Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus serum, Antioxidant Cleansing Mousse reviews, photos

Monday, March 14, 2016

Jurlique Foaming Cleanser, Rose Moisture Plus Serum review

The products: Jurlique Herbal Recovery Antioxidant Cleansing Mousse & Rose Moisture Plus Daily Moisture Balancing Serum

I like to think that I can admit my mistakes gracefully. I have no idea if this is true or not, but if it is, then the Jurlique skincare range is a great example of it.

I thought that Jurlique was just another well-marketed beauty brand, but I was definitely off-base in my assumptions. The two Jurlique products that I’ve been testing came in recycled, sustainably sourced paper cartons, feature natural and organic ingredients, and are stamped with expiry dates — March 2017 for the mousse and August 2016 for the serum, instead of that vague “6 months” crap that most brands will feed you.

There are plenty of natural and sustainable brands nowadays, but Jurlique has been doing the eco-conscious thing since way before it was cool. The brand celebrates its 30th anniversary this year (Happy Birthday, Jurlique!)

Jurlique Foaming Cleanser dry skin review

Jurlique Herbal Recovery Antioxidant Cleansing Mousse review

Jurlique Antioxidant Cleansing Mousse ($34 USD)

The Jurlique Antioxidant Cleansing Mousse is described as a “lightly whipped foaming mousse,” and I have to agree! Jurlique’s mousse cleanser isn’t like any other that I’ve tried — it’s enriched with jojoba, grape seed, safflower, and rose hip oils, and it actually feels whipped and lush rather than just foamy.

It’s the most hydrating mousse/foaming cleanser that I’ve tried, but it’s not perfect. Even though I like the formula, it’s still more stripping than a cleansing milk, so it’ll work better for oily and normal skin types than dry or sensitive ones. I think it would be awesome in helping to balance out a combination complexion, though, or a dehydrated/oily skin type!

Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Serum review

Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Daily Moisture Balancing Serum review

Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Serum ($50 USD)

I’ve also been using the Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Serum over the past few months, but while it helps maintain my skin’s moisture levels, it doesn’t get rid of my persistent dryness the way that a few of my other serums do.

I really like its silky texture and natural rose scent, but at $50, I just couldn’t recommend it to someone with chronically dry skin. If you have mild dry skin, then yes, this is a gorgeous silicone-free serum, but be warned: I found it to be only about as hydrating as Hylamide SubQ, SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel, and the super-popular Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Serum.

(Which, granted, a lot of people describe as super hydrating, so it really depends where you’re measuring from!)

Jurlique packaging review skincare

The verdict?

Jurlique products are definitely a splurge, but I think you get what you pay for with the line. The packaging, delivery, and formulas are exquisite, and I was actually surprised that these products didn’t cost more — $50 for a luxury serum is arguably pretty well-priced.

I didn’t find the Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Serum hydrating enough for my skin type, but I loved the Jurlique Herbal Recovery Antioxidant Cleansing Mousse. It’s gentler on the skin than most foaming cleansers, and though it gets used up pretty quickly, it feels whipped (not foamy), which is quite the treat!

Availability: Jurlique.com. Jurlique is actually running a really cool new promo right now, where they will give you a $15 USD credit toward ANY purchase before March 15th if you sign up for their newsletter!

Keep reading! »

Bioderma Atoderm reviews: Gentle Shower Gel, Moisturizing Stick, PP Baume

Monday, March 7, 2016

Bioderma Atoderm shower gel review

The products: Bioderma Atoderm Gentle Shower Gel, Atoderm Moisturizing Stick, and Atoderm PP Ultra-Nourishing Balm

The Bioderma Atoderm shower gel is the biggest shower gel that you are ever going to use. Period. It’s a massive 1 litre (or bloody 2 lbs and 6.86 oz) of paraben-free, soap-free, hypoallergenic gentleness, and it’s totally dry skin friendly.

Hell, you could use this everywhere from your kids to your face to your junk (that’s one way to prevent the Junkface bar soap conundrum), and you’d still have 990 ml left to soap up… I don’t know; maybe a whole herd of cows?

Bioderma Atoderm review vs Bliss Soapy Suds The Body Shop Virgin Mojito

This is what 1L of bodywash looks like in comparison. (CAD proce per litre: $61, $19.95, $40).

The Atoderm line: Bioderma focuses on making gentle, pharmacy-style products that are targeted to specific skin types, and the Atoderm range is aimed at very dry to atopic sensitive skin. (That’s me!) (Although to be fair, Sensibio and Hydrabio, for sensitive skin and dehydrated sensitive skin, respectively, are also arguably me.)

But my point is — Atoderm products are designed to be gentle, non-stripping, and hydrating, so they’re the Bioderma line to turn to if you have eczema, psoriasis, or just generally fragile skin. 

Bioderma Atoderm shower gel

Bioderma Atoderm Gentle Shower Gel ($19.95 CAD)

The Atoderm line has four options for shower gels, all available in 500 ml or 1L bottles. This is actually their least gentle of all four (there’s also a gel-mousse, a cream, and an oil, which I really want to try) and it’s really nice.

A litre is a lot of shower gel to go through, but this stuff is awesome. It’s very lightly scented and is actually quite thin, which is something I’ve never encountered before but am very much enjoying 4111111111111111111111111111111 (Tuna says hi.)

You know how, when you walk into an Asian household, the soap is always a little thinner than it’s supposed to be? This is a like that, except minus the scolding grandma! The Atoderm Gentle Shower Gel is slick and easy to apply, and it’s easy to rinse off without having to scrub at your damaged skin.

Bioderma lip balm review Atoderm

Bioderma Atoderm Moisturizing Stick ($6.95 CAD)

There are two lip balms in the Bioderma Atoderm line, because Bioderma loves going overboard with their product ranges. (I joke, but I actually love this kind of precisely curated neuroses.)

This one’s the stick, and I LOVE it. It’s my absolute favourite lip balm right now, and I keep making everyone try it — it’s so good. The formula smells lightly of raspberry candy and is perfectly stiff, but it applies smoothly and keeps my lips nicely hydrated for a good couple of hours. It really is the ideal texture for a daytime lip balm!

Bioderma Atoderm moisturizing stick review

I’d say that this is more hydrating than Nuxe Reve de Miel, eos balms, and Burt’s Bees lip balms, but less hydrating than my potted Bobbi Brown Lip Balm SPF 15 (yes, that post is SEVEN YEARS OLD now) or the Osmia Organics Lip Balm that I love.

It’s about as hydrating as a Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment, but it’s way cheaper and much easier to work with… and it won’t slide onto the floor in the summer.

Bioderma PP Ultra-nourishing balm review ish

Bioderma Atoderm PP Ultra-Nourishing Balm ($29.95 CAD)

The Bioderma PP Baume contains silicones, so I couldn’t test it myself. However, it’s an extra-nourishing formula that joins a whole bunch of other Atoderm products, like the protective PO Zinc and everyday Creme (which comes in unscented & scented versions — so cool!)

If you’ve tried the PP Baume, let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. Here’s what other bloggers thought of it, though:

  • Natalie Loves Beauty notes that it absorbs almost instantly,
  • Writing Whimsy loves how hydrating its formula is, unlike the scented Atoderm PP Creme formula,
  • Lipstick and Lullabies tried it with her husband and found that it’s great for dryness, redness, and facial skin, and
  • Ruqaiya Kahn finds the formula a bit sticky BUT notes that it totally got rid of her itchy, dry leg skin.

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.

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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!)

Marcelle Ultra Gentle Moisturizing Cream review, photos

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Marcelle Ultra Moisturizing review lotion cream

The product: Marcelle Ultra Gentle Moisturizing Cream

Happy Wednesday, beauty fiends! I missed Monday’s post due to some fibro/RA stuff, but I’m back swinging today.

One of my big goals for 2016 is to update my silicone-free moisturizers list, but I wanted to do it right this time — which is to say, I want to do it with reviews. Here is the first of what I’m sure will be many ‘cone-free moisturizer reviews during 2016! I usually start testing about one new product every 2 weeks, so please stick with me while I work to get through them all. ;)

Marcelle Ultra Gentle cream review dry skin eczema

The packaging: The first thing that really hit me about this product was how much I loooove the packaging. It’s super simple, but it has a really “finished” feeling to it. It comes in a flattened tube and looks perfectly clinical sitting on my countertop, and it holds its own next to stuff like SkinCeuticals without breaking the bank.

What I really love about the packaging, though, is that it’s lightweight and hygienic, making it great for travel without giving you any less product than traditional/chunky packaging would.

Marcelle Ultra Gentlre Moisturizer review sensitive skin

The formula: The Ultra Gentle formula launched last August (no, this isn’t just a travel-ready version of Marcelle’s Moisture Cream), and it’s designed to reduce irritation in atopic skin by making sure the skin is properly hydrated throughout. It’s also paraben-, oil-, and perfume-free, making it great for those with intolerant skin!

As for how this silicone-free moisturizer performs? I really like it. It has a no-nonsense formula that absorbs quickly and leaves the skin feeling nourished and noticeably soft, and it’s a great rendition of what the perfect “lotion” should be. I’m reminded of Bioderma Tolerance+ when I use this, despite the price difference and extra moisture!

Marcelle labels their Ultra Gentle cream as suitable for those with normal to dry skin, which I would definitely agree with. For my extra-dry skin, all I need to do is add a drop or two of serum or oil, and this is perfect.

Marelle Ultra Gentle Moisturizing Cream review

The verdict?

If you’re on the market for a great, simple moisturizing lotion, look no farther than the Marcelle Ultra Gentle Moisturizing Cream. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s silicone-free, packaged in a hygienic tube, absorbs quickly, and leaves dry skin feeling soft and quenched.

This moisturizer is best for those with dry or moderately dehydrated skin, but would be awesome for anyone with intolerant/sensitive skin or mild eczema, too!

Availability: $18.95 CAD at Marcelle.com (US & Canadian shipping) and in drugstores and mass market retailers across Canada. (When you buy in person, don’t let the tube size fool you — it looks small due to the no-nonsense packaging, but contains the industry “standard” 1.7 oz of product!)

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