Dermalogica reviews: Ultracalming Cleanser & Multi-Active Toner

Dermalogica ultracalming cleanser and multi-active toner review

Dermalogica makes some of my favourite skincare products (Daily Microfoliant, Skin Hydrating Booster, just to name a few). I attended a Dermalogica product feature event a few months ago and discovered a few more products to add to my favourites – the Ultracalming Cleanser and the Multi-Active Toner – both popular among their loyal clientele.

Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser

Dermalogica ultracalming cleanser review

Formulated for sensitive skins, the UltraCalming Cleanser is a non-foaming, gel-based cleanser that is massaged onto the skin then rinsed or wiped off with tissue or a sponge. I use this product after removing my makeup with either Precleanse or the Precleanse wipes as a second cleanse. This is the perfect product to take camping or when you need to wash your face but don’t have ready access to running water. Because I can take my time to massage it in, I find that it cleans really well without stripping. It leaves my skin feeling super soft and ready for toner. I found that the Precleanse wipes can be a little irritating on my skin at times, especially if I have heavy makeup on, and the UltraCalming Cleanser soothes any irritation and redness.

From the ingredients list below, you can see there are lots of awesome ingredients such as ginger root extract, glycerin, oat kernal extract, cucumber fruit extract, and others, all of which are soothing and help calm redness and irritation. Because there are lots of natural ingredients, some of the other reviewers have said it actually causes more irritation, likely due to allergies. I didn’t experience any negative effects with using this cleanser.

Bottom line is that I love it, and I will continue to take this around with me when using running water to wash my face isn’t an option. I follow the UltraCalming Cleanser with a spritz (in the morning), or a wipe down with a cotton pad (in the evening) of Multi-Active Toner, reviewed below.

Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser is priced at $47.50 for 250mL, available online and wherever Dermalogica products are sold (store locator).

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Cetearyl Alcohol, Bisabolol, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Glycerin, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Butylene Glycol, Pentylene Glycol, Hydroxyphenyl Propamidobenzoic Acid, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Fumaria Officinalis Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Fumaric Acid, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract, Echinacea Purpurea Extract, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Cetyl Trimethyl Ammonium Chloride, Salix Alba Bark Extract, Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract, Glyceryl Caprylate, Tetrasodium EDTA, Panthenol, Aminomethyl Propanol.

Dermalogica Multi-Active Toner

Dermalogica multi-active toner review

The Multi-Active Toner is the multipurpose toner for all skin types. Basically Dermalogica’s workhorse toner, it is suitable for everyone, and at any age. This toner contains aloe, lavender extract, cucumber extract, and other fruit and floral extracts to help soothe and condition the skin for serum and moisturizer. I use this spritzed directly on my face in the morning for a pick-me-up, and spritzed on a cotton pad and wiped down my face at night to get every last bit of makeup and gunk from my pores. Together with the UltraCalming Cleanser, I find that it really soothes my skin, especially when I’m tired or stressed and that’s reflected in my skin. My skin feels more perked up after every use. It actually reminds me a lot of the Cellnique Soothing & Hydration Lotion that I loved but this is much more easily accessible.

If you’re looking for a good pick-me-up in the morning that’s also beneficial to your skin, or just a simple soothing toner, this is the product for you.  The giant 250mL bottle will also last you a looooong time with daily use.

Dermalogica UltraCalming Cleanser is priced at $45. for 250mL, available online and wherever Dermalogica products are sold (store locator).

Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Butylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Extract, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Sodium Lactate, Sodium PCA, Sorbitol, Proline, Propylene Glycol, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Hedera Helix (Ivy) Leaf/Stem Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Sambucus Nigra Flower Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Parietaria Officinalis Extract, Ricinoleth-40, Polysorbate 20, Methyl Gluceth-20, PEG-12 Dimethicone, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Linalool, Polyquaternium-4, Disodium EDTA, Sodium Citrate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil

Review + Swatches: Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow swatches and review

For its 30th anniversary this year, Make Up For Ever revamped its entire eyeshadow line and created the Artist Shadow, a range of 210 eyeshadows available in 5 different textures and finishes – matte, satin, iridescent, metal, and diamond. The new eyeshadows are based on a breakthrough formula that include Pigment Atomization, used for maximize colour delivery to up to 88% concentrated pigment (the highest on the market), and Water-Blend Technology, which allows for increased blendability and even texture.

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow swatches and review

I was invited to play with the Artist Shadows in person and also create my own palette. Just like Make Up For Ever’s founder, Dany Sanz, we started off by creating a mood board that reflected our moods and feelings at the time. I had recently just booked a vacation to sunny Mexico so I had summer tropics in mind. For my shades, I selected a diamond gold (D410) to highlight, a metallic emerald (ME304) as the main shade, and an iridescent bronze (I328) to accentuate. The emerald and bronze shades were swatched with just one swipe, and the gold shade had multiple swipes.

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow swatches and review
Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow swatches and review

All of the shades that I swatched at the event were beautifully smooth, pigmented, and absolutely gorgeous. All of the darker colours swatched extremely rich and bold, with plenty of depth, and while the lighter colours weren’t as rich but were still smooth and easy to use. Because they apply super smoothly, you don’t technically need a primer to help the colour adhere (you may still want it for longevity though). The pink and red shades can also double as blushes, so the products are extremely versatile.

I definitely recommend you check these out in store. With more 210 shades, you are bound to find ones that you love to create a palette with. Or if you’re like me, you get stuck with indecision when faced with so many options, so something like a mood board would be very helpful to help pinpoint the shades you want.

Priced at $25 for a single, $39 for duo, and $50 for trio, the Artist Shadows are available at and Make Up For Ever boutiques starting in September. The eyeshadows come in magnetic pro pans that you can customize and store in the single, duo, or trio cases, perfect and convenient for travelling!

Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow swatches and review
Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow swatches and review
Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow swatches and review
Make Up For Ever Artist Shadow swatches and review

Almay reviews: Smart Shade Anti-Aging Makeup, Shadow Softies, & Liquid Lip Balm

Almay smart shade anti-aging makeup review and swatch

Almay, a brand available at most drugstores, is focused on creating soft, everyday wearable makeup that is also hypoallergenic and easy to apply. The products are fool proof, with most of the products coming with application instructions. I previously did a brand/product overview of some of their products here. In the last year or so, Almay has come out with a few new products, some that I love and some that I didn’t love quite so much. I review the Smart Shade Anti-Aging Skintone Matching Makeup, the Shadow Softie, and the Liquid Lip Balm below.

Almay Smart Shade Anti-Aging Skintone Matching Makeup

Available in just three skintone-adjusting shades, the Almay Smart Shade Anti-Aging Skintone Matching Makeup is AMAZING! I have the shade in light and you can see in the swatch that it has completely blended into the colour of my arm. On my face, it also blends in flawlessly and with zero effort. It is great at covering imperfections, smoothing over pores, and creating an overall illuminated, but natural-looking skin. There is a little bit of microshimmer in the foundation, but it is barely noticeable on the face (I only noticed it because it left my fingers looking sparkly after blending this in). In terms of oil control, it is just about average; I do need to blot after 4 hours-ish, which is normal for me. In terms of coverage, it is light to medium, and can be built to medium. Keep in mind that the sparkles look a bit more prominent if this is built up, but it doesn’t look cakey or unnatural.

Only thing is while it is available in three shades, the shades go from light, light/medium, to just medium. If you have much darker skin then you likely won’t be able to find a match. For reference, I am MAC NC25, Chanel B20, Guerlain 02 and I use the light shade. If you are able to find a match, then run out to grab one ASAP!

Almay smart shade anti-aging makeup review and swatch

Almay Shadow Softies

almay shadow softies review and swatch

Almay Shadow Softies are eyeshadow singles, touted to be a whipped powder formula that is light as air. In reality these are just powder eyeshadows, and while they are soft and light, they are also extremely sheer. I wasn’t expecting intense colour by any means, just because Almay is more of a soft, day-makeup kind of brand, but these were disappointingly sheer. I also tried using them on top of a primer and it didn’t really help with the colour payoff. If you’re a fan of sheer, barely there colour, then I’d recommend you check these out, but if you prefer intense colours, these are a skip.

Swatches from left to right: Honeydew, Creme Brulee and Lilac

almay shadow softies review and swatch
almay shadow softies review and swatch

Almay Liquid Lip Balm

Almay’s Liquid Lip Balm is a tinted liquid balm-like gloss. It’s sheer and applies almost jelly-like, and is very comfortable to wear. The shades I have are Just Plum Good, a rosy plum shade, and Nudetrients, a sheer nude-beige. These are great if you want just a light tint of colour with a bit of glossy shine, and help make your lips look plump.I’m not a huge gloss person, and generally prefer lipstick (it’s all that hair sticking to my lips!), but if I were, I’d wear these as a natural flush of colour at the office; they are definitely more comfortable and effortless to wear compared to conventional glosses.

Almay liquid lip balm review and swatch

The best body lotion ever – Bio Beaute by Nuxe High Nutrition Lotion for Sensitive Skin

review of bio beaute nuxe high nutrition lotion for body

The High Nutrition Lotion for Sensitive Skin with Natural Cold Cream for Body by Bio Beaute by Nuxe ($20 for 150mL) has a very long name, and is seriously is one of the best body lotions I’ve ever used. It absorbs immediately in the skin, and leaves my legs feeling silky smooth after every application. It is lightly scented with a bit of a powdery scent but it disappears pretty quickly. I have dry skin that can get scaly and itchy and this is perfect as it both moisturizes and soothes.

Up high on the ingredients list are items such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, rose water and glycerin. The texture of the lotion is very light and fluid, and the ingredients feel extremely well refined. The only thing is the 150mL small tube lasts a month max with daily use, which can get expensive fast. There is also a 400mL bottle that is more economical and comes with a pump.

The Bio Beaute by Nuxe High Nutrition Lotion for Sensitive Skin is perfect for any skin type. Because it is so light, you can use it even if you have normal or oilier skin, but if you have dry skin, it will help to hydrate and soothe.

Distribution is relatively limited, as its only available at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada, but trust me if you can get to a Shoppers Drug Mart, this is worth every cent! It is also available in a Body Balm formula for those with very dry skin, as well as a Hand Cream and Face Cream.


bio beaute nuxe high nutrition lotion for body ingredients

Perfect gift idea: Tatcha Ritual Discovery Kit

Tatcha Ritual Discovery Kit review

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Tatcha‘s philosophy and skincare products. I’ve previously reviewed their Supple Moisture Rich Silk Cream, which is their basic moisturizer for all skin types. Today I’m sharing with you their Ritual Discovery Kit, which is a travel set/starter kit for those who are new to Tatcha and want to try their star products.

Tatcha Ritual Discovery Kit

Housed in beautiful glass jars, included in the Kit are:

  • PURE One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil (25mL – value of $8)
  • POLISHED Rice Enzyme Powder (14 x 1g one-time use packets – value of $15)
  • RADIANT Deep Brightening Serum (10mL – value of $37)
  • Your choice of SUPPLE Moisture Rich Silk Cream (10mL – for combination, oily or sensitive skin – value of $30) or AGELESS Enriching Renewal Cream (10mL – for dry skin – value of $37)

The One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil (full size – $48 for 150mL) is created from a mix of rice bran oil and camellia oil, and also includes algae extract and green tea leaf extract for long-term skincare benefits while you cleanse. This oil is great for all skin types, as it melts off makeup, emulsifies completely and leaves skin feeling smooth and not stripped.

The Rice Enzyme Powder (full size – $65 for 60 grams) is available in three formulations for a classic cleanse, a deep cleanse, or gentle cleanse. My favourite type of exfoliant – the water-activated enzyme powder – exfoliates without being abrasive on the skin, instead relying on enzyme and gentle chemical exfoliants to eat away at the dead skin cells. My skin is left feeling super smooth and well cleansed, and also creates the perfect canvas for serums and moisturizers.

The Deep Brightening Serum (full size – $185 for 50mL) is formulated with rice extract, silk extract, licorice root extract, algae extract and green tea left extract. While I felt that the Deep Brightening Serum is lightly moisturizing, I didn’t notice any brightening effect. This one is a nice-to-have but not a must-have.

My Kit included the Enriching Renewal Cream (full size – $185 for 50mL), which is an intensive skin renewal cream that promotes anti-aging benefits and microcirulation in the skin. I have found another winner in Tatcha’s moisturizers! This product would be perfect for night-time intensive treatment while the Moisture Rich Silk Cream would be great for daytime use. The cream is very well refined and absorbs quickly in the skin. In the morning, I wake up with plump and healthy skin. Since I only have the travel sized version, I didn’t notice any long-term improvements to my skin.

The Ritual Discovery Kit is a great way to test out Tatcha’s star products at an introductory price. With a value of $90-97 but priced at $59, you don’t break the bank. This would also be a great gift idea, or a convenient travel skincare set. Recommend? Absolutely.

Tatcha Ritual Discovery Kit
Tatcha Ritual Discovery Kit
Tatcha Ritual Discovery Kit
Tatcha Ritual Discovery Kit
Tatcha Ritual Discovery Kit
Tatcha Ritual Discovery Kit
Tatcha Ritual Discovery Kit