Every week, our editorial team gets to try out tons of new products. (It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it!) In this monthly column, our digital content manager Melissa Fejtek rounds up the ones that stood out from the pack and actually earned a spot in her routine.

The pimple patches that make breakouts bearable

hello kitty and friends x starface pimple patches

Hello Kitty and Friends x Starface pimple patches, from $12.99, starface.world


There are certain months of the year when my skin tends to misbehave more than usual. From November through to March, I can usually expect to see one or two blemishes on my face at any given time (thanks, Canadian winters). And while most of them can be disguised with a touch of concealer, every once in awhile I wake up to a zit that can only be described as gnarly. Thankfully, there’s a million and one hydrocolloid patches on the market that can effectively suck all the gunk out of pimples, shrinking them in a matter of hours. And while invisible zit stickers have a time and place, the only thing that can makes pimples tolerable—dare I say enjoyable—are the fun ones. I’ve been a fan of Starface’s classic star-shaped patches for quite some time: they don’t irritate my skin, they look cute and they stay put. Plus, they come in a compact case that can be refilled and stashed in your bag for emergencies. When I found out the brand was launching limited edition Sanrio-themed pimple stickers, I had to have them immediately. There’s Keroppi (my personal favourite), Badtz-Maru and of course, Hello Kitty, and each come with a matching case. FYI, these are a little bigger than the standard stars, which make them excellent if you’re dealing with a major breakout. And you aren’t able to snag the case in time, don’t worry: there are re-fills available that fit in the standard case.

The liquid exfoliant that’s gentle on skin


Paula’s Choice 6% Mandelic Acid + 2% Lactic Acid Liquid Exfoliant, $53, sephora.ca


If you’re into skincare, it’s likely you’re familiar with Paula’s Choice Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, which reached cult status thanks to its ability to smooth texture and clear skin at lightning speed (ok, we’re exaggerating, but it works really fast).  The one catch? It’s a little intense, particularly if you have sensitive skin. This month, the brand launched its Skin Perfecting 6% Mandelic Acid + 2% Lactic Acid Liquid Exfoliant, which does all the same things as BHA exfoliant, except it works like a dream on all skin types. This is thanks to blend of mandelic and lactic acid, two gentler, water-soluble AHAs that do an excellent job of sloughing off dead skin without the stinging sensation. And if you’re not quite ready to part ways with your BHA exfoliant just yet, know that this product works even better if you alternate the two products. Try applying this one in the morning before applying any serums, creams or SPF, and follow up with the a stronger solution in the evenings.

The lip oil that will replace your go-to balm

summer fridays lip oil

Summer Fridays Dream Lip Oil, $35, sephora.ca


I’m the type of person that has a lip product in every bag, coat pocket and work surface. Actually, make that two lip products. I usually keep a balm for hydration, and something with colour in case I want to perk up my look. So when the new Summer Fridays Dream Lip Oil came across my desk, I was very eager to swipe it on. And it’s been the only lip product I’ve been reaching for since I tried it. Don’t get me wrong, there are many great lip products out there, but this one is the gloss-balm-oil hybrid I’ve been searching for all winter. It’s hydrating enough for dry skin days and has a tiny hint of colour that creates a your-lips-but-better effect. I’m partial to the shade Blush Dreams—an ultra-sheer dusty rose tone—but there are three other shades to choose from: Pink Cloud, a soft candy pink, Soft Mauve, a cool-toned mauve, and Rosewood Mauve, a deeper brownish-rose hue.

The actually affordable mascara

sephora love the lift mascara

Sephora Collection Love The Lift Curling and Volumizing Mascara, $16, sephora.ca


There are two camps of people who wear mascara: those who swear by drugstore brands, and those who like to go-high end. No matter what end of the spending spectrum you’re on, for the most part it has been relatively easy to find a great tube of mascara. But in 2024, budget-friendly mascaras that actually deliver are few and far in between. What was once $10 may have doubled in price in the last decade. Who wants to fork over $25+ for a product you should be replacing every 4-6 months? Hard pass. Sephora Collection’s latest launch, the Love The Life Curling and Volumizing Mascara, is the perfect middle ground. Thanks to a double-sided brush, lashes look longer and curlier, and the 12-hour volume-boosting formula can be built up to create that faux-lash effect. I personally prefer a more natural look (and hardly wear mascara on a regular day) and find a coat or two does the job of fanning out my lashes without going overboard. Priced at $16, you can’t go wrong.

The skin-plumping serum

dermalogica pro collagen banking serum

Dermalogica Pro-Collagen Banking Serum, $125, dermalogica.ca


Collagen is like the great fountain of youth when it comes to skincare. This naturally-occurring protein keeps skin elastic, bouncy, and looking petal fresh. It only makes sense that we want to get as much of it as possible. From skincare products dedicated to the ingredient to powders, pills and liquids designed for internal use, we can’t get enough of collagen. But do collagen-infused serums and supplements actually do anything for the skin? The jury is still out, which is why I take said products with a grain of salt. Dermalogica’s latest launch, the Pro-Collagen Banking Serum, takes a totally different approach. Instead of increasing collagen levels in the skin, this product works to preserve the collagen that you already have. It’s formulated with amino acids—the building blocks of collagen—along with peptides and antioxidants to soften, hydrate and plump the skin. Now, I have no idea how much of my youthful collagen is being preserved by using this serum (time makes fools of us all), but what I do know is that I woke up and loved the way my skin looked after I applied it. I noticed an immediate improvement in texture and tone, which TBH, is enough to sell me on a product. If it gives the glow, it gets the green light.