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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Review: FRESH Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask

FRESH Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask review

The FRESH Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask is the newest item introduced into Fresh’s family of masks. The second overnight mask (the first being the Peony Brightening Overnight Mask), the Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask contains black tea ferment, black tea extract, blackberry leaf extract, lychee seed extract, belle de nuit extract, and peptides to inhibit damaging free radicals, help to improve skin elasticity, soothe and rebalance the skin, and also firm the skin for anti-aging effects.

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

What it claims (from Fresh.com): Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask works in synch with the skin’s natural nighttime recovery process to achieve a lifted, firmer look by the morning. The intensely moisturizing treatment has a corset-like effect on the skin, giving the appearance of a visibly more defined, contoured complexion.

Price: C$108 for 100mL

Scent & texture: Scented with a light powdery fruity fragrance, with the texture of a light gel-cream.

FRESH Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask review

The good: I use this two to three times a week after my nightly shower and as the last step to my skincare routine, using about 2/3 of a quarter size to smooth and massage over my face. As an overnight mask, the Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave a thick layer of leftover mask on my face, which is great because there won’t be much transfer onto my hair or pillow. It does leave a light film on the surface of my skin though, acting as a protectant and to avoid moisture from evaporating during the night.

Each time I use this, my skin is left feeling super plump and well rested in the morning. The hydrating properties of this mask are just incredible, and even though during the times that I was using this, I got very little sleep, I still woke up looking well rested. It also helped my makeup apply smoother and adhere better. Lastly, the glass jar that it comes in is just beautiful and looks very classy on the bathroom counter.

  • Moisturizing
  • Not sticky
  • Skin feels plump, smooth, and well rested in the morning
  • Makeup applies and adheres better
  • Glass jar looks classy on the bathroom counter

The bad: I haven’t noticed any firming or lifting benefits yet, but since my skin is still relatively young, I didn’t expect to see too much firming anyways. It’s also pretty expensive…

Overall: This mask is a new found love of mine. I’ve really enjoyed using it and the timing of its release couldn’t have been better – I was going through some rough times so I hadn’t been sleeping or eating very well, but this mask helped me still retain a relatively healthy look. While it is expensive, the benefits of this mask are completely worth the price. If you are wary of the price, you should get yourself to a Sephora or Nordstrom store and ask for a sample. Try it out for a few times and see if you like it; I promise you’ll be hooked!

The Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask is available now at Fresh online, Sephora in stores and online, at Nordstrom, as well as at other places that sell Fresh products.

Product: 20/20
Packaging: 4/5
Value: 2.5/5
Overall: 26.5/30 | A
Repurchase? Yes

Ingredients:

FRESH Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask review
FRESH Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask review
FRESH Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask review

Review + GIVEAWAY: L’Occitane Shea Butter Cleansing Oil, Gentle Toner & Light Comforting Cream

L'Occitane Shea Butter Cleansing oil review

New for Spring 2015, L’Occitane is expanding their range of Shea Butter face care products. The newcomers are the Shea Butter Cleansing Oil and the Light Comforting Cream, which will join its existing line which includes the Cleansing Milk, Ultra Gentle Soap, Gentle Toner, Ultra Rich Comforting Cream and the Lip Balm. Today I’ll be sharing with you my thoughts on the Cleansing Oil, Gentle Toner, and Light Comforting Cream.

Shea Butter is one of L’Occitane’s most classic ingredients, and L’Occitane the brand has become synonymous with its usage of shea butter in several of its cult classic products. Some of my personal L’Occitane favourites which contain shea butter include the Shea Butter Hand Cream (my review here), the Ultra Soft Cream (reviewed here), and the Cuticle Oil (reviewed here).

Don’t forget to check out the giveaway at the end of this post for your chance to try the Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream for yourself.

L’Occitane Shea Butter Cleansing Oil & Gentle Toner

The Shea Butter Cleansing Oil (C$26) is a light oil-based pre-cleanser that removes makeup and purifies the skin. It contains 5% shea oil, and after coming in contact with water, it emulsifies and dissolves all the makeup along with it, even the most resilient and waterproof mascaras. This cleansing oil has been added to my recommended list of cleansing oils because it feels incredible on the face – it is light, emollient, and very easy to massage in. It does a really good job at removing my makeup, leaving behind soft, supple skin with no greasy residue. It is lightly fragranced with a powdery floral scent, but it is very subtle and washes off immediately with water.

L'Occitane Shea Butter Gentle Toner review

The Shea Butter Gentle Toner (C$26) is also one of my favourite recent discoveries. This fluid toner is ultra gentle on the skin, helping to remove any dirt or gunk left in the pores after cleansing, and creating a hydrated, even canvas for easy absorption of my favourite serum and moisturizer. It contains a high dosage of centaurea cyanus (cornflower) water, which is claimed to have healing properties. It is also lightly fragranced with a powdery floral scent, but again it is very subtle and disappears almost immediately. I would definitely repurchase this, as I really have trouble finding a good toner that acts like the last step to my cleansing routine yet is moisturizing and gentle.

Gentle Toner ingredients:

L'Occitane Shea Butter Gentle Toner ingredients

L’Occitane Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream

L'Occitane Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream review

The star product out of the new releases, the L’Occitane Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream (C$30) is the lighter, younger sister of the popular Ultra Rich Comforting Cream. Containing 5% shea butter (compared to the 25% in the Ultra Rich Comforting Cream), it is ideal for normal or combination skins. The texture is a light, fluid cream that is easy to spread on the skin and absorbs quickly, leaving behind a near matte finish. As my skin is very dehydrated in the winter, I need to use a hydrating serum underneath it, otherwise it doesn’t provide enough moisture to sustain my skin through an entire day without feeling tight. This cream is great to use at night or during the day, as it absorbs so quickly so that you can start applying makeup right away without waiting for it to finish absorbing. Also the near matte finish is ideal for when blending in foundations; it doesn’t slip and slide!

This would be a good summer moisturizer for me as it is light and leaves my skin feeling comfortable. As someone with dehydrated skin, it’s just not enough moisture for the winter. If you have normal or combination skin, or even slightly oily skin, this would be a great all-around, year-round moisturizer for you. Overall, I do like using it and have been using it every morning and evening, I would personally prefer something a bit more hydrating for the cold climate.

L'Occitane Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream review
L'Occitane Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream review

Light Comforting Cream ingredients:

L'Occitane Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream ingredients

GIVEAWAYS!

Part 1

As part of a partnership with L’Occitane Canada, I am giving away fifty (50) deluxe 8mL travel size samples of the Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream. All you have to do is visit a L’Occitane boutique between now and January 31, mention that you saw this on Maddy Loves, and a sample will be provided to you, if you are one of the first 50 participants. If you can’t get to a L’Occitane boutique, you can also get the free sample online with any order, just by using the code SHEAFACE. This promotion will end January 31 and is limited only to the first 50 people, so please make sure to visit a boutique early to get your sample!

Part 2 

I am also partnering with L’Occitane Canada to give away a full size jar (50mL) of the Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream. This contest is open to Canadian residents, ages 18+. Enter two ways:

  1. Comment on this blog post
  2. Follow me on Twitter and retweet ” I want to win the @Loccitane_CA Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream from @maddylovesblog http://bit.ly/14o8iIK #sheabuttergiveaway

Deadline to enter is January 31, 2015 at 11:59PM PST, and a winner will be selected and contacted within 3 days. Good luck!

L'Occitane Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream review
L'Occitane Shea Butter Light Comforting Cream review

Winter skincare – Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum & La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Fluide

My skin becomes super dehydrated and tight in the winter, and I always need copious amounts of hydration in the forms of lotion (i.e. hydrating toner), serum, and moisturizer. This winter, I found a combination that just worked wonders on my skin, and helped to alleviate several of the issues that I encounter during this dry time of the year. This combination of Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum and La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Fluide tones down redness, hydrates dryness, alleviates sensitivity, and allows the smooth application of makeup.

Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum

vichy aqualia thermal serum review

The Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum is part of Vichy’s extensive range targeted at simply hydrating your skin (I’ve previously reviewed the Night Spa here). The serum is a blue-toned fluid that is very light and somewhat gel-like in texture, with the same signature Vichy “ocean-like” fresh scent. It contains ingredients such as glycerin, sodium hyaluronate (hyaluronic acid) and is formulated with Vichy’s famous Thermal Spa Water.

On my skin, the serum just absorbs right in. I use this as the third step to my daytime skincare routine (cleanse, hydrate with a hydrating toner, then serum, moisturizer, and sun protection), and it helps to plump up my skin, getting it ready for makeup application. I also find that my moisturizer spreads easier, and I can use less of it after I use this, because my skin is also plump full of moisture.

It leaves slightly smooth finish, which I feel is probably the work of the dimethicone (third on the ingredients list).

Will I repurchase? It’s very likely.

Ingredients:

vichy aqualia thermal serum ingredients

 

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Ultra Fluide

la roche posay toleriane ultra fluide review

La Roche-Posay is very well known for their products designed to alleviate allergies or ultra-sensitivity in the skin. These products contain simple, effective ingredients that target specifically the issue being treated. The Toleriane range is designed to do just that; made for intolerant skin, these products are preservative-free, paraben-free, fragrance-free, alcohol-free, colorant-free, and lanolin-free.

The Ultra Fluide, new for winter 2014, is an intense soothing fluid created for combination to oily-prone allergic skin. It is a non-oily formula, and can be used on the face and eye area. Formulated with glycerin, squalane and shea butter, skin is left soothed and comfortable.

This is probably one of my favourite skincare finds this season. This moisturizer is medium texture, not runny like a true fluid, but not thick like a conventional cream. It spreads incredibly easy on the skin, sinking in quickly and leaving zero residue. Applying a sunscreen after this doesn’t leave my skin feeling heavy or overwhelmed either; it just feels moisturized and healthy. My skin is extremely comfortable after application, with decreased redness, my skin feels protected against the cold outdoor air, as well as the dry indoor office air induced by heating, both extreme irritants on the skin.

The bottle design I think is pretty great – it is a clear plastic tube featuring a pump, but the moisturizer itself is housed inside a plastic sack inside the plastic bottle. This means that there is no air being let inside the bottle, and every last drop of it will be used up due to the plastic bag being squeezed each time product is being pumped out.

Repurchase? Definitely!

Ingredients:

la roche posay toleriane ultra fluide  ingredients

 

Also, I hope everyone had a great Christmas holiday and happy New Years!

Quick reviews: Vichy Idealia BB Cream in Light and Medium & Idealia Eye

Vichy Idealia BB Cream review

As a continuation of their Idealia line, Vichy recently released a BB Cream and an eye cream/illuminator called the Eye Contour Idealizer. I previously reviewed their Idealia Life Serum here so I was interested to see how the BB Cream and the Eye Contour Idealizer would fare.

Vichy Idealia BB Cream

Available in two shades – Light and Medium, the Vichy Idealia BB Cream is presented in a sleek, tall pink tube that is great for slipping in your makeup bag for the day or in your travel bag. The texture is light and creamy, and it is also lightly hydrating, which is perfect for the fall weather.

The Vichy Idealia BB Cream is very, very sheer, as in there is almost no coverage. Even though it is ultra sheer, I’ve really enjoyed using this on a daily basis because I feel like it helps to brighten my skin overall, as if someone was holding a diffused light in front of my face. My skin looks and feels healthier and more radiant, and I’m okay to sacrifice a bit of coverage for that. Because it is so sheer, the range of skintones that the light and medium will work for is quite wide. I use the light but I can probably also use the medium. I haven’t tried using this as a primer, but I feel like if you wanted more coverage, you can either use another foundation on top or apply some concealer to the places where you need it.

Overall I like, but I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. If you’re looking for something ultra natural to wear on weekends and are okay with the low coverage, then you should check this out. If you want something with more coverage, then you’d better skip.

Vichy Idealia BB Cream review
Vichy Idealia BB Cream review
Vichy Idealia BB Cream review

Ingredients:

IMG_1672

Vichy Idealia Eyes

The Vichy Idealia Eyes is labeled as an “eye contour idealizer,” and claims to correct dark circles, smooths fine lines and illuminate shadows. The product itself is presented in a long pink tube with a plastic spatula applicator. The texture is a light, sheer, pink cream with lots of illuminating shimmers. The plastic spatula applicator is very easy to use as you just squeeze a bit out of the tube, then smooth it onto the eye contour area either with the back of the flat applicator or with your fingers.

I was quite disappointed by this product because I felt like it didn’t really do anything for me. It neither corrected my dark circles, nor smoothed my fine lines, and because it was so sheer, it didn’t illuminate the shadows under my eyes either. I feel like in order to make those claims, the product would have to be more moisturizing and at the same time provide more coverage.

Definitely skip this because I didn’t see it do anything on my eye contour area, sadly.

Vichy Idealia Eye review
IMG_1706

Have you tried anything from the Vichy Idealia line?

The Body Shop reviews: Wild Argan Oil Massage Soap, Shower Gel and Body Lotion

The body shop Wild Argan Oil Massage Soap, Shower Gel and Body Lotion reviews

For fall 2014, The Body Shop released a line of new body care products using community fair trade wild argan oil from Morocco. The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil collection contains 9 products for both the body and hair; I’ll be sharing with you my thoughts on the Massage Soap, Shower Gel, and Body Lotion.

A common denominator in the Wild Argan Oil collection is of course the wild argan oil ingredient, as well as the warm, cocoa-like scent that’s dominant in all of the products. I have to say I am a big fan of both the moisturizing wild argan oil as well as the scent that helps me relax after a long day of work.

Wild Argan Oil Massage Soap

The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Massage Soap ($6) is a creamy soap bar with protruding bits that are used for massaging the skin. I love using this at night while taking a long, hot shower because while it foams it, the foam is very creamy and leaves my skin feeling silky smooth after. I normally avoid bar soaps but this one is super moisturizing. The massaging bits is also nice to use, mostly around my thigh, tummy, and back area. The only thing is that because I’m so focused on only using the uneven side to wash my body, the massaging bits got used up pretty quickly.

Buy? Yes, but keep in mind the massaging bits gets used up quite quickly so you’ll just be left with a moisturizing bar soap after.

Ingredients: Sodium Palmate (Surfactant), Aqua/Water (Solvent/Diluent), Sodium Palm Kernelate (Surfactant), Glycerin (Humectant), Sorbitol (Humectant), Coconut Acid (Surfactant), Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Parfum/Fragrance (Fragrance), Triethanolamine (pH Adjuster), Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter (Skin Conditioning Agent – Emollient), Etidronic Acid (Chelating Agent), Tetrasodium EDTA (Chelating Agent), Coumarin (Fragrance Ingredient), Citric Acid (pH Adjuster), CI 77492/Iron Oxides (Colorant), CI 77891/Titanium Dioxide (Colorant), CI 77491/Iron Oxides (Colorant), CI 77499/Iron Oxides (Colour).

Wild Argan Oil Shower Gel

The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Shower Gel ($9) has a thick, almost honey-like consistency. It foams up relatively well with a loofah, but the foam dissipates quickly. It cleanses pretty well and leaves my skin feeling moisturized and smooth. Again, I love the argan oil scent and I feel like I’m in a cloud of this scent when I use the Shower Gel. The only downside is that because of the thicker consistency and how the foam dissipates so quickly, I find myself using more of this each time, and thus using it up really quickly.

Buy? Yes, if you want a moisturizing shower gel and don’t mind that it will get used up quickly.

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau (Solvent/Diluent), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (Surfactant), Cocamidopropyl Betaine (Surfactant), PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil (Emulsifier), Glycerin (Humectant), Sodium Chloride (Viscosity Modifier), Parfum/Fragrance (Fragrance), PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate (Viscosity Modifier), Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Polyglyceryl-2 Caprate (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Mel/Honey/Miel (Natural Additive), Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Citric Acid (pH Adjuster), Disodium EDTA (Chelating Agent), Coumarin (Fragrance Ingredient), Polysorbate 20 (Emulsifier), Denatonium Benzoate (Denaturant), CI 15985/Yellow 6 (Colorant), CI 19140/Yellow 5 (Colorant), CI 17200/Red 33 (Colorant), CI 42090/Blue 1 (Colorant).

Wild Argan Oil Body Lotion

My favourite of the bunch, the Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Body Lotion ($12) is an ultra moisturizing body lotion. It is a lot thicker in consistency compared to many of the body lotions I’ve tried, almost like a thinner, more refined version of the Body Shop Body Butters. It feels incredible when applied on the skin, sinking in quickly and leaving my skin feeling very hydrated. With high quality and highly moisturizing ingredients such as sweet almond oil, shea butter, and of course the wild argan oil, this product is great for anyone who needs a boost of moisture to their body. It also spreads really easily, and one pump is enough for each leg, and one pump for both arms. I’ve been using this for several weeks and I’ve only made a small dent in it, meanwhile my skin feels amazingly soft. This quality, at the $12 price tag, is definitely worth a try.

Buy? Definitely!

Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau (Solvent), Glycerin (Humectant), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil/Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil (Skin Conditioning Agent – Occlusive), Orbignya Oleifera Seed Oil (Emollient), Stearic Acid (Emulsifier), Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter (Skin Conditioning Agent – Emollient), Palmitic Acid (Surfactant), Coco-Caprylate/Caprate (Emollient), Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Sesamum Indicum Seed Oil/Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil (Skin-Conditioning Agent), Talc (Absorbent/Bulking Agent), Tapioca Starch Polymethylsilsesquioxane (Absorbent/Anticaking Agent), Parfum/Fragrance (Fragrance), Phenoxyethanol (Preservative), Caprylyl Glycol (Skin Conditioning Agent), Pentaerythrityl Distearate (Skin Conditioning Agent – Emollient), Glyceryl Stearate (Emulsifier), Acrylates/Vinyl Isodecanoate Crosspolymer (Emulsion Stabilizer), PEG-100 Stearate (Surfactant), Sodium Polyacrylate (Film Former/Viscosity Increasing Agent), Sodium Hydroxide (pH Adjuster), Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane (Ultraviolet Light Absorber), Disodium EDTA (Chelating Agent), Coumarin (Fragrance Ingredient), Citric Acid (pH Adjuster), Caramel (Colorant), CI 15985/Yellow 6 (Colorant), CI 19140/Yellow 5 (Colorant).

Have you tried any of the new Wild Argan Oil products?

Review: Kiehl’s Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Wash

Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Wash review

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

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

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

Price: $34 CAD for 235mL bottle

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

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

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

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

  • Does not remove makeup
  • Pricey

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

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

Ingredients:

Kiehl's Calendula Deep Cleansing Foaming Wash review

Skoah reviews: AHA Mask & Hydradew Mask

IMG_1385

I previously shared my experience getting a Skoah Power Facial with you here. Today, I’m reviewing two products I absolutely loved during my facial experience – the AHA Mask and the Hydradew Mask.

AHA Mask review

The AHA Masks contains alpha hydroxy acids (in the form of glycolic acid) that help break down the dead skin cells on the skin’s surface to reveal a smoother, brighter complexion. It is also infused with peppermint for a fresh, tingly experience, as well as flower and plant extracts and oat extracts to heal and soften the skin.

My skin generally does not react well to chemical exfoliating masks, preferring to using gentle chemical exfoliators such as the Dermalogica Microfoliant, but after going to my Skoah facial, the esthetician pointed out to me that my skin needs a bit more exfoliation, otherwise it can cause dryness, scaliness, peeling, and other problems due to my products not absorbing properly. I guess my gentle exfoliators were a bit too gentle to do the job!

The Skoah AHA Mask is a terrific middle ground for people who are generally more sensitive to chemical exfoliators but still prefer it to physical scrubs. The texture of the mask is this odd thick, dense gel. It is a lot denser compared to typical gel masks, and it is a little bit harder to spread onto the skin. In about 5-10 minutes, the mask dries and hardens a little bit on the skin, and then I usually leave it on for about 15 minutes (the directions say 10-20 minutes). Due to the thick gel consistency, it is a little bit hard to wash off, and I usually reach for a washcloth or just continuously splash my face with water in order to get it off. It does wash off clean, leaving no residue, and my skin doesn’t feel tight or uncomfortable afterwards. While it does sting and tingle, it doesn’t cause any redness to my skin (unlike other exfoliating masks), and leaves my skin oh so soft. I can really feel a difference in the way products apply and absorb in my skin, and overall my skin looks more even-toned.

I use the AHA Mask twice a week, usually following it up with the Hydradew mask (reviewed below), or if I’m short on time, in conjunction with the Hydradew Mask: I applied the AHA Mask to my T-zone, and then the Hydradew Mask on my cheeks and chin so I can allow both masks to work their magic at the same time. It is important to note that because it does contain AHAs, your skin becomes more sensitive to UV exposure, therefore sunscreen is an absolute must for the days that follow this treatment.

Overall, definitely love, will repurchase, and recommend! Priced very reasonable at $35, you can get the AHA Mask online at Skoah or at any Skoah location.

Ingredients: aqua, PVM/MA decadiene crosspolymer, triethanolamine, glycolic acid, propylene glycol alginate, arctostaphylos uva ursi leaf extract, arnica montana flower extract, echinacea purpurea extract, mimosa tenuiflora bark extract, calendula officinalis flower extract, tilia cordata flower extract, ginkgo biloba extract, hedera helix extract, avena sativa kernel extract, hypericum perforatum extract, camellia oleifera leaf extract, sodium hyaluronate, mentha piperita oil, allantoin, tetrasodium EDTA, diazolidinyl urea, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate, benzophenone -4.

IMG_1395

Hydradew Mask review

The Hydradew Mask is Skoah’s most popular hydrating mask. It contains glycosaminoglycanes which, similar to the hyaluronic acid, is a cell lubricant and helps to hydrate and pump the cells with water, hence creating a more moisture-rich environment. It also contains various plant and flower extracts and oat extract to help heal and soften the skin.

I love hydrating masks, and this one is definitely up high among my favourite hydrating masks. It smells of delicious honeydews (hydradew, honeydew?), and is a pleasure to use at night. My skin feels ridiculously plumped up after every application, and my makeup applies better the next month. Due to the light gel consistency, it is slightly cooling, and feels very comfortable and natural on the skin. While I don’t notice a glow, per se, it has definitely prevented my skin from looking dull and/or tired (especially since I haven’t been sleeping all that well lately).

I use the Hydradew Mask 2-3 times a day, usually right after or in conjunction with the AHA Mask, for around 15 minutes at a time. It’s great also to use right after a session in the sun due to its hydrating and soothing properties, or right before a big event where you want your skin to look fresh and makeup to apply smoothly. The esthetician at Skoah also recommended using a little bit of this mask as a primer right before makeup application to help seal in the hydrating goodness.

Recommend? Yes! This one is priced at $45 and can be purchased online and at any Skoah location.

Ingredients: aqua, propylene glycol, hydrolyzed glycosaminoglycanes, propylene glycol  alginate, arctostaphylos uva ursi leaf extract, arnica montana flower extract, echinacea purpurea extract, mimosa tenuiflora bark extract, calendula officinalis flower extract, tilia cordata flower extract, ginkgo biloba extract, hedera helix extract, avena sativa kernel extract, hypericum perforatum extract, camellia oleifera leaf extract , allantoin, pvm/ma decadiene crosspolymer, triethanolamine, diazolidinyl urea, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate, parfum/fragrance

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Lazy person’s skincare routine: Mereadesso Face + Neck Cleanser, and All-in-one Moisturizer

Mereadesso face neck cleanser and moisturizer review

I previously wrote about meeting Mereadesso founder Linda at brunch. I’ve finally had the time to test out these products since I had to cut everything else out of my regime in order to take these to the true test of all-in-one products. Basically by using Mereadesso, you can cut out everything in your regime and use two products. Normally my skincare regime has anywhere from 6-10 steps, but this will cut it down to just two.

Mereadesso Face + Neck Cleanser

Mereadesso face neck cleanser review

The Mereadesso Face + Neck Cleanser is a light cream cleanser that is supposed to be a makeup remover, facial cleanser, and when used with the accompanying cloth, an exfoliator and face mask. I was extremely confused when I first started using this product because it came out as a super light milk. I used approximately 8-10 pumps of this product to cover my whole face, neck, and also had some left over to rub around my face to remove makeup.

I really dislike this cleanser because I found I had to rub really hard to get all of my makeup off, which was not good for my eye area or my skin in general. Even with vigorous rubbing, it didn’t remove all of my base makeup and left a good chunk of it for my toner to pick up (I used a toner in the first few days to test the efficacy of the cleanser). Also at 8-10 pumps, it didn’t seem like it would last a very long, which is tragic because this cleanser costs a hefty $45.

I wouldn’t recommend getting this, but there is a travel size available for purchase if you want to try this without the commitment.

Ingredients:

Mereadesso face neck cleanser review and ingredients

Mereadesso All-in-One Moisturizer

Mereadesso All-in-One Moisturizer review

The Mereadesso All-in-One Moisturizer is a toner, serum, moisturizer and primer in one; I used this day and night after cleansing my face with the Face + Neck Cleanser. It has the texture of a light, milky cream. I use one pump on my face during the day (otherwise it takes a while longer to absorb and my makeup doesn’t adhere), and two pumps for the face and neck at night.

In terms of its moisturizing benefits, I found that it was slightly lacking. I have normal, somewhat dehydrated skin, and after 2 weeks of using this, I noticed that my skin has become more and more dehydrated, to the point that it is starting to flake in certain areas. My foundation wasn’t applying and adhering properly and my skin just wasn’t doing well in general, so I added a hydrating serum to the regime to see how it would help, and it did. A hydrating serum plus the All-in-One Moisturizer was perfect for my dehydrated skin. Overall, I felt my skin was healthier and more normalized.

With the hydrating serum, the All-in-One Moisturizer also became a really good primer for makeup. I found that my foundation applied more smoothly and didn’t settle into pores as much. My skin felt more balanced, so I didn’t have to blot as early as I used to.

Unfortunately, the All-in-One Moisturizer wasn’t so all-in-one for me, but I did like using it with another serum. If you have normal, combination, or oily skin, you should look into trying this product. Anyone like me with dehydrated or dry skin can also use this but best it’d be paired with a hydrating serum. Priced at $120 for 50mL, it should last you 4 months with daily use.

Ingredients:

Mereadesso All-in-One Moisturizer review

NUXE Nirvanesque reviews: 1st Wrinkles Smoothing Eye Contour Cream & 1st Wrinkles Smoothing Cream

Now that I’m in my mid 20s, anti-aging and age prevention is starting to creep up the list of skincare priorities. In 2004, NUXE Nirvanesque was the first cream designed for women in their 30s, targeting the first signs of aging as well as de-stressing the skin. As I’m a firm believer in prevention versus treatment, I started using Nirvanesque this year to prevent the early signs of aging.

The Nirvanesque range of products includes an eye cream ($41 for 15mL), cream for normal skin ($50 for 50mL), and a cream light for combination/oily skin ($50 f0r 50mL). The current state of my skin is dehydrated, and very stressed out due to work and other obligations. I have noticed fine lines popping up around my eye area, and my skin isn’t as perky as it used to be, so I selected the eye cream and cream to treat the fine lines and dehydration.

High up on the ingredients list are glycerin and rosehip oil (rosa moschata seed oil), and the products also include other ingredients such as tree peony extract (paeonia suffruticosa root extract), macadamia oil (macadamia integrifolia seed oil), coconut oil, and a slew of other floral extracts. The products are also heavily scented with a floral scent, the face cream heavier than the eye cream, that lingers for quite a while before dissipating.

NUXE Nirvanesque 1st Wrinkle Smoothing Eye Contour Cream

Nuxe nirvanesque eye contour cream review

The NUXE Nirvanesque Smoothing Eye Contour Cream is a very light, very fluid eye cream. It absorbs very quickly and leaves behind no residue. My eye contour area is hydrated without feeling heavy (to prevent against milia), and is makeup ready right away. However, I didn’t notice any decrease in the fine lines in my eye area, any brightening in terms of my dark circles, or decrease in puffiness. Since it is a preventative product, it might take a few months before I see any benefit with regards to those three items. In the meantime, it works well as a hydrating cream for the eyes.

One thing to note that it has a very, very faint pearl tint to it. It is barely noticeable, but it is there.

I will continue using this for the hydrating benefits, and hopefully will see other benefits in the long terms. Can I recommend though? Not really. I think there are better, more effective options out there.

Ingredients:

Nuxe nirvanesque eye contour cream ingredients and review

NUXE Nirvanesque 1st Wrinkles Smoothing Cream 

Nuxe nirvanesque smoothing cream review

The NUXE Nirvanesque Wrinkle Smoothing Cream is a light cream that is perfect for those with normal skin. The texture of the cream is smooth, whipped, with almost a wax-like finish. When used alone on my dehydrated skin, I found that it wasn’t enough and I would have to pair it with a light hydrating serum.

Nuxe nirvanesque smoothing cream review

Even though it’s not hydrating enough, I still really like this cream because of the lighter texture, I can control and adjust how much product I want to apply without overloading my skin, and I find that it really does help to smooth out the skin, making it look firmer, more supple, and more glowy. It absorbs very quickly into my face and neck, and leaves no leftover greasy residue, so I can apply makeup right away.

Recommend? Yes.

Ingredients:

Nuxe nirvanesque smoothing cream review and ingredients

 

Overall, I think the NUXE Nirvanesque line is great for those who are just starting out with preventing the first signs of aging. Because it is a preventative measure, you likely won’t see any drastic benefits from the get-go, rather it would take longer and continuous use in order to see skin improvements. Pricing wise, the $41 for the eye cream and $50 for the face cream is really not bad at all, especially taking into consideration that NUXE is an all natural brand and the beneficial ingredients in these products. If you’re looking at an age-prevention line, I would recommend you check out NUXE Nirvanesque!

Nuxe Nirvanesque products are available nationally online and in store at Murale, as well as The Bay and Shoppers Drug Mart.