LUSH Valentine’s Day 2016 reviews, photos: The Kiss, Prince Charming, Unicorn Horn

Monday, February 8, 2016

LUSH Valentine's Day 2016 review

The products: LUSH The Kiss Lip Gloss and Lip Scrub, Prince Charming Shower Cream, and Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar

Lush has six pretty-in-pink, limited edition launches out for Valentine’s Day this year, and like they did with their fruity holiday releases, they’ve subverted expectations juuust a little bit with pomegranate and mandarin scented products. (Don’t worry, there are a few rose-scented ones as well, for all of us traditionalists.)

I tried out three of them and photographed one more, but I have to admit: my heart’s just not in it this year.

LUSH The Kiss Lipgloss swatch review

The Kiss Lip Gloss ($8.95 CAD) and Lip Scrub ($9.95 CAD)

Lush’s product page for The Kiss Lip Gloss leads you to believe that it’ll leave your lips shiny and pink, but while I do actually like this balm, it’s just that: a balm. It’s relatively hydrating and completely transparent, with a sheer, frosty shimmer finish and a scent that reminds me (and the others that I’ve asked) more of bubblegum than citrus. It’s not shiny, and it’s not pigmented, much less glossy and opaque (as it’s swatched on the Lush site.)

LUSH The Kiss Lip Scrub review

The Kiss comes in Lip Scrub format as well, and its twinkling pink sugar bits and edible red hearts had my hopes up high. But, like the last Lush scrub I tried, this one left my skin over-scrubbed and raw, and even though it’s described clearly as a “caster sugar scrub,” it’s half salt sea salt — so when you take Lush’s advice and lick up the excess, you end up with a very literal bitter, salty mouthful of disappointment. 

I have loved Lush’s lip products in the past, but these ones just aren’t working for me at all.

LUSH Prince Charming, The Kiss review swatches

The Kiss Lip Gloss swatch (yes, really), The Kiss Lip Scrub, and Prince Charming Shower Cream x2

LUSH Prince Charming Shower Cream review stain

Prince Charming Shower Cream ($9.95 CAD)

You’re killin’ me, Lush. You guys make some seriously awesome products (I’ve got, like, two measly uses of Gorgeous left and it makes me want to cry), and then there’s… this business.

For a company that prides itself on its natural, eco-friendly image, it’s weird to me that Lush keeps making all of these practically fluorescent Shower Creams. Like Lord of Misrule, Prince Charming can and will stain you and your shower, so watch out.

I get synthetic pomegranate & vanilla notes from this one, and while it does leave my skin feeling lovely and soft, that’s no excuse for staining. It performs more ore less okay under the spray of the shower, but if you apply this to dry skin, it WILL stain you pink with a vengeance.

So stop it, Lush. Seriously. No one else ever even has this problem.

LUSH Unicorn Horn Bath Bomb review photos

Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar ($7.95 CAD)

It turns out I still hate baths, so I can’t really tell you anything about the Lush Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar except LOOK, YOU GUYS. IT IS A RAINBOW UNICORN HORN AND IT IS COVERED IN GLITTER.

You need. Hell, I need, and I already have one. I wonder if I could tolerate a bath if I could convince boyfriend to sterilize the tub for me beforehand…

(Good for foaming up two baths, or for a single evening of super-plush lavender, ylang ylang, and neroli dreams.)

LUSH Unicorn Horn review photos

The verdict?

I loved that LUSH gave us something a little different this year, with pink products that don’t smell like roses, cocoa, or vanilla, but honestly… I’m a fan of the classics.

None of these products really “spoke” to me (well, aside from the unicorn horn, but who doesn’t that speak to), and love the idea of gifting your darling a bar of Roses All the Way Soap, or surprising them with a massage with of Lush’s classic massage bars. (I have Tender is the Night, which by some miracle still hasn’t gone bad, and I LOVE it.) I say skip the Lush Valentine’s Day launches this year, folks, and go with a tried-and-true from the brand instead.

Available: Limited edition at Lush stores and Lush.ca while supplies last!

Palmer’s Moisturizing Body Oil review & giveaway

Friday, February 5, 2016

Palmer's giveaway trio

The products: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Moisturizing Body Oil, Soothing Oil for Dry, Itchy Skin, and… like, maybe the Daily Skin Therapy?

Finding an afforadable body moisturizer that’s silicone-free can be a really hard task, so when Palmer’s offered to send me a few of their products to try, I jumped at the opportunity. I didn’t end up being able to use the spray-oil or lotion (both contain ‘cones), but it was nice to see such a cohesive line of products!

The oil for expectant mothers, which is made with cocoa butter, Vitamin E, Collagen, and Lecithin, is designed to soothe dry, itchy skin. It comes in a spray format, which I think is great — if you’re carrying around an entire little human being in your body, companies SHOULD be making easy-application products for you!

Palmer's Soothing Body Oil pregnancy review

Palmer's cocoa butter lotion review

The thing about Palmer’s names: The lotion was the other product that I couldn’t use, but what really cracks me up about it is how HARD it is to figure out what this product actually is.

The packaging has ten million descriptors on it (24 hour moisture, for softening and smoothing, contains vitamin E…), but I tried my best to find a concrete product name on it, and I couldn’t find one for the life of me!

Palmer's Moisturizing Body Oil review

Palmer’s Moisturizing Body Oil: Finally, the product that I did get to fall in love with was the brand’s Moisturizing Body Oil. It’s scented of cocoa butter, but it’s the Palmer’s cocoa butter scent, so it’s a little bit powdery and very recognizable (in a gold way!)

This oil is great because it’s so lightweight and fast-absorbing. I need to alternate with something a little heavier in the winter, but it’s wonderfully easy to apply and doesn’t leave your hands or clothes greasy at all! And I mean, okay, so it’s not the only lightweight body oil out there — but it’s definitely the only super fast absorbing one under $20 that I’ve ever tried.

Which, well. ‘Cone-free stuff can be seriously expensive, you guys, and bodies are so big. You’ve gotta pinch pennies where you can!

Palmer's cocoa butter review giveaway

The giveaway

I absolutely love my bottle of Moisturizing Body Oil (it’s the most economical “finished” oil that I own, and definitely the least greasy), so I’m super excited to be giving away a Palmer’s trio to one lucky reader!

To enter, just click on the widget below. This giveaway is open to all Canadian residents (yes, even if you live in Quebec!) and will close on February 14th at 11:59 PM MST. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

ColourPop Meow, So Quiche, I ♥ This, Pop Rocks swatches, reviews, photos

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

ColorPop eyeshadow review

The products: ColourPop Cosmetics Super Shock Shadows in Pop Rocks (Tie Dye), So Quiche (Metallic), I ♥ This (Metallic), and Meow (Tie Dye)

In the world of Instagram beauty brands, there’s no one bigger than ColourPop. Their products are cheap ($5 each!!), high-intensity, and super-hyped by heavy-hitting makeup aficionados, and the brand’s founders rarely give out interviews — which media publications like Fashionista are so completely dumbfounded by that they’ve decided there’s some sort of weird conspiracy going on.

I made a tiny little ColourPop haul a year or two ago, but I’ve been campaigning hard for the title of Tardiest Blogger Ever, so obviously I had to drag my heels on this one for as long as I could.

ColorPop eyeshadow review packaging

ColorPop eyeshadow review packaging label

The formula: The ColourPop Super Shock Shadows are the product that really put ColourPop on the map, but they’re not actually the brand’s biggest seller anymore — that title now belongs to the ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip Creams (which I haven’t tried yet). The Super Shock formula is a moist-pressed-eyeshadow one, with lots of cyclopentasiloxane (which will evaporate out) and dimethicone to give smoothness to some seriously high-intensity shadows.

Because of this, the Super Shock Shadows will slowly dry out over time (hence the twist-cap pots). It’s a formula that I happen to really like, however — the dampness means that each swipe of eyeshadow applies as if it’s been foiled, whether you apply with a finger or an eyeshadow brush.

Colorpop So Quiche Super Shock review swatches photos

ColourPop Super Shock Shadow in So Quiche (Metallic)

Colorpop I Heart This Super Shock swatch review photos

ColourPop Super Shock Shadow in I <3 This (Metallic)

Colorpop Super Shock Shadow review texture

All four of these eyeshadows (post-swatch brush cleaning). See those little flakes?

What I will say about the Super Shock formula, however, is that some of the shades can be a little too glittery/chunky. I had this problem with Meow in particular, so it’s probably a good thing that the Tie Dies were discontinued (see below), but I saw more chunkiness in all of these than I’d have liked. I’ve always been more of a smooth satins + separate fairy glitter kind of gal, though (thank you, Shu Uemura and Clarins)!

If you loved the original Urban Decay eyeshadow range (AKA glitter, fallout, and colour central), then you are going to LOVE the ColourPop Metallics. For a “nothing” look, though, you’re going to have to go with ColourPop’s Mattes — the Metallics look super-smooth when swatched, but they won’t buff down the way you’d expect them to. (Instead, you’ll just see a lot of wishy-washy colour speckled with lots of chunky shimmer, so go with the shade you want, not the shade you want to blend out!)

Colorpop Meow Super Shock swatch review photos

ColourPop Super Shock Shadow in Meow (Tie Die)

Colorpop Pop Rocks Super Shock swatch review photos

ColourPop Super Shock Shadow in Pop Rocks (Tie Die)

The shades: I ordered two neutral Metallic Super Shock Eyeshadows and two Tie Dye Super Shock Eyeshadows, but the Tie Die line (I’M SO SORRY) has been discontinued since I made my order. I’m glad that I have them, though, and I still wanted to share them with you guys! Tie dye products get me every. damn. time.

Pop Rocks, the blue and purple Tie Die shadow that was the whole reason behind my order, is a periwinkle blue with plenty of blue, white, and violet glitter. Meow, the pink, white, and black Tie Die shadow, is a medium-toned grey with white and pink glitter. And you know what? Swatching each shade for the first time made the whole order worth it, even though they’re discontinued now and I rarely wear either. That’s how much I absolutely adore multicolour products.

ColorPop I heart This Meow swatch review

ColourPop Super Shock Eyeshadow swatches: Pop Rocks, So Quiche, I <3 This, and Meow

ColorPop So Quiche Pop Rocks swatch review

ColourPop Super Shock Eyeshadow swatches: Pop Rocks, So Quiche, I <3 This, and Meow

I loved the novelty of the Tie Dies, but the Metallics really got me. While their finish is definitely still glitter on top of a smooth metallic base (rather than what I think of as a traditional metallic), they were easier to work with than the Tie Dies, and a little more wearable. 

I <3 This is a gorgeous, super casual light taupe (I like describing this kind of shade as a “wheat taupe,” if that makes sense), and So Quiche (still available!) has just the most stunning yellow-gold/pink duochrome finish on top of an olive-khaki base.

ColorPop I heart This Super Shock Eyeshadow swatch review

ColourPop Super Shock Shadow (Metallic) in So Quiche

ColorPop I heart This swatch review

Also ColourPop Super Shock Shadow (Metallic) in So Quiche. Look at that duochrome!!

The verdict?

At $5 per shadow, I would be tempted to recommend Super Shock Shadows as it was — but knowing just how well they work, I’m not just tempted to do so, but I’m happy to. They’re a great way to build up a starter eyeshadow collection, but they’re pigmented enough that they’d be a fun haul for someone with a huge makeup stash, too.

The one thing that I’d warn about ColourPop eyeshadows is that, while they’re great for $5, they don’t feel like a high-end eyeshadow. The shades with shimmer will look a little Instagram-y and will give you some glitter fallout, so if you prefer a “natural” makeup look, make sure you opt for their mattes instead. But, at $5, these guys are awesome! 

Availability: $5 each at ColourPop.com. (Yes, really, $5!)

Keep reading!

Fountain The Super Green, Hyaluronic Molecule review & photos

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Fountain The Hyaluronic Molecule beauty supplement review

The products: Deciem Fountain 02 The Hyaluronic Molecule, 03 The Super Green Molecule

One of my resolutions for 2016 was to cover more indie brands & weird beauty finds, so today, I thought I’d talk about Deciem’s super-cool liquid supplements.

Beauty drinks aren’t a big thing here in North America, but they’re all over the place in Asia. You can take everything from collagen to sheep placenta (yes, really) in capsule, liquid, or even jelly form, and they’re all designed to make you prettier/plumper/smoother/etc. from the inside out.

Deciem’s Fountain range contains everything from Vitamin B12 to resveratrol, and all of the supplements are sweetened with xylitol, so you don’t have to worry about adding sugary syrups to your morning juice or water! (I push Xyla candy like they’re drugs. Cheap drugs. Drugs that are good for your teeth).

Fountain The Hyaluronic Molecule review

The Hyaluronic Molecule ($38 CAD)

The first “molecule” that I tried was the brand’s Hyaluronic Molecule, and honestly, it was a weird experience. It’s really thick and viscous, like slime or phlegm or (according to my cousin) semen, which is a texture that you don’t want to see in a product ever.

Texture aside (once diluted with a full glass of water or juice, you honestly don’t notice it at all), this stuff is pretty darn cool. It contains the only water-soluble, bioavailable hyaluronic acid supplement on the market, and it contains a lot of it: 130mg per serving, which is actually why it’s so goopy.

Deciem Fountain The Hyaluronic Molecule review

“With tequila” is probably not how the Fountain supplements were designed to be taken.

The Hyaluronic Molecule is also vegan-friendly and cruelty-free, and it’s said to make your skin softer and smoother, keep your joints mobile, and (again: yes, really) keep your eyes lubricated. Like any other supplement, though, I can’t say for sure if it’s really working, but I do like it. I know that it should be working, and I like the subtle ginger flavour, and that’s enough for me.

(If ginger isn’t your thing, Deciem also make a Fountain 10X Hyaluronic Molecule ($60 CAD), which is Jasmine Silver Tea flavoured!)

Deciem Fountain The Super Green Molecule review

The Super Green Molecule ($28 CAD)

I’m currently taking The Super Green Molecule on days that I don’t eat my veggies (which, for the record, is totally not recommended by Deciem/Fountain), and I am loving this one.

The Super Green Molecule is very liquidy, very green, and kiwi flavoured. The deep green colour of this stuff makes me feel so healthy when I take it, and I know it’s no substitute for actual vegetables, but it’s better than nothing, okay? I mean, a single teaspoon of this stuff contains as much chlorophyll as SIX bowls of dark, organic leafy greens.

This Fountain of Youth supplement is also enriched with vitamins and minerals from sea kelp, and all of that colour comes from alfalfa-derived sodium copper chlorophyllin, which is a readily bioavailable form of chlorophyll that green gurus love for its ability to control body odour, help your body process out toxins, fight off yeast infections, and promote healthy iron levels.

Plus, I mean, The Super Green is super tasty.

Fountain The Super Green Molecule review

The verdict?

You can never be sure what you’re actually getting when it comes to holistic products, but if I had to pick a cosmetic company that I trusted not to trick me into eating ants, it would be Deciem. They didn’t cut corners on these guys one bit, and it really shows: The Hyaluronic Molecule is literally full of so much bioavailable hyaluronic acid that it’s noticeably thick, and The Super Green Molecule is full of so much chlorophyllin that it’ll stain your tongue if you don’t dilute it first.

I’m not recommending these as a food or drug, but as a cosmetic adjunct to your routine, they’re quite nice. I say start with The Super Green Molecule and go from there!

Availability: $28 CAD & up at Fountain.co, which uses Deciem’s universal shopping cart (so you can buy your Hylamide at the same time!) and ships for FREE worldwide.

Keep reading! »

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.

Keep reading! »

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