MIYU Beauty Hydrate Mi, De-Stress Mi Beauty Essence & Tea reviews | Canadian beauty at its best

Thursday, September 11, 2014

miyu beauty essence tea review

The products: MIYU Beauty Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence and De-Stress Mi Beauty Essence

A lot of blogs work on deadlines; SEO; what’s-new-now. But on theNotice, as you may have (heh) noticed, I work on a different metric: the product itself.

When I received these Beauty Essences (and their tea pairings), just hammering out a review on them didn’t feel right. So, even though I had waited long months for their launch, I kept waiting: an entire year past their initial release. But, finally, I feel like I know exactly what I want to say about these delicate, one-of-a-kind serum mists, and I’m beyond excited to finally be able to share my thoughts with all of you!

MIYU Beauty Hydrate Mi Beauty Tea

MIYU Hydrate Mi Beauty Tea

What exactly is a beauty essence? The long and short of it is simple: beauty essences are a cross between a facial mist and a serum. They were formulated by Connie Tai, cosmetic chemist and founder of MIYU Beauty, who has both the extensive industry background and approachable-but-no-nonsense chicness that make you want to trust her products… and buy everything she tells you to.

I had a chance to meet with Connie while she was still developing these beauty essences, and even in rudimentary sample packaging, these mists and teas still made me go, “oh.”

A misting tip from Connie: if you’re going to do it, do it. The packaging she chose for the MIYU Essences works beautifully, delivering an unusually full, diffuse mist — but only if it’s sprayed with conviction. Half-depressing a mister won’t just deliver half the product, it’ll make the spray weak and uneven!

MIYU Beauty essence reviews - spray serum

The beauty essence formula

As someone who loves only the idea of facial mists, I was surprised to find that these beauty essences didn’t ever irritate my skin or break me out, even with repeated use. Instead, they have consistently helped to add hydration both under my moisturizer and overtop my makeup, and they do so with packaging that’s both luxurious and lightweight.

The magic, I think, lies in the formula: these alcohol, paraben, and silicone-free mists are comprised not only of water and glycerine, but also include large amounts of pentylene glycol (a humectant with anti-microbial properties) and sodium hyaluronate (think of this one as a more effective hyaluronic acid). As a result, the formula of MIYU’s mists is just as hydrating as other facial mists–if not more hydrating,–but leaves behind a smooth, silky finish with no stickiness at all.

MIYU Beauty Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence review spray serum

Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence & Tea ($42 CAD/$42 USD for both)

I reach for Hydrate Mi most often, which uses extracts of wild pansy, goji berries, and mangosteen to boost water transport and retention in the epidermis. It smells sweetly floral, like a rosewater facial mist, and is optimized for dehydrated skin, frequent travellers, and dry climates.

I wasn’t crazy about the Hydrate Mi tea, but then again, I don’t like sweet teas! It’s definitely one of the prettiest teas I’ve ever seen, however, and contains green rooibos, goji berries, white pear essence, and candied pearls. (My mom keeps trying to get me to eat goji berries; we have some in our garden. I hate them.)

MIYU Beauty Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence ingredients:

Water, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Pearl Protein, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract, Hydrolyzed Viola Tricolor Extract, Rosa Centifolia Flower Extract, Lycium Chinese Fruit Extract, Garcinia Mangostana Peel Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Sodium PCA, Panthenol, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Proline, Serine, Glycine, Glutamic Acid, Lysine, Alanine, Arginine, Threonine, Sorbitol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Phenoxyethanol, Betaine, Polysorbate 20, Disodium Edta, Ethylhexylglycerin.

MIYU Beauty De-Stress Mi Beauty Essence review serum mist

De-Stress Mi Beauty Essence & Tea ($42 CAD/$45 USD pairing)

I reach for the minty De-Stress Mi Beauty Essence less often, but I do still really enjoy using it — the peppermint extract can be quite refreshing, especially in the summer.

De-Stress Mi is packed full of good stuff (even more so than the Hydrate Mi essence), including peppermint leaf, licorice, ginger, honeysuckle, and dandelion root extracts, as well as skin-conditioning aloe vera and a number of newfangled yeast/iron ferments that are said to have antioxidant properties. All in all, De-Stress Mi targets strained skin and targets inflammation, and would be great if you’re worried about pollutants in the air.

Like the Hydrate Mi tea, the De-Stress Mi blend is a little bit sweet, too — so skip it if you’re a peppermint-spearmint purist like myself. It contains organic peppermint, licorice root, chamomile blossoms, and candied pearls.

MIYU Beauty De-Stress Mi Beauty Essence ingredients:

Water, Pentylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Pearl Protein, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract, Saccharomyces/Zinc Ferment, Saccharomyces/Iron Ferment, Saccharomyces/Copper Ferment, Saccharomyces/Magnesium Ferment, Saccharomyces/Silicon Ferment, Peppermint Leaf Extract, Licorice Root Extract, Ginger Root Extract, Honeysuckle Flower Extract, Dandelion Rhizome/Root Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Sodium PCA, Panthenol, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Proline, Serine, Glycine, Glutamic Acid, Lysine, Alanine, Arginine, Threonine, Sorbitol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Phenoxyethanol, Betaine, Polysorbate 20, Disodium Edta, Ethylhexylglycerin.

MIYU Beauty De-Strees Mi Beauty Tea

MIYU De-Stress Mi Beauty Tea

The verdict?

I waited an entire year until I could tell you this with utmost confidence in what I was saying, but at long last: if you’re looking for gentle, effective hydration, the MIYU Beauty Essences are my No. 1 recommendation for a facial mist or serum. They’re beautifully formulated, wonderfully packaged, and a great way to buy Canadian.

I am usually loathe to recommend a facial mist for more than $20 (after all, they’re usually sticky messes of glycerine and water), but at $34 CAD, I think you’ll find these to be worth each and every penny.

Availability: The MIYU Beauty Essences are available for $34 CAD; the teas are $16 CAD. Get them at MIYU Beauty, Birchbox, Gloss48, and Anthropologie.

Keep reading! »

The multitaskers: Five skincare picks that do it all

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Multitasking products??? MULTITASKING PRODUCTS! I love multitasking products, dude — give me something that’ll preform more than one function for me and I am there.

(You have no idea how crushed I was to find out that there aren’t any 2-in-1 ‘cone-free shampoo-conditioners. There may have been tears.)

Marcelle Ultra Gentle Cleansing Gel Marcelle Ultra Gentle Cleansing Gel Marcelle Ultra Gentle Cleansing Gel HTML Map

The multitaskers

Marcelle Ultra Gentle Cleansing Gel ($1.99-$12.95 CAD) – a silicone, fragrance, paraben, and sulfate-free makeup remover and cleanser. This one is great for removing makeup (it even took off that new Hourglass 1.5mm liner I’ve been testing!), but I still definitely think Marcelle’s Cleansing Milk is better for extra-dry skin.

L’Occitane Immortelle Brightening Eyecare & Mask Duo ($42 CAD) – also silicone-free, this one’s not your usual kind of 2-in-1: used sparingly, it’s an eye cream; slathered on more heavily, it functions as a 10-minute mask to moisturize, luminize, and de-puff. Also worth noting is that it has a metal tip similar to that of the Clinique Lid Smoothies (but larger and more round), so application is mess-free and very cooling.

Marcelle Ideal Skin Perfector ($24.95 CAD) – this one’s not silicone-free, but it does do a whole bunch of things — and it’s brand spankin’ new. If you’ve had your eye on the Clinique Smart Custom Repair Serum, this might be a good option instead if you’re on a budget!

Neutrogena Healthy Skin CC Fair Light swatch review

Neutrogena Healthy Skin CC Cream SPF 30 in Fair to Light swatches

Neutrogena Healthy Skin CC Cream SPF 30 ($16.99 CAD) - you guys, this CC cream breaks my freakin’ heart. It doesn’t just do everything well, it does everything perfectly – except for one big, glaring thing. Lightweight and insanely comfortable, it minimizes redness and smoothes over dry, flaky patches like a champ, but leaves the skin looking and feeling totally natural… until you walk into the sunlight.

See, the thing is, this CC Cream is actually packed with disco-ball levels of completely unnecessary microshimmer, which is a total deal-breaker for me (and probably some of you, too!) Skip it if you’re one of the shimmer-free camp, but definitely, definitely give it a go if you’re not adverse to shimmer. Lovers of Annabelle’s BB Pressed Powder, Guerlain Meteorites, etc., this means you! 

Clinique Smart Custom Repair Serum ($59.50 USD/$69 CAD) – our last product today is the ultimate do-it-all: a serum that claims to target skin concerns based on the distress signals being sent out by your own skin. I don’t buy that for a second (despite the 37 patents backing this product), but I do believe in the six zillion actives crammed into this serum (including soothing caffeine, plumping hyaluronic acid, and brightening Vitamin C, to name just a few.)

Clarins Ombre Matte Earth, Nude Bronze review, swatches | Smooth nudes in Clarins’ Fall 2014 Ladylike collection

Monday, August 25, 2014

Clarins Ombre Matte eyeshadow review

The product: Clarins Ombre Matte Cream-to-Powder Matte Eyeshadow in 01 Nude Beige and 06 Earth 

The formula: Like other potted cream-to-powder eyeshadows, these aren’t really a cream, per se — more like a slightly damp, very creamy powder eyeshadow. (Which sounds super gross if you haven’t tried an eyeshadow like it before, but trust me, they’re actually pretty cool!)

(It’s funny because the dampness makes them feel cold.) 

These are drier than similar iridescent formulas I’ve tried, but apply more sheerly and with zero fallout as a result. It takes a bit of time to layer them, but when you do, they create a really lovely satin-matte eye that doesn’t ever look chalky or flat. 

Clarins Ombre Matte Cream to Powder Matte Eyeshadow review

Clarins Ombre Matte Eyeshadows

The shades: The “skintoned” 01 Nude Beige wears more matte than its chocolate-brown counterpart, but while it applies smoothly, I’d skip it if you’re intending to use it as an all-over base — I find that this formula doesn’t wear as well as other eye bases, so it’s not a practical choice. Also, I mean, it’s kind of boring, and at $24 each, I just don’t do boring.

06 Earth, on the other hand, has a more complex satin finish – and an absolutely beautiful tone that makes up for any shortcomings its formula may have. It also feels a bit wetter than Nude Beige, which kind of gets rid of said shortcomings altogether (as it’s easier to pick up and build.)

Clarins Ombre Matte EOTD Nude Beige, Earth

Clarins Ombre Matte Eyeshadows in 01 Nude Beige and 06 Earth worn with the sparkly gold from Clarins’ Odyssey palette

Clarins Nude Beige, Earth Ombre Matte swatches

Clarins Ombre Matte Cream to Powder Matte Eyeshadow swatches: 01 Nude Beige, 06 Earth

The packaging: Like the rest of the Clarins line, the packaging on these is absolutely lovely. It’s chic and sharp-edged, but very lightweight — Clarins has opted to make these out of plastic rather than glass, which sacrifices the luxury feel (but maintains the luxury look) in favour of making them portable and perfect for travel.

Clarins Roly Poly Rosy, Coming Up Rosy review swatches FOTD,  Clarins Ombre Matte

Also wearing Imju Fiberwig, Lise Watier 24Hrs Gel Liner, and Clinique Chubby Cheeks & Baby Tint Sticks

The verdict?

You know how I’m always talking about “the Clarins eye”? Well, with five mattes (two of which are nudes; skip the nudes) and one sparkling finish, the Ombre Matte eyeshadows are perfect for crafting the iconic Clarins eye: that wonderful mix of satin and sparkle that create something special from something very subtle. (Much like the Eye Quartet Mineral Palettes ($42 USD/$42 CAD) that I adore.)

Like all of Clarins’ mattes, the Ombre Matte formula is perfect for layering, and never has any fallout or chalkiness. Skip them if mattes bore you–don’t even front; I know mattes bore some of you–but if you love mattes or if you have yet to find a matte to love, this formula is a gorgeous one to begin with.

Availability: $24 CAD at Clarins.ca & Clarins counters.

Keep reading! »

Marcelle Trio+ Eyeshadows | (Also) New This Week

Monday, August 18, 2014

Marcelle Trio+ eyeshadow quads

They’re heeeere!

Teased last week by @MarcelleTweets (the brand’s English Twitter account), the brand-new Marcelle Trio+ Eyeshadow quads ($15.95 CAD) are now up for grabs through Marcelle’s online site. Perfume and paraben-free, the quads promise three intense, velvety powder eyeshadows with one ultra-glittery shade – exactly the way I like it.

Available now in six different colour palettes (but I only have eyes for Smoky Chestnut and Chocolate Vanille, of course — how beautifully do those look like they would swatch?!)

Ingredients & individual photos »

Silicone-free primer list (+ paraben-free)

Today’s list of silicone-free makeup primers is one that came requested by a few of our readers — and, unlike the last instalment of silicone-free cream foundations, it’s sorted by (US) price ascending rather than brand. If you prefer one over the other, please let me know — I can’t decide!

More of these primers were paraben-free than not, so primers with parabens listed in their ingredients lists are denoted with a hyphen (-). If you are extremely sensitive to parabens, however, please check the packaging or contact the manufacturer to double-check each product’s status before buying!

See more silicone-free beauty products here, and check out our old lists here.

NYX Dewy Finish Makeup Setting SprayNYX Cosmetics Dewy Finish Makeup Setting Spray ($7.99 USD)

ULTA }

NYX COSMETICS  Matte Finish Makeup Setting SprayNYX Cosmetics Matte Finish Makeup Setting Spray ($7.99 USD)

ULTA }

The Body Shop Moisturise It primerThe Body Shop Skin Primer Moisturize It ($15 USD/$16 CAD)

The Body Shop (CA) }

Sephora Collection Silicone Free Foundation Primer

Sephora Collection Silicone Free Foundation Primer ($15 USD/$19 CAD

Sephora }

Ulta Hydro Prime silicone-free primerULTA Hydro Prime ($18 USD)

ULTA }

Alima Pure Balancing Primer PowderAlima Pure Balancing Primer Powder ($20 USD/$22 CAD)

Alima Pure | Fresh Faced }

Cover FX Blemish Treatment Primer

Cover FX Blemish Treatment Primer ($22 USD/$26 CAD)

Sephora }

OCC Skin PrimerObsessive Compulsive Cosmetics OCC Skin Primer ($27.50 USD/$33 CAD)

Sephora | OCC }

Korres Face PrimerKorres Vitamin E Face Primer (original) ($28 USD/$36.50 CAD)

Sephora | Korres }

Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix-Make Up For Ever Mist & Fix ($29 USD/$34 CAD)

Sephora }

Korres Greek Yoghurt Nourishing PrimerKorres Greek Yoghurt Nourishing Primer ($30 USD/$39 CAD)

Sephora }

Tarte Clean Slate Flawless 12 Hr Brightening PrimerTarte Clean Slate Flawless 12 Hr Brightening Primer not Clean Slate original ($30 USD/$39 CAD)

Sephora }

Too Faced Primed & Poreless PowderToo Faced Primed & Poreless Powder loose only ($30 USD/$38 CAD)

Sephora }

Benefit Cosmetics Dr. FeelgoodBenefit Cosmetics Dr. Feelgood ($31 USD/$37 CAD)

Sephora }

PÜR MINERALS  Correcting Primer Hydrate & BalancePür Minerals Correcting Primer Hydrate & Balance ($31 USD)

ULTA }

Urban Decay Brightening & Tightening Complexion Primer Potion

Urban Decay Brightening & Tightening Complexion Primer Potion ($31 USD/$37 CAD)

Sephora }

Cargo Blu-Ray Activating Face PrimerCargo Blu-Ray Activating Face Primer ($32 USD

Nordstrom }

LORAC Im So Sensitive Soothing Face PrimerLORAC “I’m So Sensitive” Soothing Face Primer ($32 USD)

Nordstrom | ULTA }

Japonesque primer-Japonesque Color Radiance Primer ($32 USD)

ULTA }

Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face PrimerToo Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer ($32 USD/$40 CAD)

Sephora }

Korres Pomegranate Mattifying PrimerKorres Pomegranate Mattifying Primer ($33 USD/$43 CAD)

{ Sephora | Korres }

Korres Quercetin & Oak Age-Reversing PrimerKorres Quercetin & Oak Age-Reversing Primer ($33 USD/$43 CAD)

{ Sephora | Korres }

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer-Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Original, not Hydrating $33 USD/$40 CAD

Nordstrom | Sephora | Space NK }

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer - Radiance-Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Radiance ($33 USD/$40 CAD)

Nordstrom | Sephora | Space NK }

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer - Radiance Bronze

-Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Radiance Bronze ($33 USD/$40 CAD)

Nordstrom | Sephora | Space NK }

Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Protect Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen PA+++Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Protect Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen PA+++ ($33 USD/$40 CAD)

Nordstrom | Sephora }

Urban Decay B6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep SprayUrban Decay B6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep Spray ($33 USD/$39 CAD)

Sephora }

Ardency Inn Americana Ultra Lightweight Skin Perfecting Primer

Ardency Inn Americana Ultra Lightweight Skin Perfecting Primer ($34 USD/$39 CAD)

Sephora }

Skindinavia The Makeup Primer Spray-Skindinavia The Makeup Primer Spray ($35 USD)

{ Skindinavia }

Skindinavia The Makeup Primer Spray Oil Control-Skindinavia The Makeup Primer Spray Oil Control ($35 USD)

{ Skindinavia }

Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector-Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Priming Perfector ($36 USD/$44 CAD)

Sephora }

Jouer Anti-Aging-Moisture-PrimerJouer Cosmetics Anti-Ageing Moisture Primer ($38 USD)

Jouer }

Jouer Anti-Blemish-Matte-Primer

Jouer Cosmetics Anti-Blemish Matte Primer ($38 USD)

Jouer }

Peter Thomas Roth Un-wrinkle primer-Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Primer ($38 USD)

Beauty Bar }

Gorgeous Cosmetics silicone-free primer-Gorgeous Cosmetics First Base Foundation Primer ($39 USD)

Beauty Bar }

Dior Glow Maximizer PrimerDior Glow Maximizer Primer ($42 USD/$42 CAD

Nordstrom | Sephora }

Clarins Beauty Flash BalmClarins Beauty Flash Balm ($47 USD/$50 CAD)

{ NordstromSephora }

Vapour Stratus Instant Skin PerfectorVapour Organic Beauty Stratus Instant Skin Perfector ($48 CAD)

Vapour | Fresh Faced }

Vapour Stratus Instant Skin PerfectorVapour Organic Beauty Stratus Soft Focus Instant Skin Perfector ($56 CAD)

Vapour | Fresh Faced }

 

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