SkinCeuticals Emollience moisturizer review, photos

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

SkinCeuticals Emollience review

The product: SkinCeuticals Emollience Rich, Restorative Moisturizer

I’ve been slowly testing a few SkinCeuticals products since November, and I’ve found a few that I love… and a few that I’m not so crazy about.

The last SkinCeuticals product that I posted about was their Simply Clean cleanser, which I was really fond of. So, I felt that it was only fair to post a review of their Emollience Moisturizer today, especially considering how many requests I’ve gotten recently for more ‘cone-free moisturizer reviews.

Spoiler alert: it made me feel like a sad, dry, completely unloved sponge.

SkinCeuticals moisturizer review dry skin

What I liked about Emollience: I feel like starting with the good stuff today, and there’s definitely good stuff to be found here! For starters, the SkinCeuticals-educated staff at Rao Dermatology were super understanding about my sensitivity to silicones (which many brands are NOT cool about), and they made it easy for me to find products in the range that I could use.

Plus, Emollience is pumped up with sea algae, grape seed oil, and rose hip seed oil to hydrate skin in cold or dry climates, which sounds great. In theory.

SkinCeuticals dry skin review Emollience

What I didn’t like about Emollience: While all of that sounds great in practice, the mostly-water-and-sorbitol Emollience formula just didn’t work for me. It feels awesome going on and absorbs really quickly, but I found that it absorbed into my skin TOO quickly — it was basically gone within seconds.

Within 5 minutes of applying this, my skin feels absolutely parched. The effect is bearable if I mix in a really hydrating oil or serum, but even with extended use, my skin’s hydration levels didn’t normalize. I even tested Emollience with my nifty new Hydration Detector to see if maybe it was just a perceived feeling, but nope: my skin only went up 1% in hydration right after applying Emollience, which isn’t even outside of a good margin of error.

SkinCeuticals skincare regimen group

The verdict?

As much as I love SkinCeuticals as a brand, I cannot recommend Emollience to anyone else with dry skin. From the other reviews I’ve read, it sounds like it’s both not hydrating enough for dry skin & too pore-clogging for oily skin, and from my own experiences, I’d have to agree.

Even on the SkinCeuticals site, the people who love Emollience seem to be those with combination skin–not the targeted audience of “normal to dry skin.” Skip this one & save your pennies for the brand’s treatment products!

Availability: $60 USD though dermatologist’s offices & online at SkinCeuticals, depending on where you live. (See the SkinCeuticals site to find in-person locations!)

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Lise Watier HydraForce launch & hydration detector app!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Lise Watier HydraForce Hydra-Protective moisturizer gel-creme review

Last weekend, I had the privilege of being able to attend a Lise Watier skincare launch at West Edmonton Mall. It was a really nifty event; just a small booth and a few super helpful ladies manning the table & makeover station, but the way the line is being marketed is really unique.

The Lise Watier HydraForce line features Gaspé algae and offers a gel moisturizer, a cream moisturizer, a glossy, lemony lip balm that feels great and tastes a little sweet (don’t judge me), and an app.

Now, I know what you’re going to say: cosmetic apps are overdone! But this one involves testing tool that lets you quantifiably measure how well your moisturizer is working (or not working), and its accuracy is actually repeatable.

Lise Watier HydraForce hydration detector review

Verifying the science

My partner and I tested out the HydraForce detector for before and after readings at the counter, and the results were pretty cool to see. My hands (the HydraForce range contains silicones) went from 36% hydrated to 57% after applying the Lise Watier HydraForce Hydra-Protective Creme-Gel ($45 CAD), and Boyfriend’s face went from 48% to a whopping 76%, which surprised even the Lise Watier rep!

Lise Watier HydraForce test app

Much boyfriend. Very suspicious. Such hydration!

Lise Watier HydraForce lip balm review

Even with three before & after tests that matched my expectations, I wasn’t sure about the science, so I headed back home to broaden my sample size. My combination-skinned mom’s t-zone had a 48% moisture level (which is more or less perfect hydration, according to the app), and my dad’s scaly legs eked out a 28%.

The really scary result, though, was my own: I re-tested the skin on my freshly washed, un-moisturized hands, and I got a 13.4% reading. I tested again on my other hand to replicate the results and got 14%. So, obviously, I panicked and cried applied some moisturizer to my hands and tested again; this time, with much higher results — 28%, which is still in the dry region of the chart, but not painfully dry.

Lise Watier HydraForce app

My Lise Watier Hydration Detector app results / what your results mean!

Lise Watier HydraForce launch the bay west edmonton mall

Lise Watier HydraForce bubble

HOW CUTE IS THIS BUBBLE, THOUGH

The products

As I mentioned, I can’t test these products in the long-term because they contain silicones. However, I can tell you that I really liked what I saw. The moisturizers smell and feel amazing, and the Hydra-Protective Creme-Gel is an awesome starter product from the HydraForce range. It’s super lightweight and designed only to provide your skin with hydration, so it can be used as a standalone moisturizer or used as a hydration gel-serum under the treatment product of your choice.

If you want to test your skin’s hydration levels (and grab a free deluxe sample of the Hydra-Protective Creme-Gel), the HydraForce tour has three stops left: Toronto, on April 2nd; Montreal, on April 8th; and Dartmouth, on April 16th. I highly recommend going to one of them if you can!

Availability: Get the HydraForce line here at LiseWaiter.com (US & Canada shipping).

Additional photos & more »

Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus serum, Antioxidant Cleansing Mousse reviews, photos

Monday, March 14, 2016

Jurlique Foaming Cleanser, Rose Moisture Plus Serum review

The products: Jurlique Herbal Recovery Antioxidant Cleansing Mousse & Rose Moisture Plus Daily Moisture Balancing Serum

I like to think that I can admit my mistakes gracefully. I have no idea if this is true or not, but if it is, then the Jurlique skincare range is a great example of it.

I thought that Jurlique was just another well-marketed beauty brand, but I was definitely off-base in my assumptions. The two Jurlique products that I’ve been testing came in recycled, sustainably sourced paper cartons, feature natural and organic ingredients, and are stamped with expiry dates — March 2017 for the mousse and August 2016 for the serum, instead of that vague “6 months” crap that most brands will feed you.

There are plenty of natural and sustainable brands nowadays, but Jurlique has been doing the eco-conscious thing since way before it was cool. The brand celebrates its 30th anniversary this year (Happy Birthday, Jurlique!)

Jurlique Foaming Cleanser dry skin review

Jurlique Herbal Recovery Antioxidant Cleansing Mousse review

Jurlique Antioxidant Cleansing Mousse ($34 USD)

The Jurlique Antioxidant Cleansing Mousse is described as a “lightly whipped foaming mousse,” and I have to agree! Jurlique’s mousse cleanser isn’t like any other that I’ve tried — it’s enriched with jojoba, grape seed, safflower, and rose hip oils, and it actually feels whipped and lush rather than just foamy.

It’s the most hydrating mousse/foaming cleanser that I’ve tried, but it’s not perfect. Even though I like the formula, it’s still more stripping than a cleansing milk, so it’ll work better for oily and normal skin types than dry or sensitive ones. I think it would be awesome in helping to balance out a combination complexion, though, or a dehydrated/oily skin type!

Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Serum review

Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Daily Moisture Balancing Serum review

Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Serum ($50 USD)

I’ve also been using the Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Serum over the past few months, but while it helps maintain my skin’s moisture levels, it doesn’t get rid of my persistent dryness the way that a few of my other serums do.

I really like its silky texture and natural rose scent, but at $50, I just couldn’t recommend it to someone with chronically dry skin. If you have mild dry skin, then yes, this is a gorgeous silicone-free serum, but be warned: I found it to be only about as hydrating as Hylamide SubQ, SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel, and the super-popular Indeed Labs Hydraluron Moisture Serum.

(Which, granted, a lot of people describe as super hydrating, so it really depends where you’re measuring from!)

Jurlique packaging review skincare

The verdict?

Jurlique products are definitely a splurge, but I think you get what you pay for with the line. The packaging, delivery, and formulas are exquisite, and I was actually surprised that these products didn’t cost more — $50 for a luxury serum is arguably pretty well-priced.

I didn’t find the Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Serum hydrating enough for my skin type, but I loved the Jurlique Herbal Recovery Antioxidant Cleansing Mousse. It’s gentler on the skin than most foaming cleansers, and though it gets used up pretty quickly, it feels whipped (not foamy), which is quite the treat!

Availability: Jurlique.com. Jurlique is actually running a really cool new promo right now, where they will give you a $15 USD credit toward ANY purchase before March 15th if you sign up for their newsletter!

Keep reading! »

Bioderma Atoderm reviews: Gentle Shower Gel, Moisturizing Stick, PP Baume

Monday, March 7, 2016

Bioderma Atoderm shower gel review

The products: Bioderma Atoderm Gentle Shower Gel, Atoderm Moisturizing Stick, and Atoderm PP Ultra-Nourishing Balm

The Bioderma Atoderm shower gel is the biggest shower gel that you are ever going to use. Period. It’s a massive 1 litre (or bloody 2 lbs and 6.86 oz) of paraben-free, soap-free, hypoallergenic gentleness, and it’s totally dry skin friendly.

Hell, you could use this everywhere from your kids to your face to your junk (that’s one way to prevent the Junkface bar soap conundrum), and you’d still have 990 ml left to soap up… I don’t know; maybe a whole herd of cows?

Bioderma Atoderm review vs Bliss Soapy Suds The Body Shop Virgin Mojito

This is what 1L of bodywash looks like in comparison. (CAD proce per litre: $61, $19.95, $40).

The Atoderm line: Bioderma focuses on making gentle, pharmacy-style products that are targeted to specific skin types, and the Atoderm range is aimed at very dry to atopic sensitive skin. (That’s me!) (Although to be fair, Sensibio and Hydrabio, for sensitive skin and dehydrated sensitive skin, respectively, are also arguably me.)

But my point is — Atoderm products are designed to be gentle, non-stripping, and hydrating, so they’re the Bioderma line to turn to if you have eczema, psoriasis, or just generally fragile skin. 

Bioderma Atoderm shower gel

Bioderma Atoderm Gentle Shower Gel ($19.95 CAD)

The Atoderm line has four options for shower gels, all available in 500 ml or 1L bottles. This is actually their least gentle of all four (there’s also a gel-mousse, a cream, and an oil, which I really want to try) and it’s really nice.

A litre is a lot of shower gel to go through, but this stuff is awesome. It’s very lightly scented and is actually quite thin, which is something I’ve never encountered before but am very much enjoying 4111111111111111111111111111111 (Tuna says hi.)

You know how, when you walk into an Asian household, the soap is always a little thinner than it’s supposed to be? This is a like that, except minus the scolding grandma! The Atoderm Gentle Shower Gel is slick and easy to apply, and it’s easy to rinse off without having to scrub at your damaged skin.

Bioderma lip balm review Atoderm

Bioderma Atoderm Moisturizing Stick ($6.95 CAD)

There are two lip balms in the Bioderma Atoderm line, because Bioderma loves going overboard with their product ranges. (I joke, but I actually love this kind of precisely curated neuroses.)

This one’s the stick, and I LOVE it. It’s my absolute favourite lip balm right now, and I keep making everyone try it — it’s so good. The formula smells lightly of raspberry candy and is perfectly stiff, but it applies smoothly and keeps my lips nicely hydrated for a good couple of hours. It really is the ideal texture for a daytime lip balm!

Bioderma Atoderm moisturizing stick review

I’d say that this is more hydrating than Nuxe Reve de Miel, eos balms, and Burt’s Bees lip balms, but less hydrating than my potted Bobbi Brown Lip Balm SPF 15 (yes, that post is SEVEN YEARS OLD now) or the Osmia Organics Lip Balm that I love.

It’s about as hydrating as a Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment, but it’s way cheaper and much easier to work with… and it won’t slide onto the floor in the summer.

Bioderma PP Ultra-nourishing balm review ish

Bioderma Atoderm PP Ultra-Nourishing Balm ($29.95 CAD)

The Bioderma PP Baume contains silicones, so I couldn’t test it myself. However, it’s an extra-nourishing formula that joins a whole bunch of other Atoderm products, like the protective PO Zinc and everyday Creme (which comes in unscented & scented versions — so cool!)

If you’ve tried the PP Baume, let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts on it. Here’s what other bloggers thought of it, though:

  • Natalie Loves Beauty notes that it absorbs almost instantly,
  • Writing Whimsy loves how hydrating its formula is, unlike the scented Atoderm PP Creme formula,
  • Lipstick and Lullabies tried it with her husband and found that it’s great for dryness, redness, and facial skin, and
  • Ruqaiya Kahn finds the formula a bit sticky BUT notes that it totally got rid of her itchy, dry leg skin.

Tatcha Camellia Beauty Oil & Cleansing Oil review, photos | Tsubaki oil for normal/oily skin types

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Tatcha cleansing oil review

The products: Tatcha Gold Camellia Beauty Oil & Pure One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil

Happy Tuesday, folks! I’ve got a couple Tatcha camellia oil products to share with you today, because the line has finally been picked up by Canadian Sephora stores & can be easily acquired, no firstborn/evil witch promises needed.

The Tatcha line features a lot of Camellia japonica flower oil, which is sometimes called Japanese tea oil or tsubaki oil. It’s an ingredient that’s used frequently in skincare thanks to its oleic acid triglyceride content (85%, just like human sebum), and it contains lots of skin-friendly antioxidants!

Tatcha One step Camellia Cleansing Oil review

Tatcha One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil ($48 USD/$58 CAD)

I started testing with the brand’s One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, which is a dual-purpose makeup remover & cleanser from Tatcha’s Pure product range. It’s one of the brand’s bestselling products, and it’s easy to see why: it’s a naturally fragranced, mineral oil-free cleansing oil that washes away with no residue.

I’ve actually tried Tatcha’s cleansing oil a couple of times, and I wasn’t a big fan of it in the past. I found out why this time around, though: I wasn’t using enough of it with my trial size, and I kept testing it out at my boyfriend’s apartment (which is dry like a high-tech science experiment and totally confounds my product testing results.)

Tatcha pure one step cameilla cleansing oil review

Now that I’m actually using enough Tatcha cleansing oil, I really like it. One pump removes all of my makeup, including eyeliner, and it leaves my skin feeling soft and clean.

I like a little more hydration from my daily cleanser, but this oil is super gentle, non-stripping, and non-greasy. It’s better for sensitive or dry skin than Shu Uemura or L’Occitane cleansing oils, and it smells way better than DHC’s Cleansing Oil (which I would otherwise slightly prefer.)

Overall, Tatcha’s cleansing oil is an awesome all-rounder. It’s a little pricey for a cleansing oil at $9.41 USD/oz, but it’s a formula that will work well for oily and dry skin, and it’s a great option for those with sensitive complexions.

Tatcha One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil ingredients:

Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Rice Bran Oil, Polyglyceryl-10 Dioleate, Polyglyceryl-2 Sesquicaprylate, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Glyceryl Behenate/Eicosadioate, Water, Algae Extract, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Alcohol, Natural Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol.

Tatcha cameillia beauty oil review

Tatcha Camellia Beauty Oil ($95 USD/$114 CAD)

I’ve also been carrying around the Tatcha Camellia Beauty Oil, which is scented with natural bamboo and green tea fragrances. (It smells quite a bit like a Shu Uemura cleansing oil, actually!) It’s a light, dry oil for the face, hair, and body, but I reserve it for face use only — my body has done nothing to deserve a $114 oil.

Like Tatcha’s Cleansing Oil, this serum/moisturizer is formulated around camellia oil and is appropriate for all skin types. I like a serum that’s a little thicker than this, but this oil blend is just moisturizing enough for my dry skin while still being lightweight enough for my boyfriend’s slightly oily skin, which is pretty cool. (Boyfriend actually says it’s the best-feeling oil he’s ever tried, so score one for Tatcha!)

Tatcha gold review Cameillia beauty oil serum

The Tatcha Camellia Beauty Oil is also formulated with olive-derived squalane, licorice root extract, and 24-karat gold flakes, making it great for regulating sebum production, calming down inflammation, and generally being super luxe. It’s also available in a 10 ml travel size, but the travel size is $33 — I’d say go for the full size and just enjoy how stately and luxurious the packaging is!

Tatcha Camellia Beauty Oil ingredients:

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Squalane (Olive Origin), Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Natural Fragrance, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentaisostearate, Dimer Dilinoleyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Macadamia, Rice Germ Oil, Water, Tocopherol, Licorice Extract, Rice Bran Oil Extract, Rice Extract, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Alcohol, Glycerin, Algae Extract, Gold, Phenoxyethanol.

Tatcha skincare review silicone free recommendations

The verdict?

I really liked both of these products (they’re definitely going into my regular skincare rotation), but at the price… they’re not must-haves for me. My dehydrated skin was left wanting, which I think it slightly inappropriate for products that are this expensive.

If I had to pick a word to describe Tatcha’s brand identity and product ethos, though, I would go with “exquisite.”  These products are beautiful right from the boxes to the ingredients, and I personally think that they outperform most department store brands at a similar price point.

I have yet to find anything in the line for super dry skin, but if you want to spoil your normal to oily skin, then give these two a try!

Availability: Tatcha.com and Sephora (US and Canada). Each full-sized Tatcha product purchased funds one day of school for a girl through the brand’s Beautiful Faces, Beautiful Futures partnership with Room to Read.

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True All You Need Is Me, Lilly & Lola Hydrate Your Skin reviews

Monday, February 22, 2016

Lilly and Lola Coconut Oil review - Skin

The products: True Organic of Sweden All You Need is Me, Lilly & Lola Hydrate Your Skin with Coconut Oil

One of the things that I’ve been hearing a lot from other beauty bloggers recently is that nothing seems to be new anymore. Brands latch onto a popular, trendy product, and they all just sort of churn out replicas of it — look at something as simple as gel liner, for instance (created by Bobbi Brown herself), or even those great little cushion-type compacts.

These launches from True and Lilly & Lola are different from the rest of the bunch. Sure, they’re not literally one of a kind, but they’re products that most non-beauty fiends probably haven’t even heard of — and in this day and age, that’s a feat in & of itself!

True Organics review All You Need Is Me

All You Need Is Me ($35 USD/$42 CAD)

True Organic of Sweden is a cool, cruelty-free company based out of Stockholm that uses all natural and organic ingredients. They make all of their products in Sweden, and I gotta say — I am LOVING their font choices.

True petroleum free jelly review All You Need Is Me

All You Need Is Me is one of those all-natural “everything” balms, but it’s less wax-in-a-pot and more petroleum-free-petroleum-jelly. Its matte tube is actually made from sugarcane, NOT plastic, and it contains only castor oil, beeswax, olive oil, shea butter, vitamin E, and blueberry seed oil.

(Yeah. When was the last time you saw an ingredients list so simple that it could comfortably fit into the body text of a review?)

Petrolum free all natural jelly review Detox Market

It’s a great substitute for petroleum jelly, but a word to the wise: this cruelty-free, fragrance-free balm has only a six month shelf life. My tube has already started to “grain up” and separate out, which is a bit of a bummer seeing as it comes only half full to begin with!

True Organics of Sweden All You Need Is Me review

Heartbreak at first squish

Lilly & Lola ($25.99 CAD)

Speaking of short ingredients lists: have you heard of Lilly & Lola? They’re a skincare brand that recently got picked up by The Detox Market (my faves!), and they make ALL of their products only out of coconut oil.

I didn’t really see why a bottle of fractionated coconut oil should cost $25 at first, but then I did a little bit of reading. The thing about natural ingredients is that the quality of your ingredient is going to depend on the plant, its freshness, and the type of extraction being used; turns out, it’s the same for coconut oil. When factories further process virgin coconut oil (solid at room temperature) to produce a coconut oil liquid, the final product can vary quite a lot!

Lilly and Lola Hydrate Your Skin review

Lilly & Lolo, for instance, makes three products right now from different blends of fractionated coconut oil. This one is described on their site as a “coconut oil barrier” with a lightweight texture and a quick, 2-3 minute absorption time, but the brand’s Renew Your Face and Renew Your Hair oil treatments (which also contain 100% coconut oil) have a heavier texture and will sink into your hair and face over the course of the night.

I personally don’t like the feeling of coconut oil on my skin (it feels too “dry” for me), so I wasn’t big on this one. It leaves my skin feeling very silky, though, so check it out if you want a scent-free coconut oil moisturizer that sprays on and stays liquid at room temp!

(Note: pictured here is Lilly & Lola’s 25ml bottle. The one available at The Detox Market TO is double the size!) 

Lilly Lolo Hydrate Your SKinr eview True Organic balm

What’s the coolest skincare product you’ve tried this year?

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