By now, you guys know I’m something of a beauty product junkie. Every so often, I like to update my list of products because if there is one thing I love almost as much as finding a great bargain is telling other people about all the stuff I’ve tried. So here are some recent products I recently tested.

The Ordinary Buffet

I have been using The Ordinary products for the past year, and like most of the ones I’ve tried. The Buffet was a more recent purchase, but it has become my go-to all-in-one serum. You guys, it’s $15 a bottle! I use it every other night, alternating with my prescription retinoid. I am very happy with my skin and my line-up of products from The Ordinary is one of the biggest reasons. Apart from the Buffet, my other current go-tos are the Lactic Acid (5%) (reputedly a dupe for Sunday Riley’s Good Genes), Resveratrol+Ferulic Acid, and the Vitamin C Suspension. and I prefer ordering directly, but you can also get them through Sephora now.

[Note: there has been some drama going down in the Deciem IG, which I have mostly ignored thanks to the stupid algorithm which decides I want to see a bunch of sponsored posts and nothing from people I actually follow, ahem. But it’s been dissected on Reddit, if you want to read about it.]

Hylamide HA Blur Primer

Because my skin looks pretty good on its own, I rarely bother with primer. I do sometimes find myself annoyed with the pores on my nose – which, for the record, appeared less visible since I started my skincare regime last year – so I decided to try this Hylamide version. It’s pricier than The Ordinary products I usually buy, at about $20 a bottle, but a small amount goes a long way. In fact, I think it works better to use a small amount and work it into the skin well. I have no point of comparison, since I’ve never used other primers, but I think it does makes my liquid foundation go on more smoothly. I wouldn’t say this product equates to an Instagram filter blur – nothing does, let’s be honest – but it does make me look a little more poreless. Maybe? To be honest, it’s not so noticeable that I can swear it’s not just a placebo effect. I should also note that, while I have tried this under my Jane Iredale mineral foundation (powder) and it’s fine, I prefer to use it with liquid foundation.

Speaking of liquid foundation, I decided to give The Ordinary Serum Foundation a try on a whim. Buying foundation without the benefit of a swatch is risky business, but at under $7 a bottle … well, it was a risk I could handle. I got the 1.0N shade (the lightest offered), and I am pretty happy with it. I’m not sure how it compares to high end foundations, because (a) I haven’t experimented enough to be able to tell differences, and (b) my coverage needs are pretty minimal. I will say that this formulation is very watery, so a teeny tiny bit is enough for the whole face, but it offers more coverage than, say, a BB cream.

All in all, these two products were just ok for me, though not bad value overall.

Essence Lash Princess Mascara

Hat-tip to Sherry for introducing me to this sub-$6 mascara. It has replaced my beloved L’Oreal Butterfly as my HG mascara. I have tried a couple of versions but I prefer the the False Lash Effect mascara (black & green tube) over the Sculpted Volume version (black & purple tube) – it’s less thick/goopy than the black/purple tube version (sorry, blanking on the name), and still achieves great colour intensity and lash definition. I’ve linked to Amazon, but buy it at your local drugstore, it will be cheaper.

Essence makes a bunch of really good, ridiculously inexpensive products, so it’s worth experimenting with; I love their eyebrow pencil, as well as their under-eye concealer stick.

Sidenote: I still use my EyEnvy serum, and love the ridiculously long lashes it gives me. I just got rid of my first tube (it was not fully empty) because I realized that I’d had it since May 2017 and that’s, um, probably gross.

Joe Fresh Lipstick

Since my Rimmel Colour Rush lip crayons were discontinued last year, I have been on desultory hunt for a new favourite lip product. Nothing has really struck me as HG material, but I have become partial to this Joe Fresh tinted lip balm (link to Canadian website). The colour is called Bumbleberry. It goes on smooth and slightly shiny, almost like a lip butter. Similar to the Rimmel crayons, it doesn’t have strong staying power but it also doesn’t dry out my lips. The only downside is that it is $10 a pop, which is high given the brand but … oh well.

Davines Texturizer Spray

Full disclosure: I have not actually bought this. Yet. But I have been “borrowing” it from my BFF every chance I get, and I love it. It works both as a texturizer and as a dry shampoo in a pinch. Compared to the Batiste dry shampoo I usually buy, it’s … well, there is no comparison. It smells divine, and it does a great job of drying up oiliness, while adding texture/volume to my hair. It’s about $40 a bottle which is about $20 more than I’ve spent on hair products in recent years, but I am almost ready to take the plunge.

There are also a few other products I would love to try, but have not yet pulled the trigger on. If any of you have comments/reviews, please share!

Dr. Jart Cicapair Cream – I keep hearing good things about this, but it’s also $50 on Amazon and I don’t know, you guys. Is it really that amazing? Is it going to get me any closer to my dream of looking like a dewy 20-something? I don’t have a lot of redness in my skin, but I do have pinkish undertones on my face so … maybe I need it? Talk me out of this slash enable me, please.

Jo Malone Earl Grey and Cucumber Spray – I tried this on at Holt’s last year and loved it. My current perfume is Hanae Mori Butterfly, which does not seem to be carried locally by anybody anymore. I am ready to switch to a new scent when the bottle runs out, but I am not sure I want to commit to a $175 perfume. Also, Butterfly is an eau de parfum, while the Jo Malone is not, so I am worried about its staying power. I am also intrigued and want to try Le Labo perfumes, though I am not sure where they are available (locally or online, shipped to Canada).

If there are beauty products you’ve tried lately and loved (or hated), tell me all about it!

17 Comments on The Beauty Aisle: New Things I Tried

  1. It looks like Le Labo has multiple locations in Toronto, but it’s apparently also available at the Nordstrom in the Pacific Centre in Vancouver. Maybe next time you’re in that neck of the woods you’ll be able to check it out?

  2. Buy the smaller size of the Dr. Jart Cicapair cream, it’s about $15 on Amazon (I just bought it) and it’s AMAZING. I’m a fair redhead, late 20s, and it does exactly what it says it does — eliminates redness and reduces the appearance of enlarged pores, and then should I choose to add a bit of BB cream or concealer, it goes on smoothly underneath. The small size should last a fair while; it’s a thick creamy product and a little goes a long way.

    • Man, I wish! The cheapest version I can find on Canadian Amazon is still $30 or more. But your comment is making want to pull the trigger even more …

  3. In terms of regular old moisturizer, I’ve been loyal to pure jojoba oil ever since a friend introduced it to me years ago….love that stuff so much! I’m planning on adding a retinol after this pregnancy though (will try The Ordinary) and I reaaaaallly need to find a sunscreen I feel good about. I always hear that the regular kind are just as cancer inducing as the sun so I tend towards the physical block kind but haven’t found a good one yet. I see the Ordinary is going to come out with some of those soon too so I’ll probably try one of theirs. One thing I cannot seem to find is a good under eye concealer for dark circles. Parenthood has not been kind to me! Any recommendations?

    • I use the Essence Say No to Dark Circles concealer stick, followed by Maybellind Age Rewind concealer on top. Then my powder foundation. I don’t have dark circles so much as purple ones. This does an ok job, though I still feel like it could be better. I don’t love the feeling of super spackly makeup, if that makes sense, so I haven’t bothered looking for something even more opaque.

  4. The Deciem-spiral discussion on reddit is something else.
    I just started a real regimen at the age of 48, using the SCA outline. I love Cerave’s hydrating cleanser and tub moisturizer. Between those, and red box Stridex as my BHA, my skin has done a 180. I have a sample of Tarte’s maracuja oil and am in love. I won’t spring for a full size of the brand but will absolutely get a similar product, when my sample is gone.
    Something I’m very curious to try is LED light therapy.

    • I use Cerave most mornings and nights on top of my other serums/acids, and I like it. Simple but effective. I alternate with Rose hip oil, but I think I’ll give that up after my last bottle is finished. I like the feel of the Cerave better.

  5. You should go to your nearest Sephora and ask for a sample of the Cicapair. I just did that because I was dying to try it but couldn’t justify the price. They gave me a sample that would probably last about two weeks or so. So far, I really do like it, but I’m still not sure if it is worth the cost. My current tinted moisturizer with SPF is about half the cost and works pretty well.

  6. OMG. The Dr Jart Cicapair. I got a sample in a Sephora Play box. I have severely sensitive skin and apparently very dry to boot — which does absolutely nothing for my fight against acne since age 13. But this cream/serum stuff actually makes me look like I have real skin! no pimples, no bumps, heals current problem spots. Can’t go a day without. But I’ll tell you it’s the Centella Asiatica, or “Asian Tiger Grass”. This plant has become increasingly popular in the beauty industry as of late, and is found in MANY Kbeauty products for acne, sensitive skin, scaring, eczema, and more. I also tried a L’Oreal product with the Centella Asiatica (because I like their ‘Revitalift’ line, and price $15 vs. $48 for Dr Jart), but I’m totally not impressed. It’s more sticky and sits on top of the skin too long without being absorbed.,..which is NOT what I want on my face during the day. I will likely use that L’Oreal product for my chest, arms, etc.

    Look on ebay for a small tube of Dr Jart to try ($7-10), or Sephora will give you a sample to try.

  7. I just bought a bunch of stuff from The Ordinary, but they were sold out of the Buffet. I’m liking everything else I bought, especially the HA + B5.

    As for cosmetics, I just bought the Joe Fresh powder blush in pink, which is great on my super-pale skin. I’m still loving my IT Cosmetics CC cream in fair (the coverage is great), I miss the chubby Rimmel lip crayons but have gone back to an old favourite, the Revlon equivalent in Honey, a pink toned nude. Oddly, even though I don’t have great skin, I’m finding myself wearing less makeup now that I work for a group of dermatologists.

    I just saw your new do on your Insta. Cute!

    • I just google Reddit + whatever topic I’m interested in, usually. The subreddits I check regularly are Female Fashion Advice, Skincare Addiction, and Thrift Store Finds. There’s a bunch others like Anti-MLM and Personal Finance that I also like to check from time to time.

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