Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm review, photos, comparison

Friday, January 29, 2016

Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm review

The product: Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm

In the world of high-end lip balms, there are few names that are muttered as frequently or as reverently as Rêve de Miel. This dense, potted lip balm has been an iconic product for more than twenty years, and despite the hundreds of lip balms that have launched since then, it remains the go-to lip balm recommendation for many.

Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm

The formula: The Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm is scented with honey and grapefruit, and smells comforting without smelling sticky-sweet (as I find many honey-scented products do). But what makes it so special is its texture.

I expected this lip balm to be waxy and hard, like my other favourite potted lip balms, but I couldn’t have been farther off the mark. Instead, it’s soft but dense, almost like a bowl of frosting that contains too much icing sugar — it’s mouldable and not at all sticky.

Nuxe Reve de Miel review photos

Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm texture

The wear: This stuff is lovely. It lingers throughout the night, forming a thick, protective layer over your lips and doing a great job of keeping moisture in.

It’s also soft enough that you can use it to treat other dry areas of skin (Nuxe actually recommends it), but I haven’t given this a go — the formula is full of silicones, and I think it may be breaking me out as it is. (Since I started testing it, I’ve been getting a recurrent blemish juuuust along my hairline in the very spot that my lip balm finger touches my face when I brush my hair back. Nowhere else!)

Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm review texture comparison scent

The verdict?

It took me far too long to try this lip balm, but my opinion of it is clear: I’m a fan.

I am a fan, however, with reservations. If you’re sensitive to silicones, then I wouldn’t recommend this one for you; likewise, if you’re on a budget, I would try a different potted lip balm. This one preforms on par with or just slightly under the Osmia Organics and Bobbi Brown lip balms that I love, but due to its super-soft texture, a $17 pot won’t last you nearly as long.

However: that soft texture, created undoubtedly by waxes and oils suspended in silicones, is exactly why I would recommend this one as my #1 lip balm for dryness in combination with ageing skin. Its formula has virtually no drag, unlike the others that I have listed above, and will be far more gentle on your lips and lip contour area — a definite plus for many!

Availability: $19 USD/$17 CAD (!) at Shopper’s Drug Mart, Scarlet & Julia, Target (US), and Birchbox (US/Canada).

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Salcura DermaSpray, Hand Therapy, Shampoo/Conditioner reviews & GIVEAWAY!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Salcura Bioskin DermaSpray review

The products: Salcura Bioskin DermaSpray, Autumn Skin Awakening Hand Therapy, Winter Skin Warming Hand Therapy, and Sensitive & Dry Scalp Shampoo and Conditioner

Do you ever feel like Europe gets all of the best eczema/dry skin/pharmacy brands? I always have — I mean, just look at things like E45, Embryolisse, and Oilatum.

I have another brand for you guys to add to that list today: Salcura. They’re a (mostly, like 98%) natural brand that uses no SLS, parabens, silicones, mineral oil, etc., and they focus on providing gentle, hydrating care for people with dry skin conditions.

Salcura shampoo conditioner review photos

Salcura Sensitive & Dry Scalp Conditioner & Shampoo (£8.99 each)

What I thought was really cool about the Salcura line is that not only do they aim to treat dry skin on the body, but they have a couple products for people with dermatitis of the scalp, too. Their Sensitive & Dry Scalp Shampoo and Conditioner duo is rich in omega oils and super gentle on the hair, and my dry scalp has been loving them.

With regular use of this duo, I’ve seen a dramatic decrease in how peel-y and dry my scalp is — so much so that if I use a different shampoo (even a different one made for dry hair) for a day, I’ll notice more dry flakes and flyaway hair immediately.

I find that I have to use a little more product than usual with this shampoo, but I can good a good foam going if I do. Both products smell a little oily (think grapeseed, not canola), but they leave my hair and scalp looking and feeling super hydrated.

Salcura DermaSpray review photos

Salcura Bioskin DermaSpray (£16.99)

Another super cool product from Salcura is their DermaSpray, which is made for daily use on itchy skin. Made with labender, rosemary, and eucalyptus essential oils, this spray is milky and watery — it provides instant soothing with no oiliness (I can even spray it onto my scalp and my hair looks fine).

I didn’t see strong results with this one on my problem areas, but this spray would be awesome for someone with normal skin who wants totally weightless, easy moisture OR for someone with dry skin (like me!) who is planning on layering it with another moisturizer.

Salcura Winter Skin therapy review hand cream

Salcura Autumn & Winter Hand Therapy Creams (£12.99 each)

Even more exciting than Salcura’s spray and haircare range, though, are their hand creams. I tried the Winter Skin Warming Hand Therapy, which doesn’t actually warm your hands and smells very strongly of ginger oil (one of my least favourite smell so, I’ve since discovered), and the Autumn Skin Awakening Hand a Therapy, which on the other hand was the BEST thing that I’ve ever smelled. 

Salcura says that their autumn scent comes from freesia and pear, and while I can’t pull any distinct notes from it, I can tell you that it smells great. It’s floral, juicy, and fruity, with a scent that lingers and gives me serious heart-eyes all throughout the day.

The formula of Autumn Skin is awesome, too — it’s almost airy, but it’s very creamy, too. It’s quite hydrating (more hydrating than L’Occitane, Neutrogena, or Lush), with a silky, non-greasy finish. 

Salcura Autumn Skin therapy review hand cream

I told the kind folks at Salcura about how much I loved the Autumn Skin Awakening Hand Therapy, and they offered to send one reader not just the Autumn hand cream, but all four seasons! So: please use the giveaway widget below to enter to win FOUR awesome hand creams that are silicone, phthalate, and paraben-free. ;)

The giveaway will be open until Sunday, January 31st at 11:59 PM MST. Good luck, you guys — you’re going to LOVE these!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The verdict?

If you have eczema on your scalp, you need to give Salcura a try. I saw the best results when I used all three of their hair-appropriate products together, but if you love your current shampoo and conditioner, even just adding their DermaSpray to your morning routine will help a ton.

I also think their Autumn Skin hand cream is a must, although I’d take a pass on Winter if you’re making an order!

Availability: You can find Salcura at Boots, Whole Foods, and salcuraskincare.com.

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Design crush: Vice & Velvet | Small Business Saturdays

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Vice and Velvet - Mei Ong

I’ve been looking for indie brands to review and feature on theNotice recently (if you have any suggestions, hit me up in the comments!) and yesterday night, I came across a cute little Australian soap company called Vice & Velvet. It’s a brand that anyone who spends a lot of time on Instagram (guilty) will recognize, but did you know that Vice & Velvet is a one-woman brand?

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As crazy as that sounds, this gorgeous little soap company is run and operated by Mei Ong out of Melbourne, Australia. The line is cruelty-free and vegan, and features small-batch products that are “cut, stamped, and wrapped by hand” — all by Mei, who also does all of her own formulating, production, graphic design, photography, and bookkeeping. 

What I think is really inspirational about Vice & Velvet, though (I keep wanting to call it V&V, which is my nickname for my girlfriend’s cats), is that Mei isn’t just an Asian-Australian woman who’s totally making it on her own, although honestly — that shit is hard. But no, it’s the level at which she excels at all of these things.

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I am completely smitten with Vice & Velvet’s minimalist-hipster packaging; with its unique Jewel Soap Gift Set and whimsical Cloud Soap Bars. I am enamoured with the fact that each bar of soap is lovingly hand-stamped for an ultra-chic, ultra-luxe look. I am obsessed with the way that each bar looks different (but perfect), and with the way that Mei’s photographic style is recognizable from a mile away. 

You never have to check the caption to see if a bar of soap was made by Vice & Velvet, you know? All you have to do is glance at the image and you just know. 

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Check out Vice & Velvet at their online store here, or click here to see their goods on Etsy. 

Pur Minerals Double Ego Liner, Eye Polish, Wake Up Brow, & Volume Vixen Mascara review, swatches

Friday, January 15, 2016

Pur Minerals makeup review

The products: Pür Minerals Double Ego Dual-Ended Eyeliner in Milan, Wake Up Brow in Hello Bright Eyes and Espresso, Volume Vixen 4-in-1 Mascara, and Eye Polish Eye Base + Top Coat in Satin

It’s no secret that I’ve fallen hard for Pür Minerals, so here are four (yes, four!) more mini-reviews of Pür products that I’m loving. I hope you guys are all having an awesome Friday so far!

Pur Minerals Double Ego Eyeliner review

Double Ego Dual-Ended Eyeliner ($21 USD/$23 CAD)

All of my favourite pen liners come only in black, but Pür’s Double Ego Eyeliner Liquid/Pencil 2-in-1 Liner comes in a ton of shades — everything from violet to jewel-toned teal. The Double Ego liners come with a short, stiff brush tip on one end and a creamy mineral pencil on the other. 

I really love the formula and opacity of the liquid liner half (I can easily get 15+ hours of flawless wear from it), but I think the applicator itself is a little too hard. It can draw super precise lines, but the stiffness also pushes up on my eyelid and draws in little folds!

As much as I love the liquid end, though (I think it’s actually the best pen liner that I own), I think I’d pass on these pens — the pencil liner smudged within three hours on my lids, and I just couldn’t get quite enough intensity from it.

Pur Minerals Wake Up Brow Brunette review

Wake Up Brow ($24 USD/$23 CAD)

Pür’s Wake Up Brow Dual-Ended Brow Pencil is, like the double-ended liners, kind of hard — but I love it.

The Espresso end of this pencil makes it easy to draw in super-sharp brows (if you’re seeing too many hard lines, the brow brush on the other end blends this formula out perfectly), and the glowy, pink Hello Bright Eyes end adds noticeable lift to the brows and inner eye.

My only warning? Pür doesn’t do any really cool-toned browns, so skip this one if you’re really worried about your brows looking too warm!

Pur Minerals Eye Polish Satin swatches, liner, brow, Mystic

Pür Minerals swatches: Eye Polish in Satin, Double Ego Eyeliner in Milan (liquid/pencil), Wake Up Brow in Hello Bright Eyes/Espresso, and Lip Lure in Mystic.

Pur Minerals Volume Vixen Mascara review

Volume Vixen Mascara ($21 USD/$23 CAD)

Okay. So the two products above are great but still skipable for some… But you NEED these next two.

The Pür Minerals Volume Vixen 4-in-1 Mascara with Keratin is perfect. It makes my lashes look super long, holds a curl like that’s its only job, and wears like it’s a freaking tubing mascara — all while feeling soft to the touch. 

The brush is awesome, too, with clumped nylon bristles (perfect for feathery separation) and a very slightly flat cross-section that holds just right amount of product every time.

Pur Minerals Eye Polish Satin review

Eye Polish ($26 USD/$32 CAD)

Aaaand last but not least, the AWESOME new Pür Minerals Eye Polish Eye Base and Top Coat in Satin.

This suff, ladies and gentlemen, is the shit. Its novel liquid-cushion format (think Stila liquid liners) is designed to be applied with a silicone paddle applicator (included in the price), and the pairing is just perfect. The silicone applicator is easy to use, and the formula blends out and sets like a dream.

I never end up with too much product with these (the brush picks up very little, which is exactly what you need), and the formula wears well — about nine hours with very light creasing, which is eight hours more than my lids usually get out of a potted eyeshadow!

I’ve been wearing this eyeshadow pretty much non-stop since December, and I would absolutely recommend it. It’s a little pricier than I’d like, but for the unique formula and considering how little you need, I think it’s worth it.

pur minerals eye polish nude swatch review

Wearing Pür Minerals Eye Polish in Satin, Volume Vixen Mascara, and Double Ego Liquid Eyeliner in Milan.

Pur Minerals Eye Polish review swatches

The verdict?

You guys, you *need* to try the new Pür Minerals Eye Polish line. They’re easy to apply, they wear really well, and (don’t pretend this isn’t a factor) they’re like, super cool.

I would also definitely recommend the Volume Vixen mascara (especially if you have trouble finding mascaras that won’t smudge on you), and the coffee-named Wake Up Brow and Double Ego liners are great — although they’re not a must-have, if you ask me!

Availability: Available at Pür Minerals, Shoppers Drug Mart, and Ulta.

Hylamide Sensitive Fix, HA Booster review, photos, comparison

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Deciem Hylamide Booster review photos comparison

The products: DECIEM Hylamide Sensitive Fix & Low-Molecular HA Booster Serums

It’s no secret that I love Deciem’s SubQ Anti-Age Advanced Serum, so when I heard about the line’s “boosters,” my interest was immediately piqued. The boosters are designed to be used as an adjunct to your skincare routine, applied after your serum and before your moisturizer, letting you customize exactly what you want out of your regimen.

I was sent the Low-Molecular HA Booster by the lovely folks at Deciem, but I liked it enough to purchase the Sensitive Fix Booster on my own — and I couldn’t be happier that I did.

Deciem Hylamide Low-Molecular HA Booster review photos

Low-Molecular HA Booster

The HA Booster contains 5 different hyaluronic compounds that target everything from lightweight surface hydration (hyaluronic acid ferment) to encouraging your skin to produce more hyaluronic acid on its own (HA precursor), but for some reason, I find that I get lots of little closed comedones when I use this.

The formula of the HA booster is a little weird, too. Like Fountain’s Hyaluronic Molecule, it’s very thick — not sticky, but almost… goopy? It dries to a “nothing” finish, but the application is a little weird!

Hylamide Low-Molecular HA Booster review photos

Deciem Hylamide Sensitive Fix Booster review photos

Sensitive Fix Booster

Okay, so this? This is where it’s at. 

I was a little disheartened with my experience with Hylamide’s HA booster, so I went and purchased their Sensitive Fix during the brand’s 20% off Halloween sale. My order came out to a tiny $16.80 CAD including 2-day shipping, and it was marked as shipped literally twelve minutes after I made my order, so yeah, you could say that Mr. Sensitive Fix and I got off to a pretty good start.

Hylamide HA Booster review photos

Sensitive Fix is meant to decrease irritation and redness with twice daily use. I don’t have a lot of redness and it doesn’t do anything for the redness that I do have (though I suspect those with serious redness will have different results), but what it does do is calm down my surface irritation. 

I have super-sensitive skin that sometimes feels like it’s burning for no reason whatsoever, but Hylamide’s Sensitive Fix kills the irritation almost immediately. It works much like the Guerlain SOS Serum does, with a very mild “hot” feeling followed by a dramatic decrease in irritation, except it’s $20 CAD, not (have mercy) $104 USD.

Deciem Sensitive Fix Booster review photos

Now, this is a total over-share, but when I read that the Golden-Eye Grass Complex in this serum balances skin pH to reduce sensitivity in the immediate and short term, I, uh. Put it on not-my-face. And then I re-tested it on not-my-boyfriend’s-face.

That’s all I’m going to say about that, but trust me on this one: if you’re experiencing pain on pink skin due to dryness or irritation, this stuff will calm it down in literally seconds. 

But I mean, don’t try this one at home, kids.

Hylamide Sensitive Fix Booster review photos

The verdict?

You NEED the Hylamide Sensitive Fix Booster. I’ll admit that I was skeptical at first, but now that I’ve tried it, I really believe in its ability to calm down surface sensitivity in the short term. It was easily my best purchase of 2015, and I’ll likely be stocking up with a second bottle before the end of 2016!

As for the Low-Molecular HA Booster? My skin is really dry, so it doesn’t always slough off its layers correctly (hence the clogged pores), but I think those with oily, dehydrated skin will really like it. It does a great job of hydrating my partner’s face without feeling heavy or greasy, and unless it’s really dry outside, he can actually just use the HA Booster and nothing else!

Availability: $20 CAD each with FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING!! (the caps lock is definitely necessary) at Deciem.com. Also available at the Hudson’s Bay Beauty Underground.

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Bio Beaute Flash Perfection review, swatches | A NYE-ready review!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Silicone-free Flash Perfection review

The product: Bio Beauté by Nuxe Flash Perfection Beautifying Serum

OH GOD IT’S THE LAST DAY OF 2015 I CAN’T HANDLE THIS HELP ME

Happy New Year’s Eve, readers! How are your holidays going?

I wasn’t really feeling a NYE makeup look this year, so I have a different New Year’s themed post for you instead: a review of this neat little Flash Perfection serum by Bio Beauté. It sounds pretty New Years Eve party-ish, right? Flawless and instant and, most importantly, luminous?

Bio Beaute Beautifying Serum review.jpg

What’s in it: This new Bio Beauté by Nuxe serum (well, not-so-new if you’re in France; I think it launched in the spring for all of you lucky ducks) is silicone-free and certified organic, and it’s lightly scented with a 100% natural rose, freesia, and raspberry fragrance. (I had to read the press release for that info — it honestly doesn’t really have much of a scent.)

What’s nifty about this serum, though, is that like products such as Deciem’s Photography Foundation and Neutrogena’s Instant Tone Corrector, it’s designed to blur out imperfections with “chameleon nacres” — basically, a light nude/peachy tint and delicate micro shimmer that instantly makes all skin tones look better.

Nuxe Flash Perfection serum swatch

But does it work? Sadly, on my skin… Not so much. It does make my skin look lovely and glowy, but it’s subtle. I was hoping Bio Beauté’s Flash Perfection would be a great pre-party product (perfect for things like New Years) because of, you know, the name, but it’s more of a lightly luminizing long term product for me. It’s still a nice serum, but didn’t really deliver on the flash!

On a dark or medium skin tone, I think you’d see more of an effect, but I don’t find myself reaching for this when I need a quick fix.

Bio Beaute By Nuxe Flash Perfection review.jpg

The verdict?

Sadly, Bio Beauté’s Flash Perfection Radiance Beautifying Serum wasn’t what I wanted it to be. It was a close thing, though — it does instantly make my skin look more luminous and smooth, but no more so than a great facial mist would have. 

However, I do think there’s a small group of people who would LOVE this product. If you really like the idea of those “instant complexion booster”-type products BUT you want something that’s (a) silicone-free or (b) truly invisible under a macro lens, this is going to be your jam. The trade-off will be that it won’t give you major results at a distance, though, so I think this one is best used daily for long-term luminosity instead! 

Availability: $37 CAD at select Shopper’s Drug Mart boutiques in Canada. (Should be available at the Beauty Boutique soon!)

Keep reading!

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