Elizabeth Arden Eclipse Sunset Bronze Highlighter review, swatches, photos | The prettiest spring launch! THE PRETTIEST!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze highlighter review

The product: Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze Prismatic Highlighter in Eclipse 01

I’ve really been feeling the whole “glistening golden glow” thing this season, but somehow, I didn’t have a single product in my collection that really fit the bill — until Eclipse came along.

It’s part of the Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze Summer 2016 collection, which is all about sunset hues and the bronzey look that the golden hour gives you.

Elizabeth Arden sunset bronze review prismatic highighter

Elizabeth Arden sunset bronze highlighter swatch review

Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze Prismatic Highlighter swatch (blended / heavy)

The shade: You guys. This is gorgeous.

The Sunset Bronze Prismatic Highlighter only comes in one shade, Eclipse, but it’s a stunning golden bronze colour. Ultra-fine mica and titanium dioxide shimmer gives a sparkly gold finish to a light copper base colour, and the stick texture blends out easily to a translucent shimmer finish that makes my cheekbones GLOW in natural sunlight. 

Patting it into the skin offers a more intense sheen, and it reminds me of the Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Pop Shimmering Skin Perfector ($38 USD/$46 CAD) when patted — but with more controllable shimmer placement. (Am I the only one who didn’t really like Champagne Pop? Becca highlighters are so pretty, but kind of get everywhere on me.)

Estee Lauder sunset bronze highlighter stick swatch review

Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze Prismatic Highlighter in Eclipse, swatched (blended / heavy)

The formula & packaging: Elizabeth Arden’s Prismatic Highlighter formula contains silicones, but it is gorgeously creamy — and doesn’t seem to breaking me out in this concentration (yet). The texture is melty-smooth without being slippery, and it comes amped up with vitamin E, zinc PCA, and aloe vera leaf extract to nourish your skin.

Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze Prismatic Highlighter review stick

Elizabeth Arden Eclipse Sunset Glow highlighter vs Clinique Chubby highlighter

Elizabeth Arden Sunset Bronze Prismatic Highlighter swatch (top), Clinique Chubby Stick in Hefty Highlight (bottom)

The only other highlighting stick that I use regularly is the Clinque Chubby Stick highlighter ($21 USD/$24 CAD), but the two are like night and day. The Elizabeth Arden stick is softer, creamier, stouter, and easier to blend, while the Clinique stick is firmer and disappears into the skin.

Both are stunning in their own way, but one is a cool-toned illuminator while the other is warm, intense highlighter. (In other words, you totally need both!)

Elizabeth Arden Spring 2016 highlighter review

The verdict?

Elizabeth Arden is one of those brands that can sometimes feel dated, but they absolutely killed it with their Sunset Bronze 2016 collection. The entire launch is tightly edited and beautifully packaged, and the Sunset Bronze Prismatic Highlighter is honestly the crown jewel of the whole production.

My only reservation about this highlighter is that it won’t be going into the permanent Elizabeth Arden line, so snap it up while you can!

Availability: $28.50 USD/$34.50 CAD. Limited edition at select Hudson’s Bay, London Drugs, and Shopper’s Drug Mart locations as of February 2016.

More pictures! »

Tatcha Camellia Beauty Oil & Cleansing Oil review, photos | Tsubaki oil for normal/oily skin types

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Tatcha cleansing oil review

The products: Tatcha Gold Camellia Beauty Oil & Pure One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil

Happy Tuesday, folks! I’ve got a couple Tatcha camellia oil products to share with you today, because the line has finally been picked up by Canadian Sephora stores & can be easily acquired, no firstborn/evil witch promises needed.

The Tatcha line features a lot of Camellia japonica flower oil, which is sometimes called Japanese tea oil or tsubaki oil. It’s an ingredient that’s used frequently in skincare thanks to its oleic acid triglyceride content (85%, just like human sebum), and it contains lots of skin-friendly antioxidants!

Tatcha One step Camellia Cleansing Oil review

Tatcha One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil ($48 USD/$58 CAD)

I started testing with the brand’s One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, which is a dual-purpose makeup remover & cleanser from Tatcha’s Pure product range. It’s one of the brand’s bestselling products, and it’s easy to see why: it’s a naturally fragranced, mineral oil-free cleansing oil that washes away with no residue.

I’ve actually tried Tatcha’s cleansing oil a couple of times, and I wasn’t a big fan of it in the past. I found out why this time around, though: I wasn’t using enough of it with my trial size, and I kept testing it out at my boyfriend’s apartment (which is dry like a high-tech science experiment and totally confounds my product testing results.)

Tatcha pure one step cameilla cleansing oil review

Now that I’m actually using enough Tatcha cleansing oil, I really like it. One pump removes all of my makeup, including eyeliner, and it leaves my skin feeling soft and clean.

I like a little more hydration from my daily cleanser, but this oil is super gentle, non-stripping, and non-greasy. It’s better for sensitive or dry skin than Shu Uemura or L’Occitane cleansing oils, and it smells way better than DHC’s Cleansing Oil (which I would otherwise slightly prefer.)

Overall, Tatcha’s cleansing oil is an awesome all-rounder. It’s a little pricey for a cleansing oil at $9.41 USD/oz, but it’s a formula that will work well for oily and dry skin, and it’s a great option for those with sensitive complexions.

Tatcha One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil ingredients:

Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Rice Bran Oil, Polyglyceryl-10 Dioleate, Polyglyceryl-2 Sesquicaprylate, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Glyceryl Behenate/Eicosadioate, Water, Algae Extract, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Alcohol, Natural Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol.

Tatcha cameillia beauty oil review

Tatcha Camellia Beauty Oil ($95 USD/$114 CAD)

I’ve also been carrying around the Tatcha Camellia Beauty Oil, which is scented with natural bamboo and green tea fragrances. (It smells quite a bit like a Shu Uemura cleansing oil, actually!) It’s a light, dry oil for the face, hair, and body, but I reserve it for face use only — my body has done nothing to deserve a $114 oil.

Like Tatcha’s Cleansing Oil, this serum/moisturizer is formulated around camellia oil and is appropriate for all skin types. I like a serum that’s a little thicker than this, but this oil blend is just moisturizing enough for my dry skin while still being lightweight enough for my boyfriend’s slightly oily skin, which is pretty cool. (Boyfriend actually says it’s the best-feeling oil he’s ever tried, so score one for Tatcha!)

Tatcha gold review Cameillia beauty oil serum

The Tatcha Camellia Beauty Oil is also formulated with olive-derived squalane, licorice root extract, and 24-karat gold flakes, making it great for regulating sebum production, calming down inflammation, and generally being super luxe. It’s also available in a 10 ml travel size, but the travel size is $33 — I’d say go for the full size and just enjoy how stately and luxurious the packaging is!

Tatcha Camellia Beauty Oil ingredients:

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Squalane (Olive Origin), Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Natural Fragrance, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentaisostearate, Dimer Dilinoleyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Macadamia, Rice Germ Oil, Water, Tocopherol, Licorice Extract, Rice Bran Oil Extract, Rice Extract, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Alcohol, Glycerin, Algae Extract, Gold, Phenoxyethanol.

Tatcha skincare review silicone free recommendations

The verdict?

I really liked both of these products (they’re definitely going into my regular skincare rotation), but at the price… they’re not must-haves for me. My dehydrated skin was left wanting, which I think it slightly inappropriate for products that are this expensive.

If I had to pick a word to describe Tatcha’s brand identity and product ethos, though, I would go with “exquisite.”  These products are beautiful right from the boxes to the ingredients, and I personally think that they outperform most department store brands at a similar price point.

I have yet to find anything in the line for super dry skin, but if you want to spoil your normal to oily skin, then give these two a try!

Availability: Tatcha.com and Sephora (US and Canada). Each full-sized Tatcha product purchased funds one day of school for a girl through the brand’s Beautiful Faces, Beautiful Futures partnership with Room to Read.

(more…)

True All You Need Is Me, Lilly & Lola Hydrate Your Skin reviews

Monday, February 22, 2016

Lilly and Lola Coconut Oil review - Skin

The products: True Organic of Sweden All You Need is Me, Lilly & Lola Hydrate Your Skin with Coconut Oil

One of the things that I’ve been hearing a lot from other beauty bloggers recently is that nothing seems to be new anymore. Brands latch onto a popular, trendy product, and they all just sort of churn out replicas of it — look at something as simple as gel liner, for instance (created by Bobbi Brown herself), or even those great little cushion-type compacts.

These launches from True and Lilly & Lola are different from the rest of the bunch. Sure, they’re not literally one of a kind, but they’re products that most non-beauty fiends probably haven’t even heard of — and in this day and age, that’s a feat in & of itself!

True Organics review All You Need Is Me

All You Need Is Me ($35 USD/$42 CAD)

True Organic of Sweden is a cool, cruelty-free company based out of Stockholm that uses all natural and organic ingredients. They make all of their products in Sweden, and I gotta say — I am LOVING their font choices.

True petroleum free jelly review All You Need Is Me

All You Need Is Me is one of those all-natural “everything” balms, but it’s less wax-in-a-pot and more petroleum-free-petroleum-jelly. Its matte tube is actually made from sugarcane, NOT plastic, and it contains only castor oil, beeswax, olive oil, shea butter, vitamin E, and blueberry seed oil.

(Yeah. When was the last time you saw an ingredients list so simple that it could comfortably fit into the body text of a review?)

Petrolum free all natural jelly review Detox Market

It’s a great substitute for petroleum jelly, but a word to the wise: this cruelty-free, fragrance-free balm has only a six month shelf life. My tube has already started to “grain up” and separate out, which is a bit of a bummer seeing as it comes only half full to begin with!

True Organics of Sweden All You Need Is Me review

Heartbreak at first squish

Lilly & Lola ($25.99 CAD)

Speaking of short ingredients lists: have you heard of Lilly & Lola? They’re a skincare brand that recently got picked up by The Detox Market (my faves!), and they make ALL of their products only out of coconut oil.

I didn’t really see why a bottle of fractionated coconut oil should cost $25 at first, but then I did a little bit of reading. The thing about natural ingredients is that the quality of your ingredient is going to depend on the plant, its freshness, and the type of extraction being used; turns out, it’s the same for coconut oil. When factories further process virgin coconut oil (solid at room temperature) to produce a coconut oil liquid, the final product can vary quite a lot!

Lilly and Lola Hydrate Your Skin review

Lilly & Lolo, for instance, makes three products right now from different blends of fractionated coconut oil. This one is described on their site as a “coconut oil barrier” with a lightweight texture and a quick, 2-3 minute absorption time, but the brand’s Renew Your Face and Renew Your Hair oil treatments (which also contain 100% coconut oil) have a heavier texture and will sink into your hair and face over the course of the night.

I personally don’t like the feeling of coconut oil on my skin (it feels too “dry” for me), so I wasn’t big on this one. It leaves my skin feeling very silky, though, so check it out if you want a scent-free coconut oil moisturizer that sprays on and stays liquid at room temp!

(Note: pictured here is Lilly & Lola’s 25ml bottle. The one available at The Detox Market TO is double the size!) 

Lilly Lolo Hydrate Your SKinr eview True Organic balm

What’s the coolest skincare product you’ve tried this year?

Amaterasu Brunette Liquid Brow Liner swatches, review, photos (formerly Geisha Ink)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Amaterasu liquid brow liner review

The product: Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner in Brunette

Okay, so I know I keep finding new brow things to love, but I ACTUALLY MEAN IT this time; I promise.

Amaterasu (pronounced AH-mah-tay-RA-su, after the Japanese Sun Goddess; formerly Geisha Ink) is a Canadian company created Sara Au Yeong that makes just the most amazing liquid brow liner. It’s the perfect combination of my other two liquid brow loves: the great shade match of the Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Color, but with the fast application of the Marcelle Eyebrow Pen.

Amaterasu brow liner review

Look at that gorgeous tip!

Amaterasu liquid brow swatches brunette

Amaterasu Beauty Liquid Brow Liner in Brunette swatched in indirect sunlight

The formula: Huh. I kind of blew this one in the intro, eh?

The Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner formula is really lovely, with great pigmentation (more than the Stila) and amazing wear — think power brows from 7AM to midnight, with face-down physio and a nap in between. It’s easy to apply even on scarred areas of skin, and it takes a few seconds to set, so it can be smudged gently with a q-tip or fingertip for a softer brow look.

Before after Amaterasu brows

Before & after with the Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner! (Plus concealer, lashes, a touch of Maybelline 24H Color Tattoo eyeshadow pencil in Pink Parfait, and the new Annabelle Blue Spark liquid liner.)

Amaterasu liquid brow swatches brunette vs stila and marcelle

Marcelle Eyebrow Pen Universal Dark, Stila Stay All Day in Medium, Amaterasu Brunette

The shade: I’m always wary of trying “brunette” brow shades, but Amatetasu’s Brunette knocks it right out of the park. It’s the shade that Geisha Ink/Amaterasu founder Sara Au Yeong wears daily (after many rounds of sending samples back to the lab and saying, “It’s still too red,”) so when I say that it is PERFECT for Asian brows, I mean it! It’s not too light, too warm, or too red.

Amaterasu Liquid Brow Liner review Brunette

The plum blossom can be found on all the new Amaterasu packaging!

The packaging: The Amaterasu packaging is great, too, with a tight seal and a long, calligraphy-style tip. The brush makes it easy to get just the right amount of product, and I never find that I need to go over an area twice (like I often need to with my Stila liner).

It’s also nice and soft, so if you have extremely sensitive skin, this could be what you’ve been waiting for!

Geisha Ink brow pen review swatches

The verdict?

If you passed on the Marcelle pen that I love, and you (wisely) passed on the Stila pen that I adore, then you MUST give this a try. The Amaterasu Brow Liner is the perfect brow product for Asian brows with no caveats or exceptions, and the crazy-long-wearing formula and packaging are worth the price even if you don’t struggle to find brow products in the right shade for you.

Plus, it’s a Canadian company (made in Japan) founded by an incredibly badass business woman & makeup artist, so you know your pennies are going to a great group of folks instead of some nameless corporation! ;)

Availability: $23.20 USD/$29 CAD at Amaterasu.ca and at all of these places in Canada, the US, and worldwide. (Use code SHIP30 for free shipping over $30 CAD!)

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).

Keep reading! »

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.

Keep reading! »

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...