Black Friday (& Cyber Monday) in the beauty world

Friday, November 28, 2014

First things first: Don’t forget about cash back!

Whether you’re shopping in the US or Canada, make sure to sign up for a cash back program before shopping — they’ll send you x% of the value of your order back to you in the form of a cheque, which is just like getting that much extra off of your sale prices! Sign up for Ebates in the US or Ebates.ca in Canada for…

  • US: 10% cash back at Lancôme, 8% cash back at Ulta, Bloomingdale’s, The Body Shop, and Sephora; 6% cash back at Nordstrom and Bobbi Brown.
  • Canada: A whopping 20% cash back at Shop.ca, 8% cash back at Bobbi Brown, 7.5% cash back at Marcelle, 7% cash back at Clinique, 6% cash back at The Body Shop and Paula’s Choice, 5% cash back at NARS, Lancôme, and Clarins, and 4% cash back at Sephora and Shu Uemura.

shu uemura black friday sale

A quick list of sales you don’t want to miss…

  • Aerie: 40% off + free shipping with code GOBBLEUP
  • Annabelle: 40% off + free shipping over $25
  • Anthropologiesite-wide sale
  • Asos (US): 30% off with the code TGIBF
  • BeautyBar$15 off $75, $35 off $150, and $65 off $250 until Dec 9th with code BBCYBER14
  • BeautyBridge: 20% off site wide
  • Banana Republic (US): 50% off 1 full-priced item with code BRFIFTY, 40% off sitewide with code BRFORTY
  • Banana Republic (CA)50% off 1 full-priced item with code BRCFIFTY; 40% off sitewide with code BRCFORTY

Banana Republic sale black friday

  • Dynamite: 40% off all orders + free shipping until the 30th, plus get a free $25 cash card with every $50 purchase. (Returns are free to any Dynamite store if they don’t fit, which I love!)
  • Gap50% off sitewide with code GAPBFRIDAY
  • Nordstrom: Items at 40% off throughout the site, plus Black Friday beauty deals and Cyber Monday beauty gifts with purchase.
  • Marcelle40% off + free shipping over $25
  • Pretty Indulgent: 15% off with code thanks15 (that includes BPAL!)
  • Urban Outfitters: Extra 25% off sale items.
  • SheVibe: 10% off $75+ with TURKEY10, 15% off $100+ with TURKEY15, and 20% off $125+ with TURKEY2o. Go get yourself a MiMi Soft on sale with free shipping!
  • Shu Uemura20% off and free shipping over $75; 25% off and free shipping over $125.

From Sephora: Fragrance minis and $10 steals

Sephora Black Friday sale

Along with $10 USD/$12 CAD beauty deals from the 28th to 30th (online and in-store), use code SCENTMINI to get a free miniature bottle of one of six scents with orders over $25 USD/$25 CAD. Or, use code PARTYPACK for 11 sample sachets in a free Sephora bag of your choice, SEASONSET for eight sachets and minis in a bag (choose 1 of 3 sets), or TRYOIL to get a free mini size of Fresh’s Seaberry Oil, Boscia’s Cleansing Oil-Gel, or Josie Maran’s Light Argan Oil.

{ Shop Sephora’s Black Friday sale here, their regular sale section here, and see the rest of their deals here. }

From The Body Shop: Deals Galore

The Body Shop black friday deal

No one does holiday sales like The Body Shop, so from the 28th until the 30th, almost everything is 3 for $33, 4 for $44, and 5 for $55 and their special Black Friday Tote Bag is $30 ($125 value) with orders over $30. I will update this post on Monday to let you know about their fantastic Cyber Monday sale, too!

{ Shop the sale here. }

My favourites from the brand: Honestly, I haven’t tried a lot from their current line. I love their Satsuma fragrance, though, (who doesn’t?) and am really curious about their Vitamin E Serum-In-Oil! Along with the serum, their hair butters and new Body Sorbets are notably silicone-free.

Keep reading! »

Osmia Organics Oh So Soap & Tea Bath review, photos | The boy reviews!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

SONY DSC

The product: Osmia Organics Oh So Soap and Organic Tea Bath

Today on theNotice, I have a very special surprise for you, dear reader: a review by M. I really wanted to highlight a few products for eczema and psoriasis (Mathew has the latter) this winter, and as someone who hates baths–his words, not mine, though true–I thought you guys might enjoy someone else’s perspective on things for a change.

So, I hope you enjoy this post, and I hope you like the pretty pictures! (How good is that tea bath one??!)

Osmia Organics Organic Tea Bath review

The Osmia Organic Tea Bath ($45 USD)

The Organic Tea Bath comes pre-portioned in six satisfyingly large cloth tea bags with cotton drawstrings. The tea’s scent is subtle and bright; sharp spearmint notes are balanced by sweet chamomile while dry. Add hot water to reveal a strong citrus element, most likely from the orange peel. The combination is pleasing, if a touch mild. The Organic Tea Bath’s scent is without the usual synthetic sheen I have come to associate with bath products, and for this, I am grateful. [ R: Oops. That's probably because I keep giving him LUSH to try. ]

When “steeped”, the bags turn the water a surprisingly opaque chamomile yellow. (I recommend holding each tea bag under the faucet as you draw your bath for best results.) After bathing, I find that the tea leaves my skin feeling much softer and less dry than it generally would be, especially if I’m in the tub for a while — but though the tea bath is very soothing while I’m in the bath, the results don’t translate into the next day. That said, these are great for anyone who enjoys a cozy winter bath but might be too lazy to moisturize after, or anyone who takes ludicrously long baths like me but doesn’t want to dry out!

–their skin. Who doesn’t want to dry out their skin.

Osmia Organics Tea Bath review sachet photo

Osmia Organics Organic Tea Bath

Does it work? Though tea (especially herbal tea) is usually steeped at much higher temperatures than is appropriate for a bath, the organic ingredients used here–like rose, calendula, and bitter orange–are paired with tried-and-true remedies for dry skin, including epsom salt and rolled oats. Each bag is good for 1-2 soothing baths (3 is stretching it), but I found the process of drying out the large sachets to be rather difficult. Those worried about cleanliness can rest easy knowing that this tea bath left only a very fine film in the tub, which rinsed out easily after use.

Osmia Organics’ Oh So Soap ($12 USD)

Osmia Organics Oh So Soap review

Osmia’s Oh So Soap has been a wonderful surprise. The elegance of the bar’s woven top is reflected in its ingredient list, which contains only saponified organic oils and butters, African pearl salt, and buttermilk powder. This velvety soap would suit the most sensitive of the sensitive, yet it still leaves you feeling clean. It’s great both on the face and body, and is unlikely to offend anyone as it contains no fragrance or essential oils.

Overall, I found Oh So Soap to be far less drying than regular bar soap, and I really liked how gentle it was. It never left my skin feeling dry or squeaky-clean, but rather like it had been magically cleaned without any soap at all. Hands down, it is the best soap I have ever used.

Osmia Organics Oh So Soap gentle dry skin review

M’s verdict?

While neither of these products made a distinct improvement on my psoriasis, I can say that they were a pleasure to use, especially in the winter. On the whole, they were very gentle on sensitive skin, and far less stripping than other soaps and bath products I have used in the past — both in the bath and coming out of it.

The Oh So Soap in particular was especially luscious, and delightfully simple — I would definitely recommend it, especially if you have very delicate or dry skin. (It is also, as Osmia Organics so succinctly puts it, “perfect for babies, even fresh ones.”)

Availability: $12 USD-$45 USD at Osmia Organics.

L’Occitane Divine Youth Oil review, photos | The kind of oil that… isn’t

Thursday, November 20, 2014

L'Occitane Divine Youth Oil review photos

The product: L’Occitane Divine Youth Oil (from the Immortelle range)

L’Occitane’s Divine Youth Oil reminds me a lot of the Argentum Apothicary moisturizer that I reviewed last month — but with a few important differences. First, the similarities: it’s a high-end anti-ageing moisturizer that smells amazing, with plenty of natural ingredients and a beautiful, velvety finish.

But now, the differences: at less than half the price, L’Occitane’s oil is twice as moisturizing, far more comfortable to use, and may smell even better.

L'Occitane Divine Youth Oil

Don’t cut my content

My biggest pet peeve with high-end oils and serums is when companies dilute their product with fillers to cut down on production costs — things like mineral oil, ‘cones, and plain old water. When you buy an oil (and this one’s $100/30 ml), there’s an unspoken agreement that what you’re getting is more concentrated, and that you’re paying for a product that hasn’t been stretched out already.

But though this oil is very obviously cut with caprylic/capric triglyceride… I find it hard to care. Caprylic/capric triglycerides (which you may know as liquid coconut oil) are one of my favourite skincare ingredients out there, and in the case of this oil — I think they do wonders for the formula.

L'Occitane Immortelle oil review Divine Youth

What makes this one special

Unlike other oils that you may have tried, the triglyceride content of this one means that it both feels dry to the touch and sinks in instantly. A blend of seven oils–including borage, evening primrose, sea buckthorn, and rosehip–with Corsican immortelle essential oil and caprylic/capric triglycerides, this oil is incredibly lightweight and leaves my skin with the most gorgeous velvety finish, even when I mix it with my super-heavy, super-oily German Nivea.

It smells amazing; mouthwatering and fruity (a scent that I’m told is unique to the L’Occitane Divine Immortelle range), and a little goes a long way: for my terrifyingly-dry skin, I use 5-7 drops, but for normal to oily skin, a single drop will do.

L'Occitane Immortelle Oil review

The verdict?

While I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone with dehydrated or extremely dry skin, for anyone else: you neeeeed this. This oil not only feels and smells amazing, but it leaves my skin looking velvety and clear (without any fancy primers or powders). It’s kind of like an oil that isn’t, which I think will appeal to both facial oil users and heathens everyone else.

Availability: $96 USD/$100 CAD at L’Occitane boutiques & online. Buy it!!

Keep reading! »

Marcelle Trio+ Eyeshadow Quads: reviews, swatches, & photos of the entire range!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Marcelle Trio+ Eyeshadow Quad review photos

The product: Marcelle Cosmetics Eye Shadow Trio+

   ↳ in Smoky Chestnut, Chocolat Vanille, Starry Night, Emerald Isle, Plum Envy, and Glacial.

Today, I have something very, very exciting to share with you: the entire range of the new Marcelle Trio+ quads (I mean, I’m calling ‘em quads. If there are four colours, they’re quads. But I do respect the Trio+ name, because that fourth shade is tiny!). As a blogger, it’s rare that I see the entirety of any given line, so this is as much a treat for me as I hope it will be for you!

This one is super-long, so: swatches & shades / TL;DR

Marcelle Smoky Chestnut Trio+ review swatches eyeshadow quad

Marcelle Trio+ in Smoky Chestnut

The formula: With their new trio/quads, Marcelle promises intense colour payoff; a creamy, velvety texture; long-lasting colour; and an ultra-glitter accent shade (that’s the “+”!)

Unfortunately, while I think these look amazing in terms of layout and colour pairings, I don’t agree with a lot of these points. The colour payoff was okay (not super-intense) and the ultra-glitter accent shade was a big hit, but the formula was a little dry — I wouldn’t call it creamy, and it had a tendency to create fall-out.

Overall, I think I’d have liked to see a little more butteriness and adhesion out of all four shades, and at least one satin/frost in each palette (preferably the large pan) instead of four shimmers — I think for Marcelle’s consumer, this amount of sparkle is kind of overkill.

Marcelle Emerald Isle Trio+ review swatches eyeshadow quad

Marcelle Trio + in Emerald Isle

Marcelle Chocolat Vanille Trio+ review swatches eyeshadow quad

Marcelle Trio+ in Chocolat Vanille

The wear: Marcelle’s eyeshadows have always been a little dry and sheer, but the shimmer in these ones just didn’t “work” for me. It was too omnipresent and uniform in size, and it felt a little messy in combination with the wear time of these shadows — they creased on me within four hours overtop the best primer I own (and within two hours when worn alone).

In addition, when I wear-tested Chocolat Vanille, I ended up with glitter everywhere by dinnertime. There was a noticeable amount of fallout all the way down past the apples of my cheeks, and that’s just – that’s crazy, dude.

Marcelle Starry Night Trio+ review swatches eyeshadow quad

Marcelle Trio+ in Starry Night

Marcelle Plum Envy Trio+ review swatches eyeshadow quad

Marcelle Trio+ in Plum Envy

The shades…

Marcelle Chocolat Vanille Smoky Chestnut swatches Trio+ review photos

Marcelle Trio+ Eyeshadow swatches: Chocolat Vanille, Smoky Chestnut

Chocolat Vanille features a super-shimmery white (small triangle), a warm brown, a cool charcoal, and a sheer base shade (large triangle) that’s packed with gold shimmer. Smoky Chestnut features a less-intense peachy small triangle, a medium-sheer rust orange (upper), a well-pigmented taupey brown (lower), and a more-intense shimmery white large triangle.

Marcelle Trio+ Starry Night Emerald Isle swatches review eyeshadows

Marcelle Trio+ Eyeshadow swatches: Starry Night, Emerald Isle

Starry Night may be the best quad out of all of these, and features a super-shimmery white (the yellow tones are negligible) alongside a well-pigmented yellow-olive and a soft black overlaid with olive shimmer. Its large triangle is a pretty light yellow with, again, plenty of shimmer. [Aside: my packaging on this one doesn't snap closed.]

Emerald Isle features a dirty green with an entire universe of multi-coloured sparkle (small triangle), a crappy black with green sparkle (lower trapezoid), and a see-through large triangle of sparse white shimmer. Its upper trapezoid, however, is a dream: an intense, skin-staining jewel green with more gorgeous emerald green shimmer than should even be legal.

Keep reading! »

NSPA Hot Cloth Polish, Melting Cleansing Gel review + giveaway! | New & noteworthy at the drugstore

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Hot Cloth Polish cleans exfoliate review budget

The products: NSPA Hot Cloth Polish & Melting Cleansing Gel

I’m sorry I’ve been AWOL this week, dear readers! But I plan on making it up to you today with a double-review of two rather unique new products and a giveaway, so… please don’t be mad.

» I already know I want these. Cut to the chase; take me to the giveaway! «

NSPA Hot Cloth Polish ($15.97 CAD/150 ml)

NPSA Hot Cloth Polish reiew

NSPA Hot Cloth Polish

This Hot Cloth Polish was the thing that made NSPA, a cruelty-free British brand that’s new to Canada, stand out to me. I’ve wanted to try one of these since the Liz Earle hype blew up, and I gotta say: NSPA makes it worth the wait. 

Past the perfect scent (this is exactly what my brain thinks the archetypal cold cream would smell like), it’s a really interesting experience: a finely-woven muslin cloth (included), a very thick, white cleansing butter, and an exfoliation experience that removes your makeup without totally stripping your skin. 

NSPA Hot Cloth Polish review photos comparison

I wasn’t expecting the product to be as hard as it was (think very frozen ice cream, not summer soft serve), but it did spread nicely, and the thickness helps turn the Hot Cloth Polish into a spa-like, luxurious experience. The muslin cloth feels a little cheap, but the cloth-polish duo is $15 and full of good stuff like cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, and avocado oil – I think I can handle a flimsy seam for all of that.

Compared to the iconic Liz Earle at $36.75/100 ml, which I will admittedly likely now never try, NSPA’s Hot Cloth Polish is a steal at $15.75/100 ml. And hey, you won’t even need to pay import fees on it.

The NSPA Hot Cloth Polish ingredients: 

Aqua, Cocoa Seed Butter, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Cetyl Esters, Polysorbate 60, Sorbitan Stearate, Propylene Glycol, Beeswax, Sweet Almond Oil, Parfum, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Apricot Kernel Oil, Avocado Oil, Neroli Oil, Vitamin E, Pro-Vitamin B5, Sodium Benzoate, 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol, Potassium Sorbate, Potassium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Citric Acid, Linalool, Limonene.

NSPA Melting Cleansing Gel ($15.97 CAD/125 ml)

NSPA Melting Cleansing Gel review photos

I also tried out NSPA’s Melting Cleansing Gel, because I’d never used a melting gel before and I like new stuff. (What? Who doesn’t like new textures and technologies?) And, to my surprise… I liked this one even more than the Hot Cloth Polish.

Keep reading! »

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