Review + swatches – Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017 review and swatches

Yes it is indeed a bit early for holiday collections considering I am a bit behind to review certain fall products, however I know there’s been a lot of interest in this collection so I wanted to get this out to everyone as soon as possible. Today I am featuring the Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collaboration, which is a collection near and dear to my heart because my boyfriend is a huge video game nerd. For the recent launch of the Super Nintendo Mini #SNES, we got up super early in the morning to line up for it. We were lucky and managed to get one each, and so far we’ve been enjoying playing with it.

This collection is split into three categories: skin, hair, and makeup. All of the products come with a super adorable 8 bit Super Mario print, featuring Mario and Peach.

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017 review and swatches

The two skin products I have are the Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil and the Skin Perfector – Yuzu Makeup Refresher Mist. The Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil (C$49 for 150mL or C$99 for 450mL) doesn’t need an introduction, it’s one of Shu’s most popular cleansing oils and the most luxurious. It contains eight precious botanical oils to give you the richest and most nourishing cleanse. I have dry skin, so I love this one because it feels richer and more hydrating than the others. I can use this for a light facial massage at night, and it removes all of the impurities and makeup off my skin, leaving it supple and smooth.

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017 review and swatches

The Skin Perfector – Yuzu Makeup Refresher Mist (C$34 for 50mL) can be used as a hydrating facial spray, or a dewy makeup setting spray. It has a light smelling yuzu scent which is super refreshing and uplifting. I love to use this at my desk in the winter because it helps to rehydrate my skin without disturbing my makeup. The bottle is super cute, as the Mario print translates really well on this small dainty packaging.

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017 review and swatches

Shu Uemura makes some amazing haircare products, and I’m super happy that they’ve decided to use the Cleansing Oil hair series with the Super Mario collaboration. This series is inspired by the traditional benefits of Japanese hot spring water to give your hair the same benefits (I’ve been to a Japanese hot spring, it is AMAZING for your skin and hair, probably the most magical thing I’ve ever experienced). I’ve gone through at least two bottles of the Cleansing Oil Shampoo (C$56 for 400mL) because it’s fantastic at cleansing while keeping my hair feeling balanced and nourished. The Cleansing Oil Conditioner (C$56 for 250mL) is a bit too light for my hair, and I prefer something a bit thicker so I would probably skip this. The Essence Absolute (C$69 for 150mL) is a hair treatment oil that contains camellia oil, and helps to protect hair against dryness, frizz, and UV damage. It comes in such a HUGE bottle, even though half a pump is basically enough for my hair. It’s pretty expensive but the value is pretty insane considering a little bit goes such a long way.

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017 review and swatches

After cleansing, conditioning, and nourishing your hair, you can style it with the Master Wax (C$42), a cream-to-wax formula that helps to add texture to your hair.

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017 review and swatches

Saving the best for last, the Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. makeup is super cute. The star product is the Peach’s Eye and Cheek palette (C$125) which contains two sets of eyeshadows and blushes to create two unique looks. The first set is a Darling Princess pink-plum look using eyeshadow shades IR Pink, S Mauve, and P Plum, with a complementary warm pinky peach blush in the shade Dreamy Peach. The second set is an Adventurous Princess orange-bronze look, featuring eyeshadow shades G Gold Light, ME Orange, and ME Bronze, as well as cheek colour Brave Orange. Normally I find Shu Uemura shadows, especially in these limited edition collaboration palettes, to be really sheer, glittery, and lower colour payoff than most other brands I’ve tried. I was really pleasantly surprised to find that the Adventurous Princess look is quite pigmented with good colour payoff. The Darling Princess look is still sheerer than most Western brand eyeshadows, but I know that Japanese makeup tends to be on the subtler side just because women look for makeup to wear everyday to the office.

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017 review and swatches

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017 review and swatches

Next, we have limited edition Drawing Pencils (C$28), which are pencil liners that are ultra creamy that can add a pop of dimension to any eye look. It comes in limited edition Super Mario Bros. packaging, and is availability in four shades. The two shades I have are Light Orange and Brick Brown. Light Orange is a shimmery burnt orange-copper, and Brick Brown is a warm chocolate brown.

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017 review and swatches

In terms of lips, there are two products featured in this collection: the Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte, available in three shades, and the Tint in Balm, available in two shades. The Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte (C$36) shades are all part of the permanent collection, but with limited edition Mario packaging. The shade I have is RD 187, which is a dark raspberry red. It’s a pretty full coverage red that is matte but not drying. It wears very comfortably and still feels light on the lips. The The Tint in Balms (C$36) are both limited edition in special edition shades; the one I have is Underground Adventure which is a sheer, balmy plum.

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017 review and swatches

Lastly, as with any Shu Uemura limited edition collection, we have the Invincible Superstar Premium Gold Curler (C$25) With a super cute 8 bit star charm. I love collecting these limited edition curlers because they are both super useful (I always misplace my lash curler) and are a fun way to get a piece of any collection.

Out of this entire collection, I would recommend picking up a bottle of the Essence Absolute, the Ultime8 Cleansing Oil, and the Rouge Unlimited Supreme Matte. The other products are nice to have but not must haves. If you don’t already own a Shu lash curler, then get on it and pick p the Invincible Superstar Premium Gold Curler.

The swatches

Darling Princess eyeshadows (left top) and blush (left bottom) and Adventurous Princess eyeshadows (right top) and blush (right bottom).

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017 review and swatches

This picture looks a bit dark but the swatches are true to colour.

Shu Uemura x Super Mario Bros. collection for Holiday 2017 review and swatches

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New obsession: Pandora charm bracelets

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I recently have been enamoured with the Pandora charm bracelet. My good friend J has been collecting these charms for years but it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I started being obsessed with them. At the time, Pandora was doing a promotion where if you spend $125CAD/$100USD in store, you can get the starter bracelet for free, so of course I took advantage of this special deal and started myself a bracelet.

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I read up on people’s inspirations for starting a Pandora bracelet. Many of them wanted the versatility of being able to style your own bracelet, but others wanted it as a sentimental token. My inspiration is the latter – I wanted each of my charms to reflect something special in my life, whether it is a reflection of my personality or to commemorate a special event or time in my life.

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To start my bracelet (and to get the bracelet itself for free!) I chose three charms that I felt reflected me. I chose the Chinese lantern, for my heritage and background; a London bus, for my love for travel; and a quaint little house, to represent the importance of my family and home in my life.

I’m hoping to slowly accumulate my charm collection over time; I want this to be something I can look back to when I’m old and reminisce about all the memories. The only thing is I have to try to stop myself from buying all the cute charms now, which would defeat the purpose!

Some other charms I’m hoping to add to my collection:

pandora3Pandora’s Box

pandora4Camera

pandora1Love Letter – my favourite of all the love-related charms!

pandora2Key to my Heart (silver / silver+gold)

What are some ways you remember the past, do you keep a scrapbook or store your memories in sentimental items?

Review: L’Occitane Aromachologie Control Styling Prep-Cream

L'Occitane Aromachologie Control Styling Prep-Cream review

The L’Occitane Aromachologie Control Styling Prep-Cream is a silicone-free leave-in conditioner that claims to repair hair as well as tame frizz. The product can be used on damp or dry hair, and a little bit of the product goes a rather long way.

After towel-drying, I apply about a quarter-sized amount onto my hair, concentrating mostly on the ends, and running whatever remains on my hands up closer to the scalp. It is worthwhile to note that I wear hair extensions (mine are sewn-in, via the weave method), and extensions are notorious for absorbing all sorts of moisture and product. If I were to use this product on only my natural hair, I would probably reduce the amount by half.

My hair is very fine and is prone to flyways and frizz, so I’ve found that this product does a good job of taming my hair and getting it nice and smooth before I heat style it. Additionally, it smells incredible! It has a very complex fruity-floral aroma, and I can definitely smell the Sweet Orange fragrance that is said to be one of the ingredients.

The drawbacks to this product are that it’s quite pricey. You could get a comparable product at a drugstore (I’m personally a fan of the John Frieda series) that would do an adequate job for half of the price.  Yes, the L’Occitane Control Styling Prep-Cream is good, and silicone-free, but it’s not amazing. At 34$ for 200ml I would expect better fly-away control and a significant improvement in hair texture over time.

Lastly, I am not a huge fan of the packaging. The tube comes with a twist-cap that cannot be removed, and when twisted slightly, dispenses the product through a small opening on the bottom of the cap itself. If you are like me and find yourself holding a million different tools/products when you style your hair, it’s hard to use this product with one hand. Also, unless you take the time to clean the cap every time after use, product residue is bound to make its way onto your countertop.

Overall, this is a very nice product that does its job well and smells incredible, but it is not a revolutionary breakthrough in hair care by any stretch. I would recommend it to someone looking to try a silicone-free leave-in product, however due to its price, it’s unlikely that I will repurchase it myself.

The L’Occitane Aromachologie Control Styling Prep-Cream retails for $34 CAD for 200ml and can be purchased on the L’Occitane website or at L’Occitane boutiques.

Ingredients:

L'Occitane Aromachologie Control Styling Prep-Cream review

This review was written by Liza. The products in this post were provided by PR; all opinions belong to Liza.

Preventative eye creams for early signs of aging, featuring BareMinerals, L’Occitane en Provence, Estee Lauder

A big misconception that people often have is that you can fix your under-eye wrinkles. If you imagine a new piece of paper that’s been wrinkled up, regardless of how much you try to smooth it out, it will never go back to being that brand new smooth crisp sheet you started with. That’s similar with the under-eye area – if you have lots of lines and wrinkles, unfortunately you won’t ever go back to looking like you didn’t have any. That being said, you can prevent fine lines and wrinkles from showing up in the first place by using proper eye care. Eye creams, eye serums, and eye masks are great at 1) preventing those lines from forming in the first place, and 2) making your under-eye area appear smoother (if you already have lines). Today I have a few recent eye releases to share with you.

BareMinerals Brilliant Future Age Defense & Renew Eye Cream

BareMinerals Brilliant Future Age Defense & Renew Eye Cream (C$49 for 15mL) is a new eye cream from BareMinerals for Spring 2017. It contains a few key active ingredients: Manganese to help support the skin’s defense against signs of aging; Vitamin C to help brighten the skin’s appearance and improve skin tone; Alfalfa Seed Extract to help de-puff and reduce under eye circles; as well as youth peptides and eye reviving peptides to combat the appearance of fine lines and dark circles.

L’Occitane’s Immortelle Divine Eye Balm

L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Eye Balm review

L’Occitane’s Immortelle Divine Eye Balm (C$98 for 15mL) is made with organic Immortelle oil and 7 naturally-derived ingredients, including Aescin, a natural-based extract of horse chestnut. I can be used as an eye mask, or a daily renewal balm. It is very emollient, and a true balm (the second ingredient is shea butter, after all). It’s very moisturizing, and great for those with dry skin. I normally use this at night, and I only apply a tiny bit because a bit goes a long way, and I wake up with smooth, hydrated, and overall happy undereyes. It does take a while to absorb, but once it does, my skin feels pretty bouncy. I can’t use this in the morning because it does take a while to absorb. The good thing is, there’s no shine or greasy finish, as it absorbs to a satin finish.

As summer is approaching, I ended up passing this off to my mom because she has pretty dry undereyes, so this would be a better fit for her skin type. If you are just looking for entry-level eye creams for preventative treatment, this may be a bit too heavy for you (unless you have ultra dry skin).

L'Occitane Immortelle Divine Eye Balm review

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Eye Mask

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Eye Mask

Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair is one of the top-selling anti-aging serums on the market. The Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Eye Mask (C$14 for a set, C$49 for a box of 4 sets) is a new introduction to the ANR family, and is an eye mask that harnesses the power of the ANR technology to create younger, hydrated, and smoother looking undereyes. Each packet comes with two masks (one for each eye), and the mask is kept separate from the serum. When you’re ready to use, just squeeze the serum side into the mask side, let sit for a few minutes so that the serum penetrates fully into the mask fibre, apply on your face, then sit back and relax for 10 minutes. Massage in any leftover serum, and apply eye cream on top if needed.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Eye Mask

I’m not sure what’s the reasoning behind having the mask and serum in separate compartments, it seems almost gimmicky. Also after one use, I didn’t really notice much of an improvement in the eye area, and I was almost tempted to decant the remaining serum (there is a ton in there) in a jar for use later. They recommend that you use this once a week, so I assume if you get the 4-pack, after a month you’ll notice better results.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Eye Mask

Estee Lauder Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Aging Power Eye Gelée

Estee Lauder Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Aging Power Eye Gelée

Continuing with the Estee Lauder eye products, this is a new favourite discovery. The Estee Lauder Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Aging Power Eye Gelée (C$68 for 8mL) is a milky gel that comes in a tube with a metallic gold applicator tip. There’s a rubbery bit on the side of the tube, where you squeeze and it dispenses a bit of product, then you can massage it in using the gold applicator.

I love this product because not only is the product hydrating yet refreshing at the same time, leaving my undereye area looking smoother and slightly firmer, the applicator is also a pleasure to use. I tend to apply too much pressure when I apply eye creams with my ring fingers, so the gold applicator allows me to massage in the product gently without sacrificing any of the actual massage part. I can use this both evening and mornings, alone or with a heavier eye cream (depending on my skin’s state of the day), and it works beautifully on all occasions. In the mornings, it also absorbs quickly enough for me to apply makeup on top. Win-win, I must say. The only thing is that it’s pretty pricey for the amount of product you get… it’s basically just a bit more than half the size of a normal eye cream, so if you prorate the price for size, it will end up being around $128 for a normal 15mL sized. Still though, I think it’s a worthy buy.

Estee Lauder Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Aging Power Eye Gelée
Estee Lauder Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Aging Power Eye Gelée

Product received as PR samples for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Feature – Comparison of all Burberry foundations, including Fresh Glow, Cashmere, and Bright Glow

Burberry Fresh Glow, Cashmere, and Bright Glow liquid and compact foundation review

I am super excited today because I have for you a pretty awesome round-up of the current Burberry foundation offerings. I will be reviewing the Fresh Glow, Cashmere, and Bright Glow foundations in both the liquid and powder compact versions. Super shoutout to Burberry for sending me these products to test out. I’ve had the Burberry Fresh Glow liquid and compact for a few years now, since it initially launched, and it quickly grew to be one of my favourite foundation formulas. I can always rely on it to get that dewy, glowy, fresh-faced look. I’m super stoked to also try out the Cashmere and Bright Glow formulas, since now I have a better appreciation of Burberry base products.

Burberry Fresh Glow, Cashmere, and Bright Glow liquid and compact foundation review

Burberry Fresh Glow Foundation

This is the inaugural foundation released by Burberry and also one of its most popular. It comes in both a fluid and compact. The Fresh Glow Fluid Foundation is designed to give you a medium coverage with a dewy, glowing finish. It’s also infused with Burberry’s signature English blend of rosehip, tea, and lavender. The Fresh Glow Compact Foundation is a wet-and-dry foundation with adjustable coverage.

Both the Fresh Glow Fluid and Fresh Glow Compact sit on my makeup counter long term. The Fresh Glow Compact (C$62) is the only base product I took with me to Asia, because it offers incredible coverage with the most creamy (for a powder) texture. I have very dry skin and this not only does not cling to any dry spots, it also smooths out my skin so that it looks beautifully hydrated. I wrote a full review of the Fresh Glow Compact here a few years ago, and my thoughts haven’t changed. I wear Rosy Nude No. 31, which continues to be a good match for my skintone. This isn’t advertised anywhere, but I actually find that it contains colour correcting spheres to match itself to my skintone of the day. I have no idea how that works, but it always seems to blend in seamlessly.

The Fresh Glow Fluid (C$62) is another favourite. I LOVE using it with the Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base – it’s actually the only way I use this because it just delivers such an incredible healthy glow to the skin. My full review from a few years ago is posted here. I wear Beige No. 26 which is a good match for my skin tone – it’s a tinge darker than my normal skin tone but because it is relatively on the sheerer side, it does blend out nicely and it doesn’t look like it’s too off.

Burberry Cashmere Foundation

Burberry Cashmere Foundation was released last year as part of a foundation line expansion. It also comes in a fluid and compact. The fluid version of the Cashmere Foundation provides medium-to-high coverage with flawless, soft-matte, long-wearing finish. The compact version is also a matte, full-coverage foundation. The shade I have is No. 21 Ochre, and it is a tinge too light for my skintone, but once blended out it’s not too noticeable.

The Cashmere Fluid (C$62) comes in a very light, fluid texture and is very lightweight. It sets quickly so you really have to move fast to blend this when you first put it on. I generally apply this with my fingers because I find the warmth from my fingers helps it melt into my skin. It feels like weightless silk on my skin, providing medium coverage that is buildable to high. The one thing I don’t like about it is that it tends to sink into my lines a bit, because it is so lighweight. It’s not a big deal, and I can get around it by using a pore-smoothing primer. It is long-wearing, and has a bit of oil-control properties. I generally get about 7-8 hours of full wear, and then it starts to fade after that.

The Cashmere Compact (C$62) is a drier type of compact foundation. Compared to the Fresh Glow, which is creamier and more moisturizing, this one is more powdery and seems to work well as a setting powder as well as a compact foundation. I wearing this in the summer, because I can slap it on and it will last me all day. Coverage isn’t as great as the Fresh Glow Compact or the Cashmere Fluid, but I also don’t build it up as much just because it tends to feel powdery. It’s a fantastic choice for those with oily or combination skin.

Burberry Bright Glow Foundation

The Bright Glow Foundation range was introduced this year. It also comes in a fluid format and compact. The range is designed with its Asian customers in mind, offering a radiant, glowing complexion. It offers buildable medium coverage, as well as a matte radiant finish. The shade I have is No. 21 Ochre, and it is a tinge too light for my skintone, but I found that this formula does oxidize a tiny bit so once blended out it ends up being a good match. Compared to No. 21 Ochre in the Cashmere formula, the Bright Glow No. 21 is also a bit more yellow-toned, which makes sense considering it was formulated for the Asian market.

The Bright Glow Fluid (C$62) is the only Burberry foundation in a glass bottle. It’s a very hydrating foundation that is great for my dry skin. In terms of wear and texture, it feels more like the Fresh Glow, except that I find it provide a bit better coverage. Also I don’t need to blend this with the Fresh Glow base in order to get that luminous finish, Bright Glow Fluid alone will give me a glowy complexion. Of the three formulas, this one doesn’t wear as well, wearing off at around the 4-5 hour mark. It doesn’t have any oil control or skin balancing properties, acting solely as a glowing foundation. As I mentioned earlier, it does tend to oxidize a bit, but it’s not too bad and it’s definitely not like one full shade like other reviewers are saying. Although if you have oily skin, this probably won’t work at all for you.

The Bright Glow Compact (C$62) has a texture that is in between the Fresh Glow Compact and the Cashmere Compact. It’s not super creamy but it’s also not super dry, which is great for all skin types. The best part is that I found that it combined the hydrating properties of Fresh Glow Compact with the long-wearing properties of Cashmere Compact. It also gave me a very subtle glow, which was fantastic. This also oxidizes a bit, but it was very minimal. Coverage is light, but you can definitely build it up to medium.

My one big complaint about Burberry foundations is the weird shade range. I can wear anywhere from No. 20 to No. 31, which is very odd. While it’s great for the normal consumer who often chooses the wrong foundation colour, so having “adjustable” shades avoid mishaps, it is very confusing when I want to shop around for my shade in each range. That being said, I do have to commend Burberry for having such a wide selection of shades for women of most skintones. The only exception is the Bright Glow Foundation, which was created for the Asian market so the shades mostly suit Asian skintones only.

My top personal picks are Fresh Glow Compact and Bright Glow Foundation. If you have oily skin, the Cashmere Foundation is a fantastic companion for those with oily or combination complexions. If you have dull skin and need an easy pick-me-up, definitely go for the Bright Glow.

Have you tried any of these? What do you think?

Burberry Fresh Glow, Cashmere, and Bright Glow liquid and compact foundation review
Burberry Fresh Glow, Cashmere, and Bright Glow liquid and compact foundation review

Product provided by PR for review consideration; opinions are my own.

Review + swatches – Givenchy Fall 2017 Le Rouge Sculpt, Le Rouge, Noir Interdit Mascara, and Base Mascara Perfecto

Givenchy Fall 2017 Le Rouge Sculpt, Le Rouge, Noir Interdit Mascara, and Base Mascara Perfecto review

You may have noticed that my posting schedule has been a bit irregular over the last few months. I haven’t been blogging as much as I want to, mostly because of work and adulting. Basically for the entire months of May, June, July and August, I’ve had maybe 2 weekends with free days. Every other weekend has been filled with things like weddings, trips, birthdays, housewarming parties, you name it. I also work full time, and I was recently promoted, so that takes up most of my time during the week. In keeping with my adulting, I’ve also been trying to be healthier and fitter, so I have been going to barre on every free day I can spare. Anyways I digress.

Today I want to share with you some new releases from Givenchy’s fall 2017 line! Givenchy makes some of my favourite makeup, and the combination of sleek black, lace, and leather is just so me.

First in the collection is an expansion of one of my all-time favourite lipsticks. The Givenchy Le Rouge (C$43) is one of my holy grail lipsticks for being so weightlessly satin-matte, wearing so comfortably and effortlessly. There are a five new shades coming out this fall, and the one I have is 326 Pourpre Edgy, a vampy dark red. Surprisingly, this is actually more satin than matte. It isn’t as full-coverage as my other Le Rouges, which was a pleasant surprise because I wasn’t sure how this colour would translate on me. While it’s not something I’d reach for regularly, the winning formula will make me reach for it over other vampy lip shades. Did I mention it comes in a genuine leather case?

The second is the new Le Rouge Sculpt (C$43), which is a variation of the Le Rouge lipstick, except each lipstick comes with two shades molded into one bullet so that you can use it to sculpt and shape your lips. The shade I have is 01 Sculpt’in Rouge, which is red lipstick framed with translucent black. The red is a beautiful neutral red in the same Le Rouge formula. The black is very light and sheer, which makes it very wearable. That being said, while I like the concept of contoured lips, this one isn’t really for me. The formula is amazing, but it just seems too gimmicky for me. The grungy feel does feel very Givenchy though.

Givenchy Fall 2017 Le Rouge Sculpt, Le Rouge, Noir Interdit Mascara, and Base Mascara Perfecto review

Givenchy Fall 2017 Le Rouge Sculpt, Le Rouge, Noir Interdit Mascara, and Base Mascara Perfecto review

Next we have two mascaras. The first is a mascara base, the Base Mascara Perfecto (C$37), which is a unique sheer pink formula that contains cotton nectar and soy proteins to help volumize the lashes. Applied before the Noir Interdit Mascara, you get a fuller, thicker look. The new Noir Interdit Mascara (C$38) is a comb-applicator mascara that features a bendy 90 degree applicator. It’s supposed to help volumize and lengthen, but I was kinda meh about it. I generally don’t like comb mascaras because my lashes are very sparse and quite short, so the comb tends to get product all over my eyelids. My lashes are also too short for the applicator to actually comb through, so I felt like I didn’t really get the full benefit of this awesome applicator. I also didn’t really take advantage of how the brush can bend 90 degrees. It just felt really odd to use it that way.

Overall, I like the Base Mascara Perfecto and the Le Rouge, but the other two products were just okay on me. I think the Noir Interdit Mascara is probably designed for Caucasian eyes, or those who already start out with longer lashes.

All of these products are available now at Sephora across Canada.

Products were provided for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

Recent product hit and misses featuring Nivea, Dermalogica, Clarins, Farmacy, ATTITUDE and Caudalie

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Hits

Nivea Firming Body Oil – I received this as part of an Influenster Vox Box and I was so excited about this I started using it without taking photos first. Seriously though, it is so amazing. It’s the perfect dry oil, I can use this on a summer evening and it will absorb right away with no residue. It’s super hydrating without being heavy, and it smells SO GOOD. A little goes a long way, so this big bottle is fantastic on value. It contains Q10 for firming, and avocado oil for moisture. I’ve been using it for a few weeks and I haven’t noticed any firming, but that’s okay because even without that it’s still pretty great. Highly recommend!

Dermalogica AGE Smart Nightly Lip Treatment – I have very dry lips, so I tend to go for products that are very emollient and almost mask like (e.g. Bite Agave Lip Mask or Nuxe Reve de Miel). I wasn’t super impressed with this the first 2-3 times I tried it because I felt like it was a bit lightweight and didn’t really do much. Oh boy I was so wrong. This anti-aging lip treatment is to be applied to your lips and the surrounding skin. One pump is all you need, and massage it in using the metal applicator tip. This is seriously firming – I can feel it firming and tightening my lip area, and it also leaves being an invisible barrier that keeps my lips feeling hydrating throughout the night without the thick layer of actual product. The result lasts the entire night and I can feel it up until the morning when I wash it is. Definitely a must have if you’re looking for a new lip product.

Clarins Double Serum – This classic product was reformulated for fall and now include tumeric, which helps the product’s absorption into the skin’s cells. The new formula also does not contain mineral oil, which is fantastic for those who are looking for more of a vegetable-based product. With the addition of tumeric, the Double Serum now contains 21 active ingredients to help combat aging in the skin. In addition to the formula upgrade, the packaging has also been upgraded. I love the customizable dosage option, where you can choose to dispense a full pump or a half pump. I use a full pump at night for my face and neck, and half pump during the day, either alone as my serum, or mixed with my moisturizer. I loved the previous generation of Double Serum, and this new one is even better. In addition to being super moisturizing and plumping for my skin, it absorbs quickly with no residue, and also smells amazing. I generally don’t use oil products during the day because I move fast to apply my makeup on top, but this one works really well to prime the skin. The scent is truly an aromatherapy experience, and adds to the overall feeling of the product. I highly recommend this for anyone ages 25+ who have dry, normal, or combo skin. It’s a great way to start your anti-aging journey.

Misses

Farmacy Honey Drop Moisturizer – If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that I am positively honey obsessed, so when I received this Farmacy Honey Drop Moisturizer, you know I was super excited about it. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great moisturizer – a super lightweight gel-creme formula, smells just slightly sweet like honey, and relatively hydrating. Sadly I didn’t find it moisturizing enough for my dry skin. Even though it is the summer and I don’t need as heavy of a moisturizer, we have been sleeping with the AC on every night because otherwise we will wake up at 5AM sweating (our apartment faces east). As such, my skin is still feeling pretty parched in the morning. I really do love this, but it just isn’t the best fit for my skin type right now. If you have normal, combination, or oily skin, definitely look this up!

ATTITUDE Dish Detergent – I previously wrote about my foray into ATTITUDE skincare and haircare products, which I was pretty impressed with. I was later sent some household items and sadly they’ve been a bit of a letdown. The Dish Detergent in particular was super meh, it didn’t suds up enough and I end up having to use a ton of product to get our dishes clean. We don’t eat super greasy either so I was surprised that this was the case. Compared to normal dish detergent, this is pretty pricey, so I won’t be repurchasing.

Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum – I am SO SAD as I am writing this because I’ve been wanting to try this serum for YEARS and now that I finally have, I’m disappointed by it. This serum is a complexion brightening serum that harnesses the powers of grapevine extract to help even out the skin tone. I don’t know if it’s just me, but I find this serum very drying. It has a light milky texture, so it feels like it would be hydrating, but it just sinks into my skin into nothingness, and then my skin is left feeling super thirsty. For the first week, I wore this as my lone serum during the day, followed by moisturizer, sunscreen, and foundation, but then my foundation would cling onto dry spots and it looked like my skin was flaking. I tried it with a few different moisturizers and the results varied in dryness but it was still dry. If I layer a hydrating serum on top, it would fix the issue, but I generally prefer a more simplified skincare routine in the morning. I will still use it, but it just doesn’t live up to the hype, IMO. I haven’t noticed much radiance either, but maybe I’ll need to use it for longer to see effects.

Treat stress-related hair loss with PRIORIN

Priorin review

Growing up, I always had the thickest, most luscious hair. I remember my mom always had really thin hair, and she’d tell me how envious she was of my hair. Now that I’m in my late 20s, I’ve noticed that my hair has drastically thinned out.  The primary causes of hair loss are stress, not properly washing which causes follicle blockage, and pollution. Personally, I’ve also noticed that dying my hair and marinating my scalp in the chemicals has also increased hair loss, which is why I’ve stopped chemically treating my hair. My biggest issue is stress, and as such my hair volume is now probably only half of what it used to be (so sad).

Anyways, I was recently introduced to PRIORIN, which is a supplement that provides nutrients that target the hair follicles to strengthen and improve hair growth. Unlike other hair growth products, PRIORIN is designed for use up to 6 months. Over time, your hair follicles should be strong enough to maintain this hair growth even after you’ve stopped taking the product. I have a one month supply I received from the company, so I haven’t really noticed any growth, but the ingredients look very promising.

PRIORIN contains:

  • Millet extract, a source of the phytosterol miliacin, which increases proliferation and metabolic activity in human keratinocytes.
  • The essential vitamin pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5) stimulates metabolic activity in human keratinocytes (key cells in hair) and is thus important in the nutritional support of normal hair
    growth and quality.
  • The amino acid L-cystine is a building block of the hair substance keratin and thus an important component of the hair.
  • Biotin is a vitamin that is vital for the synthesis of the hair substance keratin.

You take two PRIORIN capsules a day with food, for a period of 3-6 months to see results. After 3-6 months, the nutrients would have improved and stimulated hair growth and re-growth. This product is only suitable for those over the age of 14, and please make sure to read the label instructions. If you have questions, please direct them to your doctor.

You can find PRIORIN priced at $27 for one month’s worth of capsules, at drugstores, mass retailers, as well as on Walmart.ca and Amazon.ca.

I received compensation and product for this post; product information is courtesy of the company, and all opinions are my own.

Special $50 for 50 day offer at The Bar Method Vancouver!

As you may know, I have been taking classes at the Bar Method for over a year now and I love it!  You can read about my initial experience here. I’m happy to say that a year after I was initially introduced to the studio, I am still going regularly!

The Bar Method is a one-hour, non-impact total body workout set to music. It starts with a warm-up, free weight exercises and push-ups and then moves to intense isometric leg work at the bar, followed by abdominal work at the bar and on mats. The workout was developed under the guidance of physical therapists to create a workout that reshapes your entire body. It’s intense and challenging but the ultimate result is core strength, lifted mood, increased metabolism, carved muscles, and flexibility!

I have been given the opportunity to offer my friends and family an exclusive introductory deal on classes. My exclusive promotion code will get you 50 days of unlimited classes for $50+tax! This package is only for New Members or members who have not bought a package in more than a year. Here is the link to the deal:

https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/ws?studioid=11495&stype=41&sTG=1&prodId=91102032

The 50-Day Introductory package is listed at $250+tax, but at Check Out, put in the promo code: “sheilap” and the price will change from $250+tax to $50+tax! This is not only a great deal, but after you’ve finished your 50 days of classes, you’ll be eligible for the regular Introductory Special, with which you can get ANOTHER 30 days for only $80+tax.  That means that you get 80 days for $130+tax. I pay $155+tax per month for my membership – this deal basically gives you almost 3 months for the price of less than one month!

You are welcome to forward this offer on to anyone you think may be interested in trying the Bar Method. Anyone who has not had a membership to the studio in the last year can use the above promo code to take advantage of this deal. If you’ve had one of those punch card-type class passes, you are welcome to use this promotion too. The special promo ends September 15, so take advantage of the deal now.

If you want to investigate a bit more you can find them online at vancouver.barmethod.com, on facebook @barmethodvancouver and on instagram @BarMethod_van.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with The Bar Method at all. If you sign up with this $50 promo code, I get $15 off my next month’s membership (it’s still $140 after the $15 off, so it’s still a lot). Even if I didn’t get this $15 discount, I’d still recommend the studio because it is seriously awesome. My second home!

Sneak peek – quick review – Jo Malone English Oak and Hazelnut

Jo Malone English Oak and Hazelnut review

I LOVE HAZELNUT. I drink coffee pretty much every morning and it’s usually a hazelnut latte. I also love hazelnut cake. I was super excited to see this not-yet launched Jo Malone English Oak and Hazelnut in my Holt Renfrew Beauty Hall media preview gift bag because Jo Malone everything is really fabulous. My favourite Jo Malone fragrances are Red Roses, Lime Basil and Mandarin, and Lily of the Valley.

This fragrance comprises of the following notes:

  • Top note – Green Hazelnut
  • Heart note – Cedarwood
  • Base note – Roasted Oak Absolute

Jo Malone English Oak and Hazelnut review

I find this fragrance to be very warm, warmer than what I am used to wearing. To me, it smells like a lighter, less sweet version of Lime Basil and Mandarin. It feels definitely very unisex, and would also be fantastic for layering under lighter scents. I can see this being beautiful underneath Jo Malone White Jasmine and Mint, which has a very light, airy scent that works well when grounded with a heavier scent. For a Jo Malone fragrance, which I tend to find not super long-wearing, this one wore very well over several hours with just one spritz.

I’m not super in love, just because it’s different from what I normally wear (light florals), but I was definitely pleasantly surprised by this. I think you’ll want to smell it on you, even though it does sound quite heavy, it’s a lovely warm scent that will transition fantastically from summer into fall.

One thing that confused me though was that I didn’t feel like it smelled very much like oak or hazelnut at all… but just try it on yourself to see if you like it.

Jo Malone English Oak and Hazelnut launches September at Holt Renfrew, and it will be available in both the 30mL travel size, and the 100mL vanity size.

Jo Malone English Oak and Hazelnut review
Jo Malone English Oak and Hazelnut review

Product received as part of a gift bag from a media event; all opinions are my own.