Yay it's June! In case you were wondering, now is the perfect time to fine-tune your beauty routine for summer. For me at least, it's all about bright mascara, fun lip and nail colours, and simplified skincare.
Social media friends, you'll probably recognize most—if not all—of these products from my regular "beauty mail" unboxing sessions.
Here are my favourites for June. It's a looooong list this month!
Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Vinyl Couture
Remember when Cara Delevingne had those insanely cool blue lashes at the Stella McCartney fall 2012 show? I've been obsessed ever since—and now there's finally a mascara that has enough pigment to recreate the look. Mascara Vinyl Couture is YSL's biggest launch of 2016, and the shade I'm the Trouble is the most saturated blue I've EVER come across.
If you're not into blue, there are eight other shades (including the usual black and brown). The formula is excellent; it's volumizing and slightly lengthening/curling, while delivering vinyl-effect shine and colour. Plus, the packaging... ridiculously chic!
BIOeffect EGF Serum
Iceland's BIOeffect is one of the most sought-after anti-aging lines in the world with a huge celebrity following, and it has JUST arrived in Canada. Its clam to fame is a natural growth factor that stimulates skin cell renewal. Recently, I met with the founder, Dr. Björn Örvar, and was actually blown away by the before and after photos he shared with me (here's one of them). I think this stuff is legit!
If you just get one product, the EGF Serum is the way to go. It's a serum that goes on as a night treatment—with nothing else on top—and is supposed to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and sun damage while improving overall tone and texture. The ingredients list is impressively minimal!
Ingredients: Glycerine, Aqua, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tromethamine, Alcohol (Less Than 0.9%), Calcium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Hordeum Vulgare Seed Extract, Egf (Transgenic Barley Sh-Oligopeptide-1)
CoverGirl Katy Kat Matte Lipstick
If you've thought about lavender lipstick but don't think you can pull it off, you need to give Cosmo Kitty a go! It's the star shade in CoverGirl's new Katy Kat Matte Lipstick range, a collab with Katy Perry. Most lavenders are an immediate "no" for me because they're too opaque and chalky, but this one actually works because it's not too light nor cool-toned, and it lets some of your natural lip tone show through. The demi-matte texture of this line is amazing.
There are 10 other shades and there's not a single one I don't like. Kitty Purry is similar to Cosmo Kitty but with more rose in it (so it's more wearable). My other faves are Coral Kat (coral), Catoure ('90s brownish pink), Magenta Minx (medium pink with yellow undertones) and Cat Call (bright pink).
Make Up For Ever Aqua XL Eye Pencil Waterproof Eyeliner
I've been searching for a waterproof light brown eyeliner for literally YEARS now. Why? Because most brown liners are too dark and sometimes I only want a subtle liner look on my fair skin. But mostly, I needed a waterproof light brown because I want to draw fake freckles! It's an old makeup artist trick that immediately makes you look cuter/fresher/younger.
Let me tell you, the shade Aqua XL S-50 (satiny taupe) from Make Up For Ever's new Aqua XL Eyeliner range is perfect. This is the brand's most waterproof, long-lasting liner option yet, with 20 shades in a variety of finishes: matte, diamond, iridescent, metallic and satin. Of course, any colour would be great—this is my number one liner pick now if you're looking for something that won't smear or fade. (But seriously, try the freckle thing. I think you'll like it!)
Where to buy: Sephora
Formula X Sheer Strength Treatment Nail Polish
Formula X Sheer Strength Treatment Nail Polish has been a godsend for my genetically weak, peeling nails. It's nail strengthener and sheer colour in one, so all you need to do is apply two or three coats straight on your nails (no top or base coat required) and it will help protect them. Another bonus: because it's sheer, you don't have to worry about being perfect with your application!
When the line first came out last year, there were only sheer pale colours to choose from—which I don't mind at all, being a manicure minimalist anyway. But now you can also get it in five sheer brights! I bought Exuberant (watermelon), and adore it. I'm sure I will be equally enamoured with Charisma (grape), Ardent (apricot), Undeniable (strawberry) and Phenomenal (melon). The brand just sent me a couple to try, but I'm trying to track down them ALL! That's the level of obsession, folks.
Where to buy: Sephora
Guerlain Super Lips Lip Hero
I'm always on the hunt for a really good, nourishing lip balm. Thin ones aren't enough, and I can't do natural for the reasons explained here (I think I'm allergic to vitamin E?). So my latest love is Guerlain Super Lips Lip Hero, a simply gorgeous balm that also doubles as a lip mask. It has a subtle sweet scent and absorbs quickly, so would work well under lipsticks, too.
This is one of a foursome from Guerlain—all tubes that address everyday issues. Besides the Lip Hero, there's Midnight Secret (like "two hours of extra sleep"), SOS Cream (for fragile skin) and Radiance in a Flash (an instant tightener and glow-booster).
Ingredients: Diisostearyl Malate, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, C10-30 Cholesterol/Lanosterol Esters, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Calcium Aluminium Borosilicate, Polyethylene, Octyldodecanol, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter, Silica Silylate, Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline, Irbingia Gabonensis Kernel Butter, Fragrance, Propylene Carbonate, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Ozokerite, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer, Limonene, Palmitic Acid, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Linalool, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, CI 77891 (Titanium Dioxide), BHT, Water, CI 77491 (Iron Oxides), Citral, Tocopherol, Tin Oxide.
Givenchy Noir Couture Volume Mascara
I know the YSL packaging was awesome... but this Givenchy Noir Couture Volume Mascara is on a whole other level! It's part of the limited-edition Couture Collection, a trio of mascaras that pay homage to Paris Fashion Week.
Inside, the formulas are the same, so it's really just the packaging that's new here. But if you haven't tried this volumizing formula, you will love it! The other ones are the Noir Couture 4-in-1 Mascara, an excellent daytime choice, and Noir Couture Waterproof 4-in-1 Mascara (although be warned, it smeared on me).
Serge Lutens L'Eau de Paille
Summer fragrances are my favourite kind of fragrances, and if you're looking for one that's a little more unique this year, may I present L'Eau de Paille by Serge Lutens? Rather than the beachy notes that are so played out at this point, it's a sophisticated take on freshly-mown grass. The notes are wheat, grass, frankincense and vetiver.
Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick
Back in March, I told you about Bite Beauty's new Amuse Bouche range of bold, creamy lipsticks. Now the brand has released 12 more shades—very interesting shades!—in a collection called "Sweet and Savory." They obviously took a lot of inspiration from Instagram, because I'm talking about colours like hunter green, black and navy. Yes, on your lips!
I was sent six to try, and by far the most wearable is Thistle, described as a mauve-infused taupe. I liked it best when I kind of dabbed it on, instead of applying a full thick layer. It's definitely unique, and has that slightly greyish tone that is hot in certain circles right now! Against fresh skin it's actually pretty cool.
Where to buy: Sephora
NARS Limited-Edition Orgasm Blush
Can you believe NARS Orgasm has been around since 1999? It's still the number one-selling blush in the US. If you're a fan, you may want to jump on this Limited-Edition one, which is being offered in an oversized compact with #whatmakesyoublush on the mirror. For comparison's sake, you get 0.28 oz. of product for US$39/C$52, versus the regular size which is 0.16 oz. for US$30/C$38.
CoverGirl The Super Sizer Fibers Mascara
Yet another new mascara I'm impressed with this month is CoverGirl's The Super Fibers Mascara. You might recall me raving about the Physicians Formula Lash Extension Kit, which is a two-step process with a separate tube of fibers that you layer over the mascara. This CoverGirl newbie has the mascara and fibers all in one, which is not only more convenient, but also still gives you an amazing amount of volume. (Don't let the weird skinny wand throw you off!)
I've never been that into CoverGirl mascaras, but I REALLY like this stuff—I'd even say it's the best CoverGirl mascara I've ever tried. I love how it coats and thickens every lash, and it does not smear on me.
OPI Summer 2016 Collection
OPI's summer shades are out, and they're all retro-inspired pastels, including this creamy lemon yellow. I'm usually boring with my manis, but for some reason, I love yellow nails in hot weather—and Towel Me About It is just right (not too dark nor warm). MUCH better than Aim to Misbehave, that other yellow Essie is trying to make happen right now.
Guerlain Kiss Kiss Shaping Cream Lip Color
I've said it before and I'll say it again: more people need to get on board the coral lipstick train. (Even if it's not an "on trend" shade like the lavender or taupe right now.) Coral—not orange but coral—is universally flattering and will suit every complexion. It is absolutely my favourite shade to wear.
Another train I'd like people on is the Guerlain lipstick train, because their formulas are so great, in such luxe packaging. I reviewed the Kiss Kiss Shaping Cream Lip Color range last year, and now they've released Fancy Kiss, the ultimate coral. Love!
Sun Bum Beach Formula 3 in 1 Leave In
Now that we're all spending much more time outside in sunny weather, sun protection is top of mind—not just for your skin, but also for your hair! Sun Bum came out with hair products this year, including this 3 in 1 Leave In, a conditioning spray with UV filters. This is especially important if you colour your hair, because it will help shield it from the fading effects of the sun.
Most of the time, I find these leave-in products to be way too grease slick-inducing for my fine, straight hair. But this one's actually fairly light. I love that it has coconut oil and banana pulp, and the beachy scent is addictive.
Tata Harper Elixir Vitae Eye Serum
Tata Harper lovers (is anyone not a Tata Harper lover?), there's a new skincare product to obsess over: the Elixir Vitae Eye Serum. This is the eye version of the Elixir Vitae Anti-Aging Treatment, and it's packed with 33 botanical actives such as hibiscus peptides, bark extract and viniferin (a polyphenol). Word of warning: the price might make you fall off your chair... think $300+!
Do I wish it didn't have seed oils so high on the list? Yes. But on the plus side, it's 100 percent natural and beautifully formulated, with a fantastic lightweight texture that sinks right in.
Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Glycerin, Aqua/Water/Eau, Propanediol, Carthamus tinctorius (safflower) Oleosomes*, Cucumus Sativus (Cucumber) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Behenate, Lactobacillus Ferment, Helianthus annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cetyl Alcohol, Calophyllum Inophyllum Seed Oil*, Cetearyl Olivate, Olea europea (Olive) Oil*, Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter, Lactobacillus, Iris Pallida (Sweet Iris) Leaf Cell Extract, Hydrolyzed Hibiscus Esculentus Seed Extract, Acmella Oleracea (Spilanthes) Extract, Cedrus Atlantica Bark Extract, Sorbitan Olivate, Opuntia ficus indica (Barbary fig) leaf cell extract, Anogeissus Leiocarpus (Akulia) Bark Extract, Sclerotium gum, Leucojum Aestivum (Summer Snowflake) Bulb Extract, Dextrin, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Fruit extract, Xanthan gum, Borago officinalis (Borage) Leaf Extract*, Arnica montana (Arnica) Extract*, Acacia Senegal Gum, Polygonum fagopyrum (Buckwheat) Seed Extract, Sodium hyaluronate, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Lavandula stoechas (Spanish Lavender) Extract, Narcissus tazetta (Daffodil) Bulb Extract*, Algae extract, Vitis vinifera Grape Juice Extract, Medicago sativa (Alfalfa) Extract*, Spiraea Ulmaria Flower Extract*, Sambucus Nigra Fruit Extract, Calendula officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract*, Tocopherol, Aroma**, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Citral, Citronellol, Eugenol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool. *Ingredients from Organic farming. **Clinical grade essential oils blend.
Aveeno Skin Relief Body Wash
I've been into coconut-scented body products going way back. So of course, Aveeno got my attention with their Skin Relief Body Wash in a new Coconut scent (it also comes in Chamomile). A cream-gel texture, it gives you a nice subtle whiff of coconut as you lather, but rinses away clean.
The only thing I don't get is why the ingredients list has sodium laureth sulfate, when it's a formula specifically for itchy, dry skin (and sulfates are known irritants). If you are avoiding sulfates for whatever reason, it won't be for you.
Where to buy: Amazon.com
Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Hydrolyzed Potato Starch Dodecenylsuccinate, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Tetrasodium Glutamate Diacetate, Glycol Distearate, Polyquaternium-10, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Dipropylene Glycol, Ethylene Brassylate, Gamma-Nonalactone, Laureth-4, Tetramethyl Acetyloctahydronaphthalenes, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Sodium Hydroxide, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Oil, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract
Dior Diorshow Waterproof Pro Liner
To continue the month's theme of unusual makeup colours, here's another one: a Magenta eyeliner from Dior! If you feel like channelling your inner Kristen Stewart and creating a look like this or this, the Diorshow Waterproof Pro Liner would be a great tool.
It's waterproof (a necessity in my book), and has a beveled tip that you never have to sharpen. Depending on how you angle it, it can draw thin or thick lines equally well. If you're not bold enough to go magenta, another good shade to try is Pro Mahagony. There are 10 shades in total.
Delectable by Cake Beauty Everything Balm
I made another lip balm discovery this month, besides the Guerlain one. Delectable by Cake Beauty is a Canadian semi-natural beauty brand, and they've just introduced Everything Balm. The beauty of it is that it works on not just lips but anywhere skin or hair needs nourishment. So... cuticles, knees, elbows, split ends, frizz, unruly brows, etc. You can even pop it on your cheeks for a glowy strobing effect.
I appreciate that there's no petroleum/mineral oil in here, or vitamin E or soy (both can cause chapping). It also has their signature dessert-like scent. A little goes a long way... this would be a good handbag essential!
Ingredients: Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Hexyldecyl Laurate, Hexyldecanol, Ozokerite, Cetearyllsononanoate, Propylene Glycol, Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Diisostearyl Malate, GlycerylBehenate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, TheobromaCacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, CocosNucifera (Coconut) Oil, Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil, Fragrance/Parfum, BHT.
Paul & Joe Lipstick
Paul & Joe understands my inner cat lady. I'm sorry that I can't tell you anything about how their new Lipstick looks, because I never plan to use it. How COULD I, when it's adorned with a cat face on top of the bullet? A cat face! It's so adorable, I can't stand it. This is going straight into my beauty archives!
CoverGirl Perfect Point Plus Eye Liner
My last liner pick this month also happens to be another CoverGirl product. If you're looking for a decent drugstore waterproof option, the Perfect Point Plus Eye Liner range is definitely worth checking out. Although there are seven shades, I'm extra-excited that they just came out with Deep Burgundy. (What is happening over at CoverGirl these days? Suddenly they are not conservative anymore!) I love this colour for a softer twist on black, and it's way more interesting than brown.
L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipstick
I've already reviewed and swatched the latest Collection Exclusive Lipsticks from L'Oréal Paris, and I'm including them in this round-up because they're not to be missed! The theme is pink, and the shades are ALL gorgeous, especially Eva's Pink. It's a muted peach-pink that I can't recall seeing anywhere else.
Where to buy: Ulta
Weleda Jardin de Vie Eau Naturelle Parfumée
Weleda makes perfume now! Of course, it's all-natural (like their skincare products) and delivers aromatherapeutic benefits along with a light, pleasing scent. There are three of 'em, and my pick is Grenade, a citrusy blend of orange, Davana (an herb) and vanilla. The aromatherapy benefit is to "inspire" and express your imagination—sounds about right for me!
The other two are Rose, which is "harmonizing" to balance your love life, and Agrume, which is "empowering" to centre your motivation. These are so light and refreshing, you could even use them as body sprays. Great for summer!
Where to buy: Whole Foods
Ingredients: Alcohol, Limonene*, Fragrance (Parfum)*, Linalool*, Citronellol*, Benzyl Alcohol*, Benzyl Benzoate*, Benzyl Salicylate*, Geraniol*, Citral*,Eugenol*, Coumarin*, Farnesol*. * from natural essential oils
If you're still reading after going through this very lengthy list, hopefully you've found a few potential prodz to check out as we head into summer. I would love to hear your thoughts on my June picks... especially these unusual mascara, liner and lip colours. Oh, and the freckle thing! Would you try it?
What's your favourite new product this month?