Review + swatches – Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet in Regiment Red and Bright Plum

Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet in Regiment Red and Bright Plum review and swatches

I’m so excited to share with you my thoughts on the Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet (C$38). This was one of my most anticipated launches this year from Burberry. I love liquid lipsticks, particularly velvety matte ones as they apply easily and have great staying power. Burberry makes some incredible lipsticks, so it made sense that they also made a great lipstick lipstick.

The Liquid Lip Velvet is a matte liquid lipstick, but not so matte like the other matte ones you see on the market where your lips look kind of shriveled. This one has more of a velvet finish, and is ultra comfortable on the lipstick. I have very dry lips and I can wear this without needed to go home and rehabilitate my lips.

Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet in Regiment Red and Bright Plum review and swatches

The two shades I have are Regiment Red, which is an orange red (Burberry’s true red is Military Red), and Bright Plum, which is a plummy dark mauve. I LOVE BRIGHT PLUM. I can’t say that enough. Influenced by Angela, I’ve been slowly getting into dark lips, and even though this one isn’t super dark or vampy, it’s dark enough to change my look.

In addition to being a gorgeous shade, the formula is also fantastic – the Liquid Lip Velvet formula is almost moussy, in that it feels very creamy on the lips. It reminds me a little bit of the Jeffree Star liquid lip formula, but the Burberry one doesn’t dry down as much. It still feels very plushy on the lips, and it doesn’t sink into lip lines either. If you are someone with dry lips and want to try the liquid lipstick trend, you’ve gotta try the Burberry Liquid Lip Velvets.

While it is available in a good selection of colours, I find that Burberry colours are starting to look the same as they basically just use the same colour but in different finishes. I would have liked to see them release more unique shades for each formula. They’ve started to do that a bit with the Liquid Lip Velvet line, but it still looks a bit repetitive.

You can purchase Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet now at Sephora in store and online, as well as at the Bay in store and online.

The swatches

Bright Plum and Regiment Red

Burberry Liquid Lip Velvet in Regiment Red and Bright Plum review and swatches

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

L’Occitane Solidarity Balm for International Women’s Day 2017

L’Occitane Solidarity Balm for International Women’s Day 2017

One of my favourite L’Occitane en Provence products released each year for International Women’s Day is the Solidarity Balm (C$6). This affordable balm uses sustainable and fair trade shea butter, harvested in Burkina Faso by women who are in partnership with L’Occitane. Each year, L’Occitane enlists 17,000 women to help with the harvesting of the Shea Butter range. Lastly, 100% of the profits from the Solidarity Balm go to support the UN Women Fund for Gender Equaltiy.

This year, the Solidarity Balm is beautifully scented with violets. It contains 98% fair trade shea butter, and it has over 50 uses on the body. Some of my favourite uses include as a lip balm, on dry cuticles, as a hand balm, to soothe dry feet, on dry hair to smooth flyaways, and more. I keep this on me when I travel, as it makes a great all-in-one airplane solution for dry skin / lips / hair everything.

You can purchase the Solidarity Balm in stores and online now, for just $6!! For such an amazing price, it’d make a great thank you gift, or stock up to give as stocking stuffers!

L’Occitane Solidarity Balm for International Women’s Day 2017

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

Celebrating the opening of Skinceuticals by Project Skin, and multi-masking with Skinceuticals Clarifying Clay Masque, Phyto Corrective Masque, and Hydrating B5 Gel

Skinceuticals by Project Skin MD opening review

Last month, I was invited to the grand opening of the Skinceuticals by Project Skin, the first freestanding Skinceuticals boutique in Canada, as well as a Project Skin MD treatment centre, located at Richmond Centre in the Greater Vancouver Area in B.C., Canada.

The new state-of-the-art skin boutique and facial centre offers a variety of specialized facials that are designed for those who are looking for express services, as well as full service offerings, to complement the complete service offerings at the original Project Skin MD location in Vancouver.

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Skinceuticals by Project Skin MD opening reviewSkinceuticals by Project Skin MD opening review

Sample full services include complimentary skin consultations, the Signature Customized Glow Facial (60 min for $150), Dermaplanning (60 min for $150), or their MAX+ Customized Facial (75 min for $255), which includes a MAX+ LED light therapy treatment which helps to target skin concerns such as acne, hyperpigmentation, melasma, rosacea and other common skin problems. Express services include various peels and mask treatments, customized for your skin type for just $85 for 30 minutes. You can find out more about the treatments and services here.

Skinceuticals Clarifying Clay Masque, Phyto Corrective Masque, and Hydrating B5 Gel review

I took home from the event a multi-masking facial set, which contained three Skinceuticals masks: Clarifying Clay Masque, Phyto Corrective Masque, and Hydrating B5 Gel, as well as a mixing bowl and Skinceuticals mask brush (not pictured).

The Skinceuticals Clarifying Clay Masque contains active cleansing ingredients such as kaolin, bentonite, as well as various fruit enzymes and extracts to help faciliate a deeper exfoliating action. It also contains aloe leaf juice to help hydrate. I was surprised to see titanium dioxide so high up on the ingredients list, as I understand this ingredient helps to cosmetically improve and brighten the appearance of the skin, but this is not a long-term benefit. This is a very mild clay mask; I didn’t feel like it was too drying, and unlike other clay masks, it doesn’t suck the life out of my skin. I ended up using more than usual to get decent coverage, but once on my face, it felt very soothing. I also like that despite it drying down completely, I didn’t get that “I can’t move my face” type thing happening.

The Phyto Corrective Masque is a cooling, hydrating botanical gel mask that works great on all skin types. I normally use this on its own, or as a quick pick-me-up after the Clarifying Clay Masque. I love the cooling sensation, and most importantly that the cooling sensation doesn’t appear to come from some kind of mint or peppermint oil. You get a nice 60mL of product, which is enough for several months. A little bit goes a long way, and I don’t find that it dries down too quickly so you can keep masking for longer compared to other gel masks. While I was kinda meh about it initially after using it, I did notice that the next morning, my skin was significantly softer, more plump, and more hydrated. I didn’t leave it on as an overnight mask, and I washed it off in the shower before bed, but the benefits were definitely enhanced overnight. I was pleasantly surprised. This is a great mask to use before a big event to help re-hydrate your skin.

Lastly, the Hydrating B5 Gel (C$86) is a hyaluronic acid gel serum. It’s very lightweight, absorbs very quickly (under a few seconds) and does noticeably improve the hydration levels of my skin. I love using this in the mornings over my spray essence, and under moisturizer. It’s also fantastic mixed into the Clarifying Clay Masque to reduce how drying it may be, for the driest of skin types. My biggest qualm about this product is the price. It’s hyaluronic acid, nothing new, nothing groundbreaking, so I’m not sure why it’s $86… If you are looking for a good hyaluronic acid serum, Deciem makes a few in their various product lines, so I would suggest checking those out instead.

You can pick up these and other Skinceuticals products at Skinceuticals x Project Skin boutique.

Visit SkinCeuticals by Project Skin:
6551 No 3 Rd
Richmond, BC
V6Y 2B6
Phone: 604.285.8115
E-mail: richmond@projectskinmd.com

Skinceuticals Clarifying Clay Masque, Phyto Corrective Masque, and Hydrating B5 Gel review
Skinceuticals Clarifying Clay Masque, Phyto Corrective Masque, and Hydrating B5 Gel review

Skinceuticals by Project Skin MD opening reviewSkinceuticals by Project Skin MD opening review

Clarifying Clay Masque ingredients: aqua / water / eau, kaolin, bentonite, aloe barbadensis / aloe barbadensis leaf juice, propylene glycol, glycerin, ci 77891 / titanium dioxide, caprylic/capric triglyceride, cetearyl alcohol, dimethicone, lithium magnesium sodium silicate, phenoxyethanol ceteareth-20, vaccinium myrtillus fruit extract, caprylyl glycol, helianthus annuus seed oil / sunflower seed oil, saccharum officinarum extract / sugar cane extract / extrait de canne a sucre, sodium hydroxide, citrus aurantium dulcis fruit water / orange fruit water, citrus limon fruit extract / lemon fruit extract, acer saccharinum extract / sugar maple extract, chamomilla recutita extract / matricaria flower extract, rosmarinus officinalis leaf oil / rosemary leaf oil, cucumis sativus fruit extract / cucumber fruit extract, pelargonium graveolens flower oil, lavandula hybrida oil, curcuma longa extract / turmeric root extract, sclareolide, rosa spp / rose flower oil, jasminum officinale extract / jasmine extract

Phyto Corrective Masque ingredients: aqua / water/ glycerin/ alcohol denat./ dipropylene glycol/ dimethicone/ butylene glycol/ propylene glycol/ peg-8/ peg/ppg/polybutylene glycol-8/5/3 glycerin/ ammonium polyacryloyldimethyl/taurate/ phenoxyethanol/ carbomer/ dimethiconol/ sodium hyaluronate/ olea europaea leaf extract / olive leaf extract/ sodium hydroxide/ tetrasodium edta/ sodium citrate/ parfum / fragrance/ acetyl dipeptide-1 cetyl ester/ cucumis sativus fruit extract / cucumber fruit extract/ t-butyl alcohol/ sodium benzoate/ thymus vulgaris flower/leaf extract – thyme/ flower/leaf extract/ citrus grandis extract / grapefruit fruit extract/ toluene sulfonic acid/ benzyl benzoate/ cellulose acetate butyrate/ benzyl alcohol/ alpha-isomethyl ionone polyphosphorylcholine glycol acrylate/ linalool/ morus alba root extract/ polyvinyl alcohol/ caprylyl glycol/ citronellol/ ci 19140 / yellow 5/ ci 42090 / blue 1/ sodium chloride

Hydrating B5 Gel ingredients: aqua / water / eau, phenoxyethanol, calcium pantothenate, sodium hyaluronate

Thank you for Project Skin MD for inviting me to the event, and for gifting me the products.

Products that did not do it for me, featuring Estee Lauder, Sally Hansen, Live Clean, and NARS

I think a lot of bloggers get a lot of flack for always loving products, or never having anything negative to say about products, especially ones that they get from PR. A lot of times, I do get products I dislike, but I only have so much time on my hands so I try to only share the ones that I recommend to my readers. That being said, there have been a few big releases recently that just haven’t earned my stamp of approval. I went into trying these products being hopeful, as usual, that I found the next HG products, but sadly they failed to performed, and were even downright bad on some levels. So… read on for some of the products that I’ve disliked recently.

Just a caveat though – these are products that I personally dislike because I have a different skin type, or general preferences as you. If you like any of these products, please continue to use them. I’m not trying to dissuade you from using them, I’m just saying they did not work for me personally.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intensive Recovery Ampoules

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intensive Recovery Ampoules review

I was introduced to this product when I was going through a really rough time in my life – I was really sick for over 3 weeks, I was stressed out over the closing of my first apartment, I was busy planning a three-week trip to Asia, AND my day job was crazy busy – so I was really looking forward to trying this product. Basically it is a oil concentrate contained in individual ampoules, which is designed to calm and repair the look of over-stressed skin. Even though the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair line is designed to be anti-aging, this product was created for those with dry, combination, and stressed skin, as well as those with sensitivity. You would use this as a skin “reset,” applying one ampoule each evening for a two week period at a time.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Intensive Recovery Ampoules review

I have to say it smells so warm and inviting, and the ingredients list looks very promising. Unfortunately, this product failed to absorb in my skin, and left a greasy mess every time I used it. I even tried using it over wet skin, which is how most oils absorb into my skin, but still this was stubborn and just stayed on the top layer. It also broke me out, and left congested pores on my cheeks, temple, and chin. Despite it being so “oily,” I actually woke up with dry patches all over my face, I have no idea how that happens. I tried using it alone, over hydrating serum, under moisturizer, with both hydrating serum and under moisturizer, and I just couldn’t get it to work. My suspicion is that the oil is too thick and not refined enough, so you’ll probably need to be someone who has very dry skin in order to enjoy this.

You get 60 ampoules though, for C$135 (ouch), which is enough for just over four treatments.

Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail Polish (with Argan Oil)

Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail Polish review

I was really excited to try this Color Therapy polish formula from Sally Hansen because it contains an infusion of argan oil, which sounded so promising since my nails are super dry and brittle. Unfortunately, this is one of the worst nail polish formulas I’ve ever used… the instructions say that you don’t need a base coat, but I used a red shade (not the one pictured) which then stained my nails. The worst thing wasn’t even that, it was when I applied the specifically designed top coat on already-dried colour, there was a ton of colour transfer onto the brush of the top coat which then dyed my top coat red. I tried a different shade on my ring fingers, and due the red colour bleed, my ring finger ended up with streaks of red on it as well.

Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail Polish review

The only good thing I can think about for this formula is that it doesn’t smell as foul, but if it’s not effective as a polish, I don’t really care how it smells because I just won’t be using it. Wear time was average, maybe 5 days on me before it chipped substantially, but then it got another week’s wear out of it, so even though it does start chipping quickly, the entire nail doesn’t chip off that quickly, which I guess can be another good thing. Maybe.

The argan oil cuticle oil is okay, but not amazing. It smells pretty fragranced (powdery floral) and does temporarily hydrate my nails, but it’s nowhere as good as my CND Solar Oil (which I carry around with me everywhere).

Live Clean Exotic Silk Keratin Oil Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner

Live Clean Exotic Silk Keratin Oil Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner review

The Live Clean Exotic Silk Keratin Oil Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner was my first foray into Live Clean hair care. I’ve previously tried their body care products and I’m a fan of the natural, SLS/sulfate-free, phthalate-free and paraben-free formulas. Sadly, the Keratin Oil Smoothing Shampoo was probably one of the worst shampoo / conditioner combos I’ve ever used. My beef is mostly with the shampoo – it suds up nicely but it refuses to rinse out completely so it leaves a thick layer of reside on my hair, making it heavy, limp, and also very greasy looking. The shampoo, together with the conditioner made my hair look and feel kinda gross, which is unfortunate.

I stopped using the shampoo after about 2-3 weeks, but I continued to use the conditioner. I don’t have ultra damaged hair but it can get frizzy, especially with the cold dry winter air. This conditioner is very nourishing, but also heavy so that you aren’t able to style your hair with a lot of volume. It’s not amazing enough for me to recommend, but it does its job.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of Live Clean products, but the Keratin Oil line is not great.

NARS Sculpting Multiple Duo

NARS Sculpting Multiple Duo review and swatches

I was really looking forward to these NARS Sculpting Multiple Duos. Dior had previously released similar (but limited edition) contouring duos so I was interested to see how this performed. The Dior and NARS sculpting duos are both priced similarly, the Dior is C$48 and NARS is C$52 (I was surprised too that Dior was cheaper than NARS). That’s kind of where the similarities ended – the NARS Sculpting Multiple Duos are very dry, much dryer and waxier than the Dior duos, and also sheerer. The two variations I have are Copacabana – Sidari Beach (swatched on the left) and Hot Sand – Laguna (swatched on the right).

NARS Sculpting Multiple Duo review and swatches
NARS Sculpting Multiple Duo review and swatches

As you can see, the highlighter shades are pretty patchy, and don’t blend out very well. The contouring shades are slightly better, but they end up blending out so naturally that it doesn’t look quite contour-y. I was hoping that despite it not being intense contours, you can still get a nice bronzed look with highlight, but again the highlights continue to blend patchy, rendering them basically useless. Lastly, the tubes are quite large, my face isn’t that wide so when I swipe this down my cheek, it covers too much area so I have to be careful when I apply and blend. I like NARS regular Multiples way better, and I think you might get better results purchasing the highlight and contour shades separately, or instead get powder contour products that apply better.

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All products featured in this post were provided by PR; opinions are my own.

Review + swatches – Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate Eye Collection, Better Together Cheek & Lip Kit, and Better Together Bestselling Mascara and Liner Duo

Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate collection review and swatches

I’m a bit late on the bandwagon but earlier this year, Too Faced and Kat Von D released a collaboration collection, combining both of the brands’ classic styles into one. I was curious about this collection because I like Too Faced products, but I’ve never tried Kat Von D.

Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate collection review and swatches

Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate collection review and swatches

The highlight of this collaboration is definitely the Better Together Ultimate Eye Collection (C$79). This a two-palette eyeshadow kit that sticks together with heavy magnets. On one side you have Too Faced’s classic sweet neutral eye look with some pinks and lots of shimmers, and on the other you have Kat Von D’s more glam, sultry eye look featuring darker shades. I’m very happy that each side actually creates a very cohesive eye look on their own, and the colours work together seamlessly and are pretty much fool-proof.

Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate collection review and swatches

Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate collection review and swatches

The Too Faced side features two matte shades, two shimmery metallic shade, one satin shade with gold glitters, and another shimmery satin shade. The quality of these shades is fantastic, and each of these are one swipe wonders, giving you incredible colour payoff with fantastically smooth texture and blendability. The only shade that didn’t perform as well was Better Together, which was slightly patchy and blended unevenly. Otherwise, even the two matte shades were perfect.

Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate collection review and swatches

On the Kat Von D side, I was going crazy over the shade Swoon, which is a duo-chrome metallic red. I now know why people are so in love with Kat Von D shadows, they truly are quite amazing. While the Too Faced side was quite warm, the Kat Von D side is noticeably cooler, but even then you can create a plethora of different eye looks with just this one palette. One other thing is that the shade Devotion, which is a matte black, is so crazy deep black, but still very pigmented and smooth. I was really disappointed with some of Urban Decay’s matte blacks before, so this definitely beats it out of the park. The only shade that was disappointing on this side was Lovestruck, the neutral golden shimmer. It had very little colour payoff, and was also harder in texture than the others.

Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate collection review and swatches

The Better Together Ultimate Eye Collection also comes with a full size Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara in Black and full size Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper (black). These alone have values of C$55 together, so the palette is essentially only C$24, which is pretty awesome.

Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate collection review and swatches

My personal favourite of this collaboration is the Better Together Cheek & Lip Makeup Bag Set (C$47). The makeup bag features a cute dog with a glitteyr background on one side (for Too Faced), and a Sphinx cat on the other side (for Kat Von D). It also comes with a mini Kat Von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Muse (shimmering nude), a mini Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in XO (matte oxblood), a mini Too Faced Love Flush Blush in So Happy Together (peony pink), and a mini Too Faced Candlelight Glow Highlighting Powder in Rosy Glow (golden sheer). This kit is a great discovery set for you try out multiple fan favourites at once, all housed together in one cute makeup bag!

Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate collection review and swatches

Lastly, there’s also a mini Better Together Bestselling Mascara & Liner Duo (C$28), which contains minis of the Faced Better Than Sex Mascara in Black and  Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper. If you’ve never tried either of these formulas before, this would be a nice set to pick up.

In terms of my overall thoughts on the collection, I was a little bit surprised from the price of the mini sets. The Ultimate Eye Collection is a great buy, especially if you are already a fan of the Tattoo Liner and Better than Sex mascaras. I was expecting that the Bestselling Mascara & Liner Duo would be priced under $20, and the Cheek and Lip Makeup Bag would be under $40. Maybe I’m just used to Sephora offering value products all the time, who knows, but my first impression was a bit of a sticker shock.

Other than that, if you’re fans of either Too Faced or Kat Von D, I do highly recommend picking up the Ultimate Eye Collection, the eyeshadows in the two palettes are simply beautiful.

The Too Faced x Kat Von D collaboration is available now at Sephora.

The swatches

Too Faced eyeshadow palette from the Ultimate Eye Collection… these are one swipe wonders except for Better Together (last shade)

Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate collection review and swatches

Kat Von D eyeshadow palette from the Ultimate Eye Collection, all one swipe wonders except for Lovestruck (last shade)

Too Faced x Kat Von D Better Together Ultimate collection review and swatches

PR samples; opinions are my own.

Mon Guerlain: Guerlain’s newest fragrance featuring Angelina Jolie

Mon Guerlain fragrance review

Last month, I was so honoured to be invited to Guerlain‘s inaugural Canadian launch of their new fragrance, Mon Guerlain, in Vancouver. Mon Guerlain combines the classic Guerlain fragrance notes with a sexy twist. Its most prominent note is the Tahitian Vanilla, which are also present in other scents such as Habit Rouge and Jicky. The Carla Lavender and Sambac Jasmine add smooth floral notes, while Santalum Album Sandalwood adds depth and smokeyness.

Mon Guerlain fragrance review

The bottle itself is a classic Guerlain design, featuring a four-clover cap, first introduced in 1908. The original quadrilobe cap was formed from one single piece of glass. In modern times, the Mon Guerlain version of the quadrilobe creates a feeling of sensuality and feminity.

Mon Guerlain fragrance review

In terms of the scent as it wears on me, it starts off with a powdery freshness from the lavender and jasmine. I also get a bit of citrus, even though there are no citrus notes. The top notes actually last quite a while on me, and doesn’t dry down to it’s final form for another hour or so. Once dried down, it is very mature and luxurious-smelling. The vanilla and sandalwood dominate the show, leaving a lasting imprint on the wearer. Despite it being classified as an oriental fragrance, it wears quite gourmand on me, reminding me of a popular gourmand scent set in the stars. It’s not something I can wear every day, but for those special occasions, it will draw attention to the wearer.

Mon Guerlain is available now at all Guerlain counters, in 50mL and 100mL sizes.

Mon Guerlain fragrance review
Mon Guerlain fragrance review

Welcoming Pixi Beauty’s launch in Canada! Featuring Glow Tonic, Double Cleanse, Glow O2 Oxygen Mask, and Peel & Polish

Pixi Beauty Glow Tonic and Double Cleanse review

Cult favourite British brand Pixi is finally re-launching in Canada! Previously available at Target, the brand disappeared off the shelves when Target shut its doors in Canada. Now back and kicking again at Shopper’s Drug Mart, it brings back its arsenal of fan favourites, as well as some new innovations. Today I’m sharing with you my thoughts on some of the Pixi Beauty I’ve recently discovered.

Pixi Beauty Glow Tonic and Double Cleanse review

The honest truth is that I’ve always been so intrigued by Pixi, but I’ve never had the chance to try the products. When the PR reached out announcing the re-launch of the brand in Canada, I was so excited for this opportunity to finally get on the Pixi fan wagon. I received a few products to try in advance of the launch, including the famous Glow Tonic, as well as some new products, such as the Glow O2 Oxygen Mask, the Peel & Polish lactic acid mask, and the highly sought after Pixi Beauty collaboration with UK power blogger Caroline Hirons, the Double Cleanse.

Pixi Beauty Glow Tonic review

The Glow Tonic (C$20 for 100mL or C$38 for 250mL) is an alcohol-free exfoliating toner that uses the power of 5% glycolic acid to remove dead skin cells, and revitalize and brighten the skin. I’ve been using this as my first toner after cleansing my skin (I use a second hydrating toner, and then a third essence water… yes), and I like that it absorbs so quickly into the skin. Generally you should give any product with active ingredients in it a few minutes to sink in, but I’m kinda lazy so I just wait for it to completely absorb (usually around 30 seconds to a minute) before applying the next layer.

Truthfully, I am actually quite meh about this product. It’s a very gentle exfoliator, so I’ve noticed that my skin texture is slightly more refined than before, but does it really create glow? I’d have to say no. I could also be biased because my Vintner’ Daughter Active Botanical Serum is SO glow-inducing. I do like that it is a chemical exfoliator because then you don’t have to scrub your skin, which could potentially cause problems depending on how rough you are with it. It’s a good option, and does a good job at exfoliating, but if you’re expecting it to be life changing, maybe you’ll have to change your expectations.

Pixi Beauty Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse review

The Pixi Beauty x Caroline Hirons Double Cleanse has been a super smash hit ever since it hit the global market last month. It’s an unique jar with dividers that contains a solid cleansing oil on one side, and a cream cleanser on the other side. I’m a huge fan of the double cleanse method, i.e., you remove your makeup first with a specialized makeup remover, and then do a second cleanse to actually clean the skin. The CH Double Cleanse is a fantastic innovation that combines the two steps into one convenient packaging. The 100mL size makes it the perfect size for travel as well, because you just have to pack this one product to get your makeup removal and cleanser in.

I like this product because 1) it is very gentle but still removes every trace of makeup, 2) it’s scent free, and 3) it’s in a convenient tub for travelling. I don’t like this product because I tend to use more of the cleansing cream than the cleansing oil, so my cleansing cream side is running quite low, faster than the oil side. Also just as a general preference, I prefer a foaming, or gel cleanser at night as my second cleanse, and I leave my cream or lotion cleansers as my morning cleanser. That being said, this is a fantastic product and really works, you just have to see if it works with your personal skincare preferences. Sadly, this isn’t available in Canada yet, but hopefully we’ll see it come here soon!

Pixi Beauty Glow O2 Oxygen Mask and Peel and Polish review

The Glow O2 Oxygen Mask is glow-inducing mask that contains lactoccus ferment lysate, caffeine, licorice root extract, panax ginseng root extract (a key ingredient in La Prairie’s products!), lactic acid, as well as lavender oil, sodium hyaluronate, lemon peel oil, orange peel oil, and bergamot oil. The cocktail of potent ingredients is left on the skin for only 2-3 minutes to revive dull or tired skin. It’s perfect as a quick skin pick-me-up in the morning after a late night, or right before a big event. It’s a bubbling mask, which means that when the bubbles activate, it draws oxygen to the skin to also help refresh the skin. It’s not yet available in Canada, but hopefully it will arrive here soon.

I’m actually kind of meh on this product. It subtly bubbles up, not as much as the other crazy ones on the market, so that’s good (I hate those crazy bubbly ones), and there’s a mild tickly sensation from the bubbling. I left it on for longer than the 2-3 minutes, but even then I didn’t really notice any difference in my skintone. All of the great ingredients in this after lower on the ingredients list to accommodate for the ingredients that activate the foaming action, but that just seems like a waste of good ingredients. I would have liked to see a gel texture without the gimmick, in order to maximize the benefits of all those awesome ingredients. Sadly, this one will likely stay in the back of my mask drawer.

Last but not least, is my favourite of the bunch. The Peel & Polish (C$34) is a resurfacing concentrate mask. It contains 6% lactic acid (the 2nd ingredient on the list!), as well as witch hazel water, panax ginseng root extract, papaya extra, sugar cane, sugar maple extract, cucumber fruit extract, orange fruit extract, lemon fruit extract, and vaccinium myrtillus (bilberry) fruit extract. You can use this 2-3 times a week, for 5 minutes each time. It is slightly grainy (think micro-dermabrasion type exfoliants), so you can use this as an exfoliator by gently massaging this into your skin to activate the enzymes and acids.

Because of the grainy texture, I found this to be hard to spread on the skin as a mask. I ended up having to use quite a bit to get a nice layer on my skin. Also I was pleasantly surprised to find that it didn’t tingle too much, even though my cheeks in particular are quite sensitive. As I was rinsing this off, I found that the warm water activated the enzymes even more so that it tingled and warmed a bit more. My skin was left feeling smoother, and looking brighter. My skin was so soft! I took advantage of this very nicely exfoliated skin to use some of my glow-inducing products, such as Sunday Riley Luna and Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum, and the next morning my skin had never looked better.

Out of all these products, I truly love the Peel & Polish the most. The Double Cleanse is nice to have but not must have. I haven’t really seen results from the Glow Tonic, which I am very disappointed about because I know this is such a cult favourite. They sell them in 100mL bottles to try first before investing in the larger 250mL bottle, which could also be a good option for those with more sensitive skins.

Pixi products are available now at Shopper’s Drug Marts across Canada! I have a few more products to review… keep an eye out!

Products courtesy of PR; all opinions are my own.

Review: Kerastase Discipline Bain Fluidealiste, Fondant Fluidealiste, Maskeratine, Spray Fluidissime, and Keratine Thermique

Kerastase Discipline Bain Fluidealiste, Fondant Fluidealiste, Maskeratine, Spray Fluidissime, and Keratine Thermique review

Kerastase Discipline is the range from Kerastase focused on smoothing and defrizzing hair, making it more manageable and healthier. There is a normal hair line, as well as a line for those with curly hair. I received the normal hair line to try out, and after using this for a few weeks, I really love how my hair looks!

Kerastase Discipline Bain Fluidealiste, Fondant Fluidealiste, Maskeratine, Spray Fluidissime, and Keratine Thermique review

I generally rotate through my shampoo and conditioners, so I’ve been switching in between the Discipline Bain Fluidealiste (C$45) and the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Cleansing Oil shampoo. I always use the same conditioner, which is the Kerastase Fondant Fluidealiste (C$50). When I use the Bain Fluidealiste, I notice that my hair is significantly smoother, more manageable, and it passes my ultimate hair test – the ability for my hair to do that shampoo commercial *swish*. And it does! Bain Fluidealiste suds up easy, really cleanses my hair and roots (I only wash my hair once every 4-5 days if I can help it), and rinses out completely, leaving my hair feeling clean but never stripped or squeaky. Fondant Fluidealiste is a thick conditioner when coming out of the tube, but is very lightweight once spread onto hair. The directions say to use this on towel-dried hair, but I’ve been using it on just normal shower hair after squeezing out excess water, and it still does the trick.

Kerastase Discipline Bain Fluidealiste, Fondant Fluidealiste, Maskeratine, Spray Fluidissime, and Keratine Thermique review

I’ve mostly been using the shampo and conditioner, but on odd days I will also add in the Maskeratine (C$68), which contains a stronger dose of the softening ingredients that are in the Fondant. While I like the Maskeratine and the thicker, mask-like texture, I find that the Fondant is enough to keep my hair super soft and silky. If you have very frizzy or dry hair, then you might need to amp up the softening power with Maskeratine, otherwise you’re safe to stay with just the Fondant.

Kerastase Discipline Bain Fluidealiste, Fondant Fluidealiste, Maskeratine, Spray Fluidissime, and Keratine Thermique review

Lastly, I’ve been using the Spray Fluidissime (C$57) almost every time I blow dry. It’s great a reducing frizz, especially in this weather. It also helps to protect against heat damage, and improves dry time. I like this, but again my hair isn’t always super frizzy. It helps when it is frizzy, but otherwise I have pretty good luck with just the Bain and Fondant only. This is same for the the Keratine Thermique (C$49) as well, although I use this when I am planning on heat styling my hair with a straightener or curling iron. It helps to keep my heat-styled hair looking sleek.

One thing to note is that the products in this line are very heavily scented with a powdery floral scent that lingers long after you’ve washed your hair, and especially if you’ve used any of the styling products as well. I’m actually quite fond of the smell, but if you’re not then you’d be in for a bad surprise.

At the end of the day, I’m super happy with the way my hair looks, feels, and smells. I might be kinda weird but I do swish my hair around for my own self amusement, and this product makes my hair look pretty swishy. If you do have frizzy or unruly hair, I do recommend picking up the shampoo and conditioner from this line. All the other products are nice-to-haves but not necessarily must haves.

Have you tried this line? Let me know your thoughts!

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

Winter skin rescue essentials, featuring Primavera Skin, L’Occitane, Kat Burki, and more

This winter in Vancouver has been absolutely brutal – we almost never get snow here but this year we had five separate cases of snowfall and blizzards. With the arctic cold air, also came the dry, itchy, irritated skin. Here are some products I’ve been using lately to help soothe and heal my winter skin.

Primavera Revitalizing Cream Cleanser review

Daytime routine

Primavera Revitalizing Cream Cleanser

The Primavera Revitalizing Cream Cleanser (C$38.50 for 100mL) is my go-to morning cleanser. It contains beautiful hydrating oils such as sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, rose oil, as well as nourishing shea butter. I also love that it contains lactic acid to help gently exfoliate any pillow-residue / dead skin cells off my skin before applying skincare and makeup. It is ultra gentle, massaging wonderfully into my skin and rinsing off completely. I also love this because you can use it on damp skin (some cream cleansers require that you use it on dry skin and then emulsify later with water), which makes it easy for those lazy morning cleanses.

A little bit goes a long way, I’ve been using mine for two months and I’ve only used up 1/3 of the bottle. I normally use two pumps, but in an effort to use it up more quickly, I’ve started using three pumps. Two pumps is more than enough though. It smells wonderful, but that’s also where my major issue lies with this product – fragrance (parfum) lies halfway down the ingredients list, even before rosa damascena flower oil, which is really disappointing from an ingredients point of view. I will still use this though, because it does cleanse, soften, and hydrate my skin, all in one.

You can pick up Primavera at Petal & Post.

For Beloved One Hyaluronic Acid Tri-Molecules GHK-Cu Moisturizing Serum

The biggest mistake that you can make when you have dry skin is not replenishing your skin of water, and only replenishing the oil. It’s important to have balance, both oil and water content should be at a happy medium in order to have comfortable skin. I use a deeply nourishing facial oil at night, but during the day, I make sure to replenish my skin’s water via a lighter, but still heavily hydrating facial serum. The For Beloved One Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing Serum (C$68 for 30mL) is a light-as-water serum that just plumps my skin out and refills my overnight heater dehydrated skin with a heavy dose of water. I only use one pump and it’s enough to cover my entire face. It’s also a great pre-makeup serum because it absorbs so quickly, making my morning base prep so much easier.

You can purchase For Beloved One at T&T Supermarket locations across Canada.

Belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb review

belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb

My favourite day-time moisturizer during the winter is the belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb (C$47 for 50mL). This lightweight gel-cream moisturizer applies very thinly but veils my skin in a heavy dose of water. I love this during the day because it absorbs so quickly while relieving dryness, flakes, and redness. I like to use a heavier / more emollient sunscreen during the winter, and the lightweight moisturizer layers perfectly underneath. It also creates a great base for makeup, as it leaves my skin looking and feeling smoother. On certain days I end up using more than my usual dose of moisturizer, but it never leaves my skin greasy. The only negative is that it doesn’t contain any built in SPF, otherwise it’d be even more perfect!

belif is available at The Face Shop locations across Canada and online.

Night-time routine

L'Occitane 5% Shea Foaming Cleanse and Kat Burki Rose Hip Revitalizing Serum review

L’Occitane 5% Shea Foaming Cleanser

My night-time cleanser is the L’Occitane 5% Shea Foaming Cleanser (C$28 for 125mL), a new product introduced this January. It is a very gentle foaming cleanser, lathering up into a soft foam. It removes light makeup, and leaves my skin feeling clean but never stripped – it is one of those rare foaming cleansers that actually leaves my skin feeling super soft! If you’re a lover of foaming cleansers like me, and despite having dry skin, can never wean off the foaming cleanser, this is the ONE for you. The major ingredient in this is 5% shea oil, which really does help to protect and nourish the skin. I can see myself repurchasing this, and also purchasing it for my mom to use.

You can get L’Occitane products at L’Occitane boutiques and Murale stores across Canada.

Kat Burki Rose Hip Revitalizing Serum

The Kat Burki Rose Hip Revitalizing Serum (C$182 for 30mL) is an aloe vera leaf juice-based hydrating and anti-aging serum that is created using Kat Burki’s signature cold pressed methods, and contains her famous KB5™ Complex. It also contains rose hip seed oil, and stable forms of Vitamins C, B, A, and E. Aloe vera and glycerin provide intense hydration, while everything else helps to balance and brighten the skin, while minimizing future lines, wrinkles and the look of pores. While it is pricey, a little bit goes a very long way – I only use one pump on my face and neck each time.

Kat Burki is available at Murale, Shopper’s Drug Mart Beauty Boutique Online, and Nordstrom locations in Canada.

Farmacy Eye Dew review

Farmacy Eye Dew

The Farmacy Eye Dew (C$49 for 15mL) has been my go-to winter eye cream for the last little while. It has a gel-cream texture that feels lightweight, but is still quite emollient in terms of spreadability. Supposedly it is great for dark circles, dullness and elasticity, but I haven’t really noticed much improvement in those areas but it is very hydrating without being heavy. Since moving into my late 20s, I’ve really noticed that my under eye area is dryer and that there are more lines, so sad. This product really helps to keep those lines at bay, without giving my undereye area milia. A little goes a long way, so this 15mL size really lasts a very long time.

You can pick up your Farmacy products from Sephora.

May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon

I can’t be writing a winter skin rescue story without including the cult favourite May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon (US$160 for 50mL). This is a cult classic for a reason – it does an incredible job at soothing redness, irritation, and general weathered skin. I find that it is actually not the most hydrating facial oil unless you seriously pile it on, but the blue tansy oil does a fantastic job at calming any redness that I may have. I don’t use this every day, but rather on the days or nights when I feel like my skin is overbeaten. Did I mention even though this is basically 100% oil, but you can use this in your eye area? It doesn’t leave milia, and really helps to soothe the area around my eyes as well. Works on lips too!

Pick up your May Lindstrom from the May Lindstrom online shop!

Hand & body

L'Occitane Shea Butter Intensive Hand Balm review

L’Occitane Shea Butter Intensive Hand Balm

The L’Occitane Shea Butter Intensive Hand Balm (C$40 for 150mL) is the newest member of the L’Occitane Shea Butter body care family. It contains a whopping 25% shea butter formula in a beautiful light balm texture. My hands are usually the first to show dryness in winter. Wait who am I kidding, my hands are dry all the time… but it’s especially bad in the winter! I’ve been getting cracks in my hands and also any cuts just don’t heal because the dryness pulls the skin apart. I’ve been slathering this on religiously since I received it, always applying a very thick layer right before bed. I was worried that the heavy shea butter content would leave my skin feeling super greasy, but it actually completely absorbs! It also leaves a soft, silky protective film on top of my skin to prevent moisture from escaping. While I feel like my hands are just marginally more hydrated in the morning, I’ve actually gotten to the point where I don’t have to continuously apply hand cream overnight.

Reversa Skin Smoothing Body Lotion

In addition to dry skin on my face, the rest of  my body is also dry and scaly. The Reversa Skin Smoothing Body Lotion is my secret to deeper body exfoliation and also allowing other more nourishing products to penetrate deeper into my skin. I use this product twice a week, allow it to dry on my skin, then layer on another, thicker body cream (currently I’m using The Body Shop’s Spa of the World line, so much love for this). My elbows, legs, and knees are the worst when it comes to dehydration, and this really helps to remove that top layer of dead skin.

Pick up Reversa at Shopper’s Drug Mart locations near you.

Some of the products featured were courtesy of PR for review consideration, others were purchased with my own money; all opinions are my own.

Give yourself a skin treat with La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation

La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation review

Over the last six months or so, I’ve been using the La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation (C$285)This is by far the most expensive foundation I’ve ever used, and I believe it is also marketed as being the most expensive foundation on the market. Despite it being a makeup product, it contains heavy doses of La Prairie’s signature Cellular Complex, as well as the famous Caviar Extracts, so it doubles as a skincare product. As foundation covers your entire face for often longer than 12 hours a day, you want to make sure that you’re giving your skin only the best products. Why waste hundreds of dollars and hours of time each week on your skincare routine if you’re going to smother your skin in crappy foundation all day?

La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation review

The Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation contains a top and bottom part. The top cover flips up to reveal a high coverage brightening concealer and high definition mirror underneath the cover, and the bottom is a medium to full coverage foundation that is super lightweight but still offers that nice coverage. You get 30mL of foundation, which is normal, but I’m not sure how much concealer you get. It also comes with a nice mirrored stand, which has a slot to rest the mini concealer brush that comes with the set. Presentation-wise, it is definitely very beautiful, intricate, and luxurious. Even in little details like the mirror, which is clear and high quality with no distortions, you get a sense of luxury.

The foundation itself is in a thick, plastic pot with a transparent side so that you can see how much you’ve used. It comes with a spatula, which rests in the foundation pot, and you can apply by directly dapping foundation onto your face with the spatula. This is my preferred method because it doesn’t waste product (this stuff is $9.50 per mL, which means each time you wear it, you are likely using about $10 worth of product!), but the major downside is that it doesn’t protect the product and the skincare ingredients from oxidizing, and also bacteria can easily get into your foundation since you are directly touching the main pot of foundation each time you use this. That being said though, I only use this product after I wash my face, so hopefully that will prevent bacteria.

La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation review

In terms of texture, it is a thicker cream, but still ultra lightweight. I apply with my fingers, again because I want to waste less product, but I also find that the warmth from my fingers helps to blend it in my skin more naturally. It does blend out absolutely flawlessly, and you can also layer it without caking, creasing, or drying your skin out. It does not cling to dry spots at all, rather it is lightly hydrating, and keeps my skin feeling lush and glowy. I don’t always need to powder, especially if I am wearing it in the winter, and it lasts me all day, with minimal fading, until I want to remove it at all. It is one of my go-to foundations for when I want to look my best. I can wear this with light, barely-there coverage, as a tinted moisturizer (by mixing with my La Prairie moisturizer), or as a medium-to-full coverage foundation, depending on my mood. It wears beautifully in all three situations.

As for cons, I’ve mentioned earlier that the pot design isn’t the greatest. I would prefer to see a pump if possible, since there are so many skincare ingredients in the foundation that we’d want to protect. The other con is the concealer – it does not have very good coverage, I feel like I can layer up my foundation underneath my eye area if I wanted similar coverage. It also creases on me, which is a little unfortunate, but most concealers crease so I wasn’t too surprised. Despite the convenient packaging for both foundation and concealer in one, I would actually prefer to see the price reduced and the product coming with only foundation and no concealer.

La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation review

Another foundation-like product that is in La Prairie’s collection is the Cellular Swiss Ice Crystal Transforming Cream. Between the two, I am strongly for the Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation, because despite it not having that high SPF protection that comes with the Transforming Cream, the finish and wear times are significantly more favourable in the Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation. The price differential is not big, the Transforming Cream is only $35 less than the Concealer + Foundation.

While a $285 foundation is not everyone’s cup of tea, I do firmly believe in taking good care of your skin, over buying nice clothes or going out to the movies. When you’re 70 and with flawless skin, you will continue to be radiant and feel good about yourself.

The shade I wear is Warm Linen and it’s the perfect match for my light medium skin tone with neutral undertone. For reference, I am also a Guerlain 02, Dior 020, Chanel B20.

You can purchase La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation at Holt Renfrew. If you’re not sure what shade you are, please make your way to a La Prairie counter to get matched. They can also provide you with generous samples to try out your chosen shades at home and out and about in your natural environment before making the commitment to buy. La Prairie is expensive, a luxury brand, but it is foremost an experience. I hope you’ll fall in love with the La Prairie family of products like I have.

Ingredients:

La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation ingredients
La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation ingredients

This post contains PR samples; all opinions are my own.