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.

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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! 

LUSH Bat Heebie-Jeebie Halloween review | Lord of Misrule Shower Cream + Nightwing Shower Jelly

Monday, October 19, 2015

LUSH Halloween 2015 review bat heebie jeebie

The product: LUSH Bat Heebie-Jeebie Halloween gift set

↳ Lord Of Misrule Shower Cream (60 ml) and Nightwing Shower Jelly (full-sized)

Every October, LUSH comes out with a bunch of adorably spooky shower confections and gifts for Halloween lovers small and tall. This year, one of those gifts is the Bat Heebie-Jeebie ($17.95 CAD), a little bat-shaped decoration filled with a Nightwing Shower Jelly and a baby Lord of Misrule shower cream.

LUSH Bat Heebie Jeebie review

LUSH Bat Heebie-Jeebie gift set review

LUSH Nightwing Shower Jelly review

LUSH Nightwing Shower Jelly ($6.95 CAD)

The last thing I expected when I picked up my little Shower Jelly tub was that it would contain, somehow, an entire jelly bat inside of it — but that’s exactly what I got.

The Nightwing Shower Jelly bleeds purple and smells exactly like green apple/lime candies. It’s super wibbly, ultra wobbly, and (presumably) made of magic, seeing as it can unfold entirely and get stuffed back into a plastic tub repeatedly without any wear or tear.

LUSH shower jelly review Nightwing Halloween 2015

Shower Jellies, as I found out just today, can also be frozen for a stiffer experience or used as shampoo to add softness and shine, making Nightwing a great all-’rounder! Plus, it’s hella fun to cut into little pieces and use (seriously, this stuff is like invincible jell-o), and it doesn’t leave a lingering scent the way that the Lord of Misrule does.

The LUSH Nightwing Shower Jelly ingredients:

Glycerine, Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, Fresh Lime Juice and Aloe Vera Gel Decoction, Carrageenan Extract, Lime Oil, Carob Syrup, Citral, Limonene, Red 33, Blue 1, Iron Oxides. AND MAGIC, APPARENTLY.

LUSH Lord of Misrule Shower Cream review

LUSH Lord of Misrule Shower Cream ($9.95 CAD)

The Lord of Misrule is a LUSH Halloween classic, available this year in Shower Cream format and as a Lord of Misrule Bath Bomb ($6.95 CAD), which contains little popping candies that fizz and crackle in the bath.

This super-liquidy shower cream is bright green and full of glitter, making it the most interesting shower not-gel experience I’ve ever had. Unfortunately, I also found it to be really drying, and for some reason (WHY???), it stains my skin if I leave it sitting for too long.

Even though I know that many love the Lord of Misrule scent (it’s black pepper oil, patchouli, and vanilla), it just doesn’t live up to its promises of being “perfect for dry winter skin.” By which I mean: it’s actually awful for dry skin. Like, it’s cool in theory and feels fine while you’re using it, but… yikes.

The LUSH Lord of Misrule Shower Cream ingredients:

Water, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Patchouli and Black Peppercorn Infusion, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Stearic Acid, Lauryl Betaine, Propylene Glycol, Fragrance, Lactic Acid, Organic Wheatgerm Oil, Black Pepper Oil, Patchouli Oil, Fair Trade Vanilla Absolute, Titanium Dioxide, Limonene, Linalool, Snowflake Lustre (Potassium Aluminium Silicate, Titanium Dioxide), Yellow 5 Lake, Blue 1, Methylparaben.

LUSH Lord of Misrule review shower cream

The verdict?

While I really wasn’t impressed with the Lord of Misrule Shower Cream, LUSH’s Nightwing Shower Jelly is just too cool to pass up. If you’re a texture junkie (and really, what beauty addict isn’t), you totally need to give it a try!

Or, if bats aren’t really your thing, LUSH offers plenty of other jellies, too–but only the seasonal ones come in cool shapes like this one. (I want to try Needles and Pines and 93, 000 Miles next!)

Availability: $17.95 for the set at LUSH stores and online. (Or, buy Nightwing on its own here.)

Keep reading! »

5 AHAVA salt & mud products you need to try (& a giveaway to win a set for yourself!)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

AHAVA salt mud skincare giveaway

I have something a little different for you today, dear reader: a countdown of my five favourite silicone-free products from AHAVA, plus a giveaway at the end so that you can try out some of my favourite products from the line!

AHAVA is an Israeli brand with a pretty cool origin story (but not the supervillain kind). Founded in 1988, the brand’s products are based around what they call the Osmoter — a concentrated, proprietary extract of mineral-rich Dead Sea water.

Since ’88, they’ve built a brand around the magic of the Dead Sea, with a plant-based Water Return Process that cleans their manufacturing facility’s waste water without chemicals so that it can be returned back to the region and used again. All of their products are paraben-free, GMO-free, and petroleum-free, and the company itself is cruelty-free!

» Skip to the giveaway!! «

AHAVA Liquid Dead Sea Salt review

5. AHAVA Liquid Dead Sea Salt ($22.50 USD)

I wanted to start today with one of AHAVA’s coolest products: their liquid salt body mask, a shower-gel-like detoxifying product that can be used as a 2-minute body mask or as a liquid bath salt. The formula contains vitamin E, Dunaliella Algae, and Grapefruit Oil to enhance the skin’s natural defence system and moisture level — think of it like a transportable soak in the Dead Sea. 

I’ve never used a liquid salt product before, so (of course) I had to make sure that there really was salt in there… And the verdict is that, yup, very salty; would not recommend licking.

AHAVA dead sea mud purifying soap review

4. AHAVA Moisturizing Salt Soap / AHAVA Purifying Mud Soap ($10 USD/each)

For a Dead Sea shower staple product, AHAVA offers two face-friendly bar soaps: a salt soap for dry skin, and a mud soap for oily skin.

The softly-scented Moisturizing Salt Soap is definitely better suited for my skin, and I’ve been enjoying its rich, non-stripping lather in the shower every night. It features AHAVA’s exclusive Osmoter, a blend of Dead Sea minerals designed to replenish and rehydrate the skin.

AHAVA Deadesa Salt moisturizing soap review

The Purifying Mud Soap is definitely the more unique option of the two, though, so I had to give it a try, too! My skin was actually pretty happy with it — it’s an anti-bacterial, oil-free cleansing bar for the face and body, and it got my skin nice and clean without drying it out. The mud soap bar is also made with the AHAVA Osmoter complex, and contains black mineral mud from the Dead Sea region.

AHAVA Dead Sea Plants body oil review

3. AHAVA Precious Desert Oils ($42 USD)

I’ve always been a sucker for a good body oil, and this one — this one is good. It’s not as hydrating as some of the 100% oil blends that I own, but it soaks all the way into the skin for a soft, non-greasy finish (and isn’t that always the trade-off). Its formula includes jojoba, sesame, and desert date oils, as well as a little bit of myrrh oil, the AHAVA Osmoter, and Dead Sea algae extract.

At $42 USD, it’s a little pricier than the rest of the line, but the packaging and subtle fragrance are an absolute treat.

AHAVA precious desert oils body treatement review

2. AHAVA Hydration Cream Mask ($30 USD)

The AHAVA Hydration Cream Mask ties with their Softening Butter Salt Scrub for me, except for one thing: the salt scrub smells inordinately delicious (so, of course, it had to take first place).

AHAVA Time to Hydrate Cream Mask review

I am so, so into this hydrating mask, though! It’s a 3-5 minute mask that’s designed to be used 1-2 times each week, or you can leave it on overnight, as I do. It has a soft floral fragrance and feels very spa-like as it’s worked into the skin, soaking in instantly and making my face feel immediately hydrated and supple.

The formula is loaded up with ingredients like shea butter, Dead Sea water, lactic acid, and aloe, and I always wake up to smooth, fine-line-free skin in the morning — it’s like an overnight radiance facial. 

AHAVA Deadsea Salt Softening Butter Salt Scrub review

1. AHAVA Softening Butter Salt Scrub ($24 USD)

My favourite product, by far, from the AHAVA line is this one: the Softening Butter Salt Scrub. This is one product that I think everybody needs to have in their shower, no matter their skin type or shower habits!

The Softening Butter Salt Scrub smells absolutely amazing (it’s scented with a delicious blend of essential oils; think fruity and floral, not herbs and citrus) and is both super scrubby and gentle on the skin. You take a scoop of this stuff, buff it into your skin BEFORE showering, and then rinse off in the shower to turn it into a light, silky lotion.

For me, this shower butter/salt scrub is the best of both worlds. It leaves my skin feeling SO soft, smells fantastic, and acts as an in-shower body moisturizer or moisturizing shaving cream as long as I don’t scrub it off under the spray.

AHAVA salt mud skincare giveaway

The giveaway


And, lastly, I have something exciting to share with all of you guys: a chance to win your very own at home AHAVA spa kit! (Worth up to $64 USD.)

To enter, use the form below and make sure to tell me if you want a handpicked DEAD SEA SALT SET (for normal to dry skin; includes the AHAVA Hydration Cream Mask, Softening Butter Salt Scrub, and Moisturizing Salt Soap bar) or the DEAD SEA MUD SET (for normal to oily skin; includes the AHAVA Softening Butter Salt Scrub, Purifying Mud Soap bar, and Natural Dead Sea Mud body mask).

This giveaway will be open for two weeks, until October 22nd at 11:59 PM MST, and is open to Canadian & US readers. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, but all of the opinions are still my own. I chose, tested, cut, and re-tested every single product in this post, and I hope you like them as much as I do! 

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito collection review, photos

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito collection review

The products: The Body Shop Virgin Mojito collection ($9 CAD-$22 CAD)

When I was fifteen, surgery was a cakewalk. Sleep it off in the hospital, grab a burger on the way home, ready for a road trip by Friday. But at 23, and when you find out after the operation that you might not be able to eat normally for up to six weeks? I’m going nuts over here. Telling a Chen she can’t eat is like telling a dog it can’t pee on things. Eating is where I get all of my joy. 

So, I mean, I’ve been hitting the mojitos pretty hard to help cope. Virgin skincare mojitos, that is. (I don’t want to find out what happens when you mix rum with open wounds and morphine.)

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Shower Gel review photos

The scent: I was told that you either love or hate The Body Shop’s new Virgin Mojito scent, but I mean… I love it; my boyfriend loves it; Julie from Swatch and Review and her boyfriend love it; Zoë from Writing Whimsy and Steph from Fun Size Beauty both totally love it.

It’s summery and fresh, and smells like taking a sip of a delicious wall of lime with just a hint of mint and that tart bite of citrus peel. (It’s totally 100% deserving of the cheeky little “NOT FOOD!” labelling.)

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Scrub review photos

In the shower

The Body Shop has offered up two ways for you to get your mojito on in the shower this summer: the Virgin Mojito Shower Gel ($9 CAD) and the Virgin Mojito Body Scrub ($22 CAD).

I’m still trying to figure out if the beads in the mojito body scrub are regular beads or micro beads (the latter of which end up in lakes and rivers, basically just hangin’ out and killin’ fishes), but I have to admit defeat, here: I’m not eco-knowledgeable enough to tell the difference, and I need some help to figure out if I can indulge or if I need to pitch this! 

I’m hoping for the former–didn’t The Body Shop swear off micro beads a few years ago?–because that jelly-like texture looks like waaaay too much fun not to use. 

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Shower Gel review

On the other hand, I’ve been guiltlessly indulging in the Virgin Mojito Shower Gel pretty heavily. The Body Shop’s Shower Gels are possibly my favourite product from the brand — they just always smell so good, and at $9 CAD (or less; a bunch of them are on for $5 right now), they’re so cheap.

I love being able to get a Body Shop scent fix at a price tag that I don’t have to think about (I mean, it’s not exactly Byredo, but is far from drugstore stuff). This tall glass of deliciousness is no exception!

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Butter review photos

After the shower

Coming out of the shower, you have three options: The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Butter ($20 CAD), a classic that has too many ‘cones for me to touch (I used to adore these), the Virgin Mojito Body Splash ($20 CAD), which is delightfully splishy-splashy but honestly kind of a pain to apply (splashes, man. We should have left them behind in the ’90s), and the Virgin Mojito Body Sorbet ($15 CAD).

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Splash review photos

The Body Sorbets are a product that I’m split on. On one hand, they’re $15 (sometimes even less!), and they all, without a doubt, smell awesome. But on the other, they’re just not hydrating — like, even when I get other people to use them, they don’t find them to do a thing. And they pill up like a bad primer if you try to make them hydrate more by applying extra.

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito review

Buuut (and there’s always a but) they’re $15. And silicone-free. And I guarantee you, they are the only tasty-smelling ‘cone-free body lotions that you’re going to be able to find for that price — believe me, I’ve looked.

So, you know. I hate them… and also, I own three. (This was, for interest’s sake, the only one of the three that was a press sample. I bought the other two with my own money and darn it, I was happy to.)

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Sorbet review photos

The verdict?

Out of all of the limited edition collections that The Body Shop has come out with recently, the Virgin Mojito one has been, by far, my favourite. I love the delicious, limey fragrance (it’s so summery!) and I’m quite happy with the product offerings.

My recommendation? Get the shower gel for sure. Then, if you can use silicones, buy the Body Butter. But for those who can’t… get the Body Sorbet instead. You’ll probably hate me for it, but at the same time, you’re totally not going to regret it in the least.

Availability: $9 CAD & up at thebodyshop.ca and The Body Shop stores. Limited edition.

Keep reading! »

Skincare travel essentials | Currently in my bag (literally)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Travel essentials and must haves
So, for all of you who don’t follow me on social media (and why aren’t you? Twitter/Instagram), I’m currently in Toronto visiting friends, seeing family, and checking out what’s new and exciting for Fall 2015.

I’ve been living out of a suitcase for about a week and I have one more left to go, so my travel essentials right now are actually what I have with me — they’re not some theoretical “oh, I’d totally take this with me.” Here’s what I can’t go without… and what I totally should have done differently.

Aveeno fresh essentials moisturizer SPF 30 review

FACE

Aveeno Fresh Essentials Daily Nourishing Moisturizer SPF 15 ($19.99 CAD) – this is a recent acquisition, but so far, I’m liking it! It’s silicone-free but with a chemical sunscreen component, and while it’s a little heavy (not a problem for my dry skin) and smells quite sunscreen-y, it gets the job done without breaking me out or breaking the bank.

bioderma sensibio tolerance plus review

Bioderma Sensibio Tolerance+ Skin Care ($26.95 CAD) – I reviewed this just this month, and I’m still using it every single day. It’s been doing a great job of minimizing my skin’s reactiveness, and provides the perfect “neutral” base for serums and foundations. Which brings us to…

Kevin Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in 02 – I haven’t really talked about this yet, but I’m a total SSE convert. This silicone-free foundation is a good match for my skintone, and I love how pigmented it is — I mix a little bit (just enough to cover my fingertip) into my Bioderma or Aveeno, add a drop of Odacité serum if I’m feeling dry, and apply to my full face for an even, sheer glow.

Odacité Pomegranate + Rose Geranium Serum Concentrate ($43 USD/$49 CAD) – yup, still totally loving this one. I’ve actually almost finished my bottle — and will be buying a new one this week at The Detox Market! (Hopefully the King Street location, because I’m dying for a Greenhouse Juice. It’s been like a week since I last ate a vegetable.)

Odacite PoR, Kevin Aucoin SSE review

Mario Badescu Buffering Lotion – Always a must-have, whether or not I’m travelling. This is the best thing for treating small spots, small about-to-be-spots, and big AHH! blemishes.

AWW, CRAP – CLEANSERS

Marcelle 3-in-1 Micellar Water ($19.95 CAD) – I totally should have brought more of both of these, because I’m only at the halfway point of my work-cation and I’m almost all out. HALP.

Nip + Fab Dragon’s Blood Facial Radiance Pads ($14.95 CAD) – same with these. I absolutely LOVE the Dragon’s Blood cleansing pads, and I find that they’re particularly strong performers while travelling — they make removing all of my eye and face makeup (including waterproof) a seconds-long process, and I love not having to use an additional cleanser afterwards. I find that I use these a lot when I’m worried that I’m about to break out, and they always get my face super-clean and ready for moisturizer in a snap.

Clarins tonic oil Mario badescu buffering lotion review

HAIR AND BODY

Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil – a mini size! Because oils are a wonderfully compact way to moisturize (no fillers), and this little guy travels like a champ. I’ve been using it every day for the past seven days and I’ve barely made it to the 1/3 point.

Schick Quattro razor – I’ve actually been using Quattro razors since I started shaving, but I bought this one recently for travel/staying over and I love it! Something about the design gives me a much closer shape than the older models (even though I have brand-new cartridges on both), and I think I might replace my at-home razor when I get back. My favourite thing about Schick razors? The fine bars that run perpendicular to the blades — I’ve never cut myself shaving, not even at the very beginning.

And, finally…

Schick Quattro razor Best review

Giovanni Avocado & Olive Oil Ultra-Moist Protective Leave-In Spray – I’ve almost used this one all the way up! It’s silicone-free, practically unscented, and does a great job both of protecting my hair from the heat of my flat iron and moisturizing it so I don’t get fly-aways or dry-looking ends. I probably should have brought the inch of product that I have left in smaller spray bottle, but once this is used up, I will definitely be re-buying it, too.

What are your travel essentials? Are they day-to-day products, or things you only take on trips?

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