Review: Anna Sui Mascara Primer & Top Coat, Curl & Volume Mascara, and Length & Separation Mascara

anna sui spring 2015 mascara review

For Spring 2015, Anna Sui revamped it’s line of mascaras (previously reviewed here) and broke down its Perfect Mascara into three separate formulas – the Mascara Primer & Top Coat; the Curl & Volume Mascara; and the Length & Separation Mascara. You can use these on their own (with the exception of the Primer & Top Coat) or a combination of any two or all three of these.

anna sui spring 2015 mascara review

The Mascara Primer & Top Coat (C$25) is a clear formula that is designed to prime and protect the lashes, as well as the coloured mascara that goes on these lashes. It features a short screw-type brush, creating an even film that allows mascara to be applied effortlessly on top, and then applied over mascara to create a seal to prolong wear. I really like the shorter type brush head on this Primer & Top Coat because I can get to every single eye lash without getting any on my eyelid. This is perfect for people with smaller eyes or shorter lashes. I also found that it helped to hold my curl better when used as a primer, compared to when I just used mascara alone. The Curl & Volume Mascara (C$29) is my favourite of the bunch. It is a drier formula that helps to build volume and also hold the curl. It features a dual-sided brush, with one side having longer bristles than the other, so you can coat your lashes with more mascara formula via the short side and then comb it out to separate with the longer side. In addition to volume, I also felt like it delivered a good amount of length too. If you are to purchase any one of these mascaras, I’d definitely go for the Curl & Volume because it delivers curl, volume, and length.

Wearing just the Curl & Volume Mascara:

anna sui curl and volume mascara review

The Length & Separation Mascara (C$29) is surprisingly disappointing because my favourite mascara formula from many years back was the Long Mascara from Anna Sui. I had high hopes for this one, but it just didn’t give enough length, volume, even when layered excessively, and it didn’t hold a curl either. It does separate and define the lashes very well, so if you have long, luscious lashes already, this one would be a good option because it can create more natural looking lashes. It has a brush that’s curved, with a side that has shorter bristles and a side with longer bristles. The Length & Separation Mascara also has fibres in the formula to help create length, but I felt like it wasn’t dense enough to actually help build on top of each other.

Wearing just the Length & Separation Mascara:

anna sui length and separation mascara review

I also tried combining these mascaras together to create the ultimate lashy look and my favourite combination is using the Mascara Primer & Top Coat with the Curl & Volume Mascara. I remember wearing this with glasses on and I kept getting irritated that my lashes were so long they kept pushing against my glasses when I blinked. If I wanted a tiny bit more length, I’d apply the Primer & Top Coat, Length & Separation Mascara, and then the Curl & Volume Mascara on top. You can see in photos below that my lashes are quite luscious and long.

Wearing a combination of all three mascaras:

anna sui spring 2015 mascara review

If you had to choose just one, I’d go for the Curl & Volume Mascara, followed by the Mascara Primer & Top Coat (if you can get both), and then I’d recommend either trying out the Length & Separation Mascara for yourself before nixing it, or just skipping it in general. You can purchase any of these Anna Sui mascaras at Murale, online or in stores, at select Shoppers Drug Mart locations, the Bay, and other places that carry Anna Sui.

anna sui spring 2015 mascara review

Review + swatches + look: Shu Uemura Shu:Palette 16 shades of nude

shu uemura shu palette review

The mother of all neutral palettes, the Shu Uemura Shu:Palette (C$105) contains 16 shades of neutrals, from the lightest bone shade to highlight to the darkest matte black shade to line, designed for Asian skintones in mind. The Shu:Palette contains 16 full sized Shu Uemura eyeshadows, including (from left to right, top row then bottom row; where M is matte, P is pearl, IR is iridescent, ME is metallic, and G is glitter):

  • G Beige 821, M Soft Beige 814, ME Light Beige 825, ME Medium Brown 856, M Soft Brown 851, ME Medium Brown 862, IR Light Beige811, and IR Dark Blue 690
  • M Light Beige 813, P Soft Beige 823, S Light Beight 815, P Light Beige 822, P Medium Brown 875, M Dark Brown 895, ME Medium Olive 471, and M Black 990

shu uemura shu palette review
shu uemura shu palette review

Of the 16 shades, I generally like about 80% of them. The quality on all of these are great, as they’re smooth, very easy to apply, and mostly adhere well to skin. Not all of them pack the punch in terms of pigmentation though, which is understandable because some of them are more subtle highlight shades. The ME shades applied the smoothest and had the strongest pigmentation, and were by far my favourite. They weren’t glittery metallics either, but smoother, almost like molten metal.

My favourite shades in this palette were ME Light Beige 825 (3rd from left on top), ME Medium Brown (4th from left on top), M Soft Brown 851 (4th from right on top), P Medium Brown 875 (4th from right on bottom), and M Medium Brown 895 (third from right on bottom). These applied all incredibly smooth, pigmented, and were just a delight to use. The most disappointing shades were G Beige 821 (first from left on top), it’s sheer, somewhat glittery, and powdery – I had a hard time getting this shade to stick; M Soft Beige 814 (2nd from left on top), it was too powdery; P Light Beige 822 (fourth from left on bottom), it was too sheer but would make a great inner corner highlight colour; and M Black 990 (first from right on bottom) , it was a little bit patchy when swatched and had to be blended out significantly.

shu uemura shu palette review

Because these shades were curated specifically with Asian skintones in mind, they don’t lean too cool or too warm in tone – most of them being neutral – as such, this palette would work great for any skin tone, whether you have Asian skin tone or not. Because of the wide range of colours, this palette is truly versatile and can be brought along with you on your travels or safely kept on your vanity.

shu uemura shu palette review

In terms of packaging, it is housed in sleek, long rectangular case and comes with a large mirror. It also comes with a full size, double-ended eyeshadow brush designed specificially for this palette. Made with synthetic bristles, it has a flat wide end for applying and blending on the entire eyelid, and a thinner, smaller end to define the eye frame. While sleek, the packaging is also the biggest downside. While I don’t mind that the palette is quite large, I did find that each eyeshadow pan were not very well glued into its slot; many of them were wobbling a lot while I was swatching these, which made me question how safe it would be to take this on a trip with me.

shu uemura shu palette review
shu uemura shu palette review
shu uemura shu palette review

While at first glance, the Shu:Palette looks like a hefty investment, but when you break it down, it’s actually very good value. You get 16 full size eyeshadows in this palette, along with a full size brush. Shu Uemura eyeshadows are C$19 for each refill, plus their synthetic eye brush is around C$45, and a refill quad is C$17 to house the eyeshadow in. If you just take into consideration the cost of the eyeshadows at full size, it totals to C$304, tack on the brush and you get C$349 in value on a C$105 product. Breaking down the cost of each eyeshadow in the palette, each shade costs approximately $6.56, which is cheaper than some drugstore eyeshadows even.

If you don’t already have a neutral palette that you love and are loyal to (which is rare because there have been so many of them out recently), I’d definitely recommend checking out the Shu:Palette. It is available online only, and just for a limited time.

See swatches and the look I created with this palette… Continue reading

New awesome discovery – Saje Pocket Pharmacy

saje pocket pharmacy review

Recently, due to some rough times in my life, I’ve fallen head over heels in love with Saje. Saje is a Vancouver-based brand of natural healing and aromatherapy products that help to improve lifestyles with the usage of essential oils. The Pocket Pharmacy set (C$49.95) is a set of five essential oil blends each with a specific purpose:

  • Peppermint Halo – featuring essential oils of peppermint, eucalyptus, cajeput, rosemary, lavender, vetiver to help with headache relief.
  • Immune – featuring essential oils of tea tree, pine needle, rosemary, geranium, eucalyptus, peppermint, certified organic cinnamon to heal the body during and after an illness, and also to boost the immune system if used regularly.
  • Eater’s Digest – featuring essential oils of fennel, peppermint, black pepper, roman chamomile, myrth to soothe the stomach and digestive system after a large meal.
  • Pain Release – featuring essential oils of lavender, marjoram, peppermint, roman chamomile, rosemary, cajeput & eucalyptus to relieve muscle soreness and pain.
  • Stress Release – featuring essential oils of lavender, orange, roman chamomile, vetiver, geranium, clary sage & myrtle to relieve stress.

saje pocket pharmacy review

I’ve had positive experiences using all of these remedies, in particular Peppermint Halo (I’m a regular sufferer of bad headaches), Stress Release (my day job is extremely stressful), and Immune (to prevent myself from getting sick when everyone around me were sick). The remedies do really work! I used to be a regular user of Advil for headaches and since I got Peppermint Halo, I’ve yet to had to take a single Advil pill. The peppermint also helps to clear the sinuses, and provide a cooling sensation that can also help to relieve muscle tension around the shoulder and neck area (when applied directly to the shoulder and back of the neck). Immune is also great to use to calm sore throats and to clear any stuffy noses. Stress Release is a non-brainer – I basically keep it at my desk during the day to sniff on whenever I need it. Eater’s Digest is particularly useful after those all-you-can-eat hot pot sessions, and Pain Release is great for muscle tension on my shoulders and neck due to computer usage.

saje pocket pharmacy review

I carry the pouch with me everywhere in my purse so that I can apply and reapply during the day, or wherever I am, when needed. The compact pouch is not only great for carrying the remedies, you can use it as a makeshift wallet or makeup pouch on nights out as well. The best part of that little pouch? It’s made from recycled water bottles.

saje pocket pharmacy review

After becoming addicted to their Pocket Pharmacy, I also went out to buy myself the aromaBreeze, one of their nebulizers, and well as the Good Health Diffuser Blend Kit, a collection of four different scents that each serve a specific purpose to create better health for the user. The aromaBreeze is amazing – it acts as a humidifier and an ultrasonic nebulizer, dispersing essential oils into the air, lasting a whopping 8-10 hours running time (it says 6-8 on the website but I’ve had it for 10 hours straight before). I’ve been most recently using the Tranquility diffuser blend and it’s really helped to de-stress and promote a better sleep environment.

Using all natural ingredients and real essential oils, Saje guarantees 100% customer satisfaction in all of their products, so you can try out their products with no obligations. Saje has 22 brick & mortar stores across Canada, as well as an e-commerce store, all of which you can pick up the Pocket Pharmacy Kit.

At the end of the day, I recommend each and every person at least go check out a Saje store. I have found that it’s helped to improve my life in a positive way, so it’s definitely worth a look!

saje pocket pharmacy review

Gadget review: Aria Beauty Truffle Ionic Mini Blow Dryer

Aria Ionic Mini Blow Dryer review

I was recently offered the chance to try the Aria Beauty Mini Blow Dryer (in the color ‘truffle’) which is a nifty little gadget by a local company, and it retails for $69.99 CAD. I’ve been incorporating this blowdryer into my routine for about a month and a half now, and I am very pleased with its performance!  It is meant to be a small, travel-sized item that packs quite the punch at 1200 watts.

It’s no secret that I wear hair extensions, and because mine are sewn-in via the weave method, it’s incredibly important for me to get the spot where the wefts meet my scalp to be absolutely dry after a shower. I’ve been using the straightening attachment to direct the stream of air right into the base of the hair weft, and it’s done a marvellous job of ensuring that my extensions are properly dried and cared for.

Aria Ionic Mini Blow Dryer review

I am also a fan of the product’s velvety finish! Upon receiving the dryer I was initially worried that it would attract all sorts of product residue due to its subtle texture, but it has amazingly stayed as clean and product-free as the day I first opened the box.  Additionally, the packaging is simply gorgeous and has a magnetic closure, for that small added hint of luxury. It would make a beautiful gift! From the photos where I’m holding the dryer, you can see that it’s quite tiny. Although it is not as powerful as a full-sized dryer, this little guy is still more powerful than I had anticipated. It’s the perfect item to take travelling with you (did I mention that it’s a dual wattage product? Because it is!) and a great upgrade to the built-in hairdryers commonly offered at hotels.

Aria Ionic Mini Blow Dryer review

When I round-brush my hair using the Aria dryer, I find that my hair feels softer and less frizzy than it does after being dried with my drugstore model, so it does deliver on its promise for a static and frizz-free look.

My only issue with the product is what appears to me to be a very jarring design flaw – why doesn’t it have a fold-up handle? For something that is designed to be small, light-weight and travel friendly I simply don’t understand why there isn’t a hinge on the handle to facilitate space-saving. I feel like this dryer could have easily gone from “I will put this in my suitcase” to “it would fit into my purse” if there had been just a tad more thought put into its design.

Aria Ionic Mini Blow Dryer review

Lastly, it is worth mentioning that I was also given the Aria 25 mm Tourmaline Ceramic Clipless Curler (C$139.99), and I was not satisfied with the product at all. The curls unraveled and refused to keep their shape mere moments after finishing each section, and despite attempting to urge them along with both mousse and hairspray I could not manage to get the wand to work for my hair. My hair is very fine but also very stubborn when it comes to curling, so I need a tool that does the job quickly and effectively. After some struggling, I found that I ultimately missed using a traditional curler with a clip, as the amount of time I would have needed to keep my hair wrapped around the barrel of this wand before the style actually lasted would have probably sooner burned my hair right off.

So while I would definitely recommend the Aria Beauty Mini Blow Dryer, especially as an item to take travelling with you to save your hair from the damage of the built-in hotel dryers, I would recommend passing on the Tourmaline Ceramic Clipless Curler altogether. At the hefty price of $139.99, I feel you could accomplish a more long-lasting curl or wave with a $30 Marcel Iron (which is my ultimate go-to curling iron of choice, by the way).

Aria Ionic Mini Blow Dryer review
Aria Ionic Mini Blow Dryer review

GIVEAWAY! MaddyLoves x MYTAGALONGS.com travel + organization set giveaway

 

Hi my awesome readers! Today, I’m collaborating with MYTagalongs to bring you a giveaway for various travel and organization pouches. I’ve used MYTagalong organizing pill pouches before for vitamins, they’re super handy for travelling or for keeping at the office, instead of lugging around the entire pill jar. They come in fun colours that are cute and vibrant, not to mention easy to spot in your luggage or handbag. With so much variety in colour and design, there’s something available for everyone!

You will win:

  1. 1 x Earbud case
  2. 1 x Organizing pouch set for travel and electronics
  3. 1 x Stuff & Go Tube

The total value of this giveaway is over $30.

Enter by:

Additional entries:

Deadline is Midnight PST on Tuesday March 31, 2015. Open to Canadians only.

Good luck!

Review + swatches + look: Lise Watier Baiser Velours matte liquid lipsticks #MyKissStory

Lise watier baiser velours review

For Spring 2015, Lise Watier has introduced a lined of matte liquid lipsticks – Baiser Velours (C$27). Baiser Velours is available in nine beautiful and rich shades. The three I received were Love Kiss, Eternal Kiss, and Party Kiss. Love Kiss is a warm-toned bright pink, Eternal Kiss is a blue-based rich red, and Party Kiss is a cool-toned fuchsia. It comes in a long slim tube with a flat doe foot applicator.

The formula is very similar, if not identical, to the Velvet Lip Lacquer released as a limited edition to the last fall’s Feline collection (reviewed and swatched here, and used in a look here). It has a matte finish, and when dried, feels super lightweight, like you’re not wearing anything at all. It was extremely comfortable to wear, especially for a matte finish. It is super easy to apply, as normally with bright lipsticks you’d likely need a lip brush for precision application, but due to the relatively pointy tip of the doe foot applicator, you can achieve very clean lines very easily without the need for a lip brush. The colours, as you can see in the swatch photos below, are phenomenal. These photos were taken with just one swipe of colour, and they are super rich and deep. On the lips, they look incredible and is definitely not for the lighthearted or casual lipstick wearer.

It’s not entirely transfer-proof like the Velvet Lip Lacquer released last year, and I also found it pretty smudgeable with either a napkin (I ended up with some on my chin after lunch) or your finger, if you’re not careful. This could be good because you can easily wipe it off anywhere that you don’t want it, compared to other liquid lipsticks that not only won’t budge, but also stains whatever surface it touches.

I’m not a huge fan of the packaging; I have three of these and it’s hard to tell which shade is which, so in the future it’d be awesome if Lise Watier created transparent packaging, or at least some colour indicator on the cap or something to allow users to easily identify which colour they’re picking up. My biggest dislike about this lipstick is that I found it to be quite drying. I wore this two days in a row and by the end of the second day, my lips were pretty chapped. I applied lip balm overnight and also before applying this during the day, but they were still left pretty parched. Due to the dryer nature of the product, they also migrated and stayed on any dry spots or lip lines, and even the application of lip balm on top of the lipstick could not save the patchiness.

Even with the dryness, I still really like the Lise Watier Baiser Velours lipsticks. The light texture and the beautiful colours just draw me to them, and I can always just give a bit more TLC to my lips after each wear, which is no big deal. Overall, definitely recommend you check these out!

The swatches

From left to right: Love Kiss, Eternal Kiss, and Party Kiss

Lise watier baiser velours swatches

The look

Wearing Lise Watier Baiser Velours in Party Kiss. You can also see me wearing Love Kiss on Instagram here.

Lise watier baiser velours review
Lise watier baiser velours review

I love the press kit packaging! It’s so nice when brands take time to personalize the kits, it really shows that they care. Thanks, Lise Watier!

Lise watier baiser velours review

Top 10 things to be grateful for in 2015

we-tend-to-forget-that-happiness-doesnt-come-as-a-result-of-getting-something-we-dont-have-but-rather-of-recognizing-and-appreciating-what-we-do-have

I was inspired by MizzJ’s post here to list out the things that we’re grateful for. I feel like so far, 2015 has been a transition year for me. Even though it’s only March, there has already been so much change in my life that’s really made me slow down and look around me to see what my life is all about, and where I want my life to me. Due to some personal issues, January and February have been difficult for me, but it’s true when they say when one door closes, many other open up. Through hardships, I’ve been incredibly lucky to discover myself, as well as discover more about what matters in life. So enough rambling, below are the top 10 things that I am grateful for:

  1. My health – yes this is a copy of MizzJ’s top thing, but I’ve realized in the past couple of years how important it is to have a healthy body and live a healthier life. In the past year, I’ve been extra diligent with my health, going for regular doctor checkups, not leaving things to heal on their own and making sure I get checked up if I’m not feeling good, and making sure to take things slow and focus on health first. I gained a bunch of weight in 2014, but over the month of February, I managed to lose all of that, and then some.
  2. Friends & family – it’s true what they say – your best of friends will be there for you through the highs and lows. Not only do they happily celebrate your successes, but they will faithfully be by your side when you’re at your worst. I’ve been extremely fortunate to be blessed with amazing friends who have stood by my side through the times when I’m jumping up and down from joy, as well as the times when I just want to curl up into a ball and cry. While I don’t have very many friends, the ones I do have, I treasure and stay loyal to.
  3. Opportunities – I feel very lucky to be able to work with some of the biggest and best beauty brands in the world. I’ve been blogging for nearly 7 years now and even though blogging is a huge time commitment (usually one whole weekend day a week), I feel very happy doing it because of all the opportunities that I’ve been able to get through blogging. This has made my life a lot more colour (figuratively and literally!) and I feel a lot more fulfilled. The positive energy coming from these opportunities have also helped me look ahead to all the positive things in life, despite the setbacks that have occurred recently.
  4. Ability to fight for what I believe in – I’ve always been the type of person to be anxious and overthink things before I do them, but in the past few months I’ve been more impulsive and acting on my emotions than on my brain. While this can be good or bad, I feel like this method has allowed me to fight for what I truly believe in. If it doesn’t work out, at least I can tell myself that I truly tried, I put in my all, and now I can get over it and move on with my life.
  5. My bed – I’m thankful for the mattress underneath me, the food on my table, and the roof over my head. I’m also thankful that I have a steady job that allows me to (most of the time) sleep in peacefully on the weekends without worrying (too much).
  6. My job – while my job is stressful, it’s relatively stable and I feel like I have okay job security at the moment (*knock on wood*). I’m also grateful for a good boss who is willing to stand by his employees’ sides, and also be open to new ideas and knowledge sharing. I also feel fortunate that I work for a big company that comes with plenty of opportunities for growth domestically and internationally.
  7. Money – I’ve been a lot more diligent with my money in the last year or so, I’ve been eating out less and buying less frivolous things. The biggest thing is that I’ve been more aggressive about paying off my student loans. I’m currently way ahead of my original payment schedule, so I look forward to being debt-free and having the additional disposable income to put towards savings, or other experiences such as travel.
  8. Love – I’m thankful knowing that I am able to love passionately and be loved. I’m thankful that I know when the time comes, I can put myself out there and give it my all. And then if like #4, it doesn’t work out, then I’m free of regrets because I know I did the best I can.
  9. The weather – while Vancouver is rainy 70% or more of the year, I’m super grateful that the weather has been mostly consistently sunny and warm in the last little while, at least compared to the East Coast snow storms. My desk faces a window that looks out to the North Shore mountains and Burrard Inlet in Vancouver, AKA one of the most expensive views of all Vancouver, so when the weather is especially nice, it’s a lovely thing to see and it helps bring up my mood a lot.
  10. YOU GUYS! – I’m so happy to be able to share my ramblings on the internet and have real people read and comment on it. YAY!! It’s been an incredible journey over the last few years – meeting new bloggers who have become really close friends of mine, reading all of your sweet and insightful comments, and seeing my readership increase over time. Blogging has quickly become one of my favourite past-times, and I hope to be doing it for many, many more years to come.

What are you grateful for in 2015?

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Swatches + nail art: CND Vinylux Garden Muse collection for Summer 2015

CND Vinylux Garden Muse swatches

Arriving in stores and online this month, the CND Vinylux Garden Muse collection for summer 2015 is a treat for the eyes. A collection of 6 shades, it is available in the Vinylux weekly polish formula, or the Shellac power polish 14-day formula:

  • Beckoning Begonia – a lilac with fine silver sparkles
  • Crushed Rose – a dusty rose creme, my favourite of the bunch!
  • Wisteria Haze – a lavender creme
  • Lost Labyrinth – a metallic blue
  • Reflecting Pool – a blue creme
  • Butterfly Queen – a shimmery magenta with chunky sparkles

I’ve previously done an extensive review of the Vinylux formula here, and my views for this collection remain the same. The brushes in each of these polishes are a dream to use, and the polish dries super quickly and with the top coat, gives off a very beautiful shine.

The CND Vinylux formula is priced at C$11.95 and is available now at Chatters salons, Trade Secrets stores and select salons that use CND products.

The swatches

From left to right: Beckoning Begonia, Reflecting Pool, Crushed Rose, Lost Labyrinth, and Butterfly Queen

CND Vinylux Garden Muse swatches

Nail art look

I was invited by CND to experience a Shellac manicure using products from the Garden Muse collection and my nail artist, Denise, did this office-friendly yet still funky nail art on me. Using the Shellac version of Beckoning Begonia and on all of the nails except for the ring finger, which she used the Shellac exclusive Hot Pop Pink (the Shellac alternative for Crushed Rose). She then used a nail stamper to stamp a design on my ring finger using Beckoning Begonia, and finished off with some sparkles. I’m super loving this design for spring!

CND Garden Muse swatches

Will you be picking up any of these colours?

Experience: Lumiere Skin Health & Wellness Centre Skinovage Skin Performance Facial featuring Babor products

Lumiere Skin Health & Wellness Centre - Web_MG_7494-Edit

A few weeks ago, I was invited by Lumiere Skin Health & Wellness Centre to experience a Skin Consultation by Reveal Imager, followed by a Skinovage Skin Performance Facial, featuring products from Babor. Lumiere is located conveniently in downtown Vancouver on Granville and Pender, within walking distance of all the major skytrain lines.

The Skin Consultation by Reveal Imager ($40, redeemable on products) step is to assess your skin’s health and your skin’s specific needs using a special digital imager that takes a photo of your face, and then using different light filters, analyzes your skin’s surface as well as beneath the skin’s surface. My skin consultation showed that I had dehydration around my cheeks and forehead, some clogged pores around my nose and chin, and also hyperpigmentation on my cheeks.

The Skinovage Skin Performance Facial ($99) is a personalized facial using products designed to suit your particular skin needs. My skin diagnosis meant that my treatment was designed for treating dehydration and dullness. The Babor products she used on me included (all available for purchase at Lumiere):

  • Hy-Ol + Phytoactive Reactivating to cleanse
  • Phytoactive Reactivating Mask
  • Mild Peeling
  • Algae Active Fluid
  • Anti-Wrinkle Eye Fluid
  • Complex C Cream

This facial was one of the few that I experienced that focused on massage and promoting blood circulation instead of traditional masks that just sit on the face. Marvice, my esthetician, used massage techniques to promote product absorption during each step of the facial process. With the cleansing process, she massaged the Hy-Ol into my skin to make sure that all of the impurities are captured within the oil cleanser, and then properly emulsified using the Phytoactive Reactivating, and wiped off. Marvice also used warm towels followed by a cold towel to help open and close the pores in between each step, which helped to detox my skin and also help with product absorption. I felt like the products weren’t piled on my face one by one and not giving it enough time to sink in, which is a big problem with a lot of other hydrating facials. In the end, I felt like my skin felt super plump and hydrated, and it didn’t feel heavy at all.

Lumiere Skin Health & Wellness Centre - Web_MG_7499

Each facial service is also followed by a makeup touch up. She used Youngblood mineral products on my skin, and just lightly dusted some powder foundation and setting powder on my skin, so that I’d be ready for the rest of the day.

The only thing about Lumiere is that the opening hours are quite short – from 10AM to 6PM, Tuesdays to Saturdays, and appointments are required. I work downtown so it was easy for me to sneak a lunchtime facial in, but if you live or work anywhere else, it would be hard to schedule a time in. That being said, if you do work downtown and would like a mid-day pick-me-up, this is the perfect place to go. The quiet and serenity of the spa really helped to give me a relaxing experience in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city.

If you are interested in long-term skincare treatments, they also offer a monthly facial membership in which you pay an annual fee, and then you can get a discount on your services each month. You can get more information about the membership, as well as see the service prices, on their website here.

Lumiere Skin Wellness & Health Centre
Rogers Building
401-470 Granville Street
Vancouver, V6C 1V5
Ph: 604-801-9881
info@lumierespa.ca

Lumiere Skin Health & Wellness Centre - Web_MG_7505Lumiere Skin Health & Wellness Centre - Web_MG_7656-Edit

Review: La Fille de la Mer’s Spicy Shaving Soap

1970868_10154587831895317_1228660646572591508_nToday, I am excited to introduce my first guest post by a man! Thanks to my awesome friend, and guest contributor, Liza for enticing her fiance Mark to also come review products for me. Thanks Liza and Mark :D

La Fille de la Mer primarily makes skin care products for women but they do have a few for the gents in your life.

Shaving products are some of the most personal items a man can use but they are also among the most generic. A good cream or soap’s main purpose is to moisturize the skin, open the pores and prepare it for the sometimes rough treatment to come. The qualities shown above and beyond those basic requirements is what can make a man fiercely loyal to his favourite brand.

What it claims (from La Fille de la Mer):  What could be better than an old fashioned spicy shaving soap to replace your traditional shaving cream? It’s economic and ecologic to use!
For normal skin types, this shaving soap is made with spruce, eucalyptus and ginger essential oils.

Price: $35 CAD for 4.2 oz bowl

Texture/Scent: Thick, dense foam that clings well. Unspecific, mild scent.

The good: Once you get it on your face it has a strong presence. Foams out of a can tend to feel light and airy, sitting unevenly on the surface. A brush-on soap is more likely to properly soak the skin. This one provides a thick, even lather without messy excess. We were given their matching shaving brush to test and it performed well.

  • Thick, even layer
  • Mild scent for sensitive noses

The bad: The Spicy Shaving Soap was not that spicy. Despite the presence of coconut oil high up in the ingredient list, you really could not make it out in the scent. If you’re looking for a scent to connect with this will not provide it to you.

The soap comes formed to the bowl but loose inside of it. If you have a heavy hand using the brush the soap will often rotate freely inside of the bowl, making the whole process take more time than it should. This needs a very light touch to get the brush lathered up. I feel that once the bowl is more than half-gone it might be difficult to lather up what’s left.

The soap also left my skin feeling a bit tight and dry afterwards.

  • A bit challenging to use
  • Not distinctive in any way
  • Drying

Overall: This soap will cover the basics reasonably well. The ceramic bowl it comes in is a nice item and many people will no doubt enjoy keeping it. The scent is unspecific as not to offend. If you’re not particularly attached to your current product give it a go. I used it in conjunction with the shaving brush, which was scratchy (but also inexpensive).

Product: 15/20
Packaging: 2.5/5
Value: 3/5
Overall: 19.5/30 | C+
Repurchase? No. Likely try something else.