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!

Additional photos & more »

Lush Smuggler’s Soul Shampoo Bar, Cream review, photos | Father’s Day picks for you & dad

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Lush smugglers soul multi purpose cream

The products: LUSH Smuggler’s Soul Shampoo Bar & Multi-Purpose Cream

This year, Lush launches its largest-ever Father’s Day collection. One of the key lines featured in it is Smuggler’s Soul, a range of three products that are all scented with the brand’s sandalwoods-y, fresh-smelling perfume. (It also scents their permanent-collection eponymous solid perfume & the Lush Veerappan Moustache Wax.)

The key notes of Smuggler’s Soul include sandalwood, vetiver, and lemongrass. 

Availability: Lush’s Father’s Day 2016 collection is available online now & in stores as of June 13th. Limited edition.

Lush Smuggler's Soul shampoo bar review

Smuggler’s Soul Shampoo Bar ($16.95 CAD)

I’ve always been very, very skeptical of Lush’s whole shampoo bar thing, but these things are actually pretty ingenious. The Smuggler’s Soul Shampoo Bar ($16.95 CAD) is formulated to wash and condition in three quick swoops of the bar from root to tip, and it’s made with fair trade cocoa butter, fresh cucumber, and Lush’s Smuggler’s Soul perfume.

Lush shampoo bar review

I was surprised to find that this shampoo bar really did actually only need three swipes to cleanse my entire scalp, and that the entire process was really simple and not at all camping-y. However, Smuggler’s Soul is full of super-stripping SLSs (hence the thick foam), and it left my hair feeling squeaky-clean and a little dry.

My oily roots actually really love this stuff, but my dry ends… not so much. I know that many men have been conditioned to love squeaky-clean finishes, but I’d recommend going for for one of their more hydrating shampoo bars if you have the choice.

Lush shampoo bar review smugglers soul

Smuggler’s Soul Multi-Purpose Cream ($18.95 CAD)

Lush’s Smuggler’s Soul Multi-Purpose Cream ($18.95 CAD) is totally, unequivocally, 100% a dad productIt’s a nice but largely generic-smelling men’s product that’s extremely liquidy and lightweight, and it’s designed to be used for everything: hands, body, face, hair. 

Lush smugglers soul multi purpose cream review

It is also, sadly, priced very much in line with the beauty industry’s pinkwashing–that is to say, as a men’s product, it’s no worse than a women’s product but costs just a fraction of the price (a practice that I’m very disappointed to see Lush engaging in.)

At the price, though, Smuggler’s Soul is an awesome product. I’d recommend buying two: one for dad, and one for you! It makes a nice, light lotion for your hair/face/body while it’s hot and humid out, and if you have dry skin, it feels absolutely glorious with a couple drops of rosehip oil added in.

Lush mens lotion review

Keep reading! »

Irresistible Me Royal Remy Hair Extensions review: Why you SHOULDN’T buy from Irresistible Me

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Irresistible Me Royal Remy extensions review

As a blogger, one of the toughest parts of my job is deciding how to interact with companies. That can be as simple as choosing to accept a product for review, or as complicated as deciding to discuss a company’s non-consumer interactions publicly.

It’s an unspoken rule of the beauty industry that you never shame a brand publicly for a bad PR interaction, which is (usually) fair. However, this is a prime example of how a company’s internal policies can lead them to treat regular Janes like a consumable resource, and as a consumer, I know I would want to hear about something like that.

I think you can tell a lot about a brand based on how they interact behind the scenes, so here’s a short story about the very-resistible Irresistible Me.

Positivity injection: Marcelle, The Detox Market, and Bella Aura are three brands that are all good to the core!

Irresistible Me hair extensions review

Irresistible Me Royal Remy extensions 20″/200g review – Platinum Blonde #613

The extensions

I was sent the Irresistible Me Royal Platinum Blonde #613 extensions in 20 inches/200 grams, which I chose so that I could colour them – dark roots with lilac ends (because reasons!!), with future plans for dark grey. The extensions themselves are soft and full, but I did find that the “platinum blonde” colour ran dark in sections and rather yellow overall.

Price comparison

Irresistible Me 200g/20″ extensions: $299 USD note: do not sign up for an Irresistible Me account (required to access their site) unless you really wanna be automatically signed up for emails with no “unsubscribe” link. 

Bellami Hair 160g/20″ extensions: $159.99 USD (closest comparable style)

Luxy Hair 200g/20″ extensions: $209 USD

Irresistible Me blonde extensions in black hair

I photographed these before colouring them. They look somewhat less obvious with dark roots. 

(Makeup look: Maison Kitsuné for Shu Uemura)

However, even after colouring them, I found that the Royal Remy extensions were very visible when installed. Instead of adding volume to my slightly thin hair, they add weight – my ends look fuller, but the bands are so thick that you can see them no matter what. Maybe that’s just the nature of extensions, but I’d recommend going with a lighter weight if you’re unsure.

Manic Panic, Biolage - dying hair extensions

Waiting to be tinted with a bit of Manic Panic Ultra Violet & Biolage RepairInside conditioner!

Irresistible Me review clips

The base of the thickest Royal Remy weft

The company 

To this date, I have exchanged 31 emails with Irresistible Me. (“Normal” for a new brand relationship is 6 emails, tops.) theNotice’s disclaimer clearly states that all press samples are accepted for consideration only, but despite this, I hear from Irresistible Me twice a month, every month.

I stopped replying to their emails in early April after letting them know that I would include a mention for them in an editorial out of courtesy, but would not be reviewing them due to the product’s visibility issues. Since then, they’ve sent me four emails and have even started leaving comments here asking for a reply–which were (hilariously) marked as spam by IntenseDebate.

Irresistible Me hair extensions review - demarcations

Platinum Blonde extensions + Maison Kitsuné for Shu Uemura makeup

Irresistible Me hair extensions review - base

Irresistible Me Royal Remy 200g extensions (back view)

Irresistible Me royal remy platinum blonde 20 in review

Irresistible Me Platinum Blonde extensions review, photos

To be fair, my contact has been really lovely and polite in every email. But I’ve talked to over a dozen other Canadian beauty bloggers (yay, CBBers!), and all of them have experienced the same treatment or a more aggressive version thereof: constant emails, “check-ins,” comments; you name it. It’s clearly a company-wide policy to harass bloggers until they review in order to build a false hype about the product, and that’s super not cool with me.

A bad point of contact with a single blogger is an anomaly, but the ongoing harassment of an entire group of bloggers is a pattern. It’s unprofessional and unfair of a brand to demand a review from a blogger who is creating content with them for free, and you know what? I don’t want to support that kind of crap.

I wouldn’t tell you guys to befriend an ex who was following me around everywhere, and the same thing applies here. The Irresistible Me extensions are a good product, but they’re NOT a great deal – and they’re not worth okaying bad behaviour for.

Keep reading! »

Kérastase L’Incroyable Blowdry giveaway! | New This Week

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Kerastase L'Incroyable Blowdry lotion giveaway

Happy Sunday night, friends! I just have a short little post to share with you guys today — a giveaway of the brand new Kérastase L’Incroyable Blowdry lotion, which launched today.

L’Incroyable Blowdry is meant to help shape your hair and make your blowout feel clean for days, which is something that I–I am so lazy when it comes to my hair–can really get behind. It’s a “reshapable heat lotion,” and it’s designed to let you style and re-style without the need to wash between stylings — you just need to add heat.

(And not too much heat, either! This lotion offers heat protection up to 450°F/230°C, but you only need to take it to 150˚C to reshape.)

L'Incroyable Blowdry Anja Rubik

Anja Rubik, styled and restyled by Luigi Murenu using Kérastase L’Incroyable Blowdry.

Every formula that comes out nowadays has its hook, and L’Incroyable Blowdry’s is that it uses Stimuli Responsive Styling (developed at the L’Oreal Applied Research Labs) and a “reshapable microwax technology” to allow you to re-shape your hair up to four times before washing.

In other words… it uses beeswax (which has a melting point of 62-64˚C) to lock your style in place until you heat-style your hair again.

Kerastase L'Incroyable Bow Dry reshapable heat lotion giveaway

To enter the giveaway…

If you want to be one of the first to try out this new Kérastase product, you’re in luck! I’m giving away a bottle to celebrate its launch, and the giveaway is open to all Canadian residents over 18. Just use the widget below to enter!

This giveaway closes on May 15th at 11:59 PM MST. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The ingredients »

Dry skin must-haves & my April at-home spa essentials!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Silicone-free dry skin favourites

If you don’t follow me on Instagram (you should, because sometimes I meet puppies and take pictures of them), then you’ve probably missed these two product roundups. If you do, then a) thank you, and b) you’ll recognize the images. Don’t click away just yet, though, because there’s a lot more detail here!

Above, I have everything that I’m keeping sink-side right now.* For my dry, dehydrated skin, these have proven to be the best of the best so far. 

  • For super dry skin, I can’t speak highly enough about the DHC Extra Nighttime Moisture and Paula’s Choice Resist Moisture Renewal Oil Booster. The DHC is so creamy and hydrating, and the Paula’s Choice will get rid of any dry spots you have! I’m also really loving Le Sérum de Jacynthe (review soon), which I think is a bit pricy but is an excellent “green” option.
  • For sensitive skin, Bioderma Hydrabio H20 Micellar Solution is just fantastic. It’s scented, but I was surprised to find that it’s also incredibly gentle — noticeably more gentle than the Bioderma Sensibio Micellar Solution or the Marcelle 3-in-1 Micellar Water.
  • For dehydrated skin, the Paula’s Choice Optimal Results Hydrating Cleanser makes a huge difference for my skin. It doesn’t look very glamorous, but it’s creamy and luxurious, and leaves my skin feeling divine. My MIYU Beauty Essences are something that I can’t live without, too — I’ve now gone through four bottles, if you include the minis!

I’m also a big fan of the Aveeno Fresh Essentials Daily Nourishing Moisturizer SPF 30, which is relatively heavy, but my skin really likes. It’s not breathtakingly creamy or smooth or anything in particular, but it is affordable, comfortable, and silicone-free, and I think those are three pretty important things.

(Plus, it feels way better than a physical sunscreen, so there’s that.)

Processed with VSCOcam with se3 preset

I also posted about a little at-home spa day that I had on Sunday, which I wanted to update you guys on! It was my first time using a peel-off mask (so, so weird and cool) and the first time in a little while that I had taken the time to pamper myself with my Ahava goodies.

My skin has been so out of whack recently, and the half-hour it took me to mask and exfoliate before my shower really balanced things out. The Boscia Luminizing Black Mask tightened up my t-zone, and the Kérastase hair mask/exfoliator left my hair feeling super soft. (I could have still used more scalp exfoliation, though.)

But what I loooooved using again was this Ahava trio. I received them for a post & giveaway last year, but they’ve become some of my carefully-rationed favourites. My legs haven’t been this smooth in years (thank you, Liquid Dead Sea Salt), skin feels so soft, and my sheets now smell amazing.

But yeah; that’s what I’ve been up to! I also petted a dozen dogs on Sunday (VERY IMPORTANT) and took the rest of the weekend to let my body rest, and it’s been great.

What’s been keeping you busy (or not so busy) recently?

*Note: I’ve drifted away from the Jurlique and Tatcha since taking this photo. They’re both still great, but I’m just really into the Paula’s Choice cleanser right now!

Milestones, Makeovers, and the Matrix Color Lounge app | WIN a $250 gift basket from Matrix Canada!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Matrix Color Lounge app 3VR

*sponsored post

Happy Wednesday, folks! I’m writing this at one in the morning, and I just noticed the coolest thing while moderating a few late-night comments: theNotice passed 20 000 comments this week!

(Yes, really, twenty THOUSAND. For all of you wondering why it’s been three years and I still haven’t managed to switch over to Disqus successfully… well, that’s why. The importer keeps panicking and crying and breaking.)

So, to everyone who’s ever left a comment, thank you. Thank you so, so much. You guys are the bread and butter of theNotice, and I’m so happy to be able to share each and every day with you!

Matrix Color Lounge app UL-A+

image

But back to the topic at hand: the new Matrix Color Lounge. You know those makeover websites that you used to be able to go to to put fake blush and blonde wigs on your picture? Well, the Color Lounge is like that, but it’s the next generation of makeover apps.

It uses colour filters to let you try on a new colour on your actual hair, and gives you the option of adding things like highlights, ombré, and colour blocking to your new look, too. I gave the Color Lounge a go to try on grey, violet, and red hair, and I was really happy with my results — it lets you highlight what is and isn’t your hair, and even works on dark hair.

Matrix Color Lounge app 6RV+

Matrix giveaway

To celebrate the launch of this app, I’m giving away a big prize package from Matrix Canada (worth $250 — see above!!) The giveaway will run until 11:59 MST on Sunday, February 28th, and is open to all Canadian residents.

You can use the widget below to enter, or (for all of you guys who aren’t in Canada), you can download the Matrix Color Lounge app for free through the App Store or Google Play. Happy colouring!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep reading! »

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