDSM2? Using this daily has led to less redness and reactivity, more hydration, and less water loss throughout the day. If I could drink this stuff, I would. Mixed with Gin.
M A K E U P
Is this a shock to any of you who follow me on Instagram? (I’m @lathertolashes if you’re new here, come follow, it’ll be fun, I promise) My friend Maria turned me on to this earlier in the year and I’ve never looked back. It’s my daily base of choice and go to product for hydrated, even toned skin that doesn’t cake or separate throughout the day. I dislike foundation, but do have some redness on my cheeks and around my nose that I like to tame and this does just that without looking like I have any makeup on at all. I’m on my second bottle now and will never be without.
As a devoted YSL Touche Eclat user for over five years, I thought nothing could compare, until I took a work trip to Vancouver with some wonderful ladies and had a bender at the Nordstrom Charlotte Tilbury booth. I spent my life savings and this was one of the things I purchased, not truly realizing it’s magical powers until later this year when I found it at the bottom of my overflowing makeup bag, forgotten and alone. I felt bad for the little lady and decided to properly start testing and my god, what had I been doing all my life? This concealer is absolutely perfect for me - it’s lightweight, brightening AND concealing, and doesn’t crease in the fine lines under my eyes. On lazy days I’ll dab this onto the redness around my nose and any lingering spots and its seamless and imperceptible. I’ve tested this alongside YSL Touche Eclat and the ByTerry version and this blew both out of the water, hence why I’ve gone through two complete tubes this year and am about to purchase my third after Christmas.
I was going to count out how many eyeshadow palettes I purchased this year but once I hit 8 I started having mild anxiety so decided to pour a glass of wine and call it quits. Of all of the palettes I’ve used (and loved) this year, this is my favourite. An equal blend of mattes and shimmers, each shade in this palette is friendly and surprisingly wearable for all occasions. The 20 shades wear like BUTTER and last all day without creasing, with only minimal fallout from some of the matte shades. I find in a lot of the palettes I purchased this year there’s one or two (or more) shades I know I’ll probably never touch, but can honestly say I have used every single shade in this MJ palette with success. If you have eyes, like eyeshadow, and only want to invest in one palette, I’d take a peek at this one before it’s too late.
$18 USD/$23 CAD
Who else lined up for Fenty Beauty’s release? I did and although I didn’t have much luck with some of the base products (foundation and primer) I did hit the jackpot with this lip gloss, which, ironically was an impulse purchase and the one I was least excited about. This is my absolute favourite gloss of all time and I own three (have already lost one, so I guess I own two). The colour is a sheer, glossy (duh) nude that somehow pulls any makeup look together. It has great wear time and it’s one of the few glosses I can wear with my hair down and not worry about spending the day with a mouth full of stuck-to-my-lips hair. I’ve recommended this to countless people and so far, every single one looks perfect with it, regardless of skin tone.
Last, but certainly not least is Glossier’s iconic Boy Brow. Glossier finally started shipping to Canada this year and this was the first thing I added to my cart. I hummed and hawed between Blonde and Brunette and am glad I went for the lighter colour. This stuff somehow tames my brows without looking like I combed in a dollop of Dep Gel (anyone remember that stuff?). It’s waxy, but not crispy, and manages to fill in my sparse areas with ease. I like that I can do my brows in a minute flat with the tiny brush, and plan to go through many, many more tubes of this little powerhouse over the next few years.
So there you have it. I had to cut the list to five each or else I’d be writing all day. This year was a FABULOUS year of self discovery for me, and I’m so happy that I decided to finally lay my obsession with all things beauty out in the open and connect with so many of you like minded individuals. You’ve all made my year, and I wish you all of the good things in life for 2018!