Odacité Camelina Chamomile Facial Serum Concentrate review, photos | The perfect summer serum

Friday, May 22, 2015

Odacite Ca+C Camelina Chamomile serum booster oil review photos

The product: Odacité Ca+C Camelina Chamomile Facial Serum Concentrate

Today was the unofficial start of summer in Edmonton, with the mercury rising to just past 20 degrees. 21 is, admittedly, not a lot for most places, but with the bright sunlight and a big bay window, our kitchen was verging on sweltering by dinner time.

With the summer heat comes changes to my skincare routine, and this serum/oil is the one thing that I’m crazy about at the moment.

Odacite Sensitive Skin booster serum oil review - Camelina Chamomile

The texture: When I first tried this oil back in February, I actually… hated it. I wanted to use my beloved Pomegranate + Rose Geranium oil instead! I didn’t want this thin serum that smelled, for lack of a better term, like a regular facial oil. I wanted that lush, syrupy-thick Po+R Serum Concentrate, with its intense scent and comforting weight.

But as the months got warmer, and warmer, and, eventually, hotter, I thought, hey, why not give Ca+C another go.

And am I ever glad I did. This oil is thin, yes, but it’s smooth and delicate. Two small drops will turn even the thickest of moisturizers into silky fluids, and impart their pasty bases with a good dose of hydration.

Odacite Ca+C Camelina Chamomile Facial Serum Concentrate review photos

The ingredients: Unlike the Pomegranate/Rose Geranium oil that I’m so in love with, Ca+C contains a lot more than three ingredients. It’s mostly camelina seed oil, which is anti-inflammatory and helpful in treating eczema, but it also features a blend of essential oils: ingredients like calendula and German chamomile, which help heal the skin, and Blue Tansy, which for some reason Into the Gloss has decided will be the next big trend. (I have my doubts.)

It’s still a very short ingredient list (silicone- and paraben-free), and like the rest of the Odacité booster serums, Ca+C is made fresh from high-quality ingredients and packaged in thick-walled violet glass.

Odacite Ca+C Facial Serum Concentrate review photos

Best as: A basic, simple serum-oil to use with a moisturizer or tinted moisturizer. This one is perfect for sensitive skin, so it’s a great place to start exploring the Odacité line if your skin tends to react to new products!

Best for: Blending into your moisturizer (and thinning out thick ones, like many of those with physical SPF!)

Odacite Camelina Chamomile Serum Concentrate review photos

The verdict?

Camelina Chamomile isn’t as uniquely singular as Odacité’s Po+R serum, but it’s still a really lovely, simple oil to add to your skincare regimen this summer. It’s very thin and blends well with most moisturizers (especially those that are a little too thick), and is a great “starter oil” for anyone with normal, dry, or sensitive skin.

Availability: $39 USD/$46 CAD at The Detox Market.

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Klorane Dry Shampoo Natural Tint & Leave-in Spray with Flax Fiber review | For lazy Sunday mornings

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Klorane sunday morning dry shampoo brown dark hair review

The products: Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (Brown to Dark Hair) and Leave-in Spray with Flax Fiber

What’s that, you say? It’s not Sunday morning?

Well, no. Not even a little bit. But I’m crabby and sleepy and I’ve had strep throat for going on three weeks now, so you can shut your pretty, beautiful face and imagine that it is, in fact, Sunday. Because these two products are great for a Sunday morning, or for any other morning that you’re short on time or energy and just want to take it easy and still end up with great hair.

Klorane quick hair fixers best of

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk – Natural Shade ($20 USD/$24 CAD)

The one Klorane product that you NEED (yes, need) to own is their dry shampoo. Everyone keeps telling me that it’s the best, and after all this time, I can finally confirm that, yes, it’s the best. (Way better than Colab, even, thanks to the scent.)

They make four: a green-lidded one with nettle (Oil Absorbing Dry Shampoo), this one (Natural Shade Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk), their Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Extract, and the non-aerosol Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk. The non-aerosol powder and the tinted aerosol (this one) are the only ones that are silicone-free, so be careful when you purchase!

Klorane Dry Shampoo brown dark hair review swatches photos

Klorane :natural Shade dry shampoo colour swatch

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk for brown to dark hair, “swatched” covering palm

I couldn’t get to a legendary seven days with this stuff, but I love it all the same. It smells fantastic; a very clean, subtle scent (sort of a powdery-floral), and applies as a sheer, even veil of light brown powder. You’re supposed to leave it on for 2 minutes and then brush thoroughly, but in a pinch, I find that it works just as well to simply spray on as you head out the door and then tousle lightly on the train.

This stuff is so good that if I apply it on second-day hair, my third-day hair still looks like first-day hair when I wake up. It’s that good. It makes hair look at feel clean, and adds just a touch of volume without making my hair feel gritty.

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk Natural Shade review photos

Klorane Leave-in Spray with Flax Fiber ($16 USD/$20 CAD)

Klorane operates on the very cool concept of one problem/one plant, and for volume, it’s flax fiber. (For gentle balancing/second-day-hair, it’s oat milk.) Tracy from Beauty Reflections really loves this one, and when she mentioned that it doesn’t feel like anything at all on the hair, she had me.

Klorane Leave-in Spray with Flax Fiber review photos

When Klorane figured out that flax was naturally soluble, they put it in their volumizing products to provide actual, physical plant-lift to the hair. But while I think this one is a dream to use (it smells lovely, like a very subtle veil of perfume, and has a really solid, even mister) and looks awesome on Tracy, it didn’t quite work for me.

Check this one out if you have short or fine limp hair, but skip it if you want instant volume for stick-straight Asian hair. Unlike what it does for Tracy (which looks awesome and natural; I’ve seen it in person and can attest to this), it doesn’t give me much in terms of air-dried root lift.

It does get major points for touch-invisibility, though, so give it a look if you’re willing to put in the styling time but want something 100% non-sticky and non-gritty!

Klorane dry shampoo leave in spray review

The verdict?

The Klorane Leave-in Spray with Flax Fiber feels touchably natural, but unless you have fine, limp hair (not just straight/limp hair), it’s not an instant fix-it.

The Natural Tint Dry Shampoo, on the other hand, is a total must-have. It’s a little bit pricy, but the next time you’re due in for a hair treat, you need to try this!! It absorbs oil like a champ, has the best scent of any dry shampoo I’ve ever tried (light, pretty, and clean-smelling), and makes hair look and feel clean.

Availability: Natural Tint Dry Shampoo – $15.24 USD at Escentual.com; $20 USD/$24 CAD at Sephora. Leave-in Spray – $16 USD/$20 CAD at Sephora. Klorane products are available at Shopper’s Drug Mart locations across Canada.

Ingredients & stuff »

Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Duo 01 review, swatches, photos + 156 Large Flat Brush

Friday, May 15, 2015

Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Duo review

The product: Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Duo in 01 Pink Beige & 156 Large Flat Brush (Wavy)

This season, Make Up For Ever joins that insane contouring craze with their Pro Sculpting Duo, which they billet as an “undetectable face contour” and recommend using with their 156 brush (the Large Flat Brush or Flat Round Brush, depending on who you ask).

I think this pillow-topped, gel-powder formula is far from undetectable, but still worth checking out. It works well with both the 156 and the 150 brush that I love so much, and comes in two shades: 01 Pink Beige (“light with cool undertones”) and 02 ??? (tan with warm undertones).

MUFE Pro Sculpting Duo Pink Beige review

Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Duo in 01 Pink Beige review

The sculpting shade: I’m gonna start with the not-so-great stuff, which is to say: like many other contouring products I’ve tried this season, this one totally didn’t work for me. It leans quite orange and looked like an obvious bronzer against my complexion, and I’m not the only one. The best look that I’ve seen with 01 Pink Beige so far has been on Chelle, but even she found the contour shade in this duo to be more of a bronzer than a sculpting shade. (This duo–the highlighter especially–looks totally bangin’ on her, though!)

You can see her look here, but, well… take that into consideration when purchasing, because it’s not just me who was hoping for a much cooler contour out of this one.

Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Duo 01 Light Pink swatches review

Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Duo in 01 Pink Beige swatched heavily/lightly

MUFE Pro Sculpting gel duo review Light Pink

Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Duo in 01 Pink Beige

The highlighter: Okay folks, THIS IS WHERE IT’S AT. I don’t love a really bold highlight most of the time, but this highlighter is gorgeous.

You can see individual sparkles from about 3 ft away under incandescent lighting (that’s so not “unbelievably natural,” MUFE), but it’s one of the (very) few highlighter shades that really pops against my fair complexion. Normally, highlighters look really shimmery on me, but are too dark or yellow to give more than a sheen — but this baby lifts the cheekbone right up. It’s still more shimmer than I want from day to day, but I’m smitten!

Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Duo swatches review

Make Up For Ever Pro Sculpting Duo in 01 Pink Beige swatches – contour & highlighter heavily/lightly Make Up For Ever contouring duo Flat Roung Brush review

THAT BRUSH, THOUGH: The 156 Large Flat/Flat Round Brush is insanely kitten-butt soft and relatively small, for a blush brush. It’s great for loosely applying a small amount of product and blending it out, and is extremely versatile — it’s great for blush, contour, and setting undereye concealer, plus it can easily handle setting powder and highlighter in a pinch.

And did I mention that it is so soft? I have at last count forcibly petted four people with zero interest in makeup with this brush, and all of them begrudgingly admitted that yes, it’s as soft as a kitten-butt Rae; please stop stroking my face with that. 

Make Up For Ever 156 brush review

Make Up For Ever 156 Flat Round Brush review

Make Up For Ever 156 Large Flat Brush review

Make Up For Ever 156 Large Flat Brush review

The verdict?

At $45 CAD, I think this Sculpting Duo can be skipped — unless you want it as a high-impact highlighter/bronzer duo, in which case, go for it.

For an invisible, high-def contour, this duo isn’t the product that you want. However, the highlighter is just gorgeous, and the brush is a total must-have. (Oh, this brush!) If you only have room in your life for one of these two, definitely invest in the brush instead!

Availability: $39 USD/$45 CAD for the sculpting duo; $37 USD/$43 CAD for the brush. Both permanent products available at Sephora and Make Up For Ever boutiques as of March 2015.

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L’Occitane Pivoine Sublime Tinted Lip Balm in Rose Nude review, swatches, photos

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora Tinted Lip Balm review swatches

The product: L’Occitane Pivoine Sublime Tinted Lip Balm SPF 25 in Rose Nude

Launching this June at L’Occitane is the Pivoine Sublime skincare range, which features a Perfecting Cream, Skin Perfector Serum, CC Cream, Perfecting Mist, and four peony-scented lip balms: Transparent (housed in a gorgeous silver tube), Rose NudeRose Amber, and Rose Plum.

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora Tinted Lip Balm makeup review

The scent: L’Occitane has actually come out with a number of peony-scented collections over the years, and I’m happy to say that this is my favourite one. It’s much a much softer, fuller floral than the scent used in the Pivoine Délicate makeup collection, and has a rose-touched scent profile.

Pivoine Sublime is also a little fruitier than the bath/body Pivoine Flora, which I find has a soapier feel to it — a differentiation that I think makes the two perfectly suited for makeup & body products, respectfully.

L'Occitane vs Fresh tinted lip balm reviews

The formula (& the elephant in the room): When I saw this lip balm tube for the first time, my mind went to the same place that I’m sure all of yours did: Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatments ($26 CAD).

Well, the packaging is near-identical for these (which is to say: super luxe, metal, and twist-on), but the formulas are very, very different! While the Fresh balms are lemon-scented and smooshy-soft with a beeswax/castor seed oil base, these L’Occitane balms are peony-scented and smooth but solid.

Plus, while the Fresh balms are rather heavily tinted and have an SPF of 15, the L’Occitane balms are sheer, with SPF 25.

L'Occitane Pivoine Flora Rose Nude vs Fresh Cherry, Rose swatches comparison

Swatched L-R: Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Balm in Cherry & Rosé; L’Occitane Pivoine Sublime in Rose Nude

But do they moisturize? Honestly… not really. I can wear Nude Rose for about a day without any problems, but it’s not as hydrating as the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments. If you have normal-dry lips, I don’t think it’ll be an issue, but I do have to pile on the Bobbi Brown Lip Balm SPF 15 in the evening if I’ve spent the day wearing a Pivoine Sublime lip balm.
L'Occitane Pivoine Flora Tinted Lip Balm review

The verdict?

While the L’Occitane Pivoine Sublime Lip Balms may fall short of delivering intense hydration, they can’t be beat for a luxury tinted lip balm under $20. They’re gorgeously packaged, smell amazing, and (unlike the cult-followed Fresh lip balms) have the texture of a proper lip balm rather than a soft puddle of butter.

I say skip these if you need a lot of hydration (I do), but definitely indulge if all you’re looking for is something exquisite, hygienic, and pretty!

Availability: $20 CAD online and at L’Occitane boutiques beginning June 2015.

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Smashbox Photo Session at West Edmonton Mall | A morning makeover with Smashbox Cosmetics

Monday, May 11, 2015

Smashbox Photo Event West Edmonton

Not a lot happens in the beauty world in Edmonton, but this past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a Smashbox Photo Event at West Edmonton Mall. I’ve never actually taken the time to go for a makeover before, so it was a really eye-opening experience for me!

Here’s a little recap of the event.

Smashbox Photo Session Edmonton

I had my makeup done by Toronto-based Smashbox makeup artist Kristi Dukovic, who was a pleasure to work with — she really took the time to try to customize my makeup to my own preferences, and she had a lot of behind-the-scenes knowledge about the brand that she was eager to share.

We started out with the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water ($37 CAD), which is silicone-, oil-, and alcohol-free, and can be used to both prep and set makeup.

Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water

Kristi then primed my lids with some Smashbox 24Hrs Eyeshadow Primer ($23 CAD), which the brand tested in-studio for a full 24 hours, and did my eye makeup using the wet/dry Smashbox Double Exposure Eyeshadow Palette ($60 CAD).

The palette itself was great, but I wasn’t crazy about the way that the pull-out recommends you do makeup for monolids — I couldn’t figure out why at the time, but the idea that Asian women need to fake an eyelid crease in order to look their best really bugs me. It really perpetuates the idea that there is only one kind of beautiful (and that that’s to be Caucasian), and I think that as an industry, we can do better than that.

Smashbox Makeup Artist Kristi Dukovic

Smashbox Makeup Artist Kristi Dukovic

But, I digress. Kristi then followed up with a little bit of the Smashbox + Donald Robertson: Photo Angle Pure Pigment Gel Liners ($29 CAD) in Plum and Lilac, which wore crazy well — Lilac in particular is a total must-have. Then, she brightened up my undereye area with Camera Ready BB Cream Eyes Broad Spectrum SPF 15 ($29 CAD), which broke me out (‘cones) but was fantastic while it lasted.

(I’m also wearing some Smashbox mascara on my lashes & a little bit of Brow Tech to Go ($30 CAD) through my brows.)

Smashbox xo contouring technique

The Xs and Os Smashbox contouring technique

Finally, Kristi finished off the look with some “xs and os” contouring (a Smashbox technique that helps keep you from applying too much product) and the Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Stick Trio ($52 CAD), which, I’ll be honest, I didn’t love. The contouring shade in the pencils is for some reason a lot more orange than the contouring shade in the powder Step-By-Step Contour Kit ($52 CAD), but I did really like the highlighter in the pencil trio.

I also got a chance to try out two of the L.A. Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Colors ($36 CAD) for this look, which have a really pretty, very Hollywood sheen to them — I’m wearing Silver Lake Sunset on my cheeks and Hollywood & Highlight on the tops of my cheekbones, chin, forehead, and brow bone. (I’m not 100% sure what’s on my lips, but I think it’s Be Legendary Lip Lacquer in Lilac overtop their Always Sharp Lip Liner in Nude Medium.)

Smashbox Photo Op pictures

The Smashbox Photo Event ended with a few snaps by fashion and portrait photographer Kyriakos, who was super friendly and efficient.

All in all, my makeover and photo session were a really interesting experience, and I’m really glad that I got the chance to cover it for you guys — but while I loved the way that the makeup captured on film, it was a little too Instagram for my everyday life. My boyfriend kept cracking up at how much makeup I came home wearing, and I literally had so much gel liner on my left eye that I couldn’t quite open my lid all the way.

Would I go for another Smashbox makeover anytime soon? Probably not for a party or event, but if I wanted portrait-ready makeup, then absolutely.

Smashbox makeover event recap

What are your best and worst makeover stories? Have you ever had professional headshots taken?

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