L’Occitane Shea review & free samples: Cleansing Oil, Light Comforting Cream (aka magic cream), and Gentle Toner

Monday, January 5, 2015

L'Occitane Shea Cleansing Oil review

The products: L’Occitane Shea Light Comforting Cream, Shea Cleansing Oil, and Shea Gentle Toner

New year, new beginnings… new super-exciting giveaway that’ll put December to shame. (Keep reading or click here for the giving bit of this post.)

L’Occitane is one of my favourite brands to work with, and their French-made Shea Butter range plays a big part in that — each L’Occitane Shea product bought helps women in Burkina Faso achieve economic emancipation through sustainable, fair trade practices. So, today, I’m talking about three really affordable new silicone-free products in the range, and sharing one with you!

The L’Occitane Shea Cleansing Oil ($26 CAD) and Gentle Toner

L'Occitane Shea Gentle Toner review photos

The Cleansing Oil and Light Comforting Cream join L’Occitane’s Shea Gentle Toner in their permanent Shea Butter range this January, and I couldn’t be happier. Both carry the same scent as the moisturizer (though in much smaller amounts), and are just as gentle on my skin — even the toner.

I find the Shea Cleansing Oil to be quite a heavy oil, but it washes off with no residue and removes my makeup really easily. I like it a lot more than Shu Uemura’s Cleansing Oils, surprisingly enough, and it’s actually super-cheap – only $13/100 ml! (Tatcha’s Camellia Cleansing Oil is still better, but it’s a whopping $40/100 ml.)

L'Occitane Gentle Toner review

L’Occitane Gentle Toner

The L’Occitane Shea Light Comforting Cream AKA MAGIC FAIRY-DUST CREAM* ($30 CAD)

This is L’Occitane’s big launch of the new year — a face cream that pairs shea butter (5%) with a creamy, lightweight texture. And, somehow, L’Occitane manages to pull it off beautifully.

I do find that the Light Comforting Cream leaves my skin feeling tight after I apply it (it’s targeted for normal/combination skin, but they also offer a 25% Shea Ultra Rich Face Cream; not silicone-free), but it seems to nourish my skin over time – unlike things like German Nivea or Weleda Skin Food. Rather than providing a thick, comforting layer off the bat, it sinks in quickly and works to hydrate over time and eliminate surface dehydration completely over the course of a few days, which is… kind of crazy-impressive, if we’re being honest.

L'Occitane Shea Light Comforting Cream review

L’Occitane promises that their Ultra Rich Cream will sink into the skin with “an almost disconcerting ease,” which is freaking wonderful copy and totally applies here, too. My one complaint for this line is that it’s way more fragranced than it needs to be – the Light Comforting Cream smells good, and quite cozy, but the scent hangs around for so long that I can still smell it when I splash my face with water 12 hours later.

» Best for: silicone-free skincare regimens & regulating dehydrated skin! My skin has been crazy smooth and breakout-free since I started using this.

L'Occitane Shea Light Moisturizer review photos

L’Occitane Light Comforting Cream (5% shea)

Get your sample

And now, for the exciting part! I’m lucky enough to get to test out a lot of L’Occitane for theNotice, but this time, you guys get to be the testers. Just walk into any L’Occitane store in Canada and mention theNotice for a free 8 ml sample of the Light Comforting Cream (or use the code SHEAFACE online).

The promo expires at the end of January and only covers samples for 50 followers of the blog, so try to get to a L’Occitane boutique soon — and tell your friends! Unfortunately, it doesn’t apply outside of Canada, but think of it this way: it’s probably all you freezing, dry-skinned Canadians who really need it.

L'Occitane Cleansing Oil review budget buy shea butter

L’Occitane Cleansing Oil (5% shea)

The verdict?

L’Occitane has never really blown me away with their face care until this very moment, but blow me away they did. The Shea Butter range is incredibly well-priced and (now) comes with a bunch of great silicone-free options, so it definitely has my stamp of approval.

If you have dehydrated skin, check out the Shea Light Comforting Cream ASAP. The Gentle Toner is fine and the Cleansing Oil is quite good, but it’s this new moisturizer that really shines.

Availability: All three products are permanent products as of January 2015, and will be available online soon!

Ingredients »

What it’s like to get an IUD (and why you need one): A Christmas gift, from me to you

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The best thing I did all year was get an IUD and play hide and go seek with my mom, so today, I’m here to tell you all about it — the IUD, not hide and seek. Today’s post covers my entire IUD experience over the past six months, and I truly hope that you’ll find it helpful.

I’m going to take the next couple of days off and just leave this up here at the top of theNotice, but I’ll be back shortly. I hope you’re all having a wonderful holiday season so far, dear reader.

PS: YES I DID TAG THIS AS HOLY GRAIL.

The basics

This is the stuff that you can find anywhere on the internet, so I’m going to gloss over it. Here are the basics on IUDs, as compared to each other and the pill — I’m reviewing the Mirena (hormonal) IUD today, but the insertion process of a copper IUD is the same.

IUD infographic thenotice

As with any kind of birth control, IUDs don’t come without risks – and some of the rare side effects, like perforation or ovarian cysts, are very serious. So if you’re thinking about getting one, talk to your doctor and do a little bit of research on your own. I’m an undergrad, for god’s sake. Don’t just take my word for it.

Why I chose the IUD

Simply put: I really trust my OBGYN. I have had awful periods for most of my life, and oral contraceptives weren’t working out for me – I couldn’t do continuous birth control, and it totally killed my sex drive. (Plus, I have vestibulodynia, which is sometimes linked to the pill.)

(PS: if you experience pain when inserting a menstrual cup–and I know many of you do–you probably have vestibulodynia to some degree. Talk to your gynecologist; it’s usually very easy to treat!)

Anyhow. My doc thought I’d do a lot better with an IUD, and he’s amazing at his job, so I said okay. Most of the serious risks of an IUD occur during insertion, and this guy has done thousands without a single perforation or expulsion. I figured that a few weeks of cramps was a good trade-off for five worry-free years of birth control, and I was reassured by the fact that if my body didn’t like it, I could have it taken out whenever — removal is easier and faster than insertion.

Mirena size

The size of a Mirena (from their site)

What it’s like to have an IUD put in

NOT SO GREAT, YOU GUYS. I’m going to be totally honest here, because it wasn’t comfortable, and the fear of not knowing was even worse than the insertion itself.

Everyone says that getting an IUD is like a really bad period cramp, but everyone is LYING. It’s like a very sharp muscle knotting deep in your gut, and it feels really bad — but it’s definitely not the worst pain I’ve ever been in. I’d say it’s like stubbing your toe really hard, except instead of a toe it’s your cervix. So… worse than most things, but extremely localized and very short-lived.

What the process was like & more… »

theNotice’s little-big holiday giveaway: shu uemura, Hourglass, & Annabelle

Monday, December 22, 2014

Shu Uemura Hourglass makeup giveaway

Sometimes, when people say things, I listen. Rarely, but — sometimes!

Case in point? This holiday season, I’m taking a few days off to rest & relax with my family (which, if you knew me, is pretty much unprecedented). I’ll have a new post up on Christmas as my gift to you–it’s a really good one, so don’t miss it!–but for the rest of the week, I leave you with this: a giveaway.

mika for shu uemura giveaway

mika for shu nail stickers

Annabelle Cosmetics TwistUp Cherry giveaway

Hourglass 0.5mm gel liner & Annabelle lip pencil (not the same one you’ll be receiving, of course!)

Enter now to win a Hourglass 0.5mm Mechanical Gel Liner, a package of Mika for Shu nail stickers, and (my favourite) Annabelle Cosmetics TwistUp Retractable Lipstick in Cherry. This giveaway is open internationally to everyone over 18, and closes on New Year’s Eve!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season with your family (or friends, or pets, or bed), dear reader. I will see you on the flipside!

(Well, or on Thursday. You’ll definitely see me then, but I might not see you.)

More peek-shurs »

An easy holiday makeup look & giveaway with Marcelle’s new Trio+ eyeshadows

Friday, December 12, 2014

Marcelle Trio+ makeup look and giveaway - Smokey Chestnut, Chocolate Vanille

As I was writing my Marcelle Trio+ Eyeshadow review, it occurred to me that (seeing as Marcelle is one of my favourite brands) it might be nice to put together a little Marcelle makeup look and giveaway for you guys. So, today, I have a really light, simple makeup look to share with you — and a giveaway with three party-ready products, so you can put together your own Marcelle makeup look.

(Also, I’m pretty sure this is only like, my second makeup look of 2014, so — well, sorry. Oops.)

Marcelle giveaway Trio+ Golden Glow CC Double Precision Liner

Marcelle Trio+ Chocolat Vanille makeup look, Double Precision liner

Marcelle Chocolat Vanille Trio+, Double Precision liner (I used both ends), and Fiberwig mascara

I’m wearing Chocolat Vanille here, but the giveaway features the Eye Shadow Trio+ ($15.95) in Smoky Chestnut, Marcelle’s Golden Glow CC Cream ($29.95; paraben-free but not ‘cone-free) and their Double Precision Liquid Eyeliner Pen ($14.95) — which, oh my god, you have to try this. Seriously, even if you don’t want the Trio+ or CC cream, it’s totally worth entering the giveaway just for the liner. It makes its 12hr+ wear claims look easy.

Seriously. You need this liner. (And it’s on sale for a measly $8.97 CAD on their website right now, so you have no reason not to buy it! And stock up, dude. Definitely stock up.)

Enter the giveaway

Marcelle Trio+ liner giveaway

The giveaway goodies!

This giveaway is open internationally, and it runs until December 21st at 11:59PM — I figured I’d add on the weekend since this is going up so late in the day. Good luck!

PS: Congratulations to Lika D and Brittnie C, who won last week’s Neutrogena Rapid Repair giveaways. I will be emailing the two of you tonight!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shop this look & more photos »

Je Joue Uma G-Spot Vibrator review, photos, comparison | An eco-friendly, body-friendly way to get off

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Je Joue Uma vibrator review

The product: Je Joue Uma G-Spot Vibrator

This February, I introduced you guys to one of my favourite gadgets ever made: the Je Joue MiMi Soft. So, today (you know, before the Christmas shipping deadlines), I thought I’d show you a little bit more from the line.

Je Joue is one of my all-time favourite tech brands–when you create a motor that rumbly, you get to be classed as a tech brand rather than a toy brand–and the Uma is no less well-made or well-packaged than the rest of the line. If your partner is still grasping at straws to try and find out what to get you this holiday season, send ‘em this review and tell them to get you something from Je Joue. (You’re welcome.)

Also, yes, I did just learn how to code that in for this post.

Je Joue Uma G-Spot Vibrator review

The specs

Like the Je Joue MiMi Soft that I reviewed in February, Uma is 100% waterproof, silicone, and rechargeable (via two little magnetic charging points on the end, which also serve as insanely stiff +/- controls). It’s fully submersible for and features five vibration levels and six independently-controlled patterns.

Why you want… SILICONE - non-porous and completely stable, silicone toys won’t leech chemicals into your body (or trap bacteria beneath the surface). WATERPROOF - safe to use in the bath, and easy to soap up and clean thoroughly after every use. RECHARGEABLE – no additional costs over time (basic AAA batteries are $12 for four!), and they help keep used-up batteries out of landfills.

Gently curved, the Uma measures in at 7″ long and 1.25″ at its widest, and comes in four colours: purple, light lilac, fuchsia, and the matte black pictured here. If you look at it from the end, it looks a little bit like an adorably confused sloth.

Sloth Uma

Je Joue Uma review comparison - lelo, we-vibe

I really love Je Joue’s silicone, which has a velvety matte finish and doesn’t pick up too much lint — it definitely screams luxury, and is safe to use with both water-based and natural oil-based lubricants (I recommend Sliquid Sassy and Yes Organics, respectively). But unlike some other luxury brands, you really do get what you pay for with Je Joue: their silicone is flawlessly seam-free, and their battery holds a charge well over time.

Je Joue interchageable charger

The experience

Uma comes inside of a sturdy, discreet set of boxes, and features the usual ruh-ruh-ruh-ruh-ruh Je Joue motor – which, yes, is just as strong, deep, and rumbly internally as it is externally. It’s gently curved and narrower in the centre, which never catches on the pubic bone (ouch) and gives a degree of maneuverability that I think most will appreciate. I mean, except for those who prefer extremely pinpoint g-spot pressure, though really, do those people even exist.

(I’m just kidding; those people do exist, and they should opt for the G-Kii instead.)

Je Jou Uma curve

Side view of the Je Joue Uma

The Uma is extremely lightweight despite its impressive motor (which is slightly quieter here than in the MiMi), and my only complaint is that I would have liked to see it with a Soft option: Je Joue has proven that they’re able to add a very realistic texture without dampening their vibrations, and I think the Uma could have been a must-have with that soft, bouncy finish.

Uma’s length makes it easy to use internally with either a rocking or a thrusting motion, but I’d say skip it if you want to use it externally more than, like, 20% of the time – that length makes it awkward to use close-up.

Je Joue review - Uma internal vibrator

The verdict?

When it comes to sex toys, “your mileage may vary” is a term that can’t be taken seriously enough — but things like aesthetics and quality are still irrefutable. I personally prefer Je Joue’s MiMi Soft ($95) to the Uma, but I know some of you skipped the MiMi last year because you wanted an internal/external toy. For a mix of both worlds, Uma is great, and an easy toy to buy online: there’s no secondary arm to poke you in weird places, the curve isn’t so severe as to be uncomfortable, and Je Joue’s silicone is so smooth that there are literally no seams to be felt.

For a discreet, rechargeable internal vibrator with a kickass motor, Uma is an awesome toy to have on hand… but without Je Joue’s Soft finish, it’s just a nice-to-have, not a must-have. You definitely need at least one of the two, though, so choose as you will!

Availability: $109 USD at SheVibe (US) / $110 CAD at Come As You Are (Canada) / £74.99 at Lovehoney (UK) with free delivery within the country at each. Special thanks to the ever-wonderful SheVibe for sending this in for review!

Remember to buy before the end of this week for delivery by the 25th.

Additional photos & more »

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