Best of 2018: Beauty

a picture of various beauty products with a white overlay and the words "Best of 2018: Beauty) overtop of it

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Today I’m sharing my all of my absolute favourite beauty products that I tried in 2018!  This year is a bit different from previous years in that my number of products doesn’t correlate with the year (i.e. Top 17 of 2017); this year there just wasn’t 18 products on my list and I wasn’t going to add products in just for the sake of it.  So let’s get into it:


A close up shot of Lorac's ColorSource Buildable Blush in the shade tinge on a white marble background

A finger swatch of f Lorac's ColorSource Buildable Blush in the shade Tinge on a white marble background

Lorac ColorSource Buildable Blush (Tinge)

I’ve only owned this blush for 6 months but its quickly risen to the top of my absolute favourite blushes; the shade is described as a matte beige but it’s not beige at all to me – it’s much more of a bright peachy pink and I find it really flattering with my skin tone.  In addition – say it with me – it blends and builds like a dream, as all Lorac powder products do.  If I could only pick one blush to use forever out of my collection, this would be it.

A picture of Lorac's Unzipped Eyeshadow palette on a white marble background with various other beauty products surrounding it

Lorac Unzipped palette

I picked up a few eyeshadow palettes this year but this has been my favourite purchase; I love rosy + neutral shades and this palette is packed with them. As you are likely aware (because I never shut up about it), Lorac’s formula tops my list formula-wise.  This is basically everything I ever want in an eyeshadow palette; for swatches and a full review, click here.

A close up shot of Essence's Pure Nude Highlighter on a white marble background
A picture of Essence's Pure Nude Highlighter on a white marble background
A finger shot of Essence's Pure Nude Highlighter on a white marble background

Essence Pure Nude Highlighter

I kept hearing everyone rave about this highlighter and when I finally tried it for myself, I understood why.  This is my second favourite highlighter in my collection (number one is Hard Candy’s Tiki Bronzer which appears to be discontinued  – welp!).  It’s a peachy/gold shade which I wouldn’t think would actually work on my skin but it looks super natural, glowy and beautiful.  Best of all it retails for only $5.49 CAD – such a drugstore gem!

A close up shot of BareMinerals Invisible Bronze packaging on a white marble background
A close up shot of BareMinerals Invisible Bronze (open compact) on a white marble background
A finger shot of BareMinerals Invisible Bronze packaging on a white marble background

BareMinerals Invisible Bronze (Fair to Light)

Bronzers are one of the least exciting makeup products to me but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a good one.  I’ve only ever used matte bronzers but this one has a satin finish that leaves my skin with a healthy glow; as a result, I find it much more natural and flattering and I’m kind of obsessed with this.

a close up of Stila's Shimmer & Glow Eyeshadow in the shade Kitten
a finger swatch of Stila's Shimmer & Glow Eyeshadow in the shade Kitten

Stila Shimmer + Glow Eyeshadow (Kitten)

I’ve never been a big fan of liquid eyeshadows and then I tried this formula from Stila.  This creates a beautiful shimmery, practically foiled look on my eyes and the shade is rich and pigmented yet super wearable.  My only caution is that these do tend to dry out after a while (I’ve owned mine for around 10 months) so I wouldn’t recommend hoarding these unless you plan on using them on a regular basis.

a close up of Essence's Metal Shock Eyeshadow packaging (in the shade Stars & Stories) on a white marble background
a finger swatch of Essence's Metal Shock Eyeshadow (in the shade Stars & Stories) on a white marble background

Essence Metal Shock Eyeshadows (Stars + Stories)

In addition to not really being a fan of liquid shadows, I’m usually not a fan of glittery ones either, so you may be wondering why this product is even on my list as its both of those things in one.  Let’s just say this is the exception to the rule – this is a liquid shadow in a lilac shade with fine silver glitter throughout.  It applies smoothly and I can wear one layer for a sheer look or double it up for a more intense, foiled-effect; these literally last all day on my eyes but do know there is some fallout associated with these (although it is easily wiped away).  Stila does make a glitter version of their liquid eyeshadows and although I’ve never tried them, I have read these are quite similar.  I only wish they’d make these in more colours – I’d love to see champagne and pale pink shades!

a picture of NYX's Epic Ink eyeliner laying on a white marble background surrounded by other beauty products

NYX Epic Ink Liner

I have kind of a love/dislike relationship with this liner (read more here) but despite its few shortcomings, it’s the best liquid liner I’ve found from the drugstore.  It’s pigmented, doesn’t budge, and lasts a really long time (I’m going on 6+ months and I’m just about to buy a new one).

a picture of Maybelline's Colossal Big Shot mascara laying on a white marble background surrounded by other beauty products

Maybelline Colossal Big Shot mascara**

This is the best Maybelline mascara I’ve ever used; while it doesn’t do everything I want it to do (I wish it thickened my lashes a bit) but it’s great for volume and separation.  I really liked pairing this with Maybelline’s Total Temptation mascara because together they took care of all of my mascara needs.  The best thing about this is that it rarely smudges or flakes on me, which is exceptionally rare.

a picture of a bottle of It's a 10 Miracle Leave-in Product laying on a white marble background surrounded by other beauty products

It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Treatment

I went through a bottle of this last year and my hair had never been in better condition; then I decided to switch it up and try something marketed as being similar (Biosilk Silk Therapy) and it was most definitely not!  I couldn’t even finish the bottle before I went back to this.  This does a bunch of different things (10 to be exact) but I definitely notice the increased shine and silkiness, major detangling and repairing properties and heat protection properties.  My hair loves this and I’ll never be without it.

a close up picture of Batiste's Rose Gold Dry Shampoo on a white marble background surrounded by other beauty products

Batiste Rose Gold Dry Shampoo

I’ve raved about Batiste on and outside of my blog for years – it’s my favourite dry shampoo.  I love it when they release new scents and this is by far my favourite they’ve ever made.  If I had to describe it I would say it’s like a warm and spicy vanilla fragrance – I’d love to get this exact scent in perfume form!

a close up picture of a bottle of Neutrogena's Deep Clean Purifying Micellar Cleansing Water, laying on a white marble background surrounded by other beauty products

Neutrogena Deep Clean Purifying Micellar Water

Micellar water is a skincare staple for me – I always use it after washing my makeup off in the evening and first thing in the morning.  I previously enjoyed the Sephora Collection Cleansing Water but I personally find this one very similar for cheaper; it leaves my skin refreshed but never dry and removes any leftover makeup with ease.  I was a bit surprised to see so many negative reviews of this online (many are complaining of it’s a strong scent which I’ve never noticed) so I’m hoping that doesn’t mean it’ll be discontinued!

a close up picture of a small tube of Peter Thomas Roth's Pumpkin Enzyme Mask laying on a marble background

Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask**

I started using this mask later in 2018 and immediately fell in love with it.  First of all, it smells like pumpkin pie which is amazing.  Secondly, it’s like the best mix of a physical and chemical exfoliant; I use this about once a week and definitely feel like my skin looks brighter and has less texture afterwards.  It’s quickly become one of my favourite masks I’ve ever used.

a picture of The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% in a box laying on a marble background

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%

Yet another skincare must-have for me is a Vitamin C serum; I’ve tested several over the years and all things considered, this has been one of my favourites.  I’ve noticed a brighter, more even skin tone with this and I love the texture (it’s silky but not at all oily).  That said, I feel as though my skin has become accustomed to this (due to using it every day, not uncommon for me) so I’ve scaled back to using it every other day. If you’ve never used Vitamin C as part of your skin care routine before, I definitely recommend this (particularly if you have sensitive skin like me).
a close up shot of Neutrogena's UltraSheer Face + Body Stick Sunscreen laying on a marble background

Neutrogena UltraSheer Face + Body Stick Sunscreen*

I used this sunscreen off-and-on throughout the Summer but I really tested it out in November when we were in the Cayman Islands.   It was so easy to travel with and apply and it never felt thick, greasy or sticky on my skin.  The only drawback is doesn’t seem to be readily available and it can be a little pricey but the convenience of it makes it worth it, in my opinion!

a close up of Simple Water Boost Cleansing Wipes on a marble background

Simple Water Boost Cleansing Water Wipes

I came across these makeup removal wipes at Winners and figured I’d give them a try; I didn’t realize what a good decision that would be.  These are supersaturated with micellar water and they stay that way until the very end; I also liked how gentle they were on my skin and how easily they removed my makeup.  The sad part?  These don’t seem to be readily available in Canada but you can find them on!

A shot of Vichy's Ideal Soleil Moisturizing Self-Tanning Milk on a marble background

Vichy Ideal Soleil Moisturizing Self-Tanning Milk*

ChickAdvisor sent me this self-tanner last year to try out and review; I haven’t really been a fan of self-tanners in the past but this one changed my mind.  I used a mitt to apply it and it gave an even, natural-looking tint to my pale skin; it didn’t look orange nor leave me with that often nausea-inducing fake tanner smell. It’s definitely become a vacation and warm-weather must-have for me!

a picture of the Travalo Atomizer lying on a marble background surrounded by other beauty products

Travalo Atomizer

This product changed how I pack for travel; I no longer purchase rollerballs or try to lug large bottles of fragrance with me on vacation.  I simply pump my desired fragrance into the bottom of it using the bottle’s spritzer and I’m good to go – with enough fragrance to last me a couple weeks.  It’s a genius invention and one that I do not want to be without.

What topped your list of beauty products in 2018?

*Disclaimer: This product was received as PR, but all opinions are my own


  1. polishedandinspired says

    Where did you find the Epic Ink Liner? I’ve been hunting for it forever since hearing about it from Jessica Braun, but the two Shoppers that are closest to me don’t carry it.

    That Lorac palette looks absolutely stunning! I’m so envious of your Lorac collection, haha! And I so agree with you on the Stila liquid shadows and the Essence highlighter! I haven’t had issues with the Stila shadows drying out, luckily. The Essence liquid shadow is beautiful! I have to keep my eye out for it.

    • prettyrufflife says

      I think you found the Epic Ink liner by now but just in case – I found mine at the NYX store in Chinook but I’ve also seen it at Shoppers Drug Mart at Chinook and London Drugs. Potentially Nordstrom Rack too!

      If I could only keep one brand in my collection it’d definitely be Lorac. I have good luck with almost all of their products – I find them to be really consistent! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

      • polishedandinspired says

        So after you told me it was available at the NYX store/SDM at Chinook, I went to Chinook…sold out at both places! Of course it would be. I ended up finding it at a London Drugs Express downtown!

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