Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo review, photos – Gentle Radiance Cleanser (Airy Touch)

Monday, April 20, 2015

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo Conditioner review

The product: shu uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo Gentle Radiance Cleanser Airy Touch

By now, I’m sure you’re all familiar with the giant, iconic Shu Uemura Cleansing Oils (oh, sorry, skin purifier cleansing oils), but did you know that Shu’s The Art of Hair line has a few cleansing oils in its lineup, too?

Yup. All of you cleansing oil fans can now oil cleanse your hair, too — and it is just as hysterically awesome as you’d expect.

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo review photos

The science: The Airy Touch Cleansing Oil Shampoo and Conditioners are formulated around the idea of onsen, the classic Japanese hot mineral-spring-water bath. To achieve this, both of the products are enriched with volcanic ferments sourced 2000 metres below sea level, and are formulated to leave the hair squeaky-clean and with an “airy touch” of volume. 

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo Gentle Radiance Cleanser review

The formula: My favourite part about this Cleansing Oil Shampoo is that there is, in fact, something distinctly oily about it. It functions just like a normal shampoo (gentle, no oily residue, and a good amount of lather), but the formula is really silky. There’s no other way to put it — it just feels like a really luxe, thick, smooth, silky shampoo, and its texture is entirely unique.

Functionally, I think this one performs like a normal shampoo (maybe a touch more stripping than I was expecting), and just like with the face cleansing oils, you get a lot of bang for your buck. (I can easily shampoo my entire scalp with just one small pump from this giant bottle!)

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo 400 ml size review

The scent: One of the weird things that I’ve always liked about shu uemura is that their skincare and haircare products, for some reason, often have an actual, dedicated fragrance associated with them.

This one is scented with yuzu calm, which lists citrusy top notes, watery middle notes, and base notes of cedar, sage, and musk. Honestly, I don’t really think that it smells like yuzu, but I do like it! It smells like fancy shampoo; that’s the best I can do.

Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Shampoo Airy Touch, conditioner review

The verdict?

I could’t try the yellow Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil Conditioner due to its silicone content, but I’ve been using the Cleansing Oil Shampoo on and off for about a month, and I quite like it. 

For my dry skin and scalp, it’s a little too stripping to use every day, but it gives a good amount of volume — and its silky formula is quite a unique experience. If you’re really into textures (which you really should be; textures are great), then you definitely need to give this one a try!

Availability: $56 CAD/$57 USD for 400 ml at Shu Uemura – The Art of Hair (or $19 USD for a 75 ml travel size).

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MYH TOTL ME Eyeliner & Mascara: A 2-in-1 that’s literally two. In one.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

*sponsored post

Mascara:liner 2 in 1 review swatches

The product: MYH Cosmetics TŌTL M.E. Revolutionary 2 in 1 Eyeliner & Mascara in Black Forest

Okay. So, before I begin this post, I just want to take a moment to look at how hilariously fantastic TŌTL M.E. (total mascara/eyeliner) is as a product name. Because that? That is impressive, dude. That’s impressive and the word-nerd in me likes it a lot.

MYH Cosmetics TOTL ME mascara review

MYH Cosmetics TŌTL M.E. Eyeliner & Mascara (liner brush twisted up)

How it works: You know that old wives’ tale about how liquid liners and mascaras are totally interchangeable? (Full disclosure: not actually a wives’ tale, but definitely something that people say.) Well, MYH has taken this idea to the next level.

Their TŌTL M.E. Eyeliner & Mascara is a mascara with a cream formula (I can’t actually think of the last time I tried a mascara that was quite this thick) and a spoolie that hides a little liner brush inside of itself. You just twist the back end of the wand, wipe the excess product off of the brush that comes out, and line away.

MYH Cosmetics TOTL ME mascara swatches review

No product vs. with the MYH TŌTL M.E. worn as liner + mascara

MYH mascara eyeliner 2 in 1 review

MYH Cosmetics TŌTL M.E. Eyeliner & Mascara (liner brush twisted down)

But keep this in mind! I find the liner half of the TŌTL M.E. to be pretty hard to use, and (because the mascara spoolie and liner brush are one in the same) the mascara bristles get product all over my lashes while I’m lining my eyes.

So, if you do give this one a try, the trick is to put on your liner first — that way, your lashes will comb themselves through when you use the mascara part of the wand.

MYH Cosmetics TOTL ME liner swatches review

MYH Cosmetics TOTL ME eyeliner review

My favourite thing about this mascara/liner: is definitely that packaging. I was expecting something really gimmicky, but this mascara tube is actually pretty darn cute.

Plus, the product itself reminds me a lot of Annabelle’s Expandable mascara, which is one of my favourites. Same twisty end, both with plastic bristles, similar thick/cream formula in each. The wear on the TŌTL M.E. is really good, too, much like the Annabelle mascara; I wear-tested it for nine hours & two naps (what? Don’t judge me.) and it didn’t budge at all.

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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.

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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

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