Review: Kiehl’s Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate

Kiehl's Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate review

Kiehl’s since 1851 has released some very impressive products in the last few years, and this Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate is a new-found favourite of mine. I use this every morning to combat dryness and sensitivity in the winter, and I have definitely noticed an improvement in my skin’s hydration level as well as smoothness. This, along with the Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Essence, have formed a crucial part of my morning skincare routine.

My skin profile: I have very dehydrated cheeks with a t-zone that gets oily. I occasionally get break-outs, usually 1-2 around that time of the month. My main skin concerns are hyper-pigmentation and dehydration in the cheek area and fine lines in the eye area. My ideal skincare products are ones that provide good moisture to my skin, absorb quickly and leave no left-over product sitting on top of my skin.

What it claims (from Formulated with a potent complex of 15% plant-based Glycerin and Shiso Leaf Extract, this concentrated serum utilizes next-generation technology to intensively hydrate skin’s deepest surface layers. Clinically demonstrated to help correct the signs of age-related dehydration, it youthfully plumps skin, smoothing the appearance of fine lines and rough texture.

Price: C$58.00 for 50mL

Texture/Scent: Clear gel with no scent

Kiehl's Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate review

The good: My first impression is that this gel is very lightweight and basically melts into the skin. I use 3/4 to a full pump each morning on my face after cleansing and applying my Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Essence, and before my Reversa Anti-Wrinkle Cream with SPF 30 and foundation. It absorbs almost immediately, and my skin feels smooth and hydrated. My skin is relatively sensitive, especially in a drier climate, and I felt this serum really helped to soothe and prep it for the cold and dry weather outside. In addition, my foundation blends in perfectly with zero patchiness. There are also no dry spots for the foundation to cling to, so the finish is smooth and glowy. The packaging is hygienic, using an airless pump bottle so that the product doesn’t oxidize and also there is no waste. Lastly, despite it being a serum, it comes in a 50mL bottle which is usually reserved for moisturizers. Priced at $58 for 50mL, it’s actually great value for a high end skincare brand.

  • Skin looks smoother and feels hydrated
  • Absorbs completely with no residue
  • Helps foundation apply more smoothly
  • Hygienic, air-tight pump bottle
  • Good value

The bad: Dimethicone is super high on the ingredients list and sometimes it feels like I am applying a silicone-based primer instead of a moisturizing serum.

  • Dimethicone high on the ingredients list

Overall: Despite feeling like a primer, this product has really helped hydrate and protect my skin in the winter. It also helps my foundation apply smoother and adhere better. Because my skin feels more hydrated and balanced, there  is also less oil production and I don’t need to blot as much, allowing my foundation to wear more long-lasting. Priced at $58 for 50mL, it really is great value for a high end skincare product that really works. I’ve recommended this product to a few of my friends who have dry and/or sensitive skin, and they’ve all had pretty good luck with it, so I will continue to recommend this product. If you live near a Kiehl’s boutique, please do ask for a sample of this as they are quite generous with their samples. Once you try this, you will be hooked!

Product: 18/20
Packaging: 4.5/5
Value: 5/5
Overall: 27.5/30 | A+
Repurchase? Yes

Kiehl's Hydro-Plumping Re-Texturizing Serum Concentrate review and ingredients

Oils, oils, oils! A roundup of some face and body oil options from Rodial, May Lindstrom, ILA Spa, Korres, Purxury, Kiehl’s, L’Occitane, Nuxe, and Rocky Mountain Soap Co.

I am obsessed with facial and body oils at the moment, specifically focusing on oils with natural ingredients, but open to trying all oils. Through my trial and error, I’ve found up a few of the recent face and body oils that I’ve been using, including products from Rodial, May Lindstrom, Korres, ILA Spa, Purxury, and more. My apologies in advance as I don’t have photos for all of these, some of them I started using before I took photos so the bottle started looking not-so-great, others I just forgot to take photos of.


Rodial Stemcell Super-Food Facial Oil

Rodial Stemcell Super-Food Facial Oil review

The Rodial Stemcell Facial Oil contains a powerful cocktail of super-food actives, omega 3, 6 and 9 and vitamins A, B5, C and E, as well as Rose stem cell to help the skin protect against external aggressors, signs of aging, and dehydration. This is one of the most lightweight facial oils that I’ve tried; it dries down immediately, leaving behind a satin feeling that’s very comfortable. It’s a great “beginner’s oil” because it is so lightweight. I remember being scared off by facial oils a few years ago due to using some that were way too heavy, but with the new technology, brands can create products like this that is even great for those with combination to oily skin.

Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Butylene Glycol, Almond Oil PEG-8 Esters, Olive Oil PEG-7 Esters, Babassu Oil Glycereth-8 Esters, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Peach Kernel Oil Glycereth-8 Esters, Sclerocarya Birrea Seed Oil Polyglyceryl-6 Esters, Phenoxyethanol, Panthenol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Benzyl Alcohol, Parfum (Fragrance), Rhododendron Ferrugineum Leaf Cell Culture Extract, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Propylene Glycol, Retinyl Palmitate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Isomalt, Lactic Acid, Lecithin, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Hydroxide, Citronellol, Alpha-Isomethylionone, Rosa Canina (Rosehip) Fruit Oil, Limonene, Punica Granatum Fruit Extract, Geraniol, Tocopherol.

May Lindstrom The Youth Dew

May Lindstrom The Youth Dew review

May Lindstrom The Youth Dew was something I purchased in my first ever May Lindstrom order (I’ve since made two more… so you know how obsessed I am with the brand). This is the most completely organic  skin oil made from entirely natural plant extracts and oils that I’ve ever seen. It is a blend of 20 different oils and essential oils, together with CoEnzyme Q10, to help fight signs of aging. For easier absorption, May recommends using it on dampened skin, so I usually like to spray my face with 1-2 spritzes of May’s The Jasmine Garden, or another essence spray, and then patting 1-1.5 pumps of this oil into my face and neck. I’m left with crazy soft, very hydrated, and extremely bouncy skin. It’s not too heavy for me at all either, especially when used over damp skin which helps absorption. I only use this at night though, because I do feel like facial oils don’t layer best under makeup, but I have used a tiny drop of this mixed with my daytime moisturizer and it still works well.

Despite all the great stuff, it is one of the most expensive oils on this list, priced at US$120 for just 20mL (1/3 less than most other facial oils)… It is luxurious, but comes with a hefty price tag.

Ingredients: *Persea Americana (Avocado) Oil, *Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, *Olea Europaea (Olive) Oil, Prunus Spp (Plum Kernel) Oil, *Hippophae Rhamnoides (Sea Buckthorn) Oil, *Rosa Rubiginosa (Rosehip Seed) Oil, *Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Oil, *Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Oil, *Borago Ocinalis (Borage Seed) Oil, Aleurites Moluccans (Kukui Nut) Oil, *Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, *Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium Rose) Essential Oil, *Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Essential Oil, *Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Essential Oil, *Citrus Limon (Lemon) Essential Oil, *Rosa Damascena (Rose Absolute) Essential Oil, *Rosa Damascena (Bulgarian Rose) Essential Oil, *Citrus Aurantium (Neroli) Essential Oil, ***Daucus Carota (Carrot Seed) Essential Oil, Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10).

*Certified Organic
***Wild Harvested

ILA Spa Face Oil for Glowing Radiance

I have a deluxe travel size of this oil and this is what I take with me when I travel. The rich argan, rosehip, and rose otto formula is incredibly hydrating and soothing, especially when you’re staying in an air conditioned room which tends to really dry out my skin. The rich formula helps to protect and nourish my skin. It absorbs completely in under a minute, and also layers wonderfully over other products. I can add a pump of it to my mud masks in order to add extra nourishment when my skin needs it. It has a soft rose scent, which is truly wonderful and helps to put me to sleep.

I only wear this at night though, as I find it is too heavy for the daytime. Alternatively if my skin is feeling extra dry, I mix a tiny bit into my daytime moisturizer to add that boost. This is also great for when you are flying as the dry cabin air can really wreck havoc on skin. Overall, I love this, and you can purchase it from my favourite organic e-tailer, Petal and Post.

Ingredients: Wild-Grown Argan Oil (Argania Spinosa Kernal), Rosehip Seed Oil (Rosa Canina), Sandalwood (Santalam Spicatum), Rose Otto Oil (Rose Damascena Flower Oil), Vitamin E Oil (Tocopherol Extract), Naturally Occurring Citronellol, Farnesol, Linalool

Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Skin Brightening Oil

Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Skin Brightening Oil review

The Korres Wild Rose Brightening Oil is such a beauty as it contains real rose petals suspended in the oil. This is a brightening oil infused with real rose petals, wild rose oil, and boosted with Super C to increase skin’s absorpotion of vitamin C by 1000%. This oil is 94.5 percent natural, and does not contain petrolatum, mineral oil, silicones, propylene glycol, and ethanolamines. Korres is also cruelty free.

If you love roses like me, then you will LOVE this because it smells faintly like roses. I also found this oil to take longer than the others to absorb, and a tiny bit will go a very long way. I don’t particularly like this one compared to the others for this reason. Also despite it being marketed as a natural oil, it contains a lot of fillers, which I’m not too fond of at the moment.

Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Skin Brightening Oil review

Ingredients: Isoamyl Laurate, Caprylic/capric Triglyceride, , Prunus Armeniaca (apricot) Kernel Oil, Squalane, Helianthus Annuus (sunflower) Seed Oil, Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Rosa Gallica Flower Powder, Alcohol Denat., Alpha-isomethyl Ionone, Aqua/water/eau, Benzyl Alcohol, Benzyl Benzoate, Benzyl Salicylate, Bisabolol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Eugenol, Geraniol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Parfum/fragrance, Physalis Angulata Extract, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Zingiber Officinale (ginger) Root Extract.

Purxury Rescue Facial Oil

Purxury Rescue Facial Oil review

Purxury Rescue Facial Oil is my newest addition, something I discovered in my journey to incorporate more natural and organic skincare products in my routine. It contains a blend of all natural oils and extracts that is ultra hydrating. The base of apricot kernel oil, avocado fruit oil, and argan oil makes this slightly heavier than the other oils I’ve tried here, but it is also the most moisturizing. I can use this on its own without a hydrating serum, and it leaves my skin feeling super soft and glowy upon waking up in the morning.

Ingredients: Apricot Kernel Oil, Avocado Fruit Oil, Olive, Argan Oil, Sea Buckthorn Oil, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and a proprietary blend of Essential Oils and Absolutes.

Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate

Kiehl’s released their daytime version of their popular Midnight Recovery Concentrate. I’m not a big fan of the Midnight Recovery Concentrate because I found it is too heavy for me, but the Daily Reviving Concentrate is a great day-time, more lightweight version. This product contains energizing oils such as ginger root oil, grapefruit peel oil, orange peel oil, and coriander seed oil to  correct the signs of daily skin fatigue, and improve the look of dullness, lines, and rough texture.

Sadly, despite this being a lighter version of the Midnight Recovery Concentrate, it’s a daytime oil which doesn’t really work for my skincare schedule. I don’t really have a lot of time in the morning to let my moisturizing sink in, so I usually use a lighter, gel-based moisturizer. This Daily Reviving Concentrate, while really does help to brighten and hydrate my skin, just takes too long to absorb. I do use this on the weekend, but I think it’s a bit of a waste to use just a day or two a week, so I wouldn’t recommend this unless you have lots of time in the morning to perform your skincare ritual.

Ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Dicaprylyl Ether, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Squalane, Canola Oil, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil Unsaponifiables/Sunflower Seed Oil Unsaponifiables, Tocopherol, Limonene, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Peel Oil/Orange Peel Oil, Coriandrum Sativum Seed Oil/Coriander Seed Oil, Calophyllum Inophyllum Seed Oil, Rosa Rubiginosa Seed Oil, Citrus Grandis Peel Oil/Grapefruit Peel Oil, Zingiber Officinale Root Oil/Ginger Root Oil, Linalool, Citral, Geraniol, Malpighia Punicifolia/Acerola Fruit Extract. Fmla 685687 7 F.I.L. Code D169070/2


L’Occitane en Provence Neroli & Orchidee Perfumed Body Oil

L'Occitane en Provence Neroli & Orchidee Perfumed Body Oil review

The Neroli & Orchidee Perfumed Body Oil  is an ultra lightweight body oil; I’ve used a few L’Occitane en Provence body oils in the past and this is the most lightweight. I have very dry skin on my legs, and I find that this isn’t moisturizing enough for me, I usually have to apply a LOT in order to get the level of sustained moisture. That being said, if you are someone who has normal skin, and is looking for an indulgence, this is it because it smells SO GOOD. Neroli & Orchidee is one of my favourite L’Occitane scents and this perfumed body oil is the same scent as the fragrance, which makes it great for layering with the fragrance and then you can get better longevity.

The scent, when used alone and at night, dissipates pretty quickly so you don’t have to worry about going to sleep in a cloud of perfume. During the day though, it does leave a faint cloud of fragrance, but it’s not very strong so it should be fine for wearing to the office. It comes in a spray bottle, so you can easily keep this at the office or in your purse for when you want a quick moisture touchup.

L'Occitane en Provence Neroli & Orchidee Perfumed Body Oil review

NUXE Huile Prodigieuse

NUXE Huile Prodigieuse review

The NUXE Huile Prodigieuse is a classic body oil and something EVERYONE should try at least once in their life. It contains Vitamin E to protects and conditions, and essential oil extracts of borage, St. John’s wort, sweet almond, camellia, hazelnut and macadamia to give skin a healthy looking glow. There’s a reason why it is a cult favourite, and that it is  super hydrating, very lightweight, and a little bit goes a long way. The scent is also just incredibly delicious and decadent, I feel like dousing myself with this every time I use it. The great thing about this oil is that it is also multi-functional, and you can use this on your hair, nails, and anywhere you see fit. In addition, it also comes in a golden bronze variation that will help keep your skin looking like it just got a healthy dose of sun.

Ingredients: Sopropyl Isostearate, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Coco-caprylate/caprate, Dicaprylyl Ether, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (sweet Almond) Oil, Corylus Avellana (hazel) Seed Oil, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Parfum/fragrance, Tocopherol, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (olive) Fruit Oil, Helianthus Annuus (sunflower) Seed Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (rosemary) Leaf Extract, Hypericum Perforatum Flower/leaf/stem Extract, Solanum Lycopersicum (tomato) Fruit/leaf/stem Extract, Caprylic/capric Triglyceride, Benzyl Salicylate, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Limonene, Linalool [n1005/e].

Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Blossom Berry Body Oil

Leaving the best for last – this is the body oil that got me completely obsessed with body oils in the first place. The Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Blossom Berry Body Oil smells SO GOOD, sweet and floral at the same time but not overpowering. The oil is medium weight, not super runny, and spreads into the skin very nicely. It absorbs quickly and leaves my skin feeling so nice and soft. The price is really great too, at just $15.50 for 125mL. Don’t let the size fool you, because I’ve had mine for over a year, I use this every time my skin is feeling dry, and I still have more than 1/3 of the bottle left. I also love mixing this in with another light weight body lotion to help boost up its efficacy.

Ingredients: Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil*, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Camelia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Natural Jasmine Gardenia Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Extract, Natural Vanilla Oil, Natural Berry Oil . *Organic 94%


My picks: Rodial Stemcell Super-Food Facial Oil, ILA Spa Face Oil for Glowing Radiance, May Lindstrom The Youth Dew, Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Body Oil
Best for dry/normal skin: May Lindstrom The Youth Dew, ILA Spa Face Oil for Glowing Radiance, Purxury Rescue Facial Oil, Korres Wild Rose Vitamin C Skin Brightening Oil, Rocky Mountain Soap Co. Blossom Berry Body Oil, NUXE Huile Prodigieuse
Best for combination/oily skin: Rodial Stemcell Super-Food Facial Oil, L’Occitane en Provence Neroli & Orchidee Perfumed Body Oil

Experience the holiday joy with limited edition collaborations from L’Occitane en Provence and Kiehl’s since 1851

L’Occitane en Provence x Pierre Herme

L'Occitane en Provence Pierre Herme review

This holiday season, one of my favourite brands L’Occitane en Provence has partnered with Parisian pastry master Pierre Herme to create three signature scents. I’ve had Pierre Herme macarons before and I have to say I prefer them over Laduree ones, which is the more famous of the two macaron shops. The Pierre Herme collection by L’Occitane is comprised of scents Jasmine-Immortelle-Neroli, Grapefruit-Rhurbarb, and Honey-Mandarin.

Jasmine-Immortelle-Neroli, is a beautiful feminine scent with head notes of pink pepper, petit grain and lemon, heart of jasmine, immortelle flower, neroli and orange blossom, and base notes amber, white wood, and musk. The key ingredients are Immortelle essential oil from Corsica, Jasmine flower absolute, and Neroli essence.

Grapefruit-Rhubarb is a light, refreshing scent that smells amazing on almost anyone. It’s slightly sweet, but not overpowering. It has head notes of grapefruit, rhubarb, lemon and cypress, heart of clove, nutmeg and lavandin, and base notes of cedar and vetiver. The key ingredients are Grapefruit Essence from Corsica and Rhubarb accord.

Honey-Mandarin is only available online and only as a hand cream. It’s scented lightly of honey and mandarin, and is not sickly sweet or overpowering. L’Occitane hand creams are among my favourites and this scent is a wonderful addition to the hand cream line (even though it is limited edition!).

L'Occitane en Provence Pierre Herme review

Both Jasmine-Immortelle-Neroli and Grapefruit-Rhubarb are available now in an Eau de Toilette (C$65 for 75ml), Body Milk (C$32 for 250ml), Shower Gel (C$22 for 250ml), and Hand Cream (C$12 for 30ml). There are also gift sets available for those two scents, one being a set with a hand cream, lip balm and soap for C$26. The set that I highly recommend (and only available in store), is a pre-wrapped gift that contains a full size Eau de Toilette, Body Milk and Soap, and a travel size Shower Gel for C$80, of which $10 goes towards Dress for Success. The Honey-Mandarin is only available in the hand cream.

L'Occitane en Provence Pierre Herme review

Kiehl’s since 1851 x Peter Max

Kiehl's since 1851 x Peter Max

Every holiday, Kiehl’s does a limited edition artist collaboration and this year the artist they’ve chosen to work with is Peter Max. The artwork created by Peter Max will be packaged on all of Kiehl’s most iconic products.

The Kiehl’s x Peter Max collection is available now in the Creme de Corps (C$38 for 250mL or C$63 for 500mL), Creme de Corps Whipped Body Butter (C$46 for 226g), Ultra Facial Cream (C$56 for 125mL), new Richly Hydrating Hand Creams (C$22 for set of three), and Kiehl’s Lip Balm set (C$38 for set of four), as well as a variety of holiday gift boxes ready to wrap your own selection of Kiehl’s products. The Hand Cream and Lip Balm sets make great hostess gifts, and in purchasing these products, you are also supporting the artist community.

Kiehl’s Rocks for Kids raising $50,000 for Musicounts with musician Lights


A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending a secret concert hosted by Kiehl’s since 1851 and the Canadian musician, singer and songwriter, and Juno-winning Lights for their annual Kiehl’s Rocks for Kids fundraiser to benefit a children’s charity of a musician’s choice. The charity of choice this year is MusiCounts, a charity dedicated to keeping music education alive for kids in schools.

Through sales of the limited edition Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream designed by Lights, Kiehl’s goal is to raise $50,000 for MusiCounts. Kiehl’s will donate 100% of net profits of this limited edition Ultra Facial Cream in Canada to MusiCounts.

I absolutely LOVE Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream – it has got to be one of my favourite face creams of all time. My face has a “freakout” every few months during the change of seasons, and this is one of the products that I can rely on to get my skin back to normal. You can read my original full review here.


I love Lights’ music. Her songs Drive My Soul and Saviour are some of my favourites, and I always get super emotional while belting her songs out in the car.

If you’re in the market for a new moisturizer, or if you want to stock up for a good cause, I highly recommend the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream. Purchase your limited edition Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream now online and in stores!

Holiday 2014: limited edition holiday offerings from Lush Cosmetics, Kiehl’s since 1851, and Rocky Mountain Soap Co.

It’s true when they say that Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year! It’s definitely my favourite holiday and I always love seeing the many beautiful holiday collections that brands put together for this special time of the year. Below are some of the awesome holiday products that caught my eye this year, and I wanted to share them with you while they’re still available in stores!

Lush Cosmetics

lush christmas 2014

Nobody does holidays like Lush, and for holiday 2014, Lush is introducing a plethora of new and limited edition holiday items for our eyes to drool over. Apart from the usual collection of ready-to-gift pre-wrapped presents, there are also a few new holiday edition products such as Yog Nog soap, inspired by egg nog; Hot Toddy shower gel, a cinnamon-scented shower gel with gold sparkles; and Snowman Fun, a black, white and orange fun putty that you can make your own snowman with (check out mine here). My favourite of the bunch is So White shower gel, which is scented with fresh apples!

Lush holiday items are available in stores and online now!

Kiehl’s since 1851

kiehl's christmas 2014

Every Christmas, Kiehl’s since 1851 collaborates with an artist to create limited edition packaging for some of its most popular products. This holiday, Kiehl’s is working with Craig & Karl to create limited edition packaging design for its Creme de Corps, Creme de Corps Whipped Body Butter (my review here), Ultra Facial Cream (my review here), and Calendula Herbal-Extract Toner (my review here).

kiehl's christmas 2014

As with every holiday, Kiehl’s is offering complimentary gift boxing services and customers have the option of customizing their own gift sets by choosing their own Kiehl’s products. Gift boxing services are available at all Kiehl’s free-standing boutiques.

The Kiehl’s holiday offerings are available online and in stores now!

Rocky Mountain Soap Co.

rocky mountain soap sugar plum

This holiday, Rocky Mountain Soap Co. offers a new and limited edition Sugar Plum scent in all of its most popular products. I LOVE this scent – it’s sweet and warm but not overpowering. Available in singles and pre-wrapped gift sets, I recommend picking up the Body Scrub, the Body Butter, and the classic Soap that’s created with a marbled design. The Sugar Plum Mini Tray also makes for a great stocking stuffer that’s under $15.

The Sugar Plum products are available now until supplies last in stores and online. There are two new Rocky Mountain Soap Co. stores opening soon in Metro Vancouver as well! One at Bentall Centre (near Burrard skytrain, underneath the BMO), and one at Metrotown.

Fancy anything on the list? Have you started Christmas shopping yet?

Review: Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Wash

Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Wash review

I love a rich foaming cleanser that deep cleanses. While most cleansers in this category are drying and fare better on combination or oily skin, Kiehl’s new Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Wash cleanses without stripping, and is ultra gentle on the skin.

My skin profile: I have very dehydrated cheeks with a t-zone that gets oily. I occasionally get break-outs, usually 1-2 around that time of the month. My main skin concerns are hyper-pigmentation and dehydration in the cheek area and fine lines in the eye area. My ideal skincare products are ones that provide good moisture to my skin, absorb quickly and leave no left-over product sitting on top of my skin.

What it claims (from Kiehl’ This rich, gel formula activates with water to create a creamy, dense foam that gently removes impurities without stripping skin of its essential moisture.Formulated with Calendula Flower Extract and Glycerin, this deep cleansing face wash helps to soothe and replenish skin without over drying. Skin looks and feels instantly refreshed and revitalized. Soap-free and Sulfate-free.

Price: $34 CAD for 235mL bottle

Texture/Scent: Light, translucent gel. Pretty much scent-free.

The good: This cleanser foams up quickly upon contact with water and some rubbing, and the type of foam it creates is the plush, rich kind. It cleanses really well, getting into all of the crevices of my skin and into my pores, but it never strips. It leaves my skin feeling really soft and balanced.

  • Foams up richly
  • Cleanses well
  • Never strips
  • Skin is left feeling soft and balanced

The bad: The Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Wash is not designed to remove makeup, so you do need to use a separate makeup remover. I find that if I wear a lot of makeup one day and remove it with an oil cleanser, if there is any leftover makeup after using the oil cleanser, this will not remove. Basically just need to remove your makeup really well before using this. This is priced at $34 CAD for 235mL, which isn’t too bad for me, but I can see some people not liking that price tag.

  • Does not remove makeup
  • Pricey

Overall: This is a simple, no-frills cleanser that will fulfill anyone’s need for a gentle foaming cleanser. While it is ideal for normal/combination skintypes, if you’re a dry skin person and love foaming cleansers, you can also give this one a try. At the end of the day, I really like this cleanser!

Product: 17/20
Packaging: 4/5
Value: 3.5/5
Overall: 24.5/30 | A
Repurchase? Likely yes.


Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Wash review

Repeat customer – products I’ve purchased time and time again


As a beauty blogger, I’m always testing out new products and formulas. While it is nice to be able to try new products, it is even better when I’ve found products that just work for me, which then I buy again and again.

1. Lush Rehab shampoo (original review)

I am currently on my third 500mL bottle of this shampoo (also used up one 250mL bottle before in England). I’ve been using this since early 2010 and it is still the only shampoo that I use regularly, switching it up with some of the other shampoos I’m testing. I absolutely love the scent of this, as well as the clean tingly feeling I get on my scalp due to the peppermint oil in the ingredients. I’ve recently bought one of Lush’s shampoo bars to try as well, and that one has also been good, not surprisingly.

Ingredients: IMG_7664

2. Clinique Liquid Facial Soap Mild

I’ve been using this no-fuss cleanser off and on for about 6 years now, my first bottle being in 2007. I am now on my fourth bottle, having finished one 200mL bottle and two 400mL bottles back when they still had them in the limited edition format. It foams up just enough to get my skin and pores clean, but never stripping or drying. I also love that it is scent-free, as most other cleansers I’ve tried tend to have some kind of scent.


3. Kiehl’s Acai Toning Mist

I recently finished up my second bottle of this liquid magic. I received the first one as a press sample and immediately after finishing it, I went out and bought a second bottle. I use this in the morning when I don’t use a cotton pad with my toner, just spritzing it on for a quick boost of moisture after cleansing, following with hydrating serum, moisturizer and sunscreen. It helps everything else that comes after absorb more easily.


4. Biore UV Face Milk

This is my fourth or fifth bottle of Biore UV sunscreen. The first type I tried was the Moist Face Milk, which got me hooked. I’ve also tried the Bright Face Milk, as well as the Aqua Mousse, which comes out of a squeeze tube. My latest is the Perfect Face Milk, which isn’t much different from the Moist Face Milk or the Bright Face Milk. This is the PERFECT sunscreen, providing SPF 50+ PA+++ protection with zero sunscreen scent, no greasy after feeling, and super quick absorption.

5. Dior Top Coat

My secret to super fast trying nail polish, Dior Top Coat dries in a matter of seconds. I’m very impatient when it comes to waiting for nail polish to dry, so discovering Dior really helped me want to paint my nails more. This is the regular top coat and not the gel version, which was released this year. I’ve already used up two bottles of this, but now I’m trying to find alternatives because it is very pricey for what you get, at $24 for just 10mL.

What are your favourites? Please share!

Review: Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer

Kiehl's Skin Rescuer review

My daytime job is cyclical, and I am very busy from January to June every year, this also means my stress level is constantly going up until it peaks in June. Because of this, for half of the year my skin is in overdrive with the stress and the lack of sleep, meaning I need something to calm it down. Coincidentally, earlier this year Kiehl’s released the Skin Rescuer, designed for the stressed-out skin.

My skin profile: I have very dehydrated cheeks with a t-zone that gets oily. I occasionally get break-outs, usually 1-2 around that time of the month. My main skin concerns are hyper-pigmentation and dehydration in the cheek area and fine lines in the eye area. My ideal skincare products are ones that provide good moisture to my skin, absorb quickly and leave no left-over product sitting on top of my skin.

What it claims (from Kiehl’ Reduces the look of skin’s signs of stress, including skin fatigue and redness due to dry skin with Rosa Gallica Botanical Extract, Mannose and Chamomile. Our lightweight formula diminishes the look of signs of stress such as skin fatigue and redness due to dry skin, while fortifying the skin barrier over time, leaving it less susceptible to the effects of ongoing daily stressors. This moisturizing treatment, formulated with Rosa Gallica Botanical Extract and Mannose, helps minimize skin’s visible response to stress while protecting and strengthening the skin barrier; enriched with Chamomile this formula provides instant comfort. Our unique daily moisturizer leaves skin more resistant to stressors while delivering all day hydration to reveal a healthy-looking, well-balanced complexion with fresh and replenished looking skin.

Price: $42 CAD / $40 USD for 75mL

Texture/Scent: Thick gel-creme texture, reminds me of the texture of the Ultra Facial Moisturizer, but in in a pump bottle. Completely scent-free.

The good: This moisturizer is definitely hydrating without being heavy. It preps my skin well for sunscreen and the makeup that follows. I used this during the change of seasons and I noticed that it did significantly calm my skin down, especially in a time of high stress and seasonal weather changes, so I can say that it does deliver what it’s meant to. The value of this moisturizer is also good in that it is a bigger bottle compared to normal moisturizers, at a reasonable price. I also like that the US/Canada price disparity isn’t huge, which is a bonus for us Canadian shoppers.

  • Moisturizing
  • Calms skin down
  • Preps skin for sunscreen and makeup
  • Good value for price/volume of product

The bad: The packaging is a little troublesome to use. While I like that it is hygienic in a pump bottle, the cream that comes out is quite thick for something that comes out of a pump. I feel like there will be significant product wasted when I slowly work to the end. If Kiehl’s is considering a packaging tweak, I think a squeeze tube might be better.

  • Inconvenient packaging

Overall: This is a simple, no-frills moisturizer that just has one purpose – hydrate the skin. Even though it has all of the claims, as listed above, I find that it is really a simple moisturizer, which is exactly what it should be. Stressed out skin usually means sensitive skin, and sensitive skin needs simple, to-the-point products that deliver results. I would recommend this product to people with sensitive skin, or normal to dry skin. It might also work for people with dry-combination skin in the winter times, but not in the summer as it is quite thick.

Product: 16/20
Packaging: 2/5
Value: 4/5
Overall: 22/30 | B
Repurchase? Likely yes.

Kiehl's Skin Rescuer review

Review: Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica Eye

Ever since age 22 I’ve obsessed over eye creams. During school, I’ve noticed that my eye area has become very dry and brittle, probably due to stress. I’ve also always believed in preventative care, so I’ve been experimenting with several eye creams in my search to find the perfect one. When Kiehl’s contacted me to see if I was interested in trying their newest Rosa Artica Eye balm, of course I could not say no!

My skin profile: I have very dehydrated cheeks with a t-zone that gets oily. I occasionally get break-outs, usually 1-2 around that time of the month. My main skin concerns are hyper-pigmentation and dehydration in the cheek area and fine lines in the eye area. My ideal skincare products are ones that provide good moisture to my skin, absorb quickly and leave no left-over product sitting on top of my skin.

What it claims (from Rosa Arctica Eye helps to revitalize the appearance of skin in the delicate eye area for visibly younger-looking eyes. This formulation uses a unique combination of white birch, squalane, and our rare “Resurrection Flower” to provide an immediate smoothed appearance and a lifted, firmer eye area.

Price: $48 CAD for 15mL

Texture/Scent: Very thick balm, thins down after warming between fingers, unscented


The good: I like that it helps to hydrate my eye area and a little goes a long way. The fine lines under my eyes look diminished, albeit just temporary, and it helps makeup adhere better around the eye area. I like that it is unscented, especially because the eye area is more sensitive. Even though it is a thick balm, it thins down significantly when warmed between the fingers, helping it spread out easily around the eye area and it also helps absorption.

  • Moisturizing
  • Diminishes fine lines
  • Helps makeup adhere better
  • Unscented
  • Spreads easily after being warmed up between the fingers
  • A little goes a long way

The bad: You do need to warm it up significantly for it to apply and absorb properly into the skin. Also because it is so thick, it doesn’t stick to your fingers when you stick your finger in the jar to get some product out. I usually use the back side of my nail to scrape some out and then place the little bit of product on my ring finger for application. You can also use a small plastic spatula (like the ones that come with some skincare products) to get the product out of the jar.

  • Needs to be warmed up for application
  • Really thick, hard to get out of the jar

Overall: I really like this eye cream, I find that it is moisturizing and helps to diminish fine lines. While I haven’t noticed any long-term benefits from this eye cream such a lifting or firming, I do like that it is a simple eye cream that is perfect for every day use, especially for those who are looking for age-preventative products. I stress that a little goes a long way; I’ve been using this product for about 2 months and I’ve only make a small dent in it.

Product: 16/20
Packaging: 3/5
Value: 3/5
Overall: 22/30 | B
Repurchase? Probably not


Review: Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution

Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution review

I haven’t done a skincare review in a while but I just finished a bottle of this and with summer coming, up, it seems like the perfect season to get yourself a bottle of dark spot reducer. I received the Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution as a sample from Kiehl’s in February and I have been using it every day and every night for the past nearly 3 months.

My skin profile: I have very dehydrated cheeks with a t-zone that gets oily. I occasionally get break-outs, usually 1-2 around that time of the month. My main skin concerns are hyper-pigmentation and dehydration in the cheek area and fine lines in the eye area. My ideal skincare products are ones that provide good moisture to my skin, absorb quickly and leave no left-over product sitting on top of my skin.

I used this product twice a day, two drops in the morning for my face and four drops at night for my face and neck. I use this together with the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer both morning and night, and then also a layer of sunscreen during the day as well.

What it claims (from Clearly Corrective™ DARK SPOT SOLUTION is a fast-acting serum that evens skin tone and diminishes dark spots to impart overall radiance and luminosity to the skin:

• In as little as 2 weeks, 55% of women clinically demonstrated a significant reduction in dark spot intensity.
• In 4 weeks, 69% of women clinically demonstrated a continued reduction in dark spots intensity and 73% of women showed a significant reduction in acne scarring.  Reduction in other skin discolorations was clinically evident among 69% of women.
• In 8 weeks, 87% of women clinically demonstrated more uniform skin tone to deliver breakthrough clarity.
• With continued daily usage, Clearly Corrective helps to prevent the formation of future dark spots and other skin discolorations.

No Silicones. No Parabens. No Fragrance.
No Colorants. No Optical Diffusers.

Price: $49.50USD/$54CAD for 30mL

Texture/Scent: Light watery serum, very subtle herbal scent

Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution review

The good: It is a light watery serum that absorbs quickly and leaves no residue. It is gentle on the skin and does not sting or cause any irritation, even with continued and prolonged use. I love that helps the Ultra Facial Moisturizer absorb quickly and the products together leave my skin hydrated, supple and healthy. Most importantly, I felt that my skin was brighter, smoother and more luminous. I also felt that because of the vitamin C in the serum, it helped to increase the cell turnover in my skin through exfoliation, which also help acne spots heal faster and any leftover scars will also lightened faster.

  • Light, absorbs quickly and leaves no residue
  • Gentle on the skin
  • Skin is brighter, smoother and more luminous
  • Helps cell turnover in the skin due to the vitamin C

The bad: I did not notice any reduction in dark spot (i.e. freckle) intensity, which was its main claim. If anything, I felt my spots were even more prominent because the rest of my skin was more luminous and bright. I am not a fan of the dropper packaging, because every time I use it, the serum is exposed to oxygen, and over 2-3 months, that is a lot of oxygen. Also as I am nearing the end of the bottle, I have to pour out the rest of the serum because the dropper doesn’t go all the way to the bottom.

  • Does not lighten freckles
  • Dropper packaging lets in a lot of oxygen and also not effective at releasing all of the product

Overall: I love this product when used with Ultra Facial Moisturizer, so much that I updated my review of the Ultra Facial Moisturizer because the Dark Spot Solution, when used in tandem with the Moisturizer, really helps to improve the efficacy of both products. Even though I didn’t see a reduction in my freckles, I did feel that this serum was worth investing in because it made the rest of my skin brighter, more luminous, and overall more healthy looking. I highly recommend this product to anyone who is looking for an effective skin brightener that is still gentle and can be used twice a day for prolonged periods of time. It is hydrating enough for people with dry to normal skin, and it is light enough for people with oily or combination skin. I just finished my first bottle… and will be on to my second very soon =)

Product: 18/20
Packaging: 3/5
Value: 4/5
Overall: 25/30 | A-
Repurchase? YES!

FYI for an another review of this product, head over to Just J to read Miss J’s take.


Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution reviewKiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution review