Top 20 beauty products for summer & early fall 2016 | FAJO Magazine
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Top 20 beauty products for summer & early fall 2016

September 14, 2016

Every season or two, our team gathers its efforts to personally review some of the best beauty products on the market and set aside the ones that are the most impressive. This time, we have picked our favourites to get you ready for fashion week season and glammed up for the Toronto International Film Festival!

In previous iterations of the guide, conducted in 2015 and early 2016, we had picked our Top 25. This time around, we decided to narrow things down further, and have selected our Top 20!

In total, 100 products were tested.

Each product was rated on a scale of 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest). Only the products that we rated at 4 or above made it into the final Top 20 listed below.

After much consideration and deliberation, we are ready to share with our readers our favourite picks, ranging from fragrances and make-up, to hair and body products. The below Top 20 is listed in no particular order.

Meet the Review Crew

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Photo credits: Hannah Yakobi by Dmitri Moisseev, Lacey Ward and Ada Yakobi by Kareen Mallon, Darina Granik by Maryna Svyatyshenko and Marcus Kan by Amanda Lew Kee.

Top 20 Beauty Guide

Items are listed in no particular order.

1. Issey Miyake’s L’eau D’Issey Pure Fragrance

issey-miyake
Reviewed by: Hannah Yakobi, Editor-in-Chief.

How many times did you try the product? About eight times.

What did you like the most about it? This is a lovely, very delicate scent that is perfect for summer, but also wonderful for an office setting all year long. It’s noticeable, but not very strong, and has lovely light floral tones. The top notes include rose water, cyclamen accord blossoms and freesia. Light peony and white lily are also present.

I also loved the bottle. Issey Miyake has highly geometric, futuristic-like bottles for its fragrances. For L’eau D’Issey, specifically, a conical glass structure has become an iconic signature over the years.

What did you like the least about it (if applicable)? N/A.

Why do you think this product is a good choice for summer/fall? I can see this fragrance easily transitioning from summer into the fall months, and even into winter. Its light, classic scent would equally suit a day on the beach, a morning in an office or a cool evening walk at the cottage.

2. Burberry’s My Burberry Black Fragrance

my-burberry
Reviewed by: Hannah Yakobi, Editor-in-Chief.

How many times did you try the product? Five times.

What did you like the most about it? The bottle was absolutely stunning. The hand-tied, black, English-woven gabardine knot (made in Castleford, Yorkshire) added a very elegant touch. When I opened the box, I felt like I had just received a lovely gift. I can definitely see this being a wonderful holiday or birthday present.

What did you like the least about it (if applicable)? N/A.

Why do you think this product is a good choice for summer/fall? The fragrance is sensual and is building off the iconic My Burberry. The scent is very deep: think jasmine flower top notes fused with candied rose and peach nectar, and rounded off with a base note of rich amber patchouli.

3. YSL’s Rouge Pur Couture Vinyl Cream Lip Stain

ysl-vinyl-cream
Reviewed by: Jill Adams, Editorial Coordinator. 

How many times did you try the product? Twice.

What did you like the most about it? My favourite thing about the Vinyl Cream lip stains is the bold, bright colours available. I also loved how long-lasting the colour was. I am low maintenance when it comes to my lips and don’t want to be retouching my colour every 20 minutes, so this product was perfect for me. I wore it out for dinner once, and then to work for the day to really test how long the colour would last, which was a few hours before needing another coat.

What did you like the least about it (if applicable)? The formula is slightly thin and a few coats need to be applied for proper coverage. However, it is a great weight, and is not too sticky, like some lip stains.

Why do you think this product is a good choice for summer/fall? This product is perfect for summer because of the bright, fun shades available. It also offers great transition colours that will easily take you into the fall months.

4. Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick

estee_double-wear-cushion-stick
Reviewed by: Katherine Ellis, Executive Editor.

How many times did you try the product? Every day, for four days.

What did you like the most about it? I liked the application – one quick twist of the cap and you are ready to apply your make-up. The foundation was also smooth and did not cake once applied.

What did you like the least about it (if applicable)? I had some difficulty when first trying to apply the foundation because I was not used to using a sponge (I typically use a brush).

Why do you think this product is a good choice for summer/fall? The foundation is very light, easy to apply (once you get the hang of the sponge) and easy to blend. I wore this in multiple environments, outdoors and indoors. I liked how the foundation didn’t cake too heavily and was smooth.

5. Burberry’s Cat Lashes Mascara

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Reviewed by: Katherine Ellis, Executive Editor.

How many times did you try the product? Every day, for 5 days.

What did you like the most about it? I really liked this mascara! It did not clump upon application, and there never seemed to be too much on the brush. The brush itself is hour glass-shaped, which made it easy to apply with only a few sweeps, extending my lashes and upping the drama of my eye make-up.

What did you like the least about it (if applicable)? Nothing – I loved the product.

Why do you think this product is a good choice for summer/fall? I walked around with this mascara inside and outside, in intense heat and humidity – the mascara didn’t leak and didn’t fade all day, and was lightweight as well. I would strongly recommend this for all seasons. 

6. Moroccanoil’s Curl Re-energizing Spray

moroccanoil-reenergizing-spray
Reviewed by: Chelsea Collinson, Make-Up Artist and Hairstylist.

How many times did you try the product? Seven times.

What did you like the most about it? The re-energizing spray is great because it gives your hair an instant boost. As someone with curly hair, I don’t wash my hair everyday and don’t like to fuss with it too much. The spray allows you to skip the wash day, spray throughout your hair and scrunch it back into place. It has the signature Moroccanoil scent that leaves you hair smelling fresh and really brings hydration back into the hair.

What did you like the least about it (if applicable)? The product is easy to use and good for all hair types, so there isn’t much to not like.

Why do you think this product is a good choice for summer/fall? This product is great for summer and early fall because it gives instant hydration. The sun can really dry out your hair and when you don’t wash it daily, it’s important to moisturize your hair. The spray helps to bring back life into your hair without feeling heavy or “overworked”.

7. Lierac’s Hydragenist Moisturizing Cream Gel

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Reviewed by: Katherine Ellis, Executive Editor.

How many times did you try the product? Every day, for three days.

What did you like the most about it? I fell in love with this product and used it in combination with the Lierac Hydragenist Moisturizing Serum (though both can be used separately). The moisturizer was soft and light. I am very excited to try this product during the colder fall and winter months.

What did you like the least about it (if applicable)? I honestly loved everything about this product.

Why do you think this product is a good choice for summer/fall? Similar to the Magnificence Nuit, this product is light for the summer and has intense moisturizing effect on the skin, which would work very well during the cooler months in the fall, especially as my skin tends to be drier.

8. Narciso Rodriguez’s Narciso Poudree Fragrance

narciso
Reviewed by: Ada Yakobi, Senior Reporter.

How many times did you try the product? Twice.

What did you like the most about it? It’s very light and accentuates the floral scents of summer. I really enjoyed the blend of white jasmine petals and Bulgarian rose, with notes of vetiver and black and white cedars. The bottle was also very elegant: the perfume sits inside a transparent glass cube with a tender blush tone.

What did you like the least about it (if applicable)? N/A.

Why do you think this product is a good choice for summer/fall? It’s light, sweet and floral. A lovely and very feminine fragrance.

9. Burberry’s Mr. Burberry Fragrance

burberry-fragrance-mr-burberry
Reviewed by: Marcus Kan, Artistic Director.

How many times did you try the product? Three times.

What did you like the most about it? I really loved the heart note of this fragrance. It made me feel fresh, as if I just came out from the shower. It also gave me confidence!

What did you like the least about it (if applicable)? N/A.

Why do you think this product is a good choice for summer/fall? The fragrance is light and you can wear it from day to night without feeling overwhelmed by the scent.

10. Thierry Mugler’s Angel Muse Fragrance

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Reviewed by: Ada Yakobi, Senior Reporter.

How many times did you try the product? Four times.

What did you like the most about it? Very strong and sweet fragrance. A perfect option for an evening night out, as the scent is very long-lasting. I loved the fusion of hazelnut cream and vetiver. The bottle looks totally out of this world and perfectly matches the campaign for this fragrance and its “cosmic pebble” vibes. Very cool.

What did you like the least about it (if applicable)? N/A.

Why do you think this product is a good choice for summer/fall? It’s more of a “signature” fragrance that would be particularly well-suited for a crisp autumn evening.

11. Estée Lauder’s The Estée Edit Pore Vanishing Stick

esteeedit_porevanishingstick

Reviewed by: Katherine Ellis, Executive Editor.

How many times did you try the product? Every day for four days, along with Estée Lauder’s Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick Radiant Make-up in 16 Ecru.

What did you like the most about it? I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I first tried this product as I usually use moisturizing lotion as a primer for my foundation. I did notice after a couple of days that my combination skin appeared much smoother and that the foundation did seem to go on much easier. What I really liked about this was that you could touch up throughout the day to finesse your look, making sure there were no oily patches of skin (a definite must during an intense summer heatwave). Also, the application is very simple.

What did you like the least about it (if applicable)? N/A.

Why do you think this product is a good choice for summer/fall? I have combination skin – oily skin during the summer and dry skin during the winter. Because this product works on all types of skins, and helps smooth the look of foundation, I recommend this for all seasons.

12. Clarins’ Repair Booster

clarins-repair
Reviewed by: Kareen Mallon, Senior Photographer.

How many times did you try the product? I used this product once a day, every day for a week.

What did you like the most about it? It’s designed for woman over 25 years of age to help repair the damage from sun, lifestyle and other skincare concerns. You only need three to five drops and mix it with your regular face cream, which is great as a little goes a long way! I also have super sensitive skin, so the fact that this did not make my face break out was a huge relief.  It’s always like playing Russian Roulette anytime I put a new product on my face.

What did you like the least about it (if applicable)? N/A.

Why do you think this product is a good choice for summer/fall? I think this product is fantastic for anytime! It helps repair permanent damage which if any of you guys/ladies are like me, good skin is key!

13. Stila’s Sunset Serenade Convertible Color Dual Lip and Cheek Palette

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Reviewed by: Kareen Mallon, Senior Photographer.

How many times did you try the product? I used this product four times.

What did you like the most about it? The palette provides a lot of summer and early fall fun! It’s a two-in-one product, which cuts down on the amount of cosmetics you’ll have to carry around with you! Plus, you can have fun mixing and matching the colours.

What did you like the least about it (if applicable)? You really should use a lip brush with this kit to get the best lip application and spread. You can use your finger but I like a little more precision. I preferred applying it to my lips much better than on my cheeks.

Why do you think this product is a good choice for summer/fall? 

The colors really play into the fun bright hues of summer! With five colours in the palette you can switch up from a day to night look.

14. Dermalogica’s Protection 50 Sport Sunscreen

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Reviewed by: Tara West, Senior Photographer.

How many times did you try the product? Six times.

What did you like the most about it? I loved that it goes on like a lotion and absorbs nicely into the skin. Absolutely no greasy residue feeling, or smelling like a tropical coconut involved here! Also, a bonus: it is gentle enough to use on my kids as well.

What did you like the least about it (if applicable)? N/A.

Why do you think this product is a good choice for summer/fall? Between shooting outside at this time of year and enjoying weather with my kids, I get my fair share of exposure to sunshine. My skin is very sensitive, and I crisp up pretty good if I don’t wear a good sunscreen. This product provided awesome coverage and protection, all day long.

15. The Body Shop’s Tea Tree 3-in-1 Wash, Scrub and Mask

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Reviewed by: Violet MacLeod, Features Editor.

How many times did you try the product? 15 + times.

What did you like the most about it? This truly mattified and clarified my skin. After one use, I kept looking in the mirror amazed that my skin looked different. I also loved that this product is plastic microbead-free, which is a huge bonus for anyone concerned about their beauty products’ effect on the environment.

What did you like the least about it (if applicable)? When used as a mask, this product can agitate your eyes.

Why do you think this product is a good choice for summer/fall? This product is designed to fight blemishes, which is great during the summer to fall transition because I find my skin transitions too. I loved having a little extra help to keep my complexion clear.

16. Essie’s KimonoOver Nail Polish

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Reviewed by: Violet MacLeod, Features Editor.

How many times did you try the product? Once.

What did you like the most about it? I really liked the Tokyo-inspired shades and tried every colour from the collection! On my nails, the colours were identical to the bottle, so no guess work!

What did you like the least about it (if applicable)? N/A.

Why do you think this product is a good choice for summer/fall? The beginning of fall is always the busiest time of the year for me. Getting back into the groove after a lazy summer isn’t easy. So, it’s nice that this product is quick to apply and quick to dry. Two coats achieved full coverage –  no goopy sticky nails holding me back from a busy schedule.

17. Maybelline’s Master Strobing Stick Highlighter

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Reviewed by: Lacey Ward, Social Media Editor.

How many times did you try the product? I used it for a month, 15-20 times.

What did you like the most about it? This strobing stick/highlighter glides on easily and blends well into skin, leaving a very natural glow. It didn’t sink into my pores as some highlighters do and stayed on nicely all day. This is a great product for someone who wants a highlighter but isn’t a make-up pro: I just glide it on and blend it with a sponge or my fingers.

What did you like the least about it (if applicable)? N/A.

Why do you think this product is a good choice for summer/fall? This is a great product for summer or early fall because it gives you a warm glowy look that is natural. If you like a no make-up or light make-up look, this would be something you could still keep in the routine; it’s very easy to use and really brightens up your face on those tired or dull days.

18. Caryl Baker Visage’s Storybook Lipstick

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Reviewed by: Chelsea Collinson, Make-Up Artist and Hairstylist.

How many times did you try the product? Three times.

What did you like the most about it? Storybook is a great lipstick because it’s pigmented, long-lasting and does not dry the lips. The colour is bold, great for an evening out or a special event. I loved the little mirror that opened up when you pull the lid off. The case made it easy to apply and great for travel.

What did you like the least about it (if applicable)? There isn’t anything I don’t like about the lipstick. It’s a great colour and easy to wear.

Why do you think this product is a good choice for summer/fall? This is definitely a fall/winter colour or an evening lipstick. It’s dark and bold.

19. Moroccanoil’s Curl Defining Cream

Reviewed by: Darina Granik, Reporter.

How many times did you try the product? I used it once. I was very happy to test the Curl Defining Cream, as I have been using a different product from Moroccanoil for 3.5 years now.

What did you like the most about it? This is the best hair cream that I have ever used. It gives the perfect definition, moisture and bounce to my curls. It does not tangle or glue together the hair. It is not sticky. My hair stayed fresh for 5 to 7 days, and did not get frizzy or oily. Also, this cream is not heavy, so my curls didn’t lay down flat, but had volume and bounce. I did not use any other products after washing the hair, like conditioners or serums, only this cream.

What did you like the least about it (if applicable)? N/A.

Why do you think this product is a good choice for summer/fall? I think this product is suitable for all climates and weather changes, both Canadian winters and super hot Israeli summers, which I experience every year. It conditions and provides a great hold for curls.

20. Sibu’s Sea Berry Exfoliating Face and Body Scrub

sibu
Reviewed by: Jill Adams, Editorial Coordinator.

How many times did you try the product?  Three times.

What did you like the most about it? I love how gentle this scrub is. My skin is very sensitive and my face often breaks out easily, especially when using exfoliating products. The Sibu scrub left my skin softer and firmer without any irritation. It is also paraben and cruelty-free, which is an added bonus!

What did you like the least about it (if applicable)? The exfoliating scrub, as most do, leaves your skin slightly dry, but following with your go-to moisturizer is a quick fix for this issue!

Why do you think this product is a good choice for summer/fall? Adding an exfoliating scrub into your beauty routine is essential. With the extra sun and changing temperatures, our skin needs a deep repair a few times a week going into fall. 

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