Nip + Fab Dragon’s Blood Facial Radiance Pads review, photos | One for the adventurers…

Friday, April 3, 2015

Rodial Dragon's Blood review - cleansing pads

The product: Nip + Fab Dragon’s Blood Facial Radiance Cleansing Pads

DRAGON’S BLOOD, YOU GUYS. Dragon’s blood.

Nip + Fab Dragon's Blood skincare review photos

How it works: Rodial and their budget line, Nip + Fab, currently do these really cool “dragon’s blood” products featuring the bright red resin of the Sangre de Grado (Croton lechleri) tree — which literally translates to the dragon’s blood tree. The latex sap of the Sangre de Grado is used by locals as a liquid bandage, and it has strong antioxidant properties.

These pads contain “dragon’s blood” (to plump, sculpt, and protect the skin), witch hazel (to repair broken skin and reduce swelling), salicylic acid (to open blocked pores and gently exfoliate), and hyaluronic acid (to deliver intense hydration). I mean, they basically have it all.

Rodial Nip Fab Dragon's Blood peel cleansing pads

Nip + Fab Rodial Dragon's Blood Fix Cleansing Pads review photos

How they perform: For a measly $15, you get 60 of these thin, soft, strong cleansing pads. They’re nicely saturated with product, and they remove makeup like a dream.

I’ve never been crazy about makeup wipes (though I’m testing some out right now), but these? These, I love. One thin cotton pad is more than enough to remove the makeup from your entire face, so there’s very little waste involved, and they’re both really effective and super gentle. 

I can get all of my eye and face makeup off with one of these wipes, and they leave my skin feeling super clean and exfoliated. They also (surprisingly enough) don’t sting my eye area, and I can use the bumpy side for a little extra exfoliation or the smooth side if my skin’s feeling a little sensitive.

Nip + Fab Ddragon's Blood Cleansing Pads review

The only caveat(s): I really had to stretch to find these, but the Nip + Fab Dragon’s Blood Cleansing Pads don’t smell super great. A little astringent, like a peel.

Nip + Fab Hyaluronic Acid pad review

The verdict?

To this day, I still have no idea if you’re supposed to rinse after using these (I do), but I like them. Kind of a lot, honestly.

The Nip + Fab Dragon’s Blood Cleansing Pads are a fantastic way to up the dragon content of your life, and they perform really, really well. For a gentle exfoliation that won’t leave your skin peeling (or a gentle makeup remover that’ll really clean out your pores while getting everything off super quickly), definitely give these a try.

Availability: $12.99 USD/$14.95 CAD (for 60 pads) at Shopper’s Drug Mart, Ulta, or ASOS.

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Kaia Bamboo Tapioca Beads review, photos | A semi-DIY cleanser/exfoliator/mask

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Kaia Bamboo Tapioca Beads cleanser review

The product: Kaia Naturals Bamboo Tapioca Beads Daily Powdered Face Cleanser

How it works: DIY meets green beauty, baby! Instead of releasing a ready-made exfoliator, Kaia offers a cleansing kit comprised of an exfoliating powder, a mini vial of moringa oil, and instructions.

Now, I’m all about customizing products, and this kit is perfect for it. All you do is tap out some of the powder into your hand, then blend with a liquid to make a cleanser/mask/exfoliator that’s customized to meet your needs exactly.

Exfoliating powder review - Kaia

Kaia Naturals Bamboo Tapioca Beads kit

What to blend it with: Kaia recommends moringa oil, a makeup-removing dry oil that’s rich in vitamin C, but the sample they provided goes cloudy and thick in my (cold, cold, cold) bathroom. They also suggest water, yogurt (for a mask), other oils, and green tea.

I liked it best paired with my go-to cleanser, though — a dollop of Marcelle Essentials Cleansing Milk, a tap of powder, and you’re off to the races.

Kaia Bamboo Tapioca Beads review

Kaia Naturals Bamboo Tapioca Beads

Kaia Naturals review

The caveat: While I like the idea of this cleansing powder a lot, I still prefer an enzyme powder cleanser (like Tatcha’s) over a gritty one like this. But, as a physical exfoliator, this powder definitely isn’t too harsh for my sensitive skin, and is far less abrasive than all of the regular-line Clarisonic heads!

Kaia powdered face cleanser review

The verdict?

At $38, this cleansing powder is a little pricy — but it leaves my face feeling super soft. I love that Kaia has taken the usual approach to cleansing and broken it down into its component parts, allowing the consumer to decide how to use the product without needing to buy three separate versions of it.

If you’re really picky about things being just-so (or if you need an exfoliator/cleanser for your carry-on luggage), then definitely give this one a look. My recommendation? Go with the refill, not the kit — you’ll save $8 and all you miss out on is a spoon and a tiny-baby vial of oil.

Availability: $38 USD/CAD at Kaia Naturals and select Holt Renfrew locations.

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Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser – Foaming Wash review, photos | Currently hooked on…

Friday, March 13, 2015

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser Foaming Wash review

Okay, so you know how I took that trip to Toronto a couple of weeks ago? Well, like an idiot, I totally forgot to bring soap with me — I guess I figured my crazy-dry skin could handle bar soap for a couple of days or something. (WHY, Rae.)

Luckily for me, my welcome basket from Neutrogena just so happened to contain this little gem, which I’ve always passed over for its non-foaming creamy counterpart!

Neutrogena face body wash review

Turns out, Neutrogena’s Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser is ultra gentle — and the foaming version is AMAZING as a bodywash. It feels and smells super luxurious in the shower, but because it’s an enormous face wash from a drugstore brand, it’s not going to run you $20-30 like a lot of department-store body washes will.

Plus, it comes in totally cute, sensible packaging, and it foams up really easily. (I’ve always found that shower gels are too thick to really enjoy using unless you put them on a shower puff.) So the next time you’re at the drugstore and you feel like treating yourself to something: give this a go! 

I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie review: Hammam, Gommage, and Deep Tissue Massage | theNotice goes to Toronto!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Toronto spa review hammam Caudalie

The Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie is located on the fifth floor of the Shangri-La Hotel, but you’d never know it by the decor. This spa is a cozy, Middle Eastern-inspired haven from city life decorated with low lights, exquisite dark wood cutouts, and gently curving furniture that warms and welcomes you in from the busy city streets.

Note: I lost all of my photos of this gorgeous location, so unfortunately, you’re going to have to re-live my experience through photos provided by the spa! (And, okay, edited rather extensively by me because when do I not.)

Miraj Hammam Caudalie Alahambra Lounge review

The relaxation lounge within the Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie

The Hammam & Gommage (30 min/$130 CAD)

What makes the Miraj Hammam Spa unique is their private hammam (Turkish bath) rooms, which contain a high intensity steam chamber inside of a warm, low mist chamber.

The spa’s Hammam & Gommage treatment begins with 10 minutes in the steam room, which is a really intense experience — it’s literally so heavy and dense with steam in there that I had a bit of a claustrophobic panic going in (and I’m not even claustrophobic). It opens your pores right up, and I was left warm, tingling, fresh-faced, and dripping with condensation! Facials have nothing on this.

Miraj Hammam steam room spa review Caudalie

One of the two steam rooms, sans steam

I wasn’t crazy about the gommage, though I know a lot of other reviewers have loved it. For this part of the treatment, you lie (preferably naked) on Jerusalem gold marble in the low-intensity steam chamber, and a spa attendant scrubs you down using tingly, eucalyptus-infused black Moroccan soap on exfoliating gloves — no grit-paste involved.

My gommage treatment left me feeling wonderfully raw and smooth, but… also kind of like a horse. I mean, the woman who preformed my treatment was fantastic, and my back feels suuuuuper smooth, but I’m thinking that getting literally hosed down by a stranger might just be too clinical for me.

Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie services menu

The Deep Tissue Massage (30 min/$90 CAD)

My second treatment of the day was the spa’s 30 minute Deep Tissue Massage, which uses pressure techniques to target stressed muscles and increase circulation. It left me feeling limber but not sore, and my (registered) massage therapist used mostly pushing and pulling movements, not kneading ones.

The finishing touches for this massage were great, too: the table that you lie on is heated (perfect for the winter), you’re covered by a warm, heavy blanket where you’re not being massaged, and a Caudalie candle burns quietly on the side table. You can also choose from unscented, orange blossom, or clove-enriched grapeseed oil for your massage (I chose the clove, of course!), which is great for those with scent sensitivities.

Miraj Hammam by Caudalie spa review gommage massage

The Alahambra Lounge

The Alhambra Lounge

Finally, every visit to the Miraj Hammam Spa ends in their Alhambra Lounge, which is a gorgeous, dimly-lit room walled with what can only be described as relaxation cubicles. The room has a very soothing, intimate feel to it, and you’re served a perfectly-spiced shot of sweet chai tea along with (a hilarious) three grapes and a piece of baklava.

» Can we talk about that baklava for a moment, though? Because I swear, it was the most delicious piece of baklava that I have ever had in my life — it was small, light, and syrupy, and reminded me a lot of jalebi (aka the best thing ever).

Once you’re ready to leave the Alhambra Lounge (if you’re ever ready, that is), it’s back to the change rooms, where the showers are equipped with rain-style and handheld shower heads and the shelves come stocked with Caudalie products.

Caudalie spa review Toronto

The verdict?

I can’t believe I’m saying this about a spa, but: yes, I would absolutely go back. The hammam is a must-experience (you can add it onto any service for $25), and the atmosphere at the Miraj Hammam Spa is just so welcoming and relaxing – even for an awkward twenty-something.

For a luxurious treatment that really will leave you feeling fantastic, I recommend the Hammam & 60 Minute Personalized Massage ($195) as a serious indulgence, or the 30 minute Deep Tissue Massage with a 15 minute Hammam booked separately ($115) if you’re just feeling a little under the weather and want to come out glowing. 

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Curated Clarins favourites hauls | Valentine’s Day Bloggers’ Favourites

Monday, February 2, 2015

Clarins Blogger Favourites

I wanted you guys to get the chance to try out my Clarins body favourites, so when I found out they were doing a five-piece sample promotion until the 4th, I kinda… curated a couple orders for you guys. (I’m sorry. I couldn’t help it.)

Here’s how to get the most bang for your buck while trying out my Clarins body favourites!

» See the feature here & use code RAE to get five free samples + free shipping with no minimum!

Clarins Skin Tone Palette deal free shipping

Clarins Skin Tones Eye Quartet Mineral Palette (Graphites has been discontinued!)

Keep reading! »

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