The Body Shop Virgin Mojito collection review, photos

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito collection review

The products: The Body Shop Virgin Mojito collection ($9 CAD-$22 CAD)

When I was fifteen, surgery was a cakewalk. Sleep it off in the hospital, grab a burger on the way home, ready for a road trip by Friday. But at 23, and when you find out after the operation that you might not be able to eat normally for up to six weeks? I’m going nuts over here. Telling a Chen she can’t eat is like telling a dog it can’t pee on things. Eating is where I get all of my joy. 

So, I mean, I’ve been hitting the mojitos pretty hard to help cope. Virgin skincare mojitos, that is. (I don’t want to find out what happens when you mix rum with open wounds and morphine.)

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Shower Gel review photos

The scent: I was told that you either love or hate The Body Shop’s new Virgin Mojito scent, but I mean… I love it; my boyfriend loves it; Julie from Swatch and Review and her boyfriend love it; Zoë from Writing Whimsy and Steph from Fun Size Beauty both totally love it.

It’s summery and fresh, and smells like taking a sip of a delicious wall of lime with just a hint of mint and that tart bite of citrus peel. (It’s totally 100% deserving of the cheeky little “NOT FOOD!” labelling.)

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Scrub review photos

In the shower

The Body Shop has offered up two ways for you to get your mojito on in the shower this summer: the Virgin Mojito Shower Gel ($9 CAD) and the Virgin Mojito Body Scrub ($22 CAD).

I’m still trying to figure out if the beads in the mojito body scrub are regular beads or micro beads (the latter of which end up in lakes and rivers, basically just hangin’ out and killin’ fishes), but I have to admit defeat, here: I’m not eco-knowledgeable enough to tell the difference, and I need some help to figure out if I can indulge or if I need to pitch this! 

I’m hoping for the former–didn’t The Body Shop swear off micro beads a few years ago?–because that jelly-like texture looks like waaaay too much fun not to use. 

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Shower Gel review

On the other hand, I’ve been guiltlessly indulging in the Virgin Mojito Shower Gel pretty heavily. The Body Shop’s Shower Gels are possibly my favourite product from the brand — they just always smell so good, and at $9 CAD (or less; a bunch of them are on for $5 right now), they’re so cheap.

I love being able to get a Body Shop scent fix at a price tag that I don’t have to think about (I mean, it’s not exactly Byredo, but is far from drugstore stuff). This tall glass of deliciousness is no exception!

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Butter review photos

After the shower

Coming out of the shower, you have three options: The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Butter ($20 CAD), a classic that has too many ‘cones for me to touch (I used to adore these), the Virgin Mojito Body Splash ($20 CAD), which is delightfully splishy-splashy but honestly kind of a pain to apply (splashes, man. We should have left them behind in the ’90s), and the Virgin Mojito Body Sorbet ($15 CAD).

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Splash review photos

The Body Sorbets are a product that I’m split on. On one hand, they’re $15 (sometimes even less!), and they all, without a doubt, smell awesome. But on the other, they’re just not hydrating — like, even when I get other people to use them, they don’t find them to do a thing. And they pill up like a bad primer if you try to make them hydrate more by applying extra.

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito review

Buuut (and there’s always a but) they’re $15. And silicone-free. And I guarantee you, they are the only tasty-smelling ‘cone-free body lotions that you’re going to be able to find for that price — believe me, I’ve looked.

So, you know. I hate them… and also, I own three. (This was, for interest’s sake, the only one of the three that was a press sample. I bought the other two with my own money and darn it, I was happy to.)

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Sorbet review photos

The verdict?

Out of all of the limited edition collections that The Body Shop has come out with recently, the Virgin Mojito one has been, by far, my favourite. I love the delicious, limey fragrance (it’s so summery!) and I’m quite happy with the product offerings.

My recommendation? Get the shower gel for sure. Then, if you can use silicones, buy the Body Butter. But for those who can’t… get the Body Sorbet instead. You’ll probably hate me for it, but at the same time, you’re totally not going to regret it in the least.

Availability: $9 CAD & up at thebodyshop.ca and The Body Shop stores. Limited edition.

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Reversa Anti-Redness Soothing Care moisturizer review, photos | Currently obsessed with…

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Reversa anti-redness soothing care review

The product: Reversa Anti-Redness Soothing Care moisturizer

So, right now, I’m super into Reversa’s Anti-Redness Soothing Care moisturizer. Made for sensitive/reactive skin (that’s me!), it’s formulated to hit redness on two fronts: one, to reduce flushing and overall redness, and two, to tone down redness with its sheer green tint.

Reversa anti-redness moisturizer review

The formula: Reversa’s Anti-Redness Soothing Care is formulated with Quassia amara extract and vitamin B3 to reduce the appearance of facial redness while replenishing the skin’s moisture barrier. And I… I mean, I really like it.

It’s thin, unscented, and hydrating, and it feels very “neutral” going on — there’s nothing heavy or irritating about it, and no matter how dry my face is, it never makes it sting. I do add a drop or two of oil to this when I use it, but for those with normal to oily skin, this texture will be perfect for you. (My oily-skinned partner really likes the texture of this one!)

Plus, as a few extra cherries on top, it’s silicone- and paraben-free, and it’s made in Canada.

Reversa Anti-Redness Soothing Care swatch

The tint: Okay, okay, okay. So: what makes this moisturizer really special is the green tint that it has to it. And I know; a lot of brands do this, but Reversa has done it well.

The green tinge to this fluid knocks out some of redness in my skin (not all, but a good amount of it), and as an extra-super-bonus, it evens out all of my other imperfections, too. Plus, it never looks chalky, and it doesn’t change the overall hue of my skin — which can be tricky, as I’m already pretty olive to begin with.

Reversa anti-redness soothing care moisturizer review

The verdict?

I can’t remember the last time I said this about a treatment product, but Reversa’s Anti-Redness Soothing Care gets a nice, big, resounding YES! from me! It’s a lovely, lightweight moisturizer that will work well for all skin types and gently treats both the signs and symptoms of redness.

Plus, it very subtly evens out skintone, which I think all of us (redness problems or or not) can use. No, it’s not going to magically erase redness like a high-coverage foundation, but it does a great job of what it’s made for!

Availability: $34 CAD online at Reversa.ca and in Shopper’s Drug Mart locations across Canada. (Frequently on sale at Shopper’s — the last time I was in, it was on for $25.49 CAD all week!)

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Unusual beauty finds | The Edit

Monday, August 24, 2015

The beauty world has been coming out with some pretty cool new innovations this year, so for the newest instalment of The Edit, I’ve selected nine products that have something different about them. They’re mostly skincare (what? I’ve been on a skincare kick this month), but don’t let that fool you: there’s some really nifty stuff coming out of the makeup department, too!

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Beauty Essences

Beauty essences are far from new (they’ve been popular in Korea and the rest of Asia for years), but they’ve been tricky to get ahold of here in North America until just recently. I picked out two for this edit: a classic, the Cremorlab Mineral Treatment Essence ($42 USD), which is now easily accessible outside of Asia thanks to Peach and Lily (get a $10 off code here!); and a personal favourite, the Canadian-made MIYU Beauty Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence ($34 CAD), which touts all the benefits of a traditional beauty essence but applies conveniently as a spray.

Mask On, Mask Off 

I also picked out two cool masks for this feature: one for oily skin, and one for dry. Clinique’s new Pore Refining Solutions Mask ($27 CAD) is one of three masks that the brand is putting out this fall, and targets problem skin with its charcoal-based formula — its muddy-charcoal texture looks super cool coming out of the tube.

On the total opposite end of the spectrum is Odacité’s Hydration Masque ($55 CAD; sample size pictured), which is bright white and is a great choice for dry skin. And, still working off of K-beauty trends, it makes an awesome sleeping mask for those inclined!

!NIOD Copper Amino Isolate, Odacite Hydration Masque

Make-Up Shake-Up 

I love a newfangled makeup product, so I picked out the Shu Uemura Laque Supreme ($35 CAD) and the Annabelle EyeInk2 Mistake-Proof Eyeliner ($10.95 CAD) for this feature. I reviewed the Shu just last week, and have been playing around with the Annabelle — the formula hasn’t been working out for my oily lids, but I love the long, thin, reversible (!!) felt-tip applicator and the built-in double-ended touch-up pen!

Cutting-Edge Technologies 

And, finally, the coolest of the coolest. NIOD (by Deciem) has a new Copper Amino Isolate Serum 1.00% ($60 CAD) available this fall, and it packs a major anti-ageing punch — most brands only bother to put a 0.01 to 0.10% concentration into their products, which doesn’t give you the same effects.

Also from Deciem is a range of drinkables from FOUNTAIN, including this bioavailable hyaluronic acid supplement, The Hyaluronic Molecule ($38 CAD). And, from Estee Lauder, something that’s (also!) altogether new: the New Dimensions Expert Liquid Tape ($70 USD), which creates a thin, flexible layer over the skin that tightens over the course of ten minutes to literally lift and smooth the area!

What’s the coolest beauty product you’ve tried this year?

The Detox Market Scollard St. Toronto tour & haul | BEAUTY DESTINATIONS

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Detox Market Toronto review tour about Scollard St

Tucked away in the heart of Yorkville, just a couple blocks north of Bloor, is The Detox Market’s newest location. A quick five minute walk from the Bay metro station, this tiny Scollard Street shop houses some of the best finds in all-natural and Canadian beauty.

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Lotus Wei The Detox Market Scollard St review

The shop, which opened early July, is narrow but long (and carries about 80% of the brands that the King St. location does, with more products still arriving each week). It’s hidden in a row of gorgeous white storefronts at 96 Scollard St., just above a salon and a stone’s throw from Holt’s.

(And, more importantly, within walking distance to the largest Indigo I have ever seen in my LIFE. We’re talking multi-staircase book buying, people. This is not a drill.)

Detox Market Scollard St Toronto without polarizer

Detox Market Scollard St Toronto hours

May Lindstrom Honey Mud The Detox Market Scollard St review

I was in twice during my trip last month–once to grab these photos and do a little travel haul; once to stock up on Odacité–and walked away each time with lots of great product recommendations and tips.

I make it a habit to ask sales associates what they’re loving whenever I check out a new shop (who better to tell you what’s awesome than the people who’re surrounded by it all day?), and The Detox Market Yorkville was no exception. Marisette recommends Ilia lipsticks, Rahua and Sudsatorium products (both of which I picked up and am LOVING, so thank you, Marisette!), and the Odacité Beautiful Day Moisturizer, which I also really like.

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Odacite Pure Elements serum concentrate review The Detox Market Scollard St

I also took a moment to poke at some of the other Odacité products that I hadn’t tried yet, and here’s what I found:

  • Po+R is definitely the only really viscous oil. However, Moringa + Petitgrain feels really comforting as well (I need to try this!!), and would be a great place to start if your main problem is dryness, not dehydration.
  • Their Blueberry and Jasmine oil is thin, clear, and light. It would be a great starter oil for someone with oilier skin (both Marisette and Kim really love this one!)
  • Their Hydration Mask, according to Marisette, makes an awesome sleeping mask for dry skin. I haven’t tried it out yet, but I have a small sample and I’m gonna give it a go soon!

The Detox Market haul

And, finally: my tiny travel haul! I picked up some Rahua Shampoo and Voluminous Conditioner to start, which my hair is loving (paired with my Klorane dry shampoo, I’ve been going three days between washes!!) I might have to order their regular conditioner online, though — I sniffed the volume line in-store and it was totally fine, but something about it makes my stomach turn when I wash with it.

I also picked up Sudsatorium’s Dirty Thirty bar soap, which I’ve been dying to try ever since they released it for Laura’s 30th birthday. It is, as expected, divine: coffee-scented and super scrubby, with a thick, non-stripping lather. Marisette also threw in some Rahua samples (so I can try a regular-regular wash and the voluminous-voluminous wash), the aforementioned Odacité mask, and the line’s new Hand & Heel Therapy, which is supposed to be great for dry hands!

The Detox Market Toronto review tour Scollard St green beauty

Have you been to the new Detox Market yet? What’s your favourite beauty boutique?

Guerlain Boutique & Institute Toronto photos, Complete Facial review | BEAUTY DESTINATIONS

Monday, August 10, 2015

Guerlain Yorkville Toronto Boutique and Institute review

The most unexpected adventure I’ve taken so far this year was a trek into the gorgeous, glossy depths into Toronto’s Guerlain Boutique & Institute at 110 Bloor Street West.

I wandered in one fine Tuesday, expecting to just take a quick sniff of Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille–could it really be as gorgeous as I remembered? (Spoiler: it is, and then some.)–and walked out with some seriously sharp bronzer and a facial appointment for that Friday.

Guerlain Boutique Toronto tour review

The Boutique 

As a fragrance junkie, the only thing you need to know about Guerlain boutiques is this: there is only one in Canada, and it contains all of the brand’s current fragrances…

Les Exclusifs and all.

Guerlain les exclusifs perfumes

From bee bottles to tailor-made fragrances (you know, if you have a year, time for a trip to Paris, and a spare $75 000 lying around), this is the place to be. The staff here know everything there is to know about Guerlain’s recent launches as well as their classics, and can tell you about everything from Guerlinade to Theirry Wasser (Guerlain’s in-house perfumer).

Scents you must try while you’re there:

Guerlain Boutique Toronto Yorkville review

Guerlain exclusifs perfumes boutique

The Institute

Tucked discreetly in the back of the boutique is a small treatment room and all the necessarily amenities — a gorgeous glass shower, a mirrored change room, and the boutique’s secret weapon: a petite esthetician named Sakien Teymouri who, I swear, has magic hands.

Guerlain Institute Spa facial review Toronto Bloor

Guerlain facial review Toronto Yorkville

I was lucky enough to experience a complimentary Complete Facial ($170 CAD), which is a 1h30 treatment that can be customized to match your skin’s needs.

As someone with extremely touchy skin, facials aren’t usually something I can indulge in, but the boutique’s manager took the time to double-check ingredients lists and customize a gentle, silicone-free regimen just for me. (Thank you so much, Jaimelee — your kindness and attention to detail really made my day!)

Continue the adventure!! »

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