This is how happy Aveeno Skin Relief Body Wash makes me… | One in, one out

Monday, October 17, 2016


How happy does this much Aveeno’s Skin Relief Chamomile Body Wash make me? Well… about this happy:

Happier than fresh beaver tails pastries at a food truck. Happier than fresh-cut grass and a warm summer day. Happier than watching ducks splash around in pools of water. Happier than – okay, almost as happy as a little kid playing with a puppy dog.


These are a few of my ride-or-die skincare products: Aveeno Skin Relief Body Wash, and their Fresh Essentials Moisturizer SPF 30.

I have hella dry skin that’s intolerant to silicones, as I’m sure all of my longtime readers know by now, and these two products really help get me sorted. The Skin Relief Body Washes smell amazing and leave my skin more hydrated than it was before soaping up (they’re like in-shower body moisturizers that cleanse), and they’re so good that both Boyfriend and I swear by them.


Daydreaming about chamomile body wash showers…

During my post-shower routine, the Fresh Essentials Moisturizer provides me with daytime SPF 30 coverage at a really affordable price point. I need to add a couple drops of serum or oil to it when I apply, but it’s well worth the extra step–and for that matter, I have yet to find any moisturizer with SPF that I can use on its own.

I’m on my second bottle of Fresh Essentials Moisturizer and my third bottle of the Skin Relief Body Wash, so when I say that this is good stuff, I mean it!

Silicone-free L’Occitane hand cream review | Currently obsessed with…

Friday, June 26, 2015

L'Occitane hand cream favourites

L’Occitane hand creams are a pretty big Thing (capitalization totally necessary) both in and outside of the beauty blogging world, but because so many of them contain silicones, they’ve never been a thing that I’ve really gotten into.

Until now.

» Availability: $12 USD/$12 CAD for 30ml (which usually equals 1 oz) at Hudson’s Bay, Sephora, and L’Occitane.

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora hand cream review silicone-free

L’Occitane Pivoine Flora Hand Cream review

Over the past few months, I have been absolutely in love with my silicone-free L’Occitane hand creams. (They come in quite a few different formulas, so while most of them–including the original shea butter formula and the recent Collection de Grasse additions–do contain silicones, there are a few that don’t.)

I’ve been using them at my desk, throwing them in my handbag, taking them to school… I very, very rarely leave the house anymore without a little tube of L’Occitane with me.

L'Occitane 20 shea hand cream review - rose petals

L’Occitane 20% Shea butter Hand Cream review (Rose Petals)

The three that I’ve particularly fixated on are photographed here. First, there’s the Pivoine Flora Hand Cream ($12 USD/$12 CAD), which is a light, liquidy lotion with a strong but sophisticated peony fragrance. (It smells a little sharp in the tube, but the top notes fade quickly.)

Next, there’s the L’Occitane Rose Petals Hand Cream from a charity collection a few years back; it’s more of a true creme formula, like the other 20% shea butter hand creams. It’s more hydrating than the Pivoine Flora, and I love the very feminine rose scent.

L'Occitane 25 shea whipped hand cream review

L’Occitane 25% Shea Butter Whipped Hand Cream review

Finally, there’s my favourite of the bunch: the 25% Shea Butter Whipped Hand Cream ($12 USD/$12 CAD). This one smells like the rest of L’Occitane’s shea line (comforting, like one of my favourite moisturizers!) and it absorbs really well, leaving my dry hands feeling smooth and hydrated for hours.

More importantly, though… the Shea Whipped Hand Cream comes out of the tube like FROSTING. Which, if you ask me, totally makes up for the fact that (because it’s whipped) it contains only 59% as much product as a regular tube of L’Occitane, making this hand cream a particular treat to use.

Because frosting.

Chloé Eau de Parfum

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

You fill the whole room.

No, really. You fill the whole room; at least, on my skin. Like you’re some sort of airborne infectious pathogen… or perhaps as if you’re a beautiful melody resonating from a grand piano. One spritz on one tiny, tiny bit of flesh, and you’re everywhere.

But this isn’t a bad thing — not necessarily, that is.

You might not be my cup of tea, but that’s not to say that you’re anything bad: it’s just that you’re a lovely floral, with hints of green, and neither are families that I happen to be partial to. I’ve never been a Chloe girl, and I suppose that’s why I don’t love you. You evoke the image of a strong young woman, one who is feminine and girly — but not “girly-girl.” You’re not exactly grassroots, but perhaps your parents were in their heyday. You go to the farmers’ markets on the weekend and love the feel of sand between your toes.

You are pink peony, freesia, lychee; fresh, watery (as if water spilled out of petals when you bit them,) and accessible, friendly. A little deeper I may find magnolia, lily of the valley, and rose; right here is where you find your demure, refined nature. Somewhere, there is a subtle bit of powder, but powder in softness rather than in sharp aldehydes. Finally, you reveal cedarwood, amber, and honey… or at least, your notes say you do. I understand honey and cedarwood, but my nose cannot find amber in your sparkling soft white floral existence.

To be honest, I so prefer you on a blotter than I do on my skin, where you always seem to be too sour.  But you’re devastatingly popular with your crooked grin, and paired with your your packaging (which none can rival, of course,) your scent makes you the perfect gift. It’s just that I’d never be friends with you… you pretend to be carefree and effortless, but your perfectly polished nails and two-hundred-dollar hilights aren’t fooling me.

You’re a nice girl, Chloé. You smell a bit like the idea of a wedding; floral, creamy, and (hopefully) inoffensive. Parents love you when their sons bring you home, and your boss thinks you’re quite chic, and sometimes, someone leans into your hair and asks, what is that?

But your date’s sister thinks you’re two shadows short of a palette, and your coworkers (while they love spending time with you outside of work) are tired of having to explain everything to you. Twice.

Chloé EdP was created by Michel Almairac and Amandine Marie in 2007.

Availability: Most department stores, SephoraFragranceNet. This lovely lady’s not hard to find at all!

Serge Lutens Chergui

Friday, July 30, 2010

There are very few fragrances that have truly changed the way I view fragrance.

(You’re one of them, of course.)

Your dark brown liquid is housed in simple, rectangular glass, and it doesn’t seem like it would be fascinating. Slightly intriguing, perhaps, but certainly nothing spectacular. To be honest, at first glance, you’re quite unassuming — so when I breathed in, I was caught completely off guard.

You are incense, amber, tobacco leaf and musk, but the blend is divine. (Other scents, like your sibling Ambre Sultan, are too violent with their incense and send me running toward the hills.) Of course, these notes are sweetened just enough with tiny bits of smooth honey, and lightened with rose and iris. Don’t get me wrong, though; I am by no means insinuating in the least that there is anything floral or syrupy about you.

It must be difficult to produce a scent that is entirely unisex, but… you are. Fit for a man in a suit with a bit of stubble, smoking a cigar in a ritzy hotel bar; fit for a woman in a slinky dress with just a flick of eyeliner, out for dinner with a lover. Honey and hay sugar in perfect harmony with tobacco and musk.

I thought that I didn’t like warm scents, because warm scents are always so sweet. But I kept looking; I kept ignoring each and every saleswoman and salesman who told me that sweet and warm must go hand in hand. (And trust me, there were many.) The hours and hours of searching paid off when I found you, Chergui — warmth without the syrup of cheap vanilla, cozy without being cloying, dry and a little dirty without being animalic.

Of course, there are many categories of fragrance, and you can’t fulfill my cravings for a light floral or a salty chypre. But when I need something warm, something sexless — no, something above the lines of gender, — something perfectly crafted and rich and beautiful and incredible…

Well, that would be where you come in.

Availability: Chergui can be purchased online at shops like the ones above, or through BeautyEncounter and FragranceNet. Alternately, it can be sampled through The Perfumed Court. For my fellow Canadians, you may be able to find it in your local Sephora!

Chergui was created by Christopher Sheldrake in 2001.

Re-review: an ode to Ellis Red

Friday, July 16, 2010

Oh, Ellis Red. How could I have been so very, very wrong about you?

You take a few uses to get used to — there are a couple of tricks to keep in mind. Exfoliate first. Do not apply over lip balm. And above all, do not apply sparingly. (Though, of course, you do make a lovely stain if you’re blotted off after application.) But if those tricks are in fact followed… my god. My god! You’re moisturizing, and you stay where you’re put. You last a good amount of time, and you leave just the most gorgeous stain. Your amazing liquid form soaks right into the lips, blending in just flawlessly.

True blood-red,” you say. And — yes. But somehow… somehow, despite your warmth, you do look gorgeous on my cool-toned skin. How is this possible, Ellis? Why does this work?

But why trust my words? Instead, have trust in images… images with just you, Ellis Red — not a speck of anything else. Images that are worth a thousand words. Images that are proof: proof of your splendor, your versatility, your existence.

The answer is yes, Ellis Red. Yes, you’re worth $35 in a heartbeat. Even if it means not buying any other makeup for the next three months! 

(P.S. Here’s a barefaced image for comparison — what a difference lip colour makes!)

Get more Ellis Faas here and here ;)

n’oubliez pas: images have been gently retouched!

Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille

Thursday, July 8, 2010


That’s the word I would use to describe you, if I could only use one. Amazing.

Did you know that, before meeting you, I thought I hated vanilla? It’s true — every fragrance I had tried before you which was mainly vanilla had been too sweet, or too animalic, or both. And those that I tried which were based loosely on vanilla? Usually too heady (with murky, unoriginal sandalwood as a common corresponding accord to darken up a perfume made too sweet by vanilla) or simply too childish (when such an accord was skipped altogether.)

It’s not that I have anything against vanilla, per se. It’s just that I’m very, very picky about my vanillas.

And you… work. You just work. You’re delicious and boozy, and whether I’ve just dabbed you on or I’ve been wearing you for hours, the image I get in my mind is always the same: a wonderful, fizzing champagne.

It’s not even that you smell like champagne at all, really — but the image lines up beautifully. Classic. Mature. Poised. And at the same time: bubbly and sociable, with a bit of a woodsy spice running through your composition. 

So, yes. I would use just this one word to describe you. Amazing.

Spiritueuse Double Vanille was formulated by Jean Paul Guerlain, and released in 2007.
Availability: While SDV is incredible, I highly suggest you sample it before buying a full bottle! (I know that I’ll never own a full 2.5oz of this amazing fragrance, though I love it.) 
My decant is from The Perfumed Court, and full bottles are run at $225USD through shops like Saks, Neiman Marcus, and Bergdorf Goodman. SDV is only available in EdP form.

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