Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser – Foaming Wash review, photos | Currently hooked on…

Friday, March 13, 2015

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser Foaming Wash review

Okay, so you know how I took that trip to Toronto a couple of weeks ago? Well, like an idiot, I totally forgot to bring soap with me — I guess I figured my crazy-dry skin could handle bar soap for a couple of days or something. (WHY, Rae.)

Luckily for me, my welcome basket from Neutrogena just so happened to contain this little gem, which I’ve always passed over for its non-foaming creamy counterpart!

Neutrogena face body wash review

Turns out, Neutrogena’s Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser is ultra gentle — and the foaming version is AMAZING as a bodywash. It feels and smells super luxurious in the shower, but because it’s an enormous face wash from a drugstore brand, it’s not going to run you $20-30 like a lot of department-store body washes will.

Plus, it comes in totally cute, sensible packaging, and it foams up really easily. (I’ve always found that shower gels are too thick to really enjoy using unless you put them on a shower puff.) So the next time you’re at the drugstore and you feel like treating yourself to something: give this a go! 

I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

Vegan Cuts December 2014 Beauty Box | I came, I tried, I cried

Friday, January 30, 2015

Vegan Cuts Beauty Box review

The product: Vegan Cuts Beauty Box (December 2014)

*Disclaimer: No actual crying occurred in the making of this post.

THE STAGE IS SET: A girl stands under a single exposed bulb and tells you that she wants to try more all-natural beauty products this year. She then pulls out a Vegan Cuts Beauty Box, shows it to you, and breaks down weeping. “It could have been so good,” she says. “Why couldn’t I have liked it more?”

Vegan Cuts Beauty Box review unboxing December

December 2014 Vegan Cuts beauty box

On their site, Vegan Cuts states that “only the good stuff will do,” and their featured brands included brands that I love (Weleda and Pacifica) alongside ones that I hope to try soon (Meow Meow Tweet and Mun), and I mean, hey. $28 for 4-7 products from brands that you’re already invested in isn’t a lot of money.

However.

However.

When my box arrived–and I feel terrible saying this, because it was sent to me as a sample from Vegan Cuts–I was horribly disappointed to find in it five brands that I have literally never heard of, and one that I’ve tried before and really didn’t like. My box contained a plastic-wrapped sliver of soap, a “lip and cheek balm” that looked cute but smelled terrible, yet another nondescript black eyeliner (the gratuitous shimmer powder of the beauty box world), and a shampoo with no conditioner counterpart.

Restorh shampoo, reosemary mint soap

Evolvh Ultra Shine Shampoo & Shorganics soap

The All Natural Face eyeliner kohl black

The All Natural Face Black Kohl eyeliner & Devines Butter Me Up stick

The contents of my December Vegan Cuts Beauty Box, because nobody wants spoilers for a month they haven’t received yet:

  • EVOLVh UltraShine Moisture Shampoo, trial size ($8 value) – Am I the only one who can’t use haircare without the other half of its pair?
  • Shorganics Rosemary Mint Bar Soap sample
  • Demes Butter Me Up in Tangerine Vanilla ($15 value) – Smells like an orange loaf with sugary glaze. I want to eat it. The lid keeps falling apart when I take it off.
  • The All Natural Face Diva Stix Black Kohl ($4.88 value) – A commendably short ingredients list of jojoba oil, candelilla wax, mica, oxides, and literally nothing else.
  • Mullein & Sparrow All Natural Tinted Lip & Cheek Balm ($22 value) – This guy is TINY for $22 Kim pointed out that this is probably a sample size (how big is an ounce???), so ignore that comment! The formula is soft and slippery with a very pretty sheer red tint when swatched, but the scent (all-natural, I believe) makes my stomach turn. This tint is invisible unless you really slather it on.
  • La Mav Antioxidant Rich Nightly Repair Nectar sample

At the end of the day, I am only left wanting to try more from Mullein & Sparrow, simply because their packaging is so charming. With, hilariously, the exception of the balm I received, every product in their line looks like it could have fallen straight from a bygone era, from the beautiful glass jar of their Pink Himalayan Bath Salts to their super-simple Facial Mask.

Mullein and Sparrow lip and cheek tint

Mullein & Sparrow Tinted Lip & Cheek Balm & La Mav Nectar

Mullein and Sparrow

More of Mullein & Sparrow’s charming packaging!

The verdict?

I loved the presentation of this beauty box, but the contents themselves just… didn’t grab me. I think it’s fantastic that Vegan Cuts takes the time to curate a cruelty-free box, but a “mostly natural” box with no guarantee of any full-sized products just isn’t enough to convince me that it’s worth subscribing to.

That said, where it excels is at introducing the subscriber to new brands. Everyone loves finding the next big thing before it gets huge; I just think that Vegan Cuts needs to take a little more time to select brands that have a presentable, market-ready feel to them. At $239-$419 USD/year, opening up the soap in your beauty box should make you feel pampered, not make you’re in the bathroom of a seedy motel!

My advice? Buy a Wantable box instead. It’s not vegan, but at least you’ll be able to select the “no black eyeliners or hair products, please” box.

Availability: $19.95 USD/month, plus $8 shipping to Canada or $15 internationally.

Keep reading! »

Burt’s Bees x Bellavance Tinted Lip Balms & Lip Shimmers reviews, swatches

Friday, January 23, 2015

Burt's Bees Bellavance lip set kit

The product: Burt’s Bees x Bellavance Limited Edition Lip Collection & Holster

↳ Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in HibiscusBlush Orchid and Lip Shimmers in ApricotGrapefruit

I’m suffering from a major case of blogging burnout this week, so today, I have a couple old favourites to share with you in new shades.

My love for Burts’ Tinted Lip Balms and Lip Shimmers is a long and sordid one, stretching through the years and through numerous incidents of Rae cheating on Burts’ balms with Clinique simple definitely mutual infidelity, but alas! It does persist.

Burt's Bees Hibiscus, Blush Orchid, Apricot, Grapefruit review

Burt's Bees Hibiscus, Blush Orchid, Apricot, Grapefruit swatches

Burt’s Bees swatches, L-R: Tinted Lip Balm in Hibiscus and Blush Orchid; Lip Shimmer in Apricot and Grapefruit

100% of the proceeds from this Bellavance-designed holster will go to Pollinator Partnership Canada, a non-profit that supports lost and solitary pollinator bees by building sustainable bee hotels (direct quote!) throughout Canada.

The holster itself is made from 100% organic cotton and contains four elasticized spots for your favourite lipsticks or Burt’s Bees lip balms. It’s available at burtsbees.ca and boutiques where Bellavance is sold, and contains two Tinted Lip Balms from Burt’s permanent line, Hibiscus and Blush Orchid, plus two Lip Shimmers in Grapefruit and Apricot, which both debut in this set.

Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm, Lip Shimmer reviews

Keep reading! »

Shu Uemura Shupette Pampearl-Me Face Powder swatches, review; Furry Fantasy False Eyelash photos | Cats! Cats! Cats!

Friday, November 14, 2014

shu uemura furry fantasy shupette eyelashes packaging choupette

Shupette Furry Fantasy Premium False Eyelash case

The products: Shupette by Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura (holiday 2014)

↳ pampearl-me face powder in pearl; furry fantasy premium false eyelash

This post is a continuation of the Shupette reviews you saw on Wednesday. If you missed that post, make sure to check it out!

Availability: Online at shuuemura.ca and in-stores at Holt Renfrew (as well as select Sephora and Hudson’s Bay locations) this November.

shu uemura shupette furry fantasy false eyelashes review

Furry Fantasy Premium False Eyelashes ($100 CAD)

I’m not a big fan of outlandish false eyelashes (or outlandish anything, really), so I’ll leave you just with a photo of these ones! The Furry Fantasy Premium False Eyelashes are one of two false eyelashes included in this collection, and are featured in the promo images if you’re interested in seeing what they look like on.

The second, non-premium set ($35 CAD) are shown here.

shu uemura furry fantasy premium false eyelashes

Choupette from the HORROR MOVIE EYES angle

karl lagerfeld for shu uemura shupette pampearl-me face powder review

Pampearl-Me Face Powder ($50 CAD)

The Pampearl-Me Face Powder was the second product in this collection that really wowed me — and as such, I think it, too, would be another great “what one product should I get from this collection” pick. It’s well-priced at $50 and features both Karl’s drawing of Choupette (on the lid) and those adorable little kitty-prints (on the powder puff), and the powder itself is a very fine, delicate shimmer mixed with face powder for a subtle glow.

shu uemura shupette pampearl-me face powder review

Shu Uemura Shupette Pampearl-Me Face Powder swatch review

Shu Uemura Pampearl-Me Face Powder, swatched heavily twice. 

Keep reading! »

Shu Uemura Shupette Eye Need Shu Trio, My Precious Glitter Set swatches, reviews, photos | This holiday season, let there be cats.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

shu uemura shupette my precious glitter set review

The products: Shupette by Karl Lagerfeld for shu uemura (holiday 2014)

↳ eye-need-shu trio 01 Parisienne Chic and 02 Tokyo Kawaii; my precious glitter set

I always take forever to get reviews up, but for once, I put a rush order on this one — because what’s more exciting than a holiday collection adorned with cats? (Look at all those little itty-bitty footprints!!)

So, here are swatches, photos, and “mini reviews” featuring shu’s long-awaited, Choupette-inspired holiday collection. If you’re interested in seeing a particular item from the collection worn, or hearing about its wear time, please let me know in the comments & I’ll put a look together with the most popular products!

Availability: Online at shuuemura.ca and in-stores at Holt Renfrew (as well as select Sephora and Hudson’s Bay locations) this November. Or, enter to win the entire collection at shuuemura.ca.

» This post has been split up into two parts. Part two will go up on Friday!

shu uemura shupette eye need shu trio reviews

Eye-Need-Shu Eyeshadow Trios ($45 CAD each)

If there is one product in this collection that I think most will love, it is these. Smooth and pigmented, they’re the most “reliable” of the products that I tried, and easily create day-appropriate looks… unlike those fluffy pink eyelashes!

shu uemura parisienne chic, tokyo kawaii swatches review eyeshadow trio

Shupette by Karl Lagerfeld for Shu Uemura swatches: Parisienne Chic (L) and Tokyo Kawaii (R) Eye-Need-Shu Eyeshadow Trios

I wish there had been a neutrals trio (brown/taupe/highlight, or even taupe/gold/ivory), but these are still a great way to work a little Choupette into your makeup collection without spending too much. The cool-toned Parisienne Chic contains a navy blue (blue shimmer on a very dark base), sky blue, and white, while the warmer Tokyo Kawaii contains a rich, rust-toned red alongside a baby pink and a light yellow.

The middle shade of each of these trios was a little more see-through than the rest, but over all, I think Tokyo Kawaii is a little bit better in terms of quality.

shu uemura my precious glitter review shupette

My Precious Glitter Set ($58 CAD for the trio)

The My Precious Glitter Set was the product (were the products?) that I was most excited for from the Shupette collection, but unfortunately, it was also the biggest letdown. They’re very tiny, a mere 0.035 oz each, and feature chunky shimmer — which, while pretty, isn’t glitter. None of the three can create opaque colour, even with primer underneath, and they’re best worn layered carefully over other eyeshadows for a lucent, uplifted look.

That said, each little pot has kitty footprints tracked around the outside, and it is pretty cute. 

shu uemura loose eyeshadow pink gold platinum swatch review

Shupette My Precious Glitter Set swatches: Platinum, Gold, Pink (over primer)

See the rest of the collection! »

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