Bio Beaute Flash Perfection review, swatches | A NYE-ready review!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Silicone-free Flash Perfection review

The product: Bio Beauté by Nuxe Flash Perfection Beautifying Serum

OH GOD IT’S THE LAST DAY OF 2015 I CAN’T HANDLE THIS HELP ME

Happy New Year’s Eve, readers! How are your holidays going?

I wasn’t really feeling a NYE makeup look this year, so I have a different New Year’s themed post for you instead: a review of this neat little Flash Perfection serum by Bio Beauté. It sounds pretty New Years Eve party-ish, right? Flawless and instant and, most importantly, luminous?

Bio Beaute Beautifying Serum review.jpg

What’s in it: This new Bio Beauté by Nuxe serum (well, not-so-new if you’re in France; I think it launched in the spring for all of you lucky ducks) is silicone-free and certified organic, and it’s lightly scented with a 100% natural rose, freesia, and raspberry fragrance. (I had to read the press release for that info — it honestly doesn’t really have much of a scent.)

What’s nifty about this serum, though, is that like products such as Deciem’s Photography Foundation and Neutrogena’s Instant Tone Corrector, it’s designed to blur out imperfections with “chameleon nacres” — basically, a light nude/peachy tint and delicate micro shimmer that instantly makes all skin tones look better.

Nuxe Flash Perfection serum swatch

But does it work? Sadly, on my skin… Not so much. It does make my skin look lovely and glowy, but it’s subtle. I was hoping Bio Beauté’s Flash Perfection would be a great pre-party product (perfect for things like New Years) because of, you know, the name, but it’s more of a lightly luminizing long term product for me. It’s still a nice serum, but didn’t really deliver on the flash!

On a dark or medium skin tone, I think you’d see more of an effect, but I don’t find myself reaching for this when I need a quick fix.

Bio Beaute By Nuxe Flash Perfection review.jpg

The verdict?

Sadly, Bio Beauté’s Flash Perfection Radiance Beautifying Serum wasn’t what I wanted it to be. It was a close thing, though — it does instantly make my skin look more luminous and smooth, but no more so than a great facial mist would have. 

However, I do think there’s a small group of people who would LOVE this product. If you really like the idea of those “instant complexion booster”-type products BUT you want something that’s (a) silicone-free or (b) truly invisible under a macro lens, this is going to be your jam. The trade-off will be that it won’t give you major results at a distance, though, so I think this one is best used daily for long-term luminosity instead! 

Availability: $37 CAD at select Shopper’s Drug Mart boutiques in Canada. (Should be available at the Beauty Boutique soon!)

Keep reading!

MIYU Soirée Essentials review, photos | The (Canadian!) Gift Guide

Thursday, December 17, 2015

MIYU Beauty Soiree Essentials kit review

The product: MIYU Beauty Soirée Essentials kit

Every Christmas, I like to pick out a couple “quick fix” gift ideas. Kits for under $100 that are luxurious, easy to wrap, easy to buy, and (most importantly of all) sure to please many. They’re a step above your standard hostess gift, but juuuust generic enough that you probably have 3 or 4 people in your life (if not more) that would absolutely love them.

MIYU Beauty Soiree Essentials kit

MIYU Beauty mirror

MIYU Soiree Essentials love juliet earrings

The MIYU Soirée Essentials kit ($69 CAD) contains a full-sized Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence and Hydrate Mi Tea, along with a Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence Mini to throw into your clutch or leave on your nightstand. But what I really love about this kit is that it isn’t only beauty products — it’s a complete, well-rounded gift, ready to wrap with a compact mirror and a set of sparkling pearl & crystal 14K gold plated drop earrings by Love Juliet.

I’ve reviewed the MIYU Beauty Essences before, so I won’t go too much into detail about Hydrate Mi, but I’m happy to say that I’m still using (and loving!) both my Hydrate Mi and De-Stress Mi Beauty Essences religiously.

I find that I actually my essences more now than I did when I wrote my review — they’re perfect for adding a veil of moisture to my super-dry skin right before bed or just as I wake up, and unlike all other beauty essences, they can be spritzed on to freshen up winter-dry foundation.

MIYU Beauty Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence, Tea review

I thought it was silly at first that MIYU put two Hydrate Mi essences in to this kit, but then it hit me: one is totally not enough. I keep a De-Stress Mi in my bathroom, and bottles of Hydrate Mi at my desk, in the bathroom cabinet at my partner’s place, and on my side of the bed. (I like to think of it as my portable humidifier, because it does about the same thing for my skin.)

If you’re searching for an awesome last-minute gift, or if you want to treat yourself for the holidays, the MIYU Beauty Soirée Essentials Kit ($69 CAD) is a great way to do it!

» Why gift MIYU? I love the MIYU brand because it’s a small Canadian business built around two absolutely inspiring ladies. CEO Connie Tai grew up here in Edmonton and has an extensive background in cosmetic chemistry and product development, so she actually gets it — she’s not just a pretty celebrity face behind a thrown-together brand.

Keep reading! »

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! »

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