Third in my Secrets of a Beauty Insider series is the ultimate beauty star blogger, Michelle Villett of the (multiple) award-winning For two years, Michelle has provided insights into the latest beauty products, gadgets, fads, her personal mishaps and snarky celebrity beauty commentary. But Michelle is more than just a beauty blogger, she has serious cred. Her work has been in such glossies like FASHION, FLARE, Glow and Hello, just to name a few, and was a Beauty and Health Editor of ELLE Canada (hence the name Michelle’s blog is on my daily reading list and I’m proud to be her “blog sister” through Style Collective. She is funny and honest, an absolute delight to read. In her career, Michelle has tried hundreds (if not thousands) of beauty products, and I got the scoop on her absolute favourites. This list is a goldmine! 

Makeup-wise, Kate Bosworth can do no wrong. I dare you to find a photo of her where she’s made a misstep! I also think Natalie Portman gives good red carpet. And I try to emulate Sienna Miller’s every hair move.
I get myself into trouble sometimes because I try a lot of different things—most recently the Oil Cleansing Method, which didn’t go so well!—but when my skin is “normal,” this is what I use:
For cleansing, I usually use something gentle like Boscia Purifing Cleansing Gel, with or without my Clarisonic.

Boscia Purifing Cleansing Gel ($33 CAD at Sephora)
Clarisonic brush ($149 US at Clarisonic)

If I haven’t done the Clarisonic, I follow that up with the cult favourite Lotion P50 from Biologique Recherche, a lactic acid toner, and then I apply Skinceuticals C E Ferulic, a.k.a. “liquid gold” to beauty editors. (More derms than I can count have recommended it because it gives you crazy antioxidant protection.)

Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 ($57 US at BeautyHabit)

Skinceuticals C E Ferulic ($142 US at Skinceuticals)

I’ll always apply an eye cream (right now it’s the very gentle Cliniderm Eye Contour Anti-Wrinkle Cream), but depending on the season, I may or may not use moisturizer. In the winter I actually sometimes do a face mask instead: I like Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Masque—it’s a gel texture that sinks right in.

Cliniderm Eye Cream ($29 CAD at Shoppers Drug Mart)

Skinceuticals Hydrating B5 Masque ($52 US at Skinceuticals)

No beauty editor will leave the house without sunscreen, and the one I use is Pure + Simple’s All Natural SPF 30 Sunscreen for Oily/Impure Skin. It’s really light and non-greasy.

Pure + Simple All Natural SPF 30 ($13.56 CAD at Pure + Simple)

At night, I skip the sunscreen and instead of the C E Ferulic I’ll do a 1% retinol serum, since that’s still the gold standard for anti-aging. On top goes either a yummy face oil (Aïny Nourishing Radiance Serum is to die for) or a topical brightening product. Lumixyl is a new one that I’m just in love with because the results are on par with hydroquinone, but without the irritation and potentially harmful chemicals.

Clear Clinical Vitamin A Booster ($230 US at Clear Clinical)
Aïny Nourishing Radiance Serum ($74 CAD at Beautyphica)

SKIN 911
Usually my skin emergencies involve rogue breakouts. Ice, Advil, or surprisingly, turmeric (just 1 tsp taken in a glass of water and/or on the pimple as a paste) work well to bring down inflammation overnight. I don’t usually apply any topical acne products because they dry out my skin too much. I also load up on anti-inflammatory nutrients: green tea, salmon, blueberries and my personal favourite, cod liver oil (but more on that in a sec).

Nvey Eco Organic Erase Concealer: My Holy Grail concealer! Natural, non-pore-clogging and the perfect consistency for both blemishes and under-eye circles.

Max & Mia Nvey Eco Organic Erase Corrective Makeup (currently sold out at Max & Mia)

Josie Maran Argan Natural Volume Lip Gloss: The best lip gloss in the world (and I’ve tried plenty, believe me). Unbelievably moisturizing and long-lasting, plus it tastes delish.

Josie Maran Argan Natural Volume Lip Gloss ($24 CAD at Sephora)

Dior Eye Show Eyeshadow in Undressed Beige: Has a bit of shimmer but goes with everything and never, ever creases.

Dior Eye Show Eyeshadow ($32 CAD at Sephora)
Giorgio Armani Blushing Fabric Second Skin Blush: Melts into your skin so it looks like you’re glowing from within. Was limited edition last year but back this spring/summer—keep an eye out!

Armani Blushing Fabric Second Skin Blush ($45 CAD at Holt Renfrew)

Shu Uemura UV UnderBase Mousse SPF 30: Hands down, the most oil-controlling primer I’ve ever come across.

Shu Uemura UV UnderBase Mousse SPF 30 ($45 CAD at Holt Renfrew)

I discussed this very subject on my blog! It’s definitely all about lipstick right now, specifically bright lipsticks. For 2011 I’m really feeling the oranges and corals (and fuchsia is a close runner-up). Revlon’s ColorBurst line has the best shades I’ve ever seen at the drugstore price point. And for a splurge, Tom Ford’s lipsticks are the ultimate.

Revlon Colourburst Lipstick ($9.95 CAD at Shoppers Drug Mart) & Tom Ford ($52 CAD at Holt Renfrew)


I don’t use it every day, but Elnett really is the best hairspray—everyone should own it. It makes a HUGE difference if you spray it before and after curling your hair, and it combs out beautifully without ever feeling crunchy.

Loreal Elnett Hairspray ($8.99 CAD at Shoppers Drug Mart)
I have two. Most of my friends know me for Child—and probably strangers too, because I’m constantly stopped by random people wanting to know what it is. My other fave is an organic scent called Guaiac by Red Flower. It’s less in-your-face, but rare and amazing (and scent critic Chandler Burr agrees).

Red Flower “Guaiac” ($186 US at Red Flower)

Right now I can’t stop wearing Too Hot Pink to Hold ‘Em from OPI’s Texas collection, which is out in February. It’s more of a pinky red than a hot pink.

OPI “Too Hot Pink to Hold ‘Em” ($11 CAD at selected nail salons)

My hair! I absolutely think it’s worth it to splurge on a good haircut and colour or highlights. The great Bill Angst has been my main (mane?) man for years now.


I am a fanatic about cod liver oil, taken orally. It will do more for your skin than any topical could ever dream of achieving: it wipes out acne and makes you look more glowy and radiant and youthful. (I even think it speeds up the time it takes for pigmentation marks to fade.) I have an epic post on my blog (100+ comments!) with all the deets. If there’s just one thing you do for your skin, it should be this. 

cod liver oil

Probably the cod liver oil (the brand I take costs $50 per bottle, so that’s definitely a luxury!). If I don’t take it for a few days, I definitely notice a difference in the quality and texture of my skin. 

Actually, I wish they would START wearing makeup! For every woman that overdoes it, Kim Kardashian-style, I think there are five or more women who don’t wear any or enough. I’m not advocating heavy mask faces or anything like that, but it honestly doesn’t take that long—and makes you look a hundred times better—if you wear concealer, blush, mascara and something on the lips. I just feel like the world would be a happier place if more of us wore bright lipstick, don’t you think?

Wear more sunscreen. Pre-beauty editor career, I used to live in Australia—a country where 25-year-olds have visible crow’s feet! I wasn’t as diligent as I could have been with the sunscreen and now I’m seeing my formerly porcelain complexion turn very freckly.
I’m obsessed wth makeunders as opposed to makeovers. Christina Aguilera is the number one candidate right now, what with her brown blush, goopy red lips and crazy eyebrows. Frightening!

OK, how amazing is she? Visit Michelle at