Bench SS16: The #24HourLife, translated from fashion into beauty

Friday, March 18, 2016

Bench Love My Hood SS2016

One of the things that I’ve been joking about recently is rebranding theNotice: a beauty blog to theNotice: still not a fashion blog. Sticking to a beauty-oriented “brand identity” (I hate it when people refer to your blog’s driving force as its brand; it feels so disingenuous) probably wasn’t the most prudent choice, but it’s the only option that felt right to me, so I stuck with it.

I’m a dabbler, though — you guys know that. So when I was asked to share some of the Bench. Spring / Summer 2016 lookbook with you guys today, I figured why not? I wouldn’t want to go for a swim in Lake Fashion (I’d definitely drown), but a careful wading in would be fun.

Bench SS16 colour pairings

The Bench. SS16 collection this year is inspired by a 24-hour experience in Barcelona, and features imperfect fabrics, earthy surfaces, and splattered watercolours. The whole thing has a very easy, fluid, “I just threw this on and I look like a babe” vibe to it, and the colour palette juxtaposes bright pastels against vivid coral, teal, black and yellow.

It’s all really makeup-translatable, honestly, so I threw together a few of the products that I’m loving and testing right now that I feel really reflect the Bench. SS16 collection. A coral lip, a watercolour lid, and a thick flick of black liner, and you’re set!

Bench Maybelline Vivid Matte colour palette

Bench 2016 key look nighttime

Bench 2016 lookbook

“The season opens with a soft colour statement where bright pastels are paired with warm neutrals to create a quieter, more understated palette. Coral pops, electric teal and bioluminescent yellow emerge out of saturated indigo denim and jet black inks create a weird and wonderful sub-aquatic palette as summer approaches. At the height of the season influences from the underwater world explode with an almost luminescent green and chemical blue story.

Bench SS16 24 hour life

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions included are my own, and my priority is still (and always will be) creating great content for you guys. Hope you enjoyed! 

A-Derma Epitheliale AH, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer, and more | New 27/02/16

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Happy Saturday, folks! I know I’ve been dragging my feet when it comes to posting this month (I messed up my abdominal muscles and man, it is really hard to blog lying down), but here’s a little “New This Week” instalment to keep you going for a while!

It’s been a couple of months since the last time I did one of these, if I’m not mistaken — did you miss ’em?

And two products that have come across my desk recently that I (cry) can’t use because of silicones…


A-Derma Epitheliale AH Duo Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer`

I was super excited for both the A-Derma Epitheliale A.H. Ultra-Repairing Cream, which is designed to accelerate skin repair and reduce the formation of scars (something that I desperately need), and the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Concealer, which brightens under-eye circles and comes in both correcting and concealing shades, so I’m really bummed that I won’t be able to review them for you guys!

I’ve heard amazing things about the new Ultra HD Concealer from a few of my fellow bloggers, but I’m afraid I haven’t heard much about the A-Derma Epitheliale. Have any of you guys tried it? Or, if not…

What’s your favourite product to prevent (or reduce!) scarring?

Milestones, Makeovers, and the Matrix Color Lounge app | WIN a $250 gift basket from Matrix Canada!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Matrix Color Lounge app 3VR

*sponsored post

Happy Wednesday, folks! I’m writing this at one in the morning, and I just noticed the coolest thing while moderating a few late-night comments: theNotice passed 20 000 comments this week!

(Yes, really, twenty THOUSAND. For all of you wondering why it’s been three years and I still haven’t managed to switch over to Disqus successfully… well, that’s why. The importer keeps panicking and crying and breaking.)

So, to everyone who’s ever left a comment, thank you. Thank you so, so much. You guys are the bread and butter of theNotice, and I’m so happy to be able to share each and every day with you!

Matrix Color Lounge app UL-A+

image

But back to the topic at hand: the new Matrix Color Lounge. You know those makeover websites that you used to be able to go to to put fake blush and blonde wigs on your picture? Well, the Color Lounge is like that, but it’s the next generation of makeover apps.

It uses colour filters to let you try on a new colour on your actual hair, and gives you the option of adding things like highlights, ombré, and colour blocking to your new look, too. I gave the Color Lounge a go to try on grey, violet, and red hair, and I was really happy with my results — it lets you highlight what is and isn’t your hair, and even works on dark hair.

Matrix Color Lounge app 6RV+

Matrix giveaway

To celebrate the launch of this app, I’m giving away a big prize package from Matrix Canada (worth $250 — see above!!) The giveaway will run until 11:59 MST on Sunday, February 28th, and is open to all Canadian residents.

You can use the widget below to enter, or (for all of you guys who aren’t in Canada), you can download the Matrix Color Lounge app for free through the App Store or Google Play. Happy colouring!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep reading! »

Ivory Avenue Art | Small Business Saturdays

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Ivory Avenue Valentine's Day

One of the things that I get excited about, like most beauty writers, is when beauty bloggers branch out. Sometimes they branch out by starting their own beauty brand (hello, MIYU), but sometimes it’s not quite as beauty-related, as is the case with Natalie of Ivory Avenue.

I’ve been a fan of Ivory Avenue for a while, and there’s no question as to why: Natalie is kind and funny, with a great eye for design and a frankly adorable obsession with her puppy. So when Natalie announced that she was planning on opening her own Etsy shop full of original watercolour paintings… well, I knew it was going to be something pretty special.

Small Business Saturdays Ivory Avenue Art

Rosie and painting No. 1 from the Valentine’s Day collection

Ivory Avenue Art

Natalie started painting to express her feelings and stay positive, and she decided to open her Etsy shop in order to share that happiness with others — something that I find to be particularly beautiful. There are a lot of us in the beauty community who struggle with mental illness and physical limitations, and I like to think that each of us feels a little less alone knowing how many of our friends and favourite bloggers experience similar struggles.

Ivory Avenue Art showcases one collection of six paintings every month, and a different charity is chosen for each collection to receive 10% of the sale price of each order. Available right now are the Winter’s Morn and Valentine’s Day collections (in green & grey and coral-pink, respectively,) and the current Ivory Avenue charity is the Samaritan’s Purse!

Natalie Heather Ivory Avenue Art Etsy

I’m particularly fond of Natalie’s Valentine’s Day Collection Painting No. 1, with its beautiful gold detailing and coral-pink ombré (directly above), but honestly, her entire shop is just gorgeous.

If you want to support a small business (and a local Canadian blogger!) this Valentine’s Day, make sure to check out Ivory Avenue Art — and use code LOVEYOU until February 29th for a whopping $30 off your order! 

All images are from Natalie’s Etsy shop and Instagram

Palmer’s Moisturizing Body Oil review & giveaway

Friday, February 5, 2016

Palmer's giveaway trio

The products: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Moisturizing Body Oil, Soothing Oil for Dry, Itchy Skin, and… like, maybe the Daily Skin Therapy?

Finding an afforadable body moisturizer that’s silicone-free can be a really hard task, so when Palmer’s offered to send me a few of their products to try, I jumped at the opportunity. I didn’t end up being able to use the spray-oil or lotion (both contain ‘cones), but it was nice to see such a cohesive line of products!

The oil for expectant mothers, which is made with cocoa butter, Vitamin E, Collagen, and Lecithin, is designed to soothe dry, itchy skin. It comes in a spray format, which I think is great — if you’re carrying around an entire little human being in your body, companies SHOULD be making easy-application products for you!

Palmer's Soothing Body Oil pregnancy review

Palmer's cocoa butter lotion review

The thing about Palmer’s names: The lotion was the other product that I couldn’t use, but what really cracks me up about it is how HARD it is to figure out what this product actually is.

The packaging has ten million descriptors on it (24 hour moisture, for softening and smoothing, contains vitamin E…), but I tried my best to find a concrete product name on it, and I couldn’t find one for the life of me!

Palmer's Moisturizing Body Oil review

Palmer’s Moisturizing Body Oil: Finally, the product that I did get to fall in love with was the brand’s Moisturizing Body Oil. It’s scented of cocoa butter, but it’s the Palmer’s cocoa butter scent, so it’s a little bit powdery and very recognizable (in a gold way!)

This oil is great because it’s so lightweight and fast-absorbing. I need to alternate with something a little heavier in the winter, but it’s wonderfully easy to apply and doesn’t leave your hands or clothes greasy at all! And I mean, okay, so it’s not the only lightweight body oil out there — but it’s definitely the only super fast absorbing one under $20 that I’ve ever tried.

Which, well. ‘Cone-free stuff can be seriously expensive, you guys, and bodies are so big. You’ve gotta pinch pennies where you can!

Palmer's cocoa butter review giveaway

The giveaway

I absolutely love my bottle of Moisturizing Body Oil (it’s the most economical “finished” oil that I own, and definitely the least greasy), so I’m super excited to be giving away a Palmer’s trio to one lucky reader!

To enter, just click on the widget below. This giveaway is open to all Canadian residents (yes, even if you live in Quebec!) and will close on February 14th at 11:59 PM MST. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Salcura DermaSpray, Hand Therapy, Shampoo/Conditioner reviews & GIVEAWAY!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Salcura Bioskin DermaSpray review

The products: Salcura Bioskin DermaSpray, Autumn Skin Awakening Hand Therapy, Winter Skin Warming Hand Therapy, and Sensitive & Dry Scalp Shampoo and Conditioner

Do you ever feel like Europe gets all of the best eczema/dry skin/pharmacy brands? I always have — I mean, just look at things like E45, Embryolisse, and Oilatum.

I have another brand for you guys to add to that list today: Salcura. They’re a (mostly, like 98%) natural brand that uses no SLS, parabens, silicones, mineral oil, etc., and they focus on providing gentle, hydrating care for people with dry skin conditions.

Salcura shampoo conditioner review photos

Salcura Sensitive & Dry Scalp Conditioner & Shampoo (£8.99 each)

What I thought was really cool about the Salcura line is that not only do they aim to treat dry skin on the body, but they have a couple products for people with dermatitis of the scalp, too. Their Sensitive & Dry Scalp Shampoo and Conditioner duo is rich in omega oils and super gentle on the hair, and my dry scalp has been loving them.

With regular use of this duo, I’ve seen a dramatic decrease in how peel-y and dry my scalp is — so much so that if I use a different shampoo (even a different one made for dry hair) for a day, I’ll notice more dry flakes and flyaway hair immediately.

I find that I have to use a little more product than usual with this shampoo, but I can good a good foam going if I do. Both products smell a little oily (think grapeseed, not canola), but they leave my hair and scalp looking and feeling super hydrated.

Salcura DermaSpray review photos

Salcura Bioskin DermaSpray (£16.99)

Another super cool product from Salcura is their DermaSpray, which is made for daily use on itchy skin. Made with labender, rosemary, and eucalyptus essential oils, this spray is milky and watery — it provides instant soothing with no oiliness (I can even spray it onto my scalp and my hair looks fine).

I didn’t see strong results with this one on my problem areas, but this spray would be awesome for someone with normal skin who wants totally weightless, easy moisture OR for someone with dry skin (like me!) who is planning on layering it with another moisturizer.

Salcura Winter Skin therapy review hand cream

Salcura Autumn & Winter Hand Therapy Creams (£12.99 each)

Even more exciting than Salcura’s spray and haircare range, though, are their hand creams. I tried the Winter Skin Warming Hand Therapy, which doesn’t actually warm your hands and smells very strongly of ginger oil (one of my least favourite smell so, I’ve since discovered), and the Autumn Skin Awakening Hand a Therapy, which on the other hand was the BEST thing that I’ve ever smelled. 

Salcura says that their autumn scent comes from freesia and pear, and while I can’t pull any distinct notes from it, I can tell you that it smells great. It’s floral, juicy, and fruity, with a scent that lingers and gives me serious heart-eyes all throughout the day.

The formula of Autumn Skin is awesome, too — it’s almost airy, but it’s very creamy, too. It’s quite hydrating (more hydrating than L’Occitane, Neutrogena, or Lush), with a silky, non-greasy finish. 

Salcura Autumn Skin therapy review hand cream

I told the kind folks at Salcura about how much I loved the Autumn Skin Awakening Hand Therapy, and they offered to send one reader not just the Autumn hand cream, but all four seasons! So: please use the giveaway widget below to enter to win FOUR awesome hand creams that are silicone, phthalate, and paraben-free. ;)

The giveaway will be open until Sunday, January 31st at 11:59 PM MST. Good luck, you guys — you’re going to LOVE these!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The verdict?

If you have eczema on your scalp, you need to give Salcura a try. I saw the best results when I used all three of their hair-appropriate products together, but if you love your current shampoo and conditioner, even just adding their DermaSpray to your morning routine will help a ton.

I also think their Autumn Skin hand cream is a must, although I’d take a pass on Winter if you’re making an order!

Availability: You can find Salcura at Boots, Whole Foods, and salcuraskincare.com.

Keep reading! »

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