L’Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc EdT review, photos | A gorgeous spring veil of iris

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Mother's Day review

The product: L’Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Eau de Toilette

I was supposed to write about L’Occitane Roses et Reines for Mother’s Day this year. I was supposed to. That was the plan, and if I may say so myself, it was a good plan.

But then I was introduced to the newest member of La Collection de Grasse family, and all of my plans went out the window.

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc Collection de Grasse review

The story: This season, L’Occitane has brought irises back onto the fields of Grasse, using sustainable farming methods to grow this Tuscan flower in the heart of perfume country. Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc pairs two different variations of irises to create a wonderfully light veil of spring freshness, bottled into lovely gold and blue-violet packaging.

“White iris from the Mediterranean contrast its evanescent sweetness with the intensity of the blue Iris pallida from Grasse.”   -L’Occitane

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc

The scent: I know I’ve said that L’Occitane Fleur d’Or & Acacia is my favourite from the line, but… I mean, this is gorgeous. It’s light and clean and really, really easy to wear, and it’s hard to overdo.

The brand says that this scent is “EVOCATIVE OF A halo of iridescent powder on a cheek flushed by the chill of morning,” and I have to say: they’re not that far off. Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc isn’t really floral at all, and it feels very iridescent indeed; it opens with a crisp, sweet freshness and fades into something tart and woody that wears very close to the skin.

L'Occitane Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc review

My only complaint is that, as a really fresh-smelling Eau de Toilette, this one does fade quite quickly. But for something this fleetingly effervescent, I’m willing to make the trade.

TOP NOTES: Blackcurrant and citrus (orange blossom)

HEART NOTES: Iris, ylang-ylang, and peach

BASE NOTES: Iris, cedar, and white musk

L'Occitane Iris Bleu et Iris Blanc shower gel

Also new this season: Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc ancillaries (Body Milk, Shower Gel, and Perfumed Soap), which start at $8 CAD.

Additionally, look for new La Collection de Grasse hand creams; Jasmin & Bergamot, Néroli & Orchidée, and Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc will all be available for $12 CAD in lovely plastic packaging. (This is the L’Occitane formula with silicones, I’m afraid, but the new Roses et Reines hand cream is silicone-free, for those interested!)

L'Occitane La Collection de Grasse hand cream

The verdict?

Whether you’re looking for the perfect spring scent, you’re on the hunt for a happy, delicate fragrance to wear to the office, or you’re picking up a few treats for your mom this Mother’s Day, Iris Bleu & Iris Blanc is one that you need to check out.

It’s very easy to wear and definitely not a “sexy” or edgy scent, but I think it’ll turn heads with its sheer, fruity-but-classy simplicity. You need this.

Availability: $75 CAD at L’Occitane boutiques and online beginning this May.

Keep reading! »

Neutrogena Naturals vs Bioderma Sensibio H2O Make-up Wipes review, comparison | The Make-Up Removing Wipe Showdown

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bioderma vs Neutrogena makeup removing wipes review

The products: Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Make-Up Removing Wipes vs Bioderma Sensibio H2O (Créaline H2O) Dermatological Wipes

I’m not a makeup remover wipe kind of girl. But I will admit that they do have their appeal, and when these two packages of wipes landed on my desk at around the same time… I mean, I’d have to be a monster to not want to see how they measure up!

(Here’s how.)

!Neutrogena Naturals makeup wipes review

Neutrogena Naturals ($9.99 CAD/25 wipes)

Today’s first contender is a flashy new package of makeup wipes from Neutrogena. These are the brand’s first silicone-free wipes (finally!!!) and launched nationwide this March/April.

!Neutrogena makeup wipes review

They come generously soaked in green-apple-scented makeup remover, aren’t tested on animals, and are both bio-degradable and are made from fibres from sustainably-managed forests. They’re designed as a no-rinse way to remove face and eye makeup, and are formulated with Peruvian Tara Seed bionutrient to gently cleanse without any residue.

I have no idea what Peruvian Tara Seed is, but it sounds cool and I approve of anything that smells this crisp and uplifting.

Bioderma vs Neutrogena Naturals makeup remover wipes review comparison

Bioderma (left) vs Neutrogena Naturals (right) — wipes rubbed 5x over three different eyeliner formulas.

(Shu Uemura Drawing Pencil, Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Intense, and Annabelle Retractable Eyeliner)

!Neutrogena Naturals vs Bioderma makeup remover wipes review comparison

Bioderma (L) vs Neutrogena (R), scrubbed over the liners until nothing else would come off

The fast facts: 

  • $0.40/wipe
  • Paraben- and silicone-free
  • Smell AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS
  • 97% naturally derived
  • Double-sided smooth/bumpy texture

How they compare to the Bioderma wipes:

  • Not as soft and velvety
  • Remove makeup more quickly and effectively (I was really surprised about this, and actually ran three different tests to double check. The Neutrogena wipes won every single time!)

Bioderma Sensibio H20 makeup wipes review

Bioderma Sensibio ($14.95 CAD/25 wipes)

Today’s second contender launched last fall from Bioderma (yes, that Bioderma). The Sensibio H2O wipes–which go by Créaline H2O overseas–are soaked in Bioderma micellar water and are made to cleanse and remove makeup on both the eyes and face.

(Note that these aren’t just saturated with the bottled Bioderma Sensibio water, though; this is a micellar water formulated specifically for these wipes.)

Bioderma Crealine H20 makeup wipes review

These are very gently fragranced (I think they smell kind of clinical and plasticky, honestly) and are very thick and soft.

Weirdly, my very favourite thing about these wipes is that they come in a really luxe, matte cherry package. It’s thicker and smoother than most wipes’ packaging, and it doesn’t crinkle as badly over time — so even 10 wipes in, the package still looks respectable and seals tightly.

The fast facts:

  • $0.59/wipe
  • Silicone-free
  • Great packaging
  • Thick, soft, velvety sheet texture

How they compare to the Neutrogena Naturals wipes:

  • Much more gentle (especially noticeable in the eye area, though both were a little prickly)
  • Leave skin feeling softer

!Neutrogena Naturals makeup removing wipes review texture

Neutrogena vs. Biodrma texture

The verdict?

I’m not a fan of using makeup removing/cleansing wipes everyday, but sometimes, the situation calls for them.

Both of these are great options, but honestly, I’d re-buy the Neutrogena wipes first. They’re a little bit rougher, but they do a better job of removing stubborn makeup… and they smell insanely (INSANELY) good!

Availability: The Neutrogena wipes are $7.49 USD/$9.99 CAD at drugstores across North America; the Bioderma wipes can be found at Murale and select drugstores across Canada for $14.95.

Keep reading! »

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).

Keep reading! »

Clinique Sculpting Chubby Sticks & Defining Roses review, swatches, photos

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Clinique contouring products review

The products: Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour in 01 Curvy Contour, Sculpting Highlight in 01 Hefty Highlight, and Sculptionary Cheek Contouring Palette in 03 Defining Roses

⇒ Seriously, Clinique, WHY HEFTY. You had the option to go with Hypnotic Highlight and you went with hefty? Again???!

Clinique Chubby Stick Contouring review

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Contour ($21 USD/$24 CAD)

Like most people out there (I assume), I’m crazy about the idea of being able to scribble makeup on your face — and these sculpting/highlighting Chubby Sticks are absolutely perfect for the job.

If you’re familiar with Clinique’s Chubby Cheek Sticks, you’ll recognize the formula of 01 Curvy Contour – it’s the same creamy, emollient, blendable goodness. To contour, you just swipe this one directly onto your face (along the hairline, under the cheekbones, and below the jaw and down the sides of your nose for extra impact), then blend.

Clinique Curvy Contour Chubby Stick review swatches

I like blending the face Chubby Sticks out with my Make Up For Ever 150 Contouring Blush Brush, but they blend really well with fingers, too. (No fancy tools needed!)

My one hangup with 01 Curvy Contour, however, is that it runs so orange. It’s a tone that I’m sure would work a lot better on someone warmer, peachier, and darker than I am, but if you’re AT ALL fair, cool-toned, or (especially) olive, I recommend staying far, far away from this one.

Clinique Sculptionary, Chubby Stick review swatches

Clinique Defining Roses, Hefty Highlight, Curvy Contour swatches

Clinique Hefty Highlight Chubby Stick review swatches

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight ($21 USD/$24 CAD)

The other Clinique sculpting Chubby Stick that’s available right now is 01 Hefty Highlight, a pretty, shimmery highlighter that (again) really shines on light-medium skin tones. It’s a little more emollient than the other Chubby Sticks for the face, and sheers out a little wider, so apply sparingly if you do pick this one up.

While I’m not usually big on shimmery highlighters, I do really like this one. It’s very punchy and shows up even on my fair complexion, and it glows like WHOA. If standard highlighters aren’t too glittery for you, you need this — it’s so pretty and easy to work with.

(Also worth noting is that this one looks awesome on both warm and cool skin tones, which is handy!)

Clinique Chubby Stick Contouring swatches review

Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight, Contour swatches: 01 Hefty Highlight & 01 Curvy Contour (both heavily/blended)

Clinique Sculptionary Cheek Palette Defining Roses review

The Sculptionary Cheek Contouring Palette & more! »

True Nature Botanicals Noble Floral Solid Perfume review, photos

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

True Nature Botanicals Noble Floral Solid Perfume review

The product: True Nature Botanicals Solid Perfume in Noble Floral

Over the past year, I’ve done my best to share some natural, niche, and just overall unexpected fragrances with you guys on theNotice. Today, that journey (can you really call it a journey?) continues, with an all-natural solid perfume from True Nature Botanicals, who split off from Marie Veronique Organics late last summer.

True Nature Botanicals Solid Perfume review - compact

The scent: Noble Floral lists main notes of rose, jasmine, and tuberose, but what struck me about it is that it doesn’t smell like your run of the mill floral perfume. It’s absolutely gorgeous; creamy and enveloping with a pepperiness that’s rare in florals.

Noble Floral wears very close to the skin, however, and it doesn’t last for long — I’d say only around 3-4 hours before it really starts to fade. If you have a lot of chemical sensitivities and you’ve struggled to find an all-natural perfume that doesn’t just smell like astringent leaves, however, then definitely try the (free) scent sampler that True Nature Botanicals offers. This one was my favourite from the bunch, but honestly, I really liked all three. 

True Nature Botanicals scent sampler - solid perfume review

True Nature Botanicals scent sampler

The formula: True Nature’s perfumes are all crafted from 100% natural ingredients (which are notorious for sitting close to the skin and fading quickly), and are presented in solid form, not spray.

The perfume discs are about the same size as an eyeshadow (3.5 cm in diameter), and are offered in both refill and compact versions. The compact is very small, but it’s solid metal, so it’s actually extremely heavy — which feels wonderfully luxe, but isn’t something I’d want to throw into my handbag!

Finally, these solid perfumes warn that they will stiffen up in cooler temperatures, but mine has stayed consistently soft through both the winter and spring (and trust me, our house is cold in the winter). Expect something with whipped-butter consistency instead of fridge-butter consistency, I guess?

True Nature Botanicals Noble Floral review

The verdict?

The True Nature Solid Perfumes are definitely a luxury, but you could do far worse from an all-natural perfume. If you’re looking for something that wears close to the skin but is absolutely gorgeously blended (these would be perfect for an office environment), then give these a look!

(They’d also make a great Mother’s Day gift, if you’re thinking that far ahead.)

Availability: $95 USD at True Nature Botanicals (refills are $75 USD).

Keep reading! »

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