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.

(more…)

Estee Lauder New Dimension reviews: Expert Liquid Tape; Shape + Sculpt Face Kit; FW15 previews

Monday, November 9, 2015

Estee Lauder New Dimensions review

I spent one lovely morning at the dream-inspiring 130 Bloor St. West (also known as the Lauder building) while in Toronto this summer, and at long last, I finally have a post ready to share them with all of you guys about all of the lovely gems I got to learn about while I was there!

I’ve got a Pure Colour Envy makeup follow-up to finish for you guys tomorrow, but for now, here are all the skincare goodies ;)

Estee Lauder New Dimensions Expert Liquid Tape review

Estée Lauder New Dimension collection

The New Dimension collection is your standard high-tech anti-ageing collection, designed to address the structure and volume of the skin to maximize contours and minimize wrinkles, but it contains one product that (I think) makes it really special: the Estée Lauder New Dimension Expert Liquid Tape ($70 USD/$78 CAD).

The Expert Liquid Tape is made to be used like actual tape, which is… kind of super cool. You’ll want to apply it to clean, dry skin and let it tighten and lift the area over the next 10 minutes, laying down thin, even strips of product from the brow bone, undereye, and nasolabial fold to the temple.

Estee Lauder Expert Liquid Tape review

Unfortunately, I didn’t see a lot of lift from the Expert Liquid Tape, and it’s definitely not (as I know some of you were wondering) strong enough to lift a monolid or add a double fold. It’s a very unique product, though, and I think it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re a fellow product nerd! ;)

Estee Lauder Sculpt Shape compact review

The other New Dimension product that I really got to test out is the Estée Lauder New Dimension Shape + Sculpt Face Kit ($50 USD/$55 CAD), which features two neutral-toned cream products and a sponge to blend them with.

Like the Expert Liquid Tape, however, the Estée Shape + Sculpt Face Kit didn’t quite work for me. The contour shade was too warm for my skintone, and the cream highlighter was actually darker than my face! (Which, yes, looks just as weird as you think it would.) 

Estee Lauder New Dimension Sculpt Shape Kit swatches

Estée Lauder New Dimension Shape + Sculpt Face Kit swatches

Estee Lauder New Dimensions contour kit review

Everything else! 

Aerin Rose Oil collection preview

Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy lip glosses review

Keep reading! »

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! »

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! 

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