AERIN Waterlily Sun EdP review, photos | Or, how to bottle happiness

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Aerin perfume review - Waterlily Sun

The product: AERIN Waterlily Sun Eau de Parfum Spray

I first met Waterlily Sun on a hectic day in Toronto with Liz/Reductionista. (For that matter, that’s when I first met Liz, too. And yes, for the record, her hair is just as amazing in person.) We were at the Eaton Centre Sephora to sniff the Serge Lutens line, and upon finding out that almost all of their Lutens had to be sent back to the distributor due to water damage, we were wandering around…

And I came upon the AERIN range in person for the first time ever.

Aerin Waterlily Sun

The packaging: All of the AERIN perfumes look, like their namesake, like old money and flawlessly curated good taste. They come in thick, carefully cut glass bottles topped with gem-like stones (each in a soft, unique shade) and touched with gold accents, and are packaged in boxed with designs by Lee Jofa, a textiles/home decor company that has produced fabrics and carpets for everyone from Oscar de la Renta to Lilly Pulitzer.

Waterlily Sun looks exquisite in front of all of my La Collection de Grasse perfumes, but I can only imagine how perfect two or three of these would look together on a hammered-metal gold tray…

Aerin Waterlily Sun perfume review photos

Aerin jade Waterlily Sun review photos

The scent: I fell immediately in love with both Waterlily Sun and Lilac Path ($110 USD/$125 CAD by Richard Herpin, which smells just like passing by a lush lilac bush in a garden), but Waterlily Sun was the one that I had to go back for.

For a lack of a better descriptor, Waterlily Sun ($110 USD/$125 CAD by Annie Buzantian, Master Perfumer) smells like sunshine. It’s crisp and very light, and doesn’t smell like any one thing or flower or perfume in particular — its scent is, honestly, encapsulated perfectly in its name and packaging.

The story - Waterlily Sun is inspired by Aerin Lauder’s trip to Monet’s garden in Giverny, France as a young girl. It “inspires serenity and calmness with a floral watery scent that leads the senses to a warm and peaceful place. Like sunlight reflecting on water.”

Listed notes - Sicilian Bergamot and Lush Dewy Greens / Waterlily and Jasmine Sambac / Musk

Aerin Waterlily Sun review Eau de Parfum

The bergamot in this makes Waterlily Sun’s opening very lemony, like the perfect cold lemonade on a hot summer day in the garden. It’s balanced out very nicely with some crisp green notes (I usually find “green” to be too mulch-y, but I love it here) and a base of musky florals.

Like all light, citrusy fragrances, Waterlily Sun fades long before dinner, but I love it nonetheless. It’s reminiscent of something like Fresh Citron de Vigne ($88 USD/CAD), but with its bergamot opening and jasmine sambac heart, it smells far, far less generic.

Aerin Waterlily Sun EdP review

The verdict?

Waterlily Sun smells the way a bright summer day makes you feel; it smells like nothing in particular other than happiness. It has just the right amount of sillage and tenacity for warm weather, and it’s the kind of scent that makes you spritz, sniff, and sigh.

As far as light, citrusy scents go, Waterlily Sun is in a class of its own. It manages to be transparent and pleasant without ever becoming boring (even after months), and it smells, somehow, both effortless and complex at once.

Give this one a sniff — you won’t regret it. And hey, while you’re there, check out Lilac Path, too.

Availability: $110 USD/$125 CAD for 1.7 oz at select Nordstrom, Sephora, and Holt Renfrew locations.

Keep reading for more photos! »

Besame Boudoir brushes, Formula X Infinite Ombré, and more | New 01/06/15

Monday, June 1, 2015

Can you believe that it’s already June?! Because dude, I cannot. It is way too soon for this, and I am not ready.

In other news, though, here’s what’s new this month at Nordstrom and Sephora! Sephora has actually done a great job of picking up niche beauty brands again this year, which is really exciting — I feel like they were definitely moving away from that for a long while, but with weird new products like that Eborian Pâte au Ginseng mask, those Besamé Boudoir brushes, and the Make Up Eraser (I’m dying to know if that works), they’re definitely branching out into niche finds again.

I also have my eye on the Formula X Infinite Ombré Nail Design Set, which makes me think of the new OPI Color Paints. It doesn’t look like much at first glance, but some of the looks Sephora has up on their Beauty Board make it look really cool.

Formula X Infinite Ombre kit

What’s your favourite unexpected beauty find?

Odacité Camelina Chamomile Facial Serum Concentrate review, photos | The perfect summer serum

Friday, May 22, 2015

Odacite Ca+C Camelina Chamomile serum booster oil review photos

The product: Odacité Ca+C Camelina Chamomile Facial Serum Concentrate

Today was the unofficial start of summer in Edmonton, with the mercury rising to just past 20 degrees. 21 is, admittedly, not a lot for most places, but with the bright sunlight and a big bay window, our kitchen was verging on sweltering by dinner time.

With the summer heat comes changes to my skincare routine, and this serum/oil is the one thing that I’m crazy about at the moment.

Odacite Sensitive Skin booster serum oil review - Camelina Chamomile

The texture: When I first tried this oil back in February, I actually… hated it. I wanted to use my beloved Pomegranate + Rose Geranium oil instead! I didn’t want this thin serum that smelled, for lack of a better term, like a regular facial oil. I wanted that lush, syrupy-thick Po+R Serum Concentrate, with its intense scent and comforting weight.

But as the months got warmer, and warmer, and, eventually, hotter, I thought, hey, why not give Ca+C another go.

And am I ever glad I did. This oil is thin, yes, but it’s smooth and delicate. Two small drops will turn even the thickest of moisturizers into silky fluids, and impart their pasty bases with a good dose of hydration.

Odacite Ca+C Camelina Chamomile Facial Serum Concentrate review photos

The ingredients: Unlike the Pomegranate/Rose Geranium oil that I’m so in love with, Ca+C contains a lot more than three ingredients. It’s mostly camelina seed oil, which is anti-inflammatory and helpful in treating eczema, but it also features a blend of essential oils: ingredients like calendula and German chamomile, which help heal the skin, and Blue Tansy, which for some reason Into the Gloss has decided will be the next big trend. (I have my doubts.)

It’s still a very short ingredient list (silicone- and paraben-free), and like the rest of the Odacité booster serums, Ca+C is made fresh from high-quality ingredients and packaged in thick-walled violet glass.

Odacite Ca+C Facial Serum Concentrate review photos

Best as: A basic, simple serum-oil to use with a moisturizer or tinted moisturizer. This one is perfect for sensitive skin, so it’s a great place to start exploring the Odacité line if your skin tends to react to new products!

Best for: Blending into your moisturizer (and thinning out thick ones, like many of those with physical SPF!)

Odacite Camelina Chamomile Serum Concentrate review photos

The verdict?

Camelina Chamomile isn’t as uniquely singular as Odacité’s Po+R serum, but it’s still a really lovely, simple oil to add to your skincare regimen this summer. It’s very thin and blends well with most moisturizers (especially those that are a little too thick), and is a great “starter oil” for anyone with normal, dry, or sensitive skin.

Availability: $39 USD/$46 CAD at The Detox Market.

Keep reading! »

Klorane Dry Shampoo Natural Tint & Leave-in Spray with Flax Fiber review | For lazy Sunday mornings

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Klorane sunday morning dry shampoo brown dark hair review

The products: Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (Brown to Dark Hair) and Leave-in Spray with Flax Fiber

What’s that, you say? It’s not Sunday morning?

Well, no. Not even a little bit. But I’m crabby and sleepy and I’ve had strep throat for going on three weeks now, so you can shut your pretty, beautiful face and imagine that it is, in fact, Sunday. Because these two products are great for a Sunday morning, or for any other morning that you’re short on time or energy and just want to take it easy and still end up with great hair.

Klorane quick hair fixers best of

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk – Natural Shade ($20 USD/$24 CAD)

The one Klorane product that you NEED (yes, need) to own is their dry shampoo. Everyone keeps telling me that it’s the best, and after all this time, I can finally confirm that, yes, it’s the best. (Way better than Colab, even, thanks to the scent.)

They make four: a green-lidded one with nettle (Oil Absorbing Dry Shampoo), this one (Natural Shade Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk), their Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Extract, and the non-aerosol Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk. The non-aerosol powder and the tinted aerosol (this one) are the only ones that are silicone-free, so be careful when you purchase!

Klorane Dry Shampoo brown dark hair review swatches photos

Klorane :natural Shade dry shampoo colour swatch

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk for brown to dark hair, “swatched” covering palm

I couldn’t get to a legendary seven days with this stuff, but I love it all the same. It smells fantastic; a very clean, subtle scent (sort of a powdery-floral), and applies as a sheer, even veil of light brown powder. You’re supposed to leave it on for 2 minutes and then brush thoroughly, but in a pinch, I find that it works just as well to simply spray on as you head out the door and then tousle lightly on the train.

This stuff is so good that if I apply it on second-day hair, my third-day hair still looks like first-day hair when I wake up. It’s that good. It makes hair look at feel clean, and adds just a touch of volume without making my hair feel gritty.

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk Natural Shade review photos

Klorane Leave-in Spray with Flax Fiber ($16 USD/$20 CAD)

Klorane operates on the very cool concept of one problem/one plant, and for volume, it’s flax fiber. (For gentle balancing/second-day-hair, it’s oat milk.) Tracy from Beauty Reflections really loves this one, and when she mentioned that it doesn’t feel like anything at all on the hair, she had me.

Klorane Leave-in Spray with Flax Fiber review photos

When Klorane figured out that flax was naturally soluble, they put it in their volumizing products to provide actual, physical plant-lift to the hair. But while I think this one is a dream to use (it smells lovely, like a very subtle veil of perfume, and has a really solid, even mister) and looks awesome on Tracy, it didn’t quite work for me.

Check this one out if you have short or fine limp hair, but skip it if you want instant volume for stick-straight Asian hair. Unlike what it does for Tracy (which looks awesome and natural; I’ve seen it in person and can attest to this), it doesn’t give me much in terms of air-dried root lift.

It does get major points for touch-invisibility, though, so give it a look if you’re willing to put in the styling time but want something 100% non-sticky and non-gritty!

Klorane dry shampoo leave in spray review

The verdict?

The Klorane Leave-in Spray with Flax Fiber feels touchably natural, but unless you have fine, limp hair (not just straight/limp hair), it’s not an instant fix-it.

The Natural Tint Dry Shampoo, on the other hand, is a total must-have. It’s a little bit pricy, but the next time you’re due in for a hair treat, you need to try this!! It absorbs oil like a champ, has the best scent of any dry shampoo I’ve ever tried (light, pretty, and clean-smelling), and makes hair look and feel clean.

Availability: Natural Tint Dry Shampoo – $15.24 USD at Escentual.com; $20 USD/$24 CAD at Sephora. Leave-in Spray – $16 USD/$20 CAD at Sephora. Klorane products are available at Shopper’s Drug Mart locations across Canada.

Ingredients & stuff »

L’Occitane Pivoine Sublime Tinted Lip Balm in Rose Nude review, swatches, photos

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora Tinted Lip Balm review swatches

The product: L’Occitane Pivoine Sublime Tinted Lip Balm SPF 25 in Rose Nude

Launching this June at L’Occitane is the Pivoine Sublime skincare range, which features a Perfecting Cream, Skin Perfector Serum, CC Cream, Perfecting Mist, and four peony-scented lip balms: Transparent (housed in a gorgeous silver tube), Rose NudeRose Amber, and Rose Plum.

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora Tinted Lip Balm makeup review

The scent: L’Occitane has actually come out with a number of peony-scented collections over the years, and I’m happy to say that this is my favourite one. It’s much a much softer, fuller floral than the scent used in the Pivoine Délicate makeup collection, and has a rose-touched scent profile.

Pivoine Sublime is also a little fruitier than the bath/body Pivoine Flora, which I find has a soapier feel to it — a differentiation that I think makes the two perfectly suited for makeup & body products, respectfully.

L'Occitane vs Fresh tinted lip balm reviews

The formula (& the elephant in the room): When I saw this lip balm tube for the first time, my mind went to the same place that I’m sure all of yours did: Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments ($26 CAD).

Well, the packaging is near-identical for these (which is to say: super luxe, metal, and twist-on), but the formulas are very, very different! While the Fresh balms are lemon-scented and smooshy-soft with a beeswax/castor seed oil base, these L’Occitane balms are peony-scented and smooth but solid.

Plus, while the Fresh balms are rather heavily tinted and have an SPF of 15, the L’Occitane balms are sheer, with SPF 25.

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora Rose Nude vs Fresh Cherry, Rose swatches comparison

Swatched L-R: Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Balm in Cherry & Rosé; L’Occitane Pivoine Sublime in Rose Nude

But do they moisturize? Honestly… not really. I can wear Nude Rose for about a day without any problems, but it’s not as hydrating as the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments. If you have normal-dry lips, I don’t think it’ll be an issue, but I do have to pile on the Bobbi Brown Lip Balm SPF 15 in the evening if I’ve spent the day wearing a Pivoine Sublime lip balm.
L'Occitane Pivoine Flora Tinted Lip Balm review

The verdict?

While the L’Occitane Pivoine Sublime Lip Balms may fall short of delivering intense hydration, they can’t be beat for a luxury tinted lip balm under $20. They’re gorgeously packaged, smell amazing, and (unlike the cult-followed Fresh lip balms) have the texture of a proper lip balm rather than a soft puddle of butter.

I say skip these if you need a lot of hydration (I do), but definitely indulge if all you’re looking for is something exquisite, hygienic, and pretty!

Availability: $20 CAD online and at L’Occitane boutiques beginning June 2015.

Keep reading! »

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