New favourites from trusted brands highlight our top choices this fall
Even if it's been a while since you felt like dipping into your eyeshadows and blushes, there's something about autumn that inspires change and creativity. There are new colourways to explore, new formulas to try out. The upheaval of lockdown life has settled and we're ready now to reclaim parts of our routines that bring us joy. So even if that means putting on a glorious lip product under your mask that no one will know about but you, go do it!
This is a season packed full of fun new products all waiting to be discovered. Start with our top picks here...
1. Fullest Volumizing Mascara by Ilia, $37
IliaAfter globally selling more than one and a half million tubes of their cult-favourite Limitless Mascara, Ilia has recently introduced a second mascara. Ilia is a clean beauty brand that's known for their minimal, neutral aesthetic. And their original mascara delivered just that: no drama, no unrealistic claims; just nicely defined lashes that lasted the day without smudging or washing off easily. Even the wand featured a minimal, simple plastic brush. This new mascara has amped up everything: the brush is significantly bulkier and the formula is heavier. It's absolutely volumizing, but you do need to make a few adjustments compared to the original. This formula is considerably wetter and this brush picks up a lot of product; make sure to thoroughly wipe excess mascara off before applying to avoid clumping and dropping curls. If you can get the right balance, you'll have lashes that are incredibly full, lifted and even a bit curled. The learning curve is absolutely worth it.
2. SteamPod 3.0 Professional Steam Styler by L'Oreal Professional, $350
L'OrealThis works. It's taken a while for steam-based hair styling tools to perfect the delivery, but the wait is over. This hair styler does an amazing job at straightening different hair types, leaving hair very smooth, even and shiny, even on lower temperature settings. There's a built-in water reservoir that's deceptively small, considering it'll last through an entire session. While it emits quite a bit of noise while in use, it actually produces very little steam, unlike older generations of steam tools that left hair almost damp. Just follow the arrows indicated on the tool and make sure you're passing it through your hair in that direction.
Against one plate runs a comb that helps keep hair tidy and in place, an extremely helpful detail. You can slide out the comb if you're trying to curl your hair but this tool really shines as a straightener. The hot plates don't actually reach to the very edges of the tongs, so curling requires more extreme rotation to compensate for this. It also means that it's very difficult to get close to the roots. L'Oreal claims this steam styler results in 78 percent less damage than "regular straighteners" and it's easy to agree with this after a few uses. Hair is noticeably softer and almost velvet-y after using the SteamPod.
3. Kiss Glow Lip Oil by Revlon, $13.99
RevlonFormulated with Mediterranean flower oil and moringa oil, this new limited release lip oil provides high shine and moisture, without leaving lips feeling sticky. The texture is thin but ultra nourishing, leaving lips looking incredibly shiny and juicy. While there are eight shades available (from soft pinks and neutrals to pops of red), these provide a very subtle tint, more of a wash of colour as opposed to a bold statement, so don't be afraid to choose a darker shade.
4. Heel Magic by Flexitol, $15.97
FlexitolFlexitol is an Australian skincare brand that's new to Canada, specializing in the needs of really dry skin. And what could be drier than your heels after an entire summer with feet exposed in strappy sandals? Heel Magic is a solid, heavy duty moisturizer that comes in a stick applicator (like deodorant) that makes it easy to glide on over problem areas (or all over). And now that we're wearing covered shoes again, consider putting this on before your socks and let the trapped heat intensify the benefits. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how soft and plump (in a good way) your feet are at the end of the day.
5. Slimelight Highlighter by Freck Beauty, $37
Freck BeautyThis liquid highlighter is just waiting to become the next TikTok sensation. It's incredibly pigmented, the colour shift doesn't disappoint, and it's in the cutest packaging. It's also surprisingly versatile if you want to tone down the unicorn vibes. Use it sparingly, in thin layers if using it full strength. But try mixing it with your foundation for a much more subtle glow, or mixing it with another sheer highlighter like Charlotte Tilbury's Hollywood Flawless Filter or Glossier's Futuredew to tone down the colour(s) without compromising on sheen.
This multi-mineral multipurpose highlighter comes in three holographic shades: Space Force is a violet purple hue; Beam Machine provides a bronzed, pink glow; and Big Bang adds tones of gold and green. The particles are larger than a shimmer, but not quite a sparkle. This is definitely a fun, statement-making product, so even if you're not comfortable putting this on cheeks, try glazing it on top of your eyeshadow for a transformative look.
This product is also cruelty-free, and comes in recyclable packaging.
6. Concrete Rain Fragrance by Allsaints, $99
AllSaintsThis is the sixth and latest eau de parfum to join Allsaints' fragrance wardrobe. Like the others, this one is positioned as unisex, though on the spectrum it leans towards the feminine side. This is the perfect season to embrace that feeling of when fresh, clean rain makes contact against hot, weathered concrete. It's both refreshing and grounding, like this fragrance. It's officially presented as a "woodsy, musky flora" but it weighs more heavily on the floral-woodsy notes with just a subtle anchoring of musk. The longevity is moderate and it stays close to the skin so it won't overpower those around you.
7. Milky Boost Cream by Clarins, $48
ClarinsThis is the second product to join Clarins' Milky Boost line. The original was a liquidy, milk formula in a bottle. The new version has a cream texture in a tube and provides considerably more coverage (medium plus) with a satin finish—a little goes a long way with this one. Another significant difference is in the scent: one of the key ingredients is peach milk and so the main scent is peach. The original Milky Boost was uncomfortably, heavily scented. Luckily, the fragrance has been dialed back significantly for the new cream version. The formula contains microscopic pink pearls and soft-focus powders to give skin a soft luminosity as it evens out the skin tone. It's available in six flexible shades (Note: 02 is the lightest shade on offer).
8. Retin[A]list Eye Contour Cream by Reversa, $52
ReversaJoining Reversa's very popular and effective Retin[A]list range is the new eye contour cream. Housed in an opaque, airless pump-bottle, it's designed to protect its precious content until needed. This eye cream contains some scientifically-proven active ingredients including .05 percent pure encapsulated retinol, niacinamide, Canadian chaga extract (a mushroom extract with anti-inflammatory properties), fragmented hyaluronic acid and natural shea butter. This is a potent product, so start off slowly. In the evenings, apply by tapping a small amount around the eyes, avoiding the eyelids. Start by using this once or twice a week, gradually increasing the frequency as your skin adjusts. Always use a good sunscreen during the day to protect the skin.
The texture is lightweight, absorbing quickly and the cream is fragrance-free. After a few weeks, you'll notice that skin texture looks a bit smoother as the area receives exfoliation, deep hydration and antioxidant protection. Another winner from this Canadian skincare brand!
9. Anti-acne Spot Treatment Paste by Vichy, $28.95
VichyNow that mask-wearing has become a fixture in our lives, having a really good spot treatment on hand is essential. Between masks trapping oil and dirt into our pores, and fluctuating stress levels as we go back to school/work, blemishes are here to stay. This new acne spot treatment is formulated with key ingredients like glycolic acid (for gentle exfoliation), 10 percent sulfur (to absorb excess sebum), and niacinamide (to reduce irritation and discomfort) to dry out pimples overnight. The paste formula also means it's less likely to slide around once it's dried; this will stay in place and do its job.
10. Solid Shampoo Bars by L'Occitane, $16
L'OccitaneA leader in luxury skincare, these new solid shampoo bars offer an eco-alternative to traditional shampoos. There are three formulas available: Intensive Repair with ylang-ylang, sweet orange, oat amino acids and sunflower oil to help brittle, damaged hair; Purifying Freshness with thyme, mint, green clay and vinegar to help reduce excess sebum in normal to oily hair; and Gentle Balance with lemon, rosemary, chamomile and lavender to help maintain scalp's natural balance. Each bar is ergonomically designed with a gentle curve to fit snugly in the hand to avoid slippage. These are potent, highly effective cleansers—a little goes a long way. You'll want to follow up with your conditioner or hair mask of choice.