Guerlain Boutique & Institute Toronto photos, Complete Facial review | BEAUTY DESTINATIONS

Monday, August 10, 2015

Guerlain Yorkville Toronto Boutique and Institute review

The most unexpected adventure I’ve taken so far this year was a trek into the gorgeous, glossy depths into Toronto’s Guerlain Boutique & Institute at 110 Bloor Street West.

I wandered in one fine Tuesday, expecting to just take a quick sniff of Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille–could it really be as gorgeous as I remembered? (Spoiler: it is, and then some.)–and walked out with some seriously sharp bronzer and a facial appointment for that Friday.

Guerlain Boutique Toronto tour review

The Boutique 

As a fragrance junkie, the only thing you need to know about Guerlain boutiques is this: there is only one in Canada, and it contains all of the brand’s current fragrances…

Les Exclusifs and all.

Guerlain les exclusifs perfumes

From bee bottles to tailor-made fragrances (you know, if you have a year, time for a trip to Paris, and a spare $75 000 lying around), this is the place to be. The staff here know everything there is to know about Guerlain’s recent launches as well as their classics, and can tell you about everything from Guerlinade to Theirry Wasser (Guerlain’s in-house perfumer).

Scents you must try while you’re there:

Guerlain Boutique Toronto Yorkville review

Guerlain exclusifs perfumes boutique

The Institute

Tucked discreetly in the back of the boutique is a small treatment room and all the necessarily amenities — a gorgeous glass shower, a mirrored change room, and the boutique’s secret weapon: a petite esthetician named Sakien Teymouri who, I swear, has magic hands.

Guerlain Institute Spa facial review Toronto Bloor

Guerlain facial review Toronto Yorkville

I was lucky enough to experience a complimentary Complete Facial ($170 CAD), which is a 1h30 treatment that can be customized to match your skin’s needs.

As someone with extremely touchy skin, facials aren’t usually something I can indulge in, but the boutique’s manager took the time to double-check ingredients lists and customize a gentle, silicone-free regimen just for me. (Thank you so much, Jaimelee — your kindness and attention to detail really made my day!)

Continue the adventure!! »

Odacité Po+R Serum Concentrate | One in, one out

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Odacite Po+R dry skin dehydration review

As a beauty blogger, I try a lot of stuff for work you guys! And, as a result, it’s rare that I ever get to fully finish products that I like, much less hit pan and buy them again.

The Odacité Pomegranate + Rose a Geranium Serum Concentrate ($49 CAD), though — it’s the first of a few exceptions that I’ve been lucky enough to stumble across.

One in one out Odacite PoR

It feels like just yesterday that I reviewed Po+R on theNotice for the first time, and my skin has been in heaven since then. Just a drop or two every couple of days, added into my moisturizer, keeps my super-dry skin glowing and hydrated.

It’s kind of a godsend, honestly — I’ve had stubborn dry patches that have hung around since high school, but since starting on Odacité oils, I’ve been happily patch-free.

One in one out skincare favourites

I also–no surprise here–have been recommending their oils to people left and right. (To everyone who actually has to deal with me in person: I’m sorry and also I have NO REGRETS). So, when I finally ran out of my first bottle if Po+R after eight-odd months of use…

I immediately ran out to the nearest Detox Market to replenish my skincare stash with another.

Availability: $49 CAD at The Detox Market (CA).

Odacite oil dehydrated skin dryness review

DECIEM Toronto HQ Tour | Beauty behind the scenes

Monday, July 27, 2015

DECIEM review

The energy at DECIEM is really infectious, and it (along with the rest of my Toronto experiences) really has me re-thinking the way that I approach beauty blogging. Like a lot of other bloggers, I’ve been struggling to find my–for lack of a better word–muse over the past few years, and I think it’s been hurting the quality of the content here at theNotice.

Entering the Deciem front doors feels kind of like getting punched in the face by Regina George. (I hear she does car commercials… IN JAPAN.) You step in and you’re immediately hit a wall of great smells and good vibes — it’s a really collaborative, creative space full of people who love what they do.

DECIEM ten brands

DECIEM HQ

Hair is Fabric DECIEM

The table in the lobby area is topped with artfully squished Hair is Fabric tubes, matte black candles burn along one wall, and everything is open-concept — I don’t think I saw a single solid wall in the entire building. The guy who makes videos for all of the Deciem brands sits just down from the girl who packs and ships everything; the chemists who formulate products in the lab are (literally) within spitballing distance from the factory area, where you’ll find workers bickering and tinkering.

BEAUTY FOR EVERYONE [HERE] – Deciem products are tested on people, not animals, and can be purchased online at deciem.com, where full ingredients lists are available for every product! Express shipping is FREE within Canada (or worldwide, depending on the product) and you have a year to return anything that doesn’t work for you, but you can find in-store locations here if you must.

DECIEM Mira and Eric

The lovely Eric & Mira (who spearhead Deciem’s social media and PR, respectively)

DECIEM Toronto lab

I think everyone dreams of having an in-house lab, no?

DECIEM factory tour

Production, packaging, and storage happens just around the corner!

Hylamide Eye Serum DECIEM review

Lookit all the tiny little SubQ Eye Serums waiting to be packaged!

It’s clear that the people here love what they do, which I’m crazy about — they have a lot of freedom to experiment and try out different things (there was literally a tiny explosion in the lab while I was there; apparently someone was playing with a morsel of magnesium that should not have gone poof but totally went poof anyways), and it’s reflected strongly in the products they create. Their goal was to make 10 products to change the face of beauty, and barely two years in, they’re currently working on their 11th brand.

What I really want to do is take a little bit of that energy with me. I want to work with other bloggers who love what they do; I want to get excited again about taking pictures and tweaking them juuuust until I feel that little rush of ooh, that actually looks really good.

Hand Chemistry review

The brand’s [first] big hit

DECIEM--13

Hand Chemistry on Mira’s model-hands

Inhibitif DECIEM

Yes. They are absolutely making the joke you think they are.

I want to have new sensory experiences — for me, that involves a lot of smelling fragrances that are really well-composed and complex (thank you, Frederic Malle), but it’s also things like eating an entirely new-to-you food (this year: foie gras) or taking in that first breath of clean, crisp air after a rainstorm. It’s about what will expand the way you process information, but I think fresh experiences play a big role in that. (Why else would so many people feel the constant pull of wanderlust! Nothing expands like your metacognitive abilities like culture shock. Or psychedelics.)

But back on topic.

DECIEM assortment

What am I crazy about from DECIEM?

Well, I’m going to be posting reviews as I finish testing products (of course), but if you need a teaser, I’m really excited about:

  • Hand Chemistry Hyaluronic Body Mist ($20 CAD) – This is my favourite Deciem product right now, hands down. Over the past 24 hours, I’ve told four different people about it in person, and three of them immediately went, “oh my god, where can I get that.” (The third doesn’t even own a cleanser, so really, a mist was never going to happen.) It sprays a fine, dense mist, is powered by air (not CFCs), and penetrates really far into your dermal layers — even in areas that are callused or chronically dehydrated.

Hand Chemistry Hyaluronic Body Mist DECIEM review

NIOD Copper Amino Isolate review DECIEM

  • NIOD Copper Amino Isolate Serum 1.00% ($60 CAD) – Because how cool is having to mix a fresh product that’s 100x more potent than what you usually get in consumer serums?
  • NOID Photography Fluid, Opacity 12% ($30 CAD) (and Hylamide Photography Foundation ($20 CAD), which provides a little more coverage) – This stuff is SO good. It’s a foundation that isn’t a foundation; think Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders to the nth degree. Photography Fluid goes green and then disappears into the skin, leaving you with less redness and with a really gorgeous, photo-ready glow. (It’s apparently particularly great under natural sunlight!)

NIOD Photography Fluid review DECIEM

NIOD Photography Fluid swatch review

Photography Fluid (magic in action)

Fountain The Green Molecule review DECIEM

  • Fountain 03 The Super Green Molecule ($28 CAD) – Contains kelp, alfalfa chlorophyll, and hyaluronic acid. 1 teaspoon is equal to 6 bowls of dark, organic leafy greens. See all of the molecules here.

DECIEM A Tannery in Tuscany

Something lovely is inside.

Smashbox Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liner in Lilac review, swatches, photos

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Smashbox Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Eyeliner review

The product: Smashbox + Donald Robertson Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liner in Lilac 

Earlier this year, I attended a Smashbox Photo Session in Edmonton that (as some of you may remember) I wasn’t particularly thrilled with. While there, however, I fell in love with a couple of their products — the Photo Angle Gel Liner pens in particular.

I’ve had the chance to test the liner more than a few times since then, so read on for my full thoughts!

Smashbox photo angle gel liner review

Smashbox + Donald Robertson Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liner in Lilac 

Smashbox Photo Angle Gel Eyeliner review packaging

This clever twist-on cap keeps the product from drying out!

The packaging: The Photo Angle gel liners come in pen form with a soft silicone-slant tip, much like the Benefit Get Real! Push-Up Liners. After reading a lot of reviews for the Push-Up liners, I can definitely see what people don’t like about this kind of packaging, but I don’t know… I mean, I didn’t mind it.

If you’re really good at gel liner on your own, I think this kind of packaging is going to be frustrating for you. The pen tends to put a lot of product on the lashes themselves and makes it hard to get a super fine line right off the bat (as you have to push the product up by a full click each time), but on the flip side, it’s a one-handed application paired with a formula that wears really well.

For those who aren’t super good at gel liner to begin with, though, I think something like this could actually be quite helpful — just remember to wipe off any excess product first, and apply with a light hand so that the soft tip doesn’t turn into a thick brush.

Smashbox Lilac gel eyeliner pen review

The formula: I was able to wear this from 3:00 to 11:00 during testing with zero wear (I kept going to bed early the week I was wear testing this? I don’t even know), which for my un-primed lids is very impressive — but the product itself does feel a little thick and ungainly on the lids.

I think a lot of my love for this product comes from the excellent wear time (most gel liners only last about an hour on my lids before creasing), so if you really struggle with keeping your liner on all day long, take note of this one!

Smashbox Lilac Photo Angle gel liner swatches review

The shade: Okay, but like, let’s be honest: I really only like this product for the shade. For all of the Photo Angled liner’s faults, Lilac is both beautiful and unique; matte and vibrant with lots of cool blue overtones and vibrant red undertones.

I’ve never come across another liner quite like this one, and for that alone, I think this liner is worth taking note of. It looks a little weird along my lashline, honestly, but it is as of yet unparalleled in my stash!

Smashbox Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liner in Lilac swatches review

The verdict?

This liner format is a rather polarizing one, and if you know already that it doesn’t work well for you, I don’t think this formula will change your mind.

That said, for all of its faults, I really do like the Lilac Pure Pigment Gel Liner. It’s a very unique matte lilac shade, and unlike most non-liquid liners, it wears very well on me. I’d recommend getting it only if this is a colour that you just have to have — it’s a fantastic rendition of the shade, but I don’t think I’d have been as impressed had this liner been black or standard violet.

Availability: $24 USD/$29 CAD at Sephora and ULTA.

Keep reading! »

YSL Corail Incandescent Rouge Volupté Shine review, swatches, photos | The perfect summer lip

Monday, July 13, 2015

YSL Corail Incandescent Rouge Volupte Shine review swatches photos

The product: YSL Rouge Volupté Shine in no. 12 Corail Incandescent

There are a few products that really scream summer! to me, and Corail Incandescent (Coral Incandescent, depending on the seller/location) is one of them. It’s glossy, fruity, and coral, and there are few things more summery than that!

YSL Coral Incandescent review Rouge Volupte Shine

The formula: The Rouge Volupté Shine formula feels almost exactly like the YSL Volupté Sheer Candy formula, which is a feat in and of itself — the Sheer Candy balms are essentially clear lip balms, while the Volupté Shines pack quite a pigment punch. Both are lightweight and mango-scented (I get more of a fruit punch impression), and both apply really smoothly with YSL’s “melting formula,” which holds up to the heat but glides weightlessly onto the lips.

If you have dry lips and struggle to comfortably wear bold colours, note that this formula is lightly hydrating and very forgiving.

YSL Corail Incandescent review - Rouge Volupte Shine lipstick

YSL Rouge Volupté Shine lipstick in Corail Incandescent

YSL Corail Incandescent swatch review Rouge Volupte Shine

YSL Rouge Volupté Shine lipstick in Corail Incandescent swatched heavily, lightly

The shade: The Rouge Volupté Shine lipsticks are a great way to wear a glossy coat of intense colour, and this one is no exception. Corail Incancescent is vibrant and punchy, and can be worn sheerly for that Korean/popsicle-stained look or full-on for extra hydration and full opacity.

I’d describe Corail Incandescent as almost a fluorescent coral; as orange blended with fuchsia-pink rather than orange blended with red. It’s extremely bright, but wearable even if you’re cool-toned. (I usually struggle with corals, but I can pull this one off without any effort!)

YSL Rouge Volupté Shine

Rouge Volupté Shine promo — the finish of this lipstick looks exactly like that!

The verdict?

I love this lipstick like I love all YSL lipsticks: carefully, but with gusto. The Rouge Volupté Shine range is just as fruity and smooth as the Volupté Sheer Candy lip balms that I love so much, but the Shines come with the added bonus of lightly hydrating, full intensity colour.

$39 CAD is quite a price tag to swallow, but these lipsticks are fantastic: they smell delicious, apply and wear gorgeously, and come in just the most divine packaging. I would absolutely recommend the range!

Availability: $36 USD/$39 CAD

Keep reading! »

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