Sephora birthday gifts 2017 | Beauty Insider

    Sephora birthday gifts 2017 beauty insider

    I go back and fourth on my love for Sephora, but I have to admit: they are killing it with their Sephora birthday gifts for Beauty Insiders this year. (I am so over their “all Asian cultures are “close enough” to be categorized as K-Beauty” stance, though.)

    Someone at Sephora has wizened up to the fact that makeup addicts ≠ skincare addicts, and it’s reflected in this year’s gifts. There are now three different gift sets that Beauty Insiders can pick up during their birthday month: one makeup, and two skincare.

    Sephora bi gifts 2017

    As current Beauty Insiders will know, gifts can be picked up two weeks before or after your birthday, and no purchase is necessary. (Which is great if you’re on a birthday month no-buy!) Each gift contains a duo of deluxe sample-sized products.

    Sephora birthday gifts for makeup lovers

    Tarte birthday suit tarteist lip paint swatch review

    The BI pros went nude for this year’s Sephora birthday gifts, with two popular products from Tarte. The makeup gift set includes Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Paaarty and Tarteist Creamy Matte Lip Paint in Birthday Suit. Both are a mauvey-nude.

    I really like the baked Tarte Amazonian Clay blush formula, which is just a really reliable, no-nonsense formula. This shade in particular is well-pigmented, but the formula is a little dusty. I also really like birthday nudity, so good work, Tarte. (Birthday suits: the only comfortable way to do a birthday.)

    Tarte tarteist birthday suit swatch review

    Tarte paaarty amaon clay 12 hour blush swatch review

    Tarte Paaarty Amazonian Clay Blush, Birthday Suit Tarteist Lip Paint swatches

    Sephora birthday gifts for skincare junkies

    I’ve never understood why skincare is a distinct category from men’s skincare, but hey, that’s the beauty industry for you! 2017’s Sephora birthday gifts for skincare junkies feature Caudalie (available in stores and online) and Jack Black (online only).

    Caudalie vinoperfect serum, vinosource sorbet review

    The Caudalie set includes the Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet and Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, both of which are silicone-free. I’ve used both in the past, and I think they’re best for normal to dry skin. They weren’t hydrating enough for my super-dry skin, but they’re well-loved by the beauty community.

    Jack Black Clean Break, Deep Dive

    The Jack Black birthday gifts feature the brand’s Clean Break Oil-Free Moisturizer (which contains silicones) and Deep Dive Glycolic Facial Cleanser. Both products are made for normal to oily skin, because the beauty industry is nonsensically gendered like that.

    Also worth noting that the Jack Black tubes contain 3x as much product as the Caudalie ones. (See again: nonsensically gendered.) If you have oily skin, take advantage of the fact that men automatically get more for their money and go for the Jack Black set! If you don’t, come despair at the state of the world with me. I promise lots of crying and cuddles.

    Sign up for the Beauty Insider program here to make sure you get your Sephora birthday gift this year.


    A little break…

    Vega sport protein fudge

    Hey folks! theNotice is going on a tiny little hiatus this week, with posts recommencing next Monday.

    …Maybe the Monday after that at the VERY latest.

    I’m having a rough patch with my health, so I’m taking a few days to catch up on life before getting back down to work. In the meantime, here are a few great posts from around the web that I think you’ll really enjoy!

    • My friend Paris at My Women Stuff is celebrating her 10th anniversary with a big giveaway!
    • Arianne is back in the blogging game with a new post on The Glitter Geek.
    • If you want a post that covers Too Faced, “rave glitter,” and kitty love all at once, Makeup and Beauty Blog has you covered. (Also, can we please talk about Karen’s little Coywolf? Because I love her.)


    And if you want more of theNotice without getting, you know, more of theNotice, here are a few posts that I’ve written recently for Best Buy Canada. I’m really proud of the way that the photos and videos came out for each, so I hope you enjoy reading them!

    What’s something that you’ve done as an act of self-care recently? 


    Green Beaver Natural Deodorant Stick review, photos

    Green Beaver deodorant review comparison photos

    The product: Green Beaver Natural Deodorant Stick in Unscented, Tea Tree, and Vetiver

    As much as I wish every product I review for theNotice could be a hit, sometimes, reality sets in. Not every product is going to work for every person, and unfortunately, the Green Beaver Deodorant formula just didn’t work for me.

    The Green Beaver Deodorant promise

    Green Beaver is a Canadian company that makes all natural, ecocert, cruelty-free products. They’re a relatively small company, and they’re based out of Hawkesbury, Ontario.

    Green beaver tea tree deodorant review comparison

    My first introduction to Green Beaver was their toothpaste, which I used on and off growing up. I went off of it in my late teens, but Green Beaver is a brand that I always loop back around to, like some kind of weird, extended Groundhog Day.

    This time, I was looking for an aluminum-free, silicone-free deodorant to feature on theNotice. Green Beaver makes quite a few, and they’re formulated to deliver 24 hour odour control. The Green Beaver deodorant formula features Canadian-grown labrador tea (a favourite ingredient of fellow Canadian brand Lise Watier) and sage oil to fight odours.

    Gren Beaver vetiver deodorant review

    The Green Beaver Deodorant results

    I tested all three of the Green Beaver Deodorants that I was sent on both Boyfriend and I for months. But every time, I reached the same results: they just don’t work with our body chemistry.

    I was hoping that the added essential oils in Tea Tree would be enough to battle any extra odours, but it just didn’t work out that way. These actually made my sweat smell. I usually have no body odour at all, but when I use these, I’m noticeably smelly by midday.

    Boyfriend had the same results, but to a lesser degree. He really liked the smell of Tea Tree (it’s a very pure, clean tea tree scent), and will sometimes use it on his days off. At work or at the gym, though, he sweats through the Green Beaver deodorants within an hour. His sweatiness is his superpower, and one day, it’s going to help him escape from a dastardly plot.

    Green Beaver unscented deodorant review photos

    The verdict?

    I really enjoyed the stick format of these deodorants, and I love how easy they are to find in Canada. For those with sensitive armpits, the Green Beaver deodorant formula is non-irritating and smoothly textured. Vetiver is definitely my favourite scent (it’s very earthy and masculine), and Boyfriend loves Tea Tree.

    However, the Green Beaver deodorant blend of labrador tea and sage oil wasn’t enough to combat odours on my partner and I. He’s just as smelly with these as he is without, and I’m typically more smelly with them than I would be without. I know I’ll come back to Green Beaver again, but these deodorants are a miss for me.

    Availability: $5.99 CAD each at Green Beaver. Green Beaver can also be found at most natural health food stores across Canada and online at both and iHerb.

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    Make Up For Ever Artist Acrylip review, swatches: 200, 501, 600

    make up for ever artist acrylip

    The product: Make Up For Ever Artist Acrylip Lip Paint in 200 Candy Pink, 501 Eggplant, and 600 Dark Purple

    I’m really into products with unexpected textures, finishes, or formats, so the Make Up For Ever Artist Acrylip launch is one that I’ve been waiting on for a while.

    Make Up For Ever Acrylip 200 candy pink review swatch

    The promise

    Make Up For Ever markets their Artist Acrylip line as a “lip paint,” with the “rich intensity of acrylic paint” and a “lightweight, non-sticky formula.” The formula is pigmented with triple ground pigments and synthetic mica.

    The Artist Acrylip Lip Paints also feature castor seed oil for comfort and hydration, silica gel for a smooth finish, and clay to keep the texture light but non-greasy. Currently, the range features 10 shades, which I find are mostly cool-toned.

    Artist Acrylip candy pink, eggplant, dark purple swatches review

    Make Up For Ever Artist Acrylip lip swatches: 200, 200 / 501, 600

    Make up for ever Acrylip 200, 501, 600 swatches

    Make Up For Ever Artist Acrylip Lip Paint swatches in 200 Candy Pink, 501 Eggplant, and 600 Dark Purple. Indirect sunlight.

    The results

    I really wanted to love these, but… I just didn’t. It’s a response that I’ve heard from many other beauty bloggers, and as much as I adore the shades that these are available in, I really struggle to wear them.

    200 Candy Pink is a very dense, editorial bubblegum pink, but its formula is thick and chalky. I’ve swatched it both heavily and lightly here, but I don’t think my photos do it justice. It caught on every dry bit of skin on my lips, and left me looking like I enjoy making out with silly putty in my spare time.

    Make Up For Ever 501 eggplant review

    Make Up For ever Artist Acrylip review – 501 Eggplant

    make up for ever acrylip swatch review

    Make Up For ever Artist Acrylip review – 501 Eggplant. See those darker patches?

    501 Eggplant is a shade that gives me pause, because I had a lot of difficulties wearing it. It’s a beautiful shade and a relatively comfortable texture, but it also catches on my dry bits. Because it acts like a thin stain, it tints them darker than the rest of my lip, and looks patchy overall.

    I love the shade itself, though, and I wore it in February’s makeup look. But even from a distance, you can see the patchiness if you look closely.

    Make up for ever artist acrylip review

    Make Up For Ever Artist Acrylip review – 600 Dark Purple

    Make Up For Ever Artist Acrylip review 600 dark purple

    Make Up For Ever Artist Acrylip in 600 Dark Purple

    Finally, 600 Dark Purple is a makeup junkie’s dream shade. It’s inky, flattering, and unique, and it acts the most like an actual acrylic paint.

    Acrylics aren’t made for the lips, though, and it seems like Dark Purple isn’t, either. While 201 Candy Pink was too thick, this Artist Acrylip is too thin. No matter how much or how little you apply, it pools unevenly on the lips.

    make up for ever artist acrylip lip paint review

    The Make Up For Ever Artist Acrylip verdict

    As cool as I think the Make Up For Ever Artist Acrylips are, these are one Make Up For Ever product that I can’t recommend. There is enormous variation in the texture of the product by shade, and none of them seem to get it quite right.

    If you’re determined to try an Artist Acrylip paint all the same, I would direct you to 501 Eggplant. It may not be my dream texture, but it sure is my dream shade!

    Availability: $18 USD/$23 CAD at Sephora.

    Note – as I was writing this post, the Artist Acrylip Lip Paints were marked down from $24 USD/$29 CAD, which is their listed price. No word as of yet on whether the current pricing is permanent.

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    Affordable sex toys: Come As You Are’s March Mayhem sale

    Favourite sex toys CAYA

    This past Thursday, I went off on a little digression about affordability in makeup. Today, I’ve have the same thoughts circulating around in my head–but about sex toys.

    It’s so important to me to feature products for every budget on theNotice, but when it comes to sex toys, that can be really tough. Here more so than anything else, you get what you pay for.

    On the whole, features like a rechargeable battery, a great motor, and a waterproof design come at a cost, and those costs are usually passed on to the consumer. That’s why site-wide sales, like this month’s March Mayhem sale at Come As You Are, are so exciting. They help make sex toys accessible to everyone, and I’ll sometimes wait all year for a sale like this before buying something that I’ve had my eye on.

    (Speaking of which… I just bought the double-sided, doubly-discounted Aslan Leather Pleasure Harness from this sale. I can’t wait to try it out!)

    Vibrator picks affordable sex toys

    Get affordable sex toys at CAYA’s March Mayhem sale

    CAYA’s March Mayhem sale features 30% off all sex toys, condoms, lubes, massage products, and sale items with the code ANNIVERSARY. It also covers 50% off all DVDs, and shipping is free over orders of $50 (Canada) or $100 (US).

    If you already know what you want to buy, then here are some super easy links for you to shop through!

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