The BEST Beauty & Skincare Products From 2019 (IMO)

The following products are in my humble opinion, the best products I’ve tried in 2019 – This list also includes oldies that I continue to buy year in and year out for their amazing results.  I am including drugstore and high end products for every budget.  This one’s a long one so without too much rambling, here they are.

Moon Juice Beauty Shroom Acid Potion

I’ve been an avid acid peel-er for years.  Unlike physical face scrubs that can scratch your skin,  acid peels melt away the top layer of the skin exposing the new, fresh, supple skin underneath.  As a loyal user of Biologique Recherches’ Lotion P50, it’s been difficult to find a drugstore peel that compares.  Pixi and The Ordinary have great Glycolic peels but these are best suited for younger skins (or people who have never peeled before) as the acid % is quite low (between 5 – 7%).  Enter MOON JUICE, an all natural, green, vegan and cruelty free line.  This acid peel is 25% acid (it will peel your face off so be careful!) It includes glycolic, lactic, salicylic and alpha hydroxy acids plus: niacinamide and reishi mushroom, Hello!!  If you’ve been peeling for a while like me and want to save some cash (BR P50 is $120 – Moon Juice is $39 for the same size) I highly recommend this one.


La Roche Posay Anthellios – SPF 60

If you peel and if you use Prescription Retin A (I’ve just added it to my skincare this year) and even if you don’t, SPF is your #1 defense against aging skin.  Even if you like to keep your skincare as simple as possible, wear SPF, every. single. day.  There are plenty of days here on the Pacific Coast that are gloomy, grey and dark.  This doesn’t mean that there is no UVA or UVB rays coming through the clouds.  Certain interior lighting can be harmful to your skin as well as sitting in your car for hours (yes those rays are magnified through your car window).  Dull, patchy, wrinkled skin can be slowed right down by just adding a SPF to your skin.  I’ve been using La Roche Posay’s SPF for years.  I put it on my face, neck, chest and back of my hands religiously.
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Retin A

Retin A is not retinol.  I started using Retinol quite a while ago, starting gently with Neutrogena’s Rapid Wrinkle Repair and slowly graduating to stronger retinols including Strivectin, The Ordinary 1% Retinol and Neostrata’s 3% Retinol.  Because I’ve allowed my skin to acclimatize to retinol, I wanted to bring it up an extra notch this year and have started using prescription strength Retin A.   Retin A (or Tretenoin) is the strongest form or retinoic acid.  Created to treat acne originally, it was found that in lab tests Retin A also corrected the appearance of scarring, sun damage, melasma and deep wrinkles!  You do need a prescription from a derm for  Retin A and it comes in 3 strengths: .25%,  .50%  and 1.00%.  Because I am used to using retinol (and acid peeling) I was able to jump straigh into the .50% without irritation BUT I only use it twice a week now.  Start very slowly (I started once a week and my goal is to be using it  3 times a week by Feb. and eventually every day). This is STRONG stuff, keep it away from your mouth, nose, eyes and neck at the beginning.  But the proof is in the pudding:  this stuff works! scientifically proven! I already notice the difference in my skin tone and texture. ONLY use at night as this product will also make skin sun sensitive so I stop using it while on beach vacations and again, wear sunscreen 365 days a year.

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Timeless skincare

I’ve said it once and I’ll continue saying it:  Timeless Skincare is and will always be on my bathroom counter.  They don’t mess around with endless lists of ingredients or fancy packaging.  Starting at $9  – $25 you get the active ingredients you need to keep skin acting and looking young.  I am loyal to the Vitamin C + Ferulic Acid.  The Coenzyme Q10.  Matrixyl Sinthe 6 and have recently added the Vitamin B5.
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Pixi Milky Mist with Hyaluronic Acid and Oat

There was a moment in mid 2019 that this product was sold out literally everywhere and I panicked!  After cleansing and peeling, I spray this all over my face, neck and chest then proceed to apply my serums.  It smells divine and is perfect to use before Vitamin C since this active likes to sink into wet-ish skin. I buy 2 – 3 at a time now so I never find myself without it.

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CeraVe Foaming Cleanser

I’ve mentioned this product before.  CeraVe is a gentle cleanser with Ceramides, Niacinamide and Hyaluronic Acid.  So it not only clears away pollution and makeup, but feeds your skin with nourishment.  I’ve tried other cleansers but always go back to this one and use it every night as part of my 2 step face cleansing routine.  For dry skin you can purchase the cream cleanser.

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Ouai leave in conditioner

I got this spray in conditioner in my FabFitFun Box. As soon as it was done, I ran to Sephora for another.  Spray it in your hair straight out of the shower and style as usual.  Your hair will be left feeling so soft and smelling delish!  I also use it as a hair gel.  Day 3-4 is usually pony tail time. Instead of hair spray or gels with alcohol that dry hair out,  I spritz this in my hair and tie it back.  It stays put all day. Love, love!

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Bioderma Spray Tanner

Unless I’m in Cabo or on La Barceloneta Beach in Spain, I am not laying out under the sun undoing all the care I do for my skin all year.  If I want to have a bit of a summer glow any time of the year (especially legs when I wear shorts or dresses) I give myself a good scrub and spray this on.  You’ll never get streaks or orange looking skin.

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Charlotte Tilbury Unisex Healthy Glow

For a healthy, natural looking tan on face, Charlotte Tilbury’s Healthy Glow adjusts to any skin tone and leaves your skin with just a kiss of sunshine.  I love how my skin looks when I have a bit of a tan, it doesn’t need a lot of makeup.  I use this all year whenever I’m channelling J.Lo’s bronze goddess look.  Made for men and women.

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Oh K! Ginseng and Eucalyptus Under Eye Gel Masks

I like to keep my extra fancy Shiseido undereye mask with retinol for special occasions.  Any time I wake up a little extra puffy and needing to look re-freshed pronto, I pull one of these out of the fridge (they work best when cold) and wear for 15 minutes.  They are hydrogel masques and stay put which is what I love best. Nothing like those flimsy annoying masques that are so saturated in product they just slip off.  This K Beauty line (K beauty are products made in Korea)  sells face masks as well.  I’ve used a lot of hydrogel masks and have a drawer full.  I continue to buy these whenever I can find them at Shoppers Drugmart because they’re so good.

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Ardelle Individual Lashes

There’s something about adding a few lashes to really amp up the eyes.  If I’m going for a night out and am doing full coverage makeup, a few of these short lashes in the natural gaps my own lashes have and a couple of longer lashes at the ends of the eyes give you that Bambi flirty eye.  I definitely don’t use lashes on a daily basis but always have them in my makeup drawer.

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PIXI Blush Gel

As I get older (and am slowly seeing some extra lines on my face) I’ve steered clear of powder blush (well powder makeup in general).  Cream and gel based makeup sink naturally into the skin and don’t sit in any creases you may have.  These gel blushes by Pixi are sheer and buildable and give the most natural flushed from within look.  My personal favourite is the Natural shade.

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Lumi Glotion by L’oreal

I use these in two ways.  Depending on my skin shade; in the summer I use the Medium shade and in the Winter when I’m pale-er I use the Light Glow,  I put this on my skin underneath any tinted moisturizer or foundation I’m going to use.  This product is silky  and catches the light when you move around giving a natural candlelit glow to the skin. I also use the Light Glow shade as a highlighter on cheeks, brow bone and down the nose.  I’m in love with this product. I hope they never discontinue it.


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Becca Setting Powder

Although I have been moving toward mostly cream and gel based makeup, I still like to set my makeup with a light powder to quell the really shiny look I get from having oily skin.  I really don’t love the powdery matt look. I’m so glad I discovered this product in the mini’s  while standing in line to pay at Sephora recently.  This powder by far supersedes any I’ve tried, including Charlotte Tilbury’s and Lancome.  It is very finely milled and sets concealer perfectly, no caking, no dry powdery skin.  If you’re looking for a setting powder for mature skin, try this one.

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Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer

Don’t spend money (like I have) on really expensive concealers.  Don’t get me wrong, I do love my Dior and YSL concealers but for every day use, this concealer is hands down the best drugstore option I’ve tried.  It’s creamy, glides on easily, never creases and looks natural and light.  The Maybelline Fit Me Concealer worked just as well.  I buy them in a shade closest to my skin (to cover blemishes and spot correct) then in a lighter shade to highlight the under eye area.  Such a great product for it’s price.

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Bad Girl Bang Mascara by Benefit

If I could only take 2 things with me to a deserted island, I’d take water and this mascara.  Well maybe that’s an exaggeration but it really is THAT good.  This mascara gives you the longest lashes you’ll ever have. If $35 is too steep a price for you then a great dupe is the Essence Volume Stylist 18 Hr Lash Extension ($5 at Shoppers)

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Artdeco Soft Waterproof Eye Liner

Don’t you hate when you do a perfect tight line on your upper lid only to see it transfer to your lower lash line in minutes?  I recently (and I don’t know why it took me so long to figure this out) purchased a waterproof eyeliner by ArtDeco (any waterproof liner will do).   Now I can give my lashes a full look without ending up with an 80’s black line on my lower lash line.

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NXY Butter Glosses in Creme Brule

My lip product of choice for the day time is either a clear 8 Hour Cream by Elizabeth Arden or a peachy or pink tinged gloss.  I picked up this NYX Butter Glosses at London Drugs randomly one day and really like it.  It’s not sticky (something I hate in a lip gloss) and doesn’t taste or smell like anything, another plus for me.  The Creme Brule is my personal fave shade but there are 18 shades to choose from.

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Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer

I can’t say enough about this bronzer.  It’s a “powder” without being drying or powdery.  It really does have a buttery feel about it without being a cream!  The bronzer itself costs $20 so when I saw the special edition Ultimate butter collection for $39, I picked it up immediately and do not regret it. This kit not only has my favourite bronzer but ALL the bronzers in the collection, plus the highlighters, blushes, lip balms and eyeshadows.  A great bang for your buck if you want one kit for your entire face.

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These are the only photos that are mine:  All the products inside this amazing kit


What are your ride or die products?  I love discovering new makeup and skin care so if there’s anything you can’t live without and think I should check out, drop me a line!

Until next decade!  Happy New Year.



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