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Saturday, December 14, 2013

CoverGirl Flamed Out Mascara

Hello all, 

here today to review a mascara for you: Covergirl's Flamed Out Mascara in very black blaze. I picked this up at Shopper's Drug Mart - sadly, I cannot remember how much I paid. $8.99? That could be totally wrong. Here's a pic:

Flamed Out Mascara : Volumizing Curling Mascara

Well, well, well. This mascara - I'll tell you, boy did it burn. If you're like me then you know about taking naps at 4 pm and not taking off your mascara first. Usually this is a non-issue. But with this product, the mascara would run and burn my eyes. This stuff was susceptible to running. It was also, perhaps paradoxically, very dry upon application. So if that's your thing then there you go. In terms of length and volume this was sort of standard to below standard. This isn't a glamorous mascara. It wasn't super black either. Just sort of mehhhh + the eye-burning and I was eager to see the end of it. Plus the garish orange tube... Ugh. Glad it's done. Won't repurchase. Can't recommend.

Cheers all, 

Clara 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Delightful Cleanser Finished Once Again

Salut les filles, 

here to report that I've finished another trusty bottle of La Roche Posay's physiological cleansing gel. Click here for my thoughts on this delightful product - which I will certainly repurchase (after trying a new, Origins cleanser - excited!). This was my third bottle, and the love affair continues. 

 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Review: Klorane Nettle Shampoo

Hello all, 

here with a shampoo to review for you. It's Klorane's Nettle Shampoo for "oily prone" hair. My hair is quite fine, and while it is isn't particularly oily, I hoped this product would allow me to shampoo less frequently. I paid $13.49 for this at Shopper's (I know, I know). The bottle contains 200 mL of product. That. Shiz. Is. Expensive. Here is an image:

Seboregulating treatment shampoo - OILY PRONE


Well, I will say that this sure wasn't worth the price. This shampoo sounds great on paper: "With its ultra-gentle, detangling, volume-enhancing cleansing base, formulated to avoid all possibility of a rebound effect, KLORANE Seboregulating treatment shampoo with nettle extract progressively regularizes sebum secretion, allowing you to wash your hair less frequently. It leaves hair feeling silky, supple and bouncy. It is hypoallergenic." (from the Klorane website). If only....if only. In reality, this shampoo was hard to lather. Like really hard to lather - to the point that it was annoying. I didn't notice any seboregulating effect (i.e., I ended washing my hair exactly as often as I have always done). I did its job in as much as it cleaned my hair. But I didn't notice any volumizing effect. 

I really wanted to love this product. Going on the Klorane website reminds me of how AWESOME the world of Klorane seems. But this product did not deliver for me. It was annoying to use and expensive. I will not repurchase.

Clara xx

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Burt's Bees double-header

Hello all, 

here with two Burt's Bees products to review for you: the Ultra Moisturizing Lip Treatment and the Citrus Facial Scrub. The lip treatment is available widely for around $4.99. The Citrus Facial Scrub is a bit harder to get a hold of in Canada - I got mine at a local heath food shop for around $13. Here they are:
The lip hydration sensation.


Let's talk about the facial scrub first. This product has a bit of a cult following so I was eager to give it a whirl. It's a brown scrub which smells like Christmas, you mix it with a bit of water and massage it over your face. Rinse. It then makes a gross mess in your shower/sink waahoo. Anyway, this was a bit too emollient for me. It left an oily film over my face which I didn't enjoy. I am not really a fan of scrubby, physical exfoliants at this point. I go for a nice little glycolic acid instead. So, all-in-all, I couldn't bring myself to use this up on my face. I used it as a body scrub instead - a purpose for which it was way too gentle. So, ya. Won't be repurchasing. 

Next up, the lip treatment. This was not "ultra moisturizing" in my opinion. While it wasn't terrible (it was better than a Lip Smacker), it wasn't great. It was a far cry from my Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream. I honestly think good old Nivea or Blistex is better. This had the texture of Vaseline and I didn't feel like it was replenishing moisture back into the lips. A no-go. Will not repurchase. 

Two disappointments from Burt's Bees! I sense a dark trend...

Clara xx 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Rose Water Toner, that little extra

Happy Saturday all, 

here today to review a nice little toner for you. Calling it a toner might be a bit of stretch, mind you. I finished up Heritage's rose water spray. You get 8 ounces in a bottle with a nice little spray nozzle. I paid $11 for this at my local health food shop. It took me ages to use it up: we're talking like a year. Here is an image:

Rose Petals Rosewater 8 oz  w/atomizer

Basically, I would use this spray after toning with a glycolic. My skin gets that little tingly sensation (ok - some light stinging) after using the glycolic and I found this lovely, gentle spray to be just the ticket before applying my serum. I also enjoyed this if my face needed a little "wake-up" if I was feeling sick or tired or hot, and if I'd over-powdered my face. I don't think that this product really did anything to the appearance of my skin. I don't think it was hydrating or clarifying or anything else. But the sensation of having a nice, natural rose scented product spritzed on the face was delightful. And the price point is right on. 

I would definitely repurchase. I love rose-scented things. I think, if you're going for a spray floral water, you don't need to splash out on something expensive (see: Caudalie's Beauty Elixir). I'm sceptical that these sprays "do" anything beyond smell and feel great. I may experiment with a lavender essence one next. 

Go forth and spray with abandon, 

Clara

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Review: Philosophy field of flowers wildflower blossom shower gel

Hey everyone! I haven't posted in ages, so thank goodness Clara has taken the helm the past few months. I'm back with a great product that I've just recently finished. It's the philosophy field of flowers wildflower blossom shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath. Surprisingly, I've used this in all three of its uses but I mostly used it as a shower gel. 

It is 480mL and it will run you about $30. I got mine from the Bay. Pricey! But 480mL is a lot of product. I really only used a little bit each time, and it lasted me about 7.5 months. That seems like pretty good value to me. 

Here's a pic: 



Let's talk about the product. It has a wonderful scent. You know I love me some floral, and this does not disappoint. It's name fits perfectly. I don't think this is a particularly overpowering scent, and I certainly never got sick of it though after almost 8 months I was definitely ready for a change. It lathers nicely. It doesn't have the best ingredients. The second ingredient on the list is sodium laureth sulfate, but I knew that going in. I know that philosophy isn't an all natural, all pure ingredients brand, despite what it advertises itself to be. But I wanted to try out a product from them. While I don't love the ingredient list, the product was fine but I did find it a tad on the drying side. 

The one thing I didn't love about the product (apart from the SLS) is that the smell doesn't linger on the skin- at all. My skin also never felt particularly moisturizing after my shower. Like I mentioned above, I found that if I didn't moisturize after I showered my skin would be super dry- even in the summer. Bummer, but I just went with it. But for this reason mainly, I won't be repurchasing this product. 

As a side note, when I tried to google it, I noticed that the wildflower blossom scent is no longer on the philosophy website with the other field of flowers products. Odd. But, I would imagine that this review would apply to the other field of flowers shower gel/shampoo/bubble bath products. 

No regrets on buying this product, but I probably won't buy it again. I definitely want something more moisturizing. 

happy shopping!
deema

Friday, October 18, 2013

Eyebrow Pencils reviewed (MAC and Clinique face-off)

Hey all, 

so, let's talk about eyebrow pencils. They are a makeup product which I use up quickly - second only to mascara. I've gone back and forth between MAC eyebrow pencil in Fling ($19) and Clinique Superfine Liner for brows in Soft Blonde ($18). Both are ashy, muted colours which look natural against my fair colouring and ashy blonde hair. Here are some images:

 Eye Brows

Superfine Liner for Brows
Now, the reality is that these products are very similar. They are both precise in their application, not too powdery or hard, and natural (on me) in tone. Both contain little product and get used up quite quickly. The lasting power seems good to me, but since I go for a natural application I might have a less clear take on that than someone who goes for a more dramatic look. I would recommend either, though if you're on a budget recognize that since you'll be buying these frequently the cost will be a factor. 

If you're just getting started with eyebrow pencils, go with a nice light shade and stick to the natural shape of your brow. Either the Clinique or the MAC would serve you well. Having polished brows makes a surprisingly big impact on your look - especially if you are going to have your photo taken. If you're a blondie like me, filling in your brows can help you avoid the disappearing features effect. Think of this product as mascara for brows: it helps define and frame! 

Cheers all, 

Clara

Friday, October 11, 2013

Reflecting on goals, "empties" and being a smart beauty consumer

Hi all, 

today, I was thinking about how much this blog helps me to make better beauty-related choices. Since I know that I'm committed to finishing every product I buy, I put more effort into choosing a good product in the first place. I don't let the sales be my guide - which may, on the surface seem like a more costly route to take. However, I don't then realize I've bought a dud and then go out and buy something else when I've only used half of the original product. I tend to be excited to use the things I've purchased because I've heard good things about them online. 
Even taking this approach I'll often finish something and think "that was fine, but I'm still curious to see if there's something better". Many shampoos, body washes, conditioners and body butters leave me feeling like this. Other things that I try I love and become committed to. Today I finished another tube of La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Legere moisturizer for the face. I am now on to my third tube and the love remains! Here's a pic:

Hydraphase Intense Light
My goal when I started this blog with Deema was to be a conscious and discerning beauty consumer. I aim to be deliberate with my beauty purchases. Lipsticks and eye shadows are, for most people, frivolous items. And they are for me too, I suppose. That said, there's no denying that at this point I have spent a lot of time thinking about beauty products, researching them, testing them out on myself (and my friends!) and while they are still light-hearted items, I'm far from apathetic about the whole shebang. There's something endlessly fascinating about beauty products, no? I still get a rush when I buy a product I'm excited to try. So, I guess the goal - really - is to harness that excitement and make it as deliberate and reflective as I can while balancing it with the natural levity inherent in beauty products. They're fun! They're exciting! 

Oh, and I'm living on a student budget - so making expensive beauty purchases count is pretty awesome, too

Cheers, 

Clara   


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Bourjois Healthy Mix Gel Serum Foundation - a delight!

Hello all, 

here with a rather exciting product for you, today! I've finished up my Bourjois Healthy Mix Gel Serum Foundation. I haven't finished a foundation in agessss (looking at you Makeup Forever HD foundation). This one was delightful and I have already repurchased. It is $27 at Shoppers Drug Mart. My shade is 52, and for reference I am an NW20 in MAC shades. Here is an image:


This was a great product for my combination skin. I don't have serious discolouration going on, but I do have some: a bit of redness around my nose, chin and forehead from breakouts over the years, and rosy cheeks. Healthy Mix Gel Serum provided light, natural coverage for these areas which I would top up with a concealer (if I felt like it, let's be serious). It evened out my complexion nicely and provided an excellent base for blush and bronzer. In term of lasting power, this was not its "forte". I set it regularly with a Rimmel Stay Matte powder (stay tuned for a review of that excellent product - I will finish it soon) and the combo would last me for 6-8 hours. That said, and perhaps because of that, this product feels lovely on the skin. It was not sticky or drying or heavy.  It has a pleasant scent and never broke me out, even in the hot, humid days of summer. 

Deema's review of the product is here.

Cheers all!

Clara

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Battle of the Maybelline Concealers

Hey all!

Instant Age Rewind® Eraser Dark Circles Treatment Concealer
Instant Age Rewind Eraser for Dark Circles
Here with two concealers to review for you. I recently finished Maybelline's Dream Lumi Touch Concealer ($13.49 at Shoppers Drugmart) and the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Corrector Concealer (also $13.49 at Shoppers).  Both of them were correcting concealers, light pink in colour in order to brighten the undereye area. Here they are, in all their glory: 
Dream Lumi™ Touch Highlighting Concealer
Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch


Well now, what to say? These two, though similar in concept, were different in application. Lumi touch was less creamy and opaque than Age rewind. One might think "yes! creamy! opaque! hooray!" - this however, was not a plus for me. I found that the Age rewind felt greasy under my eyes and caused my mascara and liner to smear. Lumi touch set more effectively and, as a result, did not cause as much eye makeup transfer. I also enjoyed that it was such an intense light pink colour, since it looked more natural under the eyes. The one downside of Lumi touch was that it contained little product, and I used it up so soooo fast. All-in-all I didn't repurchase either product. I won't be buying the Age rewind again - too creamy for me. And I'd like to get more product than the Lumi touch had to offer. If forced, I would Lumi over Age any day, mind you.

In sum, the victor in this battle is Lumi touch. The war has yet to be won: I am still on the hunt for an undereye concealer I can really get behind.

Cheers all, 
Clara 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Another day, another scrub

Hey all, 

here with a body scrub to review for you. An artisan-crafted, all-natural, yet utterly "meh" scrub. In early May I purchased the coconut body scrub by the 1000 Island Soap Company here. This was a whopping $19.95 for 9 ounces.  ..... I actually am shocked that I paid that, but ahh well. This product was your standard chunky sea salt + oils + fragrance.  Here is a general image of the company's scrubs:

Body Scrub  Extra Fine Sea Salt 

So, ok. I wouldn't purchase again. First of all - definitely not worth $19.95. Just... no. That's a high price point. For that I expect modest luxury - nice packaging, a refined scent, fancy oils. This was very basic, white, plastic packaging with a label which looked like it had been printed on a home computer. The scent was decidedly NOT refined. To my "nose" it smelled sort of like apples and salt. Not the summery, exotic coconut I was hoping for. Finally, the oils in this were quite standard: sweet almond and so on. Where's the fancy argan oil to justify that price?? 

Next, I am thinking of making my own scrub. Possibly out of brown sugar and coffee grounds, coconut and sweet almond oil. It's getting chilly in Canada and a good scrub helps my skin stay soft and moisturized. I'll let you know how it goes.

Cheers everyone, 

Clara   

Monday, August 19, 2013

Simply Pure Chamomile Cleanser - juice beauty!

Hi guys, 

here to review a face cleanser for you:  Juice Beauty's simply pure chamomile cleanser.  I picked this up at my local Made You Blush store for $31/200mL. It is also available a Murale stores (shoppers optimum points!) and online. Here is an image:


I enjoyed this cleanser - especially in the summer months when my skin leans more oily. Though it does not contain sulfates, it did create a bit of a lather. So to any of you who miss that sweet, sudsy feeling - this could be a good option for you. It had a pleasant, herbal scent which I found inoffensive. It rinsed totally clean. Now, I will say that it rinsed REALLY clean - squeaky clean. And left my face feeling a little tight. So if you have dry skin I would steer clear. This is also not a cheap product - 50% more than La Roche Posay's physiological gel cleanser! So if you're ballin' on a budget, I'd avoid.

At any rate, I enjoyed giving this paraben-free, sulfate-free, little baby. I won't repurchase for now - but I would, maybe.

xx Clara

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

One woman's trash is another woman's treasure [Korres!]

Hi all, 

here today to review a body butter I recently finished: Korres' body butter in "jasmine". Deema purchased this from Home Outfitters for (I believe) $8. It retails at Shoppers for $33 (!!)  Here is a picture:

Korres - Body Butters

Deema hated the smell of this and gifted it to me.  ME!!!  (Elle Woods - I hate going there, I'm so over Legally Blond references, but they just happen sometimes).  I did not mind the smell, though I didn't love it either.  I see that Korres makes one called "Japanese Rose" and THAT sounds like my kind of scent!  This one was floral, and quite sharp.  Not powdery at all.  Just very concentrated.  The texture was really quite greasy, which I don't mind at all.  I usually put on lotion before bed so I'm not "fussed" (Britishism!) about a greasy feel.  It was very nicely moisturizing, although not "clinically" so. If you really suffer from dry skin go for something with urea in it.  This one was nice, though.  For $33 I would not, NOT, repurchase.  For $8?  Not in jasmine again.  

Cheers all!

Clara

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Soap vs Shower Gel: a conclusion

Hi all, 

well, I finished up an old bottle of shower gel I had kicking around. This one was by Yves Rocher, it is called Hamamelis super soft shower gel.  I have no idea how much I paid for this, but it is currently available on the website for $4.95. Yves Rocher has such good deals!  Here is an image:
Super-Soft Shower Gel
I liked this shower gel, really though, nothing to write home about. As per usual, I used it up quickly.  I am just so firmly concluded now that soap is the way to go in the long-standing soap vs shower gel debate.  Shower gel is so much more expensive.  And, really, not that much more of an enjoyable experience.  Shower gels and soaps are, I would say, equally fit for their purpose of cleansing.  I don't find one more drying than the other - really.  There are lovely scents, and natural homecrafty varieties available for both gels and soaps.  And let me tell you!  Soaps are almost invariably cheaper and last me longer.  It is really hard to over use soap.  It's the easiest thing in the world to over use gel.  Guys!  Soap!  

Clara

Sulfate free shampoo... I didn't hate it.

Hi guys!

Here with a shampoo to review for you.  L'Oreal Paris' EverStrong shampoo. This was $8.99 (or so!) at Shoppers.  It was a mere 200 mL.  Here it is:

EverStrong Reconstruct Shampoo

I liked this shampoo very much. So far, it is the best sulfate-free shampoo I've tried.  Sulfates are not dangerous or carcinogenic (to my knowledge - and I try to keep on top of this stuff), but people do avoid them though because they can be drying.  My fine hair is dry at the ends so I do try and avoid sulfates where I can. The thing about giving up sulfates is you lose that lovely lather that so many shampoos have.  You also generally have to pay more.  Anyway, this shampoo was undeniably expensive.  However, it lathered nicely.  Can I claim that my hair is drastically less dry as a result of using this?  No.  I can't.  My ends are still dry.  I have split ends.  My hairdresser is never pleased with me.. I could go on. I don't think it is NECESSARILY worth paying the extra price for sulfate free.  Give it a try if you have dry hair and see if it makes the difference for you.  It might.  This one was lovely.  Great smell too.  And available widely.  A great place to start if you're considering sulfate free.

Cheers, 

Clara 

A great shave cream (or, a terrible conditioner)

Hi all, 

here with a conditioner to review for you. I recently finished up good old Pantene's conditioner for fine hair.  I honestly cannot remember how much I paid for this.  Or even where I got it.  Shoppers?  $6.99?  Something along those lines.  Here it is:  
Volume

Apparently they have launched new packaging.  Good for you Pantene, reinventing yourself.  Anyway, this stuff SUCKED as a conditioner.  It was not conditioning enough: too much emphasis on weightless volume and not enough on making my hair feel smooth and silky.  I like to add texture to my hair with styling products rather than conditioner.  I want my conditioner to handle my poor, poor dry ends.  I ended up using this as a shave cream (hot tip: conditioner makes a grrrreat shave cream due to the amount of silicones going on) and loved it for that purpose.  That said, you can get shave creams/gels for much less than $6.99 - I purchased one for $3.49 today.  

So, I will not repurchase.  And if you have dry ends, this is not the conditioner for you. If you don't have dry hair I question whether you need conditioner - this product really doesn't do much and if this is all you need, you probably don't need anything at all!  Minimalism.  

cheers all!

Clara 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Looking to get into glycolic? Chemical exfoliant in review

Hi guys, 

here with a finished product for you.  I recently(ish) finished Vichy's Normaderm anti-age resurfacing care moisturizer.  I used this as my day cream during the winter months (early Oct-end of March... welcome to Canada).  I believe I paid $37 for it at Shoppers.



I actually really liked this as a day cream.  It was mattifying and wore really nicely under makeup.  Like, really nicely.  I also liked that this contained glyolic acid.  I'm not a huge fan of physical exfoliants.  I have a jar of burt's bees exfoliant languishing unloved in my shower.  Having the glycolic in my day cream was more realistic for me.  I did notice that my skin looked quite luminous.  This winter has been my best "skin" winter yet.  

That said, I won't be using in the summer since I'm committed to a daily SPF. To get my chemical exfoliant fix I'm currently using NeoStrata's toner in level 2 which contains 8% glycolic acid.  Will let you know what I think once it's all used up.

cheers all, 

Clara  

Sunday, April 7, 2013

OPI's avojuice, in review

Hi all, 

here with another (pair of) empt(ies).  I finished two 30mL bottles of opi's avojuice hand moisturizer.  I had the scents "jasmine" and "cran & berry."  I got these as a Chrismas present (hello, awesome stocking stuffers!) so I don't know the price.  


These smelled delicious.  And as you may have deduced from prior hand cream reviews, I like a cream with a scent.  They did, however, contain parabens.  Thumbs down.  And they weren't really all that moisturizing. They did not compare favorably with the Roc Enydrial or the Ureaka.  That said, if you hateeeee hand creams which take a long time to sink in, this cream may be for you.  It sunk in very quickly.

Would repurchase for the scent alone if the old hands become less dry.

cheers all, 
Clara  

Etsy Shop Rave: AlchemicMuse

Hey all! A while back I bought two mini pots of the Foaming Body Scrub from the Etsy shop 'AlchemicMuse.' Clara recommended the shop to me so I thought I'd check it out. Each mini pot is $4.50 (USD) plus shipping. They do not contain any parabens or SLS, and the ingredient lists reads like a dream. I bought 'cloud nine' and 'castaway.' I used up cloud nine, and I absolutely loved it. It made my skin feel beautiful soft, but never felt too rough. I love sugar scrubs so this was right up my alley. They both smell divine. The only thing that I had an issue with was the fact that they don't really foam up at all. It scrubs away the old skin just fine, but this product doesn't foam or later up. Not that big of a deal for me, personally. I will definitely repurchase once 'castaway' is all done!! 

I snapped a few pics so you could get a sense of size and the texture of the product. Definitely check out the rest of the shop. There are lovely soaps and body whips that look beautiful. For handmade products, everything is very reasonably priced. 





Click here to check out the shop on Etsy.

Deema xx 


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Delicious-smelling conditioner reviewed for YOU

Hiyaaaaa, 
here with a rare reivew:  a conditioner.  I take my sweet time finishing up a conditioner.  I think it's probably due to my fine hair.  I think I used this conditioner for nearly 7 mos.  So...ya. I'm qualified to speak on it.  It's Organix's cherry blossom ginseng conditioner.  I purchased it at Walmart for a whopping $3.47.  That my friends is good value for money.  Here it is:
Organix Cherry Blossom Ginseng Conditioner
I loved how this conditioner smelled.  SEVEN months later and I can still say I enjoyed the scent.  It didn't linger on the hair particularly though - which may be a pro or a con for you.  It was a lovely, thick textured cream which did a good job at making my hair feel silky.  Like most conditioners it didn't repair my hair or anything like that (only coconut oil works for that) but it did leave it feeling silky soft.

I'd repurchase.  But on to the next........another conditioner to be reviewed by me in Oct 2013 if present trends continue.

cheers

clara

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Roc Enydrial Hand Cream: reviewed

Hi guys, 

here to review a hand cream for you:  Roc's Enydrial hand cream.  I purchased this in a set with an (awesome) lip balm for $10 at Shopper's Drug Mart.  Here it is:
The pros:  this hand cream was very moisturizing.  It also acted as a good moisture barrier to prevent dryness from washing my hands throughout the day.  It contains a hefty amount of glycerin which is a safe and effective moisturizer.  It also contains silicones for a nice slick feeling upon application.  For hard core winter dryness, this will do the trick.

The cons: it contains parabens, which may or may not deter you.  It didn't have a scent:  again, this may be a pro or a con for YOU.  I like a bit of scent in my hand lotions.  It's the little things in life, guys.  This product does not sink in quickly:  you'll feel the cream on your hands for quite a while.  Annoying if you're next step after putting on hand lotion is to try and open up a chapstick.  I also hated the packaging.  I had to cut this bad boy open to get at a lot of the product.  Damn you, squeezy tubes you useless things.  

All in all, I would repurchase this actually. The Roc Enydrial lip balm and hand cream both really impressed me in terms of their capacity to handle winter dryness.  And at $10 for both, I'd call that rather good value for money.  

alllllllllllll my best, 

Clara xx 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Review: Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream

Hello hello, here's another finished product review. I recently finished the Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream. And by recently, I mean this morning. Anyways, I bought this bad boy back near the end of September so its lasted me about 6 months. I bought this when I was in the US from an Origins Store and so it was a bit cheaper than the $37.50 listed on the Canadian Sephora site. It has 0.5 oz of product. 

Here it is: 
image via sephora.com

So lets start with some of the claims made by Origins. Apparently it is, "A clinically-proven eye cream that instantly de-puffs and reduces dark circles.It is formulated without parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances or dyes, petrochemicals, phthalates. GMOs, triclosan. I only know what half of those things are, but that generally seems good. 

My under-eye problems have nothing to do with puffiness. I have bags, and some days- dark circles (depending on how much sleep I get). It has never been a huge issue for me, but if I'm stressed and not sleeping well, it is definitely something I have to cover up. Anyways, this is a cream- pretty standard texture. It's lightweight and feels nice under the eyes. It quickly absorbs into the skin, and primes the skin decently well for my undereye concealer. I took a pea sized amount every morning and tapped it into the skin under my eye and then took whatever was left and put it on my brow bone area. 

Over the 6 months I used this product, I don't think I've really noticed any marked change with my bags/dark circles. There is some pigment in the product, and it is light reflective so it does bring light to the area- but that is purely cosmetic. It doesn't actually make the darkness go away- just diffuses their effect really. It also didn't really help the fine lines that I have under my eyes, though it doesn't claim to be able to do that. 

As a side note- every once in a while I noticed little red bumps around my eye area while using this. They always went away, but they kept popping up. Especially in the winter months. 

All in all, I think this is an okay product. However, at this price point, I would prefer something that actually improves my under eye-area, rather than just cover it up slightly. I mean, I still need to wear concealer with it. It does however, prep the skin nicely for my concealer. Not worth it in my opinion. 

Would not repurchase. I'm still on the hunt for an eye cream that can actually improve darkness and work to get rid of some of those pesky fine lines. Is that a pipe dream? Hopefully not! Any suggestions are welcome :) 

Deema xx

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Reviewed: Dove Nourishing Oil Care Anti-Frizz Serum

I recently finished a hair serum- the Dove Nourishing Oil Care Anti-Frizz Serum, to be exact. I got it for about $7.99 from Shoppers Drug Mart. It lasted me about 6-7 months or so. 

Here it is: 
image via dove.ca

I liked this product. The main ingredient is cyclopentasiloxane, which is a type of silicone. I did some minor googling, and it generally seems to be a safe ingredient (though there is some debate, of course). It also has coconut and almond oils. Anyways, because the main ingredient is a silicone, it does feel very nice and smooth.  I used this both on wet and dry hair, and only the bottom half/third of my hair.  It gives my a hair a nice sheen, but it doesn't look greasy. It definitely helped contain the frizz in the summer months. I think the price point is good, especially when you compare it to the price of Moroccan Oil (though admittedly, the Moroccan Oil has more product). It lasted me a long time, especially because I would only use a small amount, and only when I would wash my hair (every 3 days).

As a serum, I don't think it did anything to actually make my hair softer..it just made it feel softer. But then again, I didn't expect it to. That's what I use my coconut oil masks for :) 

I would definitely repurchase! (update: I already did!)

Deema xx

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

a keratin shampoo, in review

Hi all, 

here with a shampoo to review for you.  I finished up the Mill Creek Botanicals keratin shampoo.  I purchased it at my local health food store for $11.90.  It contained 473 mL (16 ounces?) Here it is:

Keratin Shampoo

I am GLAD to see this go!!!!!  This was not kind to my hair.  It claims to be a restorative shampoo, which strengthens hair from the inside out.  Having used this every other day for the last 3 months I can say that this was NOT my experience.  This basically cleaned my hair.  It did not leave it feeling silky.  It did not leave it feeling stronger.  I have split ends.  My hair didn't look any more voluminous after using this.  !!!  Frustrating.  

This product was also not a pleasure to use.  It is sulfate-free and lathered poorly as a result.  The scent reminded me of marshmallow flowers (is that even a thing?) - a sweet, oddly spicy smell.  Did not like.  

I would not recommend this shampoo.  It was not a nice product to use, and it didn't perform well on my hair.  Thumbs down I'm afraid.

Cheers everyone, 

Clara xx

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My new fave portable lip balm

Hi all, 

here with quite a nice lip balm to review for you.  It's Roc's Enydrial Lip Balm.  I picked this up in a set at Shoppers Drug Mart.  The cost of the lip balm on it's own is about $6.  Here is an image:


I really, really enjoyed this lip balm.  It comes in a convenient Nivea-Esque little tube.  I had two:  one in my everyday makeup bag, and the other in the makeup bag in my school bag.  Bag bag bag.  Bag.  Anyway, the portability of this was very good:  much more convenient than Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream (that product is nothing to scoff at, mind you).  It has no scent, flavour or colour.  The texture was slightly softer than the Nivea kiss of milk and honey, but more solid than coconut oil.  It did a very nice job of keeping my lips moisturized.  

I would certainly recommend this product.  It's just a very effective lip treatment that doesn't muck around with colours or shimmers or anything like that.  I enjoyed having it around.  

go and check it out if, like me, the winter is hard on your lips!

xx clara

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Review: Nuxe Comforting Cleansing Milk with Rose Petals

Another makeup removing product review here! Clara and I seem to be doing a lot of those recently...anyways, I recently finished the Nuxe Comforting Cleansing Milk with Rose Petals. I bought this for $20 from Shoppers Drug Mart. It contains 200mL of product, or 6.7 fl oz. It's a makeup remover for face, eyes and lips.

Here she is:




I use this after I remove the bulk of my makeup with a makeup wipe. I use about 2-3 pumps and work that into a dry face to remove the rest of my makeup. I really like to scrub hard for a couple minutes to really break down the makeup. Then I use a face cotton pad to wipe it off. Then I wash my face with the Avene Gentle Gel cleanser (which I love and am on my third bottle). 

All in all, I really love this product. It has a soft rose scent, which I love. More importantly, it gets rid of all the residue makeup that's leftover on my face even after I use the makeup wipe (so gross that I used to just skip this step and go right to washing my face!!). I definitely feel a residue on the skin after I wipe it off though. However, since I wash my face right after anyways, that's not an issue for me. It's gentle and does not irritate my skin. No parabens or SLS. It's on the pricey side, but I think it's well worth the price. I'm not a huge fan of the micellar solutions for makeup removal, and this just feels nice and luxurious. I've already repurchased it! 

deema xx

Thursday, February 14, 2013

hand wash: baylis & harding in review

Hi all, 

here with a finished hand wash to review for you.  My roommate and I go through an insane amount of hand wash, so I figure I may as well review them for you!  We recently finished up the Baylis & Harding hand wash in French Lavender.  Here she is:

BMHWFL

This was a Christmas gift, so I'm not sure how much it cost.  I found this hand wash a little underwhelming.  The scent was very delicate, too much so.  It was an accurate lavender scent, but it wasn't strong enough.  This product lathered well but wasn't too drying.  

All in all, I wouldn't go out of my way to purchase this again.  The goal with hand wash is delish scent + cheap + not drying.  This was free and non-drying, but the scent just wasn't there for me.

cheers all, 

Clara 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bioderma Sebium H20 Micellaire Solution in review

Hi all, 

here with a product to review for you....a big 'un in fact.  I finished up the Bioderma Sebium H20 micellaire solution - all 500 mL of it.  I picked this up for $30 at Shoppers.  It lasted me a good eleven months.  I used this primarily as an eye makeup remover.  I would use it as a general face cleanser in the only the most desperate of times.  I like a rinse away method better.  Here is a pic:


The funny thing about this product is that at $30 for 500 mL it is actually very good value for money.  It's on par with Neutrogena, cost-wise.  So there's that.  It did a fairly good job of removing eye makeup.  I would moisten a cotton pad and press it against my eye for 30 seconds (tops) and all eyeshadow would be gone.  The mascara would cling to roots of my lashes still.  I can't say that it was 100% effective at removing eye makeup for that reason.  It generally did not irritate my eyes.  It was not, NOT greasy. 

Bottom line, if you're a makeup lover you need an eye makeup remover.  It simply isn't going to fly to walk around with the residue of last night's smokey eye migrating around your face. You may as well get a remover that does the job right.  I don't think that this one did a perfect job. But if you're very anti oil this might be nice.  The price point wasn't terrible.  That said, I won't repurchase.  

All best

Clara xx   

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Kiss my face: peaceful patchouli shower gel REVIEWED

Hi all, 

here with a shower gel to review for you.  I recently finished Kiss My Face`s shower gel in "Peaceful Patchouli".  I paid $11.95 for this at my local health foods store.  It is quite readily available - you can get it at the organic section in Loblaws.  Here she is:
It took me about 2 months to get through this.  I had to use quite a lot of product during each shower since it didn't lather very well.  But I loved LOVED lovvvvvvvvvvved the scent.  It smelled like dirt, basically. But somehow that just rocked.  I loved using this in the bath.  Soaking in that you're-out-for-hike scent was just the best.  

This guy is sulfate and paraben free.  

I think if I were to repurchase, I would use this exclusively as a bath product.  It wasn't a good shower gel:  there wasn't enough lather going on so it ran out quickly.  It wouldn't produce tons of bubbles in a bath but would be worth it for the scent alone (if you ask me!)

cheers everyone, 

clara xx

Monday, January 7, 2013

Review: Almay Get up and Grow Mascara

Hello hello, here's another finished product review.

Now, one of my favourite things to buy is drug store mascara. It's affordable (compared to a lot of other beauty items), drug store is just as good as high end mascara a lot of the time, and I go through it pretty quickly so I get to experiment with lots of different brands/products. This time I used the Almay one coat get up & grow mascara in blackest black. I read quite a few good reviews on this, one of which likened it to the Georgio Armani Eyes to Kill mascara. So I picked it up a few months ago. 

Here's what it looks like: 

Now, the wand in that picture is perfectly straight. Mine, however, somehow bent. This sounds bad, but it actually made application much easier. The wand isn't huge, which I like because it tends to get messy otherwise (I don't know why, but I'm the worst at applying mascara- it just always gets on my eyelid). I wasn't a huge fan of the formula when I first bought it, I thought it was okay but nothing special. But once it started to dry a bit (maybe a few weeks of use in), I really started to love it. It gives a really nice, natural, feathered look to the lashes. It is not clumpy at all (I hate clumpy lashes more than anything).My lashes never felt heavy or hard. It didn't smudge. This gave me decent volume, but it really lengthens your lashes without looking fake.  

Basically this is a great every day mascara. You can definitely build it up, but usually on nights out I layered another mascara on top (a sample of hourglass' film noir mascara that I got from Sephora). 

This is a mascara I would definitely repurchase as a good every day mascara for a more natural look. When I went to Pharma Plus to repurchase it however, something else caught my eye (nyx doll eyes) and so I decided to give that a go instead. This is still a fantastic mascara that I would most definitely recommend. 

Deema xx


Friday, January 4, 2013

What makes a shower gel one which I won't buy again?

Well, I've finished a shower gel which I won't ever bother to purchase.  Sadly, it's made by my current favourite skin care brand La Roche Posay.  I finished their Physiological Shower-Gel.  This came as a free gift when my sister purchased a bottle of their Physiological Cleansing Gel for combination skin (love).  It had a respectable 100 mL.  Here is an image:

Physiological Shower-gel

This product was just so BORING.  It has a very mild fragrance, and no dyes.  It's bottle is quite "clinical" looking - this certainly isn't masquerading as a natural, rainforesty, Inca-secret-botanical kind of body wash (looking at YOU body shop).  Rather, it is a very basic and no nonsense cleanser.  Which, I mean, great.  Don't hide what you are I guess.  And body washes don't NEED to have bells and whistles.  As a rinse away product they don't need to be complicated.  Still though - I like a body wash to smell good and lather nicely.  I like for it not to contain sulfates (this one does).  I like for it not to contain parabens (which this one doesn't - yay).  I like, too, for it to be affordable.  This one was free #winning.  I wouldn't purchase though.  Too boring in the scent department + the sulfate issue.  

cheers all, 

Clara

Ureaka! Hand cream, reviewed

Hi all, 

I finished Ureaka! hand cream a while ago and there is no time like the present to review it.  It is a 10% urea based, paraben free hand cream.  It was around $15 for 100 mL at Shoppers Drug Mart. I used it at least once a day, everyday for about six months.  It had no fragrance or dyes.  

Here she is:
Ureaka Healing Hand Cream
I really liked this hand cream, mostly.  I did a really excellent job at moisturizing my hands.  It was also remarkably non-greasy.  The company really promotes itself as paraben free, which I appreciate.  Now, I like my hand creams to have a little "pizazz" and this product was about as simple as it gets.  I would have appreciated a delicious scent, or even some lovely packaging.  But no.  Plain plain plain.  

Would I repurchase?  In time - sure.  This product was very effective, if a little boring.  If they come out with a scented version I will be allllllll over it.  I would definitely recommend this to anyone though:  especially people with sensitive skin.  Here is the website if you're interested:  click here  

cheers all!
Clara

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Reviewed: Organix Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner

Happy New Year everyone! Hopefully this year I'll find more time to review products while I'm at school. I recently finished the Organix Moroccan Argan Oil Conditioner. 

image via organix.com


I bought this from Shoppers for about $7 I believe. It's 380mL. This smells absolutely divine, and the scent really lasts on the hair. It is sulfate and paraben free- yay! And basically, I love this. It really makes my hair look and feel very healthy. I don't put this at my roots, because I don't really need to. My ends are what really need the extra moisture- especially in the winter time. This really helps with dryness, my hair simply feels great after each and every use. The only downside is that it is relatively expensive for a drugstore conditioner. But considering my hair's biggest issue is its dryness, I'm ok with spending a few extra dollars for a drug store product. Especially when high end conditioner is much more expensive. I've already repurchased this conditioner and I'm generally very happy to add it to my hair care regimen. 

Deema xx


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

a sucky SPF lip balm in review

Hi all, 

here today to review Blistex's Five Star Lip Protection.  I cannot remember how much I paid for this (I purchased it in spring 2011) but I do remember that I purchased it at Shoppers Drug Mart.  I bought it because it provides an SPF 30 - I thought this would be great for travelling purposes when you're out in the sun all the time.  Well, mehhhhhhhhhhh.  It just wasn't great.  My lips didn't get sunburned, but they also weren't moisturized by this balm.  It left a whitecast on my lips upon application.  This faded during wear....probably along with the SPF.  Here is a picture of the product:

I initially kept this in my backpack during my travels, and then retired it to my daily makeup bag to slather on my lips as I did my makeup each morning.  I wouldn't repurchase this since it did such a poor job of moisturizing my lips.  If I'm in the mood for some SPF I'll turn to my Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in rose...

cheers!

Clara

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