New skin care and makeup finds are popping up on shelves—and screens—this season
From Instagram ads to science-based brands, these are the products that not only work but work for these strange, masked times. Our needs have definitely shifted this past year, and brands have responded with some brilliant new products for the season ahead.
Check out some of our favourite picks below...
1. BeachPlease Lip and Cheek Cream Blush by Tower28, $26
Tower28What makes these multitaskers stand apart from other options is not only their beautiful colour range but also their clean and nourishing formula. It's silicone-free, made with plant-based ingredients like green tea and aloe vera extracts, while complying with the National Eczema Association's guidelines. Beyond technical specs, these blushes apply like a dream, with a sheer but buildable texture, leaving skin flushed and luminous with hues inspired by the Santa Monica sunset. And, they're affordable.
There are three new shades this spring: After Hours, a rosy berry colour to give darker skin tones a natural blush or to perk up paler skins with a windswept flush; Power Hour, a neutral terracotta shade for warming up medium to dark skin tones; and Rush Hour, a peach shade ideal for lighter skin tones with cooler undertones.Tap or buff BeachPlease onto cheeks, eyes and lips, press into the skin, and then give it a few minutes to settle in. After that, it wears really well under a mask with minimal transfer.
2. Power Trip Serum by Veriphy, $105
VeriphyThis isn't a new release from Canadian vegan brand Veriphy, but with 'mask-ne' on the rise, here's a new application for their Power Trip serum. While this lightweight AHA gel serum can be used every day to promote cellular turnover for smoother skin, it's also fantastic as a targeted treatment on congested areas (for me: chin) that are irritated by prolonged mask wearing. As a preventative measure, try putting a light layer of this unscented gel on problem areas, before putting on a mask. The main AHA in this serum is lactic acid, which is much gentler than other AHAs, and combined with its relatively low level of actives (>5 percent) as well as the inclusion of arnica and calendula extracts, this serum is as calming as it is effective at keeping skin smooth.
3. Tanitabs Toothpaste Tablets by Tanit, $22/jar of 160 tablets, $17/refill
TanitDon't get trapped with your own bad breath under a mask. Keep teeth clean and breath fresh with these solid toothpaste tablets made with tea tree oil (antibacterial), grapefruit seed extract (fights bad breath) and spearmint (minty freshness).
Quebec-based skincare and wellness brand Tanit, was founded by engineers who are passionate about science and nature. Tanit aims to support quality, eco-friendly products that use no water (actives only), no plastics and no preservatives, while boasting only recyclable and refillable containers.
This toothpaste alternative comes in form of small tablets that you pop in your mouth, crush and swish around, then proceed with brushing your teeth. It's like chewing on a small mint that foams up. Made from 100 percent natural ingredients, these also feature nano-hydroxyapatite, a naturally occurring form of calcium apatite, which makes up most of human bones and tooth enamel. It's considered a non-toxic alternative to fluoride. The tablets are easily dissolvable and the flavour is a very soft, gentle mint.
Tanit also donates two percent of their profits to help clean up oceans and beaches.
4. First Care Activating Serum by Sulwhasoo-1, $117
SulwhasooKorean skin care can be daunting, especially when categories like "essence," "toner" and "serum" seem to be used interchangeably, even though each serves a distinctly different purpose. Just know that, in this case, First Care should be your first step after cleansing. It's considered a boosting product, that will help boost the absorption and performance of all other skincare you apply after it.
This is the fifth generation of this popular Korean serum that, along with its boosting properties, will help with wrinkles, hydration, brightness, radiance, translucency and moisture barriers. It's so popular that one bottle is sold every 10 seconds in Korea. Sulwhasoo-1 is a heritage luxury brand and the bottle reflects this status. The serum comes in a weighty glass pump bottle, that dispenses the lightweight amber-hued serum. While the formula centres on five key traditional herbs, the serum itself is largely unscented.
5. Solidarity Hand Cream by L'Occitane, $12
L'OccitaneIn every pocket and on every counter these days is a tube of hand cream, right? But this is the one you'll gravitate towards repeatedly. This newly released hibiscus-scented hand cream, showcases 20 percent shea butter in its formula. It comes out of the tube thick and rich, and immediately softens and protects dry, over-washed hands. The scent isn't as strong as some of their other hand creams, with deeply floral notes of ylang ylang, jasmine and vanilla.
Every year, L'Occitane releases a new shea butter Solidarity product, and this is their first Solidarity hand cream. 100 per cent of profits are donated to finance non-government organizational projects to promote women's leadership in Burkina Faso, where the shea butter for L'Occitane products is produced.
6. Australian Pink Clay Mask by Alya Skin, $49.99
Alya SkinThis pretty pink pot of clay is an Instagram favourite. Aside from being photogenic, it's been a great mask treatment for 'maskne' breakouts. Apply a medium amount all over the face (avoiding the eyes), wait 10 minutes, then remove with a damp washcloth. If you have dehydrated skin, leave it on for 5 minutes or just spot-treat the congested areas to draw out impurities. Never let this (or any other mask) dry out on your skin (at this point, it's pulling moisture out of your skin) and always follow up with moisturizer.
Pink clay is a combination of red kaolin clay (great for oily skin) and white kaolin clay (super gentle even for sensitive skin), so the combination of the two makes for a happy medium. This rosy hued mask is also fragranced deeply with a fresh rose scent; it's not powdery or soapy, but it's worth mentioning if you're sensitive to fragrances.
7. Imperial Blowout Transformative Styling Crème by Oribe, $85
OribeYour work-from-home routine might include sweats and Birkenstocks, but your hair is all that really counts on video calls, right? Oribe's newly relaunched styling creme makes it easier and faster than ever to mimic a salon blow-out at home. From the minute you run this product through your hair, you'll feel how smoothing it is, and once you set it with heat, your hair has incredible volume and shine (that lasts), even if you're a novice with the round brush.
- Towel dry hair;
- Start with a small amount (a little goes a long way), and emulsify the creme into an oil, running it through hair, from roots to tips;
- Flow dry with round brush.
This product acts as a heat protectant, while nourishing and smoothing. It's also fantastic for second and third day touch-ups, if necessary. Just use your brush and blow dryer again to zhuzh up the volume, or switch it up with a flat iron or curling iron. This creme will help lock in your style, eliminating the need to shellac your work with hairspray afterwards.
8. SuperStay Matte Ink Spiced Edition by Maybelline-1, $11.99
MaybellineYes! These liquid lipsticks are mask-friendly and absolutely won't transfer. The texture is thick and cushiony, and the applicator has a nicely rounded tip that makes for easy lining and filling. This is a tried and true formula that balances out comfort with longevity, and Maybelline-1's just launched five new shades for the summer: Innovator (pictured above), a tawny brick red; Hustler, a warm rosewood; Individualist, a hot tomato red; Shot Caller, a hot pink; and Exhilarator, a wine red.
9. All-In-One Super Nutrient Face Oil by GoopGenes, $135
GoopGenesThis is a 100 percent botanical face oil that's made from nutrient-dense oils, extracts and butters including bakuchiol (a retinol alternative), cacay (rich in vitamin A), organic amla (a vitamin C superfood), and the truly comforting squalane. The texture is thick and richly unctuous, but spreads easily. Two drops will cover the face, another two for the neck and décolleté, and one for the hands at night after a long day of many hand-washings.
This restorative treatment helps with the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improves skin firmness, smoothes texture and increases glow. Use morning and night as your final step to nourish and lock in moisture. It's an absolute must as a protective layer before heading out into the wind and cold, as it's always better to proactively protect your skin than to try and repair damage. The scent is deeply herbal, reminiscent of ginseng (though there isn't any ginseng listed in the ingredients), so it might be a love/hate for some (I love!).
10. Intensive WrinkleSpot Treatment by Shiseido, $125
ShiseidoAll eyes are on the top half of your face during these masked times, but this is also the area that tends to show wrinkles and hyperpigmentation first. To combat both, use this treatment as the last step in your skin care routine. It contains retinol to soften wrinkles and a proprietary brightening ingredient to fade age spots and even out skin tone.
A tiny, tiny amount goes a long way. Use morning and night on areas of your face that need extra attention, such as crow's feet, forehead lines, nasolabial folds, laugh lines, and those tiny wrinkles around the lips. Don't forget any dark spots. This treatment will crush any excess melanin and leave you with even skin tone.