Holiday survival guide | THE EDIT

Monday, December 5, 2016

{ holiday survival guide – products are clickable! }

MASK (AND THEN MASK SOME MORE) | Dr Jart+ and The Body Shop

The holidays can be tough to get through, so today, I’ve put together a fun (if rather indulgent) survival guide. Here’s what’s been getting me through the winter months, aside from lots and lots of kitten cuddles.

My first beauty-related survival concern is my flaky winter skin, but luckily, face masks are in right now. I’ve been using three in particular, two of which are photographed here: the pink moisturizing mask from the Dr. Jart+ Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay Trio ($31 CAD at Take Good Care; use NOTICE15 for 15% off), The Body Shop British Rose Plumping Mask ($28 CAD), which sinks in and feels like a total treat, and (not photographed) the SkinFood Black Sugar Honey Mask ($14 CAD) from Take Good Care – which is MAGIC.

POLISH & SHINE | Make Up For Ever and Inglot

I also go a little nuts with the highlighter in the winter always, and my go-to this month has been the Make Up For Ever Pro Light Fusion in 01 Golden Pink ($48 CAD), which I reviewed recently. My nails are currently bare, but I’m thinking of doing them up in a classic red like the Inglot O2M Breathable Nail Enamel in 652 ($19 CADbefore my next holiday party.

holiday-survival-guide-2016-saje-sudio

BREATHE IN | Saje and Sudio

December isn’t just dry: it can also be really stressful. To combat that, I’ve been enjoying the Saje Natural Perfume Collection ($42.95 CAD; reviewed here) when I need a pick-me-up and blasting my holiday tunes through my gorgeous Sudio Vasa Blå in Rose Gold Earphones ($140 CAD).

The Vasa Blå earphones are wireless and come with a built-in microphone, so you can stay plugged into your music without a) getting broken up with because you won’t “turn off the damn Christmas music already, Rae, goddammit,” or b) getting tangled up in a mess of ribbon and earphone cords, and quietly starving to death in front of a plate of gingerbread that you can’t quite reach.

RELAX | Vixen and Inception

I’d be lying if I said that a bit of aromatherapy and holiday music was enough to take my stress levels right down. For everyone out there who needs a little extra to clear their mind, may I suggest a bubble bath, a bottle of wine (this is the fruity Inception Irresistible White 2016, which comes with an adorable apple-shaped lip balm), and some quality time with the Vixen Creations Maverick ($105.99 USD at SheVibe)?

If you have a great holiday survival tip, come share it in the comments below!

Saje Natural Perfume Collection + Goddess, Ananda | The Gift Guide

Monday, November 28, 2016

saje-natural-perfumes-review-shanthi-tantra-yoga

The products: Saje Natural Perfume Collection; Goddess and Ananda Perfumes

You know how I shared my top holiday splurge recommendation on the blog last week? Well, Saje’s Natural Perfume Collection is my top budget pick. This review is all about the why (and I have plenty of reasons!)

saje-ananda-goddess-review-photos

Saje Natural Perfumes

I LOVE everything Saje, and the Saje Natural Perfumes ($29.95 CAD) are no exception. They’re absolutely beautifully designed products, and they feature something that I have never seen on the market before: gemstone rollerballs.

Each fragrance is based in jojoba seed oil and has a different gemstone associated with it. While I don’t fully buy into mysticism, part of me loves it. (Yes, I still go to witches’ markets a few times a year.) I adore the idea of associating fragrance with a goal, and I love the mindfulness that each gemstone brings.

saje-ananda-goddess-natural-perfume-rollerballs-review-photos

Take, for instance, Ananda: a sweet, floral citrus with notes of grapefruit, juniper berry, and ylang ylang. It directs the wearer to “embrace your truth,” and features a tiger’s eye gemstone to guide the wearer into identifying their needs versus their desires. (Tiger’s eye is said to be extremely grounding, and enhances willpower.)

I love Ananda–it may be my favourite of all five–but it’s a very “bright” scent. For an earthier floral that’s still very popular, there’s always Goddess: a floral citrus with a vanilla base. It features strong notes of rose otto and jasmine, and its gemstone is rose quartz.

saje-natural-perfume-gift-set-review-photos

The Saje Natural Perfume Collection 

There are a lot of similarities between all of Saje’s scents, which is why I love the concept of their Saje Natural Perfume Collection ($49.95 CAD). It’s just as delicately made as their full sizes, but it allows you (or a loved one) to try each scent on your own schedule. Each one will last for weeks of use, so don’t be wary of the smaller rollerballs!

saje-natural-perfume-collection-review-gift-guide-photos

For instance, if you didn’t love Goddess and Ananda you’re insane and we can’t be friends, because Ananda is perfection, perhaps you might like Shanthi. Its rollerball is made from white marble to inspire mindfulness, and it smells like an herb garden – lots of lime, lemongrass, basil, and nutmeg. Smelling like an herb garden isn’t my thing, but I have to admit: it smells bloody tasty. 

For a very “incense-y” scent, there’s Yoga, which smells a bit like an alt clothing store or meditation studio. Its gemstone is an amethyst, and it smells mostly of michelia champaca oil.

saje-natural-perfume-review-photos-comparisons

If you’re looking to get busy, there’s always Tantra, too.

Tantra is weird for me, because it does NOT smell like a sexy fragrance to me. I like it a lot, but… mostly it smells like incense and ginger ale: delicious, and also like diabetes. Its gemstone is a cheeky jade sphere (you know, because jade is lucky), and it’s a really complex scent. It has notes of champa, like Yoga, but it gets its “ginger ale” vibes from sweet palmarosa and spicy ginger.

Even if you’re not planning on buying, I’d suggest going into a Saje someday just to give Tantra a try. Olfactorily*, it’s a lot of fun!

saje-tantra-review-photos-roll-on-perfume

The verdict?

Saje’s natural perfumes are one of my top gift picks for so many reasons. I love the concept of gemstone rollerballs, but more than that, I love that they’re made from essential oils. Anyone who has worn a purely essential oil perfume before will know two things: they wear very close to the skin, and they fade quickly.

For that reason, they hit a middle ground between “perfume” and “self-care” that sits so well with me. They can most certainly be worn in conjunction with a favourite perfume, and they’re very inoffensive – whether you were to gift someone one or the entire set, there is something in each to appreciate.

Especially in Tantra.

Availability: Single perfumes are $29.95 CAD at Saje; the set is $49.95 CAD. (Get 20% off everything until the end of today!)

*Autocorrect and I are having an argument over this one, but I KNOW WORDS. If the OED says that I’m allowed to say it, I’m allowed to say it. 

Sunshine Tonic: My Demeter Blending Trio review | Gin & Tonic, Clean Skin, and Sunshine

Friday, August 19, 2016

Demeter Custom Blending Kit review photos

The products: Demeter Fragrance Library Gin & Tonic, Clean Skin, and Sunshine Cologne Sprays

You know when there’s something that’s so exciting that you want to share it with all of your friends right away? For me, this Demeter post is just that. (You guys are the friends, in case that part wasn’t clear.)

I very recently received a personalized Demeter Foolproof Blending Trio from their Classic Catalogue thanks to a collaboration that I’m doing with the CBB, and I’m feeling pretty ready to review the trio. Demeter’s single-note fragrances are all pretty comprehensible, so it wasn’t too big of a task to get to know these three in depth.

Did you know that… Demeter is a family owned business? It’s true! All of their products are also cruelty-free, and 95% of them are derived from natural or renewable resources.

Demeter custom blending trio review classic kit

The scents on their own 

My kit included three bright, clean fragrances that were all a little sharp to my nose. They’re not austere like the CB I Hate Perfume line is (fun fact, Christopher Brosius’ first perfume line was actually Demeter), but they’re fun. They’re good for the price, and they’re nice if you want a scent to briefly amuse your nose and then leave you alone.

(But for real: is this a thing that other people want? Because it’s a thing that I want sometimes.)

Demeter clean skin review

Clean Skin ($18 USD/1 oz), one of Demeter’s most popular scents, smells remarkably different on the skin than it does on paper. I’m not a fan of the “floral candy” scent itself, but this is exactly how I love to wear my fragrances: in many spots, but very, very sparsely. It would be a lovely fragrance for someone just finding their olfactory footing.

After the first fifteen minutes, Clean Skin smells like a nice fabric softener. No complaints or judgement–a great fabric softener scent is super tough to find–but take from that what you may.

Demeter Gin and Tonic cologne review

I was incredibly excited to try Gin & Tonic ($18 USD), and I liked it well enough – but it can be a bit obnoxious. It smells a bit like a drugstore shower product, sweet and tangy with plenty of citrus, but it’s just not boozy at all on my skin.

Like most of the Demeter line, Gin & Tonic is fun to throw on but lacks any real longevity. It too plays much better on my skin than it does on paper (where it smells kind of like sticky booze), though, so your mileage may vary. On a hot day or with the right skin chemistry, this is a real treat!

Demeter sunshine review

Finally, I spent some quality time with Sunshine ($18 USD), which had the most lasting power by far. It smells like the summer, not sunshine: warm and sweet and a little chemical-y.

I am loathe to say this about anything, but I hated it. I hated it all around. I’d rather smell like a chic robot than a human being with an urge to go to the exhibition, but if that’s your thing… hey, maybe you could love this as much as I don’t. Balance the scales for me.

Demeter custom blend

My custom-blended Sunshine Tonic

Is a Sunshine Tonic a drink, a cure for the blues, or a 9 AM shot of gin on the morning after?

I honestly have no idea, so I’ll tell you what a Sunshine Tonic feels like instead. It’s mostly Gin & Tonic with just a tenth of Sunshine, and it feels like summer afternoons. It feels like running in a grassy field slathered in mosquito repellant, water in the distance, cold feet and a chilly wind cutting the summer day. It’s simple and heavy-handed, but just made of pure joy.

The sweetness of Sunshine is overpowering, and just a touch turns Gin & Tonic into a family-friendly affair. It’s a weekend at the lake as kids, you know? Not something that you’d want to do every day, but something that makes you smile when you think of it. 

Demeter custom blending trio review

The verdict?

If you’re going to love the Demeter line, you totally already know that you will. It contains an astoundingly wide range of very simple scents, and it gets you because they’re just so easy to mix together.

I didn’t love any of these scents on their own, but you know what? This fragrance blending kit is FUN. It’s some of the most fun that I’ve had all month, and I would do it again at the drop of a hat.

So the scents smell a little cheap and don’t have a lot of lasting power – it’s not about starting a niche perfume business. It’s about having fun; it’s a Paint Nite for your nose, except it’s easier to hide any botched projects and you don’t have to desecrate the word “night” to do it.

Availability: $45 USD for the trio and blending kit. ($59.40 USD if bought separately).

Keep reading! »

Libertine Fragrance Soft Woods EdT review, photos

Monday, August 8, 2016

Libertine soft woods roll on review photos

The product: Libertine Fragrance Soft Woods Eau de Toilette Roll-On

One of my favourite fragrances got a bit of a facelift recently, so I thought I’d take a moment to share it with all of you while it was fresh in my mind. Soft Woods (like the rest of the Libertine line) now comes in clear glass and a beautiful white box, but the scent and formula remain the same.

Libertine fragrance Soft Woods review photos

A little bit about Libertine: I’ve been trying my best to support local and indie businesses over the past couple of years, and Libertine Fragrance is basically the pinnacle of that–especially for me, because they’re based right here in Edmonton. Josh, the brand’s founder, is a forester turned designer who got hooked on perfume, and he now blends unisex fragrances right from the cozy comfort of his home.

(And yes, he still has a very forest-y beard. Hipster boys would weep in its wake.)

All of Libertine’s products are made by hand in small batches, and Josh uses a mix of high-quality synthetic and natural ingredients diluted in fractionated coconut oil or perfumers alcohol. Their blends are 60%-80% natural and are vegan and cruelty free, and all of the brand’s printing is done locally by a family-owned Edmonton business!

Edmonton indie Libertine Fragrance review, photos

The scent itself: I sniffed my way through the entire Libertine range at last year’s winter Royal Bison, but Soft Woods was the one scent that really stuck with me. It has this really guttural, sexy vibe to it, and it just envelops you in scent with the slightest touch of the roll-on.

Key notes and origins: Natural balsam fir (Canada), juniper (Hungary), black pepper (India), rose de mai (Egypt), frankincense (Oman), and bourbon vanilla (India). Synthetic, cruelty-free musk.

Indie soft woods fragrance review

What makes Soft Woods so special is that it’s sultry in a really natural kind of way – like hi, hello, I sleep in a pile of moss and everything I own is encrusted in gold and rubies. Small birds help me get dressed in the morning and my best friend is a cheetah. It’s woody, sweet, and floral, with an almost acrid edge that makes it alluring and risqué instead of headache-inducing or overpowering.

Basically, Soft Woods smells like what Tom Ford Black Orchid would have smelled like if it had been made for hipsters instead of ladies of the night. Both are gorgeous; one has far more veneer.

Soft woods review - Libertine Fragrance, edmonton

The verdict?

Soft Woods is a beautiful blend of woods, rose, and vanilla, and it smells like crisp winter evenings in utter silence. It’s one of those rare fragrances that hits it out of the park in every category, with a really genuine founder, excellently sourced ingredients, and the sillage of the roll-on is perfect for catching one’s nose and encouraging them to lean in for the full effect (nudge nudge).

Availability: $48 CAD at Libertine Fragrance and through these Canadian stockists. Ships internationally.

PS: If you’re addicted to Rahua products and Palo Santo wood (and really, who wouldn’t be), you NEED to try Libertine’s Leche De Palo Santo Linen & Body Spray ($32) as well!

Keep reading! »

2015 favourites: My makeup & fragrance must-haves

Monday, January 11, 2016

2015 makeup favourites

2015 was, for some reason, a major skincare year for me. I didn’t fall in love with any new makeup products until December, and while I do love those with a passion–well, it makes for a favourites list that is much the same as 2014’s.

Which was the same as 2013’s.

You can see where I’m going with this, right?

My favourite everyday products

2015 must-have makeup products

For me, “the basics” begin with a black eyeliner that never smudges (I rely on Annabelle SmudgePaints and Marcelle Double Extension eyeliners for that — I think I’m on my third Marcelle pen) and an eyeshadow base that can keep you totally crease-free (the cheap-as-dirt Wet ‘n Wild Fergie primer or Pür Mineral’s awesome new Eye Polishes, both of which perform, for me, leaps and bounds better than Urban Decay Primer Potion or NARS Pro Prime.)

You’re only as good as the number of people who fear you, after all, and raccoon eyes don’t usually make for terrified weeping.

Best products of 2015

I also couldn’t live without my Revlon Lip Butter in Sugar Plum (the perfect medium-coverage MLBB shade), a few matte eyeshadows to contour with, and a basic lip balm.

I’m currently fixated on Burt’s Bees’ Refreshing lip balm, which is only moderately hydrating. It smells like pink grapefruit, though, so I mean… Really.

Add in a ‘cone-free face powder (no one does a satin finish like Marcelle) and a flawless foundation (thank you again, Pür Minerals, you radiant, beautiful unicorn) and I’m all set.

My favourite colour products of 2015

Makeup colour product favourites

I discovered a lot of absolutely stellar brow products last year, but only a few made the cut for my favourites: Stila’s, which is glorious but outrageously overpriced, and Annabelle’s, which is as wonderful as it is budget-friendly.

My eyeshadow favourites haven’t changed at all–always Clarins, and always their flaky-shimmer quads–and neither have my lip and everyday mascara favourites: Imju Fiberwig (all hail the glow cloud magic of tubing technology), Burt’s Bees, and Clinique Chubby Sticks.

Cheek and eye favourites 2015

Brow and lip favourites 2015

I did add two totally new favourites to my repertoire last year, though, and I couldn’t be happier to have found them!

Annabelle’s Blush On range is awesome (for some reason, I always reach for them before my Clinique Cheek Pops), and the new blue and purple Clinique Chubby Lash mascaras wear like a champ. I don’t think the black shade is a must, but the blue? Totally.

My favourite tools of 2015

Makeup Brush favourites

My do-everything powder brush, Senna’s Powder Point Brush #33, is my only new favourite this year — but it lives at my partner’s house, so I’m afraid I couldn’t include it in this photo! I feel like that speaks for itself, though: it’s my only powder brush at his place, and it does a good job of applying foundation, powder, contour, blush, and highlighter. It doesn’t do an amazing job of any of them, but for that kind of versatility, I’ll live.

My favourite fragrances of 2015

2015 fragrance favourites

And last but not least… The perfumes that I couldn’t get enough of last year. I looooove Aerin Waterlily Sun (I’m wearing it right now, actually!) and Frédéric Malle Musc Ravageur, as I’ve talked about at length on theNotice, but I’ve been using Leila Lou by Rosie Jane a lot, too — it’s great for smelling really, really clean in an instant.

(And–ahem–it’s excellent for directing attention to certain areas at close range.)

What were your favourite products of 2015?

Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur & Dries Van Noten review, photos | The Gift Guide

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur review

Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur ($52 USD & up)

Have you ever owned a perfume that was just so gorgeously, inexplicably sexy that it made your eyes roll back a little?

For me, this scent has always been Frederic Malle’s Musc Ravageur, by Maurice Roucel. It’s an “amber oriental,” and ravageur is just the perfect way to describe it — it’s a visceral, punk kind of sexy, with clove and sandalwood on a cedar base shot through with vanilla. The original formulation, if you can find a bottle, opens on the skin with vanilla and gives way to the briefest window of just absolutely filthy musk before settling down.

Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur

I picked up a new travel spray of Musc Ravageur this past summer from the Holt’s on Bloor–the two men working the counter were just a joy to talk perfume with–and, as much as my love for this scent still endures, I am sad to report that even the pre-reformulation 2015 bottles of this scent are far less “dirty” than my bottle from 2008. It’s a change that perfumistas will hate, I think, but that most fragrance wearers will very much appreciate.

Even with the reformulation, Musc Ravageur is an absolute treat. I’ve been wearing it probably 4 days out of 7 this winter (which, for me, is like a love declaration written in blood), and it’s still quite a sexy scent. It feels a little more masculine without the animalic notes, but the tenacity is no less breathtaking — I can spray a scarf with this on Monday and still smell faintly like I rule the world on Friday.

Availability: $52 to $270 USD at Neiman MarcusBarneys, and Holt Renfrew ($245 CAD and up; travel sprays available only in-store).

Dries van Noten par Frederic Malle Eau de Toilette ($56 USD & up)

Frederic Malle Dries Van Noten review

While I was picking up my new bottle of Musc Ravageur, I was introduced to Dries van Noten by Frederic Malle, an “olfactory portrait” by Bruno Jovanovic that tells the story of Dries’ life in a bottle. (Pictured here is a rather gorgeous sample vial.)

It, too, is described as an oriental by the brand, but Dries is an entirely different beast than Musc Ravageur. It has much more throw than Musc Ravageur, and yet feels more organic: sweet and comforting, like a heavy sweater in a musty old library.

This one takes me back to Toronto in the summer, but I think the opening is a little too sweet for me to buy a full bottle. It develops nicely on the skin, though; soft and sugary with an Indian sandalwood base, and it makes me think of powdered lemon biscuits with tea at midday. Somewhere hot, perhaps — a leafy green rainforest that wraps you up in humid air and puts you softly to bed.

Availability: $56 to $290 USD at Barneys New York and Holt Renfrew ($265 CAD & up).

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...