Swan Squeeze Kiss rechargeable vibrator review, photos (BMS Factory “The Swan Kiss”)

Friday, July 15, 2016

The Swan Kiss vibrator review

The product: Swan (BMS Factory) Squeeze Control “The Swan Kiss” vibrator

A little while ago, I posted a review of an absolute powerhouse of a vibrator: the Swan Wand.

Today, I have another Swan toy to share with you, and I’m just as psyched about it–but for very different reasons. This little guy doesn’t have the girth, power, or battery life of the Swan Wand, and yet, I find myself reaching for it even more often.

The Swan Squeeze review Kiss

The features: The Swan Squeeze Kiss is a weird dude. It’s whale-shaped (well, if whales had segmented bodies) and squishy on the sides of its biggest segment, almost like a really firm balloon.

It has all the basics that you want in a good sex toy (waterproof, submersible, rechargeable, 100% silicone), and has a solid run/charge cycle of 3 hours each. It’s also very quiet, which is excellent!

The Swan Kiss vibrator review photos comparison

Instead of clicking a button to increase the speed of the Swan Kiss or change its pattern, everything is squeeze-based. The harder you squeeze, the stronger the toy will vibrate. To lock in a speed, you click the button while squeezing; to set a pattern, you turn on “Mimic Mode” and squeeze to your heart’s content.

In terms of strength of vibration, the Kiss is good, but it’s not great. It’s more powerful than my Leaf Life, but is less powerful than my We-Vibe Tango or Je Joue MiMi Soft (admittedly my two favourites). It sits in the middle ground for rumbliness as well; more rumbly than Lelo, but not quite rumbly enough for my tastes.

Swan Squeeze kiss review packaging

Swan Squeeze packaging – Teal (also available in a much less epic pink)

What makes it special: What I really love about the Swan Kiss, though, isn’t its squeeze control–in fact, I’d prefer a remote. What I love about it is its shape.

The Swan Kiss only has one motor in its middle segment, but the vibrations transmit well through silicone. It makes the little “whale tail” flicker as the vibrations gently touch a surface, stroking in a “come hither” motion if you arc from a low speed to a high one.

So, um. That’s cool. Cool is one word for that. (Another appropriate one may be “hrrrrngh.”)

The Swan Squeeze vibrator review - the swan kiss

But EVEN COOLER than that is that the Swan Kiss can be used hands-free and internally thanks to its “100% play area.” Try it with the tail pointing downwards and the rest of the toy wedged easily between your thighs, or by using the balloon portion internally, with the rest of the toy resting on your vulva and clitoris.

(Anatomically correct words! Know them. Love them. Embrace them.)

As an internal toy, the Swan Kiss isn’t designed to be used other objects, but it stays in place very well for me. If it had more rumble or more power, it might just be my perfect vibrator. (As it is, it’s lovely, but not an all ’rounder for me!)

Swan Squeeze Kiss rechargeable silicone vibrator review copy

eeeeeeeeee!

The verdict?

Whereas the Swan Wand is something that I think would do well in any sex toy arsenal, the Swan Squeeze Kiss is more of a niche product. You have to specifically like hands-free toys to really get the most out of it, but for those who do, it’s an excellent choice – the best I’ve ever come across.

It has a very respectable run time and is a great way to experience pleasure while your hands are doing other stuff. I’ll let your imaginations take it from there.

Availability: $99 USD. The Swan Kiss is still brand new, so availability is a little bit sparse. In Canada, you can find at Aren’t We Naughty and Sexy et Compagnie; worldwide, you can order it through swanvibes.com. Expect a broader launch August 2016!

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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 »

Thursday Plantation essential oils review, DIY ideas, & giveaway

Monday, June 20, 2016

Thursday Plantation essential oils review

The products: Thursday Plantation 100% Pure Eucalyptus Oil, Tea Tree Oil, and Lavender Oil

I like to go the natural route whenever I can, so I’ve been playing around a lot with essential oils this year. In a rather fortuitous turn of events, I was sent this lovely kit from Thursday Plantation just weeks after I fell in love with tea tree oil, and I’ve been using it non-stop in all sorts of ways ever since!

Thursday Plantation is an Australian company that sells essential oils (these three key oils, plus smaller aromatherapy oils like rosewood and patchouli), ready-made products (mostly things with tea tree and aloe), and facial oils. I’m just focusing on these three for the moment, but I’m excited to branch out someday… maybe when I’m braver.

Lavener oil diy beauty

The one thing that always kills me about essential oils is how expensive they can be, so it was awesome to see how affordable and high-quality these oils are. They’re 100% pure and packaged in amber glass, and they come in a range of sizes. The eucalyptus oil, which is great for sanitizing things around the house, comes in 100 and 200ml versions as well; the tea tree comes in smaller sizes (perfect if you’re just going to be using it as an acne treatment); and the lavender oil comes in a 50 ml for those of you who want to get really soothed.

(Not me. I’m not here for the soothing at allll.)

Thursday Plantation essential oils review sizing

Overall, the Thursday Plantation range is more affordable than something like Aura Cacia and more expensive than NOW Solutions, but I prefer it over both: Aura Cacia sells some excellent organic oils, but I find they have trouble with quality control, and NOW Solutions sells really affordable carrier oils, but their more delicate oils can be questionable–their rosehip oil, for instance, is utter crap. Again, I haven’t tried the full Thursday Plantation lineup so my opinion may change someday, but I was very happy with the quality of these!

Thursday Plantation has a 100 Uses for TP campaign going on that’s pretty cool–as you might have guessed, it’s a list of 100 things that you can use these three oils for (sadly not a list of 100 uses for toilet paper), but here are some of my favourites.

Thursday Plantation Tea Tree Oil review

Tea tree oil ($23.99 CAD/50 ml) 

Tea tree oil is Thursday Plantation’s big thing, and they do it very well. It’s 100% pure and contains at least 30% more terpinen-4-ol (the part of tea tree oil that makes it germicidal) than is required by international standards, so even a single drop is a very effective antiseptic.

According to Thursday Plantation, tea tree oil “inhibits a broad spectrum of bacteria and fungi […] and does not inhibit normal cell growth,” so it’s safe to use on small cuts and stuff to clean the area without a broad-spectrum antibiotic.

  • Great for treating pimples and bug bites
  • Treating infections like athlete’s foot or boils
  • Used as a household cleaner
  • When diluted (I used 3 drops in 1 cup of filtered water), tea tree makes a very effective alcohol- and mint-free mouthwash. Beware, however: it’s very bitter and not for internal use, so swish and spit!
  • Helps deodorize things like shoes and surfaces when mixed with a few tablespoons of baking soda
  • Natural analgesic (like a mild clove oil)
  • And, finally… I’m NOT a doctor, but I get recurrent yeast infections and the antifungals my doctor was giving me were messing up my gut flora without helping my yeast infections one bit. I’ve been using tea tree oil (1 drop diluted in 1 ml virgin coconut oil to make 3 small suppositories) to treat my yeast infections, and it literally cleared up my season-long yeast infection overnight. If you’re having trouble too, do a little research–for me, using a natural antifungal was a far better option than pharmaceuticals, but I’m just one example!

Thursday Platnation eucalyptus oil review

Eucalyptus oil ($9.99 CAD/50 ml)

I love the scent of eucalyptus oil, so when I found out that it kills 99.9% of household germs and helps relieve cold symptoms, I was pretty thrilled.

  • Making use of those 99.9% germ killer properties & cleaning countertops, spills, floors, and sinks in lieu of chemical cleaners with artificial fragrances!
  • A couple drops in a bottle of distilled water as a tasty mouth rinse
  • Used diluted as an oil rub for muscle aches or colds
  • Used in a diffuser or humidifier for a cold
  • I haven’t tried these yet, but I’ve heard that eucalyptus oil can remove grease and tar stains, and is great added to the wash to freshen up your clothes!

Thursday Plantation lavender oil review

Lavender oil ($19.99 CAD/25 ml)

Thursday Plantation lavender oil is distilled only from Lavandula angustifolia flowering herb tops, and it smells lovely.

  • Used diluted or in a bath to help treat eczema or psoriasis
  • Dabbed onto insect bites to help soothe them
  • A few drops on a felt dryer ball to freshen laundry!

The verdict + a giveaway!!

I haven’t tried the more delicate oils from the Thursday Plantation range yet, but I was very happy with these three. The quality is great and the brand’s pricing is on par with something like Desert Essence, and I love that Thursday Plantation uses amber glass to keep their oils safe & sound.

In fact, I’ve been getting such great use out of these oils that I wanted to share the love with YOU, so I reached out to Thursday Plantation’s PR firm here in Canada to ask if they had an extra Essentials kit to share with a lucky reader. And guess what? They did!

So, if you want to get your inner DIY maven on, enter using the widget below. This giveaway will be open to Canadian residents over the age of majority (or with parental consent) for two weeks and close at 11:59 PM MST on July 3rd. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fountain The Super Green, Hyaluronic Molecule review & photos

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Fountain The Hyaluronic Molecule beauty supplement review

The products: Deciem Fountain 02 The Hyaluronic Molecule, 03 The Super Green Molecule

One of my resolutions for 2016 was to cover more indie brands & weird beauty finds, so today, I thought I’d talk about Deciem’s super-cool liquid supplements.

Beauty drinks aren’t a big thing here in North America, but they’re all over the place in Asia. You can take everything from collagen to sheep placenta (yes, really) in capsule, liquid, or even jelly form, and they’re all designed to make you prettier/plumper/smoother/etc. from the inside out.

Deciem’s Fountain range contains everything from Vitamin B12 to resveratrol, and all of the supplements are sweetened with xylitol, so you don’t have to worry about adding sugary syrups to your morning juice or water! (I push Xyla candy like they’re drugs. Cheap drugs. Drugs that are good for your teeth).

Fountain The Hyaluronic Molecule review

The Hyaluronic Molecule ($38 CAD)

The first “molecule” that I tried was the brand’s Hyaluronic Molecule, and honestly, it was a weird experience. It’s really thick and viscous, like slime or phlegm or (according to my cousin) semen, which is a texture that you don’t want to see in a product ever.

Texture aside (once diluted with a full glass of water or juice, you honestly don’t notice it at all), this stuff is pretty darn cool. It contains the only water-soluble, bioavailable hyaluronic acid supplement on the market, and it contains a lot of it: 130mg per serving, which is actually why it’s so goopy.

Deciem Fountain The Hyaluronic Molecule review

“With tequila” is probably not how the Fountain supplements were designed to be taken.

The Hyaluronic Molecule is also vegan-friendly and cruelty-free, and it’s said to make your skin softer and smoother, keep your joints mobile, and (again: yes, really) keep your eyes lubricated. Like any other supplement, though, I can’t say for sure if it’s really working, but I do like it. I know that it should be working, and I like the subtle ginger flavour, and that’s enough for me.

(If ginger isn’t your thing, Deciem also make a Fountain 10X Hyaluronic Molecule ($60 CAD), which is Jasmine Silver Tea flavoured!)

Deciem Fountain The Super Green Molecule review

The Super Green Molecule ($28 CAD)

I’m currently taking The Super Green Molecule on days that I don’t eat my veggies (which, for the record, is totally not recommended by Deciem/Fountain), and I am loving this one.

The Super Green Molecule is very liquidy, very green, and kiwi flavoured. The deep green colour of this stuff makes me feel so healthy when I take it, and I know it’s no substitute for actual vegetables, but it’s better than nothing, okay? I mean, a single teaspoon of this stuff contains as much chlorophyll as SIX bowls of dark, organic leafy greens.

This Fountain of Youth supplement is also enriched with vitamins and minerals from sea kelp, and all of that colour comes from alfalfa-derived sodium copper chlorophyllin, which is a readily bioavailable form of chlorophyll that green gurus love for its ability to control body odour, help your body process out toxins, fight off yeast infections, and promote healthy iron levels.

Plus, I mean, The Super Green is super tasty.

Fountain The Super Green Molecule review

The verdict?

You can never be sure what you’re actually getting when it comes to holistic products, but if I had to pick a cosmetic company that I trusted not to trick me into eating ants, it would be Deciem. They didn’t cut corners on these guys one bit, and it really shows: The Hyaluronic Molecule is literally full of so much bioavailable hyaluronic acid that it’s noticeably thick, and The Super Green Molecule is full of so much chlorophyllin that it’ll stain your tongue if you don’t dilute it first.

I’m not recommending these as a food or drug, but as a cosmetic adjunct to your routine, they’re quite nice. I say start with The Super Green Molecule and go from there!

Availability: $28 CAD & up at Fountain.co, which uses Deciem’s universal shopping cart (so you can buy your Hylamide at the same time!) and ships for FREE worldwide.

Keep reading! »

L’Amourose Rosa Rouge Rechargeable Heated G-Spot Vibrator review | Incredibly chic temperature play

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

L'Amourose Rosa Rouge Rechargeable Heated G-Spot Vibrator review photos

The product: L’Amourose Rosa Rouge Rechargeable Heated G-Spot Vibrator

It’s been a while since theNotice’s last toy feature. Missed the last couple? Check them out here! { Je Joue Uma G-Spot Vibrator / We-Vibe 4 and Tango }

L’Amourose’s Rosa Rouge is, I think I can fairly say, a vibrator like no other vibrator that you’ve ever tried before. Its shape, design, and heating element (yes, you heard that right) are entirely without compare, and the not-so-hidden tech geek in me gets a little thrill every time I pull this one out.

L'Amourose Rosa Rouge Rechargeable Heated G-Spot Vibrator

The Rouge difference: What makes the L’Amourose Rosa Rouge so utterly unique is that it’s a heated toy. As in, “designed to heat to a perfect 42 degrees Celsius,” (104 – 107˚F) which is a far cry from the usual, “accidentally heats up sometimes during use,” seen in most vibrators.

An upgraded version of the brand’s un-heated Rosa vibrator–which is otherwise identical–the Rosa Rouge maintains a steady 40-42˚C (normal internal body temp is about 37 degrees), warming up within a minute to skin temperature and reaching its final, toasty destination within 4 minutes.

L'Amourose Rosa Rouge Rechargeable Vibrator review photos

Temperature play: The warmth of the Rosa is focused on the g-spot ridge and is limited to the insertable portion, leaving the base only barely warmed no matter how long it runs for — which I think is quite a shame, because temperature play is typically most effective at skin level.

That said, however, the Rosa is lovely both in and externally. (I guess 42 really is the answer to life, the universe, and everything.) For those who have never experienced temperature play, I would absolutely urge you to! For me, warm objects feel like satisfaction–not even sexual satisfaction, but like… that feeling you get when you step into a hot shower on a cold day; that’s just calm and quiet and good. Like a little moment outside of time, or a really great massage facial totally above-board spa treatment.

L'Amourose Rosa vibrator review photos

The motor and settings: Umpfgh. Oh my god. You guys, the motor on this thing is so rumbly — like, MiMi Soft levels of rumbly, but without the rattling. It’s a constant, demure ruh-ruh-ruh, and it goes up HIGH, too: L’Amourose has tricked this baby out with a whopping 12 speeds and 9 vibrating modes. 

And y’know what? I’m usually a pattern-hater, but I have to give L’Amourose credit for these ones. They let you use only the internal or only the external motor (yup, this vibrator has two motors; it’s that high-tech), alternate between the two, or slide from one to the other in a slow, hypnotic transition.

The motors totally aren’t “whisper-quiet” as promised, but they’re still very quiet. Despite this being one of the most powerful vibrators I own, it’s near-silent under a blanket!

L'Amourose Rosa Rouge G-Spot Vibrator review charging dock

The design: Apart from a super-sexy, gemlike silhouette, the Rosa Rouge is equipped with all the good stuff, too. It’s made from silicone and ABS plastic (for the shiny, multifaceted base), is fully waterproof, charges by simply sitting on its pedestal (LITERALLY A PEDESTAL), and has a battery that’ll last for 3 hours at medium speed on a 2 hour charge. 

What makes the Rosa design truly brilliant, however, is the fact that, once inserted, it’s basically a hands-free toy. It pairs well with clit vibes like the We-Vibe Tango, but it stays in place easily on its own, too.

And, finally, in terms of its g-spot design, I find the Rosa Rouge to have quite an intense curve to it. The flexible shaft keeps things relaxed, however, so no matter how filling it may be, the Rosa’s shape is never bruising or sharp. I find that it’s best used in a nudging/rocking motion (like the Tex), and if I pair it with the Tango, I can get off in an unbelievably short timeframe–the two together are a dirty, efficient, mind-blowing dream.

L'Amourose review photos

The verdict?

As a big fan of rumbly vibrations and temperature play, I can’t not recommend the L’Amourose Rosa Rouge. It’s an absolutely beautiful piece of technology, covered in velvety-soft silicone, and it is by far my favourite internal vibrator.

At 4.5″ insertable and 1.5″ around, the Rosa Rouge is something of a work of art. It’s not something that I reach for all the time and it’s not a toy designed for thrusting, but when I feel like I’ve been very, very good, the Rosa Rouge makes me feel simultaneously like a princess and an–actually, nope, it pretty much just makes me feel like a princess.

So… my final recommendations. A $240 toy isn’t feasible for all of us (I was lucky enough to have mine given to me by the lovely folks at SheVibe), but the Rosa and Rosa Rouge offer things that other vibrators simply don’t: a comfortable hands-free design, temperature play, and (and!) 3+ hours of near-silent play on a single charge. If you can do it, I say do it.

Availability: $239.99 USD at SheVibe, or $179.99 USD for the non-heated Rosa (currently available at SheVibe in Emerald or Cerise). To help take the sting off of the price tag, L’Amourose pieces come with an 18 month warranty and a lifetime quality guarantee (50% off any replacement piece if yours breaks, even 25 years down the road), as well as a beautiful storage box and a satin-lined velvet pouch.

Keep reading! »

Unusual beauty finds | The Edit

Monday, August 24, 2015

The beauty world has been coming out with some pretty cool new innovations this year, so for the newest instalment of The Edit, I’ve selected nine products that have something different about them. They’re mostly skincare (what? I’ve been on a skincare kick this month), but don’t let that fool you: there’s some really nifty stuff coming out of the makeup department, too!

Image HTML map generator

click the links!

Beauty Essences

Beauty essences are far from new (they’ve been popular in Korea and the rest of Asia for years), but they’ve been tricky to get ahold of here in North America until just recently. I picked out two for this edit: a classic, the Cremorlab Mineral Treatment Essence ($42 USD), which is now easily accessible outside of Asia thanks to Peach and Lily (get a $10 off code here!); and a personal favourite, the Canadian-made MIYU Beauty Hydrate Mi Beauty Essence ($34 CAD), which touts all the benefits of a traditional beauty essence but applies conveniently as a spray.

Mask On, Mask Off 

I also picked out two cool masks for this feature: one for oily skin, and one for dry. Clinique’s new Pore Refining Solutions Mask ($27 CAD) is one of three masks that the brand is putting out this fall, and targets problem skin with its charcoal-based formula — its muddy-charcoal texture looks super cool coming out of the tube.

On the total opposite end of the spectrum is Odacité’s Hydration Masque ($55 CAD; sample size pictured), which is bright white and is a great choice for dry skin. And, still working off of K-beauty trends, it makes an awesome sleeping mask for those inclined!

!NIOD Copper Amino Isolate, Odacite Hydration Masque

Make-Up Shake-Up 

I love a newfangled makeup product, so I picked out the Shu Uemura Laque Supreme ($35 CAD) and the Annabelle EyeInk2 Mistake-Proof Eyeliner ($10.95 CAD) for this feature. I reviewed the Shu just last week, and have been playing around with the Annabelle — the formula hasn’t been working out for my oily lids, but I love the long, thin, reversible (!!) felt-tip applicator and the built-in double-ended touch-up pen!

Cutting-Edge Technologies 

And, finally, the coolest of the coolest. NIOD (by Deciem) has a new Copper Amino Isolate Serum 1.00% ($60 CAD) available this fall, and it packs a major anti-ageing punch — most brands only bother to put a 0.01 to 0.10% concentration into their products, which doesn’t give you the same effects.

Also from Deciem is a range of drinkables from FOUNTAIN, including this bioavailable hyaluronic acid supplement, The Hyaluronic Molecule ($38 CAD). And, from Estee Lauder, something that’s (also!) altogether new: the New Dimensions Expert Liquid Tape ($70 USD), which creates a thin, flexible layer over the skin that tightens over the course of ten minutes to literally lift and smooth the area!

What’s the coolest beauty product you’ve tried this year?

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