I have always been a fashion junkie – witness the tie-dye cotton jacket I had a fit for at age 6. Since then, my closets have always been overflowing. Now, it seems, I am going that way with beauty and hair products, becoming a beauty junkie.

Perhaps it’s age, perhaps science is finally delivering on all the claims for which I have always been skeptical.

Or maybe it’s the recent large crop of beauty samples that have come my way and seem to be working well.

Here are a few of the lotions, potions, cosmetics and devices that seem to be improving my skin and hair and look.

Clarisonic Mia Smart

I’ve had previous Clarisonic cleansing brushes and they were all great. The trick, haha, is to use them. I am basically lazy, and by the time it’s time to wash up and go to bed, I just want it over with in less than a minute. But I have been cleansing and massaging at least once a day for the past two weeks with the new Smart device, and my skin – and pores – are cleaner. I even seem to be a bit firmer of jaw and neck.

Clarisonic Mia Smart cleans and massages.

If I keep it up, who knows, there could be a miracle!

The new Mia Smart has a clever massaging head, to make the most of those precious creams and serums. There’s also a foundation and eye massager, but I’m not there yet.

Teaology White Tea Miracle Drops.

Teaology Rose Tea Hyaluronic Moisturizing Cream.

One of a range of potions from the new line, which is based on tea infusions, loaded with polyphenols and other beneficial ingredients. This is a rich, versatile cream for face and neck. Can’t wait to try the  white tea serum and cream, as white tea is said to be best for firming.

Korres Wild Rose Spotless Serum. A rose is not just a rose.

Korres Wild Rose Spotless Serum

Deliciously scented with rose, this serum is a light oil with 15 per cent Vitamin C. Love it.

Bonacure Q10 Time Restore Micellar Shampoo and Treatment. Osis+ Magic Anti-Frizz Shine Serum. Osis+ Flatliner Heat Protection Spray

The combination of this mature treatment shampoo and wonderful rich masque, with Osis+ anti-frizz serum and heat protection spray, worked wonders on my hair. My home blowout was almost as good as Simon’s! At a Schwarzkopf event, a stylist advised not to use my delicious hair oils until after the blowout – because I’ve basically been frying my hair all these years. Of course, I won’t do anything without my Wet gel facsimile from Sally’s Beauty. So that’s just three styling products – if you don’t count the oils.

Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner

I love a rich dark waterline – makeup artists’ lessons notwithstanding – and Stila delivers.

Stila Heaven’s Hue Highlighter in Kitten. The cat’s meow

Stila Heaven’s Hue Highlighter in Kitten  

I have always been told that shine is anathema to mature skin. Well, bah humbug to that. Stile’s Kitten highlighter is the cat’s meow, providing glow and contour on my face.

For many years, I was addicted to Stila’s Kitten eyeshadow, a shimmering nude pink. Somehow, I forgot about it. Not anymore.

Clarins Iridescente Ombre.

Clarins Ombre Iridescente in Silver Ivory

Cooler than Kitten, and just as nice.

Mua Moi shade made for me.

Mua Moi Cosmetics custom lipstick in Fine Wine

This was a rare treat, indeed. I happened upon the startup custom lipstick purveyor on de Maisonneuve, days after it opened last summer. Then I happened across it again, at the Cabinet Éphémère popup of Quebec design at Carrefour Laval.

Discontinued lipsticks are a pet peeve, and I am always wondering whether someone, somewhere can recreate those perfect past shades. Yes, they can.

However, Melissa Ackad, one of the owners, made my shade even better. It’s a burgundy gloss from Nars, which I think will disappear soon.

Making the shade at Mua Moi.

Melissa mixed up a brew of pigments, adjusting as I tried with a bit more blue or mustard, until it was the right burgundy, which I called Fine Wine. (Be prepared to name your shade!)

She suggested the vegan texture, which has more staying power than gloss but is not quite matte. We added a touch of rose scent.

Then the mixture is melted, poured into a mold, and stuck in a case. I chose a black case and traditional slanted shape.

Voilà, a lipstick was born. It glides on beautifully, defines my lips and makes my old favourite look dull.

(This post is not sponsored, but the product samples were provided.)