Holiday survival guide | THE EDIT

Monday, December 5, 2016

{ holiday survival guide – products are clickable! }

MASK (AND THEN MASK SOME MORE) | Dr Jart+ and The Body Shop

The holidays can be tough to get through, so today, I’ve put together a fun (if rather indulgent) survival guide. Here’s what’s been getting me through the winter months, aside from lots and lots of kitten cuddles.

My first beauty-related survival concern is my flaky winter skin, but luckily, face masks are in right now. I’ve been using three in particular, two of which are photographed here: the pink moisturizing mask from the Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay Trio ($31 CAD at Take Good Care; use NOTICE15 for 15% off), The Body Shop British Rose Plumping Mask ($28 CAD), which sinks in and feels like a total treat, and (not photographed) the SkinFood Black Sugar Honey Mask ($14 CAD) from Take Good Care – which is MAGIC.

POLISH & SHINE | Make Up For Ever and Inglot

I also go a little nuts with the highlighter in the winter always, and my go-to this month has been the Make Up For Ever Pro Light Fusion in 01 Golden Pink ($48 CAD), which I reviewed recently. My nails are currently bare, but I’m thinking of doing them up in a classic red like the Inglot O2M Breathable Nail Enamel in 652 ($19 CADbefore my next holiday party.

holiday-survival-guide-2016-saje-sudio

BREATHE IN | Saje and Sudio

December isn’t just dry: it can also be really stressful. To combat that, I’ve been enjoying the Saje Natural Perfume Collection ($42.95 CAD; reviewed here) when I need a pick-me-up and blasting my holiday tunes through my gorgeous Sudio Vasa Blå in Rose Gold Earphones ($140 CAD).

The Vasa Blå earphones are wireless and come with a built-in microphone, so you can stay plugged into your music without a) getting broken up with because you won’t “turn off the damn Christmas music already, Rae, goddammit,” or b) getting tangled up in a mess of ribbon and earphone cords, and quietly starving to death in front of a plate of gingerbread that you can’t quite reach.

RELAX | Vixen and Inception

I’d be lying if I said that a bit of aromatherapy and holiday music was enough to take my stress levels right down. For everyone out there who needs a little extra to clear their mind, may I suggest a bubble bath, a bottle of wine (this is the fruity Inception Irresistible White 2016, which comes with an adorable apple-shaped lip balm), and some quality time with the Vixen Creations Maverick ($105.99 USD at SheVibe)?

If you have a great holiday survival tip, come share it in the comments below!

The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturizer review, photos

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturizer review

The product: The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturizer for Dull, Tired, Grumpy Skin

Five years ago, finding a silicone-free moisturizer was tough. And, while it’s certainly not impossible anymore (thanks to the natural beauty movement, there are a whole ton more options nowadays), I find that a lot of the newer ‘cone-free brands are a little out of my budget.

Widely-available natural companies like Odacité or Pai make some awesome products (aside: I have a review of some Pai coming up!), but not everyone has $50+ to drop on a single bottle of moisturizer — or have the inclination to do so. So, here’s a silicone-free moisturizer from The Body Shop that clocks in at a nice $25 CAD.

TBS Vitamin C Moisturizer review

The formula: The texture and scent of the Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturizer are honestly just divine. It smells as bright, cheery, and citrusy as it looks, and it has a bouncy gel texture. The formula absorbs very quickly, and it feels almost watery when it touches the skin.

Despite the fact that this moisturizer didn’t have quite enough “oomph” for my skin, I tested it with my Hydraforce Hydration Detector and got more than decent results. Ten minutes after applying, my skin had gone up from 31% hydrated to 50% hydrated, and it outperformed all of the other moisturizers that I’ve tested so far. (Including, ironically, the Hydraforce ones!)

The Body Shop silicone free moisturizer review

Best for: Where the Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturizer really excels, I find (other than in reminding you to eat your daily dose of vitamin C), is in acting as a little transporter vessel. It’s nice on its own, but it pairs really well with serums, whether it’s layered overtop of them or mixed in before applying.

I think it would be best for normal, dull, or dehydrated skin, but it’s a little heavy, and it’s definitely better for dehydration than dryness.

TBS Glow Vitamin C moisturizer review

The verdict?

From the friendly-luxe packaging (you know; really nice and well-made but not breakable) to the citrusy scent, this “glow boosting” moisturizer is a total winner. It’s a great product for dehydrated skin, and really easy to find, too!

It doesn’t make me super glowy, but unlike my favourite DHC and Marcelle silicone-free moisturizers, the Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturizer is available outside of Canada/online. It’s also full of antioxidants, nice to use, and affordable, so if you want a ‘cone-free moisturizer that isn’t a hassle or an “investment piece,” definitely give this one a look.

Availability: $30 USD/$25 CAD. Permanent as of Summer 2015.

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Back to basics: 8 mass-market beauty finds to try this November

Monday, November 2, 2015

INSTANT FIXES

They say that everything worth having is worth working for, but by the looks of 2015’s beauty trends, the industry is still trying its darndest to prove that particular old adage wrong.

This year has seen a lot of really cool “instant fix”-type products (like this one from Deciem), and the brightening Neutrogena Healthy Skin Instant Tone Corrector SPF 15 ($19.97 CAD) and vivid orange The Body Shop Vitamin C Instant Glow Enhancer ($20 CAD) are two more examples of this quick-fix trend–which, can I just say, I am loving.

NEW CLASSICS

The Clinique Dramatically Different and Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit ranges are two of the beauty world’s most popular ranges for people (especially teens!) with acne-prone skin. And this year, I am happy to say, BOTH ranges are getting a long-awaited update. 

Clinique is adding a Dramatically Different Cream ($14.50 USD) for those with dry skin, and Neutrogena has created an Oil-Free Acne Moisturizer ($8.78 USD/$12.99 CAD) with 0.5% salicylic acid. Starting at under $15 each, they’re great picks for the teen or tween just getting into skincare — and just as good for those still struggling with acne in their college years.

Keep reading! »

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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The purple pout: A Body Shop Universal Lip Pencil vs. Clinique Voluptuous Violet comparison

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Purple lipstick comparison swatches review

I recently got a question on Instagram asking me to compare The Body Shop’s Universal Shade Lip & Cheek Velvet Pencil ($15 USD/CAD) with Clinique’s Voluptuous Violet Chubby Stick ($17 USD/$19 CAD), so I thought I’d follow up with a super short blog post on the topic.

If all you’re looking for is a sheer, comfortable violet lip pencil, then either one of these will fit the bill. But here’s where the differ: Chubby Sticks are glossy and emollient while The Body Shop’s Velvet Pencils are satin-matte and, well, velvety. (Neither are particularly drying or hydrating on me!) Voluptuous Violet reads as more of a pinky-red, while the pH-adjusting Body Shop pencil is an ashier purple, though it stains pink.

For wearability, definitely opt for the Clinique. But for coolness (both tonally and metaphorically), go for the Body Shop pencil.

Clinique Voluptuous Violet vs TBS Universal Shade

The Body Shop Universal Shade Lip & Cheek Pencil, Clinique Voluptuous Violet Chubby Stick swatches (layered to maximum intensity)

Do you own any purple lipsticks, pencils, balms, or glosses?

The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick swatches, review, photos (& a little Smoky Poppy preview)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Body Shop Lip Cheek Velvet Stick reviews swatches

The products: The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Velvet Sticks in Universal Shade and 40 Red

↳ Photographed with the limited-edition Smoky Poppy Body Butter ($20), which smells amazing but contains silicones, so I can’t touch it! (But seriously: amazing. It’s super sultry for a Body Shop fragrance.)

My love affair with jumbo lip pencils is a long and almost frighteningly well-documented one, but when I tried these for the first time, I actually stopped and went, “oh, cool,” for a moment.

TBS lip velvet jumbo pencil review swatches

The texture: Unlike your standard jumbo lip pencil (sheer-glossy or opaque-matte), these Lip & Cheek Velvet Sticks are exactly that: velvety. They apply with an incredibly natural finish, softly matte but not at all drying.

Unlike most mattes, though, they’re sheer — or, rather, they’ll sheer out if you blend them. Red (and I’m assuming the rest of the regular line) applies with a very medium opacity, but blends out to create the most seamless, perfect flush; the Universal Shade applies more sheerly, but in a way that’s suited well to the shade.

The Body Shop black universal Lip Cheek Stick review

The Body Shop Universal Shade Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick

The Body Shop Lip Cheek Stick swatches review universal, red

The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Velvet Sticks, swatched – Universal Shade (heavily/blended) and 40 Red (heavily/blended)

The shades: Red is a bright strawberry red, but the pH-adapting Universal Shade is the Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick that really steals the show. Purple-black in the tube, it applies as a very sheer dark purple. It’s less glossy and more plummy than Clinique’s Voluptuous Violet Chubby Stick (the closest dupe that I’ve seen), and you NEED it.

When sheered out, the Universal shade reads as a muted flush of colour, and on the lips, it’s nothing short of perfect. My natural lip colour leans a bit orange (bleh), which makes most medium/dark lip colours look punchy and ostentatious as they wear off, but this weird, pH-adjusting pencil is perfect. It darkens my natural lip colour considerably without making my lips look bright!, which–believe me–is a pretty substantial feat.

Bare lips - Korres Cherry Picked reference

Bare lips

The Body Shop Universal Lip & Cheek Stick swatches review

The Body Shop Universal Shade Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick lip swatch

The Body Shop Smoky Poppy Body Butter review

The Body Shop Smoky Poppy Body Butter

The verdict?

These sheer-matte Lip & Cheek Velvet Sticks are great both for the lips and cheeks, but it’s the black Universal Shade pencil that you really need to own. If you’ve ever been intrigued by a sheer purple lipstick, or if you’ve ever been tempted to try Clinique’s classic Black Honey, get this one instead — you won’t be disappointed. 

Availability: $15 USD/CAD at The Body Shop. Permanent.

Keep reading! »

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