Clarins Repair, Detox, Energy Booster serum review, photos

Friday, September 9, 2016

clarins-skincare-booster-serums-review

The products: Clarins Repair, Detox, and Energy Boosters

I know I’ve been writing a lot about skincare recently, but there have been a LOT of really cool new skincare launches this season, okay?

Take the new Clarins Boosters, for instance. They’re designed to serve one purpose, so you’re not hefting over $600 for an anti-redness, anti-shine, anti-ageing, anti-death serum. You can use them whenever you want to; as a pick-me-up or as part of your skincare regimen. Whatever works for you.

clarins-boosters-vs-double-serum-review-photos

The packaging: The Clarins Boosters are tiny, with really brilliant packaging. You just press on the soft, curved bottom “button” to dispense drops of product, and you can dispense as many or as few drops as you want. The entire design concept is SO MUCH smarter than awkward eye dropper-style bottles, and it’s just a joy to us.

clarins-booster-serum-review-detox-energy-repair

The boosters: These three different booster serums can be mixed and matched,  and are made to be blended with your moisturizer whenever you need them. The orange Energy Booster is meant to help with tone and radiance using ginseng extract, and it’s the least hydrating of the three boosters. It’s easy to use, but I didn’t see a huge change after 2-3 days of use. (These are designed to be single-day-use if needed, so I’ve tested them as such!)

The green Detox Booster is the one that I’ve been using the most, and honestly, it’s pretty phenomenal. The green coffee extract is intended to detoxify and plump the skin after over-indulging, and while I don’t really believe in antioxidants and stuff, it certainly does make my skin look fuller – I can actually see the difference in how plump the skin around my eyes is.

clarins-energy-booster-review

Finally, the blue Repair Booster is meant to strengthen your skin barrier and reduce discomfort. It feels very protective when my skin is irritated, but it’s very sticky and contains a generous portion of glycerin. I’d recommend it primarily as a preventative measure, but it also contains mimosa tenuiflora extract and allantoin for epidermal repair and soothing.

Clarins recommends that you use 3-5 drops of serum mixed into your moisturizer or mask, but that was way too many for me. 2 drops seemed to be the best balance for my face; any less and it wasn’t enough, but any more and my skin would feel tacky for hours.

clarins-repair-booster-serum-review-photos-results

The verdict?

I really like the idea of an as-needed booster instead of a mandatory daily serum, and the Clarins Detox Booster is excellent.

And hey, skincare industry? If you could just go ahead and package everything in droppers like these… That’d be cool of you. Thanks.

Availability: $39 USD/$40 CAD at Clarins.ca, Sephora, and Nordstrom.

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Duckish Lotion Stick, Body Butter, Bath Salts review, photos | DIY Pedicure Kit

Monday, July 25, 2016

Duckish canadian pedicure kit review photos

The product: Duckish DIY Pedicure Kit (customized) – Duckish Mint Bath Salts, Pink Grapefruit Body Butter, and Lavender Lotion Stick

Okay, so I really wanted to feature Duckish as part of my Small Business Saturdays series, but things keep coming up on Friday nights and I really didn’t want to wait any longer. So we’ll call this one Small Business Mondays instead, I guess!

Duckish is an all-natural Canadian beauty brand with just the absolute cutest packaging. (I want to own basically everything they make.) Their products are all cruelty-free, handmade, and free of icky things like parabens, synthetic fragrances, and silicones.

Duckish mint bath salts review photos

Mint Bath Salts ($9.99 CAD)

I wanted to focus my review on Duckish’s body butter and lotion stick, because I’ve been dying to try them out for what feels like forever–but this kit includes bath salts and a pumice stone on a rock, too. The pumice stone is pretty standard fare, but the bath salts are more then just plain ‘ol rock salt.

They’re a blend of Dead Sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, and Epsom salts, with sweet almond oil and organic coconut oil to add a bit of hydration to your bath or foot soak. Each scent comes with a unique blend of essential oils, too; the Mint one is made with eucalyptus and peppermint (two of my all-time favourite oils.)

Duckish pink grapefruit body butter review

Pink Grapefruit Body Butter ($11.99 CAD)

Funnily enough, I was most excited for the Duckish Body Butter, but their lotion stick stole the show for me. The Body Butters, I think, are best for those with dry or weathered skin – not so much for Sahara-like dehydration.

The Duckish Body Butter formula is definitely a classic one, with a thick, creamy formula that’s heavy on the shea, and honestly… I didn’t like it. It’s surprisingly creamy for an indie body butter, but non-“mainstream” (The Body Shop, L’Occitane, Bliss, etc.) butters just don’t seem to be hydrating enough for me – this one just kinda sits on my skin, leaving hands feeling both vaguely greasy and so dry that they’re itchy.

Some people love these kinds of body butters, though, so just keep it in mind when ordering! Oh, and a warning for all my fellow crazy cat ladies: there’s just enough citrus oil in Pink Grapefruit to scare Tunakitten away from me when I’m using this, but not quite enough to make the olive oil in the formula palatable to my nose. :(

Duckish lavender lotion stick review

Lavender Mini Lotion Stick ($6.99 CAD)

Duckish’s description for their lotion sticks is:

“Lotion? In a stick? Is this real life? Yes, yes it is!”

And you know what? They couldn’t have been more accurate with that statement. These lotion sticks are crazily good – the mini one is perfect for mess-free application on the go, and the formula is spot-on.

I have really dehydrated skin, and the Duckish lotion stick definitely works better for me than their body butter. It melts immediately upon contact, basically turning into a light oil that absorbs immediately into the skin, and it feels so lovely – not greasy at all.
Duckish DIY Pedicure Kit review

The verdict?

I love buying Canadian when I can, and Duckish makes that really easy. You’re not sacrificing packaging or price, and my only two reservations about the line are small ones: I’d have liked to see a bit more fragrance in their EO and a wider online availability, but both of these are things that will be remediated naturally, as the brand grows.

If bought separately, the three Duckish products in this kit come out to $28.97, so buying the kit essentially gets you a free pumice stone. If I was re-ordering for myself, though, I’d take all $29.99 and put it toward a hoard of lotion sticks!!

Availability: $29.99 CAD. Duckish just recently began shipping to the US in addition to Canada, so use code DUCKISHUSA to get $5 off all US orders over $20 until the end of the month.

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Scarlet & Julia review: Living Proof PhD Night Cap, Lavanila Passion Fruit Deodorant

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Scarlet Julia free sample

The products: Living Proof PhD Night Cap Overnight Perfector, Lavanila Vanilla Passion Fruit Healthy Deodorant, and Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Brow Color in Medium

It can be really tough to pick what to review when you haven’t done it in a while (okay, like, a week), but today, I was hit by a little bout of inspiration as I was getting out of the shower: why not review my Scarlet & Julia haul from last year?

(I know. I’m the worst.)

Scarlet and Julia review

Scarlet & Julia is an awesome Canadian online shop that carries brands like St. Tropez, Stila, and Lise Watier, with a bonus members-only “Beauty Outlet” section. (Think HauteLook, but without the insane Canadian shipping and processing fees.) They sent me a gift card last year to check out the store, and I put it towards part of my order.

Personally, I really like it when stores send out gift cards instead of product samples, because you get to experience the actual store with no extra bells and whistles. And my experience was great: the site’s easy to navigate, the sale section is really good (that Stila brow colour was actually purchased as a backup because it was so cheap at S&J), and my order came with a free sample of Fekkai Brilliant Glossing Conditioner and a $10 off promo code.

Lavanila Vanilla Passion Fruit deodorant review

Lavanila Vanilla Passion Fruit Healthy Deodorant ($17 CAD)

I really liked both of the new products that I ordered, too. The Lavanila Vanilla Passion Fruit deodorant was way more expensive than my usual deodorant choices (typically just a stick of men’s Axe or Degree), but it smells amazing and works really well. I liked that the stick felt like a “regular” deo, too – most silicone-free choices are all either gel-based or really pasty, but this was neither.

Lavanila’s passion fruit scent is surprisingly tart, which was a nice surprise. It’s light on the vanilla and heavy on the guava, too – think of it as more of an unsweetened fruit smoothie than a hearty dose of diabetes.

Living Proof PhD Night Cap overnight protector review

Living Proof PhD Night Cap Overnight Perfector ($34 CAD)

The biggest hit from my order, though, was the Living Proof PhD Night Cap Overnight Perfector. This stuff is MAGIC. I have no idea how it works its magic, but you put a little bit into damp hair from roots to ends, sleep on it, and wake up with model hair. 

It gives just the right amount of conditioning and shape, holding in some slept-on shape while still feeling totally product-free and touchable. Plus, it’s so non-greasy that you can even work it into your roots and wake up with grease-free hair.

It’s silicone-free and smells a lot like Elizabeth Arden Green Tea (one of my guiltiest pleasures), so really: zero faults here.

Scarlet and Julia haul

The verdict?

I really liked ordering from Scarlet & Julia, and you know what? I’d do it again. I like that they’re Canadian, I love the way they package their orders, and they were probably the only online shop that I could have made this particular order at.

The Living Proof Night Cap is also available at Sephora, but had I ordered from there, I wouldn’t have gotten 40% off of my Stila Brow Color. I wouldn’t have been able to get that Lavanila Healthy Deodorant in Vanilla Passion Fruit, either; for some reason, no one else seems to carry it here in Canada!

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Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, Or, & Shower Oil review, swatches, photos

Friday, June 24, 2016

Nuxe Huille Prodigieuse range review photos swatches

The products: Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil, Huile Prodigieuse OR Dry Oil, and Prodigieux Shower Oil

Along with their Rêve de Miel, Nuxe’s Huile Prodigieuse is the brand’s golden (sometimes literally) star. So, today, I have not one, not two, but three Huile Prodigieuse reviews to share with you–and strangely enough, I have vastly different opinions about all three.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse review paris edition

The original Huile Prodigieuse ($45 CAD): Alright, I’m just going to come out and say it. While I have a lot of love for the Nuxe and Bio Beauté by Nuxe labels on the whole… I just don’t like the Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse dry oil.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the classic packaging (that alone is worth half the cult following) and I love that it comes out in limited edition prints each year. I love that its formula is 97.8% natural and contains six botanical oils as its base–macadamia, hazelnut, borage, sweet almond, camellia, and St. John’s Wort.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse OR

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or review. Look at all of that beautiful, cloud-like shimmer!

I love that it’s enriched with vitamin E and is silicone- and preservative-free, and I love the heady, addictive Huile Prodigieuse fragrance: it smells like summer to me, with its big floral notes and coconut & vanilla base. And, of course, I love that it’s marketed as a multi-use oil; light enough to add shine to your hair, moisturizing enough for the body, and delicate enough to be mixed into your facial moisturizer.

My ex used her Huile Prodigieuse for everything, and it worked amazingly well for her. She always smelled delicious and soft, and her hair (also done up with this oil, of course) was always super gorgeous. But on my skin and hair, it just feels like such a dry dry oil, as if I’ll never feel hydrated and non-staticky ever again.

(Nuxe’s offshoot brand, Bio Beauté, makes a body oil that I much prefer to this one.)

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse OR review swatches photos

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or “swatch” (artificial lighting)

The Huile Prodigieuse Or ($45 CAD): While the original does nothing for me, I have formed a certain fondness for the golden shimmer version of this Nuxe cult classic. It’s extremely glittery and glamorous, and while Nuxe is full of lies when they say that it can be used on your face, but on the body, it’s a lot of fun.

There aren’t a lot of shimmering body products that you can use if you’re silicone-free, so this one is a treat to find. It’s no more expensive than the original, but it can be used more easily as an adjunct product: I can moisturize normally, then apply this sparingly as a bronze shimmer and summer fragrance. 

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse golden shower oil review

The Prodigieux Shower Oil ($16 CAD): The Huile Prodigieuse line is an expensive one (body oils frequently are, as they’re completely undiluted with water or fillers), so I was very happy to see the brand introduce a full-sized product at a lower price point. The brand new Prodigieux huile de douche is gorgeous to use and feels every bit as luxurious as the original oil, if not more.

A rich, thick shower gel, this shower “oil” is woven through with golden pearl and features a brighter version of the summery Prodigieux fragrance. It’s nicely hydrating (though not as moisturizing as those new Aveeno shower gels), and while I was hoping it would act more like an in-shower moisturizer, it’s a great way to add a dose of gold to your shower routine without being scented or shimmery all day long.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse shower oil gel review swatches

The verdict?

As someone with dry skin, none of these products are must-haves for me. However, they make lovely gifts, and the shower gel and gold oil have secured themselves a permanent place in my summer cabinet!

Availability: $45 CAD for the oil (limited edition 2016) and Huile Prodigieuse Or; $16 CAD for the Prodigieux Shower Oil. Available at Shopper’s Drug Mart, Murale, and Hudson’s Bay in Canada.

Thursday Plantation essential oils review, DIY ideas, & giveaway

Monday, June 20, 2016

Thursday Plantation essential oils review

The products: Thursday Plantation 100% Pure Eucalyptus Oil, Tea Tree Oil, and Lavender Oil

I like to go the natural route whenever I can, so I’ve been playing around a lot with essential oils this year. In a rather fortuitous turn of events, I was sent this lovely kit from Thursday Plantation just weeks after I fell in love with tea tree oil, and I’ve been using it non-stop in all sorts of ways ever since!

Thursday Plantation is an Australian company that sells essential oils (these three key oils, plus smaller aromatherapy oils like rosewood and patchouli), ready-made products (mostly things with tea tree and aloe), and facial oils. I’m just focusing on these three for the moment, but I’m excited to branch out someday… maybe when I’m braver.

Lavener oil diy beauty

The one thing that always kills me about essential oils is how expensive they can be, so it was awesome to see how affordable and high-quality these oils are. They’re 100% pure and packaged in amber glass, and they come in a range of sizes. The eucalyptus oil, which is great for sanitizing things around the house, comes in 100 and 200ml versions as well; the tea tree comes in smaller sizes (perfect if you’re just going to be using it as an acne treatment); and the lavender oil comes in a 50 ml for those of you who want to get really soothed.

(Not me. I’m not here for the soothing at allll.)

Thursday Plantation essential oils review sizing

Overall, the Thursday Plantation range is more affordable than something like Aura Cacia and more expensive than NOW Solutions, but I prefer it over both: Aura Cacia sells some excellent organic oils, but I find they have trouble with quality control, and NOW Solutions sells really affordable carrier oils, but their more delicate oils can be questionable–their rosehip oil, for instance, is utter crap. Again, I haven’t tried the full Thursday Plantation lineup so my opinion may change someday, but I was very happy with the quality of these!

Thursday Plantation has a 100 Uses for TP campaign going on that’s pretty cool–as you might have guessed, it’s a list of 100 things that you can use these three oils for (sadly not a list of 100 uses for toilet paper), but here are some of my favourites.

Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Oil review

Tea tree oil ($23.99 CAD/50 ml) 

Tea tree oil is Thursday Plantation’s big thing, and they do it very well. It’s 100% pure and contains at least 30% more terpinen-4-ol (the part of tea tree oil that makes it germicidal) than is required by international standards, so even a single drop is a very effective antiseptic.

According to Thursday Plantation, tea tree oil “inhibits a broad spectrum of bacteria and fungi […] and does not inhibit normal cell growth,” so it’s safe to use on small cuts and stuff to clean the area without a broad-spectrum antibiotic.

  • Great for treating pimples and bug bites
  • Treating infections like athlete’s foot or boils
  • Used as a household cleaner
  • When diluted (I used 3 drops in 1 cup of filtered water), tea tree makes a very effective alcohol- and mint-free mouthwash. Beware, however: it’s very bitter and not for internal use, so swish and spit!
  • Helps deodorize things like shoes and surfaces when mixed with a few tablespoons of baking soda
  • Natural analgesic (like a mild clove oil)
  • And, finally… I’m NOT a doctor, but I get recurrent yeast infections and the antifungals my doctor was giving me were messing up my gut flora without helping my yeast infections one bit. I’ve been using tea tree oil (1 drop diluted in 1 ml virgin coconut oil to make 3 small suppositories) to treat my yeast infections, and it literally cleared up my season-long yeast infection overnight. If you’re having trouble too, do a little research–for me, using a natural antifungal was a far better option than pharmaceuticals, but I’m just one example!

Thursday Platnation eucalyptus oil review

Eucalyptus oil ($9.99 CAD/50 ml)

I love the scent of eucalyptus oil, so when I found out that it kills 99.9% of household germs and helps relieve cold symptoms, I was pretty thrilled.

  • Making use of those 99.9% germ killer properties & cleaning countertops, spills, floors, and sinks in lieu of chemical cleaners with artificial fragrances!
  • A couple drops in a bottle of distilled water as a tasty mouth rinse
  • Used diluted as an oil rub for muscle aches or colds
  • Used in a diffuser or humidifier for a cold
  • I haven’t tried these yet, but I’ve heard that eucalyptus oil can remove grease and tar stains, and is great added to the wash to freshen up your clothes!

Thursday Plantation lavender oil review

Lavender oil ($19.99 CAD/25 ml)

Thursday Plantation lavender oil is distilled only from Lavandula angustifolia flowering herb tops, and it smells lovely.

  • Used diluted or in a bath to help treat eczema or psoriasis
  • Dabbed onto insect bites to help soothe them
  • A few drops on a felt dryer ball to freshen laundry!

The verdict + a giveaway!!

I haven’t tried the more delicate oils from the Thursday Plantation range yet, but I was very happy with these three. The quality is great and the brand’s pricing is on par with something like Desert Essence, and I love that Thursday Plantation uses amber glass to keep their oils safe & sound.

In fact, I’ve been getting such great use out of these oils that I wanted to share the love with YOU, so I reached out to Thursday Plantation’s PR firm here in Canada to ask if they had an extra Essentials kit to share with a lucky reader. And guess what? They did!

So, if you want to get your inner DIY maven on, enter using the widget below. This giveaway will be open to Canadian residents over the age of majority (or with parental consent) for two weeks and close at 11:59 PM MST on July 3rd. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bio Beauté by Nuxe Toning Citron Body Oil, Deodorant review & photos

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Bio beaute cedrat review body oil deodorant

The products: Bio Beauté by Nuxe Toning & Nourishing Satin-Touch Oil with Corsican Citron Extract and 24 HR Refreshing Deodorant

My love for Bio Beauté is far from a secret, so when I found out that they were launching two new lemon-scented products this summer, I was pretty excited.

I soon realized that they were, in fact, not launching two lemon-scented products this summer, and were actually launching two new body products featuring naturally “toning” citron (an ingredient you may recognize from my old L’Occitane review), plus their repackaged deodorant.

But! Confusion aside, I was still very, very happy to try out the new oil, and it didn’t disappoint.

Bio beaute nuxe deodorant roll on yellow review

The deodorant: Okay, first things first. This is NOT a lemon version of the Bio Beauté deodorant that I reviewed last year, a fact which I am super sad about. This the exact same deodorant, now in yellow packaging. It contains 10 essential oils and 5 floral waters to gently inhibit bacteria growth, starch powder to reduce moisture, and aloe vera for a little additional soothing – and yes, it still smells like candy. 

While I’m not crazy about smelling like I just got wrecked in a Wonka factory, this alcohol- and aluminum-free deodorant is actually very well-formulated (and 98% organic!) It works well on my man-smelly boyfriend, and leaves no stains on clothing.

Bio Beaute toning nourhishing body oil review

The oil: On the other hand, I loooove the Bio Beauté citron/toning body oil. It smells like lemon squares, sugared to perfection and waiting patiently for you on the kitchen counter (a scent that comes from a combination of citrus oils and vanilla), and the packaging is great: sleek but made of lightweight plastic, with a mister on top.

A spray-mister, unfortunately. Not a mister-mister. (Ugh, that bone structure. Those sad-sexy eyes. That really good hair.)

Bio Beauté notes that this oil is quick-absorbing (true!) but perfect for a massage, which… Boyfriend had better get on that; that’s all I’m saying. It’s not really much of a toning product, but as a body oil, it’s lovely.

Bio Beaute deodorant review

The verdict?

It’s a bit confusing that Bio Beauté has quietly relaunched their 24HR Refreshing Deodorant in yellow (but otherwise identical) packaging, presumably to differentiate it from the “Bio Beauté Body” anti-perspirant, but that’s honestly my only complaint about these launches. Stop gaslighting me, Bio Beauté! I’ve only ever shown you love!

The new Toning & Nourishing Satin-Touch Oil is a lemon-scented dream, and I love that it features lots of organic ingredients & fair trade oils. It smells delicious, too, and as we all know… the way to any twenty-something’s heart is through their stomach.

Availability: $13 CAD (deodorant) to $26 CAD (body oil). New as of June 2016 & available exclusively at Shoppers Drug Mart.

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