One of the best things about travelling to the States as a Canadian is the shopping. It used to be even MORE amazing when our dollar was at par (no tax + cheaper prices=one happy girl) but since that won’t be happening in the near future anytime soon, I try to only buy products you can’t get here in Canada. Although it’s kind of a bummer you can’t find these in Canada, it also makes travelling to different countries that much more fun and it also gives you an excuse to shop guilt-free…since you can’t find these anywhere back home. 😉
Tarte + Real Techniques
Tarte Shape Tape Concealer. I made my first ever trip to Ulta Beauty and spent a solid hour just oogling all the exclusive goodies. I didn’t have my eye set on anything in particular when I first walked in but the Tarte gondola was one of the first brands I stopped at and there was a little piece of heaven on the top shelf just staring at me. The Tarte Shape Tape Concealer is the most raved about concealer ever to this day – even 2 years after its initial launch. Even though this concealer is the most hyped up concealer on social media, I still wasn’t sure it would really work for my skin type. This concealer is all about full coverage and with my dry, textured under eyes, I thought this concealer might be too heavy for me. Well let me tell you: I.Was.Wrong. It’s thick, it’s full coverage, but it has the most beautiful flawless finish imaginable. With most concealers I have to bake my under eyes with translucent powder to reach that flawless, crease-free finish, but with this one I don’t even have to set it. Literally blew my mind when I checked in the mirror after a full day of walking around NYC in the summer heat, didn’t budge one bit. I also like wearing this all over my face as a foundation, but only in the places I need coverage. I’m definitely prepared to buy more shades for the summer and to repurchase once my runs out, because it will with me using it every single day of my life until the end of TIMEEEEE (okay a little dramatic).
Real Techniques Eye Shade + Blend. I also picked up the Real Techniques Eye Shade + Blend brush duo at Ulta not because you can’t get this in Canada, but because you can’t get this in Canada at 25% off. It just so happened they were having a Real Techniques sale this day and I’ve always wanted this duo mainly for the Deluxe Crease Brush. I have yet to use it for its intended purpose as I actually wanted this brush to blend out my concealer which has been the perfect match for my Shape Tape. Real Techniques is one of my favourite brands for makeup brushes as their super affordable, durable, and last so long with no shedding whatsoever. I’ve had their brushes for at least 2 years and haven’t had to replace any of them.
Stipple Brush. If you watch Allana Davison on YouTube, you know about the e.l.f. Stipple Brush. This is the brush she raves about most on her channel and she uses it for bronzer. In Canada you can only buy e.l.f. Cosmetics at Walmart & The Real Canadian Superstore but they don’t have all the brushes you see on their website. Their website unfortunately doesn’t ship to Canada so finding this brush is next to impossible unless you live in the US. When we arrived to Ulta I figured this would be the perfect place to pick it up but again, they didn’t sell the brush alone but rather in a set (which was beautiful but I didn’t need all those brushes). My friend then let me know that there’s actually a stand alone e.l.f. Cosmetics store in New York super close to where we were staying so when we arrived, that was one of the first stores we stopped at. That’s where I FINALLY found this beautiful brush and at only $4.00 USD a piece, I picked up 2 in case I really really loved it.
Detail Crease Brush. I tried to control myself in this store because we had already shopped at an Outlet mall on the way and this was only Day 1. Along with Real Techniques, e.l.f. brushes are some of my favourites due to their quality at such a low price. The most expensive brushes at this location were $6 USD so you can understand my desire to buy them all. But I was good, got to the line with my 2 Stipple brushes which was the main reason for going there, and then my friend brought this Detail Crease Brush to the line for herself and I instantly ran back to the wall and picked it up too. A lot of my eyeshadow brushes are actually too large for my eye shape so as soon as I saw this tiny little crease brush, I knew it would be the perfect fit for me.
Light Illusion Foundation. I first learned of this foundation from thataylaa on YouTube who is literally the Queen of foundation reviews. She is one of the most honest, down-to-earth YouTubers I follow & also has acne prone skin so I trust her opinion 100%. So when she tested out this foundation and loved it, I knew I had to try it but unfortunately here is Canadaland, it was not possible. We used to sell Flower Beauty (which is Drew Barrymore’s makeup line btw) here in Canada at Walmart but they recently pulled out and now you can only get your hands on this brand across the border. So when we went to Walmart to purchase my favourite Skippy Peanut Butter that you also can no longer buy in Canada (WHYYYYY), I of course made a pitstop at the beauty aisle and laid my eyes on this. At $12 USD it wasn’t the cheapest drugstore foundation but the glass bottle and pump definitely made it feel more luxurious. I’ve used it a couple times and so far I’m very impressed with the coverage and am loving the slight dewy finish of this foundation.
Lash Slick Mascara. Obviously with the most recent, exciting launch from Glossier, I had to pick up their new Lash Slick mascara. This is the first mascara they’ve launched and in true Glossier fashion, its the most natural looking mascara. Meant to mimic the look of lash extensions, this mascara really lengthens your lashes and does not budge at all. After purchasing, I used it every day in NYC and even wandering the streets in the hot summer heat, it didn’t smudge or flake off. Since I already have pretty long lashes, I definitely prefer more volumizing mascaras but on those “no-makeup” makeup days, this will be my go-to mascara.
Generation G Lipstick in Cake. I love lip formulas you can just throw on without having to think about and that’s why I wanted to try out the Generation G Lipsticks from Glossier. They’re a sheer matte formula that resemble the look of a blotted lip which is my favourite. Even though I wanted them all, I picked up the shade Cake which Glossier describes as a subtle peachy nude. I’ve worn it a couple times and I love the way the formula looks, my only wish is that it acted as more of a stain and lasted a bit longer on the lips. I will say though for it being a matte formula, I was surprised at how creamy it felt. It’s nice & light to toss in your purse for the day and super easy to reapply when it starts to fade.
Cloud Paint Duo in Beam & Dusk. With the summer heat upon us I enjoy wearing more cream based products due to the fact that I’m a face sweater & have textured skin. Cream products really sink in to become one with the skin and also tend to last longer than powder products in the heat. Cream blushes were something missing from my collection and I was holding off buying any until I made my trip to the Glossier Showroom. Since I wanted to try multiple shades of the Cloud Paints, I decided to go for the duo as you actually save $8 CAD. I picked up Beam which is a coral-peach & Dusk, a brownish-nude. These are the easiest products to apply, you just use the tiniest amount and blend it out with your fingers, no brushes required. A little bit goes a lonnnng way so these little tubes will definitely last a long time before having to repurchase.
Invisible Shield. Due to the strict SPF laws in Canada, there are many SPF products that are currently not sold here. The Invisible Shield is one of them which is why I literally had to pick it up in NYC. The Glossier website states that it WILL be available to Canadians soon, but it takes brands a lot of time & money to be able to sell SPF products or even promote that their products have SPF in them here in Canada. Health Canada views SPF has a drug so there’s all these legalities that go into having permission to sell those products. That’s why you’ll see some products at your local beauty store that have a little piece of tape covering the text on the packaging that says “SPF __”. Those brands skip the legalities altogether and choose not to promote it. I’m happy that Glossier seems to be putting in the time & effort though because so far I am loving the Invisible Shield! I use it as my last step in my morning skincare routine and it sinks into the skin real fast. It has SPF 35 and a slight sunscreen fragrance that goes away as soon as it dries. It doesn’t seem to affect my makeup either which is another bonus along with the fact that it comes in the cutest little bottle. So far a win for me and a product I will use everyday.
Well if you’ve stuck it out to the end of this post you may be tempted to pick some of these products up yourself during your next visit to the States. Let me know if you’ve tried any of these already or what US exclusive products are on your wishlist!