BISC Vol.5: Hyped products that just aren’t worth buying

Sunday, April 12, 2015

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What was the last product you bought because of the hype and now regret?​

LILY | Malaysia | Chloe Ash
The Armani Eyes To Kill Mascara. So many people say this is THE mascara to gorgeous lashes, but it did absolutely nothing on me. It was very disappointing because I had high hopes for it. I guess I just have to stick with what works. Dior and Estee Lauder work well on my lashes. Clinique Power Lash is great and some Japanese drugstore ones work much better. It was an expensive mistake though.

RAE | Canada | the Notice: a beauty blog
They were a great deal, but I really regret buying The Body Shop’s Body Sorbet moisturizers. Everyone always says they’re the best thing ever, but they leave my skin feeling sort of… powdery? And tacky. My only other hype-haul this year has been for ColorPop eyeshadows, though, and they more than made up for it!

SARA | Germany | Color Me Loud
I feel like it is part of my blogger duties to hunt down hyped products before others and review them so I end up making mistakes very often. Last three products which disappointed me were:

  • YSL 10 color eye palettes (reviewed here): These had very cheap looking linear shimmer, almost like drug store quality, plus fall out.
  • By Terry Eye Designer Palette in Color Design (reviewed here): The colors looked very vibrant in the pan. Instead they turned out to be very soft and muted, also they fade on me.
  • Giorgio Armani Runway Nail Polish (swatched here): It costed more than the regular nail polishes but is almost the same as their regular one called Incense Velvet.

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AGATA | USA | Her and Makeup
This is the hardest question so far! I thought about it for days, I went through my makeup stash a few times and I can’t find one thing that would fit the criteria. I am normally not a very spontaneous buyer and I do a little research before buying makeup, especially if it’s more expensive. Don’t get me wrong- I bought makeup because of a hype (urban Decay Naked palettes, Hourglass blushes) but none of these products disappointed me.

JAA | Thailand | Hello Jaa
Clarins Instant Eye Makeup Remover! It does a good job at removing waterproof and long-wear eye makeup but that’s about it. I don’t like the scent (strong and unpleasant), nor the greasy residue it leaves behind. I just don’t get the rave reviews at all. I have to always follow up with a separate cleanser to get rid of the oily film.

What makeup brand would you want to be an ambassador for? | Beauty Influencer’s Sunday Column Vol. 4

Sunday, March 22, 2015

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If you could be a brand ambassador for a makeup company, what brand would it be and why?

RAE | Canada | the Notice: a beauty blog

Marcelle! I’d want to pick a Canadian company that I already know and love, and there’s no one sweeter than the folks that work at Annabelle/Marcelle. It’s the only pairing that I think would really make sense for theNotice, and I couldn’t live without their Cleansing Milk, 3 in 1 Micellar Solution, and translucent face powders. (That said, though, I would DIE if I could be a brand ambassador for Clinique — their makeup line right now is killer!)

Lily | Malaysia | Chloe Ash
I don’t think I’d like to be a brand ambassador. Being a brand ambassador means being employed by a company, having to use everything from that one brand and to promote all the products whether or not you really like it. I love my variety, and there’s no one brand out there that does everything right. That’s the beauty of being a blogger. I get to sample a variety of things and also tell my readers the good, the bad and the ugly. What ambassador can do that?

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LENA | USA | Lenallure

Hmmm, it is a toughie! I have a feeling that I am not the only one who would choose this brand, but I would have to go with Chanel. Mostly because I have been buying quite a few things from the brand lately, and pleasantly surprised by their recent offerings. Plus I have my respect for their unique yet timeless color compositions. Chanel isn’t a brand that is known to feature Asian faces often, so maybe it would be a nice change in my wild imagination.

AGATA | USA | Her and Makeup

This is a really hard question to answer because there are so many amazing makeup brands out there that I’d love to be an ambassador for. However, I would go with Hourglass Cosmetics. Everything about them says luxury- high quality ingredients, hand made products, beautiful and elegant packaging. Each and every product they release involves a cutting-edge technology and amazing formulas. Although their makeup comes with a high price tag, I feel like you get what you pay for- luxurious packaging, high quality makeup, long lasting formulas and products that quickly become your every day staples (looking at you Ambient Lighting Powders and Blushes!)

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ALICE | Belgium | Alice Yeh

That’s an absolute no-brainer. Even though I adore countless brands, Charlotte Tilbury stands out immediately. There’s just nothing not to love about her as a person, her make-up and the philosophy behind it. Her brand reflects her immense passion and knowledge of make-up, which embodies quality and luxury. I have yet to find a product I dislike. She does everything so well, from base to eyes to lip products – she doesn’t disappoint. It’s a brand I’d recommend to everyone – from my closest friends to complete strangers. She deserves to live in everyone’s make-up bag.

JAA | USA/Thailand | Hello Jaa

I shouldn’t have asked this question because I am having a hard time deciding myself! I’d like to say VERSO because I love all the science behind their products but then I realized they are not really a makeup brand! I think I’ll go with MAC Cosmetics because it would be so much fun to present and play with new makeup collections all the time! They have some really nice, good-quality, and affordable staple-worthy products in the line-up, too. Their MUAs are also talented, professional, and friendly which are the type of people I want to be working with.

BISC Vol. 3: If you could start your blog all over again…

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Beauty Influencer's Sunday Column 3

If you could start your blog all over again, what would you do differently?

RAE | Canada | the Notice: a beauty blog
If I could start my blog all over again, I’d skip the first few years of terrible product photos! And I’d start on WordPress this time, tagging everything extensively, so that none of my old posts would be weighed down by unchangeable Blogger styling and old posts would be easier to find. Day to day, however, I think it would be run much the same as it is right now — it would just have a better archive.

SARA | Germany | Color Me Loud
This is a hard question because I am not blogging for a such long time (less than 2 years). I believe I would invest in a light box a little earlier than later. I am still struggling to find the right lighting for product and portrait photography. Since my lights are not bright enough, it takes longer to edit the photos. I have just installed a new banner this summer. I wish I could have done it before because it changes the website a lot. But the most important of them all, I would write PR of the companies before the first year is over. I always waited for the right moment, the right page hits etc. only to find out much smaller/newer blogs keep the available slots occupied. Another thing I would do would be starting with social media as early as possible, because it takes time to build it up. But whatever you do, do things you like because it is your hobby and not a job.

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MELISSA | Switzerland | Kiss & Make-up
I’d probably think things through a lot better. When I started my blog I really didn’t have a clue what I was doing. It was so cringe… My lay-out was a nightmare, my photos were embarrassingly bad and I just basically had no idea what having a beauty blog really meant. Of course over the years I learned a lot and I’m very happy with where I stand now with the blog, but if I could do it all over again I’d definitely do more research before launching myself as a beauty blogger and I’d try to approach it all a lot more professionally and less than a hobby.

LAARNI | Philippines | Xoxo Laarni
This is a funny question because I already started my blog all over again. My #1 reason was my old blog’s niche was too broad. It was running for five years but I eventually got tired of it. Also, it was penalized by Google because of sponsored posts so buying a new domain name was my best option.

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KRISTEN | USA | Glambunctious
I’d focus on spending money on products that are exciting to me, even if they aren’t new to the market, and not go broke trying to keep up with every new release.  There’s no sense in spending so much money on each new collection when there are already blogs upon blogs that cover these releases that receive the items gratis from PR.  I also started out posting 7 times per week which quickly became exhausting (blogging is not my full-time job).  I decided to only post when I was inspired and that decision has led to 2 years of happiness!

JAA | USA/Thailand | Hello Jaa
I’d start experimenting with portrait studio lighting sooner. My older posts would have been more complete. I’d also make sure to choose a layout that accommodates larger picture size because I believe larger photos create higher impact. Another thing would be to tell myself to not be shy and connect with other bloggers sooner! It is more fun to have someone with the same interest to talk to and you just learn so much from them! Last thing would be to implement a Pin It button on all my photos right away because Pinterest is among the top three social networks that drive traffic to my blog the most.

[ Interested in joining the BISC Network? Send your request to jaa(at)hellojaa.com ]

Spot the Neutrogena + 2015 launch preview | theNotice goes to Toronto!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

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The big event that I was in Toronto for was Neutrogena’s 2015 Skincare Expert launch party, so today, I wanted to go over (briefly!) some of the Neutrogena adventures that I had while I was in the city… and, of course, talk about some of the new products that they have coming out. (The reviews will come later; this is just a little preview.)

This year, Neutrogena is focusing on what they call the Art of Formulation. They described it like this: if you have a bucket of grapes, you can make grape juice, or you can make wine. So, for 2015, the brand is taking their grapes, adding a twist of innovation, and turning them into a fine wine, accessible to all.

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I don’t know what was in this, but it was amazing and I could drink these every single day. Something about “gilded somethingorother” with bitters, bourbon, and pineapple juice. (But seriously, I’m dying to know how to make this at home, because delicious.)

Tree plate

A tree bark-inspired dish (caramelized foie gras, roasted parsnip bark, and cedar jelly), inspired by one of Neutrogena’s 2015 innovations!

This year, look for three new moisture-boosting products with hyaluronic acid (the Hydro Boost Eye Gel-Cream looks particularly good), and keep an eye out for the Triple Age Repair with Hexinol line, in purple — that stuff smells really good, and the day cream comes with an SPF of 25. Plus, fans of the Pink Grapefruit line can look forward to the brand’s first-ever Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Pink Grapefruit Moisturizer, which is very fluid and smells just as bright as the rest of the line.

If you love a good primer, make sure to try the Healthy Skin primers ones when they come out (the Refining one mattes the skin for eight hours, and the Tone Corrector adds super glowy shimmer), and if you’re ‘cone-free like I am, then you can look forward to not one, not two, but three exciting new silicone-free products from Neutrogena this year!

Neutrogena 2015 silicone-free launches

Silicone-free launches coming your way!

The Healthy Skin Boosters Facial Cleanser and Exfoliating Scrub are silicone-free and smell really fresh and delicious, with added extracts of white tea and Vitamin E, and the ‘cone-free Neutrogena Naturals moisturizer will be joined by the first silicone-free Neutrogena makeup wipes ever. These wipes are gooood, you guys — they’re super wet, and the ladies hosting the event mentioned that they were their favourite wipes out of the entire Neutrogena lineup. (Finally, an all-natural product that’s even better than its classic counterpart!)

Arianne and Jessica

finally got to meet these girls!!!!! ( Jessica / Arianne )

Arianne!!

Seriously, how cute is this gorgeous mom-to-be??

Spot the Neutrogena

To say thanks to Neutrogena for sending me away on this amazing trip to Toronto, I put together a little series of “Spot the Neutrogena” images while I was in the city. (Which were, largely, lost along with my camera, but I made up for it the best I could). It’s not much of a thank-you present, but it was the most fun one that I could think of: I mean, we’re all adults here, or close enough, but no one really ever grows out of I-Spy.

So I’ll leave you to spot some Neutrogena products in the photos below, and good luck to you all! Let me know in the comments if you find ‘em ;)

Spot the Neutrogena at breakfast

Neutrogena Naturals Multi-Vitamin Night Cream

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Neutrogena Naturals Multi-Vitamin Night Cream (in box)

Keep reading! »

Avène Xeracalm A.D Lipid Replenishing Balm, Cleansing Oil review & giveaway

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Avene Xeracalm review

The products: Avène Xeracalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cleansing Oil, Xeracalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Balm, and Eau Thermale/Thermal Spring Water

The technology behind Xeracalm

Avène (a.k.a. Eau thermale Avène, or “the itchy horse brand”!) has been making products for intolerant skin for years, but this month, they’re launching something just for those with dry skin. The Xeracalm A.D range, which is suitable for infants and adults with moderate to intensely dry skin (my entire life can be summed up in that statement, by the way) was created around “I-modulia®,” a new technology that took a whopping twelve years of research to create.

Avene Xeracalm A.D Cleansing Oil review

The Xeracalm A.D range, which is formulated with Avène’s classic thermal water as a key component, aims to reduce itching while soothing irritations and redness, offering both comfort and softening to the skin — something that those with very dry skin will recognize as a pretty rare find.

The Lipid-Replenishing Cleansing Oil

Unlike other cleansing oils, the Avène Xeracalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Cleansing Oil is thick and almost “sticky,” and I was surprised to find out that it is NOT made to be a makeup removing oil (though it does that, too). Rather, it’s generously-sized and is designed to be used on wet skin at the sink, in the shower, or as a bath oil.

Avene Xeracalm Lipid Replenishing Cleansing Oil review

It feels most like a shower/bath gel, with a gentle lather and squeaky-clean (but not too stripping) finish. It cleanses well, but I found that this one really excelled as a bath/baby product. Think of it as a lipid-replenishing bath gel, not a cleansing oil, and definitely give it a try if you have generalized eczema, psoriasis, or atopic dermatitis.

The Lipid-Replenishing Balm

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Xeracalm A.D Lipid-Replenishing Balm is thin and non-sticky, for a balm! It’s manufactured in a completely sterile environment and is packaged in patent-protected packaging with a perfect hermetic seal, meaning that there are ZERO preservatives (not even trace amounts) in this product.

Avene Xeracalm A.D Lipid Replenishing Balm review

The Xeracalm Balm reminds me of a zinc cream, but with a texture more like body lotion: it’s very plain, very soothing, and perfect for skin prone to atopic dermatitis. This one is hard to squeeze out of the tube (so avoid it if you have arthritis in your hands or wrists) and not optimal for dehydration, but it will be perfect for you if you have reactive skin.

Or if you’re a baby. The literal kind — this is very well-suited to itchy babies’ skin.

Avene Xeracalm A.D review balm

The classic: Eau Thermale

I also had a chance to try the cult-favourite Avène Thermal Spring Water (proper name “Eau Thermale Avène Eau Thermale,” which I find to be endlessly hilarious) for this review, and I have to say: I really liked it! The full-sized bottle is enormous, and it dispenses a dense, light mist of calming spring water.

I don’t have an itchy-skinned horse to test this product on, but I do find it to be very soothing on my skin when it’s feeling particularly parched. If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go — you might just find (like I did) that this one really does live up to the hype.

Avene Thermal Spring Water review

The giveaway

And now, the best part! One lucky Canadian reader of theNotice will win the ENTIRE Xeracalm A.d range by Avène – just enter using the givewaway widget below. Good luck (and good skin) to all of you!!

Keep reading! »

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