Tatcha Camellia Beauty Oil & Cleansing Oil review, photos | Tsubaki oil for normal/oily skin types

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Tatcha cleansing oil review

The products: Tatcha Gold Camellia Beauty Oil & Pure One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil

Happy Tuesday, folks! I’ve got a couple Tatcha camellia oil products to share with you today, because the line has finally been picked up by Canadian Sephora stores & can be easily acquired, no firstborn/evil witch promises needed.

The Tatcha line features a lot of Camellia japonica flower oil, which is sometimes called Japanese tea oil or tsubaki oil. It’s an ingredient that’s used frequently in skincare thanks to its oleic acid triglyceride content (85%, just like human sebum), and it contains lots of skin-friendly antioxidants!

Tatcha One step Camellia Cleansing Oil review

Tatcha One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil ($48 USD/$58 CAD)

I started testing with the brand’s One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, which is a dual-purpose makeup remover & cleanser from Tatcha’s Pure product range. It’s one of the brand’s bestselling products, and it’s easy to see why: it’s a naturally fragranced, mineral oil-free cleansing oil that washes away with no residue.

I’ve actually tried Tatcha’s cleansing oil a couple of times, and I wasn’t a big fan of it in the past. I found out why this time around, though: I wasn’t using enough of it with my trial size, and I kept testing it out at my boyfriend’s apartment (which is dry like a high-tech science experiment and totally confounds my product testing results.)

Tatcha pure one step cameilla cleansing oil review

Now that I’m actually using enough Tatcha cleansing oil, I really like it. One pump removes all of my makeup, including eyeliner, and it leaves my skin feeling soft and clean.

I like a little more hydration from my daily cleanser, but this oil is super gentle, non-stripping, and non-greasy. It’s better for sensitive or dry skin than Shu Uemura or L’Occitane cleansing oils, and it smells way better than DHC’s Cleansing Oil (which I would otherwise slightly prefer.)

Overall, Tatcha’s cleansing oil is an awesome all-rounder. It’s a little pricey for a cleansing oil at $9.41 USD/oz, but it’s a formula that will work well for oily and dry skin, and it’s a great option for those with sensitive complexions.

Tatcha One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil ingredients:

Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Rice Bran Oil, Polyglyceryl-10 Dioleate, Polyglyceryl-2 Sesquicaprylate, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Glyceryl Behenate/Eicosadioate, Water, Algae Extract, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Glycerin, Ethylhexylglycerin, Alcohol, Natural Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol.

Tatcha cameillia beauty oil review

Tatcha Camellia Beauty Oil ($95 USD/$114 CAD)

I’ve also been carrying around the Tatcha Camellia Beauty Oil, which is scented with natural bamboo and green tea fragrances. (It smells quite a bit like a Shu Uemura cleansing oil, actually!) It’s a light, dry oil for the face, hair, and body, but I reserve it for face use only — my body has done nothing to deserve a $114 oil.

Like Tatcha’s Cleansing Oil, this serum/moisturizer is formulated around camellia oil and is appropriate for all skin types. I like a serum that’s a little thicker than this, but this oil blend is just moisturizing enough for my dry skin while still being lightweight enough for my boyfriend’s slightly oily skin, which is pretty cool. (Boyfriend actually says it’s the best-feeling oil he’s ever tried, so score one for Tatcha!)

Tatcha gold review Cameillia beauty oil serum

The Tatcha Camellia Beauty Oil is also formulated with olive-derived squalane, licorice root extract, and 24-karat gold flakes, making it great for regulating sebum production, calming down inflammation, and generally being super luxe. It’s also available in a 10 ml travel size, but the travel size is $33 — I’d say go for the full size and just enjoy how stately and luxurious the packaging is!

Tatcha Camellia Beauty Oil ingredients:

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Squalane (Olive Origin), Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Natural Fragrance, Polyglyceryl-10 Pentaisostearate, Dimer Dilinoleyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Macadamia, Rice Germ Oil, Water, Tocopherol, Licorice Extract, Rice Bran Oil Extract, Rice Extract, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Alcohol, Glycerin, Algae Extract, Gold, Phenoxyethanol.

Tatcha skincare review silicone free recommendations

The verdict?

I really liked both of these products (they’re definitely going into my regular skincare rotation), but at the price… they’re not must-haves for me. My dehydrated skin was left wanting, which I think it slightly inappropriate for products that are this expensive.

If I had to pick a word to describe Tatcha’s brand identity and product ethos, though, I would go with “exquisite.”  These products are beautiful right from the boxes to the ingredients, and I personally think that they outperform most department store brands at a similar price point.

I have yet to find anything in the line for super dry skin, but if you want to spoil your normal to oily skin, then give these two a try!

Availability: Tatcha.com and Sephora (US and Canada). Each full-sized Tatcha product purchased funds one day of school for a girl through the brand’s Beautiful Faces, Beautiful Futures partnership with Room to Read.

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Lise Watier Baiser Satin, Basier Velours reviews, swatches, photos | Matte liquid lipsticks you need

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Lise Watier Baiser Velours vs Satin lipstick review

The products: Lise Watier Baiser Velours in Party Kiss, Love Kiss, and Passion Kiss; Lise Watier Baiser Satin in Candy Kiss, Bombshell Kiss, and Red Hot Kiss

When the Baiser Velours Velvet Liquid Lipsticks launched last year, I couldn’t have been more excited. Between the gorgeous matte-and-shiny tubes and the absolute siren of a model that they photographed for the campaign, the Baiser Velours lipsticks sounded like they were going to be my next big lipstick love.

They fell short of my expectations (and fell to the bottom of my to-review pile), but then the Baiser Satins came out… and everything changed.

Lise Watier Baiser Velours liquid lipstick review

The Baiser Velours formula ($28 CAD)

The Lise Watier Baiser Velours formula is pigmented and extremely matte, with a dry, transfer-free finish (on glass), but I just couldn’t make myself fall in love with them.

Now, don’t get me wrong: they look AWESOME freshly applied. They’re the perfect “Instagram” lip; matte and opaque and incredibly sexy. But that transfer-free promise goes totally to the wind the second you put your lips to good use (with  casual, daytime-television-friendly make-outs; get your minds out of the gutter), and the formula starts getting pretty uncomfortable after about two hours.

What really kills me about the Baiser Velours formula, though, is the way that it gets messy. After 2-3 hours of making sure I don’t kiss any wayward strangers lest we both end up looking like bad horror movie extras, the inner rim of my lips does that thing that you see sometimes with lipglosses — you know, that thing where the product decides that it can’t handle the moisture and gets white and gooey and really gross. 

Lise Watier Love, Passion, Party Kiss swatches Baiser Velours

Lise Watier Baiser Velours lipstick swatches in Love Kiss, Party Kiss, and Passion Kiss (not fully dried down).

Lise Watier Baiser Satin vs Velours review

Lise Watier “Love Kiss” Baiser Velours on (your) left sides of lip in both pictures / “Bombshell Kiss” Baiser Satin on right side

So, well, these ones get a big “skip” from me, on account of the fact that I’d prefer if people didn’t think I had rabies. They’re awesome and sexy both inside and out, but the formula just doesn’t hold up!

The Lise Watier Baiser Velours ingredients:

Cyclopentasiloxane, Trimethylsiloxyphenyl Dimethicone, Neopentyl Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, Isododecane, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Triacontanyl PVP, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Methoxy PEG-17/Methoxy PEG-11/HDI Isocyanurate Trimer Cosspolymer, Fragrance, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Butylene Glycol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate.

+/- Titanium Dioxide, Red 6 Lake, Red 7 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, CI 77491, CI 77492, Iron Oxides, Red 28, Blue 1 Lake.

Lise Watier Baiser Satin liquid lipstick review

The new Baiser Satin formula ($28 CAD)

And then (and then!) this happened. Lise Waiter launched the Baiser Satin range, which is a satin-finish update on the award-winning Baiser Velours formula.

In reality, though? The Satins are totally less “slightly different flanker product” and more “OH GOD, HOW LOVELY.” They’re packaged in gorgeous, shiny tubes with window openings to reveal the colour of each shade, and their satin finish is absolutley perfect. It’s not as dry to the touch as the Velours formula, but it still looks quite matte — I’d say it’s in between a matte and a cream, with zero shimmer and a really comfortable hold. 

Lise Watier Bombshell, Candy, Red Hot Kiss swatches Baiser Satin

While the Baiser Velours have that totally dry (and dry to the touch) papery finish, the Satins feel more like a gloss and look like a non-MAC matte lipstick bullet: matte, but like, soft matte. I can get a comfortable five hours of wear out of them with no liner, lip balm, or lip primer, and they’re totally more “expression friendly” than the Velours.

Sure, the Satins don’t lock down immediately, but they do:

  • Offer even more pigmentation than the Baiser Velours lipsticks in a single swipe,
  • Feel super comfortable everywhere & wear well on the inner rim of the lip, and
  • Facilitate a wrinkle-free transition from wild grinning to sudden withering glares.

The Lise Watier Baiser Satin ingredients:

Polybutene, Diisostearyl Malate, Dimethicone, Trimethylsiloxyphenyl Dimethicone, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Silica, Dimethyl Silylate, Isododecane, Dimethicone/Vinyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Methoxy PEG-17/Methoxy PEG-11/Hdi Isocyanurate Trimer Crosspolymer, Parfum.

+/- Titanium Dioxide, Red 7 Lake, Yellow 6 Lake, Ci 77491, Ci 77492, Iron Oxides, Blue 1 Lake, Red 6, Red 28 Lake.

Lise Watier Rouge Satin liquid lipstick review

The verdict?

I feel bad dragging a product as pretty as the Lise Watier Baiser Velours lipsticks through the mud, but my dear readers — it had to be done. The Baiser Velours line is what you’ll want to go with for a paper-finish, opaque matte lip, but for everyone whose logic functions are still working else: the Lise Watier Baiser Satin lipsticks are totally the way to go.

The Baiser Satins are 9/10ths as sexy as their matte counterparts, but they make up for that extra 10% by wearing for twice as long, not crinkling after you smile, and not going goopy AT ALL on the outer or inner edges of the lip.

Availability: $28 CAD at LiseWatier.com (US & Canada) and in-store at Shopper’s Drug Mart, London Drugs, and the Hudson’s Bay Beauty Underground! Lise Watier is a cruelty-free Canadian brand.

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LUSH Valentine’s Day 2016 reviews, photos: The Kiss, Prince Charming, Unicorn Horn

Monday, February 8, 2016

LUSH Valentine's Day 2016 review

The products: LUSH The Kiss Lip Gloss and Lip Scrub, Prince Charming Shower Cream, and Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar

Lush has six pretty-in-pink, limited edition launches out for Valentine’s Day this year, and like they did with their fruity holiday releases, they’ve subverted expectations juuust a little bit with pomegranate and mandarin scented products. (Don’t worry, there are a few rose-scented ones as well, for all of us traditionalists.)

I tried out three of them and photographed one more, but I have to admit: my heart’s just not in it this year.

LUSH The Kiss Lipgloss swatch review

The Kiss Lip Gloss ($8.95 CAD) and Lip Scrub ($9.95 CAD)

Lush’s product page for The Kiss Lip Gloss leads you to believe that it’ll leave your lips shiny and pink, but while I do actually like this balm, it’s just that: a balm. It’s relatively hydrating and completely transparent, with a sheer, frosty shimmer finish and a scent that reminds me (and the others that I’ve asked) more of bubblegum than citrus. It’s not shiny, and it’s not pigmented, much less glossy and opaque (as it’s swatched on the Lush site.)

LUSH The Kiss Lip Scrub review

The Kiss comes in Lip Scrub format as well, and its twinkling pink sugar bits and edible red hearts had my hopes up high. But, like the last Lush scrub I tried, this one left my skin over-scrubbed and raw, and even though it’s described clearly as a “caster sugar scrub,” it’s half salt sea salt — so when you take Lush’s advice and lick up the excess, you end up with a very literal bitter, salty mouthful of disappointment. 

I have loved Lush’s lip products in the past, but these ones just aren’t working for me at all.

LUSH Prince Charming, The Kiss review swatches

The Kiss Lip Gloss swatch (yes, really), The Kiss Lip Scrub, and Prince Charming Shower Cream x2

LUSH Prince Charming Shower Cream review stain

Prince Charming Shower Cream ($9.95 CAD)

You’re killin’ me, Lush. You guys make some seriously awesome products (I’ve got, like, two measly uses of Gorgeous left and it makes me want to cry), and then there’s… this business.

For a company that prides itself on its natural, eco-friendly image, it’s weird to me that Lush keeps making all of these practically fluorescent Shower Creams. Like Lord of Misrule, Prince Charming can and will stain you and your shower, so watch out.

I get synthetic pomegranate & vanilla notes from this one, and while it does leave my skin feeling lovely and soft, that’s no excuse for staining. It performs more ore less okay under the spray of the shower, but if you apply this to dry skin, it WILL stain you pink with a vengeance.

So stop it, Lush. Seriously. No one else ever even has this problem.

LUSH Unicorn Horn Bath Bomb review photos

Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar ($7.95 CAD)

It turns out I still hate baths, so I can’t really tell you anything about the Lush Unicorn Horn Bubble Bar except LOOK, YOU GUYS. IT IS A RAINBOW UNICORN HORN AND IT IS COVERED IN GLITTER.

You need. Hell, I need, and I already have one. I wonder if I could tolerate a bath if I could convince boyfriend to sterilize the tub for me beforehand…

(Good for foaming up two baths, or for a single evening of super-plush lavender, ylang ylang, and neroli dreams.)

LUSH Unicorn Horn review photos

The verdict?

I loved that LUSH gave us something a little different this year, with pink products that don’t smell like roses, cocoa, or vanilla, but honestly… I’m a fan of the classics.

None of these products really “spoke” to me (well, aside from the unicorn horn, but who doesn’t that speak to), and love the idea of gifting your darling a bar of Roses All the Way Soap, or surprising them with a massage with of Lush’s classic massage bars. (I have Tender is the Night, which by some miracle still hasn’t gone bad, and I LOVE it.) I say skip the Lush Valentine’s Day launches this year, folks, and go with a tried-and-true from the brand instead.

Available: Limited edition at Lush stores and Lush.ca while supplies last!

Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm review, photos, comparison

Friday, January 29, 2016

Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm review

The product: Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm

In the world of high-end lip balms, there are few names that are muttered as frequently or as reverently as Rêve de Miel. This dense, potted lip balm has been an iconic product for more than twenty years, and despite the hundreds of lip balms that have launched since then, it remains the go-to lip balm recommendation for many.

Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm

The formula: The Nuxe Rêve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm is scented with honey and grapefruit, and smells comforting without smelling sticky-sweet (as I find many honey-scented products do). But what makes it so special is its texture.

I expected this lip balm to be waxy and hard, like my other favourite potted lip balms, but I couldn’t have been farther off the mark. Instead, it’s soft but dense, almost like a bowl of frosting that contains too much icing sugar — it’s mouldable and not at all sticky.

Nuxe Reve de Miel review photos

Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm texture

The wear: This stuff is lovely. It lingers throughout the night, forming a thick, protective layer over your lips and doing a great job of keeping moisture in.

It’s also soft enough that you can use it to treat other dry areas of skin (Nuxe actually recommends it), but I haven’t given this a go — the formula is full of silicones, and I think it may be breaking me out as it is. (Since I started testing it, I’ve been getting a recurrent blemish juuuust along my hairline in the very spot that my lip balm finger touches my face when I brush my hair back. Nowhere else!)

Nuxe Reve de Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm review texture comparison scent

The verdict?

It took me far too long to try this lip balm, but my opinion of it is clear: I’m a fan.

I am a fan, however, with reservations. If you’re sensitive to silicones, then I wouldn’t recommend this one for you; likewise, if you’re on a budget, I would try a different potted lip balm. This one preforms on par with or just slightly under the Osmia Organics and Bobbi Brown lip balms that I love, but due to its super-soft texture, a $17 pot won’t last you nearly as long.

However: that soft texture, created undoubtedly by waxes and oils suspended in silicones, is exactly why I would recommend this one as my #1 lip balm for dryness in combination with ageing skin. Its formula has virtually no drag, unlike the others that I have listed above, and will be far more gentle on your lips and lip contour area — a definite plus for many!

Availability: $19 USD/$17 CAD (!) at Shopper’s Drug Mart, Scarlet & Julia, Target (US), and Birchbox (US/Canada).

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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?

Shu Uemura x Maison Kitsuné holiday 2015 | Everyday makeup with party-ready palettes

Friday, January 8, 2016

Maison Kitsune for Shu Uemura makeup look

The holidays are over, the new year has begun, and you, this story’s intrepid beauty junkie, have been left with a mountain of holiday makeup pieces and no holiday parties to wear them to. 

Fear not! Because today, I’m delving into the gorgeous Maison Kitsuné for Shu Uemura collection to put together a makeup look that’s party and paper-writing ready. Your holiday palettes won’t need to go into hiding until next December after all!

Shu Uemura x Maison Kitsune makeup look

I decided to go with a really fresh, pink look with these palettes, so I started with the basics: first, my beloved ‘cone-free Pür Minerals 4-in-1 Makeup in Porcelain, then a sweep of the pink G1 Glow On Blush from the Indigo Beauty Remix Palette ($85 CAD).

To add definition to my features, I used (as always) just a tiny bit of plummy-brown eyeshadow under the cheekbones, then defined my brows with the Marcelle Eyebrow Pen in Universal Dark.

shu kitsune Beauty Remix palette - Indigo review

Shu Maison Kitsune Beauty Remix Plum palette EOTD

On the eyes, I used Pür Minerals Eye Polish in Satin as a base (you can see it worn alone in this holiday makeup look!) and Marcelle Double Precision Liquid Eyeliner Pen along the upper lash line.

I then swept the taupe and lilac purple shadows (P2 & P4) from the Plum Beauty Remix Smokey Eye & Cheek Palette ($85 CAD) through my lid, and used a fluffy brush to blend a small amount of the burgundy shadow (P1) from the same palette to the outer corner of my eyes.

Maison Kitsune for Shu Uemura Beauty Remix Palette plum review

shu maison kitsune makeup look fotd

There’s no such thing as enough glitter, so I finished the eye look by dabbing just a tiny amount of silver sparkles (P4) on the middle of my lid, and defining my lower lashline with the Shu Uemura x Maison Kitsuné Play & Remix Drawing Pencil in # G Gold and the taupe P2 shadow.

On my lips, I’m wearing the Maison Kitsuné for Shu Uemura Lacque Sparkler in Fleur Shine, a glossy lavender pink with pink microshimmer. Unlike some of the other Lacque Coutures, I found that Fleur Shine applied really evenly, and the sparkle was a lot finer than I was expecting — it’s actually a really wearable shade that I think many will love!

Maison Kitsune for Shu Uemura Fleur Shine Lacque Sparkler

Keep reading! »

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