Masthead

The Beauty List 2017

Our favourite groundbreaking products that get results, for every budget.


By JILL DUNN
Photos by ERIK PUTZ Styling by CAITLIN DOHERTY
5 min

Best anti-aging dynamos

Look like you, but fresher

  1. Shiseido Bio-Performance LiftDynamic Cream, $145. When gravity gets to you (ugh), this cream will do the heavy lifting. Ten years of research determined that mature skin has“pockets” in the deepest layers that droop, causing sagging and loss of volume. Applied day and night, this formula promises to fight slouching jawlines and restores plumpness to facial contours.
  2. Chanel Blue Serum, $140. For those of us not lucky enough to call one of the four “blue” zones home (places where there are more centenarians than anywhere else on the planet: Okinawa, Japan;Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Icaria, Greece), Chanel tapped skincare ingredients native to these areas for maximum skin longevity.
  3. Garnier Skin Active Moisture Bomb Hydrating Lotion, $20. With the advent of peels, scrubs and powerful cleansing brushes, it’s easy to overdo it. Go back to the basics with this three-in-one lotion that drenches skin in moisture so it’s plumped and healthy. Its barrier-boosting ingredients mean skin is more equipped to fend off environmental aggressors.
  4. La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Lotion, $320. Yes, it’s a splurge. When caviar water is number one on the ingredients list, you’d better expect to pay a premium. You won’t believe the softness and hydration this lotion (designed as a booster to be applied on freshly cleansed skin, just before your serum) achieves.
  5. Vichy Liftactiv Serum 10 Supreme, $57. This serum quenches skin and improves its texture, thanks to rhamnose, a plant sugar derived from silver birch trees, coupled with hyaluronic acid fragments that penetrate deep to activate the genes involved with skin rejuvenation and firming.
  6. Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Intensive Renewal Serum, $30. It’s hard to find a good serum at a drugstore price. This product’s silky texture feels amazing on skin; plus, lines are smoothed and texture is refined, thanks to the potent antioxidant formula featuring blackberry-leaf extract.
  7. Olay Regenerist Miracle Boost Concentrate, $35. Formulated after years of research with genomics company 23andMe, this lightweight concentrate contains Glyco-Repair, an ingredient that boosts skin’s production of natural growth factors, revealing a firmer, more youthful complexion.
  8. SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2, $140. Any time you read the word restore on a skincare label, it seems too good to be true. But this luxe cream really gets to work at shoring up skin’s moisture barrier (that all-important outermost layer of the skin) so moisture is locked in and skin is healthier overall. The 2:4:2formulation (2 percent pure ceramides, 4 percent natural cholesterol and 2 percent fatty acids)helps cocoon your complexion.
  9. NeoStrata Glycolic Renewal Antioxidant Smoothing Serum, $49.The key smoothing ingredient, 10 percent glycolic acid, is your exfoliating BFF. It erases roughness and fine lines, and can help minimize dark spots. This new formula also includes antioxidants like vitamin E and calming hibiscus extract. Remember, glycolic acid can make you more sun-sensitive, so slather skin with SPF 30 or higher any time you head outside.
  10. Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant, $80.Dermalogica’s beloved Daily Microfoliant goes next level with a new formula. The baby-finepowder exfoliator is mixed with water into a paste and massaged onto skin to refine texture without friction and mop up environmental pollution with activated charcoal. Rice bran extract and niacinamide ensure skin isn’t irritated.

Best Netflix-and-chill soothers

Masks and peels that pamper

  1. Pixi Beauty Nourishing Sleep Mask, $30.New-to-Canada import Pixi Beauty is famous for fuss-free makeup staples developed by makeup artist Petra Strand. But her skincare creations, like this overnight sleeping mask, are cult favourites too. Lay on a thin film instead of your usual night cream, sleep on it and rinse in the a.m. Skin is hyper-glowy and a fresh canvas for makeup.
  2. Bliss Mask-A-Peel Radiance Revealing Rubberizing Mask, $15. This mask is the beauty equivalent of playing with your food. Just add water to the powder, mix it into a paste and use the mini-spatula to scoop it all over your face and neck—it feels like putting Silly Putty on your skin. Watch it fully form to the contours of your face. Leave it on for 20 minutes, and when you peel it off (the fun part), skin is baby-smooth underneath.
  3. Clinique Happy Gelato Creams for Body, $46.Treat your skin to guilt-free gelato with these luxe body creams available in Sugared Petals, Berry Blush and their classic Happy fragrance.
  4. Philosophy Ultimate Miracle Worker Pearl Mask, $89. Individual pearls are jam-packed with serum and burst on your skin. There’s a bit of a learning curve to use this product: First, scoop 10 to 12 serum pearls into the muslin pouch, close the drawstring, press the pouch on the face and push to release the serum. Then massage in with fingers, and don’t rinse.
  5. Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Eye Mask, $14.Shadows, crepey lines and puffiness all but disappear after a treatment with this anti-aging eye mask (the sheet mask seals in the serum, so you get maximum benefits). Applied once per week, it perks up tired eyes, thanks to a supersized dose of hyaluronic acid and rice bran extract, known for their brightening benefits.
  6. Origins RitualiTea Cleansing Body Mask Feeling Rosy, $38. If your me time is in the shower, maximize the pampering with this bodymask that’s just the thing. Massage it on and the scrub-like texture transforms into a rich lather that will infuse your skin with antioxidant-rich rooibos tea and rose to soften.
  7. Boscia Baby Soft Foot Peel, $25. Slip on these booties full of exfoliating acids for 20 minutes and, over the next week, watch your scaly heels slough away in snakeskin-like sheets with zero effort. The shedding process isn’t pretty, but the results are worth it.

Best long-wear workhorses

Makeup that keeps on keepin’ on

Dermablend Cover Creme, $44. When you have more stubborn skin challenges you’d like to conceal, like broken blood vessels, this budge-proof foundation is your go-to. Warning: A little of this formula goes a long way.

BareMinerals BarePro Performance Wear Foundation, $36.This skin-loving full-coverage, mineral-based powder foundation allows you to buff away any signs of discoloration and redness without ever irritating the skin.

Smashbox Always On Matte Liquid Lipstick, $28. Liquid lipstick can be unforgiving because it can settle into lines on the lips. This clever version has a built-in primer oil so the colourdoesn’t slip away as the day goes by.

Nars Brow Defining Cream, $29.Applying this brow definer in short strokes will help make the brows you have look fuller. Tip: Use an angled brush for more precise application.

Marc Jacobs Beauty Air BlushSoft Glow Duo, $57. The Air Blush texture is created using a process called soufflage(French for “air-whipped”), so even though it’s a stay-put powder, it feels as soft as a cream.

Giorgio Armani Lip Magnet, $45.Lips are saturated with rich colour for up to eight hours, and, thanks to the weightless oils in the formula, it never feels tacky or looks dry.

Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer Crème, $34.This super-creamy concealerdoesn’t skimp on coverage or colour options. It comes in 21 different shades and will not budge, so it’s crease-proof all day long.

Best manicure mates

Paint like a pro with these tools

Essie Treat, Love & Colour, $12.These sheer polishes offer colour and care together in one bottle. There’s no base or topcoat needed, and if used regularly, they help replenish moisture in the nail so there’sless peeling and breaking.

OPI Gel Break Serum, Gel Break Protector and Gel Break Sheer Color, $18 each. Nail art, gel nails and acrylics can all take their toll. When your nails need rehab, reach for one of these new treatments.

Formula X The System XCEL, $40.Start with the nail cleanser and priming base coat, followed by streak-free colour and a hypershiny topcoat. Your mani will last for about seven days and can be removed with regular polish remover.

Best time savers

When you’re in a hurry, these products get the job done

  1. Beautyblender Blotterazzi Pro, $28. Halt shine in a hurry with this reusable blotter. The foam texture of the sponge absorbs oil without disrupting makeup.
  2. Infiniti by Conair Ionic Hair Straightening Brush, $90. In the time it takes to pour your coffee (30 seconds), this genius hair straightener heats up to 400°F. The large ceramic surface area flanked by heat-resistant silicone bristles means you get straight, ultra-shiny hair in half the time.
  3. Know Cosmetics No Bare Brows Universal4-in-1 Brow Fix, $24. Eliminate the guesswork of shading in your brows with this one-size-fitsall colour. The gel-like pencil lets you easily build your brow with one end and seal it with clear wax from the other.
  4. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Face & Body Stick Sunscreen SPF 50+, $14. The convenient stick format of this SPF 50 sunscreen easily glides on face or body, leaves no greasy residue and makes reapplication a cinch so you can block rays anytime, anywhere.
  5. Charlotte Tilbury Wonderglow, $65. A drop of this light-reflecting liquid gold in your foundation or moisturizer is the most flattering thing you can do for your skin to make it look years younger.
  6. Jergens Moisturizer for Wet Skin with Coconut Oil, $11. Massage this body moisturizer on after you shower, before you towel off. Don’trinse, and you’ll have happy skin from head to toe.The moisturizer is specially engineered to cling to wet skin.
  7. Indeed Labs 10 balm, $20. Soothe even the most ultra-sensitive skin in a flash. This blend of 10 calming ingredients, including arnica, bee pollen extract and vitamin E, heeds the SOS call of any flare-ups.
  8. Almay Age Essentials Concealer, $14. Swipe this coverage stick under the eye to disguise dark circles and more. The bonus SPF 20 means your extra-delicate eye area is always protected from dark spots/discoloration, and the hydrating, creamy texture won’t crack as your day wears on.
  9. Tangle Teezer Blow Styling Hairbrush Half Paddle, $34. These bristles stand up to your hair dryer’s highest heat setting and move smoothly through tangled wet hair (no more pulling and tugging). The vented design allows for free airflow so you get a speedier dry time.

Best bespoke beauty

Create a concoction specific to your skin’s needs

Kiehl’s Apothecary Preparations, $110.Skin experts assess your skin health in-store and troubleshoot your main concerns (wrinkles, lack of firmness and more) to create your signature formula.Then they custom-blend your best regimen.

Skin Inc. My Daily DoseCustom-Blended Serum Set, $112.Fill out the online quiz to determine your skin type andyou’ll get three custom serums to remedy your skin (treating every concern from extreme dryness to lack of firmness) delivered to your front door.

Cover FX Custom Infusion Drops, from $62.Even the moisturizer you swear by can sometimes use a little boost. Add in a couple of these drops to amp up hydration, control oily skin or add radiance.

Best Natural Wonders

Only pure ingredients, all of the results

  1. Bite Beauty The Lip Pencil, $20. Cheat your natural lip line with a more plumped look or sculpt what Mother Nature gave you.Either way, you’ll love the smooth application and shade selection (22 colours!) of these all-naturalpencils that were three years in the making.
  2. RMS Beauty Swift Shadows, $28. Mineral eye shadows are usually limited in colours and notoriously hard to blend. These are pressed, not baked, which avoids heat exposure and preserves the integrity of the raw ingredients like jojoba oil so they’re easier to apply.
  3. Tata Harper Illuminating Moisturizer, $113.Sometimes all-natural moisturizers don’t absorb quickly enough for even makeup application. But this one layers seamlessly, adding dewiness to dry skin.
  4. Matrix Biolage R.A.W. Shampoo and Conditioner in Recover, $25 each. Rethink your suds routine with this eco line of shampoos and conditioners. The formulas are biodegradable, the bottles are recyclable (madefrom former plastic water bottles) and, whilethey’re sulphate free and gentle on hair, theydon’t skimp on a rich, satisfying lather.
  5. French Girl Crème Fraîche Néroli/CamomilleMoisturizer, $62. This moisturizer has a creamy, rich consistency but doesn’t slip and slide on skin—it absorbs right away.
  6. Saje Skin So Clean, $23. The rice grains help to gently buff away dirt and makeup while neroli helps to improve the appearance of pores and skin texture.
  7. Farmacy Eye Dew Total Eye Cream with Echinacea Green Envy, $49. Potent antioxidants help to shoo away the signs of aging with zero irritation.
  8. Burt’s Bees Gloss Lip Crayon, $10. Formulated with 100 percent natural ingredients, these chubby pencils allow for easy application with a great glossy colour payoff that hydrates all day.
  9. BioEffect EGF Serum, $220. The star ingredient (whose developers were recognized with a Nobel Prize) is EGF, a plant based epidermal growth factor that stimulates skin growth and repair at the cellular level. It’sbeen double-blind lab tested to show lasting results, which reduce the overall appearance of brown spots, fine lines, redness and wrinkles.We’re sold.

Best Canadian trailblazers

These innovative entrepreneurs are disrupting the beauty game

  1. Nudestix Intense Matte Lip + Cheek, $28. Toronto-based teenage sisters Ally and Taylor Frankel didn’t like labouring over makeup routines, so they created a whole line of multi-purposemakeup pencils for women on the go. The pencils work as concealer, lipstick, blush, eyeliner and waterproof eyeshadow, and the colour won’t budge.Fun fact: Beauty is in their blood—mom Jenny Frankel was one of the creators of M.A.C Lipglass.
  2. Flawless by Friday 5 Day System, $45. After a stint as a makeup artist, Brittny Skylar Robins saw the importance of great skin to her clients—be it before a wedding, interview or high school reunion. She set out to design a facial system that takes the guesswork out of skincare. Each gelmask targets a skin concern and is designed to be used in a specific order—hence the “5 Day” name.
  3. PonyDry Waterproof Hair Sleeve, $26.Long-haired girls, rejoice. Toronto-based Jessica Watson created a polyester sleeve that slips over your ponytail to create a watertight seal in the shower so you can wash just your roots. It cuts down on split ends and drying time. Genius!
  4. Plume Science Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum, $95. After pregnancy, Calgary-based Lauren Bilon had significant hair and eyelash loss. A prescription product helped with regrowth, but she endured stinging around her eyes. That set her on a path to create a 100 percent natural lash and brow enhancer. This lash serum works to extend the anagen (growth)phase of the lash cycle and shorten the telogen(resting/falling-out) phase so lashes appear thicker in weeks.
  5. The Ordinary, from $5. A whole range of skincare serums for $20 or less? The Ordinary skincare line features serums made with just a handful of ingredients in each. It’s this pared down approach that allows the company to keep prices wallet-friendly.
  6. Hebederma Anti-Aging Serum, $129. In Greek mythology, Hebe personified eternal youth and vitality. This Quebec-based beauty brand aims for ageless complexions with preservative free, made-to-order skincare . Its signature serum contains only three ingredients: water, hyaluronic acid and vitamin C to hydrate, brighten and firm.

Best Hair Remedies

Adding volume, taming frizz —  th ere’s a fix for every hair type

  1. The Inverse Hair Conditioning System, $400.It may sound crazy but it’s true—this “frozen”flat iron could give you your best hair yet.Instead of blasting hair with heat, you press the cold iron plates through wet hair (yes, wet hair!), and the sub-zero temperature of the plates transforms the keratin fibre of your hair.Instead of zapping moisture like heat would, the icy plates seal hydration in. It’s a splurge, and it doesn’t improve texture overnight, but slowly and surely hair becomes less frizzy, smoother and far easier to manage.
  2. Nexxus City Shield DD Crème, $19. This “DD” or damage defence leave-in treatment helps to create a lightweight veil on hair, shielding it from city grime that can cause hair to swell. It contains lotus flower, elastin proteins and wheat to smooth hair and make it manageable.
  3. L’Oréal Paris Extraordinary Clay PreShampoo Treatment Mask, $9. Greasy roots and dry ends? This ingenious new system uses a pre-shampoo scalp treatment to absorb excess oil, then a shampoo and conditioner that are designed to keep roots fresh and lengths smooth.
  4. Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast, $38.When MIT engineers design a volumizing spray, you can expect it to take your hair to new heights. It doesn’t disappoint—hair gets big, and stays that way.
  5. StriVectin Hair All Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner, $23 each. Rather than simply masking frizz, these formulas were specifically designed to tackle the root cause of it. StarringStriVectin’s hero molecule NIA-114 (the same one used in its skincare), as well as bio-lipids that increase hair’s resistance to frizz, they leave your mane smooth and manageable.
  6. T3 Volumizing Hot Rollers Luxe, $149. For anyone who finds that her waves fall flat almost immediately, these hot rollers are the answer.They come with smart crease-free clips, heat up evenly in three minutes and give long-lastingvolume and shine.

Best magic wands

Maybelline New York The Falsies Push Up Angel Mascara, $13.The plastic comb (instead ofbristles) is key because it grabs every last lash, creating mega definition—with zero clumps.

Annabelle Expandable Mascara, $11.Some days you want long, defined lashes, and on others you want density and volume—this mascara lets you have both with a twist of the wand that expands or minimizes the brush.

Burberry Cat Lashes Mascara, $32.This hourglass-shaped wand helps to craft the perfect winged-out effect.

Rimmel London Scandal’Eyes Reloaded Mascara, $9.Reinvented with 24-hour wear, this mascara goes the distance, delivering long-wearing, jet-blacklashes that don’t go stiff or flaky. And it easily washes off with your regular cleanser.

CoverGirl So Lashy! Mascara by blast Pro, $13. This mascara boasts three“zones” on the wand, including a domed tip so you can grip and elongate every lash for exaggerated, giant fringe.

L’Oréal Paris Féline Mascara by Voluminous, $13.When you don’t have a steady hand to create a perfectcat-eye line, try this. The shape of the brush helps to deliverg lossy, full and flared lashes.


Manicure, Naomi Misu for P1M.ca/Tips Nail Bar. Styling, Caitlin Doherty for P1M.ca.