The Body Shop Virgin Mojito collection review, photos

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito collection review

The products: The Body Shop Virgin Mojito collection ($9 CAD-$22 CAD)

When I was fifteen, surgery was a cakewalk. Sleep it off in the hospital, grab a burger on the way home, ready for a road trip by Friday. But at 23, and when you find out after the operation that you might not be able to eat normally for up to six weeks? I’m going nuts over here. Telling a Chen she can’t eat is like telling a dog it can’t pee on things. Eating is where I get all of my joy. 

So, I mean, I’ve been hitting the mojitos pretty hard to help cope. Virgin skincare mojitos, that is. (I don’t want to find out what happens when you mix rum with open wounds and morphine.)

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Shower Gel review photos

The scent: I was told that you either love or hate The Body Shop’s new Virgin Mojito scent, but I mean… I love it; my boyfriend loves it; Julie from Swatch and Review and her boyfriend love it; Zoë from Writing Whimsy and Steph from Fun Size Beauty both totally love it.

It’s summery and fresh, and smells like taking a sip of a delicious wall of lime with just a hint of mint and that tart bite of citrus peel. (It’s totally 100% deserving of the cheeky little “NOT FOOD!” labelling.)

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Scrub review photos

In the shower

The Body Shop has offered up two ways for you to get your mojito on in the shower this summer: the Virgin Mojito Shower Gel ($9 CAD) and the Virgin Mojito Body Scrub ($22 CAD).

I’m still trying to figure out if the beads in the mojito body scrub are regular beads or micro beads (the latter of which end up in lakes and rivers, basically just hangin’ out and killin’ fishes), but I have to admit defeat, here: I’m not eco-knowledgeable enough to tell the difference, and I need some help to figure out if I can indulge or if I need to pitch this! 

I’m hoping for the former–didn’t The Body Shop swear off micro beads a few years ago?–because that jelly-like texture looks like waaaay too much fun not to use. 

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Shower Gel review

On the other hand, I’ve been guiltlessly indulging in the Virgin Mojito Shower Gel pretty heavily. The Body Shop’s Shower Gels are possibly my favourite product from the brand — they just always smell so good, and at $9 CAD (or less; a bunch of them are on for $5 right now), they’re so cheap.

I love being able to get a Body Shop scent fix at a price tag that I don’t have to think about (I mean, it’s not exactly Byredo, but is far from drugstore stuff). This tall glass of deliciousness is no exception!

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Butter review photos

After the shower

Coming out of the shower, you have three options: The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Butter ($20 CAD), a classic that has too many ‘cones for me to touch (I used to adore these), the Virgin Mojito Body Splash ($20 CAD), which is delightfully splishy-splashy but honestly kind of a pain to apply (splashes, man. We should have left them behind in the ’90s), and the Virgin Mojito Body Sorbet ($15 CAD).

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Splash review photos

The Body Sorbets are a product that I’m split on. On one hand, they’re $15 (sometimes even less!), and they all, without a doubt, smell awesome. But on the other, they’re just not hydrating — like, even when I get other people to use them, they don’t find them to do a thing. And they pill up like a bad primer if you try to make them hydrate more by applying extra.

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito review

Buuut (and there’s always a but) they’re $15. And silicone-free. And I guarantee you, they are the only tasty-smelling ‘cone-free body lotions that you’re going to be able to find for that price — believe me, I’ve looked.

So, you know. I hate them… and also, I own three. (This was, for interest’s sake, the only one of the three that was a press sample. I bought the other two with my own money and darn it, I was happy to.)

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Sorbet review photos

The verdict?

Out of all of the limited edition collections that The Body Shop has come out with recently, the Virgin Mojito one has been, by far, my favourite. I love the delicious, limey fragrance (it’s so summery!) and I’m quite happy with the product offerings.

My recommendation? Get the shower gel for sure. Then, if you can use silicones, buy the Body Butter. But for those who can’t… get the Body Sorbet instead. You’ll probably hate me for it, but at the same time, you’re totally not going to regret it in the least.

Availability: $9 CAD & up at thebodyshop.ca and The Body Shop stores. Limited edition.

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Reversa Anti-Redness Soothing Care moisturizer review, photos | Currently obsessed with…

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Reversa anti-redness soothing care review

The product: Reversa Anti-Redness Soothing Care moisturizer

So, right now, I’m super into Reversa’s Anti-Redness Soothing Care moisturizer. Made for sensitive/reactive skin (that’s me!), it’s formulated to hit redness on two fronts: one, to reduce flushing and overall redness, and two, to tone down redness with its sheer green tint.

Reversa anti-redness moisturizer review

The formula: Reversa’s Anti-Redness Soothing Care is formulated with Quassia amara extract and vitamin B3 to reduce the appearance of facial redness while replenishing the skin’s moisture barrier. And I… I mean, I really like it.

It’s thin, unscented, and hydrating, and it feels very “neutral” going on — there’s nothing heavy or irritating about it, and no matter how dry my face is, it never makes it sting. I do add a drop or two of oil to this when I use it, but for those with normal to oily skin, this texture will be perfect for you. (My oily-skinned partner really likes the texture of this one!)

Plus, as a few extra cherries on top, it’s silicone- and paraben-free, and it’s made in Canada.

Reversa Anti-Redness Soothing Care swatch

The tint: Okay, okay, okay. So: what makes this moisturizer really special is the green tint that it has to it. And I know; a lot of brands do this, but Reversa has done it well.

The green tinge to this fluid knocks out some of redness in my skin (not all, but a good amount of it), and as an extra-super-bonus, it evens out all of my other imperfections, too. Plus, it never looks chalky, and it doesn’t change the overall hue of my skin — which can be tricky, as I’m already pretty olive to begin with.

Reversa anti-redness soothing care moisturizer review

The verdict?

I can’t remember the last time I said this about a treatment product, but Reversa’s Anti-Redness Soothing Care gets a nice, big, resounding YES! from me! It’s a lovely, lightweight moisturizer that will work well for all skin types and gently treats both the signs and symptoms of redness.

Plus, it very subtly evens out skintone, which I think all of us (redness problems or or not) can use. No, it’s not going to magically erase redness like a high-coverage foundation, but it does a great job of what it’s made for!

Availability: $34 CAD online at Reversa.ca and in Shopper’s Drug Mart locations across Canada. (Frequently on sale at Shopper’s — the last time I was in, it was on for $25.49 CAD all week!)

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Shu Uemura Laque Supreme review, swatches RD 01, 02, 03, 04; PK 02

Thursday, August 20, 2015

shu uemura laque supreme gloss lipstick review

The product: shu uemura laque supreme lip colour in RD 01, RD 02, RD 03, and PK 02

Shu Uemura’s new Laque Supreme Lip Colours take their cues from traditional Japanese urushi lacquerware. Urushi lacquerware has been around since 14 500 BC, and is an art form of lacquering rich pigments over wood.

shu uemura laque supreme lip colour review

Shu Uemura Laque Supreme in RD 01-04, PK 02

The formula: The Laque Supreme Lip Colours are essentially gloss-stains, which use a brand-new water soluble dye to provide a translucent wash of colour, oil-dispersed pigments (used in all of your old Shu favourites) for opaque coverage, and coating polymers help the formula settle into a honeycomb molecular structure for intense shine and long wear.

The “oil in water” formula gives a “fresh and smooth sensation upon application” (very true), and the applicator on these is a slanted doe-foot — which is exactly what you want when the product you’re applying is going to stick around for four hours.

Tip: If you need to remove your Laque Supreme lipgloss before its time is up, reach for a micellar water, not an oil.

shu uemura laque supreme review

The shades: There are 15 Laque Supreme shades, but here are the five I tried (including all 4 of the reds in the range)!

  • RD 01 AKA Red – A warm, tomato-orange red; more vibrant than RD 02. This shade was developed with lacquer wear brand Yamada Heiando, who once provided lacquerware to the Imperial Househould of Japan. It’s inspired by the traditional shade of Japanese lacquer, so expect to see a Vermillion red with a slight yellow tint.
  • RD 02 Red Player – Almost a berry red. A cool fuchsia red with blue undertones.

shu uemura la laque supreme swatches review photos

Shu Uemura Laque Supreme swatches, L-R: RD 01 AKA Red, RD 02 Red Player, RD 03 Flaming Red, RD 04 Shu Red, PK 02 Dreamy Pink

  • RD 03 Flaming Red – Browner and more of a brick red than RD 01, Flaming Red is a warm orange-red.
  • RD 04 Shu Red – Shu Uemura (the man, the legend)’s favourite red — red with strawberry pink undertones; the same shade as the Rouge Unlimited 165. This one’s a little too warm for me, so it makes me look kind of dated. Best on warmer skintones.
  • PK 02 Dreamy Pink – A milky lilac pink. This one really settles and stains on my lips to give an instant (but inevitable) Korean popsicle-stained lip look.

shu uemura laque supreme pk02 swatch review

Shu Uemura Laque Supreme Lip Colour in PK 02 Dreamy Pink swatched lightly / heavily

shu uemura pk02 dreamy pink review swatch

Wearing PK 02 Dreamy Pink

The experience: I liked the feel of these lip colours, but my lips are a tricky beast — even with regular lip products.The inner edge of my lip tends to make lip products either cling or slide, and for these glosses, it did both. The stain really caught on the inner rim of my lip, and the gloss slid away from it, resulting in a popsicle-stained lip that could give even the trendiest Korean magazine a run for its money.

Which, I mean, is awesome if that’s what you’re going for, but unavoidable if it isn’t. Unfortunately, it kind of killed these lip colours for me — but, again, I don’t think that most people will face this problem. (My lips have just always been weird!)

shu uemura la laque supreme swatches RD01-04 PK02 review photos

Shu Uemura Laque Supreme swatches, L-R: RD 01, RD 02, RD 03, RD 04, PK 02

The verdict?

I really wanted to love these, but with the way they caught on my lips… I just couldn’t. Almost, but not quite.

If you don’t usually have problems with products catching on your lips, though, I’d say these are definitely worth a look. They’re almost identical to the YSL Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stains ($38 CAD; comparison based on texture and ingredients), which I love, but I think the pigments are different — the Shu Uemura Laque Supremes are, generally, more pigmented and stain more intensely.

So, if you loved the Glossy Stains but you’re ready to try something just a wee bit different (or if you still have yet to try a gloss-stain!), give these a go!

Availability: $35 CAD at shuuemura.ca and in-store at select Sephora and Holt Renfew locations across Canada.

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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

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