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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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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2015 favourites: My makeup & fragrance must-haves

Monday, January 11, 2016

2015 makeup favourites

2015 was, for some reason, a major skincare year for me. I didn’t fall in love with any new makeup products until December, and while I do love those with a passion–well, it makes for a favourites list that is much the same as 2014’s.

Which was the same as 2013’s.

You can see where I’m going with this, right?

My favourite everyday products

2015 must-have makeup products

For me, “the basics” begin with a black eyeliner that never smudges (I rely on Annabelle SmudgePaints and Marcelle Double Extension eyeliners for that — I think I’m on my third Marcelle pen) and an eyeshadow base that can keep you totally crease-free (the cheap-as-dirt Wet ‘n Wild Fergie primer or Pür Mineral’s awesome new Eye Polishes, both of which perform, for me, leaps and bounds better than Urban Decay Primer Potion or NARS Pro Prime.)

You’re only as good as the number of people who fear you, after all, and raccoon eyes don’t usually make for terrified weeping.

Best products of 2015

I also couldn’t live without my Revlon Lip Butter in Sugar Plum (the perfect medium-coverage MLBB shade), a few matte eyeshadows to contour with, and a basic lip balm.

I’m currently fixated on Burt’s Bees’ Refreshing lip balm, which is only moderately hydrating. It smells like pink grapefruit, though, so I mean… Really.

Add in a ‘cone-free face powder (no one does a satin finish like Marcelle) and a flawless foundation (thank you again, Pür Minerals, you radiant, beautiful unicorn) and I’m all set.

My favourite colour products of 2015

Makeup colour product favourites

I discovered a lot of absolutely stellar brow products last year, but only a few made the cut for my favourites: Stila’s, which is glorious but outrageously overpriced, and Annabelle’s, which is as wonderful as it is budget-friendly.

My eyeshadow favourites haven’t changed at all–always Clarins, and always their flaky-shimmer quads–and neither have my lip and everyday mascara favourites: Imju Fiberwig (all hail the glow cloud magic of tubing technology), Burt’s Bees, and Clinique Chubby Sticks.

Cheek and eye favourites 2015

Brow and lip favourites 2015

I did add two totally new favourites to my repertoire last year, though, and I couldn’t be happier to have found them!

Annabelle’s Blush On range is awesome (for some reason, I always reach for them before my Clinique Cheek Pops), and the new blue and purple Clinique Chubby Lash mascaras wear like a champ. I don’t think the black shade is a must, but the blue? Totally.

My favourite tools of 2015

Makeup Brush favourites

My do-everything powder brush, Senna’s Powder Point Brush #33, is my only new favourite this year — but it lives at my partner’s house, so I’m afraid I couldn’t include it in this photo! I feel like that speaks for itself, though: it’s my only powder brush at his place, and it does a good job of applying foundation, powder, contour, blush, and highlighter. It doesn’t do an amazing job of any of them, but for that kind of versatility, I’ll live.

My favourite fragrances of 2015

2015 fragrance favourites

And last but not least… The perfumes that I couldn’t get enough of last year. I looooove Aerin Waterlily Sun (I’m wearing it right now, actually!) and Frédéric Malle Musc Ravageur, as I’ve talked about at length on theNotice, but I’ve been using Leila Lou by Rosie Jane a lot, too — it’s great for smelling really, really clean in an instant.

(And–ahem–it’s excellent for directing attention to certain areas at close range.)

What were your favourite products of 2015?

Maison Kitsuné for Shu Uemura 24k Gold Eyelash Curler review | Pretties you need!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

shu uemura gold eyelash curler

I’m in the midst of covering the Maison Kitsuné x Shu Uemura holiday collection right now, but I had to take a moment for this: a 24K gold-plated version of the brand’s iconic eyelash curler! 

Normally, I’d group this in with a bunch of other reviews but I had to get this post up fast. Why? The curler is limited edition, and it’s almost 100% sold out. 

Maison Kitsune Shu Uemura 24k gold eyelash curler review

maison kitsune shu uemura gold eyelash curler

Shu Maison Kitsune Beauty Remix Plum palette EOTD

Lashes curled with the Shu Uemura gold lash curler!

If you’re not familiar with Shu’s eyelash curler yet, you can get chummy with it in my full review here. I find that Shu Uemura curlers have a fairly prominent curve to their design with a very narrow vertical opening, and require a lot of pressure to crimp your lashes.

So, while I never reach for my Shu curlers when I’m in a hurry, I do tend to use them for makeup looks or nights out. It’s really easy to control how much curl you’re getting with these, and I find that the design lends itself well to a very doe-eyed lash look — my lashes always end up nicely curled (never crimped!), with even vertical lift delivered to each lash.

shu uemura gold eyelash curler review

The verdict?

If you’ve been holding out on trying a Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler, now’s the time to get one! They’re extremely sturdy tools, and available in gold only sporadically (usually during the holidays).

I would not recommend this curler if you have arthritis or other problems with your hands, but for an even, eye-opening curl, Shu’s eyelash curlers are a great tool to have in your beauty kit. They’re a great way to prevent over-crimping, so if you find that you tend to be too heavy-handed with your beauty tools, this should make curling your eyelashes a lot easier!

Availability: $24 CAD (as much as a regular Shu Uemura curler) at shuuemura.ca, Holt Renfrew, and select Sephora, Nordstrom and Hudson’s Bay locations.

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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!)

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