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)

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A week away | theNotice goes to Toronto!

Monday, March 2, 2015

As some of you may know already (and if you don’t, why aren’t you following theNotice’s Twitter and Instagram channels?), I was lucky enough to spend last week in Toronto thanks to Neutrogena, visiting all kinds of beautiful shops, learning about the coolest new products of the year, and meeting the most hilarious, amazing women.

So. Today, I’m going to catch you up on what I’ve been up to over the past few weeks; on Wednesday, I’m going to share my Neutrogena experience with you (including a little game of I-Spy!); and on Friday, I’ll be posting my review of the (gorgeous) Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie.

Note: I lost my camera while I was away (cry) so I don’t have a ton of photos to share with you… but here’s what I had saved to my phone!

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The Detox Market (Canada/Toronto)

The Detox Market

If you live by Toronto’s Detox Market, you have to visit it. Like, STAT. And bring your wallet!

This little shop (which was originally meant to be a pop-up shop in 2009 but is still around and thriving) is packed from wall to wall with an incredibly well-curated selection of skincare, haircare, cosmetics, and everything from ready-to-boil soups (just add water!) to delicious green juices by Greenhouse.

And ugh, it has the best vibe. Great music, beautiful setup, and the most magical lighting.

Odacite oil review

Little trays of Odacité

If you get the chance to go to The Detox Market, make sure to:

  • Pick up an serum concentrate oil by Odacité (their top-selling range, which I adore) — I hear the blueberry serum is amazing for scarring,
  • Check out Rahua, which literally everyone who works in the store is obsessed with,
  • Smell the Elizabeth Dehn for One Love Organics Vitamin C Body Oil (the prettiest),
  • Give the W3ll People makeup line a swatch (this is the only place you’ll be able to do it in Canada), and
  • Try a cold-pressed Greenhouse juice! The Good and The Giver are sugar free — I bought a bottle of The Giver on my way out (it was too pretty not to), and it was delicious. Annika, the woman who was working at the Greenhouse table that day, said that it was one of their earthier ones, but the balance of lemon and ginger masks the green-ness of the juice so well. If this is earthy, man, the rest of the line must be like drinking healthy candy.

Greenhouse Juice review

Rodial launches cosmetics

I have a handful of products from this launch that you can bet your bones I’ll be reviewing for you soon, but just as a little preview: Rodial is launching cosmetics this March, and you guys, you need to get excited for this now

I’ve heard amazing things about the new Glamolash mascaras (a skinny wand for day wear and a chubby one for serious volume), which were wear-tested on Rodial’s London employees overnight to ensure that they wouldn’t flake, and the upcoming brush line is SO plush and dense. The brushes look and feel super luxe, and they put even the best Real Techniques synthetics to shame.

Rodial Glamolash review preview

Rodial cosmetics review preview

A few bits & bites

And, finally, the last thing that I have to share with you (and thank you for sticking with me until the end, if you have) is that M and I kind of broke up when I came home. I mean, we did. We did and now I am sad.

It’s a weird time for me right now, because so much has changed in just a few days, but I’m okay. You know how it is: you cut seven inches off of your hair, go travelling for the first time as a disabled human being, meet the people that you’ve been friends with for (literally, in one case) seven years… break up with your boyfriend of two and a half years and then cry about it.

It was one of the hardest things that I’ve ever had to do, but hey. I visited three libraries on Friday and he’s still sending me upside-down monkey emoticons; we’re gonna be just fine.

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This stately old house surrounded by tall buildings

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Bloor & Spadina. I could have stayed here forever.

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TORONTO REFERENCE LIBRARY!!!

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Fibromyalgia is…

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Fibromyalgia is: staying home.

Fibromyalgia is missing birthdays, missing dinners, missing holidays.

(Fibromyalgia is: “oh, you get to stay in bed all day? Must be nice.”)

Fibromyalgia is redefining your goals, your future.

Fibromyalgia is learning to be zen. The most zen. The zennest.

Fibromyalgia is re-learning how to live: how to move, how to dress, how to wash and sleep and play.

Fibromyalgia is “not today, I’m too tired.”

Fibromyalgia is learning to be proud of the little things. The little, little things.

Fibromyalgia is learning to ask for help (I’m still learning this one.)

Fibromyalgia is people leaving, people leaving, people leaving.

and people staying.

Fibromyalgia is surrounding yourself with only those

who really, really love you,

because there isn’t room for anyone else.

 

Fibromyalgia is sacrifice.

 

Fibromyalgia is being stronger than yourself.

 

////

 

In the comments, I’d like to invite you to share your own “is” statements.

 

What is being healthy, to you? What is being sick? What is being a minority, or a majority? What’s it like to be an accountant, a makeup artist, a college student? What’s it like to be tired, or loved, or a mother or daughter or cousin?

Big or small, I want to know what it’s like to be you. So: will you take a minute out of your day to tell me?

Saffire Blue: What are your worst online shopping “horror stories”?

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

As you all know, I’m not one to complain… very much. When I run into problems behind the scenes at theNotice, 95% of the time, you never hear about it — whether that’s a PR firm who’s upset over a product getting a bad review, or a rep for the company who could stand to learn a few things from Emily Post.

Over the past few months, though, I’ve been going through one of the most upsetting interactions I’ve ever had with a company. I don’t have any other form of recourse for their behaviour (you can’t Yelp an online store, after all — can you?), so here’s a warning for any of you in Canada who are thinking about buying cosmetic ingredients and packaging.

saffire blue - fraud vs bad business

I made an order at Saffire Blue this January (just shy of $100), and it arrived in early February. When I opened up the box, however, I found that a number of the items I bought were missing — seven of them, to be precise.

I contacted the company immediately, and contacted them again a week later when I hadn’t heard back from them. We exchanged a handful of emails, and then, after about a week, they suddenly stopped responding.

saffireblueinc

I called them out on it on Twitter to help speed things up (PayPal’s insurance is time-limited) because the squeaky wheel gets the grease, right? But instead of saying “oops, sorry, we’ll get right on that,”, they instead made public claims saying I had never contacted them, even though their customer service rep had replied to many of my emails, and I have a record of all of them.

I had paid for the order through PayPal, so I opened up a dispute about the items. Throughout the course of this interaction, their CEO repeatedly stated that they had offered to send me the missing items – a request which I had been making for weeks, and which they had repeatedly denied. Each time I offered to take them up on it, they immediately backtracked and said that they would only reimburse me for the cost of the missing items, and refused to send them out or refund me the cost of shipping for the missing items — a cost which was worth 4x the value of the items, which made up over half of what they charged me for shipping, and which they never had to pass forward to the shipping carrier.

saffire blue false claims - mission statement

Sure, I’m raving — but probably not in the way you wanted, guys.

PayPal has now said that my only form of recourse is to file against them for fraud. I don’t intend to do this–because I don’t think it was fraud, I think it was just spectacularly bad business–but I did want to get a post on their company out there in the open.

If you need to buy raw ingredients or packaging materials in Canada, I encourage you to avoid Saffire Blue at all costs. They have a wonderful selection and website, but their customer service is unhelpful, humiliating, and quite frankly, full of lies. I’m not saying you should avoid all small retailers (this is the only time I’ve had anything but gold-star service from any online store, big or small!), but remember: even in the business world, you can’t count on everyone to be honest or professional.

What have your worst experiences with online shopping been? Is there anyone that you’d like to warn us about?

Coming to terms with Tom Ford (maybe).

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I’m partway through writing a Tom Ford Black Orchid review, and I wanted to take a moment (okay, a whole bunch of moments) to talk about the brand, first — and why I’m okay with writing about it, even though Tom Ford ads still totally give me bad-touch vibes.

(As a warning: this isn’t going to go any more in depth than your typical ninth-grade gender studies class, I’m afraid. You can’t cover much more than that in a sourceless 700 words.)

Despite the rave reviews that Tom Ford now gets from beauty bloggers, both in fragrance and in makeup, I’ve always held myself back from the line. After years of crude advertising to over-sexualized and dehumanize faceless women, we’re just supposed to — what, forget about it? Because they stopped running those ads so that they could appeal to a female consumer base, too?

tom ford for men ad 2008

Faceless Mariana Braga for Tom Ford for Men, 2007 – via 1

I’m still torn on this subject, but I do find myself more comfortable with the brand as time passes. I’d still never want to meet Mr. Ford or his marketing department in person, but, well, baby steps.

While Tom Ford’s male models are typically clothed and looking directly into the camera, and their female counterparts are frequently not–a common practice in displaying a strong patriarchal power dynamic, and just one of many issues people have with Tom Ford adverts–the brand is beginning to even out its advertising practices, with less-sexualized female models and more-sexualized male models. 

(Uh, is that even a good thing? That now we’re stripping down our male models and covering them in oil, too? Shouldn’t we maybe be aiming to not do that to anyone, instead?) There are older examples of this as well, as seen below — turns out that while Ford gets flack for sexualizing his female models, and he strips down and lays bare his male models, too.

But, of course, social context is incredibly relevant when it comes to things like the portrayal of the human body, and just because there are naked men and naked women does not mean that both are being represented the same way, nor are they sending the same messages.

Edited to add: To read more on context and male objectification, this post on Jezebel is great. A big thank you to one of our readers to emailing me about it — the viewpoints in the comments are so much more varied than I could have managed to fit in this post, and worth a look if you’d like to read more on the topic.

tom ford Jon Kortajarena 2009

Jon Kortajarena for Tom Ford Eyewear, 2009 – 2, 3

That said, Tom Ford is hardly the only brand that blatantly uses sex to sell its products, or reinforces this power dynamic. Gucci is another repeat offender who comes to mind; D&G, on the other hand, does a good job of using nudity in a sensual–rather than sexual–way, in my eyes.

I really respect that D&G have chosen older, well-established, publicly outspoken models, and photographed them in a way that seems more, “these iconic women and not-so-iconic men are doing a job that they chose to do, and were captured as professionals,” rather than, “cover  your eyes, we’re about to have a non-consensual orgy.”

D&G fragrance anthology

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