Clarisonic x theNotice: Taking the Mia 2 for a test drive

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Clarisonic Mia 2 review

The Clarisonic Mia 2 in Ipanema

When beauty bloggers talk skin care products, the one skin care gadget you’re guaranteed to hear about is the Clarisonic. I’ve been reading rave reviews about the skin care line since its launch in 2004, but to be honest, I never really thought it was for me.

With my sensitive skin and barely-there skin care routine, I’m not exactly who you’d think of as a prime candidate for a tool like this one. But when Clarisonic asked me if I was willing to try out a Mia 2 for seven days and report back, I had to accept the challenge – in the name of science, of course.

Clarisonic sensitive brush head review

The Clarisonic Sensitive Brush Head (I’d recommend buying the Delicate one for sensitive skin!)

As it turns out, the Clarisonic isn’t really what I thought it would be: it’s better. The Mia 2 fits comfortably into my hands, and like the rest of the Clarisonic line, it works on sonic technology rather than rotating brush heads – which, given the name, I really should have guessed. According to the brand, their unique sonic cleansing technology produces over 300 movements a second and uses the flexing action created between the outer and inner brushes to remove impurities from deep within the pores for clear, glowing skin.

Clarisonic Mia in use 2

I have seen the cleansing light

It’s this sonic action that not only gets the pores really, really clean (which is why so many people with acne-prone or oily skin swear by their Clarisonic), but also preps the skin, making face serums, anti aging creams and tinted moisturizers more effective. This is what I’ll mainly be testing: up close, my skin has flaky patches and can be paper-rough, so I’m hoping my results will include softer, more glowing skin.

Clarisonic pLink charger

The pLink charger, attached

The Mia 2 comes in a number of colours – this one is Ipanema – and charges with a cute, magnetic “pLink” charger. It’s waterproof and has two speed settings for normal and sensitive skin. The Mia 2 can be used morning and night on a wet face with any type of cleanser, foaming or milk, and holds a charge for 20 to 30 uses.

This post was sponsored by Clarisonic in association with Elle Canada. All of the opinions in this post are my own — I can now be found happily cleansing my face most nights, chirruping “pLink!” like an excited squirrel whenever the urge takes me. 

Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Oil-Free Acne Scrub | Skincare scents you can’t resist

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash review

The product: Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash – Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub

Do you ever have skincare products that you want to use, but… don’t really have a reason to? I feel like I run into this problem all the time — I don’t have a ton of skin concerns, but I’m pretty easily swayed by a great fragrance.

Neutrogena silicone-free skin duo

With Neutrogena’s Deep Clean Cream Cleanser, another of their silicone-free cleansing products

Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub review

Neutrogena’s Pink Grapefruit line has always had me wrapped around its little finger, and I started using it again a few weeks back. With super dry skin, however, I’ve never used it on my face: rather, I’ve returned to the Oil-Free Acne Wash lineup by using their Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub on my back. (I used their Body Clear Pink Grapefruit body wash years ago, but moved onto something else somewhere along the line.)

What? It smells amazing, and (overshare alert) my back has a tendency to break out. It’s not exactly pleasant, but I’m not complaining — I’ll take back-acne over the regular kind any day, thanks.

Availability:,, & drugstores

Keep reading! »

An A-okay Solution for the oilies

Friday, March 26, 2010

What it is: Marcelle‘s AC Solution Toner

The bad: After using this for about a month, and then giving it to my sister to try out for another month, I think we can solidly say one thing — this doesn’t help with our acne. It also doesn’t smell great, though it is bearable for both of us, and the scent fades quickly. And I’m not a fan of the packaging; in fact, I affixed a pump-bottle top to this to make things easier for myself! It just felt a little too clunky, flipping it upside down all the time.

The good: Dont’ panic; this toner certainly redeems itself! While it’s not the most fun to put on, and it doesn’t make the skies open up and shine down on you, it helps a ton with midday oiliness. After using it for a week or two, both Ri and I noticed our t-zones didn’t get as slick as they normally do. It didn’t dry us out or “patchify” our skin in the process, so I was pretty happy with it!

Patchify: verb: to dry out some areas of the epidermis, but leave others shiny and oily.

The ingredients:


The verdict? We liked (and are still liking) this toner, and I’d recommend it to someone with normal to very slightly oily skin! However, if you have very oily or very acne-prone skin and you’re looking for miracles… I don’t think you’ll find them here. It’s a very solid skincare staple item in my books, but it’s not the be-all-end-all.

Sticking to that ‘cone-free diet: silicone-free foundations

Monday, March 15, 2010

This list has been updated and added to – please view the current version at the link below!

Another secret to great skin

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What it is: Skin Abstract‘s Blemish Potion, a bi-layered 5% sulpher spot treatment in the strain of Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion. (Which, unfortunately, I haven’t tried, so I can’t make comparisons!)

The basic gist of things: Normally, I pay very little attention to skincare press releases — I have my skin routine pretty much figured out, and while it’s boring, I wouldn’t want to sacrifice clear skin for my short attention span! (That’s a lie. I totally want to. But I won’t, and that’s what’s important.) However, when I noticed that the Blemish Potion is paraben-free and based with sulpher (my favourite acne-fighting ingredient,) I had to give it a try. My Potion is in the shade “light,” but it comes in “white” (for the nighttime) and “dark” as well. I have to admit, though, its downfall is that it doesn’t exactly smell great!

Application and wear: I didn’t love the unsanitary  nature of using a re-dippable wand and touching it to acne, so I use the wand to get product on a q-tip, then use the q-tip to actually apply product to my skin. Problem solved? Probem solved! Edit: I had a chat with Karen, one of the brains behind this beauty, and she let me know that the top layer of this bi-layered Potion is actually alcohol — which cleans the wand every time you pull it out or dip it in. It’s brilliant!

Anhow… the Blemish Potion dries very quickly, and once it’s dried it doesn’t budge. Like my other favourite sulpher-based acne treatment, the Potion really helps cover up redness, acting almost like a colour-corrector underneath your base products. Though “light” is too dark for me, putting foundation or concealer overtop the Potion (once it’s dried) basically creates a perfect finish, no additional finicky green-colour-correcting needed!

Note: it’s the perfect shade for my sister, so it doubles as a concealer and a spot treatment for her. And it looks flawless!

But was it effective? Can you give me a Y? Can you give me an E? Can you give me an S?

Please? Please can I  have them?

Alright, FINE. If you won’t give me a “yes,” I’ll give you one: YES! 

While my skin’s doing quite well on its own, I do still have the occasional zit — and this takes care of them lickety-split. It brings acne to the surface and then to a head in about three to five days, for me, which is ages better than the two or three weeks that those deep bumps would normally take to go away! The only downside to this is that, if you have acne all over your forehead, it won’t make the best all-over treatment. But, I mean, that was pretty darn obvious.

This is kinda nifty!

The verdict? Je l’aime! While I’m not sure if I’ll leave my Drying Cream for this (this is more expensive and seems to be used up more quickly,) I am very happy with it. It’s $18-20, depending on where you pick it up, and I’d definitely recommend it for ladies who either can’t find the Mario, or who have darker skin. (The Drying Cream only comes in one shade, and though it’ll work for treating acne, it won’t help you with that concealing! This one, on the other hand, comes in three.)

My skin-diet… and finally achieving "perfect skin."

Friday, February 12, 2010

I took this photo for the Fiberwig review, but chose to give it its own separate post… it’s about time we talked skin. What makes this photo different from all other FOTD photos on theNotice is that, while it’s only a half-decent photo, it hasn’t been retouched, and I’m not wearing foundation. (Just a bit of blush, some lip balm, a touch of concealer under my eyes, and mascara.) Normally, due to the retouching, I can’t take credit for my skin… but today I can, and it’s wonderful!!

Keep in mind that flash on the XSi is really quite flattering. Plus it does this crazy thing where it like, GIVES you eye makeup. As I said, crazy.
And feel free to enlarge.

As many of you know, I dropped dimethicone (and all other silicones, for that matter) in mid-November of last year. Check out the pros and cons behind the cut!

The pros: Well, duh: my skin is looking fantastic. While I still have blackheads around my nose (you can’t really see them in this photo, but I promise they’re there and quite prevalent in real life, unfortunately) and I do get the occasional zit — usually one or two minor ones each month — my pores are practically invisible, and I no longer get awful white bumps that take ages to come to a head, turning red and incredibly irritated for days after they do.

The cons: Not using silicones is a hard task! It means I have to skip all of my favourite primers, I can’t use my favourite shine serum, and almost all foundations are off-limits to me… including the gorgeous MUFE HD, which in 117 matched my skin perfectly. Scanning each and every ingredients list is a pain in the arse, especially when you find out you can’t wear that item — which happens very often. Even my new moisturiser ended up having dimethicone in it! (And I really, really liked that moisturiser.) I’d warrant to say that about 95% of skincare, haircare, and liquid foundations have silicones in them, and it’s hard to give up 95% of your choices!

What I am using: German Nivea, Marcelle’s AC-Solution cleanser, TimeBalm concealer, pure silica powder… and no foundation.

The verdict? For now, I’ll be sticking to my “dimethicone diet”. Do I miss being able to wear products like a normal person? Uh, yah. But is it worth it? Absolutely.

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