BODYCARE REVIEW | North American Hemp Co. Body Lotion

North American Hemp Co. Body Lotion review

Oh my goodness, the North American Hemp Co. Body Lotion is one moisturizing body lotion. I’ve been using this during the winter, and this is easily one of the heaviest body moisturizers I’ve ever used (even heavier than Body Shop’s Body Butter, yes, it is that heavy). It comes in a tall rectangular bottle with a pump, and two pumps is enough to spread over each of my legs. It is scented of warm coconuts, like the rest of the North American Hemp Co. line, and I absolutely love it after a long day out in the cold.

It is extremely moisturizing (like I repeated many times before), and takes a while for it to absorb – I would have to walk around my room for a few minutes before putting my pajamas on, otherwise it would transfer to my pajamas and I’d lose all of the moisturizing goodness. That is sometimes a bit annoying because it’s cold and I want to get wrapped up in my PJs but I can’t because my body lotion absorbs too slowly (#firstworldproblems).

The North American Hemp Co. Body Lotion features hemp seed oil as the SECOND ingredient on the ingredients list, right after water. In addition, it also ha sunflower oil, sweet almond oil, lime oil, grape seed extract, green tea extract, and so much more awesome ingredients (see the complete list below).

If you are in the market for a body moisturizer, or if you have extremely dry skin and need something that’s more than just silicones, I highly recommend you check out the North American Hemp Co. Body Lotion. It is affordable but extremely effective. You can purchase North American Hemp Co. products at London Drugs and other drugstores.

Ingredients:

North American Hemp Co. Body Lotion review

Product provided by PR; all opinions are my own.

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SKINCARE | Three products to create the ultimate glowy skin base

6E669361-20E1-42F6-8A1A-85D5AC934052I’ve usually been a more satin-matte skin girl, but recently I’ve been completely obsessed with glowy skin. I’m talking about the lit-from-within healthy dewy, almost wet skin look. I’ve been powdering way less than I usually do, and I just feel like this type of skin makes me look healthier, especially because my skin can look quite sallow or dull from working in an office all day.

The first product is one of the OG products that got me hooked on the glowy skin look, which is the May Lindstrom The Youth Dew (US$140 for 30mL). I purchased this product around two years ago and only use it off and on when I need a boost of glow. Every time I use it, though, I forget how amazingly glowy my skin looks after. It is a golden oil created from a base of avocado oil as well as a blend of beautiful botanical oils, and Coenzyme Q10. Compared to the other facial oils in my rotation, this one is actually a bit heavier than the others, so it takes a few minutes to sink in (I give it a bit of help by spraying on some The Jasmine Garden before I apply the oil to my face). Once its sunk it, it does give my skin the most beautiful lit from within boost.

The next product is an incredible cleanser that I use in the mornings – the Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser* (C$105 for 120mL) is my favourite Tata Harper product and also one of my favourite all-time cleansers. It is kind of like a more sophisicated and more refined version of the St. Ives Apricot Scrub. It smells absolutely amazing and uses both chemical and physical exfoliants to rid my skin of dead skin cells, revealing refreshed skin. One extra step I’ve been taking is layering on a bit of the Resurfacing Mask* on top of the cleanser (don’t rinse in between), leave it on for 10-15 minutes until dry, and then rinse off to reveal even more glowy skin. I don’t particularly love the Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask on its own, but with the Regenerating Cleanser it’s pretty amazing. I have repurchased this, so I’m not saying it just because I received it!

Last, and my newest discovery, is the By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Serum (C$115 for 30mL). I picked this up recently because it was promoted by Lydia Elise Millen in her Cult Beauty Box (which sadly sold out before I could check out), who uses it in place of foundation on weekends when she wants something to slightly smooth out her skin texture and tone without coverage. I’ve been using this both alone and under foundation, and I really love it. It comes in four different shades for different purposes – I picked up Apricot Glow, which is a peachy shade that is good for neutralizing redness. Alone, it does a great job at giving my skin just a bit of apricot tint and also a bit of glow, and underneath foundation it helps to give my skin more depth. For a cosmetic product, it is pretty expensive, but it does contain some rose extracts which is has skincare boosting properties. Also, I love roses and I love the fact that my skin smells like roses all day!

Are you more of a matte girl or glow girl? Which products do you use to help create that ultimate glow?

Products with a * were provided by PR, the rest were purchased by me.

FOUNDATION REVIEW | La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Foundation

Review of La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Foundation in N-20 Pure Ivory

I am back with another foundation review! I love testing foundations. I used to be one of those people who would only have 2-3 bottles of open foundation but now I have something like 10+ open at all times. I am constantly testing new ones and if some don’t work for me, then I don’t hesitate to give them away. I previously did a post on my top favourite foundations of all time, and one of them was the La Prairie Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation. I was super excited to find out that they were releasing a new cushion foundation and I was very lucky to receive one to try out.  I’ve been wearing this for the last month so I’m finally ready to write the review.

The La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Foundation (C$255) is an ultra-hydrating fluid foundation in a convenient cushion compact. It features La Prairie’s signature Skin Caviar essence so that you can beautify your skin will wearing this foundation. The shade I wear is N20 Pure Ivory, which is a great match to my skin tone (I wear Warm Linen in the Skin Caviar Concealer + Foundation). The cushion itself is 15mL, and you also get another 15mL refill (and a replacement sponge), so the size is the typical size of foundation you would get on the market. The packaging is hefty but not heavy, so while it takes up quite of bit of space in your makeup bag, it won’t weigh it down. The mirror inside is phenomenal. I love the mirror inside the Concealer + Foundation lid because it is such a high quality mirror, but the lid on that one is tiny so the itty bitty mirror isn’t super useful. The mirror on the Essence-in-Foundation is a good size that you can use to apply your makeup with when you are out – very high quality, zero blurriness or distortion, and just super clear.

Review of La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Foundation in N-20 Pure Ivory

I want to say upfront that I don’t generally like cushion foundations. I find it a little bit unsanitary, especially because you are applying the foundation with the sponge and then you put the sponge back right on top of the cushion. It just seems like a breeding ground for bacteria. That being said though, I’ve been using my sponge for the last few weeks and the idea is to transition to eventually throwing the sponge out and applying this with my fingers (which is my usual preferred method anyways).

Now back to the La Prairie foundation… the texture of this is much lighter than the Concealer + Foundation, similar to a fluid milk where as the Concealer + Foundation is creamier. Most cushion foundations have a light coverage, so that is what I was expecting of this one as well, but I was very pleasantly surprised when I tried this on for the first time and actually got medium to full coverage. I try not to wear a heavy layer of foundation so I only wore very little, and it still gave me medium coverage! It layers beautifully as well, so you can layer it to get fuller coverage. Not only does it cover my redness, it also smooths out my skin texture so that it looks almost airbrushed. I absolutely love the finish of it.

It is very hydrating on my skin, I can feel my skin soaking up the hydrating goodness and it also makes my skin looks very supple and plump throughout the day. Application is an absolute breeze as well – I literally just swipe it on my face, very little blending required, and my skin looks flawless. This makes me look like I have amazing skin to begin with, not like I’m wearing any foundation.

I love bringing this with me when I go away – you get amazing skin in such a small, convenient package. It’s much easier than bringing an actual bottle of liquid foundation, and you don’t have to worry about it leaking everywhere.

In terms of downsides, I feel like this foundation doesn’t sit very well on my nose. I have no idea what it is about it but it sinks into the pores on my nose such that it looks like there are little dots of foundation. In addition, it doesn’t have very good oil control or staying power. I get surface oil on my skin throughout the day, and whenever I blot, a bit of foundation comes off with it. I absolutely have to powder this, otherwise it will just slide right off my face. By contrast, the staying power of the Concealer + Foundation is amazing. I don’t need to powder and it never fades or gets overly greasy.

Last thing to mention is that it has a very strong La Prairie smell. I really love La Prairie’s signature scent and this one has it as well, but if you don’t love fragranced makeup then you might want to check this out first in store before you buy. It does dissipate after a few minutes, but it will be pretty obviously scented while you are applying this. The scent is stronger than the Concealer + Foundation.

Do I recommend this? I’m not sure. While I’m really impressed with how airbrushed my skin texture looks, I don’t like that it doesn’t sit well on my nose and that it doesn’t have any oil control properties. I much prefer the Concealer + Foundation. Even though it is $40 more expensive, you do get an extra mini pot of concealer and a mini concealer brush, which is actually a steal for La Prairie. Both of these foundations do make my skin look incredible, with very good coverage and skin blurring properties.

You can purchase La Prairie at Holt Renfrew in Vancouver, or online.

Review of La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Foundation in N-20 Pure Ivory
Product received from PR for review consideration; all opinions are my own.

NEW IN BEAUTY | Charlotte Tilbury Exagger-Eyes, L’Occitane en Provence Almond Delightful Body Balm, and Givenchy Le Rouge Liquid

Review of Charlotte Tilbury Exagger-Eyes, L'Occitane en Provence Almond Delightful Body Balm, and Givenchy Le Rouge Liquid

A few beauty products launched earlier this spring that I wanted to share with you guys! First up is the Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Eye Palette in Exagger-Eyes (C$66). When I heard that Charlotte Tilbury was bringing out additional Luxury Eye Palettes, I was absolutely elated. Charlotte Tilbury eye palettes are one of my absolute favourites; I take them with me everywhere I travel because I know I can rely on them for a beautiful, long lasting eye look. She released two new variations – Transform-Eyes and Exagger-Eyes – both aimed at creating bigger, brighter eyes. I received Exagger-Eyes from PR and I can’t be more happy about it.

Of the two new palettes, Exagger-Eyes is the more neutral one (Transform-Eyes is very warm-toned). It is a fantastic palette to create a subtle, natural eye look that still has a bit of pop. If you love neutral palettes, you gotta pick this one up. Charlotte’s palettes are also completely foolproof and can be used by anyone with any makeup skill, so even if you are a complete makeup newbie, you can create a beautiful look from this one. Including this one, I own five of Charlotte’s eyeshadows so you know that they are definitely good enough to collect.

Next is a luxurious body care product from L’Occitane’s almond range, one of my favourite body care collections. I LOVE the Almond Shower Oil and it is a constant staple in my shower, both at home and on travels. The new Almond Delightful Body Balm (C$44) is such a luxurious treat. It is incredibly moisturizing and great for those with dry, scaly skin. I use this all over my legs before bed and I wake up with super soft, silky skin. It is a bit heavy for the summer, so I only use a little bit, and it can also be used to boost the moisture properties of your other Almond body products. I can see myself really indulging in this during the colder months. For now though, I’m using it sparingly both because it is so effective and because it is such a treat for the skin.

Lastly, we have something that I’ve been anticipating for a while – the Givenchy Le Rouge Liquide (C$44)! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Givenchy lipsticks. I own several of the Le Rouge lipsticks as they are one of my absolute favourites. They released a liquid version of this amazing formula that is housed in the same gorgeous leather case. At the media launch in Vancouver, received a PR sample of this lipstick in #412 Grenat Alpaga, which is a deep garnet red. I later went back a few days later and purchased the shade #101 Nude Cachemire, which is a gorgeous my-lips-but-better nude pink.

The formula of this is great – good coverage but still lightweight, and dries down to a powdery matte. It’s not drying at all, compared to other liquid lipsticks, and feels very comfortable on the lips. For a liquid lipstick, the applicator is great because the product twists up, but you can actually wipe clean the applicator so that it doesn’t get gunky. Overall recommend!

You can purchase Charlotte Tilbury and Givenchy at Holt Renfrew. L’Occitane products are available at their retail stores or online.

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

FOUNDATION REVIEWS | Shu Uemura The Lightbulb Essence, Diorskin Forever Undercover and Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Aqua Nude

Review of Shu Uemura Lightbulb Essence Foundation, Diorskin Forever Undercover Foundation and Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Aqua Nude Foundation

Sorry for being missing for the last month! I misplaced my SD card and then I had to order another one, so I wasn’t able to take photos or blog, not to mention I lost all the photos that I had taken before… Anyways, I wanted to share some new foundation reviews with you today! Foundations are a staple to my daily face routine. I don’t always wear a full face of makeup, but I will usually wear a full face of foundation + powder to work to help even out my skintone. That also means they are one of my favourite things to test out. When I try a new foundation, I usually look for three main things:

  • Longevity of wear – I hate touching up during the day (and pretty much never do unless I’m going somewhere nice at night), so I need something that will wear all day without disappearing
  • Ease of application – I am almost always late in the morning, so I need something that blends easily with fingers
  • Good on dry skin – I have dry skin, so I look for foundations that don’t sink into my lines or pores

I’m not too picky on coverage, since I have various foundations that I use that vary in coverage, but the three things above are the most important to me. Today I’m reviewing three relatively new foundations that came out in the last 6 months or so.

Shu Uemura The Lightbulb Essence Foundation is a serum foundation, kind of like Diorskin Air Nude or Armano Maestro. This is my favourite type of foundation to use when I am having a lazy good skin day and just need a tiny bit of coverage to even out my skin. You can apply this with a sponge, brush, or fingers, and it is said to provide “deep hydration and 24-hour rich moisture with natural coverage that cocoons the skin with softness.”

I wear the shade 564 which is the perfect match for my NC25 light neutral skintone.

The biggest downside to this product is that I absolutely hate the packaging. It comes in a dropper bottle, which is great, but the dropper isn’t like the rubber squeeze type that has a bit more “suction strength.” Shu basically designed a sleek dropper that comes out of the top of the bottle when you twist the bottle a little bit, and then you press it down to get the foundation in the dropper, then you can drop it on your hand / brush / sponge / face. In theory, that should work, expect the dropper has zero suction strength so I pretty much end up dripping foundation all over the bottle itself and then on my bathroom counter. I am super OCD about foundation on the outside of the bottle so that bothers me to no end, and I have to clean it up right away. I would honestly recommend this foundation if not for the terrible bottle design. Shu, please don’t try to be innovative in the packaging and just use the traditional dropper like everyone else!

You can purchase Shu Uemura at The Bay or on the Shu website.

Diorskin Forever Undercover is a new-ish product in the Diorskin Forever range, which promises ultra long wear and full coverage. There are 24 shades in total, and the shades pretty much match the normal Dior shade in other foundation ranges (I wear 020 in all Dior foundations).

This foundation is one of the most long-wearing foundations in my collection. It blends super easily just with fingers, and wears well over most skincare products, preferring those that don’t dry down completely. I use only a little bit on a day-to-day basis, and it gives me medium coverage, blending over my redness and pores to leave a relatively flawless finish. It does dry down almost completely matte, so no powdering is required. I see this as being a better foundation for normal, combination, or oily skin types. If I’m having a particularly dry skin day, this tends to not wear as well because it will cling to some dry spots on my face. Otherwise if I’m looking for a long-wearing, medium to full coverage foundation, this will pretty much always deliver.

You can purchase Dior at The Bay and Holt Renfrew.

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Aqua Nude (C$61) is an extension of the Guerlain Lingerie de Peau foundation. The original Lingerie de Peau is a light-to-medium coverage foundation that gives a dewy, radiant finish. The Aqua Nude version is even lighter, claiming to hydrate and plump the skin. I would describe this almost like a milky-gel foundation. It is super lightweight, and provides barely-there coverage.

The original Lingerie de Peau clinged to my dry spots, but the Aqua Nude definitely is much better for those with dry skin. It blends into the skin very well, and doesn’t settle into lines. I wear the shade 02N Natural, which is my usual Guerlain foundation shade – a light neutral beige. I love this for perfect skin days, as it doesn’t mask my natural skin. It just barely covers the redness in my cheeks, and it lightly smooths out skin texture. Finish is a dewy-satin, and because it is a hydrating foundation, there is very poor oil control so powdering is a must.

There are a few things I love about this foundation – how easy it is to blend into the skin, and the bottle. Most Guerlain foundations come in a glass bottle which is tedious to bring around with you. This foundation, despite it being 30mL like most foundations, is in a plastic bottle that’s just very easy to transport. This is great for travelling when you want a little bit of coverage but not so much, or to bring with you to touch up after the gym.

That being said, it’s just an okay foundation. I would wear it, but it doesn’t wow me. For $61, I’d say skip.

You can purchase Guerlain at Beauty Court, Holt Renfrew, and the Bay.

Products featured in this post were provided by PR; all opinions are my own.

Essence lotions, what are they, how to fit them in your routine, and some recent discoveries from Tatcha, La Prairie, Sekkisei and Omorovicza

Essence lotions have been in Asian skincare for as long as I can remember. Back when Western skincare brands were heavy on the alcohol-rich astringent-type toners, Asian skincare was all about that enriched essence water. Long story short, an essence lotion (or essence water) is basically a supercharged, nutrient-dense watery serum. There are a ton of them on the market, but the most famous one is the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence. In recent years, a lot of Western brands have also started to release more of these essence lotions, or global brands have started to bring their previously Asia-exclusive essence lotion products to Western countries. What makes these different from an acidic toner (such as Pixi Glow Tonic), is that in general essence lotions tend to be more on the hydrating side, and you also are encouraged to apply this by patting it into your skin with your palms rather than using a cotton pad.

In terms of how to fit this into your usual skincare routine, generally you want to use the lightest/most watery products first in your routine. I use my essence lotion after cleansing and after my exfoliating toner (such as the Pixi Glow Tonic), or to replace my exfoliating toner. Then I apply my serums and moisturizers, and sunscreen during the day. You can use essence lotions during the day and at night, and I love it for both.

Tatcha The Essence (C$114 for 150mL) was probably one of the launches by the brand that I was the most excited about. It contains 98.7% of Tatcha’s proprietary blend of Japanese superfluid made with green tea, rice, and algae. It is marketed as a skin plumping skin softener, which is a very Japanese skincare concept. I’m not sure if it was the hype or how much I was looking forward to this, I was actually just okay about it. It is completely scent-free, which I appreciate in the morning when my senses are just waking up, and it does do a pretty decent job at hydrating and softening my skin, in preparation of the next steps. That being said, for something to be called an essence, I expected a bit more than just basic hydration. I didn’t notice that it did anything to help smooth fine lines or firm my skin over time. It’s decent, but didn’t blow my socks off.

The La Prairie Skin Caviar Essence-in-Lotion ($330 for 150mL) contains primarily Caviar Water, which is active water infused with Caviar extracts. This is the thickest of all the essences here,it felt more like a light serum than a water essence. It used this on a trip to Toronto on a cold spell and I was very happy to say that it kept my skin feeling very hydrated, plump, and smooth. My skin was also smoother and more radiant after a few weeks of using this. That being said, it has a super strong scent that is very fragrant. I generally love La Prairie’s scents but this one seemed too potent and was a bit bothersome after a while. It does work, so if you are able to stomach the strong scent (and the price), then I would recommend this.

Newly released last year from Omorovicza is the Omoressence (C$150 for 100mL), a product developed in collaboration with a Hungarian Nobel-prize winning lab. This product contains primarily Hungarian Thermal Water, which will help to balance, hydrate, and prepare the skin for other products. It also helps to guard against environmental stress throughout the day. I love the way it smells, very fresh and energizing. I also love that it’s very nicely hydrating and helps to smooth my lines. It leaves my skin feeling moist, which is what I want after using an essence, and then other products cling onto it for better absorption. I’m a little bit disappointed that the bottle is a bit smaller than I was hoping – it comes in only a 100mL size, compared to other essence lotions which tend to come in bigger sizes.

An oldie but serious goodie is the Kose Sekkisei Lotion (C$57 for 200mL) and the Sekkisei Enriched Lotion (C$77 for 200mL). These were one of the first essence lotions that I was ever exposed to, so I’m very happy that they are now available in Canada through Shoppers Drug Mart. These lotions were designed by the Japanese to create luminous, smooth skin. I use this as a toner at night because its not the most hydrating of essences. It contains quite a bit of alcohol, which may not be great for sensitive skin folks. It does a fantastic job at keeping my skin clear, even-toned, and also improving brightness.

I’ve also previously reviewed the Tata Harper Concentrated Brightening Essence, Pixi Glow Tonic, as well as some essences in spray form.

Do you use essence lotions in your routine? Which ones are your favourites?

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

Treat yourself with a Garnier SkinActive Sheet Mask… without breaking the bank!

Sheet masks are the fastest and easiest way to treat yourself to a salon-quality facial without leaving the comforts of your own home… and without breaking the bank! Today I want to share with you three sheet masks from Garnier SkinActive that I’ve recently been introduced to. At $3.99 a piece, these sheet masks are incredibly affordable, and still deliver fantastic results.

The first one is the Moisture Bomb Glow-Boosting Super Hydrating Mask with Sakura Flower Extract and Hyaluronic Acid. This incredibly juicy sheet mask is chock full of serum, so much so that after 15 minutes, the mask is still dripping wet. It smells very fresh, with a light floral scent that isn’t overpowering. The mask textile itself is nothing special, like a cotton-fibre weave, but the fit is perfect for my face. It sticks to the contours of my face very well, and I didn’t once have to adjust it. I can do stuff around the house without worrying about it falling off. The serum is very lightweight and super skin-plumping. After one 15 minute session, I felt like my skin indeed felt a bit brighter, and significantly more hydrated.

Next we have the Moisture Bomb Anti-Fatigue Super Hydrating Mask with Lavender Essential Oils and Hyaluronic Acid. This is such a wonderful face mask to relax in after a long day at work. Similar to the Glow-Boosting Mask, the mask fits very well to the contour of my face, and is also drenched in hydrating serum. Again, this is a great face mask to use if your skin is feeling dry or dull. The amount of serum in the pack also makes it a great mask to use on airplanes because it won’t dry up as fast.

Lastly, for those who are looking for some skin purification, the Super Purifying Charcoal Sheet Mask with Black Algae, LHA and Hyaluronic Acid is amazing for those living in the big city and are in need of deep detox. It contains charcoal powder, pineapple fruit extract, and papaya fruit extract to exfoliate and purify the skin. For regular use, I found this to be a bit too drying for my dehydrated / dry skin type. That being said, I can see this mask being amazing for those who live in Toronto / Montreal during the summer where it is very hot and humid and there is significant pollution. I would probably also take this on vacation with me if I were to visit China or somewhere else that has a hotter climate with elevated levels of pollution.

For just $3.99 per mask, you really can’t go wrong with any of these. My top pick out of these three is the Moisture Bomb Glow-Boosting Super Hydrating Mask – it really helped to brighten and plump my skin.  You can pick these up now at drugstores and mass market retailers across Canada, including London Drugs, Shoppers Drug Mart, and more.

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

Review + swatches – Dior Summer 2018 Cool Wave collection

Dior Summer 2018 makeup collection review and swatches

I was super lucky to receive a few products from the Dior Summer 2018 Cool Wave collection to share with you. Dior’s summer collections usually tend to be similar to fashion’s resort collections, featuring bright colours and beautifully tanned skin.

The first two products I want to share are the Dior 5-Couleur Eye Shadows (C$73) in shades 367 Cool Down and 597 Heat Up. Cool Down is, of course, the blue-toned palette, featuring all shimmery shades of blue. Heat Up is a beautifully warm-toned palette featuring shimmery corals, gold, and warm browns.

For a blue-based eyeshadow palette, Cool Down is actually surprisingly beautiful. I used to be drawn to blue shadoww palettes way more when I was younger, but I’ve fallen out of love in the last few years. I’ve also owned a number of Dior blue shadow palettes and this one is probably the best quality I’ve seen in a few years. Normally Dior blues tend to be chalky, sheer, and not very blendable, whereas Cool Down applied and blended beautifully.

Heat Up is my absolute favourite though out of the entire collection. I was gawking at how beautiful the shades were, and how smooth and buttery it all applied. The burnt red-orange in the middle of the palette had a bit of gold flash as well, which worked very well to tie all the colours together. The one shade that was a low-performer was the highlight shade on the top right – Cool Down also had a similar highlight shade and it was also not the greatest.

Next, we have two new products, the Diorshow Cooling Sticks (C$41). These are creamy eyeshadow sticks that feel cooling upon application. The two shades I have are 001 Bronze Wave and 003 Fresh Pink. Bronze Wave is a pretty neutral-toned bronze, and Fresh Pink is a metallic cool-toned light pink. I love Bronze Wave as I can wear this on its own as a quick eye look – it blended so seamlessly to create an easy neutral eye. Fresh Pink is a bit too cool-toned and a bit too light for me so I don’t really use this as much on its own, but it does look nice as an inner corner highlight.

There are a few lip products to pick from to complement the eye look. The three formulas available this season are the Dior Lip Maximizer in a limited edition 011 Pool Blue shade, as well as the Dior Addict Lip Tattoo in four different shades, and the Dior Addict Lipstick in two shades. The Lip Maximizer (C$42) in the limited edition Blue Pool is really cool. Its a super sheer baby blue gloss with subtle shimmers, and it also has lip plumper properties. A few years ago, blue gloss was super popular and several brands released blue glosses, and I remember really wanting one to try. The blue tint helps your teeth look brighter, which is pretty cool. This gloss isn’t too sticky either, which is good for someone like me who isn’t too into gloss.

The Dior Addict Lip Tattoo (C$37) shade I have is 571 Cranberry, which is a really nice mauve-y dark pink. The other shades are 341 Litchi, 551 Watermelon, and 641 Orange. I love the Lip Tattoo formula – it is an incredible lip stain that feels cooling on the lips and leaves a stain that lasts all day, through meals. The Dior Addict Lipstick (C$44) comes in two shades – 040 White Splash and 411 Nude Chill. White Splash is the one I have and it’s a clear lipstick with mint extract and subtle blue shimmers, which again helps to plump the lips and brighten teeth.

For the nails, there are also three Dior Vernis (C$34) shades available 404 Splash, 541 Wizz and 894 Blop, in blue, orange-coral, and pink tones, respectively. Lastly, for your face, you can also upgrade your bronzer to the Diorskin Mineral Nude Bronze (C$58), available in four shades to suit most skin tones.

My top picks are the 5-Couleur Eye Shadow in 597 Heat Up, Diorshow Cooling Stick in Bronze Wave, and Dior Addict Lip Tattoo in 571 Cranberry. I would skip the Dior Addict Lipstick in White Splash since it’s basically just clear.

The Dior 2018 summer Cool Wave collection is available after April 13 in Canada, at Holt Renfrew, The Bay, Nordstrom, Shopper’s Drug Mart, and other places where Dior Beauty is sold.

P.S. My apologies for the quality of today’s photos. I could not find my SD card so I had to use my phone to take photos instead…

The swatches

5-Couleur Eye Shadow in 597 Heat Up

Dior Summer 2018 makeup collection review and swatches

5-Couleur Eye Shadow in 367 Cool Down

Dior Summer 2018 makeup collection review and swatches

Diorshow Cooling Stick in Bronze Wave and Fresh Pink, Lip Maximizer in Blue Pool, Dior Addict Lipstick in White Splash , and Dior Addict Lip Tattoo in 571 Cranberry

Dior Summer 2018 makeup collection review and swatches

Product provided for review consideration; opinions are my own.

Celebrating 50 years of cleansing oils with Shu Uemura

Shu Uemura cleansing oil review

I can hardly believe that it’s already been 50 years since the creation of the cleansing oil by Shu Uemura. Indeed, Shu was the first brand of cleansing oil that I’ve ever tried, over 10 years ago. At the time, there were only a few formulas available, so it’s amazing that there are so many different variations available for different skin types. I was generously sent a beautiful gift box containing the top four formulas, made for specific skin types.

Shu’s cleansing oils are made to effectively remove makeup and impurities from the skin, and prepping the skin for the follow-up steps. Shu claims that double cleansing is not necessary since it rinses completely and doesn’t leave behind any residue (although I personally still prefer to double cleanse).

The four formulas I received are:

  • Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil – the richest formula created by Shu, this is the all-rounder product that targets all skin products. Created primarily for those with dry or aging skin types, the Ultime8 is made with traditional Chinese medicine in mind. This is an amazing cleansing oil, particularly in the winter, as it is very effective at removing all makeup, including eye makeup, without getting into my eyes. It smells a bit medicinal, like something that would be good for you. It’s not stripping at all, unlike some cleansing oils, and is great for all skin types except the super oily types. Shu often makes limited edition bottles of the Ultime8 so if that’s also something to be on the lookout for.
  • Anti-Oxi Skin Refining Cleansing Oil – created for those living in highly populated big cities with pollution, this cleansing oil is anti-pollution and will remove polluting impurities from deep within your skin. It contains the potent anti-oxidant green tea extract, as well as moringa, to improve skin dullness and sallowness. I really enjoy this one, as it is not too rich and not too light. It’s a very effective makeup remover, and doesn’t strip the skin. I’m not sure how good it is at anti-pollution, but my skin usually looks pretty good when I use this (in combination with other products). The Anti-Oxi is one of my top picks in terms of a cleansing oil from Shu.
  • POREfinist2 Sakura Fresh Cleansing Oil – the lightest Shu cleansing oil, made for oily skin types. Blended with sakura and cinnamon bark extract, it helps to regulate oil production as well as shrink the appearance of pores. This is probably my least favourite cleansing oil – not surprisingly because I have dry skin. It feels too light on me and also strips my skin a little. The lightness of the oil also means that if I am removing eye makeup, the oil migrates into my eyes and then it stings. Regardless, it’s an effective cleansing oil for removing base makeup, and because of the slip, a little goes quite a long ways.
  • Nutri-nectar Cleansing Oil in Emulsion – this is a brand new formula for this year to celebrate Shu’s 50 years in the cleansing oil market. Created for sensitive skin types in mind, it blends together acai, magnolia, and reishi mushrooms. It has a thicker jelly-like texture that is really fun to use. Because of the thicker consistency, I find it a little bit harder to rinse off (you’ll need a bit more water and a bit more effort to massage the skin and emulsify the jelly). I also prefer to use this on days where I am not wearing so much eye makeup because it doesn’t have as much slip compared to one of the lighter oils. That being said, it feels really nice and gentle on the skin.

Shu Uemura cleansing oil review

My top pick is definitely the Ultime8 Sublime Beauty Cleansing Oil.

Lastly, of course everyone knows Shu Uemura also for its lash curlers. Over the years, I’ve purchased and repurchased this lash curler a number of times, and it’s still my #1 go-to lash curler that I bring with me everywhere I go. I’m a fan of the classic silver design, as well as of their various limited edition designs such as gold, black lacquer, and more. A lash curler is such an essential part of the makeup kit, and Shu’s version is definitely a top cult classic.

You can pick up Shu Uemura cleansing oils and lash curlers, as well as other Shu Uemura products, at The Bay and Sephora.

Shu Uemura cleansing oil review

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

Brighten up your spring nails with CND Chic Shock

It’s no secret that CND Vinylux quickly made it as my favourite nail polish formula. This is the only formula I wear regularly now, and I’m loving the variety of shades that get introduced every season. For Spring 2018, CND releases Chic Shock, an Easter candy and K-beauty inspired collection that contains four beautiful pastel shades.

The four shades are :

  • Candied – a cool-toned baby pink creme
  • Taffy – a light turquoise mint creme
  • Jellied – a muted yellow creme
  • Gummi – a light violet creme

In the photo above, I’m wearing the Shellac equivalents of Candied, Taffy, and Jellied, dotted to look like a cute French manicure. It reminds me of candy, marshmallows, balloons, and Tsum Tsums at the same time! Thanks to Onyx Aesthetics Studio for the amazing manicure, as always.

In addition to the new shades, CND also revamped its bottle design, which correlates with its reformulation of the Vinylux formula. Vinylux now contains more conditioning oils to keep your nails healthy while still looking chic. The brush is also redesigned, featuring a wider and flatter brush that makes application super easy.

Vinylux polishes are super long lasting – I literally wear mine for 7-10 days and the only reason I need to remove and reapply is because of growth. I rarely get chipping, and the colour stays shiny throughout the entire time. You can now find CND Vinylux at Shoppers Drug Mart too, which is super convenient.

Chic Shock is now available wherever CND products are sold!

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