f-5thingsfinal This is a list of beauty products that I was apprehensive to try at first, but once I used them regularly  they became my faves! I thought this would be a great list to start because I find that I am so iffy when I try new beauty products. But sometimes it pays off and I discover new products that I know I’ll keep re-purchasing. So of course I had to share :) These are quick reviews, so if you have any specific questions just ask me via the comments.

Note that the links to Amazon are Affiliate links (means I get a tiny percentage of $$ from Amazon if you decide to purchase it from their site.) Since most of them are cheaper online, I figured it would be nice to save you the trouble of searching for them yourself. If I don’t provide an Amazon link, it’s probably cheaper to buy it in person.


Smashbox BB Cream – This is a BIG ONE – when I first bought it, I was not a fan. In fact, I even instagram-ed that I hated it. It was too thick (I was used to a more liquid consistency when it comes to my face) and I felt the bottle was too small (runs at $50 for 1.0 fl oz). But after purchasing it, I didn’t want my money to go to waste so I started using it on nights where I didn’t have anywhere fancy to go. And next thing you know, I found myself reaching for this product over my other foundations. Why? Because it is PERFECT for my super oily/combination face (no, really… my face gets ridiculously oily.) I noticed I didn’t get any “oil build-up” on my face after using it  and I barely had to touch up my make-up. It also photographs wonderfully (It’s what I’m wearing when I visited Cheesewerks) and already has an SPF. I’ve just purchased my second bottle and I have a feeling this one will be a favourite of mine for a long time – highly recommended for anyone who’s had trouble with oiliness. (You can purchase at Sephora, $50. Or at Amazon.ca, $40.)

nourish CHI Nourish Intense Hair Mask – I bought this hair mask because I ran out of my Macadamia Natural Oil hair mask, which I usually buy online, and needed to use a mask for my hair that same day. I’ll tell you right now, I still prefer the Macadamia Deep Repair Masque but this one was surprisingly great and I’m glad I got the really big bottle (16 oz.). It makes my hair super soft and manageable – I have honestly been having more good hair days because of it. (I found mine at my local Winners for $30 and haven’t seen it since! But I see it’s on Amazon.ca for $70… which is a little ridiculous! If you find this somewhere for cheaper, please let me know because I want to buy a backup!)

beautyb Beauty Blender – There has been A LOT of hype about the Beauty Blender for awhile now and I am obviously late to the party. I was very apprehensive to try this out because I just could not believe that a sponge could really be that awesome (with a price to match! ) But then one day at Sephora, I bought it on impulse… and now I am a believer. (WTF how did that happen.) It’s hard to explain, but this sponge is like magic when you use it (I prefer to use it wet for a more natural look) and it just applies foundation beautifully. This is truly one of those products that transform you into a believer the moment you use it. I’ve tried many sponges, “dupes” included, and nothing works like it. If you try the original, you won’t go back to the dupes. (You can purchase at Sephora, $26 or at BeautyBlender.com, $19)

biore Biore Balancing Cleanser – This product was given to me in the “swag bag” at the Wedluxe Wedding Show (the only product on this list I didn’t purchase.) I finally used it because my regular cleanser (Philosophy’s Purity) gives me dry/flaky skin in the winter time – though it is heavenly any other time of the year. I like it because it’s a drug store product (I don’t have too many of those) so it’s way affordable. I’m also a fan of Biore (hello, pore strips anyone?)  But more importantly, it works as a “one step cleanser” and takes away all my make-up with one use and it lathers really well. (Purity is a little strange in that it doesn’t lather/bubble very much.) I really do feel like it balances my face (no dry/flaky areas), has a subtle smell and honestly wakes my face up every morning. I am super picky when it comes to products for my face so I used this everyday for about 2 months… and yes, I still love it. (You can purchase at Wal-Mart or any other drug store for $7-$8)

colorstay Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner – I found myself at Shoppers Drug Mart several weeks ago in need of a new liquid eyeliner because I finished my Lancôme Art Liner, which runs for a whopping $37. In the spirit of our wedding planning, I’ve vowed to keep my beauty costs to a minimal and so I apprehensively decided to try a drugstore brand. I use liquid eyeliner every single day so I knew that whatever I chose needed to compare to what I’m used to. I was totally prepared to be disappointed, return it and then buy a new Art Liner and say “I tried”. But this product completely took me by surprise. The lid transforms into a liner brush, which is the PERFECT shape for me (big fan of the cat eye.), the pigmentation is amazing and most importantly, it stays on my lid! I can keep that strong cat eye all day and it doesn’t smudge (Note that I do use an eyelid primer.) (You can purchase at Shoppers or any other drug store for $10-$12)

I hope this list inspires you to try some new products! I would really like for this to be a B+AB regular, so I guess I better start trying new products to see if they make the cut! If you have an suggestions, please drop them in the comments below :) Also, I have a question for you:

I know we all have our “holy grails” and favourite brands, but what makes you finally try a new product? Also, is there a product you recently tried that surprised you (ie. it actually works the way they advertise it to?) – would love to hear all about ’em!

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  • Great post! I also use Philosophy’s Purity and am intrigued at finding something cheaper & a product that actually takes off my makeup!

    I usually switch things up when a product runs out and I’ve tried a sample from Sephora that doesn’t irritate my skin. My fave product right now is the Sugar lip balm – nothing leaves my lips softer!

    • Thanks Robyn! I really love the Biore cleanser, so I hope you give it a try! Great price point, too.

      I find that the samples at Sephora are never enough – I like to try a product for at least a week. And yes to the Sugar lip balm! I remember getting it last year for my birthday from Sephora and have been a fan ever since. We definitely need it with this cold weather we’re having.

  • I’ll go check out the Revlon Colorstay liner, love most of their products! And I’m a huge fan of the cat eye, it never goes out of style :)


    • Yay! I want to try the other shades, but I can never get away from black. What black liner do you currently use?

  • Love this post, Maria. :)

    Usually, solid recommendations from other beauty obsessed girls make me go out and try new products – like this post, hah! One of my favourite past times is reading beauty blogs and watching YouTube beauty vloggers.

    I also love receiving samples. Shoppers Drug Mart sometimes gives out tons of deluxe sized samples with a certain amount of beauty products purchased. I received a sample size of Bioderma and fell in love. Despite the higher price point, it definitely lives up to all the hype. It’s definitely my holy grail make-up remover!

    • Thanks Stella!! I also spend an obscene amount of time watching beauty “gurus” and reading beauty blogs! But I get to iffy when everyone is recommending the exact same stuff… you know? I feel like everyone got it for free and now they are blogging about it. Reco’s from people I know almost always inspire me to try new products!

      Ok, I clearly don’t shop at Shoppers often because I didn’t know they gave out samples?! lol

  • Holly

    I love Smashbox bb creme!! This is a great post. Thank you!

    • You’re welcome! I love finding products for my skin type, so I definitely had to share that one :)