Each year, we sift through thousands of new launches to find the best problem-solving and joy-sparking formulas on the market. From groundbreaking innovations to reliable picks that won’t break the bank, we work hard to make sure our recommendations are worth spending your hard-earned cash on. But don’t take our word for it: Each month, we send a few of our favourite makeup, skincare and haircare products to readers across Canada and asked them to put them to the test. Here, they share their thoughts on the standout beauty products of the past year.
Want to join our roster of beauty testers? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youth to the People Superberry Dream Cleansing Balm
“This cleansing balm melts makeup off in seconds. As you massage it into the skin, the balm turns into an oil but doesn’t leave a greasy film behind. I love that it contains hydrating hyaluronic acid; it’s perfect for winter.” —Shammi, 38, Edmonton
Aveeno Calm + Restore Triple Oat Serum
“I love the lightweight texture of this serum—it’s not sticky or greasy, and it absorbs quickly into the skin to leave it soft and supple.” —Grace, 39, Winnipeg
Milk Makeup Colour Chalk Multi-Use Powder Pigment in Jump
“This multi-purpose stick comes in 12 shades and works well on eyes, cheeks and lips, without the need for touch-ups throughout the day. It’s soft and shimmery, and I find that using a dense brush is the easiest way to apply the pigment.” —Ameeta, 46, Halifax
Three Ships Dream Bio-Retinol + Shorea Butter Night Cream
“I love the packaging—thanks to the pump, I don’t have to put my fingers in the jar. Despite containing a plant-based retinol, the cream is gentle on my sensitive skin and leaves it noticeably softer.” —Simran, 42, Stoney Creek, Ont.
LIXR Tinted Lip Balm in Bulgarian Rose
“My lips feel nourished for hours after application, and I like that it’s made with all-natural ingredients. The floral scent is divine but not overpowering, and the sheer pigment can be layered for a more intense colour.” —Jennifer, 49, Barrie, Ont.
M.A.C Cosmetics Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Ruby Phew!
“I love a good liquid lip colour, and unlike most formulas, this one doesn’t immediately suck the moisture out of my lips. The formula doesn’t budge, but removal is a breeze with an oil-based cleanser.” —Nicole, 40, Pickering, Ont.
Fenty Beauty Hydra’Reset Intensive Recovery Glycerin Hand Mask
“Cold temperatures and frequent handwashing have wreaked havoc on my skin. This soothing hand mask has been a lifesaver. The smell is delightful without being overpowering and the consistency is thick, so I feel protected from further irritation.” —Josie, 60, Ottawa
Biossance Squalane + Amino Aloe Gentle Cleanser
“This cleanser has a fresh scent and lathers up nicely without stripping or irritating the skin. The formula rinses off easily and leaves my complexion clean, refreshed and radiant.” —Neeta, 40, Richmond, B.C.
Lise Watier Irresistible Blush Duo (Limited Edition)
“From the moment I put on this blush for the first time, I was sold! The powder goes on silky smooth and gives my skin a beautiful, radiant glow.” —Roxanne, 32, Montreal
Bite Beauty Power Move Soft Matte Lipstick
“Loaded with hydrating cocoa butter, this matte lipstick goes on smoothly and lasts for hours without losing its intensity or leaving my lips feeling dry.” —Sharmila, 46, Ottawa
Monday Haircare Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner
“This shampoo and conditioner have a thinner consistency than what I’m used to, but I’m pleasantly surprised at how easily they tame the frizz and how soft and manageable my curly hair is once it’s dry.” —Melissa, 38, Yellowknife, N.W.T.
$10 each, shoppersdrugmart.ca
Benefit Cosmetics POWmade Brow Pomade
“This lightweight pomade is pigmented and buildable, so it’s easy to fill out and shape your brows with just a few brush strokes. My brows last all day without smudging or fading.” —Bal, 40, Coquitlam, B.C.