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.

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Jergens Natural Glow – reformulated but still amazing as usual!

jergens3

Who says you have to start the summer off pale? Not this girl. Today I am here to talk about some easy ways to start the summer season off with a beautiful bronzed glow –Jergens self-tanning lotions!

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of self-tanners, and those which develop gradually and are actually hydrating are by far my favorites. Today I am going to talk about the Jergens Natural Glow Nourish Daily Moisturizer, the Jergens Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer, and the Jergens 3 Days to Glow moisturizer.

All three of these products come in two shades – Fair to Medium, and Medium to Tan. Before I begin, I will share a little tip with you: even if you are very fair (like myself), always stick with the Medium to Tan shade. The active ingredient in all these self-tanners is dihydroxyacetone, a sugar derivative that essentially stains the skin. The darker shades of most self-tanners simply contain more dihydroxyacetone, but they do not actually account for any skin tone variations. In short, you can use a smaller amount of product if you purchase the darker shade, and achieve the equivalent of a few days’ worth of applications in just one. You will not be any more or less “orange” than you would from using a lighter shade over the course of a few days instead.

jergens2

The Jergens Natural Glow Nourish Daily Moisturizer is probably my favorite product out of the three that I’ve used. It is light enough for daily use, and the product promises to produce a full shade of color in just 7 days. I would probably not use it for more than 3 or 4 days consecutively because it does eventually produce a bit of an orange tinge, but when used sparingly and if you give your skin a few days in between applications to naturally exfoliate, you can maintain a healthy, natural color.

My absolute favorite part about this product is that it is actually hydrating on the skin! If you’ve used mousse/aerosol self-tanners before, you will know that they are extremely drying, so I prefer the daily lotion much more. Lastly, it has a very pleasant aroma that doesn’t dissipate immediately only to be replaced by the dreaded self-tanner stench. I typically apply this product before bed, and by morning it still smells pleasantly floral.

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The Jergens Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer promises to deliver “visibly firmer skin with less noticeable cellulite and improved elasticity” in just 7 days of use. While it makes for a great self-tanner and is in many ways similar to the Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer, I find the firming claims to be greatly exaggerated. While it delivers a very natural tan and absorbs quickly into the skin, I saw no difference in the mount of cellulite that I had, nor an improvement in my skin elasticity. In general, skin tends to look firmer and imperfections are greatly diminished when you have a tan, so any benefits of this product I find are purely aesthetic.

Aside for feeling slightly thicker in texture than its non-firming counterpart (The Jergens Natural Glow daily Moisturizer), it is essentially the same product. If you’re not expecting skin-revitalizing miracles, this lotion will produce a nice, even tan with just a few applications.

jergens

Last but not least, the Jergens 3 Days to Glow Moisturizer does exactly what it promises and packs quite the punch of color! After only a single application I was significantly darker, and after two consecutive applications I had reached the maximum level that I wanted to achieve.

The only downside is that this lotion cannot be used as a daily moisturizer and should be used much more sparingly than the other two. Be extra careful about using it sparingly on your knees, elbows and feet and always wash your hands after applying it. However, if you want to significantly darken before an event and don’t have a week to do it gradually, a single application of this product is definitely enough to make a visible difference! Unlike the other two, this product comes in a smaller tube (120ml vs. 200ml), but I think the performance more than makes up for the size difference.

Overall, I love Jergens’ self-tanning products and I really feel that no matter which one you chose, you cannot go wrong. They will all produce a very even, natural color. Definitely give any of these a try if you want to achieve a bronzed summer glow without the damaging effects of UV rays.  

This post was written by Liza

Review: Pur Intense Hydrating Moisturizer

Pur Intense Hydrating Moisturizer review

In my ever-lasting quest to find a moisturizer capable of quenching my thirsty, thirsty skin without leaving it oily, I have been trying out the Pur Intense Hydrating Moisturizer ($34) for the past couple of weeks.

The product claims (from purminerals.com): Delivers a mega-dose of oil-free hydration for a visibly softer, smoother look and more comfortable feel. Featuring a trio of clinically tested superingredients, this decadent, dewy cream provides both immediate relief from dryness and long-term moisture loss prevention to keep your skin looking its radiant best.

After trying to incorporate this moisturizer into my skincare routine for the past several weeks, I have to admit that I’m quite unimpressed. While it does deliver on its promise of being oil-free, the product simply isn’t hydrating enough. My skin feels tight and dry almost immediately after application, and even when combined with an eye-cream underneath, my under-eye area still feels dry throughout the day.

Another major drawback of this product is that the gel formula dries to an incredibly sticky consistency. If after applying the product to your face, you have any residue remaining on your hands (and hey, who likes to waste a nice face-cream? I usually rub whatever my face/neck area can’t absorb onto the back of my hands) you will have to wash them thoroughly before you touch anything. This odd stickiness sets in after the moisturizer dries, and doesn’t lend itself well to being combined with foundation.

I have found that unless I am wearing something that is extremely light-coverage, such as a BB cream or a tinted moisturizer, I cannot apply a foundation on top of this product and have it blend and spread smoothly. This fact would be less of a nuisance if this was exclusively a night-cream, but since Pur advertises the moisturizer as both a day and night product, this is quite an annoyance during the day.

Pur Intense Hydrating Moisturizer review

On the other hand, some of the things that I enjoyed about this product are its lack of scent and packaging. The Pur Intense Hydrating Moisturizer is almost scent-free while in the container, and is entirely scent-free when applied to the skin. I don’t enjoy skincare products with unnecessary artificial fragrances so this quite up my alley. Additionally, I quite like the packaging. Even though the container is moistly plastic and not as expensive-looking as other products on the market, I find that the sloping bottom of the container and the clear lid are a neat little gimmick that makes me think of a retro sci-fi gadget of some sort (for a big geek such as myself, this is an endless source of amusement).

Overall, I find that the positives of this product are far surpassed by its many drawbacks. In addition to not being hydrating enough for my skin, Pur Intense Hydrating Moisturizer dries into a sticky film-like consistency which interferes with further make-up application. Even though this is a fairly inexpensive product ($34 for 60 grams), I will not be repurchasing it in the future.

This post was written by Liza

Ingredients:

Pur Intense Hydrating Moisturizer ingredients
Pur Intense Hydrating Moisturizer review

Review: Fuse Gelnamel

Fuse Gelnamel review

I recently got a chance to try out the new Fuse Gelnamel system, which promises at-home results that are comparable to salon gel-nail application. I have a long and tumultuous history with my nails so I am always excited to try new products that can potentially save me the cost of salon visits!

For some background – I have oily nail beds and brittle nails. So regular nail polish is almost out of the question if I want something long-lasting. I’ve had gel nail polish applied at a salon before (which depending on the skill of the aesthetician has lasted me anywhere from ten days to three weeks) and I’ve also had acrylic overlay nails (these were my favorites, although they were a rather costly monthly expense).

I am generally a fan of gel polish. When applied at the salon it is usually strong enough to put up with the daily wear-and-tear of my fast-paced restaurant job. Therefore, I had a lot of high hopes for the Fuse Gelnamel.

Fuse Gelnamel review

The Good:

I received the Na-No way! Fuse Starter Kit (which is a bright kind of fuchsia color) for this review (priced at 29.99$ USD on their website). The application process for Fuse is very similar to what I’ve observed done in a salon. You are instructed to buff your nail, and then polish it with the provided solution and lint-free wipe. Then, you proceed to apply the polish in thin coats, curing each coat under the UV light before proceeding to the next. The curing process takes exactly 30 seconds, which when multiplied by ten fingers, and by roughly three coats (which is how many coats I found it took for the color to be even) it adds up to fifteen minutes that you spend just sitting there, waiting for the polish to cure. With the addition of actually applying the polish I found that it took me about half an hour to paint my. It was quite tedious.

However, my nails looked wonderfully glossy and immaculate once I was done. A really great thing about gel nail polish is that after the UV curing cycle is finished, your nails won’t smudge like with traditional polish. You can do this whole process right before bed and not have to worry about waking up with a bedsheet print all over your fingers.

Fuse Gelnamel review

The Not-So Good:

My first chip in the polish happened the very next day! And I hadn’t even been rough with my hands! By day three the wear on the polish was extensive, with a lot of peeling and chipping around the tips. Disappointed, but not discouraged, I wrote off this extremely poor performance to my lack of expertise with at-home gel systems, so I tried the process all over again. Much to my dismay, the longevity of the product did not improve the second time around. After giving it a few more tries with similar results, I decided that perhaps this would be best used on my toes (the UV lamp included in the kit comes with a removable top, which can be detached to accommodate toes). It is important to note that regular nail polish will last me about three weeks on my toes, before I either notice slight wear or my nails grow out too much.

I applied the Fuse Gelnamel to my toes right before a two-week vacation, and I noticed wear at around the fifth day. By the time I had returned from my trip, several of my toes were missing polish entirely.

So, I suppose the verdict is that this product is actually worse than regular nail polish of the non-gel variety. I have noticed that one significant difference between the Fuse Gelnamel and other at-home gel systems (as well as the gel application process at a salon) is the lack of base coat and top coat. Although Fuse promises that those are unnecessary with their all-in-one formula, I can’t help but wonder is this is the reason for the extremely poor longevity of the product.

Additionally, the selection of colors is rather sparse on the Fuse website. If you were to purchase the system and wanted to expand your collection of polishes, there are currently only 12 additional color variants available for purchase. I personally really like nude shades on my nails, and it seems like most of what is available is some sort of primary color.

So, in short, even though this is a rather inexpensive system, given the fact that it performs worse than a regular drugstore polish, I would advise saving yourself the $30+ and instead getting a regular $5.99 bottle of polish from Shoppers Drug Mart.

Fuse Gelnamel review

This post was written by Liza

 

 

 

Experience: Hair cut & dye with Carver at Artel Salon

Hair By Carver Vancouver salon review

Hello! Today I want to talk to you guys about hair. The reason I do a lot of hair product/gadget reviews here at Maddy Loves is because I lost the genetic hair lottery, big time. Not only do I have fine, flat, difficult-to-style hair, it is also naturally a mousy grey color and it refuses to grow much past my shoulders without breaking off at the ends. I typically wear sewn-in human hair extensions (which is a painful and lengthy process) and I am notoriously mistrusting of hair stylists due to a plethora of bad experiences in the past. My relationship with my hair ranges from full-blown resentment on bad days, to mild annoyance on good days, thus I am always on the look-out for the next best thing that could help me feel beautiful.

I wear my extensions pretty much all-year round, with the exception of the short week-long windows of time where I need to get the wefts re-installed. So when Carver (of www.hairbycarver.com) offered me a service in exchange for a review of his work, I was both pressed for time and hesitant due to bad salon experiences in the past. However, after snooping through his Instagram portfolio (https://instagram.com/hairbycarver/) my fears were alleviated when I realized Carver was incredibly skilled, and not only that, but he was fantastically accommodating with fitting me in for a service before I had to get my extensions re-installed.

Now, to be fair, my morning with Carver started with me running late. I was on my morning bus, texting Carver about running behind, and his response was to brew me a cup of fresh-ground coffee to greet me with upon my tardy arrival!  Immediately, I knew I was in good hands.

Hair By Carver Vancouver salon review

Carver is currently operating out of the Artel Salon located at 3588 Fraser St, in Vancouver, BC. Artel is a brand-new salon that features a spacious, modern look with a somewhat rustic feel. Carver’s chair was conveniently located right next to a sunny window, giving me the best look at exactly what my hair looked like in natural daylight.

Hair By Carver Vancouver salon review

Lately, my hair has been looking a little drab, and a little too yellow-toned for my liking. Despite rigorous use of purple-shampoo I have trouble keeping the golden tones at bay. I was looking for a subtle change to a cooler toned blonde, in addition to breaking up my root line with some softer lowlights. As a full-time student, I do not have the time or the energy to invest in my hair during the fall semester, so I needed something that could help transition me into the fall and not require constant upkeep.

Carver listened to all of my concerns and assured me that beautiful, voluminous hair was not just a far-off dream.  I felt like he truly understood my hair concerns and suggested a course of action that we were both happy with. The whole service (lowlights, highlights, balayage, toning, head-massage and styling) took us a little under three hours, and I was constantly entertained with pleasant conversation and fresh coffee the entire time. During my appointment I learned that Carver’s specialty is his color work, and his biggest strengths are balayage and ombrés, as well as some of the best head-massages around! Additionally, you can make a booking with Carver through his website, which is a great relief for those of us who don’t particularly enjoy making phone calls (such as myself…). Also, it might interest some of you to know that Carver isn’t shy about sharing the secrets of his trade, and he has recently launched a youtube channel where he helps the hair-challenged amongst us with styling tutorials!

Now, I can sing Carver praises until I am blue in the face, and I can tell you at great length all about how much confidence and joy I derive from my new, fresh color and style, but I believe it would be best to simply show you some photos and let Carver’s work speak for itself. So, let’s take a look at my before and afters:

Hair By Carver Vancouver salon review
Hair By Carver Vancouver salon review

As you can tell, my hair is pretty flat and pretty drab, with evident copper undertones.

Hair By Carver Vancouver salon review

Hair By Carver Vancouver salon review

Hair By Carver Vancouver salon review

Hello volume!! Also, notice the cooler toned blonde and the much softer transition between my roots and ends. I felt like a million bucks!

Hair By Carver Vancouver salon review

So, if you are in the Vancouver area and are looking to reinvigorate your look with a new color or style, consider giving Carver a call. You can take a look at his portfolio, as well as find links to his Instagram and YouTube channel by visiting his website at www.hairbycarver.com . More information about service pricing, as well as his extremely easy online booking system can be found there as well!

Hair By Carver @ Artel Salon
3588 Fraser St, Vancouver, BC
604.790.9371
hairbycarver@gmail.com
Book here

This post was written by Liza

Review: Clarisonic Sonic Radiance Brightening Solution with the Clarisonic Aria and Radiance brush

Clarisonic Sonic Radiance Brightening Solution review

After months of testing, I am here today to talk about the Clarisonic Sonic Radiance Brightening Solution (C$265), which is designed to specifically target hyperpigmentation and prevent the appearance of future dark spots. The system that I was testing included the Brightening Solution Brightening Activator Serum, Brightening Solution Skin Illuminating Cleanser and the Brightening Solution Skin Renewing Peel Wash, along with the Radiance brush head for the Aria cleansing brush.

My skin is rather dry and sensitive. While hyperpigmentation is somewhat present on my face during the summer it is not a huge concern for me, as the spots typically disappear in the wintertime on their own accord. I was most hoping to see improvement to my blackheads and pore size around the nose area, and if the hyperpigmentation was lessened in the process, I would have considered that a bonus.

Clarisonic Sonic Radiance Brightening Solution review

My first impression of the system is that the packaging looked very sleek. The aria cleansing brush has a very ergonomic feel to it, coupled with a nice weight, and a fancy contact-free charging stand. I am quite snobby about keeping my countertops as free of clutter and products as possible, but I was happy to add the aria system because of its great aesthetic appeal.

However, short of being a nice display item, I was rather disappointed with the system as a whole. The Aria system boasts that with regular use 37% of testers felt improvement in their skin’s texture after just one week. And after 12 weeks, a reported 86% of testers saw a difference in their skin’s radiance. I have been using this system for close to three months now, and my results are less positive.

Clarisonic Sonic Radiance Brightening Solution review
I was initially impressed by how soft the Radiance brush felt to the touch, as I was worried about it being too rough for my sensitive skin. The system is meant to be used twice a day on the medium speed in the mornings, and on the high speed at night. I immediately found this regimen to be far too rigorous and painful for my skin – the brush head suddenly didn’t feel so soft when I was using it so frequently! My skin was left feeling very tender after each use, so I eventually tapered the frequency down from twice a day to once a day, and then only to three times a week total. Perhaps this lack of adherence to the instructions was a contributing factor to my lack of results, but I had to listen to my skin which simply felt raw after each use.

Clarisonic Sonic Radiance Brightening Solution review

Also, if you are a self-tanning junkie like myself, be aware that the brush will scrub off any tanner that you may have on the surface of your skin. If you are using a developing tanning product that “stains” your skin, this brush exfoliates deeply enough to remove any trace of the tanner. So for the purpose of this review, I’ve had to tailor my make-up routine to match my significantly whiter face to my bronzed neck and body. You might want to stock up on a foundation that is a few shades darker than your natural color if you are embarking on using the Clarisonic Sonic Radiance Brightening Solution.

Clarisonic Sonic Radiance Brightening Solution review

In addition, as mentioned by some other bloggers, I found the buttons for the speed adjusting to be extremely stiff. I never quite got accustomed to how hard I had to press to get the brush to change speeds and it became a hassle when being used wet in the shower.

I alternated between using the system at night and first thing in the morning so that I would give the two cleansers provided equal use for testing. I followed up with the Brightening Solution Brightening Activator Serum after each use, prior to moisturising.

Clarisonic Sonic Radiance Brightening Solution review

Brightening Solution Skin Illuminating Cleanser

I liked this product quite a bit. This cleanser has a milky consistency and it spreads over the face gently and easily. I also found that this cleanser helped combat some of the tightness and dryness I felt after using the brush, and it didn’t leave my skin stripped entirely of its natural oils first thing in the morning. This cleanser is probably not strong enough to remove makeup residue, but since it’s meant to be used first thing in the morning, you presumably wouldn’t be wearing any makeup anyway (unless you sleep in your makeup, in which case, shame on you!).

I would probably repurchase this cleanser. Priced at $30, it’s a good value!

Brightening Solution Skin Renewing Peel Wash

This cleanser is meant to be used with the aria system at night, and it is a thicker, transparent gel cleanser. This product foams and spreads easily when combined with water and it does an average job of cleansing. I felt like I had to wash my face with something else prior to using this product as it was best at just ensuring the last bits of my make-up were gone. Most of the time I used a liquid make-up remover on my eyes and skin before using this cleanser to get the remaining residue off.

However, my skin felt dry after using this product when coupled with the aria brush head, and I cannot see myself repurchasing this product in the future.

Brightening Solution Brightening Activator Serum

The serum was probably my least favorite product of the bunch. It is meant to be used each time after cleansing and before applying moisturiser. The texture was light and it spread on my skin nicely. It promises to reduce the appearance of age spots as well as illuminate and soften the skin, however I have found virtually no difference in my skin texture after using this product versus using my regular moisturiser on its own, so for the hefty price of $75 I would recommend skipping this product.

The final verdict:

Sometime in the middle of my testing period I went on vacation and due to being out and about in the sun, I have returned with a face full of freckles. So comparatively speaking, I have more “sun spots” on my face now than I did before using the Aria system, so I cannot truly comment on whether any hyperpigmentation was reduced, because even minor UV exposure provided too many freckles for me to keep track of. I saw a slight reduction in the number of blackheads around my nose and cheek area, but overall my skin was left feeling raw and tender after each exfoliation session, and the suggested regimen was so rough on my face I felt like I would have eventually seen damage from over-exfoliation if I stuck to the instructions.

Combined with the rather mediocre cleansers and serum provided, I would advise against spending the 265$ on this system. Perhaps the system would be better suited for someone older, and with less sensitive skin. Additionally, I feel like I could have gotten a better sense of the results had I tested the system in the winter when I have virtually no freckles, as my recent vacation-induced UV exposure greatly obscured the intended results.

Although to be truthful, even if the Clarisonic Sonic Radiance Brightening Solution did exactly as it promised and both reduced the appearance of hyperpigmentation along with illuminating my skin, the continued discomfort I felt after using the brush head would not have been worth the results.

On the flip side, I have been using it once a week in place of my usual exfoliator just to scrub off any dead skin. It’s worked wonderfully as a physical exfoliator on a once-weekly level and not the twice a day regime that’s recommended. My skin is left feeling smooth and soft, and it also helps any products penetrate better to maximize efficacy. Although I don’t recommend using it for its intended purpose, I still found a good use for it and I will continue to use the Clarisonic as an exfoliator.

Clarisonic Sonic Radiance Brightening Solution review
Clarisonic Sonic Radiance Brightening Solution review
Clarisonic Sonic Radiance Brightening Solution review
Clarisonic Sonic Radiance Brightening Solution review
Clarisonic Sonic Radiance Brightening Solution review
Clarisonic Sonic Radiance Brightening Solution review

This review was written by Liza

Self-tanning adventures part 2 featuring Arbonne Liquid Sunshine Tinted Self-Tanner, The Body Shop Honey Bronze Tinted Leg Mist and FakeBake Bronze on the Glow

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I’m back with more self-tanning product reviews. You can read all about my story with self tanners, as well as reviews of three other self-tanners here.

In terms of bronzing and self-tanning, I’ve done it all. From the gradually-developing spray-tans in an automated booth, to the somewhat awkward experience of being bronzed with an airbrush while standing in my undies before a technician – I’m a self-tanning veteran. For your quick reference, I have rated the following products on their ease of use, as well as the intensity of the tan after a single application from 0 to 5. 0 is equal to no noticeable change in color after a single use, and 5 is equivalent to the darkest result achievable without looking like a reject-extra from the Jersey Shore. For those more experienced with self-tanning, I would compare a result of 5 to a salon spray-tan where you achieve the final level of intensity after a single visit.

Arbonne Liquid Sunshine Tinted Self-Tanner review

Next up is the Arbonne Liquid Sunshine Tinted Self-Tanner. Unlike the first two products, this product is a gel formula that promises to deliver results in two hours. It is applied with your hands all over the body like a moisturizer and it promises to be quick-drying and moisturizing.

I’m not even sure where to begin with this product because it is so appallingly terrible. Firstly, it reeks. The initial scent is reminiscent of sunscreen and is rather pleasant, but after oxidizing on the skin it smells very strongly of coppery-chemical self-tanner, which does not dissipate until being rinsed off.

My biggest problem with this product is that it is sticky and not quick-drying in the least. I applied this product all over my body a few hours before going to bed, and I was waking-up in the middle of the night because I was so, so sticky from the application that my bedsheets kept getting glued to my body. It never really seemed to get better, either. I had to rinse it off the next morning to get rid of the stickiness and smell.

Initially, I spent as long as I could not getting dressed after the shower, trying to wait for the product to dry, but it never did. I really hope that if you chose to use this that you stick to wearing black clothes for the next several days. Even after a second shower, I noticed that it left orange streaks on my bathroom towel.

The one somewhat redeeming quality is that this tanner made me very dark after a single application, and that even though I had clothing and bedsheets literally glued to my body for most of the first night, the application was still somehow even. However, this product is so torturous to wear and apply that I will never use it again. It’s thick, smelly, disgusting formula is not at all off-set by its somewhat decent results.

Ease of Use: 0/5

Color Intensity after One Application: 4/5

Repurchase? Never.

Ingredients:

Arbonne Liquid Sunshine Tinted Self-Tanner ingredients

Next, I have the Honey Bronze Tinted Leg Mist from the Body Shop. Unlike the gradually-developing self-tanners mentioned above, this product is meant to wash off and it does not stain/color your skin in the long term. This product is great for giving you a bronzed look if you don’t want to wait overnight for a self-tanner to develop.

Honey Bronze Tinted Leg Mist review

Generally, I stay away from tinted, wash-off tanners because I like to have a somewhat more lasting color. However, I am very impressed with this product. Not only does it smell absolutely divine (like honey!) but it is extremely easy to spread around streak-free. It gives you a nice, deep chocolate color without any orange undertones. If you already have a nice bronzed base, spritzing a little bit of the Honey Bronze Tinted Leg Mist will darken your color and give you a nice boost for a night-out.

This product stays put until your next shower, and after drying (in under a minute) I have not found it to stain my clothes or smear with wear. Also, it comes with a non-aerosol dispenser which is eco-friendly! Jus rub it in with your hands after spraying on the skin and you are ready to go!

Ease of Use: 5/5

Color Intensity after one Application: 3/5

Repurchase? Possibly.

FakeBake Bronze on the Glow review

Lastly, I have the FakeBake Bronze on the Glow instant wash-off tan. This product is similar to the Honey Bronze Tinted Leg Mist in that it is a tanner that is supposed to wash off, and it doesn’t color or stain your skin like a developing self-tanner. This product is dispersed through an aerosol nozzle and it comes out slightly shimmery and beige. I have also received a foam mitt to help with the application of this product.

Personally, I don’t love this product. I think that the shimmer is a little heavy, and I would prefer a more matte finish. Additionally, it doesn’t dry as fast as the Honey Bronze Tinted Leg Mist and unless you really work on the application with the foam mitt, it is prone to coming out a little streaky and uneven.

On the bright side, it dries extremely fast (in seconds) and smells of lovely vanilla/cocoa undertones. As mentioned earlier, I am partial against wash-off tanners so I cannot see myself using this product frequently because it isn’t anything revolutionary, but it is definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of temporary bronzing.

Ease of Use: 3/5

Color Intensity after one Application: 2.5/5

Repurchase? Probably not.

FakeBake Bronze on the Glow ingredients

That’s it for my summer self-tanner reviews. Have you seen anything here or in my earlier post that piques your interest? Do you rely mostly on self tanners or do you go out into the sun for a tan?

This post was written by Liza

 

Self-tanning adventures part 1 featuring Bioderma Photoderm Autobronzant, Jergens Natural Glow Foaming Moisturizer and Jergens Color Primer In-Shower Scrub

This summer I’ve had the extreme privilege of living every pasty-white girl’s dream: I’ve been testing a multitude of tanning products and I haven’t had a single pale day in months! After much testing and deliberation, I have compiled all of my tanning expertise into two large, tanning master posts for your reading pleasure!

As a bit of a background about myself and my relationship with tanning, it’s worth noting that I’m extremely pale. I’m right on the cusp of having the sort of skin type that doesn’t tan at all. I can get darker in the sun, but it’s an incredibly gradual process which requires a lot of prolonged UV exposure that I am not keen to experience. Additionally, some parts of my body (such as my face) do not tan at all, and rather freckle in response to UV. So, seeing as I would like to look youthful past the age of 30, I limit my sun exposure and make sure all of my makeup has some SPF built into it. Likewise, I have never (and will never) set foot into a UV tanning bed, and I advocate strongly against them. In summary, this leaves me with self-tanning as the only means of achieving a beautiful bronzed glow that I so desperately covet.

In terms of bronzing and self-tanning, I’ve done it all. From the gradually-developing spray-tans in an automated booth, to the somewhat awkward experience of being bronzed with an airbrush while standing in my undies before a technician – I’m a self-tanning veteran. For your quick reference, I have rated the following products on their ease of use, as well as the intensity of the tan after a single application from 0 to 5. 0 is equal to no noticeable change in color after a single use, and 5 is equivalent to the darkest result achievable without looking like a reject-extra from the Jersey Shore. For those more experienced with self-tanning, I would compare a result of 5 to a salon spray-tan where you achieve the final level of intensity after a single visit.

Bioderma Photoderm Autobronzant review

First up is the Bioderma Photoderm Autobronzant. This product takes the first spot as my favorite product for a tanning-novice. This bottle comes with a diffusion spray, and a mist that is colorless. The spray nozzle works in any direction (even upside-down) to give an even color. You are advised to hold the nozzle 20cm away from the skin and give yourself an all-over mist. I was skeptical when first trying it out, as I’m used to lengthy application processes with foam mitts and much grief from streaking the following morning. However, this product miraculously comes out streak-free every time. I gave myself an all-over spray after a shower (doing my best to cover every part of myself evenly), and then I stood there awkwardly flopping around in a cloud of tanner. Believe it or not, the result was absolutely flawless.

The product is dry to the touch in under a minute, however the distinct self-tanner scent lingers for a few hours. I advise using this right before bed for a nice glow in the morning. Unfortunately, self-tanners are never truly scent-free, and this one is particular is scented with additional perfumes. Self-tanners have a coppery-chemical smell that is simply part of the deal, so adding a fragrance on top only makes it worse. That being said, this product isn’t particularly foul-smelling as far as these things go.

The only downside to the Bioderma Photoderm Autobronzant is that the color difference is very subtle the following day. It’s definitely noticeable, but you will not look drastically darker after one application. I suppose this could be both a negative and a positive – if you are unsure about self-tanning, this is an excellent product to start with. And of course, if you desire a darker hue, you can always re-apply it once a day until reaching the desired level.

Ease of Use: 5/5

Color Intensity after One Application: 2/5

Repurchase? Absolutely. I always want a bottle of this tanner around for touch-ups and quick color boosts.

Jergens Natural Glow Foaming Moisturizer review

Next up is the over-all favorite, the Jergens Natural Glow Foaming Moisturizer. This product dispenses as a white foam (looks identical to hair-mousse) which you are instructed to rub all over your skin for an even look. It develops overnight and gives a noticeable result after just a single application. Skin is dry to the touch in under a minute.

It’s worth mentioning that this product claims to be moisturizing and odour-free – both of these claims are false. Self-tanners have a tendency to be drying, and well, this product isn’t drying per-se, but it’s definitely not moisturizing. If you are familiar with self-tanners and the tight, dry feeling they leave on your skin you will be pleasantly surprised that this one does so rather minimally. But do not purchase this product expecting it to actually be hydrating.

Additionally, it is not scent-free. The distinct self-tanner smell is still present during application but I have found it to dissipate rather quickly (within an hour or so). If the claims made by the packaging were not so bold, I would have nothing but positive things to say about its performance. Also, I think marketing this product as a ‘moisturizer’ was a poor decision. It is an excellent tanner and it does not need to make unfounded claims to perform well.

This is my favorite product because the coverage is extremely even, and it delivers a pretty noticeable result after a single application. Let’s just say that if all other self-tanners somehow became extinct, and all that was left was the Jergens Natural Glow Foaming Moisturizer, I would not mourn the loss of the others.

Ease of Use: 4/5

Color Intensity after One Application: 3.5/5

Repurchase? Absolutely! In fact, I am on my second bottle already!

Ingredients:

Jergens Natural Glow Foaming Moisturizer ingredients

Along with the tanning mousse, I was also given the Jergens Color Primer In-Shower Scrub to help me prep my skin for an even tan. It is very, very important to exfoliate well before self-tanning! The less dry, dead skin cells you have, the longer your tan will last without flaking off. As a tanning veteran, I am well aware of this preparation process and I actually prefer to exfoliate with a coarse loofah all-over my body in-between tanning. The Jergins Color Primer In-Shower Scrub is much gentler than what I am used to, and I felt like I had a better, longer-lasting tan after exfoliating with a loofah than with this product. Additionally, this scrub contains polyurethane microbeads that are having disastrous effects on the environment. I would advise skipping this product for both ethical and practical reasons.

Part two of my tanning adventures will be up next!

This post was written by Liza

Review L’Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil Souffle d’Or Shampoo, Conditioner and Seve Protectrice heat-protecting cream

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In my ever-lasting quest to nourish my dry, fine, colored hair I have had the misfortune of trying out the L’Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil Souffle d’Or Shampoo and Conditioner along with the Mythic Oil Seve Protectrice heat-protecting cream. L’Oréal Professionnel is a premium-generalist haircare brand by the L’Oréal family, with prices in the $20-30 range for products. It’s not as luxurious as Kerastase or Shu Uemura Art of Hair, but it is getting in the range of high-end hair products so my expectations were adjusted to go along with the higher price tag.

It is important to mention that I am very much a bargain-hunter, and not at all someone accustomed to breaking the bank for hair products, but this line (specifically the shampoo and conditioner) were both so disappointing that I felt like I would have had better luck with literally any drugstore equivalent.

L'Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil Suffle d’Or Shampoo review

The L’Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil Souffle d’Or Shampoo (C$22) promises to “[offer] beautiful shine and lightweight nourishment for all hair types”, and while I realize that this product probably isn’t designed to be the mega-thirst-quencher that my hair needs, it’s still advertised as being suitable for all hair types.

Pretty much the only positive aspect of this line is its scent. All of the products have a rich aroma reminiscent of spice – vanilla, cumin and perhaps even cinnamon. I am quite impressed by the subtle, unique undertones that don’t overwhelm the senses, all the while steering clear of the tired old floral smells of most shampoos and conditioners.

Unfortunately, this is where the positives end.  The shampoo formula has a mixture of fine shimmer suspended throughout the bottle, which in my opinion, cheapens the look of the product. While the bottle advertises that the “Golden Shimmering Sparkles” will leave your hair “sparkling with an airy touch”, the back (in fine print) reassures that the sparkles will rinse off with the rest of the product, therefore making them completely superfluous. I’m not entirely certain who the sparkles are meant to appeal to (young children come to mind), but for a professional line I find them to be overly gimmicky.

The worst part about the product is that it left my hair incredibly dry and tangled. My hair was essentially a solid, knotted mass by the time I rinsed off the lather. I had hoped that perhaps the conditioner was meant to remedy this, but as I soon discovered, my hopes were too optimistic.

L'Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil Suffle d’Or conditioner review

The L’Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil Souffle d’Or Conditioner (C$22) is a gel formula. Once again, I understand that a gel conditioner is not meant for sad, dry hair like mine, but I’ve used gel conditioners before with decent results. If you are wondering, there are indeed fine sparkles suspended in the conditioner as well, although there are decidedly fewer of them than in the shampoo.

When I applied the conditioner, using many, many liberal pumps I was faced with the horrifying reality that it was only further tangling my hair. I tried to coat my strands as much as possible, and left it on for the recommended 2-3 minutes before I realized that I needed to intervene with another product because I would later be unable to comb through my hair without major damage. So, I tried to get as much of the Mythic Oil Suffle d’Or Conditioner off as I could, and followed up with a thick, rich leave-in masque in an attempt to apologize to my hair for the horrors inflicted upon it.

Even after an additional ten minutes of deep-conditioning with a different product, my hair felt drier and more brittle until the next wash (where I opted to use a different shampoo and conditioner altogether).  Additionally, I would certainly advise against these two products if you wear permanent extensions of any kind. As hair extensions are typically drier than your natural hair, there is a good chance this duo would irrevocably wreck hundreds of dollars worth of extensions.

L'Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil Seve Protectrice review

Lastly, an honorable mention goes out to the Mythic Oil Seve Protectrice (C$26) heat-protecting cream which, by contrast, a fairly good product. It smells pleasantly of cumin in a sultry, spicy kind of way, and I have found that when used entirely on its own without the Mythic Oil shampoo and conditioner, it did a good job of taming frizz and protecting my hair from heat-styling. I would likely repurchase this product in the future.

In summary, if my terrible experience was not jarring enough, I would not recommend the L’Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil Suffle d’Or Shampoo and Conditioner to anyone. However, I would recommend the Mythic Oil Seve Protectrice to someone looking for an inexpensive heat-protecting product with a unique scent.

This review was written by Liza

Review + swatches: Revlon Photoready Insta-Fix & Photoready Prime + Anti Shine

Today I am very excited to be reviewing the new Revlon Photoready Insta-Fix stick foundation, as well as the Revlon Photoready Prime + Anti Shine! I am a big fan of drugstore make up, and along with Marcelle, Revlon makes some of my absolute favorite products! I am happy to report that these two new additions did not disappoint in the least.

Revlon Photoready Insta-Fix review

The Revlon Photoready Insta-Fix is a foundation stick which is meant to be used as either a concealer or an over-all foundation product, and it comes in very handy twist-stick packaging. I absolutely love this product because it is the perfect medium between being matte and shimmery. It isn’t drying, but also doesn’t leave my skin feeling or looking too greasy/shiny after use. I’ve worn a full-face of this foundation during a solid work/school day and it seems to be long-lasting and non-creasing.

I received the product in two shades: 110 (Ivory) and 140 (Nude). If I am to be honest with myself, I would have to admit that the Ivory is (sadly) my perfect shade. However, in a constant effort to not be the whitest-whitey ever I wear copious amounts of self-tanner, so in my not-so-natural state, the Nude shade is actually a better match. I mostly use the Ivory stick on my under-eye area as a concealer, and I have found that the slightly lighter color helps to bounce some light under my eyes!

Revlon Photoready Insta-Fix review

It is worth mentioning that this foundation isn’t very high-coverage, which is perfect for me, as I tend to skip wearing foundation most days altogether. The stick packaging of the product also means that I can quickly swipe it on my nose and cheekbones and quickly blend it out with my fingers without worrying about evening out the full-coverage of a liquid foundation.

Overall, this is an excellent new product that has been ceremoniously added to my make-up bag. I will definitely repurchase

Swatches (110 on left, 140 on right):

Revlon Photoready Insta-Fix review

Revlon Photoready Prime + Anti Shine is a transparent foundation primer that has a waxy consistency and should be applied underneath foundation to help it adhere better. The primer also has the effect of reducing shine, and in fact, I’ve even tried swiping it along my t-zone on top of foundation in order to further mattify my look.

Revlon Photoready Prime + Anti Shine review

This is an over-all an excellent primer that glides smoothly and easily along my skin without leaving any visible residue. Because I have some premature aging and dehydration on my under-eye area, I am a big fan of using primers to prevent my concealer and foundation from settling in fine lines and wrinkles.

My only complaint with this product is its packaging. I feel like the sponge provided doesn’t allow me to grab enough product, and instead of smoothing the primer all over my skin in a fine layer, it absorbs most of it. Instead, I’ve started scooping the product out with my fingers, warming it up in the palm of my hand, and simply applying it all-over with my fingertips. Since the consistency of the primer is roughly equal to the consistency of the Revlon Photoready Insta-Fix stick, I think a much better alternative to its relatively cumbersome box and useless latex sponge would be a twist-stick container, like with the foundations. This would also enable me to toss it in my purse and re-apply to areas that may get shiny throughout the day.

Revlon Photoready Prime + Anti Shine review

 

Have you tried either the Revlon Photoready Insta-Fix or the Photoready Prime + Anti Shine, and what do you think about them?