The Body Shop Virgin Mojito collection review, photos

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito collection review

The products: The Body Shop Virgin Mojito collection ($9 CAD-$22 CAD)

When I was fifteen, surgery was a cakewalk. Sleep it off in the hospital, grab a burger on the way home, ready for a road trip by Friday. But at 23, and when you find out after the operation that you might not be able to eat normally for up to six weeks? I’m going nuts over here. Telling a Chen she can’t eat is like telling a dog it can’t pee on things. Eating is where I get all of my joy. 

So, I mean, I’ve been hitting the mojitos pretty hard to help cope. Virgin skincare mojitos, that is. (I don’t want to find out what happens when you mix rum with open wounds and morphine.)

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Shower Gel review photos

The scent: I was told that you either love or hate The Body Shop’s new Virgin Mojito scent, but I mean… I love it; my boyfriend loves it; Julie from Swatch and Review and her boyfriend love it; Zoë from Writing Whimsy and Steph from Fun Size Beauty both totally love it.

It’s summery and fresh, and smells like taking a sip of a delicious wall of lime with just a hint of mint and that tart bite of citrus peel. (It’s totally 100% deserving of the cheeky little “NOT FOOD!” labelling.)

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Scrub review photos

In the shower

The Body Shop has offered up two ways for you to get your mojito on in the shower this summer: the Virgin Mojito Shower Gel ($9 CAD) and the Virgin Mojito Body Scrub ($22 CAD).

I’m still trying to figure out if the beads in the mojito body scrub are regular beads or micro beads (the latter of which end up in lakes and rivers, basically just hangin’ out and killin’ fishes), but I have to admit defeat, here: I’m not eco-knowledgeable enough to tell the difference, and I need some help to figure out if I can indulge or if I need to pitch this! 

I’m hoping for the former–didn’t The Body Shop swear off micro beads a few years ago?–because that jelly-like texture looks like waaaay too much fun not to use. 

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Shower Gel review

On the other hand, I’ve been guiltlessly indulging in the Virgin Mojito Shower Gel pretty heavily. The Body Shop’s Shower Gels are possibly my favourite product from the brand — they just always smell so good, and at $9 CAD (or less; a bunch of them are on for $5 right now), they’re so cheap.

I love being able to get a Body Shop scent fix at a price tag that I don’t have to think about (I mean, it’s not exactly Byredo, but is far from drugstore stuff). This tall glass of deliciousness is no exception!

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Butter review photos

After the shower

Coming out of the shower, you have three options: The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Butter ($20 CAD), a classic that has too many ‘cones for me to touch (I used to adore these), the Virgin Mojito Body Splash ($20 CAD), which is delightfully splishy-splashy but honestly kind of a pain to apply (splashes, man. We should have left them behind in the ’90s), and the Virgin Mojito Body Sorbet ($15 CAD).

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Splash review photos

The Body Sorbets are a product that I’m split on. On one hand, they’re $15 (sometimes even less!), and they all, without a doubt, smell awesome. But on the other, they’re just not hydrating — like, even when I get other people to use them, they don’t find them to do a thing. And they pill up like a bad primer if you try to make them hydrate more by applying extra.

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito review

Buuut (and there’s always a but) they’re $15. And silicone-free. And I guarantee you, they are the only tasty-smelling ‘cone-free body lotions that you’re going to be able to find for that price — believe me, I’ve looked.

So, you know. I hate them… and also, I own three. (This was, for interest’s sake, the only one of the three that was a press sample. I bought the other two with my own money and darn it, I was happy to.)

The Body Shop Virgin Mojito Body Sorbet review photos

The verdict?

Out of all of the limited edition collections that The Body Shop has come out with recently, the Virgin Mojito one has been, by far, my favourite. I love the delicious, limey fragrance (it’s so summery!) and I’m quite happy with the product offerings.

My recommendation? Get the shower gel for sure. Then, if you can use silicones, buy the Body Butter. But for those who can’t… get the Body Sorbet instead. You’ll probably hate me for it, but at the same time, you’re totally not going to regret it in the least.

Availability: $9 CAD & up at thebodyshop.ca and The Body Shop stores. Limited edition.

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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!

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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?

Lise Watier Rivages review, swatches, photos | Summer 2015

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Lise Watier Rivages Summer 2015 review photos

The product: Lise Watier Rivages, LE Summer 2015

» & don’t forget about the super-pretty Palette Rivages!

I like getting super in-depth when I’m reviewing products, but every now and then, a collection comes along and you’re just like, BUT I HAVE TO TALK ABOUT ALL OF IT. Lise Watier has a tendency to churn those out, so here are some quick (but no less detailed!) reviews of their summer Rivages collection (available mid-April to July 2015).

For those too lazy to stick around and read the whole thing, here’s what you really need to know: the eye products in this collection (palette included) are absolutely killer. And, yeah, you kind of need all of them!

Lise Watier Rivages  Bronzing Powder review

What to buy

Smokey Kohl Velours in Nude Velours ($21 CAD)

I’ve wished for a great nude eyeliner from the drugstore for years, and finally (just weeks after I caved and bought one in a moment of weakness) one exists!

Lise Watier Nude Velours Smokey Kohl review

Described as the “ultimate eye brightener,” Lise Watier’s new Nude Velours Smokey Kohl eyeliner can be used to brighten the waterlines, lashlines, and inner corners of your eyes. It’s creamy, pigmented, and easy to work with, and the matte Nude Velours shade works perfectly against my complexion to brighten up my eyes without looking stark on my waterlines.

» How does it stack up? Nude Velours is cooler, lighter, and more smudge-resistant than Rimmel’s 005 Nude ScandalEyes Kohl.

Lise Watier Nude Velours swatches Smokey Kohl review

Lise Watier Sexy Glam, Chic Glam swatches review photos

Lise Watier 24hrs Glam Eyeshadow swatches in Sexy Glam, Chic Glam; Lise Watier Nude Velours Smokey Eye Kohl swatch

24hrs Glam Eyeshadow in Sexy Glam and Chic Glam ($23 CAD)

The last must-have from this collection is yet another eye product: the 24hrs Glam Eyeshadows. I tested these in Sexy Glam and Chic Glam, both from Lise Watier’s permanent line, and I really liked them — they set within seconds, but it’s pretty easy to buff out their edges and they wear very well.

» Sexy Glam is a glittery light pink; Chic Glam is a smooth, shimmering cool taupe.

Lise Watier 24 hrs glam eyeshadow review Sexy, Chic Glam

Lise Watier Nude Velours eyeliner swatches review

Lise Watier swatches, L-R: Sexy Glam, Chic Glam, Nude Velours

Like a lot of automatic cream eyeshadow/base/liner pencils, the 24hrs Glam shadows are waterproof and have a sort of chunky-glittery finish. I like them best layered underneath powder eyeshadows (may I suggest the Lise Watier Palette Rivages?), where they add an interesting sparkle to satin and matte finishes. Worn with primer, I can get a solid 10 hours out of these without creasing or fading, which on my lids is really good.

Lise Watier 24 hrs glam Sexy Glam, Chic Glam swatches review

Lise Watier Sexy Glam (L), Chic Glam (R) 24hrs Glam Eyeshadow

What to try

Blush Fondant Suprême in Shell ($30 CAD

Lise Watier Blush Fondant Shell review swatches photos

Shell is a skip for me, but I can think of a few fellow bloggers and beauty addicts who it would be an absolute must-have for! (I’d kill to see this on Natalie and Divya — it would look bloody amazing on both of them.)

The Blush Fondant Suprême formula is layerable, velvety, and silicone-y, with Concentrated Labrador Tea Extract and a satin-matte cream-to-powder finish. I like it applied best (sparingly!) with fingertips, but I think it’s rather overpriced at $30. It really is a gorgeous, unique colour, though, so pick it up if you’ve been dying to get your hands on a shade like this! (Swatches if you scroll down.)

Magic Lip Colour Enhancer ($24 CAD)

Lise Watier Magic Lip Colour Enhancer review

The Lise Watier Magic Lip Colour Enhancer is apparently part of the brand’s permanent line now, and it’s a pH-adjusting lipgloss with a shimmer-free formula. I like it, but I like all pH adjusting lipglosses — it’s kind of a weakness of mine.

I think the packaging on this one is particularly sleek, but honestly, I prefer my Physician’s Formula pH-adjusting lipgloss. It’s just a touch more muted and can be picked up for a mere $8 when it’s on sale at Shopper’s.

Lise Watier Magic Lip Colour Enhancer review swatches pH adjusting

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L’Occitane Vervine Agrumes Fresh Shampoo, Body Milk review, photos

Monday, June 15, 2015

L'Occitane Verveine Agrumes Fresh Shampoo review

The product: L’Occitane Verveine Agrumes Fresh Shampoo & Fresh Body Milk

I’m not a huge fan of L’Occitane’s original Verbena scent, but for some reason, I always really love their summer limited edition flankers.

This year, the line is doing Verveine Agrumes (Citrus Verbena), and they’re introducing a few unexpected products to the range — deodorant, shampoo, an conditioner.

L'Occitane Verveine Agrumes Fresh Shampoo Body Milk review

The Vervine Agrumes scent

Verveine Agrumes smells good. Like, really good. It smells like lemons, oranges, and grapefruits being squeezed for their juice — there’s that almost bitter undertone to the oils in the rind that no one ever seems to get quite right, but with Verveine Agrumes, L’Occitane gets it just right. 

There’s something immediately very real about this scent (unlike so many synthetic lemon-cleaner and lemon-sugar fragrances), and it’s paired with a cedar base for a very “fill in the blank” kind of effect. I really like the way these products smell, but they’re not overpowering — they’re definitely unisex-friendly, and they pair well with most summer perfumes and colognes, too.

L'Occitane Verveine Agrumes Fresh Shampoo review photos

L’Occitane Verveine Agrumes Fresh Shampoo ($23 CAD)

Okay, but like — was anyone else even aware that L’Occitane did shampoos up until now? Because let me tell you, I was very much not aware of this. But apparently they do a bunch: a Roses et Reines shampoo, a Shea Ultra Rich shampoo, a whole bunch of Aromachologie shampoos… apparently I’ve just been very (very) behind the times.

The Verveine Agrumes Fresh Shampoo pairs with a Daily Use Conditioner ($23 CAD) that I didn’t have a chance to test, but I really like the shampoo on its own. It’s tingly and minty and just a little acidic (I’m guessing; I don’t have any pH testing strips right now), leaving my hair feeling clean and weightless without stripping it too badly.

To note, however, this one gets very sudsy. It plays well with my dry scalp, but I wouldn’t recommend it for really overprocessed or heat-damaged hair.

L'Occitane Verveine Agrumes Fresh Body Milk review

(I couldn’t test the Verveine Agrumes Fresh Body Milk ($32 CAD) due to its silicone content, but it smells just as good!)

The verdict?

I don’t love Verveine Agrumes as much as last year’s Frisson de Verveine (which I bloody adored; I still regret not buying the EdT), but I do really like it. The shampoo is pretty good, especially from a brand that isn’t really known for its haircare range, and it’s worth a try fo a little dose of summer in your shampoo.

For anyone who loves the scent of citrus fruits being peeled, though (and really, who doesn’t?), definitely give the Verveine Agrumes EdT a look — I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!

Availability: Available online and at L’Occitane boutiques beginning this July. Limited edition.

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Annabelle Zebra Biggy Bronzer review, swatches: Haute, Matte, & Dark Gold

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Annabelle Biggy Zebra Bronzing powders review

The product: Annabelle Cosmetics Biggy Zebra Bronzing Powder in Haute Gold, Dark Gold, and Matte Gold

I’m entering week 7 of Rae’s Epic Tonsillitis Fest of 2015, so today, I’ve chosen a really easy product to review: Annabelle’s Biggy Bronzers. They’re just updated versions of the brand’s original Zebra bronzer (which, as a few of you might even remember, was my first bronzer love back in the day), and darn it, their big, silly, striped design makes me happy.

Annabelle Cosmetics Matte Gold Biggy Bronzer review

Annabelle “Matte Gold” Biggy Zebra Bronzing Powder review

Annabelle Cosmetics Dark Gold Biggy Bronzer review

Annabelle “Dark Gold” Biggy Zebra Bronzing Powder review

The product: Each Biggy powder bronzer is zebra-patterned with light and dark bronze stripes in either a subtle shimmer (Haute Gold, Dark Gold) or matte (Matte Gold) finish. Each shade blends seamlessly to give you a perfectly gold-hued bronze, and the yellow/red undertones never look ruddy or fake the way many orange-brown bronzers can.

Annabelle Haute Gold, Dark Gold, Matte Gold Bronzer swatches review

Annabelle Biggy Bronzer swatches: Dark Gold, Haute Gold, Matte Gold

The shades: I still adore the subtle shimmer of Haute Gold (there’s a reason why it won the 2014 ELLE Canada Beauty Grand Prix for Best Bronzer Under $30, you know), but the new shades are pretty great, too!

Dark Gold is an intense, metallic yellow-bronze. Haute Gold is ever so slightly redder, and has more of a shimmer finish. Matte Gold is the most sheer of the three, and is impressively close in tone to the others — it’s slightly more red and desaturated, but if you loved the original Zebra bronzer (Haute Gold), it’ll definitely still work for your skin tone.

Annabelle Biggy Zebra Bronzer swatches review

Annabelle Zebra Biggy Bronzer swatches: Dark Gold, Haute Gold, Matte Gold

BEST USED: Apply Haute Gold (for everyday wear) or Dark Gold (for a more metallic finish) to the cheekbones, collarbones, and décolletage to give a golden glow without looking like you’ve had an accident with the fake tanner.

Apply Matte Gold to subtly sculpt and bronze the face — lord knows it’s better for contouring than most of this season’s contouring launches.

Annabelle Cosmetics Haute Gold Biggy Bronzer review comparison

Annabelle Zebra Bronzers in Dark Gold, Haute Gold, and Matte Gold

The verdict?

At just over $10 apiece, these bronzers are some of my favourites — and not just from the drugstore. They’re one of those products that does all the work for you, blending out easily and imparting a really healthy-looking glow with almost no effort at all.

I love that Annabelle has expanded the Biggy Bronzing Powder shade range, but Haute Gold is still my favourite of the three. I recommend applying lightly all summer long with a large powder brush!

Availability: $11.95 CAD at Annabelle.ca and at drugstores and mass market retailers across Canada.

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