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    Saje Pain Release Analgesic Bath Salts review, photos

    Saje pain release bath salts review

    The product: Saje Pain Release Analgesic Bath Salts

    Once upon a time, I was a bath-hater. I’ll admit it: we all make mistakes. I started taking baths again last year to use up the Saje Pain Release Analgesic Bath Salts that Boyfriend gave me, but up until that point, I thought they were a waste of time.

    How to use the Saje Pain Release Bath Salts

    The Saje Pain Release Bath Salts are designed to ease “muscular aches, strains and stiffness” with a blend of essential oils, sea salt, and epsom salt. You add barely anything into each bath (Saje recommends 3-5 teaspoons added to a full bath), close the bathroom door, and let the essential oils envelop you.

    Saje pain release analgesic bath salts review

    Do the Saje Pain Release Analgesic Bath Salts actually work?

    Honestly? I don’t find that these bath salts make a huge difference for me. What really impacts my pain levels is lying in a tubful of scalding hot water–emphasis on the scalding.

    If I take a comfortably-warm bath, it doesn’t seem to do anything for my pain levels. But if I take a bath that’s so hot that it’s uncomfortable, my pain levels go way down. The key is getting the water hot enough that it hurts when I first get in the tub, and so hot that I then sweat my way through the rest of my bath.

    So no, I guess these bath salts aren’t a must-have for me. However, they’re a really nice addition to a bath, and I love how little you have to use each time. My little baggie of bath salts has lasted me ages, and I’d say that it was well worth the price. 

    Availability: $7.95 CAD at Saje.

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    Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Glow (#GlowMo) review, swatches, makeup look

    Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look palette review - Beauty Glow

    The product: Charlotte Tilbury “Beauty Glow” Instant Look in a Palette

    If you’ve been on Instagram recently, you’ve probably at least heard murmurs about the #GLOWMO palette. Also known as the Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Glow Palette, Charlotte’s new #GLOWMO collection is all about glowing, bronzed skin.

    I’m not usually a fan of bronzed looks, but Beauty Glow has seen daily use since I cracked it open. What can I say? It really is just perfect for a five-minute face, and um… I’m incredibly lazy.

    Charlotte Tilbury Instant Look Beauty Glow palette review

    The Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Glow (#GLOWMO) palette – review

    The #GLOWMO magic of the Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Glow palette

    The Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Glow palette was inspired by the makeup that Charlotte did on fair-skinned Poppy Delevigne for her wedding, so you know it’ll be perfect for the blonde-haired, blue-eyed section of the population.

    Summer bronze makeup look Charlotte Tilbury

    Charlotte Tilbury #GLOWMO makeup look. Also used: Annabelle Skinny Brow Liner & Amaterasu Brow Liner, Clarins Instant Light Natural Lip Perfector in Pink Grapefruit ($26 USD, review upcoming)

    Despite its inspiration, however, Beauty Glow works well on a lot of skintones. It gives me a summery, super-sculpted look in seconds (I’ve got a bit of a summer tan, so I’m a “light” in most shade ranges instead of a “fair,”) and it’s beautiful on both of the “Beautiful Before, Beautiful After” model on the Charlotte Tilbury website.

    The palette is full of “rose-gold, bronze tones,” and it really excels at delivering a contoured cheek.  But like, in a weirdly-friendly way? Something about summery makeup just looks so cheerful–my cheeks sculpted, but also like they’re fuller than usual.

    Although that may have been the three pounds I’ve put on since the start of summer. Who knows! Either way, I’ve been looking cheerful enough that it’s starting to freak me out!

    Charlotte Tilbury makeup look bronze summer

    Charlotte Tilbury GlowMo Beauty Glow Palette swatches

    The Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Glow shades

    The #GLOWMO Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Glow Instant Look in a Palette contains three eye shades, two cheek shades, and two face shades.

    The eyeshadows include a shimmery champagne; a shimmery light brown; and a warm, matte brown. For the cheeks, the #GLOWMO palette contains a rusty-brown “swish” and a bright, coral “pop.” For the face, it features a light, neutral bronzer and an ivory highlighter.

    Charlotte Tilbury palette review Beauty Glow glowmo

    The Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Glow Palette verdict?

    I’ve had the opportunity to try out a number of Charlotte Tilbury products, but this is the first one to work its way into my everyday rotation. I’m really enjoying using the Charlotte Tilbury Beauty Glow palette, and for those of you who love a “summer bronzed” look, I think you’ll enjoy it, too!

    It’s definitely a warmer-toned palette than I’m used to, but it just screams “SUMMER!”

    Availability: $85 CAD at Charlotte Tilbury (CA), $75 USD at Nordstrom.

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    Travel-sized beauty: How many ml to pack for a month-long trip

    Daqingshan mountain

    Travel packing is one of those things that has always been tough for me. I always know what to pack, but I never know how much to pack. So, when I headed off to Daqingshan Mountain in China for just shy of four weeks this past May, I took the opportunity to pack some travel-sized beauty products to see what would and wouldn’t be enough.

    And guess what? I didn’t run out of a single item while I was there.

    Daqingshan Mountain china review

    Daqing mountain temple

    It’s tough to travel-size your makeup, so what I focused on for this trip was taking the right sizes of the big stuff. Things like shampoo bottles and moisturizers can take up a ton of space in your suitcase, and I’m an over-packer to begin with. Unless I want to start hauling six suitcases around, I’ve gotta go small where I can.

    (Insert short person joke here. But hey, the joke’s on all you tall people, because I can comfortably fit in airline seats!)

    Travel-sized beauty essentials

    Travel-sized beauty: Bath, body, and hair products

    I brought along a LUSH Shampoo Bar and their Veganese Hair Conditioner, neither of which I particularly love at home – but they performed like champs while I was away. The Shampoo Bar doubled as a satisfactory soap/shaving cream and bath foam when I tried it, too.

    Travel-sized haircare how much to take

    I’d estimate that 100 ml of conditioner will last you 2 months if you’re using lots (Veganese is pretty thin) and washing your hair every other day. One shampoo bar will last you a lot longer; I’d say half a year or more.

    For my body, I brought a travel-sized Bioderma Atoderm Gentle Shower Gel. I found that I used about as much shower gel as I did conditioner, so 100 ml will last you 2 months if you’re showering every other day. Atoderm lathers lightly, and works well with the Venus Snap with Embrace that I brought with me.

    Travel sized razor Venus Snap

    The Snap is tiny, even in my little gremlin hands, and it makes a weird squeaking noise against my skin, sort of like it’s happy to be alive but really unhappy to be at work. It also delivers a crazy-smooth shave, though, so I’m not really complaining. I can torture razors for that.

    I also (and I swear this wasn’t intentional) brought along a 100 ml moisturizer. The Karen Phytoplankton Moisturizing Lotion is a little light for me in Edmonton, but it was just right for China. This one’s close to being empty, so I’d say 100 ml of moisturizer will last about 4-5 weeks. (Karen is currently offering 40% off every order on their website until the end of the year with code KAREN4BLOGGERS, so snap this one up now!)

    Daqingshan International Hotel review

    Sunscreen (which I totally over-packed)

    I knew I’d be spending a lot of time outdoors in China, so I brought along two things of spray-on sunscreen and one stick. I have yet to find an affordable cream/lotion sunscreen that’s also silicone-free, but let me know if you can think of any!

    Travel sunscreen silicone-free

    Neutrogena Beach Defence SPF 60 is my go-to sunscreen, and this is my third bottle of it. It’s cheap and effective, but it’s still sunscreen, so it’s a little sticky and quite perfumed. I also brought along the super-smooth Neutrogena UltraSheer Face & Body Stick SPF 50+ for midday sunscreening.

    On days when I knew I wouldn’t have time to shower off my sunscreen before meals, I used Ombrelle SPF 60 Sport, which is also silicone-free. It has a very low scent profile for a sunscreen, but I don’t know–for some reason, it just wasn’t as effective for me. I consistently picked up a bit of colour every time I used this, even though I applied until I was dripping and rubbed it in.

    Daqingshan pagoda

    Itty-bitty face care

    I wasn’t sure how much facial moisturizer to bring either, so I brought my full-sized Aveeno Fresh Essentials SPF 30. For the night, I also brought a tiny tube of my nighttime fave, DHC Extra Nighttime Moisture.

    This mini (0.28 oz/8 g) tube lasted for all 3 1/2 weeks. It feels pretty light, so to be on the safe side, I’d recommend expecting that 8 grams of moisturizer will last you 4 weeks.

    What are your travelling must-haves?

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    We-Vibe Touch review, photos: Why I’d skip the We-Vibe Touch

    We-Vibe Touch Waterproof Silicone Vibrator

    The product: We-Vibe Touch Waterproof Silicone Vibrator

    I can’t give you one reason as to why I hate the We-Vibe Touch, but I hate the We-Vibe Touch. It’s an amalgamation of little things, I suppose. I’ve had this toy for a good 12 months, and I’ve gotten blocked every other time I’ve tried to review it.

    We-vibe clitoral vibrator review

    The We-Vibe Touch specs

    The We-Vibe Touch Waterproof Silicone Vibrator is described as an “ultra-powerful, silky-soft intimate massager.” It promises rumbly vibrations and whisper-quiet operation, with 8 vibration modes (4 speeds and 4 patterns on high). It features the same base as the We-Vibe Tango, so it also has a 1-button control and charges via the same adapter. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if the Touch and the Tango turned out to feature the exact same motor and controls, just with a different housing.

    The Touch is free of phtalates, latex, and BPA, and is made from medical-grade silicone. Its production is carbon-neutral and it features a rechargeable battery and fully recyclable packaging. It promises up to 2 hours of play on a 90-minute recharge.

    We-Vibe Touch Waterproof Silicone Vibrator review

    My (conflicted) feelings on the We-Vibe Touch

    In theory, I really should have liked the We-Vibe Touch. It hits all of my main points: a relatively rumbly motor (though not as rumbly or as strong as the Tango bullet), quiet enough to use discreetly behind a closed door, a silicone body, a rechargeable battery, and a waterproof casing. The shape is unique; perhaps better for some, but just fine for me. And when it works, it works well, delivering (for me) strong, full-bodied orgasms.

    Despite all of that, I hate this toy.

    Waterproof silicone vibrator review

    The more I use the We-Vibe Touch, the harder it is for me to get off with it. And it’s not like it’s “desensitizing” me (or whatever nonsense right-wingers will tell you about vibrators). Rather, because it fails on me so often, I get more and more timid each time I use it. It’s difficult enough for me to focus on sex to begin with; the added layer of anxiety makes orgasming nigh-impossible.

    My We-Vibe Touch acts now how my first We-Vibe Tango did after 2 years. Its battery life is inconsistent, and it can’t really hold a charge. I have to charge it and then use it immediately, because it’s always dead by the next day. I’ve had it last anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes on medium/high immediately following a charge, and every now and again, I’ll charge it and it simply won’t turn on.

    We-Vibe Touch review

    The verdict on the We-Vibe Touch?

    A few of the reviews on the SheVibe site mention that the battery life of the We-Vibe Touch doesn’t last as long as promised, so I’m hesitant to say that my product was simply faulty. But even if it was… Does that matter? I’ve owned four toys from We-Vibe, and I’ve had the same issues with two of them.

    Come on, We-Vibe. If you’re going to retail at $99 USD for a single clit vibe, you need to have better quality control.

    I’ll be posting about the We-Vibe Tango again soon, so get hyped for that! But in the meantime, my verdict on the We-Vibe Touch is “soft pass.” The motor and shape of this toy are excellent for both broad and pinpoint stimulation, as long as you like your vibrations strong, but the circuit board and battery leave something to be desired.

    Availability: $99 USD at SheVibe, who graciously sent this in for me to try out. (Sorry that I hated it, SheVibe.)

    Other retailers: $84.99 USD at Lovehoney, $119 USD at We-Vibe, $93.99 USD at PinkCherry.com, $114.99 CAD at PinkCherry.ca.

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    Burt’s Bees Lipstick review, swatches, photos

    Burt's Bees lipstick review

    The product: Burt’s Bees Lipstick in 513 Doused Rose, 524 Wine Wave, 522 Crimson Coast, and 533 Orchid Ocean 

    The new Burt’s Bees Lipsticks are available in 18 shades, and the shade range is surprisingly good for a drugstore range. There aren’t any wild colours, but the range contains a good mix of non-zombie nudes, punchy pinks/oranges/reds, and a few really satisfying berries.

    (Non-zombie nudes: the only kind of nudes you ever want to see, for either interpretation of the word “nude.” Unless that’s your thing.) (IT IS NOT MY THING. I AM WEAK OF SPIRIT AND EASILY FRIGHTENED.)

    Burt's Bees lipstick review packaging

    The Burt’s Bees Lipstick formula & packaging review

    I’ve heard some complaints about this packaging (it’s awkwardly long, and has a tendency to crush the lipstick tips), but I really like it. It’s easy to pick these lipsticks out of the bunch, and they’re made from 100% recyclable #5 plastic (60% post-consumer).

    Plus, look at those ‘lil honeycombs! They’re so cute!

    Burt's Bees lipstick review, photos, swatches

    I find the new Burt’s lipstick formula to be very hydrating for a lipstick, but too slippery overall. The colour slides everywhere on me, and fades fast. I end up with a noticeable ring of colour and gunky outer corners within the hour.

    I had high hopes for this formula, because it’s 100% natural and really affordable, but no matter what I did, I just couldn’t seem to make them work for me.

    Burt's Bees lipstick swatches

    Burt’s Bees Lipstick swatches (one coat, indirect sunlight)

    Burt’s Bees Lipstick “513 Doused Rose” swatches

    513 Doused Rose is the lightest of the Burt’s Bees Lipsticks that I was sent to try, and it’s the least glossy of the bunch. It’s a medium-pink with cool yellow undertones and (like the rest of the range) no shimmer. ??????

    Burt's Bees lipstick 524 Wine Wave swatch review

    Burt’s Bees Lipstick in 524 Wine Wave – swatch, review

    Burt’s Bees Lipstick “524 Wine Wave” swatches

    If you want a punchy berry, then 524 Wine Wave is the shade for you. It’s glossy and really well-pigmented, and looks like what would happen if you crossed a berry lipstick with a fuchsia one.

    Burt's Bees Lipstick 522 Crimson Coast swatch review

    Burt’s Bees Lipstick in 522 Crimson Coast swatches, review

    Burt’s Bees Lipstick “522 Crimson Coast” swatches

    The ’90s revival has brought back a lot of brick reds and orange-browns, and 522 Crimson Coast is one of them. It’s a subdued orange-red, so it’s not too orange, but it’s definitely retro. If you’re just dipping your toe into the orange pool (which is hopefully entirely metaphorical), this kind of orange is a great starting point.

    Burt's Bees lipstick 533 Orchid ocean swatch review

    Burt’s Bees Lipstick in 533 Orchid Ocean – swatch, review

    Burt’s Bees Lipstick “533 Orchid Ocean” swatches

    ???????? Despite the unreliability of these lipsticks, I’ve worn 522 Orchid Ocean out and about a number of times.

    I know I “shouldn’t” wear a lipstick that I know is going to fade awkwardly almost immediately, but I can’t help myself. The dark berry of this shade is just so wearable! Thanks perhaps to its medium opacity, Orchid Ocean manages to be dark and moody while still looking totally low-maintenance. 

    Burt's Bees lipstick swatch 513 Doused Rose

    Burt’s Bees Lipstick swatches – 513 Doused Rose, 524 Wine Wave, 522 Crimson Coast, and 533 Orchid Ocean 

    The verdict on Burt’s Bees Lipsticks?

    I love Burt’s Bees, and I feel really badly reviewing this product negatively when I just gave the Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Oil a “skip.” But while these are nicely hydrating… I just don’t like them.

    These lipsticks are very well-reviewed on the Burt’s Bees site, so my feelings on them may well be out of the norm. No matter the shade, they apply really patchily on me, and need to be touched up hourly. My aunt has one of these as well (one of the darker shades), and it wears similarly on her.

    I can see these lipsticks working better in a shade that’s close to your natural lip colour, but otherwise, I say skip them.

    Availability: $8.99 USD/$9.99 CAD at Burt’s Bees, Ulta, and most drugstores and mass market retailers across Canada and the US.

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