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Top 10 of 2015

FullSizeRenderLast year I returned to work with a mixture of positive and negative feelings. On the positive side, I was able to rejoin the beauty world on a professional level and get myself back out there making my connections and learning all about new products and techniques. I also managed to get back into a regular beauty routine.

In addition to my professional exposure to beauty items, I also was so inspired by social media and other bloggers to try some new things. Instagram, YouTube and beauty blogs lead me down the road to seek out some of the items on this list, while others fell into my hands unexpectedly.

Here are my top 10 picks of 2015.  This list covers a good range of products and brands, and there is something in this list for any budget. I hope you enjoy!

1. Chanel Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lip Colour – 444 Gabrielle
RougeCoco2015_collection

Rouge Coco Ultra Hydrating Lip Colour is a gorgeous, buttery lipstick that hydrates for hours, and the shade 444 Gabrielle is a stunning red. Read about my journey towards finding the lipstick here, and enjoy the full review.

2. Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, Custard0607845012344

Coverage? Check! Easy to apply? Check! A vast array of shades to choose from? Check! I call my Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard my sleep in a tube. A sweep of this magic wand will make under eye darkness disappear quicker than you can say “Put another pot of coffee on.”  Visit my full story on this concealer here.

3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit- Light To Medium contour_kit_powder

The Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit has traveled to other countries with me. I love the versatility of it and it is super slim and easy to pack. I know there’s a plethora of contour products out there to choose from right now as it is all the rage, but this one caught my eye early on when I saw it plastered all over gorgeously sculpted faces on Instagram. Check out my review of it here, where you will also see some before and after photos!

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4.  Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipstick

Liquid lipsticks are showing up in every brand right now. They are touted to be matte, highly pigmented and long wearing. The unfortunate part is, this trifecta of liptick promises rarely comes to fruition.  That is, until I tried Anastasia Beverly Hills Liquid Lipsticks.

Ladies and gentleman, these simply do not disappoint. They are not easy for us Canadian Foxes to get our hands on as you can read about here, but I tell you that if you are so lucky to get one, you will see how it rises above so many others.

matte_powder_medium5. Cover FX Matte Setting Powder 

Not new to the market, but a discovery of mine in 2015. I rave about it here, and can tell you that this super – fine powder is a keeper that will be a staple of my makeup bag forever, either in its matte form or illuminating form… or both!

6. Quo Blending Spongehwthumb

Initially chosen as a stand – in for the pricier Beauty Blender sponge, I can honesty say that this one is a winner on it’s own! Effective blending at a cost that any pocketbook can handle, the Quo Blending Sponge is a an easy way to shake up your foundation routine and try a new trick.

Learn all about how I use this sponge here and take a little time to rethink the makeup sponge!

7. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyelinerwhite

Oh the quest for the perfect liquid liner came to an end once I found the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner . This is a gem that I stock up on and keep reserves in my desk just in case. Love love love this liner! Want to learn more about this liner? Check out this link for more!

 

8. Revlon Ultra HD Matte LipcolorCapture

I discovered Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor only days before 2015 came to an end, so this one was close. This one was also impressive enough to make the list and bump something else off! I have been a life long supporter of Revlon products, particular their lipsticks. I rave about this new one here.

 

9. Benefit Instant Comeback Facial Serum

whiteSeriously, I did not have high expectations from a brand known more for it’s cutesy packaging and makeup items. What a wonderful surprise this serum gave me! You can read the full details of this unexpected winner here and find out how this not – so – new product even found it’s way onto my 2015 list. There’s always a story and this one really speaks to the power of a sample!

10. Cover Girl The Super Sizer by LashBlast Mascara 

cg_super_sizer_1This was the year of surprises! I never would have thought that Cover Girl would end up on my list as I thought this was a brand that was from my teen years only. Well, here I am a lifetime later and being wowed by this affordable and impressive mascara. Wanna know more about it? Of course you can read all about it here, where I go into details about the Super Sizer!

 

 

That wraps up my top 10 of 2015… I would love to hear about YOUR favourite discoveries over the past year. Tell me about them in the comments or visit my Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (Foxy Face Beauty for all) and let me know!


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Product Review: Aveeno Fresh Essentials®

*Disclaimer: These products were supplied to me at no cost to review. This does not sway my opinion is any way and this is a review I would have given even if I paid for them.

I first used an Aveeno product back in high school when I was suffering from super dry skin. It was a body moisturizer with oatmeal and I had seen it advertised on the pages of my Sassy, Teen and Seventeen magazines. It is funny how times have changed and how we learn about things now through such wide variety of media streams! Anyhow, the oatmeal lotion was superb to heal my dry and flaky skin and I even used it on my face.

I have always associated Aveeno with oatmeal. But here in modern day, I realize that it is about so much more than just oatmeal. They have a whole range of skin care for face and body, and they even have a super hot spokeswoman – the lovely Jennifer Aniston. I will admit that it has been many years since I tried any Aveeno products, so when these items arrived on my doorstep I was eager to check them out and experience them on my skin.

The products that came are part of a line called Fresh Essentials® and they are touted to “replenish moisture to stressed skin and reveal natural beauty with ACTIVE NATURALS® ingredient, Southernwood Extract and vitamins A, C, &E.” The idea of this line is to keep what’s good for your skin IN- and the bad OUT. Now I have been working in the business a very long time, and the vitamin A, C, & E is a commonly used antioxidant cocktail that you will find in may skin care products.

SCIENCE LESSON: An antioxidant helps to block the effects of free radicals in your skin. Free radicals are are atoms or groups of atoms with an odd (unpaired) number of electrons. These can be formed naturally, but things like excess sun exposure can cause a free radical.  Once formed these highly reactive radicals can start a chain reaction, like dominoes. They can really weak havoc and react with important cellular components such as DNA, or the cell membrane. Cells may function poorly or even die if this occurs. To prevent free radical damage the body has a defense system of antioxidants.

The addition of Southernwood Extract in this formula is said to also provide antioxidant protection and help to strengthen your skin’s natural moisture barrier. This in turn will help your skin keep the vital elements like water in your skin and guard against the bad stuff from getting in (hence moisture barrier). 

The very first product that I tried was the Aveeno Fresh Essentials® Daily Exfoliating Scrub. I tried this in the morning while I showered, and I enjoyed the gentle exfoliation. It was not aggressive by any means, but it felt like something was actually in there. It did not foam a ton, which I really like because I find things that foam a lot are really drying. It rinsed away clean and did not leave a residue. I can’t say there was any significant scent in this scrub, but it had a mild and pleasant smell. This product comes in a 145 mL tube and retails between $9.97- $12.99 CAD. I will give my honest opinion here that I think this is a steal for the price.

Next, I tried the Aveeno Fresh Essentials®  Nourishing Moisturizer SPF 30. Sometimes moisturizers that have an SPF over 15 in them can be quite heavy and difficult to rub in. This was not like that at all. The moisturizer was delivered via pump, and one pump was more than enough for my face. It absorbed quickly and left my face feeling comfortable and moisturized, but the most amazing part is that I was able to apply a powder foundation over top of it about 15 minutes later without any streaking or patchiness. The lotion that I was using before I tried this never seemed to absorb and made my powder go on weird. I like this moisturizer a lot, and considering I usually spend around $40 for 50 mL, this Aveeno Fresh Essentials® Nourishing Moisturizer SPF 30 is HUGE at 74 mL and costs a mere $16.97- $19.99 CAD. 

Then, in the evening I tried the Aveeno Fresh Essentials® Hydrating Night Cream. This cream felt very nice going on my skin, and it was also quickly absorbed. I like that I didn’t feel it on my skin since quite often I find night creams to sit on top and rub off all over my pillow or make my hair stick to my face. This one was another winner from Aveeno, and in the morning I was definitely well hydrated still. This night cream retails for $16.97- $19.99 CAD for a standard size jar of 49 mL. photo 1

What I liked: You can get started on a simple skin care regime for less than $60. It felt wonderful and proved to be very effective for me as I tested this in a cold snap during winter time. Overall the line is attractive and functional.

What I would change or improve: I would like the night cream in a squeeze tube as I don’t like dipping my fingers into the jar. I would always enjoy packaging that looks more premium, but realize that would increase the price too. I honestly had to really stretch my mind to find things I would improve about this product.

Who I would recommend this to: Normal or normal to combination skin. People of any age looking for hydration and/ or sun protection built in to their daily moisturizer.

It should also be noted that these Aveeno Fresh Essentials® products are all oil- free, hypoallergenic (does not use any known allergens) and non- comedogenic (does not clog pores).

So this is my first official product review of something that I was provided at no charge to try for the purpose of this blog. I am please to have been able to review something that I actually like and can see myself using again. I wrestled with the idea of taking products from brands/ PR firms to try for the purpose of reviews because I really want to keep this blog honest, so I have decided that if I accept something to try I am NOT obligated to review it or give a BS positive review. If I like it, I will tell you. If I don’t like it I probably won’t even mention it at all. Deal?

Now it is your turn to tell me something Foxes – have you ever used an Aveeno product? Are you using any now? I would love to know!