LUSH Winter Garden set review: Gorgeous, Snowcake, Rose Jam, Dream Cream, Rub Rub Rub

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

LUSH winter garden review gift set

The product: LUSH Winter Garden Wrapped Gift

↳ Snowcake bar soap, Rose Jam shower gel, Gorgeous moisturizer, Dream Cream hand and body lotion, and the brand new Rub Rub Rub body scrub bar

For all of you out there who are still still, three days before Christmas, struggling to finish your Christmas shopping… here’s a set from Lush that you might find handy! The Winter Garden Wrapped Gift comes in a ready-to-go little ball and includes five popular Lush products for a really affordable $37.95 CAD (including one of my all-time faves!)

LUSH Snowcake soap review

Snowcake Soap ($7.95 CAD)

Snowcake is one of my yearly holiday favourites, so I figured we’d start off here! It’s a lovely, almond-y confection covered (this year) with a plentiful heaping of golden dust.

This year’s Snowcake smells a touch less spicy than my last bar (2013), but it’s definitely still something that I’d buy again! I know a lot of people are fans of L’Occitane’s almond line, but I like Snowcake more. It’s sweeter and Christmasy-er, and doesn’t have that hard, headache-inducing edge that Amande does! 

LUSH Rose Jam shower gel review

Rose Jam Shower Gel ($9.95 CAD)

I was really pleased to find Rose Jam in this set, too. It’s another cult-followed limited edition Lush product, and one that I had never tried before now!

Unfortunately, I think Rose Jam is too sweet for me (it’s quite jammy), but I can definitely see why this delicious fragrance has such a following. It smells distinctly like rose and vanilla, and the sweetness lingers on the skin long after you rinse off.

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Gorgeous Facial Moisturizer ($87.95 CAD)

The Winter Garden set also includes a tiny sample of Lush’s Gorgeous moisturizer, which… I mean, am I the only one who thinks Lush charges insane prices for Gorgeous? As a brand that mostly subsists on $8 bath bombs and $25 facial moisturizers, it’s weird that consumers have to pay THAT MUCH more for organic and cold pressed ingredients.

To be fair, though, Gorgeous is pretty gorgeous. It’s light-textured and creamy, and absorbs into the skin with almost startling speed. My skin loves the formulation and velvety finish, but it just doesn’t feel like a $90 moisturizer.

I have to apply two layers of Gorgeous to compensate for Alberta’s dry air, and though the formula really is excellent, Gorgeous still contains parabens and synthetic fragrance ingredients. Neither of those are things that bug my skin, but for almost $90, I feel like consumers deserve a moisturizer that really is all-natural if it’s marketed as such. 

All in all, I really do like Gorgeous. It’s a great moisturizer. But it’s not the only great moisturizer, and to say that it outclasses all of my $30 and $40 moisturizers would be a lie!

LUSH Dream Cream hand lotion review

Dream Cream Hand and Body Lotion ($27.95 CAD)

On the other hand, there’s Dream Cream — my unexpected love hit of the Winter Garden set.

Dream Cream is sort of the body version (texture-wise) of Gorgeous, and its formula is equally great. It lists oat milk, rose water, organic extra virgin olive oil, and organic cocoa butter as its first four ingredients, and is also enriched with soothing and hydrating ingredients like benzoin (which I just ordered a vial of out of curiosity; it’s a very sticky, sweet-smelling essential oil!), rose absolute, and lavender.

$27 is a little pricey for a body lotion compared to the drugstore stuff, but the ingredients in this one are great. In this case, I think $27 for a 240g jar is worth the price!

LUSH Rub Rub Rub scrub review

Rub Rub Rub Body Scrub ($9.95 CAD)

The last treat in this gift set is Lush’s Rub Rub Rub body scrub, the solid version of Lush’s Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub. I was really excited to give it a try (this season is the first time that Lush has done salt cubes like this one), but it was a big miss for me–the only one in the set.

To put it simply, the Rub Rub Rub Body Scrub is way too freaking scratchy. No matter how lightly I drag this along my skin, or whether I do it before my shower or during, it hurts to use. The salt chunks are big and sharp, and this Body Scrub leaves me with big red friction welts on my arms instead of soft, exfoliated skin. (I wasn’t brave enough to use this on my legs, which are currently dealing with a little bout of eczema.)

LUSH Winter Garden Christmas packaging review

The verdict?

If you need a quick Christmas gift fix (or you need to decompress after all of your holiday planning), the Lush Winter Garden wrapped gift is a great place to start looking.

Lush’s Home for Christmas gift set ($27.95 CAD) is an even better choice, though, if you ask me — it’s a pared-down version of this one, and by skipping out on a tiny sample of Gorgeous and that awful Rub Rub Rub Body Scrub, you save yourself $10 to use elsewhere!

Availability: $37.95 CAD at LUSH stores; sold out online.

LUSH Celebrate, Baked Alaska, Old Father Time review, photos | Christmas 2015

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

LUSH celebrate, old father time, baked alaska review

The products: LUSH Baked Alaska, Old Father Time, and Celebrate Hand and Body Lotion

Happy Decem-burr, dear readers! I’m super jazzed for the holidays this year despite the eerily warm weather we’ve been having, so I’m very temporarily suspending my regular to-review shelf in favour of some more festive finds.

Up first are a few cruelty-free, vegan products from LUSH’s holiday range. Or, as they like to call it, the Christmas collection! (Because fuck political correctness, I guess?) (Um. Also, sorry for swearing at you bright and early on a Wednesday morning.)

LUSH Celebrate Hand and Body Lotion review

Celebrate Hand and Body Lotion ($32.95 CAD)

LUSH went a different route from most brands this winter & released a bunch of fruity and citrusy products for the holidays, so (of course) I had to check at least a few of them out!

Celebrate is one such product, and it’s great — not really all that festive, but it’s hydrating and lightweight and it smells super tasty. (True fact, my partner put his head in my lap yesterday, looked up at me, and said, “Your knee smells really good,” with an almost reverent in his eyes.)

Love the scent? Celebrate is made with the same fragrance as Lush’s Golden Wonder Bath Bomb.

This one is formulated with almond oil and cocoa butter, and scented with orange flower, lime, benzoin, and cognac oil. I get almost a lime/grapefruit feel from the scent, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was back for a third year in 2016 — it’s that good.

LUSH Baked Alaska soap review

Baked Alaska Soap ($7.95 CAD)

Another fruity holiday product from LUSH this year is their Baked Alaska soap, which is fluorescent and cheerful and smells as zingy as it looks. I was expecting a sweeter/more gourmand scent based on the name, but I think the lemon myrtle, grapefruit, and ylang ylang blend really suits this bright cube of yellow and green!

Fun fact: Baked Alaska was actually inspired by “The Baked Alaska Story,” a book about a snow empire built on a foundation of multi-coloured ice cream!

(I cut mine into a square after taking these photos, and goddamn, it is really cute square.)

Baked Alaska does smell a little bit lemon cleaner-y, so if you don’t like your citrus scents bitter or sour at all, maybe skip this one.

LUSH Old Father Time soap review

Old Father Time Soap ($7.95 CAD)

Old Father Time is a “properly” festive scent, dolled up in deep red and gold with notes of sage, thyme, and myrrh. This was the product that I was most excited to try from Lush’s holiday range, but funnily enough, it was my least favourite!

I’m not crazy about the dark red colour that this tints the water with, and the scent is kind of weird. Don’t get me wrong, it’s cool, but it’s… weird. It smells like spiced Kool-Aid blended with motor oil, and I am 100% certain that a lot of Lushies are going to LOVE it, but it’s a very strong, saccharine scent. If you can, smell this one in person before buying — and if you love, stock up. It’s only around for the holidays!

LUSH Holiday 2015 reviews

The verdict?

The LUSH holiday catalogue is, as usual, huge — and there’s something in it for everyone, I think. I wasn’t as smitten with these three products as I have been with other LUSH holiday products (the Sikkim Girls Body Lotion and Snowcake soap come to mind as particularly great ones), but it’s awesome to see a brand doing something other than cinnamon and spice for the winter months. 

I would definitely recommend checking out the Celebrate Hand and Body Lotion if you like citrus, and make sure to keep your eyes peeled for another LUSH feature soon — I have a great little gift set to review in a couple of weeks!

Availability: Currently on shelves and online at LUSH. Limited edition!

Ingredients and stuff »

Paula’s Choice skincare review: Simple, no-nonsense treatments for dry skin & keratosis pilaris

Monday, November 30, 2015

Paula's Choice skincare review

*sponsored post

When I was asked if I wanted to try a Paula’s Choice skincare regimen through Pretty in My Pocket (download the free PRIMP app here; it’s a sort of lookbook/shopping list/review panel/beauty newsfeed), my immediate answer was yes!

I’ve been curious about the Paula’s Choice line for a while, and I wish I had given it a try sooner. The brand is cruelty- and fragrance-free with simple, coordinated packaging, and they actually have a surprising number of silicone-free options!

The consultation (and how to get 20% off!)

The Paula’s Choice skincare range is huge, so the brand offers free personal skincare consultations by phone to help customers figure out their ideal skincare regimen. Mine took about 10 minutes, and it made choosing the best products for me super easy.

Plus, as a Pretty in My Pocket Power Primer, I get to offer you guys 20% off plus free US shipping with the promo code PRIMPFALL20. It lasts until the end of the year, so if you’re looking to update your skincare regimen (or if you need to add an extra product or two for the winter), make sure you do it before December 31st!

» shop 20% off with free shipping! «

Paula's Choice PRIMP review

The hydrating products

Moisture Boost Essential Hydrating Toner ($17 USD)Paula's Choice Moistsure Boost Toner review

 

I didn’t love all of the products that I tried, but I definitely liked the Moisture Boost Essential Hydrating Toner! It’s a soothing, scent-free, alcohol-free toner, and it helps boost hydration immediately after cleansing. It’s not a must-have for me, but I feel like it leaves my skin a little smoother; a little more hydrated — in other words, it’s everything that I wish the Cremorlab Beauty Essence was.

Plus, it’s only $17 (compared to Cremorlab’s $42), so you can’t go wrong!

Resist Moisture Renewal Oil Booster ($35 USD)Paula's choice Resist oil booster review

THIS OIL, you guys. love this oil.

The Paula’s Choice Resist Moisture Renewal Oil Booster is packed with plant oils like jojoba, apricot, and borage, and blended with ceramides for the ultimate smoothing treatment. At just $35, I think it may be my new favourite overnight product! It’s not as luxurious and thick as my beloved Po+R, but it’s way more cost-effective ($52/oz vs $247/oz) and my dry skin just loves it.

For anyone who gets “dryness breakouts,” I recommend this one (not something with actives) as your best option for an acne fix-it.

Resist Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser ($18 USD)

Paula's Choice Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser review

The other Paula’s Choice product that I really loved was the brand’s Resist Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser, which is totally taking over as my new daily cleansing milk. (Sorry, Marcelle.) It’s a measly $2.81 per ounce, and it gets the job done, removing my makeup and the grime of the day without stripping my skin. 

I’d love to see this one re-packaged to be, uh, a little less boring, but other than that, I have no complaints!!

The treatment products

Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer with Retinol ($37 USD)

Paula's Choice Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer with retinol review

Okay, so it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. The Paula’s Choice Resist Barrier Repair Moisturizer was the first product that I tried, and I… kind of hated it.

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FOREO LUNA mini review & Clarisonic comparison | + Enter to WIN a Luna Mini of your choosing!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Foreo Luna Mini vs Clarisonic reviwa

The product: FOREO LUNA mini in Cool Grey

It’s hard for me to tell you everything about the Foreo Luna Mini without just listing off facts. So I’ll do a little bit of fact-listing in a little bit (because when something looks this much like a sex toy but it’s actually for your face, it’s kind of important to know how to use it correctly), but I’m going to start today off with a different list.

Here are my five favourite things about the Luna Mini!

1. The Luna Mini only needs to be charged once every 5 months if you’re using it twice a day… and only needs an hour to make it to a full charge.

Foreo Luna Mini T-Sonic Facial Cleansing Device review

2. Foreo’s cleansing tools (both the LUNA and ISSA product lines) are designed like any motorized, high-quality silicone product: they’re 100% waterproof…

3. And completely non-porous, so they don’t store bacteria the way that nylon bristles do. (Tests show that they’re up to 35 times more hygienic than brush-type cleansing tools!)

FOREO LUNA Mini Cool Grey review

The FOREO LUNA mini

4. The Mini is perfect for sensitive skin. I love my Clarisonic, but it always really hurts to use. Using the Luna Mini, on the other hand, feels like getting the best facial massage of your life (and we all know how great facial massages are for stimulating blood flow and preventing wrinkles!)

5. Because the Luna is so gentle, you don’t have to limit yourself to one-minute cleansing sessions. The device will pulse to let you know when it’s time to switch zones and when a minute is up, but it’s a lot less stressful to use than my Clarisonic, which turns off after exactly 60 seconds.

Foreo Luna review sensitive skin

How it works & how to use it

The Luna Mini is more compact (and cheaper) than the Luna, and it’s made to be a sort of “do-all.” Instead of having one Luna for each skin type, the Mini has smaller, softer touch-point silicone “bristles” for sensitive and dry skin on the front, larger touch-points for oily skin/deep cleansing on the back, and two cleansing speeds for the face and eye area.

Foreo Luna waterproof charging port

Charging the LUNA Mini

To use it, you just wet your face and Luna, apply cleanser (foaming is best, but cleansing milks and oils work well, too — just make sure not to use any silicone-, clay-, or exfoliating cleansers with your Luna), and cleanse with gentle upward and outward strokes.

I always think “facial massage” when I use this one, so I use even pressure and long, curved motions, spending a little extra time making sure the pores in my t-zone get really clean.

Push the button a second time to reduce speed before cleansing the eye area (where I still find the Luna Mini to be extremely comfortable to use), and rinse off your face and device when you’re ready!

Foreo Luna how to

Foreo’s Luna Mini. I really wish it was more grey (like it is on the Foreo site) and less blue in person!

The verdict, a coupon code, and a giveaway!!

Okay, so here’s the really exciting part of this post. I have been loving my time with my Luna Mini (I’ve had it for about a month, and my skin has been just eating it all up — I had my first skin analysis the other day, and it looked great even under the blacklight), and now… I get to share it with you guys!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

That’s right: one lucky reader is going to get a free LUNA Mini in the colour of their choice. The giveaway will be open for two weeks and is open internationally, so enter now using the widget above! (If you’re on a mobile device, just zoom in and back out of the page if the form fields are hidden.)

Good luck on the giveaway!

Availability: $139 USD/$159 CAD through Foreo and Sephora. Use code “TheNotice” for 15% off + free shipping on all Luna and Issa models until December 16th!

FOREO Luna Mini review

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. However, all opinions included are my own, and my priority is still (and always will be) to you guys — my readers! 

Reversa 3 in 1 Mild Gel Cleanser review (AKA how to cleanse your face with MAGICAL UNICORN PEE)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Reversa makeup removing cleanser review canadian

The product: Reversa 3-in-1 Mild Gel Cleanser

That’s right. I just said unicorn pee, because this cleanser is not only a rare find and a powerhouse worker, but it’s also full of secret glitter (two of the best words you can put next to each other when you’re talking to a beauty blogger.)

Reversa glitter cleanser review

What it does: The Reversa Gel Cleanser is a bit of a diamond in the rough. It’s a boring-looking product with a boring-looking name, made by what could be conceptualized of as a boring company… if you haven’t been paying enough attention recently.

Unlike most 3-in-1 cleansers, however, Reversa’s doesn’t do the whole cleanse/remove/tone schtick. Oh, no. Instead, it’s a facial cleanser, makeup remover, and moisturizer!!

Yup, that’s right: it’s a moisturizer. It’s a normal gel cleanser, made to be used on wet or dry skin, but if you massage into the skin and leave it for 30 seconds… it’s also a flash moisturizing mask. 

Reversa glitter 3 in 1 gel cleanser review

How well it does it: Dude, so well. The Reversa 3-in-1 Gel Cleanser is a great cleanser, a good makeup remover, and a freaking awesome moisturizing mask. It’s a silky, thick, scent-free gel, and it’s equal parts gentle and moisturizing. This baby moisturizes just as well as some 10-minute masks that I’ve tried, but it takes next-to-no time to do and it doesn’t add an extra step to your skincare routine.

My favourite thing about this mask, though–aside from the glitter–is how gentle it is. Somehow, Reversa has managed to formulate this one without oil and without that lotion-y texture of most hydrating cleansers, so it’s great for texture-oriented folks who want to cleanse their skin without feeling slippery or greasy (after or during.)

And no, for those who are wondering, it doesn’t leave you sparkling like a deranged disco ball.

Reversa 3 in 1 mild gel cleanser review

My current cleansing dream duo (I use my Foreo while the Reversa cleanser/mask works its magic!)

The verdict?

Um… this thing is basically magic, and it’s a great way to start off the holiday season. This adds just a little bit of extra glitz and glam to your morning (or night) routine, and it counteracts the dry winter air like a champ.

At $23 CAD, it’s not the cheapest cleanser at the drugstore, but I think it’s a great buy. If you’re looking for something magical, makeup-removing, and really nourishing, you need to check it out!! You’re not going to find another moisturizing mask that works this quickly, and I can guarantee you that if you do, it’s not going to be this glittery. ;)

Availability: $23 CAD online at Reversa.ca and at Shopper’s Drug Mart, where I frequently see it on sale for around $17.

Keep reading! »

5 top products to try from DHC | More than just cleansing oil

Thursday, October 22, 2015

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1. DHC Deep Cleansing Oil ($28 USD)

When I first started beauty blogging, everyone who was anyone was obsessed with the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil. It was the only cleansing oil worth noting for those “in the know,” and for a little while there, it felt like all of my beauty friends & fellow bloggers were all ordering it online and raving about its magical, makeup-removing properties.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil review

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil review

I finally tried the DHC Deep Cleansing Oil this month, and let me just say: even though years have gone by and it seems like every single brand out there has released a cleansing oil since then, this is still, somehow, one of the best cleansing oils I have ever tried. Its rich, cushy olive oil and rosemary formula (no cheap mineral oil here!) takes off everything, even waterproof eyeliner, and rinses off with perfect skin neutrality (you know; no greasy film or stripped finish), making it perfect for oily and super-dry skin types alike.

DHC Sweetpea moisture care lipstick review

DHC Moisture Care Lipstick in Sweetpea

2. & 3. DHC Moisture Care Lipstick ($14.50 USD/each)

I’m not big on lipsticks with shimmer, but the DHC Moisture Care Lipsticks are totally the cutest lipsticks to be had at under $15 each! They’re shiny and slick, and detailed in flowers and butterflies — what could be cuter?

Pictured here are PK04 Sweetpea (the peachy nude) and WN12 Sugarplum (the plum). Both come with a heaping dose of silver shimmer and a glossy frost finish, so purchase only if you’re a glitter lover!

DHC Sugarplum moisture care lipstick review

DHC Moisture Care Lipstick in Sugarplum

4. DHC Extra Nighttime Moisture ($36 USD)

The DHC Extra Nighttime Moisture moisturizer is the perfect plain moisturizer. It’s full of olive oil, squalane, collagen, and radish root ferment filtrate, and is free of stuff like silicones, fragrances, and parabens.

I wouldn’t recommend this one as a day moisturizer (it definitely leaves you looking greasy), but it’s great for dry or reactive skin that just needs something really rich, soothing, and nourishing.

DHC Extra Nighttime Moistsure review

DHC Extra Nighttime Moisture review

5. DHC Face Wash Powder ($12.50 USD)

Ladies and gents, I have saved the best for last. The DHC Face Wash Powder looks unassuming–fine, white powder; basic, dated packaging–but it is an absolute treat to use.

When mixed with a couple drops of water, this boring-looking powder foams up to create a lovely, dense lather that removes all of my day-to-day makeup without any scrubbing or smearing. It’s gentle, simple, and completely non-gritty and non-stripping.

I love this one for daily use, but it would be fantastic for travel, too!

DHC Face Wash Powder review cleanser

DHC Face Wash Powder review

What are your favourite products from DHC?

This is a sponsored post. However, all of the opinions included in it are my own — I got to pick out each product & share my honest thoughts on all of them! 

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